Best films to stream this week: 1 July

Best films to stream this week: 1 July

Downton Abbey

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, with entertainment options limited and caution being advised, knowing what to watch right now in the comfort of your home is still much needed. To help ride out these challenging times, we'll keep 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.

On the Record ★★★★★

This essential documentary from Oscar-nominated filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering (The Invisible War) explores the sexual assault allegations against hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. Primarily concerned with the experiences of former Def Jam executive Drew Dixon, who makes for a riveting and persuasive focus, it intelligently examines black women's alienation from the Me Too movement, as well as thorny issues like race loyalty and perceptions of black femininity, which may explain why such women are less likely to speak out and be believed. Featuring fascinating food for thought and moving testimony, it's nothing short of remarkable.
Watch now on demand.

Irresistible ★★★★☆

Jon Stewart's second feature as writer-director fuses commercial charm with surreal comedy and shrewd satire. He's a good fit for a film that riffs on fish-out-of-water traditions, but includes enough subversiveness to feel fresh. It sees Steve Carell's abrasive Democrat strategist Gary head to rural Wisconsin in pursuit of a promising candidate (Chris Cooper) who combines a military background and folksy charm with liberal values, and may be the key to unlocking future election success. Gary is followed to the sticks by his Republican nemesis, played by Rose Byrne, with these two DC dynamos facing-off as they run competing campaigns for the local mayoral race.
Watch now on demand.

Fanny Lye Deliver'd ★★★★☆

A woman wakes up to her own potential in this western-like period drama set in Cromwellian England, written and directed by Thomas Clay. Taking place in a single location, it follows Maxine Peake's oppressed wife and mother Fanny, who knows nothing but subservience and falls under the spell of a pair of dangerously liberated strangers when they seek shelter at her isolated farm. Performed with vigour by Peake, Charles Dance, Freddie Fox and Tanya Reynolds and building to a ferocious and bloodthirsty denouement, it's an impressive evocation of a brutal era.
Watch now on demand.

Welcome to Chechnya ★★★★☆

Available to watch on iPlayer this week is a striking documentary which shocked Sundance earlier this year and formed part of Sheffield Doc/Fest's recent online programme. Academy Award-nominated documentarian David France (How to Survive a Plague) illuminates the appalling situation in the Russian republic, showing how a clandestine crackdown has led to LGBTQ+ men and women fleeing for their lives. Following the inhabitants of various safehouses on their daunting journeys and speaking to the heroic individuals that spirit them out of the country – including crisis response co-ordinator David Isteev – it's a vital and inspiring insight into an unfolding human rights catastrophe.
Watch now on iPlayer.

Downton Abbey ★★★★☆

For those in need of something comfortingly familiar, look no further than the titular estate, which this time plays host to drama on a cinematic scale. Scripted by series creator Julian Fellowes, with Emmy-nominated TV helmer Michael Engler on directing duties, a royal visit provides the appropriately grand starting point for this feature-length continuation, which fans, at the very least, will adore. An assassination attempt is amongst the excitement on offer, while the film adds national treasures Imelda Staunton and Geraldine James to an already esteemed ensemble.
Watch now on Sky Cinema.

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