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20 films to stream when you're stranded due to coronavirus

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The Farewell

The Farewell

The Farewell

Tis, to paraphrase King Lear, a trifle coming here, but the closure of cinemas has left superannuated film critics wandering the streets disconsolate. No films to review, then, and not too many on terrestrial TV either, but plenty to watch on the streaming services, which are as we are all discovering a godsend in this lockdown.

After their strong showing in the awards season, Netflix have a string of quality movies to be caught up on, while Amazon Prime boasts its own awards contenders, and Now TV offers access to Sky Cinema’s extensive catalogue of new films and classics. Not to mention the fact that Disney+ launches here in a couple of days, and may in the circumstances get more subscriptions than it knows what to do with.

We’ve all got lots of time on our hands at the moment, so here’s my selection of streamed movies to help wile away the evenings.

Captain Marvel

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Brie Larson as Captain Marvel

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel


Disney+

In this amusing superhero caper, an extraterrestrial warrior falls to Earth in 1995, crash-landing through the roof of a video store. Vers has superpowers, and is pursued by vengeful aliens, but as she charges through downtown LA she gets the nagging feeling she’s been here before. Brie Larson stars.

The Farewell

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The Farewell

The Farewell

The Farewell


Amazon Prime

Winning comedy starring Awkwafina as Billi, an aspiring writer who returns to China when she finds out her beloved grandmother is terminally ill. But she discovers the Chinese have a different way of dealing with sickness.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

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Spider-Men from multiple universes team up

Spider-Men from multiple universes team up

Spider-Men from multiple universes team up


Netflix

In this Oscar-winning animation that breathed new life into a tired franchise, a New York teenager develops alarming powers after being bitten by a genetically modified spider.

Midsommar

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Jack Reynor and Florence Pugh in Midsommar

Jack Reynor and Florence Pugh in Midsommar

Jack Reynor and Florence Pugh in Midsommar


Amazon Prime

Violent, enthralling, ever-so-slightly bonkers, Ari Aster’s follow-up to his controversial horror hit Hereditary stars Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor as an estranged couple who decide to join friends at a midsummer festival in rural Sweden - a decision they will bitterly regret.

The Favourite

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Rachel Weisz (left) is well cast as the steely and formidable Sarah but Olivia Colman dominates the film

Rachel Weisz (left) is well cast as the steely and formidable Sarah but Olivia Colman dominates the film

Yorgos Lanthimos

Rachel Weisz (left) is well cast as the steely and formidable Sarah but Olivia Colman dominates the film


Now TV

Yorgos Lanthimos’ comic drama is set amid the chaos of the court of Queen Anne, the sickly early 18th century monarch besieged by intrigue. Olivia Colman is Anne, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone two ladies-in-waiting who vie for her attention.

A Star is Born

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Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in the most recent version of A Star Is Born (Neal Preston/Warner Bros/PA)

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in the most recent version of A Star Is Born (Neal Preston/Warner Bros/PA)

Press Association Images

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in the most recent version of A Star Is Born (Neal Preston/Warner Bros/PA)


Now TV

Chris Cooper’s stirring remake of the classic melodrama would make a stone weep, and stars himself as Jackson Maine, an alcoholic country rock star who’s having a drink in a New York drag bar one night when he’s enchanted by the voice of an unknown singer. With Lady Gaga.

Brittany Runs a Marathon

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Jillian Bell in Brittany Runs A Marathon (Amazon)

Jillian Bell in Brittany Runs A Marathon (Amazon)

Jillian Bell in Brittany Runs A Marathon (Amazon)


Amazon Prime

Jillian Bell is excellent in this very contemporary comedy about a Manhattan party animal who faces a struggle when she decides to clean up her act and run the New York marathon.

Marriage Story

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Love lost: Marriage Story lays bare the emotional turmoil a divorce can bring

Love lost: Marriage Story lays bare the emotional turmoil a divorce can bring

Love lost: Marriage Story lays bare the emotional turmoil a divorce can bring


Netflix

Noah Baumbach’s wistfully comic domestic drama fared poorly at the Oscars but was one of the stand-out films of last year. Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver are Nicole and Charlie, a high-flying theatrical couple whose separation gets messy once the lawyers get involved.

The Report

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Adam Driver is said to have walked out of an interview after a clip from one of his latest films was played (David Parry/PA Wire)

Adam Driver is said to have walked out of an interview after a clip from one of his latest films was played (David Parry/PA Wire)

PA Wire/PA Images

Adam Driver is said to have walked out of an interview after a clip from one of his latest films was played (David Parry/PA Wire)


Amazon Prime

Mr. Driver again, giving a fiercely focussed performance in this tense thriller based on the true story of the man who exposed the CIA’s use of torture after 9/11.

Coco

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Coco carries a message of the importance of passing down memories to the next generation

Coco carries a message of the importance of passing down memories to the next generation

Coco carries a message of the importance of passing down memories to the next generation


Disney+

Pixar never shy away from confronting difficult subjects, and in this delightful 2017 animation they tackle the big one - death. In it, a young Mexican boy called Miguel discovers shocking truths about the lives of his extended family when he travels to the Land of the Dead.

The Irishman

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Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Ray Romano star in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman

Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Ray Romano star in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman

Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Ray Romano star in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman


Netflix

A slow-moving epic to stand with Martin Scorsese’s very best work, The Irishman is based on the not particularly reliable memoirs of Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), a mob hitman who claimed to be the man who killed controversial Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa. Al Pacino plays the mercurial Hoffa.

The Two Popes

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Jonathan Pryce as the future Pope Francis, and Anthony Hopkins as the former Pope Benedict in 'The Two Popes'

Jonathan Pryce as the future Pope Francis, and Anthony Hopkins as the former Pope Benedict in 'The Two Popes'

Jonathan Pryce as the future Pope Francis, and Anthony Hopkins as the former Pope Benedict in 'The Two Popes'


Netflix

This sumptuous Netflix two-hander imagines a clash of ideologies between Pope Benedict and his successor, Francis. Jonathan Pryce is Jorge Bergoglio, the charismatic, left-leaning Argentine Cardinal who’s surprised and worried when Benedict (Anthony Hopkins) unexpectedly summons him to Rome.

I, Tonya

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Play it cool: Margot Robbie as Tonya

Play it cool: Margot Robbie as Tonya

Play it cool: Margot Robbie as Tonya


Amazon Prime

Truth, they say, is stranger than fiction, and that’s certainly the case with this bleakly comic drama based on the life of Tonya Harding, a talented ice skater from the wrong side of the tracks who was on the verge of competing for the US in the Olympics when she was implicated in an attack on a rival.

Uncut Gems

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Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems

Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems

Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems


Netflix

Adam Sandler acts! His performance in this gritty crime thriller was widely praised, and he’s very convincing as Howard Ratner, a jeweller in Manhattan’s diamond district whose complex personal life and addiction to gambling land him in all sorts of trouble. With Judd Hirsch.

Some Like It Hot

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Some Like It Hot

Some Like It Hot

Some Like It Hot


Amazon Prime

This 1959 Billy Wilder classic stars Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as jazz musicians in 1920s Chicago who go on the run after accidentally witnessing the Valentine’s Day Massacre. In desperation, they don dresses and join an all girls’ band, but the gangster Spats Colombo pursues them. With Marilyn Monroe.

The Meyerowitz Stories

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Netflix

Noah Baumbach’s 2018 comic drama attracted much less attention than Marriage Story, but offers delightful insights into the pressures of family life. When self-absorbed artist Harold Meyerowitz falls ill, his variously complexed grown-up children gather to tend to him and air old grievances. With Ben Stiller.

Pet Sematary

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Church, the cat, looking worse for wear

Church, the cat, looking worse for wear

Church, the cat, looking worse for wear


Now TV

Lively remake of Stephen King’s chiller starring Jason Clarke as a Boston doctor who imagines a wholesome fresh start when he moves with his family to small town Maine. Unfortunately, their new home abuts an ancient burial site that has a habit of reviving the dead.

The Aeronauts

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Up and away: The Aeronauts stars Eddie Redmayne

Up and away: The Aeronauts stars Eddie Redmayne

Up and away: The Aeronauts stars Eddie Redmayne


Amazon Prime

The daring exploits of ballooning’s 19th century pioneers are handsomely dramatised in this British movie that stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones as a scientist and his pilot who get into all sorts of trouble while attempting to break the record for this highest flight.

Roman Holiday

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A poster for William Wyler's 1953 comedy 'Roman Holiday' starring Audrey Hepburn.

A poster for William Wyler's 1953 comedy 'Roman Holiday' starring Audrey Hepburn.

Getty Images

A poster for William Wyler's 1953 comedy 'Roman Holiday' starring Audrey Hepburn.


Now TV

Escapism of the highest order, William Wyler’s 1950s romcom stars Audrey Hepburn as a European crown princess who sneaks away from her entourage while on a state visit to Rome and falls asleep on a park bench. She awoken by a curious American reporter (Gregory Peck) who has absolutely no idea who she is.

Toy Story 4

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In Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 4, Woody walks with Forky. Picture: Disney/Pixar

In Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 4, Woody walks with Forky. Picture: Disney/Pixar

In Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 4, Woody walks with Forky. Picture: Disney/Pixar


Disney+

In the fourth instalment of Pixar’s much loved kids’ animation, Woody and Buzz have a nightmare on their hands when they embark on a family road trip with a home-made toy called Forky who appears to have a death-wish.

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