Best new movies available On Demand

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"Jackie," "The Birth of a Nation" and more: See film critic Rafer Guzman's picks for the Oscar winners, box office hits and independent films that are available (or will be soon) to watch On Demand, whether you subscribe to Optimum, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Dish or Verizon. Dates of availability may vary based on provider.

"Table 19"

Anna Kendrick attends the wedding of an ex-boyfriend
(Credit: AP)

Anna Kendrick attends the wedding of an ex-boyfriend and finds that she's been seated at a table of outcasts. The story is obviously modeled on "The Breakfast Club" -- the princess, the basket case, etc. -- but it makes little sense in the context of a wedding. Too bad, because Craig Robinson, June Squibb, Stephen Merchant and Lisa Kudrow could have made a great ensemble.

"I Am Heath Ledger"

A documentary on the actor whose death in
(Credit: Karin Catt)

A documentary on the actor whose death in 2008, at the age of 28, cut short a career that seemed to promise great things. Ledger's personal videos -- he almost always carried a camera -- show his commitment to his craft and make for often poignant viewing. With Naomi Watts, Ang Lee and others. ead our review here.

"20th Century Women"

Mike Mills' semi-autobiographical drama about a teenage boy
(Credit: TNS / Merrick Morton / A24)

Mike Mills' semi-autobiographical drama about a teenage boy (Lucas Jade Zumann) trying to become a man in the late 1970s is filled with great performances and insightful moments. With Annette Bening, Billy Crudup, Elle Fanning and Greta Gerwig. Read our review here.

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"Julieta"

Pedro Almodóvar's latest is a moody, Hitchcock-style mystery
(Credit: TNS / Manolo Pavon)

Pedro Almodóvar's latest is a moody, Hitchcock-style mystery about a woman whose daughter has vanished. Great performances from Adriana Ugarte and Emma Suárez, each playing the title role at different ages. Read our review here.

"Almost Christmas"

Danny Glover, Mo'Nique, J.B. Smoove and others play
(Credit: Universal Pictures / Quantrell D. Colbe)

Danny Glover, Mo'Nique, J.B. Smoove and others play members of a dysfunctional family gathering for a fraught holiday celebration. This seasonal comedy never rises above its formula, but the cast has its moments. Read our review here.

"Hacksaw Ridge"

Mel Gibson earned an Oscar nod for directing
(Credit: AP)

Mel Gibson earned an Oscar nod for directing this World War II drama about a pacifist soldier (Andrew Garfield) who becomes an unexpected hero. Say what you want about Gibson, but the guy knows how to make a movie. The battle scenes are extraordinary. Read our review here.

"Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"

A pleasant throwback to the formulaic action-thrillers of
(Credit: AP)

A pleasant throwback to the formulaic action-thrillers of the 1990s, with Tom Cruise as the smartest, toughest guy in any room. Good popcorn fun. Read our review here.

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"

Felicity Jones and Diego Luna play intergalactic rebels
(Credit: Giles Keyte)

Felicity Jones and Diego Luna play intergalactic rebels in the first stand-alone "Star Wars" movie. Lots of colorful characters and unexpectedly gritty action, though be aware that the ending isn't an "upper." Read our review here.

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"Toni Erdmann"

A mischievous father decides to play a series
(Credit: Komplizen Film)

A mischievous father decides to play a series of pranks on his workaholic daughter. Maren Ade's beguiling movie is the three-hour German comedy you didn't know you needed. Standout performances from Peter Simonischek and Sandra Huller. Read our review here.

"Nocturnal Animals"

Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon (who
(Credit: AP)

Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon (who just earned an Oscar nod for his role), star in a crime-thriller about a man whose wife and daughter are kidnapped by Texas sleazeballs. Muddled but compelling. Directed by Tom Ford ("A Single Man"). Read our review here.

"Lion"

Based on the true story of Saroo Brierley,
(Credit: AP)

Based on the true story of Saroo Brierley, a young Australian who went searching for the family he lost as a child in India. Newcomer Sunny Pawar, who plays the five-year-old Saroo, is unforgettable, while Dev Patel, in the adult role, earned an Oscar nod. Read our review here.

"Arrival"

A science-fiction movie for grown-ups, starring Amy Adams
(Credit: Paramount Pictures)

A science-fiction movie for grown-ups, starring Amy Adams as a translator hired to make contact with an alien species. Spooky, moody and tingly, thanks to director Denis Villeneuve ("Sicario"). Read our review here.

"Jackie"

A Long Islander, Natalie Portman, plays another, Jacqueline
(Credit: Fox Searlight Pictures)

A Long Islander, Natalie Portman, plays another, Jacqueline Kennedy, in this impressionistic, nontraditional biopic. Portman got an Oscar nod, as did indie rocker Mica Levi for her wild score. Read our review here.

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"The Light Between Oceans"

A childless husband and wife living on a
(Credit: DreamWorks Pictures / Davi Russo)

A childless husband and wife living on a lighthouse island discover that an infant has drifted to their shore. It's high-caliber melodrama with fine performances by Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, and gorgeous direction by Derek Cianfrance. Prepare for tears. Read our review here.

"Sing"

This animated musical about animals in a singing
(Credit: Universal Pictures)

This animated musical about animals in a singing contest is an absolute must-see, smart and funny and joyful. Great voices by Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and so many others. Read our review here.

"The Salesman"

After an actress (Taraneh Alidoosti) is attacked in
(Credit: AP)

After an actress (Taraneh Alidoosti) is attacked in her home, her husband (Shahab Hosseini) becomes obsessed with finding the perpetrator. The latest from Iran's Oscar-winning Asghar Farhadi falls somewhere between thriller and fable, with an ending intended to complicate our emotions. Read our review here.

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"

A
(Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures / Jaap Buitendijk)

A "Harry Potter" spinoff that rivals the originals. Eddie Redmayne is wonderful as the author of a certain Hogwarts textbook; Dan Fogler steals the show as a good-hearted muggle. Pure magic from start to finish. Read our review here.

"Live By Night"

Ben Affleck directs and stars in a Prohibition-era
(Credit: AP)

Ben Affleck directs and stars in a Prohibition-era crime drama. Despite the fine cast (Chris Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Chris Messina), it's muddled and meandering. Read our review here.

"The Comedian"

Robert De Niro plays Jackie Burke, a cantankerous
(Credit: Sony Pictures Classics / Alison Cohen Rosa)

Robert De Niro plays Jackie Burke, a cantankerous stand-up comedian, in this off-balance movie from director Taylor Hackford ("Ray"). De Niro is a whirlwind of energy, but the narrative wanders all over the map as Jackie falls in love, falls from grace, goes viral, sells his soul, etc. Check out the cast, though: Harvey Keitel, Leslie Mann, Danny DeVito, Edie Falco and others. Read our review here.

"Allied"

Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard play an Allied
(Credit: Daniel Smith / Paramount Pictures)

Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard play an Allied operative and a French Resistance agent who fall in love during World War II. It was overlooked upon its release, but it's a grand, old-fashioned romance with intentional nods to "Casablanca" and classic Hitchcock. Read our review here.

"Bad Santa 2"

Billy Bob Thornton returns in the title role
(Credit: Jan Thijs)

Billy Bob Thornton returns in the title role of reprobate mall-Santa Willie Soke, with Tony Cox as his elfin helpmate. Not as good as the original by a long shot, but the quick-witted cast (including Kathy Bates as Willie's criminal mom) has moments of near-brilliance. Read our review here.

"Fences"

Director Denzel Washington got an Oscar nod for
(Credit: David Lee)

Director Denzel Washington got an Oscar nod for his performance as a working-class patriarch in this adaptation of the August Wilson play. Viola Davis, as a beleaguered wife, took home the gold. Read our review here.

"A Monster Calls"

A preteen boy (Lewis MacDougall) with a dying
(Credit: Focus Features)

A preteen boy (Lewis MacDougall) with a dying mother (Felicity Jones) receives a visit from an ancient monster. Well-crafted and deep-reaching, but also profoundly sad, which makes it tough to recommend to its young target audience. Read our review here.

"Hidden Figures"

(Credit: 20th Century Fox Film / Hopper Stone)

One of last year's best films, about three brilliant black women working for NASA in the 1960s, is both a "message movie" and an upbeat crowd-pleaser. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer (who earned an Oscar nomination) and Janelle Monae make for a dynamite trio. Based on true stories. Read our review here.

"La La Land"

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone play Los Angeles
(Credit: AP)

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone play Los Angeles dreamers in this original musical, which won six Oscars and a record-setting seven Golden Globes. Despite the hype, this is no "Singin' in the Rain," but it has style to burn and two undeniably charismatic stars. Read our review here.

"The Girl on the Train"

The bestselling novel is now a movie starring
(Credit: DreamWorks Pictures)

The bestselling novel is now a movie starring Emily Blunt as an alcoholic who begins to investigate a possible murder. Blunt's performance is convincing, but the rest of the movie is contrived, oversexed and tacky. With Rebecca Ferguson. Read our review here.

"Frantz"

Shortly after World War I, a mysterious Frenchman
(Credit: Music Box Films / Jean-Claude Moireau-Foz)

Shortly after World War I, a mysterious Frenchman arrives in a small German town and claims to have been friends with a local fallen soldier. It's an interesting glimpse into Europe's post-war divisions, but the zigzagging plot lacks a satisfying conclusion. With Paula Beer and Pierre Niney. Read our review here.

"The Space Between Us"

An interplanetary romance about a sheltered boy on
(Credit: STX Entertainment / Jack English)

An interplanetary romance about a sheltered boy on Mars (Asa Butterfield) and a cynical Earth girl (Britt Robertson). Some rewarding moments of teenage drama and on-the-lam action, but the clunky plot keeps this movie from ever truly taking off. Read our review here.

"Beauty and the Beast"

Disney's live-action fairy tale doesn't measure up to
(Credit: Disney)

Disney's live-action fairy tale doesn't measure up to the 1991 animated classic -- few films could -- but Emma Watson makes for an appealing Belle while Dan Stevens gives The Beast a human touch. Emma Thompson replaces Angela Lansbury as the voice of the grandmotherly teapot, Mrs. Potts. Read our review here.

"Fifty Shades Darker"

The sequel to
(Credit: AP)

The sequel to "Fifty Shades of Grey," starring Jamie Dornan as sadistic billionaire Christian Grey, tries to crank up the kink factor, but mostly proves that its ostensibly innocent heroine, Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson), is actually a calculating gold digger who'll do just about anything for money. Read our review here.

"Split"

The latest from M. Night Shyamalan is an
(Credit: AP)

The latest from M. Night Shyamalan is an entertaining little thriller about a kidnapper (James McAvoy) with 23 personalities. The movie certainly makes the most of its star, while Anya Taylor-Joy ("The Witch") is quietly compelling as a hostage with a secret. Read our review here.

"Life"

Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds star
(Credit: Columbia Pictures / Courtesy of Sony Pictures)

Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds star in a sci-fi horror film about a highly efficient life-form that enters a spaceship and begins killing the crew. Ever seen a movie called "Alien"? No need to see this one, then. Read our review here.

"John Wick: Chapter 2"

Here are four words you rarely hear about
(Credit: AP)

Here are four words you rarely hear about a sequel: better than the first. Keanu Reeves, returning as a ruthless hit man, is aided by a confident filmmaking team (director Chad Stahelski and writer Derek Kolstad) that cranks up the action and doubles down on the fantasy elements. Also starring Common and the always-welcome Ian McShane. Read our review here.

"Patriots Day"

A riveting dramatization of the Boston Marathon bombings
(Credit: CBS Films / Karen Ballard)

A riveting dramatization of the Boston Marathon bombings and the subsequent manhunt. The expert action director Peter Berg ("Deepwater Horizon") is firing on all cylinders with this one. Starring Mark Wahlberg and J.K. Simmons. Read our review here.

"Rock Dog"

An animated film about a Tibetan mastiff (Luke
(Credit: Summit Entertainment)

An animated film about a Tibetan mastiff (Luke Wilson) who leaves his rural home to become a musician. Eddie Izzard is quite funny as British rock star Angus Scattergood (a white cat with black shades), but the overall story is so skimpy that even young viewers might feel a bit cheated. Read our review here.

"The Lego Batman Movie"

The follow-up to
(Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures / DC Comics )

The follow-up to "The Lego Movie" goes more for spoof than for story, which should suit certain children (and parents) just fine. Will Arnett once again plays Batman as a laughably self-serious superhero, while Zach Galifianakis is a fine choice as the voice of the nefarious yet emotionally needy Joker. Read our review here.

"The Great Wall"

At this year's Oscars, host Jimmy Kimmel razzed
(Credit: Universal Pictures / Jasin Boland)

At this year's Oscars, host Jimmy Kimmel razzed Matt Damon for starring in this "Chinese ponytail movie" about a European mercenary who discovers that monsters are trying to invade China. It isn't completely awful, but the substandard effects and thin characters make it tough to recommend. Read our review here.

"Get Out"

Comedian Jordan Peele (of Key & Peele) makes
(Credit: Universal Pictures)

Comedian Jordan Peele (of Key & Peele) makes his feature-film directing debut with this sly horror film about a young black man (Daniel Kaluuya) who goes to visit his white girlfriend's parents. It's a great combination of chills and satire, a "Stepford Wives" for the not-post-racial era. With Allison Williams and Catherine Keener. Bonus content available. Read our review here.

"Logan"

Hugh Jackman bows out of the
(Credit: 20th Century Fox/Ben Rothstein)

Hugh Jackman bows out of the "Wolverine" franchise with this unexpectedly gritty action film. It's a Marvel Western, riddled with bullets and a sense of twilight mortality. When it works, it feels like a whole new kind of superhero film. When it doesn't, well, it definitely doesn't. With Patrick Stewart and Dafne Keen. Read our review here.

"Office Christmas Party"

It's basically the workplace version of
(Credit: Paramount Pictures/DreamWorks Pictures/Glen Wilson)

It's basically the workplace version of "The Hangover" (from the same writers) with a better-than-average cast and a couple of good laughs. Starring Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston and T.J. Miller. Read our review here.

"A Dog's Purpose"

A golden retriever finds himself reincarnated as different
(Credit: AP)

A golden retriever finds himself reincarnated as different breeds with different human owners. This is a mostly family-friendly weeper, marred by some dark moments of violence and suffering. With Britt Robertson and Dennis Quaid. Read our review here.

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