Five shows and movies to stream this week: ‘American Gods,’ ‘Vikings,’ and more

american gods season 2 renewal shows to stream
Online streaming 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 worth a watch.

On the list this week: the series premiere of American Gods, new episodes of Vikings, and a great — but oft-forgotten — Western.

American Gods series premiere

shows to stream american gods vikings 1

Nearing the end of a stint in prison, Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) receives an early release after his wife, Laura (Emily Browning), dies in a car accident. Shadow soon meets a man named Mr. Wednesday (Ian Mcshane), who offers him a job as a bodyguard. Shadow learns that Wednesday and the world are more than they appear: Gods — including those of Egyptian, Slavic, and Scandinavian myth — walk the earth, although time and declining worship have left many of them weak. Wednesday wants to rally the gods of the old world against the gods of the new: Technology, Media, and the like. To this end, he’ll need Shadow’s help.

American Gods is an adaptation of the acclaimed novel by Neil Gaiman, and it retains the author’s penchant for surreal imagery and complex narrative. Showrunner Bryan Fuller, fresh off of Hannibal, brings a master’s touch to the show’s aesthetics. Whether blood is spurting from a sword wound or flames are gushing from a bison’s eyes, every scene in the show could be a painting.

Watch now on:

Starz

Vikings season 4B

shows to stream american gods vikings 4b

The historical drama series Vikings draws on the legends of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), a farmer and sailor in 8th -entury Scandinavia. Although his liege is content to raid the same Baltic lands their people have always plundered, Ragnar sees the potential in the untouched lands of the British Isles. Together with his brother, Rollo (Clive Standen), and wife, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), Ragnar begins a series of successful raids, becoming a powerful player in Norse society. Vikings is a well-made action series, with brutal cinematography and a sense of realism in its visual style. It is also a surprisingly good study of human nature in a medieval world, exploring issues of faith, glory, and survival.

Watch now on:

Hulu

Anvil! The Story of Anvil

shows to stream american gods vikings anvil

The music industry can be an unforgiving scene — just ask the members of Canadian metal band Anvil. In 1984, the band played the Super Rock festival in Japan, alongside such titans as Bon Jovi and The Scorpions. While those bands would go on to become some of the most successful acts of their era, Anvil would toil in obscurity. Sacha Gervasi’s 2008 documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil tells the little-known history of the band, and follows them as they try to stage a comeback, including a disastrous European tour and the recording of a new album. It is a charming portrait of a band that keeps on chugging despite all its setbacks, and a treasure trove of metal lore, thanks to interviews with musicians like Lars Ulrich of Metallica, Slash of Guns N’ Roses, and Scott Ian of Anthrax.

Watch now on:

Netflix

Winter’s Bone

shows to stream american gods vikings winters bone

This quietly intense drama follows a young woman, Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence), who must hunt down her meth-trafficking father after he skips bail (for which he put up the family home as collateral). Ree has one week to bring him back, and her search takes her along the decaying, shadowy roads of the central United States. As she tries to uncover what happened to her father, Ree runs up against the tribal bonds and conspiratorial silence of the Ozark Mountains. Winter’s Bone is a haunting, exquisitely crafted drama, one that offers a window into a world many filmgoers might not see too often. Lawrence, in one of her earlier roles, gives a spectacular performance.

Watch now on:

Hulu

High Plains Drifter

shows to stream american gods vikings high plains drifter

Clint Eastwood defined the archetype for protagonists of the revisionist Westerns of the ’60s and ’70s; in films like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, his self-serving, laconic characters offered a striking rebuke to the heroics of earlier actors like John Wayne. Nowhere is Eastwood’s persona on greater display than in his 1973 film High Plains Drifter, which offers a grim subversion of a classic story arc. The film opens with an unnamed stranger (Eastwood) riding into the town of Lago. After a trio of gunmen insults him, the drifter kills them all, and the townsfolk ask that he step in to do their job: Protecting the town from a group of outlaws. The stranger accepts, but he subjects the town to a series of increasingly strange demands, which may have a connection to Lago’s dark past. One of Eastwood’s best films, High Plains Drifter presents a bleak view of society, and a harsh vision of justice.

Watch now on:

HBO Go

Movies & TV

Why ruin a good thing? These are some of the worst movie sequels ever made

A sequel that doesn't compare to the original film isn't worth making, right? Unfortunately, this is Hollywood we're talking about. We've picked out 12 films which will go down as some of the worst follow-ups ever made.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Roma, ‘Sabrina’ special

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Alfonso Cuaron's new film Roma, Jim Henson's classic fantasy The Dark Crystal, and more.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Godzilla,’ Brightburn,’ ‘Triple Frontier,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's the first trailers for Brightburn and Triple Frontier, among other previews.
Gaming

Underwater survival game ‘Subnautica’ free on Epic Games’ online store

The award-winning underwater survival game Subnautica is currently available as a free download on the Epic Games store. The Steam challenger looks to attract players with a new free game every two weeks.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

Do you have questions about Hulu? We’ve got answers

Not sure which Hulu subscription is right for you? We're here to help. This is your complete guide to Hulu and Hulu with Live TV, including content offerings for each service, pricing, internet requirements, and more.
Movies & TV

How VFX magic conjured the fantastic beasts of ‘Crimes of Grindelwald’

Visual effects studio Rodeo FX and VFX supervisor Arnaud Brisebois explain how the colorful creatures and amazing cityscapes were created for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Business

‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ breaks records, ‘Mortal Engines’ sputters

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse webbed up a winning weekend as the top movie in theaters, earning $35.4 million and setting a new record for animated features premiering in December.
Deals

Amazon Fire Deals: Tablets, TVs, and TV controllers in stock and ready to ship

Last-minute shoppers, and anyone seeking good deals on Amazon Fire products, are in luck. There's still time to order Fire Tablets, Fire TVs, and Fire media players, Fire CVRs, and Alexa-voice-compatible Fire remotes for Christmas delivery.
Movies & TV

Move over Superman, Aquaman is here to save DC's live-action cinema universe

DC Comics' aquatic superhero Aquaman finally gets his solo feature with Jason Momoa in the title role, and director James Wan's adventure manages to avoid feeling waterlogged while offering up some amazing visuals and intense action.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (January 2019)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in December 2018 and January 2019, from new original series to classic…
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.