A compelling French thriller leads new movies on home video this week.
“Moka (Mocha)” (Film Movement, 2017, not rated/probable PG-13, in French with English subtitles, featurette, 2007 short film: “Le Créneau (Parallel Parking),” trailers). Emmanuelle Devos is Diane, a grieving mother with revenge on her mind, who plays detective to track down the hit-and-run driver that killed her teenage son with a mocha-colored car. After narrowing her suspect list to beauty-salon owner Marlène (Nathalie Baye), Diane obtains a gun and ingratiates herself into Marlène’s life.
This slow-boiling character study is being sold as a Hitchcock-like thriller, but think “The Wrong Man” over “North By Northwest" — which doesn’t make it any less gripping. This is a first-rate effort from co-writer/director Frédéric Mermoud, and, for French-film fans, may also call to mind the works of Claude Chabrol.
“Step” (Fox, 2017, PG, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes, music video). Here’s a crowd-pleasing, feel-good documentary for families, about a Baltimore girls’ high school step-dance team in training for a major competition that could pave the way to college for some of them.
“God of War” (Well Go, 2017, not rated/probable R for violence, in Mandarin with English subtitles, featurette, trailer). Veteran martial arts star Sammo Hung is among the cast in this epic yarn about 16th-century China fending off Japanese pirates.
“The Wizard of Lies” (HBO, 2017, not rated/probable R for language, featurettes). Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer are very good, but spending two hours-plus with the very unpleasant high-rolling fraudster Bernie Madoff and his wife is asking a lot.
“Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland” (Lionsgate, 2017, not rated/probable PG-13). Michael Jackson impersonator Navi plays his idol in this lame Lifetime Channel biography.
“The Beguiled” (Universal, 2017, R for sex, featurettes). Filmmaker Sofia Coppola stumbles with this remake of the 1971 Clint Eastwood film about a wounded Union soldier taken in by repressed but conniving Southern belles. Colin Farrell stars with Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning.
“Girls Trip” (Universal, 2017; R for sex, language, nudity, drugs; deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes).
“The House” (Warner, 2017; R for language, sex, drugs, violence, nudity; deleted/extended/alternate scenes, featurette, bloopers). These two films are examples of what passes for comedy today: Four women (including Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith) go nuts on a trip to New Orleans in the smutty “Girls Trip,” while the sleazy “The House” has a couple (Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler) setting up a Vegas-style casino in a suburban home.
“Wish Upon” (Broadgreen, 2017; includes a PG-13 version and one unrated/probable R for violence, featurettes). A teenage girl finds a magic box that grants her wishes, but they come with lethal side effects.
“Cult of Chucky” (Universal, 2017; R for violence, language, sex, drugs; R and unrated versions, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes). This film is No. 7 in the franchise about the devilish (literally) slasher Chucky doll.
“Lady Macbeth” (Lionsgate, 2017; R for violence, sex, nudity, language; featurette, photo gallery). In 19th-century England, a young woman who is forced to marry an older man goes down a dark road during a passionate affair with one of his employees.