Rufus Sewell plays a successful businessman and reckless womanizer whose lovers start to turn up dead in “The Pale Horse” (2020, TV-14), a two-part adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel. Set in 1960s London, it’s a murder mystery with a twist of pagan ritual and supernatural suggestions. Kaya Scodelario, Rita Tushingham, and Sean Pertwee. Originally shown on British TV, it debuts stateside on Amazon Prime Video.
“Lost Girls” (2020, R) dramatizes the real-life story of a single mother (Amy Ryan) who takes on the investigation of a serial killer who murdered over a dozen women on Long Island, including her eldest daughter. Thomasin McKenzie, Oona Laurence, and Gabriel Byrne costar. It’s the first dramatic feature by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus and it comes to Netflix direct from the Sundance Film Festival.
Staying with the true crime theme, the four-part documentary “The Most Dangerous Animal of All“ (2020) investigates the claims of Gary Stewart, who believes that the father who abandoned him was the Zodiac Killer. All four episodes now streaming on FX on Hulu.
Netflix offers its second interactive program with the kid-oriented “Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not to Steal” (2020, not rated), an animated adventure that gives viewers the opportunity to choose the character’s decisions.
Adam Sandler gives one his finest performances as a New York jeweler and gambling addict in “Uncut Gems” (2019, R), an indie drama and character piece from the Safdie Bros. driven by adrenaline and nervous energy. Though overlooked for Oscar nominations, it won acclaim for Sandler’s performance and numerous awards from critics groups. Idina Menzel, Eric Bogosian, The Weeknd, and NBA center Kevin Garnett costar. On Cable On Demand and VOD, also on DVD and at Redbox.
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
Charlize Theron plays Megyn Kelly and Nicole Kidman is Gretchen Carlson in “Bombshell” (2019, R), the story of the toxic atmosphere of Fox News and the women who spoke out about the predatory behavior of Roger Ailes. Margot Robbie and John Lithgow costar in the film that won an Oscar for the impressive make-up that transformed Theron in Kelly and Lithgow into Ailes. Also new:
- the recent revival of “Charlie’s Angels” (2019, PG-13) with Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska;
- animated comedy “Spies in Disguise” (2019, PG) featuring the voices of Will Smith and Tom Holland;
- indie science fiction thriller “Little Joe” (2019, not rated) with Emily Beecham and Ben Whishaw.
Available same day as select theaters nationwide is “Lost Transmissions” (2020, not rated), starring Simon Pegg as a music professional suffering from mental illness and Juno Temple and Alexandra Daddario as friends help him recover.
The second season of the hit series “Kingdom” (South Korea, TV-MA, with subtitles), a gripping mix of costume drama, historical epic, and zombie thriller, finally lets audiences breath again after the cliffhanger end of season one.
More family friendly is the Australian drama “Go Karts” (2020, not rated) with Frances O’Connor, Richard Roxburgh, and Dan Wyllie, and the animated short “Sitara: Let Girls Dream” (2019, Pakistan, TV-PG), about a 14-year-old girl in 1970s Pakistan.
Emile Hirsch and Bruce Dern star in “Freaks” (2018, R), yet another indie twist on the superhero drama.
Streaming TV: “Beastars: Season 1” (Japan, not rated) plays like a more adult version of “Zootopia” with a murder in a high school of anthropomorphic animals
International cinema: Cristi Puiu became a leading filmmaker in the new Romanian Cinema with “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu” (Romania, 2005, not rated, with subtitles), a searing epic portrait of the failure of the state health system that won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and his follow-up “Aurora” (Romania, 2010, not rated, with subtitles).
International TV: “Bloodride: Season 1” (Norway, not rated, with subtitles) is a Scandinavian horror anthology with dark sense of humor and “The Valhalla Murders: Season 1” (Iceland, not rated, with subtitles) is a cop thriller about the hunt for a serial killer. Also new:
- political thriller “Women of the Night: Season 1” (Netherlands, not rated, with subtitles);
- medical melodrama “Hospital Playlist: Season 1” (South Korea, with subtitles);
- game show “The Circle Brazil: Season 1” (Brazil, with subtitles);
- the third season of the teen thriller “Elite” (Spain, TV-MA, with subtitles).
True stories: “Dirty Money: Season 2” continues to dig into the corruption and malfeasance of modern financial giants, including Jared Kushner.
Stand-up: “Marc Maron: End Times Fun” (2020, not rated).
Amazon Prime Video
Filmmaker Kevin Smith reunites with Jason Mewes for “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot” (2019, R), which revives the characters they originally played in the cult indie comedy “Clerks.”
James Caan plays an American who moves to Nazareth to raise pigs in “Holy Lands” (2019, not rated).
Six teens are trapped in the middle of a lake by a monstrous creature in the indie horror “Beneath” (2013, not rated).
Kid stuff: a young girl and her purple sea monster explore the world in “Jessy & Nessy: Season 1” (2020, TV-G).
A group of teenage revolutionary soldiers are left with an American prisoner (Julianne Nicholson) in “Monos” (Columbia, 2019, not rated, with subtitles), a kind of “Lord of the Flies” set in the mountains of Latin America. It was Colombia’s entry to the Academy Awards and a Sundance Film Festival winner.
Animation: a superpowered fireman deals with supernatural conflagrations in “Fire Force: Season 1” (Japan, TV-14), which initially played on the U.S. on Adult Swim
Kid stuff: “Monchhichi: Season 1A” (France, TV-G) is an animated fantasy for young kids about the beings that create pleasant dreams.
Great music sustains “Yesterday” (2019, PG-13), a romantic comedy about a failed singer-songwriter (Himesh Patel) who wakes up in a world where only he remembers The Beatles and he performs their songs as his own. Lily James and Ed Sheeran costar, Danny Boyle directs from an original script by England’s romcom king Richard Curtis (“Love Actually”).
True stories: “Women of Troy” (2020, not rated) profiles the impact of the USC Trojans and their coach Cheryl Miller in the 1980s on the rise women’s basketball.
“Stargirl” (2020, PG), based on the young adult novel by Jerry Spinelli, is a ukulele-playing high school student (“America’s Got Talent” winner Grace VanderWaal in her feature debut) who transforms the life of a shy Arizona teenage boy. Not to be confused with the upcoming CW superhero series of the same name, this feature film debuts directly to Disney+.
Christopher Eccleston and Marsha Thomason are former cops who offer their guest cottage as a “Safe House” (2015, TV-MA) in the first season of the British crime thriller, now streaming on Sundance Now.
Tilda Swinton is “Orlando” (1992, PG-13) in Sally Potter’s adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s novel and Julianne Moore is “Safe” (1995, R) in the Todd Haynes drama of environmental illness. Both are new to Criterion Channel this month. Also new:
- the original “3:10 to Yuma” (1957), a dark western with Glenn Ford and Van Heflin;
- a double feature of the original American cut of “The Front Page” (1931) and Howard Hawks’ remake “His Girl Friday” (1940) with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell;
- Pier Paolo Pasolini’s ribald “Trilogy of Life”—”The Decameron” (Italy, 1971), “The Canterbury Tales” (Italy, 1972), and “Arabian Nights” (Italy, 1974) (all not rated, with subtitles)—based on masterpieces of medieval literature;
- “Three by Peter Bogdanovich” featuring the director’s early films “Targets” (1968, R), Oscar-winner “The Last Picture Show” (1971, R), and depression era comic drama “Paper Moon” (1973, PG).
New on disc and available at Redbox: “Bombshell,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Uncut Gems,” Spies in Disguise”
Visit the paper’s website online for more options and recommendations.
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at http://streamondemandathome.com.