Best Films to Stream This Week in the UK

From an affable Billy Crystal comedy to a Meghan Markle-narrated elephant doc, here are our top picks for streaming and renting...

Going to the cinema isn't an option right now, but bringing the magic of the big screen directly into your home is – especially as so many studios opt to release the latest films on VOD platforms instead. What better way to take refuge from the bizarre situation currently gripping our world than with a host of unique, inspiring, and entertaining films?

As always, we've assembled the best of what’s showing (read as: streaming) and gathered them here to make choosing a great movie as easy as possible. Whatever you're in the mood for, WeLoveCinema has you well and truly covered…

 

New Releases…

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime Video (rent)

A hit at Sundance earlier this year, but stripped of its theatrical release in the UK, Eliza Hittman's bold examination of US reproductive rights has found its way onto VOD this week, albeit quietly. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (not to be confused with a similarly-named Bill Nighy film) stars Sidney Flanigan as seventeen-year-old Autumn, who – following an unwanted pregnancy – sets out from her home state of Pennsylvania to New York with her cousin in tow. It's an uncompromising look at a broken system, and a new classic of female friendship.

 

Standing Up, Falling Down

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play (rent)

Alternately working as a showcase for comedian/actor Ben Schwartz and as a mini comeback vehicle for legendary comedian Billy Crystal, Standing Up, Falling Down is by no means ambitious. In telling the story of a failed comedian returning to his home town only to befriend his drunk of a dermatologist (?), it settles as a hodgepodge of things we've seen countless times in other films – but charmingly so. Sort of impossible to hate?

What we said: It's a film as aimless as its main character, but there's such warmness to the material, and to the characters, both central and secondary, that makes watching not unlike tuning into an episode of your favourite sitcom (read our full review).”

 

Trolls World Tour

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play (rent it from April 6)

Released back in 2016, Trolls, based on the hugely successful toy franchise of the same name despite the characters looking nothing alike, proved a pleasing diversion, and featured the voice talents of Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake. Trolls World Tour, the latest instalment, offers all that, but again, this time as Poppy (Kendrick) and Branch (Timberlake) hit the road in a bid to unite six other types of trolls through the power of song.

 

The Whalebone Box

Where to watch it: MUBI (stream)

A film that is as elusive and strange as its title, The Whalebone Box unfolds as a hypnotic dream-documentary in which a trio of artists attempts to return the titular object to the place it washed up – on the Isle of Harris in Scotland. The film comes from filmmaker Andrew Kötting (who also appears on screen alongside Dilworth, making for a quasi-road movie), and is basically impossible to classify. How often can you say that?

What we said:It's a work of an inescapable eeriness – a beguiling mix of archive footage, soundscape, and maybe even horror (read our full review).”

 

Elephant

Where to watch it: Disney+ (stream)

One of two Disney+ nature documentaries to hit the platform this week (dolphin lovers should check out the equally obviously titled Dolphin Reef), Elephant is exactly what is says on the tin, as it follows a herd of elephants as they trek through the Kalahari Desert. It's light and accessible, clearly designed as something that families can sit and watch together. Oh, and it's narrated by Meghan Markle, who gets to deliver lines like: “The mud has a dark side.”

Still Streaming…

System Crasher

Where to watch it: Curzon Home Cinema (rent)

Nine-year-old Benni, brilliant but difficult, is shipped from one foster home to the next, earning her the title of “system crasher.” Nora Fingscheidt's frantic drama, set in Germany, is a vastly uncompromising debut, featuring a brilliant lead performance from Helena Zengel, and an aptly energetic score from composer John Gürtler.

What we said: “Sometimes System Crasher is fun, and sometimes it makes you feel sick. The film operates on a constant seesaw of extremes, as Benni crosses lines with horrific brutality at one turn, before retreating to comfort a crying carer at the next (read our full review).”

 

The Perfect Candidate

Where to watch it: Curzon Home Video (rent)

Haifaa al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia’s first female filmmaker, directs this moving film about a female doctor who decides to run for local council. Mila Al Zahrani gives a brilliant performance in the titular role in a deeply feminist film that's both uplifting and groundbreaking. Saudi Arabia isn't a very good place to be female – this film probes the sexist interior of the country in a clever way, calling attention to the absurdity without ever losing its sense of humour.

 

Vivarium

Where to watch it: Curzon Home Cinema (rent)

Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots play a young couple who find themselves confined to a nightmarish suburbia and forced to raise a baby in writer-director Lorcan Finnegan's twisty meditation on parental expectations and settling down. A head-scratcher for the post-millennial generation.

What we said: “It’s a perversely curious premise, a lab experiment of a relationship drama (read our full review).”

 

Togo

Where to watch it: Disney+ (stream)

If you thought The Call of the Wild was the year's only film teaming a Hollywood veteran with a loveable pooch, think again: Willem Dafoe stars in this Disney+ original film about “the Great Race of Mercy,” based on the true story of the heroic dog-sled teams who set out to deliver a serum through hazardous conditions to aid an epidemic. You can't make this stuff up.

What we said: “Sentimental but packing genuine bite, Togo will no doubt go down as a family favourite for years to come (read our full review).”

 

Blow the Man Down

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime Video (stream)

Like Fargo, but set in a blustery port town in Maine, the first film from writer-director pair Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy follows two sisters trying to cover up a grisly crime that quickly spirals out of control. It's a noir-ish delight with memorial characters and a brilliant sense of place; the sort of debut that suggests the arrival of a major talent.

What we said:Positioned somewhere between a Coen brothers film and Sam Raimi’s A Simple Plan, with just a little Wes Anderson thrown in for good measure, it’s a deadpan murder mystery told with a subtly feminist kick (read full review).

Other Features

Best Films to Stream This Week in the UK

From an epic documentary on female filmmakers to a quirky road trip through Bosnia, here are our picks for what to watch online...

10 of the best… road movies of the 2010s

In cinema, the open road is packed with endless possibilities and diversions: here we highlight our top picks from the last ten years...

Killing Time: Youth and Restlessness in the Films of Eliza Hittman

With the arrival of Never Rarely Sometimes Always, we explore the filmmaker's uniquely woozy and melancholy teen portraits

Stream Holidays: Eight Great Films About Trips to Greece

From the infectious hedonism of Zorba the Greek to the liberating frolics of Shirley Valentine, here's our guide for the armchair traveller

Reviews

The County review – bleak class struggle in the Icelandic hinterlands

This Nordic drama can be drab and dour, but it raises interesting questions, anchored by a compelling lead performance

Take Me Somewhere Nice review – strange and stylised trip through Bosnia

Ena Sendijarević's impressive debut follows a teenager on a transformative trip through Bosnia in a bid to meet her dying father

The Lovebirds review – shouty murder-mystery settles for generic

Despite the efforts of its leads, Michael Showater's follow-up to The Big Sick falls victim to a slapdash story and familiar beats

Cassandro, The Exotico! review – entertaining portrait of a lucha libre wrestler

Marie Losier's brief documentary deals with some heavy topics but works best as a good-natured look at a unique athlete