Fire up your TV and let everyone know you’re late to that holiday party. This week’s top new movies to watch include something for almost everyone. At the top of the list we have Black Adam, the latest DC movie to hit theaters and a movie that took forever to make.
An exciting project for star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Black Adam moves some of the big puzzle pieces of the comic world and introduces a host of new characters. That allowed for a stacked cast, including Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate.
But, let’s be honest, Black Adam isn’t a critics’ favorite. As it’s awards season, we’re happy to announce that one of the finest recent releases is now streaming. Collin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson star in The Banshees Of Inisherin, an artistic film about a friendship in decay. Both that film and Black Adam are on HBO Max (really the home box office for the masses). There’s only one chance to make our list of the best movies of 2022.
This week The Black Phone also gets a recent release of Prime Video. Already making its way from one of the best streaming services to another, this thriller (recently seen on Peacock) is about high school students trying to escape a disturbed man and relying on supernatural powers.
What’s coming to Netflix, I hear you ask? Well, it has its own award court movie with Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s BARDO. In addition, Netflix introduces some interesting documentaries, one full of tension and the other a little more relaxing.
Inishering’s Banshees (HBO Max)
Friendship can be great, but it can become asymmetric faster than you realize. Such is the situation on a fictional island in Ireland where Pádraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson) are thieves. After repeated demands for an answer to what went wrong, Pádraic enlists the help of other locals to figure out where things went wrong.
Colm then becomes even more fed up with his former friend and threatens violent and shocking acts if this continues. Director Martin McDonagh earned accolades for the film, with the stars delivering romance and tension, while co-stars Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan bring it to life.
take care HBO Max (Opens in a new tab) Right now (today, Tuesday, December 13 has arrived)
Black Phone (main video)
Grabber is the kind of name that doesn’t strike fear into you until you hear kids say it on the black phone. Here, in the suburbs of Denver, kids are starting to disappear, which is the last thing siblings Finny (Mason Thames) and Gwen (Madeleine McGraw) want in their lives. Their father (Jeremy Davies) is an abusive alcoholic, their mother has disappeared and Finny is already the target of local bullies. So, when you hear students spreading rumors that someone is kidnapping local kids and see the Grabber’s mask, panic sets in.
Then we meet The Grabber, played hauntingly by Ethan Hawke as he kidnaps more kids. Throw in some supernatural elements (which makes more sense when you learn that Black Phone is based on a book written by Stephen King’s son Joe Hill), and you have a movie that will have you rooting for its main characters. the whole time
Watch it Basic video (Opens in a new tab) Starting now (arrived today, Tuesday, December 13)
Kangaroo Valley (Netflix)
Mala, a newborn kangaroo, does not face good odds – only one in five joeys make it to a year old. And Netflix’s new narrative documentary Kangaroo Valley tells the story of how she (spoiler alert) gets to that first birthday. Beautifully shot, Kangaroo Valley shows how both Mala’s family and potential threats play important roles in her survival.
Oh, and there’s a little Easter egg for anyone paying attention to debt. Mala’s story is narrated by Sarah Snook who plays Shiv’s successor. So, pay attention while listening to the trailer above, which understands Snook taking a break from her usual acid-tongued dialogue.
Watch it Netflix (Opens in a new tab) From Wednesday (Dec. 14).
Black Adam (HBO Max)
Black Adam is, you guessed it, about driving. It is also about power. But more specifically, it’s about how an anti-hero can truly be a force for good. After being imprisoned in 2,600 BC, Teth-Adam (Dwayne Johnson) is freed and set free in the fictional Middle-Eastern city of Kahndaq. People here live under the paramilitary thumb of the mercenary Intergang. Young Amon (Bodhi Sabongui) needs this new super-powered person he meets to set the people free.
That is, a whole group of heroes knows that Teth-Adam, who becomes Black Adam, is a clear threat to everyone around him. The group is the Justice Society, led by Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan) and Hawkman (Aldis Hodge). They train up-and-coming heroes Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) and Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo).
While Black Adam’s streaming release is a big deal for those who’ve been waiting for it to leave theaters, it’s not exactly a winner with the critical mass. There’s a lot going on in Black Adam, and arguably too much. Johnson is said to provide the kind of fun that only he can these days, and it’s been fun to watch the character develop quite a bit. Oh, and be sure to stick around for that Black Adam post-credits scene.
Stream it HBO Max (Opens in a new tab) From Friday (Dec. 16).
BARDO, The Fake Chronicle of a True Handful (Netflix)
Respected director Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Amores perros, The Revenant) is at it again with a new adrenaline rush called BARDO. In this film, we meet Silverio Gama (Daniel Giménez Cacho), an aspiring documentary filmmaker on the precipice of a huge breakthrough in his career. Constantly conflicted and still haunted by the death of his first son, Silverio doesn’t even know if he’ll ever get the award he’s due. Trying to explain what happens next reveals a lot, because you have to let Bardo show you.
Receiving mixed reviews from critics, the film was considered both excellent and satisfying. It’s clearly a personal passion project for Iñárritu.
Stream it Netflix (Opens in a new tab) From Friday (Dec. 16).
Nanny (2022) Prime Video
A new and burgeoning genre of psychological horror that frames the immigrant story through a traumatic lens came to prominence with His House (one of Netflix’s best horror movies) and continues in Nanny . Aisha (Anna Diop) has immigrated to the United States from Senegal, and is currently taking care of the child of a wealthy couple in New York City.
Aisha’s son is due to arrive in New York soon, but Aisha’s memories of the boy haunt her all day long. Stress and pain threaten to destroy the life Aisha prepares for her son and herself.
Stream it Basic video (Opens in a new tab) From Friday (Dec. 16).
Volcano: Deliverance from Wakari
At this point, a vacation can be just what you think you need. This documentary gives you an on-the-ground view of what it’s like to be in the shoes of vacationers from a volcanic eruption. The 2019 Whakaari / White Island eruption took place three years ago, killing 22 people.
Interestingly, The Volcano: Rescue from Whakaari may be a Netflix true crime documentary in disguise. The New Zealand government brought charges against tour operators who brought people to the island for breaching health and safety laws. Instead, the film seems like a celebration of the survivors and those who came to save them.
take care Netflix (Opens in a new tab) From Friday (Dec. 16).