As the calendar turns in February and we get closer to spring, the new movies available to watch at home are springing up left and right. This week, there are awards season snubs, festival darlings, and two very bloody good times to watch from the comfort of your couch.
Leading things off is Gina Prince-Bythewood’s historical action epic The Woman King, finally landing on Netflix. There are also new movies from celebrated filmmakers James Gray and George Miller, Sundance hit Infinity Pool from Brandon Cronenberg, one of my favorite action movies of 2022, and two of the goriest movies I’ve ever seen (complimentary).
Let’s get into it!
New on Netflix
The Woman King
Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix
Genre: Epic historical action
Run time: 2h 15m
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Cast: Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch
After the success of The Old Guard, director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball) returns to the action genre with this piece of epic historical fiction about the West African kingdom of Dahomey, and the group of women warriors who fought for it.
From our review:
The Woman King is a more human type of blockbuster than most of what turns up on screen in the summer months. It’s burdened with many of the issues that typify big studio movies — overstretched CGI, an overstuffed plot — but it shrugs off those issues as easily as the Agojie flip enemy soldiers over their backs and into the dirt. This film has a fire in its belly. But more importantly, it also has a heart full of love: love of life, love of freedom, love of Black people and culture, and love for its ferocious, complicated, brave women.
New on Hulu
Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday
Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu
Genre: Action comedy
Run time: 1h 36m
Directors: George and Harry Kirby
Cast: Scott Adkins, Ray Stevenson, Sarah Chang
The best martial arts-forward action movie of 2022, Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday is the sequel to the sloppier 2018 movie Accident Man, based on a comic strip that DTV action star extraordinaire Scott Adkins grew up reading. Adkins adapted the comic into two movies with his longtime friend Stu Small, and the second movie is one of the best of his long and storied career. Featuring fantastic fights and a much more consistent laugh-to-jokes ratio than the first movie, Hitman’s Holiday is a must-see for any fan of martial arts cinema.
New on Prime Video
Where to watch: Available to stream on Prime Video
Run time: 1h 51m
Director: David Gordon Green
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, James Jude Courtney
The final installment of the David Gordon Green-directed Halloween trilogy comes to Prime Video after months on Peacock. It’s a good reason to revisit the whole Halloween franchise and the many faces of Michael Myers.
From our review:
The Halloween saga started by John Carpenter and Debra Hill in 1978 ends in this film, but the end can’t vindicate the existence of this continuation of the story. Even if 2018’s Halloween set out to explore trauma through horror, there’s nothing in Ends that pays off the probing. The trilogy wasn’t ultimately about how evil takes hold of us and creates havoc through paranoia. This was an ambitious trilogy that tried to take the Halloween franchise to new places, but it ultimately falls short, introducing so many ideas that it quickly abandons, while forgetting about the one thing it was always supposed to be about: Laurie Strode.
New on Peacock
Where to watch: Available to stream on Peacock
Genre: Coming-of-age drama
Run time: 1h 54m
Director: James Gray
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jeremy Strong, Banks Repeta
Celebrated director James Gray (Ad Astra, The Immigrant) returns with this coming-of-age story loosely based on his own childhood, about a young Jewish boy growing up in 1980s Queens. Gray was nominated for a Palme d’Or at Cannes for the film.
New on Apple TV+
Where to watch: Available to stream on Apple TV Plus
Genre: Crime thriller
Run time: 1h 56m
Director: Benjamin Caron
Cast: Justice Smith, Briana Middleton, Sebastian Stan
Veteran TV director Benjamin Caron (Andor, The Crown) makes his feature debut with Sharper, a caper about a young man who feels rejected and decides on a fun outlet: conning rich people.
New on Shudder
Huesera: The Bone Woman
Where to watch: Available to stream on Shudder
Genre: Horror drama
Run time: 1h 33m
Director: Michelle Garza Cervera
Cast: Alfonso Dosal, Mayra Batalla, Samantha Castillo
Director Michelle Garza Cervera’s feature debut is a horror movie about a woman who has dreamed of being a mother, only to suspect something is off once she is finally pregnant. A big presence on the 2022 festival circuit, Garza Cervera won Best New Narrative Director at the Tribeca Film Festival, and Huesera won the Audience Award at the Morelia International Film Festival.
From our review:
Eschewing jump scares, Huesera instead relies on its protagonist’s interiority. The film is focused tightly on Valeria, and Natalia Solián carries the narrative burden with ease. Others fade in and out around her, but Valeria is the only character with a real arc; supporting characters mostly serve as foils and reflections, or roads not taken. Solián’s performance is understated, and it quietly raises a terrifying question about parenthood — if having a child is faking it till you make it, what happens if you never stop faking it?
The Witch: Part 2 - The Other One
Where to watch: Available to stream on AMC+ and Shudder
Run time: 2h 17m
Director: Park Hoon-jung
Cast: Shin Si-ah, Jo Min-su, Park Eun-bin
This sci-fi action horror movie is a sequel to a 2018 Korean film and follows a young girl with mysterious psychokinetic abilities who escapes from a hidden laboratory. When a criminal organization threatens both her freedom and the life of the man who rescued her, she’ll have to bring the fight to them in order to survive.
New on MGM+
Three Thousand Years of Longing
Where to watch: Available to stream on MGM Plus
Genre: Fantasy romance
Run time: 1h 48m
Director: George Miller
Cast: Tilda Swinton, Idris Elba
George Miller’s first movie since Mad Max: Fury Road is a very different kind of epic story, focusing on a djinn freed by an academic and the stories they tell each other. With some remarkable visual moments (including some really impressive digital effects) and a vignette structure to help with pacing, it’s led by compelling performances from Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton.
From our review:
There are films that change the nature of the air you breathe after you watch them, as a motif from its score loops in one’s mind and the color of the world outside the theater doesn’t quite live up to what was seen on screen. Three Thousand Years of Longing is one of those films, a story about stories — a fraught genre prone to self-importance — that isn’t solely interested in their magic as a cloying, unifying force. They are more powerful than that. More dangerous than that. And it turns out that there are few more satisfying ways to explore this than by watching two people who believe they know all there is to know about stories trying to guess how this one ends.
New on Fandor
Where to watch: Available to stream on Fandor
Run time: 1h 12m
Director: Pete Ohs
Cast: Callie Hernandez, Ashley Denise Robinson, Andy Faulkner
Promoted as an “offbeat genre-bender” by an up-and-coming indie director, this promising new release follows a woman running from a stalker, and the lengths she and a friend will go to in the pursuit of getting rid of him for good. Director Pete Ohs lived with the four stars of the movie while creating it, and they co-wrote Jethica together.
New on VOD
Run time: 1h 57m
Director: Brandon Cronenberg
Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Mia Goth, Cleopatra Coleman
From our review:
Cronenberg’s script for Infinity Pool is filled with dark, wry jokes, many of them laugh-out-loud funny. (Early on, Gabi says she’s an actress who specializes in “failing naturally” in commercials.) There are a lot of weird touches in this movie, and all of them serve a purpose; even the Leatherface-esque masks seen in the trailer have a dual function, enhancing the sense of depersonalization and evoking the commodification of native cultures. The only issue with the plot is that its climax is inevitable from the moment all is revealed. But, to be fair, the film is trimmed with so many shiny, violent ornaments that an overly complicated storytelling structure would have made Infinity Pool difficult to follow. As it is, the point is clear: A numbed-out cyclone of bottomless entitlement is the ugliest thing an American (or any other nationality) can be.
Project Wolf Hunting
Genre: Action horror
Run time: 2h 2m
Director: Kim Hong-sun
Cast: Seo In-guk, Jang Dong-yoon, Choi Gwi-hwa
I am so excited that Project Wolf Hunting is finally more broadly available for viewing in North America. I saw it in late December and it absolutely blew my mind — it’s a mind-blowing genre mashup about prisoners on a boat with a monster where everyone kills each other in brutal ways and the blood flows. And flows. And flows. If that sounds like your idea of a good time, you’re in for a treat. If it doesn’t, fair enough!
Where to watch: Available to rent for $6.99 on Amazon
Run time: 1h 40m
Director: Robbie Banfitch
Cast: Robbie Banfitch, Angela Basolis, Scott Schamell, Michelle May
The Outwaters pushes found footage in exciting new directions. The story unfolds as a series of digital camera memory cards uncovered by police after an unclear incident, as we see a group of friends travel to the desert to record a music video before all hell breaks loose. The sound design of The Outwaters stands out in particular, adding an eerie ambience to the unnerving and chaotic footage. Fair warning: This one is also extremely gory.
Maybe I Do
Genre: Romantic comedy
Run time: 1h 35m
Director: Michael Jacobs
Cast: Emma Roberts, Luke Bracey, Diane Keaton
When a young couple (Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey) decide to finally introduce each other to their parents, it turns out they already know each other... very well. Debut director Michael Jacobs, adapting his own play, sports an appealing ensemble cast here — the parents are played by Diane Keaton, William H. Macy, Richard Gere, and Susan Sarandon.
Tell It Like a Woman
Run time: 1h 52m
Directors: Silvia Carobbio, Catherine Hardwicke, Taraji P. Henson, Mipo Oh, Lucía Puenzo, Maria Sole Tognazzi, Leena Yadav
Cast: Cara Delevingne, Jennifer Hudson, Eva Longoria
An anthology film composed of seven segments directed by women and about women, Tell It Like a Woman was nominated for Best Original Song at this year’s Oscars for “Applause.” It is Diane Warren’s 14th nomination for Best Original Song, and the sixth year in a row she has received a nomination.