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American Fiction, The Marvels, and every new movie to watch at home this weekend

The Oscar-nominated comedy starring Jeffrey Wright comes to VOD this week

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A bald man with glasses and a beard holding a stack of books in a book store. Image: MGM/Amazon Studios
Toussaint Egan is a curation editor, out to highlight the best movies, TV, anime, comics, and games. He has been writing professionally for over 8 years.

Greetings, Polygon readers! Each week, we round up the most notable new releases to streaming and VOD, highlighting the biggest and best new movies for you to watch at home.

This week, American Fiction, the Oscar-nominated comedy drama starring Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright, is available to purchase on VOD. That’s not all, as Jeymes Samuel’s The Book of Clarence starring LaKeith Stanfield and the ecological drama The End We Start From starring Jodie Comer (The Last Duel) also arrive on VOD this week, along with a few other exciting releases. There’s plenty of streaming premieres as well, with Nia DaCosta’s The Marvels finally arriving on Disney Plus following its VOD release last month. Down Low, a new comedy starring Zachary Quinto and Lukas Gage, is now streaming on Netflix, while the supernatural “Dracula on a boat” horror thriller The Last Voyage of the Demeter finally docks on Paramount Plus.


New on Netflix

Down Low

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Two men wearing white hazmat suits and goggles stand in front of a wall decorated in yellow floral wallpaper. Image: FilmNation Entertainment

Genre: Comedy
Run time: 1h 30m
Director: Rightor Doyle
Cast: Zachary Quinto, Lukas Gage, Judith Light

In this dark comedy, Zachary Quinto (Star Trek) stars as Gary, a recently divorced and deeply closeted father who forms an unlikely friendship with young masseur (Lukas Gage). Determined to help him come out of his shell and embrace his sexuality openly, the masseur sets Gary up with a date on a hookup app, but things quickly take a turn when the two must work together to avoid going to jail for murder.

New on Disney Plus

The Marvels

Where to watch: Available to stream on Disney Plus

Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers, and Teyonah Parris as Captain Monica Rambeau stand together in costume, all looking up, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie The Marvels Photo: Laura Radford/Marvel Studios

Genre: Superhero action
Run time: 1h 45m
Director: Nia DaCosta
Cast: Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani

The 33rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe sees the return of Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), also known as Captain Marvel. This time around, she’s teaming up with the superpowered Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) to save the universe from the threat of a vengeful Kree leader bent on restoring her home world.

From our review:

In its best moments, The Marvels just throws wonderful ideas at the screen. There’s a planet of people who only sing, a space station full of cats that blithely devour furniture and humans alike, an animated depiction of Kamala’s internal monologue — the movie can feel like a mood board assembled by an overcaffeinated Star Trek fan, with a sense of imagination suitable for reminding the audience that comic books can be cool in the moment that you’re reading them, as opposed to for what they promise in the future.

New on Hulu

Cat Person

Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu

Cat Person actors Nicholas Braun and Emilia Jones gazing into each others eyes under the yellow glow of a streetlight Image: Sundance Institute

Genre: Psychological thriller
Run time: 1h 58m
Director: Susanna Fogel
Cast: Emilia Jones, Nicholas Braun, Geraldine Viswanathan

Based on Kristen Roupenian’s viral 2017 short story for The New Yorker, Cat Person follows the story of Margot, a college sophomore who enters into a brief relationship with an older man named Robert (Nicholas Braun). Things seem okay at first, until Margot begins to question whether or not Robert is telling the whole truth about his life.

From our review,

Cat Person gets it wrong so consistently, makes its points so inelegantly, and pads out the short story in such an ill-conceived way that it ends up invalidating the same concerns on which it’s built. When a cop tells the protagonist that she should stop watching murder shows, it’s not institutional indifference toward violence against women. It’s a voice of reason, as the protagonist’s own actions later prove. This is a film that includes both a therapist who appears to state the subtext as text, then vanishes, and a one-dimensional best friend of color who exists solely to drop feminist buzzwords from five years ago (Geraldine Viswanathan, who deserves better). It’s confident in its cluelessness, and not in a way that underlines that same quality in its 20-year-old heroine.

Suncoast

Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu

Genre: Coming-of-age drama
Run time: 1h 49m
Director: Laura Chinn
Cast: Laura Linney, Nico Parker, Woody Harrelson

This semi-autobiographical drama follows Doris (Nico Parker), a self-conscious teenager who strikes up an unlikely friendship with an older activist (Woody Harrelson) while caring for her dying brother and navigating the pitfalls of high school.

New on Prime Video

Upgraded

Where to watch: Available to stream on Prime Video

Genre: Romantic comedy
Run time: 1h 44m
Director: Carlson Young
Cast: Camila Mendes, Archie Renaux, Lena Olin

I know what you’re thinking and no, this is not the sequel to Leigh Whannell’s cyberpunk action thriller starring Logan Marshall-Green. This is a romantic comedy starring Camila Mendes (Riverdale) and Archie Renaux (Shadow and Bone) as Ana and Will; two strangers who meet during a first class flight to London who strike up a romance after Will mistakes Ana for his new boss. I think these wacky kids are gonna make it!

New on Paramount Plus

The Last Voyage of the Demeter

Where to watch: Available to stream on Paramount Plus w/ Showtime

Dracula, looking like a hairless humanoid bat, stands atop a ship’s crows nest in a dark rainstorm, hoisting a poor man up above him. Image: Universal Pictures

Genre: Period horror
Run time: 1h 58m
Director: André Øvredal
Cast: Corey Hawkins, Aisling Franciosi, David Dastmalchian

Dracula’s on a boat, and guess what? He’s PISSED. This supernatural horror thriller adapts a chapter from Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel and centers on the unfortunate crew of a transatlantic merchant ship who discover an unearthly threat among their cargo. As time dwindles away, and with it their chances of survival, the crew must make a last-ditch effort to kill the creature before they reach England.

From our review,

The Last Voyage of the Demeter makes very little of most of its potential assets. It’s a film with no vision, a puzzling adaptation that’s so straightforward, viewers might believe every beat comes from Stoker’s novel and not a screenplay imagining what happened between the pages. Maybe the two decades the film spent in development, being rewritten and recast, are to blame; every colorful choice seems to have been wrung out of the script. At every moment, there’s potential for Demeter to become something distinct and interesting, but the screenplay and Øvredal’s direction choose otherwise, embracing straightforward competence over any style or flair. It’s dry historical fiction, Horatio Hornblower’s Dracula.

New to rent

American Fiction

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Jeffrey Wright in a blue shirt sits in his library giggling in the movie American Fiction Image: MGM/Amazon Studios

Genre: Comedy-drama
Run time: 1h 57m
Director: Cord Jefferson
Cast: Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, Sterling K. Brown

The Oscar-nominated debut from Cord Jefferson stars Jeffrey Wright (The Batman) as Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, a frustrated novelist living in Los Angeles who writes a scathing satire of stereotypical “Black” books, only for it to be sky-rocketed to the prestigious heights of literary acclaim. Feels like a shoe-in for fans of such movies as Putney Swope and Bamboozled.

The Book of Clarence

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Image: Legendary Entertainment/Moris Puccio

Genre: Historical comedy
Run time: 2h 9m
Director: Jeymes Samuel
Cast: LaKeith Stanfield, Omar Sy, RJ Cyler, Anna Diop

Jeymes Samuel (The Harder They Fall) returns with a new film, this time a biblical comedy drama starring LaKeith Stanfield. The Book of Clarence follows the story of a down-on-his-luck man living in A.D. 33 Jerusalem who aspires to free himself from debt. His plan? Take a page out of the book of a local preacher claiming to be the son of God and proclaim himself as the Messiah, performing “miracles” in a bid for fame and glory. When Clarence’s schemes run afoul of the Romans, he’ll be faced with not only the consequences of his deception, but a choice that will shape his life and the course of history.

The End We Start From

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

A woman holding a child in a bear-themed hoodie in her arms. Image: Sunny/March Hera Pictures

Genre: Post-apocalyptic thriller
Run time: 1h 42m
Director: Mahalia Belo
Cast: Ramanique Ahluwalia, Elena Bielova, Shiona Brown

Jodie Comer (The Last Duel) stars in this new thriller as a woman attempting to protect her infant child after London is submerged by flood waters. With nowhere else to turn, she will have to embark on a search for a way to raise her child and build a new home.

Cobweb

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

A man wearing glasses in a trench coat gestures with his hands and stands next to a young man holding a camera Image: Anthology Studios/Samuel Goldwyn Films

Genre: Black comedy drama
Run time: 2h 15m
Director: Kim Jee-woon
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Im Soo-jung, Oh Jung-se

Song Kang-ho (Parasite) stars in this period black comedy as Kim Ki-yeol, an obsessive director in the 1970s on the verge of completing his latest film, Cobweb. There’s just one problem: Kim’s suddenly has a change of heart and wants to completely reshoot the ending of his film in two days. He’ll have to get his confused and uncooperative cast and crew to cooperate, as well as escape the ire of Seoul’s censorship authorities.

I.S.S.

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

A group of astronauts gaze at the earth from a cockpit in the international space station. Image: LD Entertainment

Genre: Sci-fi thriller
Run time: 1h 35m
Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Cast: Ariana DeBose, Chris Messina, John Gallagher Jr.

Imagine if you were an astronaut aboard the International Space Station during an apocalyptic event where the world is consumed in nuclear hellfire — what would you do? That’s what the characters in this bracing sci-fi thriller have to figure out, as a crew of American and Russian astronauts must decide whether to cooperate in the face of extinction or surrender to their nationalistic anxieties and resentment.

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