Best films to stream this week: 26 May
- Emma Simmonds
- 26 May 2021
Our weekly guide to the best films available on home entertainment platforms
The future finally seems to be looking brighter but, with plans still feeling precarious and our viewing habits perhaps permanently changed, we'll keep casting our expert eye over the newly arrived films on 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.
Army of the Dead ★★★★☆
Following the much-improved but wildly overlong 'Snyder Cut' of Justice League, divisive director Zack Snyder gives us something rather more digestible. He returns to the zombie landscape he explored so successfully in his debut feature, 2004's Dawn of the Dead, for another bloody enjoyable actioner – with an emphasis on the bloody – which sees a likeably diverse and gender-balanced squad, led by Dave Bautista's Scott, head into an undead-infested Las Vegas to liberate a large fortune from one of the casino's vaults. You'll never guess what happens next…
Watch now on Netflix.
This beautiful, dialogue-free animated feature from Latvian filmmaker Gints Zilbalodis – who took on all aspects of the creative process himself (including the film's score) – had a brief run in select cinemas last year, and those who saw it will have found themselves enchanted by its simple but heartfelt story, delightful design and gentle rhythms, which somewhat recall cult classic video game Ico. Created using the animation software Maya, Away is divided into chapters which find a boy traversing an ever-evolving environment on a motorbike; in his quest he's accompanied by a bird, with the pair trying to outrun a shadowy, life-sucking monster. It's a triumph of individual ingenuity.
Watch now on Sky Cinema.
Rare Beasts ★★★☆☆
Making her debut as a writer-director, acclaimed actress Billie Piper's turbo-analytical, self-flagellating style won't be for everyone but she's made something very smart, probing and emotionally honest here that shows plenty of promise for her future as a filmmaker. Rare Beasts is an anti-romcom focusing on a frustrated single mother and her relationship and work woes. Putting her own formidable acting chops front and centre, Piper is ably supported by Leo Bill, Kerry Fox and David Thewlis. It's not quite up there with her recent series I Hate Suzie but its director-star has fun making us squirm.
Watch now on demand.
The Hummingbird Project ★★★★☆
Here's a nice quirky drama you may have missed back on its release in 2019, a cautionary tale from Kim Nguyen that shows us and its workaholic characters what really matters. It sees Wall Street stock trader cousins (played by Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgård) team up to lay a dead-straight fibre-optic cable between Kansas and New Jersey, with their ambition, obsessiveness and competitiveness threatening to overwhelm them. There's an appealingly affectionate relationship between the leads in a film that also explores the delicate balance between man and nature.
Watch now on MUBI.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society ★★★★☆
Those who've enjoyed Lily James's work in recent BBC hit The Pursuit of Love should check her out in this entertaining yarn from Four Weddings and a Funeral's Mike Newell, an attractive and accomplished blend of romance, mystery and moving historical drama. Set just after World War II, it's the story of a successful writer (James) who begins corresponding with Michiel Huisman's Guernsey farmer. He's a member of the titular society, with the other members played by Penelope Wilton, Tom Courtenay and Katherine Parkinson, and the group's secrets, lies and terrible tragedies being slowly revealed.
Watch now on BBC iPlayer.