Our film and TV recommendations: What to watch, from Only Murders in the Building to Atlanta

·10-min read
Our film and TV recommendations: What to watch, from Only Murders in the Building to Atlanta

Want to hunker down in front of a screen but stuck for something to watch?

Here are the films, TV shows and special streaming events on our cultural radar right now, plus some of our favourites from recent weeks that you can catch up on…

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Stranger Things Season 4, Vol 2

The final installation of the much-hyped fourth series sees Eleven fighting to regain control of her powers as the villainous Vecna bears down on the town of Hawkins, Indiana. Expect tears, explosions and guitar solos as the gang prepare to fight him off.

Netflix, July 1

The Undeclared War

Simon Pegg stars in this thriller about a group of GCHQ boffins who are working to block cyber-attacks in a disturbingly realistic version of 2024. But when an intern is the only person to spot an imminent threat, alarm bells begin to ring…

Streaming on All4

Only Murders in the Building

This wacky, light-hearted sitcom features Selena Gomez, Steve Martin and Martin Short as oddball amateur detectives who have to solve murders happening in their own apartment block. Though season one ended on a high with a hit true-crime podcast, expect more whodunnits in season two.

Streaming on Disney+

Atlanta Series 3

Donald Glover’s visionary comedy-slash-horror is back and finally available to stream in the UK. Follow the ever-grifting rappers Earn and Paper Boi as they embark on a tour of Europe, in a radical series that is already being hailed as a masterpiece.

Streaming on Disney+

Suspect

Niamh Algar in Suspect (Channel 4)
Niamh Algar in Suspect (Channel 4)

James Nesbitt stars as a veteran cop attempting to piece together the circumstances surrounding his daughter’s death (spoiler alert: he’s breaking a lot of professional ethics) in this adaptation of a Scandi thriller. Each episode features a brilliant guest star, with the line-up including Richard E. Grant. Anne-Marie Duff and Niamh Algar.

Channel 4 and All4, Sunday at 9pm

The Lazarus Project

Written by Giri/Haji’s Joe Barton, this high-concept time-travelling thriller stars Paapa Essiedu as George, a man who wakes up to discover he’s reliving a day that happened months before. Soon he’s recruited as part of a secret group that turns back time every time the world is faced with an extinction event. Anjli Mohindra, Tom Burke and Caroline Quentin also star.

Sky Max and Now

Halftime

This film follows Jennifer Lopez as she turns 50 and prepares for her headline Super Bowl performance with Shakira. As with the majority of docs about musicians, it’s very much J. Lo’s version of J. Lo that we’re getting here, but there are some vulnerable moments too, not least when she gets snubbed for an Oscar for her staggering performance in Hustlers.

Netflix

Glastonbury: 50 Years and Counting

 (BBC)
(BBC)

This film tells the story of the iconic festival, now celebrating its half century, through interviews with founder Michael Eavis and his daughter Emily, as well as chats with some of the big names who have performed over the years. Director Francis Whately intersperses political history with music trends in clever ways to illuminate Glasto’s history.

BBC Two, Sunday at 9pm

Everything I Know About Love

This adaptation of Dolly Alderton’s wildly successful memoir follows best pals Maggie (Emma Appleton) and Birdy (Bel Powley) as they navigate the chaos of their first London flatshare - and the inevitable strain that occurs when friendship is disrupted by an interloping boyfriend. It’s fizzy, funny and - thanks to the constant 2012 references - nostalgic.

BBC iPlayer, BBC Two on Tuesdays

Ms Marvel

Kamala Khan, aka Marvel’s first ever Muslim superhero Ms. Marvel, feels like a genuinely exciting addition to the comic book giant’s sprawling cinematic universe, if the engaging, inventive opening episode of this spin-off series is anything to go by. Kamala’s a comic book fan who develops powers of her own when she wears an ancient bangle passed down through her family.

Disney+

Sherwood

 (BBC/House Productions/Matt Squire)
(BBC/House Productions/Matt Squire)

Tensions explode in a ‘Red wall’ Nottinghamshire community after a former miner (Alun Armstrong) is murdered in the latest from screenwriter and playwright James Graham, set in his hometown and partly inspired by real events. David Morrissey plays the local police chief, joined by Robert Glenister as a Met officer last in the area for the strikes in the Eighties.

BBC One, Mondays and Tuesdays

My Name Is Leon

Adapted from Kit de Waal’s moving novel and set against the backdrop of the Birmingham race riots in the Eighties, this 90-minute film hinges around a brilliant performance from newcomer Cole Martin. He plays Leon, a mixed-race 10-year-old boy whose life is turned upside down when he and his baby brother, who is white, are split up by the care system.

BBC Two, June 10 at 9pm

Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen

As part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the royal family have opened up their archives of family films to bring us this intriguing documentary. It will feature previously unseen footage of the Queen as a young girl, and will be narrated by the monarch herself, telling the story of her reign in her own words.

BBC iPlayer

Stranger Things

It’s time to head back to Hawkins, Indiana, with Eleven and the gang for one last time (sort of - this final season of Netflix’s sci-fi juggernaut has been divided up into two parts, the first of which comprises seven episodes and lands on the streamer today). The new eps are long (we’re talking almost feature length) and the formula hasn’t changed much, but they still make for addictive, nostalgic viewing.

Netflix

Pistol

Based on guitarist Steve Jones’ memoir, Danny Boyle’s take on the Sex Pistols’ tumultuous rise to fame and brief, chaotic stint in the spotlight fizzes with anarchic energy. The young ensemble cast is great across the board, with Sydney Chandler especially good as future Pretender Chrissie Hynde and Thomas Brodie-Sangster clearly having a great time as empresario Malcolm McLaren.

Disney+

Big Boys

This heart-warming comedy, based on Jack Rooke‘s stand-up shows, stars Derry Girls’ Dylan Llewellyn as a closeted teen coming to terms with the death of his dad. When he starts uni, he meets the laddy Danny (Jon Pointing) and an unlikely but lovely friendship develops.

All4

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Ewan McGregor’s turn as the famous Jedi was one of the best things about the much-maligned Star Wars prequels. Almost two decades later, he’s reprising the role in this mini-series - and Hayden Christensen is back as his former protegé Darth Vader, too. Plot details are scarce, naturally, but expect to see Obi-Wan in exile, dodging Sith forces and attempting to protect a pint-sized Luke Skywalker from afar.

Disney+

Jungle Cry

If you adore stories of unlikely sports teams clawing their way out of adversity to triumph, this film based on a true story, now available on Lionsgate Play, of a group of Indian orphans who were coached from nothing into a team that won the U14 rugby world cup will be for you, despite the fact that the players all look about 25. A minor quibble.

Lionsgate Play

The Time Traveller’s Wife

Yes, this adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s novel suffers from About Time Syndrome ie. the fact that there’s something inherently a bit dodgy about time travelling romances. But Sherlock screenwriter Steven Moffat and stars Rose Leslie and Theo James do their utmost to make this a glossily enjoyable watch.

Sky Atlantic and Now

Floodlights

This powerful, harrowing one-off drama is based on the story of Andy Woodward, the former professional footballer who bravely spoke out about the coach who sexually abused him and other players as teenagers. His testimony was instrumental in encouraging other victims to come forward.

BBC iPlayer

The Essex Serpent

Clio Barnard’s atmospheric AppleTV+ adaptation of Sarah Perry’s bestselling novel, which stars Claire Danes as young widow Cora, who comes to Essex to investigate rumours of a dangerous serpent that she believes may be a living example of an ancient creature. She finds more than she bargained for, not least sexy vicar Will Ransome (Tom Hiddleston).

Apple TV+

Conversations With Friends

Even if the translation from page to screen has somewhat diminished the spark of Sally Rooney’s writing, this adaptation of her debut novel about two young women entangled in a tricky relationship with an older couple is worth watching for Jemima Kirke as Melissa Conway alone. Joe Alwyn less so, sadly, stretching a bit too far along the spectrum of strong and silent.

BBC iPlayer

Mother Teresa: For the Love of God?

Great title, and a damning indictment of what appears to have amounted more or less to a cult that wasn’t backed up by sufficient practical assistance (and sometimes was actively dangerous), despite all the trumpeting of ‘helping the needy’. A salutary lesson in the danger of idolising humans.

Sky Documentaries and Now

Here We Go

This sitcom from Tom Basden (who also stars as vaping, Jamiroquai-loving uncle Robin) is a delight, charting family life with the Jessops (Katherine Parkinson’s over-it mum Rachel, Jim Howick’s former Olympic archer dad Paul and Alison Steadman on top form as grandma Sue) through the lens of their teenage son’s handheld camera. It’s a familiar set-up, but the jokes are relentlessly sharp and the characters never feel like clichés.

BBC iPlayer

The Dry

This comedy-drama from the producers of Normal People, streaming on Britbox, has shades of Fleabag and This Way Up. Thirty-something Shiv (Roisin Gallagher) returns home to Dublin after years of trying to make it as an artist (and partying hard) in London. Now she’s sober - but being back in the family fold will stretch her good intentions to the limit.

Britbox

Heartstopper

Everyone’s talking about this heartwarming Netflix adaptation of Alice Oseman’s graphic novel series - and it’s notched up a rare 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a sweet coming-of-age romance (more Grange Hill than Euphoria in tone) about teenager Charlie (Joe Locke) falling for Nick, the star of the school’s rugby team. Plus there’s an Olivia Colman cameo.

Netflix

DI Ray

Parminder Nagra leads this four-part police thriller written by Maya Sondhi and exec produced by Jed ‘Line of Duty’ Mercurio (LoD fans will remember Sondhi as an AC-12 ally in earlier seasons). DI Rachita Ray’s colleagues are convinced that a murder case is a ‘culturally specific homicide’ - but she thinks they are jumping to conclusions, and the truth is more complicated.

ITV Hub

Shining Girls

The Handmaid’s Tale’s Elisabeth Moss gets her teeth into yet another gritty role in this genre-bending, time-twisting mystery, streaming on Apple TV+ from today. She plays a former journalist who is trying to piece her life back together after experiencing a horrific assault. When reports emerge of a murder case that might be linked to her attacker, she is determined to discover the truth.

Apple TV+

Ten Percent

The British version of Call My Agent!, the chic hit French comedy about a Parisian talent agency, has been one of the most eagerly anticipated shows of the year. It finally arrives on Prime Video this week, with Jack Davenport, Lydia Leonard and Prasanna Puwanarajah among the cast, and a whole host of celeb cameos. Perfect gentle viewing for the three day weekend.

Prime Video

Chivalry

A comedy about #MeToo? Noooo, I hear you cry. Fortunately, however, this is a smart, subtle show on Channel 4 from Steve Coogan and Sarah Solemani, which makes hypocrisy the butt of the joke. Terrified of being cancelled, producer Cameron brings feminist filmmaker Bobby in to do reshoots of a movie that’s turned out a bit sexist. Sienna Miller and Lolly Adefope also star.

All4

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