2024 is less than two weeks old, but streaming service bosses aren’t waiting around when it comes to dropping headline-grabbing new movies and TV shows.
Leading the charge this weekend is Marvel’s new superhero series, Echo, which is now available to stream in its entirety on Disney Plus and Hulu. Elsewhere, True Detective: Night Country begins streaming on Max, while Peacock subscribers can enjoy the return of Seth MacFarlane’s foul-mouthed plushie in Ted.
Echo (Disney Plus, Hulu)
Whichever way you slice it, 2023 was a horror show for Marvel, but the one-time super studio will be hoping that its first release of 2024, Echo, can bring a much-needed boost to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
This five-episode Hawkeye spin-off – which is now available to stream in its entirety on Disney Plus and Hulu – tells the bloody origin story of deaf Cheyenne hero Echo (aka Maya Lopez). Alaqua Cox reprises her role as the show’s titular ass-kicker, with Vincent D'Onofrio and Charlie Cox returning to the fold, too (as Kingpin and Daredevil, respectively).
In our Echo review, we described the new Marvel series as a “gripping and gratuitously cruel crime story” that “feels like less of a homework assignment” than previous MCU entries. We also interviewed the show’s director, Sydney Freeland, who addressed comparisons made between Echo and Breaking Bad.
Now available to stream on Disney Plus and Hulu.
True Detective: Night Country (Max)
The first season of True Detective is rightly hailed as one of the best TV shows ever made, so expectations are high for True Detective: Night Country, aka the fourth season of HBO’s long-running anthology drama series.
True Detective season 4 (as it may as well be known) follows a new detective, Liz Danvers (Jodie Foster), as she and her partner (Kali Reis) investigate the sudden disappearance of a group of scientists at a remote Alaskan research facility – a place where the sun never rises.
Christopher Eccleston, John Hawkes and Fiona Shaw also star in True Detective: Night Country, which critics have described as “the kind of TV bold enough, surprising enough, addictive enough and tenacious enough to capture national attention.” Suffice to say, this could be one of the best Max shows for some time.
Available to stream on Max in the US from Sunday, and Sky in the UK from Monday.
2012’s Ted became the second highest-grossing R-rated comedy film of all time, so it was only a matter of time before Seth MacFarlane’s foul-mouthed plushie made his way onto the small screen.
This new 1990s-set prequel series – which is also called Ted – takes viewers back to the teenage years of Ted’s likable-but-awkward owner, John Bennett (played here by Max Burkholder instead of Mark Wahlberg); a time when when Ted’s moment of fame has passed, but his penchant for mischief has not.
Critics have described the new series as “filthy, offensive and – god help us – funny as ever,” so perhaps comedy isn’t dead after all? All seven episodes of Ted are now available to stream on Peacock.
Now available to stream on Peacock.
Having originally meant to debut in August, Kevin Hart’s latest action-comedy, Lift, is now streaming on Netflix.
This new heist movie – which comes from Fast & Furious director F. Gary Gray – follows a professional thief (Hart) as he and his crew attempt to steal $500 million in gold from a plane-based vault 40,000 feet in the air. Sam Worthington, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jean Reno, and Paul Anderson also star.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, critics have slammed Lift for being “an Ocean’s Eleven knock-off with zero charm and terrible CGI,” so it’s unlikely that this one will be making our list of the best Netflix movies any time soon.
Now available to stream on Netflix.
Criminal Record (Apple TV)
Peter Capaldi is no stranger to dark and brooding characters, and the former Doctor Who action reverts to type this weekend in Criminal Record on Apple TV Plus.
This eight-episode crime series follows two detectives – one a seasoned veteran (Capaldi), the other early in her career (Cush Jumbo) – as they battle for control over a high-stakes murder investigation in London.
Both Capaldi and Jumbo have earned near-universal praise for their turns in this “clever and timely corrupt cop thriller,” so it looks like Apple TV Plus could have another winner on its hands. The show’s first two episodes are available to stream now.
Now available to stream on Apple TV Plus.
Role Play (Prime Video)
The Flight Attendant’s Kaley Cuoco returns to screens this weekend in Prime Video’s new action-thriller, Role Play.
This Thomas Vincent-directed movie centers on a married couple, Emma (Cuoco) and Dave (David Oyelowo), whose attempt to spice things up in the bedroom backfires when the former’s secret life as an assassin is exposed.
Connie Neilsen and Bill Nighy also star in Role Play, which critics have described as a “competent yet boringly unoriginal caper.” But despite not being one of the best Prime Video movies of the year, it’s probably worth a go if you’re simply looking to switch your brain off for two hours.
Now available to stream on Prime Video.
Boy Swallows Universe (Netflix)
The second of this week’s Netflix-based recommendations is Boy Swallows Universe.
This seven-episode, Australia-set series – which is based on the best-selling 2018 book of the same name – follows a precocious boy (Felix Cameron) and his selectively mute brother (Lee Tiger Halley) as they grow up among a motley crew of outlaws and outcasts in a rough suburb of Brisbane.
If that synopsis sounds vague, that’s because Boy Swallows Universe runs the gamut of its protagonist’s formative years, but the series has nonetheless been praised for being a “sprawling” and “one-of-a-kind” coming of age story.
Now available to stream on Netflix.
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.