What to watch: new movies and TV shows to stream this week
The best shows and movies to stream on Netflix and beyond.
Welcome to the WatchList, the ultimate what to watch guide. Each week our TV and movie experts curate a list of the best things to watch on the small - and sometimes big - screen.
This is the place to find what you should be streaming at the weekend and beyond.
Each week our esteemed group of TV and movie reviewers impart their expert knowledge of all things streaming and boil it down to a handful of things you really need to be watching, going through hours of episodes to hep you make the most important decision of the week: what to watch in your down time.
As you will read, we look at all the new shows that have landed on Netflix, Prime Video, NOW, Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus and Paramount Plus and more, then give our verdict.
In short: if it's in the WatchList, then you know it is going to be good.
After our recommendations of the week, we have links to all of our essential streaming guides - the rankings of which are voted by our readers, so if you haven't done so already then give them a click and have your say.
And if you are still stuck with what to watch, then we have kept all of our previous recommendations so you can have a read.
A black comedy featuring Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet as a vampire may not be everyone's cup of tea but thanks to the deft touch of director Pablo Larraín this is a bizarre must watch. While there are sly laughs throughout, there's an underlying current of political satire to the whole thing which stays with you.
This 7-part series continues Netflix's trend of sports docs that pack a punch. This one focuses on the professionals that take part in Ohio Valley Wrestling. It's a far cry from the glitz and glamor that we normally see, with the both the mind and body taking a hammering on frequent occassions.
This taut thriller makes some questionable twists and turns along the way but it is a decent watch. Liv (Jenna Coleman) is a writer whose relationship is falling apart, after she finds her partner having an affair. They go on a dream holiday and, well, things start to unravel.
Disney were bracing for another flop with Elemental as the initial signs at the box office wasn't great. It slowly but surely took over the box office, though. And for good reason, this is one of Pixar's better efforts, about a relationship that happens in a city where fire, water, land, and air residents live together.
Welcome To Wrexham: S2
The second season of Welcome To Wrexham is something of a fairy tale for both the team and its celebrity owners. What Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have done to turn the club's fortunes around it remarkable. But the really beauty here is that they seem to be completely invested emotionally, as well as financially.
The Morning Show: S3
The tentpole Apple TV Plus show is back and the in-fighting and drama between the newsreaders has never been so rife. Yes, it's melodramatic but Jennifer Anniston and Reece Witherspoon are a fantastic watch as always. And this season has the bonus of John Hamm.
Previously on What To Watch
Top Boy Season 5
The final season of London crime drama Top Boy has gathered rave reviews, and is being cited as one of the rare examples of a show that is 100% quality and doesn’t a moment of time. Season five (season three to some) tells the conclusion of the epic tale of two drug dealers, Dushane and Sully, as everything they have built looks set to crumble. Why is it either season three or five? Top Boy began way back in 2011, and was resurrected for a third (fourth and fifth) season by Netflix in 2019, with the backing of super-fan Drake.
The Little Mermaid
Disney’s big movie of the summer, The Little Mermaid, has arrived on Disney Plus. This is the live action (and CGI) remake of the classic animation. It doesn’t blow the original out of the water, not even close, but if you have a Disney Plus sub and, ideally, some kids, this one should absolutely go on your to-watch pile. There was a lot of chat about how this movie bombed at the box office, but it has gone on to make around $570 million. That’s likely barely breaking even, and it’s also a lot of backsides on cinema seats.
A missing person case is reopened when a 12-year-old and 8-year-old escape after being held captive, hidden away from the world, in Netflix's Dear Child. This affecting, harrowing and intense thriller show is based on a 2019 novel by Romy Hausmann. But it’s easy to make links to similar real-world cases with this one. This is a German show, but don’t let that put you off. It’s a compelling watch, if your nerves are up for it. It is also just six episodes long. No time-wasting involved.
The original 6ixtynin9 is a Thai dark thriller-comedy movie from 1999. In all likelihood you haven’t seen it, but it was a cracker. Netflix has now remade the movie as a mini-series, one with six episodes. A woman loses her job, but then finds a box of cash outside her home. This money was, of course, not meant for her, and begins a pitch black but comic mystery that goes to some thrilling, and violent, places.
Scout's Honor: The Secret Files of the Boy Scouts of America
Ready for a grim but fascinating watch? Scout’s Honor is a new Netflix documentary that digs into sexual abuse and its repeated cover-ups in the Boy Scouts of America. It’s a tale that covers decades of sordid grime, and features interviews with former scouts, officials and investigative journalists. Directed by documentary veteran Brian Knappenberger.
The Killing Kind
A lawyer defends a murder suspect only for him to reappear in her life, after he became her stalker. But this time, he warns her she is in danger. It’s a question of who the real danger is in The Killing Kind, an adaptation of a 2021 novel by Jane Casey. Yep, it didn’t take long for this one to get made into a show. It stars relative newcomer Emma Appleton as lawyer Ingrid Lewis, and Colin Morgan, who many may recognise as Merlin from the TV adaptation way back in 2008.
Justified: City Primeval
This return of beloved TV series Justified started streaming back in July on FX in the US. But now the entire run has dropped on Disney Plus in the UK. Raylan Givens returns to our screens once again after a break of almost 10 years. It’s not some half-hearted return thanks to the series’s source material. Justified is based on Elmore Leonard’s Fire in the Hole novel, and this new series is based on — you guessed it — City Primeval, a novel from 1980.
The Scream series was successfully brought back to life with 2022’s reboot. 2023’s Scream VI received mixed reviews, but in the best sense, attracting both 2-star and 4-star write-ups just from the Guardian. Courtney Cox returns as Gale Weathers, while Jenny Ortega and Hayden Panettiere also return, from different previous Scream instalments. Will you find it a blast or too derivative to enjoy? There’s only one way to find out.
- The best Apple TV Plus shows, revealed
- The best Netflix shows and best movies on Netflix
- The best Amazon Prime Series and best movies on Amazon Prime Video
- The best Disney Plus shows and best Disney Plus movies
- The best NOW TV shows and best movies on NOW TV
- The best Paramount Plus shows
Prepare for laughs aplenty as Netflix unleashes its ultimate Dutch comedy. A feature-length escapade, this chortle-worthy watch follows Luna (Gaite Jansen) and Mink (Martijn Lakemeier) - a couple celebrating their one-year anniversary. It all sounds pretty perfect, right? That is until Mink discovers that Luna has been keeping a dark secret dating back to the start of their relationship - she’s been faking it in the bedroom. Cue a wave of misguided advice and the couple’s new plan to try out a threesome. Enter climate activist Eve (Joy Delima), who turns Luna's life upside down, leaving Mink with more questions than answers.
A Day and a Half
We’re sticking with the international theme, as feature-length Swedish action drama A Day and a Half arrives on Netflix. A premise that sees Artan (Alexej Manvelov) take drastic measures to reunite with his daughter, he decides that holding his ex-wife Louise (Alma Pöysti) hostage is the only way. With Fares Fares (Westworld, Chernobyl, Star Wars) starring as police officer Lukas, the thrilling road trip journeys through rural Sweden with the authorities in pursuit. The directorial debut from Fares, this decidedly dark thriller is a Swedish Netflix Original, brimming with perilous twists and turns.
It’s time for the heroic return of Takeshi and his almighty nostalgia-inducing fortress. True 90s nostalgia, this reboot of our favourite (yet utterly bizarre) Japanese game show sees each episode packed with more laughs than you could ever imagine courtesy of commentators Romesh Ranganathan and Tom Davis. With the victors set to win 1 million yen (around £5,500), it’s really only the contestant’s dignity that’s on the line. Expect one-liners, plenty of humiliation and a sprinkling of - as the presenting duo explained during our chat ahead of the launch.
It’s time for a live-action animation to spice things up, as Japanese anime series One Piece prepares to make its small screen debut. An adaptation that’s received a round of applause from critics, the series follows a young pirate named Monkey D. Luffya and his delightful gang of oddballs. Following the group on their epic voyage in search of mythical treasure - known as the One Piece - the tale mirrors creator Eiichiro Oda's original storylines. This eight episode series is, without a doubt, set to be a cult classic among manga fans.
If you’re after a touch of sparkle in your life, try Hulu’s Spellbound out for size. The tale of Cece Parker Jones (Hailey Romain), this magical journey follows the promising ballet star as she discovers her magical powers as a real witch. Mayhem ensues at the Paris Opera Ballet School where she studies, as the young witch attempts to juggle her studies and newfound magical powers - and that’s before she accidentally conjures her enemies. It’s a coming-of-age series that’s set to enthrall.
The Wheel of Time
More mystical events are afoot, as The Wheel of Time returns for season 2. A series that comes complete with more fantasy action sequences than you can shake a stick at, we pick up events where the first season left off. A complicated adaptation that remains true to the books - news that will appeal to the series’ cult following, Rosamund Pike returns as sorceress Moiraine - one of a band of seven heroes. Already renewed for a third season, prepare for a mystical watch.
The Continental: From the World of John Wick
Prepare for a sneak peak, as the new trailer for John Wick spin-off series The Continental has dropped online. A three-part prequel, the series is set to give fans of the John Wick universe a fresh glimpse into the hotel catering to assassins. A key point of reference in subsequent instalments, this thrilling tale takes place in 1970s New York through the eyes of a young Winston Scott. It’s dark, gritty and more mysterious than ever before.
If you have ever wanted to see Jeremy Corbyn mutter the iconic line: "allow it, Wasteman,” or Ed Sheeran cameo as a drug-addled bad guy, well now you can thanks to Adam Deacon's Sumotherhood. This "parody of the UK urban genre" is giving us Friday vibes and is certainly one of the most entertaining trailers in recent times.
Deacon brought us the fun Anuvahood back in 2011 and this film is a spiritual follow-up that'll be out on the big screen 13 October.
Invasion season 2
Invasion is back - and with it comes more perspective switching than a mindfulness retreat. Created by Academy Award-nominated and two-time Emmy Award-nominated producer Simon Kinberg (and David Weil), this globe trotting Apple TV Plus series once again documents the alien invasion from multiple cities around the world. More than four months after the initial invasion, the world begins to unite and rise up, as a booming voice declares: "My fellow global citizens, look up! This is our enemy". Survival of the fittest in action, this gritty series sees the return of Shamier Anderson, Golshifteh Farahani, Sam Neill, Firas Nassar and Shioli Kutsuna. Will the human race discover a way to outmaneuver the aliens? Only time will tell.
Star Wars: Ahsoka
The highly anticipated Star Wars spin-off has finally dropped on Disney Plus, with former Jedi Knight Ahsoka Tano on a mission to investigate an as yet unknown threat to a vulnerable galaxy. The latest branch of the Star Wars tree, Ahsoka transplants some of The Clone Wars and Rebels' best loved animated characters into the live action space. Starring Rosario Dawson, Natasha Liu Bordizzo and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, the headstrong, female trio take this Star Wars tale in a refreshingly new direction. Littered with top-notch lightsaber battles, combat scenes and flight sequences, this journey following Anakin Skywalker’s former apprentice, Ahsoka Tano, is one not to be missed.
Wanted: The Escape of Carlos Ghosn
Sometimes, just sometimes, reality is stranger than fiction. The remarkable real-life tale of a CEO-turned-fugitive, Carlos Ghosn, is no exception. Unleashing this fascinating documentary on the ex-car industry chief (now subject to an international arrest warrant), financial inconsistencies saw him imprisoned in Japan for 10 days in 2019. This no-frills documentary manages to pull off what many thought was impossible: taking a tale of corporate sculduggery and transforming it into a palatable fable for the masses - all without the need for romantic subplots. A calculated getaway that gripped the world, the former Nissan-Renault CEO still remains at large. A must watch for fans of crime dramas and investigative tales, Apple TV Plus has absolutely nailed this one.
You Are Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah
Prepare for another gem from Adam Sandler - this time, with the addition of his two daughters. Talk about keeping it in the family. A sweet tale likely to be an uncharacteristic winner for the platform, this coming-of-age tale sees up-and-comers Sadie Sandler as big sister Ronnie, alongside Sunny Sandler as younger sister Stacy Friedman - a 13-year-old struggling with the usual teenage dilemmas. One of which, happens to be her forthcoming Bat Mizvah. A heartwarming and, to be honest, utterly delightful feature-length watch, this Sammi Cohen-directed affair bridges the tricky gap between childhood innocence and awkward adolescence. A treat fit for all the family, this hearty dose of Brooklyn Jewishness is just what the doctor ordered.
The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On season 2
A reality series that comes complete with an ultimatum: Get hitched or call it quits? Fronted by Nick and Vanessa Lachey, this series sees six couples once again faced with a life-changing dilemma, as one partner demands answers. Featuring more drama than you could shake a stick at, this engrossing dating experiment sees five couples swap partners in a bid to see whether they really are in a relationship with "the one". It's brash, bonkers, and just a little bit bizarre. Oh, and there's the small matter of an unexpected pregnancy thrown into the mix. Season one of the US show proved a hit, with this highly-anticipated follow up featuring couples that include childhood sweethearts and a cheating scandal that's set to rock previously steady relationships.
On the big screen...
Prepare for a cinematically beautiful escapade into the world of parenthood. Sweet, delightful and emotionally poignant, this twisting tale centres around 12-year-old Georgie - a girl growing up on east London estate before the unexpected death of her mother. The debut feature from British filmmaker Charlotte Regan, prepare for a heartwarming tale of discovery that's sure to tug at the heartstrings. Living alone in her council house but convincing those around her she's being watched over by her uncle, her absent father (Harris Dickinson)unexpectedly reappears in her life after returning from Ibiza. On paper it's a simplistic premise, but this meandering tale - with plot elements reminiscent of Apple TV Plus release Palmer - is a true beaut.
At Home With The Fury's
Britain's most controversial heavyweight boxing champion is back - and he's brought his wife and six children along for the ride. Netflix's highly anticipated August drop, this behind-the-scenes 9 episode series follows Tyson and Paris Fury as they navigate family life. The boxer has admitted he wanted to cancel the show mid-way through filming, which bodes well for those looking to catch a glimpse of candid clips. Also starring his younger half-brother and former Love Island star Tommy Fury, this series is every-inch the British Keeping up with the Kardashians, with a sprinkling of chaos thrown in for good measure.
Untold: Hall Of Shame
Directed by Bryan Storkel, this tell-all documentary is a deep-dive into one of sports' biggest steroid scandals. A true shocker, Untold: Hall of Shame is the latest in Netflix's popular Untold docu-series, with this feature-length instalment incorporating interviews with testing labs at the centre of the scandal, not to mention the athletes accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs. A must for fans of the hit revelatory cycling documentary Icarus, this gripping 78-minute affair should be top of any self-respecting sports fan's watch list.
Killing It season 2
Season one of Killing It served up Craig Robinson wrestling snakes in an absurd bid to capture the American Dream. Now, season 2 looks set to promise a whole lot more. Picking up the tale a handful of months on from the season finale, Craig and Jillian Glopp are now proud owners of a saw palmetto farm. In simple terms, the pair are harvesting berries in order to cash in on the increasing-demands of the pharmaceutical industry. Going easy on the moments that saw the drama become a borderline slapstick affair (python wrestling), season 2 instead focusses on far more ominous predators: humans. Tossing up the ethical pitfalls of running a business, if season one of this hit US show didn't grip you from the off, then season two just might.
Hit Korean show Mask Girl has arrived. Deliciously dark and packed full of twists and turns, this new series forms part of the recent wave of high-quality K-drama taking the world by storm. A tale of attention, fame and recognition, the premise sees run-of-the-mill office worker Kim Mo-mi (Reflection of You‘s Go Hyun-jung) dream of international stardom. Those dreams quickly become a reality in the most unlikely of ways, as Mo-mi rises to fame as a mask-clad streamer online. As you might expect, the fame voyage isn't all plain sailing. Cue ominous events which switch the course of this 21st Century tale.
Hallelujah! Finally, a superhero origin story that avoids the concept of time travel altogether. Initially conceived as a direct-to-streaming-service release by Warner Bros, a change of heart (and head) over at DC (enter James Gunn and Peter Safran) saw this superhero watch transfered onto the big screen. A boundary-breaking affair where representation from the Latino community is concerned, this highly-anticipated DC Comics release is ideal for kids big and small. As you might expect, the story centres around the character Blue Beetle, aka Jaime Reyes. Despite falling a little short where groundbreaking storylines are concerned, what this feature lacks in originality it more than makes up for in heart.
Heart of Stone
Netflix’s big original movie hope for August is Heart of Stone, an action film starring Gal Godot, who just happened to be part of the cast for the most-viewed film on Netflix, Red Notice. It was proof you don’t need good reviews to be popular. Heart of Stone kind continues the trend on that last part. This is a familiar action-spy romp that isn’t going to unseat Mission Impossible in the espionage stakes, but also is a balmy watch when you just want a decent film to view after work.
Matthew Broderick is getting attention for quite how evil he comes across in Painkiller, in which he plays a big pharma boss partly responsible for the opioid epidemic over in America. This show, a six-episode series, looks at the state of the crisis and how it came to be. It’s a dramatisation, rather than a documentary. Some reviews compare it unfavourably to Disney+’s Dopesick, released in 2021, but if you haven’t seen that show this is an engaging way to catch up on exactly what the opioid crisis is.
This Korean series has a theme you wouldn’t typically associate with the “drama” genre: superheroes. A bunch of teenagers in Seoul realise they have super powers, inherited from their parents. But this is a world in which governments use people with such powers as weapons, so the teens absolutely need to keep their powers a secret. All seven episdoes of the first season are available to stream now over at Disney Plus.
Only Murders in the Building season 3
Much loved comedy-mystery Only Murders in the Building is back for a third season. It’s the best proof Steve Martin doesn’t just go around playing the banjo these days, as some will tell you. Martin co-created the show, and joins Martin Short and Selena Gomez to form a murder-investigating trio. In this season the cast is further enhanced by Paul Rudd and Meryl Streep. It might just be the show’s best season yet.
Billions season 7
Damian Lewis left Billions for season 6, wanting to spend more time with his family. But he’s back in season 7 and, thankfully, isn’t singing. Seriously, have you seen clips of his music performances online? If you’re new to the series, Billions follows the travails of hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod (Lewis) as he tries to avoid the prying eyes of US attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti).
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
This week’s biggie is the last Guardians of the Galaxy movie, Vol. 3. It was the best Marvel movie we’d seen on its release in May 2023, but you had better prepare to get emotional as this represents us saying goodbye to the Guardians, at least with this line-up. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 also marked the end of an era for director James Gunn. He directed all three of the instalments, but has now moved onto DC, where he is studio head.
Heartstopper season 2
Heart-stopper? Heart melter more like. Season two of affecting LGBTQ+ drama Heartstopper is out on Netflix, and is just as charming and sweet as the first time around. It’s based around Nick and Charlie, teenagers dealing with the realities of queer adolescence. For those new to the series, Heartstopper is derived from the web comic of Alice Oseman, and her 2015 novella that features the same two characters.
The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart
A child’s parents die in a fire and she is sent to live with her grandmother on a flower farm in Australia. That grandmother is Sigourney Weaver, and the setting here offers plenty of opportunity for cinematographer Sam Chiplin to tease out some gorgeous shots. If you can go with this show’s flow, you’ll find a powerful and affecting family drama that deals with trauma and domestic abuse. It’s based on a 2018 novel by Holly Ringland.
Gerard Butler is back with another slice of action film pie. But Kandahar is a bit more serious than the delicious silliness of Geostorm or the Fallen films. Butler plays a CIA operative who ends up exposed in Afghanistan, and has to rely on his translator to help him get out of a particularly sticky situation. It’s no modern classic, but Kandahar is worth a watch if you love that moreish combo of Gerard Butler and a stack of big action scenes.
The Big Nailed It Baking Challenge
Nailed It has always embraced fun over its seven seasons. A set of not-that-great bakers take on stiff challenges to impress hosts Nicole Byer and Jacques Torres. But this Baking Challenge takes things a step further by enlisting the help of baking coaches. The full 10 episodes are ready for a binge session. And we’re ready for the sugar rush.
Jon Hamm and Tina Fey star in this snappy comedy murder mystery movie in which Hamm plays a cop investigating a murder in a small town. It has drawn comparisons to Fargo, but lower your expectations to those of a less momentous watch and you’re more likely to come away happy with this one. Maggie Moore(s) is directed by John Slattery, one of the leads in Mad Men. That explains why Hamm is involved with this one, then.
Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody
This Whitney Houston biopic came to cinemas on December 26 2022. It traces the trajectory the iconic singer's career, including the darker years that led to her untimely death at just 48. One criticism levelled at this biopic was the choice to use a lip-sync’d singing for the live sequences. But can anyone seriously expect star Naomi Ackie to match the sheer power of Houston’s voice?
If, like us, you’re keenly waiting to see if The Meg 2 is as good fun as we all hope, Sharksploitation is a way to keep the momentum up. It’s a Shudder original documentary about the shark movie sub-genre. And it’s packed with interviews with cinematic heroes including Roger Corman, Joe Dante and Joe Alves, who designed the original mechanical sharks in Jaws.
Witcher Season 3 Part 2
Henry Cavill’s farewell to The Witcher is here. The second part of season 3 of the show dropped on July 27. The critics suggest this rather awkward end to this era of The Witcher doesn’t make the future of the show appear all that sunny. However, Cavill bows out in style, hopefully to head home and play with some Warhammer, or something. The Witcher Season 4 isn’t due out for at least a couple of years, giving the concept of a Liam Hemsworth Witcher time to bed in.
Shin Masked Rider
You may not have encountered TV series Kamen Rider before, but it has been around in Japan since the early 1970s. And it has spawned new TV series and movies ever since. This film is a celebration of 50 years of the character. While not a box office smash on home turf, Shin Masked Rider was a critical hit. rogerebert.com's Simon Abrams gave it a particularly glowing 3.5/4 review, calling it “thrilling and thoughtful.”
Good Omens Season 2
As in the first series Good Omens, this new season of the show relies heavily on the fab chemistry between David Tennant and Michael Sheen. However, that it largely maintains the quality of a the original run of episodes its quite a feat in itself. Why? Good Omens was based on a novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. There was no sequel novel, meaning the show’s writers are out there on their own for this follow-up.
Futurama Season 11
After 10 years off our screens, Futurama is back. In classic Disney fashion, we only get the first episode for now. And critics have given it a tentative thumbs-up. However, at a time when The Simpsons has had more bad, or at least questionable, seasons than Futurama has had in total, maybe that’s not a bad result. This current run features 10 episodes, set to air by the end of September. Whether or not it gets a season 12 will depend on those viewing figures, so get streaming, folks.
How To Become A Cult Leader
This series is the polar opposite of those true crime documentaries that string out a story over as many episodes as possible. Each of the 30-minute episodes looks at a different cult leader, from Heaven’s Gate’s Marshall Applewhite to Charles Manson himself. Peter Dinklage narrates and the whole schtick here is it is presented as if you, the viewer, are looking to become such a cult leader yourself. That might get a bit tired for some, but this is a brisk way to get an overview of some shady folks.
On the big screen...
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Are we in a new golden era of animation? Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse blew minds with the dynamic creativity of its visuals. And now we have a return of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with a hyper-stylised look that fizzes with energy. Reviews are almost universally positive too, IGN Movies calling Mutant Mayhem “a new high for the Turtles on the big screen.” That may not be a high a bar as some of us remember from childhood viewings of the 90s movies, but this latest is genuinely worth a watch, and not just for the kids.