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Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘The Rain,’ ‘Anon,’ “Lady Macbeth,’ and more

By Will Nicol

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best new shows and movies to stream the tale

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 through the good and 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: A powerful cinematic memoir, a lightweight buddy comedy, and an informative series of short documentaries.

‘The Tale’
best new shows and movies to stream the tale 2

Jennifer Fox’s The Tale is getting a lot of attention for its timely arrival in the wake of the MeToo movement, but the film, which tells the story of Fox’s childhood abuse, has much more than timing going for it. It’s a powerful illustration of how sexual violence and manipulation are timeless problems. The film begins with Jennifer Fox (Laura Dern) getting a phone call from her mother (Ellen Burstyn), distraught after finding a story Fox wrote as a teen. The story talks about how Jennifer was drawn into a sexual relationship with her running coach, Bill (Jason Ritter), and his girlfriend, Mrs. G (Elizabeth Debicki), a horseback rider whose cool persona seduces the young girl. It’s disturbing stuff, but the film is not merely a cautionary tale about the dangers of predatory adults; it’s about the limits of memory, and how Fox, as she grew up, rationalized the relationship, constructing an identity around it.

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‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’
best new shows and movies to stream picnic at hanging rock

Joan Lindsay’s classic novel Picnic at Hanging Rock has already gotten the cinematic treatment with Peter Weir’s acclaimed 1975 film adaptation, but Amazon’s new miniseries offers a new, more lurid perspective on the story. The story begins in 1900 at Appleyard College, a women’s boarding school run by the fearsome, somewhat sadistic Mrs. Appleyard (Natalie Dormer). On Valentine’s Day, the students go to a picnic at Hanging Rock, where some of the young women disappear without a trace. As the authorities scramble to find them, hysteria sweeps over the community. This new adaptation of Picnic at Hanging Rock doesn’t see much need for subtlety, amping all the emotions up to 11, but it’s worth watching if only for Dormer’s fiendish performance. Weir’s classic is also still around, if you prefer something a bit more artful.

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Amazon Prime

‘The Toys That Made Us’ season 2
best new shows and movies to stream toys that made us

While modern Americans may scorn toys as childish things, they have been a part of human society for millennia, essential tools for stimulating the development of elastic minds. Netflix’s documentary series The Toys That Made Us examines some of the definitive toys of the last century, with episodes focused on Star Wars, Barbie, and more. Season 2 brings four new episode exploring the histories behind Lego, Transformers, Hello Kitty, and Star Trek toys.

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best new shows and movies to stream ibiza

Harper (Gillian Jacobs) is a 30-something woman working for a PR firm in New York City, and while she may hate her job, she catches a break when her boss sends her to Barcelona for a meeting with an important client. She brings along her friends Nikki (Vanessa Bayer) and Leah (Phoebe Robinson), and before long, Harper meets a popular EDM musician named DJ Leo (Richard Madden), with whom she strikes up a flirtatious relationship. Leo heads to Ibiza for his next show, and Harper’s friends convince her to ditch her job and follow the popular entertainer to a different city in search of love or at least a one-night stand– we’ve all been there, right? Ibiza is not a deep film by any means, and the premise is a bit silly, but it’s the kind of amusing fluff you may be happy to see in your Netflix queue on a lazy night.

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best new shows and movies to stream explained

Vox teamed up with Netflix to produce Explained, a series of, well, explainers not unlike the one the media company has been putting out, but with larger budgets and a noticeable leap in production quality. Episodes take deep dives into topics like monogamy, DNA editing, and the racial wealth gap, and feature interviews with experts and crisp, sometimes humorous infographics. Explained is informative, and since episodes come in at under 20 minutes, you won’t need to set aside an evening like you would for a full-length documentary.

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