Watching: The Best Things…

…on Netflix, Hulu, 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. (And in one case, the best movies that will be leaving — these 15 movies disappear from Netflix sometime this month.)

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

William Zabka, left, and Ralph Macchio in “Cobra Kai.”Guy D'Alema/YouTube Premium

‘Cobra Kai’

The first two seasons of the martial arts melodrama “Cobra Kai” originated on YouTube; but now both are making the move to Netflix before season three debuts next year. A revival of the “Karate Kid” franchise, this fan-friendly series — which packs “a surprising emotional punch,” according to Bruce Fretts — brings back the original’s hero and villain, still played by Ralph Macchio and William Zabka. The show has enormous nostalgic appeal but is more complicated than the usual “underdogs versus bullies” arc. Instead, “Cobra Kai” gets into the family histories and the socioeconomic circumstances that made these characters who they are.


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

Ko Asung in “The Host” (2006).Magnolia Pictures.

‘The Host’

Bong Joon Ho gleefully picks up where “Godzilla” left off with this “loopy, feverishly imaginative genre hybrid,” riffing on urban monster-movie conventions (with generous doses of environmental activism and familial melodrama thrown in). His mutant sea creature is created by the carelessness of the local government and the American military, another sharp inquiry into who the real monsters are. Bong also takes a keen interest in the human dynamics at play, and how the dysfunctional family at the story’s center comes together for a common cause.


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

Oscar Isaac in “Inside Llewyn Davis.”Alison Rosa/CBS Films

‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

Joel and Ethan Coen’s story of a struggling folk singer in Greenwich Village in 1961 cheerfully intertwines fact and fiction; they faithfully reproduce that period, and incorporate many of its key figures into a week in the life of the title character (played by Oscar Isaac). But this is not just a museum piece, or a “music movie.” It’s about the feeling of knowing that success is overdue, and yet may never arrive. A.O. Scott called it an “intoxicating ramble.”

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

A scene from “Kim Possible.”Disney

'Kim Possible’

The concept for this witty animated series is a James Bond twist on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”: What if a teenage girl devoted her unique physical gifts toward fighting evil while also dealing with the pressures of high school? Here, Kim gets some help from her less-competent best friend, Ron Stoppable; his naked mole rat, Rufus; and Wade, a 10-year-old computer genius. But mostly she faces the mad scientist Dr. Drakken and other supervillains on her own. She is also humbled by the more typical headaches of being an adolescent.

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