Top streams for the week
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is disillusioned idealist Edward Snowden in “Snowden” (2016, R), Oliver Stone’s drama about the NSA whistleblower who leaked thousands of classified documents revealing illegal government surveillance. Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, Kristen Stewart, and Lily Gladstone are “Certain Women” (2016, R) in Kelly Reichardt’s intimate, compassionate portrait of frustrations, isolation, and small victories in the American Midwest. Based on the short stories of Maile Meloy. Streaming on Netflix.
“A Quiet Place” (2018, PG-13) is a horror film with a high-concept premise (alien invaders hunt humans by sound) but behind the jumps and monster-movie spectacle is a drama rooted in guilt and love and the drive to protect family at all costs. On VOD and Cable On Demand, also on DVD and at Redbox.
“Lean on Pete” (2018, R), shot in Oregon by British filmmaker Andrew Haigh (“45 Years”) and starring Charlie Plummer as a teenager who bonds with the horse he tends, challenges the sentimentality of the “boy and his horse” genre with an emotionally authentic story. It debuts on VOD and disc but Amazon Prime Video subscribers can stream it for free right now.
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
Jason Clarke is Ted Kennedy in “Chappaquiddick” (2018, PG-13), which dramatizes the real-life car accident that killed a young woman (Kate Mara) and the scandal that ensued. Also new:
- road movie comedy “The Leisure Seeker” (2017, R) with Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland;
- coming of age comedy “Krystal” (2017, R) with Rosario Dawson and Nick Robinson.
Available same day as select theaters nationwide is “Shock and Awe” (2018, R), starring Woody Harrelson and James Marsden as reporters digging into the lies behind the 2003 Iraq war. Also new:
- “Siberia” (2018, R), a crime drama starring Keanu Reeves;
- French zombie drama “Night Eats the World” (France, 2018, not rated, with subtitles).
Ben Affleck made his directorial debut with the modern private eye drama “Gone Baby Gone” (2007, R), based on the novel by Dennis Lehane and starring his brother, future Oscar-winner Casey Affleck, with Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, and Amy Ryan in an Oscar-nominated performance.
Theo James and Forest Whitaker star in the made-for-Netflix apocalyptic thriller “How It Ends” (2018, TV-MA).
The Netflix Original animated series “The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants: Season 1” continues the comic adventures of the hapless high school principal begun in the 2017 animated movie.
Amazon Prime Video
Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” (1975, PG) is the original summer blockbuster. It’s on Prime Video along with the increasingly ridiculous sequels.
“NYPD Blue: The Complete Series” (1993-2005) presents all 12 seasons and 261 episodes of the great modern cop drama that, in retrospect, was always about the redemption of Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz).
More streaming TV: “Comicstaan: Season 1,” a stand-up comedy showcase from Amazon Prime India;
- Australian crime drama “Deep Water” (2016) with Yael Stone and Noah Taylor;
- British kid-oriented sci-fi adventure “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons: Complete Series” with a cast of marionettes.
Cult movies: Jonathan Demme made his directorial debut with the wild women-in-prison film “Caged Heat” (1974, R) for Roger Corman and Joe Don Baker is Tennessee sheriff Buford Pusser in the original “Walking Tall” (1973, R).
True stories: “Take Me to the River” (2014, PG) chronicles the recording of an album uniting classic R&B and blues artists (among them Bobby Blue Bland, Mavis Staples, and Booker T. Williams) with the new generation of rappers.
Lake Bell directs and stars as a voice artist in a male-dominated business in the entertainment industry comedy “In a World” (2013, R).
The Hulu original series “Harlots: Season 2,” set in the culture of sex workers in in 18th century London brothels, is now underway. Two episodes now streaming, new episodes arrive each Wednesday.
More streaming TV: “Mary Kills People: Season 2,” the Lifetime Network series about an ER doctor (Caroline Dhavernas) who helps terminally ill patients who desire physician-assisted suicide;
FX comedy “You’re the Worst: Season 4“;
kid-friendly animated superhero series “Teen Titans Go!: Season 4B” from Cartoon Network;
BBC horror-tinged comedy “The League of Gentlemen: Complete Series.”
Available Saturday is Emmy-nominated FX comedy “Better Things: Season 2,” created by and starring Pamela Adlon.
Amy Adams is a reporter confronting the psychological scars of her past while covering a murder in the HBO Original miniseries “Sharp Objects,” based on the Gillian Flynn novel and directed by Emmy-winner Jean-Marc Vallée. New episodes arrive each Sunday.
“Justice League” (2017, PG-13) stars Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot as Batman and Wonder Woman, the veteran heroes who join forces with The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg to save the world after the death of Superman.
Stand-up: “Bill Maher: Live from Oklahoma” (2018, TV-MA)
Available Saturday night is “Battle of the Sexes” (2017, PG-13) starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.
Chadwick Boseman plays young Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall” (2017, PG-13) from filmmaker Reginald Hudlin and Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac are “Soul Men” (2008, R) in the comedy of estranged singing partners reunited for a special concert.
TCM Select Pick of the Week is “Auntie Mame” (1958) starring Rosalind Russell as an eccentric heiress who raises her orphaned nephew in a free-spirited, bohemian lifestyle. Streams through December 27, 2018
“Star of the Week: John Wayne” collects 19 films featuring The Duke, from his breakthrough role in “Stagecoach” (1939) to shot-in-Seattle seventies cop drama “McQ” (1974). In between are a number of collaborations with John Ford (including “The Long Voyage Home,” 1940, and biographical drama “The Wings of Eagles,” 1957, with buddy Ward Bond playing John Ford), Howard Hawks western “Rio Bravo” (1959) with Dean Martin and Angie Dickinson, and cattle drive drama “The Cowboys” (1972, PG) with Roscoe Lee Brown and Bruce Dern.
FilmStruck’s collection of “Eighties Fantasies” includes John Boorman’s Arthurian epic “Excalibur” (1981, PG), Terry Gilliam’s time-traveling caper comedy “Time Bandits” (1981, PG), and medieval romantic adventure “Ladyhawke” (1985, PG-13) with Matthew Broderick, Rutger Hauer, and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Also new: “Cinematography by Caleb Deschanel” celebrates the work of the great director of photography with four films, including the gorgeous “The Black Stallion” (1979, R) and Oscar-nominated “The Right Stuff” (1983, PG), and “Director of the Week: Jean Rouch” spotlights nine films from the nonfiction filmmaker, including his acclaimed “Chronicle of a Summer” (France, 1961, with subtitles).
A collection of BAFTA-winning British television dramas make their respective American debuts. “Murdered by My Boyfriend” (2014), “Murdered by My Father” (2016), and “Murdered for Being Different” (2017) form a loose trilogy of heart wrenching dramas based on true stories. In a similar vein and also inspired by a true story is “Killed by My Debt” (2018), also making its U.S. debut.
Also new: “Doctor Blake Mysteries: Seasons 4 & 5,” the final seasons in the Australian crime drama set in the 1950s and starring Craig McLachlan as a crime-solving surgeon.
New on disc this week:
“A Quiet Place,” “Chappaquiddick,” “The Leisure Seeker,” “Lean on Pete”
Now available at Redbox:
“A Quiet Place,” “Chappaquiddick,” “The Leisure Seeker,” “Lean on Pete,” “Social Animals”
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at http://streamondemandathome.com