Check It Out Category: Movies and TV

Instant Holiday Viewing!

Instant Holiday Viewing

Access holiday spirit instantly with our selection of digital seasonal movies! Whether you’re in the mood for a holiday classic, heartwarming endings, or perhaps some festive pups, our curated lists will help add a little more holly jolly to your celebrating.

All you need is your library card and a digital device (computer, streaming stick, smart TV, smartphone, or tablet). Titles are always available–no holds, no wait!–via Hoopla or Kanopy and offer the added convenience of never having to leave your couch.

Browse a sampling of movies below or click the links to our Instant Holiday Viewing lists for even more festive cheer.

 

Nothing like the Holidays DVD coverNothing Like The Holidays

The far-flung members of the Rodriguez family are converging on their parents’ home in Chicago, to celebrate the season and their brother’s safe return from combat overseas. For Jesse, coming home has rekindled feelings for an old flame, though she won’t forgive him for leaving in the first place. Jesse’s sister Roxanna has been chasing her dreams for years with little to show for it. And to the dismay of their mother, eldest brother Mauricio brings home a high-powered executive wife who would rather raise capital than a child. But when the Rodriguezes learn that one of their own is facing a true crisis, all resentments are forgotten and familial bonds are re-affirmed.

Browse more from Instant Holiday Viewing: Dysfunctional Families

Girlfriends of Christmas Past DVD cover

 

Girlfriends of Christmas Past

Expecting a proposal, Livvy gets dumped instead. She finds two more women her ex wronged and the trio decide on payback. Meanwhile, Livvy meets Carter and sparks begin to fly. Can she forget about revenge and let a Christmas romance bloom?

Browse more from Instant Holiday Viewing: Rom-Coms

 

A Bennett Song Holiday DVD cover

 

A Bennett Song Holiday

Mrs. Song is expecting a baby to add to their diverse roster of 14 adopted children and the family will team up to stop a developer who wants to close down the community center. Love, teamwork, and holiday magic are sure to save the day!

Browse more from Instant Holiday Viewing: Music-Filled Movies 

 

Happy Christmas DVD cover

 

Happy Christmas

When Jenny, a hard-partying 20-something, moves in with her brother’s family to get over a breakup, she and her friend’s carefree perspective causes Jenny’s sister-in-law to question her career and relationship, comically turning the family’s everyday life upside down. A comedy from the director of Drinking Buddies.

Browse more from Instant Holiday Viewing: Adult Comedy

 

Better Watch Out DVD cover

Better Watch Out

When you think the suburbs, you think safety, but this holiday night the suburbs are anything but safe. Ashley thought this babysitting job was going to be an easy night, but the night takes a turn when dangerous intruders break in and terrorize her and the twelve-year-old boy, Luke, she’s caring for. Ashley defends her charge to the best of her ability only to discover this is no normal home invasion.

Browse more from Instant Holiday Viewing: Not Your Average Holiday

 

Browse More Instant Holiday Viewing Lists: 

Instant Holiday Viewing: Christmas Pups

Instant Holiday Viewing: Fantastical Scenarios

Instant Holiday Viewing: Holiday Classics

Instant Holiday Viewing: Lifetime Movies

Instant Holiday Viewing: Romance

Instant Holiday Viewing: Uplifting Endings

tiny red and white dots on a turquoise background

What to Watch from Home – Staff Digital Picks for Chilling Drama

Staff Video Picks Chilling Drama image

There are times when the most satisfying tension release is to lose ourselves in someone else’s (fictional) drama. To help escape our own strain, it can feel cathartic to be swept away in dark thrills, mystery, action, or espionage. If a flair for the dramatic sounds good to you right now, check out these staff suggestions available to watch from home on Hoopla and Kanopy with your library card.

First Reformed video image

 

First Reformed

If you like dark suspense, unstable characters who are navigating their purposes in life, and those who become attracted to the opposite of what they might preach. ~Chelsea

 

Fall TV series image

 

The Fall

This psychological thriller had me on the edge of my seat all season long! The story follows a serial killer and the detective intent on bringing him down. As the story progresses, the two become obsessed with each other. Will he or won’t he be caught? You’ll have to watch and find out. ~Al

 

Down the Shore video image

 

Down the Shore

Starring James Gandolfini. The lives of three childhood friends begin to unravel when a deadly secret from their past is revealed. ~Denise

 

Hidden TV series image

 

Hidden 

Who knew that Wales could hold its own against Scandinavia with moody, can’t-look-away noir? This limited series has all the hallmarks, including baggage-laden investigators and immersive sense of place. ~Cathleen

 

 

Leave No Trace video image

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace follows a veteran and his teenage daughter who live in the woods in the Pacific Northwest. It follows their lifestyle, their bond, and how unsustainable their lifestyle becomes and how both of them try to adapt. ~Chelsea

 

 

Still Life DVD cover

 

Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery

Based on Louise Penny’s novel. Gorgeous scenery and a fascinating mystery. ~Denise

 

 

Charade video image

 

Charade

This classic may be remembered for moments of stylish banter, but it also boasts multiple twists on whom can be trusted. Director Stanley Donen’s playful mix of light and dark is a cross-generational favorite. ~Cathleen

 

 

Gunpowder video image

Gunpowder

Who doesn’t miss Kit Harington from Game of Thrones? Get your next fix of him in Gunpowder, a historical drama set in the 1600s based on the Gunpowder plot to assassinate King James I of England. With striking visuals, a stellar score, and top-notch acting, this will surely please fans of historical fiction ~Al

 

 

Gone Baby Gone video image

 

Gone Baby Gone

Expertly portraying the gritty depths and darkness of human nature, this adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s novel wisely plants the compelling bleak-yet-determined qualities of the characters at the forefront.  ~Cathleen

 

 

 

Pandemic video imageDenise recommends
Pandemic
Keeping Faith TV series imageKelda recommends
Keeping Faith
Winters Bone video imageCathleen recommends
Winter’s Bone

 
 
Still looking? Check out earlier installments of Staff Movies and TV Picks available from home or contact us for suggestions personalized to your mood and taste.

Staff Hoopla Picks: Comfort TV

Staff Comfort TV Picks collage

When everything becomes too much, we look for comfort in different forms of escape television. Sometimes we want to lose ourselves in gentle or dramatic history; other times we want contemporary and edgy. You have access to hundreds of streaming programs through Hoopla Digital with your library card, and below are a few recommendations courtesy of your friendly Advisory Staff. Other viewing suggestions are available here and here, and you can also contact us to ask for titles hand-picked to match your personal taste!

Absolutely Fabulous video imageChelsea recommends
Absolutely Fabulous
Series 1-6
UK comedy
Wolf Hall video imageLaura and Cathleen recommend
Wolf Hall
Miniseries: 6 episodes
UK historical drama
Story of Cats video imageAl recommends
The Story of Cats
2 episodes
US nature documentary

 

Call the Midwife video imageAl recommends
Call the Midwife
Seasons 1-7
UK historical drama
Rick and Morty video imageChelsea recommends
Rick and Morty
Season 1
US animated comedy
Great British Baking Show video imageChelsea, Al, and Cathleen recommend
The Great British Baking Show
Seasons 1-5
UK reality competition

 

Dickensian video imageCathleen recommends
Dickensian
Series 1
UK historical drama
Key and Peele video imageAl recommends
Key & Peele
Season 1
US comedy
Robot Chicken video imageChelsea recommends
Robot Chicken
Season 1
US animated comedy

 

Librarians video imageAl recommends
The Librarians
Seasons 1-4
US action-adventure, science fiction/fantasy
Cranford video imageChelsea recommends
Cranford
Seasons 1-2
UK historical drama
Search Party video imageCathleen recommends
Search Party

Season 1
US dark comedy, mystery

 

Coroner video imageThe Coroner
Seasons 1-2
UK crime drama
Scott and Bailey video imageScott & Bailey
Series 1-5
UK crime drama
Seasons 1-6

US comedy, science fiction/fantasy

 

What to Watch from Home – More Staff Digital Picks

More Staff Digital Picks image

Challenging times leave us eager for escape, and while some lean on old favorites for comfort, others seek excitement through new discoveries. If you are looking for fresh ideas of what to watch through Hoopla and Kanopy with your library card, take advantage of staff-curated favorites! We can also help with customized suggestions for what you might enjoy watching.

Faces Places movie image

 

Faces Places – available on Kanopy

(French) A documentary and road-trip film in which two artists team up and travel around France, forming an unlikely friendship. A heartwarming, touching viewing experience. ~Al

 

What We Do in the Shadows series image

 

What We Do in the Shadows – available on Hoopla and Kanopy

For fans of ridiculousness, vampires, and laughs! ~Chelsea

 

Forger movie image

 

The Forger – available on Hoopla

The world’s best art forger makes a deal with a crime syndicate to get an early release from prison, but in return he must pull of an impossible heist. John Travolta at his best! ~Denise

 

Mona Lisa Smile movie image

 

Mona Lisa Smile – available on Hoopla

Inspiring performances about gender roles in the 1950s, with timeless emotions and frustrations that are still relevant today ~Nancy

 

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern movie image

 

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead – available on Hoopla

Two minor characters are not quite sure what they are doing in the world of Hamlet, but they’re pretty good at faking it, and they may just discover the laws of physics along the way. ~Cathleen

 

The Fits movie image

The Fits – available on Kanopy

An 11-year-old boxer, Toni, decides to join a dance team that also trains at her gym. The dancers begin to suffer from mysterious spasms, and Toni does whatever she can to fit in. Often described as “hypnotic,” The Fits packs a punch in 72 minutes. Don’t miss this unique drama! ~Al

 

Loving Vincent movie image

 

Loving Vincent – available on Hoopla and Kanopy

If you want to get lost in the life and brushstrokes of Van Gogh… ~Chelsea

 

Suddenly Single movie image

 

David E. Talbert’s Suddenly Single – available on Hoopla

Staring Grey’s Anatomy‘s Isaiah Washington. Totally heartfelt with some laughs thrown in! ~Denise

 

Strictly Ballroom movie image

 

Strictly Ballroom – available on Hoopla

Flamboyant and manic, Baz Luhrmann’s crowd-pleasing debut bedazzles classic dance partner storylines with Aussie individuality. ~Cathleen

 

Holy Motors movie image

 

Holy Motors – available on Kanopy

(French) Holy Motors shows us Monsieur Oscar’s job running around Paris, transforming into different characters in his limousine. It is full of mystery, dancing, and surreal moments. ~Chelsea

 

 

Still looking? Check out the first list in our series of Staff Movies and TV Picks available from home.

What to Watch from Home – Staff Digital Picks

Staff Digital Picks Movies & TV

Are you feeling separation anxiety from the Library’s extensive DVD collections and need something to watch? Now is the time to explore digital movies and TV available free to you through Hoopla and Kanopy with your library card. Our staff is eager to help with customized suggestions for what you might enjoy watching, and you can begin my taking a look at their first round of personal favorites.

Hearts Beat Loud DVD coverHearts Beat Loud – available on Kanopy and Hoopla

A personal all-time favorite, ideal if you’re looking for a hopeful story about first love, new love, family, grief, and dreams set on top of a soulful soundtrack. As a bonus you get Nick Offerman playing an endearing dad dedicated to connecting with his very hip teen daughter! ~Jenny

Illusionist DVD coverThe Illusionist – available on Hoopla

Something to take you far and away from the troubles of today; a captivating blend of romance, mystery, and wonder, with lots of atmosphere; based loosely on a short story by Steven Millhauser. ~Nancy

Illusionist DVD coverHis Girl Friday – available on Kanopy and Hoopla

When life in this decade seems a little much, I turn to the classics. Watching the dialogue zing between Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell is always a mood-lifter. ~Cathleen

Force Majeure DVD coverForce Majeur – available on Kanopy and Hoopla

(Swedish) Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes, this movie plops a perfect family into an avalanche amid their skiing vacation. Humorous, sad, and poignant. Watch with someone who would save you from a catastrophic event. ~Al

Hunt for the Wilderpeople DVD coverHunt for the Wilderpeople – available on Kanopy and Hoopla

A heartwarming adventure story featuring a grumpy man and a mischievous foster child who has been thrust into his life. Written and directed by Oscar winner Taika Waititi. ~Chelsea

Ferrante Fever DVD coverFerrante Fever – available on Kanopy

A few years ago Elena Ferrante’s Italian Neapolitan series took the literary world by storm. Interviewing authors, public voices, and booksellers, director Giacomo Durzi explores how the series became a worldwide bestseller and its impact. This documentary also sheds a light on the Italian literary scene. ~Jenny

Bull Durham DVD coverBull Durham – available on Hoopla

Susan Sarandon and Kevin Costner are so much fun. Such a fabulous throwback and so totally 80’s! Best line of the movie: ‘”The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness” Love it! ~Denise

Still Life DVD coverStill Life: A Three Pines Mystery – available on Hoopla

After listening to the book, I was excited to see it was made into a movie. The author served as an executive producer, and it followed the book pretty closely. Entertaining, and similar in tone to a Hallmark mystery. ~Kelda

Lady Bird DVD coverLady Bird – available on Kanopy

Missing your mother-daughter bond during this time of quarantine? Watch Lady Bird for a touching, yet raw, look at a tumultuous and loving mother-daughter relationship during the daughter’s last high school year. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll enjoy. ~Al

Bridget Joness Diary DVD coverBridget Jones’s Diary – available on Hoopla

A fun, light-hearted movie with a great cast and lots of laughs. ~Nancy

Mandy DVD coverMandy – available on Hoopla

If you are in the mood for revenge, fury, colorful backdrops, and Nicolas Cage! ~Chelsea

Borgen DVD coverBorgen – available on Hoopla

(Danish) Often characterized as a Danish West Wing, the fascinating arc of a woman who finds herself elected Prime Minister and how she learns to balance her convictions, her family life, her optimism, and her dedication to service. ~Cathleen

 

Bonus: Did you know that you have at-home access to the Great Courses series?  Here’s a timely staff suggestion to start you on your journey for answers:

Great Courses Intro to Infectious Diseases coverThe Great Courses: An Introduction to Infectious Diseases – available on Kanopy

Check out this educational opportunity if, amid our current state, you want to know more about the science of infectious diseases. Course taught by a physician specializing in the field. ~Al