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What’s on this week? Whether it’s what’s on cable, streaming on Prime Video or Netflix, or at your local movie theater, we’ve got your must-watch list for the week. Start with TV and scroll down for movies. It’s all right here.
On TV this week …
How to Murder Your Husband: The Nancy Brophy Story
In a fictionalized true story, Cybill Shepherd plays Portland romance thriller writer Nancy Crampton-Brophy, 72, and Steve Guttenberg (Police Academy) plays the eminent chef husband she killed after inadvisably writing such works as The Wrong Husband, The Wrong Lover and How to Murder Your Husband. “The thing I know about murder,” said the real Crampton-Brophy, “is that every one of us have it in him/her when pushed far enough.”
Watch it: How to Murder Your Husband, Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. ET, on Lifetime
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The Last of Us
HBO outspent Game of Thrones on this blockbuster fantasy show starring GOT veteran Pedro Pascal as a man smuggling a teen (Bella Ramsey of the must-see Lena Dunham movie Catherine Called Birdy) across a post-apocalyptic U.S. beset by a fungus that turns humans into Walking Dead-ish cannibal zombies. Nick Offerman and White Lotus breakout Murray Bartlett costar, with hot Yellowjackets star Melanie Lynskey as a ruthless revolutionary leader. The look of the show is inspired by Alan Weisman’s nonfiction masterpiece The World Without Us, which describes what Earth would be like if humans disappeared.
Watch it: The Last of Us, Jan. 15, on HBO
Don’t miss this: The 10 Network TV Shows We’re Most Excited to Watch This January
John Larroquette returns as a sardonic prosecutor turned defense attorney in the reboot of the classic show that made him famous, with Melissa Rauch as Judge Stone (playing the daughter of Harry Anderson’s original Judge Stone character).
Watch it: Night Court, Jan. 17 at 8 p.m. ET, on NBC
Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space
PBS’ American Experience seldom disappoints, and Hurston, the professional anthropologist and Their Eyes Were Watching God author, who spun her deep studies of Black American and Caribbean folklore into literature that propelled the Harlem Renaissance, is one titanic subject. Director Tracy Heather Strain won a Peabody Award for her previous documentary, Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart.
Watch it: Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space, Jan. 17 at 9 p.m. ET, on PBS
Your Netflix watch of the week is here!
The Pale Blue Eye, R
Edgar Allan Poe was a West Point cadet in 1830, and though he never found a fellow cadet with his heart torn out, I bet he would’ve said just what Cadet Poe (Harry Melling) tells Detective Landor (Christian Bale) in this No. 1 Netflix whodunit: “The man you’re looking for is a poet. To remove a man’s heart is to traffic in symbol.” And to nab him? “Who better equipped for such labor than a poet?” Detective and poetic cadet put their heads together (and hearts — Poe had lost a mother, Landor a wife and child) and creep ever closer to cracking the case. The tale is good, not great, but there’s brooding period atmosphere to burn and the cast is killer: Timothy Spall as the scandal-dreading West Point superintendent, Toby Jones as the cadets’ shady doctor and Gillian Anderson as his snooty, hypersensitive wife, Charlotte Gainsbourg as Landor’s sweetie, and Robert Duvall (92) as an expert on occult symbols the killer seems to dig.
Watch it: The Pale Blue Eye, on Netflix
Don’t miss this: The 13 Best Things Coming to Netflix in January
Your Prime Video watch of the week is here!
Hunters, Season 2 (Prime Video Original)
The unsinkable Al Pacino returns to Prime for a second and final season of the conspiracy drama that focuses on Nazi hunters. In the Oscar winner’s first TV series lead, he’s a Holocaust survivor who recruits a team of well-intentioned predators (including Logan Lerman) to snuff out swastika-bearing antagonists. Jennifer Jason Leigh joins the cast, and Lena Olin returns as the villainous Eva Braun, she-wolf of the Fourth Reich, in this eight-part sequel that continues to raise awareness about anti-Semitism and the agency of the Jewish people.
Watch it: Hunters, Jan. 13, on Prime Video
Don’t miss this: The 11 Best Things Coming to Prime Video in January
What’s good at the movies and on TV
⭐⭐⭐⭐☆ A Man Called Otto, PG-13
Wait — is that the famously nice Tom Hanks dressing down two hardware store employees undeserving of his ire? What have they done to our beloved actor? In A Man Called Otto (based on the number 1 best-selling novel and Swedish film hit A Man Called Ove), Hanks plays ill-tempered widower Otto Anderson, who oversees his neighborhood with grimace and furrowed brow. Though the dramatic comedy signals that a break in his frosty temperament must come, Hanks doesn’t let on as to when the ice will crack. The work of thawing Otto is left to others. Will their acts of reclamation outpace his plans to take his life? There are the old neighbors who were close with him and his late wife, Sonya (played in flashbacks by Hanks’ son Truman as the young Otto and Rachel Keller as Mrs. Anderson). There are new folks who extend him a grace that he hasn’t quite earned. (That these characters are Black, Latino or trans suggests the filmmakers crafted a sentimental parable for our times, a notion sure to elicit some to cry, “Humbug.”) But it is Mariana Treviño, as Marisol, a recent Mexican immigrant and Otto’s new neighbor, who serves as the movie’s blast of affirming light so searing even Otto feels it. Hanks fans may flock to A Man Called Otto. Treviño is the unexpected quasar here. —Lisa Kennedy (L.K.)
Watch it: A Man Called Otto, in theaters
The Rig, Season 1 (Prime Video Original)
Miles off the Scottish coast on an oil platform staffed largely with manly men, a fog rolls in. And, as in James Cameron’s The Abyss, an environmental catastrophe unfolds with a side of paranormal activity and mass worker hysteria. Iain Glen (Game of Thrones’ Jorah Mormont) tries to keep the remote crew unified, promising to get everyone home. But as the rig shakes and shimmies and loses power, what’s really causing the crisis — and how can the men and women who harvest fossil fuels survive?
Watch it: The Rig, on Prime Video
⭐⭐⭐⭐☆ Turn Every Page — The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb, PG
Robert Caro, famed biographer of Robert Moses and LBJ, formed a long-standing, life-changing relationship with legendary editor Robert Gottlieb. Produced and directed by Gottlieb’s daughter Lizzie (Today’s Man), this empathetic documentary honors book culture while exploring the way these men used the biographical form to understand political power. It also reveals editorial battles big and small, from vocal arguments about semicolons to the cutting of 350,000 words in a manuscript. Turn Every Page is a fascinating take on two articulate New Yorkers who came together and shaped the world of publishing, while exemplifying the enduring power of the written word. —Thelma M. Adams (T.M.A.)
Watch it: Turn Every Page, in theaters
⭐⭐⭐☆☆ White Noise, R
Don DeLillo’s 1985 dystopian novel White Noise, set in academia during an airborne toxic event, has long been considered unfilmable. Writer-director Noah Baumbach does little to change that notion. It’s another one of 2022’s high profile, star-encrusted projects (like Amsterdam and Babylon) that struggles to be as good as its dazzling cast and provocative premise. As Professor Jack Gladney, a scholar of “Hitler Studies” at the College-on-the-Hill, Adam Driver never disappoints, even though he sometimes appears to be acting in his own movie. Don Cheadle delights as Gladney’s Elvis-obsessed colleague. An ultra-permed Greta Gerwig (Baumbach’s partner) is miscast as Gladney’s pep-pill-popping wife, Babette. An environmental accident forces the Gladneys to stop navel-gazing and evacuate in the family station wagon with kids in tow. But they never escape their mid-’80s malaise. —T.M.A.
Watch it: White Noise, in theaters and on Netflix
Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical
In a tuneful adaptation of Dahl’s children’s classic, a bright young girl battles her wicked school headmistress Miss Trunchbull (chronic scene-stealer Emma Thompson).
Watch it: Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical, on Netflix