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What to watch this weekend: New ‘Downton Abbey,’ Netflix’s ‘A Perfect Pairing,’ ‘Chip ‘n Dale’

  • May 20, 2022

“Downton Abbey” lovers will get a chance to catch up with the aristocratic Crawley family in the series’ next big-screen British drama, while Oscar nominee Jessie Buckley travels to the English countryside and finds nothing relaxing in Alex Garland’s new horror film. Disney chipmunks Chip and Dale are back in a live-action/cartoon hybrid Disney+ reboot of “Rescue Rangers,” and Victoria Justice ventures Down Under for a trip filled with wine, love and sheep-shearing in a Netflix romantic comedy.

Here’s a guide to new movies that will satisfy every cinematic taste, plus some noteworthy theatrical films making their on-demand debut:  

Summer movie preview:10 must-see films, from ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ to ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’

If you love British period drama: ‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’

After the royal visit in the 2019 film, the next chapter of the 2010s PBS series takes the Crawley family to the south of France and, yes, to the movies. Maggie Smith’s razor-tongued Dowager Countess surprisingly inherits a French villa, so her son Robert (Hugh Bonneville) heads up a convoy to check it out, while Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) deals with a filmmaking crew that rents the Downton estate for their latest project. The 1920s-set story is a satisfying outing that brings life changes to many beloved characters.

Where to watch: In theaters

Review:‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’ continues British family saga in solid, soapy fashion

If you lived for Roger Rabbit back in the day: ‘Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers’

Clever, subversive and way better than you think it’s going to be, the live-action/animated hybrid romp brings estranged mystery-solving chipmunk BFFs Chip (voiced by John Mulaney) and Dale (Andy Samberg) back together for a case involving famous cartoon characters going missing. They team up with a human cop (Kiki Layne) in a comedy full of pop-culture references, meta jokes, non-Disney personalities and Will Arnett as aging Peter Pan with a dad bod.

Where to watch: Disney+

If you enjoy being utterly confused: ‘Men’

Although Garland’s latest is a step back from the storytelling and artistry of “Ex Machina” and “Annihilation,” it delivers on biblical overtones and body horror insanity. After the death of her husband, Harper (Buckley) escapes to the countryside for a vacation, where  she’s haunted by her loss and  a host of disconcerting male figures (all brilliantly played by Rory Kinnear), from an odd boy to a naked stalker. Much is left to your interpretation, yet the strong performances are offset by that lack of narrative cohesion.

Where to watch: In theaters

If you dig unlikely romantic pairings: ‘The Valet’

America gets its own “Notting Hill” with this remake of a hit French comedy starring Eugenio Derbez as Antonio, a divorced L.A. parking attendant hired to pose as the boyfriend of Hollywood A-lister Olivia Allan (Samara Weaving) so she and a married real estate mogul (Max Greenfield) can keep their affair private. The film takes a while to get going, but once Antonio introduces Olivia to his family, it turns into a sweet tale about embracing who you are that nicely avoids genre conventions.

Where to watch: Hulu

If you adore Australian accents: ‘A Perfect Pairing’

In a romantic comedy that absolutely embraces expectations, Justice plays an ambitious and talented L.A. wine seller who has a Jerry Maguire moment, quits her job and starts her own company. She travels Down Under to score a major first client, but to make her pitch, takes a job as a jillaroo (Aussie-speak for a rookie ranch hand) at a remote sheep station. Of course, her new boss (Adam Demos) is a mysterious, rugged bloke and sparks fly – as does liquefied sheep poo. 

Where to watch:Netflix

If you’re a fan of psychosexual thrillers: ‘Cordelia’

Antonia Campbell-Hughes co-writes and stars in this psychological drama as the title character, a lonely, paranoid London woman still spooked by a past trauma. When her twin sister/roommate goes away for the weekend, Cordelia meets her cello-playing neighbor (Johnny Flynn), but as they get to know each other, she’s plagued by prank phone calls and wonders about his true motives. The film makes the most of a great, twisty premise but peters out with a frustrating ending. 

Where to watch: In theaters and on Apple TV, Vudu, Google Play

Also on streaming

  • The Viking epic “The Northman,” starring Alexander Skarsgård as a 10th-century berserker on a mission of revenge, is available on Apple TV and other VOD platforms.
  • “The Bad Guys,” an animated comedy featuring Sam Rockwell as a wolf who leads a criminal crew trying to go straight, is now on VOD.
  • If you missed out on the Jared Leto superhero horror film “Morbius” in theaters, you can check it out on streaming outlets including Apple TV, Vudu and Google Play.
  • But if you want to see a good chiller, the Finnish body horror gem “Hatching” is on VOD.

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