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.

Lorna Woods in "Descendant."
Lorna Woods in "Descendant." Participant/Courtesy of Netflix

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]n.com. Looking for even more great streaming options? Check out previous editions of our must-watch list here.

Movies

“Army of Darkness” (1992)

In a perfect world, every one of Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead” movies would be available at the click of a remote so that viewers could witness the evolution of the horror maestro’s low-budget but hugely impactful practical effects wizardry. Instead, fans will have to settle for the third film in the series, 1992’s “Army of Darkness,” the silliest entry of the series up to that point. Chainsaw-toting, quote-slinging hero Ash Williams is actually sent back to the Middle Ages, where his cartoonish swagger is perceived as a threat by King Arthur’s men, and he is abruptly enslaved. One thing leads to another, and Ash once again unwittingly awakens an army of undead beasts using the Necronomicon. Being unabashedly silly while still retaining a handful of scares is no small feat, but Raimi makes it look easy. Hail to the king, baby.

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How to watch: “Army of Darkness” is streaming on Peacock.

“Descendant”

An impactful new documentary from Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions, “Descendant” follows members of an Alabama community known as Africatown whose ancestors were brought to America aboard the Clotilda, the last known slave ship to illegally transport slaves to the states shortly before the Civil War in 1860. (Congress had banned the importation of slaves in 1807.) After remnants of the ship were found in 2019, director Margaret Brown turned her lens on the descendants, as they digest the monumental truth of their upbringing and whether the path of their lives was preordained by this injustice. Following an ovation-filled screening at the Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival this summer, “Descendant” begins streaming this Friday on Netflix.

How to watch: “Descendant” is streaming on Netflix.

“Poltergeist”

In the midst of an incredible run of box office success, Steven Spielberg often co-wrote or produced movies that he would flip to director pals still seeking their big break, such as Joe Dante (“Gremlins”) and Robert Zemeckis (“Back to the Future.”) Originally intended as a horror sequel to Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” Spielberg was too busy directing “E.T” to helm “Poltergeist,” but still co-wrote the suspenseful ghost story while “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” director Tobe Hooper got behind the camera. While “Poltergeist,” which celebrated its 40th anniversary this summer, is significantly creepier than most of Spielberg’s filmography, you can still sense the director’s personal touches on the script if you know where to look. (Pro tip: The one place you shouldn’t look is at the TV.)

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How to watch: “Poltergeist” is streaming on HBO Max.

TV

“House of the Dragon”

If you were one of the folks who turned off HBO’s epic fantasy “House of the Dragon” earlier in the season due to its excessive time jumps and lack of a sympathetic character, now is the time to tune back in. Episodes 8 and 9 of “HotD” have been full of intrigue and promise, with the animating question driving the season — who shall sit on the Iron Throne? — finally answered, at least temporarily. As a bonus, you’ll be able to read Boston.com staff’s instant reactions to the finale early Monday morning, so the time to catch up is now.

How to watch: “House of the Dragon” is streaming on HBO Max. The season finale airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO and HBO Max.

“Inside Amy Schumer”

More than six years after the Season 4 finale of “Inside Amy Schumer” aired on Comedy Central, the comic is back with a too-short 5-episode season airing exclusively on Paramount+. At the time “Inside Amy” went on hiatus in late 2016, Schumer felt dangerously close to overexposure, even as her stand-up specials and romantic comedy “Trainwreck” continued to draw rave reviews. In the interim, Schumer got married (to an acclaimed Massachusetts chef), had a kid, and added even more life experiences to her resume just waiting to be lampooned.

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How to watch: “Inside Amy Schumer” is streaming on Paramount+.

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