Each week we highlight the noteworthy titles that have recently hit streaming platforms in the United States. Check out this week’s selections below and past round-ups here.

Come True (Anthony Scott Burns)

The darkened screen is almost pitch black before we can begin to discern shapes in the distance. First it’s wooden stakes in the ground at what looks to be a trailhead of sorts. Next it’s a mountain in the distance. Finally we come to a door that swings open as though we’ve been placed inside a videogame merging the puzzle mechanics of Myst with the brooding aesthetic of Hellraiser only to continue moving forward towards a bald figure with back turned—unmoving and foreboding with a mysterious air that can conjure nothing besides dread. And suddenly it’s over with a cut to Sarah (Julia Sarah Stone) awakening from a nightmare, bundled inside a sleeping bag and laying atop a playground slide. The day commences. The images slightly fade. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Hulu

Crimson Gold (Jafar Panahi)

Following his early days of being an assistant for Abbas Kiarostami, Jafar Panahi’s career soon blossomed, leading to a few collaborations between the two monumental figures of Iranian cinemas––one of which, Crimson Gold, is now finally available digitally. The masterful 2003 character study, scripted by Kiarostami after he told the tenets of the story to Panahi while sitting in traffic, stars unprofessional actor Hossain Emadeddin in his sole performance. Following a pizza delivery driver who witnesses the sharp class divide and political terror playing out in his society, Kiarostami and Panahi brilliantly preview the brutal ending from the start as the pieces then cogently and subtly fall into place as to why a man would be pushed to such utter desperation. – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas

Echoes of the Invisible (Steve Elkins)

In the spirit of intrepid, globetrotting adventurers like Werner Herzog, the awe-inspiring new documentary Echoes of the Invisible turns its lens onto explorers who traverse the world in the face of hardship and technological division. While its separate stories could work just as well as short films on their own––making the crosscutting between them feel a bit scattered––the overall effect is one of great appreciation for all there is to discover across the globe. While music from members of Fleet Foxes, Arcade Fire, The National, Sonic Youth, and more, the best moments of the doc are the way it connects the grand vision of the cosmos to a macro look at nature on Earth to the micro make-up of all organisms. – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: VOD

False Positive (John Lee)

The trauma of pregnancy and childbirth is fertile ground for horror cinema, which makes it surprising that there aren’t more films centered on this topic. We can make a few guesses as to why this is the case, though chief among them is the shadow of Rosemary’s Baby, an undateable classic that feels as eerie and unsettling in 2021 as it did in 1968. There also seems a general assumption of audience squeamishness when it comes to such stories, but whether that’s true or not is debatable. Either way, the makers of False Positive seem to have a great deal of fun playing with both preconceptions. And while the film itself qualifies as a fitfully entertaining eye-roller, all involved deserve credit for the attempt. – Chris S. (full review)

Where to Stream: Hulu

Fathom (Drew Xanthopoulos)

“Studying whale culture might be more about glimpsing something in ourselves,” says Dr. Ellen Garland in the new documentary Fathom. She’s a scientist who studies humpback whalesong, and over the course of the film, is on an expedition to determine where the spread of one specific song ends in French Polynesia, and where the next begins. The bounds of a community, in other words. At first glance, this seems a strange and esoteric study that has no bearing or impact on humans, but in its slow and naturalistic style, Fathom shows that whalesong has much more to say about us, and the scientists who study it, than we might have thought. – Artemis L. (full review)

Where to Stream: Apple TV+

Gaia (Jaco Bouwer)

Are you a Gabi (Monique Rockman) or a Barend (Carel Nel)? She’s a forest ranger documenting the trees with drones and cameras alongside her boss Winston (Anthony Oseyemi). He’s a survivalist who’s rejected civilization’s propensity for self-destruction by living off-the-grid with his son Stefan (Alex van Dyk). That they collide is hardly a coincidence even if the notion of fate could feasibly enter the equation. Why? Because Barend could have avoided detection. He’s been doing it for years by covering camera lenses with mud and steering clear of intruders. His decision to face-off against Gabi’s drone is therefore intentional. Barend disabling it to then steal it was a conscious choice whether or not his God ultimately steered his hand. So now they commence the battle for Stefan’s soul. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Genus Pan (Lav Diaz)

With his latest feature Genus Pan, the king of slow cinema Lav Diaz proves that even his fleet-footed efforts can be an unrelenting experience. Clocking in at a smooth 157 minutes, this blistering allegory takes place almost entirely on the ghostly terrain of Hugaw Island. The poverty-stricken Filipino enclave is populated with superstitious citizens who often confront the misery and unfairness of modern life by embracing legends and mythologies of old. – Glenn H. (full review)

Where to Stream: Projectr.tv (through July 7)

A Glitch in the Matrix (Rodney Ascher)

I often wonder what influential film theorist Andre Bazin would make of VR and simulations, especially when this year’s Sundance has virtualized the festival experience in a way that benefits from a longer runway than most cultural events pivoting likewise. It’s only fitting that Rodney Ascher’s mind-bending A Glitch in the Matrix would premiere alongside the festival’s virtual avatar party taking place in a computer-generated “space station” that lets us keep a healthy distance. Ascher’s film, which unfolds through a series of virtual interviews, edges towards and backs away from explaining what it could’t have predicted: a virtual end to American democracy during the final days of the Trump administration. If ever there was any point for an experiment to fail in chaos, we broached it while the movie’s virtual print was virtually wet––as the old expression goes. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Hulu

Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party (Stephen Cone)

Photographed with the eye of a super-sharp formalist, scripted with the care and depth of a great novelist, Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party lacks a single false note in its evocation of youthful lust, resentment, and vocation, nor lacks for wisdom in its intelligently didactic portrayal of midwestern Christian values, all of which converge over the course of a single day. Conflicts emerge, few resolutions set in, and the final scene only leaves us with more questions as to how a young man finds himself in constraining environments — which doesn’t account for the fact that it’s almost all so remarkably funny. – Nick N.

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To (Jonathan Cuartas)

Landing somewhere between intense, realistic family drama and arthouse horror, Jonathan Cuartas’ My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell it To is an oddly moving tale about social isolation, loneliness, and illness that resonates as a character study focused on the space of mourning. Dwight (Patrick Fugit) is a nightcrawler who spends his time hunting day laborers, the homeless, and other indigent persons living on the economic margins as a means of keeping his brother Thomas (Owen Campell) alive. Thomas, for all intents and purposes, is an undiagnosed vampire, warned by his waitress sister Jessie (Ingrid Sophie Schram) against leaving the house, especially during the day. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Sisters on Track (Tone Grøttjord-Glenne and Corinne van der Borch)

One must always be hesitant about stories dealing with the charity of multi-millionaires that never question the systemic issues behind such “selfless acts”—they can often make it seem those acts are a part of a working system. They are not. Is it great that Tai, Rainn, and Brooke Sheppard’s lives were forever changed after Tyler Perry gifted their mother Tonia Handy a Brooklyn apartment with two years’ worth of rent covered? Yes. Is it great that their Junior Olympic track and field victories landed them on the cover of Sports Illustrated and their background being homeless got them on The View so Perry could take note? Yes. But does it solve any underlying problems? No. The Sheppard sisters were lucky. Way too many aren’t. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Also New to Streaming

AFI Docs

Courtroom 3H

Amazon Prime

Beyond the Black Rainbow

The Criterion Channel

Robert Downey: Moment to Moment
Three Starring Jane Russell



MUBI (free for 30 days)

The Female Closet
Circumstantial Pleasures
The Warm Money
Be Pretty and Shut Up!
And When I Die, I Won’t Stay Dead

The Apostate

Virtual Cinemas

Sun Children

No more articles