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Stream on Demand: Scorsese bypasses traditional studios for ‘The Irishman’

UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 27, 2019

Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro in “The Irishman.” (Netflix)
Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro in “The Irishman.” (Netflix)
By Sean Axmaker For The Spokesman-Review

What’s new for home viewing on Video on Demand and Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and other streaming services.

Top streams

for the week

After the major film studios passed, Martin Scorsese turned to Netflix to finance The Irishman (2019, R), his latest and last Mob epic and a long-awaited reunion with Robert De Niro (their first collaboration in more than 20 years), Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel. De Niro delivers his most committed and moving performance in decades as Teamster-turned-Mob-hitman Frank Sheeran, Pesci (lured out of retirement) offers quiet power and gravitas as the mobster who recruits Frank, and Al Pacino turns down his usual volume to play Jimmy Hoffa. Scorsese plays down the cinematic fireworks for a melancholy portrait of a man who loses his compassion and family in a life of impersonal violence. Now on Netflix after a brief theatrical run.

Adam Driver plays the congressional aide assigned to investigate the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” (aka torture) in the post-9/11 war against terror in “The Report” (2019, R). Filmmaker Scott Z. Burns effectively dramatizes a complicated subject. Streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Also new to Amazon Prime is “Brittany Runs a Marathon” (2019, R), a comedy about self-esteem and self-image starring Jillian Bell in the title role.

A severed hand goes on an odyssey to reunite with the rest of itself in the offbeat, fable-like animated film “I Lost My Body” (France, 2019, not rated). Streaming on Netflix.

Apple TV+ debuts “Servant” (TV-MA), a psychological thriller created and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Three episodes now available, new episodes each Thursday.

Holiday trimmings: Romany Malco is a radio DJ and single father in the family comedy “Holiday Rush” (2019, not rated) on Netflix, and James Corden and Lana Del Rey are guests on “The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show” (2019, TV-Y) on Amazon Prime Video.

Classic pick: Charles Laughton and Marlene Dietrich spar in Agatha Christie’s “Witness for the Prosecution” (1958). On Amazon Prime Video.

Free pick: “Tel Aviv on Fire” (Palestine, 2018, not rated, with subtitles) uses comedy to look at the tensions in modern Israel. On Kanopy, a free streaming service available through most library systems.


Dennis Quaid stars in the sitcom “Merry Happy Whatever: Season 1,” and Connie Britton and Eric Bana headline the true crime drama “Dirty John: Season 1” (2018).

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Original science-fiction series “The Feed” offers a near future where people can plug their minds directly into the data network. Also newly arrived are all seven seasons of “True Blood” (2008-2014, TV-MA).


Werner Herzog directs and narrates the documentary “Meeting Gorbachev” (2019, TV-PG).


A family faces dark, twisted, shadow versions of themselves in “Us” (2019, R), Jordan Peele’s eerie, ambitious social satire through a horror movie lens starring Lupita Nyong’o.

Other streams

Pixar’s Oscar-winning animated feature “Coco” (2017, PG) is new to Disney+.

New on disc

and at Redbox

“Angel Has Fallen,” “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” “Official Secrets,” “Ophelia”

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

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