Twelve Films and TV Shows You Need to Stream in February

Spend your couch time watching the new 'Mr & Mrs Smith', one of this year's Oscar Best Picture nominees and a stellar new space thriller.
Sarah Ward
Published on February 29, 2024

Not all that long ago, the idea of getting cosy on your couch, clicking a few buttons, and having thousands of films and television shows at your fingertips seemed like something out of science fiction. Now, it's just an ordinary night — whether you're virtually gathering the gang to text along, cuddling up to your significant other or shutting the world out for some much needed me-time.

Of course, given the wealth of options to choose from, there's nothing ordinary about making a date with your chosen streaming platform. The question isn't "should I watch something?" — it's "what on earth should I choose?".

Hundreds of titles are added to Australia's online viewing services each and every month, all vying for a spot on your must-see list. And, so you don't spend 45 minutes scrolling and then being too tired to actually commit to anything, we're here to help. We've spent plenty of couch time watching our way through this month's latest batch — and, from the latest and greatest through to old and recent favourites, here are our picks for your streaming queue from February's haul.


Brand New Stuff You Can Watch From Start to Finish Now

Mr & Mrs Smith

2005 movie Mr & Mrs Smith isn't the first time that title adorned a spy caper about a literally killer couple. That honour goes not to the Brad Pitt (Babylon)- and Angelina Jolie (Eternals)-starring, Brangelina-sparking film, but to a 90s TV series. No one remembers 1996's Mr & Mrs Smith, where Scott Bakula (who was not long off Quantum Leap at the time) and Maria Bello (Beef) took on the eponymous parts. It didn't last, with just nine episodes airing and a further four made but left unseen. But its existence gives 2024's Mr & Mrs Smith a full-circle vibe, with Donald Glover (Atlanta) and Maya Erskine's (PEN15) now both adopting the monikers and ushering the premise back to episodic storytelling. Bakula and Bello's Mr & Mrs Smith didn't inspire Pitt and Jolie's; however, the latter did give rise to Glover and Erskine's — and any history isn't mere trivia. Instead, it speaks to a concept that's so appealing that it keeps being reused, whether coincidentally or knowingly, and to an idea that's now being given its full Mr & Mrs Smith due, in line with True Lies and The Americans: that relationships are mysteries, missions and investigations.

The backstory behind Glover and Erskine bringing glorious chemistry to John and Jane Smith doesn't stop there, because Mr & Mrs Smith circa 2024 has been in the works for three years. When announced in February 2021, it was with Atlanta-meets-Fleabag hopes, with Glover co-starring and co-creating with Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny). Then creative differences with Glover saw Waller-Bridge — who also co-wrote the No Time to Die screenplay and created Killing Eve — leave the project within six months. While it's impossible to know how that iteration of Mr & Mrs Smith would've turned out, whether with more overt comedy, talkier or boasting a darker tone, Glover's interpretation with fellow Atlanta alum Francesca Sloane lives up to the promise of two creatives from one of the 21st century's best dramedies turning their attention to espionage and romance. There's an intimacy, a lived-in feel and hangout charm to this Mr & Mrs Smith, even as it swaps Brangelina's already-wed pair discovering that they're assassin rivals for a duo only tying the knot for the gig.

Mr and Mrs Smith streams via Prime Video. Read our full review.



Casting Hiroyuki Sanada (John Wick: Chapter 4), Cosmo Jarvis (Persuasion) and Anna Sawai (Monarch: Legacy of Monsters) as its three leads is one of Shōgun's masterstrokes. The new ten-part adaptation of James Clavell's 1975 novel — following a first version in 1980 that featured Japanese icon and frequent Akira Kurosawa collaborator Toshiro Mifune — makes plenty of other excellent moves, but this is still pivotal. Disney+'s richly detailed samurai series knows how to thrust its viewers into a deeply textured world from the outset, making having three complex performances at its centre an essential anchoring tactic. Sanada plays Lord Yoshii Toranaga, who is among the political candidates vying to take control of the country. Jarvis is John Blackthorne, a British sailor on a Dutch ship that has run aground in a place that its crew isn't sure is real until they get there. And Sawai is Toda Mariko, a Japanese noblewoman who is also tasked with translating. Each character's tale encompasses much more than those descriptions, of course, and the portrayals that bring them to the screen make that plain from the moment they're each first seen.

As Game of Thrones and Succession both were, famously so, Shōgun is another drama that's all about fighting for supremacy. Like just the former, too, it's another sweeping epic series as well. Although it's impossible not to see those links, knowing that both battling over who'll seize power and stepping into sprawling worlds are among pop culture's favourite things right now (and for some time) doesn't make Shōgun any less impressive. The scale is grand, and yet it doesn't skimp on intimacy, either. The minutiae is meticulous, demanding that attention is paid to everything at all times. Gore is no stranger from the get-go. Opening in the 17th century, the series finds Japan in crisis mode, Toranaga facing enemies and Blackthorne among the first Englishmen that've made it to the nation — much to the alarm of Japan's sole European inhabitants from Portugal. Getting drawn in, including by the performances, is instantaneous. Shōgun proves powerful and engrossing immediately, and lavish and precisely made as well, with creators Justin Marks (Top Gun: Maverick) and Rachel Kondo (on her first TV credit) doing a spectacular job of bringing it to streaming queues.

Shōgun streams via Disney+. Read our full review.


American Fiction

Here's Thelonious 'Monk' Ellison's (Jeffrey Wright, Rustin) predicament when American Fiction begins: on the page, his talents aren't selling books. Praise comes the Los Angeles-based professor's way for his novels, but not sales, nor attendees when he's part of writers' festival panels. And even then, publishers aren't fond of his latest manuscript. Sick of hearing that his work isn't "Black enough", and also incensed over the attention that fellow scribe Sintara Golden (Issa Rae, Barbie) is receiving for her book We's Lives in Da Ghetto, he gets a-typing, pumping out the kind of text that he vehemently hates — but 100-percent fits the stereotype of what the world keeps telling him that Black literature should be. It attracts interest, even more so when Monk takes his agent Arthur's (John Ortiz, Better Things) advice and adopts a new persona to go with it. Soon fugitive convict Stagg R Leigh and his book Fuck are a huge hit that no one can get enough of. Because of the story spun around who wrote the bestseller, too, the FBI even wants to know the author's whereabouts.

Deservedly nominated for five 2024 Oscars — including for Best Picture, Best Actor for Wright and Best Supporting Actor for Sterling K Brown (Biosphere) as Monk's brother Clifford — American Fiction itself hails from the page, with filmmaker Cord Jefferson adapting Percival Everett's 2001 novel Erasure. Wright is indeed exceptional in this savvy satire of authenticity, US race relations and class chasms, and earns his awards contention for his reactions alone. Seeing how Monk adjusts himself to a world that keeps proving anything but his dream is an utter acting masterclass, in big and small moments alike. As the film dives into the character's personal chaos, that's where Brown's also-fantastic, often-tender performance comes in, plus Leslie Uggams (Extrapolations) as Monk's mother and Tracee Ellis Ross (Candy Cane Lane) as his sister, and also Erika Alexander (Run the World) as a neighbour who is a fan of his — not just Stagg R Leigh's — work. Don't discount how excellent American Fiction is beyond its literary hoax setup, in fact; as a character study, it's equally astute.

American Fiction streams via Prime Video.


The Vince Staples Show

It was true when Seinfeld made a series about a real-life standup comedian playing a fictionalised version of himself one of the world's biggest sitcoms in the 90s. It remained accurate when Larry David started riffing on his own existence in Curb Your Enthusiasm — and also when Pete Davidson leapt from making his life movie fodder in The King of Staten Island to turning it into TV in Bupkis. Donald Glover wasn't directly referencing his own career in Atlanta, and neither The Other Two nor Girls5eva bring exact replicas of real-life figures to the screen, but the same idea pumps through them as well: fame or proximity to it doesn't stop anyone from grappling with life's frustrating minutiae. Add The Vince Staples Show to the list, with the five-part series featuring its namesake as a take on himself. Whether or not you know who he is is part of the show's joke. On- and off- screen, he's a rapper and actor. Staples' very real single 'Norf Norf' gets quoted to him in the TV comedy. The fact that he's been in Abbott Elementary is referenced in the debut episode. But just attempting to have an ordinary day doing everyday things in an average way — driving home, heading to the bank, attending a family reunion, visiting an amusement park and returning to his old school — is as impossible for him as it is for us all.

Sometimes, Staples' celebrity complicates matters in The Vince Staples Show. It also never helps. Usually, he's stuck navigating Murphy's law, so asking for a loan ends up with him caught up in a robbery, while endeavouring to source something decent to eat at a theme park takes him on an absurdist odyssey that winks at David Lynch and the Coen brothers. Having an entertainment career doesn't stop him from being confused for someone else by the police (Killing It's Scott MacArthur, You People's Bryan Greenberg and The Menu's Arturo Castro) — the same cops who ask for free tickets to his shows while they're locking him up — or ensure that cashiers treat him politely. If it assists with anything, it's with giving Staples a deadpan acceptance that anything and everything might come his way. Twice asked if something interesting happened during his day by his girlfriend Deja (Andrea Ellsworth, Truth Be Told), his reply is "not really", even though viewers have just witnessed the exact opposite in both instances.

The Vince Staples Show streams via Netflix. Read our full review.


Orion and the Dark

Learning to face life's chaos, or even just recognising that life is chaos, has a particular term when Charlie Kaufman is making movies and audiences do the confronting. Describing something as Kaufmanesque sprang from the screenwriter and filmmaker's stunning run at the end of the 90s and beginning of the 00s — the Spike Jonze (Her)-helmed Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, plus the Michel Gondry (Microbe & Gasoline)-directed Human Nature and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind — and it's stuck ever since. Joining the trio of Synecdoche, New York, Anomalisa and I'm Thinking of Ending Things as well, all three of which he penned plus helmed, is new family-friendly animation Orion and the Dark. A Kaufmanesque kid-appropriate flick? It exists, and it's wonderful. Feature first-timer Sean Charmatz (TV movie Trolls Holiday in Harmony) directs, and Emma Yarlett's 2014 children's book provides the source material; however, this account of a boy afraid of the dark who then meets the literal Dark (voiced by The Afterparty's Paul Walter Hauser) is a Kaufman affair through and through. Also, iconic German filmmaker — and one-time Parks and Recreation star — Werner Herzog (The Fire Within: A Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft) pops up. 

Loaned the vocal tones of Jacob Tremblay (The Little Mermaid) as a child and Colin Hanks (The Offer) as an adult, Orion is petrified of sleeping without the lights on. And, just like the kids in Monsters, Inc that are scared of creatures in their cupboards, Orion and the Dark's protagonist is frightened of something real. Dark exists and, alongside Orion's parents (The Fall of the House of Usher's Carla Gugino and Bull's Matt Dellapina), is exasperated by the boy's response to nighttime. He can't help taking it personally, in fact, then offers to assist. For one 24-hour period, as darkness falls around the world, he gets Orion to accompany him on his travels with friends Sleep (Natasia Demetriou, What We Do in the Shadows), Insomnia (Nat Faxon, Our Flag Means Death), Quiet (Aparna Nancherla, The Great North), Unexplained Noises (Golda Rosheuvel, Bridgerton) and Sweet Dreams (Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) to demonstrate that being distressed is unfounded. It isn't just Herzog's involvement and a joke about David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest that prove that this is a movie as much for adults as kids; amid its gorgeous animation, its understanding of existential dread is also that astute.

Orion and the Dark streams via Netflix.


Dario Argento: Panico

Filmmakers love filmmakers, so much so that new documentaries about directors arrive all the time. Paying tribute to the creative forces behind everyone's big-screen obsessions: what's not to love? With Dario Argento: Panico, there's plenty to adore, including the considerable participation of the Italian master of giallo himself. A film about the man behind Suspiria, Inferno and Tenebrae was always going to be a portrait of his influence upon his chosen genre. Accordingly, who better to take viewers through it? He begins the doco unhappy about the location of the latest hotel that he's decamping to to write, as has been his custom for decades, but he's a fascinating interviewee, especially when he's reflecting upon his work and his processes in his own words. For company, he's joined among Dario Argento: Panico's talking heads by his sister Floriana, daughters Fiore and Asia, ex-wife Marisa Casale, and collaborators such as Franco Ferrini (who co-penned screenplays such for Phenomena, Trauma, Dark Glasses and more) and Claudio Simonetti (the composer, also of the band Goblin, who has been so instrumental) in giving the filmmaker's movies their sound. And to unpack his impact both in general and on their work, Guillermo del Toro (Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio), Nicolas Winding Refn (Copenhagen Cowboy) and Gaspar Noé (Climax) all feature as well.

Noteworthy quotes and links abound from the documentary's chats beyond its titular figure, such as when del Toro notes that "everything in Argento's movies is trying to kill you", Refn admits that Tenebrae's synth-heavy score is responsible for the tunes in his own features and the fact that Noé had Argento star in his drama Vortex. Simonetti's reflections on Goblin's role in helping Argento's work have such resonance, and the ripples that his film's scores have enjoyed across the industry since, are also riveting — and accurate. And for an understanding of who Argento is personally, Asia (who has acted in her father's flicks since making her debut at ten) is particularly enlightening. Simone Scafidi also deftly weaves in clips from Argento's movies, plus behind-the-scenes footage and archival materials, to ensure that audiences have a burning yearning stirring while watching: the need to see everything featured, whether for the first time or again. He knows how to make this kind of movie, after all, given that he did the same with 2019's Fulci for Fake, about fellow giallo talent Lucio Fulci.

Dario Argento: Panico streams via Shudder.


The Greatest Night in Pop

One of the biggest songs of the 1980s was largely recorded in one night. 'We Are the World' wasn't just huge on the charts, either. When it came to people buying the single, it was massive — it's still the ninth biggest-selling physical single ever — but the list of talent making it happen was just as hefty. Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, Daryl Hall and John Oates, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Dan Aykroyd, Harry Belafonte, Bob Geldof, Waylon Jennings, Bette Midler, Smokey Robinson, The Pointer Sisters: they're just some of the names involved. Even Kenny Loggins, fresh from 'Footloose' being a hit, joined in. This roster of names and more teamed up in 1985 as supergroup USA for Africa, taking cues from Band Aid and 'Do They Know It's Christmas?', to raise funds for African famine relief. Belafonte had the idea. Richie and Jackson wrote the tune. The whole thing came together on the night of that year's American Music Awards, with everyone going from the ceremony to the studio. 

The Greatest Night in Pop tells this tale, and adds another entertaining music documentary that's also a blast from the past to Netflix's catalogue (WHAM! in 2023 similarly fit the bill). Regardless of whether the song itself suits your taste in music, or whether it's before your time and so you haven't heard of it, this behind-the-scenes look at its creation is illuminating — especially if you're interested in the recording process, how it works when there's so many figures involved and simply what it was like to have all those people in the one room. Accordingly, The Greatest Night in Pop is the kind of documentary that thrives thanks to its archival material. Putting audiences in the space with all those famous faces as they navigate who sings what when, and how, and also their various personalities, is can't-look-away viewing. A number of the talents involved also reflect upon the experience now, and the notion that some didn't want it to end at the time echoes through in both recent and decades-ago glimpses. Watching along, it's easy to understand why.

The Greatest Night in Pop streams via Netflix.


New and Returning Shows to Check Out Week by Week


If a great getaway to a beach, island or faraway city can be life-changing, what does a journey to space do? So ponders Constellation, among other questions. Inquiries are sparked instantly, from the moment that a mother in a cabin in northern Sweden, where there's snow as far as the eye can see but a frost infecting more than just the temperature, leaves her pre-teen daughter to follow a voice. The screams that she seeks out are yelling "mama!" — and what they mean, and why she's abandoning one girl to find another, is just one of the matters that Constellation interrogates. The woman is Jo Ericsson, as played by Noomi Rapace with the maternal devotion that also marked her turn in Lamb, plus the protective instincts that were key in Prometheus and Alien: Covenant as well — and the fierceness that helped bring her to fame as Lisbeth Salander in the original Swedish The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo films. Jo, an astronaut, is Europe's representative on the International Space Station when Constellation jumps backwards from its opening icy horror to a different kind of terror. Not long out from returning back to earth, she FaceTimes with her nine-year-old daughter Alice (Rosie and Davina Coleman, The Larkins) and husband Magnus (James D'Arcy, Oppenheimer). Then, something goes bump in the sky.

Trauma leaves people changed, too; what if this incident, during which setting foot on our pale blue dot again is anything but assured, isn't the only distressing facet of travelling to the heavens? On the at-risk ISS, on a spacewalk to locate the source of the collision, Jo finds the mummified body of what looks like a 60s-era Russian cosmonaut. There'll soon be another astronaut dead inside the station, destroyed infrastructure, the first escape pod shuttling her three remaining colleagues back to terra firma and Jo left alone trying to repair the second so that she herself can alight home. Where both Gravity and Moon spring to mind in Constellation's initial space-set scenes, plus Proxima in the show's focus on mother-daughter connections (Interstellar, Ad Astra and First Man have dads covered), it's the earthbound Dark that feels like a touchstone once Jo is back among her loved ones. There's a similar moodiness to this series, which also features Nobel Prize-winning former Apollo astronaut Henry Caldera (Jonathan BanksBetter Call Saul), who has had his own incidents in space — and there's a feeling that characters can't always trust what they think is plainly apparent to the show, too, plus a certainty that nothing is simply linear about what's occurring.

Constellation streams via Apple TV+. Read our full review, and our interview with Jonathan Banks.


Curb Your Enthusiasm

A quarter of a century is a long time to spend with Larry David, even with gaps along the way. Friends and acquaintances of the fictionalised version seen in Curb Your Enthusiasm might have some not-so-positive things to say about investing that chunk with TV's great curmudgeons. If you're a fan of the satirical series that's been airing since 2000, however, 12 seasons isn't enough. But David has called time on his second small-screen smash. CYE won't beat Seinfeld's episode count, but it has been on-screen on and off for far longer than the famous show about nothing. And with its ending in sight, of course the inimitable force behind both starts Curb Your Enthusiasm's final season with the series' version of Larry going where Seinfeld's characters closed out their story: jail. He's there not due criminal indifference, though, but rather thanks to the opposite. In Atlanta to attend a rich fan's (Sharlto Copley, Beast) birthday party, on a paid gig courtesy of the success of Young LarryCYE's in-show show about David's childhood — he gives a bottle of water to Leon's (JB Smoove, Office Race) Auntie Rae (Ellia English, Blood Pageant) while she's in line to vote. That's illegal, the cops pounce immediately and one of the season's key threads is born.

Larry being Larry, of course he wasn't really trying to make a stand against ridiculous voter-suppression laws. Larry still being Larry, he's also content to capitalise upon being seen as a hero, complete with droves of media attention. And, Larry never able to be someone other than Larry, he's still his petty normal self regardless of how much praise flows from Bruce Springsteen. Before Beef was winning Golden Globes, Emmys and other awards for trivial squabbles, David got there first — and before The Rehearsal and The Curse's Nathan Fielder was inspiring cringing so vigorous that you can feel it in your stomach, David was as well. The show's swansong season so far is vintage Curb Your Enthusiasm, including when a lawyer who looks like one of David's many enemies, overhearing golfing lessons, throwing things at CODA Oscar-winner Troy Kotsur, getting disgruntled over breakfast menus cutting off at 11am and bickering with the late, great Richard Lewis (Sandy Wexler) are involved. As always, it continues to be fascinated with whether someone as set in his ways as David, who was the inspiration for George Constanza, can and will ever change. He won't, and watching why that's the case will only stop being comedy gold yet when the ten-episode 12th season says farewell.

Curb Your Enthusiasm streams via Binge.


The New Look

The New Look, Apple TV+'s ten-part series about Christian Dior and Coco Chanel, hasn't chosen its points of focus because they were frequently in each other's company; as depicted here, at least, they weren't. Instead, it's a portrait of rivals, but it isn't that concerned with why the two Parisians might be adversaries beyond their shared field. That said, they're tied by more than both being French fashion figures who were working at the same time, made pioneering haute couture choices and started labels that retain household recognition today. And, when the show opens in 1954, it does so with Chanel (Juliette Binoche, The Staircase) offering harsh words about Dior (Ben Mendelsohn, Secret Invasion) to the press as she's about to unveil her first post-war collection. Her chatter is crosscut with his at the Sorbonne, where he's being honoured — and asked by students why he kept working during the Second World War while Chanel closed her atelier.

Dior's answer: that such a description of the two designers' actions during WWII is the truth, but that there's also more truth behind it. Unpicking the reality — and stitching together Dior and Chanel's plights at the same time — is the series' mission. The garments that its two couturiers make might be pristine in their stylishness, but neither's history can earn the same term. Creator Todd A Kessler (Damages, Bloodline) makes a drama about choices, then. Again, it isn't fuelled by the pair being in close physical proximity, which only happens twice in the show — or even acrimony between them — but by comparing and contrasting the moves that Dior and Chanel each made during Nazi-occupied Paris and immediately afterwards. The New Look also takes its overarching perspective from the notion that haute couture's impact in assisting to revive French culture following the war was revolutionary and "helped humanity find beauty and the desire to live again". That said, with Dior and Chanel's prowess treated as a given, the bulk of its frames, handsomely shot as they are, hone in on the personal.

The New Look streams via Apple TV+. Read our full review.


Recent and Classic Movies to Finally Watch — or Revisit

The FP, The FP 2: Beats of Rage, FP3: Escape From BAKO and FP4: EVZ

Part-dance movie, part-dystopian comedy, The FP is a rare beast of a movie. It's an instant classic that feels both alluring familiar and completely its own creation, and that immediately sears every frame into your brain. Given the premise, none of the above should come as a surprise. This low-budget 2011 flick is set in a time when gangs fight over control of their home turf, aka Frazier Park, by dance-fighting it out while playing a Dance Dance Revolution-style game called Beat-Beat Revelation. Basically, if Footloose was set in a post-apocalyptic future, it would look something like this. As, yes, it would look rather amazing. Indeed, that's The FP from start to finish. That isn't where it ends, however. After becoming a true cult-favourite, it has spawned three sequels over the years since: 2018's The FP 2: Beats of Rage, 2021's FP3: Escape From BAKO and 2023's FP4: EVZ. This isn't the kind of saga that's blown up and sold out, either — every single entry feels like you can see the filmmaker's fingerprints on every frame.

That writer and director is Jason Trost, who also stars as well. Beyond The FP movies, he was last seen in Foo Fighters-driven horror effort Studio 666, with his mere presence there showing the huge gap between the kind of midnight movie that flick wanted to be and the real thing. Trost plays JTRO, who starts The FP franchise training to defeat a rival — but that's only the beginning of a storyline across four films that needs to be experienced by going in as fresh as possible. In a different world, the OG movie and its sequels would get The Room treatment, returning to cinemas regularly. In Australia, big-screen sessions have been rare. That makes being able to settle in and watch all four at once via Brollie quite the treat, and a unique way to spend some couch time. Wanting to play Dance Dance Revolution also comes with the territory.

The FP films stream via Brollie.



Again and again in Yuni, a heartbreaking clash echoes. Its sounds stem from schoolyard gossip, superstitious tut-tutting, ultra-conservative demands and reminders that its titular character shouldn't steal anything purple that she sees. In the third feature from Indonesian filmmaker Kamila Andini (The Seen and Unseen), Yuni (Arawinda Kirana, Angkringan) is a 16-year-old in a Muslim society where agreeing to an arranged marriage is the only thing truly expected of her. When the movie begins, a proposal from construction worker Iman (Muhammad Khan, Memories of My Body) already lingers. After she declines, her classmates chatter. Then another offer comes from the much-older Mang Dodi (first-timer Toto ST Radik), who is looking for a second wife. Yuni knows the accepted myth that any woman who refuses more than two proposals will never wed, but she's also keen to make her own choices. She has a crush on teacher Mr Damar (Dimas Aditya, Satan's Slaves), and spends time with the younger and infatuated Yoga (Kevin Ardilova, Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash). She's also the smartest student at her school, with dreams of attending university.

Andini's film is full of specifics, diving into the minutiae of Yuni's life — surveying Indonesian society and its customs, the roles thrust upon women from their teenage years, and enormous gap between the path that she's supposed to follow and the yearnings of her heart. This is a movie where scenes of its protagonist hanging out with her friends, whether kicking back on the grass talking about boys or dressing up with her beautician pal Suci (Asmara Abigail, Satan's Slaves 2: Communion), could be scenes from almost any teenage girl's life. Of course, then the reality sinks in, be it in discussions about husbands, babies and virginity tests, or in the teary worries about horrific power imbalances. The ability of poetry to capture everything that can't be easily uttered otherwise also floats through Andini's deeply moving picture, so it should come as no surprise that Yuni is both naturalistic and lyrical. It's precise and universal, follows an easily foreseeable path and yet proves full of surprises, and is astutely directed as well — and Kirana is a star.

Yuni streams via SBS On Demand.


Need a few more streaming recommendations? Check out our picks from January this year, and also from January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December 2023.

You can also check out our running list of standout must-stream shows from last year as well — and our best 15 new shows of 2023, 15 newcomers you might've missed, top 15 returning shows of the year, 15 best films, 15 top movies you likely didn't see, 15 best straight-to-streaming flicks and 30 movies worth catching up on over the summer.

Published on February 29, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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