Best films to stream this week: 23 Jun

Best films to stream this week: 23 Jun

Judas and the Black Messiah

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.

Luca ★★★☆☆

Pixar's latest follows up a difficult-to-top predecessor in Soul, and feels a little uninspired by comparison, despite sharing a screenwriter in Mike Jones, who co-writes with Jesse Andrews (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl). Still, this animated adventure from first-time feature director Enrico Casarosa boasts glorious Italian Riviera backdrops and two teenage sea monster protagonists in the nervous Luca (Room's Jacob Tremblay) and audacious Alberto (It's Jack Dylan Grazer). The pair transform into human form when they step onto land and get up to all sorts of mischief as they go undercover in the local village, much to the displeasure of Luca's mum (voiced by the great Maya Rudolph).
Watch now on Disney+.

Fatherhood ★★★☆☆

Kevin Hart has attracted his fair share of controversy of late and this is seemingly his bid to show us his more sensitive side. To his credit, he does a superb job with both the dramatic and comedic demands of the role of a single father whose wife dies shortly after childbirth, leaving him to raise his new daughter with the help of pals. Based on the memoir of Matt Logelin and directed by Paul Weitz (About a Boy), there are many elements of Fatherhood that ring true and plenty of laughs, but the structure and some of the story beats can also feel manipulative. Hart and a well-selected supporting cast (including Alfre Woodard, Lil Rel Howery and Paul Reiser) keep things likeable and occasionally emotional.
Watch now on Netflix.

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★☆

Now available on standard rental, you'll want to rush to watch this one, not only to check out British star Daniel Kaluuya's barnstorming and Oscar-winning turn as the ill-fated Fred Hampton but to get stuck into a slice of meaty, fascinating and ultimately tragic history. The film paints the Black Panthers in a more sympathetic, complex and heroic light than we've seen previously, as we're taken uncomfortably into the fold by LaKeith Stanfield's FBI infiltrator Bill O'Neal. Directed with chutzpah by Shaka King, who co-writes with Will Berson, it's also notable for Sean Bobbitt's striking cinematography and a palpable sense of outrage.
Watch now on demand.

Ammonite ★★★★☆

This underrated effort from the BAFTA-nominated director of God's Own Country, Francis Lee, seemed set to be an awards contender at one point, though some found it too chilly. It's actually a rather heartfelt and somewhat heart-breaking drama, which draws attention to the incredible achievements of pioneering fossil hunter Mary Anning, while speculating that her relationship with Charlotte Murchison (who herself would go on to become a notable figure in the field) was something more than a friendship. Murchison is played by the comparably talented Saoirse Ronan, and the film marks a significant return to form for Winslet, who would follow it up with the similarly excellent TV cop show Mare of Easttown. It's good to have her back.
Watch now on demand.

Spotlight ★★★★★

2016's Best Picture Oscar winner is an impressively sober and impeccably assembled look at the Boston Globe's investigation of child abuse within the Catholic Church, from director Tom McCarthy. The ensemble – which includes Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber and Stanley Tucci – bring great nuance to their portrayals and are so superb it's hard to identify a stand-out performer. Even if you've seen it, it's worth another watch, not least as McCarthy's latest – Stillwater, featuring Matt Damon – is scheduled for release in August.
Watch now on iPlayer.

Ammonite

  • 4 stars
  • 2020
  • 2h
  • 15
  • Directed by: Francis Lee
  • Cast: Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Jones

Romantic drama inspired by the life of British palaeontologist Mary Anning and her romantic relationship with Charlotte Murchison.

Judas and the Black Messiah

  • 4 stars
  • 2021
  • US
  • 2h 6min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Shaka King
  • Written by: Will Berson, Shaka King
  • Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield, Jesse Plemons, Dominique Fishback, Ashton Sanders, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Lil Rel Howery, Algee Smith, Martin Sheen
  • UK release: 11 March 2021

Bill O'Neal (LaKeith Stanfield) goes undercover to join the Black Panther Party with an in provided by the FBI. As Party Chairman Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya) rises in influence and falls for a fellow revolutionary, a battle begins for O'Neal's soul.

Spotlight

  • 5 stars
  • 2015
  • US
  • 2h 8min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Tom McCarthy
  • Cast: Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton
  • UK release: 29 January 2016

McCarthy's tale of how the Boston Globe's investigation team unearthed cases of sexual abuse and cover-ups within the Catholic church is up there with All the President's Men, with a fine cast (Keaton, McAdams, Ruffalo, Tucci) serving a nuanced, complex script: no one, except the victims, is entirely blameless. Remarkable.

Fatherhood

  • 3 stars
  • 2021
  • US
  • 1h 49min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Paul Weitz
  • Written by: Dana Stevens, Matthew Logelin
  • Cast: Kevin Hart, Alfre Woodard, Lil Rel Howery, DeWanda Wise, Anthony Carrigan, Melody Hurd, Paul Reiser
  • UK release: 18 June 2021

After the death of his wife, a widower must raise his new baby girl alone. Fatherhood is going to be tough.

Luca

  • 3 stars
  • 2021
  • US
  • 1h 36min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Enrico Casarosa
  • Written by: Jesse Andrews, Mike Jones
  • Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Berman, Marco Barricelli, Saverio Raimondo, Maya Rudolph, Jim Gaffigan
  • UK release: 18 June 2021

It's summer on the Italian Riviera. Two youngsters have set out to have the most fun they can have in a nearby seaside town. But, they have a secret to hide - they're sea monsters who can transform into people.