The Oscars are this weekend; aren’t you excited?! Mildly interested? No? That’s OK, we’ve got a ton of new releases on streaming and VOD this week you can watch and enjoy if Hollywood’s biggest night isn’t quite your idea of appointment entertainment.
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, the Oscar-nominated animated adventure starring Antonio Banderas as everyone’s favorite swashbuckling feline, is finally available to stream on Peacock this week. That’s not all: Idris Elba (The Suicide Squad) reprises his role as detective John Luther in a new Netflix film that also stars Andy Serkis (Andor) and Cynthia Erivo (The Outsider).
The Oscar-nominated drama Women Talking starring Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), Claire Foy (Unsane), and Jessie Buckley (I’m Thinking of Ending Things) comes to Prime Video, and the sports comedy 80 for Brady starring Lily Tomlin (9 to 5), Jane Fonda (Klute), Rita Moreno (West Side Story), and Sally Field (Forrest Gump) is available to rent on VOD — along with a bunch of other movies you can rent at home, including titles with reduced prices like Damien Chazelle’s Babylon and Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Let’s dive in!
New on Netflix
Luther: The Fallen Sun
Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix
Genre: Crime thriller
Run time: 2h 9m
Director: Jamie Payne
Cast: Idris Elba, Cynthia Erivo, Andy Serkis
Idris Elba reprises his iconic role as the brilliant and volatile detective John Luther in a feature film continuation of the British crime drama Luther. Set years after the show and directed by series creator Jamie Payne, Luther: The Fallen Sun follows the now disgraced (and incarcerated) detective who escapes from prison in order to stop a tech-savvy serial killer (Andy Serkis) from terrorizing London and clear his name.
Cynthia Erivo (The Outsider) co-stars as Odette Raine, a counterintelligence officer tasked with hunting down Luther and bringing him back into custody.
From our review,
Much of Luther’s power comes from Elba’s ruffled cop and his conflicted heart. While John does terrible things that often make the audience unsure whether to root for him, he does them for reasons he believes are right. Thanks to the long-form nature of the original TV series, there’s time for him to make connections and friendships, alliances and enemies. The Fallen Sun has no time for any of that. There’s no misguided young person for him to protect, no new partner to annoy, cajole, and ultimately bond with and save. While Elba is still the beating heart of the story, he’s laser-focused on Robey and his ever-escalating crimes. The violence John is facing is so outlandish, with such high stakes, that Luther rarely feels conflicted. He seems more like a two-dimensional, righteous antihero here than the complex vigilante he was in the original series.
New on Peacock
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
Where to watch: Available to stream on Peacock
Genre: Adventure comedy
Run time: 1h 42m
Directors: Joel Crawford, Januel Mercado
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Harvey Guillén
Antonio Banderas returns as the swashbuckling feline Puss in Boots in the long-delayed follow-up to the character’s 2011 movie. Reduced to the last of his nine lives, Puss in Boots embarks on a quest to find the mystical Wishing Star and restore his missing lives. In order to do that, however, he’ll have to face off against the physical embodiment of Death itself (Wagner Moura) — a terrifying, sickle-wielding wolf with red eyes.
From our review:
The Last Wish is the closest I’ve ever seen a movie get to emulating hand-painted concept art. On their way to the wishing star, Puss and company traverse prismatic backdrops — from bright pinks and green forests to the rustic interiors of a cat-lady prison — that feel dabbed on by the artistic team. Their encounters with beasties use color, linework, and kinetic camera moves to bring viewers deeper into the battles, and like The Way of Water, regularly shift frame rates to jolt the senses. Puss, looking more oil-painted than ever, may be monologuing about his legendary skills one second, animated “on the ones,” then find himself in a cacophonous skirmish with a towering troll the next, which the team animates “on the twos.” The sensation builds on the work of Spider-verse and drags the Shrek franchise, of all things, into the territory of high art. It’s stunning.
New on Prime Video
Where to watch: Available to stream on Prime Video
Genre: Sci-fi action
Run time: 2h 22m
Director: Dong-hoon Choi
Cast: Yoon Byung-hee, Lee Dong-Hee, Kim Eui-sung
This Korean fantasy action movie boasts one of the most mind-blowing time-hopping premises this side of Cloud Atlas: In the year 2022, two alien prison guards assigned to look after extraterrestrial prisoners locked away in the minds of unsuspecting humans pursue an inmate who has inexplicably gained control over their human host. Meanwhile, in the year 1391, a battle between sorcerer swordsmen over a legendary sword inadvertently opens a passage in time that plops them right smack-dab in the middle of the aforementioned alien prison break. Tell me that doesn’t sound cool — you can’t!
Where to watch: Available to stream on Prime Video (until April 12)
Run time: 1h 44m
Director: Sarah Polley
Cast: Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley
Inspired by real-life events, this drama nominated for Best Picture follows a group of women and girls at an isolated, unnamed Mennonite colony who discover that certain men in the colony have been using cow tranquilizers to subdue and rape them for years. As the trial bears out in a nearby city, the women are faced with the individual and collective question of how to move forward, whether to move on, and what kind of future they want for themselves and their loved ones.
New on AMC Plus
Where to watch: Available to stream on AMC Plus
Genre: Historical drama
Run time: 1h 54m
Director: Marie Kreutzer
Cast: Vicky Krieps, Colin Morgan, Florian Teichtmeister
Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread) stars as Empress Elisabeth of Austria as she approaches her 40th birthday in this alternate history tale that has received rave reviews. Krieps was a co-winner at Cannes under the category Un Certain Regard - Best Performance, and director Marie Kreutzer was also nominated at Cannes. Corsage also won Best Film at the London Film Festival, among a bevy of other wins and nominations on the festival circuit.
New on VOD
80 for Brady
Where to watch: Available to rent for $19.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Google Play
Genre: Sports comedy
Run time: 1h 38m
Director: Kyle Marvin
Cast: Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno
Based on a true story, this film stars four lifelong friends who win a trip to attend the 2017 Super Bowl in person and meet their hero: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Brady himself executive produced and stars in 80 for Brady, alongside Lily Tomlin (9 to 5), Jane Fonda (Klute), Rita Moreno (West Side Story), and Sally Field (Forrest Gump).
Where to watch: Available to rent for $5.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu
Run time: 3h 9m
Director: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Diego Calva, Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt
Director Damien Chazelle’s ode to his complicated love of the movies was one of the more polarizing releases of 2022, and not just because of the wild elephant poop scene. A no-holds-barred passion project about the high highs and low lows of the history of the movie industry, it was nominated for three Oscars, for costume design, production design, and score.
From our review:
It is easy to get caught up in the magic of movies and only see Jack Conrad, or Damien Chazelle — and if that’s all you see in Babylon, revulsion may come naturally. But Babylon is also concerned with what happens in the periphery of Hollywood’s white heroes. Chazelle shoots his stars with a lens wide enough that it’s not hard to see who lingers in the periphery, and the parts they have to play. Keep an eye on those people as they come and go, and Babylon becomes a cacophonous dirge for them, weeping for their anonymity in all the beauty that came at their expense. Their nitrate went up in flames and left us with lovely little lies of living forever.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Where to watch: Available to rent for $5.99 on Amazon and Apple; available to stream on Disney Plus
Genre: Superhero action/drama
Run time: 2h 41m
Director: Ryan Coogler
Cast: Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira
Ryan Coogler’s follow-up to 2018’s Black Panther follows the Wakandan princess Shuri (Letitia Wright) and Queen-Mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) as they mourn the sudden death of King T’Challa — and with him the loss of Wakanda’s ancestral protector, the Black Panther. When a powerful new force arises from the ocean to threaten war against the surface world, Shuri and her allies will have to fight to protect Wakanda from certain destruction.
From our review:
Coogler’s sequel is a more somber affair than 2018’s Black Panther, but it has its moments of levity, which arguably shine brighter here because of that darkness. In the absence of T’Challa, Shuri finds camaraderie in the company of Okoye (Danai Gurira), the general of the Dora Milaje honor guard, and T’Challa’s former lover Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), an older-sister figure who offers consolation and commiseration. Shuri’s rapid bond with Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne), an MIT student and fellow child prodigy, offers her something she’s never had before: a friend who understands what it’s like to be young, Black, and exceptional in a world that casually resents people who are any of those things, let alone all three.
Where to watch: Available to rent for $19.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu
Genre: Neo-noir crime thriller
Run time: 1h 49m
Director: Neil Jordan
Cast: Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, Jessica Lange
Liam Neeson (Taken) plays Raymond Chandler’s iconic down-on-his-luck detective in a feature length adaptation of the 2014 Philip Marlowe novel The Black-Eyed Blonde by John Banville. Hired by a glamorous heiress (Diane Kruger) to ascertain the whereabouts of her ex-lover and bring them back, Marlowe quickly finds himself entrenched in an investigation that goes far deeper (and potentially far deadlier) than a lover’s quarrel.
Genre: Screenlife mystery thriller
Run time: 1h 51m
Directors: Nicholas D. Johnson, Will Merrick
Cast: Storm Reid, Joaquim de Almeida, Ken Leung
Storm Reid (The Last of Us) stars in this new screenlife mystery drama as June, a young woman who turns to the internet in order to track down and rescue her missing mother (Nia Long). It’s good!
Of an Age
Genre: Romance drama
Run time: 1h 40m
Director: Goran Stolevski
Cast: Thom Green, Elias Anton, Hattie Hook
This romance drama follows Nikola “Kol” Denic (Elias Anton), a Serbian immigrant in Australia and aspiring ballroom dancer who strikes up an abrupt yet intense love affair with Adam (Thom Green), the brother of Kol’s ballroom dance partner, Ebony (Hattie Hook). Reunited several years later, the two search their feelings as they attempt to make sense of the time they spent apart and of what exactly they mean to one another.
Where to watch: Available to rent for on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu
Genre: Coming-of-age drama
Run time: 1h 38m
Director: Welby Ings
Cast: Tim Roth, Jordan Oosterhof, Conan Hayes
Jordan Oosterhof (The Cul De Sac) stars in this coming-of-age drama as Jim, a promising teenage boxer from a small town who’s training for a professional career under the demanding tutelage of his coach and father, Stan (Tim Roth), a notorious alcoholic and bigot. After meeting and falling in love with Whetu (Conan Hayes), a sharp-tongued Maori boy who spends his days by the beach, Jim is faced with the defining question of who he is — and moreover, who he wants to be — apart from his father and prejudices of those around him.
Genre: Horror thriller
Run time: 1h 16m
Director: Yoko Okumura
Cast: Missi Pyle, Midori Francis, Jolene Purdy
Missi Pyle stars in this horror drama as Carol, a gas station attendant who answers a call from a mystery number while at work only to realize that it’s a woman named Emily (Midori Francis) who’s been abducted by a man who plans to kill her. Forced to guide the woman through the woods via her cellphone’s camera, Carol must go above and beyond to defy the odds and deliver Emily to safety.