Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services … The weekly column is featured in The Seattle Times, The Spokesman-Review, and other newspapers.
Al Pacino makes his streaming TV debut in the Amazon Original series “Hunters” (2020), a thriller with a twist of dark humor about a group of Nazi hunters in 1970s New York City executing their own brand of justice. Logan Lerman costars as the team’s newest member, a teenager whose grandmother was secretly a member, and the team includes a washed-up actor (Josh Radnor), a Catholic nun and former MI-6 agent (Kate Mulvany), a badass soul-sister (Tiffany Boone), an Asian-American Vietnam vet (Louis Ozawa Changchien), and an elderly couple who survived the camps (Saul Rubinek and Carol Kane). Don’t mistake this for history; in this world, the escaped Nazi officials are plotting to unleash the Fourth Reich in America. Think of it as a companion piece to the recently ended “Man in the High Castle,” but with more violence, lots of seventies color, and playful Tarantino-esque asides. The storytelling gets a little tangled and confused but it’s entertaining while still treating the Holocaust and the stories of the survivors with complete seriousness. It’s coproduced by Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions. Ten episodes on Amazon Prime Video.
A Mexican-American family struggles to keep their family business afloat in the comedy “Gentefied” (2020, not rated), a Netflix Original series set in the Latinx culture of Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. The show tackles issues of gentrification and cultural authenticity as the extended family tries to find a balance that will keep their taqueria open: adapt to the incoming population or embrace their roots. The show, coproduced by America Ferrera, also features healthy amount of Spanglish in the dialogue. Ten episodes on Netflix.
The beloved time traveling romantic drama “Outlander” (2020, TV-MA), which now has two couples making a life in pre-Revolutionary America, is back for its fifth season. New episodes each Sunday on all Starz platforms.
Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit” (2019, PG-13), which takes on Nazi Germany and satirizes the cult of Hitler with a sense of childlike whimsy, won the Oscar for adapted screenplay. It’s now on Cable On Demand and VOD, along with “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (2019, PG-13) starring Matthew Rhys and Tom Hanks in an Oscar-nominated performance as Fred Rogers. Also on DVD and at Redbox.
Classic pick: Francis Ford Coppola made “The Conversation” (1974, PG), an intimate thriller starring Gene Hackman as a surveillance expert whose work may have resulted in murder, between his two Oscar-winning “Godfather” films. Streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand
Chadwick Boseman is a driven police detective in the crime thriller “21 Bridges” (2019, R) and director Roland Emmerich takes on World War II in “Midway” (2019, PG-13) with Patrick Wilson and Woody Harrelson. Also new:
- comic drama “Frankie” (2019, PG-13) with Isabelle Huppert, Brendan Gleeson, Greg Kinnear, and Marisa Tomei;
- Australian romantic comedy “Top End Wedding” (2019, TV-14) from “The Sapphires” director Wayne Blair;
- animated drama “Another Day of Life“(Spain/Poland, 2018).
Available same day as select theaters nationwide is “The Night Clerk” (2020, R), a thriller from Tony-winning writer/director Michael Cristofer starring Tye Sheridan and Ana de Armas, and “Standing Up, Falling Down” (2020, not rated), a comedy starring Ben Schwartz and Billy Crystal.
Anne Hathaway plays a journalist plunged into the mire of the Iran-Contra scandal in “The Last Thing He Wanted” (2020, R), directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Dee Rees (“Mudbound”) from the novel by Joan Didion. Willem Dafoe, Rosie Perez, and Bern Affleck co-star. It comes direct to Netflix one week after a limited theatrical release.
Uzo Abuda (“Orange is the New Black”) plays a single mother challenging the system in “Miss Virginia” (2019, TV-14), a drama based on a true story.
The docu-series “Babies: Part 1” (2020, not rated) takes audiences through the rapid development of infants in the first year of life.
“System Crasher” (Germany, with subtitles, not rated) follows an angry, emotionally needy 9-year-old girl from a broken family and the anger management therapist trying to place her in a loving home. The film festival award winner makes its American debut on Netflix.
Keira Knightly and Jude Law star in Joe Wright’s self-consciously theatrical take on “Anna Karenina” (2012, R), which won an Oscar for costume design.
Streaming TV: the new family-friendly sitcom “The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia: Season 1” (2020, TV-PG) follows 15-year-old scientist embarking on a career in robotics. Also new: “Chef Show: Volume 3.”
International TV: the new manager of an Argentine soccer team is hired to take on organized crime surrounding the club in “Puerta 7: Season 1” (Argentina, with subtitles). Also new: “Spectros: Season 1” (Brazil, with subtitles) is a supernatural mystery about a clash between Brazilian witchcraft and Japanese Shinto spirits in a Japanese neighborhood of São Paulo.
Kid stuff: two teenagers hunt video game monsters who have escaped into the real world in the animated adventure “Glitch Techs: Season 1” (2020, TV-PG).
Classics: “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967) was Spencer Tracy’s final film and won Oscars for actress Katherine Hepburn and the screenplay. Sidney Poitier costars.
Amazon Prime Video
A small company of Australian soldiers battle overwhelming Viet Cong forces in the Vietnam war drama “Danger Close” (2019, R).
A dogged detective (Gillian Anderson) tracks a serial killer (Jamie Dornan) in Belfast in the dark British crime drama “The Fall: Seasons 1-2” (2013-2014).
More streaming TV: “The Carol Burnett Show” is one of the greatest comedy variety TV shows of all time. The first two seasons (1967-1969) with Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, and frequent guest star Tim Conway are now streaming.
International affairs: a young girl abducted by a rebel army in Sub-Saharan Africa tells her story in “War Witch” (2012, not rated, with subtitles), an Oscar-nominated foreign language feature.
Classics: “Slightly Scarlet” (1956) isn’t well known to even many film buffs but it’s an interesting film noir in lurid color (call it a film rouge) with a terrific B-list cast (John Payne, Rhonda Fleming, Arlene Dahl). Amazon offers a decent but hardly stellar, non-HD transfer.
Prime Video / Hulu
“American Ultra” (2015, R) turns the “Bourne Identity” into a violent black comedy when an amiable stoner (Jesse Eisenberg is attacked by a hit squad and discovers he’s a sleeper agent with a killer instinct. Kristin Stewart co-stars (Prime Video and Hulu).
Kevin Costner is a CIA assassin whose latest assignment is complicated by the unexpected arrival of his moody teenage daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) in “3 Days to Kill” (2014, PG-13).
William Friedkin directs “Killer Joe” (2012, NC-17), a violent thriller with a streak of dark humor starring Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, and Juno Temple.
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” is back on all HBO platforms. Streaming versions available a day after the Sunday cable premiere.
The new “Shaft” (2019, R) is a multi-generational affair, with original 1970s Shaft Richard Roundtree joining Samuel L. Jackson and Jesse T. Usher (as his son) teaming up.
Time travel meets murder mystery “Beforeigners: Season 1” (Norway, with subtitles), set in a world where people from centuries past have been transported to the present. It’s the first HBO Europe original series from Norway. All six parts available exclusively on HBO streaming services.
The nonfiction series “Wrong Man: Season 2,” which investigates convicted men who claim they are innocent, is now rolling out on all Starz platforms. Also new:
- “American Gangster” (2007, R) with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe;
- Gus Van Sant’s “Milk” (2008, R) with Sean Penn;
- “Joe” (2013, R) with Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan.
“Playing for Keeps,” an Australian drama about the wives and girlfriends of professional soccer players, rolls out with new episodes every Thursday. Also new:
- “Couple Trouble: Season 1” (Danish, with subtitles), a marriage drama about a couple on the verge of divorce exploring their relationship (all eight episodes streaming);
- “Loch Ness” (2017), a limited series murder mystery set in rural Scotland;
- the movies “Le Week-End” (2013, R) with Lindsay Duncan and Jim Broadbent and “A Quiet Passion” (2016, PG-13) with Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson.
MHz presents the drama “House of Rochevilles” (France, with subtitles), which follows a family in a Bordeaux vineyard through the 20th century, and the crime drama “Tatort: Lindholm – Season 1” (Germany, with subtitles). New episodes of both shows each Tuesday.
The Criterion Channel
Criterion Channel celebrates Black History Month with “Pioneers of African-American Cinema,” a collection featuring over two dozen feature films and shorts made by black filmmakers for black audiences in the first half of the 20th century. Includes groundbreaking films directed by Oscar Micheaux, allegorical spiritual dramas by James Gist and Eloyce Gist, non-fiction studies by Zora Neale Hurston, genre pictures from director/actor Spencer Williams, and the highly entertaining action picture “The Flying Ace” (1926). FYI: Some (though not all) of these selections are also streaming on Netflix.
Also new is a spotlight on films “Directed by Allison Anders,” including the coming of age drama “Gas Food Lodging” (1992, R) with Fairuza Balk and Ione Skye and the searing “Things Behind the Sun” (2001, R) starring Kim Dickens;
- the mythic fantasy “Jason and the Argonauts” (1963) from producer / special effects master Ray Harryhausen (presented with archival commentary and animation tests);
- Mike Nichols’ “The Graduate” (1967, PG) featuring commentary and interviews from the Criterion Collection disc release.
“The Souvenir” (2019, R), a semi-autobiographical romantic drama from filmmaker Joanna Hogg film, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Honor Swinton Byrne, Tom Burke, and Tilda Swinton star. Also new:
- “American Dharma” (2019, R), Errol Morris’ documentary on Steve Bannon;
- “Stake Land” (2011, R), a vampire horror as survival drama from Jim Mickle.