Each week our staff of film and TV experts surveys the entertainment landscape to select the ten best new/newish movies available for you to stream at home. We put a lot of thought into our selections, and our debates on what to include and what not to include can sometimes get a little heated and feelings may get hurt, but so be it, this is an important service for you, our readers. With that said, here are our selections for this week.
10. (tie) The Voyeurs (Amazon Prime)
What we have here is an old-school erotic thriller — think Basic Instinct or Fatal Attraction — with White Lotus star Sydney Sweeney as one half of a curious couple who spends a not-insignificant amount of time spying on their exhibitionist-type neighbors. Things get weird and twisted and steamy, as they do in these kinds of movies, which were super popular in the 1980s and 1990s and have since just about disappeared. Might be worth it to give it a try, but think about closing your own blinds first. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
10. (tie) Black Widow (Disney+)
Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff finally gets a proper send-off in this actioner that aims to go back-to-basics but succeeds more on a personal level. The film fills in plenty of blanks following the events of Captain America: Civil War, but more importantly, we receive butt-kicking ladies in well-choreographed fight scenes and an emotionally resonant story that introduces us to the inner Natasha, as witnessed by Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova. She’s perhaps the only person in the world who’s allowed to tease Natasha, and their dynamic (and the chemistry between Scarlett and Florence) rules. The film also allows David Harbour to perform grunt-filled face work with a wild accent while the ladies swirl around him in hand-to-hand combat. It’s a winner. And it’s now available to subscribers with no extra fee. Watch it on Disney+.
The Velvet Underground is one of the most influential bands of all-time. But unlike other iconic 1960s groups like, say, the Beatles, there’s not a ton of footage of Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Moe Tucker performing. To get around this, director Todd Haynes has made a documentary that captures the “idea” of the VU rather than a Wikipedia summary. Don’t walk, but “run run run” to watch The Velvet Underground! Watch it on Apple TV+.
8. Malignant (HBO Max)
James Wan, he of the Saw and Insidious and Conjuring movies, is back with a new horror film. This one focuses on a woman who has terrifying visions of brutal murders, which are ruining her life a little (as terrifying visions of brutal murders will do) and are also –surprise — actually happening in the real world (which is bad). None of it sounds like a good time for her. For you, though? Maybe. Watch it on Netflix.
7. Muppets Haunted Mansion (Disney+)
Good news: The Muppets are back. Everyone’s favorite collection of fuzzy rascals take to Disney+ with a new spooky Halloween story about a haunted mansion. The Haunted Mansion, if we’re being technical. It might be a nice opportunity to fall down a Muppet rabbit hole again. There’s never a bad time to watch The Great Muppet Caper, after all. Watch it on Disney+.
The Sopranos are back. Kind of. The Sopranos are kind of back. Series creator David Chase’s long-rumored, long-awaited prequel movie about New Jersey’s most famous fictional crime family is finally here. What do we got? Well, for one, we’ve got Michael Gandolfini filling the role of a Tony Soprano and playing a younger version of the character his father made famous. We’ve also got a bunch more Moltisantis and 1960-70s fashion all against the backdrop of the 1967 riots in Newark. There’s a lot going here. You’ll probably want to check it out, if only to bask in a little nostalgia for a while. Watch it on HBO Max
5. Night Teeth (Netflix)
The dark spirits compel us to remind you that Megan Fox has a horror-comedy coming to Netflix this week. It’s likely this reminder is retribution for how terribly we treated Fox’s other terrific horror entry, Jennifer’s Body. Will this one be as good? Who knows? It looks promising enough though, with Fox and Sydney Sweeney hamming it up as two LA-based Goth queens who mix a bit of human blood into their green smoothies. Lucy Fry and Debbie Ryan take up the most screen-time, playing a pair of hard-partying undead millennials that look to be the worst Uber passengers you’ll ever meet. It’s a wild noir-infused romp through the city that doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously. Watch it on Netflix.
4. Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin (Paramount+)
The spooky business all gets rebooted here, with the franchise focusing in on a collection of teens, one of whom is on a mission to discover what happened to her mother. Does she uncover a secret? Is the secret described in the preview materials as “a terriying truth”? Buddy, you know it is. We’ve all see enough of these movies to know that. But it doesn’t make them any less fun. Watch it on Paramount+.
3. Army of Thieves (Netflix)
Netflix bet on dead with Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, and that bet apparently paid off handsomely, which is a good thing because there’s already a prequel in the can. Matthias Schweighöfer returns to the franchise as Dieter, a then-bank teller who’s recruited by Nathalie Emmanuel (who promises “a life less ordinary”) to begin his heisting career. Of course, this prequel isn’t entirely devoid of zombies, but the focus is on those safes, which are cracking. Watch it on Netflix.
2. Halloween Kills (Peacock)
Halloween Kills is a direct sequel to 2018’s Halloween, which was a sequel to 1978’s Halloween that ignored all the previous sequels in the franchise. It’s confusing, but really, all you need to know is that it’s a Halloween movie with Jamie Lee Curtis, “The Shape,” and an eerie score from John Carpenter. ’Tis the season (to watch horror movies). Watch it on Peacock
1. Dune (HBO Max)
At long last, Dune is here. Denis Villeneuve’s science-fiction epic starring everyone you like (including Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, and Jason Momoa) should probably be seen on the biggest screen possible. But it’ll still look darn good at home. Watch it on HBO Max.