Film, as described by a character in “Monster,” is a “curated series of images, with a beginning, middle and end.” Going well beyond that pretty basic definition, filmmaker Anthony Mandler — an acclaimed director of music videos making his narrative feature debut with a courtroom drama about a 17-year-old from Harlem who has been accused of being an accessory to murder — tells this story using quite a mix of imagery. Centering on an aspiring filmmaker from Harlem (Kelvin Harrison Jr. of “Waves”), and using much of what is passed off as his footage, the film includes security-camera footage; grainy, black-and-white photographs; amateur video; Polaroids; iPhone clips; snippets from “Rashomon”; and lush, saturated tableaus of a New York lit by sunset, candles, the flashers on a police car and streets lights. It wouldn’t mean much if the story — based on a 1999 YA novel by Walter Dean Myers, subsequently turned into a graphic novel — weren’t also stirring. It is. And the acting — featuring performances by Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Ehle, Tim Blake Nelson, A$AP Rocky and John David Washington — is uniformly strong. The source material may have been written for teenagers, but this version is all grown-up. Harrison narrates the film from prison as if it were a screenplay he’s writing, jumping backward and forward in time, beginning with security footage of the crime and ending with the verdict, interspersing flashbacks along the way to what he calls the “before” time. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, “Monster” offers a harrowing reminder of how, for many Black defendants, they’re guilty until proven innocent. Harrison makes his character’s fear and anguish palpable. R. Available on Netflix. Contains strong language throughout, some violence and bloody images. 98 minutes.

— Michael O'Sullivan

Also streaming

The documentary “The Boy From Medellín” follows reggaeton superstar J. Balvin as he becomes caught up in the roiling politics of his native Colombia. According to Variety, director Matthew Heineman may be “a little overqualified for this gig, since even a tortured pop hagiography is a bit of a comedown, as exploring pits of hell goes, from more obviously grueling previous assignments like ‘Cartel Land,’ ‘City of Ghosts’ and ‘A Private War.’ ” R. Available on Amazon Prime Video. Contains crude language. 95 minutes.

Just in time for Mother’s Day, “In Our Mothers’ Gardens” is a documentary from Ava DuVernay’s Array about the relationship between Black women and their mothers, featuring appearances by #MeToo founder Tarana Burke; Tina Farris, tour manager of the Roots and Chris Rock; cultural critic Brittney Cooper of Rutgers University; the Rev. Theresa S. Thames of Princeton University; holistic lifestyle maven Latham Thomas; photographer Adama Delphine Fawundu; and NPR’s senior director for programming, Yolanda Sangweni. Unrated. Available on Netflix. 82 minutes.

Andrew Garfield stars in “Mainstream,” a “vapid social-media satire,” according to IndieWire, about a woman (Maya Hawke) who discovers the dark side of going viral when her search for Internet fame leads her to begin making YouTube videos with a stranger. IndieWire says that Garfield “throws all of his loose-limbed ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ physicality and ‘Under the Silver Lake’ slacker slobbiness into the role of Link, a preening, pseudo-poetic stoner philosopher who could be the grotesque love child of Val Kilmer’s Jim Morrison in ‘The Doors’ and Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker in ‘Joker.’ What’s scary is the degree to which this excruciating film endorses his obnoxiousness. Surely we’re not supposed to like this poser, are we?” R. Contains pervasive crude language and some graphic nudity. Available on various streaming platforms. 95 minutes.

Reboot Camp” is a mockumentary about a fake self-help camp — complete with sham guru — that was intended to expose the quackery of such charlatans. Surprise! It becomes unexpectedly popular. The film — which Young Hollywood call an artful comedy, mailing the art of mockumentary by balancing “absurd circumstance with sincere circumspection” — includes appearances by Ed Begley, Jr., David Koechner, Lindsey Shaw and Chaz Bono, along with (playing themselves) Ja Rule and Eric Roberts. Unrated. Available on various streaming services. 97 minutes.

Remembering Anarcha” is a documentary about some of the enslaved Black women who were surgically experimented on — without anesthesia — by J. Marion Sims, a physician who has sometimes been called the father of modern gynecology. Unrated. Available on various streaming platforms. 91 minutes.

The official Oscar submission from Bolivia, “Tu Me Manques” tells the story of a father who travels from Bolivia to New York in the wake of his gay son’s death. As he struggles to come to terms with his son’s sexuality, the dead man’s boyfriend, Sebastian, works on a creating a play honoring his lost love. The New York Times calls the film “a moving and intellectually rewarding testament to queer life and loss.” Unrated. Available on various streaming platforms. In Spanish and English with subtitles. 110 minutes.

Johann Myers and Geza Rohrig (of “Son of Saul”) play corpse-collecting vagrants in the dystopian sci-fi fantasy “Undergods,” the feature debut of Chino Moya, a Spanish-born, Britain-based writer-director of music videos and commercials. According to Screen Daily, “there’s barely a frame of the film which wouldn’t stand on its own.” Unrated. Available on all major on-demand platforms. 92 minutes.