By Sean AxmakerTop streams for the week
“Watership Down,” a Netflix coproduction with BBC, presents a four-part animated adaptation of the Richard Adams novel about a warren of rabbits fighting to establish a new home. This gritty tale is not for young kids. The star-studded voice cast includes James McAvoy, Gemma Arterton, John Boyega, Peter Capaldi, Nicholas Hoult, Daniel Kaluuya, Rosamund Pike, and Ben Kingsley. Now on Netflix.
“Avengers: Infinity War” (2018, PG-13) is the biggest, most sprawling superhero epic yet, a comic book apocalypse that pits almost every character in the big screen Marvel Comics Universe—Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Panther, Spider-Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and more—against cosmic supervillain-with-a-god-complex Thanos (Josh Brolin). It ends on a cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers; to be concluded in 2019. Streaming on Netflix.
“Hereditary” (2018, R) spins a family psychodrama of grief and guilt into an eerie horror film with supernatural overtones. Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne star in the sleeper hit of the summer, a rare thriller that favors mood and unease over shock value. Streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Classic pick: Audrey Hepburn stars in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961), Blake Edwards’ sparkling adaptation of Truman Capote’s bittersweet novella. Mickey Rooney’s buck-toothed turn as the Japanese landlord is an offensive and indefensible racial stereotype but the film is otherwise a smoothly handsome and quietly elegant romantic drama with playful touches of humor. Streaming on Hulu.
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
Matthew McConaughey stars in “White Boy Rick” (2018, R), based on the true story of a teenage drug trafficker turned FBI informant (Richie Merritt). Also on DVD and at Redbox
Coming to VOD before disc is comedy “Night School” (2018, PG-13) with Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish and “boy and his robot dog” adventure “A.X.L.” (PG).
Action thriller “American Renegades” (2018, R) with J.K. Simmons and Sullivan Stapleton arrives a week after debuting in theaters.
Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, and Dave Franco star in the hilariously foul-mouthed comedy “The Little Hours” (2017, R), based on the medieval stories of Giovanni Boccaccio and shot in the hills of rural Italy with period detail and a modern accent.
Foreign affairs: “A Twelve-Year Night” (Uruguay, 2018, not rated, with subtitles), an award-winning drama inspired by the true stories of political prisoners surviving solitary confinement, debuts on the U.S. on Netflix. Also new: crime thriller “When Angels Sleep” (Spain, 2018, not rated, with subtitles).
Streaming TV: “The Magicians: Season 3” takes the young adult drama about a more grown-up school for magic into a world where magic no longer exists. Also new:
reality series “Yummy Mummies: Season 1,” about models facing their first pregnancies, and “Instant Hotel: Season 1” from Australia;
family comedy “Alexa & Katie: Season 2”;
award-winning travel series “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown: Season 11,” the final season;
animated comedy “Hi Score Girl: Season 1” (Japan).
Foreign language TV: “Selection Day: Season 1” (India) is a drama set following a young sports prodigy in the cutthroat world of professional cricket.
Amazon Prime Video
Nathalie Baye stars in the World War I homefront drama “The Guardians” (France, 2017, R, with subtitles) from director Xavier Beauvois (“Of Gods and Men”).
Also new: Noah Baumbach’s “The Squid and the Whale” (2005, R) with Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, and Jesse Eisenberg;
Walter Hill’s survival drama “Southern Comfort” (1981, R) with Keith Carradine and Powers Boothe;
historical drama “That Hamilton Woman” (1941) with Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier;
frontier western “The Last of the Mohicans” (1936) with Randolph Scott.
Streaming TV: the adventure continues in the animated “Niko and the Sword of Light: Season 2.”
Prime Video and Hulu
“Iron Man 2” (2010, PG-13) gives the hard-partying millionaire-turned-heavy metal superhero played by Robert Downey Jr. a new villain (Mickey Rourke) and a new ally (Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow). For all of Downey’s bubbly, brash energy, the fizz is a little flat in this sequel but the effects are impressive. Gwyneth Paltrow is his long-suffering girl Friday, Don Cheadle suits up this time as best friend and military babysitter Rhodey, and Samuel L. Jackson is Nick Fury. Prime Video and Hulu.
“New Year, New You” (2018, not rated), the fourth feature-length episode of Hulu’s original horror series “Into the Dark,” arrives a week early to premiere before New Year’s Eve.
Streaming TV: from TBS comes road comedy “The Detour: Season 3” with Jason Jones and Natalie Zea.
Wes Anderson’s animated “Isle of Dogs” (2018, PG-13) is a playful fantasy adventure set in a near-future Japan.
Arriving on Saturday night is the back to school comedy “Life of the Party” (2018, PG-13) with Melissa McCarthy.
“Spotlight” (2015, R), the story of the Boston Globe reporters who uncovered the Catholic Church’s cover-up of child molestation by priests, won the Oscar for Best Picture. Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, and Michael Keaton star.
Also new: urban drama “Pimp” (2018, TV-MA) with Keke Palmer and thriller “City Of Ghosts” (2002, R) with Matt Dillon and James Caan.
Rowan Atkinson returns as Inspector Jules Maigret in the feature length mysteries “Night at Cross Roads” and “Maigret in Montmartre,” which make their U.S. debut on Britbox.
“Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam” the second feature-length mystery starring Ashley Jensen as the urban profession turned amateur sleuth in rural England, is now streaming on Acorn. Also new: “Murdoch Mysteries: Season 12” rolls out with new episodes each Monday.
New on disc this week:
“White Boy Rick,” “American Renegades.”
Now available at Redbox:
“White Boy Rick,” “The Predator,” “Galveston,” “Six: Season 1.”
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at http://streamondemandathome.com.