5 must-watch movies & TV shows streaming right now: January 20, 2023
The best of what’s new on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and more.
Welcome to Boston.com’s weekly streaming guide. Each week, we recommend five must-watch movies and TV shows available on streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO Max, and more.
Many recommendations are for new shows, while others are for under-the-radar releases you might have missed or classics that are about to depart a streaming service at the end of the month.
Have a new favorite movie or show you think we should know about? Let us know in the comments, or email [email protected]. Looking for even more great streaming options? Check out previous editions of our must-watch list here.
“Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul”
The title of “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul” tells you exactly what type of movie you’re going to get from first-time director Adamma Ebo: A biting satire of the capitalism-infected version of Christianity endemic to America. Megachurch Pastor Lee-Curtis Childs (Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”) and his wife, Trinitie (Regina Hall), have decided to hire a documentary crew to help film their comeback after Lee-Curtis is beset by a sex scandal. Camera crews are hired so that Lee-Curtis can fully document his triumphant return to the church (on Easter Sunday, of course). Instead, viewers are treated to every indignity the couple faces on their bumpy road back. Brown is funny in his lead role. But it’s Hall, always terrific, who steals the show.
How to watch: “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul” is streaming on Prime Video.
When the 2023 Oscar nominations are announced on Tuesday morning, odds are good that there will be nominations for Tom Cruise (“Top Gun: Maverick”), Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”), and Steven Spielberg (“The Fabelmans”). That makes it the perfect time to revisit “Minority Report,” one of Spielberg’s under-appreciated masterpieces from the early 2000s that reappeared on Netflix this month. Cruise is his usual intense self, playing John Anderton, a police chief in charge of Precrime, an initiative that uses the foresight of three psychics to stop violent crimes before they are committed. Farrell, meanwhile, plays a DOJ agent auditing the program for flaws before it expands nationwide. When Anderton is found to be guilty of a future murder, he goes on the run to prove his innocence and stop himself from committing the killing that Precrime says is already a certainty.
How to watch: “Minority Report” is streaming on Netflix.
Newton native B.J. Novak (“The Office”) pulls double duty as both the director and star of “Vengeance,” playing a smug, entitled millennial stereotype named Ben, a Brooklyn writer. When a girl he hooked up with a few times but barely remembers turns up dead, and he is inexplicably (in Ben’s eyes, anyway) invited to the funeral, he travels to West Texas in the hopes of turning the saga into a podcast. Once he’s made it to her small Texas hometown in his rented Prius, Ben realizes there’s more to the story and to the people he had pre-judged.
How to watch: “Vengeance” is streaming on Prime Video.
“The Last of Us”
Hollywood has been notoriously bad at adapting video games into movies. Before 2019’s “Detective Pikachu,” 26 years’ worth of films adapted from video games had never earned a “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s too early to say definitively that “The Last of Us” will break the video game adaptation curse, but all signs point to Craig Mazin (“Chernobyl”) successfully breaking the mold with “The Last of Us,” a new HBO series based on the 2013 game of the same name. Set 20 years after a pandemic in which a toxic fungus has turned humans into rage-filled zombies, “The Last of Us” finds Joel (Pedro Pascal, “The Mandalorian”) living in the quarantine zone of Boston, eking out a living under a totalitarian regime. Looking to sneak out of the quarantine zone in search of his brother Tommy (Gabriel Luna, “Bernie”), Joel is tasked with providing safe passage across the U.S. for teenager Ellie (Bella Ramsey, “Game of Thrones”). Even if you know nothing about the PlayStation game, you’ll be hooked by the eerie introduction, which lays out the terrifying pseudoscience behind the outbreak’s origins.
How to watch: “The Last of Us” is streaming on HBO Max, with new episodes airing Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.
“That ’90s Show”
Back when it aired from 1998-06, “That ’70s Show” was an amusing, albeit hardly groundbreaking, sitcom that coasted on the strength of its central cast and the tug of ’70s nostalgia. Now, 25 years after the original’s debut, “That ’90s Show” is entertaining for exactly the same reasons. The Netflix revival is centered around Leia, the teenage daughter of Eric (Topher Grace) and Donna (Laura Prepon), who have decided to send her to spend a summer with Eric’s parents (Kurtwood Smith and Boxford native Debra Jo Rupp). The first few episodes sideline the newer, younger cast members a bit as Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher get their jokes in, but eventually everyone is given a chance to gel. Plus, all the 1995 jokes are extremely on-point.
How to watch: “That ’90s Show” is streaming on Netflix.
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