It’s a new month, and time to review the best new movies and television shows added online, to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. So let’s get started!
The most exciting add on Hulu this week is Devs, Fx’s new thriller series, showing only on Hulu. Sonoya Mizuno stars as Lily Chang, a computer engineer who works at Amaya, a quantum computing company, with her boyfriend(Karl Glusman), who supposedly commits suicide, shortly after joining the coveted(and secretive) Devs team at the company, run by Forrest(Nick Offerman). But Lily doesn’t buy the suicide theory and investigates the company and the Devs unit. Alison Pill, Stephen McKinley Henderson and Cailee Spaeny, and the series is directed by Alex Garland(Ex Machina, Annihilation)! There are six episodes to this series, with a new one dropping every Thursday on Hulu. James Poniewozik of the New York Times says “Devs’ is a cold and beautiful Machine.” And it gets a stunning 7.9/10 on IMDb. I’m watching. Hulu has also added their March episode of Into the Dark, Crawlers, a Saint Patrick’s Day horror movie. Pepi Sonuga stars here as Misty, a young woman who’s been through some trauma, but sets out in search of her missing friend Chloe, played by Jude Demorest, during a St Paddy’s Day pub crawl. But there’s something more than just kidnapping going, on, and Misty and her friends begin to suspect aliens have invaded. Giorgia Whigham, Olivia Liang,Tatum Price and Tensaye Yosef also star. And Crawlers gets a 6/10 on IMDb. Tune in if you want a campy horror movie, heavily influenced by 80’s movies like Night of the Comet. Hulu also offers Hillary, the 2020 doc series about Hillary Clinton. Directed by Academy Award-nominated Nanette Burstein(The Kid Stays in the Picture, On The Ropes), this four part series takes an in-depth look at Clinton, from her childhood, this will give you an idea of the woman before her marriage to Bill Clinton. Some amazing facts come to light here, like she was a feminist before it was cool, or acceptable, which enraged the far-right long before she ran for president. You might come away liking her more, like I did, after watching this. Vanity Fair calls this the ” Definitive Clinton doc,….enraging and essential,” and Brian Tallerico of rogerebert.com says,”this is incredible documentary filmmaking no matter your party affiliation.” And it gets a 79% on Rotten Tomatoes. Watch, already. And, finally, Hulu has added the strange Knives and Skin, the 2019 mystery from director Jennifer Reeder(Signature Move). Obviously inspired by David Lynch movies, this tells the tale of the disappearance of Carolyn(Raven Whitley), a teenager in an unnamed mid-west town, and the effect it has on her family and friends, kind of like Twin Peaks, only with singing, a capella, no less. Marika Engelhardt, Grace Smith, Ty Olwin, Ireon Roach and Kayla Carter also star. Scott Tobias of NPR says,”it’s Twin Peaks as recast through the lens of radical feminism, if not nearly as academic as that sounds.” And it gets a 67% on Rotten Tomatoes. You decide.
The biggest add on Netflix this week is, unfortunately, Spenser Confidential, an action movie starring Mark Wahlberg. Wahlberg stars as Spenser, an ex-cop recently released from jail and determined to find the killer of two cops, along with his new roomie, Hawk, played by Winston Duke. Alan Arkin(!), Iliza Shlesinger, Bokeem Woodbine, and Mark Maron(!) also star, and Peter Berg(The Rundown) directs. But even talent like Arkin and Maron can’t save this stale material. Kristy Puchko of RogerEbert.com says, “an insipid buddy-cop mystery that feels like a forgotten artifact of the 1980s.” And it gets only a 40% on Rotten Tomatoes. Better to watch Voice, a 2017 South Korean mystery thriller. Here, Jang Hyuk plays detective Moo Jin-Hyuk, who was a successful, if somewhat violent investigator of murders, until his own wife fell victim to a serial killer, and his life spirals down. Kwon-Joo, played by Lee Ha-Na, plays the newer detective who also has a personal interest in finding the killer, and together they solve cases in South Korea. Park Eun-soo, Moo Jin-hyuk, Bang Je-soo and Do Kang-Woo also star and there are 16 episodes now available on Netflix. And Voice gets an astounding 7.8/10 on IMDb. Netflix has also added Twin Murders: The Silence of the White City, a 2020 Spanish mystery thriller. Javier Rey plays detective Unai López de Ayala, who returns to his job to search for a serial killer together with Alba Díaz de Salvatierra, played by Belén Rueda(The Orphanage), after two bodies are found in a cathedral crypt. Alex Brendemühl, Aura Garrido, Manolo Solo and Allende Blanco also star, while the film is directed by Daniel Calparsoro(Blinded). And while it only gets a 5.1/10 on IMDb, it’s a wonderfully historical mystery, with lots of great scenery too. I’m watching. If you like Dan Brown, you might, too. Netflix has also added Freaks, the 2018 Canadian American sci-fi movie. Here, Lexy Kolker star as Chloe, a seven year old who is virtually imprisoned by her seemingly disturbed father(Emile Hirsch), and lured out by Mr Snowcone(Bruce Dern), the ice cream truck man. But there’s more to Chloe than meets the eye, and things may not be as they seem. Grace Park, Aleks Paunovic, Michelle Harrison and Ava Telek also star, with Adam Stein and Zach Lipovsky, who also wrote and produced this film. Paul Byrnes of the Sydney Morning Herald, wrote, “Freaks is a compendium of movie love, as much as it is a movie. Its success rests on an astonishing performance by Lexy Kolker, who was seven when the film was shot.” And it gets an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m watching. And, finally, Netflix has added Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, the 2019 PBS special for American Masters. Stanley Nelson (Freedom Riders) directs this gem, and we get a full view of Davis’ life, from his childhood, to the height of his career. There are also interviews with people like Quincy Jones, Carlos Santana, Wayne Shorter and Clive Davis, and never before seen footage included. And, of course, some great music. And it gets an amazing 7.3/10 on IMDb. It’s on my list.
Amazon’s biggest add this week has to be Patrick Melrose, the 2018 miniseries from Showtime. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the title character, a wealthy man heavily burdened with addictions and hardship, after an abusive childhood. Based on the works of novelist Edward St Aubyn, Jennifer Jason Leigh(!), Hugo Weaving(!), Sebastian Maltz, Jessica Raine(Call the Midwife) and Blythe Danner also star, but there’s too much great talent cast here to list it all. There are five episodes available on Amazon, and they’re all directed by Edward Berger(Deutschland ’83). Cumberbatch won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor(among other awards) for his work as Melrose. The Guardian calls it, “a brilliant portrayal of addiction,” and the series gets an astounding 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Don’t miss it. Amazon has also added their original crimes series ZeroZeroZero. This tracks a shipment of cocaine, from the time an Italian cartel buys it, to it’s processing in Mexico and it’s subsequent trip back across the Atlantic. It stars Andrea Riseborough, Dane DeHaan and Gabriel Byrne as the members of the Lynnwood family shipping it, and Giuseppe De Domenico, Adriano Chiaramida, Harold Torres, Noé Hernández and Tchéky Karyo also star. Stefano Sollima(Subarra, Sicario: Day of the Soldado) created the series, so expect the gritty feel of his many crime movies. There are eight episodes now on Amazon, and the series gets an 8.1/10(!) on IMDb. And, finally, Amazon newly offers Downfall, the 2004 German war drama. Alexandra Maria Lara plays Traudl Junge, Hitler‘s final secretary and here, she describes the final days of Berlin, as Russia enters the city, and chaos descends. It takes place mainly in the bunker where Hitler and his inner circle spent their last days, in panicked confinement. The great Bruno Ganz plays Hitler, and Juliane Kohler, Corinna Harfouch and Ulrich Matthes also star. Oliver Hirschbiegel directed and the film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2005 Oscars. David Ansen of Newsweek said, “does Downfall “humanize” Hitler and his henchmen, as its critics have complained? Yes, and it should: to pretend these villains were less than human is to let ourselves off the hook, to take the easy and dangerous exit of demonology.” And it gets a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 8.2/10 on IMDb. It’s upsetting and violent, of course, so be forewarned.
So sit back and binge this weekend, with classics new and old, on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. Enjoy!