Subzero temps, a groundhog that almost always sees his shadow, winter throwaway movies, and the Oscars. That’s February in a nutshell. Sure, you’ll all be watching the Academy Awards this month, but chances are you’re all caught up with your nominees by now and itching for warm weather and blockbuster season. Fear not, my cine-friends, as usual, I have you covered. The best new movies aren’t in theaters everywhere this month; they’re right at your fingertips. Sundance has come and gone, and the indies are starting to roll in. Here are the best films available on demand in February.
Tom Felton (Draco!) stars in this true story of three US airmen who struggle to survive in a life raft after they crash land in the ocean. This film relies heavily on the chemistry and performances of its three stars, which in this case isn’t a flaw, because the cast is where Against the Sun thrives. The result is more of a character study than an adventure film, and it more than holds its own against other similar survival tales. Against the Sun is available to rent on iTunes and Amazon for $6.99.
As It Is In Heaven follows a man who is chosen to lead a religious sect through their journey to the end of days. The strengths of this film lie in its ability to observe without persuading, lacking any kind of religious agenda, tension and anxiety are built with patience rather than speed. Newcomer Joshua Overbay is undoubtedly going to become a director to watch for. As It Is In Heaven is available to rent on iTunes and Amazon for $3.99.
In Appropriate Behavior, a woman struggles with who she is and who she’s expected to be. Desiree Akhavan writes, directs, and stars in this film, and she proves that she has a knack for all three with the sharp wit, steady hand, fresh ideas, and expressive performance. It’s a unique, intelligent, and darkly funny film that deserves to be seen. Appropriate Behavior is available to rent on iTunes and Amazon for $6.99.
Everyone is talking about how hot and steamy 50 Shades of Grey is, and we at Audiences Everywhere are over here swooning over how sexy and smart The Duke of Burgundy manages to be. This film is proof that erotic cinema can have all the qualities of a truly great film. It’s stylish, mysterious, and romantic in its unflinching look at two women who face complications when one of them pushes the boundaries of their relationship. The Duke of Burgundy is available to rent through your cable provider.
Ever wondered what it was like to watch Selma Hayek take down round after round of assassins with various firearms while wearing five inch heels and a silk nightie? Hayek dominates in Everly, cementing herself as a seriously badass femme fatale. A friend on Twitter recently compared this film to The Raid in reverse, so really what’s not to like? If you like your action flicks with an abundance of blood and some extra sass, then move this one to the top of your list. Everly is available to rent on iTunes and Amazon for $9.99.
Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere is a documentary based on the memoir by Poe Ballantine, telling the story of a small town investigation of the death of a math professor. This film catalogs two people’s emotional journeys, as well as explores the factual evidence of the investigation, painting a layered picture that’s full of tonal shifts and clouded with tragedy. Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere is available to rent on iTunes and Amazon for $3.99.
Liam Neeson narrates this documentary that chronicles the life and career of Manny Pacquiao, ten-time world boxing champion. Although Manny suffers clunky editing and polishing issues, the man’s story is an inspirational enough one to make up for most of its flaws. This one is a must see for fans of the sport, particularly those who grew up during the height of Manny’s career. Manny is available to rent on iTunes and Amazon for $6.99.
This black comedy features Ryan Reynolds in absolutely prime form as Jerry, a man whose life is turned upside down when his pets suddenly begin speaking to him. The Voices manages to find the perfect balance of horror and comedy, making bold choices that pay off for the passionate fans of this subgenre. Who know Ryan Reynolds would find his calling in a quirky, bloody, smart role like this one? The Voices is available to rent on iTunes and Amazon for $6.99.