Netflix’s Trigger Warning, The Beast, and every movie new to streaming this week

3 weeks ago 59

Greetings, Polygon readers! Each week, we round up the most notable new releases to streaming and VOD, highlighting the biggest and best new movies for you to watch at home.

This week, Trigger Warning, the new action thriller starring Jessica Alba as a hardened Special Forces commando, premieres on Netflix. That’s not all, as plenty of other exciting new releases make their streaming debuts this week, including a documentary on tennis legend Roger Federer on Prime Video, Kung Fu Panda 4 on Peacock, Sometimes I Think About Dying on MUBI, and more. There’s also several highly anticipated releases on VOD this week, including animated sci-fi noir mystery Mars Express and dystopian sci-fi romance The Beast starring Léa Seydoux.

Here’s everything new that’s available to watch this weekend!

New on Netflix

Trigger Warning

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

A woman wielding a knife in Trigger Warning. Image: Netflix

Genre: Action thriller
Run time: 1h 46m
Director: Mouly Surya
Cast: Jessica Alba, Anthony Michael Hall, Mark Webber

The Alba-naissance is here. Five years after her last film role (crime thriller Killers Anonymous), the onetime Sue Storm is teaming up with Indonesian director Mouly Surya in an action-packed movie inspired by the John Wick franchise (and produced by John Wick producer Basil Iwanyk). Trigger Warning is Surya’s English-language debut and was filmed three years ago, but is finally dropping on Netflix this week.

Black Barbie

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

A woman holding a barbie in Black Barbie. Image: Netflix

Genre: Documentary
Run time: 1h 40m
Director: Lagueria Davis

This doc from Shondaland digs into the first Black Barbie and three Black women at Mattel who made it happen: Beulah Mae Mitchell, Kitty Black Perkins, and Stacey McBride-Irby.

New on Prime Video

Federer: Twelve Final Days

Where to watch: Available to stream on Prime Video

Image: Prime

Genre: Documentary
Run time: 1h 40m
Directors: Asif Kapadia, Joe Sabia
Cast: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic

Arguably the greatest men’s tennis player to ever live, Roger Federer finally hung up his racket for good in 2022. This documentary, co-directed by Senna and Amy director Asif Kapadia, focuses on the final 12 days of the Swiss legend’s illustrious career.

New on Peacock

Kung Fu Panda 4

Where to watch: Available to stream on Peacock

An anthropomorphic panda holding a green scepter and a red panda in his arms while smiling. Image: Universal Pictures

Genre: Martial arts comedy
Run time: 1h 34m
Director: Mike Mitchell
Cast: Jack Black, Awkwafina, Bryan Cranston

The fourth entry in the Kung Fu Panda saga sees Po taking on a new apprentice to succeed him as the Dragon Warrior. When a mysterious sorceress plots to resurrect Po’s past adversaries, he’ll need to call upon all his strength and allies to save the day.

From our review:

While the individual scenes and moments in Kung Fu Panda 4 are entertaining (and sometimes even great), it never quite gels as an enjoyable movie on its own. The message of change tying it together is flimsy, and the plot feels strung along, trying to get the characters in the right place to launch a few seconds of cool action. After four movies, it isn’t really a surprise that the Kung Fu Panda machine is running out of steam — thankfully, though, it has just enough power left to churn out some genuine laughs at the end.

New on MUBI

Sometimes I Think About Dying

Where to watch: Available to stream on MUBI

A close-up of Daisy Ridley as Fran, as she looks at the camera, her face serious Image: Oscilloscope Laboratories

Genre: Romantic drama
Run time: 1h 34m
Director: Rachel Lambert
Cast: Daisy Ridley, Dave Merheje, Parvesh Cheena

Star Wars icon Daisy Ridley takes a dramatic turn in this new existential drama, playing the role of a socially awkward office worker who tentatively attempts to come out of her shell. It’s dark, funny, awkward, and achingly human.

From our review:

Not much happens in Sometimes I Think About Dying, but that’s the point of the movie. Even the smallest thing, like Fran mustering up the courage to say goodbye to someone after work, is given huge weight. The movie lingers on the mundane, using it to paint a thorough portrait of who she is, without having her say or act much. The steps she takes to help overcome her social anxiety might seem small, but they’re all hurdles to her. It’s a movie made up of quiet moments: pauses in conversation, lingering glances, and outstretched hands. Lambert emphasizes the importance of these small interactions, and the ways they build up to connections. It’s a quiet story that aches in the best sort of way.

New on Metrograph at Home

Last Night I Saw You Smiling

Where to watch: Available to stream on Metrograph at Home

A group of people gathered around a TV showing a kickboxing match in Last Night I Saw You Smiling Image: Metrograph at Home

Genre: Documentary
Run time: 1h 18m
Director: Kavich Neang

In the final days of a condemned, iconic building, director Kavich Neang follows three families who live there (including his own). This is the streaming premiere of the movie, which first came out in 2019 and won awards on the international festival circuit, and is a part of Metrograph’s “Davy Chou Selects” series.

New to rent

Handling the Undead

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

A woman holding the limp body of child in her arms beside a boat surrounded by marsh of reeds in Handling the Undead. Image: Neon

Genre: Horror drama
Run time: 1h 37m
Director: Thea Hvistendahl
Cast: Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, Bahar Pars

There’s tons of horror movies about the dead coming back to life. None of them are quite like Handling the Undead, though. Based on John Ajvide Lindqvist’s 2005 novel, the film follows the story of three families living in Oslo whose loved ones all mysteriously rise from the dead as semi-sentient corpses. How will they handle this new phenomenon, and is it a second chance to say goodbye... or a curse?

I Used to Be Funny

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

A young woman laying sideways on a bed, looking forlorn in I Used to Be Funny. Image: Barn 12/Utopia

Genre: Comedy drama
Run time: 1h 45m
Director: Ally Pankiw
Cast: Rachel Sennott, Olga Petsa, Jason Jones

Rachel Sennott (Bodies Bodies Bodies) stars as Sam, a stand-up comedian living in Toronto who takes on a nannying job in order to earn some cash. After the young girl she was caring for goes missing, Sam is stricken with PTSD and no longer performs comedy, haunted by the loss of her charge and her own helplessness.


Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

A bearded man seated at a desk with a small girl with her arms crossed with colorful CG-animated characters in the background in IF. Image: Paramount Pictures

Genre: Fantasy comedy
Run time: 1h 44m
Director: John Krasinski
Cast: Cailey Fleming, Ryan Reynolds, John Krasinski

Remember Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends? Well, imagine that, but set in New York and starring Ryan Reynolds and not so imaginative. IF follows Bea (Cailey Fleming), a young girl who works alongside her neighbor to help imaginary friends whose real-life friends have grown up. It’s ostensibly a kids’ movie, but with a message that’s slightly... off.

Mars Express

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

A robot with a holographic head and a red arm points to a screen next to a blonde haired woman in a trenchcoat in a futuristic vehicle in Mars Express. Image: Everybody on Deck/GKIDS

Genre: Sci-fi action
Run time: 1h 25m
Director: Jérémie Périn
Cast: Léa Drucker, Mathieu Amalric, Daniel Njo Lobé

This sci-fi noir thriller follows a private detective and her android partner who are hired by a wealthy businessman to track down an elusive hacker. Their investigation dovetails into a search for a missing woman before inadvertently spiralling into a vast conspiracy that threatens to unravel the fabric of human civilization.

From our review:

Mars Express is the rare example of an animated feature that warrants an almost immediate rewatch upon completion, if only to appreciate the craftsmanship of its presentation. It’s a densely layered sci-fi story that’s light on proper nouns, but heavy on subtext. It’s set in a world that doesn’t tell so much as it shows the depth of its narrative and worldbuilding, by trusting its audience to pay close attention and connect the dots alongside the film’s characters. In short, it’s a rare example of “adult” animation that treats its audience like adults, and its execution elevates its premise until it stands confidently as one of the year’s best animated features.

The Beast

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Gabrielle (Léa Seydoux), a pale young woman dressed in black vinyl, lies on her back staring upward with a tear rolling down her cheek in The Beast Image: Janus Films

Genre: Sci-fi romance
Run time: 2h 26m
Director: Bertrand Bonello
Cast: Léa Seydoux, George MacKay, Guslagie Malanda

Imagine Cloud Atlas meets The Age of Innocence meets Mulholland Drive. That’s about the simplest way of describing The Beast, Bertrand Bonello’s sci-fi romance drama. Léa Seydoux (Spectre) stars as Gabrielle, a woman living in the near-future who undergoes a process to “purify” her DNA of strong emotions by reliving her past lives. Her procedure becomes more complicated after crossing paths with Louis (George MacKay), a man whom — in a past life — she may or may not have loved.

From our review:

The Beast’s three timelines play with seemingly unmixable genres: a classic period romance, a gripping horror-thriller, and dystopian sci-fi. That places them at a logistical disconnect, but Bonello binds them aesthetically and emotionally. Through his lengthy, thought-provoking close-ups of Gabrielle and Louis in each section, he creates a sense of longing and isolation across time, binding together human experiences of the past, present, and future, and putting them into sharp and chilling context.

We Grown Now

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

A woman hugging a child in We Grown Now. Image: Sony Pictures Classics

Genre: Drama
Run time: 1h 33m
Director: Minhal Baig
Cast: Blake Cameron James, Gian Knight Ramirez, S. Epatha Merkerson

Set in Chicago in the early ’90s, We Grown Now centers on the story of Malik and Eric, two young boys growing up in a housing complex who survive the mundanity of school life and the perils of their environment through the strength of their friendship. When a sudden tragedy threatens to strain their bond, Malik and Eric will have to grow up fast and make a choice between what to hold on to and what to let go of.

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