New Movies: Release Calendar for January 8, Plus Where to Watch the Latest Films

Staying home? Good. Looking for something new to watch while you do it? Even better! As the world continues shifts to accommodate a wide range of in-home viewing options for movie lovers, it’s not just platforms that are expanding, it’s the very type of films they host. There’s more than ever to sift through, and IndieWire is here to help you do just that.

This week’s new releases include streaming originals, fresh VOD offerings, some major awards contenders, festival favorites, and new studio releases now available in the comfort of your own home, plus a variety of exciting virtual cinema picks. Browse your options below.

Week of January 4 – January 10

New Films on VOD and Streaming (And in Select Theaters)

As new movies open in theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic, IndieWire will continue to review them whenever possible. We encourage readers to follow the safety precautions provided by CDC and health authorities. Additionally, our coverage will provide alternative viewing options whenever they are available.

“Fatale” (directed by Deon Taylor)
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Where to Find It: Various PVOD platforms

For better (and worse, so, so much worse) Deon Taylor attempts to subvert the pattern with his baffling “Fatale,” an erotic thriller that’s convoluted, boring, and maybe worst of all, hideously unsexy. No one comes out happy, especially the audience. Taylor, who reteams with his “The Intruder” star Michael Ealy and screenwriter David Loughrey (who also wrote “Obsessed”!), takes some swings that have to be admired, because the basic ideas are quite good, even as the execution is very bad. What if, instead of a thriller in which a “good guy” attempts to earn back his life after a terrible mistake, we start with a “good guy” whose life is maybe not worth getting back? Where could that go? In “Fatale,” that premise serves a tortuously plotted story that, despite all manner of misdirections, also manages to be incredibly obvious. You’ll think you’ll know where it’s going, but then you won’t, but then you might, and it also doesn’t really matter, because it’s all bad. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Herself”

Sundance

“Herself” (directed by Phyllida Lloyd)
Distributor: Amazon Studios
Where to Find It: Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Co-written by star Clare Dunne alongside “What Richard Did” screenwriter and frequent TV scribe Malcolm Campbell, “Herself” traces Sandra’s journey from doting mother and abused wife to emancipated woman, thanks to her own ability to dream big in the face of overwhelming obstacles. While Dunne and Campbell’s script attempts to tackle a number of timely issues — from economic anxiety and housing scarcity, in addition to domestic abuse — “Herself” also keenly observes how all those problems can impair good, caring people from being able to help others. Sandra’s big plan to literally build her own house from scratch is steeped in her own sense of self-determination, but it’s a wild idea without the help of others. But how can she rally her friends and neighbors when they are suffering their own troubles? It’s a heartbreaking idea, but “Herself” — much like its believably plucky heroine — doesn’t allow itself to wallow in the drama, and despite the film’s heart-wrenching storyline, things never get unbearably dark. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“One Night in Miami” (directed by Regina King)
Distributor: Amazon Studios
Where to Find It: Select theaters (streaming on Amazon on January 15)

Directed by Regina King (already an Oscar and Emmy winner for her acting) and adapted by Kemp Powers (who first launched the project as a stage play), “One Night in Miami” is both a formidable debut for King (who has previously directed a slew of episodes of high-profile television series) and a strong argument for Powers’ medium-crossing skills. It’s also one of the year’s best acting showcases, including turns from Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X, Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke, Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown, and Eli Goree as Cassius Clay. The film opens in the lead up to the big fight, introducing each of its four central characters at various points in their lives being, as Cassius will later term it, “young, Black, righteous, famous, unapologetic.” Each of them is facing racism in many forms, from a shocking experience Jim endures at the hands of a seemingly genial neighbor to the white crowds of the famous Copacabana streaming out the moment Sam takes the stage. They are also struggling with the nature of their individual legacies, as Cassius prepares to make a massive change in his personal life, just as Malcolm is planning his own alterations to his. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Pieces of a Woman”

Netflix

“Pieces of a Woman” (directed by Kornél Mundruczó)
Distributor: Netflix
Where to Find It: Streaming on Netflix

KornélMundruczó’s virtuosic movies tend to open like a house on fire only to spend the last two acts finger-painting with the ashes (see: “White God,” “Jupiter’s Moon”) and “Pieces of a Woman” is no exception. On the contrary, this film’s harrowing prologue is the most audacious thing its director has ever shot: A 30-minute long-take that follows an ill-fated home birth in real time as Mundruczó’s camera wends through a Boston townhouse on a gimbal, supplanting the chaos of a handheld camera with a harrowing sense of awe and holy terror. Things seem off from the start, even if birth plans were made to be broken. It’s bad enough that Martha (Vanessa Kirby) feels sick — loopy, confused, gulping back vomit that never comes — and even worse that the scheduled midwife is busy with another labor. Her replacement is a woman named Eve (“Madeline’s Madeline” actress Molly Parker, threading the needle between fierce conviction and false confidence as only she can), and we can’t help but distrust her or feel like she’s in over her head. Read IndieWire’s full review.

Also available this week:

“Average Joe” (directed by Mark Cantu)
Distributor: Indican Pictures
Where to Find It: DVD, plus various Digital HD platforms, including Apple TV, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, and FandangoNOW

“It Not Now, When?” (directed by Meagan Good and Tamara Bass)
Distributor: Vertical Entertainment
Where to Find It: Select theaters, plus various VOD and digital platforms

“Zombie Bro” (directed by May Grehan)
Distributor: Indican Pictures
Where to Find It: Various Digital HD platforms

Films Available via Virtual Cinema

Learn more about virtual cinemas offerings right here.

“The Reason I Jump” (directed by Jerry Rothwell)
Distributor: Kino Lorber
Where to Find It: Choose your local cinema on the film’s virtual cinema page

Higashida Naoki didn’t intend for his story to be representative of the entire spectrum, or even reflect the experience of anyone else, but he hoped that explaining what goes on in his own mind would help to forge a compassionate new understanding between the neurotypical and neurodivergent communities. If Jerry Rothwell’s film version of “The Reason I Jump” is far more effective and self-possessed than most documentary adaptations of “memoirs” tend to be, that’s largely because it sees Higashida’s book as a lens instead of as a subject, and refracts various other people through it in recognition of the rare tale that’s less important than how it’s translated. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“The Reason I Jump”

Also available this week:

“Beautiful Something Left Behind” (directed by Katrine Philp)
Distributor: MTV Documentary Films
Where to Find It: Choose your local cinema on the film’s virtual cinema page

“Blizzard of Souls” (directed by Dzintars Dreibergs)
Distributor: Film Movement
Where to Find It: Choose your local cinema on the film’s virtual cinema page

Check out more information about 2020’s newest releases on the next page.


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