You've got a ton of movies to watch online this week, as films both small and huge are hitting the digital box offices and some of the best streaming services.
The biggest movie of this bunch, at least in terms of how it has earned raves and applause left and right, is a surprise. Yes, the trailer for Wes Anderson's Asteroid City is exciting, but the film's success makes it seem like the director turned a corner in the public conscience.
Over on Netflix, we have Bird Box's sequel in Barcelona, which threatens us with the promise of an even creepier and powerful presence. If that's not your thing, you may want to check out Gerard Butler's latest action movie.
Meanwhile, the latest Transformers movie packs an all-star cast, while Paramount Plus' premium tier just gained a drama we've been dying to see. And Max offers up a movie about a superpowered teenager trying to conceal her abilities at the behest of her controlling mother.
Once you're done here, check out the 7 new TV shows and movies to watch this weekend on Netflix, Apple, Prime Video and more.
Emily (Paramount Plus with Showtime)
Emily is the kind of biopic that doesn't care if it's going to ruffle the feathers of the historical accuracy committee, provided it lands the emotional beats it strives to provide.
Here, Emma Mackey (Sex Education's Maeve) stars as Emily Brontë, but not the one who'd already written Wuthering Heights. A younger version (or variant, since this isn't meant to be non-fiction) who feels like she doesn't belong in the lifetime in which she lives. Especially when she begins to write, and only garners ire.
Mackey and debuting director Frances O’Connor got praise from critics, or at least from those who could get past the fact that Brontë's story had been re-written to feel more like Wuthering Heights.
Watch right now on Paramount Plus with Showtime (arrived on Monday, July 10)
Asteroid City (Digital)
Desert attraction Asteroid City brings in all types. Augie (Jason Schwartzman) and his kids are on a trip to the Junior Stargazer convention — because his son Woodrow (Jake Ryan) is going to get an award. Midge Campbell (Scarlett Johansson) is a famous actress, here for the same reason, with her daughter also a Junior Stargazer. I'd tell you what happens next, but the feds wouldn't like that.
But this is all just the edge of the city, as Asteroid City isn't just the story of the chaos that causes visitors to be put in lockdown. Asteroid City is also about the creative process. Above all, though, it's possibly director Wes Anderson's finest work, and that's saying a whole lot when his filmography includes Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums.
Buy digitally on Amazon and others right now (arrived on Tuesday, July 11)
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (Digital)
Transformers fans have long offered one request for the franchise's action movies: bring The Beast Wars to the big screen. Expanding the war between Autobots and Decepticons, are the Maximals — a race of Transformers who can transform into beast-like forms.
Here, they're led to Earth by Optimus Primal (voiced by Ron Perlman), where they arrive in the 1990's, and are forced to deal with the enemies of their past, the Terrorcons. Fortunately, they run across a good human (Anthony Ramos), who can help once his suspicions are stowed.
If that all sounds like a lot of mumbo-jumbo, know that the voice-casting is fantastic. You've got the likes John DiMaggio (Futurama, Adventure Time) and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, Destiny), as well as Michelle Yeoh and Pete Davidson.
Buy or rent digitally on Amazon and others right now (arrived Tuesday, July 11)
Any summary of this current age of action heroes should not overlook the simple and direct work of Gerard Butler. His latest straightforward and to-the-point flick is 'PLANE,' where he plays Tom Harris, an undercover CIA operative who's lost his cover in Afghanistan.
Now, he only has one goal, and it's pretty simple: make it to his extraction point in Kanadahar alive. And when he isn't dealing with Goons, Tom also has to deal with one unrelated item on his to do list: divorce papers.
Watch on Starz right now (arrived Wednesday, July 12)
Bird Box: Barcelona (Netflix)
It turns out Bird Box wasn't scary enough, as Netflix's spinoff expands its universe to Barcelona to reveal a new terror. This Spanish-language extension tracks a father and daughter struggling to make it to safety.
And that's pretty hard when they're forced to live without sight, as looking upon the supernatural entities of this world forces people to commit suicide. But on the path to find the girl's mother, slowing down isn't an option.
Watch on Netflix starting Friday (July 14)
The League (Digital)
The history of Negro League baseball is a complicated one that only rarely gets its deserved share of the conversation. Award-winning documentary director Sam Pollard (MLK/FBI, Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me) aims to fix that with a new film that utilizes "unearthed archival footage and never-before-seen interviews" with iconic players such as Satchel Paige and Buck O'Neil.
The League also explores the complicated issue at hand, where integration was the biggest threat to the people who built these teams.
Buy digitally on Amazon starting Friday (July 14)
Clara (Penelope Cruz) loves her life in 1970 Rome with husband Felice (Vincenzo Amaro), as she spends her days working as stay-at-home mother to three young children. And while Gino (Patrizio Francioni) and Diana (Maria Chiara Goretti) aren't necessarily simple, 12-year-old Andreá (Luana Guiliani) is stuck in a complexity that this era couldn't answer.
Neither can Andreá's mother, Clara, who will often call the child by their birthname, Adriana. Andreá's internal struggle with gender doesn't get to stay internalized, though, as crushes arise as one expects with adolescence.
Buy digitally on Amazon and other retailers right now (arrived Tuesday, July 11)
A Little White Lie (Hulu)
A Little White Lie may not have enjoyed the strongest critical reception when it hit theaters earlier this year, but its launch on Hulu is a chance for it to earn a reprise. It features two fantastic leads in the form of Kate Hudson and Michael Shannon, which is sure to be enough to win over some viewers, even if the plot is pretty predictable.
This rom-com sees Shannon play a down-on-his-luck handyman who is mistaken for a famous writer who has been in hiding for more than two decades. Deciding to milk this misunderstanding for personal gain, he accepts an invitation to a literary festival where he meets an English professor (Hudson) who quickly earns his affection.
Watch on Hulu starting Friday (July 14)
Gray Matter (Max)
Gray Matter focuses on a superpowered teen named Aurora (Mia Isaac) who has grown up under the thumb of her domineering mother (Jessica Frances Duke), who possesses powers of her own but believes that revealing these abilities to the world would be a grave mistake.
Under strict instructions to keep her powers hidden, Aurora makes a rash decision one night and quickly discovers that her mother was right, revealing her powers has deadly consequences. With her cover blown, Aurora is whisked away by a mysterious stranger (Garret Dillahunt) to a facility that quickly proves to be anything but the safe haven it's initially billed as.
Watch on Max starting Sunday (July 16)