New movies to stream this week: ‘McEnroe’ and more


McEnroe” looks at the life and career of John McEnroe, the 63-year-old tennis great as famous for his athletic achievements as for the bursts of temper and bad behavior that led to him being dubbed “superbrat” by the British press at the age of 20. Structured around interviews with the film’s now-gray-haired subject — seemingly mellowed by age, self-described therapy and introspection — the film by Barney Douglas (known for the cricket documentaries “Warriors” and “The Edge”) is supplemented by plenty of archival match footage, including from the famous 1980 showdown between McEnroe and Björn Borg at that year’s Wimbledon final (entertainingly dramatized in the film “Borg vs. McEnroe”). And of course there are talking heads: Borg himself appears, along with tennis player Billie Jean King, two of McEnroe’s children and his father, John McEnroe Sr. (Rocker Chrissie Hynde appears only by voice, reminiscing about her friendship with McEnroe, based, as she recalls it, on her ready supply of marijuana). The film fails to directly — or at least succinctly — answer the question it proposes: What is greatness? Nevertheless, it’s a lively, informative and thought-provoking film, intercut with such artsy touches as shots of McEnroe walking along dark city streets, presumably meant to convey his troubled psyche, and scenes in which he stops to pick up the receiver of a pay phone, only to hear the sound of his own voice. TV-MA. Available on Showtime. Contains coarse language and drug references. 104 minutes.

The documentary “Blind Ambition” follows four Zimbabwean refugees in South Africa who discovered, after landing jobs in restaurants, that they each had a gift for wine tasting and, in 2017, entered the World Blind Wine Tasting Championships in France as Team Zimbabwe in exile. According to the Guardian, it is “impossible not to smile along with this feelgood documentary.” Unrated. Available on demand. 96 minutes.

In the World War II thriller “Burial,” Charlotte Vega (“The Bookshop”) and Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films) play Russian soldiers: an intelligence officer and a member of her fictional squad, who, as the war winds down, have been tasked with delivering the remains of Adolf Hitler to Stalin in a crate. Along the way, they are beset by German “werewolf” partisans. Unrated. Available on demand. 95 minutes.

Noted English explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes — also known as the cousin of actors Ralph Fiennes and Joseph Fiennes — is the subject of “Explorer,” a documentary that celebrates, among Fiennes’s achievements, the circumnavigation of the world, from pole to pole, from 1979 to 1982. Unrated. Available on demand. 140 minutes.

The documentary “Kaepernick & America” looks at former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the legacy of his decision, in 2016, to make a statement about racism in America by remaining seated on the bench during the national anthem and, later, by kneeling alongside his teammates. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the “earnest” efforts of directors Ross Hockrow and Tommy Walker “might turn off viewers already attuned to the cycles of America’s racial amnesia, but the doc works as a primer for the uninitiated.” Unrated. Available on Amazon, iTunes and other on demand platforms. 82 minutes.

After her fiance breaks up with her during what was meant to be a romantic European vacation together, an American woman (Kat Graham) checks into an Italian villa by herself, only to discover that it has accidentally been double-booked, in the rom-com “Love in the Villa.” Sparks fly between her and the snooty Englishman (Tom Hopper) she reluctantly agrees to share lodging with, and then — could it be? — love blossoms. TV-14. Available on Netflix. 115 minutes.

In the crime thriller “One Way,” Colson Baker (a.k.a. musician Machine Gun Kelly) plays Freddy, a petty thief who has robbed a Mexican drug lord (Drea de Matteo). On the lam with a one-way bus ticket, and in need of a blood transfusion from a serious gunshot wound, Freddy arranges by phone for the assistance of his father (Kevin Bacon) in getting the money to his family. Storm Reid also stars as a fellow bus passenger. R. Available on demand. Contains pervasive crude language, violence and drug use. 96 minutes.

The thriller “Wire Room” stars Bruce Willis as Shane Mueller, a Homeland Security agent in charge of a high-tech surveillance center, and Kevin Dillon as Justin Rosa, his recruit. When an operation monitoring an arms smuggler goes awry, Mueller and Rosa must make a stand against corrupt agents and officials who want to destroy evidence and kill them both. R. Contains strong violence and pervasive language. 97 minutes.

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