‘The Promised Land,’ ‘Biosphere’ and More Streaming Gems

Speculative science fiction, period drama and sly thrillers are among this month’s off-the-beaten-path recommendations from your subscription streamers.

Stream it on Hulu.

Mads Mikkelsen stars in this epic period drama as Capt. Ludvig Kahlen, described as “a presumptuous soldier in a flea-ridden uniform” — and that’s what they say to his face. The sneers and humiliation he is subjected to by the ruling class of mid-18th-century Denmark give the picture its juice; the potent narrative is as much a pointed class commentary as a historical drama, as the poor but dedicated Kahlen tries to build a workable manor out of a barren slab of heath, and discovers that his idealistic notions of honor and hard work won’t get him much of anywhere with these aristocrats. Chief among them is Simon Bennebjerg’s De Schinkel, the most loathsome movie villain in many a moon. And the director Nikolaj Arcel builds up a furious head of steam on the way to an utterly satisfying conclusion.

Stream it on Netflix.

Paul Feig made his name directing such movies as “Bridesmaids” and “Spy,” uproarious comic gems that provided career-best showcases for their female stars. He shines a similarly flattering spotlight on Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively here, though with a surprising genre shift, eschewing the broad comedy of his earlier work for this stylish, semi-Sapphic neo-noir thriller. Kendrick is a typical suburban mom who finds herself dazzled by (and quietly attracted to) Lively’s sophisticated outlier; their children are schoolmates, but they may as well be from different planets. The twists and turns of Jessica Sharzer’s screenplay (from the Darcey Bell novel) are compelling, but Kendrick and Lively’s swoony relationship, and its spiky playfulness, are what make “A Simple Favor” sing.

Stream it on Amazon Prime Video.

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Source: Movies -


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