On Demand movie highlights

24 Hour Party People½

(Starz on Comcast) If you’re a fan of Joy Division or Happy Mondays, this snapshot of the early-’80s music scene in Manchester, England, plays like a rollicking, essential history lesson. Even if you spent the decade listening to Loverboy, high amusement is supplied by British comedian Steve Coogan, who brings a laser wit to his role as music promoter Tony Wilson. (R; runs through Jan. 16)

Ty Burr

Black Book½

(Starz on Comcast) A World War II Resistance epic turned upside down and shaken until its brains rattle. From Paul Verhoeven, of course. Carice van Houten plays a Jewish spy who gets too close to a handsome Hauptsturmfuhrer (Sebastian Koch, from “The Lives of Others”). It’s exuberant popcorn subversion, and you’ll either come out wondering who you were rooting for (and why) or recoil from the assault on taste. In Dutch and German, with subtitles. (R; runs through Jan. 31)

Ty Burr

The Other Son


(Starz on Comcast) It’s almost too obvious and too inevitable to be real. A nice French-reared, Jewish family in Tel Aviv and a less-well-off Arab quintet discover that their sons were delivered to the wrong clan. Making this drama must have been like discovering the website URL you swore was taken is actually free. The movie, written and directed by Lorraine Lévy, is shameless and simple yet solemnly optimistic at the same time. In French, Arabic, and Hebrew, with subtitles. (PG-13; runs through
Jan. 31)

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