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Our film and TV recommendations: What to watch, from Boxing Day to The Hand of God

·8-min read
Our film and TV recommendations: What to watch, from Boxing Day to The Hand of God

Want to hunker down in front of a screen but stuck for something to watch?

Here are the films, TV shows and special streaming events on our cultural radar right now, plus some of our favourites from recent weeks that you can catch up on…

We may earn commission from some of the links in this article, but we never allow this to influence our content.


 (Sky Atlantic)
(Sky Atlantic)

Starring Olivia Colman and written by her husband Ed Sinclair, Landscapers is rooted in the real-life case of Susan and Christopher Edwards, an apparently unassuming couple found guilty of murdering her parents - yet it couldn’t be further from the average true-crime procedural. It’s unsettling, relentlessly original viewing.

Sky Atlantic and Now, December 7

You Don’t Know Me

This four-part drama opens in court as a young man accused of murder (Samuel Adewunmi) decides to take matters into his own hands, directly addressing the jury in a last-ditch bid to share his story authentically and convince them of his innocence. It’s an absorbing watch with a great lead performance from Adewunmi.

BBC One, December 5 at 9pm

The Hand of God

Naples native Paulo Sorrentino’s latest isn’t, in fact, about Diego Maradona, though the footballer does appear briefly when he arrives to play in the city, where this 1980s coming of age story is set. Instead we follow the journey of gangly, toothy youth Fabietto, as he gropes his way forward in a selection of terrible shirts to a future which might take him far from his family.

In cinemas

Boxing Day

Aml Ameen’s writing/directing debut, about a British writer who brings his American fiancée home to meet the fam over Christmas, is a solid festive rom-com which, if a touch overloaded, is made hugely enjoyable by its rich and affectionate depiction of Black British and Caribbean culture. Leigh-Anne Pinnock, of Little Mix, puts in a nice turn as the inevitable ex-girlfriend.

In cinemas


Perfect for Christmas, this gorgeous and charming new Disney animation follows the only non-gifted girl in a magical Columbian family as she tries to find out what’s threatening their (also magical) home. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s songs are slightly L-MM by-numbers but the animation is lush, the story layered and complex and the performances a delight.

In cinemas


Adam Driver makes another appearance this week in this absolutely barking musical laced liberally with sardonic humour, available on Mubi from Friday. As toxic comedian Henry he shines alongside Marion Cotillard in what resembles A Star Is Born, as re-jigged by Charlie Kaufman after watching The Shining and La boheme on loop.


Dying to Divorce

At a time when violence against women is in the spotlight in Britain, this documentary focusing on the parallel situation in Turkey makes for a sobering watch, illustrating how women are being failed at social, political and institutional levels despite shocking numbers. There’s hope here, among the brilliant women fighting for their rights, but it’s a glimmer rather than a warm glow.

In cinemas

Selling Sunset

LA’s most glamorous estate agents are back for the fourth series of Netflix’s addictive reality series, available to stream now. Since the Oppenheim Group last graced our screens, Chrishell and boss Jason have struck up a shock romance, so expect that particular twist to occupy plenty of screen time, interspersed with more jaw-dropping vistas of multi-million dollar residences and more bonkers outfits from scene stealer Christine.


King Richard

This enjoyable sports biopic focusing not on the players (Venus and Serena Williams, perhaps they’ll get their own at some point? Seems reasonable?) but on their hard-pushing, determined father Richard Williams is elevated by a barnstorming central performance by Will Smith, who knows a thing or two (according to his recent autobiography) about domineering dads.

In cinemas now

Petite Maman

Portrait of a Lady on Fire director Céline Sciamma’s latest is a gem of a film centring around a lonely young girl and a strange new friend she makes in the woods near her recently bereaved mother’s childhood home. The conversation between the children flows through past and future with a breathtaking fluidity, capturing the sheer weirdness of the idea that your parents were once young too, feeling what you feel.

In cinemas now


Marvel’s recent spin-off series - this one begins on Disney+ on November 24 - may deviate from the usual superhero formula (see WandaVision and its sitcom parodies for a case in point) but few could have predicted that Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)’s standalone drama would be so festive in theme. The bow and arrow-bearing Avenger teams up with protégée Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) to defeat some baddies and get home to his family in time for Christmas.



Actress Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut is an adaptation of a novel by the American author Nella Larsen, first published in 1929. It starts with a chance meeting of two black former-schoolfriends, Clare (Ruth Negga) who passes as white, and Irene (Tessa Thompson, marvellous) who could, if she wanted to. The fallout from their reconnection makes for an understatedly headlong ride.


The Colour Room

Phoebe Dynevor’s first film role couldn’t be further from her breakout turn as aristocratic debutante Daphne in Netflix’s all-conquering period drama Bridgerton. In this winning, warm-hearted biopic, she plays Clarice Cliff, the pioneering ceramicist whose Bizarre pottery line was all the rage in the 20s and 30s (and can now command huge prices at auction). She’s joined by Matthew Goode as Colley Shorter, the factory owner who she fell in love with.

Sky Cinema and Now


This ambitious and rightfully angry drama attempts to grapple with America’s opioid epidemic, broaching this subject through multiple storylines across several timelines. It gets a little confusing in places, but it’s anchored by strong performances from Michael Keaton (as a Rust Belt doctor), Kaitlyn Dever (as a miner who is prescribed with OxyContin) and Will Poulter (as a sales executive for Purdue Pharma, the makers of Oxy).



There’s more than a little WALL-E about this post-apocalyptic AppleTV+ film which features Tom Hanks as a scientist, teaching a robot, Jeff (played winningly like a young teenager by Caleb Landry Jones), how to be human in order that someone might be left behind to look after his dog, Goodyear. Hanks is, as always, eminently watchable.

Apple TV+

The Harder They Fall

Stylish, riotous and righteous, this debut feature by Londoner Jeymes Samuel (produced by one Shawn Carter, AKA Jay-Z) finally hits Netflix after a triumph at the London Film Festival. Jonathan Majors leads a nearly all-black cast that includes Idris Elba, Regina King and LaKeith Stanfield in a rollicking Western that rewrites the rules while paying loving homage to the genre.



If you’re not already watching this ingenious, hard-hitting Netflix drama about a young mother struggling to rebuild her life after escaping an emotionally abusive relationship, you should be. Margaret Qualley is excellent in the leading role and the unconventional structure paints an evocative portrait of what it’s like to be in the middle of a legal system that you don’t understand.


The Tower


Game of Thrones alum Gemma Whelan leads the cast of this new three-part thriller from Homeland writer Patrick Harbinson, playing a police officer tasked with hunting down a fellow cop who has gone missing after witnessing two people falling to their deaths from a London tower block. It kicks off on ITV on Monday evening at 9pm.


Colin in Black and White

The American football player Colin Kaepernick (known overwhelmingly for his decision to take the knee in protest against police brutality) reclaims his story with this Netflix drama series about his journey as a young biracial boy adopted by a white family (and the complexities inherent in that dynamic) to star quarterback in the NFL and the fallout from his protest. It’s patchy, but effective.


Maradona: Blessed Dream

If you can’t get a decent drama out of the rollercoaster life of legendary Argentinian striker Diego Maradona then you shouldn’t be making telly. This Prime Video series promises much, covering his humble origins in Villa Fiorito outside Buenos Aires, his preternatural sporting gifts, his cocaine addiction and health problems. English viewers will be keeping an eye on his hands, inevitably.

Amazon Prime


 (BBC/World Productions)
(BBC/World Productions)

Here’s your latest thriller from the makers of Line of Duty and Vigil. Showtrial, which begins on Sunday evening on BBC One, explores how politics and press bias can get in the way of justice. When Talitha, daughter of a wealthy property developer, is charged with conspiracy to murder fellow student Hannah, the trial grips the nation and drags both their families into a media storm.

BBC iPlayer

The Outlaws

Seven very different people find themselves on the wrong side of the law and must complete 100 hours of community service together, renovating a derelict community centre, in this warm-hearted series from Stephen Merchant (who also stars as one of the offenders). Christopher Walken plays an ageing conman in his first British television role.

BBC iPlayer

Stath Lets Flats

Jamie Demetriou’s Stath, aka London’s worst estate agent, is back for round three. All is not well at family business Michael & Eagle Lettings following the dramatic series two finale, leaving Stath concerned about how he’ll be able to provide for his new baby. A brilliant line-up of guest stars is in place, including Julia Davis and This Country’s Charlie Cooper.


Impeachment: American Crime Story

After exploring the OJ Simpson trial and the killing of Gianni Versace, Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story juggernaut continues to roll on. The latest series tackles the fallout surrounding President Bill Clinton (Clive Owen)’s affair with 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein, always a scene stealer). This is a Murphy project, so naturally Sarah Paulson is involved, this time playing whistleblower Linda Tripp.

BBC Two, Tuesdays at 9.15pm and BBC iPlayer

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