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

Get comfy on the couch with Wes Anderson's latest, a new take on 'Dracula' and a comedy about two men living in a biosphere.
Sarah Ward
October 20, 2023

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 12 that you can watch right now at home.

cp-line

ASTEROID CITY

In 1954, one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest thrillers peeked through a rear window. In Wes Anderson's highly stylised, symmetrical and colour-saturated vision of 1955 in Asteroid City, a romance springs almost solely through two fellow holes in the wall. Sitting behind one is actor Midge Campbell (Scarlett Johansson, Black Widow), who visibly recalls Marilyn Monroe. Peering through the opposing space is newly widowed war photographer Augie Steenbeck (Jason Schwartzman, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse), who takes more than a few cues from James Dean. The time isn't just 1955 in the filmmaker's latest stellar masterpiece, but September that year, a month that would end with Dean's death in a car crash. Racing through the movie's eponymous setting — an 87-person slice of post-war midwest Americana with a landscape straight out of a western, the genre that was enjoying its golden age at the time — are cops and robbers speeding and careening in their vehicles.

Meticulousness layered upon meticulousness has gleamed like the sun across Anderson's repertoire since 1996's Bottle Rocket launched the writer/director's distinctive aesthetic flair; "Anderson-esque" has long become a term. Helming his 11th feature with Asteroid City, he's as fastidious and methodical in his details upon details as ever — more so, given that each successive movie keeps feeling like Anderson at his most Anderson — but all of those 50s pop-culture shoutouts aren't merely film-loving, winking-and-nodding quirks. Within this picture's world, as based on a story conjured up with Roman Coppola (The French Dispatch), Asteroid City isn't actually a picture. "It is an imaginary drama created expressly for the purposes of this broadcast. The characters are fictional, the text hypothetical, the events an apocryphal fabrication," a Playhouse 90-style host (Bryan Cranston, Better Call Saul) informs. So, it's a fake play turned into a play for a TV presentation, behind-the-scenes glimpses and all. There Anderson is, being his usual ornate and intricate self, and finding multiple manners to explore art, authenticity, and the emotions found in and processed through works of creativity.

Asteroid City is available to stream via Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video. Read our full review.

cp-line

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE — DEAD RECKONING PART ONE

Pick your poison, action-franchise edition circa 2023: balletically choreographed carnage; cars, kin and Coronas; or Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick) constantly one-upping himself in the megastar stunts stakes. Hollywood loves them all. Screens keep welcoming them all. So, after John Wick: Chapter 4 and Fast X comes Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One to deliver the kind of movie spectacle that always looks best on the biggest and brightest of viewing formats. And, as its lead actor's gleaming teeth do, the seventh instalment in the TV-to-film spy series shines. Like Cruise himself, it's committed to giving audiences what they want to see, but never merely exactly what they've already seen. This saga hasn't always chosen to accept that mission, but it's been having a better time of it since 2011's Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, including when writer/director Christopher McQuarrie jumped behind the lens with 2015's Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.

Rubber masks so realistic that anyone on-screen could rip off their face to reveal Cruise's Ethan Hunt? Of course they're present and accounted for. Espionage antics that involve saving the world while traversing much of it? Tick that off ASAP. The saga's main Impossible Missions Force operative doing whatever it takes, including sprinting everywhere and relentlessly exasperating his higher-ups? Check. A trusty crew faithfully aiding the always-maverick Hunt, plus slippery adversaries to endeavour to outsmart? Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One gives them a hefty thumbs up as well. Shady forces with globe-destroying aims, being able to trust oh-so-few folks, wreaking slickly staged havoc, those jaw-dropping stunts, top-notch actors: Cruise and McQuarrie, the latter co-writing with Erik Jendresen (Ithaca), feel the need to feed it all into the flick, too. They're also rather fond of nodding to and reworking the franchise's greatest hits. Happily playing with recognisable pieces while eagerly, cleverly and satisfyingly building upon them isn't the easiest of skills, but it's firmly in this team's arsenal.

Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One is available to stream via Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video. Read our full review.

cp-line

BLUE BEETLE

Buzzing at the heart of Blue Beetle are two contrasting notions: fitting in and standing out. Jaime Reyes (Xolo Maridueña, Cobra Kai) wants to feel at home not just in his own slice of El Paso-esque Texan spot Palmera City, but beyond his neighbourhood. When he assists his sister Milagro (Belissa Escobedo, Hocus Pocus 2) working at the well-to-do's houses, he searches for opportunities, especially given that he's in need of a steady job to help his family save their home as gentrification swoops in. Thanks to a run-in with Kord Industries, its warmongering CEO Victoria Kord (Susan Sarandon, Maybe I Do) and an ancient artefact known as the scarab, however, the recent Gotham Law University graduate will soon be his hometown's most distinctive resident. Getting covered in blue armour, being able to fly — wings and other bug appendages come with the suit — and hearing a robotic voice (Becky G, Power Rangers) chatting in your head will do that, as will having a multinational company try to swat you down because it wants to deploy the technology RoboCop-style.

So scampers the latest entry in the DC Extended Universe — a movie that grapples with the same concepts as the ever-earnest Jaime beyond its storyline. It slots into its franchise while providing something new 14 entries in, before the DCEU comes to an end with the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (under fresh DC leadership, a different silver-screen saga is coming, which might still link in with Blue Beetle). Directed by Ángel Manuel Soto (Charm City Kings), this is the superhero genre's first live-action flick with a Latino lead, be it from DC or Marvel. It's a family drama as much a caped-crusader affair. It's a story about immigrants striving to thrive and retain their own culture. And, it revels in an 80s sheen and sound. Blue Beetle battles enthusiastically to claim its own space, then, as almost constantly seen and felt. Alas, that doesn't stop it from getting generic as well, as much save-the-world fare is.

Blue Beetle is available to stream via Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video. Read our full review.

cp-line

BLACKBERRY

There's rarely a still moment in BlackBerry. Someone is almost always moving, usually in a hurry and while trying to make their dreams come true everywhere and anywhere. Those folks include Mike Lazaridis (Jay Baruchel, FUBAR) and Douglas Fregin (Matt Johnson, who also directs and writes as he did with The Dirties and Operation Avalanche). The pair created the game-changing smartphone that shares this movie's name. Also always frenetic: Jim Balsillie (Glenn Howerton, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), the executive they pitch to, get knocked back by, then hire as co-CEO. That near non-stop go-go-go look and feel — cinematography that's constantly roving and zooming to match, too — isn't just a stylistic, screenwriting or performance choice. It's a case of art imitating the impact that the BlackBerry handsets and their tiny QWERTY keyboards had on late-90s and early-00s life. Before the iPhone and its fellow touchscreen competitors took over, it was the key device for anyone with a work mobile. The big selling point? Letting people do their jobs — well, receive and send emails — on the move, and everywhere and anywhere.

Should you blame Research in Motion, the Canadian technology company that Lazaridis and Fregin founded, for shattering work-life balance? Dubbed "crackberries", their phones played a significant part in extending the office's reach. Is anyone being inundated with after-hours emails on a BlackBerry today? Unless they have an old handset in their button-pressing hands, it isn't likely — and BlackBerry the film explains why. Spinning on-screen product origin stories is one of 2023's favourites trend, as Tetris, Air and Flamin' Hot have demonstrated; however, history already dictates that the latest addition to that group doesn't have a happy ending. Instead, this immersive and gripping picture tells of two friends with big plans who achieved everything they ever wanted, but at a cost that saw the BlackBerry become everything, then nothing. Like its fellow object-to-screen flicks, it follows a big leap that went soaring; this one just crashed spectacularly afterwards.

BlackBerry is available to stream via Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video. Read our full review.

cp-line

CHEVALIER

"He is the most accomplished man in Europe in riding, running, shooting, fencing, dancing, music." Writing in his diary in 1779 about Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, American Founding Father and future second US President John Adams didn't hold back with his praise. But the world has barely taken his cue in the nearly two-and-a-half centuries since, letting the tale of this gifted French Creole violinist, conductor and composer slip from wider attention. Within a sumptuous period drama that's charmingly, confidently and commandingly led by Kelvin Harrison Jr — with the Waves, The High Note, The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Cyrano star full of mesmerising swagger, and also endlessly compelling as a talent forced to struggle as a person of colour in a white aristocratic world — Chevalier endeavours to redress this failing of history.

Veteran television director Stephen Williams (Watchmen, Westworld, Lost) and screenwriter Stefani Robinson (Atlanta, What We Do in the Shadows) begin their Bologne biopic boldly, playfully and with a front-on confrontation of the "Black Mozart" label that's surrounded their subject when he has been remembered — even if they also commence Chevalier with likely fiction. In pre-revolution Paris in the late 18th century, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Joseph Prowen, Father Brown) has an enraptured crowd in his thrall as he both plays and conducts. He pauses, then prompts his audience for requests. The response comes as a surprise: Bologne striding down the aisle, asking if he too can pick up a violin, then getting duelling with the musical instrument against the acclaimed maestro. Williams and Robinson start their film with a statement, announcing that they're celebrating a life that's been left not only ignored and erased — especially in a realm that's so often considered old, stuffy and definitely not culturally diverse — but also been stuck lingering in someone else's shadow.

Chevalier is available to stream via Disney+, Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video. Read our full review.

cp-line

SANCTUARY

Succession with BDSM. A reminder that love can sear. A slinky two-hander that's sometimes about only having one free hand. Sanctuary is all of the above, plus a psychosexual battle and a romp of a twisty erotic thriller-meets-romantic comedy — and also a reminder that there's something about Christopher Abbott in chic hotel rooms being teased out of his comfort zone by blonde sex workers (see also: Piercing). There's something about the actor in confined settings in general (see there: Possessor, The Forgiven and Black Bear), but only this supremely confident affair about a significantly complicated affair pairs him with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood breakout Margaret Qualley. As they verbally tussle and sometimes physically tumble, unpacking class, control, chemistry, intimacy and authority along the way, they're a chamber-piece dream.

Sanctuary's chamber: a sleekly appointed suite decked out in saturated colours and ornate patterns at one of the 112 hotels that share Hal Porterfield's (Abbott, The Crowded Room) surname. And the piece's point? The thorny, horny relationship between the born-to-privilege heir and Rebecca (Qualley, Stars at Noon), who enters his room with a sharp knock, a no-nonsense stare, business attire and a briefcase filled with paperwork. Hal's father has just passed away, and he's now Kendall Roy awaiting the anointing that he's been promised since birth. His companion runs through background-check questions, veering into the highly personal. Soon, after drinks, dismay and a snappy debate, he's on his hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom while she watches on. Now he's Roman Roy, complete with dirty-talk banter, but in a film directed by sophomore helmer Zachary Wigon (The Heart Machine) and penned by Micah Bloomberg (Homecoming).

Sanctuary is available to stream via Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video. Read our full review.

cp-line

BIOSPHERE

If an apocalypse ever brings humanity so close to extinction that there might only be two people left, one thing is certain: if that duo is together and can communicate, they'll spend most of their time nattering about nothing. They'll talk. They'll argue. They'll fill the days, months and years by talking and arguing. They'll still be human, in other words, doing what humans do. Biosphere sets up house within this very scenario, and in that exact truth. Here, lifelong pals Billy (Mark Duplass, Language Lessons) and Ray (Sterling K Brown, This Is Us) are the only folks left after the planet has met a catastrophic fate — one that, because he was the US President when things went dystopian, Billy likely had a hand in — and they're now confined to the movie's titular structure. So, they talk. Sometimes, they argue. When first-time feature-length filmmaker Mel Eslyn plunges the audience into this situation, her characters have been talking and arguing, then arguing and talking, for so long that it's just what they do.

Working with a script that she co-penned with Duplass, Eslyn introduces Biosphere's viewers to a self-contained ecosystem of discussing and disagreeing. In the abode designed and built by Ray, a scientist and Billy's former advisor, this pair has no other choice. "Self-contained" perfectly sums up the sensation when the film begins flickering, too — as Ray and Billy go for their daily jog around the sphere, talking and arguing as they trot, their dynamic and their routine is conveyed with such efficiency that it feels like you've been watching for longer than you have. Biosphere doesn't drag, though. Rather, it's excellent at constructing a lived-in world with Billy and Ray as they live through what could be the end of the world. It's ace at storytelling as well, but the talking, the arguing, and the immersive and relatable air all smartly say plenty about a movie that recognises from the outset how adaptable people are.

Biosphere is available to stream via Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video. Read our full review.

cp-line

EGO: THE MICHAEL GUDINSKI STORY

Post-viewing soundtrack, sorted: to watch Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story is to take a trip down memory lane with the Australian music industry and hear homegrown standouts from the past five decades along the way. Unsurprisingly, this documentary already has an album to go with it, a stacked release which'd instantly do its eponymous figure proud. His tick of approval wouldn't just stem from the artists surveyed, but because Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story's accompanying tunes comprise a three-disc number like Mushroom Records' first-ever drop, a 1973 Sunbury Festival live LP. To tell the tale of Gudinski, the record executive and promoter who became a household name, is to tell of Skyhooks, Split Enz, Hunters & Collectors, Jimmy Barnes, Paul Kelly, Kylie Minogue, Archie Roach, Yothu Yindi, Bliss n Esso, The Temper Trap, Gordi and Vance Joy, too — and to listen to them. Need this on-screen tribute to give you some kind of sign that the Gudinski and Mushroom story spans a heap of genres? Both the film and the album alike include Peter Andre.

Any journey through Michael Gudinski's life and career, from his childhood entrepreneurship selling car parks on his family's vacant lot to his years and years getting Aussie music to the masses — and, on the touring side, bringing massively popular overseas artists to Aussies — needs to also be an ode to the industry that he adored. The man and scene are inseparable. But perhaps Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story plays as such an overt love letter to Australian music because it's an unashamed hagiography of Gudinski. Although the movie doesn't deliver wall-to-wall praise, it comes close. When it begins to hint at any traces of arrogance, moodiness or ruthlessness, it quickly does the doco equivalent of skipping to the next track. Australian Rules and Suburban Mayhem director Paul Goldman, a seasoned hand at music videos as well, has called his feature Ego and there's no doubting his subject had one; however, the takeaway in this highly authorised biography is that anything that doesn't gleam was simply part of his natural mischievousness and eager push for success.

Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story is available to stream via Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video. Read our full review.

cp-line

DRACULA: VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER

In the Bram Stoker vampire novel that's inspired almost all other vampire novels, Dracula is undead. In popular culture since and forever, the fictional Transylvanian bloodsucker will never die. Regardless of his fate on the page back in 1897, the most-portrayed character in horror movies ever keeps baring his fangs on-screen, rising again and again like the sun that this creature of the night can never bask in. 2023 brings two new Dracula films, which isn't overly notable, but this crop of Stoker-influenced flicks doesn't simply retell the usual 126-year-old tale. Leaning into comedy and action, Renfield sunk its teeth in by giving the vampire's long-suffering familiar some love. Now the dread-dripping Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter hones in on one chapter of the book that started it all, detailing the captain's log from the neck-munching fiend's journey to London via ship.

Starring for Trollhunter, The Autopsy of Jane Doe and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark director André Øvredal: Corey Hawkins (In the Heights) as physician Clemens, Aisling Franciosi (The Nightingale) as stowaway Anna and Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones) as Captain Eliot. The former hops onto the latter's ship in Eastern Europe, where a promised job falls through due to his race, forcing a pivot onto the Demeter's crew to return to England. Clemens isn't the only new boarding, with the vessel also welcoming 50 unmarked crates from the Carpathian Mountains. Given that the film is named Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter Down Under — elsewhere, it's known as just The Last Voyage of the Demeter — there's no surprises about what's among the cargo. So, as initially told in Dracula's seventh chapter, in the epistolary format of letters, journals and clippings that Stoker's tome deployed across the entire novel, the key contents of those mysterious wooden chests soon begins offing fellow seafarers.

Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter is available to stream via Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video. Read our full review.

cp-line

GRAN TURISMO: BASED ON A TRUE STORY

Speeding onto screens with instant brand awareness is 2023's big trend. Air, Tetris, The Super Mario Bros Movie, Flamin' Hot and Barbie: they've all been there and done that already. Now it's Gran Turismo's turn, albeit with a film that isn't quite based on the video game of the same name. Directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium, Chappie), and penned by Jason Hall (American Sniper) and Zach Baylin (King Richard), it also doesn't tell the racing simulator's origin story. Rather, this pedal-to-the-metal flick focuses on the real-life Nissan PlayStation GT Academy initiative from 2008–16, and the tale of British racer Jann Mardenborough specifically. The overall program endeavoured to turn the world's top Gran Turismo players into IRL motorsports drivers — and the Cardiff-raised Mardenborough is one of its big success stories.

The ins and outs of GT Academy receives hefty attention in Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story, plus Mardenborough's (Archie Madekwe, Beau Is Afraid) life-changing experience along with it; however, much is also made of a massive marketing push. Here, Nissan executive Danny Moore (Orlando Bloom, Carnival Row) wants to attract new customers, ideally those leaping from mashing buttons to hitting the road. Accordingly, he conjures up the console-to-racetrack idea to help make that sales boost happen, even if racing veteran Jack Salter (David Harbour, Violent Night) is skeptical when asked to come onboard as a trainer. You don't see it in Gran Turismo the feature, but surely taking the whole situation into cinemas if the underlying concept proved a hit was part of that initial plan as well. Amid the ample product placement anywhere and everywhere that the film can slide it in, that certainty thrums constantly.

Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story is available to stream via Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video. Read our full review.

cp-line

STRAYS

Canines are so beloved in cinema that the Cannes Film Festival even gives them a gong: the Palm Dog, which has been awarded to a performing pooch (sometimes several) annually since 2001. Among the past winners sit pups in Marie Antoinette, Up, The Artist, Paterson, Dogman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — most real, one animated, some anointed posthumously and none scoring their prize for a quest to bite off someone's penis. That genitals-chomping journey belongs to the four-legged stars of Strays alone. They're played by actual animals, with CGI assisting with moving lips and particularly raucous turns, and they're unlikely to win any accolades for this raunchy lost-dog tale. The pooches impress. They're always cute. Also, they're capable of digging up laughs. But Strays is a one-bark idea that's tossed around as repetitively as throwing a tennis ball to your fluffy pal: take a flick about adorable dogs, and talking ones at that, then make it crude and rude.

Games of fetch do pop up in Strays, but via a version that no loving pet owner would ever want to play. This one is called "fetch and fuck", with stoner and constant masturbator Doug (Will Forte, I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson) doing the pitching. He isn't a kindly human companion to Reggie (voiced by Will Ferrell, Barbie). He's cruel and resentful — and constantly drives Reggie to various distant spots, sends him running and ditches the pooch. With unwavering affection, plus the naivety to only see the good in his chosen person, Reggie thinks that it's all meant to be fun until he's abandoned in a city hours away. There, he meets Boston terrier Bug (Jamie Foxx, They Cloned Tyrone), Australian shepherd Maggie (Isla Fisher, Wolf Like Me) and great dane Hunter (Randall Park, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania). Realising the truth about his relationship with Doug, he's sent by Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar director Josh Greenbaum and American Vandal creator/writer Dan Perrault on a canines-gone-wild revenge mission with his new dog squad trotting along to help.

Strays is available to stream via Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video. Read our full review.

cp-line

HAUNTED MANSION

There's almost nothing that's bold about Haunted Mansion, but making the Disney family-friendly horror-comedy about moving on from the past is downright audacious. What the film preaches, the company behind it isn't practising — with this specific movie or in general. This flick isn't the first that's based on the Mouse House's The Haunted Mansion theme-park attraction, thanks to a 2003 Eddie Murphy (You People)-starring feature. In 2021, the entertainment behemoth also combined the Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland highlight with The Muppets in streaming special Muppets Haunted Mansion. And, no matter how Haunted Mansion circa 2023 fares at the box office, there's no doubting that the idea will get another spin down the line. Nearly everything Disney does; this is the corporation that keeps remaking its animated hits as live-action pictures (see: The Little Mermaid), revelling in sequels even decades later (see: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny), and getting franchises sprawling as films and TV shows alike (see: Marvel and Star Wars).

When Dear White People and Bad Hair filmmaker Justin Simien begins his Haunted Mansion, it's with backstory that explains why astrophysicist Ben Matthias (LaKeith Stanfield, Atlanta) is himself so unwilling to embrace the future. He meets Alyssa (Charity Jordan, They Cloned Tyrone), falls in love, then understandably falls apart when he's suddenly a widower — and, once he's consumed by mourning he's committed to staying that way. Then priest and exorcist Father Kent (Owen Wilson, Loki) ropes him into a gig at the movie's central abode, enlisting not just his help but the use of his specially developed camera that photographs dark matter and, ideally, spectres. The gadget was a labour of love for Alyssa, who worked as a ghost tour guide around New Orleans, a job that Ben has swapped science and the lab for after her passing. Now, he needs his invention to assist Gabbie (Rosario Dawson, Ahsoka), a doctor who has just relocated with her son Travis (Chase W Dillon, The Harder They Fall) — while calling in psychic Harriet (Tiffany Haddish, The Afterparty) and college historian Bruce Davis (Danny DeVito, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) to also lend a hand.

Haunted Mansion is available to stream via Disney+, iTunes and Prime Video. Read our full review.

cp-line

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 fast-tracked highlights from January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August and September, too.

You can also peruse our best new films, new TV shows, returning TV shows and straight-to-streaming movies of 2023 so far

Published on October 20, 2023 by Sarah Ward
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x