Celebrate July 4 with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” (2020, PG-13), a filmed version of the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning Broadway phenomenon. Shot in 2016 with the original cast in front of a live audience, it was originally slated for theatrical release by Disney. Instead, they’ve chosen to give home audiences the best seat in the house for this landmark production (Disney+).
Helen Mirren presents “#Anne Frank – Parallel Stories” (2019, not rated), which retells Anne Frank’s story alongside those of five Holocaust survivors, who share their personal experiences on camera (Netflix).
The limited series “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” (2020, TV-MA) takes a different approach to the true crime documentary, focusing on author Michelle McNamara’s obsessive investigation into the Golden State Killer and giving voice to the survivors. New episodes each Sunday (HBO Max, all HBO platforms).
Kid stuff: the new small screen version of “The Baby-Sitters Club” (TV-Y), based on the popular series of books by Ann M. Martin and updated to 2020, tells the stories of teenage girls in their high school years with respect for the characters and its young target audience. Alicia Silverstone provides the adult supervision. 10 episodes (Netflix).
Classic pick: Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning “Schindler’s List” (1993, R) might make a good companion piece to the Anne Frank documentary (Netflix).
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
“Mr. Jones” (2019, not rated) tells the story of the journalist (James Norton) who broke the story of the 1930s Russian famine to the rest of the world. Vanessa Kirby and Peter Sarsgaard costar in the film directed by Agnieszka Holland. Also new:
- family fantasy adventure “Four Kids and It” (2020, PG) featuring the voice of Michael Caine;
- “Wallflower” (2017, not rated), the shot-in-Seattle drama based on the Capitol Hill Massacre that debuted at SIFF 2017.
Debuting directly to VOD is the drama “The Truth” (France, 2019, PG, with subtitles) by Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda with Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, and Ethan Hawke, and Afghanistan war drama “The Outpost” (2020, R) with Scott Eastwood and Orlando Bloom.
“Homemade” (2020) is an anthology of stories of life in the Covid-19 era from filmmakers Maggie Gyllenhaal, Pablo Larraín, Ladj Ly, David Mackenzie, Rachel Morrison, and Paolo Sorrentino, among others.
The third and final season of the tragic time-travel thriller “Dark” (Germany, TV-MA, with subtitles) adds even more layers to the densely-woven story before bringing all the stories—the touching personal journeys and the epic overarching struggle over fate—to a satisfying close.
In the young adult fantasy series “Warrior Nun” (not rated), an orphaned teenager wakes up in a morgue finds herself imbued with the supernatural powers of… well, you read the title.
More new films: Australian drama “Ride Like a Girl” (2019, PG) starring Teresa Palmer as the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup;
- romantic comedy “Desperados” (2020, not rated), a Netflix Original film with Nasim Pedrad, Anna Camp, Lamorne Morris, and Robbie Amell;
- “Nobody Knows I’m Here” (Chile, 2020, not rated, with subtitles) starring Jorge Garcia (“Lost”) as a former child singer who is now a recluse in rural Chile.
More streaming TV: a reboot of the non-fiction series “Unsolved Mysteries” (not rated);
- wedding reality/makeover show “Say I Do: Season 1” (not rated);
- horror series “JU-ON – Origins: Season 1” (Japan, not rated, with subtitles);
- “Cable Girls: Final Season: Part 2” (Spain, TV-MA, with subtitles).
Stand-up: “George Lopez: We’ll Do It For Half” (2020, not rated)
Amazon Prime Video
The second season of the action thriller “Hanna: Season 2” (TV-MA) follows the teenage super soldier as she’s trained to become a covert assassin.
Action comedy “Guns Akimbo” (2019, R) stars Daniel Radcliffe as a video game developer suddenly thrust into real-life death match competition with live weapons.
Filmmaker Christopher Guest struck comedy gold with four hilarious mockumentaries he made with Eugene Levy, Fred Willard, Catherine O’Hara, Fred Willard, and others: small town theater comedy “Waiting for Guffman” (1997, R), dog show satire “Best in Show” (2000, PG-13), folk nostalgia parody “A Mighty Wind” (2003, PG-13), and indie movie spoof “For Your Consideration” (2006, PG-13).
“The Whistlers” (2020), a crime thriller with a streak of black comedy, arrives from acclaimed Romanian filmmaker Corneliu Porumboiu. Also from Romania come the social satire “Tales From the Golden Age” (2011) and East-meets-West comedy “California Dreamin’” (2009) (all from Romania, not rated, with subtitles).
True stories: “I Am Not Your Negro” (2016, PG-13), a portrait of the life and career of James Baldwin, earned an Oscar nomination for best documentary.
Cult: sexploitation maverick Russ Meyer made his Hollywood studio debut with “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” (1970, NC-17), a wild romp co-written by film critic Roger Ebert.
HBO Max / HBO Now
Ewan McGregor plays adult Danny Torrance in “Doctor Sleep” (2020, R), based on Stephen King’s sequel to “The Shining.” Mike Flanagan directs and scripts.
The documentary “Welcome to Chechnya” (2020, TV-MA) examines the government-supported persecution of gay citizens Russia.
A police detective grapples with a love triangle involving his wife and their best friend while trying to solve a series of murders in “The Sommerdahl Murders: Series 1” (Denmark, not rated, with subtitles) (Acorn TV).
British mystery series “Father Brown: Season 8” (TV-PG) makes its stateside debut, with two episodes now available and new episodes each Tuesday (BritBox).
Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan are back in the game in “Jumanji: The Next Level” (2019, PG-13) (Starz).
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne won the best director prize at Cannes for “Young Ahmed” (Belgium, 2019, not rated, with subtitles), a drama about a Belgian teenager is swayed by Islamic extremists. It makes its streaming premiere on Criterion Channel with an introduction by film historian Godfrey Cheshire. Also new to Criterion Channel:
- “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World” (2017, not rated), a documentary that spotlights Native Americans in rock and popular music;
- Kelly Reichardt’s “Certain Women” (2016, R) with Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, and Kristen Stewart;
- Joan Micklin Silver’s American indie classic “Between the Lines” (1977, R) with John Heard and Jeff Goldblum;
- a collection of “Czechoslovak New Wave” films, from Oscar-nominated “Loves of a Blonde” (1965) from Miloš Forman and Oscar-winning “Closely Watched Trains” (1966) to feminist landmark “Daisies” (1966) and mystical coming-of-age fantasy “Valerie and Her Week of Wonders” (1970) (all from Czechoslovakia, with subtitles).
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.