— Michael O'Sullivan
Saul Williams (“Slam”) stars as a man raised amid violence that he has long struggled to escape in the crime thriller “Akilla’s Escape.” Williams plays the manager of a cannabis dispensary who is drawn into a world of violent gangs when his dispensary is robbed, in a drama that jumps between 1995 New York and 2020 Toronto. Variety call the film a “mature crime picture whose decades-hopping action makes the effects of generational poverty obvious without having to spell it out.” Unrated. Available on various streaming platforms. 90 minutes.
A pandemic of near-universal insomnia follows in the wake of a mysterious catastrophe that also seems to have caused the global failure of all electronic devices in the thriller “Awake.” Gina Rodriguez plays the mother of a child (Ariana Greenblatt) whose unexplained ability to sleep may hold the solution. TV-MA. Available on Netflix. 97 minutes.
Writer-director Nicole Riegel’s drama “Holler” stars Jessica Barden (“The Lobster”) as Ruth, an Ohio teen who dreams of escaping her dead-end town by joining a dangerous and illegal scrap metal crew to pay for college. According to Variety, “The director has a secret weapon in Barden, who makes Ruth’s story relatable, even to those who’ve been fortunate enough to avoid such hardship.” R. Available on various streaming platforms. contains coarse language and sexual references. 90 minutes.
In the action thriller “Rogue Hostage,” Tyrese Gibson plays a former Marine with post-traumatic stress disorder whose skill set is called upon when he is trapped inside a grocery store with his daughter (Zani Jones Mbayise) and stepfather (John Malkovich) by terrorists who are holding customers hostage. Unrated. Available on various streaming platforms. 87 minutes.