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 conspiracy thriller, the final season of House of Cards, and, at last, Orson Welles’ final film.
‘THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND’
If you’re at a cocktail party in 2018 and need an icebreaker, try asking fellow guests if they’ve seen the new Orson Welles movie. It’s no longer a weird thing to ask, as Netflix has just released Welles’ long-lost, final film The Other Side of the Wind, more than four decades after its troubled production. The plot, in brief: Past-his-prime director Jake Hannaford (John Huston) is in the process of filming his latest project, The Other Side of the Wind, and the production is a mess, stalling after the lead actor vanishes. The cast and crew, as well as some other figures — like Hannaford’s more successful protégé, Brooks Otterlake (Peter Bogdanovich) — gather for Hannaford’s birthday party, on what, we are told upfront, is the last night of the older man’s life. The Other Side of the Wind (the film, not the film-within-the-film) is a delirious examination of the concept of genius, skewering both the rugged machismo of Hannaford (who is very directly compared to Ernest Hemingway) and the new wave of auteurs, like Otterlake, who dominated Hollywood in the ‘70s. Although it was aimed at a culture some 40 years gone, Welles’ satire is worth watching today, a cacophonous swan song for one of cinema’s most acclaimed visionaries.
‘HOMECOMING’ SEASON 1
Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail returns with a new, similarly mind-bending series. Homecoming centers on Heidi Bergman (Julia Roberts), who used to work as a caseworker at an organization called Homecoming, which ostensibly helped veterans transition back to the civilian world. After a man from the Department of Defense seeks Heidi out, asking her questions about what she saw at Homecoming, she wrestles with her memories of the program, confronting the fact that there may have been more going on than she let herself believe. Homecoming is a winding psychological thriller, and Esmail’s meticulous, oppressive style is in fine form.
‘THE BIG LEBOWSKI’
The Big Lebowski probably isn’t the Coen brothers’ best film, but it is their most iconic, the film that launched a thousand memorable quotes and even a festival. The plot is byzantine, to say the least, but it begins with one Jeffrey Lebowski (Jeff Bridges), aka The Dude, a middle-aged stoner who loves to bowl. The dude comes home to his apartment one night to find a pair of ruffians waiting for him. After roughing him up — and soiling his rug — they realize they’re looking for a different, wealthier man who shares his given name. The Dude sets out to get compensation for his troubles, getting himself caught up in a conspiracy that will lead him in proximity with some of the weirdest characters in Los Angeles. The Big Lebowski is a wild, strange take on detective fiction, and its cast of oddballs and brilliant dialogue have made it one of the greatest comedies in American cinema.
‘INTO THE DARK: FLESH AND BLOOD’
Into the Dark, Hulu’s monthly horror anthology, gets its second installment, the Thanksgiving-themed Flesh and Blood. The movie follows Kimberly (Diana Silvers), a teenage shut-in who is afraid to leave her house after a serial killer murdered her mother. Kimberly lives with her father, Henry (Dermot Mulroney), and although he initially seems concerned about her, Kimberly starts to suspect that her father may be hiding a terrible secret. Flesh and Blood is more straightforward than the first installment of Into the Dark, a solid B-movie for nights when you need a scare.
‘HOUSE OF CARDS’ SEASON 6
Netflix’s absurd political drama House of Cards is back for a sixth and final season, and a lot has changed since the fifth season finale that left former President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) hospitalized and out of power, having resigned and passed authority to his wife and vice president, Claire (Robin Wright). The most obvious change is that Frank is no more; Netflix gave Spacey the boot after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced, killing off his character between seasons, and now the show is picking up again with Claire as the lead character. In the wake of Frank’s mysterious death, Claire must deflect attacks from all sides, particularly from a pair of billionaires who don’t like the new President’s independence. House of Cards has long been a messy, melodramatic show, and that isn’t changing in season 6, but Claire has always been a more measured character than the scenery-devouring Frank, and her reign should inject new life into the show…..Read More>>>