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.
Tenet is all of these things at once: stunning to look at; ambitious; loaded with nuanced performances; littered with breathtaking action set pieces; a marvel of modern filmmaking; and just as confusing as all hell. That last one will go a long way toward how much exactly your mileage varies on the viewing experience. In a way (ironically, given the whole “movie theaters are back, baby!” thing they pushed during its initial release), this might make it the perfect movie to stream at home, because you can pause it every now and then to figure out what’s going on, or maybe even double-back after it finishes to see if individual scenes play differently. It might end up making the whole thing more enjoyable, even. Do not tell Christopher Nolan we said this. Watch it on HBO Max.
2. The Mitchells Vs. The Machines (Netflix)
Well well well, do you want to see a star-studded and fun animated film from the production team behind Into the Spiderverse? We have pondered this question for days and have yet to uncover a valid reason why you wouldn’t. It’s got everything you could want: an oddball family trying to put down a robot uprising; voice work from Abbi Jacobson and Danny McBride and Maya Rudolph and a slew of other people you probably like; and an ending that might tug your heartstrings a little bit. Sounds like a decent Saturday afternoon to us. Watch it on Netflix.
In his review of the film last year, our Mike Ryan wrote, “there’s a scene in Nomaldland so beautiful I gasped as it whisked my brain to some of Terrence Malick’s early work.” That pretty much sums it up well — Nomadland is one of the most beautiful and touching movies we’ve seen in a while. And now it’s a full-on Oscar winner. There has never been a better time to check it out, except for every other weekend before this one. Still! Watch it on Hulu
4. Mortal Kombat (HBO Max)
Mortal Kombat is back (again) in movie form (again!), this time from producer James Wan and director Simon McQuoid and coming straight to HBO Max, for a limited time. All your favorites are back: Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Liu Kang, and so on, so if you want to see some familiar (covered) faces chop each other to pieces for various reasons, you are very much in luck. It’s one of the few franchises you can justifiably reboot every few years, if only because a bunch of talented fighters tearing each other apart is always a watchable premise. The plot is just a bonus. This is some extremely weekend viewing, which you deserve. Watch it on HBO Max.
5. Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street (VOD)
This documentary lit up Sundance and is now finally available on VOD as of May 7. Is it cute nostalgia-bait? Maybe. Will you probably love watching a touching story about immensely talented creative-types making a thing that has shaped childhoods for decades now, include your own. Uh, yes. Of course. Track it down and be prepared to cry a little.
6. Bad Trip (Netflix)
Eric Andre, Lil Rel Howery, and Tiffany Haddish in a wild road trip prank comedy where they pull strangers into nutso stunts as they make their way to New York. You could do a whole lot worse in on a Saturday night. Watch it on Netflix.
Say what you will about Without Remorse, a mostly disappointing Tom Clancy movie that mostly wastes Michael B. Jordan as a growling Navy SEAL out for revenge against Russia and/or everyone, but it definitely does feature a lot of shooting and fire and corrupt bureaucrats, sometimes all at once. It’s your weekend. If you want to watch something like that… we get it. Enjoy! Watch it on Amazon Prime.
After a hardcore fan campaign and plenty of backlash (of both the content-related and behind-the-scenes varieties), the fabled “Snyder Cut” is no longer fabled but a real thing. It’s also a 4-hour thing, so it’s quite a mouthful to chew, but it’s undeniably a vast improvement over the theatrical version. Snyder’s version isn’t technically canon, but it’s still the realization of a fever dream and one that will satisfy those who longed for actual character depth amid all the CGI mayhem. Watch it on HBO Max.
9. Thunder Force (Netflix)
Thunder Force teams up Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer for a wild action-comedy ride through a super-serum-filled Chicago. It’s probably not the best movie you’ve ever seen, but it is a fun little romp with some solid physical comedy. You can dig that, we imagine. Watch it on Netflix.
10. Shiva Baby (VOD)
A directionless college student runs into her sugar daddy at a shiva (a Jewish funeral, basically). Also in attendance: her family and, oh yeah, her ex-girlfriend. Shiva Baby sounds like a slapstick comedy, but while there are good jokes, it’s also anxious with a tense score that had my skin crawling; it’s an 80-minute panic attack. Shiva Baby might be the best horror movie of the year so far.