Mermaids, dogs, and cake, oh my! The top new movies on streaming this week really have something for everyone.
The Little Mermaid leads the list of new movies to watch this week. The live-action remake of the Disney classic stars Halle Bailey as the iconic character with a beautiful singing voice who yearns to be a human.
Coming off its theatrical release is Strays, which follows a pack of dogs out for revenge. The rest of the lineup includes family drama, horror and a friendship comedy involving cake. Pop that popcorn and get comfy!
For more recommendations, check out 17 new shows and movies that are streaming in September on Netflix, Prime Video and more.
The Adults (digital)
Adulting is so hard. When Eric (Michael Cera) returns home for what he hopes is a short visit, he finds the reunion with his sisters Rachel (Hannah Gross) and Maggie (Sophia Lillis) awkward and fraught. Old childhood conflicts reemerge and the they give him grief for his lengthy absence.
Eric extends his stay not only to make peace with his sisters, but also because he gets caught up in proving himself to be the best poker player in town. As the carefully constructed facade of Eric’s adulthood begins to crumble, he’s forced to face the divide between who he was as a child and who he is now.
Buy digitally on Apple right now (release date Sept. 5)
Born into an upper-class family with a doting mother who foots the bill for her indolent lifestyle, 24-year-old combative Amanda (Benedetta Porcaroli) searches for boyfriends but only finds misfits who are repelled by her intensity. She longs for connection but has never had a friend of her own… until she discovers a long lost childhood bond, spurring a mission to convince another recluse that they are still best friends.
Buy digitally on Apple right now (release date Sept. 5)
This psychological horror film centers on a pathologist named Rose (Marin Ireland) who prefers working with corpses over social interaction. She’s alo obsessed with the idea of reanimating the dead by gestating materials in her own body. Celie (Judy Reyes) is a maternity nurse whose life revolves around her bubbly 6-year-old daughter Lila (A.J. Lister).
When Lila suddenly falls ill and dies one night, the two women’s paths cross in a most startling way. They embark on a dark path of no return and confront how far they’re willing to go to protect what they hold most dear.
It hasn’t even been a month since this comedy about dogs opened in theaters. Streaming sure does move fast. Dog may be man’s best friend, but not when the man is a total dirtbag. Reggie (voiced by Will Ferrell) is a naive, relentlessly optimistic Border Terrier who is abandoned on the street by his nasty owner Doug (Will Forte).
Reggie ends up falling in with the fast-talking, foul-mouthed Bug (Jamie Foxx), a Boston Terrier stray who loves his freedom. With Bug’s help, Reggie realizes how toxic Doug was and decides to get revenge. He and his new pals hatch a plan to make Doug pay by biting off a beloved appendage — and it’s not his foot.
The Little Mermaid (Disney Plus)
Disney’s nostalgia machine revs up another live-action remake of one of their animated classics. This time, The Little Mermaid gets the treatment, following in the footsteps of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Mulan. Like those remakes, this one has its naysayers, though the high level of vitriol targeting Black actress Halle Bailey is truly disturbing.
Of course, a fictional cartoon mermaid doesn’t have to look a certain way, nor does any remake need to be 100% faithful to its predecessor. As Ariel, Bailey is an utterly charming screen presence with a powerful voice. The story of an outsider yearning for a different life is as familiar and comforting as ever. Plus, the ubiquitous Lin-Manuel Miranda adds new music to make this IP-plumbing cash grab a little more interesting.
Stream on Disney Plus starting Sept. 6
What If (Netflix)
A new Netflix drama coming from the Philippines, What If focuses on a honeymooning couple played by Alessandra de Rossi and JM de Guzman. After their picturesque wedding the happy pair jet off on their dream vacation, but things don't quite go to plan once they arrive in paradise.
After a few sun-soaked moments together, a tropical storm rolls in on the island, and while taking shelter the newlyweds must face difficult truths that threaten to tear their young marriage apart. This emotional flick is described by Netflix as "intimate" and "bittersweet" so be sure to have a box at tissue at the ready. - Rory Mellon
Stream on Netflix starting Sept. 7
Sitting in Bars with Cake (Prime Video)
Inspired by true events, this celebration of female friendship follows best friends Jane (Yara Shahidi) and Corinne (Odessa A’zion) as they navigate life in Los Angeles in their twenties. Jane is a shy but very talented home baker, and the extroverted Corinne convinces her to commit to a year of baking cakes and bringing them to bars with the goal of meeting people.
Their year of “cakebarring” is filled with joy and madcap adventures. Then, Corinne gets a life-changing diagnosis and the friends face the biggest challenge of their young lives.
Stream on Prime Video starting Sept. 7
Blood Flower (Shudder)
Iqbal (Idan Aedan) is a 16-year-old apprentice faith healer and exorcist whose talents have been handed down from his mother. When she meets a tragic end saving Iqbal from a particularly nasty spirit, his father attempts to cut off Iqbal's abilities.
It only half works and Iqbal, with his friends, inadvertently calls up a malicious demon. As it wreaks havoc around him, the teenager must harness his powers to save everyone he loves from a terrible fate.
Stream on Shudder starting Sept. 8
Klondike (digital release)
In July 2014, Ukrainian couple Irka (Oksana Cherkashina) and Tolik (Serhiy Shadrin) are expecting an addition to their family. They live in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine near the Russian border, disputed territory in the early days of the war. Their lives are shattered by the crash of flight MH17, shot down by Russian-controlled forces.
Tolik’s separatist friends urge him to join their efforts, while Irka’s brother Yurik (Oleg Shcherbina) suspects the couple of betraying Ukraine. Irka refuses to be evacuated even as armed soldiers swarm the village. She tries to make peace between her husband and brother by asking them to repair their bombed house.
Buy digitally on Apple starting Sept. 8
Landscape With Invisible Hand (digital release)
The aliens have taken over Earth. Years into a benevolent occupation of Earth, humans are still adjusting to the new world order and their overlords called the Vuvv. The aliens’ advanced technology initially seemed like it would bring about global prosperity; instead, it rendered most human jobs obsolete.
When teen artist Adam Campbell (Asante Blackk) and new girlfriend Chloe Marsh (Kylie Rogers) discover the Vuvv are fascinated by human love, they decide to make some money off of it. The couple begins live-streaming their budding romance and charging the aliens for access. The cash flows in … until Adam and Chloe’s relationship fizzles out. They’re forced to make some absurd sacrifices in order to keep their families afloat.
Buy digitally starting Sept. 8