7 top new movies to watch on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max and more this week (Mar. 14-19)

The Bear in Cocaine Bear climbing a tree.
(Image credit: Universal Pictures via YouTube)

Dominating the theater was not enough, Cocaine Bear's one of the biggest new movies to watch online this week. So for those who thought one screening wasn't enough — or didn't want to trek to a theater to see Elizabeth Banks' wild film, know that you don't need to leave the couch to watch this decade's latest piece of bizarre cinema.

This week also sees Netflix deliver two diametrically different movies. Its family-friendly offering, The Magician's Dragon, is an animated film that looks plenty charming and features Mandy Patinkin and Brian Tyree Henry. Its other film? Well, it's a documentary about a popular adult film website that people pretend to not know about.

Additionally, Hulu's got a Keira Knightley-led true crime film about The Boston Strangler, and HBO Max offers a critically-adored documentary about a world-renowned artist-turned-activist.

Here are the top 7 new movies to watch online this week.

Cocaine Bear (Digital)

If I had to be brief and blunt about this movie, I'd simply state "I paid good money to see Cocaine Bear, and you should too." Inspired by a true story (that wasn't as wild), Cocaine Bear sees a bunch of duffel bags full of the famous Schedule II narcotic fall into the exact wrong place: the middle of the forest. And, of course, an unnamed bear (once referred to as Pablo Eskobear), manages to get his furry paws on the bricks of yay — and then consumes the cocaine himself. 

And, then, criminals (led by Ray Liotta, in his final role) come looking for their missing drugs, while precocious youths and random tourists also become entangled in the big mess.

As for the quality of the movie itself? We at Tom's Guide debated behind the scenes — I personally wished for it to be a bit zanier — but everyone does agree that Cocaine Bear succeeds by delivering on its title. So, where else are you going to find a comedic action movie where a coked up bear mauls humans in the forest? Funny, full of action (and some gore) and built around a great cast (including Keri Russell, Alden Ehrenreich, O'Shea Jackson Jr. and Isiah Whitlock Jr.), Cocaine Bear is a trophy in director Elizabeth Banks' case.

Buy digitally on Prime Video on right now (Released today, Tuesday, March 14)

Full Time (Digital)

Financial security can be a truly grueling horror (as Maid, one of the best shows on Netflix, has shown), and director Eric Gravel's Full Time is the latest critically-acclaimed film about the trouble of keeping your finances afloat. Life, it seems, is trying to stop Julie (Laure Calamy) at every step this week as she needs a new job to get out of debt, and is having the hardest time simply going from point A to point B, as a transport strike makes Paris less managable. All the while she's running to make sure her children are OK as the only childcare she can afford isn't that capable. 

Critics rave about Calamy's performance, as she manages to ground Julie's impossible life in relatable emotions. As Julie's pushed to her limits, she becomes a hero whom we've all either known or met at one point or another.

Buy digitally on Prime Video right now (released today, Tuesday, March 14)

Money Shot: The Pornhub Story (Netflix)

The erotic industry, as the internet has shown, is full with almost an infinite possible combinations. And that's the story of the widely known site Pornhub, which is the YouTube of the adult industry. 

And so it's not surprising that Netflix is delivering a deep-dive documentary about this salacious streaming website. But the most-trafficked website in the world is actually connected to crimes. Accused of profiting from sex trafficking and hosting videos of highschoolers, PornHub's hands appear to be much dirtier than some of its users may know. Money Shot: The Pornhub Story looks to unpack all angles of the story by interviewing those in criminal justice and industry performers.

Watch on Netflix starting tomorrow (Wednesday, March 15)

Unwelcome (Digital)

Whenever I talk to prospective parents here in New York City, they often speak about not wanting to raise their kids in this chaotic environment. The horror movie Unwelcome, though, provides a cautionary tale that problems exist even in rural suburbs. Such is the case for Maya (Hannah John-Kamen) and Jamie (Douglas Booth), who have escaped London after inheriting a perfect-looking rural house in Ireland.

Unfortunately, this area isn't as safe as it looks, or as their new local friend (Colm Meany) says. And it all begins when they're told about a local tradition involving a blood offering that calms the tiny Redcaps gnomes. Which all the locals think are totally normal.

Buy digitally on Prime Video right now (released today, Tuesday, March 14)

Boston Strangler (Hulu)

While infamous, the Boston Strangler murders that terrorized the Massachusetts city in the 1960s are one of the series of homicides that doesn't exactly get the spotlight of other true crimes. Enter writer and director Matt Ruskin, to tell the untold and true tale of how The Boston Strangler case became notorious. While her bosses didn't think she was right for crime reporting, Loretta McLaughlin (Keira Knightley) was the first person to see that pattern that connected Strangler incidents. 

Fighting an uphill battle internally at the Record-American newspaper, Loretta kept getting pushed off the case — even as the bodies continued to pile up. But McLaughlin refused to step back, even when her own safety was at risk.

Watch on Hulu starting Friday (March 17th)

The Magician’s Elephant (Netflix)

Netflix's push for capable and heartfelt animated family films will never stop. And its latest features a cast of voice actors that — say it with me — parents know and love, with the likes of Mandy Patinkin, Brian Tyree Henry and Sian Clifford. This adaptation of Kate DiCamillo's novel The Magician's Elephant stars Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place) as Peter, a young man on a quest to find his missing sister. Unfortunately, the advice he gets from a fortune teller — "follow the magician's elephant" — is hard to act on, since there is no elephant in town.

Or at least there wasn't until Peter actually sees a local magician (Benedict Wong taking a break from the MCU to be ... another magic-capable person) summon an element. Actually engaging with this elephant to find his sister pushes Peter into a series of impossible tasks. Majestic and sporting a visually unique flair, The Magician’s Elephant looks like an inevitable addition to our list of the best family movies on Netflix

Watch on Netflix starting Friday (March 17)

All The Beauty and Bloodshed (HBO Max)

You know what they say about waiting, don't you? Well, HBO Max subscribers who didn't buy the phenomenal documentary All The Beauty and Bloodshed when it hit digital stores on February 28th will get to stream it on the home box office's app come Sunday. 

This critically-acclaimed documentary from director Laura Poitras (Citizenfour) offers an intimate portrait of artist and activist Nan Goldin. While many know Goldin for her own photography which has documented gay subculture for decades, including the HIV/AIDS crisis, she founded P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now). Goldin's passion for this advocacy group is intensely personal, as she developed an addiction to OxyContin after getting a prescription for pain relief.

Watch on HBO Max starting Sunday (March 19)

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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.