This Independence Day weekend sees the fittingly timed release of “Hamilton,” with the hit Broadway show about the United States’ founding fathers making the jump to living rooms on Disney Plus. Beyond that, a bounty of other releases are also coming out to tide audiences over for the holiday weekend.

With theaters shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, many of the tentpole films originally scheduled to release this summer have been pulled for the time being. This includes “In the Heights,” an adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first musical hit on Broadway, which was supposed to come out on June 26 and has been pushed nearly a fully year to June 18, 2021. However, fans of the playwright can instead catch a filmed version of his original Broadway production of “Hamilton” on Disney Plus beginning Friday.

Aside from a small theatrical release, “The Outpost” is also making the jump to video-on-demand services. Though the dramatization of a unit of U.S. soldiers engaging in the bloodiest American engagement of the war in Afghanistan was crafted with the larger scale of movie theaters in mind, it remains effective when watched on a television screen.

Meanwhile, Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s follow-up to his Palme d’Or-winning “Shoplifters” is finally receiving a stateside release following its festival run last fall. “The Truth” is Kore-eda’s first film not in his native language and unites the acclaimed director with a cast including Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke.

Here’s a complete rundown of the week’s new releases, with excerpts from reviews and links to where you can watch them. Find more movies and TV shows to stream here.


Exclusive to Disney Plus

Hamilton (Thomas Kail)
Where to Find It: Disney Plus
Overseen by Thomas Kail, who also directed the show on Broadway, this direct stage-to-screen version of “Hamilton” isn’t a filmed adaptation but a “live capture” — a dynamic record of the musical as it appeared in New York, featuring the original cast. Covered over multiple performances by six cameras, the 2 1/2-hour feature is edited like the world’s longest Super Bowl halftime spectacular, which differentiates it from those stuffy theatrical productions aired on PBS, as if everything else about it weren’t entirely unique already.   — Peter Debruge
Read the full review

The Outpost

Independent Films Now On Demand

The Outpost (Rod Lurie) CRITIC’S PICK
Distributor: Screen Media
Where to Find It:
Select theaters, Amazon and video-on-demand services
Such a film may suffer from home viewing, and yet, “The Outpost” represents the most exhilarating new movie audiences have been offered since the shutdown began, which softens the compromise of watching it under less-than-ideal conditions — although it seems frivolous to talk about poor conditions compared to what the servicemen of Bravo Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment faced at COP Keating. The film makes clear in its opening moments how tense life in such a camp must be at all times, as bullets blaze down from above, cutting fiery streaks across the screen. — Peter Debruge
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Black Magic for White Boys(Onur Tukel)
Distributor: Magic Films
Where to Find It: Available on Amazon and other video-on-demand services
This ensemble comedy with a silly supernatural angle, centered on a decrepit Off Off Broadway theater, won’t be its maker’s belated breakthrough. But for those who grok his amiably misanthropic, offhand brand of humor, it will comprise another satisfyingly idiosyncratic chapter in a singular career that carries forward a trail previously blazed by the likes of Woody Allen, Henry Jaglom and Amerindie types from to Alexandre Rockwell to Joe Swanberg. — Dennis Harvey
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Force of Nature (Michael Polish)
Distributor: Lionsgate
Where to Find It: Available on Amazon and other video-on-demand services
This diverting thriller from director Michael Polish has Emile Hirsch as a cop protecting various apartment building residents (including Kate Bosworth and Mel Gibson) from a murderous gang of thieves. Yet more complicating factors, from wild animals to Nazi war booty, get thrown into the hectic hopper of Cory Miller’s first produced feature screenplay. None of this is particularly credible, let alone memorable, but it’s all executed with sufficient energy and humor to make for an enjoyable night’s entertainment. — Dennis Harvey
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John Lewis: Good Trouble (Dawn Porter)
Distributor: Magnolia
Where to Find It: Available on Amazon and other video-on-demand services
Currently serving his 17th term as a member of Congress, the 80-year-old U.S. Representative has always been at the forefront in the struggle for racial justice, from being one of the original 1960 “Freedom Riders” who protested against transportation segregation, to fighting against the suppression of black voters since the early ’60s. So the timing couldn’t be any more ideal for Dawn Porter’s “John Lewis: Good Trouble,” a detailed yet paint-by-numbers study of the living legend who believes in the necessity of making good trouble as an instigator of societal change. — Tomris Laffly
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Scheme Birds (Ellen Fiske, Ellinor Hallin)
Distributor: Syndicado
Where to Find It: Available on Amazon and other video-on-demand services
Shot with an eye and ear for poetry in the pavement cracks, “Scheme Birds” recalls in its best passages the outsider affinity and sensory, symbol-heavy aesthetic of Andrea Arnold’s narrative cinema; as a feature-length debut for Swedish duo Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin, it’s a work of major promise. Their bracing nonnative perspective is subtly felt throughout a caught-in-the-margins study that evokes working-class life with great textural specificity, but no self-consciously gritty posturing. With only Gemma’s low-key, sometimes wistfully perceptive voiceover as our guide through events, meanwhile, political commentary is mostly left for the audience to infer. — Guy Lodge
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Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash (Jared Cohn)
Distributor: Cleopatra
Where to Find It: Available on Amazon and other video-on-demand services
The film delivers on the promise — or threat — of its title in a big, vivid way, with enough drawn-out suspense once engines start backfiring and enough grisly carnage on the ground to give most viewers at least a second thought about flying again soon, at least on a prop-engine plane, and especially one with musicians on board. Despite its probably modest budget, “Street Survivors” is actually first-class as convincingly harrowing aeronautical disaster movies go, if you’re a follower of the genre that has Peter Weir’s 1993 “Fearless” to live up to. — Chris Willman
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Suzi Q (Liam Firmager)
Distributor: Utopia
Where to Find It: Available on various video-on-demand services
The documentary is almost as charming as its subject, who is seen in bookending scenes putting the leather back on for some raucous rock shows in the lead-up to her recent 70th birthday. It does suffer a bit, though, from being in that precarious position of needing to satisfy the curiosity of her fans of 50 years while also repeatedly reinforcing for a younger viewing audience that’s never heard of her how important she was. — Chris Willman
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The Truth (Hirokazu Kore-eda)
Distributor: IFC Films
Where to Find It: Available on Amazon and other video-on-demand services
The film wants to be a meditation on how lies can sometimes be truths, and on how memory is, by nature, deceitful (or something). “The Truth” has a chance to connect to veteran arthouse patrons who will be drawn to the must-see factor of Deneuve’s performance, and it proves that Kore-eda, in ways we might not have expected, has a dazzlingly exportable talent. But it still left me wishing that the story he’s telling came to less high-minded terms of endearment. — Owen Gleiberman
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The Truth

Only on Netflix

David Foster: Off the Record (Barry Avrich)
Where to Find It: Netflix
The movie is okay; directed by Barry Avrich, it’s a once-over-lightly portrait that teeters between offering a fascinating close-up look at how the sausage of pop gets made and being a kind of infomercial. Since the music of David Foster is all about connecting with a mass audience, swelling those numbers by swelling your heart (he has won 16 Grammys, been nominated for 47, and has sold half a billion records worldwide), a movie that presents him as an icon of success isn’t totally off-base, but it’s still most valuable for telling us stories of how he does what he does. — Owen Gleiberman
Read the full review

Deperados (LP)
Where to Find It: Netflix
If you liked such Netflix originals as “Ibiza” and “Wine Country,” try “Desperados,” or so the algorithm goes. Even the movie seems to have been made by computer, resulting in a wannabe “Bridesmaids” in which three women go to extreme lengths — literally as far as a Mexican resort, while figuratively breaking and entering, stalking and hacking — to prove that leading lady Nasim Pedrad deserves a better movie. (So do her co-stars, and so does the audience.) — Peter Debruge
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"Welcome to Chechnya" documentary on HBO

Only on HBO

Welcome to Chechnya (David France)
Where to Find It: HBO
This vital, pulse-quickening new documentary from journalist-turned-filmmaker David France urgently lifts the lid on one of the most horrifying humanitarian crises of present times: the state-sanctioned purge of LGBTQ people in the eponymous southern Russian republic. Closely charting multiple missions to extract and protect brutalized victims of the regime, France collects the candid first-person perspectives that have proven difficult to come by in this climate of terror — thanks in large part to face-altering technology that keeps their identities hidden, but not their searing truth.— Guy Lodge
Read the full review

Other releases debuting on streaming this week

Alone Wolf (Charles Ehrlinger)
Distributor: Gravitas Ventures
Where to Find It: Available on Amazon and other video-on-demand platforms
A voyeur witnesses a murder outside his home and has his entire agoraphobic lifestyle upended.

Ask No Questions (Jason Loftus, Eric Pedicelli)
Distributor: 1091
Where to Find It: Available on Amazon and other video-on-demand platforms
A Chinese state TV insider is held in a facility until he accepts the official narrative of a public suicide and lets go of his beliefs in a government conspiracy.

Beyond Skiing Everest (Steve Bellamy)
Distributor: 1091
Where to Find It: Available on Amazon and other video-on-demand platforms
This documentary follows the journey of two twin brothers’ journey to the USA National Ski Hall of Fame.

Denise Ho: Becoming the Song (Sue Williams)
Distributor: Kino Marquee
Where to Find It: Choose a virtual cinema to support
The openly gay Hong Kong singer is profiled in this documentary, tracking her journey from commercial Cantopop superstar to political activist.

Earth (Nikolaus Geyrhalter)
Distributor: Kimstim
Where to Find It: Available on Amazon and other video-on-demand platforms
Observing people in mines, quarries and constructions sites, this documentary chronicles the struggle to take possession of the planet.

The F**k It List (Michael Duggan)
Distributor: Gravitas Ventures
Where to Find It: Netflix
A prank goes wrong for a high school senior and he begins to share his wishes for how he could’ve done things differently.

Homewrecker (Zach Gayne)
Distributor: Dark Star Pictures/Uncork’d
Where to Find It: Available on Vudu and other video-on-demand platforms
A sinister painter lures an interior designer into her home.

Money Machine (Ramsey Denison)
Distributor: Sin City Cinema
Where to Find It: Choose a virtual cinema to support
This documentary explains how Vegas corporations were able to shift the city’s image away from its 2017 mass shooting, leaving the victims behind.

Skyman (Daniel Myrick)
Distributor: Gravitas Ventures
Where to Find It: Available at drive-ins on July 3; Vudu and other video-on-demand services on July 7
A man claims he was visited by an alien while camping with his father. Thirty years later, he’s convinced they will return.

This is Love (John Alexander)
Distributor: Crook & Nanny
Where to Find It: Available on Vimeo until July 6
This documentary celebrates the life and music of Rudy Love.

Viena and the Fantomes (Gerardo Naranjo)
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Where to Find It: Available on Amazon and other video-on-demand platforms
A young roadie begins a journey of self-discovery traveling with a punk band in the 1980s.