(Ratings for each film begin with a "star'' rating -- one star meaning "poor,'' four meaning "excellent'' -- followed by the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and then by a family-viewing guide, the key for which appears below.)
"Professor Marston and the Wonder Women": After the character Wonder Woman fueled one of the most successful movies of 2017, her creator is profiled in writer-director Angela Robinson's drama. Luke Evans ("Beauty and the Beast'') portrays Harvard psychologist William Moulton Marston, one of the inventors of the lie detector -- and the person who devised the comic-book heroine, a move that brought him considerable criticism. Much of what went into Wonder Woman was inspired by his relationships with his wife (Rebecca Hall) and a woman who was involved with them both (Bella Heathcote). Oliver Platt ("Chicago Med'') and Connie Britton ("Nashville'') also are featured. DVD extras: two "making-of'' documentaries. *** (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Last Flag Flying": Three very notable performers -- Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne -- are teamed as Vietnam War veterans in this seriocomic tale, directed by Richard Linklater ("Boyhood''), who co-adapted it with Darryl Ponicsan ("The Last Detail'') from the latter's novel. The former military men reunite to accompany the casket of the Carell character's Marine son, who is destined for burial in New Hampshire. Along the journey, the men deal with their memories of combat and try to come to terms with their current lives. Cicely Tyson also appears. DVD extras: two "making-of'' documentaries; deleted scenes; outtakes. *** (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Victoria: The Complete Second Season": Jenna Coleman reprises the role of the young monarch in this PBS "Masterpiece'' drama, currently being televised -- and continuing there through the month of February returns as the British queen, which means those who purchase this set upon release can see a number of episodes before they're televised. Now a mother, Victoria deals with others who would have preferred that she had a son, while the Anglo-Afghan War and the Irish potato famine also impact her rule. Meanwhile, Prince Albert (Tom Hughes) is preoccupied with the Industrial Revolution. Diana Rigg joins a cast that also includes Rufus Sewell, Nell Hudson and Ferdinand Kingsley. *** (Not rated: AS)
Also Releasing this Week:
"Thank You for Your Service": A military man, played by Miles Teller ("Whiplash'') in a major dramatic leap forward for him, tries to assimilate back into his daily life in Kansas after his Iraq War duty in writer-director Jason Hall's adaptation of the David Finkel book. The PTSD-afflicted veteran is shaken by another ex-soldier's (Joe Cole) suicide, and he also struggles to deal with the widow (Amy Schumer, impressive in her move into drama) of a fellow platoon member who didn't make it home. Haley Bennett plays Teller's wife, and Beulah Koale ("Hawaii Five-0'') also appears. *** (R: AS, N, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"The Paper Chase: The Final Season": A classic example of how a movie was turned into a television series while retaining the original quality, the Harvard Law School drama reached its natural end here with the graduation of student James T. Hart (played by James Stephens). In this abbreviated fourth and last round, here's still time for him to continue to find a nemesis in imperious professor Charles Kingsfield (the superb John Houseman, continuing and wrapping up his Oscar-winning film role). Also in the cast is Penny Johnson -- now Penny Johnson Jerald -- who made her first stop as a series regular here, before going on to such other projects as "The Larry Sanders Show,'' "24'' and the current "The Orville.'' *** (Not rated: AS, P)
"A Bad Moms Christmas" (Feb. 6): Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn reunite as their characters approach the yuletide in their own rebellious way. (R: AS, P)
"Only the Brave" (Feb. 6): The story of the firefighting unit known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots is dramatized; stars include Josh Brolin, Miles Teller and Jeff Bridges. (PG-13: AS, P)
"Suburbicon" (Feb. 6): A seemingly perfect town becomes the site of murder and surprises in director George Clooney's satire; Matt Damon and (in dual roles) Julianne Moore star. (R: AS, P, V)
"Bosom Buddies: The Complete Series" (Feb. 6): Tom Hanks got his big break in this sitcom, casting him and Peter Scolari as pals who must pose as women to reside in a cost-effective hotel. (Not rated: AS)
"Major Crimes: The Complete Sixth and Final Season" (March 13): Switching to a more serialized format for its concluding round, the "Closer'' spinoff stars Mary McDonnell. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"The Deuce: The Complete First Season" (Feb. 13): James Franco plays dual roles in the HBO drama series about the birth of the pornography business in early-1970s New York. (Not rated: AS, N, P, V)
Oldies But Goodies:
"The Blair Witch Project" (1999): The uniquely styled, trendsetting thriller now is paired with the 2016 sequel "Blair Witch'' in a two-movie set. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Death Race 2000" (1975): In the action movie that started the franchise, David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone play rivals in a lethal road race. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"The Young Victoria" (2009): The queen's (Emily Blunt) early years on the throne and her relationship with Prince Albert (Rupert Friend) are dramatized. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending January 7, 2018, Courtesy of comScore)
1) "American Made"
3) "Kingsman: The Golden Circle"
4) "Despicable Me"
5) "Mountain BetweenUs"
6) "The Hitman's Bodyguard"
7) "Atomic Blonde"
9) "The Lego Ninjago Movie"
10) "American Assassin"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence