For this month’s streaming offerings: Martin Scorsese revisits a key tour in Bob Dylan’s career; the Jonas brothers offer fans a peek into their most intimate moments; Adam Sandler’s partnership with Netflix continues; and water-cooler series as Black Mirror and The Handmaid’s Tale return to the programming calendar. Here’s what coming to a Smart TV or laptop near you. (You can check out our cable TV recommendations for June here.)
Music video veteran Chris Robinson gets in the feature game with this drama putting a hip-hop spin on the traditional getting-out-of-the-neighborhood narrative. A beat-maker savant (Khalil Everage) cooped up in his bedroom after his sister’s tragic shooting leaves him with mild agoraphobia. When a down-on-his-luck manager (Anthony Anderson) hears what the kid’s doing, he thinks he’s found a ticket to the top, but first he’ll have to convince his prospective client’s defensive mother (Orange Is the New Black‘s Uzo Aduba) that he’s got the boy’s best interests at heart.
Black Mirror, Season 5 (Netflix, June 5th)
From the heir apparent to The Twilight Zone‘s throne of short-form suspense come three new visions of the macabre laced with technological anxiety. In one, a pair of buddies (Anthony Mackie and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) shirk the responsibilities of adulthood with a VR video game. Another features Miley Cyrus as a pop starlet lending her likeness to an Alexa-type home assistant that sparks an unhealthy obsession in one teen girl (Angourie Rice). The third concerns a rideshare driver (Andrew Scott) at the end of his rope, finally taking revenge on a corporation he reviles. Cherish the tantalizing techno-terror!
Chasing Happiness (Amazon, June 4th)
They were three pastor’s sons from New Jersey — Nick, Kevin, and Joe Jonas — who hit the jackpot and scored overnight boy-band stardom. Then, they threw it all away. And then, they tried to get it back. This behind-the-scenes doc charts the gents’ rise-and-fall-and-rise-again narrative, covering fame, fortune, a breakup, marriages, kids and seemingly whatever else life can throw at them.
Das Boot (Hulu, June 17th)
Imported from Germany, this miniseries acts as a sort-of-sequel to Wolfgang Petersen’s classic men-on-a-submarine film, picking up in 1942 to adapt the rest of Lothar-Günther Buchheim’s source novel and its follow-up. The series divides its attention between the upheaval among the resistance fighters in France and the harried crew of the submarine U-612 as they stave off madness, complete with an international cast featuring Vicky Krieps, Lizzy Caplan, Vincent Kartheiser and James D’Arcy. Eat your heart out, Dunkirk!
The Handmaid’s Tale, Season 3 (Hulu, June 5th)
Yes, watching this show has only gotten more difficult as our draconian reality inches closer to matching it. But the creators behind this extended take on Margaret Atwood’s novel have some more tricks up their sleeves, apparently. Last season ended with June (Elisabeth Moss) resolving to stay in Gilead instead of fleeing and take up the fight against the repressive regime. She’ll now face the brutal consequences of that noble sacrifice, as the enemy’s ranks grow with the arrival of Commander Winslow (series newcomer Christopher Meloni). Come for the dystopia; stay for how Moss is genuinely making the most out of this heroine role.
I Am Mother (Netflix, June 7th)
Yet another sci-fi thriller from Netflix, and this one’s got a doozy of a premise: A teenage girl (Clara Rugaard) has been raised from birth by an automaton (voice of Rose Byrne) designed to facilitate the Earth’s repopulation after the atmosphere turns hostile. Then the shocking appearance of a wounded woman (Hilary Swank) from the supposedly unlivable outside throws everything the girl thought she knew into question. Fans of Ex Machina — or any battle of wits between human and machine — you may want to mark your calendar.
Murder Mystery (Netflix, June 14th)
The latest Adam Sandler/Netflix joint takes the shape of an Agatha Christie page-turner, as a hangdog cop (Sandler) and his lovely wife (Jennifer Aniston) go on a tropical honeymoon with life-and-death stakes. They’re invited for a weekend getaway on a yacht owned by a suspicious viscount (Luke Evans), where an elderly billionaire soon shows up with a knife in his chest. Between Nick’s detective skills and Audrey’s love of potboiler paperbacks, they might be able to solve the crime with a little time left over for some sight-seeing.
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (Netflix, June 12th)
Martin Scorsese has immortalized Bob Dylan onscreen once before, charting his early going-electric years with 2005’s No Direction Home. But this new film takes a slightly more novel approach, chronicling Dylan’s legendary 1975-76 concert tour with a mix of documentary footage with some more fanciful interludes. (Official promo materials describe the film as “part fever dream.”) The man himself agreed to a new interview for the film — a rarity these days — and the lineup of guest stars collects such heavy hitters as Joan Baez, T-Bone Burnett, Joni Mitchell, Ringo Starr and Patti Smith.
Tales of the City (Netflix, June 7th)
Welcome back to the Bay Area, Mary Ann Singleton! Laura Linney returns to her career-making role by settling back into her corner of San Francisco and reacquainting herself with city’s the colorful cast of kooks, freaks, weirdos and misfits. Ellen Page joins the cast; Paul Gross and Olympia Dukakis are back and better than ever; and the coterie of hippies, drag queens and assorted oddballs are in full force. Finally, a nostalgia trip we can cosign on without any reservations.
Too Old to Die Young (Amazon, June 14th)
Danish provocateur Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, The Neon Demon) has come to the small screen, and he’s brought his love of lurid neon hues and severed limbs with him. This gutbucket noir drags cop-cum-hitman Martin (Miles Teller) through a hellacious Los Angeles filled with Russian mafia apparatchiks, Yakuza assassins, Mexican cartel enforcers, teen hoodlums and one seriously deranged off-the-books porno outfit. With his mentor in murder Viggo (John Hawkes) counseling him, Martin forges a twisted moralist outlook allowing him to be as brutal as a person can possibly be while still thinking of themselves as the good guy. Mayhem, naturally, ensues.