Watching: The Best Things to Watch

On Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Disney+

By The Watching Team

The weekend is here. Do you need a break from all the TV you’re watching during the week? Are you looking for a Saturday night movie? 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

Doug Jones, left, and Ivana Baquero in “Pan’s Labyrinth.”Teresa Isasi/Picturehouse

‘Pan’s Labyrinth’

Guillermo Del Toro’s 2006 Oscar winner is many things: a lush period drama, a dark fairy tale, a special-effects showcase, a valentine to fantasy cinema, a harrowing fable of Fascism. Yet Del Toro’s filmmaking is so confident that the picture’s tone never wavers; he’s such a thrilling storyteller that we follow his protagonist (the marvelous Ivana Baquero) through every dark passageway and down every mysterious rabbit hole on her mystical journey through Franco-era Spain — and out of the clutches of her evil stepfather. It’s both scary and enchanting, terrifying and dazzling; “If this is magic realism,” writes A.O. Scott, “it is also the work of a real magician.”


Here is one of the best TV shows on Netflix.

Lior Raz, right, in the action series “Fauda.”Netflix


This intense thriller was co-created by its lead actor, Lior Raz, who plays an IDF agent drawn out of retirement by the prospect of taking down a terrorist he thought he’d already killed. That one mission leads to unexpected complications and further side operations, some of them involving the hero’s going undercover with his adversaries. The matter-of-fact scenarios in “Fauda” are an attempt to reflect the tricky politics and daily sacrifices of crimefighting in Israel. Our critic wrote that its story “spirals out in increasingly messy strands of betrayal and violence.”


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

“Bob’s Burgers” has produced some of the sweetest TV comedy of the past decade.Fox

‘Bob’s Burgers’

Though separated by nearly two decades, “Bob’s Burgers” is something of a “Cheers” for the 21st century — television comfort food, centering on a neighborhood mainstay and the weirdos who float through its doors (though this show’s characters are allowed to veer into even stranger territory by the animated format). But it’s also a clever riff on the family sitcom, as the establishment’s proprietor is the patriarch of a decidedly oddball family; most surprisingly, it treats that family with genuine affection, peccadillos and all. Our critic compared it to a go-to restaurant, “reliably good, visit after visit.”

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

Christopher Walken in “The Dead Zone.”Paramount Pictures

‘The Dead Zone’

The director David Cronenberg rarely made traditional horror films, and this 1983 adaptation of the best-seller by Stephen King is no exception. It’s as much science-fiction as horror, focusing on a regular Joe (Christopher Walken, muted and effective) who comes out of a five-year coma with the ability to see the futures of those he touches. This thoughtful and tricky picture is as interested in moral dilemmas and historical ramifications as it is in thrills and chills; our critic found it “unsettling” and “quietly forceful.”

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

Khleo Thomas, left, and Shia LaBeouf in “Holes.”Phil Bray/Walt Disney Pictures


After getting falsely convicted for stealing shoes, a boy (Shia LaBeouf) gets sent to a labor camp where wayward children are forced to dig five-foot holes in the desert sun for no apparent reason. Based on the novel by Louis Sachar, “Holes” has the backdrop of a Depression-era social drama and heel-turns by Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight and Tim Blake Nelson, but its delightful eccentricities lighten the mood. A.O. Scott credited the director Andrew Davis for having “turned the book’s spare, gritty allegory into a shaggy-dog saga that is sometimes hectic but always surprising and never easy, predictable or false.”

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