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) 70%

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) 90%

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) 12%

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) 99%

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

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