The biggest titles new to streaming services this week include the final chapter in Peter Jackson’s journey through Middle-earth, an Oscar-nominated thriller, and a little-seen but highly acclaimed comedy starring Chris Rock. After that, we’ve got some excellent choices on Netflix, including the latest season of its original drama House of Cards and old favorites like Donnie Brasco and Ground hog Day. Read on for the full list:

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

After going up against the fire-breathing dragon Smaug, Bilbo (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (Ian McKellen), and makeshift battalions of men, elves, and dwarfs must join forces to fight off an onslaught of orcs and restore order to Middle-earth.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play


Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, and Mark Ruffalo star in this Certified Fresh drama about an Olympic wrestling hopeful who falls under the influence of a questionable patron.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play

Top Five

Chris Rock (who also directed) plays Andre Allen, a popular comic actor who’s about to be married to a famous reality TV star. He agrees to be profiled by a New York Times reporter (Rosario Dawson), and as they stroll about the city, Allen begins to question the decisions he’s made in his life and career.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play

House of Cards: Season Three

In the third season of Netflix’s acclaimed political drama, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his wife Claire (Robin Wright) attempt to maintain the powerful positions to which they’ve risen, even in the face of troubling global events and adversaries much closer to home.

Available now on: Netflix

A Summer’s Tale

Eric Rohmer’s naturalistic, low-key dramedy follows the lives and loves of young people over the course of a summer.

Available now on: Netflix

Groundhog Day

Bill Murray stars in Harold Ramis’s classic comedy about a jaded reporter whose bitter outlook on life changes when he’s caught in a time loop that forces him to relive the same day over and over again.

Available now on: Netflix

Donnie Brasco

Johnny Depp goes undercover to bring down mob boss Al Pacino — and finds himself taking something of a shine to the old man — in this Certified Fresh gangster drama.

Available now on: Netflix

Finding Neverland

Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, and Dustin Hoffman star in Marc Forster’s warm, heartfelt biopic of Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie.

Available now on: Netflix

Bridget Jones’s Diary

Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant star in this comedy about a brash thirtysomething woman who decides to shape up and meets a couple of eligible bachelors.

Available now on: Netflix

Hawaii Five-0: Season Four

The fourth season of CBS’s cop show reboot starring Alex O’Laughlin and Scott Caan focuses on McGarrett and Co. facing new adversaries and playing both sides of the law.

Available now on: Netflix

The only thing this week’s two big releases have in common is Chris Rock. Scratch that; "Madagascar" and "The Longest Yard" are both about living things behind bars seeking emotional transcendence. Will either of them stage a daring escape from critical derision?

"Madagascar," the latest offering from the animation department at DreamWorks, is that studio’s second straight release to garner a decidedly mixed critical response (the last one, "Shark Tale," posted a paltry 35 percent on the Tomatometer; this one’s at 46 percent). The story involves four zoo animals who wind up back in the wild; some of the animals liked the zoo (and the attention of the kids) just fine, but others yearn for freedom. Featuring the vocal talents of Rock, Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer and Jada Pinkett Smith, critics say "Madagascar" is more antic than resonant, with too many gags and too little story. But some say the film is irrepressibly good-natured, and in these cynical times there are worse things to be.

Another week, another remake: "The Longest Yard," starring Adam Sandler and Rock, updates Robert Aldrich’s 1974 football favorite (which scored an 89 percent on the Tomatometer) about a ragtag bunch of inmates who play the guards for bragging rights at the state pen. But while the original had a certain antiauthoritarian streak that made it ring true in its post-Watergate social climate, critics say this "Yard" is about as sharp as a pass tossed by a defensive lineman. It scores a moldy 31 percent on the Tomatometer. Despite being one of the funniest people alive, Chris Rock’s average Tomatometer score is, at a paltry 46 percent, decidedly lower than his average laff-o-meter.

Tomatometer for Previous DreamWorks CG Animated Movies:
35% – Shark Tale (2004)
89% – Shrek 2 (2004)
88% – Shrek (2001)
97% – Antz (1998)

Tomatometer for the Last Five Adam Sandler Movies:
51% – Spanglish (2004)
42% – 50 First Dates (2004)
41% – Anger Management (2003)
23% – Mr. Deeds (2002)
80% – Punch Drunk Love (2002)

Tomatometer for the Last Five Chris Rock Movies:
30% – Head of State (2003)
10% – Bad Company (2002)
17% – Down to Earth (2001)
26% – Pootie Tang (2001)
52% – Osmosis Jones (2001)

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