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New Movies: Release Calendar for October 9, Plus Where to Watch the Latest Films

Staying home? Good. Looking for something new to watch? Even better!

"The 40 Year Old Version"

“The 40-Year-Old Version”

Netflix

Staying home? Good. Looking for something new to watch while you do it? Even better! As the world shifts to accommodate a wide range of in-home viewing options for movie lovers, it’s not just platforms that are expanding, it’s the very type of films they host. There’s more than ever to sift through, and IndieWire is here to help you do just that.

This week’s new releases include streaming originals, fresh VOD offerings, festival favorites, new studio releases now available in the comfort of your own home, and a variety of exciting virtual cinema picks. Browse your options below.

Week of October 5 – October 11

New Films on VOD and Streaming (And in Select Theaters)

As new movies open in theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic, IndieWire will continue to review them whenever possible. We encourage readers to follow the safety precautions provided by CDC and health authorities. Additionally, our coverage will provide alternative viewing options whenever they are available.

“The 40-Year-Old Version” (directed by Radha Blank)
Distributor: Netflix
Where to Find It: Streaming on Netflix

Shot throughout New York with gorgeous black-and-white photography (by “Clemency” cinematographer Eric Branco), “The 40-Year-Old Version” always feels close to the ground, with Radha Blank’s uneven path to writing a new play — and finding unexpected catharsis in hip hop — taking a series of entertaining twists. At 129 minutes, the lighthearted format risks growing stale, and certainly could have shaved off some perfunctory scenes. But Blank is so adroit at populating her story with shrewd observations and her own infectious personality that even its loose structure vibes with the nature of the movie, which maintains the rascally energy of an early Spike Lee joint while channeling a fresh new voice. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Black Box” (directed by Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour)
Distributor: Amazon, Blumhouse
Where to Find It: Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

About an hour into “Black Box,” there’s a twist so good it almost salvages the cheesy B-movie that led up to it. This Blumhouse-produced debut from director Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour blends the psychological uneasiness of an amnesiac’s plight with the ravings of a mad scientist, and the full premise suggests a clever marriage of “Total Recall” and “Get Out.” It lacks the inspired lunacy of the former and the fiery social commentary of the latter, but Osei-Kuffour (who co-wrote the movie with Wade Allain-Marcus and Stephen Herman) has constructed an enigmatic lo-fi thriller with just enough intricate mind games to make the eerie journey worthwhile. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Hubie Halloween”

“Hubie Halloween” (directed by Steven Brill)
Distributor: Netflix
Where to Find It: Streaming on Netflix

Sure, “Hubie Halloween” feels like it was written in the span of a single afternoon by two middle-aged men wearing gym shorts, but at least they included a scene where Ray Liotta refers to star Adam Sandler’s dim-witted hero as “Pubie Dubois” (a cruel nickname that spreads through Salem like a novel coronavirus through the White House). Sure, this dopey story about a Halloween-obsessed scaredy cat who teaches the jerks in his town about the true meaning of bravery or whatever is just a flimsy excuse to let Sandler and his friends make each other laugh on someone else’s dime/bottomless corporate debt, but at least it allows every American to fulfill their lifelong dream of watching Steve Buscemi play a werewolf. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“The Lie” (directed by Veena Sud)
Distributor: Amazon, Blumhouse
Where to Find It: Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Two years after an unimpressive showing at TIFF, “The Lie” finally gets a release, rolling out as part of a planned eight-film package of horror films (a genre distinction, it seems, that is to be taken loosely) sent straight to Amazon Prime Video streaming by Blumhouse Productions. Too stupid to be the hard-hitting drama it was first sold as and too self-important to be the black comedy it really should be, Sud’s film is a master class in bad decision-making, improbable choices, and overwrought acting. It is also incredibly difficult to turn away from, each plot point more ludicrous than the next, all leading up to an ending that should rank among the all-time great fake-outs, should anyone choose to remember the film beyond its zippy 97-minute running time. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Time” (directed by Garrett Bradley)
Distributor: Amazon Studios
Where to Find It: Select theaters (starts streaming on October 23)

Swirled together from 18 years’ worth of MiniDV tapes (in addition to the newer, more pristine footage the filmmaker shot of Fox Rich and her family before that incredible treasure trove of home video was dumped in her lap), Garrett Bradley’s monumental and enormously moving “Time” doesn’t juxtapose the pain of yesterday against the hope of tomorrow so much as it insists upon a perpetual now. And while the documentary never reduces its subjects to mere symbols of the oppression they represent — the film couldn’t be more personal, and it builds to a moment of such unvarnished intimacy that you can hardly believe what you’re watching — Bradley’s Tralfamadorian editing flattens time in a way that contextualizes mass incarceration on the largest of continuums. “Time” in name and timeless in style, this liquid history streams centuries of subjugation into a single confluence of dehumanization until black slavery and the prison-industrial complex become two separate brooks that feed into the same river. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Time”

Amazon Studios

“The War with Grandpa” (directed by Tim Hill)
Distributor: 101 Studios
Where to Find It: Select theaters

If you were to assume that a movie starring Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Christopher Walken, Cheech Marin, and Jane Seymour sounded like the next Quentin Tarantino epic, you would not be entirely remiss. But you would be sorely disappointed to discover, upon purchasing entry to “The War with Grandpa,” that the killer cast is sorely wasted on an utterly inane script about a spoiled kid who inexplicably decides he hates his very nice grandpa for moving into his room. Based on the popular kids’ book by Robert Kimmel Smith, “The War with Grandpa” is a sluggish hodgepodge of slapstick humor that barely holds together its illogically motivated plot. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Yellow Rose” (directed by Diane Paragas)
Distributor: Sony
Where to Find It: Select theaters

Diane Paragas’ “Yellow Rose” subtly weaves together the truth of Rose’s (Broadway star and Tony nominee Eva Noblezada) story in affecting, though never sentimental or maudlin, ways. Rose and Priscilla keep close because they’re undocumented immigrants, eager to keep their heads down and work hard and basically hope that ICE doesn’t come banging on their door in the middle of the night. Paragas’ film finds fresh ground to explore the price and the power of the American dream, bolstered by country crooning and heartbreaking (and very real) legal worries. It’s a concept that might sound played out, but deft directing and a number of strong performances recommend it, a down-home answer to the similarly charming 2018 drama “Wild Rose.” Read IndieWire’s full review.

Also available this week:

“Cagefighter” (directed by Jesse Quinones)
Distributor: Screen Media
Where to Find It: Select theaters, various digital and VOD platforms

“The Doorman” (directed by Ryûhei Kitamura)
Distributor: Lionsgate
Where to Find It: Various digital and VOD platforms

“Naughty Books” (directed by Austen Eleanore Rachlis)
Distributor: 1091 Pictures
Where to Find It: Various digital platforms

“The Planters” (directed by Alexandra Kotcheff and Hannah Leder)
Distributor: 1091 Pictures
Where to Find It: Select theaters, plus choose your local cinema through the film’s virtual cinema page

“Yellow Rose”

Sony

“Treason” (directed by Eric DePriester)
Distributor: 1091 Pictures
Where to Find It: Various digital and VOD platforms

“The Wolf of Snow Hollow” (directed by Jim Cummings)
Distributor: Orion Classics
Where to Find It: Select theaters, various digital and VOD platforms

Films Available via Virtual Cinema

Learn more about virtual cinemas offerings right here.

Also available this week:

“Major Arcana” (directed by Josh Melrod)
Distributor: Kino Marquee
Where to Find It: Choose your local cinema through the film’s virtual cinema page

“Mighty Ira” (directed by Nico Perrino, Aaron Reese, Chris Maltby)
Distributor: Required Viewing
Where to Find It: Choose your local cinema through the film’s virtual cinema page

Check out more information about the rest of October’s newest releases below.

Week of September 28 – October 4

New Films on VOD and Streaming (And in Select Theaters)

As new movies open in theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic, IndieWire will continue to review them whenever possible. We encourage readers to follow the safety precautions provided by CDC and health authorities. Additionally, our coverage will provide alternative viewing options whenever they are available.

“12 Hour Shift” (directed by Brea Grant)
Distributor: Magnet Releasing
Where to Find It: Select drive-ins, various VOD platforms

Empowered by her collaborators and bolstered by her vision, Grant sutures together a blood-stained romp where anything can happen next, and even the most unexpected sequences feel like they make sense in this world. “12 Hour Shift” doesn’t juggle a variety of different tones so much as it forges a bonkers one of its own and sticks to it all the way through, so that even when the plot runs itself ragged towards the end, the movie has more than enough energy to push itself over the finish line and keep striving for new highs until it gets there. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“American Murder: The Family Next Door” (directed by Jenny Popplewell)
Distributor: Netflix
Where to Find It: Streaming on Netflix

An impeccably produced look at a heinous crime, Popplewell’s documentary meticulously weaves together a wealth of information — including body-camera footage from the first cop on the scene, claustrophobic interrogation room setups, and the social-media messages so many armchair sleuths pored over to discredit Shan’ann Watts — that it almost feels too readymade for the film treatment. Almost. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“The Boys in the Band” (directed by Joe Mantello)
Distributor: Netflix
Where to Find It: Streaming on Netflix

The result is a sophisticated, tart-tongued revival, and a gayed-up “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” that surmounts the challenges faced by stage-to-screen adaptations, specifically the utter confinement to a single space. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“A Call to Spy” (directed by Lydia Dean Pilcher)
Distributor: IFC Films
Where to Find It: Select theaters, various VOD platforms

True stories about brave, everyday people fighting evil powers never go out of fashion, and “A Call to Spy” joins their ranks with ease. It’s a traditional film, and while it premiered on the festival circuit last year, it can’t help but feel necessary and timely in its theatrical release. Sarah Megan Thomas’ meticulous work alone recommends it, but like the story it follows, it’s the result of many talented women working together for the common good. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet” (directed by Keith Scholey, Alastair Fothergill, Jonathan Hughes)
Distributor: Netflix
Where to Find It: Streaming on Netflix

Attenborough is onscreen throughout much of this urgent film, which might surprise viewers who know him as the disembodied narrator of the epic nature series he’s made with the BBC in the Blu-ray era. Beyond that, it’s striking how Attenborough isn’t just playing his typical role as the erudite commentator with a contagious enthusiasm for life on Earth in all its forms. The man is still too humble to let himself become the subject at hand, but now — toward the end of his own natural life — Attenborough is showing us the world as he sees it. For all of the incredible things he’s captured with his camera, “A Life on Our Planet” is perhaps the first time Attenborough is acting as its lens. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Dick Johnson Is Dead” (directed by Kirsten Johnson)
Distributor: Netflix
Where to Find It: Streaming on Netflix

The title of “Dick Johnson Is Dead” doesn’t lie, but it’s not exactly truthful, either. Dick Johnson dies many times in his daughter Kirsten’s poignant and personal documentary, starting with the opening credits. And yet he’s very much alive the whole time, playacting in an elaborate form of cinematic therapy with his filmmaker offspring as she wrestles with the anxiety of losing him. That concept could easily devolve into a navel-gazing exercise, but Kirsten Johnson — the veteran nonfiction cinematographer who directed 2016’s wondrous collage film “Cameraperson” — enacts a touching and funny meditation on embracing life and fearing death at the same time. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“The Glorias” (directed by Julie Taymor)
Distributor: Amazon
Where to Find It: Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Filmmaker Julie Taymor has never operated within conventional parameters, but then again, neither has her latest cinematic subject, feminist icon and political firebrand Gloria Steinem. Taymor, who has only dipped into biopics once before, with the similarly creative “Frida,” knows that life doesn’t move in a straight line, which could have scared her off from adapting Steinem’s road-trip autobiography. But the road to becoming “Gloria Steinem” was winding, and the best parts of the wonderfully inventive “The Glorias” are when Taymor takes her various eponymous Glorias on some artful detours. Steinem, fortunately, has many of them to offer. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“On the Rocks” (directed by Sofia Coppola)
Distributor: A24 and AppleTV+
Where to Find It: Select theaters (streaming on AppleTV+ in coming weeks

Don’t be fooled by the dusky seduction of its wedding night prologue: “On the Rocks” is far and away the least cool thing that Sofia Coppola has ever made. That’s not a criticism so much as a contextualization. If the perfume ad prelude cocoons you inside the same gauzy softness that made “Lost in Translation” so entrancing, “Marie Antoinette” so tactile, and “Somewhere” so tenderly siloed within itself, it only does so in order to cut a sharp contrast into the domesticity that follows. That’s when this fizzy champagne cocktail of a film jumps a few years forward, landing in the kind of marriage where the waters have become just a bit too calm for the people swimming in them to feel safe. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Possessor” (directed by Brandon Cronenberg)
Distributor: Neon
Where to Find It: Select theaters

A queasy and intriguing horror-inflected techno-thriller that gets lost somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle between “Mandy,” “Inception,” and “Ghost in the Shell,” Brandon Cronenberg’s “Possessor” is so drunk on its own sick potential that it doesn’t have the time (or the balance) required to realize most of it. On the other hand, 90 minutes of Andrea Riseborough and Christopher Abbott engaging in ultra-gory psychic warfare over control of the latter’s body is more satisfying than what most of the current Best Picture nominees have to offer, so maybe it’s wise not to look a gift horse in the mouth. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Save Yourselves” (directed by Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson)
Distributor: Bleecker Street
Where to Find It: Select theaters (various VOD platforms to follow next week)

Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson’s amiable “Save Yourselves!” knowingly digs deep into the long-time couple’s obvious ennui — cradling their iPhones like babies, they’re prone to announcing they want to be “better people,” which maybe involves, like, I dunno, going vegetarian again? — and pulls out a winking contemporary comedy with a generous dash of cutesy sci-fi weirdness. And while it doesn’t quite stick the landing, the zippy journey there is fun enough to justify the winding road there. (Bonus: incredibly cute, very murderous alien beings). Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Scare Me” (directed by Josh Ruben)
Distributor: Shudder
Where to Find It: Streaming on Shudder

The result is a winking horror comedy with a lot on its mind — perhaps too much. Its padded running time is nearly 105 minutes, when it seems like the perfect pick for a snappy, scary 90-minute event. Initially imagining writer’s block and creative stultification as man’s greatest horrors (see: “The Shining”) before moving into a deeper exploration of the trauma of gender relations (no, really: “The Shining”), “Scare Me” packs ambitious ideas inside a small-scale concept. Bolstered by a creative storytelling set-up, Ruben and his very game co-star Aya Cash skewer horror tropes as well as cultural obsessions ranging from TV talent shows to the Bechdel Test. Read IndieWire’s full review.

Also available this week:

“2067” (directed by Seth Larney)
Distributor: RLJE Films
Where to Find It: Various digital and VOD platforms

“Death of Me” (directed by Darren Lynn Bousman)
Distributor: Saban Films
Where to Find It: Various digital and VOD platforms

“Do Not Reply” (directed by Daniel Woltosz and Walt Woltosz)
Distributor: Gravitas Ventures
Where to Find It: Select theaters, various VOD platforms

“The Great American Lie” (directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom)
Distributor: Vertical Entertainment
Where to Find It: Various digital and VOD platforms

“Herb Alpert Is…” (directed by John Scheinfeld)
Distributor: Abramorama
Where to Find It: Various digital and VOD platforms

“Inez & Doug & Kira” (directed by Julia Kots)
Distributor: 1091 Media
Where to Find It: Various VOD platforms

“Spontaneous” (directed by Brian Duffield)
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Where to Find It: Select drive-in theaters, various VOD platforms

“Then Came You” (directed by Adriana Trigiani)
Distributor: Vertical Entertainment
Where to Find It: Various digital and VOD platforms

Films Available via Virtual Cinema

Learn more about virtual cinemas offerings right here.

Also available this week:

“The Antenna” (directed by Orçun Behram)
Distributor: Dark Star Pictures
Where to Find It: Choose your local cinema through the film’s virtual cinema page

“Once Upon a River” (directed by Haroula Rose)
Distributor: Film Movement
Where to Find It: Choose your local cinema through the film’s virtual cinema page

Check out more information about the rest of the year’s newest releases on the next page.

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