There’s not a lot in the way of new releases to look forward to in theaters this weekend. Not to worry though — if you’ve already seen the likes of Scream, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Licorice Pizza, and West Side Story and are looking for something fun to watch from home , there are still a ton of new and recent releases to enjoy on streaming and VOD this weekend.
Between the streaming premiere of Asghar Farhadi’s A Hero on Amazon Prime Video, The Last Thing Mary Saw on Shudder, plus the VOD premiere of Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, there are plenty of options for the savvy and discerning cinephile to choose from.
To help you get a handle on what’s new and available, here are the new movies you can watch on streaming and VOD this weekend.
Last Night in Soho
Edgar Wright’s giallo-inspired psychological thriller stars Thomasin McKenzie as Eloise, a 1960s-obsessed young woman who moves to London to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer. After moving into a small studio apartment, she begins to experiencing startling dreams where she is transported to a Soho nighclub in the body of Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy), an aspiring singer caught in a web of luxury and intrigue. But Eloise’s dreams become more vivid and violent, blurring the line between hallucinations and reality, will she be able to uncover the reason for why this visions are happening? From our review,
Centrally, as a study of Wright’s own nostalgic proclivities, Soho is a fascinating cultural object. He’s demonstrated an interest in the frailty of nostalgia in previous works. In Hot Fuzz and The World’s End, characters are beholden to, and castigated for, unrealistic nostalgia. Stylistically, though, he’s always leaned into homage, again going as far back as Spaced, with its myriad visual and textual references to Hollywood and more esoteric cinema. Homage in itself is adjacent to nostalgia: It’s the celebration, in Wright’s case, of past styles and aesthetics, and deep, wistful love for decades-old cinema percolates through his filmography.
Soho feels like Wright’s most explicit interrogation of his own sentimental impulses, and simultaneously, his most stylistically grandiose work. But central to this story, too, is the violent and lurid exploitation of women. This is certainly Edgar Wright at his Edgar Wright-iest, but even as he’s arguing against celebrating the past in Last Night in Soho, he’s celebrating it himself, in ways that are hard to escape, and at times, harder still to enjoy.
Where to watch: Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video
Amir Jadidi (Zero Day) stars in Iranian master Asghar Farhadi’s 2021 film A Hero as Rahim, a man temporarily freed from debtor’s prison with only two days to repay his creditor. When his secret girlfriend discovers a lost handbag filled with gold coins, Rahim does something remarkable by returning the bag to its original owner instead of repaying his debt. As news of Rahim’s altruist act begin to spread, so too do rumors of his suspected duplicity. Tasked with confirming his story, Rahim must convince those around him of his character to spare his family from shame and reprisal. Winner of the Grand Prix at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, A Hero has garnered significant acclaim as one of the best films of the year, and is expected to be nominated for Best International Film at this year’s Oscars.
I’ll be totally honest with you: When I saw that a movie called “Warhunt” was coming to VOD this weekend, I did not initially have particularly any expectations of it being a future classic. But after watching the trailer, I’m positively ecstatic to watch it. Set in 1945, the film follows a squad of US soldiers stranded in the Black Forest of Germany after their cargo plane crashes behind enemy lines. However, there’s more than just Nazis for them to be afraid of, as a malevolent force seems to have ensnared the group in a maze of illusions and horrors. Their only hope? Major Johnson (Mickey Rourke), a gold eyepatch-wearing Van Helsing-type commander who ventures out to the crash site on a mission to recover his lost comrades and kill some evil. If you love films like 2018’s Overlord or 2009’s Red Snow and are hungry for a WII horror-fantasy action thriller, Warhunt is the ticket.
The Last Thing Mary Saw
Where to watch: Available to stream on Shudder
Stefanie Scott (Insidious: Chapter 3) stars in The Last Thing Mary Saw as a young woman who illicit romance with her family’s maid Eleanor (Isabelle Fuhrman) puts her at odds with the scruples of her parents and the prejudices of her small New England Puritan community. When the community’s matriarch (Judith Roberts) dies under mysterious circumstances, Mary is implicated and put under investigation by the tow’s constable. Recalling the series of events in the days prior, The Last Thing Mary Saw gradually evolves from a period piece story of religious persecution into a supernatural horror fable filled with gory close-ups and ghoulish visuals.
And here’s what dropped last Friday:
Where to watch: Available to stream on Disney Plus
Chloé Zhao follows the Oscar-winning momentum of her 2020 film Nomadland with Eternals, a Marvel Cinematic Universe installment following a group of ancient extraterrestrial warriors defending the Earth for centuries while hiding in plain sight.
With an ensemble casts featuring the likes of Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, and Richard Madden, a storyline spanning the rise of human civilization, and a finale hinting at major developments for the future of the MCU, Eternals has some sizable expectations to live up to along with some grandiose ambitions of its own. From our review,
Eternals considers where we are, where we’ve been, and how much it’s changed us, if at all. These are largely internal ideas that are not easily translated to superhuman brawls in dim environs, where the beauty of the natural world is just a blank canvas for lasers and punching. Every fight is like a tether pulling Eternals back to the ground when it would rather fly. Each scene expounding on the cosmology of the MCU does more for movies we haven’t seen yet than it does for the one we’re watching.
Movies can be big enough for ideas like this: difficult conversations of cosmic import with no clear answer, angry confrontations with an uncaring god, and whether or not our moral compass should shift as our perspective and reach grows. But a film must create a world where those questions matter, to its characters and to its audience. In a few short lines, Zhao did that with Nomadland. Eternals, however, just isn’t big enough. Or perhaps the Marvel Cinematic Universe is just too small.
The Tragedy of Macbeth
Where to watch: Available to stream on Apple TV Plus
Director Joel Coen returns sans his brother-collaborator Ethan with dramatic retelling of Shakespeare’s Macbeth with Denzel Washington starring as the eponymous mad king. Convinced by a trio of witches that he will ascend the throne, Macbeth and his wife (Frances McDormand) plot to see this prophecy come to fruition. Even if you’re somehow unfamiliar with the play, you don’t have to look much further than the movie’s title to venture a guess as to how successfully that turns out.
The Last Duel
Where to watch: Available to stream on HBO Max
Ridley Scott’s medieval epic, starring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Adam Driver, and Killing Eve’s Jodie Cormer, pretty much bombed in theaters this fall, despite promising reviews. Our colleague Zosha Millman caught it after a few weeks in theaters, and walked out having had one of her best movie experiences of 2021, suggesting the movie’s themes on sexual violence and human strife were worth the challenge. “The absolute high of digesting such a complicated, thorny narrative in a theater all to myself is something I’ve been chasing ever since.”
Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix
Looking for some creepy stop-motion goodness à la Phil Tippett’s Mad God or The Brothers Quay’s Street of Crocodiles? Netflix’s new animated horror anthology The House will be right up your alley then. Composed of three separate stories, the film follows several individuals who find themselves drawn into the malevolent orbit of a mysterious house built by a deranged architect. If you like creepy crawlies, puppet body horror, and existential angst, you’ll love this one.
Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix
Alyssa Milano stars in the new Netflix thriller Brazen as Grace, a successful mystery author whose estranged sister is murdered under mysterious circumstances. Discovering her sister’s secret life as a webcam performer, Grace attempts to solve the case herself in defiance of Detective Ed Jenning’s (Sam Page) insistence and quickly finds her own life in jeopardy. It looks exactly like the type of movie that Netflix’s upcoming miniseries The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window is attempting to skewer, but if you’re looking for a suspenseful albeit unoriginal new thriller to watch this weekend, you could do worse than Brazen.
Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix
The Indonesian mystery drama Photocopier centers on the story of Suryani (Shenina Cinnamon), a young woman who finds herself at the heart of a terrible controversy after photos of her at a party are circulated online. Losing her scholarship, Suryani seeks out the aid of her childhood friend Amin (Chicco Kurniawan) to find out the truth of what happened the night she blacked out and clear her reputation. But is she truly ready to confront what she finds at the end of her search? The trailer looks tense and thoroughly unnerving, with claustrophobic close-ups, quick cuts, and eerie security footage.
The action-thriller Shattered takes a page out of Rob Reiner’s Misery by way of Basic Instinct, telling the story of lonely tech millionaire Chris(Cameron Monaghan) who is charmed by the wiles of a beautiful woman named Sky (Lilly Krug). When Chris is unexpectedly injured by a carjacker, Sky quickly steps in to look after him … only to reveal that she has far more sinister intentions in mind than nursing him to health. John Malkovich (Red) and Frank Grillo (Boss Level) co-star as a nosey bystander who gets too close to learning Sky’s plot and her violent boyfriend and partner in crime. Don’t put this one on unless you’ve got the stomach to watch someone getting tortured with power tools.