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Ten New Movies You Can Watch Right Now That Have Been Fast-Tracked From Cinemas to Streaming

Escape the winter cold with Sandra Bullock’s latest rom-com, Nicolas Cage playing Nicolas Cage and a haunting sci-fi drama about androids — all from your couch.
By Sarah Ward
June 23, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
June 23, 2022
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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 and plenty of people staying home in iso will do that — that's no longer always the case.

Maybe you've had a close-contact run-in. Perhaps you haven't had time to make it to your local cinema lately. Given the hefty amount of films 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's ten you can watch right now at home.

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EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE

Imagine living in a universe where Michelle Yeoh isn't the wuxia superstar she is. No, no one should want to dwell in that reality. Now, envisage a world where everyone has hot dogs for fingers, including the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon icon. Next, picture another where Ratatouille is real, but with raccoons. Then, conjure up a sparse realm where life only exists in sentient rocks. An alternative to this onslaught of pondering: watching Everything Everywhere All At Once, which throws all of the above at the screen and a helluva lot more. Yes, its title is marvellously appropriate. Written and directed by the Daniels, aka Swiss Army Man's Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, this multiverse-hopping wonder is a funhouse of a film that just keeps spinning through wild and wacky ideas. Instead of asking "what if Daniel Radcliffe was a farting corpse that could be used as a jet ski?" as their also-surreal debut flick did, the pair now muses on Yeoh, her place in the universe, and everyone else's along with her.

Although Yeoh doesn't play herself in Everything Everywhere All At Once, she is seen as herself; keep an eye out for red-carpet footage from her Crazy Rich Asians days. Such glitz and glamour isn't the norm for middle-aged Chinese American woman Evelyn Wang, her laundromat-owning character in the movie's main timeline, but it might've been if life had turned out differently. That's such a familiar train of thought — a resigned sigh we've all emitted, even if only when alone — and the Daniels use it as their foundation. Their film starts with Evelyn, her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom's Short Round and The Goonies' Data) and a hectic time. Evelyn's dad (James Hong, Turning Red) is visiting from China, the Wangs' daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) brings her girlfriend Becky (Tallie Medel, The Carnivores) home, and IRS inspector Deirdre Beaubeirdra (Jamie Lee Curtis, Halloween Kills) is conducting a punishing audit. Then Evelyn learns she's the only one who can save, well, everything, everywhere and everyone.

Everything Everywhere All At Once is available to stream via Google Play and iTunes. Read our full review.

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THE LOST CITY

Sometimes, they do still make 'em like they used to: action-adventure rom-coms in this case. Drive a DeLorean back to 1984, to the year before Robert Zemeckis made DeLoreans one of the most famous types of movie cars ever, and the director's Romancing the Stone did huge box-office business — and it's that hit that The Lost City keenly tries to emulate. This new Sandra Bullock- and Channing Tatum-starring romp doesn't hide that aim for a second, and even uses the same broad overall setup. Once again, a lonely romance novelist is swept up in a chaotic adventure involving treasure, a jungle-hopping jaunt and a stint of kidnapping, aka exactly what she writes about in her best-selling books. The one big change: the writer is held hostage, rather than her sister. But if you've seen Romancing the Stone, you know what you're in for.

As penned by writer/director duo directors Aaron and Adam Nee (Band of Robbers) with Oren Uziel (Mortal Kombat) and Dana Fox (Cruella) — based on a story by Baywatch director Seth Gordon — The Lost City's plot is ridiculously easy to spot. Also, it's often flat-out ridiculous. Anyone who has ever seen any kind of flick along the same lines, such as Jungle Cruise most recently, will quickly see that Loretta Sage (Bullock, The Unforgivable), this movie's protagonist, could've written it herself. Once she finds herself living this type of narrative, that truth isn't lost on her, either. First, though, she's five years into a grief-stricken reclusive spell, and is only out in the world promoting her new release because her publisher Beth (Da'Vine Joy Randolph, The United States vs Billie Holiday) forces her to. She's also far from happy at being stuck once again with the man who has been sharing her limelight over the years, Fabio-style model Alan (Tatum, Dog), who has graced her book's covers and had women falling over themselves to lust-read their pages. And Loretta is hardly thrilled about the whole spectacle that becomes her latest Q&A as a result, and that makes her a distracted easy mark for billionaire Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe, Guns Akimbo) afterwards.

The Lost City is available to stream via iTunes. Read our full review.

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AFTER YANG

What flickers in a robot's circuitry in its idle moments has fascinated the world for decades, famously so in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049. In writer/director/editor Kogonada's (TV series Pachinko) After Yang, one machine appears to long for everything humans do. The titular Yang (Justin H Min, The Umbrella Academy) was bought to give Kyra (Jodie Turner-Smith, Queen & Slim) and Jake's (Colin Farrell, The Batman) adopted Chinese daughter Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja, iCarly) a technosapien brother, babysitter, companion and purveyor of "fun facts" about her heritage. He dotes amid his duties, perennially calm and loving, and clearly an essential part of the family. What concerns his wiring beyond his assigned tasks doesn't interest anyone, though, until he stops operating. Mika is distressed, and Kyra and Jake are merely inconvenienced initially, but the latter pledges to figure out how to fix Yang — which is where his desires factor in.

Yang is unresponsive and unable to play his usual part as the household's robotic fourth member. If Jake can't get him up and running quickly, he'll also experience the "cultural techno" version of dying, his humanoid skin even decomposing. That puts a deadline on a solution, which isn't straightforward, particularly given that Yang was bought from a now-shuttered reseller secondhand, rather than from the manufacturer anew. Tinkering with the android's black box is also illegal, although Jake is convinced to anyway by a repairman (Ritchie Coster, The Flight Attendant). He acquiesces not only because it's what Mika desperately wants, but because he's told that Yang might possess spyware — aka recordings of the family — that'd otherwise become corporate property.

After Yang is available to stream via iTunes and Neon. Read our full review.

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AMBULANCE

Following a high-stakes Los Angeles bank robbery that goes south swiftly, forcing two perpetrators to hijack an EMT vehicle — while a paramedic tries to save a shot cop's life as the van flees the LAPD and the FBI, too — Ambulance is characteristically ridiculous. Although based on the 2005 Danish film Ambulancen, it's a Michael Bay from go to whoa; screenwriter and feature newcomer Chris Fedak (TV's Chuck, Prodigal Son) even references his director's past movies in the dialogue. The first time, when The Rock is mentioned, it's done in a matter-of-fact way that's as brazen as anything Bay has ever achieved when his flicks defy the laws of physics. In the second instance mere minutes later, it's perhaps the most hilarious thing he's put in his movies. It's worth remembering that Divinyls' 'I Touch Myself' was one of his music-clip jobs; Bay sure does love what only he can thrust onto screens, and he wants audiences to know it while adoring it as well.

Ambulance's key duo, brothers Will (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, The Matrix Resurrections) and Danny Sharp (Jake Gyllenhaal, The Guilty), are a former Marine and ostensible luxury-car dealer/actual career criminal with hugely different reasons for attempting to pilfer a $32-million payday. For the unemployed Will, it's about the cash needed to pay for his wife Amy's (Moses Ingram, The Tragedy of Macbeth) experimental surgery, which his veteran's health insurance won't cover — but his sibling just wants money. Will is reluctant but desperate, Danny couldn't be more eager, and both race through a mess of a day. Naturally, it gets more hectic when they're hurtling along as the hotshot Cam (Eiza González, Godzilla vs Kong) works on wounded rookie police officer Zach (Jackson White, The Space Between), arm-deep in his guts at one point, while Captain Monroe (Garrett Dillahunt, Army of the Dead), Agent Anson Clark (Keir O'Donnell, The Dry) and their forces are in hot pursuit.

Ambulance is available to stream via iTunes and Neon. Read our full review.

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THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT

"Nic fuckiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing Cage." That's how the man himself utters his name in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, and he knows what he's about. Now four decades into his acting career to the year after making his film debut in Fast Times at Ridgemont High under his actual name Nicolas Coppola, playing a bit-part character who didn't even get a moniker — Cage is keenly aware of exactly what he's done on-screen over that time, and in what, and why and how. He also knows how the world has responded, with that recognition baked into every second of his his latest movie. He plays himself, dubbed Nick Cage. He cycles through action-hero Cage, comically OTT Cage, floppy-haired 80s- and 90s-era Cage, besuited Cage, neurotic Cage and more in the process. And, as he winks, nods, and bobs and weaves through a lifetime of all things Cage, he's a Cage-tastic delight to watch.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent does have a narrative around all that Cage as Cage, as penned by writer/director Tom Gormican (Are We Officially Dating?) and co-scribe Kevin Etten (Kevin Can F**K Himself). Here, the man who could eat a peach for days in Face/Off would do anything for as long as he needed to if he could lock in a weighty new part. The fictionalised Cage isn't happy with his roles of late, as he complains to his agent (Neil Patrick Harris, The Matrix Resurrections), but directors aren't buying what he's enthusiastically selling. He has debts and other art-parodies-life problems, though, plus an ex-wife (Sharon Horgan, This Way Up) and a teen daughter (Lily Sheen, IRL daughter of Kate Beckinsale and Michael Sheen). So, he reluctantly takes a $1-million gig he wishes he didn't have to: flying to southern Spain to hang out with billionaire Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal, The Bubble), who is such a Cage diehard that he even has his own mini museum filled with Cage memorabilia, and has also written a screenplay he wants Cage to star in.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is available to stream via iTunes. Read our full review.

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RRR

The letters in RRR's title are short for Rise Roar Revolt. They could also stand for riveting, rollicking and relentless. They link in with the Indian action movie's three main forces, too — writer/director SS Rajamouli (Baahubali: The Beginning), plus stars NT Rama Rao Jr (Aravinda Sametha Veera Raghava) and Ram Charan (Vinaya Vidheya Rama) — and could describe the sound of some of its standout moments. What noise echoes when a motorcycle is used in a bridge-jumping rescue plot, as aided by a horse and the Indian flag, amid a crashing train? Or when a truck full of wild animals is driven into a decadent British colonialist shindig and its caged menagerie unleashed? What racket resounds when a motorbike figures again, this time tossed around by hand (yes, really) to knock out those imperialists, and then an arrow is kicked through a tree into someone's head? Or, when the movie's two leads fight, shoot, leap over walls and get acrobatic, all while one is sat on the other's shoulders?

RRR isn't subtle. Instead, it's big, bright, boisterous, boldly energetic, and brazenly unapologetic about how OTT and hyperactive it is. The 187-minute Tollywood action epic — complete with huge musical numbers, of course — is also a vastly captivating pleasure to watch. Narrative-wise, it follows the impact of the British Raj (aka England's rule over the subcontinent between 1858–1947), especially upon two men. In the 1920s, Bheem (Jr NTR, as Rao is known) is determined to rescue young fellow villager Malli (first-timer Twinkle Sharma), after she's forcibly taken by Governor Scott Buxton (Ray Stevenson, Vikings) and his wife Catherine (Alison Doody, Beaver Falls) for no reason but they're powerful and they can. Officer Raju (Charan) is tasked by the crown with making sure Bheem doesn't succeed in rescuing the girl, and also keeping India's population in their place because their oppressors couldn't be more prejudiced.

RRR is available to stream via Netflix. Read our full review.

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THE DUKE

Back in 1962, in the first-ever Bond film Dr No, the suave, Scottish-accented, Sean Connery-starring version of 007 admires a painting in the eponymous evil villain's underwater lair. That picture: Francisco Goya's Portrait of the Duke of Wellington. The artwork itself is very much real, too, although the genuine article doesn't appear in the feature. Even if the filmmakers had wanted to use the actual piece, it was missing at the time. In fact, making a joke about that exact situation is why the portrait is even referenced in Dr No. That's quite the situation: the debut big-screen instalment in one of cinema's most famous and longest-running franchises, and a saga about super spies and formidable villains at that, including a gag about a real-life art heist. The truth behind the painting's disappearance is even more fantastical, however, as The Duke captures.

The year prior to Bond's first martini, a mere 19 days after the early 19th-century Goya piece was put on display in the National Gallery in London, the portrait was stolen. Unsurprisingly, the pilfering earned plenty of attention — especially given that the government-owned institution had bought the picture for the hefty sum of £140,000, which'd likely be almost £3 million today. International master criminals were suspected. Years passed, two more 007 movies hit cinemas, and there was zero sign of the artwork or the culprit. And, that might've remained the case if eccentric Newcastle sexagenarian Kempton Bunton (played here by Six Minutes to Midnight's Jim Broadbent) hadn't turned himself in in 1965. As seen in this wild caper from filmmaker Roger Michell (My Cousin Rachel, Blackbird), Bunton advised that he'd gotten light-fingered in protest at the obscene amount spent on Portrait of the Duke of Wellington using taxpayer funds — money that could've been better deployed to provide pensioners with TV licenses, a cause he had openly campaigned for (and even been imprisoned over after refusing to pay his own television fee).

The Duke is available to stream via iTunes and Neon. Read our full review.

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BLIND AMBITION

From fleeing Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe to taking their nation's first-ever team to the World Wine Blind Testing Championships in Burgundy, Joseph, Tinashe, Marlvin and Pardon have quite the story to tell. The quartet met in South Africa, where they each individually made their home long before they crossed paths. They all also found themselves working with wine, despite not drinking it as Pentecostal Christians — and, in the process, they discovered a knack for an industry they mightn't have even contemplated otherwise. That's the tale that Blind Ambition relays, and it's a rousing and moving one. Indeed, it won't come as a surprise that the movie won Australian filmmakers Warwick Ross and Rob Coe (Red Obsession) the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award for Best Feature Documentary.

Blind wine testing is a serious business; the first word isn't slang for inebriation, but describes how teams sample an array of wines without knowing what they're drinking. Then, they must pick everything from the country to the vintage to the varietal within two minutes of sipping. As stressed both verbally and visually throughout the doco, there's a specific — and very white — crowd for this endeavour. Accordingly, Team Zimbabwe instantly stands out. Heralding diversity is one of their achievements; their infectious joy, pride and enthusiasm for the field, for competing at the Olympics of the wine world, for the fact that their plight has taken them from refugees to finding a new calling, and for opening up the world to African vino, is just as resonant.

Blind Ambition is available to stream via iTunes. Read our full review.

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MORBIUS

Jumping into the Sony Shared Universe from the DCEU — that'd be the DC Extended Universe, the pictures based around Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad and the like (but not including Joker or The Batman) — Jared Leto plays Morbius' eponymous figure. A renowned scientist, Dr Michael Morbius has a keen interest in the red liquid pumping through humans' veins stemming from his own health issues. As seen in early scenes set during his childhood, young Michael (Charlie Shotwell, The Nest) was a sickly kid in a medical facility thanks to a rare disease that stops him from producing new blood. There, under the care of Dr Emil Nikols (Jared Harris, Foundation), he befriended another unwell boy (debutant Joseph Esson), showed his smarts and earned a prestigious scholarship. As an adult, he now refuses the Nobel Prize for creating artificial plasma, then tries to cure himself using genes from vampire bats.

Morbius sports an awkward tone that filmmaker Daniel Espinosa (Life) can't overcome; its namesake may be a future big-screen baddie, but he's also meant to be this sympathetic flick's hero — and buying either is a stretch. In the overacting Leto's hands, he's too tedious to convince as a threat or someone to root for. He's too gleefully eccentric to resemble anything more than a skit at Leto's expense, too. Indeed, evoking any interest in Morbius' inner wrestling (because saving his own life with his experimental procedure comes at a bloodsucking cost) proves plodding. It does take a special set of skills to make such OTT displays so pedestrian at best, though, and that's a talent that Leto keeps showing to the misfortune of movie-goers. He offers more restraint here than in Suicide Squad (not to be confused with The Suicide Squad), The Little Things, House of Gucci or streaming series WeCrashed, but his post-Dallas Buyers Club Oscar-win resume remains dire — Blade Runner 2049 being the sole exception.

Morbius is available to stream via Google Play and iTunes. Read our full review.

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SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2

It was true in the 90s, and it remains that way now: when Jim Carrey lets loose, thrusting the entire might of his OTT comedic powers onto the silver screen, it's an unparalleled sight to behold. It doesn't always work, and he's a spectacular actor when putting in a toned-down or even serious performance — see: The Truman Show, The Majestic, I Love You Phillip Morris and his best work ever, the sublime Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind — but there's a reason that the Ace Venture flicks, The Mask and Dumb and Dumber were some of the biggest movies made three decades back. Carrey is now a rarity in cinemas, but one franchise has been reminding viewers what his full-throttle comic efforts look like. Sadly, he's also the best thing about the resulting films, even if they're hardly his finest work. That was accurate in 2020's Sonic the Hedgehog, and it's the same of sequel Sonic the Hedgehog 2 — which once again focuses on the speedy video game character but couldn't feel like more of a drag.

The first Sonic movie established its namesake's life on earth, as well as his reason for being here. Accordingly, the blue-hued planet-hopping hedgehog (voiced by The Afterparty's Ben Schwartz) already made friends with small-town sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden, The Stand). He already upended the Montana resident's life, too, including Tom's plans to move to San Francisco with his wife Maddie (Tika Sumpter, Mixed-ish). And, as well as eventually becoming a loveable member of the Wachowski family, Sonic also wreaked havoc with his rapid pace, and earned the wrath of the evil Dr Robotnik (Carrey, Kidding) in the process. More of the same occurs this time around, with Sonic the Hedgehog 2 taking a more-is-more approach. There's a wedding to ruin, magic gems to find and revenge on the part of Robotnik. He's teamed up with super-strong echidna Knuckles (voiced by The Harder They Fall's Idris Elba), in fact, while Sonic gets help from smart-but-shy fox Tails (voice-acting veteran Colleen O'Shaughnessey).

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is available to stream via Google PlayiTunes and Neon. Read our full review.

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Looking for more at-home viewing options? Take a look at our monthly streaming recommendations across new straight-to-digital films and TV shows, or check out what made the leap from cinemas to digital back in March and May.

Published on June 23, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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