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The 5 Movies and TV Shows You Should Be Watching on Streaming Right Now

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Sandra Hülser plays Hedwig in “The Zone of Interest”.
Sandra Hülser plays Hedwig in “The Zone of Interest”. A24

Welcome to Boston.com 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 MaxPeacock, Paramount+ and more.

Many recommendations are for new shows, while others are for under-the-radar releases that you may have missed, or classics that disappear from the streaming service at the end of the month.

Do you have a new favorite movie or show that 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.

  • All new movies and TV shows will stream in April

  • Solar Eclipse 2024: Everything you need to know about watching the eclipse in Boston or other parts of New England

Films

“2001: A Space Odyssey”

2001: A Space Odyssey – Trailer

In honor of the 2024 solar eclipse, stream my favorite solar eclipse movie and one of the best science fiction films of all time. The solar and lunar eclipse that opens the film is seen from space rather than Earth, but the message is clear: like the featureless obelisk, a solar eclipse is a phenomenon that marks a momentous change. Rules are thrown out the window and a new way of thinking takes hold. As science fiction scientist Lisa Yaszek put it: “The laws of nature seem to be out of force. Day turns into night, the temperature drops, the animals start making noises.” Or in the case of Stanley Kubrick’s magnum opus: A tribe of monkeys learns to use tools and slaughter another tribe.

How to watch: “2001: A Space Odyssey” is streaming on Max.

“The Talented Mr. Ripley” (1999)

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) Trailer #1 |  Movie clips classic trailers

With the debut of the Netflix limited series Ripley (read more about that show below), now is a good time to rewatch Anthony Minghella's 1999 adaptation. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Matt Damon has rarely played a character as complex as Tom Ripley, the aspiring chameleon at the center of this thriller. Tasked by a shipping magnate to travel to Italy and bring his spendthrift son back to America, Tom instead becomes a friend and confidante to the spoiled Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) and his girlfriend Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow). The central trio is a joy to watch, and the supporting performances from Cate Blanchett and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman are icing on the cake. Since the film is based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith (“Strangers on a Train”, “Deep Water”), the viewer can expect a fair amount of psychological and sexual intrigue, but Damon and Co. keep you guessing until the end .

How to watch: “The Talented Mr. Ripley” is streaming on Paramount+.

“The Interest Zone”

The interest zone |  Official Trailer HD |  A24

The Zone of Interest, the latest Best Picture nominee at the 2024 Oscars to debut on a streaming platform, is Hannah Arendt's Banality of Evil. Director Jonathan Glazer uses a documentary camera setup to capture the story of the Hösses, a Nazi family that lives next to Auschwitz and whose patriarch Rudolf (Christian Friedel) is responsible for the most efficient implementation of Hitler's Final Solution. “The Zone of Interest” is PG-13 and similar to his 2014 film “Under the Skin,” Glazer does not depict the atrocities that took place in the labor camp. Instead, we see Rudolf's wife Hedwig (Sandra Hülser) and their children steadfastly ignore the noise of bullets and the stench of burning bodies, pursuing a white picket fence and a pond. Glazer spent years researching actual dialogue spoken by the Hösses. The similarities they share with a certain type of American suburban life are deeply disturbing, to say the least.

How to watch: “The Zone of Interest” is streaming on Hulu.

TV

“Prey”

Loot – Official Trailer for Season 2 |  Apple TV+

It can be difficult to measure the success of shows on Apple TV+. Despite significant budgets and enviable star power, the platform is one of the least subscribed major streamers, and Apple doesn't share much, if any, data. Hopefully “Loot” is one of his hits, because the second season, which premiered Wednesday, is a lot of fun. Maya Rudolph (“Saturday Night Live”) essentially plays a fictional MacKenzie Scott (née Bezos), an ultra-rich, newly divorced woman struggling to readjust to normal life and figure out how to use her vast wealth after she splits from her cheating tech CEO husband (Adam Scott, “Severance”). In Season 2, Rudolph goes public with a pledge to donate à la Bill and Melinda Gates, tries to start an affordable housing initiative, and opens up to love thanks to an attractive Benjamin Bratt. Co-created by former “Parks & Rec” writers Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard and featuring a winning supporting cast that includes Ron Funches (“Undateable”), Joel Kim Booster (“Fire Island”) and Boston native Nat Faxon (” The Way Way Back), “Loot” doesn’t have to do much to charm the audience.

How to watch: “Loot” is streaming on Apple TV+.

“Ripley”

Ripley |  Official Trailer |  Netflix

In the new Netflix series “Ripley,” the character of Tom Ripley, this time played by Andrew Scott (“Fleabag”), is not completely reinterpreted. But showrunner Steven Zaillian (“The Night Of”) might actually be getting closer to the character’s origins in Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 page-turner. The show is shot in black and white, and Scott's Ripley looks like someone from a Hitchcock film or some other dark 1950s noir. The eight-episode structure gives us more time to see the depths of Ripley's narcissism than the 1999 film starring Matt Damon. The first episodes are set in New York City and show how his little pranks prepare him for his fateful trip to Italy to bring back Dickie Greenleaf (Johnny Flynn) and his girlfriend Marge (Dakota Fanning). In an age where reboots and remakes are a dime a dozen, it's refreshing to see one that justifies its existence as strongly as “Ripley.”

How to watch: “Ripley” is streaming on Netflix.

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