New streaming movies are coming to entertain you and your family during socially distanced times.
This weekend, Zendaya and John David Washington headline a Netflix movie made during the early days of the pandemic, Salma Hayek and Owen Wilson team up for a mind-bending sci-fi Amazon film, Viggo Mortensen stars in and directs a film about dementia, and director Neil Marshall helms a genre-mashing period horror film about female empowerment.
if that's not enough to get you online and watching movies, there are two new documentaries for different fan bases. "Cobra Kai" and "Karate Kid" aficionados will want to check out "More than Miyagi: The Pat Morita Story," which chronicles the life, work and struggles of the beloved "Happy Days" actor and cinematic sensei, and "A Glitch in the Matrix" posits the theory that, yep, maybe we're actually all existing in a video-game simulation.
Streaming preview: 10 must-see movies in 2021, from 'One Night in Miami' to 'Coming 2 America'
Here's a rundown of new movies hitting streaming and on-demand platforms this week, for every cinematic taste.
If you want to see talented movie stars argue for two hours: 'Malcolm & Marie'
Washington's a filmmaker who just premiered his newest movie, Zendaya's the girlfriend he regularly takes for granted. Writer/director (and "Euphoria" creator) Sam Levinson's black-and-white drama captures a night's worth of hard feelings and repressed resentment that comes out as they banter and yell at each other. Both actors put in the effort (especially Zendaya), but neither character's especially likable and the whole thing gets grating fast.
Where to watch: Netflix
If you're down for a reality-bending head trip: 'Bliss'
Ok, so it's not the greatest weekend for star-duo vehicles. Owen Wilson stars as a down-on-his-luck dude who's been divorced and fired in rapid succession, and he meets a strange woman (Salma Hayek) with a truth bomb for him: They're living in a large-scale simulation and special "rocks" can help them figure out what's really real. Mike Cahill's sci-fi drama has an interesting premise – alternate realities as metaphor for escaping addiction – but it's poorly executed.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime
If you could use a good father-son story: 'Falling'
In his touching directorial debut, which deftly takes on family drama and dealing with a loved one wrestling with dementia, Viggo Mortensen also stars as the gay son of an ornery, politically incorrect 80-year-old farmer (Lance Henriksen) who takes on extra caretaking responsibilities due to the old man's diminishing health. Henriksen's great navigating the father's constantly changing moods and unpredictable mental state, and Mortensen's top notch as a man trying desperately to keep his head above water.
If you're seeking a bewitching horror flick: 'The Reckoning'
Gory, spooky, slightly nutty and even a little adventurous, Marshall's horror fantasy takes audiences back to 1666 and the Great Plague in England. After her husband gets sick and hangs himself, a widowed mom (Charlotte Kirk) is accused of being a witch (mainly because she refuses the advances of a brutish squire) and faces off with a torturous witchfinder (Sean Pertwee) from her past. But even this capable heroine doesn't know what to do when she has an intimate run-in with the devil himself.
If you're not sick of pandemics yet: 'Little Fish'
Less a response to our current COVID situation and more a rather moving metaphor about Alzheimer's, the sci-fi drama/affecting love story imagines a world there's an outbreak of a mysterious affliction where people lose their memories, gradually or all at once. Olivia Cooke ("Sound of Metal") and Jack O'Connell play a young couple early on in their relationship who have to leave post-it notes and revisit how and why they fell for each other when this strange disease hits home for them.
If you're down for a little social justice: 'Son of the South'
Based on activist Bob Zellner's autobiography, the Spike Lee-produced civil-rights drama revisits the early 1960s when Zellner (played by Lucas Till), a white college student from Alabama, spurned his family's legacy with the Ku Klux Klan and sided with the Freedom Riders and Black icons of the era. The movie's intentions are better than its quality and the white characters are the least interesting in the film directed by Oscar-nominated editor (and longtime Lee collaborator) Barry Alexander Brown, but at least we get a little of the late, great Brian Dennehy.
If you need your mind blown: 'The Wanting Mare'
The gripping indie sci-fi fantasy epic, directed by visual-effects artist Nicholas Ashe Bateman, doesn't star anybody you've ever heard of but, man, it is so cool. Filmed inside a New Jersey warehouse, the film introduces a mesmerizing, digitally crafted dystopian landscape where horses are the most valuable commodity, shipped across the city once a year. A young woman (Jordan Monaghan) dreams of escaping the bleak, downtrodden city of Whithren during the annual trade passage. While the fable's narrative isn't quite as strong as its world-building, it's still unlike anything else around.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Netflix's 'Malcolm & Marie,' 'Bliss': What to stream this weekend