The best new movie on streaming this week is literally one of the best movies of the year, and it’s coming to HBO Max. Of course, this being late-October, you won’t be surprised to hear me say that the film is a horror movie with a big surprise twist.
That film, Barbarian, is one of our favorite films of the year because it’s not just excellent at scaring audiences, but because of that unexpected thing that we dare not explain. And underneath all those shocks, there is an actual message amid the mayhem. Barbarian’s arrival on HBO Max is a reminder of why we consider it the best streaming service.
Thankfully, not all of the new movies online this week are scary. Netflix’s new version of All Quiet on the Western Front looks impressive to say the least, while its animated Halloween film Wendell & Wild (starring the voices of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele) looks to give more laughs than frights. And it’s directed by Henry Selick, who also directed The Nightmare Before Christmas.
We’ve also got pair of important documentaries, with Apple TV Plus shining a light on Louis Armstrong’s life and the HBO Original Documentary team sharing the stories of a community rocked by a horrific antisemitic attack.
Need more? Be sure to check out our list of the new movies and shows to watch from this past weekend. And you can fill your calendar with the new movies and shows to watch in October 2022 across all of the top streamers.
Pearl: An X-traordinary Origin Story
If you’ve seen the recent horror movie X, you’ve met Pearl. You just don’t know how she got that way. And in Pearl: An X-traordinary Origin Story, filmmaker Ti West shows us the odd story of a film-lover who snapped during rough times. Taking place during the 1918 influenza pandemic, Pearl (Mia Goth) lives with her ailing, and barely breathing, father (Matthew Sunderland) and her overbearing mother Ruth (Tandi Wright). But when she gets brief moments to herself, she goes to the cinema and dreams of a better life. As things begin to go wrong for Pearl, and her chance at chasing her dreams is in jeopardy, she doesn’t handle it well at all.
Buy on Prime Video (opens in new tab) right now (released today, Oct. 25)
Barbarian (HBO Max)
Tess (Georgina Campbell) is in a bad neighborhood on a rainy night, but at least she found her way to the porch of the Airbnb she’s staying at. There’s only one problem: someone else is already staying here. And he (Bill Skarsgård) is both awkward and nice. He can’t be a bad guy, right? Well, I’d tell you more, but I actually saw Barbarian and know I really should keep the details of what happens in that house at a bare minimum. Other than to say Barbarian is a horror movie with a big twist.
One of my absolute favorite movies of 2022, Barbarian is a whole lot of horror. And to see HBO Max get it relatively soon after its theatrical release? What a Halloween miracle.
Watch on HBO Max (opens in new tab) right now (released today, Oct. 25)
The Good Nurse (Netflix)
Unfortunately, The Good Nurse, the story of Amy (Jessica Chastain) is based on a true story. Here, we see how she’s struggling to find answers after one of her colleagues (played by Eddie Redmayne) is responsible for a string of patient deaths. She refuses to believe it at first — as the hospitals are mum on the topic — but she slowly sees that something seriously wrong is taking place. Does she really want to risk her already tenuous situation, where making ends meet for her and her daughter is already tough enough as it is?
Watch on Netflix (opens in new tab) starting tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 26)
A Tree of Life: The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting (HBO)
The HBO Original Documentary team tackles its latest difficult topic, focusing their lenses on the anti-Semitic shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. This 2018 shooting was forever etched into the memories of many, as it’s the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history. The film uses audio from the police calls during the event to show a new angle of the tragedy. A Tree of Life looks to uplift, though, showing how a community united in the face of this horrific event.
Watch on HBO Max (opens in new tab) starting tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 26)
All Quiet on the Western Front (Netflix)
Usually, film adaptations of novels don’t try and go for it again if the first adaptation won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. And that’s why all eyes are on Edward Berger’s All Quiet on the Western Front, which is based on Erich Maria Remarque’s novel of the same title. With the bar set so high from the original 1930 film, we’re excited to see raves about the performance of Felix Kammerer, who plays German soldier Paul Bäumer. Paul and his friends have been convinced to enlist by war time propaganda and discover the reality doesn’t match the promotion once they get into the thick of it. This is Kammerer’s debut on the screen, and both he and Berger are getting strong applause from those who have seen the film.
Watch it on Netflix (opens in new tab) starting Friday (October 28)
Wendell & Wild (Netflix)
Wendell & Wild is what happens when you mix one part The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline (director Henry Selick masterminds the whole thing) with one part Key & Peele. In this Jordan Peele-produced animated treat, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele lend their voices to a pair of demons luring rebellious teen Kat (Lyric Ross) into their underground land of chaos. But once Kat’s down in the depths, the demons realize she might be tougher than they expected — and she might be ready to take over. Or at least that’s what the staff at her Catholic school has been fearing.
Watch on Netflix (opens in new tab) starting Friday (October 28)
Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues (Apple TV Plus)
Apple has been deeply connected to music for decades, and so we’re happy to see the debut of Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues, its documentary about the iconic musician. While you might know Armstrong’s songs, this film looks to reveal more about the man who succeeded while the country was making it tough for Black men and women. Never-before-heard audio recordings from Armstrong’s home mix with archival footage and personal conversations to paint this portrait.
Watch it on Apple TV Plus (opens in new tab) starting Friday (Oct. 28)