Each week our staff of film and TV experts surveys the entertainment landscape to select the ten best new/newish movies available for you to stream at home. We put a lot of thought into our selections, and our debates on what to include and what not to include can sometimes get a little heated and feelings may get hurt, but so be it, this is an important service for you, our readers. With that said, here are our selections for this week.
10. Tár (Peacock)
Tár is a performance piece for Cate Blanchett, which is great because Cate Blanchett always deserves a place to do stuff like that. Here, she plays composer Lydia Tár, a kind of mad genius who is a few days away from a huge symphony performance and dealing with everything around her falling apart. It’s a psychological roller coaster and can be a heavy lift but if you want to see Cate Blanchett give it the full Cate Blanchett, buddy, Tár is the movie for you.
9. Your Place or Mine (Netflix)
Ashton Kutcher and Reese Witherspoon play mismatched best friends — she loves the calm of California, he loves the chaos of New York — who swip-swap houses for a week for reasons that we could explain, but… you’ve seen a rom-com before. You know how this goes. The draw here is less the story than the star power, with a couple of our more charming faces shining bright. A solid watch for a quiet night.
8. Somebody I Used To Know (Amazon Prime)
Dave Franco and wife Alison Brie already have one on-screen project in the books – the unsettling thriller The Rental that will likely turn you off Air BnB for good. For their follow-up, the couple takes on a different genre – swapping horror for comedy – and a different, but no less cringeworthy, topic. Brie plays Ally, a successful TV producer who’s thrown a professional curveball and forced to seek solace in the one place she swore never to return: home. She reconnects with her ex Sean, rediscovers herself, and for a while, Somebody I Used to Know reads like a plot-by-numbers rom-com — until Sean’s fiancé pops up and wedding festivities begin and a possible throuple forms? Come for the secondhand embarrassment-fueled laughs, stay for the surprising amount of heart.
7. The Menu (HBO Max)
A horror-comedy set on an island where a fancy young couple has traveled to dine at a world-class restaurant led by a world-class chef who may have other things in store for them beyond your standard filets and Caesar salads. It’s… weird. But also surprisingly fun. Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult are out there — apologies for this awful pun but it had to be done — making a meal of it all. In a good way. Definitely in a better way than their characters do. It’s a good time. Just maybe don’t start it before dinner.
6. Sharper (Apple TV)
Lots going on here, all of it intriguing. We’ve got Julianne Moore and Sebastian Stan and John Lithgow all starring in what Apple describes as a twisty neo-noir thriller where a con artist takes on a slew of Manhattan billionaires. That’s probably enough to get you excited, at least a little. You could do a lot worse, that’s for sure. The world needs more Julianne Moore.
5. Luther: The Fallen Sun (Netflix)
Idris Elba is back once again as John Luther, the now-disgraced London cop who finds himself in prison for reasons that tie directly into the thing where he is now disgraced. This time… ahh, screw it. Let’s go ahead and quote the official blurb on this one, if only because it’s a lot of fun to read: “Haunted by his failure to capture the cyber psychopath who now taunts him, Luther decides to break out of prison to finish the job by any means necessary.” Don’t you guys just hate it when that happens to you. Ugh, the worst.
4. Babylon (Paramount Plus)
Babylon bombed at the box office, but someday, it will find the audience it deserves. That day could be today if you watch it on Paramount Plus. Which you should. Damien Chazelle’s debauched chronicle of Hollywood’s transition from silent films to talkies is the rare three-hour movie that’s never boring. Babylon is full of glitz, glamor, cocaine, an S&M dungeon, and a pooping elephant. It’s also got Margot Robbie fighting a snake — what more could you want?
3. Boston Strangler (Hulu)
Boston Strangler tells the true story of the, uh, Boston Strangler, which you probably guessed from the title. It’s all right there. Keira Knightley and Carrie Coon play a pair of journalists and amateur sleuths who put the pieces together and uncover one of the country’s most notorious cases of serial killing. Looking for a period piece about a couple people hunting a murder in 1960s Massachusetts? Well, here you go. That was easy.
2. Money Shot: The Pornhub Story (Netflix)
Director Suzanne Hillinger talks with Adult entertainers and anti-porn crusaders in this documentary about the rise and near fall of PornHub. From a near economic apocalypse for those performers to questions about who is to blame for the rise of illegal and horrific content on the site, Hillinger works to lay out the details of this story with great care.
1. M3GAN (Peacock)
Make it the love child of Chucky and the Terminator, drop it on audiences inundated by stories of automation and AI, and then make it fabulous. M3GAN lived up to the hype, dancing into the hearts of horror fans as the emotional support doll from hell. Now, as she sets her sights on streaming, we’ve been given a new promise: more carnage with an unrated version that’s set to pull off more ears and carve up more yuppy scum. It’s all we could have ever wanted short of a sequel that once again pits M3GAN against avenging aunt (and reigning Queen of elevated horror) Allison Williams.