Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …
Can a film about sports shoe branding really be the stuff of high drama? Perhaps not exactly high drama but Air (2023, R), about the creation and branding of Nike’s Air Jordan, in undeniably entertaining, thanks to a great cast, smart talk, and understated direction by Ben Affleck directs.
Affleck also costars as Nike founder Phil Knight and he casts his good friend Matt Damon in the lead as Sonny Vaccaro, Nike’s man on the courts. It’s 1984 and Nike is tops with joggers but has no game in the basketball shoe market. So Sonny bets his entire promotions budget on a rookie just drafted into the NBA by the Chicago Bulls. The kid’s name is Michael Jordan and the Vaccaro’s mission is to convince an unimpressed Jordan to snub Adidas and sign with (then) underdog Nike and to talk Nike into backing his gamble.
Nike is very much a boy’s club here (Jason Bateman and Chris Tucker costar as fellow execs and Matthew Maher is the shoe engineer) but the deal all hinges on a woman: Jordan’s mother Deloris, played by Viola Davis with steely warmth, maternal protectiveness, and a savvy understanding of how much the world wants to profit off her son. And Chris Messina is superb as Jordan’s profane, powerful agent, a man ready to bury anyone who crosses him… until the money rolls in, and then it’s all water under the bridge.
It was made by Amazon Studios and streams a month after its debut in theaters. (Prime Video)
Woody Harrelson and Justin Theroux are E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy, the men hired by President Richard Nixon to plug the leaks in his administration, in the limited series White House Plumbers (TV-MA). The limited series takes a satirical looks at the stranger-than-fiction true story of how these agency veterans managed to topple the presidency they crossed legal lines to protect. New episodes on Sundays. (HBO Max)
The last human survivors of a toxic Earth live a mile underground in a stratified society in Silo: Season 1 (TV-MA), starring Rebecca Ferguson as a mechanic on the lowest levels who questions the rules and foundation of life underground and costarring David Oyelowo, Rashida Jones, Common, and Tim Robbins. It was created for TV by Graham Yost, based on the trilogy of dystopian novels by Hugh Howey. New episodes on Fridays. (Apple TV+)
The limited series historical drama A Small Light (TV-14) tells the story of Miep Gies (Mel Powley), who helped hide Otto Frank and his family from the Nazis during WWII. Liev Schreiber, Joe Cole, and Noah Taylor costar. (Hulu and Disney+)
The four-part docuseries Queen Cleopatra (TV-14) from executive producer Jada Pinkett-Smith has stirred up controversy in Egypt, which has condemned the casting of a biracial Black actor, Adele James, in the role of the ancient queen. (Netflix)
More movies: Jennifer Lopez is a deadly female assassin who comes out of hiding to protect the daughter that she gave up years before in The Mother (2023, R) (Netflix) and Tom Hanks stars a crusty, ill-tempered widower in the comedy A Man Called Otto (2023, PG-13), a remake of the Oscar-nominated Swedish film A Man Called Ove (Netflix).
True stories: STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie (2023, R) profiles the actor who became a TV and movie superstar before Parkinson’s disease forced him to step back. Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim, it debuted at Sundance. (Apple TV+)
Katharine Hepburn is the subject of Call Me Kate (2023, TV-14), which makes use of previously hidden and intimate audio tapes and a video and photographic archive. (Netflix)
International pick: the drama Saint Omer (France, 2022, PG-13, with subtitles) is inspired by the real-life trial of a young immigrant mother accused of murdering her infant child, and filmmaker Alice Diop draws much of the dialogue from the court transcripts. (Hulu)
Classic pick: “Anthony Mann Directs James Stewart” collects seven films the director and actor made together for Universal Studios, including the lean, touch revenge western Winchester ’73 (1950), the colorful musical biopic The Glenn Miller Story (1954), and the frontier King Lear western The Man from Laramie (1955). (Criterion Channel)
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story (TV-MA) is a limited series prequel from the “Bridgerton” universe about the woman whose marriage to King George changed the course of England’s social history.
The last survivors of an alien invasion try to pick up the pieces and begin anew in Mulligan: Season 1 (TV-14), an adult animation series from the writers of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
The third season of the historical satire The Great (TV-MA) is now available to stream in its entirety.
More movies: Juliette Binoche stars in Claire Denis’ Both Sides of the Blade (France, 2022, not rated, with subtitles), the drama of a romantic triangle costarring Vincent Lindon and Grégoire Colin, and Harry Dean Stanton is Lucky (2017) in the warm character piece directed by John Carroll Lynch.
Unicorn: Warriors Eternal: Season 1 (TV-PG) is a new supernatural animated series from five-time Emmy-winning animator Genndy Tartakovsky and the sixth season of Rick and Morty (TV-14) is available to stream in its entirety.
The Muppets Mayhem: Season 1 (TV-PG) sends The Electric Mayhem Band (Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Janice, Zoot, Lip, and Animal) in the road with a young music executive (Lilly Singh) to record their first studio album.
In Crater (2023, PG), four friends raised on the moon and a new arrival from Earth hijack a rover for one final adventure on a journey to explore a mysterious crater.
The complete runs of the cult show Freaks & Geeks (1999), the historical Showtime series Tudors (2007-2010, TV-MA) with Jonathan Rhys Meyers of young Henry VIII, and Medium (2005-2011, TV-14) with Patricia Arquette arrive this month.
Fatal Attraction (TV-MA), a limited series remake and makeover of the hit 1980s thriller, stars Joshua Jackson, Lizzy Caplan, and Amanda Peet in the roles original played by Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, and Anne Archer.
King Charles, The Boy Who Walked Away (2023, TV-G) profiles the life of the man who is now King of England.
Tsui Hark’s action fantasy Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain (Hong Kong, 1983, with subtitles) changed the face of popular cinema in Hong Kong and launched the new wave that gave us John Woo, Jackie Chan, Chow Yun-fat, and Michelle Yeoh.
Pete Davidson mines his own life for the fictionalized comedy Bupkis: Season 1 (TV-MA), costarring Joe Pesci and Edie Falco.
American audiences can follow catch up on the semifinals of the Eurovision Song Contest (TV-PG) and then stream the final live on Saturday.
Based on the novel by Garth Risk Hallberg, the limited series City on Fire (TV-MA) spirals out from a college student assaulted in Central Park as the investigation touches on all levels of society in 2003 New York City.
The Criterion Channel
Olivier Assayas’ corporate thriller demonlover (France, 2002, unrated), starring Connie Nielsen, Charles Berling, and Chloë Sevigny, makes it streaming debut after a recent restoration and theatrical revivial.
“The Infernal Affairs Trilogy” collects all three of the hit gangster thrillers from directors Andrew Lau Wai-keung and Alan Mak, starting with Infernal Affairs (Hong Kong, 2002), featuring Hong Kong superstars Andy Lau, Tony Leung, and Anthony Wong. It’s the film that Martin Scorsese remade in the U.S. as The Departed.
“Gilded Passions: Films by Merchant Ivory” collects seven features from director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant, from their early collaboration Shakespeare Walla (1965), about a British theater troupe in India, to Heat and Dust (1983) with Julie Christie, Maurice (1983) with James Wilby and Hugh Grant, and the Oscar-winning Howards End (1992, available May 15) with Anthony Hopkins and Vanessa Redgrave.