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

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By Will Nicol


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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: Luke Cage season 2, a dark, witty crime movie, and one of the best concert films ever.

‘Luke Cage’ season 2
best new shows and movies to stream luke cage season 2

Netflix’s Harlem-based superhero series returns for a second season, as Luke Cage (Mike Colter), the laconic hero with super strength and bulletproof skin, finds himself a celebrity in New York after the events of the first season. Although the common folk love him, he still has enemies, including politician Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard), and a mysterious newcomer called Bushmaster (Mustafa Shakir), whose power is so great he can hurt even Cage. It’s a strong premise to kick off the season and our own reviewerRick Marshall says it season 2 “improves on the original in every way.”

Watch now on:

Netflix

‘In Bruges’
best new shows and movies to stream in bruges

Acclaimed Irish playwright Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing,Missouri) made his feature film directorial debut with In Bruges, and what a film it is! In Bruges opens with an Irish hitman named Ray (Colin Farrell) assassinating a priest in a church. The hit would be considered a successif Ray didn’t also shoot a child in the process. Ray’s boss, Harry (Ralph Fiennes), orders him and his mentor, an older assassin named Ken (Brendan Gleeson), to hide out in Bruges, Belgium, for a while. While Ken enjoys sightseeing in the town, Ray falls in with some local misfits, and the whole situation gets complicated when Harry decides Ray needs to die for the sin of killing a child. In Bruges is a darkly funny crime movie, and McDonagh’s skills as a playwright shine throughout the film, which is rife with excellent dialogue and insightful character moments.

Watch now on:

Netflix

‘Punisher: War Zone’
best new shows and movies to stream punisher war zone

Lexi Alexander’s entry in The Punisher franchise is a savage action movie, light on humanity and heavy on violence. The movie begins with Frank Castle (Ray Stevenson), a vigilante known as the Punisher, slaughtering a dinner party of mobsters in ludicrously gory fashion. Castle goes on to hunt down mobster Billy Russotti (Dominic West), grinding him up in a glass-crushing machine, but in the process an undercover agent dies, giving Castle a crisis of conscience and making him a target of the NYPD. The Punisher can only spend so much time pondering his actions, however, as Russotti — now calling himself “Jigsaw” — returns with a patchwork face and a lust for vengeance. Released in 2008, War Zone is a grim movie, and it may seem at odds with the decidedly more upbeat Marvel films of the last few years, but those who yearn for the absurd violence of ’80s action movies will find a lot to enjoy here.

Watch now on:

Hulu

‘Stargate’
best new shows and movies to stream stargate

The film that inspired a deluge of spinoff TV shows in the late ’90s/early aughts, 1994’s Stargate begins with an Egyptologist named Daniel Jackson (James Spader) receiving an invitation to study a mysterious set of hieroglyphs stored within an Air Force base. After Jackson determines that the hieroglyphs are coordinates, the Air Force shows him the base’s real secret: An ancient device in the shape of a ring, known as a “Stargate.” Using the coordinates, Jackson and a group of soldiers, led by Colonel Jack O’Neil (Kurt Russell), travel through the gate to another world where they find a civilization reminiscent of ancient Egypt, ruled by a tyrannical alien who claims to be the sun god, Ra (Jaye Davidson). Stargate may not be the most breathtaking spectacle when stacked up against more recent works, but it holds up as a fun, somewhat corny adventure with a great cast and a strong vision.

Watch now on:

HuluAmazon Prime

‘Stop Making Sense’
best new shows and movies to stream stop making sense

Talking Heads was one of the most dynamic bands of its era, blending new wave, art rock, funk, world music, and more, and the band’s live shows were suitably wild, as shown in Jonathan Demme’s concert film Stop Making Sense, filmed in 1983 when the band was at the height of its experimental powers. The film opens with lead singer/guitarist David Byrne striding onto an empty stage, playing the band’s early hit Psycho Killer, accompanied only by a drum machine. With each song, another band member joins the show, giving the performance an arc, a sense of musical rising action. The musicianship is great, and the direction is up to par; Demme makes great use of wide shots to give the band space, and he captures the performers’ frantic dancing and inventive use of props. Stop Making Sense is one of the best concert films, starring one of rock’s most eccentric bands.

Watch now on:

Amazon Prime


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