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.
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+.
9. Home Sweet Home Alone (Disney Plus)
This is a surprisingly star-studded — Ellie Kemper! Rob Delaney! Kenan Thompson! — addition to the Home Alone franchise, written by SNL veterans Mikey Day and Streeter Seidell. The plot remains the same: A 10-year-old boy gets left behind when his parents head off to Tokyo and he has to defend his house from various bumbling criminals. The reviews so far are… not great, but it might be worth a go if you’re looking for a nostalgia blast to the face or something to watch with younger kids. Order yourself a large cheese pizza first. Watch it on Disney Plus.
8. 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+.
7. The Electric Life of Louis Wain (Amazon Prime)
What we have here is Benedict Cumberbatch as an eccentric old-timey artist whose — and we’re just going to go ahead and quote Amazon’s summary because there’s no improving on this phrasing — “playful, psychedlic pictures transformed the public’s perceptions of cats forever.” Yeah. And Claire Foy is in there, too. It’s a whole thing. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
6. 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.
5. Finch (Apple TV+)
You like Turner and Hooch, right? Of course you do. Tom Hanks + a dog = good ’80s movie. OK, well, what if Turner and Hooch was set in the post-apocalyptic future… and instead of working as a cop, Tom Hanks is one of the last people on Earth and he travels the planet with his dog and a robot… and the movie was directed by the guy who did the awesome “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards” episodes of Game of Thrones. It’s Finch time. Watch it on Apple TV+.
4. Passing (Netflix)
In the mood for a critically-acclaimed new drama? Good news: Passing is on Netflix. The film, shot in black-and-white and starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga, is the directorial debut from Rebecca Hall. It tells the story of two women who live in New York, both of whom are Black but one of whom has lighter skin and passes as white, with twists and turns and tragedy unfolding throughout. It’s a heavier watch than some of the other options out there, but hey, you could use a little culture. Watch it on Netflix.
3. 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.
2. The Harder They Fall (Netflix)
Jeymes Samuel’s slick, stylish Netflix Western is a “pick your fighter” lineup of gun-slinging, swag-dripping Black cowboys ready to dust off the history books and give us a more accurate, diverse representation of the Old West. Jonathan Majors is having a hell of a year and here, he imbues the deadly Nat Love with some impressive comedic beats that make it easy to root for the vengeance-minded outlaw – unless, of course, you’re swayed by the prospect of Regina King riding a horse and f*cking sh*t up in every scene. (Who wouldn’t be?) Idris Elba, LaKeith Stanfield, and Zazie Beetz round out the main cast members with the most things to do on screen and all of the shoot-outs and train robberies and saloon fights are timed perfectly to an eclectic mix of Reggae/Dancehall bangers produced by Samuel and collaborator Jay-Z. This ain’t your grandpa’s Western, and really, that’s kind of the point. Watch it on Netflix.
1. Red Notice (Netflix)
Red Notice may be making its Netflix debut (after an initial theatrical drop last week), but there’s still a cost for admission outside your subscription fee; a requirement that you unplug your brain a little and let the reliance (or overreliance) on cliches, exotic locales, and movie megastar charms wash over you. If you want to do that owing to a desire for Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Nic Cage Stealing The Declaration Of Independence nostalgias, cool. You’re going to going to get a lot out of Gal Gadot having just so much fun with a villainous turn as a master thief while Ryan Reynolds and The Rock bumble, banter, and double-cross through a sort of buddy-cop routine while globetrotting in pursuit of McGuffin-y antiquities. Just don’t look for much more. Watch it on Netflix.