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) Enola Holmes 2 (Netflix)
Thank goodness Henry Cavill didn’t sign on to play Superman again before filming this sequel, or there’d be another The Witcher-esque switcheroo in the works. Cavill is back, but more importantly, Millie Bobbie Brown returns as the sassy younger sister of Sherlock Holmes. One of the bigger plot finds roots in the real-life Bryant & May match factory atrocities, but somehow, the overall mood stays light. Enola sets up her own detective shingle and goes undercover, so you can only imagine what hijinks will ensue. Watch it on Netflix.
10. (tie) Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (The Roku Channel)
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story stars Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe as “Weird Al” Yankovic, obviously. The fake biopic depicts the world’s premier polka-loving pop song parodist as a hard-drinking sex maniac, obviously. It also stars Evan Rachel Wood as Madonna, Quinta Brunson as Oprah Winfrey, and Rainn Wilson as Dr. Demento, obviously. Should you watch Weird: The Al Yankovic Story this weekend on the Roku Channel? Obviously.
9. Sick (Peacock)
A group of friends decides to hunker down during the COVID-19 lockdown together at nice little lake house and… wait a second. This sounds like the plot of a horror movie. Which makes sense because… it is the plot of a horror movie. This horror movie. The Blumhouse team is at it again, with a slasher on the loose and a deadly virus in the air and about four other things to be terrified of. Maybe there’s a monster in the lake, too. Who knows? Only one way to find out… Watch it on Peacock.
8. Disenchanted (Disney Plus)
Amy Adams returns in her breakout role, but she’s a princess who actually isn’t having as much fun as she imagined would be the case. Giselle is still married to Robert (Patrick Dempsey), and they’re still searching for their fairy tale. Maya Rudolph climbs onboard for a semi-evil role as a villain of suburbia, and this is all very G-rated material again because c’mon, Disney. The story will be as charming as always, but the real attraction is James Marsden’s returning Idiot Prince. Basically, I just want the Idiot Prince to get plowed down at every opportunity again. Watch it on Disney Plus.
7. Bullet Train (Netflix)
Bullet Train is chaos. Bloody, funny, frivolous, superficial chaos. Nothing and everything happens in this film about a group of assassins all vying for a briefcase that may just offer the biggest payload of their respective careers thus far. It’s jam-packed with action — the fast-paced, tightly-choreographed kind that gives you whiplash if you stare too long – and with a cast of A-listers, the best of which being Aaron-Taylor Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry, who play a pair of Brit brothers constantly bickering on the job. It’s got enough twists and surprises to keep you entertained plus Brad Pitt unironically sporting a bucket hat for its two-hour runtime. It’s just plain fun. We wish there were more movies like it out there. Watch it on Netflix.
6. White Noise (Netflix)
Noah Baumbach’s latest movie has a loaded cast (Adam Driver! Greta Gerwig! Don Cheadle! Andre 3000!) and a wild premise (a toxic cloud forcing a college professor and his family to flee their home town) and all the kind of things you would expect from a phrase like “Noah Baumbach movie” (Comedy! Drama! Comedy and drama!). It’s all based on a Don DeLillo novel from 1985 and it’s right there on a streaming service you probably have. If this all sounds like your deal… well, get in there. Watch it on Netflix.
5. Pinocchio (Netflix)
Guillermo del Toro made a stop-action version of the classic “liar puppet becomes a real boy” story and guess what: it’s great! Smart people are saying it’s the best Pinocchio since the first one, which is both high praise and a decently sick burn on the other version that just came out a few months ago. Either way! Feels like a fun one to watch with the family over the holidays. It’s definitely better than, like, talking. No one wants to do that. Let the adorable wooden puppet fill the air with his sweet journey toward being a human. Watch it on Netflix.
4. The Banshees of Inisherin (HBO Max)
In Bruges hive assemble for this reteaming of writer/director Martin McDonagh and stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. More sparse, but no less brilliant in its well-chosen dialogue than the 2008 crime comedy classic, Banshees Of Inisherin is a beautifully told tale of loneliness, the hazards of both bluntness and naivete, and what happens when a friendship crashes into the rocky shores. Set on an island near Ireland 100 years ago, the film is a slow burn in every sense of the term with tough love, hard feelings, and severed digits scattered all over the place. Things never do stay the same for as long as you need them to, do they? What a gutting treasure of a movie. Watch it on HBO Max.
3. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix)
Daniel Craig returns as Benoit Blanc with a whole new cast of potential murdermakers to relish. Dave Bautista as a scantily clad social media sensation is only one of the ensemble highlights, and the endless buffet of cameos can not be stopped, nor do the story’s twists feel gratuitous or implausible. Instead, the film dances through mischief and swings bigger and better with a series of bewitching wrinkles and knots that will make you forgive the runtime. In fact, you’ll barely notice the passage of time because this film is fun and cerebral and makes perfect sense when all is revealed. Also, one of the greatest TV murder detectives in history makes a (bittersweet) cameo, for crying out loud. Netflix really should have run with a longer theatrical window, but at least it’s streaming for Christmas. Watch it on Netflix.
2. Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Plus)
That loud whooshing sound you heard this summer could have been one of two things: the sound of jet engines blasting out of movie theaters around the country or the sound of massive crowds rushing into and out of those same theaters to hear those jet engines in Top Gun: Maverick. The sequel to the original movie — released over 35 years later, which is kind of wild — picks up right where the first left off, in spirit if not chronology, with Tom Cruise and a bunch of new hotshot pilots (Miles Teller and Glen Powell leading the way) taking back to the skies and talking trash and sometimes riding motorcycles. It is a lot of fun and better than it has any right to be and one of the first real-deal, must-see movie theater movies we’ve had in a while. It was nice to get one of those again. Let’s do it again in another 35 years when Tom Cruise is… uh, 95 years old. He’ll probably still be up for it. You will, too. Don’t lie. Watch it on Paramount Plus.
1. The Menu (HBO Max)
A horror-comedy set on an island where a fancy young couple has traveled to dine at a world-class restaurant led by a world-class chef who may have other things in store for them beyond your standard filets and Caesar salads. It’s… weird. But also surprisingly fun. Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult are out there — apologies for this awful pun but it had to be done — making a meal of it all. In a good way. Definitely in a better way than their characters do. It’s a good time. Just maybe don’t start it before dinner. Watch it on HBO Max.