Movies Streaming/On Demand This Week: 'The Avengers,' 'Rock of Ages' & More

New this week on the Hollywood side, the monster hit "The Avengers" (honestly, if you haven't seen it yet, you're now officially out of excuses) and we rock out with our abs out in the movie version of the Broadway hit "Rock of Ages."

For indies, the gripping documentary "The Invisible War" is one not to miss, and if you're in the mood for a thrill ride check out "Sleepless Night." You'll thank us later.

NEW RELEASES

'The Avengers'

It's finally time for you to see the biggest hit of the summer… again. The Marvel heroes took time out for their own money-making franchises to combine forces for this thrill ride that has grossed more than a billion dollars worldwide. That's a figure even the Hulk can smile about.

Why Watch It: Joss Whedon manages to pull off a Hollywood event film that appeases the superfan while drawing in the casual ones too.

Available On: iTunes, Cable On Demand, VUDU, Amazon Instant

'Rock of Ages'

Unfortunately, not all the summer films were a hit. Sadly, all the gushing over Tom Cruise's abs and the Alec Baldwin/Russell Brand lovefest didn't put butts in the seats, as this big screen adaptation of the popular '80s-focused musical underperformed in theaters. So what does Warner Bros. do? Release an extended cut, obviously.

Why Watch It: All kidding aside, the film has a rockin' soundtrack, Tom Cruise is unforgettably crazy and staring at Julianne Hough for a few hours isn't a bad thing.

Available On: iTunes, Amazon Instant (Oct. 9)

'The Samaritan'

Samuel L. Jackson plays an ex-con who promises to go on the straight and narrow now that he's out of prison. He's even found a girl, so he thinks his life is pretty set. But, as is the case with most of these kinds of movies, his past comes back to haunt him. Now he has to get through one more job to truly be free.

Why Watch It: Jackson is at his most bad-ass playing a grifter trying to escape the life.

Available On: iTunes, Amazon Instant

'The Giant Mechanical Man'

Janice (Jenna Fischer) is in a slump. She's lost her job and is forced to move in with her sister. As she tries to rebound, she gets a job as a zoo worker where she meets Tim (Chris Messina), who doubles as a street performer when he's not on the clock. These two outcasts soon realize they're meant for each other.

Why Watch It: A very cute story, with a funny supporting role by Topher Grace.

Available On: iTunes, VUDU, Amazon Instant

'Damsels in Distress'

Three years after making "The Last Days of Disco," director Whit Stillman, along with a new group of young actresses headed by Greta Gerwig, examines the things that befuddle him. This time, the setting is on a college campus.

Why Watch It: Current It-Girl Gerwig fits well in Stillman's bizarrely awkward world.

Available On: iTunes, Cable On Demand, VUDU

'The Invisible War'

Winner of this year’s Sundance Audience Award, Kirby Dick's ("This Film Is Not Yet Rated") latest documentary looks at one of the U.S. military's biggest cover-ups: the rape of female soldiers. Currently at a count of half a million women having been assaulted in the military, this gripping film looks at the lives of the victims and how the government has turned its back on them.

Why Watch It: The stories the victims tell should be heard and will be hard to forget.

Available On: iTunes, VUDU

'The Letter'

Following his strange look at a man in search of his lover in "Shadows & Lies," director Jay Anania reteams with James Franco for this equally bizarre thriller. Winona Ryder stars as a playwright who's mentally unraveling thanks to Franco's manipulation.

Why Watch It: Watching Franco being weird is fun, but throwing Ryder in the mix is just too good.

Available On: iTunes, VUDU

'Sleepless Night'

A hit on the festival circuit, this French thriller follows a dirty cop who pisses off some gangsters and has to embark on an ass-kicking search for his kidnapped son.

Why Watch It: You probably haven't seen a smart, action-packed thriller like this all year.

Available On: iTunes, VUDU, Amazon Instant

OLDIES BUT GOODIES

'Traffic'

Based on the popular British TV series on the illegal drug trade (titled "Traffik"), Steven Soderbergh's American version offers a strikingly realistic look at the drug world from the perspective of the government, the police and the dealers. The result shows just how badly we are losing in the war on drugs.

Available On: iTunes, Netflix, VUDU, Amazon Instant, YouTube

'Barbarella'

Pretty much any sexed-up comedic heroine in movies today should pay their respects to Jane Fonda's Barbarella. Her portrayal of the sci-fi hottie opened some eyes when the film came out in 1968, changing the perception of her as the daughter of movie royalty to a chance-taking independent woman.

Available On: iTunes, Netflix, VUDU, Amazon Instant

'Buena Vista Social Club'

Wim Wenders' classic documentary looks at a group of Cuban musicians who after the takeover of Fidel Castro had been silenced. Fifty years later, the group reteams for a magical resurrection that introduces a new generation to one of Cuba's most cherished treasures.

Available On: SnagFilms (free)