9 new movies and shows to watch this weekend on Netflix, Prime Video and more (April 12-14)

Fallout TV show
(Image credit: Amazon Studios)

If you’re planning a spring break binge, you’ve got plenty to choose from among the new movies and shows to watch this weekend on Netflix, Prime Video and other top streaming services.

The weekend watch list is led by "Fallout," Amazon's TV series adaptation of the popular video game franchise. Also making their debuts are the biographical caper "Franklin" and the espionage dark comedy "The Sympathizer," which features Robert Downey Jr. in multiple roles. 

On the movie side, Pedro Almodóvar presents a short film starring Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke. Here's our guide on what to watch this weekend.

New TV

‘Fallout’ (Prime Video)

“Westworld” creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy take on a series adaptation of one of the most popular video game franchises of all time. When a nuclear apocalypse strikes Earth, survivors shelter in fallout bunkers known as Vaults. Over 200 years later, Lucy (Ella Purnell) is an optimistic Vault dweller who leaves her peaceful residence to rescue her father. She must venture out into the irradiated Wasteland, which has become a hostile and savage place. Chief among the many dangers are other people. Maximus (Aaron Moten) is a soldier the Brotherhood of Steel, a militaristic faction that is determined to bring law and order to the Wasteland. Then there’s the Ghoul, a morally ambiguous bounty hunter who holds within him the history of the post-nuclear war. 

Streaming now on Prime Video

‘The Sympathizer’ (HBO)

Fresh off an Oscar win, Robert Downey Jr. is tackling multiple roles in this satirical espionage thriller based on Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. A young man called the Captain (Hoa Xuande) is a North Vietnam plant in the South Vietnam army. Near the end of the war, he’s forced to flee to the United States with his general. Now living with other South Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles, he continues his spying activities and sends reports back to the Viet Cong., but the Captain soon finds his loyalties wavering. Downey plays several different antagonists, often wearing makeup that renders him nearly unrecognizable. 

Premieres Sunday, April 13 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and Max

‘Franklin’ (Apple TV Plus) 

Michael Douglas stars as Benjamin Franklin in this limited series based on Pulitzer Prize winner Stacy Schiff’s book, “A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America.” In 1776, Franklin is already world-famous for his electrical experiments when he embarks on a secret mission to France — with American independence at stake. At the age of 70, with no diplomatic training, he must convince a monarchy to support America’s desire to overthrow their own to pursue democracy. Along the way, he has to outmaneuver British spies, French informers and hostile colleagues to broker an alliance. Spoiler alert: Franklin succeeded.

Streaming now on Apple TV Plus

‘Good Times’ (Netflix)

Another week, another reboot nobody asked for. Fifty years after Norman Lear’s gound-breaking comedy premiered, Netflix serves up this animated sequel about the fourth generation of the Evans family living in apartment 17C of a Chicago housing project. The voice cast includes J.B. Smoove, Yvette Nicole Brown, Jay Pharoah and Marsai Martin. Lear himself contributed behind the scenes of the new show and has a cameo in the eighth episode — his final role before passing away at age 101 in December.

Streaming now on Netflix

‘Unlocked: A Jail Experiment’ (Netflix)

What would prison be like with no locks and no guards? It’s a radical idea that Arkansas sheriff Eric Higgins decided to explore for six weeks in a Pulaski County detention facility. Higgins believed that the program could improve living conditions in the jail and lower incarceration rates. During the experiment, the inmates were given greater autonomy — they could move around the facility as they pleased and decide how certain things should be run. Good behavior would result in more freedom. Some inmates use the chance to build their lives, but others continue to challenge authority and each other. By the end of the six weeks, Higgins will find out if his idea is sustainable. 

Streaming now on Netflix

New Movies

‘Strange Way of Life’ (Netflix)

Pedro Almodóvar’s neo-western short film finally hits streaming nearly a year after it debuted at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. The run time is only about 30 minutes, but the acclaimed Spanish director makes the most of it. He’s got help in the form of two excellent actors in Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke. A rancher visits a sheriff, 25 years after they both worked as hired gunmen. But the rancher has another reason for the trip besides a friendly reunion.

Streaming now on Netflix

‘The Greatest Hits’ (Hulu)

A great song can transport you back in time — mentally, that is. But in this rom-com, Harriet (Lucy Boynton) finds that certain songs transport her back in time literally. Reliving memories of deceased boyfriend Max (David Corenswet), she hopes to avert the car crash that took his life. But she’s also developing a new romance in the present with David (Justin H. Min), a fellow grief group member. Harriet will have to decide if she truly wants to turn back time and change the past. 

Streaming on Hulu

'Kung Fu Panda 4' (PVOD) 

Po (Jack Black) and the Furious Five are back in "Kung Fu Panda 4," the latest sequel in Dreamworks' long-running series that sees anthropomorphic animals face off in martial arts showdowns. 

"Kung Fu Panda 4" finds our bright-eyed, rotund hero Po at a career crossroads of sorts. As he prepares to become the spiritual leader of his hometown, the Valley of Peace, he must give up his title of Dragon Warrior, and finding a suitable successor is no easy task. Things take a dire turn when a new villain emerges called the Chameleon (Viola Davis), who can shape-shift into the form of Po’s past enemies and mimic their butt-kicking skills. With the help of a new ally, a cunning fox named Zhen (Awkwafina), Po embarks on a mission to thwart the Chameleon's nefarious plot before she can pilfer the kung-fu prowess of every single material arts master in China.

Buy or rent on Amazon or iTunes

'Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar' (Max) 

I’ll be honest, this one’s a totally selfish pick because I watched a frankly unhealthy amount of Adult Swim in high school and college. And "Metalocalypse" was one of my favorite shows on the roster. 

The world’s biggest band, Dethklok, has been on an extended hiatus that's sent the world's political and economic systems into a tailspin. Naturally, only a new face-melting metal album can stimulate Earth out of a financial depression, but when the band finally decides to set out on tour again, everything quickly goes to hell. The fabled metalocalypse is coming, and Dethklok must write a “song of salvation” that rocks hard enough to ward off the evil forces that threaten to destroy the planet. That is, if the band members can keep their own significant egos, insecurities and stupidity in check long enough to avoid dooming the world. And that's a lot to ask of these idiots. 

Streaming on Max

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Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.