Watching: The Best Things to Watch

On Netflix, Amazon and Disney+

By The Watching Team

The weekend is here. Maybe you’ll spend some time outside, maybe you’ll hole up and watch a movie or TV series. 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

Mama Sané and Ibrahima Traoré in “Atlantics,” which won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.Netflix


Mati Diop’s Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix winner is set in Senegal, where a young woman named Ava (Mama Sané) loses the boy she loves to the sea, just days before her arranged marriage to another man. What begins as a story of love lost moves, with the ease and imagination of a particularly satisfying dream, into something far stranger, as Diop savvily works elements of genre cinema into the fabric of a story that wouldn’t seem to accommodate them. A.O. Scott called it “a suspenseful, sensual, exciting movie, and therefore a deeply haunting one as well.”


Here is one of the best TV shows on Netflix

Tom Ellis in a scene from “Lucifer.”John P. Fleenor/Fox


In this offbeat procedural, Tom Ellis plays the literal Lord of Hell, who abandons his dark kingdom to move to Los Angeles, where he leads a libertine lifestyle while occasionally helping a police detective solve crimes. The show’s more conventional mystery stories are often complicated by the antihero’s persistent struggles with his demonic responsibilities. Our critic panned the early episodes, calling them “an incoherent mess.” But the “Lucifer” creative team quickly found a unique voice and a devoted audience, who followed this clever and addictingly twisty series to Netflix when the service saved it from cancellation.


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

Harris Dickinson, center, in Eliza Hittman’s second feature, “Beach Rats.”Neon

‘Beach Rats’

Eliza Hittman (“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”) writes and directs the muted yet moving story of Frankie (the sublime Harris Dickinson), a sexually conflicted young man who fears his orientation is at odds with his persona and finds himself struggling to live within the lies he’s built. Hittman’s sensitive screenplay scrutinizes its subject but never judges him; her keen understanding of Frankie’s surroundings and upbringing forbids such simplicity. Performances are subtle but effective, with particular praise due to Madeline Weinstein as the girlfriend caught in his emotional crossfire.


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

A scene from the Swedish director Ruben Ostlund’s film, which looks at human behavior through a story about a family’s effort to survive the consequences of a father’s actions during an avalanche.Coproduction Office

‘Force Majeure’

A split-second decision turns a marriage upside down in this stinging, pitch-black comedy of manners from the director Ruben Ostlund (“The Square”). When a controlled avalanche near a ski resort seems to change its path, a husband and father named Tomas (Johannes Bah Kuhnke) instinctively runs instead of trying to save his loved ones — to the consternation of his wife, Ebba (Lisa Loven Kongsli). He attempts to laugh it off and to explain it away, but the repercussions of his decision are given excruciating room to breathe, and his snap judgment exposes his flaws as a partner and the long-festering wounds in his marriage. Our critic called it a “brilliant, viciously amusing takedown of bourgeois complacency.”

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

A scene from “Gravity Falls.”Disney

‘Gravity Falls’

Crossing the leisure-time sibling dynamic of “Phineas and Ferb” with a much smarter version of the comic mysteries of “Scooby Doo,” this lively and sweet animated series is about Dipper and Mabel Pines, 12-year-old twins who are shipped away to the middle of Oregon to live with their crazy “Grunkle” Stan. Stan runs a beaten-down tourist trap called the “Mystery Shack,” which becomes the nexus of supernatural happenings. Voiced by Jason Ritter and Kristen Schaal, the twins have a winning banter that’s underscored by real affection.

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