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Now Streaming: ‘Nebraska,’ ‘Virunga’

Now Streaming: 'Nebraska,' 'Virunga'

This week’s biggest release on Netflix is the November 8 premiere of “Nebraska,” Alexander Payne’s latest film about disappointment, dissatisfaction and the possibility of emotional fulfillment in a (this time literally) colorless world. Bruce Dern earned the comeback of a lifetime playing sullen midwesterner Woody Grant, whose firm belief that he’s won $1 million won’t be quelled by his family’s attempts at reason, but June Squibb and Will Forte are equally strong as his insult-throwing wife and put-upon son. 

Netflix’s other releases this week are pretty light, but they include “Quartet” (November 10), the directorial debut by Dustin Hoffman starring Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins as a quartet of aging opera singers; “Virunga” (November 7), a Netflix Original about Congolese wildlife officials protecting gorillas from poachers and insurgents; and “Louder Than Words” (November 8), starring David Duchovony and Hope Davis as a couple trying to put their lives back together after the death of their daughter. 

More thoughts from the Criticwire Network:

“Louder Than Words”
Criticwire Average: D-

Nikola Grazdanovic, The Playlist

If this weren’t a true story, screenwriter Benjamin Chapin would have a lot to answer for. The Fareri story is a real one, though, so Chapin can somehow get away with writing some of the year’s most lackluster and mundane characters out there. There’s a lot of heart here, but it’s the perfect example of why certain stories don’t have enough oomph to translate into cinema. Read more.

Criticwire Average: B+

Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

What seems at first a minor, slight work ends up growing on you; its characters become familiar as you settle into their rhythms and understand their flaws, and their running jokes become yours. It’s an endlessly funny picture, but there’s a melancholy at its center, never overcooked, but quietly simmering. Read more.

Criticwire Average: B-

Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times

This movie will no doubt be pitched to the same audiences that loved “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” It even brings Maggie Smith along. But it lacks that film’s life, intelligence and spirit. It has a good heart. I’ll give it that. Maybe what it needs is more exotic marigolds. Read more.

Criticwire Average: A-

Eric Kohn, Indiewire

While it has an activist purpose in common with many social issue documentaries of its ilk, “Virunga” stands out by constantly folding its unsettling content into an intimate drama that doesn’t take the high risk scenario for granted. The movie works on its own terms even as it functions as a first-rate call to action. Read more.

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