Theaters are still closed, but new streaming movies are coming to entertain you and your family during socially distanced times.
This weekend, members of the Beastie Boys look back on the hip-hop group's cultural impact in an Apple+ documentary, Chris Hemsworth is a not-exactly-super hero in a new Netflix action movie and Russell Crowe stars in a movie about an Aussie historical figure. And if you're in the mood for giving back, Lionsgate is rolling out its latest Friday night movie livestream, the Patrick Swayze '80s classic "Dirty Dancing" (9 p.m. EDT/6 PDT), hosted by Jamie Lee Curtis and raising money for theater employees affected by the coronavirus crisis.
Here's a rundown of new movies hitting streaming this Friday for every cinematic taste:
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If you still have fight for your right to party: ‘Beastie Boys Story’
Whether or not you have strong feelings about the iconic hip-hop trio, you’re bound to be entertained, informed and left a little emotional watching a history of the Beasties – Mike Diamond, Adam Horovitz and Adam Yauch (who died in 2012) – as they went from hardcore punk kids in New York City to the biggest rap group in the game. Filmed by director Spike Jonze before a Brooklyn crowd, Diamond and Horovitz tell stories behind their biggest hits (like the bass line that turned into “Sabotage”) and tales of opening up for Madonna and hanging with Run-DMC. It’s equal parts TED Talk and “Mystery Science Theater” as the two musicians poke fun at old videos of themselves, which makes their tearful remembrances of close friend Yauch that much more heartfelt.
Where to watch: Apple TV+
If you’re missing muscular Marvel heroes: ‘Extraction’
Hemsworth trades Thor’s magic hammer for a machine gun and a tragic backstory for this action thriller, which rates with some of his other decent non-Marvel works (“In the Heart of the Sea,” “12 Strong”). He plays Tyler Rake, an Aussie mercenary with a bit of a death wish who’s hired to rescue the son (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) of an Indian drug lord kidnapped by a rival kingpin in Bangladesh. Tyler travels to Dhaka, things do not go at all smoothly, and he and the kid form a bond navigating various obstacles (usually involving bad guys with guns) to get out of the country alive. Hemsworth turns in one of his more emotional efforts here, though his character’s background begs to be explored more. However, the action scenes in stuntman-turned-director Sam Hargrave’s debut are an impressive throwback to ’80s-era grit, with vicious fights and an extended chase filmed as one continuous shot involving lots of running, heaps of cars, a helicopter and even a trash truck.
Where to watch: Netflix
If you’re into punk-rock peeks at the past: ‘True History of the Kelly Gang’
If his substantial role in last year's Oscar-nominated “1917” wasn’t already a good-enough introduction to the talents of George MacKay, this blistering and bloody biopic of one of Australia’s most infamous criminals should do the trick. The life of Ned Kelly, a 19th century outlaw who became a folk hero in some parts Down Under, is told from his days as an innocent Irish lad (Orlando Schwerdt) learning lawless ways from an unpredictable bushranger (Russell Crowe) to a wild, anarchic young man (MacKay) leading a band of dress-wearing, armor-flaunting rebels against British rule. Director Justin Kurzel’s sprawling film has an infectious and ferocious energy, features a ton of striking imagery and offers a great cast including Essie Davis as Kelly’s fierce mother (whose incarceration fuels Ned’s anger) and Charlie Hunnam and Nicholas Hoult as English soldiers who dare to cross the polarizing historical figure.
Where to watch: iTunes, Vudu, Fandango Now
If your family needs a quirky dose of heart and humor: ‘The Willoughbys’
Narrated by a enigmatic cat voiced by Ricky Gervais, the animated adventure centers on the four Willoughby children – levelheaded Tim (Will Forte), smart songbird Jane (Alessia Cara) and creepy twins both named Barnaby (Sean Cullen) – from a storied family, though their self-centered parents (Martin Short and Jane Krakowski) are absolutely the WORST. So the kids engineer a plan to send Mom and Dad on a perilous vacation and ostensibly orphan themselves, though there are some lessons to be learned about family along the way. While the plot is sort of odd in the sense that, yes, the Willoughby youngsters are trying to off their parents – which is not exactly the sort of thing you should be teaching your tykes – all in all the narrative is definitely heartwarming and fun with a pair of scene-stealing adults: Maya Rudolph co-stars as the loving nanny hired to stay with the children while the parents are defying death traps, and Terry Crews plays a thoughtful candy mogul who’s a cross between Willy Wonka and Colonel Sanders.
Where to watch: Netflix
If you dig retro coming-of-age tales: ‘To the Stars’
On the surface, director Martha Stephens’ teen drama seems familiar, but there’s a lot of nuance in the story set in 1960s rural Oklahoma. Iris (Kara Hayward) is a bespectacled farmer’s daughter and studious wallflower bullied by classmates until an arrival in town brings Iris out of her shell. Maggie (Liana Liberato) is the new kid in school, self-confident and incapable of taking mean-girl guff, and while adults see her as a bad influence, Maggie helps Iris realize who she is and what she wants – though Maggie harbors secrets that put their friendship in jeopardy. “Stars” explores with emotion and hard truth the way homosexuality was seen at the time, and the drama is well-acted across the board, with an especially serious and deep turn from Tony Hale (as Maggie’s dad) that we don’t normally see from the former “Veep” star.
If you’re not planning on apartment-hunting anytime soon: ‘1BR’
It’s probably an ideal time for this indie horror film to come out because you’ll likely not want to hang out with neighbors afterward anyway. Nicole Brydon Bloom stars as a recent LA transplant struggling to find her way when she scores a sweet Hollywood pad with seemingly nice neighbors who cook out and are always saying hi to each other. She moves in with her cat – though it’s a pet-free complex – and that’s just the start of a whole bunch of hell she gets put through learning the bizarre reality of her new surroundings. Without saying too much, “1BR” – recommended for anybody who loved “The Invitation” – starts slow but gets really good in tackling the ideology behind community and cults, goes to some fairly unnerving places in its brutality and features a whopper of an ending.
If ‘Braveheart’ is your favorite movie of all time: ‘Robert the Bruce’
Coming 25 years after the best-picture winner with Mel Gibson as William Wallace – and 700 years after Scotland’s independence from England – the unofficial sequel brings back Angus Macfadyen as Robert the Bruce, who takes up the mantle of Scottish ruler and freedom fighter. In the new movie, though, he struggles: Robert has to deal with a civil war and a bounty on his head courtesy of King Edward. Wounded, Robert takes refuge with a kind family who nurse him back to health and inspire his next step in uniting all Scots. It’s a character study that takes forever to get going – the beginning’s as dull as a well-worn sword and much of it feels like “Game of Thrones” on a budget – but it leads to a satisfying finale.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Beastie Boys documentary, Netflix's 'Extraction' and more to stream