Watching: 5 Great Things to Stream

On Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Disney+

By The Watching Team

Regardless of what streaming service you subscribe to, we’re here to help. We’ve gone through Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ to find the best movies and TV shows on each service.

Here’s one of the 50 best movies on Netflix

Miles Morales, one of several Spideys in “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”Sony Pictures Animation

‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

With three different, multifilm iterations of the web-slinging superhero swinging through multiplexes in less than two decades, did moviegoers really need another, animated one? This delightful Oscar winner for best animated feature answered that question with a resounding “Yes,” by not only ignoring that busy history but leaning into it, with an elaborate story of multiple Spider-Men (and women, and one Spider-Pig) joining forces to save the universe. The result, A.O. Scott notes, “contains a vital element that has been missing from too many recent superhero movies: fun.” Beautifully animated, cleverly scripted and ingeniously voiced, it may well be the best Spider-movie to date.

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Here is one of the best TV shows on Netflix

From left, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Annie Murphy and Daniel Levy play a family that has lost its fortune and decamped to a hamlet in “Schitt’s Creek.”Pop TV

‘Schitt’s Creek’

The Canadian sitcom “Schitt’s Creek,” created by the father-son duo Eugene and Dan Levy, took a while to find an audience. But by the end of its six-seasons, TV buffs and critics had fallen for this tale of a wealthy, spoiled family forced to move to a small town after they go broke. In 2020, the series set a record by sweeping all of the major Emmy awards in the comedy category, cementing the legacy of its snarky-but-humane exploration of ordinary life. In a Times article about the final season, Lara Zarum noted its “daffy charm” and the “winning combination of its characters’ caustic wit and the show’s fundamental warmth.”

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Have a Hulu subscription? It’s a lot to wade through. We can help!

Zack Mulligan, left, and Keire Johnson in the documentary “Minding the Gap.”Hulu

‘Minding the Gap’

Bing Liu was nominated for a best documentary Oscar for this, his debut feature, a candid and sometimes agonizingly intimate portrait of his loose crew of skateboarding pals. He began making videos to capture that activity, recording the skateboarders’ tricks, spills and pranks; they got comfortable around the camera, forgetting it was even there. But it was, observing and chronicling their lives for years on end — and as they got older, Liu used their comfort to eavesdrop on difficult conversations and extraordinary confessions, weaving what A.O. Scott called “a rich, devastating essay on race, class and manhood in 21st-century America.”

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Amazon Prime Video doesn’t make it easy to find stuff. Luckily, we have done the work for you.

Sierra McCormick as a switchboard operator in 1950s New Mexico in “The Vast of Night.”Amazon Studios

‘The Vast of Night’

This debut film from the director Andrew Patterson wears its “Twilight Zone” influence right on its sleeve, opening (on a vintage television, no less) with the spooky intro to an anthology series called “Paradox Theater,” and presenting this story as “tonight’s episode.” The throwback framework is key; this is a film that bursts with affection for analog, with the look, feel and (above all) sound of black-and-white tube TVs, reel-to-reel tape recorders, telephone switchboards and the distant voices of a radio disc jockey and his mysterious callers. Patterson orchestrates it all with the grinning giddiness of a campfire storyteller — he’s having a great time freaking us out. Manohla Dargis called it “a small-scale movie that flexes plenty of filmmaking muscle.”

Disney+ is full of older classics. But there are a lot of newer things to watch as well.

Joy and Sadness in a scene from “Inside Out.”Disney/Pixar

‘Inside Out’

When an 11-year-old girl moves to San Francisco from the Midwest, the personified emotions that control her mind — Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) — go haywire. Ranking near the top of Pixar tear-jerkers, “Inside Out” is about how children develop into complex emotional beings and the important role that melancholy plays in making it happen. A.O. Scott called it “an absolute delight — funny and charming, fast-moving and full of surprises.”

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