Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …
Celebrate July 4 with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” (2020, PG-13), a filmed version of the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning Broadway phenomenon. The film was shot in 2016 with the original cast in front of a live audience over two performances, and the cast performed a few key numbers exclusively for cameras to allow for even more intimate shooting. Miranda plays Hamilton, the Jamaican-born bastard son who became one of America’s founding fathers, with Daveed Diggs as Thomas Jefferson, Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton, Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr, and Jonathan Groff as King George. The color-blind casting is not just refreshing, it’s a reminder that the country was founded by immigrants.
The film was originally slated for theatrical release by Disney to give audiences a large-than-life big screen experience. But with Covid upending plans, they’ve chosen to give home audiences the best seat in the house for this landmark production on Disney+.
Helen Mirren presents “#Anne Frank – Parallel Stories” (2019, not rated), which retells Anne Frank’s story alongside those of five Holocaust survivors, who share their personal experiences on camera (Netflix).
The limited series “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” (2020, TV-MA) takes a different approach to the true crime documentary, focusing on author Michelle McNamara’s obsessive investigation into the Golden State Killer and giving voice to the survivors. New episodes each Sunday (HBO Max, all HBO platforms).
Kid stuff: the new small screen version of “The Baby-Sitters Club” (TV-Y), based on the popular series of books by Ann M. Martin and updated to 2020, tells the stories of teenage girls in their high school years with respect for the characters and its young target audience. Alicia Silverstone provides the adult supervision. 10 episodes (Netflix).
Classic pick: Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning “Schindler’s List” (1993, R) might make a good companion piece to the Anne Frank documentary (Netflix).
Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand
“Mr. Jones” (2019, not rated) tells the story of the journalist (James Norton) who broke the story of the Russian famine to the rest of the world. Vanessa Kirby and Peter Sarsgaard costar in the film directed by Agnieszka Holland. Also new:
- family fantasy adventure “Four Kids and It” (2020, PG) featuring the voice of Michael Caine;
- “Wallflower” (2019, not rated), the shot-in-Seattle drama based on the Capitol Hill Massacre that debuted at SIFF 2017 and hit theaters in 2019.
Debuting directly to VOD is the drama “The Truth” (France, 2019, PG, with subtitles) by Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda with Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, and Ethan Hawke, and Afghanistan war drama “The Outpost” (2020, R) with Scott Eastwood and Orlando Bloom.
In the young adult fantasy series “Warrior Nun” (not rated), an orphaned teenager wakes up in a morgue finds herself imbued with the supernatural powers of… well, you read the title.
The third and final season of the tragic time-travel thriller “Dark” (Germany, TV-MA, with subtitles) adds even more layers to the densely-woven narrative before bringing all the stories—the touching personal journeys and the epic overarching struggle over fate—to a satisfying close.
“Homemade” (2020) is an anthology of stories of life in the Covid-19 era from filmmakers Maggie Gyllenhaal, Pablo Larraín, Ladj Ly, David Mackenzie, Rachel Morrison, and Paolo Sorrentino, among others.
More new films: Australian drama “Ride Like a Girl” (2019, PG) starring Teresa Palmer as the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup;
- romantic comedy “Desperados” (2020, not rated), a Netflix Original film with Nasim Pedrad, Anna Camp, Lamorne Morris, and Robbie Amell;
- “Nobody Knows I’m Here” (Chile, 2020, not rated, with subtitles) starring Jorge Garcia (“Lost”) as a former child singer who is now a recluse in rural Chile.
More streaming TV: a reboot of the non-fiction series “Unsolved Mysteries” (not rated);
- wedding reality/makeover show “Say I Do: Season 1” (not rated);
- horror series “JU-ON – Origins: Season 1” (Japan, not rated, with subtitles);
- “Cable Girls: Final Season: Part 2” (Spain, TV-MA, with subtitles).
Stand-up: “George Lopez: We’ll Do It For Half” (2020, not rated)
Also newly arrived: horror film “Winchester” (2018, PG) with Helen Mirren;
- Boston Marathon bombing drama “Patriots Day” (2016, R) with Mark Wahlberg;
- sprawling epic drama “Cloud Atlas” (2012, R) with Tom Hanks and Halle Berry;
- Zack Snyder’s bizarre action fantasy “Sucker Punch” (2011, PG-13);
- Boston-set crime drama “The Town” (2010, R) for director/star Ben Affleck;
- indie science fiction thriller “Splice” (2009, R) with Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley;
- the original “Clash of the Titans” (1981, PG) from stop-motion effects godfather Ray Harryhausen;
- Oscar-winning musical “Fiddler on the Roof” (1971, G) with Topol.
Amazon Prime Video
The second season of the action thriller “Hanna: Season 2” (TV-MA) follows the teenage super soldier as she’s trained to become a covert assassin.
Action comedy “Guns Akimbo” (2019, R) stars Daniel Radcliffe as a video game developer suddenly thrust into real-life death match competition with live weapons.
More family friendly is “Where the Wild Things Are” (2009, PG), Spike Jonze’s adaptation of the beloved Maurice Sendak storybook, and the juvenile action fantasy “Spy Kids” (2001, PG).
Also new this month: Woody Allen’s romantic fantasy “Midnight in Paris” (2011, PG-13) with Owen Wilson;
- young adult romantic drama “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” (2008, PG-13) with Michael Cera and Kat Dennings;
- stoner comedy “Pineapple Express” (2008, R) with James Franco and Seth Rogen;
- David Fincher’s thriller “Panic Room” (2002, R) with Jody Foster and a young Kristen Stewart.
Prime Video / Hulu
Brad Bird made his live-action directing debut with “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” (2011), the fourth installment of the Tom Cruise action movie series, and one of the best (Prime Video and Hulu)
International cinema: A gang of thieves kidnap five decorated Hong Kong police officers in the action-packed crime thriller “Cold War” (Hong Kong, 2013, R, with subtitles) (Prime Video and Hulu).
Filmmaker Christopher Guest struck gold with four hilarious mockumentaries he made with cowriter Eugene Levy and a recurring ensemble that includes Fred Willard, Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey, Jane Lynch, and others: small town theater comedy “Waiting for Guffman” (1997, R);
- dog show satire “Best in Show” (2000, PG-13);
- folk nostalgia parody “A Mighty Wind” (2003, PG-13);
- indie movie spoof “For Your Consideration” (2006, PG-13).
International cinema: “The Whistlers” (Romania, 2020, not rated, with subtitles), a crime thriller with a streak of black comedy, arrives from acclaimed Romanian filmmaker Corneliu Porumboiu.
True stories: “I Am Not Your Negro” (2016, PG-13), a portrait of the life and career of James Baldwin, earned an Oscar nomination for best documentary.
Cult: sexploitation maverick Russ Meyer made his Hollywood studio debut with “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” (1970, NC-17), a wild romp co-written by film critic Roger Ebert.
HBO Max / HBO Now
Ewan McGregor plays adult Danny Torrance in “Doctor Sleep” (2020, R), based on Stephen King’s sequel to “The Shining.” Mike Flanagan directs and scripts.
The documentary “Welcome to Chechnya” (2020, TV-MA) follows the efforts of gay rights activists in Russia.
Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan are back in the game in “Jumanji: The Next Level” (2019, PG-13).
A police detective grapples with a love triangle involving his wife and their best friend while trying to solve a series of murders in “The Sommerdahl Murders: Series 1” (Denmark, not rated, with subtitles).
British mystery series “Father Brown: Season 8” (TV-PG) makes its stateside debut, with two episodes now available and new episodes each Tuesday.
The Criterion Channel
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne won the best director prize at Cannes for “Young Ahmed” (Belgium, 2019, not rated, with subtitles), a drama about a Belgian teenager is swayed by Islamic extremists. It makes its streaming premiere on Criterion Channel with an introduction by film historian Godfrey Cheshire. Also new:
- “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World” (2017, not rated), a documentary that spotlights Native Americans in rock and popular music;
- Kelly Reichardt’s “Certain Women” (2016, R) with Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, and Kristen Stewart;
- Joan Micklin Silver’s American indie classic “Between the Lines” (1977, R) with John Heard and Jeff Goldblum;
- a collection of “Czechoslovak New Wave” films, from Oscar-nominated “Loves of a Blonde” (1965) from Miloš Forman and Oscar-winning “Closely Watched Trains” (1966) to feminist landmark “Daisies” (1966) and mystical coming-of-age fantasy “Valerie and Her Week of Wonders” (1970) (all from Czechoslovakia, with subtitles).
The weekly column is featured in The Seattle Times, The Spokesman-Review, and other newspapers.
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