What to stream: ‘High Flying Bird’ and Kevin Hart on Netflix, ‘Don’t Worry’ and ‘Papillon’ on Amazon, ‘Pen15’ on Hulu

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …

Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh directs High Flying Bird (2019, not rated), a Netflix original sports drama about “the game on top of the game.” Written by “Moonlight” screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCraney and starring André Holland as sports agent, it takes on race, money, and the business of professional sports in something that resembles a caper movie. Zazie Beetz, Bill Duke, Sonja Sohn, Melvin Gregg, Zachary Quinto, and Kyle MacLachlan co-star in the film that Soderbergh shot on an iPhone. The Netflix Original Movie debuted at the Slamdance Film Festival.

Joaquin Phoenix is John Callahan in Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (2018, R), Gus Van Sant’s film about the Portland, Oregon, artist who recreated himself as a cartoonist after a car wreck left him quadriplegic. More to the point, it takes on the battle with alcoholism Callahan wrote about in his memoir. Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, and Jack Black co-star. On Amazon Prime Video.

A middle-school comedy for adults, the Hulu Original series PEN15: Season 1 stars 30-something creators Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle as 13-year-old outcasts navigating those awkward years. All ten episodes now on Hulu.

Classic picks: Orson Welles’ The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) is an elegiac drama of the decline of a powerful family stuck in the past while the world passes them by, and the Oscar-winning musical West Side Story (1961) is timely once more with Steven Spielberg’s remake now in production. Both streaming on Netflix.

The Criterion Channel (re)launches in April but if you sign up now to 30-day trial you get a free streaming movie each week until the site officially debuts.

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Viola Davis leads a team of amateurs on a heist in Widows (2018, R), a gritty drama set in the corrupt culture of Chicago crime and politics. Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) directs and Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, and Cynthia Erivo co-star with Colin Farrell and Liam Neeson. Also on DVD and at Redbox.

John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix are frontier assassins in The Sisters Brothers (2018, R), an offbeat western based on the cult novel by Patrick Dewitt. Also on DVD and at Redbox.

Also new: The Grinch (2018, PG), a new animated adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic featuring the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch;

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is anthology film Berlin I Love You (2019, R) with Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Jim Sturgess, and Diego Luna;


The Netflix Original Special Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History uses comic reenactments to teach lessons from history.

Helen Mirren headlines The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014, PG), a cross-cultural foodie drama set in the world of French cuisine with Indian spices. Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

Daniel Craig took on the mantle of James Bond in Casino Royale (2006, PG-13), a gritty reboot that revitalized the series.

The laconic, offbeat comic drama Get Low (2009, PG-13) stars Robert Duvall as a cantankerous hermit who stages his own funeral before he dies. Sissy Spacek and Bill Murray co-star.

Ruth Bradley plays mystery author Agatha Christie in the BBC television film Agatha and the Truth of Murder (2018, TV-14), a fictional drama inspired by her real-life 11-day disappearance.

Foreign affairs: a young couple discovers buried secrets as the explores their entwined family tree in The Tree of Blood (“El árbol de la sangre”) (Spain, 2018, not rated, with subtitles) from award-winning filmmaker Julio Medem.

True stories: ReMastered: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke looks into the murder of the legendary singer.

Streaming TV: from the National Geographic Channel comes Mars: Season 1, which imagines the first manned spaceflight to the red planet through a mix of science fiction drama and science documentary. Also new:

Foreign language TV: a drug lord hides his Alzheimer’s disease while his right hand man schemes to steal his empire in Unauthorized Living: Season 1 (Spain, with subtitles). Also new:

Oscar seasoning: ease into awards season with the newly-arrived, multiple Academy Award winners Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs (1991, R) with Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, Kevin Costner’s frontier western Dances with Wolves (1990, PG-13), and Woody Allen’s Annie Hall (1977, PG).

More new arrivals: buddy/survival movie Swiss Army Man (2016, R) with Paul Dano as a lonely shipwreck survivor and Daniel Radcliffe as a corpse that becomes his best friend;

  • Oscar-nominated drama The Master (2012, R) with Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman;
  • The Soloist (2009, PG-13) with Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.;
  • baseball romance Bull Durham (1988, R) with Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon;
  • The Terminator (1984, R) with Arnold Schwarzenegger;
  • Poltergeist (1982, PG) from producer Steven Spielberg and director Tobe Hooper;
  • cult science fiction adventure Logan’s Run (1976, PG).

Stand-up: Ray Romano: Right Here, Around the Corner is the comedian’s first stand-up special in over 20 years.

Amazon Prime Video

Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek star in Papillon (2018, R), a remake of the prison break classic based on the true story of Henri Charrière’s escape from Devil’s Island.

White Dragon, a crime miniseries originally made for British TV (where it was called “Strangers”), stars John Simm as a British professor in Hong Kong looking into his wife’s death and discovering her secret life. The eight-part series debuts on Amazon in the U.S.

Cult: violent crime thriller Let the Corpses Tan (Belgium, 2018, not rated, with subtitles) is a tribute to Italian gangster movies with intertwining storylines, double-crossing characters, and flamboyant direction with a dash of spaghetti western style.

Classic: Holiday (1938) stars Cary Grant as a free-thinker with a hearty appetite for life whose impending marriage to an image-conscious socialite threatens to douse his independent spirit and Katherine Hepburn as the sister of the bride inspired by his passion. It’s one of Grant’s best films and the third of four films starring the well-matched romantic pair. Lew Ayres and Edward Everett Horton co-star and George Cukor directs.

More streaming TV: Amazon releases the SyFy series The Expanse: Season 3 in advance of taking over the show for its upcoming fourth series. Also new:

  • X-Files: Seasons 1-9 (1993-2002), the complete original run of classic conspiracy show with David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson;
  • 21 Jump Street: Complete Series (1987-1991), the undercover cop drama starring Johnny Depp;
  • The Tunnel: Season 3, the final season of the British crime drama
  • Hillary, a documentary miniseries about Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Oscar seasoning: newly-arrived Oscar-winning pictures Marty (1955) with Ernest Borgnine, All the King’s Men (1949) with Broderick Crawford, and Hamlet (1948) with Laurence Olivier all won best picture and best actor awards. More Oscar winners include:

Also newly arrived: thriller The Gift (2000, R) with Cate Blanchett and Katie Holmes;


Peter Sarsgaard is Stanley Milgram, the social psychologist whose experiments in human behavior shocked America, in Michael Almereyda’s inventive Experimenter (2015, PG-13). Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

Nina Dobrev and Vanessa Hudgens star in the romantic comedy Dog Days (2018, PG).

True stories: Pick of the Litter (2018, not rated) is a warm and fuzzy documentary that follows five puppies training to become guide dogs for the blind.

Streaming TV: Legion: Season 2, starring Dan Stevens as a mutant with incredible mental powers, takes the comic book superhero show into even more surreal territory. Also new is late night soap opera Saints & Sinners: Seasons 1-3 from Bounce TV, about the greed, lust, and crime under the surface of a churchgoing community.


NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving puts on old-age makeup to play Uncle Drew (2018, PG-13), a movie inspired by a series of Pepsi commercials.

Streaming TV: a new season of 2 Dope Queens live comedy specials with Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams debuts with new episodes each Friday.

Available Saturday night is Morgan Neville’s touching documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018, PG-13), which celebrates the life and legacy of Fred Rogers.

Showtime Anytime

Rosamund Pike and Daniel Brühl star in 7 Days in Entebbe (2018, PG-13), a thriller about the 1976 hijacking and rescue mission.

True stories: Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me (2019, TV-MA) profiles the legendary soul singer.

Kevin Costner’s Open Range (2003, R) was overlooked in its day but I think that the laconic, old-school western with Annette Benning and Robert Duvall is better and more mature a film than his Oscar-winning Dances With Wolves.

Acorn TV

New to Acorn TV this week is the 2015 romantic comedy series Together (2015) with Jonny Sweet and Cara Theobold and the made-for-TV BBC feature Cider with Rosie (2015, not rated) with Samantha Morton.


BroadwayHD presents The Sound of Music Live starring Kara Tointon and Julian Ovenden, originally presented on British TV in 2015, and the modern opera Brokeback Mountain.

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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.

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