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.

Happening (Audrey Diwan)

Diwan’s sophomore feature is an unglamorous, straightforward film that tells a simple story about an ordinary girl. It is also the single most intense, shatteringly empathetic thing I’ve seen all year. Carried by Anamaria Vartolomei’s fiercely committed performance, the ’60s-set drama takes on the subject of unintended pregnancy and illustrates how far from a political / religious issue it can be when it happens to you. Abortion has been dealt with in landmark films, but the intimacy of perspective achieved here feels truly unmatched. A vital call for kindness like no other. – Zhuo-Ning Su

Where Stream: Hulu

M3GAN (Gerard Johnstone)

Not outwardly terrifying, director Gerard Johnstone’s sci-fi slasher features a lifelike AI doll named M3GAN, programmed to attach itself to a single child. In the case of Akela Cooper and James Wan’s story, M3GAN finds her child soulmate in Cady (Violet McGraw), a young girl recently orphaned by a fatal, parental car accident. The rest of the story plays out with absurdity, a film reliant on knowledge, tech, and habits recognized by 2023 audiences. M3GAN works due to our own reliance on and ability to trust technology we don’t understand, taken to logical ends by the film’s willingness to ham up this story, go for big laughs, and succeed in finding them more often than not. – Michael F. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

The Mission (Tania Anderson)

In The Mission, unwavering faith is a requirement. For the four young missionaries followed by director Tania Anderson, Finland becomes their two-year home, a temporary church with one goal: convert as many as they can. The missionary program of the Church of Latter-day Saints, filmed by a non-Mormon for the first time, takes on the persona of these four stewards. Seen in a positive (or at least objective) light with Anderson’s film, the program pushes these 18-year-olds onto another plane of spiritual existence—they believe they’re doing God’s work by knocking on doors in the dead of Finnish winter. – Michael F. (full review)

Where Stream: VOD

Saint-Narcisse (Bruce LaBruce)

The Narcissus myth, where a man falls in love with his own reflection and ultimately destroys himself over it, has only grown more relevant with time. The dominance of social media, the performative aspects that come with it, self-help culture, various forms of media pushing self-affirmation, and a culture driven towards individualism are just some of the ways we’ve led ourselves to a place where terms like “toxic positivity” begin taking prominence. It’s a topic well worth exploring, and thank God Canadian provocateur Bruce LaBruce chose to. Rather than getting too intellectual about it, Saint-Narcisse gives audiences the reflection of their obsessed selves they deserve: a sleazy, incestuous, soapy good time evoking ‘70s B-movies as it drags traditional values around religion and family to the extreme endpoint of loving oneself. – C.J. P. (full review)

Where to Stream: Film Movement+

TÁR (Todd Field)

Although she’d never mention it, we know Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) endured plenty of toxic male BS on her way to becoming a living legend among composers/conductors. To prove that she could also command the wind. So instead of her struggle to the top, a plot that fiction has shown us before, Todd Field makes us witness her tragic descent. Shot with the clinical precision of a nature documentary and powered by Blanchett’s symphony of a performance, TÁR neither condemns nor celebrates ways in which the powerful achieve and remain in power. Instead it simply observes, capturing a refreshing portrait of female genius, a study of the ravenous affair between art and capitalism, and making us question our belief that the art we love can ever truly be separated from an artist we hate. – Jose S.

Where to Stream: Peacock

Trans (Julian Goldberger)

A teenage runaway lives on borrowed time in this dissociative and dreamlike portrait of the American South that film critics dubbed The 400 Blows of the ’90s. After appearing at Sundance—where it was a favorite of Richard Linklater’s—the film went on to win the Readers’ Jury Prize for Best Film at the 1999 Berlinale. Whether waist-deep in swamp water or half-blitzed in the dairy aisle, the boy outlaw fixes his face in a shiftless smile. In too-large shoes, he runs headlong into thrilling, if tenuous, freedom.

Where to Stream: Le Cinéma Club

When You Finish Saving the World (Jesse Eisenberg)

A refigured and condensed version of his own audio drama of the same name, When You Finish Saving the World is a slight directorial debut from Jesse Eisenberg featuring sturdy performances working a script that gets a bit lost. Examining a family whose dysfunction can be best described as a detached aloofness when finding common ground for their individual interests and desires, this drama mostly unfolds by contrasting the isolated lives of mother Evelyn (Julianne Moore) and son Ziggy (Finn Wolfhard). Despite perceptive passages and formal confidence telling the small-scale nature of this story, Eisenberg can’t stick the landing, boxing his characters into a cloying, frustrating, and unconvincing conclusion. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where Stream: VOD

What Happened Was… (Tom Noonan)

If often considered a cult figure for roles in ManhunterLast Action HeroRoboCop 2, and The Monster Squad (among sundry similar), Tom Noonan is perhaps most deserving of praise for his fiercely intelligent, emotionally lacerating, masterfully composed work as a writer-director. 1994’s What Happened Was…, in which he is also lead actor, is a paramount achievement, making all the more shameful its relegation to relative obscurity for more than 25 years. A remarkable 4K restoration has now arrived, to which I can pay the finest compliment one might afford: as a longtime fan I simply did not think the film could look this nice. – Nick N. (full interview)

Where Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

Also New to Streaming

MUBI (free for 30 days)

Touchy Feely
We Are Little Zombies
These Birds Walk
Becoming Male in the Middle Ages
The Wolfpack


Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song
You People

Prime Video

Shotgun Wedding


The Lair

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