As Netflix et al. add more content, it’s difficult to know what to look for amidst all of the newly added titles. So at the start of every month, I publish a list of particularly noteworthy and interesting movies and TV shows to add to your streaming queues.
If you’d like to receive my streaming recommendations even sooner, become an Opus subscriber today.
Good Night, and Good Luck (June 1)
Written and directed by George Clooney, this historical drama follows the conflict that arises in the world of TV journalism after Senator Joseph McCarthy begins his anti-communist witch hunts. Blessed with an all-star cast including Clooney, Jeff Daniels, Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Frank Langella, and David Strathairn as legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow, Good Night, and Good Luck was widely praised and received numerous Oscar nominations including best picture, director, and actor.
A Silent Voice (June 5)
Based on Yoshitoki Ōima’s manga, A Silent Voice is a heart-breaking and beautifully animated melodrama about bullying and redemption. When a young deaf girl named Shōko arrives at their school, Shōya and his friends bully her mercilessly until Shōya becomes the scapegoat and is himself ostracized. A chance encounter with Shōko offers Shōya a chance to atone for his deeds but it might be too late, for both of them.
Dark, Season Two (June 21)
The first season of Netflix’s Dark was a complex, intriguing story that moved back and forth in time across three eras, weaving together a sci-fi/supernatural mystery in the fictional German town of Winden. Kidnappings, time travel, corporate cover-ups, devilish machinations… Dark had a little bit of everything. The first season ended on an extremely apocalyptic note, promising that Dark’s second season is going to be more of the same… and then some.
Neon Genesis Evangelion (June 21)
One of the most iconic anime series of all time, Neon Genesis Evangelion blended post-apocalyptic sci-fi, psychology, and esoteric religious imagery into something never before seen. Set 15 years after a cataclysmic event nearly wiped out humanity, the series focuses on a covert agency battling otherworldly foes with the aid of fearsome mechs piloted by dysfunctional teens — with the future of humanity’s existence at stake. What could go wrong? Also arriving on June 21 are two Evangelion movies that take the series’ story in an even stranger, more apocalyptic direction.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (June 26)
What can I say about this film that I haven’t said already in my review? I guess I’ll just put it this way: Into the Spider-Verse is one of those rare films that I consider to be just about perfect. Gorgeous animation and a highly stylized design aesthetic, a hip-hop-fuelled soundtrack, some memorable characters, a storyline that is equally hilarious, mind-bending, and touching — all of these things add up to make a superhero movie like no other, and one that feels fresh and invigorating every time I watch it.
Here’s everything arriving on and leaving Netflix in June 2019.
The 13th Warrior (June 1)
Although it was widely panned by critics, and even drove legendary actor Omar Sharif into temporary retirement, The 13th Warrior is a lot more fun than most people probably realize. Based on Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead, itself a retelling of Beowulf, the film follows the exploits of a Muslim man who falls in with a bunch of Vikings who have been tasked with defeating an ancient evil.
Independence Day (June 1)
When it comes to over-the-top, special effects-filled, big screen spectacle, it doesn’t get much better than Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day. Yes, Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum taking on an alien invasion may require you to suspend your disbelief higher and longer than you’d like to, especially if you’re concerned about, say, the science of the movie’s events. But if you do, you’re in for a whole lot of explosion-filled, world-saving, alien-busting fun.
Italian for Beginners (June 1)
In this charming Danish film, a group of adults who are all struggling with various dysfunctions and issues join an Italian language class and eventually travel to Italy. Shot in accordance with the austere “Dogme 95” rules of filmmaking, Italian for Beginners possesses a warmth and naturalism that adds to its charm. And though its characters are all flawed and broken, you can’t help but root for them to find peace, healing, and maybe even a little love.
District 9 (June 4)
When aliens arrive in Johannesburg, they’re forced to live in a rundown area called District 9 where they’re subjected to horrific living conditions. But when a mid-level bureaucrat gets mixed up in the unrest, he finds himself seeing the aliens in a new way. With its exploration of heavy themes like racism and apartheid, as well as its stunning visuals and action, District 9 has been called one of the best sci-fi movies of the 2000s.
True Grit (June 30)
After a young girl’s father is murdered, she sets out to hire someone with “true grit” to help her track down those responsible and bring them to justice. She eventually settles on Rooster Cogburn (played with irascibility to spare by Jeff Bridges) and the unlikely pair sets off into the wilderness. Directed by the Coen Brothers, True Grit is an excellent modern western, filled with as much gallows humor as it is gunfights.
Here’s everything arriving on and leaving Hulu in June 2019.
Minority Report (June 30)
What would you do if you could stop murderers before they ever killed anyone? In Minority Report, Tom Cruise’s police officer works for a department that uses psychics to stop murders before they happen, only to be framed for a murder he hasn’t yet committed. Steven Spielberg consulted with numerous experts for Minority Report in order to ensure that its depiction of the future would be as plausible as possible, from the user interfaces to the driverless cars to the way that facial recognition is used.
Rush Hour (June 30)
On paper, the combination of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker seems terrible, or at the very least, terribly annoying. But in Rush Hour, the two became a surprisingly effective comedic duo as they race to save the kidnapped daughter of a Chinese dignitary with a combination of fast talking and martial arts mayhem.
Spaceballs (June 30)
I still remember the first time I saw Spaceballs. I was in junior high and I had no idea what the movie was, but the moment I saw the “We brake for nobody” bumper sticker on Spaceball One, I knew my life would never be the same. One of the most quotable movies of all time — e.g., “I am your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate.” — Spaceballs is a true comedy classic.
Stranger Than Fiction (June 30)
Imagine if one day, you heard a voice in your head that accurately narrated the events of your life… and foretold your death? That’s the situation faced by a nebbishy IRS agent when he somehow finds himself a character in the latest novel by an acclaimed author. This heady comedy can get pretty meta, but it’s anchored by solid performances by Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, and Queen Latifah.
The Wraith (June 30)
A mysterious stranger in a sleek, ominous sports car suddenly appears in the Arizona desert, and begins killing members of a gang of car thieves. At the same time, a new kid arrives in town on a motorcycle and starts causing trouble. Could the two events be related? Do you even need to ask? The Wraith is classic ’80s action/horror, and stars Charlie Sheen, Randy Quaid, Sherilyn Fenn, and Clint Howard.
Here’s everything arriving on and leaving Amazon in June 2019. As usual, there’s a lot of overlap between Hulu and Amazon Prime’s offerings.