Watching: Five Great Things to Stream

On Netflix, Amazon and Disney+

By The Watching Team

The weekend is here. It’s here! (A long one, too.) Regardless of what streaming service you subscribe to, we want to help. We’ve gone through Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ to find the best titles on each service.

Here’s one of the 50 best movies on Netflix

Emma Watson in “The Bling Ring,” directed by Sofia Coppola. She wants to rob.Merrick Morton/A24

‘The Bling Ring’

Sofia Coppola takes on conspicuous consumption, Millennial malaise, and upper-class entitlement in this darkly funny and stylishly thought-provoking true story (adapted from a Vanity Fair article by Nancy Joe Sales). Emma Watson leads a crew of young, attractive rich girls who spent years helping themselves to the homes (and spoils) of their famous neighbors, partying in Paris Hilton’s “nightclub room” and casually lifting Lindsay Lohan’s jewelry. Coppola refuses to condemn their crimes or apologize for them; it is, A.O. Scott wrote, “neither a cautionary tale of youth gone wrong nor a joke at the expense of kids these days.”


Here is one of the best TV shows on Netflix

“The Midnight Gospel” pairs trippy visuals with interviews from the podcast “The Duncan Trussell Family Hour.”Netflix

‘The Midnight Gospel’

The animator Pendleton Ward follows up his cult favorite kids’ series “Adventure Time” with something very different: a cartoon that combines surrealism and docu-realism, pitched to broad-minded grown-ups. The comedian Duncan Trussell provides the voice of the hero, Clancy Gilroy, a podcaster who travels across dimensions and through the universe, interviewing strange creatures in dangerous places. The illustrations are trippy, influenced by pulp science-fiction; but the dialogue is mostly casual and earnestly philosophical. The result is a show that on the surface looks like a mature animated fantasy but is actually a sweet and strange inquiry into what it means to be alive. Our critic called it “expansive and full-hearted and cathartic.”


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

From left, Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”Jordin Althaus/NBC

‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’

Sitcom creator Michael Schur mated the familial hangout vibe of his “Parks and Recreation” with the police precinct setting of “Barney Miller” to create this “loose, jokey workplace comedy.” Andy Samberg stars as Jake Peralta, an immature police detective who butts heads with his buttoned-up captain (Andre Braugher) — the old loose-cannon/by-the-book odd couple, writ large. The show’s charm, however, lies in its rich ensemble, an assemblage of familiar comic types given dimension and personality by a top-notch supporting cast. NBC recently announced that the show’s upcoming eighth season would be its last.


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

A scene from Regina King’s “One Night in Miami.” Kingsley Ben-Adir, left, as Malcolm X, taking a photo of Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), Cassius Clay (Eli Goree) and Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.).Patti Perret/Amazon Studios

‘One Night in Miami’

The “one night” of the title of Regina King’s feature directorial debut is February 25, 1964 — the night Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) took down Sonny Liston for the world heavyweight championship. But the fight footage is brief, because King isn’t making a boxing movie; she’s making a film about Black identity, filled with conversations that are still being had, and questions that are still being asked. The four participants — Ali (Eli Goree), Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.), and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) — are giants in their fields and are friends celebrating a victory. It’s a moving, powerful film, confrontational and thought-provoking. A.O. Scott called it “one of the most exciting movies I’ve seen in quite some time.”

Disney+ is full of older classics. Here is one of our favorites.

Julie Andrews in “Mary Poppins.”Disney

‘Mary Poppins’

In this boisterous musical, Julie Andrews descends from the sky to bring discipline and magic to two spoiled English schoolchildren — and she did the same for a studio that had struggled to make live-action fare on par with its animated classics. With a twinkle in her eye, Andrews’s nanny leads the children through chores with “A Spoonful of Sugar” and more whimsical numbers like “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Feed the Birds.” Citing the legacy of P.L. Travers’s original novel, our critic praised it as “a most wonderful, cheering movie.

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