Best films to stream this week: 14 July
- Emma Simmonds
- 14 July 2021
Our weekly guide to the best films available on home entertainment platforms
The future finally seems to be looking brighter but, with 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.
Fear Street: Part Two – 1978 ★★★★☆
The second part of Netflix's smart new horror trilogy, based on RL Stine's book series and directed by Leigh Janiak, is another nicely fleshed out and less ironic entry that heavily echoes Friday The 13th and its slasher ilk. It takes us from 1994 to 1978 to explore the painful backstory of Gillian Jacobs' hermit C Berman, with appearances from the previous instalment's plucky gang, who are desperately trying to put an end to their hometown Shadyside's cycle of misery, and to the tortured predicament of Sam (Olivia Scott Welch), gaining the knowledge they need by plundering the past.
We're introduced to the rebellious and victimised Ziggy (Sadie Sink from Stranger Things) and her upstanding older sister Cindy (Emily Rudd), who are attending Camp Nightwing as a camper and counsellor respectively, before the curse of Shadyside strikes again and the identity of the axe-wielding Nightwing killer is tragically revealed.
Available to watch on Netflix.
First Cow ★★★★☆
This idiosyncratic spin on the western from the great American filmmaker Kelly Reichardt (Wendy And Lucy, Meek's Cutoff) is new and exclusive to MUBI after its recent theatrical run. It's a wonderfully warm and witty story of friendship set in the emerging civilisation of the Pacific Northwest during the early 19th century. We meet skilled cook and loner Cookie (John Magaro), whose act of kindness early on wins him a firm pal in Chinese immigrant King-Lu (Orion Lee), before the two embark on a dangerous but ingenious scheme, involving the titular bovine.
Watch now on MUBI.
Molly's Game ★★★☆☆
The 2017 directorial debut of Oscar and Emmy winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, The West Wing) doesn't quite have the clout of his recent follow-up The Trial of the Chicago 7 but it does have an absolutely spectacular performance at its centre, courtesy of Jessica Chastain. It's an interesting story too, based on the memoir of Molly Bloom, a former professional skier who ran a high-stakes poker game that got her into hot water with the FBI. Idris Elba, Kevin Costner and Succession's Jeremy Strong co-star.
Available on BBC iPlayer
Available on premium rental following its recent cinema release is a fun 'geriactioner' from director Ilya Naishuller (Hardcore Henry) that's more tongue in cheek than most. Written by John Wick creator Derek Kolstad, it sees Bob Odenkirk's 'nobody' Hutch Mansell fail to stand up to the intruders who break into his home, before revealing himself to be considerably more physically capable than he's been letting on. Although it's conceptually very thin, Odenkirk is a great fit for the character and it makes for an amusingly OTT escapade, with plenty to satisfy fans of punchy, stylishly-shot fisticuffs.
Available at premium on demand.
Spring Blossom ★★★★☆
Available to rent widely after doing the rounds at festivals, movie theatres, and on Curzon Home Cinema, Spring Blossom gives us that rarest of things: an authentically youthful perspective. It's the directorial debut of Suzanne Lindon (the daughter of French actors Vincent Lindon and Sandrine Kiberlain), who was just 20 when she made it. Lindon also wrote the screenplay and she plays the film's 16-year-old heroine with a great deal of credibility and charm. It tells the story of Parisian teenager Suzanne, who is close to her parents but alienated from her peers and falls for a 35-year-old actor (Arnaud Valois), who is performing in a play nearby. Deftly avoiding the subject matter's creepy potential, events are seen carefully through its female protagonist's eyes.
Available at premium on demand.