The weekend is here. It’s here! Regardless of what streaming service you subscribe to, we want to help. 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
From left to right, Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta and Robert De Niro in “Goodfellas” (1990).Warner Bros.
Martin Scorsese tells the true story of Henry Hill, an average kid whose idolatry of the neighborhood gangsters made him an errand boy, then a low-level thief, then an architect of the 1978 Lufthansa heist — before he lost it all in a haze of drugs and deception. Scorsese’s exhilaratingly expert use of first-person perspective makes the viewer less an observer than an accomplice, along for the jet-fueled ride to the top, and the cocaine-dusted binge to the bottom. Our critic called it “breathless and brilliant.”
Olivia Colman and Josh O’Connor in Season 4 of “The Crown.”Des Willie/Netflix
By the time this sweeping historical drama is done, the writer-producer Peter Morgan intends to have spent 60 episodes covering the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, from coronation to now. Claire Foy plays the Queen for the first two seasons, which take place from the late 1940s through the mid-60s. Olivia Colman takes the lead in Seasons 3 and 4, which begin in 1964 and move the story through England’s psychedelic, punk and Margaret Thatcher-Lady Diana eras. The A-list cast and the lavish production are the primary selling points of “The Crown,” which our critic called, “an orgy of sumptuous scenes and rich performances.”
Have a Hulu subscription? It’s a lot to wade through. We can help!
From left, Joel McHale, Yvette Nicole Brown, Donald Glover and Danny Pudi in “Community.”Justin Lubin/NBC
Loners at a subpar community college join in a study group to muddle through their joke of a Spanish class and end up forging unexpected bonds from their shared misery. It sounds like the setup for a crushingly typical TV sitcom, but “Community” is anything but; over its six tempestuous seasons, the creator, Dan Harmon, and his inventive writers, turned the classroom laugher into a “bracingly funny” and slyly surreal blend of sketch comedy, science fiction and metatelevision — while simultaneously creating the kind of complicated but sympathetic characters and delicate relationships it seemed too cool to indulge.
Amazon Prime Video doesn’t make it easy to find stuff. Luckily, we have done the work for you.
Riz Ahmed in “Sound of Metal.”Amazon Studios
‘Sound of Metal’
Riz Ahmed is devastatingly good as Ruben, a hard rock drummer whose entire life — his music, his relationship, his self-image — is upended by a sudden case of extreme hearing loss, in this wrenching drama from the writer and director Darius Marder. A former addict in danger of relapse, Ruben enters a school for the deaf, where he must confront not only his new condition, but the jitteriness that predates it. His sense of solitude, even with others, quickly transforms to self-consciousness, then self-doubt, then self-destruction, and “Sound of Metal” is ultimately less about finding a silver bullet cure than finding the stillness within oneself. Marder works in a quiet, observational style, skillfully avoiding every cliché he approaches, taking turns both satisfying and moving. Our critic praised the film’s “distinctive style.”
Disney+ is full of older classics. But there are a lot of newer things to watch as well.
A scene from “Wall-E.”Disney/Pixar
The first third of “WALL-E” is a high-water mark for Pixar, quietly and wondrously detailing the solitary life of the only trash-compacting robot left on an uninhabitable future Earth. The film doesn’t drop off much, either, when the robot befriends a sleeker android sent to the planet to search for signs of life — and perhaps hope for surviving humans to return home. “We’ve grown accustomed to expecting surprises from Pixar,” wrote A.O. Scott, “but ‘WALL-E’ surely breaks new ground.”