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Vin Diesel plays an ancient, immortal crusader battling (Credit: Lionsgate / Scott Garfield)

Vin Diesel plays an ancient, immortal crusader battling modern-day evil in "The Last Witch Hunter."

Best new movies available On Demand

"Straight Outta Compton," "The Martian" 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.

"Spotlight"

Brie Larson seems sure to win an Oscar
(Credit: AP)

Brie Larson seems sure to win an Oscar for her role as a woman held prisoner with her young son (Jacob Tremblay). Emotionally intense, perhaps especially for parents. Emma Donoghue wrote the unorthodox screenplay from her novel. It's also nominated for best picture and best director (Lenny Abrahamson). (Rated R, premieres Feb. 23)

"Room"

Oscar-nominated Michael Fassbender is quite convincing as the
(Credit: AP)

Oscar-nominated Michael Fassbender is quite convincing as the Apple guru, but this career-spanning biopic is equal parts fascinating and infuriating thanks to Aaron Sorkin's verbose screenplay. Kate Winslet is an Oscar nominee for her role as the main man's right-hand woman. (Rated R, premieres Feb. 23)

"Steve Jobs"

Oscar-nominated Michael Fassbender is quite convincing as the
(Credit: Universal Pictures)

Oscar-nominated Michael Fassbender is quite convincing as the Apple guru, but this career-spanning biopic is equal parts fascinating and infuriating thanks to Aaron Sorkin's verbose screenplay. Kate Winslet is an Oscar nominee for her role as the main man's right-hand woman. (Rated R, premieres Feb. 16)

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"Crimson Peak"

A wealthy American (Mia Wasikowska) is seduced by
(Credit: AP / Kerry Hayes)

A wealthy American (Mia Wasikowska) is seduced by a creepy Brit (Tom Hiddleston) in Guillermo del Toro's gorgeous, Gothic ghost story. Tragically underrated last year, this is a perfect choice for fans of high-quality horror. With Jessica Chastain. (Rated R, premiers Feb. 9)

"Spectre"

The latest adventure of James Bond (Daniel Craig)
(Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures / Jonathan Olley)

The latest adventure of James Bond (Daniel Craig) begins with a bang -- the opening sequence will pin you to the wall -- but ends in desperate confusion, making this a highly disappointing experience. With Lea Seydoux and Christoph Waltz. (Rated PG-13, premieres Jan. 9)

"Truth"

James Vanderbilt's drama follows Dan Rather (Robert Redford)
(Credit: AP)

James Vanderbilt's drama follows Dan Rather (Robert Redford) and CBS producer Mary Mapes (an electrifying Cate Blanchett) as their careers implode in the wake of their botched story on President George W. Bush's military service. It's evenhanded, spares no one and leaves plenty of room for debate. Includes a bonus featurette. (Rated R, available now).

"Bridge of Spies"

When director Steven Spielberg, leading man Tom Hanks
(Credit: Disney / Jaap Buitendijk)

When director Steven Spielberg, leading man Tom Hanks and writers Joel and Ethan Coen get together, a best picture nomination is sure to follow. This Cold War drama, based on a real-life prisoner negotiation in 1960, is well-crafted, high-gloss entertainment. Mark Rylance is nominated for best supporting actor for his role as Soviet spy Rudolf Abel. (Rated PG-13, available now).

"The Last Witch Hunter"

Vin Diesel plays an ancient, immortal crusader battling
(Credit: Lionsgate / Scott Garfield)

Vin Diesel plays an ancient, immortal crusader battling modern-day evil. Call this one a guilty pleasure, with more humor and verve than the usual supernatural-action garbage. With Elijah Wood and Michael Caine. (Rated PG-13, available now).

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"Stonewall"

This is the rare film about gay rights,
(Credit: TNS / Philippe Bosse)

This is the rare film about gay rights, made by a gay filmmaker (Roland Emmerich), to be boycotted by the LGBT community. Its alleged offenses have a complicated history, but overall it's a well-intentioned, very corny and mostly engaging story set in the West Village in 1969. Starring Jeremy Irvine and Jonny Beauchamp. (Rated R, premieres Jan. 19)

'The Martian'

Ridley Scott's space adventure about a lone astronaut
(Credit: AP / 20th Century Fox)

Ridley Scott's space adventure about a lone astronaut on Mars has virtually no plot, but Matt Damon is a likable hero and his various science experiments are ingenious. Also starring Jeff Daniels and Jessica Chastain. (Rated PG-13, premiered Jan. 12)

'Irrational Man'

Critics complained that this comedy-drama about a philosophy
(Credit: Sabrina Lantos)

Critics complained that this comedy-drama about a philosophy professor (Joaquin Phoenix) who beds a young student (Emma Stone) was another chauvinist fantasy from Woody Allen. You don't say! The movie's fine and the actors are great, especially Parker Posey as a lonely science prof. (Rated R, premiered Jan. 12)

'Straight Outta Compton'

F. Gary Gray's biopic about the rap group
(Credit: Universal Pictures / Jaimie Trueblood)

F. Gary Gray's biopic about the rap group N.W.A. isn't the most critical take -- its subjects are also producers -- but it's a gripping story that shows why hip-hop remains such a crucial component of American culture. Starring O'Shea Jackson Jr. as his father, Ice Cube. (Rated R, premieres Jan. 19)

The Green Inferno

Eli Roth's modern twist on the cannibal genre,
(Credit: TNS)

Eli Roth's modern twist on the cannibal genre, in which the victims are liberal tree-huggers, was panned as racist and exploitative. That seems a humorless approach to what is essentially one big sick joke, and a frequently funny one at that. Hipster songstress Sky Ferreira has an amusingly snarky role. (Rated R, premiered Jan. 5)

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'The Walk'

Philippe Petit, the Frenchman who walked a high
(Credit: Sony Pictures)

Philippe Petit, the Frenchman who walked a high wire between the Twin Towers in 1974, is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a mixed-bag performance -- let's call him "endearritating." The film will win you over, though, with its deft blend of comedy, thrills and just a touch of melancholy. (Rated PG, premiered Jan. 5)

'Amy'

You could just stop reading here, because Asif
(Credit: TNS)

You could just stop reading here, because Asif Kapadia's documentary about the late Amy Winehouse is the best film on this list. It's a sensitive but unsparingly honest look at a woman whose talent was greater than her ability to cope with fame. (Rated R, available now)

'Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse'

This movie was one of the Paramount experiments,
(Credit: Jaimie Trueblood)

This movie was one of the Paramount experiments, a teen-oriented horror-comedy about three scouts and a cocktail waitress (Sarah Dumont) who battle zombies. The combination of nudity, gore and dopey humor feels a little lazy, but may entertain some viewers. (Rated R, premieres Dec. 8)

'Ant-Man'

What initially seemed like a bad idea --
(Credit: Marvel / Zade Rosenthal)

What initially seemed like a bad idea -- a super-small superhero? -- turns out to be a winner, with an aw-shucks Paul Rudd in the title role and some highly inventive action scenes. Michael Douglas adds a touch of class as Dr. Hank Pym. (Rated PG-13, premieres Dec. 8)

'Minions'

Stun your children into submission with this overloud
(Credit: Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment)

Stun your children into submission with this overloud animated film, in which the little yellow dudes from "Despicable Me" run through various slapstick routines. Perfect for the under-10 crowd; maddening for anyone else. (Rated PG, premieres Dec. 8)

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'Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials'

Dylan O'Brien may not be the most compelling
(Credit: AP / Richard Foreman, Jr.)

Dylan O'Brien may not be the most compelling star in teen-dystopia history, but he's once again kept on his toes by director Wes Ball, who is very good at staging white-knuckle action sequences. Lots of rough fun, though probably too strong for younger viewers. (Rated PG-13, premieres Dec. 15)

'Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation'

Fast, slick and thoroughly enjoyable thanks to the
(Credit: AP / Bo Bridges)

Fast, slick and thoroughly enjoyable thanks to the unflagging energy of Tom Cruise as agent Ethan Hunt. Rebecca Ferguson, as the elusive Ilsa Faust, adds an unexpected hint of real-world melancholy. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie ("The Usual Suspects"). (Rated PG-13, premieres Dec. 15)

'Ricki and the Flash'

Jonathan Demme's comedy-drama about a washed-up rocker (Meryl
(Credit: Bob Vergara)

Jonathan Demme's comedy-drama about a washed-up rocker (Meryl Streep) who re-connects with her daughter (Streep's real-life daughter, Mamie Gummer) never manages to deliver on its promise. Worth watching if you're a fan of Rick Springfield, who shines in a small but crucial role. (Rated PG-13, premieres Nov. 24)

'The Man from U.N.C.L.E'

Why was Guy Ritchie's stylish spy comedy such
(Credit: TNS / Daniel Smith)

Why was Guy Ritchie's stylish spy comedy such a box-office dud? Perhaps because audiences expected "Mission: Impossible" but instead got an homage to the espionage flicks of the mid-1960s. As such, it's a cheeky treat, with elaborate action sequences and eye-popping production. With Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer and Alicia Vikander. (Rated PG-13, premieres Nov. 17)

'Trainwreck'

Amy Schumer's big-screen vehicle (directed by Judd Apatow)
(Credit: Universal Studios / Mary Cybulski)

Amy Schumer's big-screen vehicle (directed by Judd Apatow) flips gender roles by casting her as the hard-partying bed-hopper and Bill Hader as the angelic love interest. Otherwise, it's a traditional rom-com: mostly funny, sloppily constructed and rather corny. Also available in an unrated version. (Rated R, premieres Nov. 10)

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'Self/Less'

A dying millionaire (Ben Kingsley) has his consciousness
(Credit: Alan Markfield/Gramercy Pictures)

A dying millionaire (Ben Kingsley) has his consciousness implanted into a healthy young body (Ryan Reynolds), only to find that the process isn't perfect. A modest thriller directed with a hint of style by Tarsem Singh ("The Cell"). (Rated PG-13, premieres Nov. 10)

'Inside Out'

Disney-Pixar's latest takes place largely in the head
(Credit: TNS)

Disney-Pixar's latest takes place largely in the head of Riley, a troubled girl whose emotions -- including Joy (Amy Poehler) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) -- are trying to keep her from making a rash decision. It's a whimsical adventure, but also a deep dive into the complexities of the mind and the heart. Surely the best film of the year. (Rated PG)

'The End of the Tour'

Jason Segel plays the late novelist David Foster
(Credit: AP)

Jason Segel plays the late novelist David Foster Wallace, while Jesse Eisenberg plays a reporter who interviewed him over several days in 1996. Required viewing for Wallace fans, and for anyone who's been yearning for another "My Dinner With Andre." (Rated R)

'Pixels'

When aliens invade Earth disguised as vintage video
(Credit: AP / Sony Pictures)

When aliens invade Earth disguised as vintage video games (Pac-Man, Donkey Kong), humanity's best hope is a middle-aged arcade jockey (Adam Sandler). Though utterly trashed by critics, "Pixels" is a perfectly fine way to kill an evening, especially with some popcorn. (Rated PG-13, available Oct. 27)

'Jurassic World'

The fourth movie in the
(Credit: Universal Studios and Amblin Entertainment / Chuck Zlotnick)

The fourth movie in the "Jurassic Park" series is almost identical to the first, from the general plot (dinosaurs chase patrons) to specific scenes (two children trapped in a vehicle). Maybe that's why it works pretty well. With Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. (Rated PG-13, available Oct. 20)

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'Dope'

The hero of this high-school comedy is a
(Credit: AP / Rachel Morrison)

The hero of this high-school comedy is a brainy punk rocker who gets sidetracked on his way to a Harvard interview. He's also black, which allows writer-director Rick Famuyiwa to tease his viewers about race, culture, class and other labels. Fresh, funny and highly original. With music produced by Pharrell Williams. (Rated R, available Oct. 13)

'When Marnie Was There'

Studio Ghibli's new film may be its last
(Credit: GNDHDDTK)

Studio Ghibli's new film may be its last -- and if so, what a swan song. The story of a young girl who befriends the ghost of another, "Marnie" is a gorgeously animated and emotionally wrenching film, almost like an animé by Emily Brontë. Voices by Hailee Steinfeld and John C. Reilly. (Rated PG)

'Magic Mike XXL'

Channing Tatum and Joe Manganiello return as the
(Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures / Claudette Barius)

Channing Tatum and Joe Manganiello return as the sweaty strippers of 2012's "Magic Mike," though director Steven Soderbergh is sorely missed. For some viewers, the few inventive dance sequences may compensate for the absent story and snoozy dialogue. (Rated R)

'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

The second
(Credit: Marvel / Jay Maidment)

The second "Avengers" film, about battling forms of artificial intelligence, has plenty of action but many narrative lulls and detours. James Spader, as the villain, has fun trading barbs with Robert Downey Jr. (Rated PG-13)

'Mad Max: Fury Road'

The small screen isn't ideal for George Miller's
(Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow / Jasin Boland)

The small screen isn't ideal for George Miller's hyperreal, ultraviolent action flick, but the humor, thrills and overall bizarre-itude should hold up. Tom Hardy plays the title role, although Charlize Theron, as Imperator Furiosa, is the real star. (Rated R)

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'Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine'

Documentarian Alex Gibney isn't anyone's fanboy, as subjects
(Credit: Magnolia Pictures)

Documentarian Alex Gibney isn't anyone's fanboy, as subjects like Lance Armstrong and the Catholic Church could tell you. Variety called this film "a coolly absorbing, deeply unflattering portrait" of the Apple founder. (Rated R)

'Love & Mercy'

This music biopic about Beach Boys genius Brian
(Credit: AP / Francois Duhamel)

This music biopic about Beach Boys genius Brian Wilson has creative casting: Paul Dano and John Cusack play the younger and older Wilson, respectively. It's uneven, and Cusack doesn't quite convince, but there's rich detail about the making of the band's 1966 masterpiece, "Pet Sounds." (Rated PG-13)

'Cinderella'

Disney's live-action remake comes surprisingly close to rivaling
(Credit: TNS / Jonathan Olley)

Disney's live-action remake comes surprisingly close to rivaling the animated original. It's the romantic tweener version, with a lovely Lily James in the lead, Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother and a golden Hollywood glow from director Kenneth Branagh. (Rated PG)

'Furious 7,' Extended Edition

More wild stunts with Vin Diesel and his
(Credit: Universal Pictures / Scott Garfield)

More wild stunts with Vin Diesel and his too-cool crew, but be prepared -- you might get a little misty when they bid farewell to their late co-star, Paul Walker. This franchise never disappoints and frequently surprises. (PG-13)

'Pitch Perfect 2'

About an octave down from the original. Still,
(Credit: AP / Richard Cartwright)

About an octave down from the original. Still, Rebel Wilson makes the most of her augmented screen time (Anna Kendrick seems like the sidekick now) and some of the a cappella cameos are brilliant. Co-star Elizabeth Banks directs. (Rated PG-13)

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'Entourage'

Whatever macho charm the HBO series once had,
(Credit: AP / Claudette Barius)

Whatever macho charm the HBO series once had, it has curdled into garden-variety misogyny in the movie version. Only die-hard fans will enjoy seeing Jeremy Piven, Adrian Grenier and the other regulars rehash their shtick. (Rated R)

'Spy'

Melissa McCarthy's action comedy delivers on both counts.
(Credit: AP / Larry Horricks)

Melissa McCarthy's action comedy delivers on both counts. The fine supporting cast (Jude Law, Rose Byrne) is led by a show-stealing Jason Statham as a bullheaded bumbler. Lots of fun. (Rated R)

'McFarland, USA'

It got no traction at the box office,
(Credit: AP / Ron Phillips)

It got no traction at the box office, but this "McFarland, USA" features a very good Kevin Costner as real-life track coach Jim White and an appealing cast of young Latino actors as his team. A little corny, but it works. (Rated PG)

'The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water'

Like Pee-wee Herman, the manic SpongeBob is an
(Credit: Paramount Pictures Animation)

Like Pee-wee Herman, the manic SpongeBob is an acquired taste -- and this movie could be called a feast. In "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water," Antonio Banderas goes whole hog as the pirate Burger-Beard. (Rated PG)

'Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem'

(Credit: Music Box Films)

"Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem," an Israeli film about a woman trying to obtain a divorce in a sexist legal system may sound snoozy, but it's a gripping film -- part courtroom drama, part Kafkaesque comic nightmare. Think Chantal Akerman meets the Coen Brothers.

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'The DUFF'

Mae Whitman and Robbie Amell star in this
(Credit: AP / Guy D Alema)

Mae Whitman and Robbie Amell star in this charming teen flick about a girl who discovers that she is the DUFF -- Designated Ugly Fat Friend -- to her more popular pals. "The DUFF" is smart, sweet, sassy and a clear homage to the John Hughes classics of yore. (Rated PG-13)

'The Lazarus Effect'

Mark Duplass and Olivia Wilde play researchers who
(Credit: Justin Lubin)

Mark Duplass and Olivia Wilde play researchers who invent a back-to-life serum. All in all, "The Lazarus Effect" is a goofy little horror-chiller that works well enough for 83 minutes. (Rated PG-13)

'Run All Night'

In
(Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

In "Run All Night," Liam Neeson and Ed Harris play snarling old gangsters who turn against each other. "Heat" this ain't, but the two great stars gin up some fine macho nonsense. Some decent fight scenes, too. (Rated R)

'While We're Young'

Noah Baumbach's comedy
(Credit: Jon Pack)

Noah Baumbach's comedy "While We're Young" about an aging hipster (Ben Stiller) who gets charmed by a younger one (Adam Driver) is a little light on emotion, but its cultural observations are spot-on. How did the millennials get so artsy-craftsy, anyway? (Rated R)

'Get Hard'

in
(Credit: AP)

in "Get Hard," Will Ferrell is a white-collar criminal and Kevin Hart is the guy who'll teach him how to survive in the pen. Racially offensive? Yes. Funny? Just enough to get by. (Rated R)

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'Selma'

An electrifying David Oyelowo plays Dr. Martin Luther
(Credit: Paramount Pictures, Pathé / Atsushi Nishijima)

An electrifying David Oyelowo plays Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during the voting rights marches in Alabama in 1965. Well-researched and hugely informative, "Selma" could become one of the definitive films about the civil rights movement. (Rated PG-13)

'Welcome to Me'

In
(Credit: Suzanne Hanover)

In "Welcome to Me," Kristen Wiig plays a mentally unstable woman who uses her lottery winnings to launch a bizarre, self-obsessed television show. Highly offbeat and often funny, even if the payoff never quite arrives. The great cast includes James Marsden, Wes Bentley, Joan Cusack, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Linda Cardellini. (Rated R)

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