Every single 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) 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. Oppenheimer (Universal Pictures movie for purchase on Amazon Prime)
Cillian Murphy’s eyes truly carry the weight of the world in this film with an endless array of marvelous supporting players including Florence Pugh, Robert Downey Jr., Emily Blunt, and Matt Damon. And don’t forget about Alden Ehrenreich, who is still the most underrated MVP-type of the year with Cocaine Bear and Fair Play netting him additional quadrants. Of course, Christopher Nolan’s cinematic return to brilliance isn’t available as part of a streaming service package yet (it will likely end up on on Peacock), but you can go the VOD route and even enjoy the Barbenheimer phenomenon at home. As one might expect in a film about the father of the atomic bomb, this is not light and frothy viewing, but Nolan hopes that it will serve an ultimate purpose.
TIE: 10. The Curse (Showtime series streaming on Paramount+)
Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie teamed up to mock HGTV-style shows (suck it, Property Brothers), and the results are not quite as awkward as Fielder’s usual fare. This genre-bending series co-stars Emma Stone, whose character isn’t thrilled when her husband (Fielder) invites a curse upon them in a way that makes Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell look slightly less stressful than it did back when Alison Lohman was coughing up flies in that 2009 horror flick. You’ll never watch House Hunters or Fixer Upper the same way again.
9. Leo (Netflix movie)
Adam Sandler cannot miss with the Netflix audience, so it’s no wonder that they allow him to crank out at least a few films per year on this streaming service. Are these Uncut Gems-worthy followups? Well, of course not, but Sandler also knows what the people want, and that somehow included Hubie Halloween. Here, The Sandman voices a terrarium-weary lizard who’s about had it up to here with life in a classroom with his best pal being a turtle voiced by Bill Burr. It’s a bucket-list tale and harmless fun for the whole family.
8. Monarch: Legacy of Monsters (Apple TV+ series)
Godzilla stans are having a fantastic few months with three separate nuke-awoken-lizard projects surfacing almost in tandem. However, the other projects do not have Kurt Russell teaming up with freaking Godzilla, so that’s worth a few points. Wyatt Russell also stars with both Russells portraying Army officer Lee Shaw, and if you’d like to see more of him outside of the MCU, think about putting Hulu’s Under The Banner Of Heaven on your watchlist.
7. Fargo (FX series streaming on Hulu)
Jon Hamm and his harms on display, need we say more? Alright, we will. This season stars Hamm and his enormous belt buckle as this season’s most eccentric lawman. He’s having the time of his life, and there are nipple rings on display in addition to the hamms. Hey, it’s Fargo, so you knew it was gonna be weird. The season co-stars Juno Temple, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Lamorne Morris, Joe Keery, Richa Moorjani, Jessica Pohl, Nick Gomez, David Rysdahl, and Sam Spruell — all as characters bearing names even more flowery than the actors themselves.
6. Slow Horses (Apple TV+ series)
If you enjoy Gary Oldman farts, then this series has something for you. Beyond that highlight, this series showcases the failed spymastering of Jackson Lamb (Oldman) and his group full of British intelligence f*ck-ups. Olivia Cooke and Jack Lowden co-star, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll move past their collective “slow horse” reputation while conquering more messes. Yet mainly, it’s nice to see an espionage-focused dark comedy show that puts a fresh and bumbling spin on the profession that James Bond turned into a sexy thing, but much credit (of course) goes to Mick Herronthe’s series of novels.
5. The Killer (Netflix film)
Michael Fassbender, David Fincher, and The Smiths (you gotta watch to find out) make an unholy but undeniably compelling trio in this series about an assassin who not only does yoga but also ends up getting too self-involved with one of his projects. Could this be a fatal flaw? Still, this movie nails its target with a little bit of Tilda Swinton for good measure. Fincher loves to roll around in pulpy projects, and it’s good to have him back in that saddle.
4. Freelance (Relativity Film movie on VOD & Amazon Prime)
Well, this film’s critic reviews are pretty dismal, but nonetheless, people are here for John Cena’s latest foray into the acting realm. Here, he portrays an ex-special forces operative who misses his glory days, and he seizes a chance to go there again when a journalist (Alison Brie) could use a strong pair of arms to accompany her into dangerous territory to profile a dictator.
3. Good Burger 2 (Paramount+ film)
A ton of attempts at nostalgia are found on every streaming service (and network) these days, but sometimes, a swing hits the target. Paramount+ scored by streaming this return to Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell’s earliest days of making us laugh. These days, Kenan is the longest-running SNL cast member of all time, but it’s good to see him in his old stomping grounds. The twist here is that Ed (Mitchell) is the one to embrace his old pal who ends up back at Good Burger by no choice of his own. The rest of the crew is all new, as are the scrapes that the pair finds themselves juggling.
2. Lawmen: Bass Reeves: Season 1 (Paramount+ series)
And speaking of saddles: Taylor Sheridan currently has 6666 in the works on the Yellowstone side, but first, he’s taking viewers back to the real Old West. David Oyelowo portrays the legendary Black U.S. Deputy Marshal. This series harkens back to the Post-Reconstruction era, in which Bass Reeves became a notorious frontier hero by capturing thousands of the most frightening criminals in the land. Oyelowo is accompanied by Dennis Quaid, Garrett Hedlund, and Donald Sutherland, thereby proving that everyone wants a piece of what Sheridan is selling.
1. Squid Game: The Challenge (Netflix series)
Despite Squid Game being a smash, global, runaway hit, something about a reality show did not sound so wise. Still, Netflix decided that they were up to The Challenge, and sure enough, some unfortunate allegations have surfaced. Viewers remain transfixed by this imitation-reality-show taking a stab at the real deal, and the recently aired “Marbles” challenge seems to be hitting an audience nerve, too.