Top streams for the week
Tom Cruise reunites the team (including Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, and Alec Baldwin) for a personal mission in “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” (2018, PG-13), the highly entertaining sixth film in the globetrotting spy franchise. This is arguably the best installment to date in the most inventive series of action movies in the U.S. It’s now streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, along with two addition recent features.
Anna Kendrick stars as an overachieving single mom turned detective when her chic new best friend (Blake Lively) disappears in the witty murder mystery “A Simple Favor” (2018, R) (Prime Video and Hulu), and Emily Mortimer fights small town opposition to open “The Bookshop” (2018, PG) in the light British drama costarring Bill Nighy and Patricia Clarkson (Prime Video and Hulu).
Lucy Liu, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste star in “Why Women Kill,” a new anthology series created by Marc Cherry (“Desperate Housewives”) for CBS All Access. Two episodes now available, new episodes each Thursday.
The Sundance award-winning documentary “American Factory” (2019, not rated) from Oscar-nominated filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert looks at the culture clash when a Chinese billionaire reopens a shuttered GM auto plant in Ohio with American workers. On Netflix.
Criterion Channel presents the newly restored versions of Jackie Chan’s “Police Story” (Hong Kong, 1985) and “Police Story 2” (Hong Kong, 1988), a pair of comic action classics featuring Chan as a maverick cop that transformed Asian action cinema and helped propel Chan to international stardom. With original Cantonese and English-dubbed soundtracks (with subtitles) plus bonus interviews and featurettes. Not rated.
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson are con artists on the French Riviera in the comedy “The Hustle” (2019, PG-13) a reworking of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” Also new this week:
- “A Dog’s Journey” (2019, PG), a family friendly feel good odyssey;
- young adult romantic comedy “The Sun Is Also a Star” (2019, PG-13);
- “Brightburn” (2019, R), a collision of superhero movie and horror film;
- documentary “The Biggest Little Farm” (2019, PG) about a couple who leave the city to start a sustainable farm.
Foreign language films this week include “Socrates” (Brazil, 2019, not rated, with subtitles), a drama set in the slums of Sao Paulo that won a Film Independent Spirit Award, and action thriller “The Brink” (China, 2019, not rated, with subtitles) with Jin “Max” Zhang and Shawn Yue.
Available same day as select theaters nationwide is crime thriller “Burn” (2019, not rated) crime thriller, Josh Hutcherson, Suki Waterhouse, and Harry Shum Jr.
“13 Reasons Why: Season 3” continues the quest to uncover the truth of a high school student’s suicide in the young adult drama.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis star in “Gangs of New York” (2002, R), Martin Scorsese’s crime epic set in 19th century New York City.
More streaming TV: two gearhead shows debut on Netflix. “Hyperdrive” puts elite street racers on an elaborate obstacle racing course and “Rust Valley Restorers” follows a trio of collectors restoring classic cars.
Foreign language TV: “Til Death Do Us Part: Season 1” (Taiwan, with subtitles) is a sci-fi anthology series with dark twists in the “Black Mirror” mode. Seven half-hour episodes available. Also new:
- romantic drama “Love Alarm: Season 1” (South Korea, with subtitles) about young love in the modern world;
- “The King’s Avatar: Season 1” (China, with subtitles) set in the world of competitive video gaming.
More true stories: “El Pepe: A Supreme Life” (Uruguay, 2019, not rated, with subtitles) profiles the life and legacy of former Uruguay president José “Pepe” Mujica. From award-winning filmmaker Emir Kusturica.
Stand-up: “Simon Amstell: Set Free” (2019, not rated).
Amazon Prime Video
It’s a stand-up comedy festival on Prime Video: eight brand new comedy specials debut this week, including “#IMomSoHard Live” featuring comedians Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley, “Alonzo Bodden: Heavy Lightweight,” “Mike E. Winfield: StepMan,” and musical duo “Flo and Joan: Alive on Stage.” Other featured comedians are “Alice Wetterlund,” “Chris Ramsey,” “Ed Gamble,” and “Paul Chowdhry.” Not rated.
Urban revenge film “Dolemite” (1975, R) stars X-rated comic and “godfather of rap” Rudy Ray Moore and an all-girl army of kung fu killers. You can’t call it good but this cult film is strangely compelling. Stream it before the Eddie Murphy biopic “Dolemite is My Name” hits theaters later this year.
“Last Chance Harvey” (2009, PG-13) is an understated romantic drama starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson as lonely singles. Also new:
- “Wendigo” (2001, R), an indie horror film with roots in American folklore;
- Rugter Hauer in “The Blood of Heroes” (1990, R), a cult science fiction film from “Blade Runner” screenwriter David Peoples;
- “The Lair of the White Worm” (1988, R), Ken Russell’s campy adaptation of the Bram Stoker’s novel starring Hugh Grant;
- “Cross Creek” (1983, PG), Martin Ritt’s Oscar-nominated drama starring Mary Steenburgen as author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
Foreign affairs: think of “Battle Royale” (Japan, 2000, not rated, with subtitles), a gory mix of “Lord of the Flies” and teenage nihilism, as the original “Hunger Games” as a savage, splattery social satire. Also new:
- the original “Ju-On: The Grudge” (Japan, 2004, R, with subtitles), a creepy ghost story that inspired a series of sequels and remakes;
- the gory horror thriller “High Tension” (France, 2003, NC-17, with subtitles) which brought director Alexandre Aja to the attention of Hollywood.
Streaming TV: Clive Owen stars in “Chancer: Season 1” (1990) as an analyst and con man in the world of big business and Dervla Kirwan and Damien Lewis star in the romantic drama “Hearts and Bones: Complete Series” (2000-2001).
Foreign language TV: “A French Village: Season 1” (France, with subtitles) is a drama set in Nazi-occupied France. Amazon also has seasons 3 and 4; the rest of the series is available on MHz.
True stories: “Inside Borussia Dormund: Season 1” (Germany) looks at the German soccer team over four episodes, one episode each week, Also new:
- “CERN” (Austria, 2013), Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s look at the massive Hadron Collider in Switzerland;
- “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” (2000, PG-13), a sympathetic portrait of “the first lady of tele-evangelism.”
“Hail, Satan?” (2019, R), Penny Lane’s documentary about rise and influence The Satanic Temple, leans on humor to explore their efforts to preserve the separation of Church and State and provoke debate.
Oscar Isaac stars as a Mossad agent assigned to bring Adolph Eichmann (Ben Kingsley) to trial for war crimes in “Operation Finale” (2018, PG-13), based on a true story.
The Hulu Original documentary “Jawline” (2019, not rated) looks at the culture of social media fame through the story of Austyn Tester.
The hour-long comedy “The Righteous Gemstones” (TV-MA) from creator/star Danny McBride satirizes the world of televangelism. John Goodman, Edi Patterson, Adam Devine, and Walton Goggins co-star. New episodes each Sunday night.
Clint Eastwood is “The Mule” (2018, R) in the drama based on the true story of an octogenarian drug runner for a Mexican cartel.
Available Saturday night is “Mortal Engines” (2018, PG-13), based on the steampunk novel by Philip Reeve and produced by Peter Jackson.
Each season of the Welsh crime thriller “35 Days: Complete Series” (2014-2017, with subtitles) opens with the discovery of a body and rewinds to follow the events leading up to the death. Three seasons now streaming on Britbox.
“Pre-Code Barbara Stanwyck” presents 11 sassy and sexy films on The Criterion Channel featuring the great American actress overpowering all of her male costars, especially in the short, sharp, street-smart classics “Night Nurse” (1931) costarring Joan Blondell and Clark Gable and “Baby Face” (1933) with a very young John Wayne.
Criterion Channel also spotlights on the films of Greek director/producer Athina Rachel Tsangari (“Attenberg,” 2010, “Chevalier,” 2015, not rated, with subtitles) and French filmmaker André Téchiné (“Rendez-vous,” 1985, “Wild Reeds,” 1994, not rated, with subtitles).
Free streams: Andrew Garfield and Riley Keough star in the surreal thriller “Under the Silver Lake” (2018, R) from “It Follows” director David Robert Mitchell. It is new on Kanopy, along with:
- award winning indie comic drama “Thunder Road” (2018, not rated) from filmmaker/star Jim Cummings;
- “Lords of Chaos” (2018, R), a dark, based-on-a-true-story drama set in Norway’s Black Metal culture starring Rory Culkin;
- “The Other Son” (France, 2012, PG-13, with subtitles), a drama about identity across the cultural divide of Israelis and Palestinians;
- European murder mystery “The Girl in the Fog” (Italy, 2017, not rated, with subtitles) starring Toni Servillo and Jean Reno;
- “On My Way” (France, 2013, not rated, with subtitles) starring Catherine Deneuve as a former beauty queen struggling to save her family’s troubled restaurant;
- James Ivory’s “Heat and Dust” (1983, R) with Julie Christie and Greta Scacchi and “Shakespeare Wallah” (1966) about a traveling theater troupe in the final days of colonial India.
Kanopy is available through most public library systems.
New on disc and at Redbox this week:
“The Hustle,” “A Dog’s Journey,” “The Sun Is Also a Star,” “Brightburn,” “The Biggest Little Farm”
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.