Critics Consensus

Onward, The Invisible Man, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker 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 19, 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 a fresh-from-the-theaters Pixar movie, the latest Star Wars adventure, a Razzie-winning Broadway adaptation, and a trio of brand new theatrical releases that are being made digitally available way ahead of schedule. See below for the most notable titles hitting VOD this week.

The Invisible Man (2020) 91%

It was just three weeks ago that we saw the release of The Invisible Man, Universal Pictures’ updated take on the classic H.G. Wells novel, starring Elisabeth Moss. However, in light of the recent global crisis, the studio has opted to make a handful of its latest theatrical releases available to would-be moviegoers who are self-quarantined at home, and this is the biggest of them. Moss stars as Cecilia Kass, who flees the home of her abusive ex and learns soon after that he has committed suicide. Except that he might not have, and now Cecilia has to figure out if she’s really imagining things, or if it’s possible he actually invented a way to make himself invisible. It’s a timely story that’s well-crafted, and it impressed critics enough to become the best-reviewed horror film of the year so far. If you didn’t get a chance to see it before the theaters closed, it should be available for digital rental on Friday.

Available now on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle Play, iTunes, Vudu

Onward (2020) 88%

Following Universal’s example, Walt Disney Studios has also decided to release one of its most recent theatrical films into the digital marketplace just a couple of weeks after it opened. Pixar’s Onward features the voices of a couple of MCU stars, Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, as a pair of elf brothers living in a suburbanized fantasy world where magic has been rendered obsolete by technology. When Ian is gifted the means to resurrect his dead father for 24 hours on his 16th birthday, he inadvertently only summons the bottom half, so he and Barley set out on a road trip to rediscover the magic they’ll need to bring back the rest of their dad before time runs out. Though it isn’t being hailed as an instant classic, Onward still earned enough acclaim to be Certified Fresh, and if you’re looking for something new to watch with your stir-crazy kids, you can pay to watch it today or wait for it to drop on the Disney+ streaming service on April 3.

Available now on: FandangoNOWGoogle PlayiTunesVudu
Available Friday, April 3 on: Disney+

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) 51%

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker had a lot riding on its shoulders. Not only was it the conclusion of the recent sequel trilogy in the Star Wars universe, but it was meant to wrap up the entirety of the so-called Skywalker Saga itself, which began with the original film all the way back in 1977. If that weren’t enough, writer/director J.J. Abrams also had to contend with upended expectations from Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi even as he attempted to tie up over four decades of storytelling in one film. Did Abrams succeed? Critics loved The Last Jedi but didn’t care much for The Rise of Skywalker, and audiences had pretty much the opposite reaction, so it’s probably safe to say both directors’ efforts landed somewhere in the middle. The story catches up with our new galactic heroes and some old, familiar faces as they face off against an evil from the past and chart a new course for the future. This one dropped earlier this week, so you can properly binge the entire saga at home now.

Available now on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle Play, iTunes, Vudu

Cats (2019) 20%

Even if there was never a “butthole cut” of the film, Cats still managed to capture the moviegoing public’s morbid curiosity, what with its nonsensical “plot,” its peculiar A-list cameos, and its reportedly horrifying special effects, and it even succeeded in impressing a handful of critics, even as it baffled countless others. If you’re one of those people who wondered what the fuss was about, but not enough to pay theater prices to see it, you can now gather up a group of friends and host a watch party. Whether or not you choose to remain sober for the multiple Razzie Award winnerSeth Rogen chose not to — is up to you, but results may vary.

Available now on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVudu

The Hunt (2020) 56%

After just one week in theaters, the “liberal elites hunt deplorables” movie The Hunt, which ultimately isn’t as controversial as it thinks it is, will be available to watch from the comfort of your nonpartisan couch. It’s kind of a fitting culmination of several months of delays for the movie, which was pulled from its initial release date in September of 2019 amid a pair of deadly mass shootings and rescheduled for the same opening weekend — last weekend, to be precise — when strict social distancing measures went into effect pretty much everywhere. That said, the chances of getting into heated political debates over the film are probably much slimmer if you’re watching it at home with your friends, so maybe that works in the movie’s favor. As one of the three titles Universal announced for early digital access, The Hunt is expected to be available on Friday.

Available now on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVudu

Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss (2020) 63%

This small, indie comedy didn’t get a very wide release, so it’s exactly the kind of film that should benefit from a more robust home market for the foreseeable future. Kate Micucci and Sam Huntington star in Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss as a married couple in whose home a local cult leader (played by Taika Waititi) previously killed himself in the bathtub. Inspired by his actions, his followers begin breaking into the house to copy his death, and the couple soon find themselves the unwitting facilitators of ritual suicide. It’s a pitch-black comedy that screened in just a few theaters at the beginning of march, and it’s available now on a few VOD platforms.

Available now on: AmazonGoogle PlayVudu

Human Capital (2020) 67%

This film is the only one this week that is available digitally and also technically scheduled to open in theaters, although the cineplex closures will probably affect the latter and relegate the film strictly to the former. Marisa Tomei and Liev Schreiber star in this remake of the 2014 Italian film of the same name about two families whose lives become connected after a tragedy. Its gotten decent reviews so far, and its impressive supporting cast includes Peter Sarsgaard, Alex Wolff, and Maya Hawke. It was set to open in theaters and be available on VOD on Friday.

Available now on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVudu

Emma. (2020) 87%

The third and likely least well-known film that Universal is making available for an early digital release is Autumn de Wilde’s new interpretation of the classic Jane Austen novel Emma. Anya Taylor-Joy stars as the titular matchmaker, who discovers that maybe she’s not as good at bringing people together as she thought she was, all while her own romance bubbles up and takes her by surprise, and critics have been delighted by the film to the tune of a Certified Fresh 85% Tomatometer score. This one has been in theaters for longer than the other films, but it wasn’t in many, so now’s your chance to check it out at home.

Available now on: FandangoNOWGoogle PlayiTunesVudu

Thumbnail images by Walt Disney Pictures and Universal Pictures

Tag Cloud

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