What to stream: ‘Cruella’ on Disney+, ‘Love and Monsters’ on Hulu, Spike Lee’s ‘NYC Epicenters’ on HBO Max

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

Emma Stone stars in Cruella (2021, PG-13), the live-action prequel about the early life of “101 Dalmatians” villain Cruella de Vil, when she was a punk-inspired fashionista in 1970s London. It costars Emma Thompson as the reigning haute couture designer and features a wild sense of costume design. Craig Gillespie (“I, Tonya”) directs this collision of “The Devil Wears Prada” and Tim Burton. (Disney+)

In Love and Monsters (2021, PG-13), an ordinary guy (Dylan O’Brien) leaves his underground bunker and braves the monster-infested world to reunite with the woman he loves (Jessica Henwick). This comic take on the monsterpocalypse thriller, which debuted on VOD thanks to the pandemic, costars Michael Rooker and a small army of delightful, wildly creative giant insect monsters. (Hulu)

Spike Lee commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Twin Towers attack in NYC Epicenters 9/112021½ (TV-MA), his four-part documentary essay surveying life in New York and its boroughs from 9/11 through Black Live Matter to Covid, and how the citizens pull together to face each crisis. Lee conducted over 200 interviews, which he weaved into the production along with film and news clips. (HBO Max)

An isolated child goes on an odyssey to save his ill mother (Rosario Dawson) in The Water Man (2021, PG), an adventure drama rooted in fairy tales. Directed by and starring David Oyelowo, who plays the boy’s father, an often absent military officer. (Netflix)

Miranda Otto headlines The Unusual Suspects (not rated), a limited series crime drama with a comic edge from Australia about five women from different backgrounds who join forces to plan and execute the heist of a priceless necklace. (Hulu)

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Elijah Wood plays the FBI analyst who interviewed Ted Bundy (Luke Kirby) after his conviction in No Man of God (2021, not rated), based on the transcripts of the interviews.


He’s All That (TV-MA) is both a sequel to and a reversal of the high school comedy “She’s All That,” with a social influencer (Addison Rae) making a high school loser (Tanner Buchanan) into the prom king. From “Mean Girls” director Mark Waters.

Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, and Jennifer Lawrence star in Like Crazy (2011, PG-13), an American indie drama of young love meeting insurmountable obstacles.

The limited series Clickbait (TV-MA), a kidnapping thriller set in the world of social media, fake news, and cyber fraud, stars Zoe Kazan, Betty Gabriel, and Adrian Grenier.

International TV: Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes: Season 1 (Norway, TV-MA, with subtitles) is a blackly comic thriller involving a failing mortuary and a vampire that brings them new business. Also new:

  • D.P.: Season 1 (South Korea, TV-MA, with subtitles), a k-drama about young soldier assigned to track down deserters;
  • Deadly Sins: Season 1 (Colombia, TV-MA, with subtitles), a family dramedy about a rich guy who fakes his death to test his relatives;
  • Open Your Eyes: Season 1 (Poland, TV-MA, with subtitles), a teen thriller revolving around lost memories and clinic with dubious treatments.

True stories: the documentary Count Me In (2021, TV-MA) puts the spotlight on rock drummers, among them Roger Taylor of Queen, Stewart Copeland of The Police, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, and legendary session drummer Jim Keltner. Also new:

  • The River Runner (2021, TV-MA), about a kayaker paddling the four rivers of Mount Kailash in Tibet;
  • sports reality series Titletown High: Season 1 (TV-14) about the football team of Valdosta High School in Georgia.

True crime: the limited series documentary John of God: The Crimes of a Spiritual Healer (Brazil, 2021, TV-MA) dissects the story of João Teixeira de Faria and the abuse perpetrated on his victims.

Kid stuff: the animated I Heart Arlo: Season 1 (TV-Y7) celebrates an eclectic group of friends.

Amazon Prime Video

The spy thriller The Courier (2021, PG-13) is based on the true story of Greville Wynne, a British businessman (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) tangled up in the intrigue surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis. Rachel Brosnahan costars.

Sarah Gadon and Bel Powley play young British princesses Elizabeth and Margaret celebrating the end of World War II in the romantic comedy A Royal Night Out (2015, PG-13).

Kid stuff: the animated special Pete the Cat Back to School Operetta (2021, TV-G) celebrates the first day of school.


Lil Rel Howery and Yvonne Orji as a straight-laced couple whose thrill-seeking Vacation Friends (2021, R) (John Cena and Meredith Hagner) crash their wedding months later to keep the party going. Lynn Whitfield and Robert Wisdom costar in this raunchy comedy.

Disobedience (2017, R), starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams as women in love in London’s Orthodox Jewish community, is a compassionate drama of family and identity. The English language debut of award-winning Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio costars Alessandro Nivola and Allan Corduner.

Streaming TV: American Horror Story: Double Feature (TV-MA) marks the tenth season of the anthology horror series. Episodes stream a day after their TV debut. Also new:


It’s Dwayne Johnson versus the earthquake that rocked America in the disaster movie spectacle San Andreas (2015, PG-13).

Streaming TV: the foodie series Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy – Season 1 (2021, not rated) and the six-part documentary Lincoln: Divided We Stand (2021, not rated), narrated by Sterling K. Brown, arrive from CNN.


The gentle romantic comedy Dan in Real Life (2007, PG-13) stars Steve Carrell as a warm, devoted single father three daughters and Juliette Binoche as the woman of his dreams, who just happens to be the new girlfriend of his serial-dating brother.


French Exit (2021, R) stars Michelle Pfeiffer as a widowed Manhattan socialite who has burned through her inheritance and Lucas Hedges as her directionless son who moves in to a borrowed Paris apartment with her.


The three-part docuseries The Monster in The Shadows (2020, not rated) looks into the unsolved disappearance of Brittney Wood in 2012 Alabama and the nonfiction series Born for Business: Season 1 (not rated) chronicles the lives of four entrepreneurs with disabilities.


The sitcom Workaholics: Complete Series (TV-14) created by and starring Blake Anderson, Adam Devine, and Anders Holm arrives along with the animated revival Rugrats: Season 1, Part 2 (TV-Y7).

Apple TV+

Octavia Spencer and Kate Hudson star in the second season of the anthology series Truth Be Told (TV-MA) and Dave Bautista joins to cast in See: Season 2 (TV-MA) with Jason Momoa. New episodes each Friday.


The documentary Lily Topples the World (2021, not rated) profiles 20-year-old sensation Lily Hevesh, the world’s most acclaimed domino toppler. Also new:

Sundance Now

The documentary Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (2019, not rated) reclaims the place of the pioneering filmmaker who was practically written out of film history.


The Uncommon History of Very Common Thing: Season 1 (2021, PG) uses humor to trace the unexpected origins of everyday items. Free with ads.

The Criterion Channel

John Huston: Hollywood Maverick” collects 19 films by the filmmaker, including the Oscar-winning The African Queen (1951) with Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, his 1970s masterpieces Fat City (1972, PG) and The Man Who Would Be King (1975, PG), and his final film and final masterpiece The Dead (1987, PG).

The weekly column is featured in The Seattle Times, The Spokesman-Review, and other newspapers.

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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.