Movie News & Reviews

Nostalgia overload in latest ‘Star Wars’

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” revives the space opera series for a new generation.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” revives the space opera series for a new generation. Walt Disney Studios

What’s new for home viewing on video-on-demand and Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services.

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” recreates the innocence and energy of the original “Star Wars” for a new generation. It’s a nostalgic blast for adults and an inclusive space opera adventure for kids. New faces Daisy Ridley and John Boyega joins veterans Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill. PG-13. Also on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital formats.

Jennifer Lawrence earned an Oscar nomination as self-made entrepreneur “Joy,” inspired by the true story of Joy Mangano. Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper co-star. PG-13.

Also new this week: the young adult invasion thriller “The 5th Wave” (PG-13), Nicholas Sparks romantic drama “The Choice” (PG-13), Holocaust drama “Remember” (R), and foodie comedy “East Side Sushi” (PG).

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is the offbeat “The Family Fang” with Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman (R).


Marseille” is an original French-language series starring Gerard Depardieu as the longtime Mayor of the French port city willing to do anything to seal his legacy. 8 episodes, French with subtitles.

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are back for a second season of “Grace and Frankie.” 13 episodes.

Among the films new to Netflix this month are Oscar winner “There Will Be Blood” (2007) with Daniel Day-Lewis (R), Oscar nominee “Into the Wild” (2007) (R), Tom Cruise in “Mission: Impossible III” (2006) (PG-13), and Hitchcock’s elegant romantic thriller “To Catch a Thief” (1955) with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly (no rating).

Get the Pacific Northwest connection in “Meek’s Cutoff” (2011) with Michelle Williams on the Oregon Trail (PG) and “Lucky Them” (2013) with Toni Collette navigating the Seattle music scene (R).

Amazon Prime Video

George Clooney is a born candidate in the political thriller “Ides of March” (2011) (R) and James Spader stars in adult romantic drama “Sex, Lies, and Videotape” (1989) (R).

Amazon Prime Video and Hulu

Hot Pursuit” (2015), a comedy with Reese Witherspoon as an uptight cop and Sofia Varga as an uninhibited mob widow, is new to both services this month (PG-13).

Other new are the sharp R-rated political satire “Election” (1999), disaster movie lampoon “Airplane! (1980) (PG), caustic comedy “Ghost World” (2001) (R), clever crime thriller “Best Seller” (1987) (R), and James Bond classics “Goldfinger” (1964) with Sean Connery (PG) and “Live and Let Die” (1973) with Roger Moore (PG).


The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (2015) has fun with sleek sixties spy movie style and shows a charming side of Henry Cavill. PG-13.

Showtime Anytime

New episodes of the Gothic horror series “Penny Dreadful: Season 3” arrive every Sunday.

Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. Find his reviews of streaming movies and TV at streamon