The Best New Movies to Hit Streaming in the Past Week

The Best New Movies to Hit Streaming in the Past Week

If you’re looking for a new or newish movie to watch this weekend, but you’ll only accept the highest quality entertainment, read on. Your streaming choices include a good-kind-of-mindless John Cena vehicle (Ricky Stanicky), a fantasy movie starring Millie Bobbie Brown (Damsel), and the second-most Oscar-nominated film of 2023, Poor Things.

Ricky Stanicky 

Wrestler-turned-movie-star John Cena is always funnier than you think he’ll be, and Ricky Stanicky gives Cena the chance to sink his teeth into a hammy role as the title character. In this Amazon-produced comedy from director Peter Farrelly, Zac Efron, Andrew Santino, and Jermaine Fowler play Dean, JT, and Wes, lifelong pals who and have been pretending to have a friend to use as an alibi or scapegoat since they were kids—if they want a night out with the guys, they just say they’re visiting Ricky Stanicky in the hospital. When their partners become suspicious and demand to meet Stanicky, the trio hire “Rock Hard” Rod (John Cena), a washed-up actor who specializes in x-rated celebrity impersonations, to portray Ricky. Things quickly spiral out of control as Ricky refuses to drop the role and inserts himself into every aspect of their lives. 

Where to stream: Prime


Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown plays Elodie in Damsel, a fantasy movie that turns fairytale tropes upside-down. After her betrothal to a prince, Elodie learns that her fate isn’t to live happily ever after, but to be sacrificed to a dragon. To survive (and bring down the evil royal family who cast her into the dragon cave) Elodie will have to face the fire-breathing beast herself. No knight in shining armor is coming to save the day.

Where to stream: Netflix

Poor Things (2023)

Director Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things is a dizzying mash-up of horror, romance, science-fiction, and comedy. Emma Stone turns in a fascinating, utterly all-in performance as Bella Baxter, a young woman who has the brain of a baby implanted in her head by a mad doctor (played by Willem Dafoe). Set in a steampunk/fairytale version of Victorian Europe, Poor Things is endlessly visually fascinating, intellectually stimulating, and funny as shit. It’s a must-watch (catch it before the March 10 Oscar ceremony, where it is nominated for 11 awards).

Where to stream: Disney+

The Program: Cons, Cults and Kidnapping

This unsettling documentary details the scary world of the “troubled teen” industry, where children are kidnapped and forced to live in horrendous conditions in often abusive institutions, all with the blessing of their parents. Through interviews with traumatized survivors, The Program: Cons, Cults and Kidnapping digs up copious dirt on The Academy at Ivy Ridge in Ogdensburg, NJ, a “disciplinary boarding school” that was rocked with accusations of abuse and torture before being shuttered in 2009. 

Where to stream: Netflix

Hannah Gadsby’s Gender Agenda

Award-winning comedian Hannah Gadsby hosts some of Earth’s funniest genderqueer comics at London’s Alexandra Palace Theatre in Hannah Gadsby’s Gender Agenda. The program includes sets from ALOK, Chloe Petts, DeAnne Smith, Ashley Ward, Jes Tom, Mx. Dahlia Belle, and Krishna Istha. Reading all the negative comments on the YouTube trailer made this into a must-see for me; if these jerks are being triggered, Netflix must be doing something right. 

Where to stream: Netflix

Last week’s picks


Adam Sandler is best known for his wacky comedies, but he’s a great actor when he feels like it. Netflix original Spaceman shows off Sandler’s deeper side, casting him as Jakub, an astronaut adrift in both outer space and in his personal life. Six months into a solitary research mission on the fringes of the solar system, Jakub realizes his earthbound marriage is crumbling, and finds solace and advice from an unlikely source: Hanuš, an ancient, spider-like alien hiding in his ship. The film comes from director Johan Renck, who won an Emmy for HBO’s Chernobyl, and co-stars Carey Mulligan.

Where to stream: Netflix

Code 8 Part 2

Code 8 was crowd-funded through Indiegogo and became a cult favorite after a Netflix pickup. Part 2 takes us back to Lincoln City and continues the story of the conflict between the “People With Powers” and the authorities. It’s like a grittier, more realistic X-Men. Code 8 Part 2 begins with Connor leaving prison and trying to stay on the straight-and-narrow, but being dragged back in to life after a run-in with corrupt cops and their robotic dogs. If you’re interested in a twist on the superhero genre, check it out.

Where to stream: Netflix

Napoleon (2023)

Stanley Kubrick spent years working on a would-be epic film about Napoleon Bonaparte, only to abandon the project when he couldn’t raise the budget necessary to film its epic battle scenes. Ridley Scott managed to climb that mountain, creating a two-and-a-half hour movie filled with battles that are almost as big and crazy as Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of the diminutive conqueror. Napoleon divided critics and audiences, so check it out and see where you land. (Rumor has it a four-hour director’s cut will also eventually show up on Apple TV+, so maybe you’ll need to reserve judgment until then.)

Where to stream: Apple TV

Lead Image Credit: Netflix

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