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) 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.
10. (tie) 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.
10. (tie) West Side Story (Disney Plus)
Steven Spielberg brings the classic musical to the big and/or small screen, to the delight of both older fans and newer ones who get to experience it all for the first time. Get in there. Really let the experience wash over you. Sing along. Dance around your living room. Get in a knife fight with your sworn enemy. Okay, maybe not that last one. But the other ones, definitely. Watch it on Disney Plus.
10. (tie)Turning Red (Disney Plus)
In Domee Shi’s Turning Red, a boy band-loving teenage girl turns into a red panda whenever she experiences strong emotions, which as every parent of a teenager knows all too well, is often. Too often. It’s all the time, really. Turning Red is being called Pixar’s best movie in years, as it should. It’s about time red pandas got the cinematic showcase they deserve. Watch it on Disney Plus.
10. Deep Water (Hulu)
Deep Water is an erotic thriller that stars Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas as… honestly, what more do you need? It’s a “weird, wild mess” of a movie from the director of Fatal Attraction and Unfaithful, with a murder mystery, duplicitous characters, and Affleck as an alpha cuck. Deep Water is the kind of sleazy mainstream movie that rarely gets made anymore, so it feels like a sexy treat that it even exists (from Disney, no less). Break out your Ana de Armas cardboard cutout and make it a double feature with Basic Instinct. Watch it on Hulu.
9. Tony Hawk: Until The Wheels Fall Off (HBO Max)
It is wild to think about how long Tony Hawk has been a figure in American pop culture. It is also wild to watch a full-length documentary about it, which is good and notable here because HBO made one. The whole thing is fascinating, the way the guy whose name is synonymous with skateboarding at this point is still doing it and does not plan to stop, and the way he’s built a career and lifestyle out of the thing he loved doing as a kid. It’s cool. And a good watch. Crank up “Superman” by Goldfinger and give it a run. Watch it on HBO Max.
8. Metal Lords (Netflix)
Game Of Thrones HBO co-creator D.B. Weiss wrote this little ditty while teaming up with Rage Against The Machine axeman Tom Morello as a love letter to the metal genre. The story revolves around two high-schoolers who seek the ultimate glory and win contests and be gods, and so on. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a bassist when Black Sabbath isn’t as popular with the kids as Justin Bieber is. The struggle is real.
7. The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes (Netflix)
Netflix continues its push into true(…ish) crime with this look at the death of Marilyn Monroe. While the title and general tone seem to imply some sort of new potential conspiracy at play, most of it appears to be a rehashing/reheating of things that have bubbled up in the past. Still, for a new generation of Marilyn fans, and with a new movie about her starring Ana de Armas, it could be a useful look at the strange final days of an American icon. Or a decent refresher. Or a decent way to kill a couple hours. It can be a lot of things, really. Watch it on Netflix.
6. White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch (Netflix)
The chokehold that Abercrombie & Fitch had on an entire generation of impressionable teens is just one of the many reasons watching the company’s disastrous fall in documentary form is so damn fun. This is a retail store that sold infant-sized clothes to fully-grown adults at the price of a life-time’s worth of body image issues. But if that’s just too dark to think about, it’s also a place where bare-chested men and heavy cologne assaulted you at every turn. In short, it was a hellscape disguised a shopping destination and this doc from Netflix peels back the curtains to paint a really interesting picture on discrimination in the workplace and the cost of cool. Watch it on Netflix.
5. Jackass 4.5 (Netflix)
What we have on our hands with this is a collection of new stunts and some behind-the-scenes of old stunts all featuring the sweet and chaotic boys from Jackass. You love that stuff. Don’t you dare overthink it. Turn your brain off and let the madness wash over you. Watch it on Netflix.
4. Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (Disney Plus)
There are two things happening here. The first is that, yes, we have another streaming-based reboot/reimagining nostalgia-bait film on our hands, this time for the Rescue Rangers. Which is… fine. But it brings us to the second thing: the talent involved in this sucker is wild. Voice work by Andy Samberg and John Mulaney and Seth Rogen, who really need to work together on a live-action project at some point. Direction by Akiva Shaffer, who also did MacGruber. it’s kind of nuts, really, which we promise is not a chipmunk pun. The point is that if you’re going to do one of these things you can at least try to do it right. The effort here is appreciated. Watch it on Disney Plus.
3. On the Count of Three (VOD)
Jerrod Carmichael is having a moment, garnering all the praise for his revealing and powerful HBO special (Rothaniel, watch it again!), a great turn as SNL host, and now, for the release of his festival fave narrative directorial debut, On The Count Of Three. But, of course, you knew Carmichael was a force from his previous specials and The Carmichael Show. You’re just happy to see everyone else catch up and, with this film, get the chance to see Carmichael flex his dramatic muscles opposite Christopher Abbott as two friends trying to get the most out of the last moments before they execute each other as a part of a suicide pact. Track it down on your VOD service of choice.
2. The Batman (HBO Max)
What if Seven but with way more leather and punching? In a lot of ways, that could serve as a very simple synopsis of what Matt Reeves has done with the crown jewel of DC Comics lore, placing his take beside The Joker on the highest shelf (both in terms of artistry, societal commentary, and other adult themes) in the DCEU film library. Does it work? In some ways, absolutely, providing a grim but intriguing vision of the Batman as a detective with the mother of all chips on his shoulder as he wrestles with his thirst for vengeance and a vicious villain in Paul Dano’s Riddler, who is always seemingly one step ahead of him and Jeffrey Wright’s Jim Gordon (a buddy cop pairing that is as awkward as it is rewarding). Throw in Zoe Kravitz’s tremendous turn as Selina Kyle/Catwoman (who also connects so well with Robert Pattinson’s Batman that you wish Reeves would have allowed for even more of their on-screen back and forth) and Gotham City’s usual mix of criminal underworld string-pulling and civic corruption and you’ve got a very full meal. Overfull? Too mature? Let’s just say The Batman can seem so grown up and dense at times that you may forget that it’s a superhero movie, for better or worse. Watch it on HBO Max.
1. The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks (Amazon Prime)
The weird and wonderful new season of Kids In The Hall can be appreciated on its own merit, but to learn the story of how the legendary Canadian sketch group came to be in the mid ‘80s, came to push every boundary in the early ‘90s, came undone, and then came back together adds a layer to the whole thing. Those in search of a full accounting of their improbable run can check out Paul Myers’ “One Dumb Guy” book, but Amazon’s all-new doc, Comedy Punks, covers the highlights quite well, adding in a host of new interviews from the guys.