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The Purge: Election Year

This pseudo-political horror-thriller is an ugly provocation, one that feels especially crass in light of national tragedies like the recent shooting in Orlando.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Streaming Consumer Guide: May 20, 2014

Has anyone else noticed that Netflix has been awfully quiet over the last few weeks? Our bi-weekly column in which we list the ten most interesting new releases on the most popular streaming system has never had such a small list to choose from as during the middle of May 2014. Are they all at Cannes? Prepping for the onslaught of publicity soon to come with the second season premiere of "Orange is the New Black"? Just taking Summer vacations?

Whatever the reason, it's a little dry in the land of Netflix, On Demand, Hulu, Amazon, etc. But we don't take time off. We still found ten titles that may be worth a look. Strongest recommendations to the fascinating "Like Someone in Love" (which also hits Criterion Blu-ray this month), Joss Whedon's take on "Much Ado About Nothing," and the challenging and daring "Stranger by the Lake."

10 NEW TO NETFLIX

"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2"
"Dear Mr. Watterson"
"The Institute"
"Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?"
"Like Someone in Love"
"Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day"
"Much Ado About Nothing"
"Pain and Gain"
"Star Trek Into Darkness"
"Stranger by the Lake"

3 NEW ON DEMAND

Want to pay for a movie that's brand new instead of one you may have already seen? While this section of the Streaming Consumer Guide has been awfully horror-driven lately (reflecting the trend of the On Demand market), we thought we'd switch it up a bit this week and dig a little deeper. We found three low-budget films for you to order this weekend, two of which will be reviewed this Friday, and one of which just played the Chicago Critics Film Festival.

"The Angriest Man in Brooklyn" (available 5/23)

"Cold in July" (available 5/23)

"Frequencies" (available 5/22)

THE BEST OF THE REST

Hulu has added basically nothing of value since we last spoke (although Steven Soderbergh's masterful "Out of Sight" popped up in popular movies...so see that if you haven't somehow done so yet) so maybe you should jet over to Fandor, where they've been adding the Werner Herzog catalog to their streaming options over the last few weeks. The best movie recently added to Amazon Prime is a fantastic film that played Ebertfest last year, James Ponsoldt's "The Spectacular Now." In a bit of cross-streaming (is that the right word?), "Pain and Gain," "Much Ado About Nothing," and "Star Trek Into Darkness" have been added here as well as Netflix.

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