9 new movies to watch on Netflix, HBO Max and more (Oct. 18-22)

Ewan McGregor (as Raymond) and Ethan Hawke (as Ray) in a graveyard in Raymond & Ray
(Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

This week, the big new movies to watch online offer big stars at the top of the marquee and important topics in documentary films. And, somehow, there are only two horror movies. All on some of the best streaming services.

The biggest Netflix movie of the week is The School for Good and Evil, the latest from director/producer Paul Feig. Here, we get a much more fashionable version of Hogwarts, where Charlize Theron, Kerry Washington and Michelle Yeoh play teachers training the future heroes and villains of the world.

The other Netflix release that we're eyeing is The Stranger, which feels like a Netflix true crime doc, but as a movie. Here, Joel Edgerton plays a cop going deep undercover on a cold case, and the film's haunting vibes make it look like it will stay with you. Meanwhile, Apple TV Plus offers a new heartfelt feature film starring Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke as half-brothers reunited by their father's passing. 

If you want new horror, you can either find it on Prime Video going country or in a Hulu film where a quaint English village holds a troubling secret.

And then we've also got a smattering of compelling-looking documentaries. Peacock tells the full story of Rosa Parks, while HBO Max explains the life of the man who wrote Milk and "the fastest woman on four wheels."

Need more? Be sure to check out our list of the new movies and shows to watch from this past weekend. And you can fill your calendar with the new movies and shows to watch in October 2022 across all of the top streamers.

Torn Hearts (Prime Video)

Katey Segal (Married with Children, Futurama, Sons of Anarchy) delivers a little bit of country-infused horror to Prime Video this week. In Torn Hearts, she plays fictional country-western music idol Harper Dutch, who lives in a run down mansion that attracts a pair of up-and-coming musician. Unfortunately, when they get there, looking to collaborate with Dutch, she starts to tear their friendship apart.

Watch it on Prime Video now

The Stranger (Netflix)

Cannes film festival selection The Stranger looks to bring some prestige to the world of Netflix movies. In it, Joel Edgerton stars as Mark, a veteran undercover cop on a dangerous mission: going undercover to solve a missing persons case in Australia that's been cold for eight years. 

The Stranger may be about an investigation, but its focus tightens on the relationships that from around this case. Mark gets close to prime suspect Henry Teague (Sean Harris), to pursue a lead, but the two soon form a friendship. The Stranger looks similar to Black Bird (one of the best Apple TV Plus shows), but more meditative and just as tense.

Watch on Netflix right now

The School for Good and Evil (Netflix)

Soman Chainani's best-selling young-adult fantasy books now have a movie of the same name, which looks like the first in a series. In The School for Good and Evil, we learn that not all schools for the magically-able can have a little more style than Hogwards did. Here, under the tutelage of Professor Anemone (Michelle Yeoh), Lady Lesso (Charlize Theron) and Professor Dovey (Kerry Washington), young people learn how to unlock their powers. 

But when best friends Agatha (Sofia Wylie) and Sophie (Sophia Anne Caruso) discover that the school exists, they are also shocked where it places them. The wholesome Sophie wanted to be a princess, but she's enrolled in Lady Lesso's School for Evil, while moody Agatha is sent to School for Good, which is run by Professor Dovey (Kerry Washington). The film's strongest selling point, to us, is that it's directed by Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, A Simple Favor), who we hope will give it his own spark to replace what it lacks in subtlety.

Watch on Netflix right now

Mama's Boy (HBO Max)

Dustin Lance Black, who won an Academy Award for writing the screenplay for the film Milk, had a very tough and closeted upbringing. Before he took the Oscars stage to accept the award, he grew up Mormon, and was told that his sexuality would send him to hell. This documentary, based on his own memoir, shows his deep relationship with his own mother — who did not react favorably when he came out to her. 

But, then, as time went on, Black's mother (who had polio) started to listen to him and his friends. Mama's Boy documents Black's life story throughout all of this, and shows how Black's mother encouraged him to become an active figure in the fight for gay rights.

Watch on HBO Max right now 

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks (Peacock)

We can all recite the story of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on a bus by heart. But does the average person know anything else about Mrs. Parks' life? They will once they watch this new documentary The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks. For example, did you know about how Mrs. Parks was on the front line with the Black Panthers? And that she was viewed as a radical and a threat? 

It turns out Mrs. Parks' portrayal in mass media was much softer than the truth. Based on Jeanne Theoharis' best-selling biography, this film looks to illustrate a whole lifetime by way of new interviews, as well as with archival footage of interviews with Mrs. Parks.

Watch it on Peacock right now

The Fastest Woman on Earth (HBO Max)

Racer and TV personality Jessi Combs may be one of the most definitive examples of "those who shine the brightest burn the fastest." Known as "the fastest woman on four wheels," Combs' biggest competition came from herself, all while she broke through the male-filled world of racing.

The Fastest Woman On Earth looks to show how Combs was utterly fearless in her seven-year fight to break land speed racing records. Sadly, the documentary will also show how she lost her life trying to set one of these records.

Watch on HBO Max right now

Matriarch (Hulu)

Matriarch, the other scary movie of the week, finds Laura (Jemima Rooper) in need of some help after an overdose doesn't take her life. Unfortunately, help comes from her estranged mother Celia (Kate Dickie), who lives in a small English village that should be calm. Emphasis on the "should," because this village is creepy and so is her mother. The village's denizens, also seems completely broken and unable to hide their odd-ness. All the while, Laura inches closer to learning a secret about her own life that's been kept by her own mother.

Watch it on Hulu tomorrow (Oct. 21).

Raymond & Ray (Apple TV Plus)

The topic of estranged family members reunited at a funeral isn't exactly new soil, but Raymond & Ray looks to offer a winning take on the formula with strong performances. Ethan Hawke plays Ray, the gruffer half-brother of the polite Raymond (Ewan McGregor), and both of whom are spending time together as one of their father's last demands in his will.

Through this reunion, they'll meet one of their father's lovers, and discover that they have a brother they didn't know about. Raymond & Ray, produced by Alfonso Cuarón, might take a spot on our list of the best Apple TV Plus movies list through sheer charisma.

Watch on Apple TV Plus starting Friday (October 21)

Descendant (Netflix)

A strong week for documentary offerings concludes with Netflix's Descendant, which shines light on the story of the Clotilda: the final shop that smuggled stolen Africans to America. Told through the descendants of the stolen Africans, this documentary talks about the cover-up of the ship and how it was burned down to hide the secrets. But that's just the entry-point for the story.

32 of the West Africans that were brought over in the Clotilda formed the community known as Africatown (which is near Mobile, Alabama), a city now completely surrounded by industrial factories and towns. Netflix's Descendant looks to educate the public on the untold stories of the citizens of Africatown, from the original generation to those who live there today.

Stream it on Netflix starting Friday (Oct. 21)

Next: Circle the Inside Amy Schumer season 5 release date. Here's everything we know about Rings of Power season 2, and we've got 5 reasons to buy the Apple TV 4K (2022) and 2 reasons to skip it.

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.