This Week’s New Releases Include “12 Strong,” “Peter Rabbit,” and More

It seems unbelievable, but May is upon us. While we can’t do anything about the rapid passing of time, we can in fact point out that with the arrival of another month comes some truly solid new releases. Among the great offerings this time out are a stirring war drama based on actual events, a charming CGI adventure that will leave you hopping with excitement, a chiller based on the infamous Winchester Mystery House, and so much more. Let’s see what new DVDs and Blu-rays this first week in May has in store for you!

12 Strong

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Captain Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth) led a contingent of 12 Green Berets to Uzbekistan, where they’d partner with Uzbeki forces to invade Afghanistan and claim Mazar-al-Sharif from the Taliban. All of their training, however, hadn’t prepared them for the brutal terrain that foiled armies for centuries–or the fact that they’d have to move their ordinance on horseback. Stirring combat story also stars Michael Shannon, Michael Pena, Trevante Rhodes.

Peter Rabbit

Beatrix Potter’s mischievous bunny is brought to life in this fun-filled blend of live action and CG animation. When Londoner Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) inherited his late uncle’s home in a sleepy English village, he had no idea he was about to engage in a battle of wills with Peter Rabbit (voiced by James Corden), who has a particular fondness for pillaging the house’s vegetable garden. Rose Byrne and Sam Neill co-star; also features the voices of Margot Robbie, Daisy Ridley, Elizabeth Debicki.


In 1906, grieving psychiatrist Eric Price (Jason Clarke) was tasked with evaluating the sanity of munitions maker matriarch Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren), who had credited the ghosts of rifle victims with spurring the unending construction on her sprawling San Jose manse. As the doctor settled into his investigation, however, he found unholy evidence that it wasn’t mere mania tormenting his subject. Fact-inspired chiller from the Spierig Brothers co-stars Sarah Snook, Angus Sampson, Eamon Farren.

In the Fade

A Hamburg housewife (Diane Kruger) had a happy life with her husband (Numan Acar), a Turkish-born Kurd and ex-con turned accountant–until a bomb sent to his storefront claimed his life as well as their young son’s. After facing her in-laws’ anger, her parents’ indifference, and the apathy of a system that saw the neo-Nazis charged with the crime acquitted, she set out in a dangerous search for her own measure of justice. Denis Moschitto, Johannes Krisch co-star.

Mary and the Witch’s Flower

Miserable after having to move to her great-aunt’s remote country home, young Mary (voiced by Ruby Barnhill) stumbles upon a rare flower said to have mystic properties–and an antique broom. When joined, the enchanted objects fly her to the cloud-couched witching school run by Madame Mumblechook (Kate Winslet) and Doctor Dee (Jim Broadbent)…and perhaps into peril. Enchanting anime rendition of Mary Stewart’s “The Little Broomstick” also features the voices of Ewen Bremner, Morwenna Banks.


The ways in which people deal with various forms of loss, and the objects that link them to the past, are explored in this unusual and affecting drama. Among the loosely connected characters coping with their respective tragedies are a widower (Bruce Dern) who’s reluctant to let go of his possessions, a woman (Ellen Burstyn) who cherishes a valuable autographed baseball that belonged to her late husband, and a sports memorabilia dealer (Jon Hamm) and his sister (Catherine Keener). With John Ortiz.

The Insult

On the sidewalks of Beirut, a terse but otherwise unremarkable exchange between a nationalist Christian mechanic (Adel Karam) and a displaced Palestinian construction foreman (Kamel El Basha) leads to fighting words and punches thrown…and the court case that follows becomes the cause célèbre for the volatile factions of a divided society. Challenging drama from co-writer/director Ziad Doueiri (”The Attack”) co-stars Rita Hayek, Camille Salameh, Diamand Bou Abboud.

Please Stand By

Her “Star Trek” movie spec script completed, young autistic woman Wendy (Dakota Fanning) plans to submit it to an upcoming screenwriting contest. Realizing there’s no time to mail it, Wendy decides to boldly go to Los Angeles to deliver it in person, embarking on an impromptu and eventful road trip while her panicked caregiver (Toni Collette) and sister (Alice Eve) frantically search for her. River Alexander, Marla Gibbs, and Patton Oswalt co-star in this quirky blend of comedy and drama.