This week you can catch up with the button-pushing antics of Sacha Baron Cohen in "The Dictator," watch Rihanna shoot a big gun at some aliens in "Battleship," or, if you're feeling sporty, check out the fantastic ESPN "30 for 30" films on Netflix. There are also some choice indies available, such as "Under African Skies." Need a bigger boat? Stay out of the water and watch "Jaws" from the safety of your couch.
Sacha Baron Cohen returns with his shock-and-awe brand of comedy as he plays Admiral General Aladeen, the dictator of a fictional republic who travels to America to address the U.N. Once he arrives in New York City, he's kidnapped, and after an assassination attempt, he escapes and goes into hiding while plotting to retake his dictatorship. He's exposed to more liberal ways of thinking, thanks to a cute young activist played by Anna Faris, but he can't quite shake his misogynistic, anti-Semitic ways.
Why Stream It: Cohen continues to find ways to make the appalling into some form of comedy.
Available On: iTunes, Amazon Instant (On Demand Aug. 21)
It may not have been the box office juggernaut Hasbro had hoped for, but now you can check out one of the most unlikely movie adaptations of a board game come to life in your own home (and much cheaper than at the theaters). Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna and Brooklyn Decker star as soldiers fighting off alien invaders.
Why Stream It: Rihanna as a smokin’ hot Gunner’s Mate (that’s all we got).
One of the big hits at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, "Bachelorette" stars Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher and Lizzy Caplan as friends who are asked to be bridesmaids in a wedding for their old "friend" Becky (Rebel Wilson), who has no idea they made fun of her in high school. Some serious boozing and drugging leads to an accident that sends them scurrying around the city on an all-night adventure.
Available On: Cable On Demand
Documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger (the "Paradise Lost" trilogy) travels to South Africa with Paul Simon 25 years after Simon's landmark album "Graceland." Simon reconnects with the musicians he made the album with, and he addresses accusations that he broke the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime.
Why Stream It: Simon fans will love the music, but there are also important political issues being explored.
Available On: Hulu (free)
In this wacky coming-of-age story, a young man named Ellis (Graham Phillips) is getting ready to leave his cozy Tuscon nest to attend a boarding school on the East Coast. Besides preparing to leave a hippie farm life for prep school, he's got to steel himself for leaving his mom (Vera Farmiga) and her boyfriend lovingly named Goat Man (David Duchovny).
Why Watch It: It has a great ensemble cast, and Duchovny gets to show off his comedic talents.
Available On: Cable On Demand
Ever wanted to be a superhero growing up as a kid? Well what if you grew up thinking you really are one? This documentary looks at a group of everyday folks (teachers, security guards, stay-at-home dads) who don homemade outfits to fight for justice as “real superheroes.”
Why Stream It: It's equal parts funny and sad, and the subculture is almost too strange to believe.
Available On: iTunes, HBO Go
The excellent documentary series that recaps some of the biggest stories and themes in sports from ESPN’s 30 year existence is now on Netflix. This includes docs about the L.A. Raiders’ influence on hip-hop culture (Ice Cube's "Straight Outta L.A."), the troubled youth of Allen Iverson ("No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson") and the controversial college football powerhouse of the '80s, the University of Miami ("The U").
Why Stream It: Some of the best documentary filmmakers matched with the most memorable sporting moments leads to incredible movies.
Available On: Netflix
New to Netflix, this inspiring story led to an Oscar nomination for Nick Nolte as he plays the gruff father of two sons: one a Marine (Tom Hardy) who needs his help to train for his entrance into a mixed martial arts tournament, the other a high school science teacher (Joel Edgerton) who fights in the tournament to help his financially strapped family.
Why Stream It: A surprise critical darling last year because of its "Rocky"-like storyline.
OLDIES BUT GOODIES
What better film to watch over the summer than the one that made us scared to go back in the water? In celebration of the restored Blu-ray release this week, you can now stream Steven Spielberg’s classic and scare a new generation.
Three years after making his classic crime thriller "The Professional," French director Luc Besson unleashed this epic sci-fi story that he’d been writing since age 16. It follows the adventures of a cab driver (Bruce Willis) who finds himself in the middle of a search for the perfect weapon (in the form of the lovely Milla Jovovich) and a fight between good and evil for its ownership.
Available On: YouTube (free)