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 …
Lakeith Stanfield stars as a career thief who agrees to turn informant in “Judas and the Black Messiah” (2021, R), a drama based on the true story of the FBI’s infiltration the Black Panthers and the murder of Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya). Though the events took place over 50 years ago, the themes are sadly still relevant today. Jesse Plemons and Dominique Fishback costar and Martin Sheen takes a rare villain role as J. Edgar Hoover. Originally intended for theaters, it debuts on HBO Max and streams for 31 days only. (HBO Max)
Two new romantic comedies this week reach for teens and tweens. “Map of Tiny Perfect Things” (2021, PG-13), based on the novel by Lev Grossman, follows two teenagers (Kathryn Newton and Kyle Allen) who fall in love while they repeat the same day a la “Groundhog Day.” (Amazon Prime)
“To All the Boys: Always and Forever” (TV-14), the third and final film in the trilogy starring based on the young adult novels by Jenny Han, follows the high school kids in love (Lana Condor and Noah Centineo) as they prepare for college. (Netflix)
Before “Selma” and “When They See Us,” filmmaker Ava Duvernay wrote and directed the intimate drama “Middle of Nowhere” (2012, R) about a woman (Emayatzy Corinealdi ) who puts her life on hold when her husband is sentenced to prison. (Netflix)
“Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel” (TV-MA), the first season of a new true crime documentary series from director Joe Berlinger, puts the focus on the infamous locations in contemporary crime to deconstruct the mythology. This season looks at the Los Angeles hotel that has been linked to mysterious deaths, serial killers, and most recently the disappearance of a college student. (Netflix)
Classic pick: “Marlene Dietrich & Josef von Sternberg” presents all seven films made by the coolly glamorous actress and the highly stylized director, from their debut collaboration “The Blue Angel” (Germany, 1930, with subtitles) to their visually sumptuous masterpieces “Shanghai Express” (1932) and “The Scarlet Empress” (1934), the latter starring Dietrich as the naïve princess who becomes Catherine the Great. (Criterion Channel)
Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand
The indie drama “Saint Maud” (2020, R) follows a newly-devout hospice nurse (Morfydd Clark) whose obsession to save the soul of her dying patient (Jennifer Ehle) takes a sinister turn. The acclaimed debut feature from Rose Glass comes to VOD after a brief release in theaters. Also new:
- “Cowboys” (2021, not rated) starring Steve Zahn as a troubled but well-intentioned father who runs off with his trans son (Sasha Knight) from his ex-wife’s family;
- “Rams” (2021, not rated), a remake of the acclaimed comedy from Iceland, starring Sam Neill and Michael Caton as estranged brothers who must work together to save their livelihoods;
- “Lapsis” (2021, not rated), science fiction parable about a blue collar guy in a mind-numbing job of the gig economy of an alternate world.
The reality series “Buried by the Bernards: Season 1” (not rated) is a docu-dramedy revolving around a family-run funeral service and the grieving customers they serve.
Inspired by a true story, the satirical “War Dogs” (2016, R) stars Jonah Hill and Miles Teller as private munitions brokers in over their heads.
More streaming TV: “The Sinner: Jaimie” (TV-MA) is the third season of the crime drama starring Bill Pullman as a troubled police detective.
Foodie fun: “Nadiya Bakes: Season 1” (not rated) features “The Great British Bake-Off” winner Nadiya Hussain making cakes, breads, and other delights.
International passport: a police detective investigates the mysterious death of a teenager in a small forest village in “Capitani: Season 1” (Luxembourg, not rated, with subtitles). Also new:
- thriller “Red Dot” (Sweden, 2021, not rated, with subtitles) about a couple on a wilderness retreat hunted by a unknown shooter’
- ” (France, 2021, not rated, with subtitles) about a pair of dysfunctional drug dealers.
Kid stuff: the first two seasons of the Nickelodeon comedy “iCarly” (2008-2009, TV-G) starring Miranda Cosgrove are now streaming. Also new is the animated adventure “Xico’s Journey” (Mexico, 2021, TV-Y).
Stand-up: “Hate by Dani Rovira” (2021, not rated, with subtitles) presents the Spanish comedian in concert.
Amazon Prime Video
Originally made for Showtime, “The Affair: Complete Series” (2014-2019, TV-MA) looks at the fallout from a summer affair through the lives of two families from the different perspectives of those involved and affected. Dominic West, Maura Tierney, Joshua Jackson, and Ruth Wilson star in the Golden Globe-winning drama from creators Hagai Levi and Sarah Treem.
Oscars winners Dame Judi Dench and Dame Maggie Smith star in “Ladies in Lavender” (2004, PG-13) as elderly sisters who adopt a lost young foreigner (Daniel Brühl) who washes ashore near their coastal England home.
Russell Crowe is the “Gladiator” (2000, R) in Ridley Scott’s epic about a Roman General sold into slavery who becomes a hero in the gladiatorial battles in the Coliseum. Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, and Richard Harris star in the historical action hit that won five Academy Awards.
International passport: “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” (Sweden, 2015, R, with subtitles) the comic adventures of a centenarian who flees his nursing home, is the highest-grossing Swedish film of all time. Also newly arrived:
- “Lore” (Germany, 2013, not rated, with subtitles), a drama about the chaos after Germany’s defeat in World War II;
- the two-part crime drama “Mesrine: Killer Instinct” and “Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1” (France, 2008, R, with subtitles) starring Vincent Cassel as the real-life French gangster.
Classic pick: Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Greatest Show on Earth” (1952) may be the least deserving film to win the best picture Oscar but it is awfully entertaining. Charlton Heston, Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Gloria Grahame, and James Stewart star.
Cult pick: director Joe Dante and screenwriter John Sayles invest the low-budget horror film “Piranha” (1978, R), a “Jaws” knock-off from producer Roger Corman, with an edge of dark wit.
Kid stuff: new episodes of the animated series “Clifford: Season 3, Part 2” (TV-Y) have arrived.
“You’re Next” (2013, R) is a home invasion horror with a black-humored tone and an American indie cast.
Steve Carell and Rose Byrne play rival campaign strategists who bring national political theater to a small town mayoral race in “Irresistible” (2020, R), written and directed by Jon Stewart. (All HBO platforms)
“Dunkirk” (2017, PG-13), Christopher Nolan’s immersive drama of the British army’s evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940, won three Academy Awards. (All HBO platforms)
True stories: the documentary “Black Art: In the Absence of Light” (2021, TV-14) looks at the contributions of African-American artists in the modern art scene. (All HBO platforms)
Streaming TV: the new reality competition series “The Bridge: Season 1” (TV-14, not rated) is apparently a mix of “Survivor” and “The Bridge on the River Kwai.”
Originally made for the TV showcase “Wonderful World of Disney,” the musical fairy tale “Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” (1997, G) stars Brandi Norwood as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as her Fairy Godmother.
The documentary “Marvel’s Behind the Mask” (TV-14) looks at the creation of some of the company’s most interesting characters and their impact on pop culture.
Michael Keaton directs and stars in the crime drama “The Merry Gentleman” (2008, R) as a hit man who befriends a woman (Kelly Macdonald) fleeing an abusive husband.
Also newly added are the original Australian comedy “Wilfred: Complete Series” (2007-2010, TV-MA) and the short-lived kids series “The Weird Al Show: Complete Series” (1997-1998, TV-G).
Beanie Feldstein is a shy writer who reinvents herself as an acid-penned rock critic in “How to Build a Girl” (2019, R). Also new:
- “Made In Italy” (2020, R) with Liam Neeson and Micheal Richardson as estranged father and son reunited for a road trip;
- “True History of the Kelly Gang” (2019, R) starring George Mackay as the legendary Australian outlaw and costarring Essie Davis, Nicholas Hoult, and Russell Crowe.
All eight episodes of the French crime procedural “Balthazar: Series 3” (France, with subtitles) with Tomer Sisley are now streaming.
“Dead Pigs” (China, 2018, not rated, with subtitles), a black comedy that won a special jury prize at Sundance, is the directorial debut of Cathy Yan (“Birds of Prey”). Streaming for 30 days.
The Criterion Channel
In addition to Marlene Dietrich, Criterion Channel puts the spotlight on “Three Starring Lana Turner” and six films “Starring Ruby Dee.”
Among the former are the film noir classic “The Postman Always Rings Twice” (1946) with John Garfield and the Hollywood melodrama classic “The Bad and the Beautiful” (1952) with Kirk Douglas. The Ruby Dee collection includes the 19th century film noir “The Tall Target” (1951) with Dick Powell trying to stop an assassination and “St. Louis Blues” (1958) starring Nat King Cole as blues legend W.C. Handy.
For the kids on Criterion Channel, there’s the animated cult fantasy “The Last Unicorn” (1982, G) featuring the voices of Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, and Mia Farrow.
The weekly column is featured in The Seattle Times, The Spokesman-Review, and other newspapers.
Don’t miss a single recommendation. Subscribe to the Stream On Demand weekly newsletter (your E-mail address will not be shared) and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.