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What’s on TV Monday: ‘His Dark Materials’ and a Classic Courtroom Drama


HIS DARK MATERIALS 9 p.m. on HBO. Stream on HBO platforms. The last installment of Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy was published nearly 20 years ago and it’s been more than 10 since the film adaptation of the first installment hit theaters. His story of Lyra Belacqua, an 11-year-old girl living in a world where every person has an animal companion that represents their soul, returns to the screen tonight in a new series distributed by HBO and BBC. Lyra (Dafne Keen) is an orphan on the cusp of adolescence living amid scholars at a college in an alternative-reality Oxford. When one of her young friends disappears mysteriously, she finds that he is not the only child who is missing. The kidnappings, she learns, are related to a mysterious substance called Dust. Soon Lyra finds herself caught up in a struggle between a powerful religious group and those who are resisting it.

DISTRICT 9 (2009) Stream on Netflix and Crackle. Rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. In Neill Blomkamp’s science fiction allegory, shipwrecked aliens exist on Earth as poorly treated refugees. The camp in Johannesburg where they were settled after arriving in the 1980s has degenerated into squalor and discrimination is pervasive and brutal. The treatment of the aliens looks like it’s only going to get worse when the government hires a multinational company with sinister motives to relocate the extraterrestrials to a new site outside of the city. Wikus van de Merwe (Sharlto Copley), an incompetent company official involved in the relocation, crosses paths with a group of aliens trying to escape Earth and is transformed in more than one way.

12 ANGRY MEN (1957) Stream on the Criterion Channel. Rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. Henry Fonda stars as Davis, a skeptical juror, in Sidney Lumet’s classic courtroom drama. After hearing testimony in the case of a young man from a poor neighborhood who is accused of murder, only Davis resists making a snap judgment. He votes not guilty and raises questions about the prosecution’s claims. Over the course of the film he tries to show the other jurors that their inclination to suppress doubt and assume guilt is informed by prejudice, inattention and personal problems.

TRAINING DAY (2001) Stream on Amazon Prime. Rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. A corrupt but powerful police detective tries to drag a younger officer down over the course of a violent, bewildering shift on the streets of Los Angeles. Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) knows he’s in trouble when he is paired with Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington) to test his abilities as an undercover narcotics officer. To get away with his crimes, Harris needs the police around him to also indulge in illegal activity. Hoyt resists but as the day winds down, he realizes he will have to fight if he is going to avoid going down Harris’s path, or worse, be killed.


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