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 …
“Empire of Light” (2022, R) stars Olivia Colman as the manager of a once-grand cinema on the South Coast of England. While struggling with depression, she befriends a new usher (Michael Ward), a young black man who helps her open up to the life she keeps at arm’s length. Writer/director Sam Mendes sets his story of the healing power of cinema and friendship against the rise of racist gangs in 1980s England. The emotional story is powerful even if the social commentary is familiar. It earned an Oscar nomination for cinematography. (HBO Max)
Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher star as longtime friends and personality opposites who swap homes for a week in “Your Place or Mine” (2023, PG-13). Of course, this peek into one-another’s lives paves the way for romance. It’s from Aline Brosh McKenna, the writer of “The Devil Wears’ Prada” and “Morning Glory,” and debuts in time for Valentine’s Day. (Netflix)
The romantic comedy “Sam & Kate” (2022, R) stars Dustin Hoffman and Sissy Spacek as the onscreen parents of their real-life children (Jake Hoffman, Schuyler Fisk). While the younger generation falls in love, the father becomes interested in the mother, which creates complications for them all. (Peacock)
The family comedy “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” (2022, PG), based on the popular series of kids’ books by Bernard Waber, follows the adventures of the title character, a singing reptile who lives in the attic of a Manhattan brownstone and becomes friends with his human downstairs neighbors. Shawn Mendes provides the singing voice. (Netflix)
News: Netflix announced it will start cracking down on password sharing outside of immediate households. It’s supposed to go into effect at the end of March, though it has also announced plans to accommodate extra users for an added monthly fee.
Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand
A young, troubled mother is put on trial for the murder of her infant child in “Saint Omer” (France, 2022, PG-13, with subtitles), a drama inspired by a true story. It won three awards at the Venice Film Festival.
The fourth season of hit thriller “You” (TV-MA) sends the obsessive, manipulative Joe (Penn Badgley) to London.
True stories: “Bill Russell: Legend” (2023, TV-MA) explores the life and legacy of an NBA superstar and civil rights icon.
International passport: a private investigator on a missing person case ends up on a life-altering odyssey in “10 Days of a Good Man” (Turkey, 2023, not rated, with subtitle) and a literature scholar becomes a substitute teacher in the Buenos Ares barrio in “The Substitute” (Argentina, 2022, not rated, with subtitles).
International TV: two women challenge the corrupt boys club of the cutthroat stock market of 1980s Kuwait “The Exchange: Season 1” (Kuwait, TV-14, with subtitles), a drama inspired by real events.
Kid stuff: two kids sneak aboard their dad’s spaceship in the animated adventure “My Dad the Bounty Hunter: Season 1” (TV-Y7).
Gina Rodriguez stars as a newly-single woman attempting to restart her life and old career in the sitcom “Not Dead Yet: Season 1” (TV-14). New episodes on Thursdays.
Maverick filmmaking duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead write, direct, and star in the indie science fiction/horror film “Something in the Dirt“ (2022, R) as neighbors who team up to explore supernatural events in their Los Angeles apartment building. (Hulu)
True crime: the limited series “Stolen Youth: Inside the Cult at Sarah Lawrence“ (TV-MA) delves into the power that conman Larry Ray held over a group of college students for over ten years.
International passport: in the violent horror/thriller “Piggy“ (Spain, 2022, not rated, with subtitles), a bullied teenage girl is conflicted when she sees her tormenters abducted by a killer.
The Oscar-nominated documentary “All That Breathes” (2022, TV-14) follows two brothers who struggle to save the dying black kite with their bird hospital in New Delhi, India. It won top prizes at Sundance and Cannes.
“C.B. Strike: Troubled Blood“ (TV-MA) marks the third season of the British detective series starring Tom Burke and Holliday Granger.
“Harley Quinn: A Very Problematic Valentine’s Day Special“ (TV-MA) gives the animated supervillain series its own warped romantic comedy special.
Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt are soldiers defending the Earth from alien invaders in “Edge of Tomorrow“ (2014, PG-13), a science fiction thriller with a “Groundhog Day” twist.
Amazon Prime Video
Alison Brie stars as a workaholic who returns home and reevaluates her life in “Somebody I Used to Know” (2023, R), a romantic comedy she co-wrote with director Dave Franco.
Idris Elba is a father of two teenage girls who has to fight off an abused, angry lion in “Beast“ (2022, R), a thriller set at a game reserve in South Africa.
The three-part documentary “The Devil’s Confession: The Lost Eichmann Tapes“ (not rated) features recently-released audio recording of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann detailing his involvement in the Holocaust.
A lonely inventor in rural Wales builds a robot buddy in the offbeat comedy “Brian and Charles“ (2022, PG).
An actress (Monica Barbaro) reeling from a bad breakup falls for a charming hotel manager (Diego Boneta) in the romantic comedy “At Midnight” (2023, R).
A mix of modern road movie and rural rafting drama, “The Peanut Butter Falcon“ (2019, PG-13) stars Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson with newcomer Zack Gottsagen, who plays a runaway teenage boy with Down syndrome.
AMC+ / Shudder
Two recent horror films debut on streaming: the polarizing indie “Skinamarink” (2022, not rated), where two kids wake up to find their parents missing and their house suddenly closed in, and “Attachment” (2022, not rated), a horror romance set in London and steeped in Jewish folklore. (AMC+ and Shudder)
Explore the Miami criminal underworld with “Murf the Surf“ (TV-MA), the nickname of the most daring jewel thief in American history, in this four-part documentary.
Christoph Waltz plays a bounty hunter with a code in “Dead for a Dollar“ (2022, R), a western from filmmaker Walter Hill.
The three-part documentary series “Murder in Big Horn“ (TV-MA) follows the struggle of Native families and activists to get justice for missing Indigenous women and girls in Montana ignored by law enforcement. New episodes on Sundays.
Craft and business experts mentor budding amateurs as they turn their crafting hobby into a business in the British reality series “Make it at Market: Season 1“ (not rated).
The Criterion Channel
“All You Need Is Love” collects more than 20 romantic comedies and dramas, conventional and otherwise, spanning 80 years, from such classics as Charlie Chaplin’s “City Lights“ (1931) and Frank Capra’s Oscar-winning comedy “It Happened One Night“ (1934) to Wong Kar-Wai’s offbeat “Chungking Express“ (Hong Kong, 1994, PG-13, with subtitles) and Andrew Haigh’s indie queer landmark “Weekend“ (2011, not rated). If I may recommend just a couple of choice picks for Valentine’s Day, Frank Borzage’s “History Is Made at Night“ (1937) with Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne is a deliriously romantic drama, “I Know Where I’m Going!“ (1945) a rich British drama overflowing with character and clashing personalities, and “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg“ (France, 1964, with subtitles) a bittersweet musical of young love interrupted by war.
Three films “Starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day” also arrive in time for Valentine’s Day.
“The Sounds of Science“ (France, 2002, not rated) sets the surrealist-influenced naturalist films of marine life from French filmmaker Jean Painlevé to the music of Yo La Tengo.
The Roku Channel
“Meet Me in Paris“ (2023) is a rom-com as reality show that follows three real-life friends as they search for romance in Paris. Free with ads.
The weekly column is featured in The Seattle Times, The Spokesman-Review, and other newspapers.