What to stream: Miles Davis, a superhero smackdown, a Norwegian ‘Wave,’ and a Colombian ‘Serpent’

Don Cheadle is Miles Davis in 'Miles Ahead'

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the most bombastic and least self-aware superhero picture to date, pits the Dark Knight (Ben Affleck as an aging, rather bitter Batman) against the Man of Steel (Henry Cavill) with Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) pulling the strings of the smackdown. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) also gets in the fracas, which paves the way for the upcoming “Justice League” movie, DC’s attempt to create an interactive superhero universe like Marvel and its “Avengers” line-up. PG-13. Also on DVD and Blu-ray.

Don Cheadle directs, co-writes, and stars in the impressionistic (and at times completely fictionalized, or at least freely reimagined) biopic Miles Ahead as jazz legend Miles Davis during his lost years in the late 1970s. R. Also on DVD and Blu-ray and at Redbox.

Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey are Elvis & Nixon in this comic reimagining of the real-life meeting between the two men. R. Also on DVD and Blu-ray and at Redbox.

The British drama Bridgend, a fictional take on the real-life teen and young adult suicides in remote Wales, stars Hannah Murray (Gilly on Game of Thrones) as a newcomer who gets caught up in the sense of hopelessness among the teens and the oppressive emotional toll of the suicides on the survivors. Not rated. Also on DVD.

Also new: Louder Than Bombs, a drama of loss and grief starring Gabriel Byrne, Jesse Eisenberg, and Isabelle Huppert from Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier (R), the anthology film Rio, I Love You presenting romantic encounters in Rio de Janeiro from 11 international directors and dozens of actors (R, subtitled), and the romantic drama The Perfect Match with Terrence Jenkins, Cassie Ventura, and Paula Patten (R).

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is the science fiction parable Equals from director Drake Doremus and starring Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult (PG-13), the allegorical arthouse drama The Childhood of a Leader with Berenice Bejo and Robert Pattinson (not rated), and the dark family comedy Quitters with Ben Konigsberg, Greg Germann, and Mira Sorvino (R).


The Norwegian disaster film The Wave (2015) watches the destruction when a fjord collapses and sends giant tsunami rushing through the narrows valleys to a resort town unprepared for the onslaught, despite the warnings of a geologist. R, in Norwegian with subtitles.

Fighting (2009) sends Channing Tatum into the illegal underground world of bare-knuckle boxing. PG-13.

Me Him Her (2015), the feature directorial debut of screenwriter Max Landis (Chronicle, American Ultra), is a satirical comedy of youth culture and sexual identity in Los Angeles. Not rated.

Internet Famous (2016) parodies reality TV with a show about web celebrities competing for their own TV series. Not rated.

Streaming TV: The Netflix original animated series BoJack Horseman: Season 3 is definitely for adults. For kids, there the Netflix revival of the high school drama Degrassi: Next Class: Season 2 and the Disney Channel series Liv and Maddie: Season 3.

Amazon Instant Prime

Embrace of the Serpent (2015), a Colombian odyssey through the Amazonian rainforest, was an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film. Not rated, with subtitles.

From China comes John Woo’s lavish historical battle epic Red Cliff (2008). This is the shorter American cut, which runs about 2 ½ hours. R, with subtitles.

The Vatican Tapes (2014) stars Michael Peña as Catholic priest who calls in an exorcist to cast a demon out of a young woman (Olivia Taylor Dudley) and tapes the whole thing. PG-13. Also on Hulu.

Streaming TV: Vikings: Season 4 continues the pillaging in the first dramatic series from The History Channel.

Private eye TV: the first season of the hard-boiled Mike Hammer: Private Eye (1997) with Stacy Keach is now available.


The heist thriller miniseries The Last Panthers jumps from London to Marseille to Serbia. Six episodes and three languages, with subtitles. Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.


Straight Outta Compton (2015) tells the story of N.W.A., the provocative hip-hop group that made stars of Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E and launched gangsta rap. Rated R. Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

Bill Maher is adding extra Real Time episodes for the conventions and non-subscribers can also stream them live on YouTube or on Maher’s Facebook page the next day. The Republican Convention shows are now available, the Democratic Conventions stream live on Wednesday, July 27 and Thursday, July 28.

Also new: the debut of the new comedy series Vice Principals with Danny McBride and Walton Goggins and the second season premiere of Ballers with Dwayne Johnson now available.


The eight-episode comedy Cradle to Grave: Series 1, based on the autobiography of British broadcaster Danny Baker, stars Peter Kay, Lucy Speed, and Laurie Kynaston as Danny Baker. It makes its American debut on Acorn.

Don’t miss a single recommendation. Subscribe to Stream On Demand to receive notifications of new posts (your E-mail address will not be shared) and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. He writes the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website, and his work appears at RogerEbert.com, Turner Classic Movies online, The Film Noir Foundation, and Parallax View.

Related posts