What to stream: ‘A Quiet Passion’ and ‘Certain Women’ on VOD, ‘Lion’ on Netflix, and more ‘Mr. Robot’ on Amazon

Cynthia Nixon and Jennifer Ehle in a film by Terence Davies.

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

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

It is a big week for VOD debuts big and small, and few are bigger than The Fate of the Furious, the eighth film in the car caper franchise with Vin Diesel going rogue with hacker Charlize Theron and the rest of the cast (including Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, and former villain Jason Statham) banding together to stop them. Also back are Kurt Russell, still smiling as the covert agent who likes to play without a rule book, and Helen Mirren in an uncredited cameo (PG-13). There’s also a longer, unrated “Director’s Cut” available. Also on DVD and Blu-ray.

More grown-up is A Quiet Passion starring Cynthia Nixon in a touching performance as Emily Dickinson (PG-13) and Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women starring Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, and Kristen Stewart in three stories of small-town lives (R).

For younger audiences is the animated Smurfs: The Lost Village, also on DVD and Blu-ray and at Redbox (PG).

Also new:

  • Norman starring Richard Gere as a would-be New York power broker (R)
  • British World War II dramedy Their Finest with Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy (R
  • direct-to-VOD action reboot The Saint with Adam Rayner and Eliza Dushku (plus a cameo by Sir Roger Moore) (not rated)
  • Hirokazu Kore-eda’s family drama After the Storm from Japan (not rated, with subtitles)
  • German comedy Not My Day with Moritz Bleibtreu.
  • animated comedy Spark: A Space Tail (PG)

Available same day as select theaters nationwide are the romantic drama Blind with Alec Baldwin and Demi Moore and family adventure Swallows & Amazons with Kelly Macdonald (both not rated).

Netflix

Lion (2016), based on a true story, stars Dev Patel as a lost boy in Calcutta adopted by Australian parents (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham) who, years later, uses Google Maps to locate his lost family in India. It was nominated for six Academy Awards (PG-13).

Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Fred Savage, and Kate McKinnon are the Friends from College who reconnect years after graduation in the new Netflix original half-hour comedy (8 episodes).

Lily Collins is a young woman struggling with anorexia in To the Bone (2017), co-starring Keanu Reeves as the unconventional doctor who helps her (not rated). The feature directing debut of longtime TV writer and producer Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, UnREAL) debuted at Sundance and comes directly to Netflix.

More streaming movies:

  • high school comedy Speech & Debate (2017, PG-13)
  • crime comedy Take Me (2017) with Taylor Schilling (not rated)
  • foul-mouthed comedy sequel Bad Santa 2 (2016) with Billy Bob Thornton (R)
  • Werner Herzog’s eco-thriller Salt and Fire (2016) with Michael Shannon (not rated)
  • indie drama A Woman, a Part (2016) with Maggie Siff (not rated)
  • comedy Butter (2011) with Jennifer Garner and Ty Burrell (R)

True stories: Chasing Coral (2017) documents the vanishing coral reefs around the world (not rated) and My Scientology Movie (2015) charts filmmaker Louis Theroux’s efforts to investigate the secretive Church of Scientology (not rated).

Kid stuff: Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile is a special episode of the stop-motion animation series about a canine trucker.

Stand-up: Gabriel Iglesias Presents The Gentleman Jerry Rocha

Amazon Prime

Mr. Robot: Season 2 ups the ante of the mind-bending cyber thriller by delving further into the schizophrenic mind of vigilante hacker Elliot (Rami Malek) as he struggles to sort the real from the imagined. It is still one of the best shows on TV and arrives on Amazon months before the third season debuts on USA.

Abigail Breslin is Baby in the TV musical remake of the summer camp romance Dirty Dancing (2017, not rated).

Cult Italian horror fabulist Dario Argento had his only American hit with Suspiria (Italy, 1977), a stylish, surreal piece of Grand Guignol weirdness with Jessica Harper as a ballet student in a dance academy run by a coven of witches (PG-13).

From Germany comes the steampunk Nazi farce Iron Sky (2012), about a new invasion from a Nazi colony hidden on the far side of the moon since the end of World War II (R, in English and German with subtitles).

True stories: Being Evel (2015) profiles the life and legacy of legendary daredevil Robert “Evel” Knievel (not rated).

Streaming TV: Republic of Doyle: Season 1 (2010) is a Canadian crime series about an easy-going private detective working with his father in Newfoundland.

Hulu

Our Kind of Traitor (2016), based on a John Le Carre novel, stars Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris as civilians tangled in a British intelligence operation to help a Russian mob account defect (R). Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

The satirical C.S.A. The Confederate States of America (2004) uses the mockumentary format to imagine an alternate reality where the South won the Civil War and kept slavery alive through to the 21st century (PG-13).

Also new:

True stories: Under the Gun (2016), produced and narrated by Katie Couris, takes on the issues surrounding gun violence and gun control (not rated)

HBO Now

Andy Samberg stars in both the boy band comedy Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016, R) and the pro cycling mockumentary Tour De Pharmacy (not rated).

All four episodes of the documentary The Defiant Ones, about the musical partnership between Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, are now available on HBO Now and On Demand.

It may be summer but winter is coming this weekend: Sunday night sees the return of Game of Thrones for its seventh season.

BritBox

A relatively new service in the streaming spectrum, BritBox specializes in classic and contemporary British television. This week it presents the stateside debut of the acclaimed BBC feature drama NW (2016), based on the novel by Zadie Smith about two friends in a NW London housing estate (not rated).

FilmStruck / Criterion Channel

FilmStruck adds films by Robert Altman, including his feature debut The Delinquints (1957), his 70s take on the PI genre The Long Goodbye (1973) with Elliot Gould, and his late career comeback The Player (1992), and a collection of early Otto Preminger films including the film noir classics Laura (1944) and Fallen Angel (1945) and the post-war melodrama Daisy Kenyon with Joan Crawford and Henry Fonda, 1947).

Also new are Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Accottone, 1961, and Mamma Roma, 1962, with Anna Magnani (not rated, with subtitles).

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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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