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'Room' is a captivating look at mother-son relationship, and now available on VOD

'Room' is a captivating look at mother-son relationship, and now available on VOD
Brie Larson, left, and Jacob Tremblay appear in a scene from the film, "Room." (Uncredited / AP)

Room

Lionsgate/A24 Blu-ray, $24.99

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Available now on VOD.

Director Lenny Abrahamson's multi-Oscar-nominated adaptation of Emma Donoghue's award-winning novel stars Brie Larson as Joy, a young mother who's been held captive in a garden shed with her 5-year-old son, Jack (Jacob Tremblay), since he was born. Told from Jack's point of view — and informed by his limited understanding — the movie starts as a nail-biting escape picture but then becomes more about a parent and child readjusting to each other as their surroundings get bigger and louder. Donoghue's screenplay holds on to her book's powerful central metaphor, which is all about the impulse to shelter kids from the world while understanding that at some point they'll need to be ready for what's out there. Not too many parents will be able to watch "Room" without weeping copiously. The DVD and Blu-ray add a commentary track and featurettes.

Creed

Warner Bros., $28.98; Blu-ray, $35.99

Available on VOD Tuesday.

The best "Rocky" movie since the 1976 original is about the bastard son of Rocky Balboa's nemesis-turned-friend Apollo Creed and follows the young phenom as he gets a fluke shot at a championship because of his famous name. Michael B. Jordan gives a marvelously sensitive and physical performance as the kid, Adonis Creed, who works with a reluctant Rocky — the Oscar-nominated Sylvester Stallone — as his trainer while also courting a partly deaf singer-songwriter named Bianca (Tessa Thompson). Director Ryan Coogler — who also co-wrote the script with Aaron Covington — does an excellent job of updating the source material without losing what makes it special. The training and boxing sequences in "Creed" are stirring, but so are the quieter scenes of good people spending time together in the working-class neighborhoods of Philadelphia. The DVD and Blu-ray include deleted scenes and featurettes.

The Danish Girl

Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98

Available on VOD Tuesday.

The life of Lili Elbe — one of the first people to undergo male-to-female gender-reassignment surgery, in 1930 — was lightly fictionalized in David Ebershoff's novel and has now been given the staid, Oscar-bait, prestige-picture treatment by director Tom Hooper and screenwriter Lucinda Coxon. Eddie Redmayne plays Lili, who begins to explore her sexual confusion after her wife, Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander), has her model for her as a woman. Hooper and Coxon show a lot of interest in the social and historical details of Lili Elbe's story, but they stumble when it comes to emotional and erotic content, which are handled much more patly. Overall, the film is engaging but shallow. The DVD and Blu-ray tack on one paltry featurette.

James White

Alchemy, $19.99; Blu-ray, $24.99

Borderline Films producer Josh Mond (who helped shepherd that company's art house favorites "Afterschool" and "Martha Marcy May Marlene") makes his feature-directing debut with this outstanding impressionistic look at one self-centered New Yorker trying to look after his cancer-stricken mother (Cynthia Nixon). Christopher Abbott plays the title character, a spoiled, directionless young man whose first impulse is to use his family crisis as an excuse to keep slacking his way through life. The character frequently behaves abominably, yet Mond and Abbott find ways to make him sympathetic, thanks to an immersive approach to storytelling that allows the audience to understand just what this dopey kid is going through. The result is a slice-of-life that's often funny and more often nerve-racking.

And…

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Don Verdean

Lionsgate, $19.98; Blu-ray, $19.99

Legend

Universal, $26.98; Blu-ray, $29.98

Available on VOD Tuesday.

The Night Before

Sony, $26.99; Blu-ray, $34.99

Available on VOD Tuesday.

Pieces

Grindhouse Blu-ray, $44.95

Strike Back: Cinemax Season 4

HBO, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98

Sunshine Superman

Magnolia, $26.98; Blu-ray, $29.98

Youth

20th Century Fox Blu-ray, $39.99

Available now on VOD.

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