4 best new movies to watch online this week (Jan. 16-23)

(L to R) Burt Fabelman (Paul Dano), Younger Sammy Fabelman (Mateo Zoryan Francis-DeFord) and Mitzi Fabelman (Michelle Williams) in a movie theater in The Fabelmans
(Image credit: Merie Weismiller Wallace/Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment)

This week's list of the new movies to watch online is a little shorter than it normally is. Typically, we highlight 7 new movies that just hit streaming. This week is different, as Netflix and HBO Max and many of the rest of the best streaming services aren't delivering the movies like they normally do.

Still, though, we have three good-to-fantastic movies to talk about, and yours truly paid to see each in theaters. And this week has range, too. To start, we've got a fantastic drama from Steven Spielberg that just won two Golden Globe awards, including best Motion Picture - Drama. 

Then, we've got a recently-released action movie that ponders "what if Santa saved the day and was skilled with a sledgehammer?" And that Santa is played by Stranger Things' own David Harbour. Lastly, an A24 elevated-horror movie is streaming, and it's got a premise that will confuse many and delight some. 

And then we have recently-scheduled Jung_E, the sole Netflix movie on this list. It's a short week for big red, which is mostly focused on That '90s Show and that redesigned Netflix iPhone app. Oh, and Netflix does have a lot of movies coming this year, and we've got the full rundown of the new Netflix movies in 2023.

Looking for the latest batch of movies to watch? We've got the 7 best new movies to watch for the week of Jan. 24 on Netflix, Prime Video and more.

So without further preamble, here are the top 4 new movies to watch online this week:

Jung_E (Netflix)

The South Korean sci-fi film Jung_E is the latest big Netflix movie to hit the streaming service, and plants us in a world filled with artificially-intelligent robots. Written and directed by Yeon Sang-ho (who also directed Train to Busan), Jung_E is focused on a unique mother-daughter relationship. Super-soldier Captain Yun Jung-yi (Kim Hyun-joo) was an iconic fighter for humanity, but now her daughter Seohyun (played by Kang Soo-yeon as an adult and Park So-yi as a child) has led the team that cloned her mother's brain for a super-army. And it looks like Seohyun's ready to free her mother.

Stream on Netflix right now

The Fabelmans (Digital)

One of the biggest cinematic surprises at the year (that shouldn't have been such a shock), The Fabelmans can be seen as Steven Spielberg's origin story. The film follows the Fabelman family, especially aspiring film-maker Sammy (Gabriel LaBelle). But for as much as Sammy's soft-spoken father Burt (Paul Dano) and eccentric mother Mitzi (Michelle Williams) want to support him, an uneasy tension abounds. Some of that has to do with family friend Bennie (Seth Rogen).

In addition to the family drama, we also track Sammy's life at school, where he's bullied by anti-semitic jocks. Sammy persists, though his love of film waxes and wanes through this fantastic feature.

Buy or rent digitally on Prime Video right now

Violent Night (Peacock)

Listen, even though it's not the holiday season anymore doesn't mean Violent Night's campy "What if John Wick, but with Santa?" concept is any less entertaining. I myself saw it in theaters after Christmas. 

Violent Night focuses on Santa's trip to a house of super-rich weirdos, except this Santa (David Harbour) doesn't really have a whole lot of love for the game anymore. It's Christmas Eve, and the reindeer aren't exactly helping much, and he has to deal with a world that doesn't believe he exists.

Except for young Trudy (Leah Brady), whose father Jason (Alex Hassell) and mother Linda (Alexis Louder) are separated, but putting on a good face for Jason's family's annual Christmas eve event. Trudy believes in Santa, and she's also one of the few actually good people at this event. Matriarch Getrude (Beverly D'Angelo) is mean to all, possibly because they just want her money. Daughter Alva (Edi Patterson) is hateful, her son Bert (Alexander Elliot) is a wanna-be influencer and her boyfriend Morgan (Cam Gigandet) is a dunce.

Everyone is tested, though, when Jimmy (John Leguizamo) leads a troupe of mercenary thieves into the party to steal the family fortune. Fortunately for all, Santa has a dark past that is going to come in handy. Silly, but a bit too long, Violent Night is a fun time (especially if you calibrate your expectations right).

Stream on Peacock starting Friday (Jan. 20)

Men (Showtime)

The relatively recent phrase "Not all men" gets turned on its head in Alex Garland's latest film, one of those "elevated horror" movies from A24. Men puts Harper (Jessie Buckley) in a series of particularly unnerving settings as she's processing grief in the worst town possible. Taking time to go on vacation after an incident she can't stop thinking about, Harper discovers that the lovely house she's rented in a quaint remote village is often under physical attack by a very odd — and completely naked— man who follows her from the nearby forest. 

But that man is just the tip of the peculiar iceberg, as all of the men in town seem a bit too similar. Even a really odd child looks like those men. A horror movie you need to see for yourself, and one that has a truly bizarre ending, Men will probably stick with you for a while.

Watch on Showtime starting Friday (Jan. 20)

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.