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) Tick, Tick… Boom (Netflix)
Andrew Garfield is giving theater-kids everywhere a musical-thirst-trap performance in this Lin-Manuel Miranda-directed biopic that pays tribute to Jonathan Larson, the artistic genius who changed Broadway with his seminal musical Rent. This film examines Larson’s life before fans were belting out Season of Love though, with Garfield giving an award-worthy turn as a restless visionary who feels the suffocating deadline of turning 30 without having produced a great show. The supporting cast is terrific, Garfield is doing his best work, and Miranda infuses everything with a genuine sense of love and admiration that makes it hard not to root for this one. Watch it on Netflix.
10. (tie) The Power of the Dog (Netflix)
Benedict Cumberbatch gives a villainous performance for the ages in The Power of the Dog, the first film in 12 years from director Jane Campion. The western is expected (and deserves) to be an Oscars frontrunner, so hop on the horse-drawn bandwagon now. Watch it on Netflix.
10. (tie) Don’t Look Up (Netflix)
Jennifer Lawrence is back in Don’t Look Up, Adam McKay’s apocalyptic satire about two low-level astronomers (J-Law and Leonardo DiCaprio) who try to warn everyone on Earth about an approaching comet — but no one seems to care. The ensemble cast also includes Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Ariana Grande, Timothée Chalamet, Cate Blanchett, and Tyler Perry. Maybe that’s why no one cares about the comet. They’re too busy looking at all those stars. Watch it on Netflix.
10. (tie) The Matrix Resurrections (HBO Max)
The gang is all back. Mostly. They’re mostly all back. Keanu is there as Neo, with the John Wick beard. Carrie Ann Moss is back as Trinity even though Trinity kind of… died. It’s a whole thing. And it’s fun. This all could have gone a lot worse, really, which isn’t exactly the highest praise but is still important. Let’s do it all again in another 20 years. Let’s make it a thing. Watch it on HBO Max.
9. The Tragedy of Macbeth (Apple TV+)
The Tragedy of Macbeth is the first time Joel Coen has made a movie with no involvement from his brother, Ethan. But even without his sibling, this black-and-white adaptation of one of William Shakespeare’s bloodiest plays is typically excellent, with stellar performances from Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Corey Hawkins, Stephen Root, and Kathryn Hunter. Something wicked good this way comes… to streaming. Watch it on Apple TV+.
8. The Tinder Swindler (Netflix)
A man poses as a diamond mogul to lure in women online and bamboozle them out of millions of dollars, and then women get wise to the scam and try to figure out how to exact revenge. This is somehow both the best-possible description for an episode of SVU or a movie starring Charlize Theron as a vengeance-seeking assassin and the actual plot of Netflix’s latest true-crime documentary. Which will probably become an episode of SVU soon enough. It’s a whole ecosystem, really. Watch it on Netflix.
7. Encanto (Disney Plus)
The standout cut from the Encanto soundtrack, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” is the latest addition to the Maddeningly Catchy Disney Song canon, along with recent inductees “Let It Go” and “You’re Welcome.” (Lin-Manuel Miranda apparently knows a thing or two about songwriting, who knew?) The rest of the movie is fun, colorful, and teaches an important lesson about family and community, and you get to hear Rosa from Brooklyn Nine-Nine belt it out. But the best reason to watch Encanto is to learn firsthand why “Bruno” is one of the most popular songs in the country right now. Should you skip Encanto? Bruno-no-no-no. Watch it on Disney Plus.
6. Marry Me (Peacock)
Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson star as a preposterously attractive couple who get together after her character — one half of a global sensation pop duo — discovers her lover and music partner has been stepping out. That’s right, it is rom-com time over here. Will they? Won’t they? Whose hair will look better in the pivotal scene that will probably take place in the driving rain? There’s one way to find out: Grab some popcorn and comfy pajamas and set up shop on the couch. Watch it on Peacock.
5. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Netflix)
Instead of trying to make sense of where 2022’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which should not be confused with 1974’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre or 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, falls into the horror franchise’s convoluted timeline, just enjoy watching Leatherface kill a new batch of no-good teens (including Elsie Fisher from Eighth Grade). It’s more fun that way. Watch it on Netflix.
4. A Madea Homecoming (Netflix)
Tyler Perry and Madea are back once again, this time on Netflix, for another go-round of laughs and dysfunctional family fun. This time the action takes place at her great-grandson’s college graduation and the celebration that takes place afterward. You know what you’re getting here. There is a long history of all of it. Gather around the television and enjoy the chaos. Watch it on Netflix.
3. Kimi (HBO Max)
Zoe Kravitz plays a stay-at-home digital detective in this latest thriller from Steven Soderbergh who — with the help of her friendly A.I. sidekick Kimi — uncovers a string of murders she traces back to the company she works for. She then must venture out into a pandemic-ridden Seattle in search of the reason why. Honestly, we can’t relate. But, Kravitz is quickly becoming a bonafide action star and a Soderbergh script rarely disappoints. Watch it on HBO Max.
2. Lucy and Desi (Amazon)
Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler directs this documentary about legendary Hollywood power couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. It’s a story about success and making things that last and fighting for what you believe in, but mostly, really, it’s a love story about two extremely driven people. Lucy and Desi are having a moment here in 2022 between this and Aaron Sorkin’s biopic about them, so there’s never been a better time to get involved. Watch it on Amazon.
1. After Yang (Showtime)
A24’s latest sci-fi drama After Yang promises one of our favorite movie premises: Colin Farrell being very sad. He’s sad, you see, because his adopted daughter’s technosapien companion Yang (Justin H. Min) has malfunctioned. He’s sad because the android might be beyond repair. And he’s sad because, up until now, he didn’t realize what a fixture Yang was in his family’s life. So, Sad Colin Farrell goes on a journey, first to try to bring Yang back, then to try to figure out his own internal emotions. It’s all very beautiful and melancholic and poignant and sweet. But mostly, sad. So sad in fact that, at one point, to relay his sadness, Sad Colin Farrell does a Werner Herzog impersonation which, oddly enough, will be one of the few times in the film that you’ll likely laugh out loud. Still, despite playing with themes of grief and identity, there’s something undeniably hopeful here – yet another reason to watch. Watch it on Showtime.