What to Watch: The 17 Best New Movies and TV Shows From March

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What to Watch: The 17 Best New Movies and TV Shows From March

Here’s a roundup of the month’s most noteworthy movies and TV shows, as covered by The Wall Street Journal’s critics.

Ted Lasso, Season 3 (Apple TV+)

Anyone who has felt burned by a television series (who hasn’t?) will approach the third and presumably final lap of the much-lauded, rightly loved “Ted Lasso” with some nervous questions in mind: Are they going to foul it up? Will the delicate touch that has scored so effectively with viewers and Emmy voters be abandoned for mawkish valedictions? Will the “Ted” team own-goal? Will they end with a wedding?

They won’t, at least not based on the four episodes made available for review. Which is as much of a miracle as the show has been all along.

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The Lost King

If only every harried middle-aged father trying to hold down the fort while Mom is out doing important things could enjoy a payoff like the one depicted in “The Lost King”: “Boys, boys! Your mother’s just found Richard III!”

The woman is Philippa Langley (Sally Hawkins), today Philippa Langley M.B.E. after being honored by the queen in 2015 for her services to the United Kingdom. You may recall, as I did, hearing in 2012 a jolly little news item about how “they” found the bones of the slain Richard in a parking lot. Who is “they”? Let the film tell you.

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John Wick: Chapter 4

According to one obsessive website, assassin extraordinaire John Wick has killed 299 people in his first three screen outings. Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers are slackers by comparison. Is there anyone in America better at his job? Tom Brady merely had to dodge tacklers, not bullets.

Continuing on with “John Wick: Chapter 4,” the hit-man action franchise continues to excel at its job as well. We go to these movies to see hyperviolence choreographed with an intricacy that would shame a Broadway musical, and we are not disappointed.

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History of the World, Part II (Hulu)

‘I’m American treasure Mel Brooks,” announces the writer, director, producer and comedy institution as he introduces his 40-years-in-the-awaiting “History of the World, Part II” on Hulu. “To some of you I’m a hero. To others, merely a legend.” As prepared as a viewer might be to laugh out loud, he or she will still laugh out loud.

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A Spy Among Friends (MGM+)

As a screen card proclaims at the outset of creator-writer Alexander Cary’s expansive adaptation, the period thriller is based on Ben Macintyre’s nonfiction book of 2014, but is itself “a work of imagination” in which names have been changed, scenes invented, etc. Nevertheless, it hews very closely to the true-crime case of infamous British double-agent Kim Philby (Guy Pearce), his close friend Nicholas Elliott (Damian Lewis), and Philby’s epic betrayal of both colleagues and country.

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Creed III

We probably didn’t need a third “Creed” film—the basic recipe of underdog training hard, rising to the challenge and winning a climactic fight has been done enough times—but in his directorial debut, the franchise’s star Michael B. Jordan proves more than capable of hitting the right beats and telling a straightforward story without getting distracted by cinematic gimmicks, except for a brief fantasy interlude in the third act that feels out of place.

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Tetris (Apple TV+)

When Vladimir Putin daydreams about the glories of the old Soviet Union, he’s probably not thinking about Tetris, still among the most popular videogames ever created and the U.S.S.R.’s most important contribution to international pop culture since Boris Pasternak. Mr. Putin might long to retrieve the rights to the game, though, which is what “Tetris” is all about.

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Reggie (Prime Video)

Watching the 76-year-old Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson sit down for an interview at the beginning of “Reggie” is a reminder of what an understated public profile he has maintained in recent years. He wasn’t just a superstar, after all; he had his own candy bar. So when he explains that “the timing was right” for a documentary, he seems to mean that he’s overdue in telling his story. He doesn’t mean that at all.

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Waco: American Apocalypse (Netflix)

Punditry abounds regarding the polarization of the American political landscape right now, but what one might call the Big Bangs of government distrust—Ruby Ridge and Waco—are three decades old and continue to haunt a house divided. The federal government can be said to have misplayed its hand in both instances, to put it mildly. The events have been examined and re-examined, investigated and reinvestigated. But on the 30th anniversary of the Branch Davidian debacle, “Waco: American Apocalypse” attempts to put the Texas battle into a sensible context. And it’s a fascinating fool’s errand.

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The Innocent

In France’s sly and wonderful comedy-drama-romance-heist movie “The Innocent,” a guide at an aquarium dryly tells us about the workings of neoteny, the conservation of juvenile characteristics in adults. The concept seems broadly applicable in today’s culture, and also within the movie.

But who is the one clinging to immaturity here? Abel (Louis Garrel), the fellow who works in the aquarium, is discombobulated by the romantic escapades of his mother, Sylvie (Anouk Grinberg), an actress who has a habit of being swept off her feet by the men she meets.

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Rabbit Hole (Paramount+)

If your paranoia has lost its edge, “Rabbit Hole” might be just the multi-episodic whetstone you need. Starring Kiefer Sutherland as a highly compensated financial-world “fixer,” it not only tries to fulfill the promise of its title with a warren of corkscrewing twists and turns, but almost everything scary goes back to that device on your desk, or in your hand, through which the answers to who, what and where you are seem as accessible as oxygen.

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Monster Factory (Apple TV+)

Professional wrestling of the “Monday Night RAW” variety is a thing that makes America great—or, better, proves that it already is. Like an MGM musical or a Super Bowl halftime show, it could happen only here. It’s overdone, close to hysterical and collapses under too much scrutiny. But as evidenced by “Monster Factory,” it is also a declaration of independence from doubt, and of embracing joy where you find it.

The subjects of this six-part documentary find their bliss at a converted industrial space in Philadelphia-adjacent New Jersey, where the Paulsboro Wrestling Club trains would-be WWE stars and, occasionally, sees its talent drafted into the pros.

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Luther: The Fallen Sun (Netflix)

With enough suspense, action and violence for crime-thriller fans and enough Idris Elba for Idris Elba fans, “Luther: The Fallen Sun” needn’t have a message as well. But here it is: Tell Alexa to get out of your house. And take Siri with her.

To be honest, the list of incriminated appliances in this feature-length revisiting of the long-running “Luther” series includes laptops, televisions, intruder detectors, security cameras, doorbells and baby monitors. Also Russians: The supremely evil David Robey (Andy Serkis), psychopath extraordinaire, uses the surveillance provided him by an Eastern European computer nest to monitor activity on the devices and use it to blackmail everyday Brits into doing his bidding. This includes abetting his crimes of mass murder, killing themselves and helping keep Detective Chief Inspector John Luther (Mr. Elba) in prison.

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La Civil

From John Wayne to Liam Neeson, the movies have stuck close to a certain image of a furious person searching for the kidnappers of a dearly loved girl. “La Civil” paints a starkly contrasting picture: In Mexico, an ordinary and careworn middle-aged mom goes on an odyssey through a cratered moral landscape after her innocent daughter is taken and held for ransom by a drug cartel.

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MH370: The Plane That Disappeared (Netflix)

Amelia Earhart will always be among history’s mythic disappearing acts, but aviation’s reigning mystery is the 2014 vanishing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The calamity, which occurred nine years ago this week, remains as much a puzzle as ever according to “MH370: The Plane That Disappeared,” a three-part Netflix documentary series that banks and swoops and rolls through all the possibilities, landing on the only consensus ever reached: that none of what happened was an accident.

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Emergency NYC (Netflix)

One of the better documentary series in the annals of Netflix was 2020’s “Lenox Hill,” an exhilarating, multi-episodic exploration of the eponymous New York hospital and a multi-character story rich in high-stakes medicine and dedicated people. The lingering dread? That there might be a sequel. An obligatory, perfunctory sequel.

But like a couple of creative obstetricians, Israeli filmmakers Ruthie Shatz and Adi Barash have instead delivered “Emergency NYC,” a healthy, bouncing, eight-part spinoff that looks at the medical system not only from the perspective of doctors in operating theaters but that of emergency medical technicians, helicopter nurses, trauma doctors, pediatric surgeons, transport coordinators and the patients they’re dragging back from the brink of death.

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Unstable (Netflix)

Rob Lowe’s hair is as monumental as his character’s ego in the eight-episode “Unstable,” which has a perversely magical secret: Its people would be obnoxious if they weren’t so charming.

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