Wondering what to watch on all those streaming services you’ve signed up for? Here are the best new picks for the coming weekend.
Succession: Season 3
TV’s most watchable despicable family is (finally) back on Sunday, and that means you have a good two-and-a-half days to get caught up on seasons one and two if for some bizarre reason you snoozed on them to begin with. This season picks up where season two left off, in the aftermath of prodigal son Kendall Roy wriggling from beneath the bus his father, Logan Roy, tried to toss him under and returning the favor. According to NME, the new batch of eps continue to put the prestige in prestige TV, and continues to make its audience squirm in all the best ways: “Watching Succession feels like being dragged underwater by a shark who is calling you a cunt,” writes Ralph Jones. October 17 on HBO Max.
I Know What you Did Last Summer
A killer with a hook for a hand is back to remind self-involved teens that covering up a murder is a bad, bad idea in this eight-episode reboot of the 1997 screen adaptation of Lois Duncan’s 1973 YA thriller. What does this incarnation have that the previous one didn’t? Social media, of course, and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the series becomes a sort of reflection on how apps have exacerbated our selfishness and shortsightedness. “To get coarse about it,” writes Daniel Fienberg, “the series examines how, when you live somewhere up your own self-obsessed butt, you can cease being able to truly see yourself, much less your closest friends.” October 15 on Amazon Prime.
Michael Keaton stars as a small-town doctor in Virginia coal country in this drama about the ravages of the opioid crisis. The three-episode limited series—based on journalist Beth Macy’s book of the same name—avoids depressing cliches about working-class America, and features an outstanding performance by the always-brilliant Michael Stuhlbarg, who plays former Purdue Pharma president Richard Sackler with “the creepy intensity of a Bond villain.” NPR says the show “distills a complicated story into a compelling, heartbreaking series — tallying the human cost of a crisis that started in company boardrooms, earned billions and turned the country upside down in the process.” Now streaming on Hulu.
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Genre director Axelle Carolyn uses gothic horror to explore aging, ageism, and the anxiety around both. Barbara Hershey stars as a former dancer who moves into a nursing home following a health scare and begins to notice some unsettling occurrences. In an interview with Los Angeles this week, Carolyn reveals that she was inspired by her father’s relocation to a nursing home amid struggles with with illness and dementia. “I guess that my way of processing things is writing horror movies about them,” she says. October 8 on Amazon Prime.
There’s Someone Inside Your House
An apparently well-resourced murderer wears latex masks of his victims’ faces and exposes their dirty secrets in this high school-set horror (an adaptation of Stephanie Perkins’s novel of the same name) that nods to late 20th century teen classics like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream. Sadly, The New York Times calls it “a messy, overstuffed parody of moral policing,” but slasher fans (and fans of On Becoming a God in Central Florida‘s Théodore Pellerin) should still give it a go. Now streaming on Netflix.
Muppets Haunted Mansion
OK, listen. I’ve tried to think of a more charming mashup of beloved childhood institutions and I just can’t do it. The Muppets and a bunch of celebs—Will Arnett, Danny Trejo, Taraji P. Henson, John Stamos—invade the world of Disney’s Haunted Mansion in this new Disney+ family-friendly spookfest. “As far as set-ups go, Muppets Haunted Mansion is ideal,” writes Drew Taylor of the Playlist. “For one, it allows the Muppet characters to play ‘themselves’ at the beginning of the special, and also gives them the leniency to portray famous characters from the actual attraction (Fozzie is the Hatbox Ghost, etc.)” October 8 on Disney+.
The Many Saints of Newark
In an interview with Los Angeles‘ own The Originals podcast, Sopranos creator David Chase discussed his reaction to people’s reaction to the series’ infamous 2007 finale, saying, “It bothered me that people were so offended by the ending. That’s what got me—not that they didn’t like it—that they were offended.” So far, critics aren’t having an overwhelmingly positive reaction to this prequel starring James Gandolfini’s son Michael. The New York Times called it “a busy, unnecessary, disappointingly ordinary origin story” that “doesn’t work,” but, c’mon, if you watched the show, you’re gonna watch (and Chase would really prefer if you saw it in the theater). October 1 on HBO Max.
Britney vs Spears
It’s been a big week in Britney Spears news. On Wednesday, after 13-plus years, L.A. Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny officially suspended the star’s father from her conservatorship, an arrangement her fans had raised alarms about for years and which she confirmed she was desperate to be free of during stunning, emotional testimony earlier this year. This documentary from director Erin Carr and journalist Jenny Eliscu goes deeper into the nature of the conservatorship. According to NPR, “for those who snap up every morsel of information in the case, [Carr] has assembled a 90-minute feast filled with stories, details and sources sure to feed your hunger for new nuggets of information.” Now streaming on Netflix.
The Problem with Jon Stewart
Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart got out of the smart-political-commentary game in August 2015, right when we needed him most. If don’t still resent his pre-Trump departure from television, his new Apple TV+ series—which combines comedy and panel discussions not unlike Bill Maher’s long-running HBO show—might be delighted by post-Trump return, although The Hollywood Reporter‘s Daniel Fienberg dinged its “derivative” sketches and BTS conversations with the show’s staff, “which accentuate the diversity of the staff but are basically a variation on the cacophonous cackling of the TMZ TV show, with Stewart as a less-dehydrated version of Harvey Levin.” September 30 on Apple TV+.
Star Wars: Visions
Somewhere there’s a nerd culture Venn diagram that shows a big ol’ overlap between fans of anime and fans of the Star Wars universe. Seven Japanese studios collaborated on this anthology series that’s being praise for its striking visuals and its bold ability to expand the universe even further. According to The Hollywood Reporter‘s Angie Han, “The only real connective tissue between its episodes is a love of Star Wars that runs so deep it’s bound to make new fans of the young and uninitiated, and remind old fans why they fell so hard for this universe in the first place.” Now streaming on Disney+.
Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan tries to give us chills once again with a seven-ep limited series about the weird stuff that starts happening when a young priest arrives in a small island town. EW says the inevitable twist is a bit of a letdown, but the overall quality earned it a good review. “Beyond the jump scares and the suspense and the looming dread,” writes Kristen Baldwin, “Midnight Mass summons a message of hope: Sometimes it’s okay to be your own savior.” September 24 on Netflix.
Elvira’s 40th Anniversary, Very Scary, Very Special Special
It’s been a big week for Cassandra Peterson. The ageless redhead known best for her horror hostess alter-ego Elvira released a memoir and simultaneously came out of the closet (she’s been in a relationship with a woman for 19 years; sorry, dudes). Up next: a 40th anniversary special on horror streamer Shudder. In classic fashion, Elvira hosts a movie marathon that includes House on Haunted Hill (1959), City of the Dead (1960), Messiah of Evil (1973), and her own 1988 starring vehicle Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. September 25 on Shudder.
Nailed It!, Season 6
Food TV’s most lovable duo—comedian Nicole Byer and chef Jacques Torres—are back for another season full of delightfully fucked-up baked goods. Surely we’d get tired of seeing people try and fail to make elaborate fondant-covered cakes after this many seasons? Nope. Still a blast. Guest judges choking down inedible creations this season include June Diane Raphael, Wayne Brady, Reggie Watts, and Big Freedia. Now streaming on Netflix.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
This coming-of-age musical—an adaptation of the West End stage show—could be the pick-me-up you need after a stressful week (thanks, recall election). Max Harwood makes his screen debut as a British teen who harbors drag queen dreams and has to overcome fear (and his unsupportive dad) to find his place in the spotlight. According to the Los Angeles Times, the sparkly spectacle dulls a little in its last act, but “will still resonate for teenage (and grownup) outsiders while offering a helpful primer in drag for anyone who doesn’t know Trixie Mattel from Trinity the Tuck.” September 17 on Amazon Prime.
A gravely voiced Clint Eastwood takes on machismo and cock fighting in this action-drama about a former rodeo star who heads to Mexico to rescue a troubled teen. There’s still plenty of Eastwood wincing and grumbling, but this directorial effort strays from the rest of his filmography. The New York Times‘ A.O. Scott writes, “This one is something different—a deep cut for the die-hards, a hangout movie with nothing much to prove and just enough to say, with a pleasing score and some lovely desert scenery.” September 17 on HBO Max.
Horror master James Wan (Insidious, The Conjuring) is back with a movie about a woman who sees dead people…while they’re being killed. Wan warned in advance that his latest is also his most violent, which could turn some people off, but it’s already getting a good reaction from genre fans. “Malignant is precisely the kind of new horror movie you want to see from James Wan,” CinemaBlend’s Eric Eisenberg said in a tweet. “It’s a great original concept, and it has some serious shocks in store for audiences.” September 10 on HBO Max.
Scenes from a Marriage
Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain star in this heartstring-tugging remake of Ingmar Bergman’s classic miniseries. The consensus seems to be that the American reboot—helmed by Hagai Levi—doesn’t stray enough from the original (besides a swap in gender roles) to justify its existence, but in an era of constant content, the performances will keep people tuned in. September 12 on HBO Max.
Y: The Last Man
You’ll have to wait till Monday for this one, but critics seem to think it’ll be worth the wait. Based on the beloved graphic novel (and in development for more than a decad), the series transports us to a post-apocalyptic future in which a plague wiped out everyone with a Y chromosome. The Hollywood Reporter complains that not everything from the comic made it onto the screen in Eliza Clark’s adaptation. “Through six episodes sent to critics, a lot of the fun has gone missing in the TV show,” writes Daniel Fienberg. “The series is often provocative, generally compelling and almost never quite as entertaining as it should be.” September 13 on Hulu.
Only Murders in the Building
A multigenerational trio of apartment dwellers bond over their love of a true-crime podcast, and take their fandom to the next level when a neighbor turns up dead. Police say it’s a suicide, but by the end of episode one, it’s clear there’s more going on. Even if you aren’t sucked in by the mystery, you won’t be able to resist Martin Short as an aging director who’s fallen on hard times. “He steals every scene, not through grandstanding but with the steady skill of an old pro,” the New York Times‘ Mike Hale says of Short. “You wish he were onscreen every moment.” Now streaming on Hulu.
This new Shudder original sets out to make the sort of shitty, unresponsive Airbnb host who doesn’t leave you any toilet paper seem like a dream come true. A couple who vlog about short-term rentals find themselves staying at the mountain home of a Rebecca, a host who seems unhinged from the get-go. As NME‘s Dan Stubbs writes, “The film’s fun first act suggests we’re watching a comedy. After that, the joke is on you, because the film quickly becomes a by-the-numbers rats-in-a-trap horror in which shifting motivations are revealed.” But maybe rats-in-a-trap horror is your thing. Now streaming on Shudder.
The D’Amelio Show
Being a teenager with 100 million TikTok followers is pretty fucking weird, and Charli D’Amelio wholeheartedly agrees. A new reality show about social media sensation and her family delves into the the bizarre nature of instant fame and the heaps of hate that come with it. “This happened as an accident, and now I have to just be OK with everyone saying anything?” Charli wonders aloud. Still, according to the Arizona Republic, the show “doesn’t go far enough to explore and absolve them from criticism they’ve received.” September 3 on Hulu.
Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed
Good news, Joy of Painting fans: this new Netflix doc doesn’t tarnish the beloved host and painter’s immaculate legacy. Instead, it looks at the unpleasant battle over his brand after his death in 1995. “I’ve wanted to get this story out for all these years,” Bob’s son Steven Ross says in the film, which focuses on a pair of the elder Ross’s business partners (neither of whom participated in the making of the documentary). Now streaming on Netflix.
The Other Two
After a season on Comedy Central, this series about fame and the people left behind when someone else achieves it is back on HBO Max. Heléne Yorke and Drew Tarver are back as siblings Brooke and Cary, but while last season they were grappling with their little brother’s rise from YouTuber to sensation, this season their mom Pat (Molly Shannon) is the one dominating the limelight. Praising subtle changes in tone, Indiewire’s Steve Greene writes, “While “The Other Two” can still slice Blake Lively, Vogue, and The Big Bang Theory jokes with relative ease, this season has some extra tears and introspection, too.” Now streaming on HBO Max.
Guy: Hawaiian Style
TV chef and beard-bleach enthusiast Guy Fieri is currently up in Lassen County helping feed frontline workers battling the Dixie Fire—the least you can do is watch his new show, which basically films his family on an extended vacation in Hawaii. According to People, the limited series goes beyond just food: “Guy and family will also dive with whales, sharks, and turtles, explore swimming holes, deep-sea fish, and catch waves with local surfing legends.” August 28 on Discovery+.
Horror legend Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, Chopping Mall) stars in this feminist fable that puts a new twist on vampire movies, with all the gore you’d expect. After reuniting with a person from her past, a mild-mannered housewife undergoes a major transformation that, yes, turns her into a bloodsucker but also helps her wiggle out from under her overbearing pastor husband’s thumb. Now streaming on Shudder.
Sweet Life: Los Angeles
Actress and entrepreneur Issa Rae executive produces this reality series about Black success in L.A. In an interview, Rae told The Hollywood Reporter that she took cues from other beloved reality properties: “I’m a fan of Vanderpump Rules; I love The Hills, I grew up on The Hills.” Streaming now on HBO Max.
Nine Perfect Strangers
David E. Kelley and Nicole Kidman (The Undoing, Big Little Lies) team up again for a limited series about an extravagant retreat called Tranquillum and the guru at its helm. The AV Club was critical of Kidman’s performance in the debut ep—”[she] doesn’t inspire confidence as much as giggles this episode, what with her strange wandering accent (supposedly Russian) and her latest voluminous hair carpet”—but praised the rest of the impressive cast, which includes Michael Shannon, Regina Hall, and Melissa McCarthy. Streaming now on Hulu.
The Hype is a fashion competition show that’s sort of the anti-Project Runway, since judges Offset, Marni Senofonte, and Bephi Birkett are looking for styles better suited to the streets than the catwalk. As our own Rebekah Brandes writes, “The main difference between this show and its predecessors is that you’ll see Wiz Khalifa smoking multiple joints on camera, a white girl from Kentucky arguing with judges about why it’s OK to mix blue and red gang colors on a street jacket (“I bring people together with my work”), and the cast driving up in low-rider cars to deliver their finished outfits.” Now streaming on HBO Max.
Brand New Cherry Flavor
An aspiring filmmakers run-in with a sleazy Hollywood producer sets the stage for this supernatural limited series full of witches, curses, and zombies. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “It’s a less paranoid version of The Day of the Locust, a less surreal version of Mulholland Drive, a less horny version of Now Apocalypse, a less glisteningly leering version of Neon Demon and a less deranged version of several David Cronenberg movies,” but star Rosa Salazar carries it with aplomb. August 13 on Netflix.
Bleed with Me
An emotionally unstable woman goes on vacation with a coworker and winds up losing some of herself—literally—and questioning her own sanity in this new horror from first-time director Amelia Moses. As Paste‘s Natalie Keogan writes, “Equipped with all of the necessary hallmarks of a gripping no-frills horror debut, Bleed with Me heralds Moses as a filmmaker with a fresh perspective on the horrors of womanhood that will surely be espoused in her future work.” Now streaming on Shudder.
Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union
Filmmaker Peter W. Kunhardt helms this three-part documentary series about a popular documentary subject, former President Barack Obama. He’s already been the subject of scads of books, docs, and even dramatized films, but Lorraine Ali of the Los Angeles Times says the series “sets itself apart by taking a deeper look at the multitude of issues that surfaced after America finally chose its first Black president.” As Ta-Nehisi Coates says in the trailer, “We deeply underestimated the power of hate.” Now streaming on HBO Max.
Cooking with Paris
From the sublime to the ridiculous! Early aughts celebutante and The Simple Life star Paris Hilton gives the rich-fish-out-of-water format another go with a cooking show even though she doesn’t have culinary training and isn’t really a home cook either. “Ms. Hilton leans in to her persona as clueless heiress,” Christina Morales writes for the New York Times. “Each episode begins with a trip to the grocery store, where she wears sparkly face masks and outfits more suited to a nightclub than the produce aisle. ‘Excuse me, sir, what do chives look like?’ she asks a worker in one episode. ‘What do I do with it?'” If you can still stomach the schtick, the show has some laughs and fun guests, like Saweetie and Nikki Glaser. Now streaming on Netflix.
The Suicide Squad
Back in 2016, everyone kind of hated Suicide Squad. So what does Hollywood do? Kick Jared Leto’s Joker to the curb, slap a “The” on the title, and give it another go. The good news is that people seem to like this sequel. Or reboot. Whatever it is. “How different in tone, style and quality is The Suicide Squad, the new one, that is, directed by Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker James Gunn?” Chicago Trib critic Michael Phillips asks. “Very. This one’s good! Also supergory, merrily heartless in its body count and its methods of slaughter. And funny.” And of course Margot Robbie, the first movie’s saving grace, is back as Harley Quinn. August 5 on HBO Max.
Even if you’re unfamiliar with the term, you likely know or, worse, have dated a fuckboy, defined by Dictionary.com as “that guy…the one who doesn’t respect women, but relies on them heavily. He’s distant, doesn’t care about other people’s time, and won’t commit. He’s self-absorbed, does stupid things, and fucks with others’ emotions.” This dating show from Bachelor-franchise producer Elan Gale puts three women on an island (duh) with a bunch of men with engorged pectoral muscles to determine who’s a “nice guy” looking for love and who’s, you know, not. Pointing out that the premise sounds like something from an episode of 30 Rock, the AV Club’s Danette Chavez writes, “The series certainly acts more like a comedy than the more straightforward matchmaking shows like The Bachelor, but the emphasis is on silly fun.” Streaming now on HBO Max.
Behind the Music
If you watched VH1 in the ’90s, you have fond memories of Behind the Music (and probably still remember random rock trivia, like that Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil was behind the wheel when a friend died in a car wreck or that Billy Joel got screwed out of a bunch of money by his manager). The sometimes self-serious documentary series is back for a reboot on Paramount+, with episodes on the careers of Ricky Martin, Duran Duran, Bret Michael, Huey Lewis, and more. Lots of useless knowledge coming your way. Now streaming on Paramount+.
The (formerly) culturally insensitive Disneyland ride is a movie! Critics seem to like Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt in lead roles, but several reviews indicate the action-adventure doesn’t quite live up to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Remember: this is a “Premier Access” launch, so it costs $29.99 even with a Disney+ subscription. July 30 on Disney+.
Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage
Last weekend HBO launched what’s essentially the anti-Summer of Soul, a look back at a weekend-long festival characterized by white rage (based in nothing), rioting for the sake of rioting, and rampant sexual assault. Elder millennials will cringe at this dark glimpse at their burgeoning generation. Streaming now on HBO Max.
Dating just got scarier. On this new Netflix series, superficial singles are done up like hideous monsters to find out if they can find love when all parties involved look disgusting. As Salon‘s Melanie McFarland writes, “Since many of the players’ terminal cluelessness or chronic cases of superficiality bleed through their masks, it is still dressing up unreasonable expectations in impressive special effects makeup.” But, hey, Rob Delaney narrates, so that’s fun. Now streaming on Netflix.
In this Millennial-friendly send-up of Lerner and Loewe’s Brigadoon, Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key play a couple trapped in a musical set in a small town until they find true love. The show really enjoys whacking viewers over the head with jokes about the cliches that abound in classic musicals, but doesn’t have much new to say about the form. Still, as The Hollywood Reporter‘s Daniel Fienberg puts it, “There’s too much talent here for Schmigadoon! to ever be a total waste.” Now streaming on Apple TV+.
Turner & Hooch
Are you, by any chance, a huge fan of that one 1989 movie about a cop and his dog? No, not the one with Jim Belushi and a German shepherd, the one with Tom Hanks and a French mastiff? Well, someone in Hollywood has answered your prayers for a revival with this Disney+ plus series starring Drake Bell and a different French mastiff. The show doesn’t exactly break new ground, but at least man-and-his-dog shenanigans never get old. July 21 on Disney+.
Fear Street Part Three: 1666
We ventured back to the 1970s to unravel the mystery of C. Berman and the Camp Nightwing killer in the trilogy’s second film—which was way better than the first—and now it’s time to head to 1666 (subtle) to get to the root of the Sarah Fier curse. Tune in if only to see how they spend their clearly substantial throwback music budget in a story set in the 1600s. July 16 on Netflix.
If you listened to the podcast, you’re still haunted and mystified by the case of Dr. Christopher Duntsch, a spinal surgeon who’s either a drug-addled screw-up, a conniving misanthrope with a God complex, or (more likely) some combo of the two. But as star Joshua Jackson told Vanity Fair this week, the American healthcare system is the real villain of this tale. July 16 on Peacock.
A Classic Horror Story
As advertised, this Italian horror has all the elements of a classic horror story—a sinister house in the woods, creepy masks, cultish townspeople who make the Swedes in Midsommar look like camp counselors—with a meta twist. A few things might leave you scratching your head, but horror fans will want to see what directors Roberto de Feo and Paolo Strippoli are up to. Available now on Netflix.
I Think You Should Leave, Season 2
Chances are you’ve heard someone this week utter the names Karl Havoc or Dan Flashes, but far be it from us to ruin a single sketch from the long-awaited second season of Tim Robinson’s psychotically funny sketch show. Eat an edible. Settle in. Scream-laugh profusely. July 6 on Netflix.
A show about rotten rich kids returns for a new generation, and it’s already inspired a lengthy essay about the difference between “good trash” TV and “bad trash” TV. At the risk of sounding like a tired-ass tweet: Wanna feel old? Fashion blog wunderkind Tavi Gevinson plays a teacher. (And, hey, if the Z-boot isn’t for you, all six seasons of the OG eps are on HBO Max too.) July 8 on HBO Max.
The White Lotus
Fans of Enlightened—an anti-corporate comedy that starred Laura Dern as a woman in the wake of a nervous breakdown—will love Mike White’s new social satire about rich people at an exclusive Hawaiian resort. “The series is cackle-out-loud funny at times,” Entertainment Weekly says, “but minor irritations also spiral into tragedy.” July 11 on HBO Max.
Fear Street Part One: 1994
The event elder millennial horror fiction fans (hi) have been waiting for is finally here. The first installment of the film adaptation of R.L. Stine’s Fear Street Trilogy, set in 1994, follows a group of teens who get wrapped up in a modern-day massacre they think may be linked to a witch who roamed Shadyside in the 1600s. The Guardian calls it the “rarest kind of audacious Hollywood gamble: the kind that, at least after chapter one, appears to have actually paid off.” The next two movies drop on July 9 and July 16. July 2 on Netflix.
The Tomorrow War
In Amazon’s big-budget sci-fi thriller, soldiers from the future enlist civilians—among them a high school science teacher played by Chris Pratt—in the present to travel 30 years in time to help them fight alien invaders. The would-be blockbuster, which isn’t getting a theatrical release at all, isn’t quite getting raves, but Variety called it “rousingly adequate.” July 2 on Amazon Prime.
Summer of Soul
If you were in the mood to make an understatement, you might say the summer of 1969 was eventful. In this new documentary, director and the Roots drummer Questlove Thompson celebrates an event that doesn’t get nearly the attention Woodstock continues to: the Harlem Cultural Festival. The film unearths concert footage that reportedly sat in a basement for 50 years, to wonderfully nostalgic effect. July 2 on Hulu.
This addition to the pregnancy-horror genre plumbs the fraught world of infertility. Starring Ilana Glazer (who also cowrote the script), Justin Theroux, and Pierce Brosnan, the movie is drawing comparisons to genre OG Rosemary’s Baby. The L.A. Times Katie Walsh says, “[Glazer’s character] Lucy is as isolated and afraid as Rosemary Woodhouse, alone in New York City, surrounded only by men and hostile, ingratiating, and untrustworthy women.” June 25 on Hulu.
Bosch Season 7
Iconic L.A. detective Harry Bosch is back to crack a few more cases—among them an apartment building arson and the murders of three unidentified young women—in the series’ seventh and final season. Sad to see him go? Sounds like you don’t have to be: it was announced in March that a yet-untitled spin-off series is coming to IMDB TV. June 25 on Amazon.
The Ice Road
Liam Neeson and Laurence Fishburn are daring ice road truckers bent on rescuing a couple dozen trapped Canadian miners in this dad thriller. The New York Times criticized the movie’s “hackneyed plot, poorly visualized stunts and characters whose behavior can defy common sense,” but you could do worse on a Saturday morning. June 25 on Netflix.
Rose Byrne stars in this new ’80s-set Apple TV+ series about a San Diego woman’s rise from housewife to aerobics phenom, which critics seem to agree is about as dark as dark comedies get. As Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter writes, “If you accept going in that Physical is a dark and tormented character study propelled by an ultra-intense performance from Rose Byrne, there are things to be engaged by.” Now streaming on Apple TV+.
Kevin Hart attempts to tug at the ol’ heart strings in this dramedy about a widower raising a daughter on his own, based on the tearjerking, bestselling book Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Love and Loss. Following Hart’s real-life dust-up regarding homophobic tweets, the Guardian says the movie can’t help but feel a little manipulative. The New York Times‘ A.O. Scott dinged it for its lack of conflict, writing, “There are invocations of the inherent messiness of parenthood, but spills are mopped up instantly.” June 18 on Netflix.
Jacob Tremblay voices a literal fish out of water in this new charmer from Pixar about a teen sea monster getting his land legs in a seaside Italian village. Some critics have criticized it for being more generic than other Pixar tales, but Andrew Webster of the Verge says, “The predictable nature of Luca never bothered me, because it’s just so charming.” June 18 on Disney+.
Celebrate our new national holiday with a screening of Channing Godfrey Peoples’s 2020 festival darling about a Texas mom who enters her 15-year-old daughter in a local beauty pageant with a big prize. It’s streaming on Kanopy, which is free for Los Angeles Public Library cardholders.
OK, if you’re an MCU fan chances are you’ve already devoured the first ep of this new series starring Tom Hiddleston as the God of Mischief, which launched on Disney+ on Wednesday. But more reluctant participants in superhero fandom might want to give it a shot too. AV Club calls the premiere “incredibly funny” and predicts the series will be a “hell of a fun ride.” Now streaming on Disney+.
In the Heights
The big-screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical is finally being released after a yearlong COVID delay. Washington Post critic Ann Hornaday says the movie’s source material doesn’t quite live up to Miranda’s subsequent play, Hamilton, but adds that it overcomes its flaws “with sheer force of gumption and unflagging good cheer,” making for the first really good popcorn movie of the summer. June 11 on HBO Max and in theaters.