The weekend is here. It’s here! Regardless of what streaming service you subscribe to, we want to help you find something great to watch. We’ve gone through Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ to find the best titles on each service.
Here’s one of the 50 best movies on Netflix
Karen Kaia Livers in “Burning Cane.»Phillip Youmans/Array Releasing
The brief running time of Phillip Youmans’s “haunting” debut feature is, in a way, an act of mercy; it is a story of such bleakness and melancholy, of so many lives in various states of distress and despair, that to dig in longer might be more than some viewers can bear. Yet “Burning Cane” is somehow not a depressing experience; its filmmaking is so exhilarating, its performances so electrifying, its sense of time and place so deeply felt that the picture crackles and vibrates like the old blues records that inspired Youmans, who wrote as well as directed the 2019 film. That he was a teenager at the time renders his work all the more stunning; it has the kind of richness and wisdom some filmmakers spend a lifetime accumulating.
David Attenborough is more of a presence in “Life in Color,” his new Netflix series, than he has been in many of his nature documentaries.Gavin Thurston
‘Life in Color’
The veteran naturalist and TV host David Attenborough has realized one of his career-long ambitions with the new three-part series “Life in Color,” which relies on special cameras to help depict the world the way animals see it. Shot in exotic locations across the planet, the series emphasizes how color affects a wide variety of creatures as they hunt, eat and mate. Our critic hailed the show’s “dazzling images, here made even more arresting because of the series’s focus on varicolored plumage and skin.”
Have a Hulu subscription? It’s a lot to wade through. We can help!
Gong Yoo, top, and Kim Su-Ahn in “Train to Busan.”Well Go USA
‘Train to Busan’
This white-knuckle zombie-apocalypse thriller from the South Korean director Yeon Sang-ho, set onboard train hurtling toward possible safety, is a fantastic entry in the “relentless action in a confined space” subgenre (recalling “Snowpiercer,” “The Raid,” “Dredd” and the granddaddy of them all, “Die Hard”). The set pieces are energetic, the makeup effects are convincing, and the storytelling is ruthless. (Don’t get too attached to anyone.) But it’s not all blood and bluster; there’s a patient, deliberate setup before the orgy of gore and mayhem, leading to a surprising outpouring of emotion at the story’s conclusion. Our critic deemed it “often chaotic but never disorienting,” and praised its “spirited set pieces.”
Amazon Prime Video doesn’t make it easy to find stuff. Luckily, we have done the work for you.
Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman in “Moonrise Kingdom.”Focus Features
Wes Anderson’s “wondrous storybook tale” involves a pair of young lovers (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) who attempt to run away from home together, and are followed by a motley search party that includes parents, police, social services and Boy Scout masters. This rowdy and vast ensemble piece could have easily slipped from Anderson’s control — particularly considering the strong onscreen personalities of its cast, which includes Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton. But his evocative script (written with Roman Coppola) finds a through-line that runs between all of these characters: the longing of love and the inevitability of disappointment. A sweet and inventive movie, with an abundance of honest laughs.
Disney+ is full of older classics. But there are newer things to watch, too.
A scene from the animated series “Star Wars: The Bad Batch.”Lucasfilm Ltd.
‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch’
Functioning as both sequel and spinoff to “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” this animated series from Dave Filone continues the same irreverent, densely plotted yet action-oriented ethos that has defined the “Clone War” series since its debut on Cartoon Network in 2008. Set in the period between the prequels and the original trilogy, “The Bad Batch” is about Clone Force 99, an elite clone unit that has defied its programming orders from the Empire to wipe out the Jedi under the Order 66 dictate. What follows is basically “The A-Team” for “Star Wars” die-hards, with these rebels picking up small victories as darkness engulfs the Republic.