Watching: The Best Things to Stream

On Netflix, Amazon and Disney+

By The Watching Team

The weekend is here. It’s here! 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

The computer-generated Okja, left, and An Seo Hyun in “Okja.”Netflix

‘Okja’ (2017)

A marvelously absurd, stingingly satirical and unexpectedly moving story of a girl and her genetically engineered super-pig, this Netflix original from the director Bong Joon Ho is the kind of movie that goes in so many wild directions at once — urban mayhem one moment, character drama the next — it leaves you breathlessly off-balance. Bong coaxes game and unpredictable performances from his gloriously unhinged cast, with particularly juicy turns by Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal. A.O. Scott raved, “Mr. Bong juggles delight and didacticism with exquisite grace.”

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Here is one of the best TV shows on Netflix

Gina Rodriguez in a scene from “Jane the Virgin.”Kevin Estrada/CW

‘Jane the Virgin’ (2014-19)

This spoof of the Latin American soap operas known as telenovelas also wholeheartedly embraces their schtick. “Jane the Virgin” starts as the story of an aspiring writer who is accidentally impregnated through an artificial insemination mix-up. The show then gets wilder, with at least one crazy plot twist per episode — all described with breathless excitement by an omnipresent, self-aware narrator. Our critic called it “delicious and dizzyingly arch.” It’s also emotionally affecting, featuring a nuanced portrait of three generations of Venezuelan-American women in Miami.

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

Christian Bale in “American Psycho.”Kerry Hayes/Lionsgate Films

‘American Psycho’ (1999)

The director Mary Harron and her co-screenwriter Guinevere Turner transformed Bret Easton Ellis’s gory, divisive 1991 novel into a ruthless satire of the yuppie ethos, with Christian Bale in frighteningly good form as a Wall Street climber who moonlights as a serial killer. But Harron spends less time fetishizing his kills than his status symbols — business cards, skin care products, compact discs. Watching the result, our critic wrote, “is like witnessing a bravura sleight-of-hand feat.” Jared Leto, Reese Witherspoon, Willem Dafoe and Chloë Sevigny co-star.

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

Zhao Shuzhen as Nai Nai and Awkwafina as Billi in “The Farewell.”Casi Moss/A24

‘The Farewell’ (2019)

Billi (Awkwafina), a Chinese immigrant who grew up to be a starving artist in New York City, returns to her homeland to help perpetrate a family hoax in this charming and beguiling comedy/drama from the writer-director Lulu Wang. The reason for the homecoming is her grandmother, known as Nai Nai (Zhao Shuzhen), who has only months to live, but doesn’t know it. The family hastily arranges a premature wedding as a chance to say goodbye, resulting in misunderstandings, realizations and reconciliations. A.O. Scott praised the film’s “loose, anecdotal structure” and “tone that balances candor and tact.”

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

Jamie Foxx voices the character Joe Gardner, right, in “Soul.”Disney/Pixar

‘Soul’ (2020)

Death isn’t usually negotiable, but when Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx), a middle-school music teacher, falls down a manhole shortly after booking his first big gig as a jazz pianist, he is willing to defy the laws of heaven to realize his dream. Although this touching and whimsical Pixar movie gets into the bureaucratic intricacies of the afterlife, “Soul” is most affecting as a tribute to the small, myriad pleasures of New York City. A.O. Scott called it “a new chapter in Pixar’s expansion of realism.”

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