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.

A Cop Movie (Alonso Ruizpalacios)

There has never been a less auspicious time to make a “cop movie.” As scrutiny abounds from both within (content warnings on streaming services) and externally (social media) towards the past output of media producers, also suspect are the bevy of films and series that glamorize law enforcement, or see the police as uncomplicated arbiters of justice. Of course, last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests initiated all kinds of brave new thinking about a potential world devoid of cops. Like the Western genre, perhaps all police thrillers in future will be revisionist ones. Mexican director Alonso Ruizpalacios’ new Netflix-produced quasi-documentary, A Cop Movie, has thus arrived right on cue. – David K. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

All Is Forgiven (Mia Hansen-Løve)

Little surprise that one of this century’s great debuts came from Mia Hansen-Løve; stranger that fifteen-or-so years and an exceptional oeuvre would transpire before U.S. audiences could (legally) see it themselves. But Metrograph Pictures are picking up the mantle in a major way, giving 2007’s All is Forgiven a theatrical and digital release starting today. A good moment to note that, in our recent interview, Hansen-Løve promised her next feature “is like going back to” this new classic. We’re just glad it’s ready for discovery on its own terms. – Leonard P.

Where to Stream: Metrograph at Home

Beans (Tracey Deer)

That’s the background on which Tracey Deer’s feature directorial debut Beans (co-written by Meredith Vuchnich) is set: a 78-day standoff between the Mohawk and the Québec government. That’s the chaotic and unjust world twelve-year-old Tekahentahkhwa (Kiawentiio Tarbell) is forced to traverse during the summer before seventh grade. Along with everything else that goes into growing up and maturing through puberty while childhood (playing silly games with her younger sister, Violah Beauvais’ Ruby) and adulthood (hanging with “cool kid” siblings in Paulina Alexis’ April and D’Pharoah Woon-a-Tai’s Hank) wage an internal tug-of-war for her identity, she now must confront the man-made and avoidable fissure separating colonized from colonizer. And it starts with the “innocent” practice of assimilation whereby you let your oppressor off-the-hook and change your name. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

The Beta Test (Jim Cummings & PJ McCabe)

Jim Cummings has become something of an indie film wunderkind, making low-budget, critically-acclaimed projects that hit festivals and reach the depths of Film Twitter, many members of which Cummings used to follow from his own account. Partnering with PJ McCabe to co-direct, co-write, and co-star in The Beta Test, Cummings’ latest feature concerns modern relationships. With Cummings taking the lead as Hollywood agent and resident douchebag Jordan, his story and performance rarely cease to be over-the-top—billed as a horror-thriller, The Beta Test turns towards violence as its narrative becomes muddled with convoluted data breaches and sex-induced madness. – Michael F. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Caprice (Joanna Hogg)

As The Souvenir Part II, a film like no other, continues, for the next week Le Cinéma Club stream (for free) Joanna Hogg’s rare Caprice, in which Tilda Swinton is sent “tumbling through the whimsical spreads of a fashion magazine.” Described as Alice in Wonderland crossed with Powell & Pressburger, Caprice could hardly be anything but 26 minutes extremely well-spent.

Where to Stream: Le Cinéma Club

Enemies of the State (Sonia Kennebeck)

This ambiguity is where Enemies of the State becomes a must-see because it exposes how skeptical we’ve become about the truth. As soon as you admit systems can be manipulated for selfish gain, there’s no denying that it isn’t happening right now in ways that make you the victim. Donald Trump epitomizes this phenomenon because he’s akin to God to his sycophants. They won’t even look at proof of his lies because they’ve decided that anything refuting his words has already been fabricated. So when DeHart earns the backing of other whistleblowers and the media, his story gets spun as one of a maligned hero to everyone that believes the government can’t be trusted. But what if he knew that? What if that was his plan? – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Hulu

Finch (Miguel Sapochnik)

Listen closely while watching Finch and you can almost hear a studio exec’s elevator pitch. It’s certainly apparent in every single frame of the film, almost to a tee designed to live up to the proposition of being “Turner and Hooch meets Cast Away in a post-apocalyptic future.” This might be a reductive way to view the latest effort from veteran TV director Miguel Sapochnik, making his first feature-length effort in more than a decade––but the filmmaker is at least self-aware enough to know his film is at its most palatable when coasting by on this familiar charm. Finch is a vehicle designed for Hanks in the very sense that it wants you to think of it as the connective tissue between those two former glories, even as it plainly struggles to reach their modest heights. – Alistair R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Apple TV+

Fox Noir

Just in time for Noirvember, The Criterion Channel has unveiled a new series dedicated to Twentieth Century-Fox noir gems from Otto Preminger, Elia Kazan, Samuel Fuller, and more. Perfect starting points include Laura (1944), Nightmare Alley (1947), Night and the City (1950), and  Pickup on South Street (1953), while the series also features I Wake Up Screaming (1941), Hangover Square (1945), Somewhere in the Night (1946), No Way Out (1950), Panic in the Streets (1950), Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950), Niagara (1953), and Black Widow (1954).

Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel

The Harder They Fall (Jeymes Samuel)

Few films announce their mission statement within their opening frames to quite the extent of The Harder They Fall. An introductory title card informs the audience that while this film is fictional, “these people lived”––a reference not just to the many real historical figures who populate director Jeymes Samuel’s feature directorial debut, but also the many blindspots of the Western. The genre as a whole is largely built upon whitewashed depictions of an America that never was, so much so that whenever a Black protagonist appears in a contemporary version the word “revisionist” is often not far behind, incorrectly used as a lazy shorthand. It now feels like common knowledge that a richer history of Black cowboys has largely been overlooked in screen depictions of the era. The revisionist descriptor as it pertains to historical accuracy may now feel more apt when describing a classic John Wayne vehicle than a film that has a better handle on the broad strokes of fact, despite an introduction touting its functionality. – Alistair R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Mark, Mary, & Some Other People (Hannah Marks)

Mark, Mary & Some Other People represents a leap for Hannah Marks, the 28-year-old director premiering her first solo directorial narrative feature at the Tribeca Film Festival. After writing the acclaimed, easy-going Banana Split and co-helming After Everything with Joey Power in 2018, Marks returns with an effort aimed at a similar topic: young love. Staked in the evolving and devolving of a relationship between 20-somethings, Mark, Mary & Some Other People finds the director exploring polyamory through the lens of an open relationship.- Michael F. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Nine Days (Edson Oda)

The existential quandaries of death and what may happen after our final breath is the subject of countless films, including a stand-out here at Sundance. But what if it’s not the endgame we should be worried about, but rather how we were born in the first place? No, Nine Days is not about the act of conception and pregnancy. This sci-fi film, from first-time director Edson Oda, rather imagines a process before that, in which a higher power must decide between a selection of candidates to pick a single soul to be born. In what is the highest-stakes competition known to humanity, the rest have just nine days to “live” in this in-between world before they disappear into the ether, never to return again. Riffing on Hirokazu Kore-eda’s masterful After Life in a reverse sort of way as well as Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry (if they were totally somber), Nine Days will have one’s mind provoked, but the one-note, obstinately lugubrious tone makes the experience more exhausting than edifying. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

The Nothing Factory (Pedro Pinho)

Near the end of The Nothing Factory, the film’s ostensible lead player Ze (José Smith Vargas) angrily remarks to Daniele (real-life documentarian Daniele Incalcaterra) that he’s simply exploiting him and his fellow doomed factory workers so he can simply have something to “show his cinema buddies in France.” Ze seems to realize himself as a subject eternally linked to film, with the ins and outs of the proletariat having been a ripe topic since the beginnings of cinema with Workers Leaving the Factory of course, or extending into the neorealist films of the ’40s and then morphing into a reliable stream of documentaries and small dramas that turn up on the festival circuit. – Ethan V. (full review)

Where to Stream: Film Movement Plus

Robert Mitchum: Playing It Cool

Robert Mitchum has over 130 credits to his name and now a good portion of his greatest work is available to watch on The Criterion Channel. From his most acclaimed performance in Out of the Past (1947), The Lusty Men (1952), The Night of the Hunter (1955), Cape Fear (1962), Ryan’s Daughter (1970), and The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973), additional selections include Crossfire (1947), Macao (1952), Angel Face (1953), Track of the Cat (1954), Thunder Road (1958), The Sundowners (1960), Farewell, My Lovely (1975), The Last Tycoon (1976), The Big Sleep (1978), Dead Man (1995), and much more.

Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel

Short Films by Garrett Bradley

After being deeply impressed by Garrett Bradley’s documentary Time, naming it my #1 film of last year, I’ve been eager to check out her short films. A selection is now available, including Alone, where she first captured Fox Rich, the subject of Time. Most notable of the collection is her 30-minute short America, which is inspired by Bert Williams’ Lime Kiln Club Field Day, the earliest surviving feature-length film with an all-Black cast, to chart a sprawling portrait of Black identity. A stunning work of poetic cinema, this streaming version certainly isn’t the same experience as its original multi-channel video installation form, but it’s special that this version is now so widely available.

Where to Stream: Field of Vision (streaming above) and The Criterion Channel

This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection (Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese)

The deeply referential new South African film This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection strongly evokes Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry, perhaps cinema’s greatest contemplation of the subject. Both concern a central character seeking a dignified end, with the notion of a burial especially symbolic to the ultimate sense of finality. The interesting distinction is that in this film, for its setting in the tiny Lesotho village of Nasaratha (named after Nazareth, the birthplace of Jesus), the town’s gravesite actually makes up one of the largest parts of the local landmass. The dead truly live alongside with the living. – David K. (full review)

Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel

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Amazon Prime

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Mama Weed (review)

The Criterion Channel

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The Virgin Suicides

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A Field in England
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