Streaming

5 must-watch movies and TV shows streaming right now

The best of what's new on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and more.

Nathan Fielder in HBO's "The Rehearsal."
Nathan Fielder in HBO's "The Rehearsal." Allyson Riggs/HBO

Welcome to Boston.com’s weekly streaming guide. Each week, we recommend five must-watch movies and TV shows available on streaming platforms like NetflixHuluAmazon PrimeDisney+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 [email protected]. Looking for even more great streaming options? Check out previous editions of our must-see list here.

Movies

“A Simple Plan”

Sam Raimi is best known by millennials for his superhero films (the original “Spider-Man” trilogy, the recent “Doctor Strange” sequel) and by Gen Xers for his 1980s low-budget horror films (the “Evil Dead” franchise). But in between those two periods of his career as a beloved genre filmmaker, Raimi made a couple of attempts at making serious adult dramas with Oscars potential, including the overlooked but undoubtedly brilliant 1998 crime thriller “A Simple Plan.” The morality tale shares a lot of DNA with the Coen Brothers’ “Fargo,” starring two brothers in rural Minnesota (Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton) who, along with their friend (the late Brent Briscoe) find a crashed airplane full of money. While the trio initially agrees to sit on the money to avoid suspicion, financial pressures, police investigations, and long-buried personal grievances push tensions to a boiling point. The film only ended up getting two Oscar nominations (Best Supporting Actor for Thornton and Best Screenplay), winning neither. But the tragicomic story ranks up there with the best films of the year, and certainly among Raimi’s finest.

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How to watch: “A Simple Plan” is streaming on HBO Max.

“RoboCop”

This week marks 35 years since Paul Verhoeven’s biting sci-fi satire “RoboCop” first hit theaters, and yet the film’s skewering of police militarization, America’s obsession with punitive justice, and the crassness of TV news remains as relevant as ever. When a newly transferred cop (Peter Weller, “Naked Lunch”) is killed in the line of duty, the mega-corporation that owns Detroit’s police force rebuilds him into a crime-fighting cyborg. Verhoeven has said that he set out to tell the story of “American Jesus” with “RoboCop,” and while the metaphor is quite apparent, it certainly doesn’t say much about the Dutch filmmaker’s opinion of the U.S.

How to watch: “RoboCop” is streaming on Showtime and available to rent on Google Play, Apple TV, and other streaming platforms.

TV

“Better Call Saul”

While “Better Call Saul” will never truly escape the shadow of “Breaking Bad,” the spinoff has held its own over six seasons. Instead of watching mild-mannered high school teacher Walter White become the drug kingpin Heisenberg, we’ve watched Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) slowly transform into Saul Goodman, the unscrupulous lawyer we first met in “Breaking Bad.” In its final season, “Saul” has sprinkled in plenty of characters from Vince Gilligan’s previous AMC drama, but the focus remains on Odenkirk’s litigator, who has never been better. If you need to catch up before the show reaches its end next month, Netflix has the first five seasons ready for marathoning with the click of a button.

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How to watch: Season 6 of “Better Call Saul” is streaming on AMC+, with new episodes airing Mondays at 9 p.m. on AMC. Seasons 1-5 are streaming on Netflix.

“The Rehearsal”

Have you ever wished you could prepare for an important conversation? Maybe you want to tell your best friend you have romantic feelings, or you want to land for your dream job, or you want to finally beat your uncle in a political debate at Thanksgiving. Enter Nathan Fielder, whose new cringe comedy series “The Rehearsal” takes that dream and follows it through to an absurd conclusion. Fielder, who focused on giving (usually unhelpful) professional advice in his previous show “Nathan For You,” is focused on the personal this time, prepping people for tough talks by hiring professional actors, building full-scale replicas, and running hundreds of simulated conversations. It’s a fascinating look at the nature of performance and the “true self,” but it’s mostly a playground for Fielder to push the boundaries of comfort for our entertainment.

How to watch: “The Rehearsal” is streaming on HBO Max, with new episodes airing Fridays at 11 p.m. on HBO.

“Tuca & Bertie”

After being unceremoniously canceled by Netflix after one season, animated sitcom “Tuca & Bertie” was given a new life by Adult Swim, and is now on its third season. The show centers around two 30-something birds — impulsive, free-spirited toucan Tuca (Tiffany Haddish) and anxious, career-focused thrush Bertie (Ali Wong) — who live in the same apartment building and experience personal growth together episode by episode. Though it shares an art style, executive producer, and overall sensibility with Netflix’s “BoJack Horseman,” the show is much more pleasant, only occasionally dipping into difficult topics like sobriety or anxiety and doing so with considerably less pathos. 

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How to watch: “Tuca & Bertie” is streaming on HBO Max.

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