The 10 Best New Movies (Right Now)

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The 10 Best New Movies (Right Now)

When searching for the latest and greatest cinematic offerings, the shifting distribution landscape makes one thing abundantly clear: No matter how badly we’d like for the big screen to be the place for the best movies, it’s simply not the case. Sure, the theatrical experience claims plenty of worthy films, but with on-demand video rental and the overwhelming number of streaming options—two areas where indie and arthouse cinema have been thriving as theaters shove them aside for more and more Marvel movies—alternative viewing methods bear consideration if you’re after a comprehensive list of the best new fare.

This list is composed of the best new movies, updated every week, regardless of how they’re available. Some may have you weighing whether it’s worth it to brave the theater. Some, thankfully, are cheaply and easily available to check out from your living room couch or your bedroom laptop. Regardless of how you watch them, they deserve to be watched—from tiny international dramas to blockbuster action films to auteurist awards favorites.

Check out the 10 best new movies movies right now:

10. Hold Me Tighthold-me-tight-poster.jpgRelease Date: September 9, 2022
Director: Mathieu Amalric
Stars: Vicky Krieps, Arieh Worthalter, Anne-Sophie Bowen-Chatet, Sacha Ardilly
Rating: NR
Runtime: 97 minutes

A woman (Vicky Krieps) gets up, collects her things and leaves her family in a reckless hurry. She embarks on a road trip in the red family car and imagines what her family members are doing in her absence. As she drives toward the sea, Clarisse imagines herself encouraging her daughter Lucie (Anne-Sophie Bowen-Chatet) as she practices piano, watching her son Paul (Sacha Ardilly) measure his growing height and speaking to her husband (Arieh Worthalter) of love and loss in hushed tones. Sometimes they speak back to her and sometimes they don’t, as the line between what is real, imagined and mere memory becomes deliriously blurrier. Adapted from Claudine Galea’s unproduced play, Hold Me Tight is a visual and sonic poem that expresses the intricacies of how we communicate with loved ones across time, space, grief and memory. It is a true artistic accomplishment that writer/director Mathieu Amalric was able to take Galea’s text, originally meant for the stage, and spin it into a vivid piece with such a uniquely lush cinematic language. Amalric’s formal risks emotionally pay off tenfold each time a visual or auditory motif is repeated—such as falling snow or Lucie’s piano music. Superb performances from all four leads elevate Hold Me Tight’s emotional avalanche, but Krieps’ performance is a standout in its profound, elegiac devastation—one not seen since Juliette Binoche’s turn as a grieving woman in Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors: Blue. Amalric knew he wanted Krieps for the role ever since—as the filmmaker explained at a Lincoln Center post-screening Q&A—he saw her “walk through that door and take Daniel Day-Lewis’ order,” in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread. Grounded yet imaginative in her desolation, Krieps brings a soft yet strong benevolence to the role even in the woman’s darker moments of anguish. An enigmatic revelation about a woman’s descent into grief-stricken madness, Hold Me Tight packs an agonizingly painful wallop in the form of a complete reversal which would not work without Krieps’ deft skills or Amalric’s confident audiovisual risks. Right when the audience believes they’ve grasped Hold Me Tight’s dreamy threads, the film shifts into something totally new and nightmarish, yet still cohesive with the emotionally forthright throughline of the film overall.—Katarina Docalovich

9. Preyprey.jpgHulu Release Date: August 5, 2022
Director: Dan Trachtenberg
Starring: Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers, Dane DiLiegro, Stormee Kipp, Michelle Thrush, Julian Black Antelope
Rating: R
Runtime: 100 minutes

Filmmaker Dan Trachtenberg’s Predator prequel Prey succeeds by daring to embrace what prior sequels did not: Simplicity. The basics of Predator cinema boil down to skull trophies and rival combat, but most of all, the thrill of an uninterrupted hunt. With brutal ease, writer Patrick Aison translates Predator codes to hunter-gatherer dichotomies in Native American cultures. There’s nothing scarier than the laws of natural hierarchies on display in their most elemental forms, and that’s what Prey recognizes with menacing regard. Trachtenberg understands what Predator fans crave, and executes without mercy. Set in the Northern Great Plains of 1719, Prey pits a Predator challenging any species’ alphas—wolves, bears, people—against a Comanche tribe. Taabe (Dakota Beavers) leads other boys on hunts while his sister Naru (Amber Midthunder) practices her deadliest skills in secrecy. She’s dismissed by most for her gender, but not by Taabe. Naru’s chance to defeat a lion (thanks to Taabe) and earn her warrior’s rite of passage fails when a Predator’s alien technology distracts from afar—which no one believes. Only Naru can protect her family and tribespeople from the unknown Yautja threat since no one will listen, which will be the warrior-wannabe’s ultimate test. Prey is inarguably the best Predator since the original. The film gets so much right, paying homage to John McTiernan’s 1987 masterwork—through cigars and direct quotes that it’ll have fans hooting—and adding Indigenous representation with real cultural strength. Trachtenberg and Aison keep things simple, and that’s the special sauce. The performances are tough-as-nails, action sequences absurdly gory and intensity streamlined like a high velocity arrow. By going back to beginnings, Prey sheds pounds of franchise dead weight for a leaner, meaner Predator prequel with all the spine-tearing, one-liner-spouting gladiatorial conquest that fans desire—computer-generated or not. —Matt Donato

8. Dos Estacionesdos-estaciones-poster.jpgRelease Date: September 9, 2022
Director: Juan Pablo González
Stars: Teresa Sánchez, Rafaela Fuentes, Tatín Vera, Manuel García-Rulfo
Rating: NR
Runtime: 99 minutes

The lush, rolling hills of Western Mexico set the scene in Juan Pablo González’s Dos Estaciones, the director’s first foray into narrative filmmaking. More specifically, the rows of agave plants that speckle these highlands are what bring the film into sharp focus, as the succulent plant’s most prized byproduct—tequila, named after the town in Jalisco it was first distilled in—is the lifeblood of the film’s namesake, a tequila factory named Dos Estaciones. González takes his sweet time bringing characters and their motivations to the forefront, relishing in the details of the laborious process inherent to producing the coveted spirit coupled with the surrounding natural beauty of his home state. Having grown up in Atotonilco El Alto, Jalisco, across the street from a tequila factory owned by his grandfather, González imbues the film with intimate touches gleaned by a native to the state and its most lucrative industry—blending his sparse yet stirring narrative with the observational eye typical of his previous documentary work. The director’s personal history is also evident in the setting of the titular tequila factory, which is actually owned by González’s extended family. However, for the purposes of Dos Estaciones, the factory’s owner is María García (a superb, shattering performance by Teresa Sánchez). She oversees everyone—from the fieldhands to the women who hand-affix stickers on each bottle—with a brusque directness, yet is clearly respected and admired by her workers despite her inability to promise paychecks on time. Gruff demeanor and dwindling finances notwithstanding, María is a beloved pillar of her community: she loans out her own equipment to workers, regularly supports other local businesses, and even attends the birthday parties of her employee’s kids. Dos Estaciones is Mexican slow cinema that defies conceptions often projected onto the country by Americans, while simultaneously criticizing the role the U.S. has played in destabilizing a vital industry in its financial and cultural infrastructure. Whether a tequila factory is owned by American corporations or a local independent business, those responsible for the laborious process of actually making tequila will likely always be Mexicans. What was once a mode of production that sustained a community is now having its resources depleted, with all gains flowing into one corporation’s pocket instead of the land which cultivated it—certainly something to keep in mind before buying Kendall Jenner’s recently launched tequila brand.—Natalia Keogan

7. Sirenssirens-poster.jpgRelease Date: September 30, 2022
Director: Rita Baghdadi
Rating: NR
Runtime: 78 minutes

Mixed into the wail of alarms, hiss of teargas and thunderous calls for the fall of the regime in Beirut, another sound is ripping through the night air, and this one comes from the depths of hell itself. Meet Lilas, Shery, Maya, Alma and Tatyana of Slave to Sirens—Beirut’s newest (and only) leather- and mesh-clad all-girl thrash metal band. Rita Baghdadi’s new documentary Sirens is a smartly crafted, hugely entertaining look at the band as it goes through growing pains, fights for bookings, and navigates inter-band dyke drama against the backdrop of a city under constant threat of attack. The star duo of the documentary are rhythm guitarist Lilas and lead guitarist Shery, who met in the madness of a protest. Though all the members are obviously talented, and there are any number of reasons for certain subjects in documentaries to give or get more access over others, focusing on the originators of the band is a logical and successful choice. Lilas is a 25-year-old perfectionist, a brooding but apt music teacher for schoolchildren, and a young woman who wants to claim her independence outside the household she feels is stuck in the past. Twenty-seven-year-old Shery feels stuck in her own expectations of herself, and in an uneven relationship with her best friend, bandmate, and former secret sweetheart, Lilas. The two have a sparkling, live-wire chemistry that drives the band at its goofy, passionate best, and threatens to tear it apart at its worst. Sirens is remarkable from start to end—especially as a portrait of queer friendship and expression that mends itself even as everything threatens to literally explode around it. Come revolution or continued resistance, come rain or shine, long live the Sirens, and may their vision of a thrash metal utopia built among the abandoned buildings of Lebanon one day come true.—Shayna Maci Warner

6. Barbarianbarbarian-poster.jpgRelease Date: September 9, 2022
Director: Zach Cregger
Stars: Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, Justin Long
Rating: R
Runtime: 102 minutes

The deceptively simple premise of Barbarian, the horror debut from writer/director Zach Cregger, is enough to induce genuine goosebumps. However, Cregger takes a creepy idea and concocts a breakneck tale of unyielding terror, giving audiences whiplash with each unpredictable revelation. When Tess (Georgina Campbell) arrives at her Detroit Airbnb on a forcefully stormy night, she finds that there’s no key in the encrypted lockbox to let herself in. After calling the host proves fruitless, she suddenly sees a light turn on through a front window. Tess frantically rings the doorbell, and the recently roused Keith (Bill Skarsgård) awkwardly answers the door. Realizing they accidentally double-booked the same rental for the next few days, Keith immediately insists that Tess get out of the rain and take the bedroom for the night (of course, he’s totally content with taking the couch). Surprisingly, she agrees. Though few viewers would likely make the same decision as the film’s protagonist, Barbarian wastes no time creating a thick sense of dread that clings until the credits roll. To divulge any further details of the film’s plot would thwart the winding, increasingly shocking narrative crafted by Cregger. With each terrifying reveal feeling fresher and freakier than the last, it’s encouraged to go into Barbarian with as little background and context as possible. Even citing Cregger’s horror references would serve to unnecessarily hint at jarring shifts in the film’s story, though comparisons to the work of fellow horror filmmakers James Wan, Tobe Hooper and George Romero are particularly apt. Barbarian offers up plenty of food for thought in its rancid banquet from hell. It’s got a biting socially-conscious undercurrent that addresses the bleak reality of existing as a woman in the U.S.—both past and present, whether residing in manicured suburbs or “shady” inner-city neighborhoods—even successfully weaving in a #MeToo subplot that doesn’t feel one-note or cursory. Even more impressive, Cregger incorporates this throughline with a heavy dose of humor, no doubt aided by his tenure as a member of IFC sketch comedy show The Whitest Kids U’ Know. Barbarian offers a fascinating take on the oft-unspoken claim men have long believed they have over women’s bodies. It does an excellent job at juxtaposing banal excuses for gendered violence with ghoulish, heinous ploys to strip women of their bodily autonomy (and their very humanity), exposing the malevolent nature of this deeply ingrained cultural misogyny. With the wounds still raw from the recent repeal of Roe v. Wade, Barbarian’s fixation on the omnipresent threat of rape in our society hits as hard as it (hopefully) ever could. Never relishing in the very brutality that it denounces, the film has its heart in the right place. It refuses to depict sexual violation on screen, cleverly illustrating the pervasiveness of this miserable reality without exploiting it for shallow shock value. Yet, even with the best of intentions, Barbarian will mercilessly run you through the wringer, letting these fucked-up facets of America absolutely ravage the screen—and your sanity—for 102 remarkably tense minutes.—Natalia Keogan

5. Blondeblonde-poster.jpgRelease Date: September 16, 2022
Director: Andrew Dominik
Stars: Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, Julianne Nicholson, Xavier Samuel, Evan Williams
Rating: NC-17
Runtime: 166 minutes

There are pieces of Marilyn Monroe everywhere: In tributes, parodies and homage; in bits of her movies, sliced into iconic clips rendering them instantly recognizable even to those who haven’t actually watched them; in mournful recollections of stars snuffed out too soon. “It’s like a jigsaw puzzle, but you’re not the one to put it together,” says the version of Marilyn played by Ana de Armas in Blonde. Not every puzzle piece or image in the Monroe kaleidoscope makes it into Andrew Dominik’s film, which is neither traditional rise-and-fall biopic nor playful I’m Not There-style biographical deconstruction. But this adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ novel (not biography) is fragmented and visually rich enough to convey what Dominik and Oates seem to be after: How the collective ownership an audience feels over its beloved icons has unseemly origins, and often destructive endings. We see glimpses of Monroe as a thoughtful, well-read young woman; a passionate actress; an optimistic survivor—and for all these reasons and more, people dismiss her, or attempt to take possession of her. After a harrowing childhood sequence ending with the institutionalization of her mother (Julianne Nicholson), Blonde jumps to the early 1950s, with de Armas playing the former Norma Jeane Baker, now a model and up-and-coming actress—which means being treated, in her words, as “meat.” De Armas’ eyes have a pleading desire, and the edge of her accent peeks through her imitation of Monroe’s voice—perfectly appropriate, even lovely, for a figure who has inspired so many broad impressions. This version of Marilyn regards her stage name as a creation separate from her genuine self, and is on a perpetual search for the love that will fill the dual void left by her abusive mother and father she’s never known. Increasingly, she finds that the adulation felt by millions for Marilyn Monroe doesn’t necessarily count for Norma Jeane. Blonde can be a tough sit, for the 166-minute monotony of its images of abuse and misery almost as much as the misery itself. At the same time, its explosion of visual ideas never quite wears out its welcome. Dominik has created his own dark-flipside version of the Norma Jeane/Marilyn bifurcation, perhaps almost too neatly: The movie is both a daring and empathetic deconstruction of Monroe iconography anchored by a beautiful performance from de Armas, as well as a miserabilist wallow in exploitation. Like its fictionalized subject, the lines between the two are sad, blurry and spellbinding.—Jesse Hassenger

4. Goodbye, Don Glees!goodbye-don-glees-poster.jpgRelease Date: September 14, 2022
Director: Atsuko Ishizuka
Stars: Natsuki Hanae, Yuki Kaji, Ayumu Murase, Kana Hanazawa, Rino Sashihara, Atsushi Tamura
Rating: PG
Runtime: 94 minutes

The gnats are swarming, the fireworks are glowing, and it’s time to get the boys together for one last summer hurrah. A quintessential “last teen summer” story, the premise of Goodbye, Don Glees!, writer/director Atsuko Ishizuka’s first original feature, is a bit trite at first blush. But like the nectar of succulent flowers in full bloom, there is much to savor. Teens Roma (Natsuki Hanae; Adam McArthur) and Toto (Yuki Kaji; Nick Wolfhard) are childhood friends united as outcasts in their rural mountainside village. Now high schoolers, the pair have begun to drift apart. With a sense of obligation masked as desire, Toto left their hometown to attend a high school in the city while Roma remained to help his family’s farm. Returning briefly for a summertime festival, Toto’s newfound sense of maturity and Roma’s unchanged wonder come to an impasse. The duo, under the self-proclaimed banner of the “Don Glees,” is further altered by the presence of a new member: Drop. Drop (Ayumu Murase; Jonathan Leon) is the smallest boy of the group and the least restrained, a foil to the person Toto imagines himself becoming, and one who pushes Roma further from what Toto thinks he needs from his friend. But when the trio is blamed for a forest fire, they have to adventure into the wilderness that will, of course, push them apart before pulling them back together. From its technically impressive, sweeping 3-D landscapes to powerful orchestral themes, Goodbye, Don Glees! looks like an anime that could be narrated by David Attenborough. Ishizuka and art director Ayana Okamoto, one of many returning A Place Further than the Universe staff, recapture the series’ characteristic lighting and lensing that, coupled with changing color gradients, invoke the use of film. That sentiment is further carried by A Place Further than the Universe composer Yoshiaki Fujisawa’s soundtrack, which is paired with energizing alt-rock themes from YAMO that really brings home all the emotions of a YA indie flick. With recurring themes and imagery already emerging after just a few projects, Don Glees! makes me want to see more of Ishizuka’s voice come through as her team at Madhouse further refines their production—and as Ishizuka works with more collaborators in future endeavors. With Goodbye, Don Glees!, she’s readily assumed the spotlight as a leader of animation. In capturing the ephemeral magic of childhood wonder and the natural world, and further depicting how our relationships—to each other and the land—change into adulthood, Goodbye, Don Glees! is a perfect way to ring in the changing of the seasons.—Autumn Wright

3. TÁRtar-poster.jpgRelease Date: October 7, 2022
Director: Todd Field
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Noémie Merlant, Nina Hoss, Sophie Kauer, Julian Glover, Allan Corduner, Mark Strong
Rating: R
Runtime: 158 minutes

Lydia Tár’s fabled career can be summed up in one four-letter word: EGOT. The all-consuming subject of writer-producer-director Todd Field’s TÁR joins rank with Tracy Jordan as one of the only fictional forces of gravity to pull it off. A career composer, Tár (Cate Blanchett) climbed the ranks from prestigious orchestra to more prestigious orchestra until she mounted the top of the totem. A titan of the medium, a la Leonard Bernstein (her mentor), she’s managed to usurp critique through sheer contribution, an untouchable virtuoso. But power is fleeting. Once a symbol of modernity, a harbinger of artistic progress breaking ground for women conductors, now she breathes smoke. She doesn’t see it, but everyone else can—uncritical, exploitative, out of touch, legendary debris from an imploding generation hellbent on teaching a lesson. She’s come full circle in her philosophies by the time we meet her in her 50s. On a scale from The Assistant to TMZ, TÁR is as much the former as a Hollywood-made cancel-culture narrative can be. Most of the film snails along with a still yet compelling subtlety, hovering in the consequential despair of actions past, the spaces in between. The dry, tense tone is interrupted every so often by the discordant tuning of an orchestra, or an explosive performance at the conductor’s podium in Berlin, or a rare crumb of confession, until the mood suddenly shifts from slow spiral to imminent plane crash and the drama sets in. Field’s first film in 16 years lands with a thud. Not a crack, or a bang, or a boom, but a lead-heavy thud—the kind that shakes the earth after the toppling of a giant, slow-falling tree, one that takes two hours and 38 minutes to hit the ground. If we measured the maestro’s intelligence the way Schopenhauer did, by one’s “sensitivity to noise,” she’s all but illiterate at this point, incapable of sitting down at the piano without looking over her shoulder or going for a run in fear of her own footsteps. We witness it in slow motion with rapt attention, always out of the loop, Tár’s every move taking on more severity, more self-assurance, more insecurity, until it can’t.—Luke Hicks

2. Athenaathena-poster.jpgRelease Date: September 23, 2022
Director: Romain Gavras
Stars: Dali Benssalah, Sami Slimane, Anthony Bajon, Ouassini Embarek, Alexis Manenti
Rating: R
Runtime: 97 minutes

It’s been more than a decade since Romain Gavras filled his raw music video for “No Church in the Wild” with Molotovs, stolen police horses and dropkicked riot shields—visual motifs of protest heroics—and the only thing that’s changed is our familiarity with the aftermath. The rage behind these images still burns, but we know the cold comfort left behind when the embers are finally stomped out. Yet, the only thing to do is light the blaze again, which Gavras does in the riveting, vital Athena. A war epic between the people and the state, it sprints through a grassroots resistance movement like a brushfire: Blinding, dangerous, all-consuming. The warzone is Athena, a French housing project, where tragedy has assembled a community, grown from a family. Idir, 13 and the youngest of four brothers—Karim (Sami Slimane), Abdel (Dali Benssalah) and Moktar (Ouassini Embarek)—has been beaten to death by police. Someone recorded it on their phone. But we find this out in sprinkled bits of exposition, blown to confetti and wafting through the smoke-filled air. Our immediate attention is on Karim, leading a tracksuited pack of neighbors and like-minded young people, raiding a police station. The opening scene, the first of many incredible feats of planning, camerawork and drone operation, will make you vibrate through your seat. Gavras shoots long tracking shots like caffeine straight into your eyes: Painfully energizing. Athena’s opening is one of the year’s best, a piece of relentless, fist-pumping, jaw-clenching, goosebumping action that doesn’t stop until you’re fully radicalized. It’s then that you start peering through the style, seeing how it mirrors the personalities of its perspective characters. There’s a reason Athena feels like a heart attack in motion. There’s pain and panic. Your heart rate isn’t spiking just from the rush. But until we realize that, Karim and his crew star in a sweeping, large-scale epic—a modern 1917 where the horrifying euphoria of war has come home. Athena isn’t here for subtlety. It’s here to blow the drums out of your ears, the lids off your eyes, the lead from your shoes. With shots that start at “un-fucking-believable” and rocket towards “im-fucking-possible,” its grandiose vision aims to define an international symbol of modernity: Protest As War. Benssalah and Slimane, more political gradients than people, guide us along the mythmaking until we’ve fully grasped the absurdity of Athena being both the God of wisdom and war. But, as Frank Ocean sings in “No Church in the Wild,” what’s a God to a nonbeliever? Athena burns bright and fast, searing its unforgettable battle cry into the screen over just 99 minutes. Its idealistic action will stay with you for far longer.—Jacob Oller

1. A Love Songa-love-song-poster.jpgRelease Date: July 29, 2022
Director: Max Walker-Silverman
Stars: Dale Dickey, Wes Studi, Michelle Wilson, Benja K. Thomas, John Way, Marty Grace Dennis
Rating: PG
Runtime: 81 minutes

One of my grandpas died right before the pandemic. My grandma met someone in the middle of it. Her new relationship wasn’t well-liked in my family, but it made her giddy as a schoolgirl—finding another cowboy to look at livestock with, play cards with, to make dinner with. When I was little, she used to live in a trailer, driven out into the woods and bricked into the earth. I see a lot of her in writer/director Max Walker-Silverman’s sublime debut, A Love Song, where a widow and widower find a teenage verve for each other—weathered but not beaten in the sun of the American west. Faye (Dale Dickey) lingers at one of several campsites surrounding a crawfish-filled lake, waiting for Lito (Wes Studi). She’s not sure he’ll arrive, but as we observe her daily routine—listening to birds, making coffee and catchin’ crawdads as she spins the radio dial in search of another country tune—her uneasiness is couched in a kind of contentment. Walker-Silverman situates us the same way, with ogling environmental photography that takes pleasure in a rare flowery purple on dried brown dirt and Faye’s tininess in relation to the lake, the mountains and the overwhelming dark (or starry splendor) of night. The location is spectacular but, conspicuously, never as enthralling as the actors. When they eventually meet up, top-level turns from Studi and Dickey combine for a contained masterclass, a relationship that’s been nursing a low flame for decades. They’re shy, affectionate and oh-so awkward—spurred by nervous attraction and lingering guilt surrounding their lost loved ones—with an honesty that makes the most of a sparse and quiet script. A Love Song’s a brief and pretty little thing—less than 90 minutes—with the warm melancholy of revisiting a memory or, yes, an old jukebox love song. Walker-Silverman displays a keen eye, a deep heart and a sense of humor just silly enough to sour the saccharine. Dickey takes advantage of one of the best roles she’s ever had to tap into something essential about loss, lonesomeness and resilience. Her performance is a gift, one given by someone who knows about simple pleasures and those that last—how both are important, and how they might not always be separate.—Jacob Oller