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The Best New Movies to Watch This Week

A fantastic ‘Twilight Zone’ homage and Diana Ross’ daughter hits the big screen

En español | Happy birthday, Clint Eastwood! The legendary actor-director turns 90 this weekend, and to celebrate, our critics picked and ranked his 10 best films. How many have you seen over the years, and which ones is it time to watch again? Check out our list and let’s all wish Mr. Eastwood a very happy birthday.

Find it here: The Coolest Clint Eastwood Movies Ever, Ranked!

Critic’s Pick of the Week

 The Vast of Night, PG-13

In the best teens-stumble-upon-uncanny-events movie since 2011’s excellent Super 8, Fay (Sierra McCormick) and Everett (Jake Horowitz) are nerds in Cayuga, New Mexico, pop. 492, in the 1950s. She’s the town’s switchboard operator, he’s a radio DJ. She excitedly tells him about coming tech wonders she’s read about: tiny TV telephones and radio-controlled electronic cars — “and a voice will come over the radio and give you directions!” But an eerie sound signals that there’s something even stranger in the air, maybe an invasion by aliens (or commies?). The story is framed as an episode of a Twilight Zone-like show whose intro says, “You’re entering the realm between clandestine and forgotten.” The film remembers the ’50s brilliantly, and it’s a gem — original, with crackling dialogue and orchestrated tension.

Watch it here: Amazon

Home Premiere of the Week

The High Note, PG-13

You think you’re terrified to sing in public? Try being the daughter of Diana Ross. Tracee Ellis Ross, 47, makes her music debut crooning six tunes in this comedy about a big-time Hollywood singer and her ambitious assistant and piano accompanist (Dakota Johnson). Ice Cube, 50, plays her manager, and it costars Eddie Izzard, 58, and Bill Pullman, 66.

Watch it here: Amazon, AppleTV, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, Fandango Now

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Serious Watch of the Week

 Shirley (Hulu, June 5)

Mad Men vet Elisabeth Moss gives a typically riveting performance as Shirley Jackson, author of such horror classics as 1948’s “The Lottery.” When an oblivious young couple (Logan Lerman and Odessa Young) stay with mentally ill Shirley and her equally unstable professor husband (A Serious Man’s always-excellent Michael Stuhlbarg, 51), the ensuing mind games play out like an even fiercer version of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Shirley is as unsettling as one of the writer’s own stories. —Bruce Fretts

Watch it here: Hulu

We’ve Got Your Feel-Good Fix of the Week!

Have a thing for a sweet little romantic movie? Want it all to work out in the end, after just a little bit of drama? Love a small-town setting? It’s time to indulge in a little Hallmark Movie fun, and our critics have rounded up the 11 best Hallmark classics that are streaming right now. Bet you can’t binge just one!

Find it here: 11 Hallmark Movies That Will Make You Believe in Romance Again

The Very Best Films of the 1970s Are Here For You

Mark hamill Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford in a scene from Star Wars Episode 4 A New Hope

Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Where were you when Jaws was released (and more importantly, did you go back in the ocean that year)? Did you adopt Diane Keaton’s inimitable style from Annie Hall? Did you line up for the premiere of Star Wars? Take the richest trip down cinematic memory lane with our ranking of the very best films of the 1970s. And let us know if you agree with our number 1 pick.

Find it here: The Best Movies of the 1970s, Ranked!

More of the Very Best Movies Online

It’s truly amazing how many incredible movies there are available on mainstream platforms like Amazon, Netflix and others. Our critics round up the very best for you, no matter what your interest. Check out the latest “Best of” lists from AARP critics. There’s never been a better time to catch up on movies you always intended to watch.

Other Movies to Watch

 Lucky Grandma, Unrated

What a find! Tsai Chin, 86, who costarred with Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery and Daniel Craig’s Bonds, and Tamlyn Tomita in The Joy Luck Club, plays a gruff, chain-smoking widow who wants to avoid moving in with her son’s family. So she bets her skimpy life savings at a casino, loses, heists some gangster’s loot, defies thugs named Pock-Mark and Little Handsome, and hires a rival gang’s tallest guy as a bodyguard. A movie that might have caught on in theaters works just fine on the home screen. It’s got some of the snap of Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, but it’s sweet and funny too. Part of the fun? You can stream it via Kino Marquee, a wonderful site that hosts films that would be showing currently in independent theaters, and Alamo Drafthouse, an Austin-based independent theater that hosts streaming now as well. —Tim Appelo

Watch it here: Kino Marquee, Alamo Drafthouse

 Military Wives, PG-13

Originally intended for a theatrical release, this uplifting British comedy-drama is now on video-on-demand (VOD) and streaming just in time for Memorial Day weekend. The English Patient’s Kristin Scott Thomas, who turns 60 this weekend, and Catastrophe’s Sharon Horgan, 49, provide perfect counterpoint as a colonel’s buttoned-down wife and a snarkier military-base compatriot who organize a choir of women with spouses serving in Afghanistan. Director Peter Cattaneo, a veteran of The Full Monty, hits the right notes, finding laughs in the familiar yet satisfying story while never losing sight of the situation’s underlying seriousness. Another hit from Bleecker Street, the film company specializing in movies for grownups. —Bruce Fretts

Watch it here: Hulu, Amazon, Apple

Valley Girl

Valley Girl, the jukebox-musical reboot of the excellent 1983 Nicolas Cage teen comedy of the same name, opened in select drive-in theaters (as well as on Apple, FandangoNOW, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, VUDU, Xbox and Redbox). Set to a soundtrack featuring Roxy Music and the Go-Gos, it stars teen film icon Alicia Silverstone and a gang of next-gen teen queens. Drive-ins might be leading the way to a movie theater recovery, as Americans flock to them again this season.

Want to grab some popcorn and watch it on the big screen from inside the safety of your car? See full list of drive-ins screening Valley Girl:

 CBS Sunday Night at the Movies

All the movies on CBS’ new Sunday Night at the Movies show are five-star classics. In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), May 31, 8 p.m. ET, Harrison Ford’s Indy and his dad (Sean Connery) beat Nazis again.

 The True History of the Kelly Gang, R

This film was scheduled for theatrical release, but because of pandemic limitations, it has opened on your screen instead. Ned Kelly, Australia’s 19th-century answer to Billy the Kid, Jesse James and Butch Cassidy all rolled into one folk-hero package, was played on-screen by Mick Jagger (1970) and Heath Ledger (2003). Now indie wunderkind Justin Kurzel (Macbeth) directs George MacKay (1917) as the charismatically unhinged Kelly, a violent psychopath scarred by a horrific childhood. Russell Crowe plays a shaggy, hair-trigger bandit who sets the young Kelly on his path, and Game of Thrones’ Essie Davis is his she-wolf of a mother. They’re scary-good. —Chris Nashawaty

Where to watch: Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, PlayStation, Xbox, major cable platforms

 Blood Father, R

Mel Gibson’s latest smash hit instantly became Netflix’s most popular movie for grownups. It proves once again that Gibson, now 64, is one superb actor, even in pulpy entertainment. He’s John Link, proprietor of the Missing Link Tattoo parlor, located in his crummy home in a desolately picturesque trailer court. William H. Macy (Fargo, Shameless), now 70, is fine as his razzing pal and AA sponsor. Link looks like miles of rough road, but he’s better off than his estranged druggie daughter (Erin Moriarty). She’s on the run from her cartel boss boyfriend (Diego Luna, who’s great on Netflix’s must-see Narcos: Mexico). —Tim Appelo

Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube. Typically $3.99 or by subscription.

 Bad Boys for Life, R

Will Smith, 51, and Martin Lawrence, 54, return as Miami cops who battle a ruthless Mexican cartel assassin, as well as deal with aging. It’s fun and silly, and the digital release has 50-plus minutes of new material, including an alternate ending. —T.A.

Where to watch: Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube, Fandango Now, cable video on demand. Typically $19.99.

 The Invisible Man, R

In this number 1 box-office hit, Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) flees her controlling lover (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), an inventor. When he slits his wrists and leaves her $5 million, she fears he’s found a way to get invisible and hunt her. Moss rocks the role, delivering screams and sudden jumps, then turning the tables on the bad guy — aided by stilettos, juicy red lipstick and an excellent cosmetic concealer. —T.M.A.

Where to watch: Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, Fandango Now, cable video on demand. Typically $19.99.

 Emma, PG

Doe-eyed Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch) spins an enchanting web as Emma Woodhouse, the rich, spoiled queen bee of her sleepy village, who lives with her hypochondriac father (Love Actually’s Bill Nighy, 70). Emma believes she can find the perfect husband for sweet, naive Harriet Smith (a refreshing Mia Goth). It’s akin to a delicious crumpet smothered in lemon curd with the perfect cup of Earl Grey tea. —Susan King (S.K.)

Where to watch: Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, Fandango Now, cable video on demand. Typically $19.99.

 Uncut Gems, R

This is definitely not family fare, thanks to the raw profanity. But grownup viewers may find Adam Sandler, 53, impressive as a New York jeweler, gambler, dreamer and self-defeating buffoon who keeps making the wrong decision. —T.A. (READ FULL REVIEW)

Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, Fandango Now, Microsoft. Typically $4.99.

 The Good Liar, R

Helen Mirren, 74, plays a widowed professor with $3.6 million and no clue how to invest it. A con artist (Ian McKellen, 80) tries to woo and bilk her. An acting duel between masters — and who wins? You, the viewer. —T.A. (READ FULL REVIEW)

Where to watch: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, Fandango Now, Microsoft. Typically $4.99.

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