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.

First Love (A.J. Edwards)

Following The Better Angels and Age Out, A.J. Edwards’ third feature, First Love, is both a tender tale of blossoming romance and nuanced depiction of the pride and human frailties that can disrupt a decades-long bond. The writer-director, who got his start working with Terrence Malick on The Tree of LifeThe New WorldTo the Wonder, Knight of Cups, and Song to Song, displays an immense amount of grace in this recession-era portrait of family and romance. Led by Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Diane Kruger, Jeffrey Donovan, and Sydney Park, the film got a quiet release earlier this summer, but certainly deserves to find an audience in coming years.

Where to Stream: Hulu

The Legend of Molly Johnson (Leah Purcell)

A favorite of Leah Purcell’s as a child, Henry Lawson’s short story “The Drover’s Wife” was always at the front of her mind when growing into adulthood as an artist. It only makes sense, then, that she would take that 1892 tale and reimagine it as an Australian western that would bring her own ancestral history as a fair-skinned Aboriginal woman to light. First she had to give the titular wife a name: Molly Johnson. Next it was fleshing out a dramatic narrative beyond that of a devoted mother staying up all night to protect her children from a hidden snake while reminiscing about all the other times for which she did the same (fire and flood) with her husband consistently away. A legend was born. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Hulu

Leonor Will Never Die (Martika Ramirez Escobar)

Martika Ramirez Escobar’s creative and inspired debut Leonor Will Never Die employs a narrative trick à la Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman’s Adaptation. The story being told within the film is the film itself and references its own creation. Meta-textual narratives like this can often turn unwieldy, especially in the hands of debut-feature writers, and Escober does not completely buck such trend. The self-referential material and multiple-threaded storylines tend to overstretch greater narrative. Yet Leonor plays with interesting blends of reality and fiction, borrowing from Filipino action influences to create a potent concoction of how inspiration might strike a writer’s creative impulses. – Soham G. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Mass (Fran Kranz)

Set in the meeting room of a modest Episcopalian church, two couples meet under tragic circumstances. For his directorial debut Mass, accomplished actor Fran Kranz is determined to wring out four incredible performances from four incredible character actors through the discussion of an extremely tough subject. It is mission accomplished as Kranz succeeds in finding understanding in the unthinkable. – Dan M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Hulu

Ravenous (Antonia Bird)

While 1999 brought many masterpieces before the millennium closed out, one oft-overlooked offering from the year is the Guy Pearce-led horror cannibal feature Ravenous. Delivering one of his best performances, we were delighted to talk with the actor about the project earlier this year and it’s now available on The Criterion Channel to ring in 2023.

Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel

Tommaso (Abel Ferrara)

Most of this is a mirror of Ferrara’s own life: his move to Rome after U.S. funders stopped backing his movies following the 9/11 attacks; his struggles with addiction; his multiple marriages; his conversion to Buddhism and so on. Ferrara, a New York native, was raised Roman Catholic and religion is naturally key here once again, both narratively and formally. It’s fitting then that Tommaso feels so confessional and thus so resonant, especially given the scarcely believable casting of Christina and Anna. Indeed, mother and child both feature in scenes that one can only presume must have been painfully close to the bone. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

White Noise (Noah Baumbach)

Certain literary works feel destined for adaptation; with Don DeLillo’s postmodern classic White Noise, published in 1985, it was surely inevitable. Inevitable in the sense of it being a likely American cultural heritage project, brought into cinema after its reputation solidified instead of the Reagan years in which it takes place and was released. And in this particular case we’re reminded that claims it (and other postmodern novels) were unadaptable are rather synonymous with the potential financial risk of mounting them. Even in light of their well-publicized financial troubles, Netflix is a platform where these heretofore unrealizable projects can find their home and wide global audience, insulated from having to perform well in theaters. Adapted from the novel and directed by urbane New Yorker Noah Baumbach, this is a half-successful swing for modish relevance and connoisseurship of the contemporary social zeitgeist, only truly uniting the text’s concerns with ours when it reaches DeLillo’s legendary Airborne Toxic Event, here enhanced to evoke the misinformation-led early-COVID era and its sudden disruption of everyday life. – David K. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Also New to Streaming

Apple TV+

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

MUBI (free 30 days)

The Kingdom Exodus: Exodus
Chico & Rita
I’m the Angel of Death: Pusher III
Johnny Corncob

Prime Video

The Black Phone

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