“House of Cards,” one of the first Netflix original series, is back for its fifth season of soap opera-quality politics for your bingeing pleasure. And on FX, “The Americans” concludes Season 5 after the most recent episode ended with a cliffhanger.
HOUSE OF CARDS on Netflix. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are back as Frank and Claire Underwood, the Machiavellian schemers and menacing first couple in this pulpy series, which returns for its fifth season. But how will this show’s melodrama and cynicism fare in a year when political strife seems baked into the daily news cycle?
A CURE FOR WELLNESS (2017) on iTunes. An unexpected stay at an alpine sanitarium may have echoes of Thomas Mann’s masterpiece “The Magic Mountain,” but many of the allusions in this Gore Verbinski thriller are from films: Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island,” for example, or Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth.” This movie, A. O. Scott wrote in The New York Times, is “a lustrous box of genre candy, the self-revealing work of an auteur who has laid bare not so much his psyche as his online streaming queue.” Mr. Scott added: “You might feel like you’re in the company of a manic cinephile friend breathlessly recounting his favorite movie scenes in no particular order. You admire his devotion, his taste and his scholarship, but in the end the experience is probably more satisfying for him than it is for you.”
DOCTOR STRANGE (2016) on Netflix. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the title character in this adaptation of the Marvel comic book series, directed by Scott Derrickson. The film is rich with mind-bending…