socially distanced times.
This weekend, Priyanka Chopra Jonas stars in and executive produces a darkly comic Netflix crime drama about an Indian underdog, plus Casey Affleck joins Dakota Johnson and Jason Segel for a based-on-real-life weep fest. Hulu has a filmed production of Derek DelGaudio’s popular off-Broadway show, Frank Stallone (brother of action-movie legend Sly) gets a new documentary, Frank Grillo and Andie MacDowell play Texas parents in a modern Western set along the border, and a new sci-fi horror comedy is maybe the most fun you’ll have this year. (It is only January, but still.)
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Here’s a rundown of new movies hitting streaming and on-demand platforms this week, for every cinematic taste:
Adarsh Gourav is a revelation as an intelligent and cunning young Indian man from a poor rural village taught by society to be a servant. He worms his way into becoming a driver for a corrupt and wealthy landlord’s son (Rajkummar Rao) and his wife (Chopra Jonas) and ultimately becomes a wealthy entrepreneur himself in director Ramin Bahrani’s entertaining, effective and surprisingly brutal take on a modern rags-to-riches tale.
Where to watch: Netflix
Jason Segel plays Dane, the title buddy of director Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s tear-jerking drama, who puts his entire life on hold so he can help out his close friends when Nicole (Dakota Johnson) finds out her cancer is terminal and husband Matt (Casey Affleck) struggles to keep it together for their kids. Cliches abound, and the non-linear structure plus a litany of subplots make it a bit of a mess, but you’ll probably still tear up a bit by the end.
Gory, hilarious and proudly goofy, Steven Kostanski’s sci-fi horror comedy is a B-movie throwback to kid-friendly ’80s adventures, but with a ton more blood. Competitive siblings (Nita Josee-Hanna and Owen Myre) unearth a strange gem in their backyard, unleashing a malevolent alien overlord (Matthew Ninaber). But having the gem gives the youngsters total control over the monstrous megalomaniac, leading to absurd intergalactic shenanigans.
Chances are you’ll spend some of the 90-minute running time trying to figure out how DelGaudio, a masterful and inspirational storyteller, is pulling off his wowing illusions and card tricks in the filmed version of his Frank Oz-directed off-Broadway show. Those are less important, however, than the thought-provoking themes of identity, affecting questions about the meaning of life and DelGaudio’s audience interactions that will absolutely move you.
Where to watch: Hulu
In the gripping coming-of-age thriller set along the southern border, Jackson (Jake Allyn) is a young Texan with baseball dreams. When a group of Mexicans heading for America crosses the family ranch one night, Jackson accidentally kills a Mexican boy and flees south, leaving his parents (Frank Grillo and Andie MacDowell) behind but with a Texas Ranger (George Lopez), the boy’s vengeful dad (Jorge A. Jimenez) and a violent goon (Andres Delgado) in pursuit.
Where to watch: Apple TV, Google Play, FandangoNOW
Sure, his sibling Sly is the more well-known one, but Frank Stallone is presented as a pretty interesting, eccentric and often gregarious figure himself in this new documentary, with interviews including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Billy Dee Williams and, of course, big bro. It’s a fairly straightforward chronicling of his entire life, from a childhood spent with his older sibling to years of resentment over being called “Rocky’s brother” to an up-and-down musical career that reached its height with his top 10 song “Far From Over.”
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