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) Anything’s Possible (Amazon Prime)
Billy Porter directs a sweet coming-of-age story centered around a trans high school senior named Kelsa who is attempting to navigate… well, all of that. It’s all very sweet and very heartfelt and very Gen Z and it could make for some nice weekend movie if you’re feeling up for a little cry. Who isn’t, sometimes, you know? Watch it on Amazon Prime.
10. (tie) The Bob’s Burgers Movie (Hulu)
Bob’s Burgers creator Loren Bouchard insisted on The Bob’s Burgers Movie getting a theatrical release instead of being plopped directly on streaming. He was right to do so: The Bob’s Burgers Movie is, like the show itself, an absolute delight with lovely animation, fun fan service, and catchy songs (it’s also Disney’s first hand-drawn 2D animated movie in over a decade). If you didn’t catch it in theaters, however, you can now enjoy “Sunny Side Up Summer” at home. Might I suggest pairing it with an Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Zucchini Burger. Watch it on Hulu.
10. (tie) Luck (Apple TV Plus)
John Lasseter helped build Pixar into a dominant animation brand and now he’s trying to bring the same magic to Apple with Luck, a movie about an unlucky young girl who goes on a whimsical adventure to try to turn her fortunes around. It’s got the starpower (Simon Pegg, Jane Fonda, Pixar staple John Ratzenberger) and the financial backing from Apple, so the big question remaining is whether it has the same spark as those other films he created a few decades ago. Only one way to find out. Watch it on Apple TV Plus.
9. McEnroe (Showtime)
Let’s face it, champions are assholes, conditioning themselves to focus on a singular goal no matter how that pursuit grates on their families, their teammates, and anyone else that occasionally stands in their way. Is there regret at the end of their runs as they stand beside literal monuments to their greatness? Is it worth it? Those questions are why we have highly personal documentaries that are often filled with self-reflection from those athletes and grudging respect from everyone they encountered at the height of their powers. Such is the heart of Showtime’s documentary examining the life and times of notorious tennis hothead John McEnroe, a mouthy superstar with a perfectionist streak and serious problems with authority. Ever-engaging, McEnroe opens up about some of those regrets and many of his triumphs, allowing for a picture of yet another complicated champion that’ll likely cause you to laugh, nod, and wince. Watch it on Showtime.
8. Day Shift (Netflix)
Day Shift is like a strange foil for a lot of movies lately, in that all the ingredients are in place for a lackluster stinker, but thanks to some surprisingly solid joke writing (in contrast to a lot of “funny” action movie writing today which is merely non-funny things delivered in the rough shape of jokes) and inspired action choreography, it ends up being weirdly watchable. Jamie Foxx plays a San Fernando Valley vampire hunter named Bud Jablonski (Foxx is always getting typecast as a Polish man, isn’t he?) who gets involuntarily partnered with a persnickety union rep (oh yeah, the vampire hunters have a union) played by Dave Franco. This odd couple joins forces for a rush to kill enough vampires to afford Jablonski’s daughter’s school tuition before his ex-wife can move her out of state. Meanwhile there’s a vampire who has invented a new type of sunscreen that could change everything. Admittedly it all sounds pretty stupid, but introducing a supernatural angle ends up being exactly what the action choreographers needed to break their slavish bonds to realism. Turns out, gruesome vampire murder is a lot more entertaining than the usual choppy dance fighting. Watch it on Netflix.
7. Honk For Jesus, Save Your Soul (Peacock)
Bless us all because we have Sterling K. Brown and Regina Hall starring in a razor-sharp religious satire as leaders of a megachurch that faces a huge scandal and sends them on the comeback trail. That should be enough to sell you on this one. Well, that and the image above. Look at those two! Yes, this will do just fine. Watch it on Peacock.
6. Samaritan (Amazon Prime)
Samaritan isn’t necessarily a good movie, but it does benefit from two things: One, Sylvester Stallone seems to be having a nice time and is really going for it and, two, the studio that owns Samaritan didn’t delete the movie from its server and you can actually watch it on Amazon Prime if you so choose to do this. Stallone plays an old salt named Joe who works as a garbage man, but also may or may not be a former superhero vigilante named Samaritan who disappeared years and years ago and is presumed dead. After Joe saves a kid, Sam, from some bullies, Sam is convinced Joe is the long-lost Samaritan. This is a movie with some really mixed messaging about the good and evil in everyone, to the point this movie might not have realized it had a message to begin with. But in the end, Stallone is having a nice time, which makes it, at times, entertaining. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
5. Pinocchio (Disney Plus)
Disney continues its efforts to remake its iconic back catalog of animated treasures, bringing them to new audiences through live-action, big-budget adaptations. Thus far, the results have been mixed, but also highly profitable, so here we go again with Pinocchio. In their favor, a lead performance from Tom Hanks as Geppetto and the guiding hand of Robert Zemeckis as director and co-writer (with Chris Weitz). Zemeckis is, of course, a trailblazer when it comes to storytelling through a heavily CG-influenced lens, which is required here to bring the tale of a marionette turned real live boy to life. But the challenge is in doing that while maintaining the soul of a fable that is imprinted on so many of us from previous adaptations and, of course, Disney’s 1940-made gem which still looks fantastic despite being more than 80 years old. Basically, the degree of difficulty is high here and audiences are likely to be unforgiving if this impressive creative team either veers too far from the much-beloved classic or feels too much like a carbon copy. Watch it on Disney Plus.
4. Prey (Hulu)
The Predator franchise was desperate for a new vision following the lackluster response to, well, every Predator movie since 1990’s Predator 2. Enter: Prey. The Hulu film follows a Comanche warrior (played by Amber Midthunder) who has to protect her tribe from an alien predator. Prey gets back to what made the original Predator a classic — and thankfully ignores everything that made Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem unwatchable. Watch it on Hulu.
3. Elvis (HBO Max)
Baz Lurhman’s Elvis biopic is trash. Beautiful, glorious trash. The kind you leave out on your front porch for your neighbors to marvel at in grotesque disbelief. It’s hip-gyrating, finger-thrusting, sweat-pouring theatrics packaged in lush cinematography, contained in a classic underdog story that reaffirms everything you thought you knew about the King of Rock and Roll, and then adds some weird personal fodder that makes you question everything you thought you knew about the King of Rock and Roll. Austin Butler is mesmerizing, and so is whatever the hell Tom Hanks is doing in this thing. Enjoy it for what it is – a beautifully-shot fever dream filled with some great tunes. Watch it on HBO Max.
2. Thor: Love and Thunder (Disney Plus)
Thor is back once again and he brought some new friends with him. Natalie Portman, to be specific. Which is fun. This follow-up to the also-fun Ragnarok has made the move from theaters to streaming and into your living rooms. That’s another fun thing. It is almost unreasonable how good Chris Hemsworth is in these movies. You should not be allowed to look like that and be that funny. Someone should make a rule about it. Until then… watch it on Disney Plus.
1. Top Gun: Maverick (VOD)
We feel the need. The need to watch Top Gun: Maverick over and over and over again now that it’s streaming on demand. This sequel has everything a summer blockbuster should – trash staches, Tom Cruise doing his wild little stunts, bar sing-a-longs, Jon Hamm being an absolute twat, fighter jets, aviators, fake tans, and a shirtless beach football scene that will live in meme-famy (meme infamy). The movies are back, baby! Watch it on your VOD outlet of choice.