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

Get comfy on the couch with two Florence Pugh films, a stunning volcano documentary and an unnerving horror hit.
By Sarah Ward
November 28, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
November 28, 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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FIRE OF LOVE

What a delight it would be to trawl through Katia and Maurice Krafft's archives, sift through every video that features the French volcanologists and their work, and witness them doing their highly risky jobs against spectacular surroundings. That's the task that filmmaker Sara Dosa (The Seer and the Unseen) took up to make this superb documentary about the couple's lives — although, as magnificent as this incredibly thoughtful, informative and moving film is, it makes you wonder what a sci-fi flick made from the same footage would look like. There's a particular sequence that cements that idea, set to the also-otherworldly sounds of Air, and featuring the Kraffts walking around against red lava in their futuristic-looking protective silver suits. The entire enchanting score springs from Air's Nicolas Godin, and it couldn't better set the mood; that said, these visuals and this story would prove entrancing if nary a sound was heard, let alone a note or a word.

For newcomers to the Kraffts, their lives make quite the tale — one of two volcano-obsessed souls who instantly felt like they were destined to meet, then dedicated their days afterwards to understanding the natural geological formations. More than that, they were passionate about analysing what they dubbed 'grey volcanos', which produce masses of ash when they erupt, and often a body count. Attempting to educate towns and cities in the vicinity of volcanoes, so that they could react appropriately and in a timely way to avoid casualties, became a key part of their mission. This isn't the only doco about them — in fact, German director Werner Herzog is making his own, called The Fire Within: A Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft — but Fire of Love is a gorgeous, sensitive, fascinating and affecting ode to two remarkable people, their love, their passion and their impact. It also benefits from pitch-perfect narration, too, courtesy of actor and Kajillionaire filmmaker Miranda July.

Fire of Love is available to stream via Disney+. Read our full review.

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DON'T WORRY DARLING

Conformity rarely bodes well in cinema. Whenever everyone's dressing the same, little boxes litter the landscape or identical white-picket fences stretch as far as the eye can see, that perception of perfection tends to possess a dark underbelly. The Stepford Wives demonstrated that. Pleasantville, Blue Velvet and Vivarium all did as well. Yes, there's a touch of conformity in movies about the evils of and heralded by conformity; of course there is. That remains true when Florence Pugh (Black Widow) and Harry Styles (Eternals) navigate an ostensibly idyllic vision of retro suburbia in a desert-encased enclave — one that was always going to unravel when the movie they're in is called Don't Worry Darling. Don't go thinking that this handsome and intriguing film doesn't know all of this, though. Don't go thinking that it's worried about the similarities with other flicks, including after its secrets are spilled, either.

It'd be revealing too much to mention a couple of other movies that Don't Worry Darling blatantly recalls, so here's a spoiler-free version: this is a fascinating female-focused take on a pair of highlights from two decades-plus back that are still loved, watched and discussed now. That's never all that Olivia Wilde's second feature as a filmmaker after 2019's Booksmart is, but it feels fitting that when it conforms in a new direction, it finds a way to make that space its own. That's actually what Pugh's Alice thinks she wants when Don't Worry Darling begins. The film's idealised 1950s-style setting comes with old-fashioned gender roles firmly in place, cocktails in hand as soon Styles' Jack walks in the door come quittin' time and elaborate multi-course dinners cooked up each night, with its protagonist going along with it all. But she's also far from keen on having a baby, the done thing in the company town that is Victory. It'd curtail the noisy sex that gets the neighbours talking, for starters.

Don't Worry Darling is available to stream via Neon, Google Play and iTunes. Read our full review.

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AMSTERDAM

There's only one Wes Anderson, but there's a litany of wannabes. Why can't David O Russell be among them? Take the first filmmaker's The Grand Budapest Hotel, mix in the second's American Hustle and that's as good a way as any to start describing Amsterdam, Russell's return to the big screen after a seven-year gap following 2015's Joy — and a starry period comedy, crime caper and history lesson all in one. Swap pastels for earthier hues, still with a love of detail, and there's the unmistakably Anderson-esque look of the film. Amsterdam is a murder-mystery, too, set largely in the 1930s against a backdrop of increasing fascism, and filled with more famous faces than most movies can dream of. The American Hustle of it all springs from the "a lot of this actually happened" plot, this time drawing upon a political conspiracy called the White House/Wall Street Putsch, and again unfurling a wild true tale.

A Russell returnee sits at the centre, too: Christian Bale (Thor: Love and Thunder) in his third film for the writer/director. The former did help guide the latter to an Oscar for The Fighter, then a nomination for American Hustle — but while Bale is welcomely and entertainingly loose and freewheeling, and given ample opportunity to show his comic chops in his expressive face and physicality alone, Amsterdam is unlikely to complete the trifecta of Academy Awards recognition. The lively movie's cast is its strongest asset, though, including the convincing camaraderie between Bale, John David Washington (Malcolm & Marie) and Margot Robbie (The Suicide Squad). They play pals forged in friendship during World War I, then thanks to a stint in the titular Dutch city. A doctor, a lawyer and a nurse — at least at some point in the narrative — they revel in love and art during their uninhabited stay, then get caught in chaos 15 years later.

Amsterdam is available to stream via Google Play. Read our full review.

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THE WONDER

"We are nothing without stories, so we invite you to believe in this one." So goes The Wonder's opening narration, as voiced by Niamh Algar (Wrath of Man) and aimed by filmmaker Sebastián Lelio in two directions. For the Chilean writer/director's latest rich and resonant feature about his favourite topic, aka formidable women — see also: Gloria, its English-language remake Gloria Bell, Oscar-winner A Fantastic Woman and Disobedience — he asks his audience to buy into a tale that genuinely is a tale. In bringing Emma Donoghue's (Room) book to the screen, he even shows the thoroughly modern-day studio and its sets where the movie was shot. But trusting in a story is also a task that's given The Wonder's protagonist, Florence Pugh's nurse Lib Wright, who is en route via ship to an Irish Midlands village when this magnetic, haunting and captivating 19th century-set picture initially sees her.

For the second time in as many movies — and in as many months Down Under as well — Pugh's gotta have faith. Playing George Michael would be anachronistic in The Wonder, just as it would've been in Don't Worry Darling's gleaming 1950s-esque supposed suburban dream, but that sentiment is what keeps being asked of the British actor, including in what's also her second fearless performance in consecutive flicks. Here, it's 1862, and 11-year-old Anna O'Donnell (Kíla Lord Cassidy, Viewpoint) has seemingly subsisted for four months now without eating. Ireland's 1840s famine still casts shadows across the land and its survivors, but this beatific child says she's simply feeding on manna from heaven. Lib's well-paid job is to watch the healthy-seeming girl in her family home, where her mother (A Discovery of Witches' Elaine Cassidy, Kila's actual mum) and father (Caolan Byrne, Nowhere Special) dote, to confirm that she isn't secretly sneaking bites to eat.

The Wonder is available to stream via Netflix. Read our full review.

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SEE HOW THEY RUN

As every murder-mystery does, See How They Run asks a specific question: whodunnit? This 1950s-set flick also solves another query, one that's lingered over Hollywood for seven decades now thanks to Agatha Christie. If this movie's moniker has you thinking about mouse-focused nursery rhymes, that's by design — and characters do scurry around chaotically — however, it could also have you pondering the famed author's play The Mousetrap. The latter first hit theatres in London's West End in 1952 and has stayed there ever since, other than an enforced pandemic-era shutdown in COVID-19's early days. The show operates under a set stipulation regarding the big-screen rights, too, meaning that it can't be turned into a film until the original production has stopped treading the boards for at least six months. As that's never happened, how do you get it into cinemas anyway? Make a movie about trying to make The Mousetrap into a movie, aka See How They Run.

Was it actor Richard Attenborough (Harris Dickinson, Where the Crawdads Sing), his fellow-thespian wife Sheila Sim (Pearl Chanda, War of the Worlds), big-time movie producer John Woolf (Reece Shearsmith, Venom: Let There Be Carnage) or his spouse Edana Romney (Sian Clifford, The Duke) getting murderous in the costume shop at the backstage party celebrating The Mousetrap's 100th show? (And yes, they're all real-life figures.) Or, was it the play's producer Petula Spencer (Ruth Wilson, His Dark Materials), the proposed feature adaptation's screenwriter Mervyn Cocker-Norris (David Oyelowo, Chaos Walking) or his Italian lover Gio (Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, The Queen's Gambit)? They're among See How They Run's other enquiries, which Scotland Yard's Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell, Richard Jewell) and Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan, The French Dispatch) try to answer. After the death that kicks off filmmaker Tom George (This Country) and screenwriter Mark Chappell's (Flaked) mostly entertaining game of on-screen Cluedo, the two cops are on the case, working through their odd-couple vibe as they sleuth.

See How They Run is available to stream via Disney+, Neon, Google Play and iTunes. Read our full review.

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THE GOOD NURSE

It isn't called CULLEN — Monster: The Charles Cullen Story. It doesn't chart the murders of a serial killer who's already a household name. And, it doesn't unfurl over multiple episodes. Still, Netflix-distributed true-crime film The Good Nurse covers homicides, and the person behind them, that are every bit as grim and horrendous as the events dramatised in DAHMER — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Such based-on-reality tales that face such evil are always nightmare fodder, but this Eddie Redmayne (Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore)- and Jessica Chastain (The Forgiven)-starring one, as brought to the screen by Danish filmmaker Tobias Lindholm (A War, A Hijacking), taps into a particularly terrifying realm. The culprit clearly isn't the good nurse of the movie's moniker, but he is a nurse, working in intensive care units no less — and for anyone who has needed to put their trust in the health system or may in the future (aka all of us), his acts are gut-wrenchingly chilling.

Hospitals are meant to be places that heal, even in America's cash-driven setup where free medical care for all isn't considered a basic right and a societal must. Hospitals are meant to care for the unwell and injured, as are the doctors, nurses and other staff who race through their halls. There is one such person in The Good Nurse, Amy Loughren, who Chastain plays based on a real person. In 2003, in New Jersey, she's weathering her own struggles: she's a single mother to two young girls, she suffers from cardiomyopathy to the point of needing a heart transplant, and she can't tell her job about her health condition because she needs to remain employed for four more months to qualify for insurance to treat it. Then enters Cullen (Redmayne), the newcomer on Loughren's night shifts, a veteran of nine past hospitals, an instant friend who offers to help her cope with her potentially lethal ailment and also the reason that their patients start dying suddenly.

The Good Nurse is available to stream via Netflix. Read our full review.

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GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE

People have orgasms every day, but for decades spent closing her eyes and thinking of England in a sexually perfunctory marriage, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande's lead character wasn't among them. Forget la petite mort, the French term for climaxing; Nancy Stokes' (Emma Thompson, Cruella) big wrestling match with mortality, the one we all undertake, has long been devoid of erotic pleasure. Moments that feel like a little death? Unheard of. That's where this wonderfully candid, intimate, generous and joyous sex comedy starts, although not literally. Flashbacks to Nancy enduring getting it over with beneath her now-deceased spouse, missionary style, aren't Australian filmmaker Sophie Hyde (Animals) or British comedian-turned-screenwriter Katy Brand's (Glued) concern. Instead, their film begins with the religious education teacher waiting in a hotel room, about to take the biggest gamble of her life: meeting the eponymous sex worker (Daryl McCormack, Peaky Blinders).

For anyone well-versed in Thompson's prolific on-screen history, and of Brand's work before the camera as well, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande inspires an easy wish: if only Nancy had a different job. Back in 2010, the pair co-starred in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, a title that'd also fit their latest collaboration if its protagonist cared for kids rather than taught them. Jokes aside, the instantly charming Leo is used to hearing that sentiment about his own professional choices. Indeed, Nancy expresses it during their pre- and post-coital discussions, enquiring about the events that might've led him to his career. "Maybe you're an orphan!" she says. "Perhaps you grew up in care, and you've got very low self-esteem," she offers. "You could have been trafficked against your will — you can't tell just by looking at somebody!" she continues.

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is available to stream via Neon, Google Play and iTunes. Read our full review.

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HIT THE ROAD

How fitting it is that a film about family — about the ties that bind, and when those links are threatened not by choice but via unwanted circumstances — hails from an impressive lineage itself. How apt it is that Hit the Road explores the extent that ordinary Iranians find themselves going to escape the nation's oppressive authorities, too, given that the filmmaker behind it is Panah Panahi, son of acclaimed auteur Jafar Panahi. The latter's run-ins with the country's regime have been well-documented. The elder Panahi, director of Closed Curtain, Tehran Taxi and more, has been both imprisoned and banned from making movies over the past two decades, and was detained again in July 2022 for enquiring about the legal situation surrounding There Is No Evil helmer Mohammad Rasoulof. None of that directly comes through in Hit the Road's story, not for a moment, but the younger Panahi's directorial debut is firmly made with a clear shadow lingering over it.

As penned by the fledgling filmmaker as well, Hit the Road's narrative is simple and also devastatingly layered; in its frames, two starkly different views of life in Iran are apparent. What frames they are, as lensed by Ballad of a White Cow cinematographer Amin Jafari — with every sequence a stunner, but three in particular, late in the piece and involving fraught exchanges, nighttime stories and heartbreaking goodbyes, among the most mesmerising images committed to celluloid in recent years. Those pictures tell of a mother (Pantea Panahiha, Rhino), a father (Mohammad Hassan Madjooni, Pig), their adult son (first-timer Amin Simiar) and their six-year-old boy (scene-stealer Rayan Sarlak, Gol be khodi), all unnamed, who say they're en route to take their eldest to get married. But the journey is a tense one, even as the youngest among them chatters, sings, does ordinary childhood things and finds magic in his cross-country road trip, all with zero knowledge of what eats at the rest of his family.

Hit the Road is available to stream via Google Play and iTunes. Read our full review.

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TICKET TO PARADISE

Here we go again indeed: with the George Clooney- and Julia Roberts-starring Ticket to Paradise, a heavy been-there-done-that air sweeps through, thick with the Queensland-standing-in-for-Bali breeze. The film's big-name stars have bounced off each other in Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve and Money Monster before now. Director Ol Parker has already sent multiple groups of famous faces to far-flung places — far-flung from the UK or the US, that is — as the writer of the Best Exotic Marigold flicks and helmer of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Enough destination wedding rom-coms exist that one of the undersung better ones, with Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder, is even called Destination Wedding. And, there's plenty of romantic comedies about trying to foil nuptials, too, with My Best Friend's Wedding and Runaway Bride on Roberts' resume since the 90s.

Hurriedly throw all of the above into a suitcase — because your twentysomething daughter Kaitlyn Dever, Dopesick)  has suddenly announced she's marrying a seaweed farmer (Maxime Bouttier, Unknown) she just met in Indonesia, if you're Clooney (The Midnight Sky) and Roberts' (Gaslit) long-divorced couple here — and that's firmly Ticket to Paradise. As The Lost City already was earlier in 2022, it too is a star-driven throwback, endeavouring to make the kind of easy, glossy, screwball banter-filled popcorn fare that doesn't reach screens with frequency lately. It isn't as entertaining as that flick, and it certainly isn't winking, nodding and having fun with its formula; sticking dispiritingly to the basics is all that's on Parker's itinerary with his first-timer co-scribe Daniel Pipski. But alongside picturesque vistas, Ticket to Paradise shares something crucial with The Lost City: it gets a whole lot of mileage out of its stars' charisma.

Ticket to Paradise is available to stream via Neon, Google Play and iTunesRead our full review.

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SMILE

If high-concept horror nasties get you grinning even when you're squirming, recoiling or peeking through your fingers, then expect Smile to live up to its name — in its first half, at least. A The Ring-meets-It Follows type of scarefest with nods to the Joker thrown in — even though it springs from debut feature writer/director Parker Finn's own 2020 short film Laura Hasn't Slept — it takes its titular term seriously, sporting one helluva creepy smirk again and again. The actual face doing the ghoulish beaming can change, and does, but the evil Cheshire Cat-esque look on each dial doesn't. Where 2011's not-at-all spooky The Muppets had a maniacal laugh, Smile does indeed possess a maniacal, skin-crawling, nightmare-inducing leer. In the film, the first character to chat about it, PhD student Laura Weaver (Caitlin Stasey, Bridge and Tunnel), explains it as "the worst smile I have ever seen in my life". She's in a hospital, telling psychiatrist Rose Cotter (Mare of Easttown's Sosie Bacon, daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick), who clearly thinks she's hallucinating. But when the doctor sees that grin herself, she immediately knows that Laura's description couldn't be more accurate.

Toothy, deranged, preternaturally stretched and also frozen in place, the smile at the heart of Smile isn't easily forgotten — not that Rose need worry about that. Soon, it's haunting her days and nights by interrupting her work, and seeing her act erratically with patients to the concern of her boss (Kal Penn, Clarice). Rose upsets a whole party at her nephew's birthday, too, and makes her fiancé Trevor (Jessie T Usher, The Boys) have doubts about their future. There's a backstory: Rose's mother experienced mental illness, which is why she's so passionate about her work and her sister Holly (Gillian Zinser, The Guilty) is so dismissive. There's a backstory to the diabolical frown turned upside down also, which she's quickly trying to unravel with the help of her cop ex Joel (Kyle Gallner, Scream). She has to; Laura came to the hospital for assistance after her professor saw the smile first, then started beaming it, then took his own life in front of her — and now Rose is in the same situation

Smile is available to stream via Neon, Google Play and iTunesRead 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 — and our best new TV shows, returning TV shows and straight-to-streaming movies from the first half of 2022.

Published on November 28, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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