Streaming entertainment is bigger than ever, and with so many streaming services adding new shows and movies every week, it can be nearly impossible to sort the good from the bad. If you need something to watch and don’t want to wade through the digital muck that washes up on the internet’s shores, follow our picks below for the best new shows and movies to stream on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon, and other services.
On the list this week: David Harbour does a strange comedy, Into the Dark tackles politics, and more.
Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein
David Harbour is known for his role as the cantankerous, alcoholic Sheriff Hopper on Stranger Things, but he might find himself in demand as a comic actor thanks to Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein, a very strange, funny mockumentary about a disastrous theatrical production. The film begins with Harbour (playing himself) explaining how he found a copy of a disastrous adaptation of Frankenstein that his father (also Harbour) made. As the actor delves into the mystery of his father’s bizarre play, he learns more about his megalomaniacal approach to theater. It’s a weird watch, one that moves swiftly and doesn’t overstay its welcome.
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Although they were childhood friends, Amanda (Olivia Cooke) and Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) have grown apart, both in friendship and in personality. Lily’s a high-strung, excellent student, while Amanda is a possible sociopath who got into trouble with the law after she used a knife to mercy kill her horse. The two reconnect after Amanda’s mother pays Lily to hang out with her, but they manage to bond genuinely. Their reborn friendship takes a dark turn when Lily’s cruel stepfather, Mark, announces he is sending her to boarding school; the girls decide to murder him, and they rope in a bumbling drug dealer named Tim (the late Anton Yelchin) to help. Thoroughbreds is a macabre comedy, with a delightfully dry sense of humor and striking, restrained cinematography.
Queer Eye season 4
Netflix’s popular lifestyle improvement series is back for a fourth season, with the “Fab Five” — grooming guru Jonathan Van Ness, fashion maestro Tan France, culture maven Karamo Brown, design expert Bobby Berk, and culinary wizard Antoni Porowski — traveling the land to help people confront their personal demons and develop better habits. It’s a routinely heartwarming show about people bridging cultural differences and expanding their minds, a beacon of positivity in an increasingly grim world.
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20th Century Women
A funny, poignant coming-of-age tale, Mike Mills’ 20th Century Women is the story of a teen named Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), whose experiences with various people in 1979 shape him. Jamie lives with his mother, Dorothea (Annette Benning), who runs a boarding house in Santa Barbara, California. Among the tenants are Abbie (Greta Gerwig), a free-spirited photographer with cervical cancer, and William (Billy Crudup), a handyman who used to live on a hippie commune. Jamie’s days among these people, along with his best friend (and crush), Julie (Elle Fanning), are filled with fun, drama, and life lessons. 20th Century Women is small in scale but great in heart, with a well-rounded cast of characters and great performances.
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Into the Dark: Culture Shock
The latest in Hulu’s monthly series of holiday-themed horror movies, Culture Shock is an eerie dystopian story that draws on the real-world horrors of the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. The film follows Marisol (Martha Higareda), a pregnant woman in Mexico who seeks to cross over to America in pursuit of the man who assaulted her. Marisol hires a shady coyote to take her to the border, a journey fraught with danger. When she gets to America, she finds herself waking up in the American dream, a small town full of happy people. Marisol’s new neighbors seem too happy, however, and she soon suspects the town is not what it seems. Like many great horror movies, Culture Shock finds horror not just in the outlandish, but in the mundane dangers of the real world.
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