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.

Albert Brooks: Defending My Life (Rob Reiner)

One of the most brilliant comedic minds to ever live finally gets his due in Rob Reiner’s loving documentary. Framed around a conversation between the two, Brooks dives into all of his creative output while still proving he’s as witty as ever––and indeed, if you’ve never seen some of his early late-night bits, you’ll be howling along. And since you’ll be looking for more from Brooks to watch after watching, Lost in America and Defending Your Life are on Max, Modern Romance is on Tubi, and Real Life is on Kanopy.

Where to Stream: Max

Before, Now & Then (Kamila Andini)

In Before, Now & Then the social and political upheavals of 1960s Indonesia provide a hardened backbone to what is otherwise a tale of longing and simmering romance. It’s the fifth work by Kamila Andini, an Indonesian filmmaker whose dreamy 2017 film Seen and Unseen became a festival darling, screening in Berlin and Toronto that year to acclaim. Before, Now & Then sees her return to the German capital––premiering in competition this week, a sharp ascendency––with her most ambitious film yet. Drawing a number of deeply felt performances from her cast, it is an aching period piece, if frankly staid, that comes complete with many of the genre’s most reliable tropes: sharp intakes of breath; glances stolen through laced curtains; and love, as ever, in opprobrium. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Biosphere (Mel Eslyn)

Biosphere feels like a movie Mark Duplass was born to lead. Small sci-fi with a provocative twist. One location, two characters, and a lot of talking. This is one of the pioneers behind the mumblecore subgenre, after all. Most of it works, and some it works really well. Written by Duplass and Mel Eslyn, with Eslyn directing (a longtime producer making her feature directorial debut), it stars Duplass and Sterling K. Brown as the last two living human beings on Earth. – Dan M. (full review)

Where to Stream: AMC+

The Creator (Gareth Edwards)

If you need an example of a movie that doesn’t earn the portentous use of chapter titles and an “Everything In Its Right Place” needle-drop, look no further than The Creator. The new film from visual effects indie wunderkind-turned-IP peddler Gareth Edwards––the seven-year gap between this and the film you definitely forgot was the most successful grosser of 2016 pointing to confirmation of him not being that movie’s chief author––is an admirable pursuit of big-budget, original sci-fi, a film I kind of wanted to like. The sight of James Cameron/Mamoru Oshii-mechsuits stirred some warm feelings, yet the problem is the intrusion of sentimentality, something beyond Edwards’ talents to pull off. – Ethan V. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Good Time (Josh and Benny Safdie)

Like waking up to start your day in your dingy flat, only to realize you dosed three tabs of high-grade LSD before drifting off the night before; as the room shifts, your confusion rapidly develops into heart-thumping stress as you remember you have something really goddamn important to do today — life or death sorta stuff. This is the feverish, ultra-anxiety-inducing sensation that Good Time plunges viewers into from its opening seconds. A sort of cinema delirium, it pulses with a vibrant potency that reminds you film can grab you by the throat; I barely breathed, and I loved every second. – Mike M.

Where to Stream: Netflix

The Lady Bird Diaries (Dawn Porter)

Throughout the five years in which Lyndon B. Johnson was the President of the United States, his First Lady––Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson––took note of everything. The Lady Bird Diaries, directed by Dawn Porter, is built on archival photo and video as well as audio from Lady Bird herself. For the duration of the Johnson Administration, Mrs. Johnson recorded 123 hours of audible diary entries. From these revealing documents, Porter forms a sympathetic yet clear-eyed portrait of a compassionate woman in an extraordinary position. – Dan M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Hulu

L’immensita (Emanuele Crialese)

In films like Volver, Parallel Mothers, Everybody Knows, and now L’immensità, Penélope Cruz has cornered the market on playing mother figures that are both larger than life and movingly earthy. As Clara, the loving Spaniard expatriate trying to raise her children while staying married to an unfaithful man in 1970s Rome, Cruz does some of the best work of her already incredible, multilingual career. – Jose S. (full review)

Where to Stream: Prime Video

Manodrome (John Trengrove)

In Manodrome, cinema’s enduring love for frustrated male loners is brought, kicking and screaming, into the cold light of the present day. Set in an unnamed, crumbling city in the Northeast, it stars an against-type Jesse Eisenberg as a jacked-up, emotionally stunted gym bro who joins a cult of voluntarily and involuntarily celibate men. The director is John Trengrove, whose previous feature The Wound used a very real Xhosa rite of passage as a way to examine the ever-knotted rituals of male bonding. The subcultures in Manodrome are ostensibly a work of fiction but, exaggerated as they may be, are no less plausible or rife with intrigue. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Please Don’t Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain (Paul Briganti)

Please Don’t Destroy, the comedy troupe comprising NYU alums Ben Marshall, John Higgins, and Martin Herlihy, broke through the haze of hopeful comedians with quick-hitting sketches on social media. Soon after their speedy Internet fame, the three writers joined Saturday Night Live to produce more short videos, this time for a show that had already employed two of their fathers. The group weaves together a mixture of Gen Z and Millennial charm, striving for weirdness just as much as witty comedy. Please Don’t Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain serves as the trio’s first foray into film, the three leading and sharing co-writing credits––an apt reminder that some jokes shouldn’t run for 90 minutes. – Michael F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Peacock

Queens of the Qing Dynasty (Ashley McKenzie)

Being blind to Ashley McKenzie’s oeuvre let this surprise from almost moment one––it’s truly the closest I’ve seen an English-language feature come to evoking institutional decay and its effects on personal struggle à la Pedro Costa. Remarkable comparison for a second feature, but Queens––its compositional instinct, durational sense, relentless commitment to performance style––has stayed in the year-plus since my viewing. One expects its rep to build over time, ideally as McKenzie debuts a follow-up. – Nick N.

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

Rustin (George C. Wolfe)

It just goes to show how one movement will always be followed by another. No matter how integral Bayard Rustin (Colman Domingo) proved to advancing Civil Rights agendas that helped put an end to segregation, he was seen as more liability than necessity to those in power because of his sexuality. And when you’re dealing with men like Representative Adam Clayton Powell (Jeffrey Wright), he could also be labeled a threat. Because there’s allyship and there’s self-promotion. There’s making incremental change while profiting for the trouble and there’s giving everything you have. Rustin was the latter and his success inevitably risked the former’s money. – Jared M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

The Stones and Brian Jones (Nick Broomfield)

Watch an exclusive clip above.

Much of what people do remember about Jones in 2023 has to do with the mysterious circumstances of his passing. Come upon an article with a title like “the 10 strangest unsolved mysteries in music history” and there is a good chance one of the entries will be devoted to Jones’ drowning in 1969. To his credit––and unlike 1998’s Kurt & Courtney––Broomfield is uninterested in conspiracy theories. Rather, The Stones and Brian Jones is focused on what made Jones a complex, troubled genius, and how he was destined to be excised from history in order for the Rolling Stones to become The World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band™. “If anyone was gonna die, Brian was gonna die,” states Jagger in a clip near the film’s end. “He just lived his life very fast. He was kind of like a butterfly.” – Chris S. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Also New to Streaming


Red Cliff


The Farewell
The Last Black Man in San Francisco


Happer’s Comet
The Winds That Scatter

Prime Video

Tucker: The Man and His Dream


The Gravity
Plan C
Your Lucky Day

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