What to stream: ‘Solo’ on Netflix, ‘Annihilation’ and ‘The Commuter’ on Amazon and Hulu

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY Alden Ehrenreich is Han Solo and Joonas Suotamo is Chewbacca

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

Alden Ehrenreich is a young Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018, PG-13), a prequel from a galaxy far, far away. As much galactic heist adventure as space opera, it co-stars Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, and Donald Glover as young Lando Calrissian, and it shows how Han met Chewbacca and won his pride and joy: The Millennium Falcon. Now streaming on Netflix.

The trippy and often unnerving science fiction thriller Annihilation (2018, R), starring Natalie Portman as a Special Forces soldier investigating an alien force field on Earth, favors science and mystery over action. Filmmaker Alex Garland (“Ex Machina”) adapts the novel by Jeff VanderMeer and Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, and Tessa Thompson co-star. Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

Liam Neeson once again uses his particular set of skills in The Commuter (2018, PG-13), a conspiracy thriller set on a runaway train. It’s the unlikely action star’s fourth film with director Jaume Collet-Serra (Non-Stop) and they really have the formula down by now. Prime Video and Hulu.

A Pakistani-British civilian is pressured into becoming an informant by a counter-terrorist officer (Paddy Considine) in Informer: Season 1, a BBC thriller set in the murky world of the war on terror. It debuts stateside on Amazon Prime Video.

The Netflix Original comedy Sex Education: Season 1 stars Asa Butterfield as a socially awkward teen who becomes his high school’s underground sex-ed counselor, thanks to expertise provided by his sex therapist mother (Gillian Anderson) and a business plan by an enterprising student (Emma Mackey). Eight episodes now on Netflix.

Classic pick: Gregory Peck is Captain Ahab in Moby Dick (1956), a visually stunning adaptation of the American classic from director John Huston and screenwriter Ray Bradbury. Amazon Prime Video.

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Actor/writer Jonah Hill makes his directorial debut with Mid90s (2018, R), a semi-autobiographical comedy-drama young teens in the skateboarding culture of the 1990s.

Also new are the family-centered dramas Wildlife (2018, PG-13) with Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan and What They Had (2018, R) with Hilary Swank and Michael Shannon and comedy The Oath (2018, R) with Ike Barinholtz and Tiffany Haddish.

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is The Aspern Papers (2019, R), based on the Henry James novella and starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Vanessa Redgrave, and Joely Richardson.


The Last Laugh (2019, not rated) is a Netflix Original starring with Chevy Chase as a retired talent agent who escapes from his retirement with his very first client (Richard Dreyfuss) for a geriatric comedy tour. Andie MacDowell and Kate Micucci co-star.

Olga Kurylenko confronts ancient demons in Mara (2018, not rated) and Zoe Kazan is a mother protecting her daughter from The Monster (2016, not rated) in two new horror additions.

The animated monster movie Godzilla: The Planet Eater (Japan, 2018) comes to Netflix from its theatrical run in Japan and concludes the trilogy begun with Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters and continued in Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle. All offer the choice of original Japanese and dubbed soundtracks.

Streaming TV: four military veterans reunite in When Heroes Fly: Season 1 (Israel, with subtitles) to search for a missing friend. Also new is the comedy Friends from College: Season 2.

True stories: Pope Francis: A Man of His Word (2018, PG) profiles the pontiff and his message of peace and healing. Also new is ReMastered: Massacre at the Stadium (2019, not rated), which revisits the murder of Chilean protest singer Victor Jara.

Foreign affairs: based on a true story, Solo (Spain, 2018, not rated, with subtitles), follows a surfer’s fight for survival after a fall from a cliff on a remote beach.

Amazon Prime Video

Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins, and Michael Caine star in Zulu (1964) as British soldiers in the 19th century under attack in a remote African outpost.

True stories: McKellen: Playing the Part (2018, TV-PG) profiles the career and the activism of actor Ian McKellen.

Kid stuff: children play-act war as rival pirate gangs in Swallows and Amazons (2017, not rated), a family adventure based on the British children’s novel by Arthur Ransome.

Streaming TV: it’s not quite the entire series but Amazon has Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Seasons 1 + 5-19 with Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, and Christopher Meloni. That’s over 350 episodes of justice.

Also new: William Shatner as “William Shatner” in Free Enterprise (1999, R), a slight but fun geek fest with Shatner spoofing his image;

Amazon Prime / Hulu

Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling are easy-going parents pushed past their comfort zone by adventurous new neighbors in the comedy The Overnight (2015, R) (Prime Video and Hulu).


The Dude abides, sort of, in a surf bum burn-out named Dud (Wyatt Russell) who finds his tribe in Lodge 49, the offbeat comedy series from AMC. The first season is now on Hulu.

Also new are The Split: Season 1, a British drama starring about Nicola Walker and a family of female divorce lawyers, and the second season of Hulu Original science fiction comedy Future Man.


Brian Cox and the Broken Lizard comedy troupe return in Super Troopers 2 (2018, R), the sequel to the cult comedy hit.

Available Saturday night is Ocean’s 8 (2018, PG-13), a comic caper spin-off starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, and Anne Hathaway.

Showtime Anytime

Jessica Chastain stars as Molly Bloom, the Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game, in Molly’s Game (2017, R). Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin made his directorial debut with this drama based on Bloom’s memoir.

Available Saturday night is the comedy I Feel Pretty (2018, PG-13) with Amy Schumer.

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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.