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West Side Story, Scream, and every new movie you can stream from home this week

Steven Spielberg’s latest musical romance drama comes to streaming this week

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Image: 20th Century Fox Film

The week sees the streaming premiere of two of last year’s biggest titles: Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story and Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car, both of which have been nominated for Best Film at this year’s Academy Awards. Paul Verhoeven’s Benedetta finally makes its streaming premiere on Hulu alongside A24’s anticipated new sci-fi film, After Yang.

Rounded out by the streaming debut of two of our best movies of 2022, so far, as well as Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s Scream on VOD, and much more, it’s a great weekend to sit back and enjoy the latest and greatest releases from the comfort of your home.

To help you get a handle on what’s new and available, here are the new movies you can watch on streaming and VOD this weekend.


Drive My Car

Where to watch: Available to stream on HBO Max

Hidetoshi Nishijima sits at his desk in a dark room in Drive My Car Photo: Janus Films

Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s drama was recently nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, and finally makes its highly anticipated US streaming debut. Why? From our best movies of 2021 write-up:

Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car runs 179 minutes long, but it earns every single minute. The opening preamble, nearly an hour before the opening credits plays, covers an outwardly happy marriage between stage actor Yūsuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima) and his television producer wife Oto (Reika Kirishima). The pair enjoy a lively sex life, as Oto makes intercourse into writers-room sessions by crafting stories aloud for Kafuku’s arousal. But soon, the actor learns a devastating secret about his wife. Before he can confront her, tragedy strikes.

Drive My Car is a critical darling, with highly lauded writing, direction, and acting performances. It’s an experience well worth the three hours of its running time.

West Side Story

Where to watch: Available to stream on Disney Plus and HBO Max

Most of the cast faces off on two sides of a dance floor in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story Photo: The Walt Disney Company

Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the legendary stage musical is an absolute delight to behold. Filled with color and life, the new West Side Story pays homage to the first while still distinguishing itself as its own item. Rachel Zegler (in her film debut) and Ariana DeBose shine as Maria and Anita, earning an Oscar nom for Best Supporting Actress for DeBose. That’s one of seven nominations for the film, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, and Best Costume Design. Ansel Elgort is a drag every time he’s on screen, but Tony was never the most interesting character here anyway. New West Side Story is a delight, start to finish. From our review,

The Puerto Rican characters get most of the new focus. The original play had more empathy and admiration for fresh-off-the-boat immigrants than was culturally common in the place and era where the story was set. Spielberg and Kushner’s version underlines those sympathies even further. The filmmakers made a crucial update in the casting, replacing the 1961 version’s Sharks — mostly white and non-Latinx actors in brownface — with an all-Latinx cast. And they pack significant scenes with unsubtitled Spanish dialogue — not clumsy Spanglish or the odd mid-sentence language-swapping that’s become common in TV shows and games trying to establish a setting and culture without alienating English speakers. If anything, this West Side Story feels like it was made first and foremost for bilingual viewers.

Scream

Where to watch: Available to stream on Paramount Plus

Ghostface looking down a hallway in Scream 2022 Image: Paramount Pictures

Scream, the confusingly titled fifth installment in the venerable slasher horror series, comes from Ready or Not directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. The franchise returns to Woodsboro more than 10 years after the events of Scream 4 and nearly a quarter of a century after the original Scream, with a new generation of survivors joined by Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), and Dewey Riley (David Arquette) as they face off against yet another crazed murderer who has donned the ghastly visage of the Ghostface killer. From our review,

This Scream attempts something like The Matrix Resurrections, pushing self-referentiality to its limit in order to goof on its status as a potential decades-later cash-in, while still brokering a satisfying reunion with its beloved original characters. But the Matrix comparison doesn’t always flatter the 2022 Scream. Campbell, Cox, and Arquette all have chances to shine, and Campbell’s rueful confidence even approaches something vaguely touching. But this is a crowded movie where the body count sometimes inspires relief rather than dread: Finally, some of these extra characters are being cleared out!

After Yang

Colin Ferrell examines his dark reflection in glass, symbolically, in After Yang Photo: Sundance Institute

The latest from Columbus director Kogonada, After Yang is a melancholy science fiction movie that balances the question of how we should think about artificial life with the more intriguing question about how it should think about us. Colin Farrell and Jodie Turner-Smith star as adoptive parents raising a young Chinese girl, with the help of a “technosapien” — an android programmed as her language tutor, cultural advisor, and big brother. When his systems fail, the family goes through exactly what they’d experience at the death of any family member, with the added question of what his death tells them about their lives and relationships. It’s a small, quiet, meditative film, but it’s visually rich and packed with ideas about prejudice and assumptions, cultural assimilation, and the way everyone is navigating an inner life that would astonish everyone around them.

After Yang is available to stream on Showtime Anytime and Showtime on Amazon.

Red Rocket

Where to watch: Available to rent for $4.99 on Amazon, Vudu; $5.99 Apple

Mikey Saber leans across the donut shop counter to talk to Strawberry, the cashier, in the film Red Rocket Image: A24

Were it not for the fact that Joachim Trier’s dark romantic comedy-drama had already claimed the name, Sean Baker’s (Tangerine, The Florida Project) Red Rocket could have easily been titled The Worst Person in the World. Simon Rex stars as Mikey “Saber” Davies, a fast-talking narcissistic dirtbag who could give Naked’s Johnny Fletcher a run for his money, who returns to his hometown of Texas City after 17 years to wreak havoc in his vainglorious bid to land back on top. From our review:

Red Rocket’s script, by Baker and his longtime co-writer Chris Bergoch, keeps things loose and centered on Mikey’s incessant talking. Its strengths, however, lie in the things that happen around Mikey, from the people who don’t say much compared to him, who will remain in Texas City whether or not he does, to the vast expanses of Southern land, where the only landmarks are smokestacks and Trump campaign billboards. In the background of Mikey’s hucksterism, the 2016 presidential campaign plays out on television, never commented on, but ever-present. It’s another story about a man who effortlessly spun fictions about himself and got people to believe them, to the detriment of everyone in his orbit.

The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

A man stands beside a woman while pointing off to the distance with mountains behind them. Image: Lotte Entertainment / Netflix

A spiritual sequel to Lee Seok-hoon’s 2014 South Korean period adventure film The Pirates, Kim Jeong-hoon’s 2022 film depicts a clash between pirates, bandits, and pioneering vying for a seal that could lead them to a undiscovered trove of royal gold lost at sea. The trailer looks extravagant with high-flying swashbuckling, fiery dragons, and belligerent penguins. What’s not to like?

Benedetta

Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu

Benedetta and Bartolomea in the film Benedetta Photo: IFC Films

Paul Verhoeven’s erotic biopic drama Benedetta stars Virginie Efira as a novice nun in 17th century Italy who falls in love with Bartolomea (Daphne Patakia), one of her fellow sisters. As Benedetta’s apparent religious powers and the discovery of her love affair pit her in the center of an ever-widening religious scandal, her faith and innocence is put to the test. From our review:for a

Some may find Benedetta too exploitative to take seriously. That criticism has its merits: The movie’s lasciviousness can be read as being meant for the camera as much as it is for the characters. Its queerness can come across as something purely meant to titillate straight men. But in the context of the rigid confines of Catholicism at the peak of its powers, Verhoeven’s argument for Benedetta’s extremes is compelling. He presses the sacred against the profane, and brings the religious denial of the human experience into question.

I Was a Simple Man

Where to watch: Available to stream on Criterion Channel

Image: Criterion Channel

Christopher Makoto Yogi’s (August at Akiko’s) ghost story is a slow burn meditation on death, memory, and what lives on after we depart. As the elderly patriarch (Steve Iwamoto, excellent in his first lead feature role) of a fragmented family nears the end of his life, he is visited by both family in the present and ghosts from the past, including his long-deceased wife (Constance Wu). Intergenerational tensions arise as the ghosts of past conflicts return, too – squabbles and fights between family members long estranged, as well as the history of Hawaii’s path to statehood.

I Was A Simple Man takes us on this journey across different time periods and with evocative use of surrealism and dream aesthetics. A beautiful movie filled with stunning images of the gorgeous landscapes and rich textures of Hawaii, it won the Made in Hawaii Award for Best Feature at the 2021 Hawaii International Film Festival. I Was A Simple Man is an unforgettable experience that ventures to capture the final days of one life on Earth.

Fresh

Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu

Sebastian Stan and Daisy Edgar-Jones in Fresh. Image: Searchlight Pictures

Mimi Cave’s comedy horror thriller Fresh follows Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones), a woman exhausted with modern dating who finds herself unexpectedly swept off her feet by a charming young man named Steve (Sebastian Stan). While at first their relationship comes across as picturesque, Steve soon enough reveals his true intentions; confessing to Noa his “unconventional desires” that veer closer into Hannibal Lecter territory than Christian Grey.

The Invisible Thread

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Francesco Gheghi, Francesco Scianna, and Filippo Timi in The Invisible Thread. Image: Netflix

The Invisible Thread (not to be confused with Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2017 romantic drama Phantom Thread) tells the story of Leone, a teenager filming a documentary on the history of LGBTQ rights in Italy focused on his personal experience as the son of two fathers. When a unexpected twist results in his parents’ separation, Leone will have to navigate not only the prejudices of his peers but the open question of who he go on to live with.

Meskina

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

A young woman in a dress sitting in front of a tiled fountain. Image: Netflix

The 2022 Dutch romcom Meskina follows Leyla, a 30-something woman who finds herself listless after her husband walks out on her to pursue someone else. Seen as a “Meskina” (pity-case) by her family, Leyla embarks on a personal journey of romance and self-discovery in search meaning outside of love itself.

Against the Ice

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Gisli Orn Garoarsson as Jorgensen in Against the Ice. Lilja Jonsdottir/Netflix

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) stars opposite Joe Cole (Black Mirror, Peaky Blinders) in Against the Ice as Captain Ejnar Mikkelsen, a Denmark arctic explorer and his inexperienced crew member Iver Iversen who embark on a perilous journey to disprove the United State’s claim to Northeast Greenland. When their ship is crushed by ice and their camp is abandoned, the pair must battle fatigue, extreme cold, and the local wildlife in a desperate fight for survival.

The Long Walk

Where to watch: Available to rent for $3.99 on Google Play

A young boy stands mesmerized in a dimly lit room. Image: Yellow Veil Pictures

Laotian director Mattie Do’s sci-fi horror mystery The Long Walk follows the story of an old reclusive scavenger (Yannawoutthi Chanthalungsy) living on the fringes of near-future society who discovers that the ghost of a road accident victim has the power to traverse time, transporting him fifty years in the past in the hopes of preventing his mother’s untimely death from a terminal illness.

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