What to watch: our recommendations for this week

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ant to hunker down in front of a screen but stuck for something to watch?

Here are the films, TV shows and special streaming events on our cultural radar right now, plus some of our favourites from recent weeks that you can catch up on…

We may earn commission from some of the links in this article, but we never allow this to influence our content.

November 25, 2022

Bones & All

“Sickeningly brilliant” is how our critic described Luca Guadagnino’s cannibal romance, which stars Timothée Chalamet as an anthropophagite with attitude. Co-star Taylor Russell is magnetic as his flesh-eating love interest. In cinemas now.

Wednesday

The Addams family’s now teen daughter is the star of the show in this wonderfully wacky Netflix series. In it, Wednesday (Jenna Ortega, below) gets sent to a Hogwarts for creepy kids and must investigate a murder spree while also — horror — fitting in.

Strange World

The ever-versatile Jake Gyllenhaal heads up this Disney animated film as the voice of Searcher Clade, the head of a legendary family of explorers. They head to an uncharted new land but have to contend with a mischievous blob, a three-legged dog and some rather hungry monsters. In cinemas.

Matilda

The feel-good film of the year is finally in cinemas. Newcomer Alisha Weir shines as Matilda in the movie adaption of the West End musical – the end result is so good you’ll wonder why it took so long to commit it to screen. Also, Emma Thompson chews the scenery as Miss Trunchbull: yes, please.

Upright

Before Milly Alcock broke through as Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon, she was in Upright alongside Tim Minchin. In the first series their characters (Lucky and Meg) set off on a wacky road trip across the Australian outback; in the second series, now airing on Sky, they’re back for more.

November 18, 2022

In Her Hands

Get ready to be inspired by the story of Zarifa Ghafari. At 26, she became one of Afghanistan’s first-ever female mayors, as well as the youngest-ever mayor to hold the title. But of course, it’s not plain sailing, and the film documents Ghafari’s fight for survival as the outside world closes in.

The Menu

This class war black comedy stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult as a rich young couple who visit an exclusive restaurant hidden on a remote island. However the chef (Ralph Fiennes, excellent as ever) has other ideas and the whole thing soon descends into mayhem and bloodshed.

Armageddon Time

Boasting an all-star cast (including Anthony Hopkins, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain), Armageddon Time is director James Gray’s autobiographical coming-of-age tale. In it, Paul is growing up in 1980s Queens, New York when he makes a new friend and begins to question everything he knows.

Disenchanted

15 years after the original, Amy Adams is back for another bite at the (poisoned) apple as Giselle, the fairy-tale princess stuck in the real world. This time around, she’s still married to lawyer Robert (Patrick Dempsey), but when she wishes to improve her family’s life it all goes dramatically wrong.

November 11, 2022

The Crown, season five

It’s back and bigger than ever. Jump into the latest season of Netflix’s flagship show to discover the royal family at breaking point: Charles and Diana’s marriage is on the rocks, the royals are rapidly becoming obsolete and Windsor Castle is about to go up in flames … It’s still gripping stuff, even if it plays a bit fast and loose with the truth at times.

Retrograde

The latest documentary from the National Geographic (in cinemas today) is a fascinating look at the past nine months of America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan. Oscar-nominated filmmaker Matthew Heineman follows a US Special Forces Unit, a young Afghan general and the civilians who are caught in the crossfire of the Taliban takeover. It’s really harrowing stuff.

A Bunch of Amateurs

When anything is described as a portrait of “shared artistic folly” you know it must be good — this documentary takes us into the oldest British working-class amateur filmmaking club in Britain, Bradford Movie Makers. Come for the gorgeous Yorkshire accents and stay for the gentle British humour; appropriately, it’s in cinemas.

The Swimmers

Alternately shocking and heart-warming, The Swimmers is the true story of sisters Yusra and Sara Mardini, who escaped Syria as refugees, helped save their floundering lifeboat in the waters off Greece, and one (Yusra) ended up making it to the Olympics. It deserves to be seen on a big screen and is in cinemas for a limited time.

November 4, 2022

Enola Holmes 2

Sherlock Holmes’ precocious little sister is back for second helpings in this fun, bouncy Netflix sequel. In it, Enola seeks to solve the mystery of a missing matchstick girl – but of course, there’s more to the case than meets the eye and she’s soon in over her head.

Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me

This heartbreaking documentary is out now on AppleTV+ and seeks to tell the behind-the-scenes story of Selena Gomez’s adult stardom. Through backstage footage and interviews with friends, an image emerges of a fragile woman for whom fame is less of a goal and more of a trial.

Lyra

Directed by BAFTA-award winning Alison Millar, Lyra follows the life and death of Northern Irish investigative journalist Lyra Mckee. Based in Lyra’s hometown of Belfast, the film celebrates her journalistic career and struggle for justice – and mourns her untimely murder on the eve of Good Friday.

Return To Dust

Could this be the most controversial film of 2022? Pulled from Chinese movie theatres, it has nevertheless earned rave reviews for its tale of evolving love between two outcasts: the story of middle-aged farmer Ma, and the unmarried and disabled Guiying. Written and directed by Chinese writer Li Riujun, it’s out in cinemas from today.

October 28, 2022

The Devil’s Hour

Peter Capaldi does his best to menace the audience in this crime thriller from Amazon Prime. In it he is Gideon, a criminal with mysterious ties to social worker Lucy Chambers (Jessica Raine). Lucy keeps waking at 3.33am each morning — the Devil’s hour — and when she is linked to a series of brutal crimes in the area, only Gideon can help explain why.

The White Lotus S2

Jennifer Coolidge continues her career renaissance in the new season of The White Lotus at the helm of an A-list cast. This time a new batch of overprivileged guests are staying in a Sicilian hotel. When a body washes up, what results is a razor-sharp examination of privilege, sexual politics and vice. Sit back and enjoy.

Medieval

Touted as the most expensive Czech film ever made, Medieval tells the story of notorious 15th-century warlord Jan Žižka, who managed to defeat the biggest armies in Europe with his band of troops. With spectacular battle scenes, this is a film worth seeing on as big a screen as possible — just as well that it’s out in cinemas from today.

SAS Rogue Heroes

In a Libyan desert during the Second World War, three men strike up a plan to attack the Germans from the air. Steven Knight (of Peaky Blinders fame) is the scriptwriter for this rollicking series, which tells the story of the founding of the SAS. It’s stylish, it’s foul-mouthed and, most importantly, it’s fun.

October 21, 2022

Decision to Leave

South Korean director Park Chan-wook is back with this intriguing romantic mystery film, as detective Hae-jun (Park Hae-il) falls for widow Seo Rae (Tang Wei, left) who happens to be the prime suspect in his murder case. It’s been lauded as a sensual masterpiece — not a surprise, considering Park is best known for his 2016 film The Handmaiden.

All Quiet on the Western Front

Based on the 1929 novel by Erich Maria Remarque, Netflix’s remake of the First World War tale explores the realities of trench warfare from the German perspective, lamenting the waste of young lives and the follies of the men who sent them into battle. Daniel Brühl stars.

The Good Nurse

Netflix’s film, based on real events tells the story of Amy Loughren (Jessica Chastain), who befriends a new nurse on her ward, Charlie Cullen (Eddie Redmayne). But when patients start dying unexpectedly, suspicions fall on Charlie — and Amy is faced with a horrible truth.

Doctor Who: The Power of the Doctor

It’s time! After five years, Jodie Whittaker is hanging up her sonic screwdriver and making way for the new Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa. This is her last adventure, so come along to BBC One on Sunday night and watch her fight Daleks, Cybermen and also the Master, played by returning star Sacha Dhawan.

My Policeman

In cinemas for just a week before it lands on Prime Video, this film adaptation of Bethan Roberts’s novel stars Harry Styles as a closeted copper who becomes one third of a sad love triangle with his lover Patrick (David Dawson) and wife Marion (Emma Corrin).

October 14, 2022

Candy

Another day, another true-crime drama. But this Disney+ one, starring Jessica Biel, is actually quite good. Biel is Candy Montgomery, a housewife who killed neighbour Betty Gore with an axe. As it turned out, Betty was married to Montgomery’s lover Allan Gore… and Montgomery ended up walking free. Get ready for an in-depth exploration of female rage.

Shantaram

The TV adaption of the bestselling book is finally here. Sons of Anarchy’s Charlie Hunnam stars as Lin, an Australian convict who is running from his past. He winds up in 1980s Bombay, and rapidly gets involved withKarla, a mysterious woman with her own shadowy agenda. Naturally, trouble ensues.

Somewhere Boy

Channel 4

Channel 4’s latest drama is both darkly funny and heart-breaking. When Danny (Lewis Gribben) was a baby, his mother died in a car crash. To cope, his grieving dad locked him away from the world and brought him up in isolation. But when Danny turns eighteen, he suddenly finds himself in a world he doesn’t recognise at all – and sets out to find his mother’s killer.

Sue Perkins: Perfectly Legal

You’ve seen her on Bake Off, now get ready to watch Sue Perkins tackle the wilds of Latin America in what looks like a mild mid-life crisis sponsored by Netflix. Top of the agenda: do dangerous things you couldn’t get away with in the UK, which include taking a hammer to a car and a lot of fireworks.

October 7, 2022

A Friend of the Family

This mind-boggling true-crime drama from Peacock has to be seen to be believed. Set in 1970s Idaho, it stars Anna Paquin as housewife Mary Ann Broberg, whose Mormon family is gradually inveigled by Robert Berchtold – with devastating consequences for the Brobergs’ daughter Jan.

The Midnight Club

This creepy Netflix horror drops just in time for Hallowe’en. Based on the hit novel by Christopher Pike, it tells the story of a group of teen cancer patients who make a ghoulish pact: the first one to die will contact the other members of the Midnight Club from beyond the grave.

Let the Right One In

It’s been remade, and remade. Now, thanks to Paramount+, the beloved Scandi vampire tale is getting another bite (pardon the pun) at the apple. The series’ focus is Eleanor, who was turned into a vampire at age 12, and her father Mark, who does his best to provide her with the blood she needs.

Wreck

What Agatha Christie did with the Orient Express, BBC Three’s Wreck attempts to do with cruise ships. In this slasher horror, teens working on board are being stalked and killed by a mysterious figure dressed as a duck mascot. Yes, you read that right.

September 30, 2022

The Old Man

It’s Jeff Bridges as you’ve never seen him before: old, decrepit, and struggling to put his socks on by himself. Yes, this is a Netflix action film with a difference. Our ageing hero is on the run from the CIA: watch him outfox his enemies with a microwave, old guns and a lot of statins.

This England

Two years may be too soon to relive the Covid-19 pandemic. Not so for Michael Winterbottom, whose latest Sky show is a damning expose of what went on in Downing Street in the weeks before lockdown. If that’s not enough, it features Kenneth Branagh in heavy prosthetics are Boris. Tune in and weep.

The Walk-In

It’s all about the politics this week. The Walk-In, which airs Monday on ITV, stars Stephen Graham as Matthew Collins: an anti-far-right campaigner who manages to foil a plot to murder an MP thanks to an informant. The most jaw-dropping part? It’s all true.

Jungle

Prime Video’s latest offering has intriguingly been labelled TV’s first “rap musical”. Tune in for a story about two young men trying to better themselves in South London – it also features a whole host of the country’s best rap and grime artists. A must-watch if you’re a fan.

September 23, 2022

Karen Pirie

ITV’s latest offering stars Lauren Lyle as the titular Pirie, a female detective fighting for recognition in a male-dominated world. The show, which was adapted from a Val McDermid book by Emer Kenny (who also stars), follows Pirie as she seeks to solve a cold case in St Andrews.

A Jazzman’s Blues

This sweet and sad Netflix film is both a love story and a murder mystery. Set in the Deep South and spanning 40 years, it tells the story of an aspiring jazz musician who sets out to make a name for himself. Needless to say, things don’t quite go to plan.

Catherine Called Birdy

Lena Dunham brings her particular brand of feminist chaos to this joyful medieval romp. In it, Game of Thrones alumna Bella Ramsey plays Catherine, a 14-year-old girl determined to never get married — regardless of what her wastrel father Lord Rollo might think.

The Strictly Come Dancing launch show

The contestants for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing (Ray Burmiston/PA)

/ PA Media

Grab your scorecards and get ready to shout “Se-ven!” at the television screen, because Strictly is back. This year, the first live show kicks off tomorrow and features guests including Paralympian Ellie Simmonds and Kaye Adams.

September 16, 2022

In from the Side

Get ready to have your heartstrings stamped on. This debut film from Matt Carter tells the story of an affair between Mark and Warren, two members of a (fictional) south London gay rugby club — and the spiralling impact their relationship has on their lives, team-mates and partners.

Bloody Oranges

If you like satire, look no further. This film from French director Jean-Christophe Meurisse has been described as a hybrid of Armando Iannucci and Julia Ducournau, and is a vicious look at contemporary life in modern-day France. Get ready to be shocked.

Crossfire

If armed gunmen attacked your hotel, what would you do? Keeley Hawes takes the helm in this nail-biting BBC series as ex-police officer Jo, who must use her training to help prevent further tragedies and save her family’s lives. If your stress levels can handle it, it’s binge-worthy.

Do Revenge

Teens these days. If they’re not hooking up, they’re finding ways to make each other’s lives miserable. Or at least, that’s the premise of this wickedly charming Netflix film. In it, Maya Hawke and Camila Mendes star as two high schoolers who agree to go after each other’s bullies.

September 9, 2022

Mike

Airing on Disney+ Day (September 8, for the uninitiated), this limited-edition series about Mike Tyson is a deep dive into the life of one of the most legendary boxers ever to grace the ring. In addition to charting the ups and downs of his career, it’s an examination of class, race and the media.

Gutsy

Hillary and Chelsea Clinton star in this AppleTV+ docuseries about the power of gutsy women. Though the premise is perhaps a bit hackneyed, the sheer star power on screen – everybody from Megan Thee Stallion to Gloria Steinem make guest appearances – makes it worth a watch.

Munich Games

This fast-paced series from Sky is unlike anything else you’ll see this autumn. Describing itself as a “high-stakes political thriller”, it tells the story of an Israeli and German secret agent who have to work together to stop a terrorist attack, fifty years after the Munich Massacre. Prepare to bite your nails (a lot).

American Gigolo

Anything starring Jon Bernthal is a must-watch, and that goes doubly for this remake of American Gigolo. Airing on Paramount+, the show is a modern-day reimagining of the 1980s classic, in which Bernthal plays the titular Julian Kaye, a male escort to LA’s rich and famous who is framed for a crime he didn’t commit.

September 2, 2022

Blackbird

Welcome to the Michael Flatley passion project. Blackbird, billed as a spy thriller and romance, was written, directed by and stars the Lord of the Dance himself as troubled secret agent Blackbird.. So far the critics haven’t been kind, but as an unintentional hoot this already has the makings of a kitsch classic.

In cinemas

I Came By

Get ready to see Hugh Bonneville as you’ve never seen him before: nasty. In this Netflixfilm, he plays Hector Blake, a posh feller whose house is broken into by poor graffiti artist Toby (George MacKay). Unfortunately, Blake’s basement hides a secret and when Toby discovers it, the film tips sideways into an edge-of-your-seat thriller as things get very dark, very quickly.

On Netflix

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

A day may come when we’re tired of Lord of the Rings adaptions, but it is not this day! Prime Video has pumped millions of pounds into its lavish new show, which tells the story of a Middle-earth that’s thousands of years younger than the version we see in the films. Bad news: no Aragorn. Good news: eye-popping set design, and a kick-ass Galadriel.

On Prime Video

Being Jackie Wilson

This BBC Radio 4 documentary, which airs on Monday, pays tribute to iconic musician Jackie Wilson in a unique way: through the eyes of the man who became his tribute artist. He sets out to discover more about his idol, but gets more than he bargained for in a mindboggling plot twist we won’t spoil here — but trust us, it’s a doozy.

On BBC Radio 4

August 26, 2022

Official Competition

Penélope Cruz lights up the scene (and devours the scenery) in this savage satire on the film industry. In it, she stars opposite Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martínez as Lola Cuevas, an eccentric film director who hires two pretentious actors to adapt a prestigious novel for the big screen. Expect wigs to fly, egos to be punctured and no jab left untaken.

In cinemas

Welcome to Wrexham

Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney made headlines when they bought Wrexham Football Club back in early 2021 with the aim of promoting it out of the 5th tier. In this glitzy Disney show, they explain how they did it – and we’re invited into a world of showbiz stardust, plain-talking locals and a down-on-it’s-luck club that has suddenly found itself in the international spotlight.

Streaming on Disney+

The Suspect

ITV

Premiering on Monday night, this twisty ITV drama stars Poldark hero Aidan Turner as psychologist Joe O’Loughlin who ends up a national hero after saving a patient from a suicide attempt. However all is not as it seems (when is it ever?) and Joe’s world starts to unravel after a body is discovered and he gets a little too involved in the murder case.

Streaming on ITV on Monday

The Capture Season 2

In case you weren’t worried enough about current affairs, BBC’s The Capture is here to serve up a healthy dose of technophobia. Holliday Grainger is back as DCI Rachel Carey, who joined the notorious video-doctoring secret service Correction at the end of season one – and finds herself battling a plan to include Chinese face-recognition technology at the UK’s borders in season two.

Streaming on BBC One on Sunday

August 19, 2022

Free Chol Soo Lee

In 1970s San Francisco, Korean immigrant Chol Soo Lee was wrongly convicted of a Chinatown gang murder and sentenced to jail. That is, until Korean-American investigative journalist KW Lee took an interest in his case. This documentary takes a look at his imprisonment, the struggle to free him, and what becoming a symbol for racial justice did to Chol Soo Lee as a result.

On Mubi and in selected cinemas

Bad Sisters

What would you do if your beloved sister was married to an abuser? Would you encourage her to leave him? Or would you just kill him? When Grace’s husband winds up dead at the start of Bad Sisters, it sets the stage for a dark and witty whodunnit. Written by and starring Sharon Horgan.

Out on Apple TV+

Kleo

It’s Bourne as you’ve never seen him before: German, female and out for revenge. In this excellent show, Jella Haase (below) stars as Kleo, an East German assassin who sets out after the fall of the Berlin Wall (and after a stint in prison) to find out who betrayed her. Channelling strong Villanelle vibes, the series looks to be a hoot — especially as the chase to capture Kleo heats up…

Out on Netflix

The Disappearance of Gabby Petito

Octavio Jones/Getty Images

In August 2021, YouTuber Gabby Petito went missing, sparking a nationwide hunt to find her and fiancé Brian Laundrie, who was travelling with her on a road trip. For a while, she was the most famous face inthe US and this documentary looks at the case from her family’s perspective — and of the net sleuths who helped solve it.

Out on Paramount+ via Sky

August 12, 2022

Blind Ambition

Join four Zimbabwean refugees in this jaw-dropping tale of how they made it to France’s World Blind Wine Tasting Championships (referred to in the trailer as the Olympics of wine tasting). The catch? Until recently, none of them had so much as tasted wine. As one wine expert puts it: “It’s probably like Egypt putting together a team of skiers to go and compete in the Winter Olympics.” Heartwarming and – when they discuss their homeland and families – heartbreaking.

In cinemas

Where is Anne Frank

Get ready to sob into your hanky in this wonderfully-realised animated film. Originally released in 2021, it’s finally hitting UK cinemas today with a new take on the story of Anne Frank. In this instance, Anne’s imaginary friend Kitty comes to live years after the end of the Second World War and embarks on a quest to find her. Along the way, she comes into contact with several undocumented immigrants, raising disturbing parallels between Anne’s time and now.

In cinemas

Never Have I Ever Season 3

Mindy Kaling’s rom-com series is back for more, and this time our heroine Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) is starting the season in the position of her dreams: dating long-time crush Paxton Hall-Yoshida. Where previous seasons focussed on Devi processing her father’s death, this season leans heavily in the romance and explores the cultural nuances of being an Indian-American. As Devi yells in the school hallway: “I’m happy, healthy and Hindu!”

Out on Netflix

Five Days at Memorial

Turning the dial back down, AppleTV+’s newest season drops today and with a title like that, the subject matter is suitably grim. In this docudrama, we join the staff of the intensive care unit New Orleans’ Memorial Hospital during Hurricane Katrina – where the storm has brought down power to the facility for five days. Based on the bestselling book, this is a watch for people who like their Grey’s Anatomy served with an extra side of stress.

Out on AppleTV+

August 4, 2022

Maisie

Canadian dad builds ‘flame thrower’ toy for kids out of leaf blower and coloured fabric

David Raven, who turns 89 this month, is the UK’s oldest performing drag artist, shaking his sequins as Maisie Trollette. This heartfelt doc comes to BFI Player this week and is a funny, affectionate and affecting look at a truly colourful character who has spent 50 years in the business. It includes appearances from drag stars including Paul O’Grady, Miss Jason and Dave Lyn.

The Sandman

Fans, rejoice: Neil Gaiman’s iconic comic book is finally out on Netflix, and it looks sumptuous. Tom Kerridge plays the titular Sandman, the Lord of Dreams, as he escapes from a decades-long captivity and sets about trying to rebuild his shattered realm. It’s also packed to the hilt with acting talent – as if you needed any more excuses to watch.

Netflix

Irma Vep

HBO’s new show seeks to answer the question: just how meta can a TV show get? Irma Vep is a show about the remake of a (real) 1996 film of the same name, which is in itself based on a silent film of the 90s. Alicia Vikander stars as Mira Harberg, who is cast as the show’s protagonist, Irma, and gets to slink around Paris in a rather daring all-velvet black catsuit.

Sky/NOW

Code 404

The third series of this wacky buddy-cop drama has just launched on Sky Comedy and sees Stephen Graham playing the straight copper to Daniel Mays’ AI-human hybrid, DI John Major. Come for the slapstick humour, stay to watch them trying to catch a serial killer with a knack for staying one step ahead of the police.

Sky Comedy/NOW

July 29, 2022

Thirteen Lives

Vince Valitutti / Metro Goldwyn

Veteran director Ron Howard takes a shot at dramatising the admittedly Hollywood-worthy story of the Thailand cave rescue, in cinemas for a week before hitting Prime Video. Colin Farrell and Viggo Mortensen star; Elon Musk doesn’t get a mention, thank goodness.

In cinemas; Prime Video from August 5

Paper Girls

Anjali Pinto/Prime Video

This new series based on the popular comic book takes the idea of time travel and turns it into a story about female empowerment. Four newspaper delivery girls are transported from the Eighties to 2019, and must find their way back — with some help from their adult selves.

Prime Video

Surface

Apple TV+

This fast-paced thriller stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Sophie, a woman who loses her memory after a brain accident then slowly discovers that her life is not as it seems. There’s a lot of angst — and a very complicated love triangle.

Apple TV+

Uncoupled

Sarah Shatz/Netflix

Neil Patrick Harris stars as a fortysomething New York City real-estate broker who is floored when his long-term boyfriend ups and leaves in this new series. Anyone faced with the prospect of dating again after a long marriage will sympathise.

Netflix

The Resort

Peacock

Therapy is so last year: in The Resort, couple Emma and Noah (Cristin Milioti and William Jackson Harper, left) revitalise their ailing marriage by solving a murder together. It’s funny, fast-paced and set in Mexico: in short, the perfect summer viewing.

Peacock/Sky

July 22, 2022

Prima Facie Live

If you didn’t get tickets for this blistering, brutal, brilliant play in the West End, here’s your chance (take it, seriously). Jodie Comer plays a cocky, charismatic barrister whose faith in the legal system is horribly shaken when she becomes the victim of the kind of assault whose perpetrators she’s defended in court. Enraging and galvanising, and a stunning performance.

Who Stole Tamara Ecclestone’s Diamonds?

It’s the question on everyone’s lips, surely and this brilliant documentary looks into the heist that filched £26m worth of jewellery and cash from the heiress’s home, how it was solved, and how the culture of aspiration Ecclestone promotes made it possible in the first place. She doesn’t come out of it looking especially sympathetic, truth be told.

The Great

Tony McNamara’s only very slightly true comedy drama following the fortunes of Catherine the Great (Elle Fanning) as she attempts to rescue Russia from the grips of her idiot husband, the Tsar (Nicholas Hoult) returns this week, with the welcome addition of Gillian Anderson as Catherine’s mother. A sumptuous, silly joy that starts on Channel 4 on July 27.

Maryland

Lucy Kirkwood’s ‘howl’ of protest, written for the stage in response to the murder of Sabina Nessa in 2021, has been adapted into this grimly necessary 30 minute BBC drama, now on iPlayer. Zawe Ashton and Hayley Squires are two assault victims trying to report their experiences to wholly inadequate police. A painful but truly excellent watch.

July 15, 2022

The Good Boss

Javier Bardem is superb in this slightly silly satirical comedy, in which patriarchal factory boss Blanco’ life unravels as his casual sexism, racism and smug complacency begin to shift the scales (which is, inevitably, what his factory produces).

In cinemas, on Curzon Home Cinema

A Chiara

The third in Jonas Carpignano’s continues his ’Ndrangheta mafia series with this drama. Swamy Rotolo returns (after A Ciambra) as teenager Chiara Guerrasio as she realises that her father is in the mob and everything she thought she knew about her family was a lie. Utterly gripping.

In cinemas now, on Mubi on August 26

McEnroe

From his on-court rants to his use of “performance-detracting drugs” John McEnroe was the bad boy of tennis – in this uncritical but clear-eyed and engaging documentary he looks back over his youthful career with cheer and occasional ruefulness to entertaining effect.

In cinemas

Better Call Saul

After a hiatus (an irritating new trend from Netflix), the second half of season six started this week with a bang, with Saul and Kim hostages in their own house to Lalo Salamanca. Yikes. The first episode ties up so many loose ends it feels more like a finale than an opener, but it’s one hell of a ballsy start.

Streaming now

July 8, 2022

Black Bird

Taron Egerton stars alongside the late, great Ray Liotta in this prison thriller. In it, Egerton is Jimmy Keene, a convict who strikes a plea deal with authorities to reduce his sentence. In return, he must befriend suspected serial killer Larry Hall to extract a confession before Hall’s appeal is filed.

Apple TV+, July 7

The Baby

One for the millennials. Newcomer Michelle de Swarte plays Natasha, a 38-year-old woman who is happily single and unattached, thank you very much. Unfortunately, she suddenly, mysteriously finds herself saddled with a baby – who has a habit of leaving bodies in its wake…

Sky Atlantic, July 7

The Sea Beast

Netflix’s cutest new animated film follows a young monster hunter enthusiast who stows away on the ship of legendary pirate captain Jacob Holland (Karl Urban). Together, they will embark on an epic journey into uncharted waters.

Streaming globally on Netflix from July 8

Boo, Bitch

If Booksmart had a baby with The Sixth Sense, you’d get something roughly like Boo, Bitch. In it, two high school seniors strike a pact to make their last year unforgettable – until one of them (Lana Condor) gets hit by a lorry and resurrects as a ghost.

Netflix, July 8

July 1, 2022

Stranger Things Season 4, Vol 2

The final installation of the much-hyped fourth series sees Eleven fighting to regain control of her powers as the villainous Vecna bears down on the town of Hawkins, Indiana. Expect tears, explosions and guitar solos as the gang prepare to fight him off.

Netflix, July 1

The Undeclared War

Simon Pegg stars in this thriller about a group of GCHQ boffins who are working to block cyber-attacks in a disturbingly realistic version of 2024. But when an intern is the only person to spot an imminent threat, alarm bells begin to ring…

Streaming on All4

Only Murders in the Building

This wacky, light-hearted sitcom features Selena Gomez, Steve Martin and Martin Short as oddball amateur detectives who have to solve murders happening in their own apartment block. Though season one ended on a high with a hit true-crime podcast, expect more whodunnits in season two.

Streaming on Disney+

Atlanta Series 3

Donald Glover’s visionary comedy-slash-horror is back and finally available to stream in the UK. Follow the ever-grifting rappers Earn and Paper Boi as they embark on a tour of Europe, in a radical series that is already being hailed as a masterpiece.

Streaming on Disney+

Suspect

Niamh Algar in Suspect

/ Channel 4

James Nesbitt stars as a veteran cop attempting to piece together the circumstances surrounding his daughter’s death (spoiler alert: he’s breaking a lot of professional ethics) in this adaptation of a Scandi thriller. Each episode features a brilliant guest star, with the line-up including Richard E. Grant. Anne-Marie Duff and Niamh Algar.

Channel 4 and All4, Sunday at 9pm

The Lazarus Project

The Lazarus Project trailer

Written by Giri/Haji’s Joe Barton, this high-concept time-travelling thriller stars Paapa Essiedu as George, a man who wakes up to discover he’s reliving a day that happened months before. Soon he’s recruited as part of a secret group that turns back time every time the world is faced with an extinction event. Anjli Mohindra, Tom Burke and Caroline Quentin also star.

Sky Max and Now

Halftime

This film follows Jennifer Lopez as she turns 50 and prepares for her headline Super Bowl performance with Shakira. As with the majority of docs about musicians, it’s very much J. Lo’s version of J. Lo that we’re getting here, but there are some vulnerable moments too, not least when she gets snubbed for an Oscar for her staggering performance in Hustlers.

Netflix

Glastonbury: 50 Years and Counting

BBC

This film tells the story of the iconic festival, now celebrating its half century, through interviews with founder Michael Eavis and his daughter Emily, as well as chats with some of the big names who have performed over the years. Director Francis Whately intersperses political history with music trends in clever ways to illuminate Glasto’s history.

BBC Two, Sunday at 9pm

Everything I Know About Love

Everything I Know About Love, BBC One trailer

This adaptation of Dolly Alderton’s wildly successful memoir follows best pals Maggie (Emma Appleton) and Birdy (Bel Powley) as they navigate the chaos of their first London flatshare – and the inevitable strain that occurs when friendship is disrupted by an interloping boyfriend. It’s fizzy, funny and – thanks to the constant 2012 references – nostalgic.

BBC iPlayer, BBC Two on Tuesdays

Ms Marvel

Ms Marvel Official Trailer

Kamala Khan, aka Marvel’s first ever Muslim superhero Ms. Marvel, feels like a genuinely exciting addition to the comic book giant’s sprawling cinematic universe, if the engaging, inventive opening episode of this spin-off series is anything to go by. Kamala’s a comic book fan who develops powers of her own when she wears an ancient bangle passed down through her family.

Disney+

Sherwood

BBC/House Productions/Matt Squire

Tensions explode in a ‘Red wall’ Nottinghamshire community after a former miner (Alun Armstrong) is murdered in the latest from screenwriter and playwright James Graham, set in his hometown and partly inspired by real events. David Morrissey plays the local police chief, joined by Robert Glenister as a Met officer last in the area for the strikes in the Eighties.

BBC One, Mondays and Tuesdays

My Name Is Leon

My Name is Leon Trailer

Adapted from Kit de Waal’s moving novel and set against the backdrop of the Birmingham race riots in the Eighties, this 90-minute film hinges around a brilliant performance from newcomer Cole Martin. He plays Leon, a mixed-race 10-year-old boy whose life is turned upside down when he and his baby brother, who is white, are split up by the care system.

BBC Two, June 10 at 9pm

Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen

As part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the royal family have opened up their archives of family films to bring us this intriguing documentary. It will feature previously unseen footage of the Queen as a young girl, and will be narrated by the monarch herself, telling the story of her reign in her own words.

BBC iPlayer

Stranger Things

It’s time to head back to Hawkins, Indiana, with Eleven and the gang for one last time (sort of – this final season of Netflix’s sci-fi juggernaut has been divided up into two parts, the first of which comprises seven episodes and lands on the streamer today). The new eps are long (we’re talking almost feature length) and the formula hasn’t changed much, but they still make for addictive, nostalgic viewing.

Netflix

Pistol

Based on guitarist Steve Jones’ memoir, Danny Boyle’s take on the Sex Pistols’ tumultuous rise to fame and brief, chaotic stint in the spotlight fizzes with anarchic energy. The young ensemble cast is great across the board, with Sydney Chandler especially good as future Pretender Chrissie Hynde and Thomas Brodie-Sangster clearly having a great time as empresario Malcolm McLaren.

Disney+

Big Boys

This heart-warming comedy, based on Jack Rooke‘s stand-up shows, stars Derry Girls’ Dylan Llewellyn as a closeted teen coming to terms with the death of his dad. When he starts uni, he meets the laddy Danny (Jon Pointing) and an unlikely but lovely friendship develops.

All4

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Ewan McGregor’s turn as the famous Jedi was one of the best things about the much-maligned Star Wars prequels. Almost two decades later, he’s reprising the role in this mini-series – and Hayden Christensen is back as his former protegé Darth Vader, too. Plot details are scarce, naturally, but expect to see Obi-Wan in exile, dodging Sith forces and attempting to protect a pint-sized Luke Skywalker from afar.

Disney+

Jungle Cry

If you adore stories of unlikely sports teams clawing their way out of adversity to triumph, this film based on a true story, now available on Lionsgate Play, of a group of Indian orphans who were coached from nothing into a team that won the U14 rugby world cup will be for you, despite the fact that the players all look about 25. A minor quibble.

Lionsgate Play

The Time Traveller’s Wife

Yes, this adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s novel suffers from About Time Syndrome ie. the fact that there’s something inherently a bit dodgy about time travelling romances. But Sherlock screenwriter Steven Moffat and stars Rose Leslie and Theo James do their utmost to make this a glossily enjoyable watch.

Sky Atlantic and Now

Floodlights

This powerful, harrowing one-off drama is based on the story of Andy Woodward, the former professional footballer who bravely spoke out about the coach who sexually abused him and other players as teenagers. His testimony was instrumental in encouraging other victims to come forward.

BBC iPlayer

The Essex Serpent

Clio Barnard’s atmospheric AppleTV+ adaptation of Sarah Perry’s bestselling novel, which stars Claire Danes as young widow Cora, who comes to Essex to investigate rumours of a dangerous serpent that she believes may be a living example of an ancient creature. She finds more than she bargained for, not least sexy vicar Will Ransome (Tom Hiddleston).

Apple TV+

Conversations With Friends

Even if the translation from page to screen has somewhat diminished the spark of Sally Rooney’s writing, this adaptation of her debut novel about two young women entangled in a tricky relationship with an older couple is worth watching for Jemima Kirke as Melissa Conway alone. Joe Alwyn less so, sadly, stretching a bit too far along the spectrum of strong and silent.

BBC iPlayer

Mother Teresa: For the Love of God?

Great title, and a damning indictment of what appears to have amounted more or less to a cult that wasn’t backed up by sufficient practical assistance (and sometimes was actively dangerous), despite all the trumpeting of ‘helping the needy’. A salutary lesson in the danger of idolising humans.

Sky Documentaries and Now

Here We Go

This sitcom from Tom Basden (who also stars as vaping, Jamiroquai-loving uncle Robin) is a delight, charting family life with the Jessops (Katherine Parkinson’s over-it mum Rachel, Jim Howick’s former Olympic archer dad Paul and Alison Steadman on top form as grandma Sue) through the lens of their teenage son’s handheld camera. It’s a familiar set-up, but the jokes are relentlessly sharp and the characters never feel like clichés.

BBC iPlayer

The Dry

This comedy-drama from the producers of Normal People, streaming on Britbox, has shades of Fleabag and This Way Up. Thirty-something Shiv (Roisin Gallagher) returns home to Dublin after years of trying to make it as an artist (and partying hard) in London. Now she’s sober – but being back in the family fold will stretch her good intentions to the limit.

Britbox

Heartstopper

Everyone’s talking about this heartwarming Netflix adaptation of Alice Oseman’s graphic novel series – and it’s notched up a rare 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a sweet coming-of-age romance (more Grange Hill than Euphoria in tone) about teenager Charlie (Joe Locke) falling for Nick, the star of the school’s rugby team. Plus there’s an Olivia Colman cameo.

Netflix

DI Ray

Parminder Nagra leads this four-part police thriller written by Maya Sondhi and exec produced by Jed ‘Line of Duty’ Mercurio (LoD fans will remember Sondhi as an AC-12 ally in earlier seasons). DI Rachita Ray’s colleagues are convinced that a murder case is a ‘culturally specific homicide’ – but she thinks they are jumping to conclusions, and the truth is more complicated.

ITV Hub

Shining Girls

The Handmaid’s Tale’s Elisabeth Moss gets her teeth into yet another gritty role in this genre-bending, time-twisting mystery, streaming on Apple TV+ from today. She plays a former journalist who is trying to piece her life back together after experiencing a horrific assault. When reports emerge of a murder case that might be linked to her attacker, she is determined to discover the truth.

Apple TV+

Ten Percent

The British version of Call My Agent!, the chic hit French comedy about a Parisian talent agency, has been one of the most eagerly anticipated shows of the year. It finally arrives on Prime Video this week, with Jack Davenport, Lydia Leonard and Prasanna Puwanarajah among the cast, and a whole host of celeb cameos. Perfect gentle viewing for the three day weekend.

Prime Video

Chivalry

A comedy about #MeToo? Noooo, I hear you cry. Fortunately, however, this is a smart, subtle show on Channel 4 from Steve Coogan and Sarah Solemani, which makes hypocrisy the butt of the joke. Terrified of being cancelled, producer Cameron brings feminist filmmaker Bobby in to do reshoots of a movie that’s turned out a bit sexist. Sienna Miller and Lolly Adefope also star.

All4

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