For the second week in a row, “The Equalizer” was at No. 1 for movies on demand from Jan. 5 to Jan. 11, 2015, according to Rentrak. In “The Equalizer,” Denzel Washington plays McCall, a man who believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when McCall meets Teri (played by Chloë Grace Moretz), a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by; he has to help her. Armed with hidden skills that allow him to serve vengeance against anyone who would brutalize the helpless, McCall comes out of his self-imposed retirement and finds his desire for justice reawakened. If someone has a problem, if the odds are stacked against them, if they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer. “The Equalizer” got mostly negative reviews from critics but it was a big hit with cinema audiences.
“No Good Deed” debuted at No. 2. Terri (played by Taraji P. Henson) is a devoted wife and mother of two, living an ideal suburban life in Atlanta when Colin (played by Idris Elba), a charming but dangerous escaped convict, shows up at her door claiming car trouble. Terri offers her phone to help him but soon learns that no good deed goes unpunished as she finds herself fighting for survival when he invades her home and terrorizes her family. Most critics disliked “No Good Deed,” but the movie was a solid hit in movie theaters.
“Boyhood” debuted at No. 3. Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason’s parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as Mason’s sister Samantha, “Boyhood” charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay’s “Yellow” to Arcade Fire’s “Deep Blue.” “Boyhood” is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. It’s impossible to watch Mason and his family without thinking about our own journey. “Boyhood” was widely praised by critics and was hit in the indie/art-house movie circuit.
“The Maze Runner” dropped from No. 3 to No. 4. When Thomas (played by Dylan O’Brien) wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape. Based upon the best-selling novel by James Dashner. “The Maze Runner” was well-received by critics and movie audiences.
“This Is Where I Leave You” fell from No. 2 to No. 5. When their father passes away, four grown siblings (played by Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Corey Stoll and Adam Driver), bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother (played by Jane Fonda) and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide, driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves. Critics gave “This Is Where I Leave You” mixed reviews, and the movie flopped at the box office.
Also noteworthy: The James Brown biopic “Get on Up” (starring Chadwick Boseman as Brown) debuted at No. 6. The crime thriller “The Guest” (starring Dan Stevens) debuted at No. 9.
Here are the Top 5 movies on demand for the week of Jan. 5 to Jan. 11, 2015:
1. The Equalizer (No. 1 in the previous week)
2. No Good Deed (debut)
3. Boyhood (debut)
4. The Maze Runner (No. 3 in the previous week)
5. This Is Where I Leave You (No. 2 in the previous week)