American audiences can watch a new Spike Lee joint and the entire Studio Ghibli catalog this week. Several documentaries and films on black lives are also streaming for free.
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This story originally appeared on PCMag
The content pile is vast and infinite, and you’ve got the whole weekend to decide how you want to slice it. We’re in the midst of the ever-intensifying streaming wars, and there are too many shows and movies to choose from, spread across too many video-streaming services. So we’re making it easier for you. Each week, the PCMag features team takes turns highlighting the streaming content they’re excited to watch or think you should binge. Fire up your media-streaming device of choice, and get watching.
Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
In this Spike Lee joint, four black veterans return to Vietnam in order to find the remains of their fallen squad leader and the buried treasure they left behind. Da 5 Bloods stars Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., and Chadwick Boseman.
Knives Out (Amazon Video)
When a famous crime novelist is murdered, it’s up to detective Benoit Blanc to figure out who among the eccentric family is guilty. Directed by Rian Johnson, Knives Out is a modern-day whodunit that has something to say about wealth and entitlement. The film brings together a collection of excellent actors, including Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Lakeith Stanfield.
Studio Ghibli Films (HBO Max)
HBO Max has finally landed, and now US subscribers have unfettered access to the entire Studio Ghibli catalog. Watch animated classics like Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Princess Mononoke, or explore the more obscure titles in the collection for the first time.
Just Mercy (free to rent)
Just Mercy follows famous defense attorney and activist Bryan Stevenson (played by Michael B. Jordan) as he looks to overturn the murder conviction of Walter McMillian (played by Jaime Foxx). In the wake of the George Floyd protests, Warner Bros. has made the 2019 film free to rent across digital platforms in the US throughout June.
Artemis Fowl (Disney+)
Based on the popular children’s fantasy novels, Artemis Fowl is about a young genius and descendant of a long line of criminals who comes into conflict with fairies over the fate of his father. The film was originally planned to be released in theaters, but Disney will release it exclusively on Disney+ because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
16 Shots (free on Showtime)
In solidarity with the protests against police brutality, Showtime has made the documentary 16 Shots free to watch for the remainder of the month. This film examines the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke and the attempted cover-up that followed.
The King of Staten Island (Video on Demand)
In this semi-autobiographical film, Pete Davidson stars as an aspiring tattoo artist in his mid-20s living at home in Staten Island. When his mom starts dating again, Davidson’s character must finally deal with the death of his father, a firefighter who died on 9/11. The King of Staten Island is directed by Judd Apatow and also stars Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr, and Steve Buscemi. The movie would have been released in theaters, but due to COVID-19, it will be available to buy or rent via video on-demand services.
13th (Netflix, free on YouTube)
Educate yourself about the protests against police brutality by watching the 2016 documentary 13th. Directed by Ava DuVernay, the film argues that the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which was meant to end slavery, has not actually made black people free in America. Instead, racist policies that use the police, criminal justice system, and correctional system simply created a new form of slavery. If you don’t have a Netflix account, watch the full documentary for free on YouTube.