It’s an awesome year for movie buff streaming subscribers. Between HBO Max releasing Warner Bros.’ entire 2021 theatrical slate as soon as the movies hit theaters and Netflix releasing a new original film every week in 2021, there are just so many new movies to look forward to. But with so many coming and going, it’s easy to miss something new! Fortunately, we’re keeping an eye out for you. Every week, we’re compiling the best new movies to join Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max. Remember to keep checking back!
The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)
The directorial debut of Lord/Miller (The Lego Movie) strikes back with this pre-apocalyptic romp about a family of unlikely heroes. Katie Mitchell sets out on a road trip to her first year at film school, accompanied by her parents, younger brother, and beloved dog. But their family bonding plans are put on hold when the world’s electronic devices suddenly come to life and stage an uprising. Now, the Mitchells — along with two friendly robots — are humanity’s only hope to head off the new technological revolution.
“Say hello to my little friend!” It’s Scarface, now streaming on Netflix. This beloved gangster movie follows the rise of Tony Montana (Al Pacino) after earning a green card in exchange for assassinating a Cuban government official. Arriving in Miami, Tony quickly stakes a claim in the drug trade and, through unconscionable brutality, rises to the top of the cocaine racket in the city. But as pressure from police, drug wars, and his own drug-fueled paranoia rises, Tony’s downfall comes about nearly as abruptly as his rise.
Mystic River (2003)
The past collides with the present after the daughter of ex-con Jimmy Marcus (Sean Penn) is murdered. Turns out, two of Jimmy’s childhood friends are involved. Dave (Tim Robbins) was the last person to see her alive, while Sean (Kevin Bacon) is the homicide detective in charge of the case. As Sean’s investigation proceeds, Jimmy takes up his own investigation, eventually suspecting Dave and teetering toward taking justice into his own hands.
What happens when a meticulously planned three-person mission to Mars reaches space, only to discover that an unplanned passenger has stowed away for the trip? Turns out, a whole lot, and none of it good. Stowaway takes a serious look at a common comic conceit when a stowaway threatens the lives of everyone on board simply by being present. Suddenly faced with an impossible choice, the crew must decide how to handle the mission.
Crimson Peak (2015)
This gothic horror from Guillermo del Toro may not be for everyone, but if you’re into fantasy and horror, you’ll probably enjoy it. After marrying the charming and seductive Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), Edith (Mia Wasikowska) is swept away to Sharpe’s remote mansion in the English hills. Thomas’ sister, Lady Lucille (Jessica Chastain), also lives there, standing guard over her family’s dark secrets. But Edith has a secret of her own. Able to communicate with the dead, Edith works to decipher the mystery behind the ghostly visions that haunt her new home.
A highlight from the Daniel Craig Bond era — from the hit theme song to surprisingly high stakes — Skyfall is one of the best the Bond franchise has to offer. When James Bond’s latest assignment goes terribly wrong, undercover agents around the world are exposed and MI6 is attacked. Completely compromised, M (Judi Dench) must relocate the agency, turning to the one man she can trust: Bond. Untethered from the agency, Bond takes to the shadows to track down Silva (Javier Bardem), a man from M’s past who wants to settle an old score and does not care about collateral damage.
One of the most beloved action/sci-fi movies of all time, Predator is peak Arnold Schwarzenegger and peak ’80s action. Arnold plays Dutch, a mercenary hired by the U.S. government to secretly rescue a group of politicians trapped in Guatemala. But upon his team’s arrival, they soon realize something has gone horribly wrong. They continue to find dead bodies, slowly discovering that they’re being hunted by a brutal alien creature with the ability to camouflage into its surroundings.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
The movie that put Quentin Tarantino on the map, Reservoir Dogs was wildly innovative at the time and is still inspiring crime dramas to this day. A group of thieves assemble to pull off the perfect diamond heist, only to see it devolve into a bloody ambush when one of the men turns out to be a police informer. The movie kicks off after the heist has gone wrong and plays out through flashbacks and breadcrumbs as tensions ratchet up from scene to scene as the police close in.
The Sandlot (1993)
You don’t have to love baseball to fall into the blissful nostalgia of The Sandlot, one of the great movies about childhood summers. It’s a classic story about a new kid in town who joins a group of neighborhood kids down at the local sandlot and, in between trips to the community pool and theater, learns just about everything a kid needs to know about America’s pastime. Especially the most important rule, when it comes to hitting a home run into the backyard of the neighborhood monster, Hercules: You hit it, you get it.
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
From “Vote for Pedro” to “Get yourself a dang quesadilla” to one of the worst/best dance routines in cinema history, Napoleon Dynamite is one of the most weirdly memorable films of the 21st century. In a tiny Idaho town, frizzy-haired high school geek Napoleon has a tough time fitting in. After his grandmother is injured and his odd uncle Rico shows up to keep an eye on him, things keep getting worse. With nowhere else to turn, Napoleon finds safe haven in a friendship with the new kid, Pedro, and the two launch a grassroots campaign for class president.
Amazon Prime Video
The Boy From Medellín (2020)
Academy Award nominee and Emmy-winning filmmaker Matthew Heineman’s newest subject is J Balvin, one of the biggest international music superstars. This documentary follows J Balvin before the most important concert of his career — a sold-out stadium show in his hometown of Medellín, Colombia. But as the performance draws closer, Colombia explodes into political unrest, forcing the musician to grapple with his responsibility as an artist to his country and to his fans around the globe. With public pressure heightening, Balvin also continues to battle the anxiety and depression that has plagued him for years. Shot entirely in the week before the concert, it’s an intimate, moving portrait of the “Prince of Reggaeton” at one of the biggest crossroads in his life.
One of the best sequels of all time, Aliens builds off of Ridley Scott’s classic original with even greater brutality and ratcheted-up stakes. Lt. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) has been stranded in space for 57 years since the events of the first film when a deep space salvage crew finally come across her ship. Unfortunately, 57 years of innovation and technological advancement is still not enough to take on the alien invasion. Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien: Resurrection are all streaming on Prime Video beginning May 1.
Venus and Serena (2012)
Venus and Serena Williams have been atop the women’s tennis world for so long, it’s easy to overlook the insane fact that the two greatest female tennis players in the world are sisters. What in the world is that like for them? In Venus and Serena, filmmakers Maiken Baird and Michelle Major explore the relationship between Venus and Serena on and off the court while delving into each individual’s life as they fight to stay in their athletic prime and navigate media controversy.
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
With a star-studded cast including Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, and more; an adolescent romance; a hyper-stylized setting; and a half-million bits, Moonrise Kingdom might be the most Wes Anderson-est of Wes Anderson movies. It’s 1965 in New Penzance, an island off the coast of New England where the community seems immune to the happenings of the rest of the world. In this setting, two 12-year-olds (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) have fallen in love and are running away. Unfortunately, a violent storm is approaching the island, and the adults must mobilize to find the kids before they’re stuck.
My Cousin Vinny (1992)
Bill and Stan are a couple of New Yorkers on a road trip through the South who get caught in quite the predicament when the owner of a shop they just left is killed moments after their departure. Imprisoned in a foreign land and penniless, Bill reaches out to the only person who can help them: His cousin Vinny (Joe Pesci). Vinny, however, has never won a case, took six tries to finish law school, and could not possibly stick out more in this podunk Alabama town. Despite overwhelming odds, Vinny pulls it together with help from his lovely fiancée Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei).
HBO and HBO Max
Christopher Nolan’s Tenet was one of the most hyped and talked about movies of 2020. Part of that was the apparent insistence to put Tenet in theaters despite a pandemic, but a larger part was the cryptic messaging of the marketing and the actors’ own admissions that they didn’t fully understand the movie themselves. Sure enough, Tenet is as mind-blowing and opaque as Nolan ever is, while continuing his trend of completely revolutionizing special effects. Visually spectacular and endlessly provocative, Tenet will stick with you for days after viewing, and you might just watch it more than once.
Dark, painful, and uncomfortably real, Precious introduces us to 16-year-old Claireece “Precious” Jones (Gabourey Sidibe). She can neither read nor write, suffers constant abuse at the hands of her mother (Mo’Nique), and is pregnant by her own father for the second time. When she’s offered the chance to transfer to an alternative school, Precious instinctively sees a chance to turn her life around, even if she can’t quite articulate what it might be. There, she meets Ms. Rain (Paula Patton), whose patient, firm guidance helps Precious tap into herself and overcome the oppression she’s come to accept as normal.
Mortal Kombat (2021)
Warner Bros. revives the classic video game franchise with a new movie with epic stakes and truly mind-bending violence. MMA fighter Cole Young has made a career out of taking a beating for money. But when Outworld’s Emperor Shang Tsung sends his best warrior, Sub-Zero, to hunt Cole down, he’s forced to flee for his family’s safety, setting off on a journey that will lead him to his true heritage. At the temple of Lord Raiden, the protector of Earthrealm, Cole begins to understand the strange dragon marking he was born with and trains with the world’s most experienced warriors to stand against the forces of Outworld in a battle for the universe.
This musical based on the lives of the Supremes stars Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson, and Anika Noni Rose as a musical trio called the Dreamettes. When manager Curtis Taylor Jr. (Jamie Foxx) sees them at a talent show, he offers them the chance of a lifetime as backup singers for James “Thunder” Early (Eddie Murphy). But as Taylor takes creative control of the group and pushes them into the spotlight, they soon learn the cost of fame. With multiple Oscar-worthy performances, Dreamgirls is a ton of fun for the whole family.
The New Mutants (2020)
Famously caught in development hell for years, The New Mutants quietly released in theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic to little enthusiasm. Really, the main reason it’s here is because who doesn’t want to know how this movie ultimately turned out after literally five years in the making. One of the few superhero horror movies, The New Mutants follows five teenage mutants as they undergo treatments at a secret institution designed to cure them of their dangerous powers. Dr. Cecilia Reyes (Alice Braga) works tirelessly to help them suppress their powers, believing she’s working toward a greater good. But there’s something evil present that forces each mutant’s memories to turn into terrifying realities. The cast included Game of Thrones‘ Maisie Williams and The Queen’s Gambit‘s Anya Taylor-Joy.
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