Best films to stream this week: 11 August
- Emma Simmonds
- 11 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.
In The Heights ★★★★★
Available to rent from tomorrow is one of the best films of the year, that acts like a ray of sunshine in this often soggy summer. The director of the wildly successful Crazy Rich Asians, Jon M Chu, brings colour and carnival vibes to his adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes' stage smash, with the screenplay penned by the latter. Set in New York's Washington Heights neighbourhood, it centres on the area's Hispanic community. The film is a love letter to the immigrant experience that foregrounds a group of young dreamers led by Anthony Ramos's bodega owner Usnavi, as they try to figure out their futures in a country that doesn't always treat them kindly.
Watch from tomorrow on premium on demand.
Fast & Furious 9 ★★☆☆☆
Ok, so we weren't exactly fans of the latest turbo-charged instalment of the hugely popular franchise, but there's no doubt that F9's home entertainment release will be eagerly anticipated by many. We struggled to get past the tragic absence of spin-off stars Hobbs and Shaw (Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham) from proceedings. But there's consolation in the return of director Justin Lin to the series (who was behind the wheel for parts three to six), the addition of John Cena to the already heaving ensemble, while – for better or worse – it really does take its action to another level.
Watch now on premium on demand.
Black Bear ★★★★☆
Screening exclusively on MUBI following its recent theatrical release, this discomforting, confounding and blackly comic drama from Lawrence Michael Levine features career-best work from the usually hilarious Aubrey Plaza. She's teamed with the similarly excellent Christopher Abbott and Sarah Gadon, and plays a somewhat sly filmmaker who puts the cat among the pigeons when she stays at the wilderness cabin of an unhappy couple and begins to hammer at their buttons. There's a lot more to Black Bear than that, with Levine unafraid to mix things up and lurch from intensity to levity. Though the less said about its surprises the better.
Watch now on MUBI.
Knives Out ★★★★☆
Making its television debut is this fabulously fun film from Rian Johnson, who earned himself the right to some enjoyable overindulgence after doing a stellar job on Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Oscar-nominated for its playful screenplay, the film follows Daniel Craig's smoothy of a detective, Benoit Blanc, as he investigates the murder of Christopher Plummer's crime writer and tangles with his rogue's gallery of a family (with Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Chris Evans and Toni Collette among them). Filming of the second part of a Netflix-backed Knives Out trilogy began in June, with Craig reprising his role and applying his smarts to a brand new case. We can't wait.
Watch now on Sky Cinema.
Grace Jones: Bloodlight And Bami ★★★★☆
Filmmaker Sophie Fiennes (The Pervert's Guide to Cinema) spent five years filming the legend that is Grace Jones, with her impressive access and dedication to the project resulting in a documentary that captures both the singer's outrageous public persona and diva-like demands but also her vulnerability and humour. In this film from 2017, there are tantrums and tense phone calls, dazzling live shows, an emotional family reunion in Jamaica, candid interviews and insight into Jones's music, with the relaxed intimacy of Fiennes's unobtrusive, fly-on-the-wall approach extremely well-judged.
Watch now on iPlayer.