Stream These 12 Movies Before They Leave Netflix in April


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Quentin Tarantino followed “Django Unchained” by again riffing on the venerable Western genre, this time by crossing it with the Agatha Christie-style “locked room” mystery. He populates his story, of a poisoning in a tucked-away haberdashery during a deadly blizzard in the post-Civil War West, with faces familiar from his previous films, including Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth and Michael Madsen; they’re joined by an Oscar-nominated Jennifer Jason Leigh, in a particularly foul-mouthed and ill-tempered mood. Tempers flare, blood is shed and vulgarities fly in typical Tarantino fashion, but in its unflinching portraiture of the racial hostilities of a splintered country, the work is by no means exclusive to its period setting. (Also leaving on April 24: the Netflix-exclusive “The Hateful Eight Extended Version,” which adds footage and breaks the film up into four one-hour episodes.)

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James Wan started out directing bone-crunching horror pictures like “Saw,” “Insidious” and “The Conjuring” before going mainstream with “Furious 7,” “Aquaman” and its sequel. Between those two superhero flicks, he directed this gloriously unhinged, go-for-broke horror thriller, in which a young woman (Annabelle Wallis) is haunted by visions of grisly murders — visions that prove to be true, and suggest some sort of a psychic link to the brutal killer. If that sounds slightly peculiar, boy, just you wait. The screenplay by “M3GAN” writer Akela Cooper (with story assists from Wan and Ingrid Bisu) is an admirably unrestrained trip into the genre’s wilder corners, full of inventive kills, bananas story turns and cuckoo supporting characters, all rendered in a baroque, hurdy-gurdy visual style.

Stream it here.

Just in time for its 20th anniversary on April 23, this likably goofy and endlessly charming romantic comedy is, essentially, a gender-swapped remake of the beloved “Big,” this time with Jennifer Garner as a 13-year-old whose birthday wish to be “30 and flirty and thriving” unexpectedly comes true. Garner is warm and endearing, a loose-limbed wonder at capturing the awkward gawkiness of a teen trapped in an ill-fitting body, while recent Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo finds just the right mixture of confusion and sweetness as her childhood friend who’s become quite the babe.

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Fannie Flagg’s best-selling book “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe” got the big-screen treatment in 1991, via director Jon Avnet (“Up Close and Personal”). It tells two stories: Kathy Bates is a housewife who finds escape from her unsatisfying life in the stories a nursing home resident (Jessica Tandy) tells her about her hometown; Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker and Cicely Tyson are among the residents whose yarns she spins. Some of the edges of Flagg’s book have been sanded down to make this cozy sweater of an adaptation, which is regrettable — but as it stands, it’s a lovely film, capably crafted and poignantly played.

Stream ‘Twins’ here and ‘Kindergarten Cop’ here.

Arnold Schwarzenegger may have put on a stone-faced persona for his breakthrough role in “The Terminator,” but there was always a sly sense of humor to his performances in even his most serious action movies. So it wasn’t a huge stretch when he teamed with “Ghostbusters” director Ivan Reitman to make his first starring comedy, 1988’s “Twins,” alongside Danny DeVito — a broad and sometimes obvious high-concept giggle-fest that is carried considerably by the charisma and chemistry of its leads. It was such a big hit that Schwarzenegger and Reitman re-teamed two years later for “Kindergarten Cop,” which found the star pointedly sending up his own tough-guy image as a bruiser of a big-city cop who goes undercover in a suburban grade school.

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