This week saw the streaming premiere of The Batman, the latest live-action incarnation of the iconic DC superhero starring Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz, on HBO Max. Set two years into his career as a costumed vigilante, Bruce Wayne/Batman finds himself on the fringes of a sinister conspiracy as he attempts to stop a masked serial killer named the Riddler (Paul Dano) from wreaking havoc on Gotham.
There are plenty of other releases to stream this weekend, including the Italian crime drama The Turning Point, the Tamil-language psychological drama Kuthiraivaal, and 2022 documentary White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch, all on Netflix. Outside of Netflix, the Uruguayan zombie horror movie Virus-32 is streaming on Shudder, while the nature documentary Polar Bear is now available to watch on Disney Plus.
Apart from subscription streaming platforms, there are lots of great movies to rent on VOD as well, such as director Jane Schoenbrun’s coming-of-age horror film We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, the 19th-century horror drama You Won’t Be Alone, the Romanian animated sci-fi film Delta Space Mission, the G.I. Joe soft-reboot spin-off Snake Eyes, Joe Wright’s 2021 adaptation of Cyrano starring Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage, and much more.
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.
Where to watch: Available to stream on HBO Max
War of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves’ 2022 film The Batman stars Robert Pattinson as a younger, angrier version of the eponymous caped crusader. Set two years into his campaign of vigilante justice, Batman is faced with a terrifying new adversary in the form of the Riddler (Paul Dano), a serial killer whose vendetta against Gotham City’s most elite official belies a decades-spanning conspiracy that threatens to tear the city apart. To stop the Riddler, he’ll have to team up with Selina Kyle (Zoë Kravitz), a nightclub waitress and cat burglar with her own personal agenda. From our review:
The Batman is full of moments most Bat-fans will have seen before, and not that long ago. At its most exhausting, it restages moments from the Nolan trilogy: A mobster tells Bruce Wayne the truth about how the world works, Batman fights his way through a nightclub in a fury or through a hallway illuminated only by gunfire, footage of the film’s villain terrorizing their next victim is broadcast over the evening news. Almost all of the characters, apart from the Riddler, are recognizable from previous Batman movies. The new layers on display here are easily derived from what came before. There is nothing particularly bold about The Batman. Its strength is in its execution.
We’re All Going to the World’s Fair
Jane Schoenbrun’s 2021 coming-of-age horror drama tells the story of Casey (Anna Cobb), a teenage girl who becomes immersed in a viral role-playing game. As she begins to notice inexplicable and sinister changes within herself, Casey is forced to confront the possibility of whether all of this is in her head. Think 2018’s Eighth Grade by way of Marble Hornets. From our review:
This is the real horror of trying to figure out who you are by being online. The hope of the internet is that everybody can find community, that the strangeness of activities like anonymously working to scare each other online can create a safe, creative place. Schoenbrun suggests that within that range of collective expression, people can decide who and what they want to be. We’re All Going to the World’s Fair isn’t just a movie about connecting, it’s about becoming. It’s a powerful acknowledgement of how confounding and frightening young adulthood can be. But it’s also a film about hope. There’s a name for the specific kind of alienation and confusion its characters are feeling. Maybe, it suggests, people like Casey will find that name, in spite of the machine’s best efforts.
You Won’t Be Alone
Set in 19th-century Macedonia, the 2022 horror drama You Won’t Be Alone (which happens to be one of our favorite movies of this year) follows Nevena (Sara Klimoska), a young feral witch who yearns to be a part of the small community of the isolated village she happens upon. Impersonating several villagers via her grotesque transformation powers, Nevena’s story is one of obsession, love, and the universal desire to belong. From our review:
You Won’t Be Alone is a visual poem about tradition, gender, and looking through eyes that are not your own. It is, through the frame of the screen and Mark Bradshaw’s lush score, a bleeding, gory metaphor for why we watch movies. It is reflection. It is love.
Where to watch: Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video
Robert Schwentke’s soft-reboot spinoff of the G.I. Joe franchise stars Henry Golding as Snake Eyes in an origin story that pits the fan-favorite ninja character on a quest for revenge. From our review:
Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins is largely a success in that it does a decent job of making viewers forget that cynicism for two hours, while also embracing the absurdity of a narrative universe spun out of action figures. This film isn’t going to sell anyone on a new G.I. Joe movie franchise, but it’s maybe the best possible version of a movie designed to test those waters.
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) stars in Joe Wright’s 2021 adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s 1897 play as Cyrano de Bergerac, a man gifted with a talent for words and an aptitude for swordsmanship who harbors a deep-seated insecurity about his height. Nursing an unrequited love for his friend Roxanne (Haley Bennett), Cyrano nonetheless agrees to help a young yet inarticulate soldier named Christian (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) by ghostwriting a series of love letters confessing his affection for her. Will Cyrano summon the courage to tell Roxanne the truth, or allow his chance for true love to slip away? From our review:
It’s tempting to declare this film a cult classic in the making. But critics shouldn’t make such proclamations — audiences should. But Wright’s Cyrano, dropping on the edge of Oscar season, should deservedly find the kind of passionate fans who flocked to see the Best Picture-winning Shakespeare in Love. Because not only do Wright and Dinklage fashion an unrequited anguish worth crying over, again and again. Cyrano is the best movie musical of the last decade.
The Turning Point
Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix
This gritty Italian crime drama follows a pair of lonely people who strike up an unlikely friendship: Luduvico (Brando Pacitto), a slacker, and Jack (Andrea Lattanzi), a career thief. Jack pulls Luduvico into his world of crime in an odd-couple-mixed-with-Stockholm-Syndrome set up. The movie features music by Italian musician Carl Brave.
White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch
Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix
The 2022 documentary White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch explores the popularity of the eponymous clothing brand in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The film features interviews with several former retail employees, models, and activists regarding the brand’s reputation founded on wealth and social exclusion, as well as the controversies surrounding its discriminatory hiring practices.
Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix
As bank cashier Freud awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a man with a horse tail. Loosely inspired by Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, Kuthiraivaal is a Tamil-language psychological drama with elements of magical realism and surreal dream sequences.
Where to watch: Available to stream on Disney Plus
Narrated by Catherine Keener (Capote, Being John Malkovich), this 2022 Disneynature documentary follows the story of a mother polar bear and her child as they brave the challenges of their arctic environment.
Where to watch: Available to stream on Shudder
This Uruguayan horror movie follows a zombie outbreak on the streets of Montevideo, with a special twist on the age-old zombie formula: After each attack, the zombies must spend 32 seconds recovering their strength.
Delta Space Mission
Co-directed by animators Mircea Toia and Călin Cazan, 1984’s Delta Space Mission is championed as the first Romanian sci-fi animated feature. Set in the distant far-future world of 3084, the film follows the story of Alma, a blue-green-skinned alien journalist who boards a sentient spacecraft that develops a crush on her. A psychedelic space odyssey in the vein of Rene Laloux’s animated cult classic Fantastic Planet, Delta Space Mission is a treasured touchstone of Eastern European animation. The streaming version is a new 4K restoration of the film.
The King’s Daughter
Pierce Brosnan stars in the 2022 action-adventure fantasy film The King’s Daughter as King Louis XIV, the once-powerful ruler of France whose fervent quest for immortality leads him to capture a mermaid (Fan Bingbing) with goal of sapping its life force to rejuvenate his own. His ambitious plans grind to a halt, however, when his free-spirited daughter Marie-Josèphe (Kaya Scodelario) discovers the mermaid and, sympathizing with its plight, endeavors to free it. The film marks the final performance of William Hurt in the role of Père La Chaise, a Jesuit priest and the king’s advisor. From our review:
The King’s Daughter is an expensive-looking fantasy epic that spent close to a decade on the shelf, only to creep into wide release on a barren weekend in January, with relatively little advance promotion. Based on this anti-pedigree and its wild fantasy plot about magic and mermaid-murder, it has all the makings of a glorious cinematic disaster. So it’s perversely disappointing to learn that it’s a middling family-friendly movie with mere undertones of oddness.