Critics Consensus

Birds of Prey, The Gentlemen, and Bloodshot Hit Digital Release This Week

As more people self-quarantine at home, we run down the most notable films hitting VOD and early digital release.

by | March 26, 2020 | Comments

As more and more people are compelled to practice social distancing and encouraged to stay home, as movie theaters temporarily shutter their doors, and as studios continue to pull their scheduled 2020 films off the release calendar, we’ve decided to reformat this weekly Critics Consensus column to focus on titles that are newly available on the home entertainment market. With that in mind, our list of digital new releases this week includes Margot Robbie’s “solo” DC Movie, Guy Ritchie’s latest crime caper, a recent Vin Diesel actioner, and a couple of early digital releases, among others. See below for the most notable titles hitting VOD this week.

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) 78%

Margot Robbie made her debut as Harley Quinn in 2016’s Suicide Squad, which most people agreed was an ill-conceived and poorly executed mess that only served to illustrate why Robbie should get her own movie. That movie, Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), opened back in early February, and in truth, it was more of a team-up than a strict solo joint, with Robbie’s Harley forming her Birds of Prey alongside a gang of fearsome women to take on a sadistic crime boss. Nevertheless, it was a hit with both critics and audiences, and with all the theater closures and self-quarantining, Warner Bros. has released the film to the digital market a little early. Critics say it’s colorful, briskly paced, full of stellar action, and a great showcase for Robbie’s endless charisma, and it’s available for digital purchase now.

Available now on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle Play, iTunes, Vudu

The Gentlemen (2020) 75%

Before he took on big budget blockbusters like Sherlock Holmes and Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake, Guy Ritchie was best known for his intricately plotted, uniquely stylized British crime capers, like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. Fans were therefore understandably excited for Ritchie’s latest film, The Gentlemen, which looked to be a return to form for him, and most were fairly satisfied with what they got. Matthew McConaughey takes center stage as an American marijuana kingpin in London who decides he wants to go straight, which attracts the attention from a number of interested parties who either want to buy him out of his empire, expose his secrets, or dispose of him and take over. Shenanigans, of course, ensue. Critics say the film isn’t quite up to the standard of his earlier work, and there are a few problematic elements here and there, but it’s still a largely entertaining romp with some great performances, specifically from co-stars Hugh Grant and Colin Farrell.

Available now on: FandangoNOW, AmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVudu

Bloodshot (2020) 30%

The last time we got a major wide release in movie theaters was two weeks ago, when we had three, and one of them was this superhero movie starring Vin Diesel. Based on the Valiant Comics title of the same name, Bloodshot follows a soldier who is brutally murdered while on vacation but resurrected through an experimental nanotechnology that also grants him superhuman abilities. As he embarks on a path of revenge, he comes to learn that all may not be as it seems. If any of the plot feels familiar, that’s probably because it’s the kind of baseline revenge thriller narrative we’ve seen play out in countless other films, and critics didn’t feel that Bloodshot had quite enough to set it apart from the others. It may provide a few thrills here and there for viewers who aren’t asking for much, but let’s just say this one was probably destined to hit the digital market sooner rather than later even if current circumstances hadn’t been what they are.

Available now on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle Play, iTunes, Vudu

Dolittle (2020) 14%

Despite the star power of Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role and a voice cast that includes Tom Holland, John Cena, Octavia Spencer, Emma Thompson, and Selena Gomez, among others, and despite the advancements in modern CGI technology, Dolittle still managed to earn one of the lowest Tomatometer scores of the year so far. Conventional wisdom seems to be that if you’re a young toddler, you won’t mind the juvenile, slapsticky humor so much, and all the funny talking animals should keep you distracted enough not to care about the muddled storytelling; if you’re any older than that, though, good luck. Either way, if you’re in need of something new to keep the little ones occupied while you try to get some work done at home, this one is available for digital purchase now.

Available now on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVudu

The Way Back (2020) 84%

In most cases, an inspirational sports movie opening in early March isn’t likely to be a winner, so to speak, even if it does boast a big name like Ben Affleck on the marquee. That’s why it was kind of a nice surprise when Gavin O’Connor’s new drama The Way Back turned out to be more than just another Inspirational Sports Movie. Affleck plays an alcoholic former high school basketball star who now works in construction, but is forced to face his past and present demons when he’s asked to fill the coaching slot at his alma mater. Whether or not it was due to his own personal (and rather public) troubles with addiction — he began filming The Way Back just a few days after coming out of rehab — Affleck turns in a deeply affecting performance here, and O’Connor wisely sidesteps some of the genre’s most glaring cliches. This one is another early access release.

Available now on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle Play, iTunesVudu

The Call of the Wild (2020) 62%

It’s well known that working with animals is difficult, and it’s probably more of a hassle if one is the star of your film. The good people behind the latest adaptation of the Jack London novel The Call of the Wild decided to forego all that unpleasantness and make Buck a CGI character instead. Critics say it kind of works, mostly because the storytelling is earnest and because Harrison Ford does surprisingly great, understated work in a role he quite frankly could have sleepwalked through. It does play in some heavy themes, but it’s a decent family-friendly adventure, which isn’t as easy to come by as it might seem.

Available Friday, 3/27 on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVudu

I Still Believe (2020) 52%

This small, faith-based drama was also released the same weekend when Bloodshot came out (the third wide release that week was The Hunt, which arrived on digital last week), and it largely plays out like a Christian Nicholas Sparks movie, even though it’s based on a true story. K.J. Apa stars as real-life Christian music megastar Jeremy Camp, who moves to California, meets and falls in love with his first wife (Britt Robertson), and finds his — and her — faith tested when she’s diagnosed with terminal cancer. Critics say I Still Believe bears a lot of the trademarks of the romantic drama genre, and everything about the story is so sanitized that it almost doesn’t feel like it takes place in real life. That said, it also has its share of genuinely moving moments, and at the very least, it doesn’t spend its time trying to fight any specific religious battles. This one is available early as well.

Available Friday, 3/27 on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle PlayVudu

Downhill (2020) 38%

This drama is one of two early surprises this week, along with The Call of the Wild, that are expected to become available on Friday. It’s a remake of the 2014 Swedish film Force Majeure, brought to you by writer-directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (who together won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for The Descendants back in 2011), and it stars comedy powerhouses Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The story centers on a married couple (Ferrell and Louis-Dreyfus) whose relationship suffers when the husband abandons the family during an avalanche scare, and critics say the new version doesn’t quite have the same bite as the original, in part because Ferrell’s husband character is a bit too much of a dolt to dislike, undermining the satire at its core. It’s probably worth seeking out the Swedish film instead, but if you just want to see Ferrell and Louis-Dreyfus spar on screen, it should be available on Friday.

Available Friday, 3/27 on: FandangoNOW, AmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVudu

Thumbnail images by Warner Bros., STXFilms, and  Graham Bartholomew/Columbia Pictures

Tag Cloud

Amazon Prime Turner Classic Movies Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Oscars Election Dark Horse Comics composers Anna Paquin screen actors guild The Walt Disney Company 2017 what to watch Extras dc slashers Valentine's Day game of thrones BET dragons Pirates Trophy Talk Mary Poppins Returns nature cancelled TV series Year in Review cancelled Action Spectrum Originals Funimation criterion sag awards Rocketman Marvel Studios 2018 24 frames OneApp stop motion American Society of Cinematographers book a nightmare on elm street New York Comic Con AMC The Walking Dead Sony Pictures 2019 2016 Adult Swim FXX Countdown natural history black Holiday Lifetime Christmas movies PBS Pop spanish finale mutant X-Men Mary poppins Grammys Premiere Dates adaptation Acorn TV Masterpiece Rocky batman PaleyFest tv talk cults VH1 Creative Arts Emmys australia BET Awards unscripted FOX spain ghosts elevated horror robots FX on Hulu foreign Thanksgiving 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards mockumentary latino Rock WarnerMedia festivals Warner Bros. Netflix Christmas movies Horror ABC Family Fall TV The Arrangement stand-up comedy TNT BBC America TCA 2017 toy story video Universal USA Network twilight LGBT Watching Series universal monsters TV One Film golden globes critics YA game show 20th Century Fox Heroines TCA crime Ovation Britbox Family christmas movies Chernobyl dogs werewolf hist stoner superhero Christmas Walt Disney Pictures Calendar CW Seed Cannes ABC Signature sitcom Trivia Star Trek Kids & Family zombie Sundance BBC disaster The Purge Biopics RT History DC streaming service TLC GLAAD Crackle CBS All Access Hear Us Out thriller parents Arrowverse Schedule Mary Tyler Moore worst movies Freeform award winner Turner worst canceled TV shows Country 72 Emmy Awards Music Classic Film PlayStation HBO Max doctor who Cartoon Network Reality Hulu Academy Awards Song of Ice and Fire HBO films true crime YouTube Pet Sematary History Avengers strong female leads indie CNN HBO Go Nominations DC Universe political drama 71st Emmy Awards rom-coms Teen 2020 Set visit Sneak Peek Travel Channel cinemax NBC Character Guide DGA Hallmark Christmas movies Black History Month kids NYCC Apple TV+ Marvel Television Pixar laika talk show Superheroe cars period drama APB TruTV versus crime drama boxoffice 007 police drama Cosplay revenge Emmy Nominations nbcuniversal Stephen King toronto Tarantino MSNBC free movies concert asian-american Spring TV sports breaking bad The Academy Alien Binge Guide blaxploitation Food Network ratings docudrama Red Carpet Sundance Now renewed TV shows documentaries reboot football The CW See It Skip It comics IFC Films Peacock Hallmark Musical justice league E3 Lifetime crossover Star Wars comic series anthology Ghostbusters Syfy Tubi best scary movies Trailer cops ESPN Western french TCM name the review Epix historical drama diversity Opinion video on demand El Rey Paramount Network Winter TV technology travel Emmys Comic Book San Diego Comic-Con Winners Shondaland theme song dceu quibi Rom-Com hollywood Awards Tour Amazon Studios remakes Esquire Nat Geo CMT Nickelodeon pirates of the caribbean Apple Comics on TV venice psychological thriller Quiz crime thriller science fiction serial killer halloween Film Festival Columbia Pictures Infographic trailers TCA Awards romantic comedy ID spanish language indiana jones franchise WGN SundanceTV Shudder Podcast supernatural jurassic park rt archives Animation USA dark Disney+ Disney Plus directors 99% Box Office binge die hard psycho MCU politics Netflix Elton John canceled President 2015 miniseries A&E Martial Arts National Geographic Black Mirror comic books singing competition scorecard TV renewals Endgame documentary Disney streaming service BBC One transformers VICE based on movie festival satire sequel streaming Drama Captain marvel aliens Disney 21st Century Fox Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Superheroes facebook Apple TV Plus archives Showtime CBS Crunchyroll Sundance TV Television Critics Association Mystery A24 south america screenings TV Land reviews SXSW Bravo independent mission: impossible spider-man japanese medical drama zombies green book rotten Ellie Kemper TIFF Interview richard e. Grant cats E! Pop TV cancelled TV shows Summer Logo Musicals Best and Worst deadpool romance Sci-Fi Certified Fresh fresh social media First Look Fantasy Polls and Games television Amazon Prime Video hispanic MTV Mudbound anime cooking adventure Starz nfl zero dark thirty spinoff 4/20 space jamie lee curtis Awards harry potter comedies OWN Super Bowl children's TV Marvel movie casting sequels classics Brie Larson BAFTA The Witch Pride Month teaser child's play Writers Guild of America FX Tomatazos GIFs VOD vampires spy thriller SDCC Video Games IFC cancelled television boxing italian LGBTQ Mindy Kaling Fox Searchlight Women's History Month Holidays discovery Vudu TBS RT21 Disney Channel halloween tv ABC Paramount GoT dramedy Amazon biography TV witnail Fox News war Lucasfilm movies Comedy Central animated ITV DirecTV all-time emmy awards DC Comics blockbuster fast and furious Spike cartoon james bond Baby Yoda Lionsgate TCA Winter 2020 news Photos First Reviews joker Tumblr chucky rotten movies we love Television Academy Disney Plus Comedy golden globe awards YouTube Red obituary comiccon Discovery Channel Marathons 45 Toys Reality Competition YouTube Premium