From Prey to Everything Everywhere All At Once, here are the best new streaming movies in September 2022 worth your time.
Until just a few years back, we had to wait months to catch a film if we missed it on the big screen. Today, we get to see them all (well mostly!) from the comfort of our homes. But there are so many new streaming movies released every week it can be overwhelming to keep track. What’s even worse is sifting through them all to pick a film that’s actually worth your time.
Whether you fancy a sci-fi horror film or a wholesome blockbuster, family-friendly entertainer, there’s plenty to choose from. So, instead of endlessly scrolling through the different categories to zero-in on “the one,” bookmark this list to keep track of all that’s coming in and going out. These are some of the best newly released movies across streaming platforms.
We’ll keep this list updated with fresh recommendations every week. Quickly then, here are 10 new streaming movies, from 2022 and 2021, that are actually worth your time:
1. Prey (2022)
Streaming on HULU
Dan Trachtenberg’s Prey is clearly the best Predator movie since the 1987 original film featuring Arnold. The last Predator made in 2018 was the most disastrous in the franchise. Nevertheless, Prey – set in 1719 America – brilliantly resurrects the stale franchise with a taut screenplay and exciting action set-pieces. The narrative unfolds from the perspective of a smart and agile young female warrior named Naru (Amber Midthunder).
Naru is a member of the Comanche Nation, and her desire to be a warrior is repeatedly disapproved. Yet she fights to protect her tribe against a highly-evolved alien hunter. Trachtenberg is skillful at gradually setting up the confrontation between Naru and the Predator. However, the best thing about Prey is our emotional investment in Naru’s journey.
2. The Batman (2022)
Streaming on Amazon Prime Video
Writer/director Matt Reeves astonishingly re-imagines the tale of the caped crusader as a detective noir story. The result is the grittiest Batman movie, whose visual brilliance is compared to films like Heat, Se7en, and Zodiac. Robert Pattinson plays the troubled billionaire vigilante. He follows the trail of a mysterious psychopath, known as The Riddler.
The murder victims of Riddler are all corrupted and powerful citizens of Gotham City. Gradually, the Batman learns that the puzzle to solve the murders lies in his own past. Matt Reeves’ Batman deeply focuses on the vulnerabilities and mental health issues of the superhero protagonist. Overall, it’s the best Batman movie since Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008).
3. The Northman (2022)
Streaming on Peacock
Visionary filmmaker Robert Eggers’ The Northman is loosely based on the Norse mythology that inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Set in the 9th century Viking era, the story follows the vengeful quest of a young Viking prince to avenge his father’s murder. The Northman is a violent, surreal, and operatic drama which features all the arresting imagery we have come to expect from Eggers.
Though it’s an ancient revenge fantasy, it offers relevant lessons about the human condition. The film is a close study of how violence begets violence. Furthermore, Alexander Skarsgard’s phenomenal performance as the central character, Amleth showcases what a life shaped around feelings of vengeance and hatred can do to an individual.
4. Parallel Mothers (2021)
Streaming on Amazon Prime Video
Spanish auteur Pedro Almodovar’s Parallel Mothers tells the endearing story of two single-mothers. Almodovar regular Penelope Cruz plays Janis, a free-spirited photographer who accidentally gets pregnant and decides to keep the baby. At hospital, she befriends Ana, a pregnant adolescent girl. They both have babies at the same time, and their fates are inextricably intertwined.
Almodvar also focuses on a secondary storyline involving the campaign to exhume the victims of Spanish Civil War from a mass grave. This adds another layer to the drama and brilliantly zeroes-in on the theme of generational trauma. Overall, Parallel Mothers is an achingly tender melodrama with a fantastic performance from Penelope Cruz as usual.
5. C’mon C’mon (2021)
Streaming on Amazon Prime Video
Mike Mills’ C’mon C’mon is a poignant story about parenthood. Joaquin Phoenix plays Johnny, a radio host who travels around the country interviewing kids and teenagers about their aspirations, dreams, and hopes. Johnny’s estranged sister Viv (Gaby Hoffman) needs him to look after her 9-year old boy, Jesse (Woody Norman).
Viv has to take care of her partner who is suffering from mental-health issues. Thus begins the beautiful journey of the two emotionally-damaged souls, Johnny and Jesse. Shot in pure black-and-white, C’mon C’mon looks at both the wonders of childhood and the disappointing realities of adulthood. The quiet and subtle performances from the three central characters make the film more memorable.
6. RRR (2022)
Streaming on Disney + Hotstar (Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam); Hindi version in Netflix
Indian-Telugu filmmaker SS Rajamouli is known for making super-charged spectacles. RRR, his recent action drama, set in 1920s India tells the pulsating tale of two freedom fighters. Though the characters played by Ram Charan and NTR Jr. are based on two real-life rebel heroes, the extravagant setting is wholly a creation of Rajamouli.
RRR is too melodramatic at times and the British authorities come across as cartoonishly evil. Yet the best thing about the film is the magnificent action set-pieces which are perfectly grounded with the characters’ emotional reality. Rajamouli visualises plenty of jaw-dropping imagery, in an era when even Hollywood films are struggling to make a good spectacle flick.
7. Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood (2022)
Streaming on Netflix
Esteemed filmmaker Richard Linklater’s Apollo 10½ is a thoroughly engrossing and nostalgic animated film about the 1960s space age. The film is semi-autobiographical and tells the tale of a 10-year old suburban kid Stan, who receives NASA’s attention. In this imaginative version of Apollo moon landing, Stan is told by NASA officials that due to a minor mishap the moon lander capsule is built too small. Therefore, they need a kid like Stan to train himself and be prepared for a secret moon mission.
Linklater’s fantastical tale largely works due to his unique directorial voice. He delightfully portrays the wonders of space-age exploration through the eyes of a curious boy.
8. Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022)
Streaming on Apple TV+
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s high-concept multiverse spectacle entertainingly explores the conflicts in a mother-daughter relationship. The narrative revolves around Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh), who runs a struggling Laundromat business with her husband Waymond. Evelyn is trying to evade serious tax fines while repairing the relationship with her depressed daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu).
But unexpectedly the multiverse opens up. A multi-dimensional super-villain emerges, and Eveyln embarks on an insane adventure to save the universe. Everything Everywhere All At Once is a bizarre and hilarious movie that effortlessly switches between the mundane and the fantastical. The two touching central performances perfectly anchor the wild narrative.
9. Fresh (2022)
Streaming on Disney + Hotstar & HULU
Mimi Cave’s horror-thriller Fresh offers a clever social commentary on the modern dating world. The narrative revolves around Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones), a young woman who is sick of the dating app experiences. At the supermarket, she comes across a charming, extroverted stranger named Steve (Sebastian Stan). They get to know each other, and soon Noa goes with him for a weekend getaway.
Subsequently, she learns of the plastic surgeon Steve’s disturbing appetites. The later-half of Fresh does suffer from contrived plotting and illogical character choices. Yet this is a deliciously twisted horror with impressively layered performances from Daisy and Stan.
10. Crimes of the Future (2022)
Streaming on MUBI
David Cronenberg returns to his body horror and sci-fi roots in Crimes of the Future. The film is set in an unspecified future and revolves around two strange performance artist couples, Saul (Viggo Mortensen) and Caprice (Lea Seydoux). Their ‘performance’ is based on Saul’s disease called Accelerated Evolution Syndrome. The affliction causes Saul to grow new non-functional organs in his body, which Caprice, a lapsed surgeon, cuts out for an audience during their nightly shows.
Similar to Videodrome and eXistenZ, Crimes of the Future is Cronenberg’s darkly comic contemplation on the endless possibilities of art and technology. The filmmaker consistently unsettles us with his gruesome imagery.
Thanks to the streaming services, there’s a bevy of new titles all around the year that crowd our watchlist. Netflix might receive a lot of attention. It is currently unmatched in terms of original movie releases, but cinephiles who are constantly in pursuit of good movies are actually spoiled for choices. With Peacock, HULU, and Apple TV, the streaming world’s frontiers are being expanded.
While you await your favorite new film available for streaming, be sure to bookmark this list for weekly updates!
An ardent cinephile, who truly believes in the transformative power and shared-dream experience of cinema. He blogs at ‘Passion for Movies.’