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Now Streaming: ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and a Lot of (Mostly) Bad Sequels

Now Streaming: 'The Wolf of Wall Street' and a Lot of (Mostly) Bad Sequels

This week’s biggest Netflix release is “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Martin Scorsese’s most controversial (and best) film in years. While some critics felt that the film insufficiently condemned the actions of Jordan Belfort, Scorsese’s film never bats an eye at any of the despicable things he’s capable of, and the final scene in particular shows why people like Belfort mostly get away with their crimes: because we’ll keep buying their bullshit. Plus, the film is sharply, howlingly funny, twisting Leonardo DiCaprio’s innate charisma into something blithely cruel and excessive and pushing him to Jerry Lewis-levels of physical comedy in the film’s hysterical quaalude set-piece. The film hits Netflix December 11.
Otherwise it’s pretty slim pickings on Netflix this week, with three comedy sequels coming to Netflix over the next few days. “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” at least has its fair share of fans, who will want to check out the supersized R-rated version on Netflix December 6. It’s being joined by “Sharknado 2: The Second One,” which takes the snarky, unfunny, intentional awfulness of the first one and expands on it. December 10, meanwhile, brings “A Haunted House 2,” which is somehow a movie that exists, while December 9 brings the John Cusack/Thomas Jane thriller “Drive Hard,” not to be confused with the Nicolas Cage vehicle (sorry) “Drive Angry.” Camp fans who haven’t caught up with “American Horror Story: Coven” can do so starting December 6, while December 11 brings “The Village” M. Night Shyamalan’s much-maligned but really not so bad (especially when compared to his subsequent output) psychological thriller.

More thoughts from the Criticwire Network:

“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”
Criticwire Average: B-

Drew Taylor, The Playlist

Sometimes this just drags on and on, and robs the original version of its zingy power, since so many wild ideas were competing for a relatively brief amount of running time. But just as often, the movie’s inner oddness reveals itself, like when Burgundy does an impression of the Elephant Man, or a wonderful, super-meta moment when the fate of the newscast hangs in the balance and Rudd calmly says, “Well, we’ll see how this one does at the box office.” The other characters act baffled and it’s absolutely hysterical. Read more.

“A Haunted House 2”
Criticwire Average: D+

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, The A.V. Club

One minor detail becomes emblematic of the humor’s cyclical crappiness: A magazine remains in the exact same spot on Malcolm’s coffee table, angled diagonally, throughout the whole movie, which takes place over the course of two weeks. It’s difficult to tell whether the set dresser responsible should have been fired or commended for consistency with the movie’s overall vibe. Read more.

“Sharknado 2: The Second One”
Criticwire Average: D

Matt Donato, We Got This Covered!

I can sit here and tell you the million and one ways “Sharknado 2: The Second One” is a pitiful failure, but that doesn’t really matter since we’ll be in the same situation next year discussing yet another “Sharknado.” Read more.

“The Wolf of Wall Street”
Criticwire Average: A-

Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

The dark turn that we’re right to expect in this kind of story comes with unexpected impact and flinch-inducing violence, and that’s when the full force of Scorsese’s skill becomes apparent. We’ve been so busy laughing that we didn’t notice he slipped the knife in — until he turns it. Read more.

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