[Serious time: If you really want to do something special for Cumberbatch’s birthday besides dehydrate yourself watching Third Star, stop by the Batch of Kindness hashtag on Twitter (#batchofkindness) and take part in a global effort to do something nice for someone else. It’s pretty cool.]
Now, back to binge watching.
But, I’ve seen Sherlock, you say. It can’t possibly get better than that. Well, that’s wrong, and we’re here to give you five options of Cumberbatch-filled films and TV programs that you can stream online right now. (Yes, yes, there are a lot more than this, but they aren’t all online, so they’re not as easy to locate.)
The Last Enemy. Set in a futuristic London that’s beset by terrorism and battling illegal immigration, Cumberbatch plays a reclusive mathematician who returns to England for his brother’s funeral. Only it turns out that his brother and his brother’s wife may not have been exactly what they seemed. Throw in a scary citizen computer database, a couple of political cover-ups and you have The Last Enemy, which attempts to deal with the complex moral and social issues brought to light in a post-War on Terror society. Unfortunately, it’s not particularly nuanced, and spends too much time on several (quite frankly, dull) subplots.
The Last Enemy is available to stream on Amazon Prime.
Parade’s End. A swoony and romantic adaptation of the Ford Madox Ford novel of the same name, Parade’s End is a five-part series that follows the story of conservative English aristocrat Christopher Tietjens (Cumberbatch) and his generally awful, but fun to watch, wife Sylvia (Rebecca Hall) from the last years of the Edwardian era through the end of the first World War. Sumptuous costumes and smoldering glances abound and everyone is various shades of unhappy or tortured once Tietjens meets spunky feminist neighbor girl Valentine (Adelaide Clemens).
Star Trek Into Darkness. The sequel to the popular 2009 Star Trek reboot, Star Trek Into Darkness continues the voyages of the famous starship Enterprise in this alternate universe. Cumberbatch plays the film’s Big Bad - villainous terrorist John Harrison, whose real name is actually something that all Trek fans will recognize (and not that surprising, to be honest). The plot of Into Darkness gets messier and messier the more you try and make it make sense, but Cumberbatch’s villain steals every scene he is in. He also gets several pieces of really amazing outwear that could give the Sherlock coat a run for its money.
Star Trek Into Darkness can be streamed on Netflix.
Third Star. James (Cumberbatch), a young man terminally ill with cancer, sets out on a last hiking trip with his three best friends, Davy (Tom Burke), Bill (Adam Robertson) and Miles (Turn’s JJ Field). Their destination is James's favorite beach at Barafundle Bay, and on the way there they learn some life lessons, are generally awesome, and will make you cry. A LOT. This is a little film with a great cast and a tremendous amount of heart and it’s really just beautiful. And Cumberbatch’s performance as James is the standout among a fantastic ensemble.
Third Star is finally available to watch in America – you can stream it on Amazon Prime.
Wreckers. A married couple named Dawn (Claire Foy) and David (Cumberbatch) moves to an idyllic country cottage and start renovating it. Their lives seem pretty perfect until the arrival of David’s brother Nick (Endeavour’s Shaun Evans) and then things get weird. Wreckers is an atmospheric character piece about relationships – and what kind of lies we are willing to live with to preserve them. An occasionally slow-moving film about familial and emotional connections with a bittersweet ending, this movie is going to be way too dull for some. (And, to be quite honest some (most?) of the characters are straight up unlikeable, so you should know that going in.) But the acting is phenomenal from all involved.
Honorable mention: If, even after all this, all you want to see today is the Belstaff, well, Sherlock is available to stream online on Netflix, too.
But, I’d still tell you to watch Third Star first.
What’s your favorite Cumberbatch role?