Excited for summer movie season? Sure, you can go back to the theater now, but with the streaming world revolutionizing tentpole releases this year, you can see a lot of the biggest movies at home. Warner Bros. is releasing its entire theatrical slate on HBO Max as soon as the movies hit theaters, and Netflix is releasing a new original flick every week. So, if you’d rather stay on the couch than commute to the theater, there are plenty of great movies hitting the major streamers every week. We’re keeping an eye out for you and compiling the best new movies to join Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max every week. Remember to keep checking back here for updates!
Kevin Hart gets dramatic in this new original film about a father raising his baby girl after the unexpected death of his wife the day after their daughter’s birth. Hart delivers a surprisingly poignant performance in a difficult role that delivers as much charm and humor as can work while dealing with such a heavy subject.
Penguin Town (2021)
You’ve seen reality TV and you’ve seen nature shows, but you probably haven’t seen a documentary quite like Penguin Town. The whimsical flick centers on a picturesque South African town where an eclectic group of endangered penguins live like rock stars. You’ll get to know the characters as they flock around town to find mates, raise families, and mix with the local humans.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
A Coen Brothers masterpiece, The Big Lebowski stars Jeff Bridges as “the Dude,” an easygoing, unemployed, pot-smoking burnout who just wants to live, man. However, he also happens to share a name with a millionaire whose wife owes a lot of money to a lot of dangerous people. So, when those people come knocking on the wrong door to collect — urinating on the Dude’s rug in the process — the Dude embarks on a journey into the Los Angeles underworld to sort things out.
Stand by Me (1986)
One of the most beloved coming-of-age films of the 20th century (and one of the few R-rated), Stand By Me stars Wil Wheaton, Jerry O’Connell, River Phoenix, and Corey Feldman as a group of rural Oregon boys on summer vacation. When they learn that a stranger was killed near their homes, the boys are overcome by the curiosity of seeing a dead body. Along the way, however, they encounter a series of obstacles and learn more about how different their home lives are, despite the similarity they feel to one another. It’s only available for June, so be sure to watch now.
Army of the Dead (2021)
Zack Snyder’s take on a zombie movie is as over the top and pulse-pounding as you’d expect a Zack Snyder zombie movie to be. A zombie outbreak in Las Vegas leaves the city in ruins, walled off from the rest of the world. But it’s Vegas, so there’s money to be had for the intrepid. When casino boss Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada) approaches displaced Vegas weapons expert Scott Ward (Dave Bautista) with a proposition to retrieve $200 million sitting in a vault beneath the city before the government nukes it off the face of the Earth, Ward gathers a ragtag crew to head into the zombie-infested city and retrieve the money.
Gone Girl (2014)
David Fincher expertly adapted Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel into an Oscar-nominated thriller that’s chock full of juicy twists. Spurred by outstanding performances by Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl follows the national search for a woman who was the inspiration for her parents’ beloved children’s books after she is reported missing by her husband. But all is not as it appears.
Slumdog Millionaire (2009)
This Best Picture winner took Hollywood by storm as a rare film not about the West or Westerners to win the honor. Dev Patel stars as 18-year-old Jamal Malik, a young thief who finds himself on the Indian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” Starting in media res, we learn more about Jamal, how he got to be on the show, and how he knows every answer through flashbacks into his difficult life. After the death of his mother, Jamal and his brother join a group of thieves surviving on the streets of Mumbai. While his brother enjoys the life of crime, Jamal struggles to go straight with small jobs until stumbling into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on the show.
A Most Wanted Man (2014)
Philip Seymour Hoffman delivers a tour de force performance in this subtle thriller about a German agent hot on the trail of a terrorist organization. When an escaped militant attempts to claim an inheritance, Gunter Bachmann (Hoffman) sees a chance to lay a trap for a well-regarded Muslim scholar who is suspected of financing terrorists but is otherwise untouchable. Bachmann will stop at nothing to achieve his goals.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
This revolutionary horror film introduced the concept of found footage to the masses, keying a new genre of horror. It’s easy to forget how innovative and shocking The Blair Witch Project was when it first came out, but the film still stands up as a modern horror classic. Three film students travel to a small town to collect documentary footage about the Blair Witch, a legendary character that kills people in the area. The skeptical students interview townspeople and gather clues across several days, but when they go into the woods … it all takes a terrifying turn.
Based on Mark Millar’s comics, Kick-Ass stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Dave Lizewski, a teenager who uses his love for comics as inspiration to recreate himself as a crime-fighting superhero. Except … he doesn’t have any powers or any particular skills. Dave dons a costume, dubs himself “Kick-Ass,” and goes out to basically get his ass kicked. But when he joins forces with the father/daughter vigilante team of Big Daddy and Hit-Girl (Nicolas Cage and Chole Grace Moretz), he soon finds himself in the big leagues.
The classic Italian folktale comes to life with a bit more of a sinister tone in this PG-13 live-action story. The Italian film stars Roberto Benigni as Geppetto, father of the magical puppet Pinocchio, who comes to life with dreams of becoming a real boy. An easily manipulated, docile puppet, Pinnochio soon finds himself tricked, kidnapped, and chased by bandits through a world of imaginative creatures, all while Geppetto fights valiantly to recover the puppet before it’s lost forever.
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller are at the top of their games in this raunchy competition comedy. Average Joe’s Gym isn’t doing so well. Neither is its owner, Peter La Fleur (Vaughn). The gym across the street, Globo-Gym, run by maniacal fitness freak White Goodman (Stiller) is about to run Average Joe’s out of business, and Goodman is psychotically dedicated to bringing La Fleur down. Unless Peter can raise $50,000 to keep his mortgage, he’ll lose the gym. To get that money, he resorts to a last-ditch effort: Entering a dodgeball contest with a big cash prize with a ragtag group of Average Joe’s members. But when Goodman hears about the Average Joe’s plan, he enters the competition with his own superteam.
Fight Club (1999)
This energetic adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s book doesn’t pull its punches, right down to an absolutely awesome final twist. Edward Norton plays a depressed man suffering from insomnia who meets a soap salesman named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) who promises to bring the man back to life. Soon, the two bored men are living in a squalid house together and forming an underground fight club where men fed up with their mundane lives come to take out their frustrations on one another. But as the club grows, it takes on nefarious purposes, which are amplified when a woman attracts Tyler’s attention.
Step Brothers (2008)
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are on their A-games in this buddy comedy about adult dummies who are forced to live in the same house when their parents get married and move in together. Neither is willing to work or do anything for himself, and each sees the other as a threat to the freeloading lifestyle. Their rivalry and narcissism soon spiral out of control, pulling the family apart and forcing the parents to make an ultimatum: Get jobs and move out, or they’re cut off for good.
In the years after World War II, America became consumed by a fear of Communism in the dawn of the Cold War. Before McCarthyism became the buzzword for driving suspected Communists out of Hollywood, screenwriter Dalton Trumbo and the Hollywood Ten became one of the earliest victims of the Hollywood Red Scare. Driven out of the industry, Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) continues to work clandestinely in the industry, penning multiple Oscar winners without receiving credit.
The Little Things (2021)
Released earlier this year on HBO Max, The Little Things is now available for standard HBO subscribers as well. This slow-burn detective tale follows Kern County Deputy Sheriff Joe Deacon (Denzel Washington) as he travels to Los Angeles for what should be a quick evidence-gathering assignment. But Deacon has a history in the LAPD, and he soon finds himself roped into an investigation of a serial killer who is terrorizing the city.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
Steve Carell stars in this ridiculous rom-com as a mild-mannered, action-figure-collecting, 40-year-old man who has just sort of casually proceeded through his life without ever having sex. Discovering this, his co-workers launch him on a misguided odyssey to lose his virginity. But while his coworkers’ advice keeps leading to disaster, the answer to his woes might just be across the street in the form of a local entrepreneur.
In the Heights (2021)
Before the cultural phenomenon of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda made a slightly more contained Broadway hit, In The Heights. Now, Warner Bros. has adapted the show into one of the best musical films of recent memory. In Washington Heights, New York, a tight-knit community thrives and barely scrapes by with a melting pot of dreams and problems constantly swirling around them. At the intersection of it all is a magnetic bodega owner who dreams of a better life for all.
Zachary Levi shines as the adult superhero version of young Billy Batson who unwittingly inherits the power of the great wizard Shazam. Now, he can transform into a superhero by simply shouting one word. But although he looks like a grown-up, Shazam is still a kid inside, having a little too much fun testing out his newfound powers and not taking them all that seriously. But when the evil Dr. Thaddeus Sivana shows up, attempting to steal Shazam’s magical abilities, Billy has to get serious in a hurry.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)
Another 2021 Warner Bros. release, the newest entry to The Conjuring universe takes paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren into the courtroom. When a murder suspect claims demonic possession as a defense, the Warrens soon become involved as investigators and key witnesses. As a young boy fights for his soul and his freedom, it’s up to the Warrens to parse the line between the natural and supernatural in the justice system.
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