Best films to stream this week: 20 May

Best films to stream this week: 20 May

Our weekly guide to the best films available on home entertainment platforms

Here at The List we tend to look forward to what's on the horizon, but when that's a whole lot of staying in knowing what to watch right now in the comfort of your home has never been more needed. To help ride out these challenging times, we will be casting our expert eye over what's new to TV and streaming services each week, bringing you the cream of the current movie crop. Let us do the decision-making for you, and then just sit back and enjoy.

Monos ★★★★★

One of our favourite films of last year makes its way to Netflix. Brazilian writer-director Alejandro Landes brings us into the orbit of a group of young soldiers in an unnamed South American country, charged with guarding an American hostage (a sensational Julianne Nicholson), known only as 'Doctora'. As the group party, hook up, and make and break bridges, it's all terrifically tense and becomes more so as Monos evolves into a survivalist story. With atmospheric music courtesy of Mica Levi and unforgettable images from Jasper Wolf, Landes' second narrative feature confirms him as one to watch – it's as emotionally devastating as it is near-unbearably exciting.
Watch now on Netflix.

The Orphanage ★★★★☆

Our pick of last week's streaming releases combines outlandish musical numbers, brutal social realism and recognisable rites of passage. Set in Kabul and directed by Shahrbanoo Sadat, it sees young Qodrat (Quodratollah Qadiri) inducted into the titular institution, where he gets into scrapes and forms friendships against a background of political upheaval. His tendency to retreat into, credibly stilted, Bollywood-style fantasies makes this otherwise sombre lad an appealing protagonist, while the twists and turns of his tragic story are moving indeed.
Watch now on MUBI.

Waves ★★★★☆

Crashing into cinemas earlier this year, Waves is like riding a rollercoaster of teenage turmoil as a popular black student lives large and crumbles horrifically under pressure. Trey Edward Shults' third feature begins as a film of incomparable energy and intensity, but he has surprises up his sleeve and certainly isn't averse to mixing things up. As impressively acted as it is shot and scored, it stars the excellent Kelvin Harrison Jr. as the teenager in question, with Sterling K. Brown as his overbearing but well-meaning dad and Taylor Russell as his sensitive sister.
Watch now on Amazon Prime Video, Sky, YouTube and Google Play.

A Hidden Life ★★★★☆

Cannes 2020 might have been cancelled but here's a highlight from last year's festival. This epic WWII-set drama finds Terrence Malick back on form after a string of more divisive films. It tells the true story of Austrian conscientious objector Franz Jägerstätter, who refused to serve the Nazi regime and, as a result, found his idyllic countryside existence torn apart. August Diehl plays the principled farmer, who becomes almost Christ-like in his martyrdom, while cinematographer Jörg Widmer beautifully captures a paradise poisoned.
Watch now on Amazon Prime Video, Sky, YouTube and Google Play.

Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema ★★★★★

Running to a full 14-hours but delivered in more manageable weekly instalments, this remarkable journey through the movie-making process is entirely made up of clips from female-directed films, many of which you won't have seen. Educational, inspiring and thoroughly entertaining, it's the latest ambitious endeavour from The Story of Film's Mark Cousins. Narrated by Tilda Swinton, Jane Fonda and more, it's packed with nostalgia and discovery and, with so much wisdom to impart, is like sitting in on the finest of film schools.
Watch now on BFI Player.

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