Top streams for the week

Steven Spielberg directs his first musical with this new adaptation of "West Side Story" (2021, PG-13), a "Romeo & Juliet" tale set between Irish-American and Puerto Rican-American gangs in 1950s New York City. The screenplay by Tony-winner Tony Kushner adds the pressure of urban renewal pushing poor communities out of their neighborhoods to the drama of racial conflict and culture clash. Nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture, director, and supporting actress for Ariana DeBose. (Disney+ and HBO Max)

A multilingual theater production of "Uncle Vanya" is at the center of "Drive My Car" (Japan, 2021, with subtitles, not rated), a three-hour drama of loss, grief, art, and friendship based on a short story by Haruki Murakami. This mix of road movie and theater drama is nominated for four Oscars, including best picture. (HBO Max)

The satirical limited series "Joe vs Carole" (TV-MA) dramatizes the real-life ten-year feud between big cat rescuer Carole Baskin (Kate McKinnon) and roadside zoo operator Joe Exotic (John Cameron Mitchell), previously told in the documentary series "Tiger King." Kyle MacLachlan, Nat Wolff, and Dean Winters costar. (Peacock)

Amanda Seyfried plays Elizabeth Holmes in the limited series "The Dropout" (TV-MA), a drama that uses the meteoric rise and dramatic fall of tech startup Theranos to explore the culture of ambition and greed that allowed Holmes to attract investment in a too-good-to-be-true technology. Naveen Andrews plays Sunny Balwani and William H. Macy, Laurie Metcalf, and Sam Waterston costar. Three episodes available, new episodes on Thursdays. (Hulu)

Toni Collette and Bella Heathcote play mother and daughter in "Pieces of Her" (TV-MA), a limited series thriller about a violent attack in a small town that brings up dark secrets from the mother's past. It's based on the novel by Karin Slaughter and costars David Wenham and Jessica Barden. (Netflix)

"The Tourist: Season 1" (TV-MA) stars Jamie Dornan as a British man who loses his memory after being run off the road in the Australian outback and goes in search of his identity and the reason that someone is trying to kill him. (HBO Max)

"F9: The Fast Saga" (2021, PG-13) sends the action franchise of fast cars and faster car thieves into full-fledged super-spy adventure and even sends a car into space to stop an international terrorist. Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, John Cena, and Charlize Theron star, and Helen Mirren gets into the driver's seat for a memorable cameo. (HBO Max)

Paul Verhoeven's "Benedetta" (Netherlands, 2021, not rated, with subtitles) is based on the true story of a young 17th century nun (Virginie Efira) whose rapturous visions plunge her into a sexual awakening. It's both a fascinating portrait of faith and an erotic thriller and is for adults. (Hulu)

Amy Poehler's documentary "Lucy and Desi" (2022, PG) draws from a wealth of archival material to explore the personal lives and professional collaboration of trailblazing power couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Features interviews with Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill, Norman Lear, Desi Arnaz Jr, Carol Burnett, and Bette Midler. (Amazon Prime)

Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand

Director Kenneth Branagh draws on his youth growing up in Belfast in the late 1960s in "Belfast" (2021, PG-13), starring Caitriona Balfe and Jaime Dornan. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including best picture, best director, and for actors Judi Dench and Ciaran Hinds. Also on disc and at Redbox.

The documentary "Dear Mr. Brody" (2022, not rated) explores the true story of a 21-year-old hippie-millionaire who was mobbed with requests after he announced he would give away his fortune to anyone in need, and the stories of some of the folks sought his help.

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is "Asking for It" (2022, R) starring Vanessa Hudgens, Kiersey Clemons, and Alexandra Shipp as members of a vigilante group of badass women.


"The Weekend Away" (2022, TV-14) stars Leighton Meester as an American in Croatia racing to clear her name when she's accused of murdering her best friend. Based on the novel by Sarah Alderson

Chadwick Boseman is a New York cop investigating the deaths of NYPD officers in the crime thriller "21 Bridges" (2019, R). It was one of the actors final screen appearances.

The surreal social satire "Sorry to Bother You" (2018, R) stars Lakeith Stanfield as a telemarketer who finds the secret to sales success and rises up the ladder of a soulless corporation.

Years before Covid, Steven Soderbergh imagined the effects of a global pandemic in the prescient "Contagion" (2011, PG-13) starring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, and Marion Cotillard.

The superhero satire "The Guardians of Justice: Season 1" (TV-MA) mixes live action, traditional cel animation, claymation, cut out paper animation, and 8-bit video game imagery.

True stories: the natural history documentary "Surviving Paradise: A Family Tale" (TV-G) explores life in the Kalahari Desert's Okavango Delta. "Bridgerton" star Regé-Jean Page narrates.

True crime: the limited series "Worst Roommate Ever" (TV-MA) tells the stories of seemingly harmless roommates turned malevolent or violent.

International passport: the survival thriller "Against The Ice" (2022, Denmark, TV-MA, with subtitles), written by and starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Joe Cole, dramatizes the true story of Denmark's 1909 polar expedition. Also new:

  • LGBTQ drama "The Invisible Thread" (Italy, TV-MA, with subtitles) starring Filippo Timi;
  • historical adventure "The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure" (2022, South Korea, TV-14, with subtitles);
  • romantic comedy "Meskina" (Netherlands, 2022, TV-MA, with subtitles) set in Dutch Muslim community;
  • "American Girl" (2021, Taiwan, TV-MA, with subtitles), about a 13-year-old girls who returns to Taiwan from US during SARS epidemic of 2003.

International TV: a journalist is plunged back in time to 1919 and uncovers a plot that could change the fate of modern Turkey in "Midnight at the Pera Palace: Season 1" (Turkey, TV-14, with subtitles). Also new:

Kid stuff: the animated revival of "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" (TV-Y7) returns for a second season.


Modern dating takes a creepy twist in the horror film "Fresh" (2022, R), starring Daisy Edgar-Jones as a frustrated single and Sebastian Stan as a handsome date with unusual appetites. Mimi Cave directs.

Streaming TV: the fifth and final season of "Better Things" (TV-MA) with Pamela Adlon begins with new episodes on Tuesdays and "Dicktown: Season 2" (TV-MA) rolls out new episodes on Fridays.

"Moby Doc" (2021) profiles the life and music of musician and activist Moby, who narrates his story. More true stories:

  • "Savior for Sale" (France, 2021, with subtitles) follows the story behind a rediscovered Da Vinci painting that sold for a record price;
  • "Three Identical Strangers" (2018, PG-13) reveals about bizarre story behind triplets separated at birth.


The pirate comedy "Our Flag Means Death: Season 1" (TV-14) plays the real life story of aristocrat turned privateer Stede Bonnet (played by Rhys Darby) as a high seas farce. Taika Waititi produces and costars. Three episodes available, new episodes on Thursdays.

True stories: "Gaming Wall Street" (2022, TV-MA) explores how an online community drove up the price of GameStop and revealed how Wall Street investors game the system, and "The Larry David Story" (not rated) surveys the life and career of America's favorite misanthrope.

"My Brilliant Friend: Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay" (Italy, TV-MA, with subtitles) is the third season of the acclaimed adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s epic four-volume novel cycle of life in the oppressive culture of post-World War II Naples.

"One Tree Hill: Complete Series" (2003-2012, TV-14), a young adult drama set in a small town in North Carolina, is now available.

Amazon Prime Video

"The Boys Presents: Diabolical: Season 1" (2022, TV-MA) is an animated spinoff of the dark superhero drama and "Upload: Season 2" (2022, TV-MA) continues the sci-fi satire of virtual life.

Showtime Anytime

The story of the paradigm-shifting ride share company becomes a cautionary tale in "Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber" (TV-MA), starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as company cofournder Travis Kalanick and narrated by Quentin Tarantino. Developed by "Billions" creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien, it's the debut season in an anthology series taking on tech giants. New episodes on Sundays.

A father (Colin Farrell) searches for a way to repair his daughter's companion android in the science fiction family drama "After Yang" (2022, TV-PG), directed by Kogonada and costarring Jodie Turner-Smith and Haley Lu Richardson.

Other streams

"Murder in Provence: Season 1" (not rated) is a British crime show in France, starring Roger Allam as an Investigating Judge solving crimes in Aix-en-Provence. (BritBox)

The fourth and final season of "Killing Eve" (TV-14) brings the complicated relationship between British agent Eve (Sandra Oh) and Russian assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer), who loves her work far too much, to its conclusion. New episodes on Sundays, a week before the episodes play on cable. (AMC+)

The second season of "Star Trek: Picard" (TV-14) arrives with new episodes on Thursdays. (Paramount+)

New seasons of the animated musical comedy "Central Park" (TV-PG) and the nonfiction series "Dear…" (TV-MA) arrive with new episodes on Fridays. (Apple TV+)

"Murdoch Mysteries: Season 15" (not rated), the hit Canadian procedural set in turn of the 20th century Toronto, returns with its longest season to date: 24 episodes, to debut weekly on Mondays through August. (Acorn TV)

The limited series documentary "The Missing Children" (not rated) exposes the Catholic Church's involvement in the trafficking, neglect and suspicious deaths of babies born to unwed mothers in Ireland. (Topic)

"Pre-Code Paramount" spotlights 20 films made between the birth of sound cinema and the enforcement of the Hollywood Production Code, from the Marx Bros.' screen debut in "The Cocoanuts" (1929) and "Morocco" (1930) with Marlene Dietrich and Garry Cooper to Ernst Lubitsch's elegant "Trouble in Paradise" (1932) and Mitchell Leisen's sexy "Murder at the Vanities" (1934). You can also explore bonus features with Lubitch's menage-a-trois romantic comedy "Design for Living" (1933) with Gary Cooper, Fredric March, and Miriam Hopkins and the boozy tale of alcoholism and open marriage "Merrily We Go to Hell" (1932) from director Dorothy Arzner. (Criterion Channel)

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The true crime docuseries "Bug Out" (not rated) delves into the mystery of the largest known live insect heist in history. (IMDbTV)

Two fictional murder mysteries debut on Crackle: "In the Vault: Season 1" (not rated) plays out in a college dorm after the death of freshman at a party and the Canadian "The Wall: Season 1" (not rated) plays out in a small mining town on the Labrador border of northern Quebec. (Crackle)

New on disc and at Redbox:


Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at

Copyright © 2022 by Sean Axmaker

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  • "Carrie"

    @ Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre

    Wed., July 6, 7-9 p.m.