Multiple times per week, our TV and film experts will list the most important ten streaming selections for you to pop into your queues. We’re not strictly operating upon reviews or accrued streaming clicks (although yes, we’ve scoured the streaming site charts and ratings) but, instead, upon those selections that are really worth noticing amid the churning sea of content. There’s a lot out there, after all, and your time is valuable.
TIE: 10. The Lost City (Paramount+ movie)
Here comes an updated version of Romancing The Stone with Channing Tatum as the doofus and beefcake who’s up against Sandra Bullock’s wildly successful romance-adventure novelist. Brad Pitt gets involved as a mercenary who’s tasked with saving everyone’s tush after a billionaire decides to turn into a kidnapper. Get ready for both gross-out and sexy scenes and, most importantly, look forward to some fun with this one.
TIE: 10. Ozark (Netflix series)
It’s the end of a Byrde family era, at least before they head back to Chicago, and there’s a lotta loose ends to tie up, especially where Ruth Langmore is concerned. The end of the show is savage and shattering with Killer Mike making a poetic turn in a short cameo that matters a lot when the finale episode rolls around. Yes, this show’s always strongly resembled Breaking Bad, but don’t expect the ending to match up to any previously established patterns.
9. The Northman (Focus Features film streaming on Amazon Prime)
Alexander Skarsgård’s in full-on viking mode here in a film that’s got Shakespearean swing along with a lot of heavy-metal furor. Robert Eggers is once again crushing his subject matter, and thank goodness that Anya Taylor Joy’s onboard. Actually, the cast is stacked and includes Nicole Kidman and Ethan Hawke, but perhaps one can most look forward to ripped Skarsgård pulling off a glorious fight scene atop a volcano. After all, you don’t see that every day.
8. Flight Attendant (HBO Max series)
Kaley Cuoco is no mere hired gun, and she’s miles beyond The Big Bang Theory territory while executive producing and playing the lead mess in this series. Her Cassie is newly sober and working a side gig as a CIA asset, so expect even more international intrigue alongside the obligatory murder business. Griffin Matthews and Zosie Mamet return while Rosie Perez does important things, and I’m really digging what Mae Martin’s doing as a newcomer.
7. We Own This City (HBO limited series on HBO Max)
Creator David Simon is back with Not-The Wire as he dives deep into the depths of Charm City’s sordid police force. As expected, the source material’s quite heavy and revolves around Justin Fenton’s book about Freddie Gray’s death in 2015. In other words, the cops are very bad, and that’s an interesting twist when one considers that Jon Bernthal (who portrayed The Punisher) is right in the middle of all the law enforcement shenanigans. Brace yourselves for everything to get ugly, and cross your fingers for the dogged investigator (Treat Williams) who wants to expose the layers of this rotten onion to the world.
6. George Carlin’s American Dream (HBO Documentary Film streaming on HBO Max)
Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio direct this exploration of the iconic and legendary comedian whose life and works will continue to inspire generations to come. The film bumps right up against Carlin’s 2008 death and the decades that stretched before while an expansive career included countless comedy specials and hundreds of nightly talk show appearances. His highly influential nature arrived with some controversy, and take a glimpse behind the curtain as family and substance abuse struggles reared their heads and things get awfully bare here. Also expect interviews from Chris Rock, Stephen Colbert, Bill Burr, Jerry Seinfeld, Patton Oswalt, Bette Midler, W. Kamau Bell, and more.
5. Hacks (HBO Max series)
Don’t get on Jean Smart’s bad side. Or at least, watch out when you cross the line with many of her character, especially Deborah Vance, who’s a curmudgeon for the ages and picks up a chainsaw at one point this season. Don’t forget, though, that Hannah Einbinder holds her own while her Ava dodges those narrative bullets and the two go on tour together. Everything’s more dramatic on the road, and this time, they can’t leave it all behind in Vegas.
4. The Staircase (HBO Max series)
Toni Collette fills in a lot of shading about Kathleen Peterson’s life before her death, for which her husband, Michael, ended up serving hard time. Collette is as magnificent as always, and Colin Firth puts on a master class of a layered performance while this show dramatizes the ground already laid by the O.G. true crime docuseries. The ensemble cast also includes Sophie Turner and Parker Posey (who is chewing every shred of upholstery in the courtroom), all while we wait for a certain theory (hopefully) for the birds.
3. Angelyne (Peacock series)
Emmy Rossum spent hours upon hours getting wigged and big bosomed to portray the Los Angeles billboard queen of decades past. Everything is incredibly pink here, and the show does explore Angelyne’s early years to enlightening effect although it ultimately does get lost in a sea of unreliable narration along the way. It’s a structureless, meandering yet purposeful hot mess that is at least worth the novelty of seeing Emmy move far beyond her longest role (Fiona Gallagher of Shameless) to date.
2. Barry (HBO series on HBO Max)
This masterpiece of Bill Hader-fronted dark comedy is still kicking and dedicated to staying silly along the way. Assassins rarely go out of style, and since we waited three long years for this season, let’s savor it until the very end. Besides, no one can ever say no to more Henry Winkler and Anthony Carrigan, unless you’re an absolute monster.
1. Better Call Saul (AMC series on AMC+)
Is Kim Wexler still alive? Yes, for now at least. Rhea Seehorn’s character clearly woke up (years ago) and chose chaos, and it’s anyone’s guess whether she’ll survive the impending collision with the Breaking Bad timeline. Meanwhile, all of the bad decisions are being made, and there’s a code to be cracked while the mid-season hiatus arrives. Also, the show gives us some cute doggies while we grip the seat handles and wait for all hell to break loose. Great TV!