Welcome to Boston.com’s weekly streaming guide. Each week, we recommend five must-watch movies and TV shows available on streaming platforms like Netflix, upstream, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO MaxPeacock, Paramount+, and more.
Many recommendations are for new shows, while others are for under-the-radar releases you might have missed or classics that are about to depart a streaming service at the end of the month.
Have a new favorite movie or show you think we should know about? Let us know in the comments, or email [email protected]. Looking for even more great streaming options? Check out our previous editions must-watch list here.
“The Bourne Identity”
Ready to feel old? It has now been 21 years since Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) first woke up with two bullets in his back and no memory of who he is or why the CIA is chasing him in “The Bourne Identity.” If you’ve already gone to theaters to see “Air” (which we recommend doing ASAP), it’s worth revisiting this kinetic thriller on Netflix, especially knowing that director Doug Liman is back at work with Damon right here in Boston on their upcoming film “The Instigators.”
How to watch: “The Bourne Identity” is streaming on Netflix.
“Ponyboys. Dallas. Johnny. Cherry. Sodapops.” The trailer for Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Outsiders,” which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, is little more than a slideshow of all the famous actors who made their first big splash in his 1983 coming-of-age drama. But my goodness, what a cast! Rob Lowe in his first feature film. A young Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Diane Lane, Emilio Estevez, and Matt Dillon. Even seeing the teen stars whose careers peaked in the early ’80s, like C. Thomas Howell and Leif Garrett is something special. Coppola is a million miles away from “The Godfather” here, chronicling the down-and-out teens of 1960s Oklahoma made famous in SE Hinton’s novel. There are greasers, drive-in movies, and a murder that changes everything. But most of all, there’s the cast that launched “The Brat Pack” and unveiled the onscreen heartthrobs of the decade.
How to watch: “The Outsiders” is streaming on HBO Max.
Speaking of timely anniversaries of movies about rebellious teens, Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers” was released nationwide 10 years ago this past month, traumatizing thousands of Disney Channel fans who didn’t heed Selena Gomez’s warning that the film was not for “Wizards of Waverly Place”viewers. Perhaps best remembered for putting former Disney stars Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens into the most scandalous starring vehicle possible, “Spring Breakers” is a hypnotic nightmare of hedonistic excess, chronicling four girls who will do anything to get to spring break in Florida, and to keep the good times going forever and ever. Though it received mixed reviews upon release, the film has developed a cult following, and critics have come around on Korine’s uncompromising vision. A BBC poll of 177 film critics named “Spring Breakers” one of the best films of the 21st century, hopefully ensuring the film will be seen for years to come. As rapper/drug dealer/dirtbag Alien (James Franco) repeatedly says throughout the movie: “Spring break forever.”
How to watch: “Spring Breakers” is streaming on HBO Max.
Confession: I am totally in the tank when it comes to Steven Yeun, who is almost always the best thing about any project he’s in. Nevertheless, I was a little concerned that the conceit of “Beef,” about two people (Yeun and comedian Ali Wong) whose brief road-rage incident turned each into the other’s worst enemy — wasn’t strong enough to sustain a 10-episode series. Thankfully, creator Lee Sung Jin builds a thrilling narrative that is funny, alarming, and familiar, even when its protagonists veer into extreme territory to enact their revenge.
How to watch: “Beef” is streaming on Netflix.
“Tiny Beautiful Things”
Based on the best-selling essay collection by Cheryl Strayed (“Wild”)” “Tiny Beautiful Things” follows Clare (Kathryn Hahn), a recovering addict who becomes an advice columnist even as her own life is falling apart. (In real life, Strayed anonymously wrote the Dear Sugar advice column, using his own tough life experiences to address readers’ letters with brutal honesty.) In the show, Clare’s marriage is on its last leg, and her daughter is pushing her away. Through the column, we see Clare delve into the memories of her youth (presented as flashbacks in the show) and her own tough relationship with her mother (Merritt Weaver). Hahn is jagged and imperfect in all the right ways, and watching her work through complex issues is a salve for the soul.
How to watch: “Tiny Beautiful Things” is streaming on Hulu.
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