We’ve got a strong variety in the 7 best new films of the week, starting with a fun YA comedy with rising stars at the top of the bill. So, if you’re tried of waiting for more of Stranger Things’ Dustin, you won’t have to wait longer if you’ll check out Honor Society on Paramount Plus.
A fun-looking high school comedy, Honor Society is about Honor, a student who’s been living her high school years just for the goal of making it to the Ivy leagues. The only problem is that getting there now seems to mean she has to derail some of her classmates’ dreams, by way of manipulation. If Honor Society is as good as it looks, it could help Paramount Plus reach our list of the best streaming services.
Over on Netflix, Purple Hearts delivers a tale of a couple who is faking their whole relationship for the medical benefits. Of course, that goes wrong. Those who want a documentary will flock to HBO Max, where the ‘cameras’ are virtual, as a new film examines those who are living their best lives in virtual reality.
Elsewhere, on Hulu, there’s a cautionary tale of a social media influencer who becomes the main character (and that’s not a good thing) by faking a trip to France. Two other picks this week are digital VOD releases, and tell tales of art theft and supernatural horror.
If that’s not enough for you, check out our list of the 7 new movies and shows to watch from this past weekend. And you can fill your calendar with the 17 new movies and shows to watch in July 2022 across all of the top streamers.
Honor Society (Paramount Plus)
Angourie Rice (who you may know from Mare of Easttown or her minor role as Betty Brant in the Tom Holland Spider-Man movies), is moving into her ‘starring role’ phase. Here, in Honor Society, she plays this generation’s version of Reese Witherspoon’s Tracy Flick — but Honor is not nearly as unhinged. Strongly ambitious of getting out of her small town and going to a great college, Honor is that classmate who is doing everything you’re supposed to do to succeed.
Unfortunately, there’s competition in getting the right recommendation from guidance counselor Mr. Calvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, as, McLovin is now old enough to be playing a guidance counselor). This is where Honor sets her sights on one of Mr. Calvin’s other favorites: Michael (Stranger Things’ Gaten Matarazzo). And as you’d expect, her attempts to seduce and break him turn into an actual crush.
Stream it on Paramount Plus (opens in new tab) on Friday (July 29)
They Live in the Grey
Need some good horror? Shudder original They Live in the Grey is finally leaving Shudder’s walls, going on digital sale this week. After being haunted by supernatural visions for years, social worker Claire Yang (Michelle Krusiec) is discovering she has some sort of clairvoyance.
Her latest assignment, though — a case of possible domestic abuse — shows Claire where her powers come from. It turns out Claire’s powers are rooted in a supernatural being that she now has to stop. And, hopefully, she’ll be able to save the child who’s being possessed. Oh, and Claire’s boyfriend gets pulled into this complicated web of mystery.
Sometimes, art theft is justified. This is the case of The Duke, which is based on a true story of a man in Great Britain who stole Francisco Goya’s “Portrait Of The Duke Of Wellington” from the National Gallery in London in 1961. No, Kempton Bunton (Jim Broadbent) didn’t steal the Goya because it wasn’t obtained legally.
Bunton took the painting because how he believed the government wasn’t giving war widowers and pensioners what they deserved. In the process, he was jailed and shocked his wife Dorothy (Helen Mirren) for not letting her in on the con. This story, something of legend, has only been truly understood in recent times.
Buy it on Apple (opens in new tab) and other services today (July 26)
We Met in Virtual Reality (HBO Max)
Virtual reality, the metaverse, whatever you want to call it, the virtual world online has become a place where people go to make connections. And, so, HBO brought its (proverbial, virtual) cameras into virtual reality for a new special ‘filmed’ entirely in virtual reality.
In We Met in Virtual Reality, we’ll meet people who are using VR to make a long distance relationship work, practice their prospective careers in the online world and those who claim they stayed sane through these worlds. Our big question is if this look at tightly-knit online communities will suffer because it’s exclusively presented in the virtual world. By not showing the lives people live outside of VR, the documentary may feel limited in the truths it’s telling.
Stream it on HBO Max (opens in new tab) starting tomorrow, (Wednesday, July 27)
In Topside, we meet secret community of homeless New Yorkers — which include mother Nikki (Celine Held) and daughter Little (Zhalia Farmer) — who have taken abandoned tunnels. Of course, because this is New York, even their residency is completely shattered, and Nikki and Little have to go topside.
On their own in NYC, the two seek refuge in a church, which doesn’t work out that well. After hitting multiple dead-ends, the two accidentally get separated, and while Nikki is desperate to reunite with her daughter, nobody thinks she’s a suitable parent.
Stream it on Hulu (opens in new tab) on Friday (July 22)
Purple Hearts (Netflix)
Aspiring (and struggling) song-writer Cassie (Sofia Carson) and marine Luke (Nicholas Galitzine) married — like some do — for the health insurance benefits. But their act of pretending to love each other turned into something completely different once Luke is wounded in action.
Back home, Luke is working through physical therapy, while Cassie is actually taking the stage. A ton of emotions packed into a movie which has an original song performed and co-written by Carson, Purple Hearts is probably the best new movie online this week for anyone who wants a cathartic drama.
Stream it on Netflix (opens in new tab) on Friday (July 29)
Not Okay (Hulu)
Wonder what it’s like to the ‘main character’ of the news? Not Okay tells that kind of story, as Danni Sanders (Zoey Deutch) fakes a vacation to try and get social media clout only to find herself declared a hero. The internet then, of course, turns on Danni in due course.
A cautionary tale of social media success, Not Okay feels especially modern. We’re not sure it will stop people from participating in online dogpiles when the next ‘Danni Sanders’ shows up, though.
Stream it on Hulu (opens in new tab) on Friday (July 29)