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The week ahead: 'Divergent,' 'Need for Speed,' 'Palo Alto' and more

Shailene Woodley and Theo James star in the post-apocalyptic thriller "Divergent." Aaron Paul is a race-car driver on the run in "Need for Speed." Emma Roberts and James Franco star as a high-school student and her soccer coach who have an affair in "Palo Alto." Those are among the movies that premiere on demand from Aug. 4 to Aug. 10, 2014. (Check with your cable or satellite provider for a lineup of on-demand channels on your system.)

"Divergent"
"Divergent"Summit Entertainment

Here is a list of those movies and their on-demand premiere dates:

Aug. 5, 2014: “Divergent” (Same day as DVD), Rated PG-13.

"Divergent" is a thrilling action-adventure film set in a world where people are divided into distinct factions based on human virtues. Tris Prior (played by Shailene Woodley) is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy by a faction leader (played by Kate Winslet) to destroy all Divergents, Tris must learn to trust in the mysterious Four (played by Theo James) and together they must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it's too late. Based on the best-selling book series by Veronica Roth.

For more info: "Divergent" website

Aug. 5, 2014: “Need for Speed” (Same day as DVD; available in 3-D), Rated PG-13.

In the action film “Need for Speed” (which is based on the video game of the same title), Aaron Paul plays Tobey Marshall, a street racer who was framed by a wealthy business associate. Fresh from prison, Tobey joins a cross-country race with revenge in mind. His ex-partner, who learns about the plan, places a massive bounty on his head as the race begins.

For more info: "Need for Speed" website

Aug. 5, 2014: "Palo Alto" (Weeks before DVD, Netflix and Redbox releases), Rated R.

The movie drama “Palo Alto” (directed by Gia Coppola) focuses on a group of high-school teens as they navigate their love lives and engage in risk-taking shenanigans. Shy, sensitive April (played by Emma Roberts) is the class virgin, torn between an illicit flirtation with her soccer coach Mr. B (played by James Franco) and an unrequited crush on sweet stoner Teddy (played by Jack Kilmer). Meanwhile, Emily (played by Zoe Levin), meanwhile, offers sexual favors to every boy to cross her path — including both Teddy and his best friend Fred (played by Nat Wolff), a live wire without filters or boundaries. As one high school party bleeds into the next — and April and Teddy struggle to admit their mutual affection — Fred's escalating recklessness starts to spiral into chaos. An unflinching portrait of adolescent lust, boredom, and self-destruction.

For more info: "Palo Alto" website

Aug. 5, 2014: "God's Not Dead" (Same day as DVD), Rated PG.

"God's Not Dead" is a feature film about college student Josh Wheaton (played by Shane Harper) whose faith is challenged by his philosophy professor Mr. Radisson (played by Kevin Sorbo), who believes God does not exist. It revolves around the lives of several individuals who are also challenged by a world that believes God doesn't exist. Also starring David A.R. White, Dean Cain and the Newsboys.

For more info: "God's Not Dead" website

Aug. 5, 2014: "Oculus" (Same day as DVD; months before Netflix release), Rated R.

In the horror movie "Oculus," siblings Kaylie Russell (played by Karen Gillan) and Tim Russell (played Brenton Thwaites) are haunted by a tragedy from their past: Several years earlier, when Tim was a child, he was found guilty of the brutal murder of their father, Alan (played by Rory Cochrane). After Tim gets out of a psychiatric institution, he goes to live with Kaylie, who is convinced that a big, ornate mirror in the family home was responsible for the murder — and she is determined to prove it.

For more info: "Oculus" website

Aug. 5, 2014: "Miss Lovely"

Set in the lower depths of Bombay’s C-grade film industry in the mid-1980s, "Miss Lovely" follows brothers Sonu and Vicky as they take risks to finance a new mainstream film for Vicky’s new muse. Featuring a wild soundtrack and lurid art direction, this gut-wrenching melodrama takes the brothers through a sordid world of illegal trafficking, sex parties, police corruption, and crime, telling a devastating story of doomed love and betrayal.

For more info: "Miss Lovely" website

Aug. 5, 2014: “Coherence”

On the night of an astronomical anomaly, eight friends at a dinner party experience a troubling chain of reality bending events. Part cerebral sci-fi and part relationship drama, “Coherence” is a tightly focused, intimately shot film that quickly ratchets up with tension and mystery. Starring Emily Foxler, Nicholas Brendon, Lorene Scafaria, Maury Sterling, Elizabeth Gracen, Lauren Maher, Hugo Armstrong and Alex Manugian.

For more info: "Coherence" website

Aug. 8, 2014: "The Maid's Room" (Same day as theatrical release)

Set entirely on the posh East End of Long Island (where it was filmed), "The Maid's Room" centers around Drina, an attractive, intelligent immigrant who takes a job for the season as live-in maid to the Crawfords, a privileged New York family who maintain a splendid home in the Hamptons. The job could be worse, since Mr. and Mrs. Crawford spend most of their time in the city, but their teenage son, Brandon, who is starting Princeton in the fall, is summering at the beach, and Drina must look after him and his spoiled friends. Since the maid’s room is next to the garage, Drina can’t help noticing when Brandon returns late one night, noisily and obviously drunk. The next day, she sees that Brandon's car is battered and bloodied and, when she reads in the local paper that there has been a fatal hit and run, it's clear who's responsible. Knowing the Crawford’s will do anything to protect their precious son, Drina realizes that, for once, she has some power over her employers. Though the situation is intoxicating, it also places her in far more danger than she imagines. Starring Paula Garcés, Bill Camp, Annabella Sciorra and Philip Ettinger.

For more info: "The Maid's Room" website

Aug. 8, 2014: “At the Devil’s Door” (Before theatrical release)

When ambitious young real estate agent Leigh (played by Catalina Sandino Moreno) is asked to sell a house with a checkered past, she crosses paths with a disturbed girl whom she learns is the runaway daughter of the couple selling the property. When Leigh tries to intervene and help her, she becomes entangled with a supernatural force that soon pulls Leigh's artist sister Vera (played by Naya Rivera) into its web — and has sinister plans for both of them.

For more info: "At the Devil's Door" website

Aug. 8, 2014: “About Alex” (Same day as theatrical release), Rated R.

"About Alex" is the story of seven college friends who reunite over a three-day weekend after one of them attempts suicide. Reminiscent of Lawrence Kasdan’s generation-defining "The Big Chill," the film explores a a group of friends' attempt to grapple with questions of intimacy, identity, and friendship, while simultaneously updating their Facebook profiles. When the friends get together to keep an eye on Alex, the weekend that ensues will renew old crushes and resentments, shine light on bad decisions, and ultimately push friendships and relationships to the brink as the group tries to speculate when the simple life of their college years turned so muddy and complex. Starring Jason Ritter, Aubrey Plaza, Nate Parker, Maggie Grace, Max Greenfield, Max Minghella and Jane Levy.

For more info: "About Alex" website