Punch Drunk DVDs: 'Fantastic Beasts', 'Patriot's Day', 'Silence', 'Why Him?', And More!


This 1920’s set Harry Potter spin-off stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, a world-traveling wizard in search of rare magical animals to rescue and document. After accidentally losing his holding case of creatures while on a visit to New York, Newt and his new allies are in a race against time. They must track down all of his fantastic beasts before they further damage the already fragile divide between the non-magic and wizarding worlds.

We Said: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first of what will be five movies when all is finished, shows that Rowling's Potterverse has a limitless potential for growth. There are so many wonderful characters and concepts introduced that any one of them could branch out into something new and spectacular.” Rating: 4 out of 5

The latest collaboration between Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, Patriot’s Day  focuses on the tragic Boston Marathon bombing of 2013. This true-crime thriller follows the special agents and first responders who helped track down the suspects in the aftermath of the attack.

We Said: “It's an impressive feat [director Peter] Berg and his talented cast have pulled off with Patriots Day, making us feel the tension they must have felt while the terrorists were loose in the city. That's why it was also important to end by showing the actual people depicted in the film; to see that they have indeed come out on the other side of this tragedy stronger than ever.” Rating: 4 out of 5

Matrin Scorsese's sobering new epic tells the story of two Portuguese missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who travel to Japan to rescue their former mentor (Liam Neeson). Set during the Kakure Kirishitan period of the 17th century, the missionaries find themselves in a place where Chirstianity is violently forbidden by the Japanese government.  

We Said: “The strength of Scorsese's convictions carries Silence through its weakest stretches, and you can sense the weight being lifted off his shoulders completing his greatest passion project.  With help from Garfield and Driver's exhaustive performances, Scorsese forces us to feel the weight of their spiritual burden, so that we must ask if any of us would be worthy of carrying it..” Rating: 3.5 out of 5

This acclaimed dramadey follows a sigle mother (Annette Benning) as she struggles to connect with her young son during the countercultural shift of the late 1970’s. With the help of two younger, more adventurous women (Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning) she manages to form an unconventional family for herself and her son to be a part of.

We Said: “Everyone in this story navigates an emotional journey, full of moments so small and perfect they could only have been pulled from a deep well of personal memories. As sharply observed as it is incredibly funny, this is [writer/director Mike] Mills and his wonderful cast at their very best.” Rating: 4 out of 5

Why Him? is a raunchy comedy which pins overprotective dad Ned (Brian Cranston) against his daughter’s boyfriend, the wealthy and boundary pushing Laird (James Franco). When Laird asks Ned for his blessing to marry his daughter Stephanie (Zoey Deutch), the gloves come off and the two men spend the remainder of their holiday vacation together battling over who knows what’s best for her.  

We Said: Why Him? is fine. Nothing really special, but if you’re looking for some easy holiday entertainment, you could definitely do worse than Why Him?Rating: 3 out of 5

This new fantasy drama film tells the story of a young boy struggling to come to terms with the failing health of his single mother (Felicity Jones). One night, The Monster (Liam Neeson) suddenly appears to him, and as a means to help him through this troubling time, takes him on a fantastical journey that blends imagination with tragic reality.

We Said: “Adapted by author Patrick Ness and directed by J.A. Bayona, A Monster Calls weaves a story that will resonate with anyone who has had to overcome terrible, debilitating grief.” Rating: 4 out of 5