American politics and ideological divisions are seen when 1,100 Texas teenage boys set up their own mock government in the documentary ‘Boys State.’
Most theaters are still closed, but new streaming movies are coming to entertain you and your family during socially distanced times.
This weekend, an Apple TV+ documentary about politically-minded teenage Texans taps into our national ideological divide, Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt team up in a Netflix superhero movie, “Stranger Things” breakout Joe Keery has a lead role in a thriller influenced by social media and a Russian horror tale unleashes a monster with a freaky cosmic bent.
If that’s not enough to get you online and watching movies, Disney+ is releasing the new comedy “Magic Camp” (streaming Friday) that stars Adam DeVine as a failed magician who returns to the camp of his youth to lead a bunch of ragtag kids in a competition against his former partner and current archrival (Gillian Jacobs).
Here’s a rundown of new movies hitting streaming and on-demand platforms this week, for every cinematic taste:
If you don’t have enough electoral process in your life: ‘Boys State’
Well-timed to the current presidential cycle, the documentary is both a fascinating and unnerving look at 1,100 teenage boys in Texas who create their own mock state government and engage in the same mudslinging and partisanship as the adults, just with way more acne involved. Keeping it from being too depressing: Obama-esque gubernatorial hopeful Steven Garza, an underdog impossible to not adore.
Where to watch:Apple TV+
If you’re missing summer superhero flicks: ‘Project Power’
Here comes the “Sharknado” of superhero films. With a decent premise (people get powers for five minutes by taking a pill) in an otherwise nonsensical narrative, the film stars Dominique Fishback as a small-time teen dealer who gets mixed up with a mysterious ex-soldier (Foxx) and a cop (Gordon-Levitt) in a conspiratorial plot for “Power” to hit big in the global underworld. If nothing else, you get to see rapper Machine Gun Kelly turn into a human torch.
Where to watch:Netflix
If you dig alien-invasion fare and shady government shenanigans: ‘Sputnik’
From Russia with horrifying love comes this eerie sci-fi chiller. Set during the Cold War, a Soviet cosmonaut (Pyotr Fyodorov) arrives back on Earth carrying some unwanted extra-terrestrial cargo inside himself. He’s taken to a secret laboratory where the creepy creature with bat-like features and a penchant for biting heads comes alive when its host is asleep, and a controversial doctor (Oksana Akinshina) offers the best chance for the space guy’s survival.
If you’ve ever had an awkward convo with an Uber driver: ‘Spree’
In this odd, bloody and occasionally clever thriller, wannabe influencer/rideshare driver Kurt Kunkle (Keery) is desperate for likes and social clout, so much so that one day he goes on a murderous rampage, livestreaming the viral carnage. It amounts to an interesting “Black Mirror” episode that goes on way too long, though former “SNL” star Sasheer Zamata is the best part as a standup comedian caught up in Kurt’s world.
If you yearn for more pandemic drama in your life: ‘Before the Fire’
There’s hardly any social distancing but plenty of disturbing unrest in this timely female-led thriller directed by Charlie Buhler and written by star Jenna Lyng Adams, who plays a TV actress displaced from Hollywood by a deadly influenza outbreak. Sent back to their South Dakota hometown by her boyfriend (Jackson Davis), she gets a chilly reception from his bro (Ryan Vigilant) and is forced into a survival situation when her abusive father (Charles Hubbell) proves more dangerous than a contagion.
If you’re wondering what Jaime Lannister’s been up to: ‘The Silencing’
“Game of Thrones” star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau stars in this thriller as a former hunter whose daughter went missing five years earlier. While keeping hope alive, he finds other young girls are disappearing and being hunted by a mysterious, masked, fur-covered villain on his animal sanctuary. Annabelle Wallis plays the local sheriff, who’s got her own family issues, in this slow-burn movie where twisty reveals do more damage to the plot than not.
If you’re a hopeless romantic and/or devoted ‘Ghost’ fan: ‘Endless’
Newly graduated teenage lovebirds are struck by tragedy when Chris (Nicholas Hamilton) dies in a car accident but comes back as a ghost trapped on Earth in a kind of limbo, and girlfriend Riley (Alexandra Shipp) struggles to let him go, a situation made harder when Chris reaches out from beyond the grave. It’s overdone, familiar melodrama on the whole, though weaving in a physical cost to Riley hanging with her phantom beau is a nice touch.
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