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New to HBO Max
‘Charm City Kings’
Starts streaming: Oct. 8
Based on Lofty Nathan’s 2013 documentary “12 O’Clock Boys,” the slice-of-life drama “Charm City Kings” is set in Baltimore, among a group of dirt bike enthusiasts who dodge the cops so that they can do daring tricks on downtown streets. Jahi Di’Allo Winston plays Mouse, a junior high schooler who has two goals over the summer: to impress Shay (Milan Ray), the new girl in his neighborhood, and to join the city’s most impressive biker club, the Midnight Clique. The director Angel Manuel Soto and the screenwriter Sherman Payne introduce more of a straightforward coming-of-age plot than the documentary had, coupled with a morality tale about Mouse’s temptation toward a life of crime. This is a well-acted and finely detailed film, demonstrating a rich understating of how kids crave status.
‘David Byrne’s American Utopia’
Starts streaming: Oct. 17
The former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has been at the center of two of the greatest concert films ever made: 1984’s “Stop Making Sense,” directed by Jonathan Demme, and now “American Utopia,” directed by Spike Lee. The new film was shot during a limited Broadway engagement for the highly conceptual stage show Byrne put together for his 2018 album of the same name — a record that’s a meditation on what connects people during troublesome times. Lee captures the simplicity of the show’s design, which has Byrne and a group of identically dressed dancers and percussionists moving in geometric patterns around a bare stage, while they sing songs from across the star’s decades-long career. The catchy polyrhythms, the impressively synchronized choreography and the pointed lyrics about anger, alienation and empathy combine to make this movie an emotional and uplifting experience.
“A World of Calm”
“Wild Card: The Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth”
“The Perfect Weapon”
“How To with John Wilson” Season 1
“The Soul of America”
New to Hulu
Starts streaming: Oct. 16
In this supernatural superhero series, Daimon (Tom Austen) and Ana Helstrom (Sydney Lemmon) are a brother-and-sister team of paranormal investigators. They’re also deep-cut characters from Marvel Comics, introduced in the early 1970s as “Son of Satan” and “Satana.” The publisher later backed away from the idea that these two antiheroes are the literal Devil’s spawn; in the TV version, their father is described as a notorious serial killer with occult ties. Still, much of what sets “Helstrom” apart from typical procedurals is all the arcane mythology propping up the back story of these skilled sibling sorcerers. The two may take different approaches to hunting demons, but they are bound by shared childhood traumas.
Starts streaming: Oct. 23
The horror-comedy “Bad Hair” has a snappy premise: What if a woman’s hair weave were possessed by evil spirits and started murdering her enemies? The writer-director Justin Simien doesn’t stick with the obvious broad jokes or B-movie scares here (although there’s a little bit of both). Instead, his film is a thoughtful period piece, set at a hip-hop-focused cable channel circa 1989. Elle Lorraine plays Anna, an aspiring TV personality led to believe that changing her hairstyle might boost her career. This picture’s genre elements work just fine, but this is really more of a wise and witty commentary about a particular moment in American popular culture and the compromises that showbiz executives demanded when rap and R&B moved into the mainstream.
“Books of Blood”
“The Painted Bird”
New to Disney+
‘The Right Stuff’
Starts streaming: Oct. 9
The 1983 movie version of Tom Wolfe’s 1979 nonfiction best seller “The Right Stuff” is one of its era’s best films: a semi-comic, semi-mythic take on the macho culture of the space program in the early 1960s. The new “The Right Stuff,” revived as a television series, has more modest aims, focusing on the interpersonal conflicts among NASA’s first astronauts, later known as the “Mercury Seven.” A cast filled with familiar faces — including Patrick J. Adams as John Glenn, Colin O’Donoghue as Gordon Cooper and Jake McDorman as Alan Shepard — convey the Mercury Seven’s mixed feelings of pride and anxiety over this new adventure in a period drama combining the excitement of space travel with an up-close-and-personal look at the flawed men who flew high.
‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2
Starts streaming: Oct. 30
The first season of the “Star Wars” spinoff “The Mandalorian” was kept tightly under wraps by Lucasfilm and Disney. The result of all that secrecy was one of last year’s most delightful television surprises. The creator Jon Favreau’s story of a rogue bounty hunter and the super-powerful young creature he protects brought an old-fashioned spirit of fun to the science-fiction/adventure genre, while also reminding fans of what a pleasure it can be to tune into a TV show each week and get a complete, self-contained, entertaining story in each episode. Details about Season 2 of “The Mandalorian” have also been kept hush-hush, but because the same creative team is returning, expectations are high.
New to Amazon
Starts streaming: Oct. 16
Sibil Fox Richardson and her husband, Robert, were convicted of armed robbery in the late ’90s. She served three years in prison and came out determined to create a better life for their children, while also fighting for a reduction of Robert’s much more severe 60-year sentence. Garrett Bradley’s powerful documentary “Time” relies a lot on the home video footage Richardson shot over the decades: of her boys growing into impressive young men, of her own success as a self-made entrepreneur and of her frustration in dealing with a criminal justice system that tends to be unresponsive and even cruel to prisoners’ families. What emerges from Bradley’s film is a tale of people holding onto hope against all odds, and of a life lived in the long shadow of an incarcerated loved one.
‘What the Constitution Means to Me’
Starts streaming: Oct. 16
The playwright and actress Heidi Schreck’s “What the Constitution Means to Me” ended its Broadway run last year, but before it closed, the director Marielle Heller (best known for the movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”) filmed the production. Based on Schreck’s own memories of competing in debates about the U.S. Constitution as a teenager, the play has Schreck talking to the audience about how her own family history and her subsequent life experiences led her to a different understanding as an adult about how the government does and doesn’t protect its citizens. With Broadway still shut down — and with calls for profound social change very much in the air — this document of a new American classic should make for a thrilling night of theater at home.
“Welcome to the Blumhouse”
“The Challenge: ETA”
New to Apple TV+
‘On the Rocks’
Starts streaming: Oct. 23
The writer-director Sofia Coppola re-teams with Bill Murray, the star of her film “Lost in Translation,” for “On the Rocks,” a light comedy that functions as both a New York City travelogue and a story about father-daughter bonding. Murray plays Felix, dad to Laura (Rashida Jones), a married mom who thinks her husband may be having an affair. Laura enlists Felix to help her play private eye, but as they hop around the city looking for clues, they end up talking as much about their own relationship as about her marriage. As Coppola showed with “Lost in Translation” — as well as with “Somewhere” and “Marie Antoinette” — she has a knack for making worlds of wealth and privilege look both beautiful and stark, filled with lost and lonely people clinging tightly to what and who they love.
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