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A&E >  Movies

Stream on Demand: Machines, conspiracies, darkness invade new releases

UPDATED: Thu., April 29, 2021

By Sean Axmaker For The Spokesman-Review

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

Top streams for the week

A family road trip takes an unexpected detour when it faces a robot invasion from outer space in “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” (2021, PG), an animated adventure comedy featuring the voices of Danny McBride, Abbi Jacobson, Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen. The lively, vibrant, family-friendly feature is produced by “The Lego Movie” creators Phil Lord and Chris Miller and directed by Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe, writers of the offbeat animated series “Gravity Falls. (Netflix)

“Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse” (2021, R) stars Michael B. Jordan as John Clark, an elite Navy SEAL who goes rogue when his pregnant wife is murdered and uncovers an international conspiracy. Jodie Turner-Smith, Jamie Bell, and Guy Pearce also star, and Italian filmmaker Stefano Sollima (“Sicario: Day of the Soldado”) directs the feature-length action thriller, which was scripted by Oscar-winning writer Taylor Sheridan. (Amazon Prime)

Amanda Seyfried stars in “Things Heard and Seen” (2021, TV-MA) as a Manhattan woman who moves to a remote home in the Hudson Valley with her husband (James Norton) and confronts a sinister darkness in their home as well as in her marriage. Natalia Dyer co-stars in the mix of supernatural and psychological thriller, adapted from the Elizabeth Brundage novel by filmmakers Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman. (Netflix).

The documentary “Lucy the Human Chimp” (2021, TV-14) uses rare archival footage to explore the journey of a female chimpanzee raised as human in a domestic environment and the graduate student (Janis Carter) who helped her learn to live in the wild as an adult. It’s a true story of good intentions, inadvertent damage and the emotional lives of our nonhuman neighbors. (HBO Max)

“Bäckström” (Sweden, with subtitles), based on the Swedish crime novels of Leif G.W. Persson, stars Kjell Bergqvist as an arrogant, unscrupulous and brilliant detective who faces a confounding case. All six episodes available. (Acorn TV)

In Season 4 of the award-winning “The Handmaid’s Tale” (TV-MA), June (Elisabeth Moss) strikes back against the oppressive regime as a fierce rebel leader. Three episodes available, new episodes each Tuesday. (Hulu)

“The Artist” (2011, PG-13), a love letter to silent movies and cinema starring Jean Dujardin, won five Oscars, including best picture, best director and best actor. (Amazon Prime and HBO Max)

Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand

A professional hitman (Anson Mount) is given a new mission in a small town in “The Virtuoso” (2021, R), a crime thriller also starring David Morse, Abbie Cornish and two-time Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins. Available same day as theaters.

A small-town farmer (Christopher Walken) takes on one of the largest agricultural and food manufacturing corporations in “Percy vs Goliath” (2021, PG-13), a drama based on a true story, co-starring Zach Braff and Christina Ricci. Available same day as theaters. Also new:

“Here Are the Young Men” (2021, not rated), a young adult thriller set in Ireland starring Finn Cole, Travis Fimmel and Anya Taylor-Joy;

“About Endlessness” (Sweden, 2019, not rated, with subtitles), the latest award-winning take on the absurdity of modern life from Roy Andersson;

“The County” (Iceland, 2021, not rated, with subtitles), a comic drama about a dairy farmer fighting the oppression of a cooperative that no longer represents the community.

Netflix

“Headspace Guide to Sleep” (TV-G) teaches viewers healthy habits for a more restful night in seven animated episodes,

International passport: A man trying to restart his life after an accidental killing becomes the focus of another death in the limited-series crime thriller “The Innocent” (Spain, TV-MA, with subtitles). Also new:

• A cleaning lady finds that she has a knack as a hired assassin after she inadvertently kills someone in “Fatma” (Turkey, TV-MA, with subtitles);

• A young software engineer and her friends jump into the world of modern dating and intimacy while developing an app in the comedy “Sexify” (Poland, TV-MA, with subtitles);

• A devoted classical vocalist strives for perfection in the dramatic feature “The Disciple” (India, 2021, TV-MA, with subtitles), a winner at the Venice Film Festival and a Independent Spirit Award nominee.

Amazon Prime Video

“The Commune” (Denmark, 2017, not rated, with subtitles), the story of an experiment in communal living in 1970s Denmark, is from director Thomas Vinterberg, whose new film “Another Round” just won the foreign language Oscar.

“The Warlords” (China, 2010, R with subtitles) is a sweeping historical action drama with Jet Li, Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro.

Amazon Prime and Hulu

”Arrival” (2016, PG-13), starring Amy Adams as a linguist making first contact with an alien race with no spoken language, is a brainy science-fiction drama and touching human story.

Hulu

Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan star in “Wild Mountain Thyme” (2020, PG-13), a romantic comedy from writer/director John Patrick Shanley set in Ireland and co-starring Christopher Walken and Jon Hamm.

Robert Downey Jr. is a successful lawyer and Robert Duvall his estranged father in “The Judge” (2014, R), a legal drama co-starring Vera Farmiga and Billy Bob Thornton.

And just in you need to catch up with it, you can stream “The 93rd Oscars Special” (TV-PG).

HBO Max

Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles and Eddie Murphy star in the big-screen version of the musical “Dreamgirls” (2006, PG-13), which earned an Oscar for supporting actress Jennifer Hudson.

Disney+

Shirley Jones, Gordon MacRae, Gloria Grahame and Rod Steiger star in “Oklahoma!” (1955), the lavish big-screen adaptation of the landmark Broadway hit musical from Rogers and Hammerstein.

“Marvel Studios: Assembled: The Making of the Falcon and the Winter Soldier” (TV-PG) goes behind the scenes of the new series.

Other streams

Two grown brothers from a dysfunctional family become tangled in a murder investigation in “The Bad Seed” (not rated), a limited-series crime drama from New Zealand. All five episodes streaming. (Sundance Now and AMC+)

John Simm stars in the British crime drama “Grace” (2021, not rated), based on the Roy Grace novels by Peter James and developed for television by “Endeavour” creator Russell Lewis. (BritBox)

In the Irish horror film “Boys From County Hell” (2021, not rated), a road crew disturbs the resting place of an Irish vampire believed to have inspired “Dracula.” Debuts on Shudder and AMC+. Also new to both services:

• Anthology horror “Deadhouse Dark” (2020, not rated) (Shudder and AMC+);

“In Search of Darkness II” (2020, not rated), a sequel to the documentary on ‘80s horror (Shudder and AMC+).

Margot Benacerraf’s “Araya” (Venezuela, 1959, with subtitles) is landmark of poetic nonfiction filmmaking from South America. (Criterion Channel)

New on disc and at Redbox

“Nomadland”

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

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