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Tesla, Chemical Hearts, and everything else you can now watch at home

Plus, The Sleepover and the fifth season of Lucifer hit Netflix

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a man inspects a lightbulb Photo: IFC Films

If one thing isn’t slowing down, it’s the future of superhero movies. Matt Reeves’ The Batman, which stars Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne, is set to resume production in London in September. In further Batman news, Ben Affleck is set to return as the Caped Crusader in the upcoming The Flash.

This comes on the heels of the news that Michael Keaton might also be reprising his role as Batman for the film, making it clear that the film would be spanning multiple timelines and universes.

Spider-Woman is also set to have her own big-screen adventure soon under the eye of Booksmart director Olivia Wilde. But the Spider-verse news doesn’t stop there, as the villain Kraven the Hunter is set to be the subject of his own spin-off from Triple Frontier director J. C. Chandor.

While we wait for those movies, here are the best new movies you can watch at home this weekend.


Where to watch it: Rent on digital, $5.99 on Amazon, $6.99 on Apple

a woman sits behind a laptop Photo: IFC Films

Michael Almereyda’s biopic of the inventor Nikola Tesla eschews all the conventions of the genre, using anachronisms and breaks in the fourth wall to tell the cult figure’s story. Ethan Hawke stars as Tesla, with Kyle MacLachlan as Thomas Edison. From our review:

The film’s experimental nature makes it tougher to swallow than a conventional biopic, but also more interesting and rewarding to engage with. Great performances help keep the whole enterprise anchored — Hawke and MacLachlan are wonderful as men caught in conflict with each other — and the anachronisms provide food for thought long after the film has ended. Tesla’s eeriness is appropriate to the man who inspired it.

Chemical Hearts

Where to watch it: Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

lili reinhart and austin abrams in chemical hearts Photo: Amazon Studios

Riverdale’s Lili Reinhart stars in this adaptation of the Krystal Sutherland novel of the same name. When Henry (Austin Abrams) first meets new girl Grace (Reinhart), he doesn’t think much of her, but slowly begins to fall in love with her when they’re both chosen to edit the school newspaper.

Random Acts of Violence

Where to watch it: Streaming on Shudder

jesse williams faces an attacked in random acts of violence Photo: Shudder

Random Acts of Violence, directed by Jay Baruchel, stars Jesse Williams as Todd, a comic book creator who discovers that a fan is using his creation “Slasherman” as inspiration for carrying out a series of murders. People at the convention Todd is attending start dropping like flies, and it looks like Todd might be next.

Stage Mother

Where to watch it: Rent on digital, $5.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Google Play

jackie weaver in stage mother Photo: Momentum Pictures

In Stage Mother, Jackie Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook) stars as Maybelline, a conservative church choir director whose life is turned upside down when she inherits her late son’s drag club. As she struggles to save the club from bankruptcy, she begins to open up and find a new calling in life. The film also stars Lucy Liu as one of Maybelline’s son’s friends.

New on Netflix this weekend

  • High Score, a documentary on gaming
  • The first season of the new anime series Great Pretender
  • The documentary short John Was Trying to Contact Aliens
  • The fifth season of Lucifer
  • The Sleepover, a comedy starring Malin Akerman, Joe Manganiello, and Ken Marino

And here’s what dropped last Friday:

Boys State

Where to watch it: Streaming on Apple TV Plus

Two of the subjects from Boys State get excited over the latest news on their phones. Photo: Apple TV Plus

The documentary Boys State follows a thousand teenage boys as they participate in a leadership even in which they are charged with creating a state government from the ground up. We were blown away back at Sundance, where the film premiered. From our review:

One of the many things that makes Boys State entertaining as well as relevant is the way Moss and McBaine capture these kids’ different facets, and track how their combined ambition and naïveté play into the big picture. On the one hand, the participants clown around with the process, proposing legislation to address “the looming threat of alien invasion” and the difficulty of pronouncing the letter W. (The wag who introduces that bill demands that Boys State officially change the letter to “dubya.”) A favorite leadership tactic involves getting them to chant, howl, or hoot like apes in order to focus their attention. There’s a lot of young male energy in these proceedings.


Where to watch it: Rent on digital, $5.99 on Amazon, $6.99 on Apple and Google Play

two men in front of a red light in sputnik Photo: Sony Pictures

At the height of the Cold War, a Soviet spacecraft crashes on Earth after a failed mission. The only survivor of the crash is the the mission’s commander, who has no memory of what happened. Unfortunately, as it turns out, the lone survivor isn’t entirely alone: He may have brought back an alien parasite, too.


Where to watch it: Rent on digital, $6.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Google Play

joe keery in a car in spree Image: RLJE Films

Stranger Things’ Joe Keery stars in this thriller as Kurt, a young man who dreams of becoming famous on social media. His latest gambit is rigging out his car, which he uses to work for an Uber-esque ride-sharing company, to stage a nonstop stream. This catches the eye of another social-media-famous wannabe, stand-up comedian Jessie (Sasheer Zamata), who sets out to stop him. This is another Sundance find that surprised us. From our review:

Considering how heavy that sounds, there’s not too much under the surface of Kurt’s violent ride. [Director Eugene] Kotlyarenko keeps Spree from becoming a present-set Black Mirror by opting for jokes over profound moments of psychological dissection. The result is a movie gushing with gags and a few moments that get too real for its own good. Killing a clichéd Los Angeles club-goer with a motorized drill is wacky! Brutal gun violence baked into an emoji-filled livestream gets a bit uncomfortable. Luckily, the tonal whiplash is rare for Spree, which zips from vignette to vignette on the back of an all-in performance.

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