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.

See our comprehensive guide to where to stream the best films of 2021.

Clerk. (Malcolm Ingram)

What more can you say about a guy who’s been an open book for the last two-and-a-half decades? Herein lies the challenge of Malcolm Ingram’s warm, American Masters-style portrait of friend Kevin Smith, the kind of guy who frankly feels like a friend to all of his fans. The film, titled Clerk, allows others besides Silent Bob to contribute to the Smith story, chronicling his extensive career in filmmaking, comics, e-commerce, and podcasting. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

The Human Surge (Eduardo Williams)

About five years old and at least ten years ahead, Eduardo Williams’ The Human Surge is the closest film’s ever come to actualizing the experience of being Too Online. Which is to say it’s as dense and dizzying as it is fleet, replete with ideas found neither in narrative or the contemporary avant-garde cinema of which Williams has become heir apparent. A work best experienced between Wikipedia drive-bys and social-media dopamine drips, and thus appropriately streaming free for the next week. – Nick N.

Where to Stream: Le Cinéma Club

The Humans (Stephen Karam)

Everything is wrong in The Humans, Stephen Karam’s adaptation of his Tony-winning play. Set entirely in a New York apartment building, Karam’s one-act play transitions to film with one big hook: it’s an intimate drama conceived as a horror film, monsters and ghosts replaced by the rot of a family unit shaken up by a world that’s getting harder to endure. It’s a confident gamble, especially for a first-time director; confidence can only take it so far. – C.J. P. (full review)

Where to Stream: Showtime

Ma Belle, My Beauty (Marion Hill)

In some relationships it’s easier to pick up where you left off, even after years of being apart. Others, such as those at the core of Marion Hill’s impressive, nuanced feature film debut Ma Belle, My Beauty—contain more heartbreak and baggage. Screening in Sundance’s NEXT category, Hill’s picture navigates uncomfortable truths with perspective and lyrical emotional honestly as Lane (Hannah Pepper) re-enters the life of former lover Bertie (Idalla Johnson) at the request of her husband Fred (Lucien Guignard). – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Pig (Michael Sarnoski)

Pig will be a victim of expectations. While marketed as Nicolas Cage’s equivalent to a darkly comic and surreal John Wick, and though a study of the desire for vengeance to an extent, it is not a revenge film—one that provides no violent catharsis for its blood-soaked protagonist. Pig is rather about the increasingly fragile connections we make as human beings and the isolationist tendencies that can infect our lives after experiencing harrowing grief. With director Michael Sarnoski subverting expectations from the start, the experience is ultimately a rewarding one. – Logan K. (full review)

Where to Stream: Hulu

Spencer (Pablo Larraín)

Larraín’s once-again eclectic directorial choices and Steven Knight’s (Peaky Blinders, Eastern Promises) reductive screenplay are liabilities, but Spencer (named after Diana’s maiden name) gains urgency from being such a necessary story. It also earns relatability for being centered on something many of us might or have gone through: the decision to end a serious, long-term relationship. It’s Christmas 1992—that fraught, frosty time of year—and Diana is quaking at the prospect of three dull and excruciating days with her unloved husband, Charles, the Prince of Wales (a great Jack Farthing), and two stony in-laws (the Queen and Prince Philip—just imagine!). Her beloved Princes Philip and Harry are of course present, hauntingly unaware of their mother’s inner strife. And the vulpine paparazzi who so recklessly brought Diana’s tragic end are circling; to them, a tense Royal Christmas at the Queen’s Sandringham estate is itself the most coveted gift. – David K. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

To the Wonder (Terrence Malick)

A Terrence Malick film is an event, no matter the time or the subject, but it is undeniable that there’s something markedly different and all-together special about To the Wonder. Perhaps it is Malick’s transition from period pieces into the modern world, or the tight focus on people whose only extraordinary circumstance is their search for love. Either way––and for whatever reason––Malick has never felt more sentimental or raw than he does in this film. There is a reality to this film that even his other masterpieces shied from, and his unflinching gaze at the way in which love ebbs, flows, grows, and evolves lays bare the romantic lies in almost every other film ever made. This is to say nothing of his trademark visual style, which makes even bland suburbs and fast food restaurants looks hauntingly lovely. To the Wonder confused people when it first came out, but, with time and understanding, regard for this film can and does grow stronger. – Brian R.

Where to Stream: MUBI (along with Eugene Richards’ extension of the film, Thy Kingdom Come)

The Village Detective: A Song Cycle (Bill Morrison)

It is hard to overstate how important Bill Morrison’s work is to the language and history of cinema. As much a historian as he is a filmmaker, Morrison seeks out long-lost work and brings them back to life. In often merging these rescued images with beautiful, cerebral music, a new piece of art is built atop the old, offering both a celebration of what’s been found and what is still to come. Morrison’s new feature The Village Detective: A Song Cycle is a slight departure, though no less effective. This time around the discovered film is one that was never lost. In fact, it’s a movie rather well-known in its native country of Russia. – Dan M. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Ryūsuke Hamaguchi)

Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy is cinema portmanteau: three short stories focused on three different characters, each a little lovesick and just a little lost. The director is Ryūsuke Hamaguchi, an emerging filmmaker from Japan who seems to have already mastered his craft, and whose work is perfectly at home to such dilemmas. His 2015 film Happy Hour, a five-hour saga, followed the lives of four women in Kobe, one of whom had filed for divorce. Next came Asako I & II in 2018, an adaptation of Tomoka Shibasaki’s novel about a woman who starts seeing a man who looks exactly like the boy she loved when she was younger––a story of doppelgängers, it also showcased his touch for surrealist flourishes. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas

Wife of a Spy (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)

We’re in Kobe in 1940 on the eve of war. An English businessman is being forcefully ejected from his factory by a group of soldiers. “What has become of Japan?” he asks despairingly. So plays the opening sequence of Wife of a Spy, a world-weary wartime romance from Japanese filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa about an affluent married couple who each must ask themselves a thorny question. Their country is at a crossroads, how best to respond? – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

The Witches of the Orient (Julien Faraut)

Never doubt a documentary filmmaker’s propensity to eke out the narrowest of niches. We’ve had films on spelling bees and İstanbullu kitties, but the latest comes to us from Japan, via France, and the story of the unlikely heroes of the 1964 Japanese Women’s Olympic volleyball team––and their still less likely second act in the world of anime. The Witches of the Orient offers some flare to go with that intriguing duality: a stylish structure in which footage of the team’s greatest feats are intercut with corresponding animations from the TV shows they later inspired. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

Also New to Streaming

The Criterion Channel

Stations of the Elevated

MUBI (free for 30 days)

025 Sunset Red
The Trouble with Being Born
The Graduate




Small Time

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