What to stream: Walter Hill’s ‘The Assignment’ and Oscar-winner ‘The Salesman’ on Amazon Prime

Taraneh Alidoosti and Shahab Hosseini star in Asghar Farhadi's Oscar-winning drama

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime Anytime, FilmStruck, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …

Amazon Prime

Walter Hill’s The Assignment (2017), starring Michelle Rodriguez as a hitman who undergoes involuntary sexual reassignment surgery by a vengeful doctor (Sigourney Weaver), barely received a theatrical release thanks to controversy over the subject matter. It’s actually an interesting twist on the action thriller with terrific performances and an unexpected angle on the idea of identity. Tony Shalhoub co-stars (R).

Asghar Farhadi’s Iranian drama The Salesman (2016), which won the Oscar for foreign language feature, explores a provocative story of violence, trauma, and vengeance around a stage production of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” (PG-13, with subtitles). It was originally scheduled to debut in June but was delayed a month.

A retired business mogul (Shirley MacLaine) hires a journalist (Amanda Seyfried) to write her obituary in advance in the comedy The Last Word (2017, R).

Also new: Oscar-winner Cold Mountain (2003) with Nicole Kidman and Renée Zellweger (R), baseball romance Bull Durham (1988) with Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon (R), and classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) with Audrey Hepburn (not rated).

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Jessica Chastain is The Zookeeper’s Wife in the drama based on the true story of Warsaw zookeepers who helped over 200 Jewish Poles escape the Nazis during the German occupation (PG-13). Also on DVD and Blu-ray and at Redbox.

Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, and Natalie Portman star in Song to Song, Terrence Malick’s scattered romance set against the Austin music scene (R), and the documentary Man in the Camo Jacket looks at musician Mike Peter’s battle with cancer (not rated).

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is the comedy Austin Found with Linda Cardellini as a struggling mother who puts her family in the lens of the media (not rated).

Netflix

James Cameron’s romantic epic Titanic (1997) with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet won 11 Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best Director) and was the biggest moneymaker of all time on its release (PG-13). Also new are comedies Best in Show (2000) from Christopher Guest and friends (PG-13) and Delicatessen (1991) from France (R) and family-friendly classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982, PG).

From Australia comes the compelling TV miniseries Deep Water (2016), a crime drama with Yael Stone (of “Orange is the New Black”) and Noah Taylor as Sydney police detectives uncovering a history of hate crimes buried by the cops for 20 years. Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

Netflix debuts two new shows: young comedian showcase The Standups and animated Castlevania inspired by the classic video game.

More streaming TV: CBS crime dramas NCIS: Season 14, Criminal Minds: Season 12, Blue Bloods: Season 7, and Hawaii Five-0: Season 7, CW supernatural shows iZombie: Season 3 and The Originals: Season 4, BET romantic drama Being Mary Jane: Season 4, and Australian series Offspring: Season 6.

Kid stuff: teen and tween drama Degrassi: Next Class: Season 4 and animated shows Dawn of the Croods: Season 4 and Luna Petunia: Season 2, plus animated feature Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008, PG).

True stories: Vegas Baby (2016) looks at in vitro fertilization and the Las Vegas doctor who runs a contest that offer free treatment on one couple as the top price (not rated).

Amazon Prime / Hulu

Brad Pitt is born old and grows younger through the years in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), David Fincher’s film of the F. Scott Fitzgerald story (PG-13) (Amazon Prime and Hulu). Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

Nerve (2016) stars Emma Roberts and Dave Franco as high school kids in an addictive game of increasingly dangerous challenges (PG-13) (Amazon Prime and Hulu).

Rachel McAdams, Tim Robbins, and Michael Peña star in The Lucky Ones (2008), a road movie about American soldiers back from service in Iraq (R) (Amazon Prime and Hulu).

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) (Amazon Prime and Hulu) and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) (Amazon Prime and Hulu) are among the nine films featuring the casts of the original series and The Next Generation (all PG). Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

Back on planet Earth we have the westerns The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1967) with Clint Eastwood (R) (Amazon Prime and Hulu) and Johnny Guitar (1954) with Joan Crawford (not rated) (Amazon Prime and Hulu).

Hulu

David Gordon Green’s Prince Avalanche (2013) is a modest, warm-hearted tale of two mismatched guys (Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch) on a rural road crew on winding forest roads in 1988 Central Texas (R).

Foreign affairs: Jet Li stars in the martial arts fantasy The Sorcerer and the White Snake (2011) from Hong Kong (not rated, with subtitles).

Streaming TV: from Canada comes the Pure: Season 1, a thriller set in a Mennonite community overrun with drugs and crime. Six episodes.

Also new this month: the political thriller Syriana (2005) with George Clooney and Matt Damon (R), Ang Lee’s Jane Austen adaptation Sense and Sensibility (1995) with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet (PG), cult science fiction thriller Dark City (1998) with Rufus Sewell and Jennifer Connelly (R), and the western melodrama The Furies (1950) with Barbara Stanwyck (not rated).

HBO Now

Ruth Negga earned an Oscar nomination playing Mildred Loving (opposite Joel Edgerton) in Loving (2016), a sensitive and moving dramatic portrait of the couple whose interracial marriage in segregated Virginia began a legal battle that went to the Supreme Court (PG-13). Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

The Words That Built America (2017), narrated by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough, presents the words of our founding fathers (not rated).

Also new: horror film The Other Side of the Door (2016, R), Tom Cruise in Minority Report” (2002, PG-13) and Mission: Impossible II (2000, PG-13), and superhero films The Dark Knight (2008, PG-13) and Watchmen (2009, R).

Showtime

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is disillusioned idealist Edward Snowden in Snowden, Oliver Stone’s drama about the NSA whistleblower who leaked thousands of classified documents revealing illegal government surveillance (R). Reviewed on Stream On Demand.

Also new for July: the claustrophobic horror thriller The Descent (2006, R) and the heady and imaginative Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) with Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet (R).

Stand-up: Erik Griffin: The Ugly Truth.

FilmStruck / Criterion Channel

FilmStruck adds colonial adventure classics The Four Feathers (1939, not rated) with Ralph Richardson, Gunga Din (1939) with Cary Grant and Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and The Wind and the Lion (1975) with Sean Connery (PG), and British crime thriller They Made Me a Fugitive (1947) with Trevor Howard (not rated).

New on Criterion Channel are George Cukor’s crime melodrama A Woman’s Face (1941) with Joan Crawford and John Frankenheimer’s jagged Seconds with Rock Hudson, (both not rated), part of a special “Changing Faces” collection, and Andrew Haigh’s romantic drama Weekend (2011) from Britain (not rated).

AcornTV

The first two episodes of the third series of the Australian legal drama Janet King are now available, with new episodes arriving each Monday.

Also new: Helen West is a three-part British mini-series starring Amanda Burton as a crown prosecutor.

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About Sean Axmaker

Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. He writes the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website, and his work appears in Vulture, Turner Classic Movies online, Keyframe, and Parallax View.

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