An HBO convert, a recent theater hit (or two) and a refreshing new take on the rom com genre are just some of the options on offer this week. There’s also an idiosyncratic coming of age tale, a massive spy movie and an intriguing new docuseries, so pick your preference from the titles below.
What to watch on Netflix
Heart of Stone
Gal Gadot stars as Rachel Stone, secret agent extraordinaire, in this exciting new spy blockbuster. Heart of Stone revolves around a clandestine group of agents who operate outside of normal national jurisdictions (a la the Mission: Impossible team) and make use of a treacherously powerful AI system to keep tabs on the world at large. So when a savvy hacker (Alia Bhatt) sets her sights on the device, Stone’s team must step in to stop her. The rest of the cast includes Jamie Dornan as Gadot’s MI6 counterpart, as well as Sophie Okonedo, Matthias Schweighöfer and Jing Lusi. Heart of Stone premieres Friday, August 11th.
Like fellow HBO series Insecure, Ballers is headed to Netflix (NFLX). The show stars Dwayne Johnson as a retired Miami Dolphins star who decides to commit himself to the other side of the sport as a financial manager for players and, eventually, as someone who runs entire teams. Rob Corddry and John David Washington also star, the latter making use of his experience as a former professional football player. It’s a dramedy that stands as the Entourage of the sports world, a slightly less romantic Jerry Maguire fit for television. All five seasons of Ballers will be available to stream on Tuesday, August 15th.
What to watch on Hulu
Miguel Wants to Fight
One of the odder coming of age stories you’ll see this year, Miguel Wants to Fight is all about a teen who’s ready to give up his passive and pacifist ways. At Miguel’s school, getting in a fight isn’t just a rite of passage, it’s a way of life. So when his parents announce that it’s time for the family to move, he decides that he needs to get into a brawl, at least once. With funky animated tinges and some wry comedy, the movie makes for a kind of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World fit for the ‘20s. Miguel Wants to Fight premieres Wednesday, August 16th.
What to watch on Amazon Prime
Red, White & Royal Blue
According to writer-director Matthew López, rom coms are one of the “staples of any good filmgoer’s diet.” He makes good on that assertion with Red, White & Royal Blue, an adaptation of the popular novel of the same name. The movie centers around the begrudging, then blossoming relationship between Alex, the son of the American president, and Henry, a British prince. What starts as a bid to maintain good publicity for Alex’s mother (Uma Thurman), who’s running for re-election, turns into something beyond a diplomatic friendship. Red, White & Royal Blue premieres Friday, August 11th.
The title really says it all, doesn’t it? Cocaine Bear is about a bear who accidentally ingests an obscene amount of cocaine and goes on a rampage—your classic B-movie fare. This one happens to be directed by Elizabeth Banks and stars a slew of talented actors, including Alden Ehrenreich, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the late Ray Liotta and Keri Russell (who’s also joined by fellow The Americans alumni Margo Martindale and Matthew Rhys). It’s violent, it’s schlocky, and it’s utterly ridiculous; basically, it’s a movie that knows exactly what it is, making for a fun time. Cocaine Bear streams starting Tuesday, August 15th.
What to watch on Max
Produced in part by Josh and Benny Safdie (Good Time, Uncut Gems), Telemarketers tells the story of two employees who decide to wise up about the telemarketing call center they work for. While they’re under the impression that they’re soliciting kind folks for donations to charities meant for first responders and their families, the telemarketing scheme is actually a scam. The docuseries tracks the two men as they work to uncover the truth behind the call center, using 20 years of their footage and vigilante investigations. Telemarketers premieres Sunday, August 13th.
What to watch on Peacock
Wes Anderson’s most recent film crash lands on Peacock this week. Asteroid City has all of the writer-director’s hallmarks, from stories-within-stories to an immaculately preserved color palette to a sprawling cast of A-listers. The movie follows a televised re-enactment of a play, conveniently also called Asteroid City, which centers around a group of genius children and their parents at a strange scientific convention in the desert. The main focus is on Woodrow (Jake Ryan) and his father Augie (Jason Schwartzman), who is doing his best to repress grief over the loss of his wife. Asteroid City premieres on streaming Friday, August 11th.
What to Watch is a regular endorsement of movies and TV worth your streaming time.