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.
“Midsommar” (2019, R) sends a quartet of American students to a Swedish commune for its annual solstice celebration, but all is not what it seems on the sunny surface. More unsettling than horrific, Ari Aster’s follow-up to “Hereditary” is filled with loss, anxiety, and pagan rituals, and delivered with an edge of absurdist dark humor. It was one of the most polarizing films of the summer. Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Michelle Monaghan stars in the Netflix Original series “Messiah” as a CIA officer digging into the truth behind a “miracle worker” (Mehdi Dehbi) whose actions may be part of a geopolitical plot. John Ortiz, Jane Adams, Dermot Mulroney and Beau Bridges co-star. Ten episodes streaming on Netflix.
The third and final season of “Anne with an E,” the family friendly series from Canada based on the beloved novel “Anne of Green Gables,” is now streaming on Netflix.
Arriving Saturday on Netflix is “Dracula,” a new take on the horror classic from “Sherlock” creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gattis
Classic pick: “The French Connection” (1971, R), William Friedkin’s tough, terse 1971 thriller of maverick New York narcotics detectives (Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider) in pursuit of an international drug smuggling ring is the quintessential cop movie of the seventies and won five Academy Awards. Now streaming on Hulu.
Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand
Natalie Portman is an astronaut “Lucy in the Sky” (2019, R), the featue directing debut of novelist and TV creator Noah Hawley (“Fargo”). Jon Hamm, Zazie Beetz, Dan Stevens, and Ellen Burstyn co-star.
Available same day as select theaters nationwide is “Three Christs” (2020, R) starring Richard Gere as doctor treating three mental patients (Peter Dinklage, Walton Goggins, Bradley Whitford) who believe they are Jesus.
Christopher Nolan’s trippy heist thriller “Inception” (2010, PG-13) with Leonard DiCaprio and Guillermo Del Toro’s Oscar winning “Pan’s Labyrinth” (Spain, 2006, R, with subtitles), a mix of dark fantasy and war drama, are new this month.
Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, and Jessica Chastain star in “Lawless” (2012, R), a drama set in the bootlegging culture of prohibition.
Streaming TV: “Good Girls: Season 2,” the suburban crime comedy with Christina Hendricks, Retta, and Mae Whitman, in now available. Also new:
- drama “Spinning Out: Season 1” set in the world of competitive figure skating;
- reality series “The Circle: Season 1,” first four episodes now streaming.
True stories: Janelle Monáe narrates the limited series “Sex, Explained.” Also new is “Nisman: The Prosecutor, the President, and the Spy” (Spain, with subtitles), which investigates the death of a prosecutor during a controversial investigation in 1994.
Two animated films arrive from overseas. “Fireworks” (Japan, 2017, TV-PG) is an adolescent romance with a fantasy twist and “MFKZ” (France, 2017, R) is a gritty urban thriller that features Danny Trejo, Rza, and Michael Chilkis among the voice cast in the American version.
International affairs: the teen romance “All the Freckles in the World” (Mexico, 2019, TV-14, with subtitles) is set during 1994 World Cup soccer fever and “Ghost Stories” (India, 2020, TV-MA, with subtitles) is a quartet of ghost stories from India.
International TV: A highwayman takes on the corrupt aristocracy of 18th century Flanders in “Thieves of the Wood: Season 1” (Belgium, with subtitles). Also new:
- costume drama “Yanxi Palace: Princess Adventures” (China, TV-14, with subtitles) ;
- the animated fantasy comedy “The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.: Reawakened” (Japan, TV-14).
Amazon Prime Video
“Danny Collins” (2015, R) is a marvelous redemption tale with Al Pacino as a rock legend who drops out to reconnect with the adult son (Bobby Cannavale) he’s never met. Annette Bening costars. Also new:
crime thriller “Edge of Darkness” (2010, R) with Mel Gibson as a homicide detective in an investigation that cuts close to home;
“Sherlock Holmes” (2009, PG-13) with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson.
Kid stuff: a group of outcast kids go on a treasure hunt for a lost pirate fortune in “The Goonies” (1985, PG), an energetic, family-friendly adventure fantasy filmed in Astoria, Oregon, and featuring a young cast including future stars Sean Astin and Josh Brolin.
Prime Video / Hulu
True stories: “Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins” (2019, not rated) profiles the acclaimed political journalist.
Streaming TV: the fourth and final season of “Preacher” brings the quest to find God to a close. Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, and Ruth Negga star in the violent, dark-humored series originally shown on AMC. Also new:
- “Better Things: Season 3” with Pamela Adlon;
- Seth MacFarlane’s “The Orville: Season 2” with Adrianne Palicki;
- “Brockmire: Season 3” with Hank Azaria.
You can now also stream the entire runs of two acclaimed FX shows: legal drama “Damages: Complete Series” with Glenn Close and Rose Byrne and “Rescue Me: Complete Series,” created by and starring Denis Leary as a firefighter with a dysfunctional private life.
Ryan Reynolds is the voice of “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” (2019, PG) in the comedy that mixes live action and animation. Also new this week:
- “Her Smell” (2018, R) starring Elizabeth Moss as a self-destructive punk rocker attempting a comeback;
- based-on-a-true-story caper comedy “American Animals” (2018, R) with Evan Peters.
Remember when Shia LaBeouf was young and likable? Disney+ is now streaming “Holes” (2003, PG), a terrific adaptation of the award winning young adult novel by Louis Sachar featuring LaBeouf in a breakout performance.
Britbox now streams all four seasons of “Wallander” (2008-2016), BBC’s adaptation of the Henning Mankell novels starring Kenneth Branagh as the brilliant but troubled Swedish detective who pursues justice at the expense of his own wellbeing. It’s all shot on location in Sweden.
The Criterion Channel
Criterion Channel offers 9 films “Directed by William Wyler,” one of the Hollywood’s greatest craftsmen, including “Wuthering Heights” (1939) with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon, “The Little Foxes” (1941) with Bette Davis, and “The Best Years of Our Lives” (1946), winner of seven Academy Awards and one of my personal favorites of all time.
Also on Criterion Channel is road movie turned social satire “3 Faces” (Iran, 2018), the fourth feature directed by Iranian director Jafar Panahi since the government forbid him from filmmaking, which takes on issues of women’s rights and cultural constraints with gentle humor.
And Criterion Channel also presents Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” (1976) with the option of hearing audio commentary recorded by director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader for the film’s laserdisc release in 1986.