Watching: Stream These Movies and Shows

On Netflix, Amazon and Disney+

By The Watching Team

The weekend is here. It’s here! Regardless of what streaming service you subscribe to, we want to help. We’ve gone through Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ to find the best titles on each service.

Here’s one of the 50 best movies on Netflix

Paul Newman starring in “Cool Hand Luke,” a 1967 film directed by Stuart Rosenberg.Warner Bros.-Seven Arts

‘Cool Hand Luke’

Paul Newman turns in one of his most iconic performances as the former war hero Lucas Jackson, whose tenacious, rascally free spirit and refusal to kowtow to authority maddens his keepers on a Florida chain gang — and inspire his fellow prisoners. The director Stuart Rosenberg cranks up the sweaty atmosphere and high intensity, placing the viewer right alongside Luke as he fights, runs and bets his way through his sentence, and Newman calls upon all of his considerable charisma to give the character life. Our critic praised its “intelligent contemplation of the ironies of life.”

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Here is one of the best TV shows on Netflix

Sterling K. Brown in “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”FX

‘American Crime Story’

Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, who created “Glee” and “American Horror Story,” bring dramatic verve to real-life celebrity murder stories in this anthology crime series, working with a team of talented collaborators. Season 1, “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” and Season 2, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” both feature unconventional narrative structures and star-studded casts; and offer fresh insight into well-known crimes. About “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” our critic wrote, “Its triumph is to take a case that divided the nation into teams and treat everyone, vulture or victim, with curiosity and empathy.”

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

Charlize Theron as Mavis Gary in «Young Adult.»Paramount Pictures

‘Young Adult’

We’ve seen countless stories of nasty, selfish people who go on a voyage of self-discovery and come out the other side as better, wiser souls. This acidic comedy-drama asks: What if that journey didn’t take? Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron, in take-no-prisoners mode), plays a bitter young-adult author who returns to her hometown in the hope of reuniting with her high-school boyfriend, his picture-perfect married life be damned. A film that zigs when you’re certain it will zag, “Young Adult” tells a satisfying story that is also a sly critique of the conventions of modern moviemaking. Our critic praised its “brilliant, brave and breathtakingly cynical heart.”

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

Millie Simmonds in «Wonderstruck.”Mary Cybulski/Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions

‘Wonderstruck’

Todd Haynes, the director of “Carol” and “Far From Heaven,” might seem an odd choice for a kid-friendly film, but his ability to craft precise portraits of the past make him an ideal match for this adaptation of a novel by Brian Selznick, who also pushed Martin Scorsese to an unlikely PG rating with “Hugo.” Haynes not only replicates the look of contemporary films from 1927 and 1977 (when the story’s parallel timelines are set), but ingeniously intercuts between them to create a singular narrative with a lump-in-the-throat conclusion. Manohla Dargis called it “a lovely ode to imagination and to the stories that make us who we are.”

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

A scene from “Isle of Dogs.”Fox Searchlight

‘Isle of Dogs’

Wes Anderson’s second attempt at stop-motion animation, after 2009’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” applies the same meticulousness to an original entertainment that uses whimsy and adventure to mask dark themes about a future teetering on the brink of authoritarianism. With a “canine flu” epidemic gripping Japan, its demagogue leader sends the nation’s dogs to quarantine on a garbage island, underestimating their frisky resilience and camaraderie. Manohla Dargis called these droll pups “surprising, touching and thoroughly delightful company.”

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