The 10 Best New Movies (Right Now)

Movies Lists
Share Tweet Submit Pin
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. Palm Trees and Power LinesRelease Date: March 3, 2023
Director: Jamie Dack
Stars: Lily McInerney, Jonathan Tucker, Gretchen Mol
Rating: R
Runtime: 110 minutes

Lea (Lily McInerney) never wanted to dine and dash, but when you’re 17 years old and don’t have the money to pay the bills of the friends who’ve already bolted, it doesn’t seem you have much of a choice. Unfortunately, she isn’t as quick as they were, and is caught by an aggrieved diner employee. He grabs Lea, they tussle, he slaps her. All of a sudden, Tom (Jonathan Tucker) is right there beside her, telling the employee what he thinks of a grown man slapping a teenage girl, and giving Lea a crucial chance to get away. He finds her walking home a little later, checks she’s okay and offers a lift. They get to chatting, and swap numbers. A frisson develops, which soon morphs into a romance. Which wouldn’t necessarily be a problem–it’s just that Tom is literally twice Lea’s age. An adult. And as their relationship progresses, and he starts systematically cutting her off from her friends and her mom (Gretchen Mol), it becomes more and more clear that he’s far from the hero he first appeared. Palm Trees and Power Lines is the feature debut of Jamie Dack, adapted from her 2018 short of the same name. Although Dack takes her movie to some dark places, she takes it there slowly. Carefully. Despite the delicate nature of the subject matter, nothing in her filmmaking could fairly be described as exploitative. She sidesteps potential pitfalls of romanticization by including no score, and setting her story in a suburb that may be on the California coast, but is still devoid of warmth or color. She wants us to see the relationship between Tom and Lea for what it is, without any stylistic flourishes, or even prettified images, clouding the clarity of our vision. Dack’s chief directorial asset is the ability to always show the feelings and motivations of both of her leads at the same time; it’s like we’re watching her film in an emotional split-screen. Although it would be a valuable educational tool, to say Jamie Dack’s film ought to be shown in schools implies too dryly didactic an experience; that it’s little more than a PSA about the threat of grooming, meant to be heeded, but not felt. While Palm Trees and Power Lines certainly functions as a cautionary tale, it derives the intensity of its power from the uncomfortable degree to which we’re compelled to empathize with Lea as she makes a string of increasingly perilous decisions.–Chloe Walker


9. EORelease Date: February 21, 2023
Director: Jerzy Skolimowski
Stars: Sandra Drzymalska, Lorenzo Zurzolo, Mateusz Kosciukiewicz, Isabelle Huppert
Rating: NR
Runtime: 86 minutes

On paper, an existential Polish remake of a 1960s French arthouse classic about a donkey’s journey might seem intimidating or uninteresting—flat, droll, inaccessible high art—but writer/director Jerzy Skolimowski is a filmmaking wizard, a Swiss army knife of style and technique that knows how to get your attention with creativity and empathy alone. His rate of constantly evolving expression, executed with the taste and tact of a living legend pushing 85, sucks you in. That, and the most loveable lead, EO. Skolimowski’s contemporary take on Robert Bresson’s Au Hasard Balthazar stays true to the simple ass-centricity of the original. The plot summary is the same: We follow a donkey through good times and bad. But make no mistake, EO is the wildest donkey film of the fall. Heck, maybe even the whole year. Every second counts. Blink and you might miss a surprise throat cut, lasers bursting through the forest or Isabelle Huppert smashing plates. Where EO (think: Eeyore, or the sound a donkey makes) ends up is as sudden and bewildering to us as it is to him, a paragon in the psychic art of weathering change. EO is innocence incarnate, a pure, blameless, unsuspecting victim around every corner (something you can’t get out of a human character), but he’s not fragile. There’s a near-mechanical will to live, a steely, preternatural sense of survival inside him that won’t give up. EO endures. Skolimowski gets more out of a donkey than most filmmakers get out of a person. EO is experimental and surreal, but not in a brash, over-your-head, alienating kind of way. If anything, it’s just the opposite. Every moment is innovative or imaginative, as if Skolimowski is spinning a wheel of his favorite tricks and applying them to each section as it lands, the prospect of wedding such varied expressions a challenge in itself. Through EO, Skolimowski offers a fresh perspective on our own frailty, our own getting blown with the wind, through life, pain, death and rebirth in an endless cycle. Perhaps the most transfixing moment of EO is near the end: A single waterfall tracking shot reversed into a hypnotic natural rhythm, the water folding into itself as if to be reborn. EO seems to be getting at the rhythm of life—up, down, happy, sad, joyous, torturous, cyclical, always changing, never fully understood. That’s how we see ourselves most preciously in EO. We’re never in control, even when we think we are.—Luke Hicks


8. AttachmentRelease Date: February 9, 2023
Director: Gabriel Bier Gislason
Stars: Josephine Park, Ellie Kendrick, Sofie Gråbøl
Rating: R
Runtime: 105 minutes

To love someone is to graft together two lives, whether you’re joined at the hip or connected by a long digital umbilical cord spanning thousands of miles. It’s a joining of two independent beings, and with that joining comes a certain acknowledgement that you’re not only giving a part of yourself away, but allowing that part of you to move freely around the world without you. It’s a moving, beautiful thought, but in the right context it can also be a terrifying one. It’s a universal dilemma, which makes it perfect fodder for horror storytelling. In Attachment, writer/director Gabriel Bier Gislason examines that dilemma with keen, incisive eyes. Attachment begins with attraction, the sudden collision of two women who simply seem to fit together. Leah (Ellie Kendrick), a visiting academic from London, meets Maja (Josephine Park), a Danish woman with a past as an actress, in a cute and endearing encounter in a library. They strike up a conversation, which turns into a weekend affair, which turns into a more complicated relationship when an accident leaves Leah with an injured leg and a harder road back to London. Rather than leaving her new flame to recover by herself, Maja makes the decision to follow Leah to London, where she meets her girlfriend’s overbearing mother Chana (Sofie Gråbøl), a devout Jewish woman who values her daughter’s health and safety above everything else, to an often unhealthy degree. As the trio settles into an awkward new dynamic, Maja and Leah try their best to forge a real, lasting relationship from the strange circumstances of their togetherness, while Maja does her best to get along with the suspicious and often standoffish Chana. But within that sincere desire to forge a connection, new wrinkles emerge. If you’re willing to settle into Attachment’s pace and follow down all its dark and complex corners, you’ll be rewarded with a quietly upsetting, deeply affecting horror film that nails its romance and family dynamics with clarity.—Matthew Jackson


7. SkinamarinkRelease Date: January 13, 2023
Director: Kyle Edward Ball
Stars: Lucas Paul, Dali Rose Tetreault, Ross Paul, Jaime Hill
Rating: R
Runtime: 100 minutes

This is a daring, unsettling, inscrutable and at times deeply boring venture into the farthest boundaries of horror esotericism, utterly unlike anything that most viewers will have ever seen before. If someone hosted a filmmaking competition where the stated goal was to engineer a work as divisive as it possibly could be, surely Skinamarink would be a shoo-in to win the grand prize. Created on a budget of $15,000 (Canadian!) as the feature debut of filmmaker Kyle Edward Ball, and dedicated to assistant director Joshua Bookhalter, who passed away during post-production, Skinamarink is an exercise in experimental, sensory-driven horror filmmaking. Now, when one says “sensory-driven” in this context, one might expect that to imply a certain lushness that overwhelms the senses, a la James Cameron’s approach in Avatar: The Way of Water. Skinamarink, however, is more like the opposite—the film’s ultra grainy visual aesthetic and muddy audio (with cleverly hardcoded subtitles) slowly but surely hypnotizes the viewer into a state of heightened suggestibility, until the viewer’s mind begins to provide its own hallucinatory meaning to what it is seeing. Ostensibly, Skinamarink is about a pair of siblings: four-year-old Kevin and six-year-old Kaylee. They live in an unassuming little house with their unseen father, with the status of Mom a veiled mystery that hints at pain and separation. One night, they awake to find that the house seems changed—doors and windows have disappeared, and any parental presence is missing. Objects are strewn around in seeming patterns, while a deep, gargling voice whispers from the darkness. “Oneiric” is the most perfect single word for the experience. Its images are like watching closed circuit security camera footage of someone’s mental projections during a fever dream. Its sounds recall things heard in the dead of the night from a childhood bedroom, and then blissfully forgotten by morning, only to be recalled in a moment of terror decades later. I look forward to watching the wider world discover Skinamarink, feeling for all purposes as if they’ve blundered into a parallel dimension. Like the titular child of The Twilight Zone’s “Little Girl Lost,” they’ll watch as a familiar place becomes a seeming prison, bound by dream logic, boundless and empty. I certainly won’t forget it.—Jim Vorel


6. Infinity PoolRelease Date: January 27, 2023
Director: Brandon Cronenberg
Stars: Alexander Skarsgård, Mia Goth, Cleopatra Coleman, Jalil Lespert
Rating: R
Runtime: 117 minutes

Heartbeats and cumshots are the alpha and omega of Brandon Cronenberg’s vacation in White Lotus hell, where the tourists loosen their collars and let loose their lizard brains. The limbic system and the most basic biological processes of life dominate Infinity Pool, the filmmaker’s descent into a slimy, sexy, terrifying world where death is just another game for rich people. It’s a hit-and-run satire of Western nonsense, dismantling the havoc our destination-hopping upper-crust wreaks on other cultures and the faux-mystical enlightenment hawked by gurus and Goop fools—those too wealthy to have real problems, those aspiring to achieve this status, and those taking lucrative advantage of both. In this tropical trial, they spill into each other, forever and ever. Ego death has nothing on Brandon Cronenberg’s brilliantly warped resort. The dangled, juicy lure isn’t subtle: A seemingly normal couple being approached by weird (probably swinging) Europeans always leads to trouble. We’d be fools not to be suspicious of Gabby (Mia Goth) and Al (Jalil Lespert) when they come up to their estranged hotel-mate couple James (Alexander Skarsgård) and Em (Cleopatra Coleman). One of them is played by Mia Goth, which is a sure sign to hightail it back to your room and flip the “do not disturb” sign. But James is a novelist, with one bad book to his name (The Variable Sheath, a fantastic fake title) that only got published because he married the rich publisher’s daughter. Gabby’s proclaimed fandom strokes the part of his ego that’s all but shriveled up and crumbled to dust—he’s weak, he’s hungry for it, he’s the perfect mark. When the white folks inevitably do something irreversibly horrible to the locals of Li Tolqa, their unprepared alienation in their culture is disturbingly hilarious. They don’t speak the language, and can’t read the forms the cops ask them to sign. But it’s stranger than that. Brilliant production design, location scouting and cinematography lock you into a late-night freakout. Getting too deeply into what exactly happens in Infinity Pool is like outlining the recirculating edge of its title’s horizon-flouting construction. It won’t take away from its pleasures, but you can’t really understand until you’re in it. Until Cronenberg drives you down an unlit backroad, long enough that you start wondering if you’re dreaming or awake. But what’s clearest in this gallows comedy is that its characters exist. The people who think they’ve solved reality, the conceited class with the luxury of being horny for death, because death has never been real to them. Infinity Pool’s inspired critique of this crowd is fierce and funny, its hallucinations nimble and sticky, and its encompassing nightmare one you’ll remember without needing to break out the vacation slideshow.—Jacob Oller


5. Unicorn WarsRelease Date: March 10, 2023
Director: Alberto Vázquez
Stars: Jon Goiri, Jaione Insausti, Ramón Barea, Txema Regalado, Manu Heras
Rating: NR
Runtime: 92 minutes

Who knew an animated movie made up of sunshine, rainbows, cuddles, and teddy bear dicks could be as bleak as Unicorn Wars? Maybe that last list item is a warning sign. For a bigger indicator, look at the director: Alberto Vázquez, the mind behind 2015’s Birdboy: The Forgotten Children. Together, these films make a fine double feature of grotesqueries, though compared to Unicorn WarsBirdboy is an episode of Sesame Street. A story about drug addiction, corrupt authorities, and environmental collapse sounds grim on paper and plays grim on screen, but Unicorn Wars is more than “grim.” It’s deranged. Scorched earth and religious prejudice tie these two movies together. In Unicorn Wars, the former comes well after the latter, a deep-rooted belief in God being one impelling factor of many driving conflict between warring factions: Peaceful, forest-dwelling unicorns, and warmongering teddy bears. This isn’t a metaphor. There are literal teddy bears. The bears are governed by fascist tough-bears who derive their status from perpetuating war. That doesn’t mean the movie is too serious to enjoy its toilet humor. But Unicorn Wars carefully packs big, meaningful themes into a candycoated parcel, using delirium as bubble wrap to keep its contents secure. The fluidity in craftsmanship is as impressive as Vázquez’s talent for Trojan Horsing metaphors about the human condition into a movie about teddy bears knifing unicorns and unicorns goring teddy bears. If that was the whole picture, then Unicorn Wars would still be worth watching as an exercise in bad taste filmmaking and gonzo animation, like an extended episode of Happy Tree Friends constructed with actual skill. Ridiculous as it sounds, though, there’s more to Vázquez’s neon and gore-soaked vision than its grody particulars give away at first glance. Openly raunchy as his film may be, under that surface, it’s downright biblical.—Andy Crump


4. John Wick: Chapter 4Release Date: March 24, 2023
Director: Chad Stahelski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Ian McShane, Bill Skarsgård, Shamier Anderson, Clancy Brown, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rina Sawayama, Lance Reddick, Scott Adkins
Rating: R
Runtime: 169 minutes

Early in John Wick: Chapter 4, our titular Baba Yagaplayed by Keanu Reeves after a decade as a near-mute terminator monk, his monastic frock a fine three-piece bulletproof suit and his tonsure a greased-down mane the color of night—is still in hiding following Chapter 3’s cliffhanger. Of course, an ever-increasing bounty on his head hasn’t stopped him from continuing to murder a lot of people, including the Elder (George Georgiou), who’s not the same Elder from Chapter 3, because, as this new Elder explains, he killed the last guy and took over, as the Elder did before that guy, and the Elder before that guy did to the guy before that guy. The convoluted hierarchy of the John Wick Murderverse exists only to multiply and grow more convoluted: In Chapter 2, no one sat above the High Table, except for, as introduced in Chapter 3, the Elder, who sits above and also beside it, but apparently has his share of problems. Just as the membership of the High Table is susceptible to sociopathic sibling rivalry (see Chapter 2), there will always be another Elder to kill, another personal war to wage, another henchman to shoot repeatedly in the face. “No one, not even John Wick, can kill everyone,” we hear said in an awed tone. But no, he must kill everyone. This is what we want and this is how this ends, how John Wick can be free: He kills the whole world. If Chapter 3 began immediately following Chapter 2, rarely letting up from its video game formula as levels grew more difficult and bad guys became more immune to John Wick’s superpower (murder), then Chapter 4 is the franchise’s most deliberate entry yet. With three movies worth of stakes and worldbuilding behind it, Chad Stahelski’s latest hyper-violent opus is a modern masterpiece of myth-making indulgence and archetypal action cinema. Stahelski and Reeves know that their movie must inhale genres, superstars, models, singers, Oscar winners and martial arts icons, DTV and prestige alike; consume them and give them space to be sacrificed gloriously to a franchise that values them. Behold Donnie Yen—who feels absolutely at home in the Murderverse—but also Hiroyuki Sanada and Rina Sawayama and Clancy Brown and Scott Adkins, the latter given a lengthy neck-snapping set piece that’s both scene-chewing madness and an expected physical display from Adkins. It’s all patient and omnivorous and beyond ridiculous. Stahelski wields bodies to push them to god-like ends. Everything on screen is stupendous. This is what we want, to watch John Wick murder the whole world, forever and ever amen.—Dom Sinacola

3. All the Beauty and the BloodshedRelease Date: March 17, 2023
Director: Laura Poitras
Rating: NR
Runtime: 117 minutes

Nan Goldin’s fingerprints are everywhere. The idiosyncratic photographer, activist and subject of Laura Poitras’ first feature documentary in six years is equal parts icon and iconoclast, an embodiment of what it means to hold two truths—wonderful and terrible—in balance: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed. Similarly, the film is structured into two intersplicing sections charging forward at a rate of devastation your tear ducts absolutely cannot keep up with. One section gives Goldin a platform to chronologically tell her life story. The other follows her years-long fight against the pharmaceutical reign of terror that is the appallingly inhumane Sackler/Purdue Pharma operation. They are essentially the same story, Goldin’s story, but one starts at the beginning and looks ahead while the other starts in recent history and looks back, the two colliding and bringing us into the present, where the Goldin-founded P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) is slowly but surely ripping the Sacklers’ mouth from the teat of the art world it so desperately clings to for influence. Goldin is narrating. An open book, sadistic charmer and seasoned storyteller, she has a dry, frank, true way with words, the kind of person that doesn’t need many to tell you what it means, a master in the art of phrasing. (“I brought him out and he named me Nan, so we liberated each other,” she says summarily of her connection to a dear, lifelong friend.) Known best for her slideshows, Goldin flips through hundreds of pictures and tells story after story—each one gripping, culminating, well-delivered, giving way to an eagerness for the next—often returning to her most famous collection of over 700 photos on 35mm from 1983-2022, titled The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. Overflowing with candor, the photography presents a life fully lived, aiming to capture the universal impossibility in the push-pull relationship between autonomy and dependency. In between stories, Poitras builds out the generation-spanning criminality of the Sacklers through well-researched talking heads that illuminate the family’s cruelty. As Nan describes herself and her family—whom she defiantly defines as friends, the people whom she’s lived and learned alongside, not a romantic partner or biological family—they were “rebels running from America, living out the life they needed to live.” She says it of herself in the past, but All the Beauty and the Bloodshed shows that spirit still thriving, still moving, still turning the world around it upside-down. —Luke Hicks


2. Return to SeoulRelease Date: February 17, 2023
Director: Davy Chou
Stars: Park Ji-min, Oh Kwang-rok, Guka Han, Kim Sun-young, Yoann Zimmer, Louis Do De Lencquesaing, Hur Ouk-sook, Emeline Briffaud, Lim Cheol-hyun, Son Seung-beom, Kim Dong-seok
Rating: R
Runtime: 118 minutes

We first meet Freddie (Ji-Min Park) at age 25, when she impulsively travels to Seoul after a flight to Japan is canceled. We’re not given this context until well into the movie, instead thrown into Freddie’s life as she checks into a hostel and almost immediately starts accumulating Korean drinking buddies. Like the character, we have little choice over how we’re brought into this world or how we grow into it. Though Freddie may work furiously to hide it, she’s just as confused as we are. Uncertain if she belongs in this culture of her birth, or if she even wants to. Some of Freddie’s new friends speak fluent French, but most do not, which has the dialogue switching between Korean, French and English as the characters work to understand one another. It’s a depiction and theme that will continue throughout the film: The arduous work of human connection, especially across language barriers and cultures, and through the unique perspective of a transnational adoptee. While director Davy Chou may not exactly embody his subject matter, he is not unfamiliar with the experience of returning to a place you have never been (or have no memory of), looking for a kind of connection. The child of Cambodian parents who fled their home to escape the Khmer Rouge, Chou grew up in France, first visiting Cambodia at the age of 25. He uses Return to Seoul to, among other things, explore that first/second-generation immigrant experience of being complexly, confusingly torn between two cultures. However adept the filmmaking, such a piece would fall apart without the right central actor. Park is a revelation in what is, unbelievably, a debut performance. Regardless of when or where we find her, Park simultaneously imbues Freddie with a vulnerability and impenetrability, characterized by a vibrant, exhausting defiance she brings to each and every interaction. I cannot believe this is Park’s first role. Because we almost exclusively see Freddie during her visits to Seoul, it’s unclear what other factors—outside of her identity as a transnational adoptee—might influence her restlessness. Though I missed the larger context of Freddie’s life, Return to Seoul’s commitment to staying in the moment creates an engrossing cinematic experience, an inextricable character portrait both intimate and fathomless.—Kayti Burt


1. Knock at the CabinRelease Date: February 3, 2023
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Kristen Cui, Abby Quinn, Rupert Grint
Rating: R
Runtime: 100 minutes

Knock at the Cabin has a twist that audiences won’t see coming, if only because it defies what people have come to know about director M. Night Shyamalan. It’s a twist, but it isn’t, but it is, but it also isn’t. But in Knock at the Cabin—adapted from the novel The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay—it’s less about the destination than the journey. A film preoccupied with the frequent use of intimate, shot/reverse-shot close-up conversations, Knock at the Cabin opens with one between Leonard (Dave Bautista) and Wen (Kristen Cui—no Haley Joel Osment, but she’s mostly fine). Leonard bears Bautista’s imposing figure, but Bautista knows how to handle himself with a gentle touch. He’s soft-spoken and warm, and has a tenderness implicit in his presence akin to a large stuffed animal. Accompanied by two women, Adriane (Abby Quinn) and Sabrina (Nikki Amuka-Bird), and a hot-headed man named Redmond (Rupert Grint, whose first feature role in eight years proves he’s a force of nature), Leonard and his group forcibly enter the Airbnb housing Wen and her adoptive dads, Andrew (Ben Aldridge) and Eric (Jonathan Groff). The groups was united by shared visions of a forthcoming apocalypse that will bring about the end of humanity, and the only way to stop it is if this particular family makes the choice to sacrifice one of themselves willingly. Knock at the Cabin is, perhaps, the quickest 100-minute film ever made. From the quiet and meditative opening sequence—the last moment of normalcy in Wen’s life—the film is propelled forward with a sense of urgency that parallels that of the doomsday group. Even in moments of calm, there is a constant, tense and invigorating momentum forward. If you’re a fan of Shyamalan’s, or just familiar with his style, you’re accustomed to “dialogue real people wouldn’t say” and “actions real people wouldn’t take.” It’s an oft-held complaint about Shyamalan’s films by his naysayers, but it’s not a creative deficiency. It’s just part of Shyamalan’s cinematic language, one that functions in a sort of un-reality that prioritizes story, emotion and theme over pedantic logistics in dialogue. At this point, you’re either with it or you’re not. And if you are, Knock at the Cabin could be seen as career-best work.—Brianna Zigler