THE LAST OF US (NEON)
Could one of the most acclaimed video games of all-time have spawned one of the best film and television adaptations?
While the bar is admittedly pretty low (the multiple Hitman, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil efforts are among the many disappointments), this certainly has a solid team behind it and shows plenty of promise in its first few episodes.
Created by the original hit 2013 game’s helmer Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin (whose last outing was the series that caught the world’s attention in 2019 – Chernobyl), feels like a cross between last year’s Station Eleven (there are eerie similarities between how the two pandemics start), War of the Worlds and those early exciting episodes of The Walking Dead that gave the viewer a real sense of space and place and left you feeling unnerved about what was going to happen next.
MADOFF: THE MONSTER OF WALL STREET (NETFLIX)
Four-part docu-series that follows the rise and fall of financier Bernie Madoff, who orchestrated one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in American history.
As specialist true-crime helmer Joe Berlinger’s (Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile) story details, starting his career in penny stock trades, Madoff built a lucrative side business as an adviser, attracting clients with impressive returns.
“The series is at its most compelling when it places Madoff’s monstrousness within the context of the systemic self-interest and greed that allowed him to flourish,” wrote Financial Times’ Dan Einav.
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1923 is now available to stream on Prime Video.
1923 (PRIME VIDEO)
Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren star in this eight-part, Taylor Sheridan-created drama which is both a prequel to his smash-hit Yellowstone series and a sequel to last year’s 1883.
Essentially the story of Jacob and Cara Dutton, it will explore their experiences during a time when pandemics, historic drought, the end of Prohibition and the beginning of the Great Depression all plague the mountain west.
From the first frames of a teary Ford welling up at the sight of his fly-blown stock, to a full-blooded Mirren primal scream, it’s clear this is going to be an emotion-filled watch which will make full use of its veteran big guns.
On canvases and screens large and small, Sheridan (Hell or High Water, Sicario, Wind River) has shown time and again his ability to elicit “the feels” out of the audience and to draw terrific performances from magnificently assembled ensembles. He does not disappoint here.
ROMANTIC GETAWAY (NEON)
Katherine Ryan and Romesh Ranganathan team up for this six-part UK comedy about a couple who go to desperate lengths to try and keep their “baby dream alive”.
Having run out of money to fund their IVF treatment, they decide to steal a large sum from their boss Alfie (Johnny Vegas). However, he has criminal contacts of his own who are far more dangerous.
“As the tension rises, so too does the daftness. It is best when it is silliest, and Vegas, Ranganathan and Ryan make a surprisingly killer trio,” wrote The Guardian’s Rebecca Nicholson.
Season 2 of Slow Horses is now available to stream on Apple TV+.
SLOW HORSES (APPLE TV+)
Second season for this fabulous series that follows a dysfunctional team of MI5 agents — and their obnoxious boss, the notorious Jackson Lamb (Gary Oldman) – as they navigate the espionage world’s smoke and mirrors to defend England from sinister forces.
Filmed back-to-back with the critically-acclaimed first outing, this six-part instalment is based on author Mick Herron’s sophomore story Dead Lions, which sees the reactivation of London-based Russian sleeper agents.
SUPER LEAGUE: THE WAR FOR FOOTBALL (APPLE TV+)
“Football is the most important of all the unimportant things in life.”
It doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it as former Liverpool manager Bill Shankley’s comparison of “the beautiful game” to life and death, but, as an opening quote for this new, four-part look at the three days that rocked the game in April 2021, it sums up the sport’s place in society nicely.
Clearly designed for American audiences (who will be shocked to learn that European club football’s annual showpiece the Champion’s League Final generates three times the viewership of their beloved Super Bowl), Super League: The War for Football is an excellent primer on the shocking events that transpired when a group of powerful European clubs (including six English Premier League teams) attempted to form a breakaway league that could have potentially left hundreds of others facing financial ruin.
Super League: The War for Football is now streaming on Apple TV+.
An MI6 agent’s bright future takes a sharp turn after a reunion with a Russian spy forces him to question his entire life in this six-part action-thriller.
Charlie Cox, Olga Kurylenko, Oona Chaplin and Ciaran Hinds head an impressive ensemble for the show, which has been created by Bridge of Spies co-writer Matt Charman.
“While Cox’s turn as a deeply flawed MI6 agent is gripping, it’s Chaplin, Kurylenko and [Tracy] Ifeachor’s constantly-swaying allegiances that’ll keep you locked in,” wrote Collider’s Emily Bernard.
WITHOUT SIN (TVNZ+)
Line of Duty and Trigger Point’s Vicky McClure takes centre stage in this four-part ITV psychological thriller. It explores the relationship between her grieving mother and the man who is in prison for her daughter’s murder (The Salisbury Poisonings’ Johnny Harris).
Meeting with him in search of closure, she is instead left shocked, after he reveals a new piece of evidence that throws into question everything she thought she knew about the night her offspring died.
“Complex characters, high-octane drama and a tantalising mystery make this a must-watch,” wrote The Evening Standard’s Emma Loffhagen.