Do you feel like you’re drowning … but you haven’t even left your couch? Welcome to the Great Content Overload Era. To help you navigate the choppy digital waves, here are The Globe’s best bets for weekend streaming.
I Like Movies (on-demand, including digital TIFF Lightbox)
The breakout Canadian hit of last year’s Toronto International Film Festival is now available to watch at home – surely to the delight of its central antihero Lawrence, a narcissistic teenage video clerk (Isaiah Lehtinen) in 2002-era Burlington, Ont., who dreams of making it big in New York. The feature debut of Chandler Levack, a contributor to The Globe’s arts pages, I Like Movies is hilarious, heartbreaking, genuine. With star-making performances from Lehtinen, Romina D’ugo (as Lawrence’s jaded boss) and Krista Bridges (as Lawrence’s exhausted single mother). Made on a microbudget, Levack’s film is one of the funniest, sharpest and most perfectly cast films that I saw last year. Read review.
Creed III (Prime Video)
After being available on-demand for a few weeks, Michael B. Jordan’s knock-’em-sock-’em pseudo-Rocky sequel is now available to stream to your heart’s content. After becoming the heavyweight champion of the world, Adonis (Jordan) is living the high, semi-retired, eight-pack-abs life. But then a long-forgotten figure from his past, one-time boxing prodigy Damian (Jonathan Majors), reappears in Adonis’s life, fresh from serving 18 years in jail and eager for a shot on the world stage. There is nothing deceptively simple about this plot – it is just simply simple. Adonis has to once again face his traumatic upbringing by getting into the ring, his family once again has to balance their love for him with their fear for his health, and an ostensible villain once again gets to be both despicable and sympathetic. And, naturally, everything is backgrounded by an intense desire from first-time director Jordan to deliver at least one, if not two or three, stand-up-and-cheer moments. Read review
Knock at the Cabin (Prime Video)
There are two talents hard at work in the new apocalyptic thriller Knock at the Cabin: one incorrigible, the other irrepressible, and both feeding off the other’s energy to create something irresistible. The first, more inveterate of the pair is filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan, clearly delighted to continue restocking and then rummaging through his big old bag of nasty tricks. But Shyamalan’s sensibilities are given a boost, in all the right ways, by his decision to join forces here with Dave Bautista. Whether in Knock at the Cabin, the films of Canadian BFF Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049, Dune) or his Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, Bautista is the hulk who can hurt your heart as much as your head. He can be the menace that you need, and the one that you deserve. Read review
After reading the excellent new novel Heat 2, Michael Mann and Meg Gardiner’s sequel to Mann’s 1995 heist epic, I naturally was put in the mood to revisit the source material. And guess what? It still rocks, hard. Confident and brutal, slick and sharp, Mann’s thriller is so much more than an excuse to finally put Al Pacino and Robert De Niro together in the same scene, as they do for the film’s instantaneously classic diner meet-up. Crackling and nerve-rattling, Mann’s movie following a crew of thieves (led by De Niro) and the cops (led by Pacino) on their trail is one of the most effective, immeasurably watchable crime epics ever made.
Carol (Hollywood Suite)
There are plenty of ways to mark Pride Month, but if you’re in the mood to be both thoughtful and incredibly depressed at the same time, may I suggest Todd Haynes’s excellent 2015 film Carol? I won’t await your answer, and will just encourage anyone who has yet to see the Cate Blanchett-Rooney Mara drama to hold their breath and dig deep into their soul for this stirring exploration of life, lies and love. And if you’re in the mood for more, Hollywood Suite – an oft-overlooked Canadian streamer that has deep reservoirs of programming, both fresh and classic – has an entire block of films highlighting queer stories. Read review.