Napoleon stands tall as one of Ridley Scott’s finest films [Apple TV+ review] ★★★★☆

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Napoleon (played by Joaquin Phoenix) leads the charge on a grim battlefield.★★★★☆
Napoleon (played by Joaquin Phoenix) leads the charge on a grim battlefield. But Ridley Scott's Napoleon isn't all about war.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ Review Apple TV+ took its biggest gambles this year as a distributor of theatrical features with gargantuan budgets and run times to match, hoping that America will want to return to the epics of yesteryear in time for the holidays.

With Martin Scorsese’s heartbreaking Killers of the Flower Moon garnering headlines and climbing toward recouping its budget, here comes Ridley Scott’s Napoleon. The Apple Original biopic about the diminutive French emperor — in theaters now, and coming to Apple’s streaming service at some point in the future — proves Apple TV+ is a safe bet for good movies.

Coupling unfliniching violence with a keen sense of the absurd, it’s one of Scott’s finest films.

The 15 best shows on Apple TV+

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Best shows on Apple TV+
Looking for something to stream? Check out the best shows on Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+’s programming slate seems like a crazily oscillating slate of highs and lows. But the highs thus far prove dizzying indeed.

Directors like M. Night Shyamalan, Rupert Wyatt and Kim Jee-Woon, writers like Min Jin Lee, Paul Theroux, Emily Dickinson and Isaac Asimov, high-concept premises and legendary ensembles all meet on Apple’s streaming service.

The result is a collection of art worth signing up for. On the fourth anniversary of the service’s launch, here’s a look at the best shows on Apple TV+.

Apple TV+ movie Killers of the Flower Moon is grueling but important [Review] ★★★★★

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Jesse Plemons and Robert De Niro match wits in Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon★★★★★
Jesse Plemons and Robert De Niro match wits in Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ Review As far back as I could remember, Martin Scorsese has been synonymous with the movies. Now Apple TV+ has financed his latest work, an adaptation of David Grann’s true crime novel The Killers of the Flower Moon about the death of a native American community and the birth of the FBI to the tune of $200 million.

Killers of the Flower Moon will go down as one of the director’s boldest and most furious statements in a career full of them.

Fantastic Foundation season 2 finale promises hope for the future [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★★

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Jared Harris in ★★★★★
What's next for Hari Seldon and the Second Foundation?
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ Review Apple TV+’s epic science fiction series Foundation concludes its second season this week and it goes out on a remarkable high note.

Who knows what the future holds for the Second Foundation? But I’ve greatly enjoyed this season. The hours I’ve spent getting sucked into this excellent sci-fi show were well worth the investment.

Even Jon Hamm can’t save The Morning Show season 3 [Apple TV+ recap] ☆☆☆

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Episode 1. Tig Notaro and Jon Hamm in ☆☆☆
Jon Hamm joins The Morning Show cast, playing a tech mogul that's part Steve Jobs, part Elon Musk and part Jeff Bezos.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+’s flagship drama The Morning Show returns today for another season of broadcast news back-stabbing after a truly disastrous second season. The show adds a new character — a tech exec played by Mad Men star Jon Hamm — to the toxic mix this time around.

But can the showrunners right The Morning Show’s course? And, perhaps more importantly, does it matter? The show, about a news network and its star executives and anchors, finds itself dealing with contemporary politics a day late and a dollar short.

Epic battles lift Foundation to new highs [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★★

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Lee Pace and Laura Birn in ★★★★★
Terminus had better watch out for Brother Day (played by Lee Pace, left) and Demerzel (Laura Birn).

TV+ ReviewApple TV+ science fiction show Foundation reaches the penultimate episode of a very fine second season this week

Brother Day demands answers from the people of Terminus, who disappoint him with their conviction. Gaal and Salvor plot a daring escape from the Mentalics. And a great big dogfight in space precedes the showstopping image of the season.

It’s all secrets and schemes this week on Foundation [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★

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Sandra Yi Sencindiver and Terrence Mann in ★★★★
Rue (played by Sandra Yi Sencindiver, left) reveals something earth-shaking to Brother Dusk (Terrence Mann).
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewSalvor and Gaal are in trouble this week as incredible Apple TV+ space opera Foundation heads into the home stretch of its great second season.

With the Mentalics moving on our two heroines, it seems that everyone has their fair share of trouble in the episode, entitled “The Last Empress.” Cleric and Constant find themselves at the business end of a Trantor firing squad. Dusk and Dawn see themselves fading into obsolescence. And Sareth’s running out of time to make her move.

Imperial intrigue rocks Foundation [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆

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Cassian Bilton, Laura Birn, Lee Pace and Terrence Mann in ★★★★☆
The Empire
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewEveryone’s making compromises this week on Foundation, the gorgeous and exciting Apple TV+ sci-fi series based on the writings of Isaac Asimov.

Day and Demerzel sweat their next move as the Second Foundation rears its head (and Queen Sareth shows her fangs). Salvor and Gaal make the most of a new home. And Bel Riose meets Hober Mallow — with disastrous consequences.

The 11 best documentaries on Apple TV+

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Apple TV+ best documentaries collage, with photos from six Apple TV+ documentaries.
From music to nature to history, Apple TV+ documentaries offer something for everyone.
Photos: Apple TV+

TV+ Review The best Apple TV+ documentaries bring something extra to the nonfiction party. From historical subjects to oddball artistic projects, the streaming service’s finest docs deliver interesting insights in compelling ways (even politically irresponsible).

Here’s a look at the best Apple TV+ documentaries — both series and films — so far.

Schemes and a royal screwup shake Foundation [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★

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Leah Harvey and Lou Llobell in ★★★★
Salvor (played by Leah Harvey, left) and Gaal (Lou Llobell) wonder what Hari Seldon's up to this week on Foundation.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ Review Foundation, the epic Apple TV+ sci-fi show about the political machinations and battles being fought for control of a galaxy, finds its players being manipulated in all sorts of scary and surprising ways this week.

Hari looks backward and forward and finds nothing he likes. Cleric and Constant get Trantor’s version of a warm welcome. And finally, Brother Day unveils a new succession plan — that immediately backfires on him. It’s a very fine installment of this most exciting show.

Suspicion is the word of the week on Foundation [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆

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Jared Harris, Leah Harvey and Lou Llobell in ★★★★☆
Who can you trust in Foundation? Hari (played by Jared Harris, left), Salvor (Leah Harvey) and Gaal (Lou Llobell) get a crash course in making new allies.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewFoundation finds old flames, new complications and uncertain allies in a very engaging episode this week. Hari, Salvor and Gaal find themselves in the company of a goddess. Dusk, Dawn and Day start suspecting each other. And Sareth gets closer to the truths she came to Trantor to divine.

Unsurprisingly strong performances elevate “The Sighted and the Seen,” this week’s episode of Apple TV+’s epic science fiction series based on the work of Isaac Asimov.

Swagger dazzles with a flawless season 2 finale [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★★

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Isaiah Hill in ★★★★★
Swagger goes for broke in its outstanding season two finale.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewSwagger closes out its brilliant second season in style this week, as the young basketball players prep for their futures and their most important game yet.

Jace needs to play his best to regain his sterling reputation in time to win over college recruiters — and that’s not all he’s worried about. Plus, Ike and Naim must patch things up in order to be there for the team ahead of a very important game. Entitled “Journey and Destination,” the Swagger season two finale is a very moving sendoff that only this team could provide.

Foundation takes a moment for humanity [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆

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Dimitri Leonidas and Isabella Laughland in ★★★★☆
Hober (played by Dimitri Leonidas, left) and Constant (Isabella Laughland) grow closer this week on Foundation.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+’s magnificent space opera Foundation is lost in space this week. A small party heads inside the Vault on Terminus to speak to the prophet — and comes away bewildered by what they find.

Plus, Bel Riose is back in action and finds himself a different creature than when last he stormed the battlefield. And Brother Day’s marriage is about to get complicated by his bride’s secret, all on a very l0vely episode of the series, entitled “Where the Stars Are Scattered Thinly.”

Secrets and hard decisions bring Swagger to a boil [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★★

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Isaiah Hill in ★★★★★
Jace (played by Isaiah Hill) and Team Swagger need to bring the heat.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewSwagger finds Ike and Naim at odds this week, even as CJ and Camden share a road trip and some secrets. And while Emory and Ike pursue a common goal, the team faces more scrutiny than ever.

With so little left of the sports drama’s extremely strong second season, how will the building pressure come between the players and their goals? Entitled “Homecoming,” this week’s stirring and strong episode hits hard as we prepare to wrap up season two of this outstanding Apple TV+ show.

Pumped for Physical season 3? Here’s why we’re really not. [Apple TV+ reviews] ★★☆☆☆

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Episode 10. Rose Byrne in ★★☆☆☆
It's basically more of the same for Sheila (played by Rose Byrne) in season three of Physical.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+’s enormously frustrating ’80s fitness comedy Physical bounces back for its third and final season this week. Aerobics queen Sheila faces a new adversary, both physically and mentally, as well as a new business model — and all the same old problems.

In the first two seasons, the show never expanded or focused enough to make its surface-level treatment of a tormented self-help icon the impressively acidic comedy or drama it so clearly strove to be. Season three of Physical opens with a few promising developments before becoming bogged down in the same distraction and confusion that marred its first two outings.

Brace yourself for Hijack’s fiery finale [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★☆

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Idris Elba in ★★★★☆
Can Sam Nelson (played by Idris Elba) figure out a way to save Flight KA29?
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ Review Apple TV+’s high-altitude thriller Hijack finally hits the runway in this week’s series finale. Our hero Sam Nelson has a new problem on his hand — and an hour in which to solve it as the rest of the passengers panic anew.

On the ground, Sam’s family is in danger. And in the air, Sam’s running out of options. The episode, entitled “Brace Brace Brace,” serves up as good a conclusion as Hijack fans could hope for.

3 Reasons to Watch: Apple TV+ sci-fi epic Foundation

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An outer space shot from “Foundation,” now streaming on Apple TV+.
Imagined on an epic scale, Foundation delivers the classic sci-fi combo of otherworldly vistas and mind-bending ideas.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewIn this installment of 3 Reasons to Watch, blast off with Apple TV+’s spectacular Foundation, a space opera worthy of the classics of the genre. After a stellar first season of the show, which is based on the timeless novels of Isaac Asimov, the second season is even more tremendous!

Here’s why you should check out this epic sci-fi show if you haven’t already.

Everyone’s on an epic mission this week on Foundation [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★

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Jared Harris in ★★★
Everyone's looking for answers in strange places this week on Foundation.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+’s epic space opera Foundation shores up its defenses this week as everyone prepares for the second crisis.

Hari and Gaal have a crucial appointment with an ancient power. Cleric and Day both need to rescue the last men in the galaxy that either of them wants to ask for help. And new and greater puzzles wait behind every corner.

Great pacing, great character work and a couple of welcome additions to the Foundation cast make this week’s episode, “King and Commoner,” appointment television.

Jace walks a mile in someone else’s roller skates this week on Swagger [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★★

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Quvenzhané Wallis and Isaiah Hill in ★★★★★
Crystal (Quvenzhané Wallis, left) and Jace (Isaiah Hill) have some things to work out this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewSwagger takes a look at personal responsibility this week, as Jace ponders his future after taking a tough stance.

He and Crystal spend an eventful, meaningful day together, while higher-ups decide what to do with the divisive athlete. Ike, Tonya and Emery must work through the Jace situation, while he needs to deal with his own confidence issues. Entitled “Jace + Crystal,” it’s a very fine episode of an Apple TV+ sports drama that produces little else.

The Beanie Bubble bursts right away [Apple TV+ review] ☆☆☆

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Elizabeth Banks and Zach Galifianakis in ☆☆☆
Robbie Jones (played by Elizabeth Banks, left) and Ty Warner (Zach Galifianakis) find themselves at the center of a surprising '90s obsession in The Beanie Bubble.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ Review The Beanie Bubble, the new Apple TV+ movie about a product you rightly moved on from despite its momentary stranglehold on culture, is fleetingly persuasive but hopelessly conventional.

Directed by the lead singer of OK Go and Al Gore’s daughter, the movie tells the true story of the creation of and exploitation of the Beanie Babies craze of the 1990s.

Sam stokes an in-flight rebellion this week on Hijack [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★

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Idris Elba in ★★★
Sam (played by Idris Elba) rallies his fellow passengers to fight back in the penultimate episode of Hijack.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewHit Apple TV+ thriller Hijack nears its final destination this week. Sam Nelson’s family is in danger and he can’t do much to stop the potential devastation.

What he can do is take control of the hijacked airplane. But will the rest of the passengers help him? And will the kidnappers let down their guard long enough to allow him to do so? The episode, entitled “Comply Slowly,” is a white-knuckler.

Incarceration hits hard this week on Swagger [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★★★

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Quvenzhané Wallis and Isaiah Hill in ★★★★★
The future hangs in the balance as Team Swagger's players face judgment.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewSwagger takes a hard look at incarceration this week in a season-best episode of the Apple TV+ basketball drama.

With the eyes of their community on them, Jace and Team Swagger head to a juvenile detention center to learn and to play as they sweat their futures. Entitled “Are We Free?,” it’s a terrific episode filled with great performance notes and stunning direction.

Hari Seldon returns this week on Foundation, and he’s fuming! [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★

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Leah Harvey, Jared Harris and Lou Llobell in ★★★
It's reunion time for Salvor (played by Leah Harvey, left) Hari (Jared Harris) and Gaal (Lou Llobell).
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ Review Apple TV+’s epic science fiction series Foundation deals with the fallout from an assassination attempt, a potential marriage and the opening of a puzzle cube this week.

In the episode, entitled “A Glimpse of Darkness,” Salvor and Gaal have their overdue reunion with Hari Seldon. Plus, some new converts are betrayed by their faith. And Hari, like Schrodinger’s cat, may or may not be in a box. It’s a very good episode between major developments.

Stephen Curry: Underrated traces his transformation from scrub to superstar [Apple TV+ review] ★★★☆☆

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Stephen Curry in ★★★☆☆
The undisputed master of the three-pointer gets his due new documentary Stephen Curry: Underrated.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ Review New Apple TV+ sports doc Stephen Curry: Underrated follows the Golden State Warriors star and his quest to bring his team back after a bad season.

The film documents the various rises and falls of the player with the three-pointer record and the slim build, showing us who Curry is off the court as well as on. It’s a very conventional but likable look at the kind of talent that doesn’t come along every day.

Things heat up on the ground in Hijack [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★

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Kaisa Hammarlund in ★★★
Co-pilot Anna (played by Kaisa Hammarlund) wants to help foil the hijackers.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewSam runs out of options, and Stuart runs out of patience, in this week’s tense installment of Apple TV+ hostage thriller Hijack.

Stuart’s secrets start to spill out as a desperate move to save someone close to him brings the whole operation dangerously close to failure. While Sam tries to stay a step ahead of everyone, there are just some things he can’t know or understand until it’s too late.