5 movies to stream this week: Lobsters, Dogs, and jungle creatures — oh, my!

shows to stream the jungle book lobster image 2
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.

This week: a darkly funny sci-fi story, a couple of macho action movies, and a classic tale beautifully retold.

The Lobster


To be single is to be, if not a pariah, at least an object of pity. The pressure from society to find a partner is immense, and only made worse by the proliferation of dating apps, which seem to breed like bacteria. The Lobster, directed by Yorgos Lorthimos, dives into the anxiety of dating and builds a world around it, portraying a society in which single people are given 45 days to find a partner. If they cannot find a human to fall in love with, they are stripped of their humanity altogether, turned into an animal of their choosing.

The film follows one recently divorced man, David (Colin Farell), who arrives at a hotel designed for singles to mingle. The hotel’s various activities take the awkwardness of dating rituals to the extreme. In keeping with the theme of the film, the characters speak in nervous, stilted sentences — to be expected on a blind date where one’s life hangs in the balance. If this all sounds absurd, it is meant to be. This is satirical sci-fi of the darkest order, and The Lobster uses the ridiculously bleak aspects of its world to drive home criticisms of ours. The cruelty of The Lobster is just tough love; this is a movie that wants the best for humanity.


Reservoir Dogs


Although it was his first feature film, Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs displays all the confidence of a master. The film revolves around a group of men who pull off a heist, but the film never shows it. Instead, we see only the events leading up to the heist and the fallout afterward. In doing so, Reservoir Dogs keeps the focus on the characters, how their relationships grow and how they fall apart.

Tarantino has always been known for his stylish direction, and that is apparent here. The crew is decked out in sleek black suits, and speak in pointed quips. After an extended opening comes a late credits sequence, in which the robbers all walk out of a restaurant to the sound of funky ’70s pop song Little Green Bag. As the credits fade to black, we hear the men panicking in the wake of their botched robbery, a slick moment of emotional whiplash. Tarantino’s script is also clever — take the opening scene, which uses an argument about tipping to establish the distinct personalities of the robbers — and the cast, including Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, and Michael Madsen, delivers memorable performances.

Amazon Hulu

The Rock


Michael Bay’s first film is also his best — the director’s taste for unyielding, explosive action, and badass heroism reined in by a relatively simple script. The Rock opens with rogue General Frank Hummel (Ed Harris) and his squad of marines stealing a cache of chemical weapons and taking over Alcatraz Island. Armed with nerve gas and hostages, the soldiers demand a large ransom, prompting the government to plan a rescue operation. Along with a Navy SEAL team, the FBI sends in its chemical weapons expert, Stanley Goodspeed (Nic Cage) and a former British spy, John Mason (Sean Connery), who happens to be the one man to escape Alcatraz.

Goodspeed and Mason have a caustic partnership, with plenty of harsh one-liners that range from witty to ridiculous. Cage’s neurotic performance contrasts well with Connery’s gruff, yet charming, spy. Of course, this being a Bay film, characters are second to action, and The Rock delivers with tense gunfights in the claustrophobic halls of the prison. While it may not be the smartest action film, The Rock’s manic action sequences and memorable performances make for a wild ride.


The Neon Demon


Whatever else one might say about Nicolas Winding Refn, there is no denying he has a clear vision for how he wants his films to look. His stories and characters teeter between minimalist and simply vapid, but his style is always gorgeous. Refn’s latest film, The Neon Demon, builds on the aesthetics of his other recent outings, Drive and Only God Forgives: he presents a world of monsters cloaked in brilliant colors, a place where violence and beauty are bound together.

With The Neon Demon, Refn moves away from the criminal elements of his previous films to a culture that is perhaps equally cutthroat: the fashion industry. Protagonist Jesse (Elle Fanning) is a recent arrival to Los Angeles, the glittering mecca for small-town girls eager to make it big. She quickly catches the attention of a photographer and embarks on a modeling career, and her youthful ambitions rub other models the wrong way. The Neon Demon is an eye-catching film, all bright lights and deep shadows, and the sparkling score by Cliff Martinez suits the glamorous but ultimately soulless setting. Although it is no masterpiece, the film is worth watching for its gorgeous craftsmanship. Refn’s views on the fashion industry may be old hat, but his approach is haute couture.


The Jungle Book


At first, the 2016 adaptation of The Jungle Book may have seemed like a hollow attempt by Disney to cash in on the reputation of one of its legendary titles. Directed by Jon Favreau, the new film manages to stand on its own, thanks in large part to stunning computer-generated imagery. Adapted from stories by Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book is the tale of Mowgli (Neel Sethi), an orphan boy adopted by a pack of wolves. When the man-eating tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) threatens to kill him, Mowgli must leave the jungle, meeting exotic creatures and escaping perils along the way.

Save for a couple scenes, this new version of The Jungle Book is not a musical like the 1967 film, but it does retain its predecessor’s spirit of adventure. The jungle depicted here is fiercer, and a palpable danger lurks. The environments are not the only impressive sights; the animal characters are rendered with great detail, and are made more lively through terrific voice performances, particularly Christopher Walken’s mafioso take on the orangutan King Louie. Gorgeous and well-paced, The Jungle Book is a timeless story with a fresh look.


Movies & TV

Oscar-winning FX master explains why ‘First Man’ is a giant leap for filmmaking

Paul Lambert, the Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor on First Man, reveals the innovative techniques that blended old footage with modern movie magic to make the Apollo 11 mission to the moon resonate with audiences 50 years later.
Home Theater

Need to get rid of an unused Netflix profile? Just follow these simple steps

Need to delete an unwanted profile from your Netflix account? It's easy to do, no matter what kind of equipment you've got. Check out our handy how-to guide for step-by-step instructions.
Movies & TV

‘Sopranos’ prequel ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ adds ‘The Punisher’ star

The upcoming movie The Many Saints of Newark, based on HBO's hit series The Sopranos, will serve as a prequel to the show. It will focus on Tony Soprano as a boy, as well as the race riots that rocked Newark in 1967.
Movies & TV

CBS recruits Michelle Yeoh for ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ spinoff

Yet another Star Trek show is on the way. CBS confirms that Michelle Yeoh will return to play her Star Trek: Discovery character, Philippa Georgiou, in a spinoff centered on Starfleet's clandestine Section 31.
Movies & TV

First ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ trailer offers a peek at life after ‘Infinity War’

Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures have released the first trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, set in the aftermath of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Movies & TV

Curious about 'Spider-Man: Far From Home'? Here's everything we know so far

Despite some mystery surrounding Spider-Man's future after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters in July 2019. Here's everything we know about the movie so far.
Home Theater

Not chill: Netflix is hiking prices across all its tiers

Netflix has to get the billions of dollars it's spending on new content from somewhere. The streaming giant announced price hikes across the board, raising its monthly rates between $1 and $2 per tier in the next few months.

Stream UFC Fight Night 143 for free with this ESPN+ trial offer

If you're looking for a way to watch UFC Fight Night 143 and other upcoming sporting events on mobile, then ESPN's premium mobile service has you covered, and you can even take advantage of a seven-day trial to stream it totally free.
Movies & TV

How much does Netflix cost? Here’s a pricing breakdown of its plans

Wondering how much a Netflix subscription costs? You're not the only one. That's why we put together a quick-hit guide covering all the Netflix plans, whether you want to opt for 4K streaming or a disc-based option.
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.
Movies & TV

NBCUniversal will launch its own streaming service in 2020

NBCU is prepping a streaming service filled with its original content for a debut sometime next year, meaning that Michael, Dwight, and the rest of the Scranton crew might be moving to a new home.
Home Theater

Sling TV offers free shows, a la carte subscription channels to Roku users

If you are among a select group of Roku users, Sling TV has added free TV shows and the option to subscribe to individual channels without having to subscribe to the company's base level of channels.

Break out the Wii: ‘Just Dance’ movie reportedly in the works

Sony's Screen Gems has reportedly acquired the film rights to the Just Dance video game series from Ubisoft, which previously helped bring the game Assassin's Creed to the big screen in 2016.
Movies & TV

Apple’s first original feature film reunites Bill Murray, Sofia Coppola

The Lost in Translation team of Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray will reunite with their A Very Murray Christmas collaborator Rashida Jones for On the Rocks, Apple and studio A24's first official feature together.