Each week we highlight the noteworthy titles that have recently hit streaming platforms in the United States. Check out this week’s selections below and past round-ups here.

This week’s New to Streaming column is sponsored by Matthew Heineman’s Retrograde, now streaming on Disney+, courtesy of National Geographic Documentary Films.

Retrograde (Matthew Heineman)

There’s a common view that one needs distance and perspective to truly process and reconcile current events before making a worthwhile film on any particular subject, be it narrative or nonfiction. Throughout his intrepid career, Matthew Heineman has refuted this notion, immersing himself in the Syrian conflict, on the front lines of the Mexican drug war, and NYC’s early days of COVID-19. In each instance he has delivered full-bodied, cinematic portraits of considerable immediacy, humanity, and discernment of the events unfolding around him. His work not only provides vital dispatches of ongoing conflict, but with his immersive approach to filmmaking––observational and non-reflexive, yet clearly building trust with subjects––he often finds himself in situations to which journalists are not always privy. His newest documentary, Retrograde, brings him (and us) to the end of the longest conflict in United States history: the War in Afghanistan. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Disney+

Amsterdam (David O. Russell)

All throughout Amsterdam you can hear the gears clunking and grinding and screeching. Could it be the rust? It’s been seven years since David O. Russell made a movie—even longer since he made one that sang with the kind of drugged-out, balletic energy that satisfieshis crowded, star-studded ensembles—and you can tell. Something just feels off. He’s back directing an overstuffed, incongruous, stranger-than-fiction yarn attempting to dramatize (or satirize?) one of the most bizarre plots in American history. That you can’t always tell—the movie arbitrarily pivots from serious conspiracy to buddy comedy through every scene—only highlights the chaotic tonal friction at its core. There’s enough heat to call this a lukewarm mess. – Jake K. (full review)

Where to Stream: HBO Max

Bullet Train (David Leitch)

For a film filled with piles of dead bodies, generational family trauma, and a general bad-luck vibe, David Leitch’s Bullet Train lacks any sense of authenticity. Leitch and screenwriter Zak Olkewicz adapt a Japanese novel into a supposed thrill-ride, high-speed chase through train cars brimming with famous actors waiting to make short and ineffectual cameos. Starring Brad Pitt as Ladybug, a too-tired, zen-focused assassin, the action flick beats its audience over the head with constant gags, humor that will likely appeal to those under the age of 18, and slapstick jokes with no meaning behind them. – Michael F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power (Nina Menkes)

Though the different eras of global feminist thought are known as “waves,” which implies successive awakenings of liberation and critique, the film world takes an inordinately long time to develop alongside it. Amidst the social upheavals of the ‘60s, where previously “permissive” sexual content was finally allowed to be seen in mainstream cinema, the industry arguably became even more sexist, lecherous, and restrictive around female subjects. – David K. (full review)

Where to Stream: Kino Now

Call Jane (Phyllis Nagy)

Call Jane is a competently made, well-acted historical drama that doesn’t give its charged subject matter the stakes or urgency it needs. Loosely based on The Jane Collective, an underground organization that provided illegal abortions for women in need of its services, Phyllis Nagy’s feature-length directorial debut offers a timely, nuanced, mostly sunny look at the five years preceding the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade ruling. That it chooses to hitch its perspective to a conservative blonde suburban housewife is both a helpful storytelling device and kind of a bummer. – Jake K-S (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Decision to Leave (Park Chan-wook)

“Congratulations… it’s a murder.” A backwards thing to celebrate? Not when you’re a droll insomniac detective who’s only happy (read: not miserable) when you’re investigating a killing, the likes of which have been absent lately. And especially not when that killing means an encounter with the lowkey crush exponentially consuming your thoughts. Alas, Park Chan-wook––eloquently maximalist writer-director behind Oldboy and The Handmaiden––is no stranger to bizarre characterization. – Luke H. (full review)

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

Emily the Criminal (John Patton Ford)

Taking part in ten Sundance premieres over the last ten years, Aubrey Plaza’s niche in the world of independent cinema has been well carved. Reaching into darker territory as of late, from Ingrid Goes West to Black Bear, her latest film, Emily the Criminal, takes things to a logical next step, placing the actress in strictly thriller territory as her character’s job prospects dwindle and she’s faced with getting into a dangerous, underground world of illegal activity. John Patton Ford’s debut as writer-director is simplistically crafted in both plotting and form, but Plaza’s committed performance carries us through the increasingly dire journey. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Guillermo Del Toro and Mark Gustafson’s stop-motion adaptation, premiering a little over a month after the Zemeckis take kicked up a stink on streaming, might be the finest Pinocchio to have ever graced our screens, largely because it refuses to stay reverential to the material even if it is inherently inspired by and indebted to it. All of Del Toro’s films are personal, but this might be the one closest to him in his entire back catalogue: a tale of new life transformed into one overwhelmed and overshadowed by grief that entered development following the death of his father in 2018, an event which seems to have drastically reshaped the long-gestating passion project he’s had in the works since 2008. Here we’re introduced to Geppetto (David Bradley) in flashback, where we witness his young son lose his life in a tragic wartime accident, an act that fills him with a loss even the arrival of a magical wooden boy can’t fix. – Alistair R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Le Kiosque (Alexandra Pianelli)

This debut feature uses GoPros and iPhones to capture the daily life of a Parisian newstand run by director Alexandra Pianelli’s family—studying small human interactions and the last legs of physical media.

Where to Stream: Le Cinéma Club

She Said (Maria Schrader)

“Can I quote you?” As it did throughout Jodi Kantor and Meghan Twohey’s intrepid investigative journalism for the New York Times, that question reverberates in Maria Schrader’s She Said, an understated, polished procedural that chronicles the way two reporters exposed Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinstein’s decades of sexual abuse and assault. Their unrelenting pursuit to convince accusers to go on-record comprises the majority of this movie, which builds to pressing publish on the bombshell, 3,300-word article that uncovered allegations made by actresses—most notably Ashley Judd—and current and former employees, along with previously undisclosed corporate records, documents, and settlements that kept numerous women from speaking out. – Jake K-S (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Sight and Sound on Filmatique

To commemorate this decade’s Sight and Sound list, Filmatique collected a handful of features in the top 100—Buster Keaton’s The General and Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon among them.

Where to Stream: Filmatique

To Leslie (Michael Morris)

British-born Andrea Riseborough deserves credit for her ability to seemingly morph into any character like a chameleon. With veteran TV director Michael Morris’ feature debut To Leslie the actress brings a tremendous level of sympathy to her West Texan title character. The story is quite straightforward, hinging upon Riseborough’s ability to carry a script with both hope and cruelty. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Also New to Streaming

Apple TV+

M:I III & Ghost Protocol
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

The Criterion Channel

Marx Can Wait

MUBI (free for 30 days)

La chinoise
The Kingdom Exodus: The Congress Dances
Playing with Fire
Blank Narcissus (Passion of the Swamp)


Mother, I Am Suffocating. This Is My Last Film About You.

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