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Movie recommendations – B87FM
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Movie recommendations

Written by on January 1, 2023

With another long holiday weekend looming, it’s a legit question: What should you watch tonight?

Sure, there are plenty of films you’d really want to see on the biggest theater screen possible, from “Avatar: The Way of Water” to “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” But if you’re planning to ring in 2023 from the comfort of your sofa, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Disney+, Apple, Hulu, Peacock and more have a slew of good movies – new or at least new in 2022 – to keep you entertained.

From awards contenders and rom-coms to documentaries and dramas, here are 30 we thoroughly enjoyed this year – all of them available now on streaming services

Ranked: The 10 best movies of 2022, from Tom Cruise’s ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ to ‘The Whale,’ ‘RRR’

The 10 best TV shows of 2022, ranked:From ‘White Lotus’ to ‘Andor’ and ‘The Bear’

‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’

Daniel Craig (center) returns as master sleuth Benoit Blanc while Kate Hudson, Jessica Henwick and Leslie Odom Jr. are among the suspects in the murder mystery sequel "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery."

A tech billionaire (Edward Norton) invites his longtime crew (including Janelle Monáe, Dave Bautista and Kate Hudson) for a murder mystery getaway on his absurdly posh private Greek island. Daniel Craig’s Southern sleuth Benoit Blanc inexplicably shows up, a body hits the floor and the game is afoot for director Rian Johnson’s fun and twisty sequel.

Where to watch: Netflix

‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’

Michelle Yeoh stars as a laundromat owner-turned-multiverse-hopping martial artist in "Everything Everywhere All at Once."

Don’t worry about having your brain broken and just go with wild flow of this action-packed, multiverse-hopping genre mashup directed by Daniels (aka Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert). Michelle Yeoh dazzles as a laundromat owner whose tax issues get shoved aside when she gets a crash course on alternate realities (including one where she has hot dog fingers!) and has to learn from the lives of her other selves to stop a nihilistic villain. 

Where to watch: Showtime

‘Elvis’

Austin Butler as a young Elvis Presley in "Elvis."

Not sure if everyone’s heard, but Elvis Presley was a big deal. And Baz Luhrmann’s stylish musical drama pays tribute to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll from his early 1950s gigs to his later days as a Vegas headliner. When a burgeoning Elvis (top-notch leading man Austin Butler) lays into the rockabilly tune “Baby Let’s Play House” and wiggles his hips, young women (and older ones, too) scream and swoon in preternatural delight, possessed by the power of a fledgling rock god.

Where to watch: HBO Max

‘Nope’

Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer, center, with Daniel Kaluuya and Brandon Perea) gets roped into a bunch of weirdness on the family ranch in "Nope."

Jordan Peele’s sci-fi horror thriller pits Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer against a UFO monster that eats people and horses (though doesn’t love big inflatable things). Yet the most unnerving tale Peele tells in flashback revolves around Gordy, chimp star of a ’90s sitcom who goes violently ape on human actors and a studio audience, leaving only young boy Jupe (later played by Steven Yeun) and an oddly upright shoe untouched.

Where to watch: Peacock

‘Turning Red’

Teenage Mei Lee (Rosalie Chiang) freaks out when she wakes up one morning as an 8-foot-tall giant red panda in Pixar's coming-of-age animated film "Turning Red."

Like the best Pixar originals, the animated comedy takes on a universal aspect of people’s lives in heartwarming fashion – in this case, female puberty. A Toronto teen (voiced by Rosalie Chiang) wakes up to discover that, when overly excited, she turns into an 8-foot-tall giant red panda in director Domee Shi’s funny and empowering tribute to monster movies, 2000s-era boy bands, Asian culture and growing up.

Where to watch: Disney+

‘Top Gun: Maverick’

Tom Cruise reprises his role as Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in "Top Gun: Maverick."

Tom Cruise is known for jumping off planes in crazy “Mission: Impossible” stunts but come on, he’s much better in the cockpit of a fighter jet. He still oozes A-list cool as the returning flyboy from the 1986 original training a new crop of young pilots in an endlessly entertaining, nostalgic sequel that makes a major movie star out of Glen Powell.

Where to watch: Paramount+

‘Good Luck to You, Leo Grande’

Emma Thompson (right) plays a retired middle school teacher looking for a night of passion who ends up connecting in an emotional way with a young sex worker (Daryl McCormack) in "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande."

Emma Thompson stars as a widowed and retired British schoolteacher who, wanting to have her world rocked between the sheets, hires a super-charming sex worker (Daryl McCormack). One awkward hotel rendezvous leads to a series of meetings where the pair bare their souls (and much more) in the intimate, thoughtful dramedy.

Where to watch: Hulu

‘Bros’

Luke Macfarlane (left) and Billy Eichner explore the world of modern gay dating in the romantic comedy "Bros."

From the Broadway and country music jokes to the study of modern dating, everything works in this sweet and big-hearted LGBTQ comedy. Billy Eichner co-writes and stars as stressed-out museum curator Bobby, who gets thrown off his game – professionally and personally – when he falls for another commitment-phobe, sensible jock Aaron (Luke Macfarlane).

Where to watch: Peacock

‘Thor: Love and Thunder’

Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth are both Thors in "Thor: Love and Thunder."

Director Taika Waititi’s latest “Thor” outing is the best solo effort yet for Chris Hemsworth’s blond hero. Thor’s path in the Marvel movies has led him to a bit of an identity crisis, and on top of that, he runs into his ex Jane (Natalie Portman), now a powerful goddess herself wielding Thor’s old magic hammer. The cosmic adventure marries metal tunes and retro influences with rom-com high jinks, feel-good vibes, a few profound themes and a standout turn from Christian Bale as a deity-killing menace.

Where to watch: Disney+

‘Causeway’

Jennifer Lawrence stars as a soldier home from Afghanistan and recovering from a brain injury in the drama "Causeway."

Jennifer Lawrence’s best performances aren’t in “Hunger Games” and “X-Men,” but her indie movies. And she proves it yet again in this meaningful drama, her best role since winning an Oscar for “Silver Linings Playbook.” Lynsey is a soldier who returns home to New Orleans after sustaining a brain injury serving in Afghanistan, but she needs to improve her physical and mental health on multiple levels. Lynsey finds a friend in James (Brian Tyree Henry), an amiable mechanic struggling with his own past. Lawrence and Henry’s chemistry is on point in this moving charmer.

Where to watch: Apple TV+

‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’

Evan Rachel Wood's Madonna seduces Daniel Radcliffe's "Weird" Al Yankovic in "Weird: The Al Yankovic Story."

You couldn’t dream a more perfect Al Yankovic biopic: hilarious, ridiculous and, in its madcap way, downright wholesome. With Daniel Radcliffe playing the accordion-playing wonder as broadly as possible, the film plots his real-life rise (and absurdly fictional fall) from childhood to guy who became famous for parodying other people’s songs. Fave Weird Al jams are here (some with bizarre origins) plus fun cameos aplenty. The movie fosters a “be as weird as you want to be” message without being cloying, and to match Radcliffe’s over-the-top Al, Evan Rachel Wood is aces as a delightfully sociopathic Madonna.

Where to watch: Roku

‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’

Cooper Raiff writes, directs and stars as a bar mitzvah party-starter who falls for an older mom (Dakota Johnson) in "Cha Cha Real Smooth."

Hearts are warmed and tears jerked in this endearing dramedy that was a hit at Sundance Film Festival. Cooper Raiff writes, directs and stars as an aimless, recently dumped college graduate whose life takes a needed turn when he gets a gig as a bar mitzvah party-starter and falls hard for an older woman (Dakota Johnson).

Where to watch: Apple TV+

‘The Northman’

Viking berzerker Amleth (Alexander Skarsgård) is out to avenge his father's murder in "The Northman."

Director Robert Eggers just makes really good, totally bonkers movies (“The Witch,” anyone?) and takes his biggest swing yet with an ultra-violent Viking revenge fantasy. Alexander Skarsgård plays a berzerker with simple life goals – avenge his father, save his mother (Nicole Kidman), kill his uncle – in a crazy tale with Slavic witches, a bloody ball game and a naked sword fight on top of an active volcano.

Where to watch:Amazon Prime

‘Master’

Regina Hall plays the new dean of students at a New England college built on a Salem-era gallows hill in the social horror film "Master."

Set at a prestigious New England college built on land where a Salem-era witch was hanged, director Mariama Diallo’s superb social horror film stars Regina Hall as a new dean of students wracked by unnerving visions and Zoe Renee as a freshman assigned to a purportedly haunted dorm room. The twisty movie digs into institutional racism and white supremacy, with plenty of supernatural chills as well. 

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

‘The Fallout’

Vada (Jenna Ortega, left) and Mia (Maddie Ziegler) hide in the bathroom from a school shooter in "The Fallout."

Before Jenna Ortega goth-danced into our hearts in “Wednesday” – and faced sheer terror in “Scream” and “X” – the young actress had a powerhouse performance as a teen girl who survives a school shooting and navigates the aftermath with the popular classmate (Maddie Ziegler) she hid with while shots were fired. Megan Park’s directorial debut, an emotional wrecking ball of a movie that doesn’t let up till its gut-punch ending, is an essential watch for parents and kids growing up in this worrisome time.

Where to watch:HBO Max

‘The Batman’

Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz) and Batman (Robert Pattinson) partner up as allies (and love interests) when a serial killer is loose in Gotham City in director Matt Reeves' "The Batman."

Grimy Gotham City and its Dark Knight detective both star in director Matt Reeves’ ambitious reimagining of the Bat-mythos. Robert Pattinson is the tortured dude in the cape and cowl – in his second year of fighting crime – and Reeves’ realistic spin colorfully revamps some pop-culture icons, including serial-killing Riddler (Paul Dano), feisty thief Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz) and power-hungry gangster Penguin (Colin Farrell).

Where to watch: HBO Max

‘RRR’

N.T. Rama Rao Jr. plays a warrior with a mission to return a captured little girl to his tribe in the Indian blockbuster action movie "RRR."

An action epic that manages to be more glorious and bromantic than a “Top Gun” movie, the Indian blockbuster stars N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan as buff heroes who take on 1920s British colonialists in a must-see movie – the best this year, actually – with love stories, dance battles, fun songs and over-the-top spirit.

Where to watch: Netflix

‘Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’

Geppetto (voiced by David Bradley, left) is at a loss when his wooden puppet Pinocchio (Gregory Mann) comes alive in "Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio."

Guillermo del Toro, a modern master of the macabre, gives the classic fairy tale a twisted bliss with this enjoyable stop-motion animated take set in 1930s Italy. With a precocious, troublemaking wooden puppet desperate to be a real boy and a star-studded voice cast (from Ewan McGregor to Cate Blanchett), the whimsical narrative takes on war and fascism – you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Pinocchio mocking Mussolini – plus tackles dark and fairly mature matters with life-affirming zeal.

Where to watch:Netflix

‘The Banshees of Inisherin’

Colm (Brendan Gleeson, left) surprises his best pal Pádraic (Colin Farrell) by deciding he doesn't want to be friends anymore in "The Banshees of Inisherin."

Getting ghosted by a friend or a loved one is a relatable bit of stress and heartbreak. Add a 1920s remote Irish island setting, toss in two of the greatest actors of their generations, and you’ve got a dark comedy with something to say. Martin McDonagh’s wonderfully bleak exploration of isolation, desperation and mortality lets Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson loose as ex-best pals in a sudden fiery feud, with nice supporting turns from Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan as characters caught up in their not-so-civil war.

Where to watch: HBO Max

‘Good Night Oppy’

"Good Night Oppy" chronicles the interstellar journey of Opportunity, a rover sent to Mars for a 90-day mission but instead ended up surviving on the red planet for 15 years.

The out-of-this-world documentary is a crowd-pleasing testament to human ingenuity that rocks a real-life “WALL-E” vibe. Twin rovers are sent to Mars for a 90-day mission, but one proves to be a real survivor, staying up on the red planet for 15 years and sending mind-blowing info to the NASA folks back home who care so much for it.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

‘Father of the Bride’

Billy (Andy Garcia) gets his daughter Sofia (Adria Arjona) ready for the big day in HBO Max's "Father of the Bride."

Taking after past “Bride” classics – the 1950 Spencer Tracy movie and the 1991 Steve Martin film – this redo sets the plot in modern Miami but still jerks the tears as an overly traditional Cuban architect dad (Andy Garcia) faces a divorce from his wife (Gloria Estefan) and butts heads with his daughter (Adria Arjona) planning her impromptu wedding.

Where to watch: HBO Max

‘Hustle’

NBA scout Stanley Sugerman (Adam Sandler, right) prepares Spanish streetball star Bo Cruz (Juancho Hernangomez) for a chance at the pros in Netflix's "Hustle."

Adam Sandler balances a sharp sense of humor and “Uncut Gems”-level drama as Stanley Sugerman, a former college star who now travels the world for the Philadelphia 76ers seeking fast food and future NBA stars. Hoping to snag a coaching gig, Stanley ventures to Spain and finds talented Bo Cruz (Juancho Hernangómez) on the streetball courts. The youngster boasts a checkered past and hot temper, though, and when Stanley brings him to America, they have to work together for each other’s success in a crowd-pleasing narrative filled with past and present pro hoopsters.

Where to watch: Netflix

‘Fire Island’

"Fire Island" centers on two besties (Bowen Yang and Joel Kim Booster, middle, with Margaret Cho, Tomás Matos and Matt Rogers) aiming to have a legendary summer full of cheap rosé and eclectic friends.

Joel Kim Booster writes, stars and is a magnetic presence in this entertaining queer twist on “Pride and Prejudice.” Noah (Booster) and his group of friends (including Bowen Yang and Margaret Cho) meet up for what might be their last summer at Fire Island (aka “gay Disney World”) for romance and a lot of drama as Noah gets caught in a love triangle between uptight Will (Conrad Ricamora) and rugged Dex (Zane Phillips).

Where to watch: Hulu

‘Emergency’

From left, RJ Cyler, Sebastian Chacon and Donald Elise Watkins are college kids who have some trouble trying to do the right thing in "Emergency."

A well-crafted twist on a beloved trope stars Donald Elise Watkins and RJ Cyler as Black best friends whose epic night of college partying goes awry when they find a young white girl unconscious in their house and – worried about the optics of the situation – try to help her without getting the cops involved.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

‘Ambulance’

Will Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, left) and Danny Sharp (Jake Gyllenhaal) try to survive a hellacious day in Michael Bay's "Ambulance."

Leave it to Michael Bay: After finally putting aside those bad “Transformers” movies, he makes the Most Michael Bay Movie Ever. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Jake Gyllenhaal play adopted brothers who attempt an LA bank heist, wind up hijacking an emergency vehicle and race through the City of Angels, causing wanton destruction and traffic jams.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’

Nick (Nicolas Cage, right) and Javi (Pedro Pascal) enjoy a Spanish bromance in the meta action comedy "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent."

Nicolas Cage plays eccentric movie star “Nick Cage,” who’s had it with acting when he gets embroiled in a political kidnapping plot and works undercover for the feds in Spain by getting close to a Cage fanboy (a standout Pedro Pascal) they think is an international arms dealer. It’s more conventional than it sounds on paper (though Cage does make out with his “Wild at Heart”-era self) but it’s an entertaining romp that works best when Cage and Pascal’s characters get to know each other and watch “Paddington 2” together for a bromance to remember.

Where to watch: Hulu

‘X’

Owen Campbell (from left), Brittany Snow, Mia Goth, Scott Mescudi and Jenna Ortega play a group of filmmakers who travel to Texas to make an adult film and run afoul of a weird elderly couple in "X."

Next time you want to film porn at an elderly couple’s place, just don’t. Director Ti West’s latest horror jam starts as a ’70s-era gore-fest, with Brittany Snow, Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi, Jenna Ortega and Mia Goth as members of a DIY adult-film crew who rent out a Texas farmhouse as a movie set and are forced into a killer scenario, but sneakily shifts into a well-crafted (and bloody) piece about lust, longing and growing old.

Where to watch: Showtime

‘I Want You Back’

Charlie Day and Jenny Slate star in "I Want You Back."

In the delightfully unconventional rom-com, Jenny Slate and Charlie Day are endlessly charming as Emma and Peter, two lovelorn strangers who meet and become “sadness sisters” after they’re both dumped. They hatch a plot to reunite with their exes (Scott Eastwood and Gina Rodriguez) by sabotaging things with their new partners (Clark Backo and Manny Jacinto), though naturally things do not go as planned. It’s a mostly refreshing movie filled with horrible decision-making and “Little Shop of Horrors” tunes.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

‘All Quiet on the Western Front’

A new adaptation of "All Quiet on the Western Front" (the original was a 1930 best picture winner) stars Felix Kammerer as a young German soldier living through terrifying ordeals during World War I.

Like its 1930 counterpart (which won an Oscar for best picture), the latest adaptation of the Erich Maria Remarque novel – told from a German point of view – is harrowing and deeply effective with its anti-war message. A 17-year-old (Felix Kammerer) lies about his age to proudly go to the front lines of World War I, witnesses carnage and becomes numb to the brutality while an officer (Daniel Brühl) desperately negotiates for an armistice.

Where to watch: Netflix

‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever’

Chickie (Zac Efron, left) comes bearing Pabst Blue Ribbon cans for servicemen in the war dramedy "The Greatest Beer Run Ever."

Director Peter Farrelly follows up his Oscar-winning “Green Book” with the real-life story of Chickie Donohue, who hopped a boat to Vietnam in the late 1960s and delivered cans of beer to his pals on the battlefield. In addition to being an acting showcase for Zac Efron, the film successfully weaves lighthearted adventure with a more serious political side.

Where to watch:Apple TV+.

Contributing: Kim Willis

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