Each week we highlight the noteworthy titles that have recently hit streaming platforms in the United States. Check out this week’s selections below and past round-ups here.

Ambulance (Michael Bay)

The Marvel machine may be the most fortuitous development for Michael Bay. Though the director hasn’t dabbled in the world of superheroes—despite a fondness for a cinematic universe of the robot variety—the homogenized, green-screen wasteland of today’s box-office behemoths has indirectly led to a reappreciation of the director’s schoolboy giddiness for practical effects and continually upping the ante for where he can place a camera. As bombastic and occasionally mind-numbing as his approach may be, there’s distinct poetry to the momentum of a maximalist vision where previs filmmaking vis-a-vis a committee is not only missing from his vocabulary, but a kinetic approach makes such a proposition nigh impossible. With Ambulance, a streamlined spectacle that borrows liberally from HeatSpeed, and John Q, Bay seems to be at his most comfortable and invigorated in years, milking the ridiculously heightened premise for all its worth while maintaining grounded stakes despite a few bumps along the road. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Death of Nintendo (Raya Martin)

Coming-of-age narratives live or die based on the authenticity of their vision, especially those that take place in the not-so-distant past. Since the genre’s basic construct is ubiquitous, the devil always lies in the details. Time period, language, cultural and social artifacts; each of these factors help recreate a certain moment that may (or may not) inspire bouts of nostalgia in those viewers who lived through the era being depicted. With its good-hearted nature, American pop music cues, and candy-colored vision of early 1990s Philippines, Death of Nintendo will undoubtedly appeal to anyone who grew up playing Super Mario Brothers and wearing Reebok Pumps. – Glenn H. (full review)

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

Divine Love (Gabriel Mascaro)

After sprinkling magical realist touches in his prior film Neon Bull, the director’s imagination is once again deployed with full force here. With it being only eight years in the future, his predictions are rightfully minor but artfully woven into the environment for maximum realism. He imagines a city that is more industrialized (and polluted), with factories crowding the once-pristine beach vistas. In a dystopian fashion, the population is also more strictly controlled as metal detector-esque machines detect any unregistered fetuses–a constant reminder for Joana of her infertility. In her job at a notary for the government, she specializes in divorce documentation, which directly conflicts with her religious beliefs. She perpetually wishes of a hopeful reunion for her clients, attempting to convince them of the spark their relationship once had and to get back together, which is in direct conflict of the government’s separation of church and state. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Tubi

Gagarine (Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh)

Gagarine might not be explicitly about an autistic character; it’s never directly stated that the 16-year-old protagonist Youri (a sensational Alseni Bathily) is autistic, but it is one of the greatest pieces of representation that our community has ever experienced in cinema. Similar to Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love, an official diagnosis is not necessary for viewers to understand the protagonist’s autism. It is clearly evident throughout watching their fixations and their mannerisms. – Logan K. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Luzifer (Peter Brunner)

Perk the ears at any film festival and you might hear talk that Franz Rogowski is the best European actor of his generation. The captivating German offers further evidence to support such claims with Luzifer, a rather ugly sort of film (though intentionally so) made good by the strange draw of his charisma—plus, amongst other things, a terrific Tim Hecker score. Inspired by true events, it is the story of a secluded innocent who must do battle with a plague of satanic drones. The director is Peter Brunner, an Austrian filmmaker with a taste for grungy aesthetics. His 2018 film To the Night attempted something not too dissimilar with Caleb Landry Jones but couldn’t quite find the right alchemy. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

Paddington 2 (Paul King)

Paddington 2 is a genuine delight, a sequel that improves upon its (very good) predecessor. It is also the rare family film that has appeal for everyone in the family. As with 2014’s Paddington, director Paul King has zeroed in on the inherent magic of Michael Bond’s classic stories while incorporating scores of Wes Anderson-esque sight gags. Plus, there is a game cast of British heavyweights — Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Jim Broadbent, and, this time around, a superb Hugh Grant — and gorgeous London locations. Most of all, there is the titular bear himself, a wondrous CGI creation sweetly voiced by Ben Whishaw. It is not hyperbolic to call Paddington one of the most adorably life-like computer-animated characters in cinema. He is the anti-Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, an anthropomorphic triumph whose interactions with humans are always believable. – Christopher S. (full review)

Where to Stream: HBO Max

Red Post on Escher Street (Sion Sono)

Sion Sono’s Red Post on Escher Street is a comedic nuts-and-bolts look at chaotic film production—more the absurd realities of Day for Night than ’s flights of fancy, but because Sono can’t help being Sono there’s room for shades of surreality. If you think movies about movies are played out, fear not: Red Post bears hardly a dull moment over its 148 minutes. – Nick N.

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

The Wobblies (Stewart Bird & Deborah Shaffer)

In a moment when the rights of workers and the labor movement is at the forefront again, as companies like Amazon and Starbucks fight tooth and nail to block unionizing, a new 4K restoration of a classic documentary makes for essential viewing. The Wobblies, which initially premiered in 1979 at the New York Film Festival, explores the history-changing movement of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), founded in Chicago in 1905, as they united to fight for a more equitable, after work environment. The film was restored by the Museum of Modern Art and selected for preservation in 2021 by the Library of Congress National Film Registry.

Where to Stream: Metrograph at Home

Also New to Streaming

The Criterion Channel

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MUBI (free for 30 days)

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The Aviary (review)

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