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Top 5 Movies and TV Shows to Stream Right Now

Top 5 Movies and TV Shows to Stream Right Now

The best of what’s new streaming on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and more.
This image released by Amazon MGM Studios shows Jason Statham in a scene from “The Beekeeper.” (Amazon MGM Studios via AP) Amazon Studios

Welcome to this week’s 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, Peacock, Paramount+, and more.

Many recommendations are for new shows, while others highlight under-the-radar releases or classics about to leave a streaming service.


“The Beekeeper”

For some viewers, the perfect guilty pleasure movie is a Hallmark Channel romance or a schlocky horror film. As for me, I will watch any movie in which Jason Statham angrily punches his way out of trouble. But even by my admittedly lax standards, “The Beekeeper” is something truly special. Directed by David Ayer (“End of Watch”), Statham plays a beekeeper who collects honey for a kindly old woman (Phylicia Rashad, “The Cosby Show”). When the woman takes her life after internet scammers drain her bank accounts, Statham reveals that he is a second type of beekeeper: an elite John Wick-style assassin who operates outside the law to “protect the hive.”

“The Beekeeper” is the best kind of ridiculous. The film is allegedly set in Massachusetts despite not featuring a single scene actually filmed here. The number of times someone makes a bee pun or simply says “He’s a beekeeper” as if that’s all the explanation we need is in the double digits. Statham is the master of delivering a performance so committed and so menacing that the absurdity of every cartoonish action scene is heightened considerably. Gather your hive and see what the buzz about.

How to watch: “The Beekeeper” is streaming on Prime Video.

“Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F”

Per the headline of this weekly column, I’m only supposed to recommend “must-watch” movies and TV shows. In the case of “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F,” the legacy sequel to 1984’s “Beverly Hills Cop,” you can soften the recommendation to “may watch” or “could watch if you’re in the right mood.” Basically, if you’re a fan of the franchise, you’ll find pretty much everything you want — but not much more — in this followup directed by Mark Molloy.

Axel Foley (Murphy) is still working as a cop in Detroit, and still causing massive amounts of property damage with every attempted undercover bust. This time, his excuse for returning to Beverly Hills is to help his daughter (Taylour Paige), who he hasn’t seen or spoken to in years. When he’s there, he finds a murder case, dirty cops, his on-the-level police pals (Judge Reinhold and John Ashton) and snooty Californians to make fun of, all soundtracked to ’80s hits from the original like “The Heat Is On” and “Neutron Dance.” “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F” doesn’t break any new ground, but when the formula is this good and you’ve got Murphy in the mix, who cares?

How to watch: “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F” is streaming on Netflix.


Screenwriter Robert Towne passed away earlier this week at 89, and while his name doesn’t draw the same recognition as the directors he worked with, the veteran scribe was responsible for some of the greatest movies of all time. Francis Ford Coppola credited Towne with writing some of the most important scenes in “The Godfather,” and he toiled as an uncredited script doctor for “Bonnie and Clyde” and “The Parallax View,” among others. But he also served as the chief scribe for some of Jack Nicholson’s best films, including Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown.”

Towne’s dialogue for J.J. “Jake” Gittes (Nicholson), a private eye caught up in a miasma of corruption and violence, revived the L.A. noir genre, and cemented it among the best of the decade. While it’s unclear whether Towne, Polanski, or someone else penned the oft-quoted final line of the film (“Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown”), the script has become a film school standard for the way it drives the action, captures the mood, and does more with less.

How to watch: “Chinatown” is streaming on Paramount+ and on Pluto TV with ads.


“Arrested Development”

Unfortunately, this is the second time this calendar year I’ve recommended “Arrested Development” due to the death of one of the show’s deep roster of featured players. Back in January it was Carl Weathers, and this time it’s comedian Martin Mull, who died late last week at age 80. As disguise-loving private detective Gene Parmesan, Mull was the perfect foil for Jason Bateman, and seemingly the only person Lucille Bluth (Jessica Walter) was always happy to see. His comically unearned confidence was a hallmark in other roles as well, including a late-season run on HBO’s “Veep” as a senile political operative.

Some of his earliest roles aren’t as easy to stream, including the Norman Lear satire “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” and guest host stints on the Johnny Carson era of “The Tonight Show.” But wherever you can find him, a Martin Mull performance is worth watching. As his daughter Maggie put it in the Instagram post announcing his death, “He was known for excelling at every creative discipline imaginable and also for doing Red Roof Inn commercials. He would find that joke funny. He was never not funny.”

How to watch: “Arrested Development” is streaming on Netflix.

“My Lady Jane”

Historians would likely scoff at the idea of making a series about Lady Jane Grey, who for nine days in the 1500s became Queen of England before being beheaded. But much like Hulu’s prematurely canceled “The Great,” Prime Video’s “My Lady Jane” has no interest in telling a historically accurate tale — or a story confined by the law of nature, for that matter.

Jane (Emily Bader) curses like a sailor, barely tolerates her drip of a husband, and has zero interest in being a royal, instead aspiring to be an herbalist. (In an early scene, we see Jane helping soothe her chamber maid’s vaginal itch with a home-brewed remedy). But her mother (Anna Chancellor) has other ideas, and soon Jane is stuck in a royal game that is very unkind to uncouth women like herself — and women in general.

How to watch: “My Lady Jane” is streaming on Prime Video.

Source: Amazon MGM Studios, Prime Video, Paramount+, Netflix, Pluto TV