May 25, 2024

The Menu, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, and every other movie you can stream from home this weekend

This weekend, The Menu, the dark comedy horror thriller starring Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit), and Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road), is available to stream on HBO Max following its theatrical debut in November 2022. If you’re not down to see a group of clout-chasing dilettantes and wannabe gourmands get their just deserts, not to worry — there are plenty of other new movies to choose from.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, the surprisingly good animated feature starring the eponymous breakout supporting character from DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek, lands on VOD this weekend. The period mystery thriller The Pale Blue Eye starring Christian Bale (The Dark Knight) and Harry Melling (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs) comes to Netflix alongside the Colombian road movie The Kings of the World, while the biographical Me Too-era drama She Said comes to streaming on Peacock. We’ve also got a couple recent VOD releases now available at reduced rental prices, like Todd Field’s latest (and excellent) psychological thriller Tár starring Cate Blanchett, Prey for the Devil, and more.

There’s so much to choose from and so little free time to watch it all. Here’s a rundown on all there is new to enjoy on streaming and VOD this week.

Two men sit in a study room (Robert Duvall, Harry Melling) while a man stands with his hand resting on a table (Christian Bale).Image: Scott Garfield/Netflix

Genre: Mystery/thriller
Run time: 2h 8m
Director: Scott Cooper
Cast: Christian Bale, Harry Melling, Gillian Anderson

Christian Bale stars in Scott Cooper’s 2022 historical mystery thriller as Augustus Landor, a world-weary veteran detective hired to investigate a series of murders at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Frustrated by lack of cooperation on part of the cadets, who have mostly sworn an oath of silence, Landor finds assistance in the form of an unlikely ally — a meek young military cadet by the name of Edgar Allan Poe (Melling).


Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Five boys (Carlos Andrés Castañeda, Davison Florez, Brahian Acevedo, Cristian Campaña, Cristian David Duque) sit atop a mound of tarps on the bed of a train car flanked by trees, an orange storage container, and a blue sky in the background.Image: Netflix

Genre: Adventure/drama
Run time: 1h 43m
Director: Laura Mora Ortega
Cast: Carlos Andrés Castañeda, Davison Florez, Brahian Acevedo

This Colombian fantasy-drama road movie follows the story of five orphaned boys who band together as an adoptive family to eke out a meager existence on the streets of Medellín. When one of the boys discovers that he has inherited a plot of land from his late grandmother, who was violently expelled from her home by paramilitaries and whose land was later reclaimed by a government restitution program, the boys embark on a journey to Colombia on a perilous quest in search of a better life.



Where to watch: Available to stream on HBO Max; available to purchase for $14.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy in the film THE MENU.Photo: Eric Zachanowich/Searchlight Pictures

Genre: Dark comedy/horror
Run time: 1h 47m
Director: Mark Mylod
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult

Anya Taylor-Joy (The Northman) stars opposite of Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road) as Margot, a young woman who is invited on a “date” with a wealthy food snob named Tyler (Hoult) to eat at Hawthorne, an exclusive restaurant owned by reclusive world-renowned chef Julian Slowik (Fiennes). It’s not long, though, before they realize that Slowik has something else in mind for them besides overpriced oysters and beef bourguignon.

From our review:

The Menu often reads like an expansive version of a single-set play, where a group of people forced into close proximity gradually crack under pressure and reveal new things about themselves. A lot of what keeps it going isn’t that stagey energy, but the staging itself. production designer Ethan Tobman was inspired by everything from Luis Buñuel’s devastating 1962 film The Exterminating Angel (another film about smug elites who can’t escape each other) to German expressionist architecture. He and cinematographer Peter Deming give the film a harsh, punishing chilliness that emphasizes both the lack of comfort or warmth in haute cuisine and the state of Chef Slowik’s mind. It’s an appropriately sumptuous and sense-driven film, with something striking to look at in every frame.



Where to watch: Available to stream on Peacock

Three women (Casey Mulligan, Zoe Kazan, Patricia Clarkson) sit attentively across from one another at a white desk in an office decorated with framed photos.Image: Universal Pictures

Genre: Drama
Run time: 2h 9m
Director: Maria Schrader
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Zoe Kazan, Patricia Clarkson

This biographical drama stars Zoe Kazan (The Plot Against America) and Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) as Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the New York Times reporters who broke the landmark story of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual abuse against women.



Where to watch: Available to stream on AMC+; Available to rent for $6.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Raffiella Chapman wanders through marshy turf in a post-apocalyptic Earth, with a floating robot companion, in VesperImage: IFC Films

A post-apocalyptic indie sci-fi movie that’s received rave reviews since its release last year, including from us! The film follows the story of a 13 year old girl who struggles to survive in a world where Earth’s ecosystem has collapsed and human civilization has fallen apart.

From our review:

Vesper simultaneously plays like a resourceful shoestring-budget indie in the realm of Dual and like Alex Garland’s $50 million passion project Annihilation. It’s a small-scale story, at times so hushed and minimalist that even putting two characters in the same room can feel overcrowded. But in their first movie release since 2012’s well-received sci-fi import Vanishing Waves, [directors Kristina] Buozyte and [Bruno] Samper do an impressive job of creating a plausible, tangible world around these quiet spaces. The scenery tells the story as effectively as any laborious exposition could.



Where to watch: Available to purchase for $19.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu on Jan. 8

Jesse Brown (Jonathan Majors) stands on the deck of a ship in Navy fighter-pilot gear and an inflatable life vest in DevotionPhoto: Eli Adé/CTMG

Genre: Biographical war drama
Run time: 2h 19m
Director: J.D. Dillard
Cast: Jonathan Majors, Glen Powell, Christina Jackson

Jonathan Majors (Lovecraft Country) and Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick) star in this aerial war epic as Jesse Brown and Tom Hudner, two elite fighter pilots and naval officers who must learn to work together in order to overcome one of the most difficult battles of the Korean War.

From our review:

The film’s combination of squareness and relative understatement, courtesy of director J.D. Dillard (Sleight), accumulates a quiet power. Not everyone grew up idolizing Tom Cruise’s smug hotshot Maverick, and this is a Naval-aviator movie without quite so much need for speed. Accordingly, the aerial combat isn’t as big-canvas thrilling as similar material in Maverick. But it does look convincing, and there’s something satisfying about how it emphasizes precision over power. Throughout the film, Dillard and Majors find grace notes, like the moment where Dillard’s camera stays fixed on the nose of a grounded plane as Jesse gets his bearings, or the striking look at Jesse’s preflight ritual. He stares at himself in the mirror, reciting every ugly dismissal ever thrown his way, and Dillard shoots this so Majors faces the camera directly, torturing and steeling himself at the same time.


Where to watch: Available to purchase for $29.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

An orange anthropomorphic cat with green eyes wearing a black feathered hat and cloak brandishes a rapier and smiles.Image: DreamWorks Animation

Genre: Adventure/comedy
Run time: 1h 42m
Director: Joel Crawford
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Harvey Guillén

Antonio Banderas returns as the swashbuckling feline Puss in Boots in the long-delayed follow-up to the character’s 2011 movie. Having discovered that he has already used up eight of his nine lives while adventuring across the kingdom of Duloc, Puss in Boots must embark on an epic quest in search of the very thing that drove Roy Batty to commit patricide in 1982’s Blade Runner: more life.

From our review:

The Last Wish is the closest I’ve ever seen a movie get to emulating hand-painted concept art. On their way to the wishing star, Puss and company traverse prismatic backdrops — from bright pinks and green forests to the rustic interiors of a cat-lady prison — that feel dabbed on by the artistic team. Their encounters with beasties use color, linework, and kinetic camera moves to bring viewers deeper into the battles, and like The Way of Water, regularly shift frame rates to jolt the senses. Puss, looking more oil-painted than ever, may be monologuing about his legendary skills one second, animated “on the ones,” then find himself in a cacophonous skirmish with a towering troll the next, which the team animates “on the twos.” The sensation builds on the work of Spider-verse and drags the Shrek franchise, of all things, into the territory of high art. It’s stunning.


Where to watch: Available to purchase for $5.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) makes a vigorous full-body downward gesture while conducting the Berlin Philharmonic in Todd Field’s TárImage: Focus Features

Genre: Psychological drama
Run time: 2h 38m
Director: Todd Field
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Noémie Merlant, Nina Hoss

Cate Blanchett stars in Todd Field’s first feature film since 2006’s Little Children as the eponymous Lydia Tár, a virtuosic composer and the first female conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra. Known equally for both her immense talent and fierce personality as she is for her, shall we say, unbecoming abuses of power, Tár is mere days from reaching what might be one of the most significant milestones of her career. But when her myriad infidelities and offenses begin to come to light, she’ll have to find a way to weather the storm or find herself swept aside into the dust bin of history.


Where to watch: Available to purchase for $5.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

A young girl smiles while covering her eyes with her palms, as maggots slither from out of visible stigmata wounds on the back of her hands and a young nun looks horrified in the background.Image: Lionsgate

Genre: Horror/thriller
Run time: 1h 33m
Director: Daniel Stamm
Cast: Jacqueline Byers, Colin Salmon, Christian Navarro

A troubled nun with a dark past, Sister Ann (Jacqueline Byers), attends an exorcism school reopened by the Catholic Church with the goal of becoming the first female exorcist. While battling for the soul of a young girl, Ann is brought face-to-face with the very demon that once tormented her family years ago.


Where to watch: Available to purchase on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

A man (George Clooney) and a woman wearing a scarf over her head (Julia Roberts) laugh while disembarking a boat onto a beach and holding their shoes in their hands.Image: Universal Pictures

Genre: Romantic comedy
Run time: 1h 44m
Director: Ol Parker
Cast: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Kaitlyn Dever

George Clooney and Julia Roberts star in this romantic comedy as a divorced couple who put aside their differences to work together with one goal in mind: stopping their lovestruck daughter, Lily (Kaitlyn Dever), from getting married and making the same “mistake” they did.

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