Top streams for the week
Olivia Colman (soon to play Queen Elizabeth in the Netflix series “The Crown”) won the best actress Oscar for playing the lonely, tormented Queen Anne in “The Favourite” (2018, R), a darkly satirical historical drama costarring Oscar nominees Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone. On Cable On Demand and VOD, also on DVD and at Redbox
“Juanita” (2018, not rated), a romantic comedy based on Sheila Williams’s novel “Dancing on the Edge of the Roof,” stars Alfre Woodard as a working class woman who leaves the grown children she’s supporting and hits the road to find herself. Now streaming on Netflix.
Ricky Gervais writes, directs, and stars in “After Life: Season 1” as a nice guy who turns rude and belligerent to deal with his grief after the death of his wife. David Bradley, Ashley Jensen, and Penelope Wilton costar in the new dark comedy now streaming on Netflix.
Classic picks: Alfred Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a Train” (1951), a thriller of nightmarish wish fulfillment starring Robert Walker as a demented playboy, is one of the great films from the master of suspense. On Netflix.
News: Hulu has dropped the price in its basic, limited-commercial subscription plan from $7.99 to $5.99 a month, hoping to attract customers from Netflix after the dominant streamer’s recent price increase.
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
Julia Roberts is the concerned mother of a drug-addicted son (Lucas Hedges) in “Ben Is Back” (2018, R). Also on DVD and at Redbox. Also new:
- boxing drama “Creed II” (2018, PG-13) with Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone;
- comedy “Instant Family” (2018, PG-13) with Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne;
- drama “Vox Lux” (2018, R) starring Natalie Portman as a jaded pop star;
- horror comedy “The Cannibal Club” (Brazil, 2018, not rated, with subtitles);
- boxing documentary “Cradle of Champions” (2018, not rated).
Available same day as select theaters nationwide is the drama “I’m Not Here” (2017, not rated) starring J.K. Simmons as an alcoholic contemplating suicide and documentary “Time for Ilhan” (2019, not rated) about Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
Ewan McGregor is the grown-up “Christopher Robin” (2018, PG) who gets a little help from Winnie the Pooh and other childhood friends in this family adventure fantasy. And there are more family friendly films this week:
- adolescent rebellion comedy “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life” (2016, PG), based on the kids book by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts;
- “Walk. Ride. Rodeo.” (2019, not rated), a drama based on the real-life story of paralyzed racing champion Amberley Snyder;
- fantasy “The Spiderwick Chronicles” (2008, PG) about a hidden world discovered by three siblings;
- juvenile adventure fantasy “Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams” (2002, PG) from Robert Rodriguez.
Supernatural TV: “The Order: Season 1” drops a college student in the midst of a war between witches and werewolves and “Immortals: Season 1” (Turkey, with subtitles) pits a vengeful vampire against the king of the undead. Both are Netflix Original series.
More streaming TV: the USA miniseries “Unsolved: Tupac & Biggie” (2018) stars Josh Duhamel, Bokeem Woodbine, and Jimmi Simpson. Also new:
- “Shadow: Season 1” (South Africa), an English-language crime thriller set in Johannesburg;
- Australian political drama “Secret City: Under the Eagle: Season 2” with Anna Torv and Jacki Weaver;
- historical adventure “Resurrection: Ertugrul – Season 3” (Turkey, with subtitles);
- “The Guild: Complete Series” (2007-2013), the cult web series about a community of internet gamers created by and starring Felicia Day;
- “Jeopardy!: Collection 2,” featuring championship tourneys from the 2011-2014 seasons.
Foreign affairs: Cécile de France stars in “Lady J” (2019, France, with subtitles), a historical costume drama with a twist of revenge from the novel by Denis Diderot, originally released in France as “Mademoiselle de Joncquières.
True Stories: “Formula 1: Drive to Survive: Season 1” is a non-fiction series following one season of Formula 1 racing. Also new:
- “Weapon of Choice” (Austria, 2018, not rated) on the Glock pistol and its place in gun culture and gun violence;
- “The Rebound” (2016, not rated), which follows a season of the wheelchair basketball league.
Also new: “Wakefield” (2016, R) starring Bryan Cranston as a man in an extreme mid-life crisis;
- British war drama “Kilo Two Bravo” (2014, R);
- Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” (2013, PG-13) with an Oscar-winning performance by Cate Blanchett;
- Oscar-nominated drama “Doubt” (2008, PG-13) with Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman;
- Charlie Kaufman’s surreal “Synecdoche, New York” (2008, R) with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener;
- Oliver Stone’s “W.” (2008, PG-13) with Josh Brolin as George W. Bush;
- comedy “The Jane Austen Book Club” (2007, PG-13) with Maria Bello, Emily Blunt, and Kathy Baker;
- arms-dealing drama “Lord of War” (2005, R) with Nicolas Cage
- British crime thriller “Layer Cake” (2004, R) with Daniel Craig and Tom Hardy;
- offbeat buddy crime film “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” (1974, R) with Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges.
Amazon Prime Video
Megan Griffiths’ “Sadie” (2018, not rated), an independent drama shot in Washington State about an angry teenager (Sophia Mitri Schloss) with a single mother (Melanie Lynskey) and a soldier father serving overseas, is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
“What We Do In the Shadows” (2015, R) is a hilarious mockumentary of vampire roommates stuck in New Zealand from filmmakers and stars Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement.
Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman star as hustlers in New York City in John Schlesinger’s Oscar-winning classic “Midnight Cowboy” (1969, R).
Streaming TV: Tim Roth returns as the police chief in a rural Canadian town in “Tin Star: Season 2.” Also new:
- “Neophyte: Season 1” (Russia, with subtitles), a crime thriller set in 1950s Leningrad;
- animated fantasy “Costume Quest: Season 1” for kids.
True stories: “Tickling Giants” (2017, not rated) profiles Dr. Bassem Youssef, the Egyptian surgeon turned comedian and political satirists.
Foreign affairs: Margherita Buy is a film director in an existential crisis in “Mia Madre” (Italy, 2016, R, with subtitles), costarring John Turturro.
Cult movies: “Bubba Ho-Tep” (2003, R) starring Bruce Campbell as Elvis Presley, mummy hunter;
- “Heathers” (1989, R) with Winona Ryder and Christian Slater;
- “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” (1988, PG-13), a film that tells everything in the title.
Animation: “Reign of the Supermen” (2019, PG-13) completes the story begun in “The Death of Superman.” Also new are the animated features “Galaxy Express 999” (Japan, 1979, PG) and “Adieu Galaxy Express 999” (Japan, 1981, not rated), both in English language versions.
Also new: drama “1985” (2018, not rated) with Cory Michael Smith as closeted gay man coming home to his conservative Texas family;
- indie romantic drama “Keep The Lights On” (2012, not rated) from director Ira Sachs;
- high school satire “Saved!” (2004, PG-13) with Jena Malone and Mandy Moore;
- comedy “It Runs in the Family” (2003, PG-13) with Michael Douglas and Kirk Douglas;
- romantic drama “Nora” (2001, R) with Susan Lynch and Ewan McGregor as James Joyce;
- BBC TV adaptation “The Railway Children” (2000) with Jenny Agutter and Richard Attenborough;
- Alan Clarke juvenile crime drama “Made in Britain” (1982, not rated) with Tim Roth;
- Brian De Palma’s “Dressed to Kill” (1980, R) with Michael Caine and Angie Dickinson;
- contemporary western “Comes a Horseman” (1978, PG) with Jane Fonda and James Caan;
- the original “Death Wish” (1974, R) with Charles Bronson as an urban vigilante;
- offbeat buddy crime film “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” (1974, R) with Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges;
- World War II drama “The Battle of Britain” (1969, G);
- 19th century epic “Khartoum” (1966) with Charlton Heston and Laurence Olivier;
- “The Big Night” (1951), a film noir revenge drama from filmmaker Joseph Losey.
Prime Video and Hulu
“Where Hands Touch” (2018, PG-13) is a drama about a bi-racial teenage girl (Amandla Stenberg) struggling to survive in Nazi Germany.
Streaming TV: the British comedy “Hang Ups: Season 1” stars Stephen Mangan as a therapist who conducts sessions over Skype.
Foreign affairs: Daniel Auteuil and Gérard Depardieu star in “The Closet” (France, 2001, R, with subtitles), a comedy by Francis Veber.
True stories: “The Panama Papers” (2018, not rated) digs into the global corruption scandal and the efforts of hundreds of journalists to break the story.
Cult movies: The Ramones star in “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” (1979, PG), the great teen rebel musical comedy. Also new:
abuse victims of Michael Jackson tell their stories in “Leaving Neverland” (2019, not rated).
Dwayne Johnson takes on criminals in a towering inferno in China in “Skyscraper” (2018, PG-13).
From HBO Asia comes the historical drama “Grisse” about the 19th century rebellion against colonial government of Dutch India.
“Accused: Complete Series” (2010-2013), created by Jimmy McGovern, is an anthology crime drama that follows the experiences of ordinary citizens accused of crimes. The award-winning BBC series features Sean Bean, Christopher Eccleston, and recent Oscar-winner Olivia Colman. Streaming on Acorn TV.
British comedy series “One Foot in the Grave: Seasons 1-3” (1990-1992) with Richard Wilson as a hard-luck retiree. Streaming on Britbox
A dirty cop tries to go straight in gritty crime thriller “Alex: Season 1” (Sweden, with subtitles). Two episodes streaming on MHz, new episodes on subsequent Tuesdays.
New on disc this week:
“The Favourite,” “Creed II,” “Instant Family,” “Ben Is Back,” “Vox Lux”
Now available at Redbox:
“The Favourite,” “Free Solo,” “Creed II,” “Instant Family,” “Ben Is Back”
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at http://streamondemandathome.com.