Though the song is nearly 30 years old, Bruce Springsteen’s “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)” encapsulates the struggle viewers face today. With hundreds of cable channels, dozens of streaming services, and countless on-demand titles, trying to decide what to watch can feel like an endless ordeal.
That’s where we come in. Each month, Boston.com recommends 10 must-watch movies and TV shows available on streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO Max, 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 me at [email protected]. Looking for even more great streaming options? Check out our watchlists from February and January.
If you’ve streamed all the Best Picture nominees already, be sure to check out some of the more under-the-radar Oscar nominees as well. This Scandinavian comedy-drama from Thomas Vinterberg (who earned a Best Director nod for the film) stars his frequent collaborator Mads Mikkelsen (“Hannibal,” “Casino Royale”) as a disaffected history teacher who begins a social experiment with three fellow teacher friends to test the effects of maintaining a low-grade alcohol buzz during every waking hour. The movie is an unvarnished look at male friendship, alcoholism, and mid-life crisis, and it vacillates from hilarious and heartbreaking as the experiment progresses toward its inevitable conclusion.
How to watch: “Another Round” is streaming on Hulu.
‘Da 5 Bloods’
For whatever reason, Netflix chose to focus its Oscar campaign on “Mank,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7” instead of “Da 5 Bloods,” leaving the Spike Lee joint with only a Best Score nomination to its name. That’s a shame because Lee’s film was one of the most fiercely original of 2020. The movie follows four Black Vietnam War veterans (Delroy Lindo, “Get Shorty”; Clarke Peters, “The Wire”; Norm Lewis, “Scandal”; Isiah Whitlock Jr., “Cedar Rapids”) as they return to the country to search for the remains of their dead squad leader (Chadwick Boseman, “Black Panther”) while also seeking buried treasure. The late Boseman did secure a nomination for his performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” but his performance in “Da 5 Bloods” was even more impressive, and Lindo being shut out of the Supporting Actor category is a travesty.
How to watch: “Da 5 Bloods” is streaming on Netflix.
‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’
Perhaps it’s too early to offer a full-throated recommendation of Disney+’s latest Marvel series after only one episode, but the early verdict is that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has found another winner. Taking place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” when Captain America (Chris Evans) handed his shield to Falcon (Anthony Mackie), the six-episode series will dig into the stories of two lesser-known Avengers in Falcon and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and how their paths change in the absence of their close compatriot Steve Rogers.
How to watch: Episode one of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” is streaming on Disney+. New episodes arrive each Friday.
With news of FX developing another series based on an Elmore Leonard novel with the makers of “Justified,” now is a great time to dive into the six-season Western crime drama. Rumor has it that “Justified” star Timothy Olyphant (“Deadwood”) could reprise his role as US Marshal Raylan Givens in some capacity, though it seems difficult to believe that he could face an arch-nemesis as worthy as charismatic baddie Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins, “The Hateful Eight”).
How to watch: “Justified” is streaming on Hulu.
Burlington native Amy Poehler (“Saturday Night Live”) has another hit on her hands with “Moxie,” which reached the top spot on Netflix following its release last week. Directed and produced by Poehler, the coming-of-age tale follows Vivian (Hadley Robinson), a shy 16-year-old who tends to keep her head down in the halls of her high school. Inspired in part by the arrival of a new student and by her activist mother’s (Poehler) rabble-rousing past, Vivian begins to reckon with the previously unchecked behavior of her fellow students by publishing an underground zine that puts her at the center of a school-wide revolution. Along with a cast of teenage newcomers, “Moxie” also features Clark Gregg (“The Avengers”), Ike Barinholtz (“Blockers”), and Marcia Gay Harden (“Mystic River”).
How to watch: “Moxie” is streaming on Netflix.
‘Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal’
If you’re seeking a pulpy documentary this weekend, check out Netflix’s new drama about the college admissions scandal that ensnared dozens of parents who paid fixer William Singer to help get their children into the school of their choice. While the film does examine the role of celebrity participants Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, it focuses more deeply on Singer and his rise from high school basketball coach to criminal mastermind. “Varsity Blues” relies heavily on reenactment, with Matthew Modine (“Full Metal Jacket”) donning an ill-fitting wig to play Singer.
How to watch: “Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal” is streaming on Netflix.
As fans of director Wes Anderson patiently wait for the release of his delayed film “The French Dispatch,” now is a good time to revisit one of his earliest works, 1998’s “Rushmore,” before it departs Amazon Prime and Hulu at the end of the month. Eccentric boarding school student Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman, “The Darjeeling Limited”) and his adult friend Herman Blume (Bill Murray, “Groundhog Day”) find themselves at odds when they are attracted to the same woman (Olivia Williams, “The Sixth Sense”). The movie is an early showcase for some of Anderson’s well-defined directorial flourishes, and is also widely credited with kicking off Murray’s career renaissance.
‘Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy’
At a time when much of the country remains stuck at home, there’s comfort to be had in enjoying someone else’s vacation travels, especially if that someone is as charming as actor Stanley Tucci. The CNN series takes Tucci from one Italian city to another, with each episode focusing on one of the country’s 20 regions. While Tucci possesses a different energy than the late star of another CNN travel show, Anthony Bourdain, the two share a deep appreciation for world cultures and a voracious appetite for cuisines of all types.
How to watch: “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” is streaming on CNN Go with a valid cable subscription. New episodes air every Sunday at 9 p.m.
‘The Truman Show’
After a decade of delighting audiences with his manic, slapstick energy, Jim Carrey (“Dumb and Dumber”) proved he could be equally effective when dialing it back a notch in Peter Weir’s 1998 hit “The Truman Show.” Since birth, Carrey’s Truman Burbank has been the unwitting star of a 24-hour reality show, living in a massive Hollywood set where everyone but him is a professional actor, and the production is overseen by an exacting auteur (Ed Harris, “Apollo 13”). Catch “The Truman Show” before it says “good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight” to Amazon Prime and Hulu at the end of March.
‘Waffles + Mochi’
If Stanley Tucci isn’t adorable enough of a traveling food host for you, Netflix has two Muppet-like pals to help you out. “Waffles + Mochi” is aimed more at the younger set, as the titular puppets take breaks from their supermarket jobs to travel the world to learn lessons about food. Each episode is dedicated to a simple ingredient, like tomatoes, potatoes, or salt, and features appearances from celebrities, famous chefs, and Michelle Obama, whose production company Higher Ground created the show.
How to watch: “Waffles + Mochi” is streaming on Netflix.
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