Sign up for newsletter >>
This Week in Streaming (July 4th Edition)

This Week in Streaming (July 4th Edition)

Our recommendations to counteract the endless scrolling.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Prime): We may have talked about this movie before in The Pamphleteer’s early days, but Frank Capra’s 1939 treatise on political machines and clear-eyed populism remains the best movie ever made about American politics and one of America’s greatest movies in general. 

The Brink (Tubi): Between Biden’s harrowing debate performance and Trump’s SCOTUS-endorsed immunity, Steve Bannon went to jail. In an era of mind-boggling justice system abuses from the people who always warn us about the death of democracy, the podcast host and Trump 2016 architect’s incarceration for contempt of Congress is a Mao-level abuse of central authority that’s more about his potential role in 2024 than any tangible wrongdoing. When documentarian Alison Klayman followed Bannon around in 2018, the result was supposed to be an unveiling of America’s second-greatest supervillain geared to Blue Coast shakers and movers. Instead, Bannon took control of the narrative, coming across as both the smartest guy in any room and an unrelenting badass. An accidental new classic. 

Uncle Sam (AMC+ and Prime): When a Gulf War soldier’s body arrives in his hometown right before the Fourth of July, it rises from the dead to wreak havoc on hollow patriotism and those that perpetrate it. This 1997 collaboration between 70s schlock heroes Larry Cohen (It’s Alive) and William Lustig (Maniac Cop) went direct to video and cult status thanks to its supporting turns from Isaac Hayes and a post-Jackie Brown Robert Forster. However, it’s also an impressive interrogation of the disconnect between combat and the homeland. Sometimes the best way to show that freedom isn’t free is impalement by flag pole.