Stream These: July Movies on Netflix, Hulu, Prime

movie
"Palm Springs"

In movie news, an actual, traditional movie theater, as opposed to a drive-in option, has quietly reopened in our region: Paradigm Cinemas in Tamarac, showing both new releases and revivals. But for those of us not yet comfortable with venturing out, the world of home streaming remains as robust as ever. Here are a few of this month’s highlights on the Big Three.

ON NETFLIX

Available Friday (July 10)

The Old Guard

The latest vehicle for Charlize Theron cunningly plays off her onscreen person as a superhuman, indefatigable action warrior: Her character this time is literally immortal, part of an elite group whose wounds heal instantly, and who have been saving humanity from certain doom for centuries. But this being an era of whistleblowers and perennial surveillance, Theron’s “old guard” of shadow saviors may soon be unmasked, just as they discover a new immortal, played by KiKi Layne, to train in their ways.

Available July 29

The Hater

A hit at the most recent Tribeca Film Festival, this Polish import should appeal to fans of the techno-dystopia series “Black Mirror.” It follows the disturbing trajectory of a disgraced law student who, in an effort to impress a childhood friend, takes a job running social-media smear campaigns for an ethically bankrupt company. As he discovers his unique strength at damaging strangers’ reputations with misinformation, he finds that his morality is as slippery to pin down as the truth.

ON HULU

Now Available

The Whistlers

Fresh off its run in Virtual Cinemas nationwide, where I saw is a few months ago, Romania’s “The Whistlers” is a mixed-up police procedural that’s full of sly surprises. Set in Bucharest and the Canary Islands, it centers on an unsmiiling detective whose encounter with a ravishing femme fatale leads him into the inner sanctum of a crime syndicate that communicates in a constructed language of whistles—an absurdist, if essential, way to elude the prying eyes and ears of a 24/7 surveillance state. This eccentric story of money laundering, blackmail, poison and institutional rot upends expectations at every turn.

Available Friday (July 10)

Palm Springs

In what is likely to be the year’s best-reviewed comedy, “Palm Springs” is a major coup for Hulu. Director Max Barbakow’s time-loop comedy, following the logic of “Groundhog Day” and, more directly, “Russian Dolls,” stars Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti as strangers who hook up at a Palm Springs wedding, only to find that they have the freedom—and the frustration—to live the same day again, in perpetuity. This one boasts a 100-percent Fresh ranking on Rotten Tomatoes; I for one can’t wait to see why.

Available July 20

The Assistant

I have a special fondness for this slice-of-life indie from writer-director Kitty Green: It was the last movie I saw in an actual cinema before the coronavirus pandemic shuttered them. Thanks to Hulu, streamers everywhere can catch up on one of 2020’s best films: a fly-on-the-wall observance of an average workday for Jane (Julia Garner, best known as Ruth in “Ozark”) administrative assistant for a big-shot movie producer who, while never being named, echoes the predatory behaviors of Harvey Weinstein. When Jane discovers her boss potentially taking advantage of a naïve intern, she’s faced with a moral dilemma that places her in the company’s crosshairs—and in the murky center of the #MeToo movement.

ON AMAZON PRIME

Available Friday (July 10)

First Cow

And here’s another of 2020’s most acclaimed films, the latest from South Florida native writer-director Kelly Reichardt. “First Cow” is set in the frontier land of the Pacific Northwest in the 1820s, where a budding friendship between a Chinese immigrant fleeing persecution and a baker toiling under the employ of ungrateful, uncouth trappers intersects with the biggest news their region has yet seen: the arrival of, as the title suggests, the first cow on the land. Earning comparisons to classic mythic westerns as “Dead Man” and “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” “First Cow” is as gorgeous as it is politically aware, with one critic going so far as to label it a “soul-affirming” experience.

Available July 24

Radioactive

Amazon’s most high-profile title of the month is the Marie Curie biopic for which many of us have long been waiting. Spanning the 1870s into the modern era, “Radioactive” weaves the personal life of the scientist (Rosamund Pike) and her husband Pierre (Sam Riley) into the story of Marie’s revolutionary discovery of radium—a breakthrough fraught with sexist hurdles. My enthusiasm is a bit curbed on this one, though: It looks like an Oscar-baiting prestige picture, for better or worse, and I fear it reduces Curie’s genius to trailer-ready sound bites.


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