Best films to stream this week: 4 August
- Emma Simmonds
- 4 August 2021
Our weekly guide to the best films available on home entertainment platforms
Our entertainment options may have increased of late 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.
Jungle Cruise ★★★☆☆
Also in cinemas, this Amazonian adventure wittily riffs on the theme park ride of the same name as a riverboat skipper played by Dwayne Johnson attempts to dupe tourists with phoney attractions before some real excitement intervenes. Emily Blunt plays the intrepid Dr Lily Houghton, who is on a quest for the Tree of Life accompanied by her wimpy brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall) when they are taken in by the aforementioned charlatan. Jesse Plemons plays Prince Joachim, the youngest son of Kaiser Wilhelm II, who is in hot pursuit of the Houghtons, while Édgar Ramírez is a cursed conquistador. Horror / thriller specialist Jaume Collet-Serra (best known for Orphan and The Shallows, alongside a quartet of collaborations with Liam Neeson) directs, and he throws in a couple of jumpy moments amidst the more family friendly, knockabout fun. His film combines numerous Indiana Jones nods, whilst recalling more outlandish fantasy fare like The Mummy and Pirates Of The Caribbean, and it gets similarly swamped by its CGI despite the best efforts of a game ensemble. It's unsophisticated but basically enjoyable.
Watch now on Disney+ Premier Access.
Available to stream just a month after its cinema release is a hugely enjoyable comedy horror which capitalises on Vince Vaughn's newfound love for on-screen ultra-violence, while fully exploiting his comic chops. He's paired with the excellent Kathryn Newton (Blockers, The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things) for this twisted spin on Freaky Friday from the director of Happy Death Day, Christopher Landon, that also riffs on Friday The 13th, Halloween, Gremlins, Evil Dead II and Jennifer's Body. In it, a serial killer and shy teenage girl swap bodies with wonderfully farcical and extremely gruesome results.
Watch now on premium on demand.
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway ★★★☆☆
Timed nicely to keep the kids occupied during the school hols, here's another one that's sped quickly onto home entertainment following its big screen release. Offering an improvement on the pretty annoying original, with its exuberant anarchy it's got more for kids than it does for adults but it doesn't half try to please both, with plenty of self-awareness and a few decent comic set-pieces. James Corden is a typically polarising presence voicing the eponymous bunny, who has a go at being a bad boy this time round, but Domhnall Gleeson does a decent job with the physical comedy, David Oyelowo makes a fun adversary and the blend of live action and animation is impressive.
Watch now on premium on demand.
This absolute nail-biter from Yann Demange really put the director on the map and bagged him a British Independent Film Award for Best Director. Unfolding across the streets of Belfast during the height of the Troubles, it follows a young British soldier played by Jack O'Connell as he becomes separated from his unit during a riot. This story of survival benefits from surging cinematography, a lean script and the smothering atmosphere, as well as the characteristically committed work of O'Connell and a supporting cast that includes the incomparably intense Sean Harris.
Watch now on Netflix.
Lady Bird ★★★★☆
Much-loved indie actress Greta Gerwig announced herself as one hell of a director with her first solo effort, a semi-autobiographical coming of age movie, which she also wrote. Nominated for five Oscars (including two for Gerwig), Lady Bird rises high above the generic nature of the material with its truthful portrayal of family dynamics, wonderfully droll humour and the huge wisdom and affection it brings to its depiction of suburban life. And Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf are unimprovable as a mother and a daughter at war.
Watch now on iPlayer.