Top Film Picks on DVD/Blu-Ray: A New Coming-of-Age Film from François Ozon; Lynne Ramsay’s Glasgow-Set ‘Ratcatcher’; and More

LJ’s film columnist picks the month’s top indie, foreign, and classic films, now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

The Killing of Two Lovers. 85 min. Universal. 2021. DVD-R UPC 810072544735. $19.98. Rated: R.
Married right out of high school in a small rural town, David (Clayne Crawford) and Nikki (Sepideh Moafi) have four children, but the couple have separated. For David, it’s just a trial separation until things can be worked out. But Nikki has moved on and has a new boyfriend (Chris Coy). Produced on a shoestring budget, writer-director Robert Machoian’s searing drama effectively relies on long, static scenes, scarily realistic performances, an unsettling sound design, and a claustrophobic aspect ratio to render its view of marital discord. VERDICT A must-see for film buffs.

Mona Lisa. 104+ min. Criterion. 1986. Blu-ray UPC 715515263917. $39.99. Rated: R.
Freed after a lengthy prison term, George (Bob Hoskins) gets a job chauffeuring ritzy call girl Simone (Cathy Tyson) for the mob boss he used to protect (Michael Caine). After a prickly beginning, George falls for his charge, even agreeing to help Simone find her missing “friend,” who turns out to be much more than a pal. Cowriter-director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) gets terrific performances from his leads, who infuse their characters with heartbreaking vulnerability. VERDICT Given an HD restoration, this classic neo-noir earns its place in popular collections.

Ratcatcher. 94+ min. Criterion. 1999. Blu-ray UPC 715515265010. $39.95.
Life in a Glasgow slum during a garbage strike is an existence even bleaker and grimier than usual for 12-year-old James (William Eadie), a dreamer longing for a better life. In a surrealistic sequence, he sends one of his beloved rats up to the sky in a balloon, to experience the sort of escape he wants for himself. Lynne Ramsay earned numerous awards for her auspicious feature film debut before helming Morvern Caller, We Need To Talk about Kevin, and You Were Never Really Here. VERDICT A tough but rewarding film.

Riders of Justice. 116+ min. In Danish & Arabic w/English subtitles. Magnolia. 2020. DVD UPC 876964017275. $26.99; Blu-ray UPC 876964017367. $29.99.
When his wife is killed in an apparent train accident, Markus (Mads Mikkelsen) returns home from military duty to console his teenage daughter (Andrea Heick Gadeberg) and learns from another survivor (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) that foul play may have caused the crash. Writer-director Anders Thomas Jensen’s offbeat revenge film uneasily mixes dark humor with violence as the aggrieved widower takes down a nasty biker gang. VERDICT Action-flick fans who like foreign-language films might enjoy the ride.

Summer of 85. 100 min. In French w/English subtitles. Music Box Films. 2021. DVD UPC 751778951628. $29.99; Blu-ray UPC 751778951635. $34.99.
Sixteen-year-old Alexis (Félix Lefebvre) becomes the friend and lover of 18-year-old David (Benjamin Voisin) after the latter rescues the younger teen from a capsized sailboat off the coast of Normandy. Their relationship flourishes until David also gets involved with a young woman (Philippine Velge) who comes between them. Prolific director François Ozon (Swimming Pool; Frantz) brings his usual filmic flair to this lesser but still worthwhile effort. VERDICT Based on Aidan Chambers’s 1982 YA novel Dance on My Grave, this title should appeal to fans of Call Me by Your Name.

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