8 best new movies to watch this week on Netflix, Hulu and more (Jan. 9-15)

(L to R) John Berchtold as Fielding Marshall and Rob Lowe as John Marshall in Dog Gone's poster
(Image credit: Netflix)

This week's list of the new movies to watch online offers something for everyone. And, this week, we're counting Rob Lowe fans as a part of "everyone."

And this time, the former Parks and Recreation co-stars actually going out into the wilderness. In a new Netflix movie, he's playing a dad who truly believes he and his son can find their missing dog. And his confidence is so strong, the two are going to navigate the Appalachian Trail. 

Those with Netflix who want something less wholesome may check out The Walking Dead season 11, which is the No. 2 show on Netflix. True crime lovers have a late-breaking surprise, as Netflix's The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker just hit the No. 2 spot on Netflix's movies list. 

Then, for everyone who loved Top Gun: Maverick, but also wants a moody period piece, Devotion brings co-pilot 'Hangman' back to the cockpit. Over on Peacock, we've got a Covid-era slasher movie co-written by Scream scribe Kevin Williamson, and Hulu's The Drop looks like a crackling dark comedy.

Elsewhere, in the world of paid video on-demand, Nic Cage is a cowboy and Country music icon Tanya Tucker's having her revival. You may notice a lack of HBO Max on this list. In good news: HBO Max is more focused on new shows this week, so check out our The Last of Us (HBO) review and our guide on how to watch Velma online. In bad news: an HBO Max price hike just hit.

Here, are the top 8 new movies to watch online this week:

The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker (Netflix)

Sometimes, Netflix's love of true crime movies finds the service releasing a new movie with a title so wild that people can't help but start it. Such is the cast with this 85-minute movie that is getting applause for its snappy storytelling (no wasted scenes in sight!) and messages about the perils of the media industry's love of making stars. It's all about Caleb "Kai" McGillvary, a hitchhiker who seemed to have saved people with his hatchet. Beloved instantly, in the early days of social media in 2013, McGillvary had a charm to his dopeyness. And then everyone found out about the murders he was wanted for

Watch it now on Netflix

Devotion (Paramount Plus, Digital)

Devotion actually precedes Top Gun: Maverick (in that it was made first), but it's not hard to see how the former could be benefitting from the proverbial jet-streams left behind by the Tom Cruise blockbuster. But while Devotion stars Maverick scene-stealer Glen Powell (who played 'Hangman'), as pilot Tom Hudner, this movie belongs to Jonathan Majors (Loki's He Who Remains). HIs Ensign Jesse Brown motivates himself by re-iterating the hateful things he’s been told over the years, as being a Black pilot in 1950 wasn’t easy.

Applauded for being a more-subtle war movie, Devotion is about the bond of friendship that grows between Hudner and Brown. Both men are a bit of the strong, silent type (at least when Brown isn't cursing himself out), and Powell has the thankless job of playing the co-pilot who mostly reacts to his fellow skyman. And through Majors' brooding performance, Devotion dazzles.

Stream on Paramount Plus or buy digitally on Prime Video

The Return of Tanya Tucker (Digital)

Director Kathlyn Horan's documentary about country icon Tanya Tucker's recent revival (or, as she calls it a "relaunch") mixes new and archival footage to put us in Brandi Carlile's shoes. A star of the industry herself, Carlile has been a fan of Tanya Tucker since she was a child, and so 'The Return' does right by both. 

By showing us what young Carlile saw, and telling the story of her influence in the business, Horan paints a vivid picture. It gives audiences enough to not just feel like we're in the studio with both of them during present day film, but it makes us want to be there, too. This film shows the bond between the two, and you can see how much it means to both of them that Tucker's getting her moment.

Buy on Prime Video right now (Arrived today, Tuesday, Jan. 10)

Dog Gone (Netflix)

We've never met a dog named Gonker before, and Dog Gone's adventurous spirit gives us the vibes that Netflix's found a new addition to our list of the best family movies on Netflix. In Dog Gone, Gonker's gone missing, and it's up to his owner Fielding Marshall (Johnny Berchtold) and Fielding’s dad, John (Rob Lowe), to find him. 

And time is of the utmost importance, as Gonker needs his meds to be administered every two weeks to survive. While Fielding and John are dealing with all sorts of strangers, Gonker actually goes viral. All the while John's got faith in the fact they're going to find the dog. Dog Gone looks like the feel-good movie that many could probably use.

Watch on Netflix starting Friday (Jan. 13)

Sick (Peacock)

Horror, if you haven't heard, is having a huge moment right now. And so it was only a matter of time that we would get a scary movie about life in the times of Covid. Co-written by Kevin Williamson (Scream), Sick puts friends Parker (Gideon Adlon) and Miri (Bethlehem Million) on vacation in a large, and off-the-beaten-path home.

The only problem is that there's a masked creep on the loose. And they've got a knife. And while Sick puts a very obvious potential killer in the mix early with Parker's sorta-boyfriend DJ (Dylan Sprayberry) visiting the house, we get clues that it's not DJ. Applauded during festival screenings for everything after the setup, Sick looks ... well, sick.

Watch on Peacock starting Friday (Jan. 13)

The Drop (Hulu)

Not to be confused with Hulu's The Dropout, or NBC's The Slap, Hulu's The Drop is a dark comedy about why you should be careful about who picks up a baby. Anna Konkle (of PEN15) stars as Lex, who accidentally drops the baby of her friend (Aparna Nancherla). And that's the moment when a gorgeous island vacation turns into a living hell. You know, the perfect place for Lex and her husband Mani (Jermaine Fowler), to conceive, as they had planned.

You'll notice plenty of familiar faces, as the supporting cast includes the likes of Jillian Bell (Workaholics, 22 Jump Street), Jennifer Lafleur (Nope), Joshua Leonard (The Blair Witch Project) and Robin Thede (A Black Lady Sketch Show). A fantastic cast to pepper Lex and Mani with questions about how ready they are to be parents.

Watch it on Hulu starting Friday (Jan. 13)

The Old Way (Digital)

When he wasn't busy playing Dracula or himself, Nic Cage has been out there adding "western" to his resume (yes, this is his first). This traditional tale of vengeance finds Cage as retired gunslinger Colton Briggs, who had put down his pistol. Now, pulled back into the violence he's left behind — by maniacs who put his wife in peril — Colton's proving he's still spry enough to save the day.

But he can't save his wife on his own. Colton's going full-True Grit, teaching his 12-year-old daughter (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) how to shoot and hurt, and it looks like she's a natural.

Buy on Prime Video starting Friday (Jan. 13)

Pretty Problems (AMC Plus)

By now, you've heard of The White Lotus and The Glass Onion. So, why not get away with more rich people and their ... Pretty Problems. Arriving this week on AMC Plus, Pretty Problems is about Lindsay and Jack (Britt Rentschler and Michael Tennant), a couple who are just trying to fit in a few levels above their pay rates. And, making matters worse, they don't along with each other, either.

The pair have an in because of an invitation from one of Lindsay's well-off customers (J.J. Nolan), but Jack's feeling like it's a set-up for something bad. And it's all climaxing with a friendly little murder mystery. 

Stream it on AMC Plus starting Friday (Jan. 13)

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.