New, Hot, & Hidden Gem Films Streaming On Demand This March

Now that all the awards ceremonies are done with, you’ll be able to see a whole bunch of films that won, or were nominated for, an Oscar/Golden Globe/BAFTA. The Jungle Book, which won the Academy Award for Best Special Effects, is streaming on Neon. Life, Animated, which was nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar, is available to rent or own on a number of VOD services. Hacksaw Ridge, which took away many awards and nominations, is sitting pretty on Blu-ray as well. Meanwhile, Netflix is hosting a whole bunch of interesting and original films made in-house – at least one of them is going to grab your attention.

Take a look at what’s new and hot in March.


New to Neon

The Jungle Book

If you didn’t catch it in the cinema, you can now check out why everyone loved Disney’s redo of the beloved animated family adventure and also see for yourself why it won Best Visual Effects at the Academy Awards. “Takes the tiger from Life of Pi and multiplies it by a whole jungle.” -Liam Maguren, Flicks Available now

Spotlight

Now you can see why this won Best Picture at the Academy Awards – or make you hate film critics for being artsy fartsy snobs. “An important film, completely without self-importance.” -Matt Glasby, Flicks Available now

Trumbo

Bryan Cranston gives an Oscar-nominated performance as masterful, blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Co-stars Helen Mirren, Elle Fanning, Diane Lane and Louis CK. “Part biopic, part historical gloss…” -New York Times Available now

The Last Witch Hunter

Vin Diesel kills evil witches in modern-day New York. “It’s the kind of film you assume must be based on a comic book, but isn’t.” -Tony Stamp, Flicks Available now

Allegiant

Third film based on Veronica Roth’s young adult sci-fi series, following the events in Divergent and Insurgent. “Suffers greatly for the over-familiarity.” -Dominic Corry, Flicks Available now

Gods of Egypt

Sci-fi fantasy action adventure starring a Scotsman (Gerard Butler), an Australian (Brenton Thwaites), and a Danish man (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) as Egyptians. “Some movies are so effing awful they’re hilarious. Gods of Egypt falls short of that lofty goal.” -Rolling Stone Available now

Bad Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne get the help of douchie frat boy Zac Efron to out-prank douchie frat girl Chloë Grace Moretz. “You’re not likely to get drug jokes, slapstick, a dildo-loving toddler and positive gender attitudes in any other above-average comedy sequel though.” -Steve Newall, Flicks Available 17th March

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Get hyped for Disney’s live-action version by revisiting the masterpiece that made history by being the first animated feature to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. “Slipped around all my roadblocks and penetrated directly into my strongest childhood memories…” -Roger Ebert Available 19th March

Eddie the Eagle

Hugh Jackman and Kingsman star Taron Egerton lead this underdog sport tale about Great Britain’s first Olympic ski jumper. “Critics will struggle to avoid phrases like crowd-pleasing and heart-warming. Oh, bother.” -Steve Newall, Flicks Available 22nd March

Keanu

Comedy duo Key & Peele have to act hard when their unbelievably cute pet kitten ends up in gangsta hands. “It will delight the show’s fans while winning over others unlucky enough never to have seen it.” -Hollywood Reporter Available 23rd March

Mahana

Lee Tamahori’s Moa-winning film stars Temuera Morrison as the hard-skinned, problematic patriarch of a sheep-shearing family in 1960s New Zealand. “[Tamahori has] made another, if somewhat gentler, classic.” -Paul Casserly, Flicks Available 27th March

Ben-Hur

Remember the biblical epic that went for over three-and-a-half hours and won 11 Oscars? This is the two-hour version that won no Oscars. “Entertaining in parts, even though it still can’t justify its own existence.” -Liam Maguren, Flicks Available 28th March

The Informant

Matt Damon got fat for this true story comedy thriller by Steven Soderbergh. “It’s another curiousity tossed off by hot-and-cold director Soderbergh, yet one showcasing Damon at his best.” -Andrew Hedley, Flicks Available 31st March

The Conjuring 2

Director James Wan returns to the case files of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. “Jump scares may abound, but the most successfully tense moments are unsurprisingly the simplest, and most banal.” -Steve Newall, Flicks Available 31st March

Eye in the Sky

Morally-complex military drone thriller starring Oscar-winner Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Oscar nominee Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips), and the late great Alan Rickman. “A classy, thrilling and seriously nail-biting experience.” -Paul Casserly, Flicks Available 31st March


New to Netflix

Deidra and Laney Rob a Train

Ashleigh Murray and Rachel Crow play sisters who turn to train robbery in order to support their family after their mother ends up in jail. Available 17th March

Burning Sands

A college fraternity pledgee is torn between honouring a code of silence and standing up against the intensifying violence of underground hazing in this Netflix original film. “High spirits, talented cast and luridly intriguing subject consistently entertain.” -Variety Available now

Focus

Before Suicide Squad, Will Smith and Margot Robbie led this “rom-con” from the filmmakers behind Crazy, Stupid, Love. “What could have proven a pleasant diversion of a film fails to ensnare its audience…” Steve Newall, Flicks Available now

Thithi

India-set comedy that played in NZIFF, following a young man who wants to sell the land his deceased grandfather left behind. Unfortunately, that land was left to the young man’s chain-smoking, uncooperative, fuzzy-haired father.  “Advocating simple humanity and the joy of living, it’s enough to satisfy.” -Hollywood Reporter Available now

Stand By Me

The coming-of-age classic based on the Stephen King novel and cemented the immortal phrase “Chopper! Sic balls!” Available now

The Most Hated Woman in America

Biopic starring Oscar-winner Melissa Leo as Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the atheist activist who got official Bible readings banned in U.S. public schools. Available 24th March

The Discovery

What if science confirmed the existence of an afterlife? This Netflix original sci-fi explores the possible effects one year after. Stars Oscar nominees Rooney Mara (Carol) and Robert Redford as well as Jason Segel (The End of the Tour). Available 31st March


New to Everything Else

Life, Animated

Oscar-nominated documentary of a young autistic man whose life, and way of communicating, was massively influenced through classic Disney animated films. “Hugely affectionate, ponderously observant…” -Liam Maguren, Flicks Available now

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Oscar-winning director Ang Lee adapts the bestselling Iraq war novel by Ben Fountain. “An absorbing character study, even if it’s ultimately not one that justifies its much-vaunted technological advances.” -Hollywood Reporter Available now

A War

The director of the terrific A Hijacking re-teams with lead actor Pilou Asbæk for this Oscar-nominated tale about a Danish soldier who made a call on the battlefield – and the harrowing consequences that followed. “It’s a riveting, complex film that asks one simple question: what do you do when there’s no right answer?” -Empire Available now

Sunset Song

Lush, Scottish drama from Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea), based on Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s 1932 novel about a farming family struggling to eke out a living against the devastation of World War I. “For sheer rapturous beauty, Terence Davies’s Sunset Song might be the film to top this year.” -Aaron Yap, Flicks Available now

Beast

Deep in the slums of Manila, a young boxer’s life changes forever after killing his opponent. “Has a gripping premise but fails to deliver the required dramatic knockout…” -Hollywood Reporter Available now

Queen of Katwe

Disney’s true-story feel-good chess drama, co-starring Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave). “Prepare to have your heartstrings plucked.” -Time Out London Available now

Joshy

The wedding gets cancelled, but the bachelor party stays on in this Sundance-nominated comedy from the co-writer of I Heart Huckabees. “A safer but still funny follow-up to Jeff Baena’s provocative debut.” -Hollywood Reporter Available now

Nocturnal Animals

Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams star in this romantic thriller from writer-director Tom Ford, based on the novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright. ”You might just find something absolutely phenomenal.” -Alex Casey, NZ Herald Available now

Hacksaw Ridge

Mel Gibson-directed WWII biopic on Desmond Doss, a man who saved 75 men and entered the battlefield without picking up a gun. Stars Andrew Garfield in an Oscar-nominated role and is edited by Kiwi John Gilbert, who won an Academy Award for his work. “Not for the faint-of-heart and nor should it be. Go armed with the knowledge that war is hell and Gibson doesn’t want us to forget that.” -Kate Rodger, NewsHub Available now

Dancer

A look into the life of ballet prodigy Sergei Polunin, a young man whose personal battles violently shook his career until he recently went viral with an incredible dance to Take Me to Church by Hozier. “If you’re a fan of dance and dance filmed, this Dancer will leave you very happy.” -Graeme Tuckett Available now

Little Men

Ira Sachs follows up gentle crowd-pleaser Love is Strange with this equally toned-down look at two New York boys who can’t escape their parents’ problems. “A bittersweet charmer.” -Russell Baillie, NZ Herald Available now

The Birth of a Nation

The Sundance sensation that flips the severely aged and incredibly racist 1915 film of the same name by following the story of the slaves who rose against their captors in 1831 Virginia. “Begins quietly but ends in a howl of rage.” -Empire Available from 22 March

Solace

Anthony Hopkins and Colin Farrell scrap it out in their minds as physics in this supernatural cat-n-mouse thriller. “Stuck somewhere between a bad season of Dexter and a dated crime flick.” -Vulture Available from 22 March

I, Daniel Blake

Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or-winning film about a widowed carpenter and a young single mum of two who can only rely on each other when state assistance fails them both. “The common person’s masterpiece.” -Liam Maguren, Flicks Available from 22 March

Bad Santa 2

Wanted more Billy Bob Thornton being an alcoholic mall Santa? They made this one for you. “Compared to pretty much every other film that has tried to make a buck out of being gross and not much else in the last decade, Bad Santa 2 is better than most.” -Graeme Tuckett, Stuff.co.nz Available from 24 March

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The adventures of Newt Scamander – set 70 years before Harry Potter reads his book – start with this fantasy adventure written for the screen by the book series’ author JK Rowling. “Elicits wonder through exploration.” -Liam Maguren, Flicks Available from 29 March