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.

See our comprehensive guide to where to stream the best films of 2021.

Adrienne (Andy Ostroy)

I hadn’t seen any of Adrienne Shelly’s work at the time of her death, but you couldn’t follow the film world in 2006 without hearing about what happened. News sites first latched onto the assumption of suicide only to discover what happened was murder—the culprit found, arrested, and confessed shortly afterwards. And amidst that tragic whirlwind during the final two months of that year, Shelly’s latest film as writer-director-star, Waitress, was in submission at Sundance. It would eventually bow at the festival, find distribution, become an overnight indie darling, and spawn a Broadway musical adaptation with songs by Sara Bareilles. She unfortunately never got to enjoy any of that success and, more importantly, never got to watch her daughter Sophie grow up alongside husband Andy Ostroy. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: HBO Max

Azor (Andreas Fontana)

An almost suffocating air of secrecy permeates Azor, a Swiss-Argentinean coproduction concerning the mutual suspicion and damnable complicity of patrician North Atlantic capitalism and repressive regimes in the postcolonial Global South. The year is 1980, and a private banker from Geneva circulates among the Buenos Aires elite. This is at the height of the Dirty War, though so absolute is the Swiss banker’s discretion—so clean his hands—that the military junta’s crimes against its people feel as suggestively peripheral to the film’s narrative as the word “disappeared” implies. Filmmaker Andreas Fontana’s debut feature is a film of almost Le Carréan subtlety, of oblique plotting, crouching dialogue, and guarded performances masking sinister realpolitik. – Mark A. (full review)

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

Belfast (Kenneth Branagh)

There’s something about childhood memories that’s inherently sweet, hopeful—how we saw and remembered the world before we learned about loss and disappointment. Multi-hyphenate Kenneth Branagh’s autobiographical drama Belfast, told through the perspective of his 9-year-old self, has that innocent good cheer in spades. It also touches on the Irish fate of leaving and pays tribute to those who did so in search of a better life. From a formal stance, there’s not much here to blow one away, but the film’s heartfelt sentiments and polished production should have no trouble appealing to the general audience. – Zhou-Ning Su (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Cusp (Isabel Bethencourt and Parker Hill)

There’s something very crass about Cusp, and almost all of that comes from its design. It’s aimless like its subjects, and it’s even more hopeless. Everyone worth sympathizing with is defined by some sort of trauma, and even some of the despicable people in play have their own traumas too. What’s striking, though, is the approach that sympathetic people here don’t fully realize the lasting effects of what they’ve gone through. After all, they’re too busy distracting themselves from it. – Matt C. (full review)

Where to Stream: Showtime

Hitchcock for the Holidays

The Criterion Channel is carving up a bevy of Alfred Hitchcock classics this winter with a massive new series featuring The Master of Suspense’s greatest works, and some overlooked gems. The selections include Vertigo, Rear Window, The 39 Steps, Shadow of a Doubt, The Lodger, Marnie, The Lady Vanishes, Frenzy, both versions of The Man Who Knew Too Much, and much, much more.

Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel

Female Gaze: Women Directors + Women Cinematographers

Also on The Criterion Channel beginning this week is a series dedicated to the women directors and cinematographers, including work from Claire Denis, Chantal Akerman, Agnès Varda, Lucrecia Martel, Sally Potter, Yvonne Rainer, Kirsten Johnson, Céline Sciamma, Natasha Braier, Sarah Polley, Josephine Decker, Ashley Connor, Alice Rohrwacher, Hélène Louvert, and many more.

Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel

The Last Duel (Ridley Scott)

Judging by The Last Duel, 14th-century France was as gray and miserable as you’d expect. And yes, this is a long, talky, literary, extremely dour film, basically a guaranteed box-office bomb that, if anything, feels more akin to current prestige television. It’s possibly the gloomiest film Sir Ridley Scott has ever directed (which is saying something) and, if paired with that prissy craftsman’s rather tough and cynical The Counselor from 2013, shows a stark late-period worldview might even be forming, though that’ll probably be discounted by a number of subsequent for-hire jobs. – Ethan V. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Listening to Kenny G (Penny Lane)

While the premise of Penny Lane’s Listening to Kenny G unfolds through the comedic question “why do so many people hate Kenny G?” it quickly reveals itself a rather intriguing tightrope walk upon the line separating art from commerce. Because this question cannot be answered without first acknowledging who the “people” are. Kenny G has fans. A lot of them. He’s sold 75 million records to become the best-selling instrumentalist of all-time. So they aren’t those “people.” Those who enjoy ragging on him as a meme because he’s an easy punching bag aren’t either. The real “haters” are therefore those who take jazz as an artform so seriously that they cannot comprehend Kenny G as anything but a hack. They hate him because he’s ignoring the rules. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: HBO Max

The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion)

In a film of carefully appointed details, let’s isolate one. Phil Burbank (a fierce Benedict Cumberbatch) is, among many things, a man of reputation. The Montana governor (played by legendary American thesp Keith Carradine) has heard flattering rumors about the man, one of the most successful ranchers in the state, and a clear contributor to the local economy. With excited spittle on his lips, the governor exclaims of his status as a “Yale graduate in classics, Phi Beta Kappa!” (A change from author Thomas Savage’s literary source, where Phil went to a west coast liberal arts college.) Phil is a man whom most wouldn’t pick as an adversary, or even a comrade, but the character in the story who best resembles these has a pointedly different academic specialism––in medicine and science. This difference in sensibility––a direct binary opposition between two strong-willed characters––is critical to what transpires in The Power of the Dog. – David K. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

The Rescue (Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin)

For the better part of 18 days between June and July of 2018, 12 boys and their coach survived in the Tham Luang cave in Thailand. The saga dominated the news cycle and their rescue became an international sensation. It spawned songs, countless awards, citizenship, and films around the globe. The newest of those projects, The Rescue, finds Free Solo documentarians Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin working on another action-filled project, combining cave-diving recreations with constant footage of those planning the rescue. – Michael F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Disney+

Ste. Anne (Rhayne Vermette)

It’s been four years since Renée (Rhéanne Vermette) left home without a word. Four years that her brother Modeste (Jack Theis) and his wife Elenore (Valerie Marion) have spent raising her daughter Athene (Isabelle d’Eschambault) as their own. Their reunion is thus not without its confusion, the little girl suddenly caught between two mothers: one she knows and one she barely remembers. What little does stick in her mind feels different from the woman now set in front of her, too, just as everything else changes around her. Their tight-knit Treaty 1 territory, Métis (mixed indigenous and Euro-American ancestry) community inevitably begins to reminisce about the past. Stories are told, jokes shared, and fears exposed as Renée’s return carries a foreboding air of danger. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel

Also New to Streaming

The Criterion Channel

Italian Neorealism
Starring Glenda Jackson
Starring Joseph Cotten
Films by Elisabeth Subrin
The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love
Thrown Down
Downhill Racer

MUBI (free for 30 days)

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World
Grizzly Man
Paris 05:59: Théo & Hugo
Pierrot le fou
Le bel indifferent


Silent Night (review)

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