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Top Docs: A Refugee’s SoCal Donut Empire; an Ode to Glamorous Movie Palaces

Top Film Picks on DVD/Blu-ray: A Paranoid ’70s-Era Political Thriller & a Neo-Noir Crime Drama

New on DVD/Blu-ray, Feb. 2021: A Go-Go’s Documentary; Diana Ross as Billie Holiday; an Animated “Little Prince”

Best Feature Videos of 2020

Best Documentaries of 2020

New on DVD/Blu-ray: A Proto-'Black Swan,' 5 Scorsese Shorts, & an Appreciation for the True King of Rock & Roll

A Julie Christie Classic & a Soviet Cinema Landmark | May's Top Indie, Foreign, & Classic DVD/Blu-ray Picks

Gary Cooper, a John Carpenter Cult Classic, and a Star-Studded CATastrophe | Now on DVD/Blu-ray

Top Film Picks on DVD/Blu-ray: A Cold War Classic, a "Kitchen Sink" Drama, & an Indie Thriller

Top Docs: A Love Song to a Music City Legend, a Journey Into America's Violent Past and Present

Little Gandhi

An inspiring profile of an enlightened visionary.

Camille Claudel, Winter Kills, & Edie |Top Foreign & Indie DVD Picks

Eastland: Chicago’s Deadliest Day, And Then They Came For Us, & Out of Omaha | RealReels

After Parkland, Wild Nights With Emily, & Serendipity | Coming Attractions

The Unimaginable Journey of Peter Ertel

A must-see for anyone with an interest in WWII or military history.


Left Behind America

The documentary sums up the region's problems astutely and is highly recommended to everyone with an interest in the region or the nation's economy overall.

Yellowstone: Season 1

Complicated, violent, and tension-filled, this series for adults should appeal to Western fans as well as those who enjoy family drama.

No Date, No Signature

A forensic pathologist (Amir Aghaee) blames himself when the boy he injured in a car accident turns up in the morgue, in spite of an autopsy showing food poisoning as the most probable cause of death...

Move! Dance Your Life

Recommended for most dance collections.

Berlin Alexanderplatz

Recently released from prison for murdering a prostitute, Franz Biberkopf (Günter Lamprecht) tries hard to go straight by taking a series a menial jobs in Depression-era Germany...

When Giants Fall

This film is often difficult to watch. Though elephants have survived for two million years, human ambition for unlimited wealth and living space seem to be dooming these intelligent social behemoths. Environmentalists of all stripes will be intrigued.

Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable

A fascinating film about a flawed man who shares his point of view, literally, this could inspire future photojournalists or anyone with a camera to look past the selfie and toward creating a narrative with a picture. [See Trailers, LJ Winter 2018.]

No Offence: Series 2

Fast-moving and entertaining, No Offence features an outstandingly strong female cast. Recommended for viewers who enjoy a particular style of British irreverence.


Experimental brain surgery makes a genius out of a mentally challenged man who cannot outwit a mouse, but his emotional development does not keep up in Ralph Nelson's big-screen adaptation of the classic Daniel Keyes short story-cum-novel Flowers for Algernon...


Recommended for art and philosophy lovers. This film is especially valuable for its profile of the late Alfred (1981–2016).

Exorcist II: The Heretic Collector's Edition

This unusual sequel by visionary director Boorman delivers a powerful view of a world in which science, magic, and religion combine as an antidote to demonic horrors. Imperfections exist in editing and script, but the results remain boldly evocative.

Chef Flynn

An examination of talent, ambition, maturity, and parent-child interaction in the context of exquisite cuisine.

Elizabeth I and Her Enemies

Fans of the History Channel as well as readers who have devoured the novels of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir will be equally entertained.

The Guilty

Reassigned to emergency dispatching duties while awaiting a disciplinary hearing, a sidelined cop (Jakob Cedergren) at the end of his shift gets a frantic call from a woman being abducted by her husband...

Poetry in America: Season 1

Viewers should freely sample the videos from the series website if they are still unconvinced that poetry discussions can be that fascinating. A quality addition to libraries' literature collections.

Angry Inuk

This beautifully shot production makes a strong case to viewers. However, the argument is complex, and the group's resources are tiny and no match for the organizations that apparently intend to stop all commercial seal hunting.


Wealthy New Orleans real estate developer Michael Courtland (Cliff Robertson) loses his wife, Elizabeth (Genevieve Bujold), and nine-year-old daughter during a bungled kidnap rescue...


A multilayered chronicle that highlights many of the challenges facing young women worldwide, this will appeal to those concerned with women's rights and the global climate for women's sports.

Horse Speak: The Equine-Human Translation Guide; First Conversations

Particularly useful to therapeutic riding instructors, horse rescue workers, and anyone who likes to spend time around horses.

King of Stage: The Woodie King Jr. Story; The Star Maker

Like all great stories, they are best when told by those who lived them. An essential addition for all collections.

The Magnificent Ambersons

A must-have for serious collections—appealing to casual TCM fans even if best treasured by die-hard film buffs. [See Trailers, LJ 10/1/18.]

Parkland: Inside Building 12

Strongly recommended for public libraries, as well as education and history collections. Some of the film is graphic, and before viewing, students would need preparation, especially high school classes.


A shock and surprise to many aficionados of flamenco but an appealing inclusion to any serious dance collection, though the price might be prohibitive for many libraries.

Washington Square

The only child of wealthy Dr...

A Chef's Life: The Final Harvest (Our Finest Yet)

Newcomers to the series will be immediately smitten, while longtime fans will savor every moment of this superbly produced finale.

Doctor Who: The Complete Eleventh Series

Fans of Doctor Who will be overjoyed by Whittaker's portrayal as the memorable title character. Highly recommended for all libraries.

And Then They Came for Us

Though both films address important history, Resistance at Tule Lake goes deeper and brings lesser-known stories to light. Recommended for historians and World War II buffs.


The father and preteen boy in a multigenerational Tokyo clan compensate for a meager household income by shoplifting...

In the Heat of the Night

Stopping at a Mississippi town for a train layover, Philadelphia detective Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) is pressed into helping the local police chief (Rod Steiger) solve a touchy murder case...

The Process

A valuable addition to acting, directing, and general theater collections; an entertaining film for all libraries.

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

A college student (Anamaria Marinca) goes to great lengths to help her desperate roommate (Laura Vasiliu) get an illegal abortion in Cristian Mungiu's (Beyond the Hills; Graduation) humanizing story about a dilemma usually framed in political terms...

Hidden: Series 1

As a police procedural, this atmospheric miniseries is a cut above the competition; for audiences who enjoy suspenseful crime dramas.


For movie fans interested in revisiting a significant if not quite classic 1970s-era film. [See Trailers, LJ 9/1/18.]

Genesis 2.0

Equal parts thought provoking and frightening, Genesis 2.0 takes viewers deep into the world of synthetic biology.

The Apparition

A dedicated journalist (Vincent Lindon) recovering from a traumatic injury agrees to assist a Vatican-directed team investigating the claim of a teen novitiate (Galatéa Bellugi) to have witnessed an apparition of the Virgin Mary...

Instinct: Season One

TV crime junkies who need a new binge-worthy series will find Instinct to be just the ticket. [See Trailers, LJ 11/1/18.]

Pick of the Litter: A Service Dogumentary

This well-done program is sure to be a welcome addition to public library collections for families and young adults. High recommended.

Iranian Cinema: Before and After the Revolution; Three Documentaries

With plenty of revealing film clips, intelligent commentary, and surprisingly frank viewpoints from Iranian filmmakers.

Christmas at Rosemont

A cut above the usual sentimental holiday movie; suitable for public libraries. [See Trailers, LJ 11/1/18.]

Ocean Cities: Exploring Our Connection to the Sea

Environmental change is challenging all coastal cities to develop strategies to live with the sea for the long term. For all viewers.

The Foreigner's Home: Toni Morrison at the Louvre

An intriguing glimpse into Morrison's intellectual and artistic vision and how art can elicit powerful conversations about the human condition.

3rd Night

This effective microbudget slasher emphasizes mystery over gore to create crackerjack tension.

Far from the Tree

Highly recommended for educators, medical professionals, caretakers, and loved ones and friends of those who are "different."

Hobbyhorse Revolution: Special Edition

The tag line is "Never stop doing what you love," and the filmmakers waste no time in demonstrating why that is so important, using this most unlikely pastime.

The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilization?

An easy introduction to Fleming's cautionary but optimistic assessment of the future. Redefining Prosperity (2017) presents the story of how Nevada City, CA, created its version of a community-based economy.

Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge

Some scenes are unsuitable for children; overall, this film is highly recommended for a general audience.

We, the Marines

Highly recommended for military history collections.

Love, Gilda

A genuine, intimate, and informative production on the all-too-short life of a comic genius. [See Trailers, LJ 12/18.]

The Captain

A German army deserter (Max Hubacher) puts on a discarded captain's uniform only to allow the authority it confers to go to his head...


Sage advice from five athletes who reached the pinnacle of their sport. Will appeal to young athletes looking for inspiration, coaches looking to motivate their athletes, and fans of the featured activities.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic

An undeniable treat for Potter fans and an indispensable reminder to all libraries, museums, and archives that connecting to the Potterverse is an ideal way to promote themselves as the places where magic lives.

The Good Karma Hospital: Series 2

Series 2 successfully expands viewers' understanding of the main players, while the Indian location and culture contribute a colorful setting. Recommended for serial drama devotees.

The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg

Like Sigg himself, this documentary pulls off impressive tasks without pretension—a strong optional suggestion for general viewers interested in contemporary art or China.

The American Artist: The Life and Times of George Caleb Bingham

An important and engaging film that will be of interest to history and art students as well as general audiences.

The Outer Limits: Season Two

This essential companion volume to the first season showcases an original network TV series—a moody sf/horror anthology—with a cult following sure to appreciate this high-def update over prior releases.

Polluting Paradise

Viewers concerned about the environment and democracy in developing nations will be strongly disturbed by this horrific situation.

The Bounty

The true story of mutiny on the high seas in 1787 benefits from a new perspective taken by scriptwriter Robert Bolt (Lawrence of Arabia) and New Zealand director Roger Donaldson (Smash Palace)...

The Durrells in Corfu: The Complete Third Season

A totally engaging series filled with unconventional characters and amusing situations; an A+ choice for public libraries.

Gosford Park

Featuring a who's who of British performers and a smattering of lesser-known but gifted American ones, Robert Altman's tongue-in-cheek comedy of manners laced with a period murder mystery à la Agatha Christie plays like a trial run for scripter Julian Fellowes's subsequent Downton Abbey...

Our Man in Tehran

This fascinating look at an important but poorly understood country reveals the gulf that lies between the government's harsh anti-American rhetoric and the feelings of ordinary Iranians. Highly recommended.

I Am Another You

Both Olsen and Wang unveil a growing awareness before viewers' eyes in this absorbing portrait of a young man.

Elementary: The Sixth Season

Recommended for viewers who are fans of the series as well as those who enjoy police dramedies. [See Trailers, LJ 10/1/18.]

Horrors of Malformed Men

Based on works and themes by the classic Japanese detective writer Edogawa Rampo, this surrealist dream of mystery, imagination, and grotesque experimentation captures the author's fevered narratives, both beautiful and chilling.

The Third Murder

Winner of seven Japanese Academy Awards, Hirokazu Kore-eda's (Like Father, Like Son; After the Storm) "murder mystery" unfolds more like a psychological thriller owing to an accused (Koji Yakusho) who, much to the consternation of his lawyer (Masaharu Fukuyama), keeps changing his story after having confessed...

Full Circle: Circle of Dust; The Birth, Death & Rebirth of Circle of Dust

An ultimately uplifting film not only about Circle of Dust but also about committing to creativity and continuing through adversity. Recommended for any fan of industrial music and the mid-1990s alternative music scene.

Ghost Stories

A carefully paced modern take on traditional tales of phantoms and monsters, with some nifty, reality-rending twists and unusual filmmaking sleight of hand, the film delivers scares and dramatic storytelling equally. [See Trailers, LJ 8/18.]

To Auschwitz and Back: The Joe Engel Story

This moving documentary is a must-see for students of history and anyone interested in World War II and the Holocaust.

TVTV: Video Revolutionaries

Former members recall their hits and misses, proudly noting the roles of actor-comedian Bill Murray and future director Harold Ramis, plus their mixed legacy as reality TV pioneers.


Reclusive suburban-Paris photographer Monsieur Hire (Michel Simon) falls for his fetching new neighbor (Viviane Romance), fresh out of jail for taking a robbery rap for her boyfriend...

The Long Shadow

Recommended to viewers with an interest in American race relations.

Delay, Deny, Hope You Die: How America Poisoned Its Soldiers

Our society must find a way to compensate veterans for the lingering, hidden costs of our recent wars. Highly recommended for adult collections.

95 and 6 to Go

A tender and gentle examination of a man nearing the end of his days, full of humor and small moments about loss, family, romance, and the will to survive. Recommended.

White Right: Meeting the Enemy

This powerful, moving film is a must-see for all audiences.

End of Life

A moving portrait of dying (the actual moment of death is not shown), as viewers are made privy to this phase of life in a most intimate way and are almost challenged to consider how they would approach death or help another approach that state.

Some Like It Hot

On the lam with an all-female band after witnessing a mob hit, cross-dressing musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) both fall for sexy singer Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe) in Billy Wilder's classic slapstick comedy...

Gas Food Lodging

Abandoned by her husband, single mom Nora (Brooke Adams) waitresses in a tiny New Mexico town, struggling to raise her teen daughtersmovie-matinee dreamer Shade (Independent Spirit Awardwinning Fairuza Balk) and cheekily guy-focused Trudi (Ione Skye)while trying to find a little romance herself...

Who We Are Now

After ten years in prison, an embittered single mother (Julianne Nicholson) works with a public defender (Jimmy Smits), and later his more idealistic protégé (Emma Roberts), in a custody battle with the boy's legal guardiansher possessive sister and brother-in-law...

The Return of Swamp Thing

A campy B movie delight that captures the fun and spectacle of the Saturday matinee.

Sickies Making Films

Cinematic provocateur, Baltimore native, and director John Waters lends needed humor and a dose of common sense here. While lacking first-rate production values, the video is recommended for mature audiences.

Sid Caesar: The Works

The Gleason Show is strictly for Gleasonites and die-hard fans of that era of TV comedy; Caesar's The Works is highly recommended to all comedy fans who want to visit the font of TV sketch comedy as it is known today. In both releases, the sound and picture are only as good as one can expect from aged kinescopes and videotape.

Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead

This tale of the clash between the Dead's communal, carefree ideals and the sobering realities of drugs and international stardom will appeal to music fans and general viewers alike.

Memoir of War

In Nazi-occupied France, Resistance member and budding writer Marguerite Duras (Mélanie Thierry) flirts with a French collaborator (Benoît Magimel) to determine the fate of her captive husband...

Like Any Other Kid

An important subject and a powerful film. Nothing comes easy to these young people, and nothing is sugarcoated. This presentation is eye-opening, offering a sensible alternative to juvenile incarceration; recommended for public library, law, and justice and education collections.

Single-Handed: The Complete Collection

Viewers who enjoy mysteries amid piercing desolation, such as Hinterland, will find Single-Handed most satisfying.

The Good Fight: Season Two

Selected by Entertainment Weekly as one of the ten best shows of 2018, the second season of The Good Fight does not disappoint.

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