It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving, which would usually be the time of year when theaters start kicking into high gear with blockbusters and award contenders alike. But with many theaters across the country closed, and Wonder Woman 1984, the only blockbuster remaining on the release schedule, heading to HBO Max on the same day as its theatrical release, it’s clear that things are going to look different this holiday season. There will still be several films released early next week - look for the roundup on Tuesday rather than Thursday - but most of those releases will be available from your living room.
The films listed are from studios other than the “Big Six” - Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Columbia/Sony and Disney. All films listed will be available at their respective sources on Friday unless otherwise noted. Check out the posts from the past few weeks for more movies that may have already come to VOD: November 13, November 6th, and October 30th.
Stars: Shaun Parkes, Letitia Wright, Malachi Kirby, Rochenda Sandall
Writer: Alastair Siddons, Steve McQueen
Director: Steve McQueen
Plot: Tells this true story of The Mangrove Nine, who clashed with London police in 1970. The trial that followed was the first judicial acknowledgment of behavior motivated by racial hatred within the Metropolitan Police.
What you should know: This is the first of five entries in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series; the rest will premiere over the next four weeks.
Where to stream: Amazon Prime
Director: Alexander Nanau
Storyline: Follows a crack team of investigators at the Romanian newspaper Gazeta Sporturilor as they try to uncover a vast health-care fraud that enriched moguls and politicians and led to the deaths of innocent citizens.
What you should know: Official submission of Romania for the 2021 Academy Awards Best International Feature Film.
Where to stream: Virtual cinemas
Hearts and Bones
Stars: Hugo Weaving, Andrew Luri, Hayley McElhinney, Bolude Watson
Writer: Beatrix Christian, Ben Lawrence
Director: Ben Lawrence
Plot: War photographer Daniel Fisher has returned home to the news of his wife's pregnancy. Determined not to let fatherhood alter his way of life, he begins preparations for an upcoming exhibition and his next overseas assignment. However, as the birth of his child draws near he struggles to keep his rising anxiety hidden.
What you should know: Nominated for several AACTA Awards in 2019.
Where to stream: Available VOD
Born to Be
Director: Tania Cypriano
Storyline: Follows the work of Dr. Jess Ting (he/him) at the groundbreaking Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery. This documentary offers an intimate look at how one doctor’s work impacts the lives of his patients as well as how his journey from renowned plastic surgeon to pioneering gender-affirming specialist has led to his own transformation.
What you should know: Won Best Documentary Feature at the 2020 Nashville Film Festival.
Where to stream: Available now via virtual cinemas
Stars: Kanto Shimokura, Debo Akibe, Lily Franky, Yukio Fujito
Writer/Director: Takeshi Fukunaga
Plot: Set in northern Japan’s Hokkaido community, 14-year-old indigenous Ainu teen Kanto searches for a spiritual connection with his recently deceased father with the help of a family friend. Torn between maintaining the tradition of his ancestors and lured by the mysteries of adulthood, Kanto is on a journey to find his sense of self.
What you should know: It’s in Japanese.
Where to stream: Netflix
Stars: Bella Thorne, Mickey Rourke, Chad Faust, Lanette Ware
Writer/Director: Chad Faust
Plot: A young woman returns to her small hometown intent on killing her abusive father only to discover someone murdered him the day before. As the girl searches for answers, she uncovers a family legacy more dangerous than she'd imagined.
What you should know: This is actor/director Chad Faust’s feature film directorial debut.
Where to stream: In theaters; available VOD on November 24th
Always and Forever
Stars: Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Robbie Jones, Aundrea Smith, Loretta Devine
Writer: Marques Houston, Chris Stokes
Director: Chris Stokes
Plot: After a tragedy reunites Nicole with her childhood friends, they each find themselves in danger, targets of a deranged stalker. Nicole knows this can't be a coincidence. The secrets of their past are coming back to haunt them.
What you should know: Director Chris Stokes is probably most well-known for 2004’s You Got Served.
Where to watch: In theaters, and available VOD
The Twentieth Century
Stars: Dan Beirne, Catherine St-Laurent, Brent Skagford, Seán Cullen
Writer/Director: Matthew Rankin
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama
Plot: Toronto, 1899. Aspiring young politician Mackenzie King dreams of becoming the Prime Minister of Canada. But his romantic vacillation between a British soldier and a French nurse, exacerbated by a fetishistic obsession, may well bring about his downfall. In his quest for power, King must gratify the expectations of his imperious Mother, the hawkish fantasies of a war-mongering Governor-General, and the utopian idealism of a Québécois mystic before facing one final test of leadership.
What you should know: Won several film festival awards, including Best Canadian First Feature Film at TIFF 2019.
Where to stream: Virtual cinemas
Stars: Sarah Paulson, Kiera Allen, Onalee Ames, Pat Healy
Writer: Aneesh Chaganty, Sev Ohanian
Director: Aneesh Chaganty
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Plot: A homeschooled teenager begins to suspect her mother is keeping a dark secret from her.
What you should know: Writer/director Aneesh Chaganty’s last film was 2018’s John Cho-starrer Searching.
Where to stream: Hulu
The Last Vermeer
Stars: Guy Pearce, Claes Bang, Vicky Krieps, Roland Møller
Writer: James McGee, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby
Director: Dan Friedkin
Plot: An artist is suspected of selling a valuable painting to the Nazis, but there is more to the story than meets the eye.
What you should know: Based on the book by Jonathan Lopez.
Where to watch: In theaters
More New Releases
The Princess Switch: Switched Again (Trailer)
Buddy Games (Trailer)
Team Marco (Trailer)
New to Streaming
Underwater (Trailer) on HBO (11/21)
Amulet (Trailer) on Hulu
Body Cam (Trailer) on Amazon
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What have you been watching lately, ONTD?