What to stream: Anthony Hopkins is ‘King Lear’ on Amazon, ‘Hold the Dark’ on Netflix, ‘Solo’ on VOD

Anthony Hopkins in the new version of the Shakespeare classic co-starring Emma Thompson, Emily Watson, Florence Pugh, and Jim Broadbent

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 …

Anthony Hopkins plays King Lear in the Amazon Prime Original miniseries, which relocates the setting to a military dictatorship in contemporary England, and Emily Watson, Emma Thompson, and Florence Pugh plays his three daughters. Award winner film and stage director Richard Eyre helms this co-production with BBC. “Now 80 himself, the right age, Hopkins is at home in Lear’s skin,” writes TV critic Sam Wollaston for The Guardian. “Shouty, angry, cruel one moment; vulnerable, tender, loving the next – or at the same time. A mesmerising performance.”

Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Hold the Dark (2018, not rated), a mystery turned survival thriller, stars Jeffrey Wright as a tracker looking for a missing child in in the Alaskan wilderness. Riley Keough, Alexander Skarsgård, and James Badge Dale co-star. “[D]irector Jeremy Saulnier has a gift for seizing your attention with arresting, harmoniously balanced images that somehow seem to either briefly slow down or even freeze a movie,” observes The New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis. “His visual flair remains the only consistently appealing part of “Hold the Dark,” a thriller that aspires to something deeper but never figures out what…. The story is a mess, but the setting, animals and actors make for solid bait.”

It comes direct to Netflix from the Toronto International Film Festival.

Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo who teams up with Chewbacca for the first time in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018, PG-13), a prequel from a galaxy far, far away. As much galactic heist adventure as space opera, it co-stars Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, and Donald Glover as young Lando Calrissian, and it shows how Han won his pride and joy: The Millennium Falcon. Cable On Demand and VOD, also on DVD and at Redbox.

Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling star with newcomer Storm Reid in A Wrinkle in Time (2018, PG), Disney’s ambitious adaptation of the classic young adult novel directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay. Now on Netflix.

Classic pick: Spencer Tracy headlines the star-studded cast of It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963, G), an epic comedy about a wacky race across America for a fortune in hidden gold. Edie Adams, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, Phil Silvers, Jonathan Winters, and Terry Thomas are just a few of the mad treasure hunters, Tracy is the cop shadowing their moves, and everyone from The Three Stooges to Jimmy Durante show up in cameos. At almost three hours it’s awfully long for a comedy and director Stanley Kramer’s portrait of hysterical greed gets a bit screechy under his incessantly frantic pace, but it has a crack cast of Hollywood pros and plenty of slapstick highlights. Streaming on Prime Video.

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Annette Bening, Elisabeth Moss, and Saoirse Ronan star in The Seagull (2018, PG-13), a new screen version of the Chekhov play. Also on DVD. Also new:


Natalie Dormer is a blind musician in London who hears a murder in a neighboring apartment in In Darkness (2018, not rated), a thriller she wrote with director Anthony Byrne. Also new:

  • science fiction thriller The Endless (2017, not rated) with Aaron Moorehead and Justin Bensen:
  • caper thriller The Hurricane Heist (2018, PG-13) with Toby Kebbell and Maggie Grace.

Johnny Depp is Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003, PG-13), the first and the best film in Disney’s high seas franchise. Reviewed on Stream on Demand.

True stories: 20 Feet From Stardom (2013, PG-13) tells the stories of back-up singers to the greatest rock and R&B acts who perform just outside of the spotlight. Also new:

Foreign affairs: Mike Tyson and Steven Seagal co-star in the international thriller China Salesman (China, 2017, not rated, with subtitles). Also new is The 3rd Eye (Indonesia, 2017, not rated, with subtitles), a horror film originally titled “Mata Batin” making its US debut on Netflix.

Streaming TV: The Walking Dead: Season 8 is available mere weeks before the ninth season debuts. Also new are nonfiction shows Chef’s Table: Volume 5 and Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father: Season 2.

Foreign language TV: El Marginal: Season 2 (Argentina, with subtitles) continues the prison drama of an undercover agent investigating a kidnapping behind bars. Also new:

Kid stuff: live-action sci-fi adventures Reboot: The Guardian Code: Season 2 and Skylanders Academy: Season 3.

Amazon Prime Video

Matthew Macfadyen and Hayley Atwell star in Howard’s End (2018), a miniseries version of the E.M Forster novel adapted by Oscar-winner Kenneth Lonergan for Starz.

Frank Langella is a retired jewel thief who goes back in action with a new partner in the delightful Robot and Frank (2012, PG-13), a crime comedy with a science fiction twist.

Michael Powell’s Age of Consent (1969, R) stars James Mason as an artist in Australia and a young Helen Mirren as his muse.

Ingrid Bergman is a governess who falls for her boss in Adam Had Four Sons (1941), a romantic drama with Warner Baxter and Susan Hayward.

The swashbuckling fantasy The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) with Kerwin Mathews is a family friendly adventure with imaginative old-school special effects by Ray Harryhausen.

Also new: Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet stars in Hot Summer Night (2018, R), a coming of age tale set in 1980s Cape Cod;

  • Hannah (2017, not rated), a drama starring Charlotte Rampling as a woman grappling with her husband’s incarceration;
  • prison thriller Escape Plan 2: Hades (2018, R) with Sylvester Stallone and Dave Bautista.
  • Golden Years (2016), a lighthearted British TV movie about senior citizens who rob banks;
  • Spike Lee’s coming-of-age drama Red Hook Summer (2012, R) with Clarke Peters;
  • John Sayles’ intimate survival drama Limbo (1999, R) and sprawling ensemble piece City of Hope (1991, R).

Cult movies: Warren Beatty is a nightclub comic who goes on the run when the mob tries to kill him in Mickey One (1965), a psychodrama from director Arthur Penn. Also new:

Foreign affairs: a new mother abandons her family to “find herself” as a deep-sea diver in Plonger (Diving) (France, 2017, not rated, with subtitles), directed by Mélanie Laurent, and award-winning drama Western (Germany, 2017, not rated, with subtitles) about German workers in Bulgaria.

Streaming TV: V: Complete Series (2009-2011) presents all 22 action-packed episodes of the 21st century reboot of the 1980s alien invasion miniseries starring Elizabeth Mitchell and Morena Baccarin.

Amazon Prime / Hulu

Matt Damon is a suburban dad with a dark side in Suburbicon (2017, R), a confused mix of social satire, crime thriller, and psychological drama from director George Clooney and screenwriters Joel and Ethan Coen (Prime Video and Hulu).


Lola Kirke and Zoe Kravitz star in the neo-noir thriller Gemini (2017, R) from filmmaker Aaron Katz. Also new:

  • romantic drama Love after Love (2017, not rated) with Andie MacDowell and Chris O’Dowd;
  • romantic comedy The Female Brain (2017, not rated) from filmmaker and star Whitney Cummings;
  • For Colored Girls (2010), adapted from Ntozake’s Shange’s 1976 play by filmmaker Tyler Perry;
  • Iris (2001, R) with Dame Judy Dench and Jim Broadbent (who won an Oscar for his performance).


Guillermo Del Toro’s Cold War romantic fantasy The Shape of Water (2017, R) won four Oscars including best picture.

Jane Fonda in Five Acts (2018, not rated) profiles the acclaimed and often controversial actress and entrepreneur.

Arriving Saturday night is Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread (2017, R) starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Lesley Manville in Oscar-nominated performances.


TCM Select Pick of the Week is The Yearling (1946) starring Gregory Peck as a frontier father raising a family (wife Jane Wyman and son Claude Jarman) in the wilderness. The tear-jerker of a story revolves around Jarman raising a small foal as a pet, which proceeds to eat the impoverished family’s crop as it grows up. Beautifully filmed by director Clarence Brown, this marvelous adaptation of the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings novel is a gorgeous piece of MGM sentimentalism and rural innocence. Streaming through December 27

Star of the Week: Debbie Reynolds” features a dozen films, from Three Little Words (1950), where she sings “I Wanna Be Loved by You,” and The Tender Trap (1955) with Frank Sinatra to her Oscar-nominated performance in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) and The Singing Nun (1966).

Also new: “Director of the Week: H.C. Potter” spotlights nine classics including The Shopworn Angel (1938) Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan and Mr. Lucky (1943) and Cary Grant and “Nordic Noir” collects six dark Scandinavian crime dramas, from Lars Von Trier’s gloomy The Element of Crime (Denmark, 1984, with subtitles) to the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy (Sweden, 2009, R, with subtitles).

Other streams

A London stage production of the Broadway musical An American in Paris, recently shown in theaters in special screenings, is now streaming on BroadwayHD. Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope star in the Tony Award-winning show.

You Kiddin’ Me?!, a prank show from Kim Kardashian West, is now streaming on Facebook Watch with new episodes on Saturdays.

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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 at RogerEbert.com, Turner Classic Movies online, The Film Noir Foundation, and Parallax View.

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