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) The Voyeurs (Amazon Prime)
What we have here is an old-school erotic thriller — think Basic Instinct or Fatal Attraction — with White Lotus star Sydney Sweeney as one half of a curious couple who spends a not-insignificant amount of time spying on their exhibitionist-type neighbors. Things get weird and twisted and steamy, as they do in these kinds of movies, which were super popular in the 1980s and 1990s and have since just about disappeared. Might be worth it to give it a try, but think about closing your own blinds first. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
`10. (tie) The Velvet Underground (Apple TV+)
The Velvet Underground is one of the most influential bands of all-time. But unlike other iconic 1960s groups like, say, the Beatles, there’s not a ton of footage of Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Moe Tucker performing. To get around this, director Todd Haynes has made a documentary that captures the “idea” of the VU rather than a Wikipedia summary. Don’t walk, but “run run run” to watch The Velvet Underground! Watch it on Apple TV+.
9. Malignant (HBO Max)
James Wan, he of the Saw and Insidious and Conjuring movies, is back with a new horror film. This one focuses on a woman who has terrifying visions of brutal murders, which are ruining her life a little (as terrifying visions of brutal murders will do) and are also –surprise — actually happening in the real world (which is bad). None of it sounds like a good time for her. For you, though? Maybe. Watch it on Netflix.
8. Night Teeth (Netflix)
The dark spirits compel us to remind you that Megan Fox has a horror-comedy coming to Netflix this week. It’s likely this reminder is retribution for how terribly we treated Fox’s other terrific horror entry, Jennifer’s Body. Will this one be as good? Who knows? It looks promising enough though, with Fox and Sydney Sweeney hamming it up as two LA-based Goth queens who mix a bit of human blood into their green smoothies. Lucy Fry and Debbie Ryan take up the most screen-time, playing a pair of hard-partying undead millennials that look to be the worst Uber passengers you’ll ever meet. It’s a wild noir-infused romp through the city that doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously. Watch it on Netflix.
7. Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin (Paramount+)
The spooky business all gets rebooted here, with the franchise focusing in on a collection of teens, one of whom is on a mission to discover what happened to her mother. Does she uncover a secret? Is the secret described in the preview materials as “a terriying truth”? Buddy, you know it is. We’ve all see enough of these movies to know that. But it doesn’t make them any less fun. Watch it on Paramount+.
6. Halloween Kills (Peacock)
Halloween Kills is a direct sequel to 2018’s Halloween, which was a sequel to 1978’s Halloween that ignored all the previous sequels in the franchise. It’s confusing, but really, all you need to know is that it’s a Halloween movie with Jamie Lee Curtis, “The Shape,” and an eerie score from John Carpenter. ’Tis the season (to watch horror movies). Watch it on Peacock
5. The Electric Life of Louis Wain (Amazon Prime)
What we have here is Benedict Cumberbatch as an eccentric old-timey artist whose — and we’re just going to go ahead and quote Amazon’s summary because there’s no improving on this phrasing — “playful, psychedlic pictures transformed the public’s perceptions of cats forever.” Yeah. And Claire Foy is in there, too. It’s a whole thing. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
4. Army of Thieves (Netflix)
Netflix bet on dead with Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, and that bet apparently paid off handsomely, which is a good thing because there’s already a prequel in the can. Matthias Schweighöfer returns to the franchise as Dieter, a then-bank teller who’s recruited by Nathalie Emmanuel (who promises “a life less ordinary”) to begin his heisting career. Of course, this prequel isn’t entirely devoid of zombies, but the focus is on those safes, which are cracking. Watch it on Netflix.
3. Finch (Apple TV+)
You like Turner and Hooch, right? Of course you do. Tom Hanks + a dog = good ’80s movie. OK, well, what if Turner and Hooch was set in the post-apocalyptic future… and instead of working as a cop, Tom Hanks is one of the last people on Earth and he travels the planet with his dog and a robot… and the movie was directed by the guy who did the awesome “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards” episodes of Game of Thrones. It’s Finch time. Watch it on Apple TV+.
2. Dune (HBO Max)
At long last, Dune is here. Denis Villeneuve’s science-fiction epic starring everyone you like (including Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, and Jason Momoa) should probably be seen on the biggest screen possible. But it’ll still look darn good at home. Watch it on HBO Max.
1. The Harder They Fall (Netflix)
Jeymes Samuel’s slick, stylish Netflix Western is a “pick your fighter” lineup of gun-slinging, swag-dripping Black cowboys ready to dust off the history books and give us a more accurate, diverse representation of the Old West. Jonathan Majors is having a hell of a year and here, he imbues the deadly Nat Love with some impressive comedic beats that make it easy to root for the vengeance-minded outlaw – unless, of course, you’re swayed by the prospect of Regina King riding a horse and f*cking sh*t up in every scene. (Who wouldn’t be?) Idris Elba, LaKeith Stanfield, and Zazie Beetz round out the main cast members with the most things to do on screen and all of the shoot-outs and train robberies and saloon fights are timed perfectly to an eclectic mix of Reggae/Dancehall bangers produced by Samuel and collaborator Jay-Z. This ain’t your grandpa’s Western, and really, that’s kind of the point. Watch it on Netflix.