Critics Consensus

Trolls World Tour, Ip Man 4, and Gretel & Hansel 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 | April 9, 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 the premiere of an animated sequel and the home entertainment debuts of a pair of horror films, a comedy misfire, and a martial arts franchise finale, not to mention the free streaming premiere of the most recent Best Picture winner. See below for the full list.

Trolls World Tour (2020) 71%

It may have initially been a little hopeful for Universal to announce a so-called “day-and-date” release for Trolls World Tour, meaning that the film would be available both in theaters and on VOD simultatneously, if only because that release date is here, and none of us is going to any movie theaters this weekend. So, for all intents and purposes, TWT is the first major release of 2020 that is only getting a VOD release, which will be an interesting experiment to track as more studios figure out what they want to do with all the films they’ve postponed. (Some have decided to go straight to streaming; The Lovebirds will debut on Netflix, and My Spy will stream on Amazon Prime.) That said, Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake are back to provide their voices for trolls Poppy and Branch, who discover that there are other tribes dedicated to different genres of music and must unite them all against the one queen who wants to destroy all the others. Critics so far say this follow-up admittedly feels a little familiar, but it’s got plenty of laughs, plenty of heart, and plenty of music to keep the entire family entertained. It may not be playing in theaters, but that just means you can sing along with your kids at home when they inevitably ask to watch it over and over again.

Available Friday, 4/10 on: FandangoNOWGoogle Play, Vudu

Gretel & Hansel (2020) 64%

We saw a slew of new horror movies debut in the first several weeks of 2020, but the vast majority of them were not well-received by critics. Gretel & Hansel was one of the few exceptions, even as it didn’t exactly earn rave reviews. IT star Sophia Lillis takes center stage as the titular young woman in this dark reimagining of the classic fairy tale, in which a brother and sister are duped into taking part in a lavish feast provided to them by an evil witch living in the forest who has sinister plans for them. Whether or not they felt the liberties taken with the source material worked, most critics nevertheless agreed that the film’s cinematography and visual aesthetic were its greatest strengths, and Alice Krige is properly creepy as the woman who just wants to snack on some children. This one debuted at the tail end of January, and it’s available digitally now.

Available now on: FandangoNOW, AmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVudu

Ip Man 4: The Finale (2019) 84%

Martial arts movie fans have known about Donnie Yen for a long time, and though he’s appeared in a few classics of the genre (Iron MonkeyHero) and some Hollywood productions (Shanghai KnightsRogue One: A Star Wars Story), he’s probably best known for his films about legendary Wing Chun master Ip Man, which began with 2010’s appropriately titled Ip Man. Almost a full decade later, we got the final chapter to the saga, also appropriately titled, in Ip Man 4: The Finale. Yen again portrays the mild-mannered icon, who travels to San Francisco to help deescalate a simmering feud between local kung fu masters and Ip Man’s most famous student, Bruce Lee. Critics say it doesn’t quite measure up to the best of Donnie Yen’s output, but it’s a satisfying conclusion to a surprisingly consistent franchise with plenty of fun, top-tier action and a suitably bittersweet tone.

Available now on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVudu

Like a Boss (2020) 21%

If you told us that pairing up Rose Byrne with Tiffany Haddish and pitting them against a scenery-chewing Salma Hayek would make for a pretty solid comedy, we wouldn’t disagree with that. But just because something makes sense on paper, that doesn’t mean it’ll translate well from page to screen, and that seems to be what happened with Like A Boss. Haddish and Byrne play a pair of besties running a small cosmetics company together who must work through their very different business styles in order to claw their way out of debt and prevent a hostile takeover by an unsavory make-up mogul (Hayek). Critics felt that the cast was fine, doing the best they could with the material they were given, but the writing unfortunately just sharp enough to match their talents. The hit-or-miss jokes mostly miss, the storytelling is paper thin, and there’s no wit underlying its crass veneer. For better or worse, though, it’s available to rent now.

Available now on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVudu

The Turning (2020) 13%

Remember what we said above about terrible horror films in 2020? Well, this is one of them. To be frank, with a Tomatometer score of 12% and an Audience Score of 15%, we’re not sure many of you are going to like it, but it takes all kinds, and if there’s someone out there who’s just been waiting for The Turning to hit the digital home market, then far be it from us to deprive them of it. Mackenzie Davis and Finn Wolfhard star in this new take on the classic Henry James novella The Turn of the Screw that updates the setting to the 1990s and places a young nanny at the mercy of two creepy rich kids. Of course, spooky things begin to happen at their sprawling estate, and it’s unclear if supernatural things are actually happening, or if the nanny is simply going nuts. The source material is famously open-ended, but critics say The Turning takes that to frustrating new lows, blurring the lines between “psychological thriller” and “ghost story” so much that the narrative ceases to make sense. Still, if you’re just super into haunted house movies or you’re a Brooklynn Prince competionist, have at it.

Available now on: FandangoNOWAmazon, Google PlayiTunesVudu

Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) 98%

Lastly, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s genre-bending, history-making, Oscar-winning film Parasite is available to stream for anyone with a Hulu account. It has been available for digital rental and purchase for a little while, but now that it’s free, it should be even easier for anyone who was curious to check it out. The story revolves around a family of grifters who weasel their way into the home of a much wealthier family before their lies eventually spin things out of control, but beyond that, it’s best you go into it knowing as little as possible, if it somehow hasn’t been spoiled for you already. The film did win four Oscars (including Best Picture and Best Director), and it has earned the acclaim of both critics and audiences alike, so there’s a pretty good chance you’ll enjoy what you see here. And if you’re interested in more of Bong’s work, Hulu has also added three of his previous films: Mother, The Host, and Barking Dogs Never Bite.

Available to stream now on: Hulu
Also available on: FandangoNOWAmazonGoogle PlayiTunesVudu

Thumbnail image by Universal Pictures

Tag Cloud

Podcast free movies cancelled all-time Walt Disney Pictures BET Awards mutant Avengers scorecard Black History Month romance elevated horror archives Brie Larson directors VICE Hear Us Out Columbia Pictures Crunchyroll Elton John versus dogs YouTube Premium Cannes joker parents MCU sequels reviews Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Pixar The Academy Food Network laika Infographic Netflix Tumblr TLC razzies 72 Emmy Awards prank football spanish language Crackle Reality Star Wars Anna Paquin 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Peacock Awards Tour TCA 2017 remakes 21st Century Fox boxoffice Extras Red Carpet Britbox 2018 spy thriller true crime miniseries Bravo Comics on TV Travel Channel composers docudrama spinoff blockbusters LGBT black SundanceTV Disney+ Disney Plus Logo Funimation Family 2020 hidden camera Stephen King space Mary poppins Box Office The Witch psychological thriller Amazon Studios Schedule Women's History Month latino Musicals spanish crossover 2019 cults MTV sports 24 frames Academy Awards talk show Sundance Now critics sitcom golden globe awards YouTube Red APB period drama universal monsters superhero Arrowverse disaster Countdown LGBTQ medical drama Premiere Dates Ellie Kemper emmy awards singing competition Martial Arts TV One CNN animated SDCC based on movie worst indie First Look toronto twilight zero dark thirty X-Men indiana jones Endgame comedies jamie lee curtis Horror nfl 20th Century Fox NYCC CMT RT History cooking Toys french monster movies Fall TV ViacomCBS Universal nbcuniversal jurassic park Lifetime Disney Plus festival cinemax blaxploitation telelvision BBC One TruTV Shudder robots Tomatazos The Walking Dead GoT toy story ESPN Exclusive Video Binge Guide japanese Classic Film science fiction HBO Go saw A24 Teen series heist movie Television Critics Association PBS crime thriller comic American Society of Cinematographers finale doctor who chucky Baby Yoda Song of Ice and Fire Election scary movies anime screen actors guild USA Network theme song documentaries Sundance TV movies Television Academy President Mudbound Netflix Christmas movies E3 Hulu Pirates hollywood diversity CBS die hard The Purge Country Star Trek australia Paramount Network technology fresh Sneak Peek FX Musical 93rd Oscars Disney TV Land Emmys game show foreign stand-up comedy ITV Trailer BAFTA Fantasy GLAAD Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Chernobyl films See It Skip It adventure reboot canceled E! trailers vampires quibi YouTube mockumentary 4/20 video Film Festival Hallmark Christmas movies Awards godzilla New York Comic Con slashers TCA Winter 2020 2015 Western DGA AMC Grammys what to watch Spike travel kong ABC Signature news Fox Searchlight Reality Competition Hallmark IFC Paramount Plus RT21 Mary Tyler Moore Mystery Pride Month USA Summer Discovery Channel cancelled television anthology hist Syfy binge ID Lucasfilm Lionsgate Year in Review kids Amazon Prime Video DC Universe richard e. Grant BBC Nat Geo IFC Films VH1 spider-man Writers Guild of America TCA Awards witnail crime drama television ratings 2016 Alien green book rt archives Black Mirror Kids & Family nature women casting politics CBS All Access Pop WGN Comedy Central Biopics high school Opinion The Arrangement Valentine's Day Adult Swim Apple TV+ asian-american Ghostbusters Winter TV new star wars movies dc Freeform TNT Turner Classic Movies boxing TV video on demand Showtime crime WarnerMedia Sony Pictures dceu Cartoon Network aliens Comedy Christmas cartoon king kong biography San Diego Comic-Con Mary Poppins Returns CW Seed batman Marvel Studios discovery cops serial killer PaleyFest ABC DC Comics Quiz Photos zombies Spectrum Originals hispanic Apple FX on Hulu superman HBO Max Apple TV Plus award winner 99% Video Games Trivia HBO festivals christmas movies Sundance 45 Super Bowl BBC America strong female leads 71st Emmy Awards comics supernatural harry potter cancelled TV series rotten Dark Horse Comics dragons Emmy Nominations Lifetime Christmas movies First Reviews war Holiday 2017 Paramount revenge screenings The CW Superheroe best james bond sequel halloween Legendary political drama Thanksgiving tv talk spain Superheroes The Walt Disney Company Pop TV Holidays teaser Pet Sematary Marvel Television Nominations Film Action El Rey Set visit Marvel romantic comedy deadpool TCM psycho satire worst movies TBS halloween tv Watching Series comiccon cars NBC BET cats Polls and Games a nightmare on elm street Disney Channel 007 concert golden globes Mindy Kaling Character Guide DirecTV independent sag awards werewolf book adaptation Animation 2021 Nickelodeon Rom-Com Best and Worst Music stoner FOX Rock renewed TV shows Captain marvel Shondaland thriller Vudu obituary italian unscripted FXX Sci-Fi Drama A&E Disney streaming service OWN fast and furious child's play movie SXSW transformers comic books cancelled TV shows Creative Arts Emmys TV renewals Esquire TCA kaiju Comic Book police drama GIFs History popular MSNBC zombie Turner National Geographic Winners ABC Family VOD PlayStation natural history Marathons game of thrones DC streaming service canceled TV shows Amazon Interview Certified Fresh book stop motion rom-coms Acorn TV justice league Masterpiece Broadway YA adaptation Tarantino Tubi breaking bad historical drama Trophy Talk streaming Spring TV Amazon Prime Calendar franchise documentary ghosts mission: impossible dark criterion Rocketman pirates of the caribbean Warner Bros. rotten movies we love TIFF OneApp Starz Epix Oscars Fox News blockbuster Heroines docuseries Cosplay Ovation children's TV classics social media Rocky south america facebook name the review dramedy venice