Seven New Movies You Can Watch in April That Have Been Fast-Tracked From Cinemas to Streaming

Get comfy on the couch with Sydney Sweeney as a nun, Timothée Chalamet's return to Arrakis and a Bob Marley biopic.
Sarah Ward
Published on April 23, 2024

Before the pandemic, when a new-release movie started playing in cinemas, audiences couldn't watch it on streaming, video on demand, DVD or blu-ray for a few months. But with the past few years forcing film industry to make quite a few changes — widespread movie theatre closures will do that, and so will plenty of people staying home because they aren't well — that's no longer always the case.

Maybe you haven't had time to make it to your local cinema lately. Perhaps you've been under the weather. Given the hefty amount of titles now releasing each week, maybe you simply missed something. Film distributors have been fast-tracking some of their new releases from cinemas to streaming recently — movies that might still be playing in theatres in some parts of the country, too. In preparation for your next couch session, here are seven that you can watch right now at home.


Dune: Part Two

Revenge is a dish best served sandy in Dune: Part Two. On the desert planet of Arrakis, where golden hills as far as the eye can see are shaped from the most-coveted and -psychedelic substance in author Frank Herbert's estimation, there's no other way. Vengeance is just one course on Paul Atreides' (Timothée Chalamet, Wonka) menu, however. Pop culture's supreme spice boy, heir to the stewardship of his adopted realm, has a prophecy to fulfil whether he likes it or not; propaganda to navigate, especially about him being the messiah; and an Indigenous population, the Fremen, to prove himself to. So mines Denis Villeneuve's soaring sequel to 2021's Dune, which continues exploring the costs and consequences of relentless quests for power — plus the justifications, compromises, tragedies and narratives that are inescapable in such pursuits. The filmmaker crafts his fourth contemplative and breathtaking sci-fi movie in a row, then, after Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 as well.

The vast arid expanse that constantly pervades the frames in Dune: Part Two isn't solely a stunning sight. It looks spectacular, as the entire feature does, with Australian cinematographer Greig Fraser (The Creator) back after winning an Oscar for the first Dune; but as Paul, his widowed mother Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson, Silo), and Fremen Stilgar (Javier Bardem, The Little Mermaid) and Chani (Zendaya, Euphoria) traverse it, it helps carve in some of this page-to-screen saga's fundamental ideas. So does the stark monochrome when the film jumps to Giedi Prime, home world to House Harkonnen, House Atreides' enemy, plus Arrakis' ruler both before and after Paul's dad Duke Leto (Oscar Isaac, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse) got the gig in Villeneuve's initial Dune. People here are dwarfed not only by their mammoth surroundings, but by the bigger, broader, non-stop push for supremacy. While there's no shortage of detail in both Part One and Part Two — emotional, thematic and visual alike — there's also no avoiding that battling against being mere pawns in an intergalactic game of chess is another of its characters' complicated fights.

Dune: Part Two streams via YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video. Read our full review, and our interview with Greig Fraser.



Add screaming to the ever-growing list of things that Sydney Sweeney can do spectacularly well. Indeed, thanks to Immaculate, which gets the Euphoria and The White Lotus star putting her pipes to stellar bellowing use, the horror genre has a brand-new queen; long may she reign if this is what audiences have to look forward to. This film about a nun who moves to a convent in the Italian countryside, then mysteriously becomes pregnant without having had sex, isn't just a job for Sweeney. She auditioned for the movie a decade back, it didn't come to fruition, but she strove to make it happen now. She stars. She produces. She enlisted Michael Mohan, who she worked with on Everything Sucks! and The Voyeurs, as its director. The passion that drove her quest to bring Immaculate to viewers is just as apparent in her formidable performance, too, including echoing with feeling — and blistering intensity— when she's shrieking.

No one should just be realising now how versatile an actor that Sweeney is. Her portrayal of Sister Cecilia, who found her way to becoming a bride of Christ after a traumatic near-death incident in her younger years, is exactly what the film's title suggests: immaculate. It's also a showcase of a role that requires her to be sweet, dutiful, faithful, ferocious, indefatigable, vengeful and desperate to survive all in the same flick — and she kills it — but adaptability, resourcefulness and displaying a multitude of skills has been her on-screen wheelhouse beyond just one movie. Take Sweeney's last four cinema releases, for instance, all of which hail from 2023–24. Reality, Anyone But You, Madame Web and Immaculate couldn't be more dissimilar to each other, and neither could the actor's parts in them. Throw in her Saturday Night Live hosting stint, and she's firmly at the "is there anything that she isn't capable of?" stage of her career.

Immaculate streams via YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video. Read our full review, and our interview with Michael Mohan.


The Zone of Interest

Quotes and observations about evil being mundane, as well as the result when people look the other way, will never stop being relevant. A gripping, unsettling masterpiece, The Zone of Interest is a window into why. The first film by Sexy Beast, Birth and Under the Skin director Jonathan Glazer in more than a decade, the Holocaust-set feature peers on as the unthinkable happens literally just over the fence, but a family goes about its ordinary life. If it seems abhorrent that anything can occur in the shadow of any concentration camp or site of World War II atrocities, that's part of the movie's point. It dwells in the Interessengebiet, the 40-square-kilometre-plus titular area that comprised and surrounded the Auschwitz complex, to interrogate how banal genocide was to those in power; commandant Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel, Babylon Berlin), even gloats that his name will be remembered and celebrated for its connection to mass extermination.

Höss was a real person, and the real Nazi SS officer overseeing Auschwitz from 1940–43. His wife Hedwig (Sandra Hüller, Anatomy of a Fall) and five children are similarly drawn from truth. But The Zone of Interest finds its way to the screen via Martin Amis' fiction novel of the same name, then hones its interest down from the book's three narrators to the Höss family; a biopic, it isn't, even as it switches its character monikers back to reflect actuality. This is a work of deep probing and contemplation — a piece that demands that its viewers confront the daily reality witnessed and face how the lives of those in power, and benefiting from it, thrived with death not only as a neighbour but an enabler. Camp prisoners tend the Höss' garden. Ashes are strewn over the soil for horticultural effect. Being turned into the same is a threat used to keep the household's staff in line. All three of these details, as with almost everything in the feature, are presented with as matter-of-fact an air as cinema is capable of.

The Zone of Interest streams via YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video. Read our full review.


How to Have Sex

Movies don't have pores, but How to Have Sex might as well. Following a trip to Greece with three 16-year-old best friends who want nothing more than to party their way into womanhood — and to get laid, too — this unforgettable British drama is frequently slick with sweat. Perspiration can dampen someone when they're giddily excited about a wild getaway, finishing school and leaving adolescence behind. It can get a person glistening when they're rushing and drinking, and flitting from pools and beaches to balconies and clubs. Being flushed from being sozzled, the stickiness that comes with expending energy, the cold chill of stress and horror, the fluster of a fluttering heart upon making a connection: they're all sources of wet skin as well. Filmmaker Molly Manning Walker catalogues them all. Viewers can see the sweat in How to Have Sex, with its intimate, spirited, like-you're-there cinematography. More importantly, audiences can feel why protagonist Tara (Mia McKenna-Bruce, Vampire Academy) is perspiring, and the differences scene to scene, even when she's not quite sure herself.

How to Have Sex also gets those watching sweating — because spying how you've been Tara, or her pals Em (debutant Enva Lewis) and Skye (Lara Peake, Halo), or lads Badger (Shaun Thomas, Ali & Ava) and Paddy (Samuel Bottomley, The Last Rifleman) in the neighbouring resort unit, is inescapable. Walker has been there herself, with parts of her debut feature as a writer and director drawn from her own time as a Tara, Em or Skye while also making the spring break and Schoolies-like pilgrimage from England to the Mediterranean. When the movie doesn't lift details directly from her own experience, it shares them with comparable moments that are virtually ripped from western teendom. One of the feature's strokes of genius is how lived-in it proves, whether Tara and her mates are as loud and exuberant as girls are when their whole lives are ahead of them, its main character is attempting to skip her troubles in a sea of strobing lights and dancing bodies, or slipping between the sheets — but not talking about it — is changing who Tara is forever.

How to Have Sex streams via YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video. Read our full review, and our interview with Molly Manning Walker.


Bob Marley: One Love

There's no doubting who Bob Marley: One Love is about, but the Reinaldo Marcus Green (King Richard)-directed biopic also brings two other big-screen portraits of music superstars to mind. There's always a dance through a legend's history flickering somewhere, or close to it, with the initial dramatised look at the reggae icon arriving after Bohemian Rhapsody and Elvis both proved major hits in recent years. Where the first, which focused on Freddie Mercury, had Live Aid, Bob Marley: One Love has the One Love Peace Concert. Both are gigs to build a movie around, and both features have done just that. Baz Luhrmann's portrait of the king of rock 'n' roll wanted its audience to understand what it was like to watch its namesake, be in his presence and feel entranced by every hip thrust — and, obviously without the gyrating pelvis, Bob Marley: One Love also opts for that approach.

Enter Kingsley Ben-Adir as Bob Marley, in a vital piece of casting. Although it may not earn him an Oscar as Bohemian Rhapsody did Rami Malek (Oppenheimer), or even a nomination as Elvis scored for Austin Butler (Masters of the Air), the British actor turns in a phenomenal performance. He's worlds away from being a Ken in Barbie. He isn't in wholly new territory seeing that he played Malcolm X in One Night in Miami and Barack Obama in TV series The Comey Rule. He's also magnetic and mesmerising — and, in the process, expresses how and why Marley was magnetic and mesmerising. Ben-Adir's vocals are blended with Marley's. Accordingly, you're largely listening to the singer himself. But there's a presence about Ben-Adir in the part, perfecting Jamaican patois, getting kinetic and uninhibited in his movement while he's behind the microphone, radiating charisma, but also conveying purpose and self-possession. It's a portrayal that's as entrancing and alive as the music that's always echoing alongside it; with Marley's discography, that's saying something.

Bob Marley: One Love streams via YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video. Read our full review, and our interview with Kingsley Ben-Adir, Lashana Lynch, James Norton and Reinaldo Marcus Green.


Riceboy Sleeps

When Riceboy Sleeps charts the passage of time from 1990 to 1999 partway into the movie, the Canadian film does so with Dong-hyun at its centre. As a six-year-old (played by debutant Dohyun Noel Hwang) navigating his initial taste of school from behind his large round glasses, he's shy, sensitive, and constantly reminded that he's different by teachers and classmates. As a 15-year-old (Ethan Hwang, The Umbrella Academy) with bleached-blonde hair and faux blue eyes, he's adopted a coping mechanism: trying to blend in. Riceboy Sleeps isn't just about Dong-hyun, who takes the anglicised name David in his attempts to assimilate. It's as much about his mother So-young (fellow feature first-timer Choi Seung-yoon), who relocates him from South Korea to North America after his soldier father's suicide. Writer/director Anthony Shim's sophomore release after 2019's Daughter hones in on the act of seeing, too — gleaning what's around you, who, why, the past that lingers, the stories that echo — as Dong-hyun and So-young survey where they are, where they've been, and how their history keeps dictating their present and future.

In that aforementioned time jump, Shim — who helms, pens, edits and acts — and cinematographer Christopher Lew (Quickening) make eyes the focus. When Riceboy Sleeps dwells in the first year of the 90s, Dong-hyun's spectacles are frames within the frame, giving the boy his own windows to the world that he fidgets with, seems burdened by and, in an act of bullying by his peers, has dinged up and taken away. When the movie hits the end of the decade, Dong-hyun is putting in his contacts, therefore making the lens with which he perceives his existence invisible. Semi-inspired by his own childhood as a South Korean arrival to Vancouver Island in the 90s, including attending a school where he was the only Asian student, Riceboy Sleeps is this thoughtful at every level. The movement, and later lack thereof, of Lew's camerawork is just as loaded with meaning: in Canada, it's restless in long wide shots, careening around gracefully but noticeably and finding points to fixate on; back across the Pacific Ocean in the picture's bookending segments, it's still but just as observational.

Riceboy Sleeps streams via YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video. Read our full review.


The Boys in the Boat

The Social Network isn't a rowing film, but the Henley Royal Regatta sequence in David Fincher's (The Killer) 2010 triumph quickly became one of cinema's most-famous oar-sweeping moments. Prestige, money, tradition, opulence, power, competition, determination: they all wash through the tightly shot segment, which gleams with the water of the River Thames, the sweat on the crew's faces and, just as importantly, with status. Definitely a rowing film, The Boys in the Boat paddles into the same world; however, a commentator's line mid-movie sums up the focus and angle of this old-fashioned underdog sports flick. "Old money versus no money at all" is how the usual big and rich names in the field and the University of Washington's junior varsity team are compared. George Clooney's (The Tender Bar) ninth feature as a director doesn't just spot the class-clash difference there — his entire picture wades into that gulf.

Drawn from 2013 non-fiction novel The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown, reuniting Clooney with his The Midnight Sky screenwriter Mark L Smith in the process, The Boys in the Boat is about the UW's rowing efforts, rower Joe Rantz and coach Al Ulbrickson, too — plus an against-the-odds quest, bold choices, the struggles of the Great Depression, the reality of an Olympics held under the Nazi regime and the looming shadow of war. But thrumming at its heart like a coxswain is setting the pace is the mission to keep afloat one stroke at a time, and not merely in the pursuit of glory and medals. What rowing means to Rantz (Callum Turner, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore), the character at its centre, as well as to the classmates-turned-crewmates catching and extracting with him under the guidance of the stoic Ulbrickson (Joel Edgerton, I'm a Virgo), is pure survival first and foremost.

The Boys in the Boat streams via Prime Video. Read our full review, and our interview with Joel Edgerton.


Looking for more viewing options? Take a look at our monthly streaming recommendations across new straight-to-digital films and TV shows — and fast-tracked highlights from January, February and March 2024 (and also January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December 2023, too). 

We keep a running list of must-stream TV from across 2024 as well, complete with full reviews.

And, we've also rounded up 2023's 15 best films, 15 best straight-to-streaming movies, 15 top flicks hardly anyone saw, 30 other films to catch up with, 15 best new TV series of 2023, another 15 excellent new TV shows that you might've missed and 15 best returning shows.

Published on April 23, 2024 by Sarah Ward
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x