The past week in entertainment has been a wild one, what with the announcement of a trio of movies based on The Venture Bros., Metalocalypse, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, We learned about the sequel to Netflix’s Enola Holmes with Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill returning alongside writer Jack Thorne (His Dark Materials) and director Harry Bradbeer (Fleabag). And we saw an almost daily trickle of exciting cast announcement for Rian Johnson’s upcoming Knives Out sequel: Dave Bautista, Janelle Monae, Kathryn Hahn, and Edward Norton. Oh, and don’t forget Spiral: From The Book of Saw came out in theaters this week!
Plus, there are plenty of new releases this week to watch at home if you still don’t feel inclined (or safe yet) to go out theater. The new neo-Western action thriller Those Who Wish Me Dead starring Angelina Jolie premieres on HBO Max today alongside its theatrical release; Rose Glass’ psychological horror debut Saint Maud finally released on streaming this week after its premiere last fall; along with tons of other new releases like the new Netflix mystery dramas Oxygen and The Woman in the Window, the Danish black comedy Riders of Justice starring Mads Mikkelsen, and a whole lot more.
To help you get a handle on what’s new and available, here are the movies you can watch with the click of a button this weekend.
Those Who Wish Me Dead
Where to watch it: In theaters and available to stream on HBO Max
Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie stars in director Taylor Sheridan’s neo-Western action thriller Those Who Wish Me Dead as Hannah Faber, a veteran survival expert and fire warden who takes a young boy named Connor (Finn Little) into her care after he witnesses his father’s murder. When the assassins set fire to the forest to smoke out the boy, it’s up to Hannah to deliver him to safety while outwitting their pursuers at every turn. From our review:
Angelina Jolie’s charisma can counteract an awful lot of filmmaking flaws. She’s a dynamo in films like 1998’s Gia and 1999’s Girl, Interrupted, where her mixture of simmering anger and coy sensuality announced her cinematic arrival. Her smirking grin is practically its own character in Hackers, the Tomb Raider duo, and Disney’s live-action Maleficent franchise. During her romantic and cinematic partnership with Brad Pitt, we watched the white-hot flame of their relationship in Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and then its downslope in By the Sea. Through it all, Jolie has always been uncontainably herself. Her very Jolie-ness — risk-taking, tenacious, motherly — is Taylor Sheridan’s saving grace in Those Who Wish Me Dead. Amid the paper-thin plot, stilted script, inartful editing, and imbalanced character development, Jolie stands unblemished. She isn’t the only good thing about the otherwise rote Those Who Wish Me Dead, but she doesn’t have much competition, either.
Writer-director Rose Glass’ religious psychological horror drama Saint Maud stars Morfydd Clark as the eponymous Maud, a newly devout hospice nurse whose concern for the immortal soul of her dying patient morphs into obsession as malevolent forces, and the mounting consequences of her own troubled past, engulf the pair into a tumult of madness and sin. From our review:
By most reasonable standards, Saint Maud is a good horror movie. It has a strong sense of character and mood. It’s convincingly acted, both by Morfydd Clark as Maud, a private nurse losing herself to religious fanaticism, and Jennifer Ehle, as Maud’s patient Amanda, an atheist grappling with her terminal cancer diagnosis. Its score roils with tension, then recedes into silence when necessary. In spite of these strengths, though, it’s sometimes eerily, unavoidably familiar.
Where to watch it: Stream on Netflix
Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) stars in Alexandre Aja’s sci-fi survival thriller Oxygen as Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Hansen, a young woman who wakes up to find herself encased in a cryogenic pod with no memory of how she ended up there. With no one to aid her apart from an AI named MILO (Medical Interface Liaison Operator), Liz must recover her memories in order to escape before her oxygen supply runs out. Think that one scene from Kill Bill Vol. 2 where Beatrix Kiddo gets buried alive, only with less punching and more LED lights. From our review:
Oxygen is a cheesy exploitation thriller, to some degree, with the catch that Aja has become skilled at locating both human interest and immediacy within the confines of cheesy exploitation thrillers. As in Crawl, he knows when to lean on his central performer, and tells a lot of his story through Laurent’s acting, which balances intelligence and resourcefulness with what the MTV Movie Awards have sometimes referred to as the “scared as shit” performance. Oxygen isn’t a horror film, but Aja’s horror background seems to goad him into tightening the suspense, even flirting with moments of body horror when Lauren has to fiddle with the tubes that have kept her character in cryo, and now threaten to override her decisions if she can’t take control of the computer.
The Woman in the Window
Where to watch it: Stream on Netflix
Pride & Prejudice and Darkest Hour director Joe Wright’s psychological thriller The Woman in the Window stars two-time Golden Globe winner Amy Adams as Anna Fox, an agoraphobic who occupies her time by keeping tabs on the new family that has moved in the house across the street from her. After witnessing a brutal crime, Anna’s life spirals out of control as the lines between reality and delusion blur and become indiscernible. Did Anna really witness a murder, or was it all just in her head? You’ll have to watch to find out. Gary Oldman, Brian Tyree Henry, Julianne Moore, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s Wyatt Russell and Anthony Mackie round out the cast. From our review:
The film’s plot is a bit dense on the mystery, though that’s expected, considering the book it’s adaptating. Finn wrote The Woman in the Window in first person, which leaves more room to explain the intricacies of the plot. Instead of adding narration, the trick many book-to-film adaptations use, all the exposition and world-building in the film takes place through conversation, in Anna’s phone calls with her husband Ed (Anthony Mackie) or in her therapy sessions. The slow unraveling of details mixed with the hallucinatory elements make the fine details of the plot a bit hard to follow, but the main mystery runs its course smoothly. The film’s reshoots were prompted by confused audience reactions to initial test screenings, and it’s easy to understand why they might have struggled to follow the story.
Director David Charbonier and Justin Powell’s supernatural horror thriller The Djinn stars Criminal Minds regular Ezra Dewey as Dylan Jacobs, a mute boy who finds himself trapped in his parents’ new apartment with a malevolent creature after he makes a wish to fulfill his greatest desire. The trailer looks intense and the Djinn itself looks like Truth from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, so count me in!
Patti Harrison and Ed Helms star in writer-director Nikole Beckwith’s comedy Together Together as Anna, a woman who agrees to become a gestational surrogate for Matt, a single man in his 40s who wants a child. As the pregnancy progresses, Anna and Matt’s unexpected relationship matures as their perceptions of connection, boundaries, and love are challenged and redefined.
Based on real-life events, Philip Noyce’s biographical crime drama Above Suspicion chronicles the story of a young FBI agent (Jack Huston) who, working alongside a local informant (Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke) in the beleaguered Kentuckian mining town of Pikeville, attempts to nab the members of an illicit chop-shop ring and a host of other conspirators. As the relationship between the two grows closer, tensions escalate until the town is rocked by a tremendous and tragic event that will upend the lives of everyone in Pikeville for years to come.
And here’s what dropped last Friday:
Where to watch it: Stream on Netflix
Monster follows Steve Harmon (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), a 17-year-old honor student whose life and future quickly unravel when he is charged with felony murder. From producer Nasir Jones and longtime music video director Anthony Mandler, the film follows Steve’s dramatic journey as he navigates a contentious legal battle that could lead to him potentially spending the rest of his life in prison.
Andrew Garfield plays an Extremely Online sociopath in this satire of viral celebrity culture from Gia Coppola (Palo Alto). The Amazing Spider-Man alum stars as Mouse, a charismatic and masterfully manipulative “influencer” who takes a young and impressionable woman named Frankie (Maya Hawke) under his wing to school her in the art of crafting content. Things quickly take a turn for the worse when Frankie realizes that Mouse’s intentions are far from sincere and euphoria of overnight fame spirals into an unseemly obsession.
Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street
Where to watch it: Available to rent for $15.99 on Amazon
Generations of children and adults have grown to know the names of Big Bird, Elmo, Ernie, Bert, and more in the more than half a century since Sesame Street first premiered on PBS. But about the men and women behind the phenomenon? Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street, the new documentary from director Marilyn Agrelo, promises to answer that question by delving into the history of one of the most significant works of educational children’s television. The doc pieces together the lives and stories of the creators who brought it to fruition. From our review:
Throughout the entire film, the personalities are engaging, outsized, and even daffy, even as they’re talking seriously about corporate battles and educational initiatives. “It was chaos,” says Joe Raposo, the songwriter behind Sesame Street staples like “C Is For Cookie” and “(It’s Not Easy) Bein’ Green,” “but it was the chaos of people dedicated to a real ideal, believing something could be done, and having the will to do it. And it was the most exciting period of our lives.”
The Paper Tigers
Quoc Bao Tran’s Kung-fu action comedy stars Alain Uy, Ron Yuan (Mulan), and Mykel Shannon Jenkins as the eponymous Paper Tigers: three former martial arts prodigies who, after a lifetime of strenuous training and hard fighting, have grown into beleaguered middle-aged nobodies. But when their master is murdered, the three swear an oath to avenge his memory and bring the killer to justice.
Remember the end of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back where the stoner duo use their royalties from the Bluntman and Chronic movie to fly across the country to beat the breaks off of everyone who ever talked shit about them online? The Columnist is essentially that, but for the Blue Checkmark generation. Katja Herbers (Evil, Westworld) stars as Femke Boot, an online journalist and author who goes on a revenge murder spree against her commenters in order to drum up publicity for her soon-to-be written book. An absolutely wild premise for a satire about internet hate culture, but maybe it’ll be … I don’t know, interesting?
Garnering some strong reviews from the festival circuit, Initiation centers on a wave of targeted revenge killings aimed at a fraternity in the wake of a cyberbullying campaign. It’s on the students of Whiton University to uncover the motivations behind the murders and capture the culprit before it’s too late.
The Boy from Medellín
Where to watch it: Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video
Matthew Heineman’s documentary The Boy from Medellín follows a week in the life of J Balvin, the Colombian “Prince of Reggaeton” who wrestles with the challenge that comes with being both a global celebrity and a representative of his people. Amid the turmoil of 2019 — with protests aimed against the government of President Duque and tumult in the wake of 18 year old boy’s death by a police projectile, Balvin prepares for a sold-out concert in his hometown of Medellín while reckoning with the question of what power his music and voice has to affect change. As Beatrice Loayza lays out in her review for the New York Times, “Similar recent mythmaking projects like Beyoncé’s Homecoming and Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana have generated their own publicity by giving access to curated versions of the personal lives of musicians, which makes them seem real and relatable. In The Boy from Medellín, this curation is obvious.”