This is a really awful Friday: Zac Efron plays dad and Rebel Wilson is the 37-year-old cheerleader.
This weekend, Efron plays the protective father of an action kid in a new adaptation of a Stephen King classic, while Wilson plays a teenager who wakes from a 20-year coma (and still wants to be the hottest girl in school) in a new Netflix comedy. It’s a busy week for the streaming service, which also offers a real-life British spy thriller starring Colin Firth and “Succession” star Matthew MacFadden, as well as a documentary about a fertility doctor who vaccinated his patients.
Here’s a guide to new movies that will satisfy every cinematic taste, as well as some noteworthy theatrical films that have made their live debuts:
Summer movie preview:10 Must-Watch Movies, From Top Gun: Maverick to Thor: Love and Thunder
If you’re a die-hard Zac Efron fan: ‘Firestarter’
Keith Thomas directed last year’s best-selling horror movie, the religious stalker “The Vigil,” but his fluffy, brooding book on King’s novel didn’t have the same glow. Charlie (Ryan Keira Armstrong), an 11-year-old who can set her mind on fire and gets stronger by the day, elopes with her psychic father (Efron) when a government agency pursues her. Fundamentalists King will be pissed off as the movie stresses the story to focus on the father/daughter relationship, but the remake is worrisome enough and gets an old-school boost thanks to John Carpenter’s creepy score.
Where to watch: In theaters and on a peacock
If you liked good high school comedy: ‘Senior Year’
Wilson plays a cheerleader who faces a bad stumble in 2002, wakes up two decades later to a world of social media and political power that’s boggling her mind, and re-enrolls in high school so she can finish her senior year and be crowned prom queen. The movie borrows a lot of better teen movies, but it also sends out those metaphors while successfully leaning toward Gen Z jokes and early 2000s nostalgia.
Where to watch: Netflix
“I know it’s a bit bad”:Rebel Wilson talks about the “good revenge” she got from her high school teacher
If you want a fun history lesson: “The mincemeat process”
A true World War II spy thriller depicts Firth and MacFadden as two British intelligence officers who devised a Gonzo plan in 1943 to use a dead body bearing classified papers to deceive the Nazis and save thousands of lives. It’s a time period thriller even with weird twists, including a whirlwind love triangle and officer Ian Fleming (Johnny Flynn) coming on the occasional James Bond inspiration.
Where to watch:Netflix
If you like adult movies with a scary side: The Innocents
The Scandinavian horror film is a well-made, immersive, and sometimes disturbing look at the cruelty of adolescence. An 11-year-old girl and her older sister, on the sharp end of the autism spectrum, move into a new apartment complex with their family. The children and young adults around them begin to display mysterious psychic abilities and other powers, as the youthful acts of curiosity quickly lead to darker turns of jealousy and revenge.
Where to watch: In theaters, on Apple TV and Google Play
If you’re into stranger-than-fiction documentaries: “Our Father”
An Indiana woman named Jacob Ballard, who got pregnant by donating sperm, took a DNA test at home in hopes of finding some siblings or even her biological father. The movie tells of how she actually found seven half-brothers. And then – to their horror – dozens emerge when they discover that a fertility doctor gave his sperm to their mothers, as well as a court system ill-equipped to deliver justice amid an increasingly surreal scenario.
Where to watch:Netflix
If you’re curious about the porn industry: ‘Have fun’
The cautionary tale centers on aspiring Swedish actress Bella Cherry (Sofia Capel) who ventures to Los Angeles to become an adult film star. Things get tough (in multiple ways) for her as she makes questionable strides in her ascent within the industry. The film weaves the mundane workplace drama into an eye-opening narrative, filled with sex toys and naked abandon, not for everyone.
Where to watch: in theaters
If You’re Obsessed With Music: “Jazz Fest: The New Orleans Story”
What are the other features of the movie Pitbull about fried oysters? The documentary explores the five-decade history of the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Heritage and List of Legendary Artists. So come on Jimmy Buffett, Bruce Springsteen, and Earth, Wind and Fire, but go on a deep dive into the early days of jazz and how the festival’s diverse musical styles inspired and influenced Katy Perry and others.
Where to watch: in theaters
If You Who Completed Christina Ricci: “Brutal”
The indie horror movie offers a flavor of the 1950s and slow-motion horror, as Christina Ricci stars a single mother who escapes with her 7-year-old to a remote farm to escape her abusive ex-husband. A stranger appears from the pond at night, wants to take the baby away and creates additional problems for an already nervous mother. It’s a decent retro cooler that pays off with an emotional twist at the end.
Where to watch: In theaters and on Apple TV, Vudu
also on stream
- The Lost City action adventure, starring Sandra Bullock as a romance writer in need of rescue and Channing Tatum as its well-meaning but dim cover model, is now available to watch on Paramount+.
- Gangster drama “The Outfit” airs with Mark Rylance as an English tailor who has to survive a night alongside dangerous Chicago headdresses on the Peacock.