Top streams for the week
The British espionage thriller "The Undeclared War: Season 1" (not rated) drops England's top computer analysts (led by Simon Pegg) into a high-stakes game of cyber warfare when the country is hit with a series of cyber-attacks in the run-up to the 2024 election. Hannah Khalique-Brown plays the rookie on the veteran team, which includes Alex Jennings and Mark Rylance, and Adrian Lester plays the Prime Minister. It's from Peter Kominsky, who brought the superb "Wolf Hall" to the screen and spent three years researching the state of cyber security and hacking for this project. The entire six-episode series streams in its entirety. (Peacock)
Sharon Horgan created and stars in "Bad Sisters: Season 1" (TV-MA), a mix of dark comedy and murder mystery costarring Anne-Marie Duff, Eva Birthistle, Sarah Greene and Eve Hewson as siblings. Set on the coast of Ireland, it opens with the funeral of a bad husband (Claes Bang) and gets complicated when suspicions arise that one of them may be a murderer. Two episodes available, new episodes on Fridays. (Apple TV+)
Tatiana Maslany is "She-Hulk: Attorney At Law: Season 1" (TV-14), Bruce Banner's cousin and a lawyer who specializes in superhuman-oriented cases after she inherits some of his powers. Mark Ruffalo and Benedict Wong reprise their MCU roles as Hulk and Wong in this mix of legal drama, superhero show, and comedy, and Tim Roth, Jameela Jamil, and Ginger Gonzaga costar. New episodes on Wednesdays. (Disney+)
Garret Dillahunt and Martha Plimpton star in "Sprung: Season 1" (TV-PG), a comedy about recently-released criminals who band together to use their skills and expertise for good. Two episodes available, new episodes on Sundays. It's from "My Name is Earl" and "Raising Hope" creator Greg Garcia. Free with ads. (Amazon Freevee)
Jerrod Carmichael makes his directorial debut and stars in "On the Count of Three" (2022, R), a darkly comic buddy film about two best friends on the last day of their lives. Christopher Abbott, Tiffany Haddish, JB Smoove, and Henry Winkle costar. (Hulu)
Based on a story by Joe Hill, Scott Derrickson's horror film "The Black Phone" (2022, R) stars Ethan Hawke as the villain and Mason Thames as a child who can speak to his earlier victims from a disconnected telephone. Streams on Peacock before VOD. (Peacock)
The five-part docuseries "Children of the Underground: Season 1" (TV-MA) introduces audiences to the complicated story of Faye Yager, who in the 1980s built a vast underground network to help mother and their children escape when the courts failed to protect them from the abuse of husbands and fathers. It put her on the FBI's Most Wanted list. All episodes streaming. (Hulu)
Classic pick: Remember Olivia Newton-John in her most memorable film role: good girl Sandy in the musical "Grease" (1978, PG). (Paramount+)
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
Patton Oswalt is a father whose efforts to connect with his distant son leads to an awkward internet romance in the comedy "I Love My Dad" (2022, R). Also new:
- James Norton and Gemma Arterton star in "Rogue Agent" (2022, not rated), inspired by the true story of a con man who successfully passed himself off as an MI-5 agent;
- "Lost Illusions" (France, 2022, not rated, with subtitles), which follows an aspiring poet in 19th century Paris (Benjamin Voisin) who succumbs to the lure of easy money;
- "Olga" (Switzerland, 2021, not rated, with subtitles), about a Ukrainian gymnast who leaves her country to pursue Olympic dreams while her home country undergoes upheaval.
- "Baby Assassins" (Japan, 2021, not rated, with subtitles), an action comedy about a pair of teenage girls who are secretly Yakuza hitgirls.
In the limited series thriller "Echoes" (TV-MA), Michelle Morgan plays identical twins who whose intertwined lives start to unravel when one of them disappears and the other gets tangled in a conspiracy. (Netflix)
The romantic comedy "Look Both Ways" (2022, TV-14) follows two possible futures after a college graduate (Lili Reinhart) takes a pregnancy test.
"Dope" (2015, R) is a quirky tale of hip-hop-loving high school geeks from Inglewood with sarcastic banter and comic escapades.
True stories: "Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn't Exist" (TV-MA), about All-American football star Manti Te'o, kicks off the second series of documentaries on unusual stories from the world of sports. Also new is the self-explanatory "Inside the Mind of a Cat" (2022, TV-PG).
International passport: "Royalteen" (Norway, 2022, TV-MA, with subtitles) is a romantic drama about a teenage girl trying to keep the scandals of her past secret when she starts dating the crown prince. Also new is "The Next 365 Days" (Poland, 2022, TV-MA, with subtitles), the third film in the series of trashy erotic dramas that have become enormously popular.
International TV: the spy thriller "Kleo: Season 1" (Germany, TV-MA, with subtitles) follows the efforts of a former East German agent to find out who betrayed her and take revenge. Also new:
- teen thriller "The Girl in the Mirror: Season 1" (Spain, TV-MA, with subtitles);
- comic murder mystery "Unsuspicious: Season 1" (Brazil, TV-MA, with subtitles);
- crime thriller "High Heat: Season 1" (Mexico, TV-MA, with subtitles).
Amandla Stenberg stars as a black teenager who witnesses the shooting death of a childhood friend by a nervous young patrolman in "The Hate U Give" (2018, PG-13).
Streaming TV: "Hotties: Season 1" (not rated) is a dating competition show with spicy food challenges.
True stories: the ten-part docuseries "Legacy: The True Story of the L.A. Lakers" (not rated) looks back at the transformation of the sports franchise into one of the dominant NBA teams in the 1980s.
International passport: John Woo's historical action drama "Red Cliff" (China, 2008, R, with subtitles) stars Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, and Zhang Fengyi. Hulu presents the shorter American theatrical version.
International TV: the romantic comedy "Love Revolution: Season 1" (South Korea, with subtitles) is a live-action adaptation of the popular webtoon.
The documentary "The Princess" (2022, TV-14), an intimate look at the life of Princess Diana, arrives for the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s tragic death.
Streaming TV: "The Orville: Seasons 1-3" (TV-14) is Seth McFarlane's tribute to the "Star Trek" TV shows. It's also available on Hulu.
Amazon Prime Video
James Caan, who passed away in July, played the head of a high-tech gang of jewel thieves in Michael Mann's steely crime thriller "Thief" (1981, R). The actor proclaimed it his favorite role.
Streaming TV: the third season of the fashion competition show "Making the Cut" (TV-PG) drops this week.
"Orphan: First Kill" (2022, R) is a prequel to the horror film with Isabelle Furhman playing a 12-year-old version of the homicidal orphan.
"South Park: The 25th Anniversary Concert" (2022, TV-MA) presents co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone performing songs from the show's 25-year history, with special guests like Primus and Ween joining in.
International TV: the lives of five strangers dealing with loss intersect during group therapy in the feel-good drama "When You Least Expect It: Season 1" (Spain, not rated, with subtitles).
The new anthology series "Tales of the Walking Dead: Season 1" (TV-MA) presents stand-alone stories within the developing TWD universe. Two episodes available, new episodes on Sundays. (AMC+)
Best friends investigate supernatural mysteries in their beachside hometown in "Surfside Girls: Season 1" (TV-G), based on the young adult graphic novels. (Apple TV+)
The four-part documentary "The Diana Investigations" (not rated) reexamines the death of Princess Diana 25 years later. (discovery+)
A new restoration of Béla Tarr's acclaimed political allegory "Damnation" (Hungary, 1988, not rated, with subtitles) makes its streaming premiere and Stanley Kwan's romantic ghost story "Rouge" (Hong Kong, 1988, not rated, with subtitles), starring Anita Mui and Leslie Cheung, is presented with bonus documentaries and interviews. (Criterion Channel)
Zhang Yimou's "Shadow" (China, 2018, with subtitles) is a costume thriller of warfare and palace intrigue with magnificent action scenes. (MUBI)
New on disc and at Redbox:
"Jurassic World: Dominion," "Black Phone"
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at https://streamondemandathome.com.
Copyright © 2022 by Sean Axmaker