Top streams for the week
Dwayne Johnson is "Black Adam" (2022, PG-13), an ancient god who is out for revenge after being freed from a desert tomb, in the most recent superhero epic in the DCU. A villain in the DC Comics, he makes the transition to dark hero when the Justice Society arrive to battle his destructive form of vengeance-driven justice. Directed by action specialist Jaume Collet-Serra, it costars Sarah Shahi as the human leader of a rebel group battling an oppressive corporation and Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo, Quintessa Swindell, and Pierce Brosnan as the Justice Society. (HBO Max)
"The Banshees of Inisherin" (2022, R), starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as lifelong best friends in an island village off the Irish coast, is a break-up comedy with a dark edge from writer/director Martin McDonagh. Beneath the emerald green beauty of the landscape and eccentric characters is the rot of cruelty and brutality. It's nominated for eight Golden Globes and has won awards from numerous critics groups. (HBO Max)
The romantic comedy "Ticket to Paradise" (2022, PG-13) reunites George Clooney and Julia Roberts as estranged exes who team up to stop their daughter (Kaitlyn Dever) from impulsively marrying a kelp farmer in Bali. It comes from Ol Parker, the writer-director of "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again." (Peacock)
Oscar-winning filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu turns inward with "Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths" (Mexico, 2022, R, with subtitles), an ambitious fantasia about a journalist and filmmaker (Daniel Giménez Cacho) and his surreal, dreamlike odyssey. (Netflix)
"Kindred: Season 1" (not rated) stars Mallori Johnson as a young black writer who is abruptly transported from modern LA to a 19th-century plantation in the Deep South, a journey that repeats itself without warning. Based on the novel by Octavia E. Butler. All episodes available. (Hulu)
A fledgling CIA lawyer (Noah Centineo) is caught in the middle of an international crisis when a former asset (Laura Haddock) threatens to expose her work for the agency in "The Recruit: Season 1" (TV-MA), created by Alexi Hawley (producer of "Castle" and showrunner of "The Rookie"). (Netflix)
True stories: "Retrograde" (2022, R) looks at the chaotic nine months leading up to the withdrawal of American troops after a twenty-year war in Afghanistan, as seen from the perspectives of members of US Special Forces, Afghan fighters, and civilians. (Disney+ and Hulu)
- romantic comedy "I Believe in Santa" (2022, PG) with Christina Moore and John Ducey as opposites when it comes to celebrating the Christmas season (Netflix);
- "Snow Day" (2022, TV-G), a family-friendly musical remake of the 2000 comedy (Paramount+);
- "Christmas in Paradise" (2022, TV-PG) with Kelsey Grammer, Elizabeth Hurley, and Billy Ray Cyrus in the Caribbean (Starz).
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
Viola Davis is "The Woman King" (2022, PG-13) in Gina Prince-Bythewood's historical drama inspired by a real-life all-female warrior regiment in early 1800s Africa. Also on DVD and at Redbox.
Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver star in "Call Jane" (2022, R), a drama about the volunteer network who helped women seeking abortions in the years before Roe v. Wade. Also new:
- "Bros" (2022, R), the first romantic comedy about a gay couple produced by a major studio (also on Peacock);
- horror film "Smile" (2022, R) with Sosie Bacon;
- family fantasy "Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile" (2022, PG), based on the popular series of kids' books.
"My Next Guest with David Letterman and Volodymyr Zelenskyy" (TV-MA) presents an in-depth conversation with the president of Ukraine.
Aubrey Plaza stars as a desperate young woman in debt who discovers a gift for credit card theft in "Emily the Criminal" (2022, R).
John Leguizamo directs and stars in "Critical Thinking" (2020, TV-MA) as a chess coach show engages students in an impoverish Miami community in 1998.
"Prisoners" (2013, R), directed by Denis Villeneuve, stars Hugh Jackman whose desperation turns to violence after his daughter is abducted.
True stories: The former royal couple take control of their story in "Harry & Meghan" (TV-MA). More documentaries:
- "Don't Pick Up the Phone" (2022, TV-MA) is a docuseries about a notorious hoax caller whose calls had devastating consequences;
- "Kangaroo Valley" (2022, TV-PG), narrated by Sarah Snook, follows the first year of a young joey in the Outback;
- "The Volcano: Rescue from Whakaari" (2022, PG-13), which takes viewers into the rescue effort during the deadly 2019 volcanic eruption in New Zealand.
International passport: four retired assassins return to action in "The Big 4" (Indonesia, 2022, TV-MA, with subtitles), an action thriller from Indonesian director Timo Tjahjanto.
International TV: the telenovela "Blood Ties" (Colombia, TV-MA, with subtitles), set in early 19th century Colombia, follows three sisters secretly working with rebel fighters against Spanish rule.
Foodie TV: "Cook at all Costs: Season 1" (TV-G) is a cooking competition with game show elements.
Stand-up: "Tom Papa: What A Day!" (TV-MA)
Kid stuff: "Sonic Prime: Season 1" (TV-Y7) is an animated adventure based on the hit video game.
The British crime drama "Witness Number 3" (not rated) follows a single mother's harrowing ordeal when she comes forward after witnessing a murder.
An estranged father (Patton Oswalt) creates a fake online persona to engage with his troubled son (James Morosini, also writer and director) and inadvertently catfishes him in the comedy "I Love My Dad" (2022, R).
True stories the limited series "Grails: When Sneakers Changed the Game" (not rated) follows two young entrepreneurs working with Nike top develop a line of golf sneakers and apparel to promote diversity.
International TV: a father is offered the opportunity for revenge after his daughter is assaulted in the thriller "Ben Gri: Season 1" (Turkey, not rated, with subtitles).
Six films from director Christopher Nolan are now available, including "Batman Begins" (2005, PG-13) and the sequels, mind-heist action thriller "Inception" (2010, PG-13), and World War II drama "Dunkirk" (2017, PG-13).
True stories: Emmy-winning filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi profiles the career of her mother, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, in "Pelosi in the House" (2022, TV-14), and "Call Me Miss Cleo" (2022, TV-MA) looks at the rise, fall, and reinvention of the 1990s television psychic Miss Cleo.
Stand-up: "Atsuko Okatsuka: The Intruder" (TV-MA).
"National Treasure: Edge of History: Season 1" (TV-14) brings a new chapter to the action movie franchise with a new, young adult hero (Lisette Olivera) deciphering the clues in a treasure hunt.
True stories: the famed Abbey Road studios is profiled in "If These Walls Could Sing" (2022, TV-14), which features interviews with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Roger Waters, Liam Gallagher, and other artists who recorded there.
The live-action short "Le Pupille" (Italy, 2022, not rated), about girls in a strict religious boarding school at Christmas, comes from writer/director Alice Rohrwacher and producer Alfonso Cuarón.
Amazon Prime Video
An undocumented nanny (Anna Diop) in New York City becomes possessed by an evil spirit in the horror film "Nanny" (2022, R), with won the top prize at Sundance.
Emma Roberts, Thomas Mann, and Britt Robertson star in "About Fate" (2022, R), a romantic comedy set on a stormy New Year's Eve.
Foodie TV: in "Dr. Seuss Baking Challenge" (2022, TV-G), bakers create real-world treats inspired by storybook inventions.
"Metallica Presents: Helping Hands Concert" (2022, not rated), a fundraising event featuring a guest appearance by Greta Van Fleet, streams live beginning 5:30pm Pacific Time on Friday.
The travel show "Sampled: Season 1" (2022, TV-MA) explores international cities from the viewpoint of traveling musicians on world tours.
Ray Romano stars in the Emmy-winning sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond: Complete Series" (1996-2005, TV-PG) with Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett, Doris Roberts, and Peter Boyle.
David Tennant play Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian spy who was poisoned by the KGB while living in England, in the limited series "Litvinenko" (2022). All episodes streaming. (AMC+ and Sundance Now)
A terrible secret turns a Christmas celebration into a violent game of revenge in "The Apology" (2022, not rated) starring Anna Gunn, Linus Roache, and Janeane Garofalo. Streams same day it arrives in theaters. (AMC+ and Shudders)
Eleven "Snow Westerns" get the spotlight in a collection that reaches from the Alaska-set "The Far Country" (1954) with Jimmy Stewart to Robert Altman's "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" (1971, R) with Warren Beatty and Julie Christie to Jim Jarmusch's hallucinatory "Dead Man" (1995). Two lesser-known highlights are the thriller "Day of the Outlaw" (1959) with Robert Ryan and Burl Ives and Sergio Corbucci's "The Great Silence" (Italy, 1968, not rated) with Jean-Louis Trintignant as a mute bounty hunter. (Criterion Channel)
A 40-year-old woman (Wendy Chinchilla Araya) living an oppressive life in a remote village finds solace in the natural world and a mystical awakening at her niece's quinceañera in "Clara sola" (Costa Rica, 2021, not rated, with subtitles). (Criterion Channel)
New on disc and at Redbox:
"Ticket to Paradise," "The Woman King," "Smile," "Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile"
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at https://streamondemandathome.com.
Copyright © 2020 by Sean Axmaker