The weather may be warming, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything in theaters worth seeing. If you remain firmly planted to your couch, rightfully suspicious of the thaw, you have options. Here’s what’s new on DVD:
I will repeat what I have said over and over about this film: expectation is everything. The studio cleverly—and deceitfully—is marketing this film as a mismatched buddy comedy: A daft old woman teams up with a humorless journalist to search for the son she gave up for adoption 50 years ago. That is not remotely the case. This film is a poignant, disturbing true story of a young girl’s forced adoption and the complicated journey to right a wrong. It’s a 6.
The Book Thief
Have the Kleenex ready. This powerful story of a young orphan surviving in Nazi Germany as her foster parents harbor a young Jewish man will have you reaching for the tissues. It’s a 7.
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Coen brothers have a huge win here with this surreal story of a struggling folk singer who is trying to rebound from a failed relationship and after losing his singing partner. Oh, and for once, Justin Timberlake doesn’t ruin a film. It’s an 8.
Out of the Furnace
If you simply read the plot description of this movie—a war veteran gets pulled into the seamy underbelly of crime and calls on his contained powerful older brother for help—you’re thinking bad Vin Diesel movie (is there any other kind, really?). But factor in Casey Affleck and Christian Bale in the lead roles, and a supporting cast that reads like a director’s wish list, and that changes things. The movie’s not without its flaws, but it’s a provocative, suspenseful film. It’s a 6.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Either you caught fire or you didn’t, but as sequels go, this one’s not bad. It’s also one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final performances. It’s a 7.
Thor: The Dark World
Again, as sequels go…I’m a huge fan of Chris Hemsworth. He’s like a talented Channing Tatum or an attractive Adrian Brody. If you missed the first installment, this could be a nice rainy-day double feature. Oscar winner Natalie Portman adds some gravitas to a smart yet uncomplicated story. It’s a 6.