It’s a packed weekend for new movies and TV shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services. Three major movies are available to stream this weekend: first up is the sudden sequel to 2006’s smash-hit comedy Borat, which has been filming during the pandemic. Netflix has its own big hitter with Rebecca, a lavish period drama by well-respected director Ben Wheatley, while the steadily-improving Apple TV Plus boasts the latest new movie from Sofia Coppola.
Next weekend will be massive for streamers, too: it marks the release of The Mandalorian season 2, probably the biggest TV event of the year. Enjoy these last Baby Yoda-less few days…
Below, we’ve rounded up some highlights of new movies and TV shows you can watch this weekend in the US and the UK – we’ll also explain where you can find each one.
Director Ben Wheatley (High Rise) turns his hand to adapting Daphne du Maurier’s novel, itself famously adapted by Alfred Hitchcock in 1940. It’s about a young woman (Lily James) who’s swept off her feet by widower Maxim de Winter (human Ken doll Armie Hammer), and goes to live on his estate, Manderley – only to find she’s very much living in the shadow of Mr. de Winter’s deceased wife. Kristin Scott Thomas co-stars as Mr. de Winter’s lurking housekeeper Mrs. Danvers.
This new adaptation, featuring a screenplay by Kingsman’s Jane Goldman, has garnered a mixed reception from critics. If it doesn’t sound like your sort of thing, consider streaming last week’s excellent Netflix original movie The Trial of the Chicago 7.
Now streaming on Netflix
On the Rocks (Apple TV Plus)
Apple TV Plus gets another big movie this weekend – the latest picture from director Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, The Beguiled). Starring Rashida Jones of Parks and Rec fame, and Coppola’s frequent collaborator Bill Murray, it’s about a young mother (Jones) who teams up with her playboy father (Murray) to follow her husband (Marlon Wayans) across New York after she suspects he’s cheating.
It’s been described as a tribute to New York City by Apple, and it’s meant to be an inter-generational comedy (even if the trailer suggests something more somber), so it should end in a nicer way than The Beguiled did (spoiler alert: Colin Farrell’s dead body being dragged to the side of the road). If you’ve got a new Apple device, you should be able to watch On The Rocks for free this weekend.
Now streaming on Apple TV Plus
Borat 2 (Amazon Prime Video)
2006’s Borat was a comedy classic – but was it really worth it, for 10 years of unfunny men in bars doing the Borat voice? That’s the question we reckon with as its sequel, shot during the pandemic by Sacha Baron Cohen and company, arrives on Amazon Prime Video (it’s officially called ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’). This time, a newly-released Borat returns to America with his teenage daughter, and dons a new disguise as he provokes right-wing figures for the purposes of laughter.
Critics like this one: it’s got 83% positive reviews at the time of writing, so maybe 14 years away has made Borat’s one type of joke seem fresh again. Certainly, the character’s ability to capture headlines hasn’t gone away.
Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video
The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)
Netflix’s big TV drama of the week is The Queen’s Gambit, which is about a young orphan who, while fighting addiction, becomes an absolute boss in the male-dominated chess scene. Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, who you might’ve seen in The VVitch or the most recent adaptation of Emma, critics like this new miniseries. Its co-creator, Scott Frank, also made Netflix’s underrated Western drama Godless – so it’s worth watching an episode and seeing if it’s for you.
Now streaming on Netflix
The Witches (HBO Max/PVOD)
This latest adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book by director Robert Zemeckis is a big swing by HBO Max in the US, where it’s exclusively available to stream – but based on the mixed critical reception, it might not have been worth it. An orphaned boy heads off to live with his grandmother, who, after bumping into a group of witches, escape to a seaside resort. Unfortunately, at their new hideout, they encounter the Grand High Witch (played by Anne Hathaway in a very Eva Green-looking role), who’s planning on eliminating all children from the world in collaboration with her witchy pals.
The trailer makes a pretty poor impression, honestly, suggesting it’s a campy-looking kids’ movie devoid of good jokes, and missing the tinge of horror that was in Dahl’s work. Still: it is undeniably something you can stream this weekend, though you could just watch the 1990 adaptation instead.
In the UK, you’ll be able to order The Witches on PVOD for £15.99 from retailers starting on October 26, but US viewers can enjoy it on HBO now.
Here’s how to watch The Witches online
The Undoing (HBO Max/Sky)
Even by HBO’s lofty casting standards, a miniseries starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant is a treat. The Undoing is about a successful couple whose lives are broken apart when a mother with connections to Hugh Grant’s Jonathan is found beaten to death. This series is the brainchild of Big Little Lies’ David E Kelley, and it also stars Edgar Ramirez and Donald Sutherland.
It even looks a little like Big Little Lies – a mystery drama about the lives and secrets of wealthy people is well within the same thematic ballpark, really. Susanne Bier, who directed The Night Manager, is behind this series, which is well worth a look.
Streaming from October 25 on HBO Max in the US and October 26 on Sky and Now TV in the UK
Parasite (Hulu/Amazon Prime Video)
Bong Joon-ho’s Best Picture Oscar winner has been streaming on Hulu all year in the US, but now UK viewers can finally watch it on Amazon Prime Video. It’s about a poorer family that, one-by-one, begin working for a wealthy family without their new employers realizing they all know each other and plotted this out. Parasite incisively examines class divides, and the attitudes of the rich. Absolutely worth streaming this weekend if you haven’t seen it.
Now streaming on Hulu in the US and Amazon Prime Video in the UK