Thrillers of all kinds rule streaming this week, as well the possible last film from Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood and much more
A young boy named Alex (Winslow Fegley) becomes the prisoner of a witch (Krysten Ritter); to avoid certain death, he convinces her to let him tell her a scary story every night. Upon meeting the witch’s servant, Yazmin (Lidya Jewett), the two must use their wits to escape her apartment, a magical labyrinth filled with various dangers, before the witch kills them both. Based on the horror fantasy book by J.A. White, Nightbooks comes from director David Yarovesky, who previously made Brightburn and The Hive.
‘Cry Macho’ (HBO Max)
Clint Eastwood needs no introduction. The 91(!!) year-old Hollywood icon’s latest film comes from a screenplay by Nick Schenk and N. Richard Nash, based on the novel by Nash. Cry Macho stars Eastwood as Mike Milo, a one-time rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder who, in 1979, takes a job from an ex-boss (Dwight Yoakam) to bring the man’s young son (Eduardo Minett) home from Mexico. Forced to take the backroads on their way to Texas, the unlikely pair faces an unexpectedly challenging journey, during which the world-weary horseman finds unexpected connections and his own sense of redemption. The film was shot in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
‘Y: The Last Man’ (Hulu)
Adapted from the hit comic book series of the same name by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, this series from Eliza Clark expands and even challenges to source material to create something even greater. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, a man named Yorick Brown (Ben Schnetzer) is the last surviving male human on the planet. The series follows Yorick as he traverses the new world, as its survivors struggle with their losses and attempt to restore world society—led by Yorick’s mother, who is the new U.S. President Jennifer Brown (Diane Lane).
‘Riders of Justice’ (Hulu)
Riders of Justice follows recently-deployed soldier Markus (Mads Mikkelsen), who is forced to return home to care for his teenage daughter, Mathilde (Andrea Heick Gadeberg), after his wife is killed in a tragic train accident. But when a survivor of the wrecked train surfaces claiming foul play, Markus begins to suspect his wife was murdered and embarks on a mission to find those responsible. The film is a Danish black comedy, and star Mads Mikkelsen is recently coming off an Oscar win for Another Round, which took home the prize for Best International Film. Funny enough, Riders of Justice actually beat out Another Round’s box office record for opening weekend of the year when it was released in Denmark.
‘Searching’ (Amazon Prime Video)
Impressively told exclusively through screens and the online world, Searching is a thriller from director Aneesh Chaganty that centers on a father named David Kim (John Cho). When his 16-year-old daughter (Michelle La) goes missing, a local investigation is opened and a detective (Debra Messing) is assigned to the case. But 37 hours later and without a single lead, David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet, where all secrets are kept today: his daughter’s laptop. In a hyper-modern thriller told via the technology devices we use every day to communicate, David must trace his daughter’s digital footprints before she disappears forever.
‘Squid Game’ (Netflix)
Written and directed by South Korean filmmaker Hwang Dong-hyuk, Squid Game is an eight episode series where hundreds of cash-strapped players accept a strange invitation to compete in children’s games. Inside, a tempting prize awaits — with deadly high stakes. It looks to be something refreshingly different, thrilling and stylish.
‘Superman and Lois’ (HBO Max)
From the creators of the Flash series, Superman and Lois is a different kind of take on the Man of Steel years into his life as a superhero. Follow the world’s most famous super hero and comic books’ most famous journalist as they deal with all the stress, pressures, and complexities that come with being working parents in today’s society. Clark Kent / Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) and Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) return to Smallville with their sons Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) and Jordan (Alex Garfin), where they are reacquainted with Lana Lang (Emmanuelle Chriqui), her husband Kyle Cushing (Erik Valdez), and their daughter Sarah (Inde Navarrette). Their idyllic lives are upended when The Stranger (Wolé Parks) enters as well as the secret experiments of Morgan Edge (Adam Rayner).
‘High Ground’ (Hulu)
Set against the stunning landscapes of 1930s Arnhem Land, High Ground chronicles young Aboriginal man Gutjuk (Jacob Junior Nayinggul), who in a bid to save the last of his family teams up with ex-soldier Travis (Simon Baker) to track down Baywara (Sean Mununggurr) – the most dangerous warrior in the Territory, who is also his uncle. As Travis and Gutjuk journey through the outback they begin to earn each other’s trust, but when the truths of Travis’ past actions are suddenly revealed, it is he who becomes the hunted.
‘Prisoners of the Ghostland’ (VOD)
Originally premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono’s Prisoners of the Ghostland seems to truly understand how to harness the innate chaotic energy of Nicolas Cage. The eclectic actor plays a notorious criminal named Hero who is sent to rescue the governor’s daughter. She’s disappeared into a dark supernatural universe (as one does) and to escape the nightmare world, Hero must break the evil curse controlling the mysterious Ghostland. The film is a completely bizarre mashup of a wide range of different genres and influences. Everything from Westerns to fantasy to neo-noir to horror to martial arts films can be found in Prisoners of the Ghostland. Filmed entirely in Japan yet marking Sono’s first English-language feature, it’s also a blend of Eastern and Western styles. It’s unbridled creativity at its finest with impeccable costumes, production design, and ambitious practical effects.
‘The Mad Women’s Ball’ (Amazon Prime Video)
Directed by and starring Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds, Now You See Me, Enemy, 6 Underground), this French thriller is based on the novel Le bal des folles by Victoria Mas. The Mad Women’s Ball follows a 19th century woman who is unjustly institutionalized due to her ability to hear and see the dead. Alongside a tormented nurse, the two prepare to attend a famous ball at the neurological clinic they’ve trapped in.
CONTINUED WEEKLY EPISODES:
‘What If…?’ (Disney+)
The very first animated series from Marvel Studios, What If…? runs wild and plays loose with the sprawling cinematic universe that everyone knows. The series dives into the multiverse to show a variety of different timelines where major moments from the MCU play out differently, such as Agent Carter receiving the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers, Killmonger rescuing Tony Stark before he’s ever kidnapped by terrorists, and even an episode that involves superhero zombies. With a gorgeous cel-shaded animation style and an infinite amount of exciting and weird directions the show can go in, it’s sure to be a hit for Marvel fans. The first six episodes are now streaming.
‘Reservation Dogs’ (Hulu)
Created by Taika Waititi and Sterlin Harjo, Reservation Dogs details the lives of four Indigenous teenagers – played by D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Deverey Jacobs, Paulina Alexis, and Lane Factor – in rural Oklahoma. The kids steal, rob, and save in order to get to the exotic, mysterious, and faraway land of California, where they hope to find better lives. It’s consistently hilarious, moving, and eye-opening. The first seven episodes are now streaming.
‘Slasher: Flesh & Blood’ (Shudder)
The anthology horror series Slasher – obviously inspired by the genre it takes its name from – has been all over the place. The original first season aired on the now defunct Chiller television network, its second and third season premiered on Netflix, and now its fourth iteration, Slasher: Flesh & Blood, is exclusively streaming on Shudder. This new season follows a wealthy, dysfunctional family that gathers for a reunion on a secluded island only to learn they’ll be pitted against one another in a cruel game of life and death, all while being stalked by a mysterious masked killer. Nothing is what it seems and no one is safe as the tension – and body count – ratchets up. All episodes are now streaming.
‘Only Murders in the Building’ (Hulu)
A wonderfully timely take on our nation’s ongoing obsession with true crime, Only Murders in the Building has been receiving glowing reviews since its first episodes aired. The series stars Steve Martin (who created it alongside John Hoffman), Martin Short and Selena Gomez as three strangers who share an obsession with true crime and suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one. When a grisly death occurs inside their exclusive Upper West Side apartment building, the trio suspects murder and employs their precise knowledge of true crime to investigate the truth. Perhaps even more explosive are the lies they tell one another. Soon, the endangered trio comes to realize a killer might be living among them as they race to decipher the mounting clues before it’s too late. The first five episodes are now streaming.
Also streaming now:
Netflix – ‘Crime Stories: India Detectives’, ‘You vs. Wild: Out Cold’, ‘Schumacher’, ‘Birth of the Dragon’, ‘He-Man and the Masters of the Universe’, ‘Jaws Franchise’, ‘Safe House’, ‘Sex Education (Season 3), ‘The Stronghold’
Hulu – ‘Colette’, ‘Joseph: King of Dreams’, ‘Love, Simon’, ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’, ‘On Chesil Beach’, ‘Stalker’, ‘The Premise’
Shudder – ‘#LIKE’, ‘Woe’, ‘The Columnist’, ‘Kriya’, ‘The House of the Devil’
HBO Max – ‘Walker (Season 1)’, ‘Scenes From a Marriage’, ‘The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly’, ‘El Cuartito’
Amazon Prime Video – ‘Desperado’, ‘Weeds’, ‘As Above, So Below’, ‘American Traitor: The Trial of Axis Sally’, ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’
COMING NEXT WEEK:
Netflix – ‘Dark Skies’. ‘Grown Ups’, ‘Intrusion’, ‘Bangkok Breaking’, ‘Blood & Water’, ‘Ganglands’, ‘Jailbirds New Orleans’, ‘Midnight Mass’, ‘Vendetta: Truth, Lies and the Mafia’
Hulu – ‘Funhouse’, ‘An American Haunting’
Shudder – ‘Hammer House of Horror’, ‘The Devil’s Rain’, ‘Extraordinary Tales’, ’13 Cameras’, ‘Stitches’, ‘Creepshow (Season 3)’
HBO Max – ‘The People v. The Klan’, ‘Doom Patrol (Season 3)’
Disney+ – ‘Star Wars Visions’