Movies to watch this week: Ad Astra, Aladdin, Bohemian Rhapsody and more
Our weekly guide to what films to watch in the cinema and on streaming services, including the latest Blu-ray releases...
Hello, and welcome to our weekly pick of movies that you can feast your eyes upon over the next week – both on the big screen and at home (via streaming and Blu-ray/digital downloads).
With so much movie goodness available across so many platforms, it can be tough planning your viewing schedule. But don’t worry: below, you’ll find a variety of new theatrical and home entertainment releases, as well as some of our favourite modern greats and golden oldies that can be found on streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Now TV.
So, here’s our round-up of the best movies available to watch between Friday 19 September and Thursday 26 September. And don’t forget to pop back next week for more recommendations.
At the cinema
Brad Pitt stars in this elevated sci-fi from Lost City Of Z director James Gray. In it he plays an astronaut with freakishly calm nerves sent on a mission across the solar system to contact his missing father he’d thought long dead. Thrilling, epic, starry and spectacular it’s one for hard science fiction fans, with a controlled and against-type central performance from Pitt.
• Read our Ad Astra review
Rambo: Last Blood
The fifth instalment in the John Rambo series sees Stallone’s Vietnam vet heading to Mexico to save his niece from a drug cartel. He’s suffering from PTSD but has to confront his past in order to take on the bad guys. Gory and violent – indeed possibly too gory and violent, depending on who you ask.
• Read our Rambo: Last Blood review
Highly acclaimed comedy drama which sees Awkwafina’s Chinese-American writer return home for a wedding scheduled purely so the family can gather to say goodbye the grandmother who has terminal cancer and only a few weeks to live, without actually telling her she’s about to die. Funny, discursive and very moving, there’s award buzz around this and it’s Awkwafina’s best performance yet.
• Read our The Farewell review
The royals descend on Downton in this big-screen follow-up to the Sunday-night TV stalwart, which is poised to give fans of Julian Fellowes’ gentle period drama exactly what they want – light-hearted upstairs-downstairs shenanigans, a sprinkling of romance and a good dose of olden-days glitz and glamour, all painted on a much bigger canvas.
• Read our Downton Abbey review
On Blu-ray and digital download
Blu-ray out 23 September
Big Willie’s blue genie makes his way to Blu-ray in this fairly well liked Disney live action remake which gives Princess Jasmine a bit more agency but retains much of the pace and charm of the original. It’s directed by Guy Ritchie which strangely works better than you might imagine.
• Read our Aladdin review
Park Chan-wook’s blistering, twisty revenge thriller gets the 4k treatment out on Blu-ray this week in a limited edition 4 disc set rammed with extras from Arrow Video. It’s the second part of his ‘vengeance trilogy’ (with Sympathy For Mr Vengeance and Lady Vengeance) but like the others, is a standalone. Wanna see an amazing corridor-based hammer attack sequence and a man eating a live octopus in 4k? Step right up.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
Keanu Reeves returns for a third outing as the black-suited uber-assassin John Wick, who’s on the run thanks to a $14 million bounty being placed on his head. His only option? To prepare for war… Director Chad Stahelski is back behind the camera for this neon-soaked action extravaganza, orchestrating some of the series’ best and most brutal set-pieces yet.
• Read our John Wick: Chapter 3 review
Pikachu can speak at you in this family-friendly crime caper, with Ryan Reynolds lending his wise-cracking vocal cords to the iconic electric mouse Pokémon. Donning a deerstalker and teaming up with Justice Smith’s Tim Goodman, Pikachu unravels a mystery involving a baddie played by Bill Nighy and a serious scientist played by Rita Ora. It’s barmy, but a whole lot of fun.
• Read our Detective Pikachu review
Digital: out now (iTunes exclusive)
Sometimes simple things can be the most impactful. So it is with Eighth Grade, a small story of young Kayla (Elsie Fisher) during her last week before she graduates and goes off to high school, which manages to resonate and devastate on a grand scale. Bo Burnham’s debut movie as a writer-director, Eighth Grade’s cinema release was dwarfed by Avengers: Endgame, but it’s well worth catching up with.
• Read our Eighth Grade review
Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen showcase a surprisingly strong comic rapport in this charming political rom-com. Theron plays a Presidential candidate on the hunt for a writer to punch up her speeches; enter Rogen’s unemployed journalist, who she used to babysit. Cue an unlikely romance, as the two prepare for a gruelling campaign.
• Read our Long Shot review
Picking up after the devastating finale of Infinity War – in which mad titan Thanos (Josh Brolin) successfully wiped out 50 per cent of all living creatures in the universe – Endgame sees Earth’s mightiest surviving heroes unite to execute a “time heist” to retrieve the six Infinity Stones and reverse the Snap. A hugely satisfying conclusion to 11 years of shared-universe storytelling.
• Read our Avengers: Endgame review
Biopic of Freddie Mercury and the band Queen in the lead up to the live aid concert. The movie cleaned up at the Oscars, taking home four statues and while it might be a slightly sanitised version of the truth, Rami Malek’s extraordinary performance and the banging tunes make this well worth a watch.
• Read our Bohemian Rhapsody review
Call Me By Your Name
Netflix, available now
Luca Guadagnino’s lyrical coming-of-age love story of a 17-year-old-boy (Timothée Chalamet) who falls for an older man during a summer in Italy (Armie Hammer). Gorgeous and moving with terrific central performances.
Blade Runner 2049
Netflix, available now
A sequel 35 years in the making, Denis Villeneuve’s ambitious follow-up to Ridley Scott’s seminal 1982 sci-fi sees Ryan Gosling playing a new blade runner, whose discovery of a replicant revelation leads him to track down former runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who’s been missing for 30 years.
• Read our Blade Runner 2049 review
Sorry To Bother You
Boots Riley’s bonkers and biting satire of modern corporate culture is a skilled, thoughtful and caustic movie debut. Get Out’s Lakeith Stanfield plays jobbing twentysomething ‘Cash’, who finagles his way into a lowly telemarketing job and learns an incredible technique that sets the world he knows into a tailspin.
• Read our Sorry To Bother You review
Jason Momoa throws off his Justice League shackles and channels his considerable charisa into his first solo outing as the aquatic superhero, who’s tasked with saving his underwater home of Atlantis – and the world – from his maniacal half-bro King Orm (Patrick Wilson). James Wan directs this colourful comic-book fantasy.
• Read our Aquaman review
• The best action movies on Netflix to watch right now
• The best horror movies to watch on Netflix
• Underappreciated comedy movies on Netflix to watch now
Netflix, available now
Alfred Hitchcock’s seminal 1960 psychological horror makes its way to Netflix and, though it might seem tame by today’s standards, it remains one of the director’s most influential films, playing with established movie rules and introducing mainstream Hollywood to the slasher movie. A stone-cold genre classic.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Finally introducing Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) to the movies, Spider-Verse gives us not one but six new takes on Spidey in a comic-book movie that’s quite unlike any other. As well as its astounding animated visuals, the film balances an “out-there” concept with knowing laughs and genuine feels. Ripe for a rewatch.
• Read our Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse review
Christopher Nolan does WW2 with this thrilling depiction of one of the war’s key moments – the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk. Split into three interlinking strands covering land, sea and air, and stuffed with immersive visuals and intense sound design, this is arguably one of Nolan’s best.
• Read our Dunkirk review