Media Scene

Streaming on TV: Dec. 25 and beyond

David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King in "Selma." Photo credit: Lionsgate
David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King in "Selma." Photo credit: Lionsgate Lionsgate

Don’t expect any holiday cheer from “Black Mirror: White Christmas,” a grim science fiction anthology starring Jon Hamm and Rafe Spall as the lonely souls swapping stories over a white-out Christmas dinner. These stories from the dark side of technology and human impulses add a shot of cynicism to the seasonal spirit. Made for British TV, it debuts stateside on Netflix. Not rated, adult language and material.

Queen of Earth” (2015) stars Elisabeth Moss as young woman in a spiral of depression who seeks solace in a retreat with her best friend (Katherine Waterston), but expectations and resentments drive them apart. A riveting and raw chamber piece from filmmaker Alex Ross Perry. Not rated, adult material.

Dawn of the Croods: Season 1” spins off the animated comedy about a prehistoric family into a Netflix original animated kids series.

Also new: “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” (2003), the first film in the pirate fantasy series starring Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow (PG-13), and the South Korean military thriller “Northern Limit Line” (2015) (Korean with English subtitles, no rating).

Amazon Prime Video

Selma,” starring David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King, explores the personal struggles behind the 1965 march through Alabama, a benchmark moment in the Civil Rights struggle. It was an Oscar nominee for Best Picture. PG-13. It’s also on Hulu.


Deutschland 83: Complete Season 1“ is an acclaimed espionage thriller from Germany set before the fall of the Berlin Wall. In German with English subtitles.

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Pan,” a lavish fantasy that imagines the origins of Peter Pan in Neverland, stars Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, and Levi Miller as young Peter. Available in 3D on some systems. It’s PG for “fantasy action violence.” Also on disc and digital formats.

Pawn Sacrifice“ stars Tobey Maguire as Bobby Fischer and Liev Schreiber as Boris Spassky in the chess match of the century. PG-13 for language and sexuality. Also on disc.

Also new: the R-rated romantic comedy “Sleeping with Other People” with Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis (R) and the faith-based drama “War Room“ (PG).

HBO Now:

The Longest Ride,” this year’s romantic drama adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel, finds love at the rodeo with Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood. PG-13.

A Little Chaos,” directed by Alan Rickman (who also stars as King Louis XIV), is a historical romance with Kate Winslet and Matthias Schoenaerts. R.

Showtime Anytime:

Boulevard” features the last screen performance given by Robin Williams (R) and “Welcome to New York” stars Gérard Depardieu as a decadent French diplomat (R).

Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at