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: a Best Picture winner, a funny documentary, and the final season of Bloodline.
Winner of 2017’s Academy Award for Best Picture, Moonlight tells the story of Chiron (aka Little), who is growing up in a crime-ridden neighborhood in Miami. Over the course of the film, he struggles with his sexuality, and the abuse he endures due to his identity. The film is divided into three acts, each covering a different period in Chiron’s life: Childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. The film is sparse on plot. It plays out as a series of moments, some more directly connected than others, that come to define its protagonist. Fittingly for a story of such subtle beauty, director Barry Jenkins gives the film a graceful aesthetic, often using water in shots to reflect the metamorphosis Chiron undergoes.
Bloodline season 3
Netflix’s Bloodline is a gripping Southern Gothic thriller that follows the frayed relationships between the Rayburns, a prominent family in Monroe County, Florida. The Rayburns occupy positions of power within the community: John (Kyle Chandler) is a detective, his siblings Meg (Linda Cardellini) and Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz) are an attorney and businessman, respectively, and their parents own a popular hotel. When eldest son and black sheep Danny (Ben Mendlesohn) returns after years away, old tensions begin to simmer and the family’s dark secrets threaten to spill out. Bloodline is a slow-paced, tense thriller, and a beautiful one; the show’s cinematographers expertly capture the dangerous beauty of the Florida Keys.
War Machine is a satire of U.S. military policy in Afghanistan, centering on the character of General Glen McMahon (Brad Pitt), a cocksure, macho commander based on the real life General Stanley McChrystal, former Commander of U.S. and NATO Coalition Forces in Afghanistan. The film follows McMahon and the members of his entourage as they try to manage the chaos in Afghanistan, frequently butting heads with diplomats and civilian administrators. It’s a frenetic sendup of institutions and their failure to handle crises, driven by a commanding performance from Pitt.
Few questions in pop culture inflame the passions as much as “Who is the best Bond?” Many actors have played James Bond over the decades, each with their own distinct take on the character, and while Sean Connery tends to be the overwhelming favorite, each Bond has his defenders, even the man who only played him once: George Lazenby. An Australian mechanic who moved to London and turned to modeling, Lazenby was an unlikely successor to Connery, but his one Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, is regarded as one of the finest in the franchise. That makes it all the more surprising that Lazenby chose to walk away from the role. Becoming Bond, directed by Josh Greenbaum, features extensive interviews with Lazenby, who details his life before, during, and after Bond, with many events hilariously reenacted. Lazenby is a charming storyteller, and his anecdotes have a dramatic flair befitting Bond.
The Wizard of Lies
Few names today arouse as much disgust in American culture as Bernie Madoff’s. The former stockbroker, who eventually pleaded guilty to running a Ponzi scheme that swindled investors out of an estimated $64.8 billion, is one of the great villains of the financial industry — and villains always make for compelling characters. Thus it’s no surprise that HBO’s The Wizard of Lies, based on the nonfiction book by Diana B. Henriques, sets out to examine Madoff (Robert De Niro) and figure out who he is and why he did what he did. It’s a tense character study, made better through De Niro’s powerful performance. It also functions as a family drama. Madoff’s sons were the ones who brought his scheme to the attention of the authorities, and the show tries to balance sympathy for their role in bringing Madoff down with the privileged lives they led as a result of his practices.