Why does it always seem like there’s nothing to watch on TV? The biggest streamers are constantly adding and removing great movies from their services, but with all this choice, it’s easy to get lost in the infinite scroll. But hey, we’ve got you covered. Just keep an eye on our list right here for a weekly roundup of some of the better newly available releases on the four leading platforms: Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Amazon Prime Video.
I Care a Lot (2020)
This Netflix Original has a whole lot of antagonists that you have no choice but to root for. Rosamund Pike plays Marla Grayson, a sharklike court-appointed guardian for dozens of elderly wards whose assets she seizes and bilks through dubious but legal means. Her well-oiled racket operates with brutal efficiency until they mark Jennifer (Dianne Wiest) — a wealthy retiree with no living heirs or family, who seems to be the perfect target for the scam. Unfortunately, Jennifer has her own shady history and connections to people even shadier and nastier than Marla. Game of Thrones‘ Peter Dinklage also stars.
To All The Boys: Always and Forever (2021)
The third and (presumably) final chapter in Netflix’s popular To All The Boys franchise picks up in senior year as Lara Jean returns from a family trip to Korea and starts to consider her college plans. Chief among her decisions: Should she or should she not stay with Peter.
Malcolm & Marie (2021)
Zendaya and John David Washington star in this smoldering, quiet romance that is practically a bottle film. After the successful premiere of his new film, a filmmaker returns home with his girlfriend, ready to accept the windfall of money and fame that is heading his way. But the celebratory evening quickly turns dourer as painful revelations steer the couple toward a reckoning in their relationship.
Shutter Island (2010)
Shutter Island is one of legendary director Martin Scorsese’s more psychologically thrilling films. A brilliant murderess has escaped Ashecliffe Hospital, a fortress-like insane asylum located on a remote New England island. Her escape brings U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner (Mark Ruffalo) to the island to investigate how she seems to have vanished from a locked room. But there are hints of horrors all over the hospital walls, and as the investigation deepens, Teddy is forced to confront his own psychological traumas. There is a twist, and boy is it a doozy.
Beverly Hills Ninja (1997)
One of Chris Farley’s dumbest movies is also one of his most fun. Farley plays Haru, an American boy who, as a baby, washes ashore near a village of highly-skilled Japanese warriors. They raise him as their own, instructing him in the ways of ninjitsu. Despite the training, however, he grows up to be overweight, inept, and not particularly bright. But that doesn’t blunt his enthusiasm for becoming a real ninja. His first assignment is to protect a beautiful woman in California, introducing him to Western culture for the first time.
Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
It took a while, but when Sony’s live-action adaptation of the popular SEGA video game series hit theaters, it was a surprise hit. When the world needs a hero, it instead gets a hedgehog. Albeit, an incredibly fast hedgehog. But while Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) accidentally knocks out the power grid, he catches the eye of evil genius Dr. Robotnik (a truly infectious Jim Carrey). It sets off a classic tête-à-tête: superhero vs. supervillain as Robotnik attempts to harness Sonic’s power to conquer the world.
An early Oscar favorite for 2021, Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland is a strangely familiar yet original revisiting of the 2008 financial crisis. The film centers on Fern (Frances McDormand), a woman who loses everything during the recession and decides to set off on a journey across the American West. Her Grapes of Wrath-esque journey becomes one of both rebirth and poignant directionlessness, where the reward truly isn’t the destination but the journey itself.
Veronica Henley (Janelle Monáe) is a successful author finishing a book tour before heading home to her husband and daughter. But in a shocking turn of events, Veronica is plunged back in time into a horrifying alternate reality where she is Eden, a slave trapped on a plantation and under the brutal watch of Confederate soldiers. Alternating between the grotesque and the cerebral while remaining consistently provocative, this thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Gretel & Hansel (2020)
An especially horrifying twist on the classic fairy tale, Gretel & Hansel aims to disturb at every turn. After their mother descends into madness, Gretel and Hansel are forced to fend for themselves in the dark forest. When they fortuitously stumble upon a bounty of food left outside an isolated home, they should probably be suspicious. But the friendly owner invites them inside, seemingly taking pity on them. You know what happens next. Or do you?
Possessor: Uncut (2020)
This Hulu Original from Brandon Cronenberg has earned rave reviews for being supremely dark and provocative. The sci-fi horror flick stars Andrea Riseborough as an , corporate assassin for hire who uses a particularly sadistic means of terminating her victims. She takes over their bodies with mind control.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things (2021)
A Groundhog Day for a new teen generation, this Amazon Original follows quick-witted Mark (Kyle Allen), who is happily living his life in an endless loop of the same day. But when he meets Margaret (Kathryn Newton) and discovers she’s also stuck in the time loop, things change. Mark and Margaret become attached at the hip, living each same day differently on a quest to make the absolute perfect day. The only question is whether to ever leave the loop.
Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek star in this film about a man and woman who simultaneously discern that they’re living in a simulated reality — without planning on it. Their “Bliss” world, however, is much nicer than the real one. However, as the “Bliss” world begins to bleed into the “ugly” one, they have to start making even bigger decisions about what’s real and where they truly belong.
Coming to America (1988)
With the sequel Coming 2 America due out this year, now’s a great time to watch Eddie Murphy’s beloved ’80s comedy. Murphy plays Prince Akeem, the prince of a wealthy African nation who wishes for nothing except a wife who will love him despite his title. Trying to escape an arranged marriage, Akeem flees to America with his sidekick Semmi (Arsenio Hall) to find an American queen. As he disguises himself as a foreign student working in fast food, he struggles with culture shock and has difficulty revealing his true identity to the woman who has struck his interest, Lisa (Shari Headley).
One Night in Miami (2020)
Regina King directs this fictionalized account of four of the world’s most famous Black activists meeting together in Miami the cultural upheaval of the 1960s. On the night of February 25, 1964, Cassius Clay, Jim Brown, Sam Cooke, and Malcolm X sit down together to discuss the responsibility of being successful and Black during the civil rights movement. Striking tones that unmistakably resonate in today’s social climate, One Night in Miami is a brilliant account of how history does — and more , doesn’t — change.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
One of the most beloved coming-of-age films of all time is also one of the raunchiest. Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused follows a gaggle of in Austin, Texas, celebrating the last day of high school in 1976. The graduating class heads out to party or haze the bejeezus out of the incoming freshmen, while the freshmen just try to exist without getting their butts spanked. Years later, Dazed and Confused is a veritable who’s who of Hollywood “It” actors, from Jason London and Milla Jovovich to Matthew McConaughey and Ben Affleck — all as teens or in their early 20s.
HBO and HBO Max
Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)
Another Warner Bros. release launched directly to HBO Max, Judas and the Black Messiah is one of 2021’s first truly Oscar-buzzy films. A dramatization of historical events surrounding the Black Panther Party, Judas views one of the 1960s and ’70s most controversial activist organizations through a necessarily modern lens. The film follows FBI informant William O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield) as he’s pushed to infiltrate and keep tabs on the Illinois Black Panther Party and its leader, Chairman Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya). While O’Neal revels in the danger of manipulating both his comrades and his handler, Special Agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons), he overlooks the battle being raged for his soul by two Americas, flawed in different ways and colored by diametrically different perspectives.
Leave it to Christopher Nolan to tell one of the most astounding, crucially important episodes of World War II and still leave you scratching your head at the end like you just re-watched Memento. As Nazi troops blitzkrieged through France, they ultimately trapped nearly half a million Allied soldiers on the beaches of Dunkirk. Just like that, the Allied war effort was nearly extinguished. In a superhuman, once-in-a-lifetime effort, British and French forces were slowly and methodically evacuated from the beach using every naval and civilian vessel that could be rustled up, as merchant ships, leisure boats, and destroyers alike crossed the English Channel to save 330,000 Allied soldiers and prolong the war. Nolan tells this story through three timelines that careen toward one another: on the ground, on the sea, and in the air.
The Little Things (2021)
Part of Warner Bros. day-and-date release plan for its 2021 movie slate, The Little Things is the latest brand new film to hit HBO Max. A serial killer is terrorizing Los Angeles County and Deputy Sheriff Joe “Deke” Deacon (Denzel Washington) is determined to catch the culprit before retiring. He joins forces with Sgt. Jim Baxter (Rami Malek) to track the prime suspect (Jared Leto), unwittingly dredging up echoes of his past. As Deacon plunges doggedly ahead in the investigation, disturbing secrets become unearthed that could threaten more than the case.
The city of Atlantis was once home to the most advanced civilization on Earth. Now, it’s an underwater kingdom hidden from the rest of the world, ruled with an iron fist by King Orm (Patrick Wilson). Orm is determined to return Atlantis to its former might, crafting plans to conquer the rest of the ocean and then the surface world. But in his way is Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Orm’s half-human, half-Atlantean brother who is the true heir to the throne. Although Aquaman has no interest in ruling, he must embrace his destiny as protector of the deep to stop Orm’s criminal reign.
The Matrix (1999)
The fourth Matrix movie is due out on HBO Max at the end of 2021, so now’s a great time to catch up on the original trilogy — all of which is available on HBO Max now. When The Matrix came out in 1999, it blew people’s minds with cutting-edge special effects and a provocative, post-apocalyptic story that questioned the very notion of reality itself. It has become one of the most culturally-important franchises of the 21st century. The story of Neo, Morpheus, Trinity, and the last defenders of humanity waging a war with machines via the proxy of the Matrix, it’s must-see sci-fi.
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