The Black Phone, Netflix’s The Gray Man, and more new movies to watch

This week, The Gray ManAvengers: Endgame directing duo Anthony Russo and Joe Russo’s espionage action thriller starring Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, and Ana de Armas — finally premieres on Netflix.

There’s also a ton of other newly released movies on VOD and streaming to choose from this weekend, including Scott Derrickson’s 2022 horror film The Black Phone starring Ethan Hawke, Alex Garland’s folk horror drama Men starring Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear, and the music documentary This is GWAR on Shudder. That’s not even mentioning the just-announced addition of Deadpool, Deadpool 2, and 2017’s Logan to Disney Plus.

Here are the new movies you can watch at home this week.


The Gray Man

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Image: Netflix

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Ryan Gosling stars in Anthony Russo and Joe Russo’s espionage action thriller The Gray Man as Court Gentry, a convict turned CIA operative known as “Sierra Six” who goes AWOL after stumbling across secrets capable of incriminating his superiors. With no other recourse, Gentry’s handlers dispatch another asset, Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans), to terminate Gentry before he can implicate the agency. Ana de Armas (Knives Out, No Time to Die) co-stars as Dani Miranda, a CIA officer sympathetic to Gentry’s cause, who agrees to help him in his mission to bring the agency to justice.

From our review:

There isn’t a single original idea here, and that’s fine! The appeal of a film like The Gray Man lies in how more than what, as the cast and crew work in concert to execute exciting action sequences. Unfortunately, the Russos’ style, full of bombastic excess and barely funny quips, gets in their way. There are well-conceived sequences here — every fight scene is framed against the most compelling backdrop possible. There’s an early fight during a fireworks display, and a mid-movie scrap between Six and some heavily armed goons where all he has is a daytime road flare that outlines his movements in smoke, or a flashlight that illuminates one blow at a time. But viewers only get frustratingly limited windows to appreciate the eye-catching staging and, more importantly, the actors in it.

The Black Phone

Where to watch: Available to rent for $19.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Ethan Hawke wearing a horned devil mask in The Black Phone (2022).

Image: Universal Pictures

Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson returns with The Black Phone, an adaptation of Joe Hill’s 2004 short story of the same name. It follows a 13-year-old boy (Mason Thames) who, after being abducted by a deranged serial killer known as The Grabber (Ethan Hawke), communicates with the voices of the killer’s previous victims via a mysterious black phone in order to plot his escape.

From our review:

Outside of the feeling of morbid inevitability, however, The Black Phone is a mess. The main issue is the performances, which range from puzzling to outright cringeworthy. Jeremy Davies is especially bad as Finney and Gwen’s drunk dad, whose slurring and screaming doesn’t register as authentically pathetic or threatening. Hawke is also too all over the place to read as credibly frightening: When we first see The Grabber, his face is painted white and he speaks in a high, affected voice that recalls Atlanta’s Teddy Perkins. Weird, right? What’s he trying to signify, and how does it fit into his psychosis? Doesn’t matter — that’s the first and last time that character detail will crop up in the film.

Men

Where to watch: Available to purchase for $19.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Jessie Buckley picks a highly symbolic apple from a tree in Alex Garland’s Men.

Photo: Kevin Baker/A24

Jessie Buckley (I’m Thinking of Ending Things) stars in Alex Garland’s 2022 folk horror film Men as Harper Marlowe, a recently widowed woman who travels to a rural village in the countryside to recuperate from the trauma of her husband’s suicide. Soon after arriving, however, Harper finds herself menaced by the strange men that inhabit the town, all of which are portrayed by Rory Kinnear (The Imitation Game).

From our review:

Men carries some echoes of other recent horror films, particularly the ones built around small, telling aggressions that represent larger splits in society. It resembles Jordan Peele’s Get Out in some structural ways: Just as Get Out’s Black protagonist Chris clings to his phone contact with his Black friend Rod (Lil Rel Howery) as a lifeline when he’s out of his element in a white country enclave, Harper gets her only support via phone from her friend Riley (Gayle Rankin), the one other significant woman in the film. (Other notable similarities can’t be discussed without spoilers.) And the lush environs, gender tension, the focus on grief and ways to express it, the boiling anger below the surface, and the resultant primal screaming all recall Ari Aster’s Midsommar, another film soaked in dread and a sense of inevitability.

Too Old for Fairy Tales

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Waldek Banas (Maciej Karas) sitting at a computer wearing an illuminated gaming headset in Too Old For Fairy Tales.

Image: Netflix

This Polish coming-of-age family comedy follows a young boy who wants nothing more than to become a competitive gamer. When his mother comes down with an illness and his aunt comes to stay with them, the boy sees his life in a new way.

Live Is Life

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Five boys on bicycles in Live is Life.

Image: Netflix

The Spanish comedy-drama Live Is Life follows the story of five childhood friends on the brink of adulthood who go on one last adventure, searching for a magical flower that could grant their wishes.

The Forgiven

Where to watch: Available to rent for $6.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

David (Ralph Fiennes) and Jo (Jessica Chastain) walk alongside one another in a gorgeous Moroccan house in The Forgiven.

Photo: Sife Elamine/Vertical Entertainment

Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) star in the 2022 drama The Forgiven as David and Jo, a wealthy couple on the verge of divorce who take a vacation to Morocco in an effort to repair their marriage. Unfortunately, the couple’s already tense trip takes a turn for the worse when they accidentally hit and kill a young boy on the way to a party. Forced to reckon with how their respective paths in life brought them to this point, David and Jo must decide what to make of their lives going forward.

Amityville in Space

Where to watch: Available to rent for $1.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

The Amityville mansion emerging from a black hole in space in Amityville in Space.

Image: Wild Eye Releasing

Are you familiar with Stuart Rosenberg’s 1979 horror film The Amityville Horror? What about the 1997 sci-fi horror movie Event Horizon starring Laurence Fishburne and Sam Neill? Well, Amityville in Space is like if you took those two movies, mashed them together, and the result was a B-movie about the infamous murder house being launched into space before emerging from a black hole possessed by eldritch horrors. Does it look good? Well…

Aftershock

Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu

Two young people hold a megaphone, surrounded by protestors supporting the cause of Black maternal rights.

Image: Hulu

Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee’s 2022 documentary Aftershock follows the stories of Omari Maynard and Bruce McIntyre, the husbands of two women who died due to preventable childbirth complications, and their fight for justice. Aftershock examines and explores the phenomenon of Black maternal deaths in America, what institutional problems lay at the heart of the issue, and what can be done to help.

Milkwater

Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu

A man and a woman sit across from one another in a dressing room wearing makeup with their index fingers pressed against each other’s lips in Milkwater.

Image: Wolfe Releasing

Molly Bernard (Otherhood) stars in the 2021 comedy-drama Milkwater as Milo, an aimless young woman who spontaneously agrees to become the surrogate for Roger (Patrick Breen), an older gay man she meets in a bar. As the pregnancy advances, so too does their relationship, as Milo is forced to contend with the full emotional weight and consequences of her decision.

You Are Not My Mother

Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu

Angela (Carolyn Bracken) in a tank top looking behind her, with blood coming out of her mouth, in You Are Not My Mother

Photo: Cait Fahey/Magnet Releasing

The 2021 psychological horror film You Are Not My Mother stars Hazel Doupe as Char, a young girl whose bedridden mother Angela (Carolyn Bracken) mysteriously goes missing a week before Halloween. When Angela returns home the following evening, Char notices strange and inexplicable changes in her mother’s personality and behavior, and begins to suspect that something terrible has happened to her. As Halloween fast approaches, Char must unearth dark secrets of her family’s history in a race to save her mother, and herself, from a fate worse than death.

All My Friends Hate Me

Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu

George (Joshua McGuire), Fig (Georgina Campbell), and Pete (Tom Stourton) laughing on a couch in All My Friends Hate Me.

Image: Super LTD

The 2021 comedy-horror film All My Friends Hate Me stars Tom Stourton as Pete, a man who returns from volunteering in a refugee camp to celebrate his birthday alongside his old college friends on a joyful weekend getaway. There’s only one problem: Pete can’t seem to shake the suspicion that his “friends” secretly hate him. As the weekend rolls on, his friends’ snarky inside jokes gradually become more biting, hostile, and personal, leading Pete to suspect that they might have altogether more sinister plans in mind than simply hanging out together. “Social anxiety meets psychological horror” sounds like a recipe for an entertaining (and terrifying) watch.

The Day The Music Died

Where to watch: Available to stream on Paramount Plus

A photo of a thumb painted with the stars and stripes of the American flag.

Image: Paramount Plus

The 2022 documentary The Day The Music Died charts the legacy of Don McLean’s iconic 1971 song “American Pie,” celebrating the song’s 50th anniversary through interviews of McLean as well as colleagues and admirers such as Garth Brooks, Peter Gallagher, and Brian Wilson.

Anything’s Possible

Where to watch: Available to stream on Prime Video

Eva Reign and Abubakr Ali in “Anything’s Possible.”

Photo: Tony Rivetti/Amazon Studios

Eva Reign (Sideways Smile) stars in actor-director Billy Porter’s coming-of-age rom-com Anything’s Possible as Kelsa, a confident high school senior who is asked out by her classmate Khal (Abubakr Ali). As the young couple navigate the challenges and stigma that comes with Kelsa being trans, both Khal and Kelsa grow and learn what it means to love someone.

Prizefighter: The Life of Jem Belcher

Where to watch: Available to stream on Prime Video

Russell Crowe as pugilist Jack Slack punching a man in the jaw in Prizefighter: The Life of Jem Belcher.

Image: Amazon Prime Video

Matt Hookings (Winter Ridge) stars in the 2022 biographical drama Prizefighter as Jem Belcher, a champion bare-knuckle boxer from the 19th century. Following Belcher’s career from his early days as an amateur pugilist under the tutelage of his grandfather Jack Slack (Russell Crowe), his professional ascent alongside his coach Bill Warr (Ray Winstone), and his fateful bout to reclaim his title in the standoff known as “The Forgotten Fight of the Century,” Prizefighter: The Life of Jem Belcher is a boxing biopic about one of the sport’s most legendary underdogs.

Dual

Where to watch: Available to rent for $3.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Karen Gillan faces her clone in the dark in Riley Stearns’ Dual

Image: RLJE Films

Riley Stearns (The Art of Self-Defense) wrote and directed this science fiction movie about Sarah (Karen Gillan), a woman who, after being diagnosed with a terminal illness, chooses to clone herself in order to spare her loved ones from the grief of losing her. When she makes an unexpected recovery, Sarah attempts and fails to decommission her clone. With no other option, Sarah is forced to fight her clone in a court-mandated duel to the death to decide which of them will be allowed to exist.

From our review:

That premise is absurd on a thousand levels, but Stearns leans straight into the absurdity, particularly with that ad for the cloning service, which presents a deadpan scenario where a depressed man clones himself so he can commit suicide in peace without making any of his family members suffer. This kind of brutally caustic humor defines the film. Anyone who can’t see themselves chuckling at least a little bit at the bleak prospect of a new clone calmly coming across his progenitor’s corpse and taking his place would be advised to steer clear.

Moloch

Where to watch: Available to stream on Shudder

A woman stares transfixed as she is surrounded by a group of mysterious masked figures in a cramped cabin in Moloch.

Photo: Boris Suyderhoud/Shudder

The Dutch folk horror film Moloch follows the story of Betriek (Sallie Harmsen), a 38-year-old woman who lives at the edge of a bog with her family whose home is attacked one night by a mysterious stranger. When Betriek embarks on a search for answers, she stumbles across something more horrifying and ancient than she possibly could’ve imagined.

This is GWAR

Where to watch: Available to stream on Shudder

A man in an elaborate costume and mask holds a guitar on stage in This is GWAR.

Image: Shudder

The 2022 documentary This is GWAR charts the history of the titular raunchy and idiosyncratic heavy metal art collective, as told by the band members and collaborators who have kept the project going for over 30 years. The film features interviews with Weird Al Yankovic, Alex Winter, Bam Margera, and more.