Film enthusiasts looking for movies to watch at home this summer will enjoy these informative, memorable and shocking rentals:
“The Greatest Showman” (2017)
First-time director Michael Gracey astonishes audiences with a musical offering on the story of entertainer P.T. Barnum, the visionary entrepreneur behind the world-famous Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Hugh Jackman headlines a spectacular cast that masterfully tackles the rags-to-riches success of Barnum using his steadfast devotion to his family, snippets of sly humor and a romantic, early 20th-century New York City backdrop.
“The Greatest Showman” is an enchanting and positive story about inclusion and acceptance of everyone, regardless of one’s size, shape or looks. Society’s “oddities” were proudly taken in and given historic opportunities under Barnum to combat ostracism, racism and bullying stereotypes.
Rated PG. Available at Amazon, Netflix, Redbox, iTunes and On Demand.
“Blood Stripe” (2017)
“Blood Stripe” follows the final return home of a female Marine sergeant following deployment tours to Afghanistan and Iraq. A spectacular performance by Kate Nowlin, as our Marine, spearheads “Blood Stripe” and provides the film its believability and human touch.
As the only woman assigned to a combat unit, this “Lioness” led checkpoints, established civil operations, and helped clear house raids at night. Whereas most post-traumatic stress disorder war films focus on the battlefield causes or the band of brothers and family members pushing to give these warriors the help they richly deserve, “Blood Stripe” boldly shows this combat veteran taking it upon herself to decompress and find her own solutions.
Unrated. Available at Amazon, Netflix, Google Play, iTunes and Vudu.
“Tommy’s Honour” (2017)
Set in the late 1860s at the “Home of Golf,” we’re introduced to St. Andrews’ greenkeeper Tom Morris, the father of Tommy Morris. His offspring, the “Young Tom” Morris, goes on to become one of the greatest golfers of all-time and is still the youngest major champion in golf history (at 17 years of age).
In one of the best golf films ever produced, “Tommy’s Honour” flourishes with a tip of the hat to the archaic, challenging European golf courses while taking us along the young man’s constantly changing personal relationships. This film cleverly places all the emotions found in golf upon the shoulders of us, the viewers. We witness a hall of fame golfer stay true to his convictions on the personal and professional playing field—as his popularity and winnings increase. Although sports history books may not cover the Tom Morris, Jr. years, this very worthy golf film does—and admirably so.
Rated PG. Available at Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, On Demand and Vudu.
The best Western film since 2007’s “3:10 to Yuma” (also starring Christian Bale), “Hostiles” recreates the terror and tension found back in the Wild West days of 1892. A bloody and violent history between the U.S. expansionism and the Native American population have left scars and wounds still fresh on both sides trying to heal.
As well-known and battle-tested U.S. Army captain Joseph Blocker, Bale is charged with taking his bitter war rival from New Mexico to Montana. Their horseback journey, including Chief Yellow Hawk’s family and a few of Bale’s handpicked security detail, is fraught with vicious daytime attacks and uneasy campfire nights.
“Hostiles” is a remarkable western film the likes of the legendary John Wayne. Fans of the western genre will want to saddle up for this ride. For the others, despite a couple of slow moments, the film will capture your attention with agony, fear, forgiveness, and honor.
Rated R. Available at Amazon, Netflix, Redbox, iTunes, On Demand and Vudu.
“I Can Only Imagine” (2018)
A wonderful true story about one man’s journey to find love, forgiveness and music. Broadway singer J. Michael Finley, in his film-acting debut, portrays underdog Bart Millard—a young boy growing up in Texas who is just trying to survive in life.
“I Can Only Imagine” is a faith-based Christian movie, but it’s about much more than that. This phenomenal film underscores the need for perseverance and getting back on one’s feet after tough times. This positive story is worth applauding and celebrating.
The film’s main star is the song (by the same name) that has gone on to become a double-Platinum chart-topper and the most popular Christian song in history. A song about a young boy and his father that would not have been possible without the help of others encouraging and challenging Bart Millard along his remarkable road to discovery.
Rated PG. Available at Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, On Demand, and Vudu.