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Top Picks: 'Free State of Jones' on DVD, Angel Olsen's 'My Woman,' and more

The documentary 'The 13th' finds acclaimed director Ava DuVernay turning her camera to the American prison system, the Orson Welles Shakespeare film 'Chimes at Midnight' is available on DVD and Blu-ray, and more top picks.

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Powerful fight

Matthew McConaughey stars in the movie Free State of Jones as real-life figure Newton Knight, a Mississippi resident who brought together slaves and others to fight the Confederacy. Our film critic, Peter Rainer, called the film “powerful.” Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mahershala Ali are highlights. It’s available on DVD and Blu-ray. 

Dark angel

Some records pull you in from the very first breath. Before you know it, you’re hanging on every word, every lonely guitar chord, every beat – a willing captive to the artist’s singular vision. Angel Olsen has always had that power and never more so than on her third release, My Woman. She channels the command of Roy Orbison, with a voice rich with hurt and passion. When she sings, “Where you are is where I want to be,” you take a peek out the window, expecting her to pull into the driveway any minute. Start engraving the Grammys.

Examination of race

Director Ava DuVernay received raves for her work on the Martin Luther King Jr. drama “Selma,” and now she’s turning her camera to current events with the documentary The 13th, which looks at race in the United States, examining particularly the American prison system. The film will debut on Netflix on Oct. 7. Viewers should be aware of violent content. 

Great shakespeare

The film that our movie critic, Peter Rainer, found to be “likely the greatest Shakespearean film ever,” Chimes at Midnight, is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. Director Orson Welles stars as Falstaff. The actor “was destined to play Sir John Falstaff ... his usual flagrant theatricality is, this time, at the service of a character infinitely rich in emotional possibilities,” Rainer wrote.

Courtesy of HBO

Neighborhood change

New York’s West Chelsea and the gentrification that is happening there are examined in the documentary Class Divide, which airs on HBO Oct. 3 at
8 p.m. In West Chelsea, public housing is located near a private school, prompting discussion of neighborhood change and economic inequality. It’s directed by Marc Levin.

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