Streaming on Netflix
A special note: the documentary Wrestling for Jesus, made by Nathan Clarke (who is also video director at Christianity Today and directed CT's "This Is Our City" project) is releasing to VOD on November 12. This poignant film tells the story of a man who starts a Christian professional wrestling league. Read Kenneth Morefield's review of this authentic and urgent film on his blog here.
And there's lots to watch on Netflix, too. Poirot is a British TV mystery series, based on the novels by Agatha Christie—and several episodes are now available (the final episode of the 24-year series is in production this year (read about it here). It's pretty family-friendly, but if it's not fast-paced enough for kids, Disney's Mulan is also available. If you're looking for a cheeky contemporary musical, The Producers starring Matthew Broderick is available. And lovers of classic romance can sink back and watch Gregory Peck woo Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.
The Motel Life is in limited release this weekend, and critics like the performances. Andy Webster of The New York Times says this film watches "like an outlaw-country song" with acting and ambience that "resonate." The Hollywood Reporter's Deborah Young agrees, claiming there's not enough background details for convincing characters but "the central performances by Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff hold the film together with the intensity of their brotherly affection and support." And Jessica Kiang of Indiewire.com praised more than just the acting: "We're anxious not to overpraise it, because to go in with overhyped expectations for this small, contained picture would be to deny yourself the gentle wise surprise the film provides. But the simple fact is that it won us over with its refreshing quiet confidence in itself and the kind of film it wants to be."
The Armstrong Lie, first seen in the Toronto 2013 film festival, opens this weekend as well. Most reviewers give it a general thumbs up and reiterate the crying shame of the disgraced cyclist (see The Huffington Post and The New York Times The Dissolve's Scott Tobias takes a slightly different approach: he examines the documentary maker's agenda—"(Alex) Gibney wants to make a point about how so many people were eager to embrace that story, but counting himself among the duped seems fishy. It's his own false narrative, useful for framing a feature-length documentary."
Netflix will be streaming a lot of Marvel next year. Four more full-length shows and a miniseries are on their way, based on characters Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage. Each one gets their own 13-episode show before The Defenders, a miniseries that will bring them together. This is kind of like what happened when all the Marvel movies joined up for The Avengers, except now it will happen for second-tier characters with smaller bites of time. Read more here.
Cop comedies are trending, and here comes another. Hot on the heels of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Steven Carrell and his wife Nancy will write and direct a show in a similar vein for TBS. Despite its name, Tribeca will not be set in New York City—it's the last name of the head officer. Read more here.
Taylor Lindsay is a fall intern with Christianity Today Movies and a student at The King's College in New York City.