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When and How You Can Watch 2015’s Best Movies

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John’s Top 20:

The Hateful Eight
“In the dead of a Wyoming winter, a bounty hunter and his prisoner find shelter in a cabin currently inhabited by a collection of nefarious characters.” (In theaters)

Carol
“An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older woman.” (In theaters)

The Big Short
“Four denizens of the world of high-finance predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s, and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight.” (In theaters)

Timbuktu
“A cattle herder and his family who reside in the dunes of Timbuktu find their quiet lives — which are typically free of the Jihadists determined to control their faith — abruptly disturbed.” (Streaming on Amazon Prime, available on DVD)

Mad Max: Fury Road
“A woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler in post apocalyptic Australia in search for her homeland with the help of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshiper, and a drifter named Max.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Mississippi Grind
“Down on his luck and facing financial hardship, Gerry teams up with younger charismatic poker player, Curtis, in an attempt to change his luck. The two set off on a road trip through the South with visions of winning back what’s been lost.” (Streaming on Amazon Prime, available on DVD)

Spotlight
“The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.” (In theaters, available on DVD and streaming outlets February 23)

Phoenix
“A disfigured concentration-camp survivor, unrecognizable after facial reconstruction surgery, searches ravaged postwar Berlin for the husband who might have betrayed her to the Nazis.” (Streaming on Netflix, available on DVD April 26)

Sicario
“An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by a government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Ballet 422
“From first rehearsal to world premiere, Ballet 422 takes us backstage at New York City Ballet as emerging choreographer Justin Peck crafts a new work.” (Streaming on Netflix, available on DVD)

Tangerine
“A working girl tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve searching for the pimp who broke her heart.” (Streaming on Netflix, available on DVD)

Brooklyn
“An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.” (In theaters, available on DVD and streaming outlets February 23)

Queen of Earth
“Two women who grew up together discover they have drifted apart when they retreat to a lake house together.” (Streaming on Netflix, available on DVD)

Mistress America
“A lonely college freshman’s life is turned upside down by her impetuous, adventurous soon-to-be stepsister.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

99 Homes
“A recently unemployed single father struggles to get back his foreclosed home by working for the real estate broker who is the source of his frustration.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets February 9)

Beasts of No Nation
“A drama based on the experiences of Agu, a child soldier fighting in the civil war of an unnamed African country.” (Streaming on Netflix)

Listen to Me Marlon
“A documentary that utilizes hundreds of hours of audio that Marlon Brando recorded over the course of his life to tell the screen legend’s story.” (Streaming on Showtime Anytime)

Inside Out
“After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions — Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness — conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Shaun the Sheep Movie
“When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it’s up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Amy
“The story of Amy Winehouse in her own words, featuring unseen archival footage and unheard tracks.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

*****

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2016 Best Picture Oscar Nominees:

Bridge of Spies
“During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets February 2)

The Martian
“During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

The Revenant
“A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820’s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.” (In theaters)

Room
“After five-year-old Jack and his mother escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery.” (In theaters, available on DVD and streaming outlets March 1)

*****

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2016 Oscar Nominees for Acting:

The Danish Girl
“A fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.” (In theaters, available on DVD and streaming outlets March 1)

Steve Jobs
“Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets February 16)

Trumbo
“In 1947, Dalton Trumbo was Hollywood’s top screenwriter, until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs.” (In theaters)

45 Years
“A married couple preparing to celebrate their wedding anniversary receive shattering news that promises to forever change the course of their lives.” (In theaters)

Joy
“Joy is the story of the title character, who rose to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty.” (In theaters)

Creed
“The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.” (In theaters)

*****

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Other 2016 Oscar-Nominated Movies:

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
“After living a long and colorful life, Allan Karlsson finds himself stuck in a nursing home. On his 100th birthday, he leaps out a window and begins an unexpected journey.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Anomalisa
“A man crippled by the mundanity of his life experiences something out of the ordinary.” (In theaters)

Boy and the World
“A little boy goes on an adventurous quest in search of his father.” (In theaters)

Cartel Land
“A physician in Michoacán, Mexico leads a citizen uprising against the drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Across the U.S. border, a veteran heads a paramilitary group working to prevent Mexico’s drug wars from entering U.S. territory.” (Streaming on Netflix, available on DVD)

Cinderella
“When her father unexpectedly passes away, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and her scheming step-sisters. Never one to give up hope, Ella’s fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Embrace of the Serpent
“The story of the relationship between Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and last survivor of his people, and two scientists who work together over the course of 40 years to search the Amazon for a sacred healing plant.” (Coming to theaters in limited release February 17)

Ex Machina
“A young programmer is selected to participate in a groundbreaking experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breathtaking female A.I.” (Streaming on Amazon Prime, available on DVD)

Fifty Shades of Grey
“Literature student Anastasia Steele’s life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

The Hunting Ground
“An exposé of rape crimes on U.S. college campuses, their institutional cover-ups, and the devastating toll they take on students and their families.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

The Look of Silence
“A family that survives the genocide in Indonesia confronts the men who killed one of their brothers.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Mustang
“Early summer. In a village in northern Turkey, Lale and her four sisters are walking home from school, playing innocently with some boys. The immorality of their play sets off a scandal that has unexpected consequences. The family home is progressively transformed into a prison; instruction in homemaking replaces school and marriages start being arranged. The five sisters who share a common passion for freedom, find ways of getting around the constraints imposed on them.” (In theaters)

Racing Extinction
“A documentary that follows undercover activists trying to stave off a man-made mass extinction.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Son of Saul
“In the horror of 1944 Auschwitz, a prisoner forced to burn the corpses of his own people finds moral survival upon trying to salvage from the flames the body of a boy he takes for his son.” (In theaters)

Spectre
“A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets February 9)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
“Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance.” (In theaters)

Straight Outta Compton
“The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Theeb
“In the Ottoman province of Hijaz during World War I, a young Bedouin boy experiences a greatly hastened coming of age as he embarks on a perilous desert journey to guide a British officer to his secret destination.” (In theaters)

A War
“Company commander Claus M. Pedersen and his men are stationed in an Afghan province. Meanwhile back in Denmark Claus’ wife Maria is trying to hold everyday life together with a husband at war and three children missing their father. During a routine mission, the soldiers are caught in heavy crossfire and in order to save his men, Claus makes a decision that has grave consequences for him — and his family back home.” (Coming to theaters in limited release April 8)

What Happened, Miss Simone?
“A documentary about the life and legend Nina Simone, an American singer, pianist, and civil rights activist labeled the ‘High Priestess of Soul.'” (Streaming on Netflix)

When Marnie Was There
“Upon being sent to live with relatives in the countryside; an emotionally distant adolescent girl becomes obsessed with an abandoned mansion and infatuated with a girl who lives there; a girl who may or may not be real.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom
“A documentary on the unrest in Ukraine during 2013 and 2014, as student demonstrations supporting European integration grew into a violent revolution calling for the resignation of President Viktor F. Yanukovich.” (Streaming on Netflix)

Youth
“A retired orchestra conductor is on holiday with his daughter and his film director best friend in the Alps when he receives an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to perform for Prince Philip’s birthday.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets March 1)

*****

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More Noteworthy 2015 Movies:

Ant-Man
“Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

The Armor of Light
“Follows the journey of an Evangelical minister trying to find the courage to preach about the growing toll of gun violence in America.” (In theaters)

Best of Enemies
“A documentary on the series of televised debates in 1968 between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley.” (Streaming on Netflix, available on DVD)

Democrats
“In politically unstable Zimbabwe, a new constitution is being put together by the ruling party of strongman Robert Mugabe and the divided opposition. Various political, local and personal interests are bogging the process down.” (In theaters)

The End of the Tour
“The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace’s groundbreaking epic novel, ‘Infinite Jest.'” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Everest
“A climbing expedition on Mt. Everest is devastated by a severe snow storm.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Experimenter
“In 1961, famed social psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted a series of radical behavior experiments that tested ordinary humans willingness to obey authority.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Far from the Madding Crowd
“In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer; Frank Troy, a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Iris
“A documentary about fashion icon Iris Apfel from legendary documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles.” (Streaming on Netflix, available on DVD)

Magic Mike XXL
“Three years after Mike bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game, he and the remaining Kings of Tampa hit the road to Myrtle Beach to put on one last blow-out performance.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
“High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Paddington
“A young Peruvian bear travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary haven.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Results
“Two mismatched personal trainers’ lives are upended by the actions of a new, wealthy client.” (Streaming on Netflix, available on DVD)

Taxi
“Jafar Panahi is banned from making movies by the Iranian government, he poses as a taxi driver and makes a movie about social challenges in Iran.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Trainwreck
“Having thought that monogamy was never possible, a commitment-phobic career woman may have to face her fears when she meets a good guy.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets)

Truth
“Newsroom drama detailing the 2004 CBS 60 Minutes report investigating then-President George W. Bush’s military service, and the subsequent firestorm of criticism that cost anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes their careers.” (Available on DVD and streaming outlets February 2)

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