Here are some interesting new releases available now on cable and digital VOD as well as a title currently available for streaming.
Video on Demand
"The Way Back": Director Gavin O'Connor has made several films outside this lane but is at his best when carving out a niche for himself with sports dramas. He covered Olympic ice hockey in 2004's "Miracle" and MMA fighters in 2011's "Warrior, and has taken on high school basketball with his latest effort. Make no mistake, this is not your average feel-good genre tale. Ben Affleck stars as Jack Cunningham, a broken man in every respect. He is separated from his wife, working a construction job and, more than anything else, drinking himself into a stupor every night. The reasons for this come into focus fairly late in our story, but we do learn pretty early on that he was a star basketball player when he was young. Just as he is hitting rock bottom, he is contacted by his alma mater, the Catholic high school he once helped get to the state playoffs as a player. They need a new coach. He needs to start over. Could this be the beginning of a fresh start? In a lesser film, that would undoubtedly happen and everything would be tied up with a pretty little bow before the final credits roll. With this gritty script by Brad Ingelsby ("Out of the Furnace"), things turn rather grim before they even start to look like they'll possibly get better. As a coach, leading a new team brings him back to life, slowly, and his passion for the game helps lift up the players who had been fairly resigned to losing for years. There may not end up being a whole lot of competition, but Affleck could turn up in the best actor conversations this year before the dust settles on the film industry's disrupted release schedule. This is the best performance he has given in the better part of a decade aside from "Argo." The casting of the supporting actors is shockingly perfect, especially Al Madrigal (former correspondent on "The Daily Show") and comedian Michaela Watkins ("Sword of Trust"), who are unexpectedly terrific choices for such a serious film. (Cable and digital VOD, 4K Ultra HD available)
Also on streaming services
"Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind": Decades after her tragic death in a boating accident, the sudden passing of actress Natalie Wood in 1981 has long been the subject of conspiracy theories. I wouldn't call this an incredibly objective documentary as her family members are producers on it and telling their story, but it provides a rare glimpse into her life, career and long-lasting impact on the children who lost their mother far too early. (HBO Max)