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Emancipation, del Toro’s Pinocchio, and every other movie you can


This week, Pinocchio (no, not that one… no, not that one either), the new stop-motion musical fantasy from Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr. Fox), finally arrives on Netflix. If an animated children’s film set in 1930s Fascist Italy doesn’t quite jibe with your vibe this weekend, not to worry — there’s tons of other new movies to stream on Netflix, like Emily the Criminal and The Boss Baby: Christmas Bonus, not to mention all the other releases on VOD and streaming.

Decision to Leave, Park Chan-wook’s new neo-noir mystery thriller about an insomniac detective with a chainmail glove and the No. 2 film on our best movies of 2022 list, comes to stream on Mubi. David O. Russell’s irreverent historical thriller Amsterdam comes to HBO Max, while Emancipation, the Civil War period drama starring Will Smith, is now streaming on Apple TV Plus, while a new Christmas horror comedy arrives on Shudder.

Here are the best new movies to stream and rent this weekend!


Netflix

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

A wooden puppet boy bows on-stage beside two puppets painted as a demon and a woman in a costume.

Image: Netflix

Genre: Musical/fantasy
Run time: 1h 57m
Director: Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson
Cast: Ewan McGregor, David Bradley, Gregory Mann

Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) and animation director Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr. Fox) team up to reinvent the story of Pinocchio as a stop-motion musical fantasy set in 1930s Italy amid the rise of Benito Mussolini. The core of the story remains the same, focusing on the story of a heartbroken woodcarver (David Bradley) who, overcome with grief, crafts a wooden puppet to serve as his surrogate son. The puppet (Gregory Mann), brought to life by a magical blue fairy, is faced with the challenge of navigating a strange and uncertain world with only his conscience — a cricket named Sebastian (Ewan McGregor) — to guide him.

From our review:

There’s no doubt that this is, technically and artistically, one of the great works of stop motion, a rarefied and quixotic art form. Within its stubbornly practical world of rubber and clay, paper and paint, joints and wires and levers, this is as ambitious an undertaking as Avatar. But del Toro’s greatest achievement is not to let all the artistry overwhelm the art. It’s an unruly, wild, and tender film that sometimes gets lost but, by the end, finds its way to a very moving state of grace.

The Boss Baby: Christmas Bonus

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

A stern-faced baby in a suit sits on the lap of Santa Claus next to a concerned looking boy in a V-neck sweater.

Image: Netflix

Genre: Comedy
Run time: 45m
Director: Christo Stamboliev, Matt Engstrom
Cast: JP Karliak, Pierce Gagnon, George Lopez

The Boss Baby is back, and this time, he’s accidentally swapped places with one of Santa’s elves. Oh Boss Baby, you incorrigible facsimile of Wall Street’s Gordon Gekko!

Emily the Criminal

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Aubrey Plaza as Emily stands by her car trunk, glaring at a prospective buyer in Emily the Criminal

Image: Vertical Entertainment

Genre: Crime thriller
Run time: 1h 37m
Director: John Patton Ford
Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Theo Rossi, Megalyn Echikunwoke

A college student struggling with debt problems takes a not-exactly-legal job as a part of a credit card scam.

From our review:

Ford’s color palette for this film — an industrial composite of gunmetal grays and navy blues that recall glass-paneled skyscrapers on a cloudy day — is reminiscent of Michael Mann’s crime classic Heat. And the amoral Emily would fit right in with Mann’s roster of hardened pros. Like James Caan in Thief, she’s good at what she does. But unlike with Caan’s disillusioned safecracker, her criminal career is just beginning, and the rush of realizing she does have what it takes is both exciting and validating for a character who previously felt life had nothing to offer her but drudgery and debt. The difference here is, Michael Mann has never written such a juicy role for a woman.

Apple TV Plus

Emancipation

Where to watch: Available to stream on Apple TV Plus

A man with disheveled hair (Will Smith) sits in a wagon with a man visible in the background.

Image: Apple TV Plus

Genre: Historical drama
Run time: 2h 12m
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Cast: Will Smith, Ben Foster, Charmaine Bingwa

Inspired by the 1863 photos of “Whipped Peter,” Antoine Fuqua’s historical drama stars Will Smith as Peter, an African American who is enslaved and sold to the Confederate army following Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Determined to escape bondage and return home to his family, Peter treks across land and swamps, evading coldhearted slave catchers and fighting alligators before eventually taking up arms to secure his freedom.

HBO Max

Amsterdam

Where to watch: Available to stream on HBO Max

A disheveled and emaciated-looking man (Christian Bale), a dark-haired woman in a black coat (Margot Robbie), and a man in a dark brown suit and tie (John David Washington) walk through a hotel lobby with varnished wood walls.

Image: 20 Century Studios

Genre: Comedy/thriller
Run time: 2h 14m
Director: David O. Russell
Cast: Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington

American Hustle and Joy director David O. Russell’s 2022 comedy thriller follows the (partially true) story of three close friends in 1933 who stumble upon an elaborate conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government.

Mubi

Decision to Leave

Where to watch: Available to stream on Mubi

Two people stand next to each other, looking in perpendicular directions, in Decision to Leave.

Image: CJ Entertainment

Genre: Mystery/thriller
Run time: 2h 18m
Director: Park Chan-wook
Cast: Tang Wei, Park Hae-il

The Handmaiden director Park Chan-wook returns with a crime thriller about an insomniac detective (Park Hae-il) who falls in love with the wife of a suspected murder victim. Sounds like a boilerplate noir premise à la Double Indemnity, right? Wrong — this is a Park Chan-wook film after all, so you know something else is afoot!

From our review:

Decision to Leave takes some huge narrative turns, but they never feel like the kind of Surprise! Plot! Twists! that leave audiences gasping and trying to catch up. It’s a slow-burn movie, paced more like a Wong Kar-wai romance (In the Mood for Love comes to mind often throughout this movie) than like Park’s early potboiler thrillers. At 138 minutes long, it’s paced for patient viewers who want to linger in the quiet spaces that grow between detective and suspect, and ponder each new bit of evidence in the murder case as it surfaces. It’s a particularly rich version of a whodunit, but it still follows the form, with one clue building on another as Hae-jun’s suspicions coalesce.

Prime Video

Something From Tiffany’s

Where to watch: Available to stream on Prime Video

A woman in a brown coat (Zoey Deutch) stares at a man (Kendrick Sampson) looking up at a snowy sky on a crowded sidewalk.

Photo: Erin Simkin/Prime Video

Genre: Romantic comedy
Run time: 1h 27m
Director: Daryl Wein
Cast: Zoey Deutch, Kendrick Sampson, Ray Nicholson

In this rom-com, a woman named Rachel (Zoey Deutch) receives an engagement ring from her commitment-phobic boyfriend Gary (Ray Nicholson). Yay! Problem is, that’s someone else’s ring! When Rachel tracks down and finds Ethan (Kendrick Sampson), the man who originally bought the ring to propose to his longtime girlfriend Vanessa (Shay Mitchell), the two form an unmistakable connection. Is it love, or mere coincidence?

Disney Plus & Hulu

Retrograde

Where to watch: Available to stream on Disney Plus and Hulu

A group of soldiers standing and talking in desert camouflage attire.

Image: Matthew Heineman/Our Time Projects

Genre: Documentary
Run time: 1h 36m
Director: Matthew Heineman
Cast: Sami Sadat

Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning director Matthew Heineman’s new documentary takes place during the final nine months of America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan, following one of the last U.S. Special Forces units deployed there, as well as an Afghan general and his soldiers preparing for the Taliban’s bid to seize power.

Shudder

Christmas Bloody Christmas

Where to watch: Available to stream on Shudder

A man in a blood-covered Santa Claus outfit (Abraham Benrubi) holds an axe while sitting down in a snowy field next to a parked car.

Image: Shudder/RLJE Films

Genre: Christmas/horror
Run time: 1h 21m
Director: Joe Begos
Cast: Riley Dandy, Sam Delich, Jonah Ray

When a robotic Santa Claus malfunctions and goes off on a killing spree, a fiery and foulmouthed record store owner must arm herself in order to clear her name and save Christmas.

Peacock

Ticket to Paradise

Where to watch: Available to stream on Peacock

A man (George Clooney) and a woman wearing a scarf over her head (Julia Roberts) laugh while disembarking a boat onto a beach and holding their shoes in their hands.

Image: Universal Pictures

Genre: Romantic comedy
Run time: 1h 44m
Director: Ol Parker
Cast: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Kaitlyn Dever

George Clooney and Julia Roberts star in this romantic comedy as a divorced couple who put aside their differences to work together with one goal in mind: stopping their lovestruck daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever) from getting married and making the same “mistake” they did.

VOD

200 Meters

Where to watch: Available to rent for on $4.99 on Amazon; $6.99 on Apple; $3.99 on Vudu

A bearded man (Ali Suliman) stands in a crowded line of people along a chain-linked fence.

Image: Film Movement

Genre: Drama
Run time: 1h 36m
Director: Ameen Nayfeh
Cast: Ali Suliman, Anna Unterberger, Lana Zreik

When his son is injured and admitted to a hospital, a Palestinian construction worker (Ali Suliman) attempts to smuggle himself across the Israeli border wall to reunite with his family after his work permit is denied on a technicality.

Call Jane

Where to watch: Available to purchase for $14.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

A woman wearing a blue coat and glasses (Elizabeth Banks) sits behind the wheel of a red automobile.

Image: Roadside Attractions

Genre: Drama
Run time: 2h 1m
Director: Phyllis Nagy
Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Sigourney Weaver, Chris Messina

When her request for an emergency abortion for her life-threatening pregnancy is denied, a 1960s suburban housewife must turn to an underground network of women who risk everything to allow her access to a safe procedure. Moved by their cause, she chooses to join them — becoming a “Jane” and adding other women in the exercise of their reproductive freedom in defiance of the laws and culture of her time.

She Said

Where to watch: Available to rent for $19.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Three women (Casey Mulligan, Zoe Kazan, Patricia Clarkson) sit attentively across from one another at a white desk in an office decorated with framed photos.

Image: Universal Pictures

Genre: Drama
Run time: 2h 9m
Director: Maria Schrader
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Zoe Kazan, Patricia Clarkson

This biographical drama stars Zoe Kazan (The Plot Against America) and Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) as Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the New York Times reporters who broke the landmark story of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual abuse against women.

The Leech

Where to watch: Available to rent for $3.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

A priest (Graham Skipper) stands in the middle of a church, staring at something offscreen.

Image: Arrow Films

Genre: Horror
Run time: 1h 22m
Director: Eric Pennycoff
Cast: Jeremy Gardner, Graham Skipper, Rigo Garay

This horror thriller follows Father David (Graham Skipper), a devout Catholic priest struggling to grow his congregation and honor the tenets of his faith, who welcomes a struggling couple into his home less than a week before Christmas. When his act of generosity transforms into a disturbing test of his faith, David is forced to reckon with the question of whether he can withstand the temptation to reclaim his home… by any means necessary.



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