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The Best Movies Coming to Screens Big and Small This Week​​

Big films coming down the pike! See what our critics loved (and didn’t)!

En español | ​It’s a great week for grownups at the movies — a fantastic Black Western with an all-star cast, a poetically epic film based on a science fiction classic, and a quirky biopic about cult-status English painter Louis Wain. See what our critics picked and panned and, please, pass that popcorn!​​​

Delroy Lindo and Idris Elba in a Western? Sign us up​​

 The Harder They Fall, R

Like a Tarantino romp only faster-paced, Jeymes Samuel’s Black Western is a sort-of historical hoot and a holler. It really is history-inspired: Blacks were a quarter of America’s cowboys, and the movie’s stampede of stars play wildly fictionalized actual people: Bass Reeves (Delroy Lindo, 68), the West’s first Black deputy U.S. marshal; outlaws Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) and Nat Love (Jonathan Majors); and Stagecoach Mary (Zazie Beetz), the first Black U.S. mail carrier. Treacherous Trudy Smith (Regina King, 50) is a gas but not real. The shaggy-dog plot involves the Love gang’s vendetta against Buck’s, but it’s just an excuse for tongue-in-cheek genre pastiche, high-noon showdowns and saloon shootouts, shot with flippant style and a killer soundtrack by everyone from Fela Kuti to Jay-Z (a coproducer). It’s overstuffed with terrific actors having a blast, and the fun’s infectious. —Tim Appelo (T.A.)

Watch it: The Harder They Fall, coming Oct. 22 to theaters, Nov. 3 to Netflix

Don’t miss this: 11 Gems From the Black Film Archive to Watch Now​


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Who’s ready for a truly epic movie? (We are)

 Dune, PG-13​

Few movies justify the word spectacular as amply as this bladder-challenging 155-minute sci-fi epic set on Arrakis, a more impressive desert world than Luke Skywalker ever saw. Its massive dunes look like Lawrence of Arabia’s, only patrolled by giant, lamprey-like sandworms, with eight-winged dragonfly-like helicopters buzzing overhead. There’s a nice intergenerational vibe between the planet’s steward, Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac), and his son Paul (Timothée Chalamet), ambiguously blessed with supernatural gifts. The fat-as-Jabba-the-Hutt bad guy Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård, 70) gets an entrance resembling Brando’s in Apocalypse Now. As the ruthless truthsayer Reverend Mother Mohiam, who tests Paul’s mystical mettle, Charlotte Rampling, 75, is icy coolness itself. The brooding tale takes its own sweet time, and you sometimes wish it would cut to the chase and have Paul lead the desert tribe of Stigar (Javier Bardem, 52) against the bad guy, already. But it’s brooding, somber, deliberate as a funeral march, haunting. You wonder if it’ll ever end, then get peeved you can’t see the sequel immediately. —T.A.

Watch it: Dune, coming Oct. 21 to theaters and HBO Max

Cat- and Benedict Cumberbatch-lovers, this charmer’s for you!

 The Electrical Life of Louis Wain ​​

Attention cat people: Here’s the Benedict Cumberbatch period biopic for you — even if that other drama, The Power of the Dog, will get him his Oscar nomination. Directed by the madly imaginative Will Sharpe (BBC crime drama Giri/Haji), Cumberbatch enchants as British illustrator Louis Wain (1860–1939). An impoverished London aristocrat responsible for his five unmarried sisters, Wain chose art and love over family duty. He gained national attention creating anthropomorphized images of felines — and popularized cats as house pets. Extra added bonus? A romance between Wain and the governess, played by The Crown’s Claire Foy, will keep you purring. Sadly, their love was deep but not long, and Wain’s mental condition (possibly schizophrenia) made his images of animals increasingly, brilliantly psychedelic, and landed him in the Napsbury Hospital, where he died at 78. —Thelma M. Adams (T.M.A.)

Watch it: The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, coming Oct. 22 to theaters and Nov. 5 to Amazon Prime

Wes Anderson fans? You may want to save your ticket money on this one

 The French Dispatch, R​

Director Wes Anderson, 52, follows two of his best movies — Moonrise Kingdom (2012) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) — with far and away his worst. A tremendous cast (Frances McDormand, Bill Murray and Timothée Chalamet, for starters) is wasted in a visually busy, emotionally sterile collection of short stories from a fictional New Yorker magazine based in France. The movie’s like an explosion in a graphic design factory: Every frame is fit for a coffee-table book and hermetically sealed from the rest. How can a movie so obsessively overdesigned be so dull? For auteurist completists only; all others should stick with the wistful summer island memories of Moonrise Kingdom or the comic melancholy of The Grand Budapest Hotel, with Ralph Fiennes as the soul of prewar Europe in the form of a concierge. —Ty Burr (T.B.)

Watch it: The French Dispatch, coming Oct. 22 to theaters

Or watch: The Grand Budapest Hotel, on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, YouTube​, and Moonrise Kingdom, on Amazon Prime, Google Play, HBO Max, YouTube

​​Is Jamie Lee Curtis’s return to the big scream worth the watch?​​

 Halloween Kills, R 

Ever since John Carpenter’s white-knuckle 1978 original, the Halloween horror franchise has proven to be as unkillable as its bogeyman, Michael Myers. Every few years, we’re treated to (or tricked into) another sequel with diminishing returns. But when original scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis returned to the series in 2018, things began to look up again. The good news is she’s back in this season’s Halloween Kills. Too bad the plot (such as it is) is a half-baked mess about the still-scarred citizens of Haddonfield, Ill., forming a mob to kill the still-at-large masked maniac. The violence is excessively gory and the kills come at a brisk clip if you’re into that sort of thing (you know who you are), but the main reason to check this out is to watch Curtis’ haunting performance. She elevates all of the bloody nonsense around her.​ —Chris Nashawaty (C.N.)

Watch it: Halloween Kills, in theaters and on Peacock​

Speaking of Jamie Lee Curtis …

Emerging from the pandemic with excitement, enthusiasm and a revised view of the rest of her life, actress, author and advocate Jamie Lee Curtis reveals in AARP The Magazine’s cover story how she is making up for lost time. The former “scream queen” and two-time Golden Globe winner opens up about finding creative outlets, embracing her age, and better appreciating each moment in her life. Curtis also shares an inside look into her longtime marriage with her “one and only,” Christopher Guest.

Get the scoop: Jamie Lee Curtis: A Life in Full Bloom​

Your Netflix must-see of the week is here and it’s FABULOUS

Hairspray (2007)

Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie can’t hold a candle to John Travolta as 1962 Baltimore mom Edna Turnblad in John Waters’ irresistible musical comedy about race relations and teen dance shows. Michelle Pfeiffer sizzles as wicked Velma Von Tussle.​

Watch it: Hairspray, on Netflix​

Speaking of Netflix, don’t miss what’s leaving at the end of the month: The 23 Best Things Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix in October

We bet at least one of this director’s films is in your top 10

Director Ridley Scott on the red carpet at the 78th Venice International Film Festival

Maria Moratti/Getty Images

Did Thelma and Louise change your life? How about Alien or Blade Runner? Welcome to the remarkable world of director Ridley Scott. In celebration of not one but two new films arriving from Scott this fall, check out our brand-new ranking of his all-time best films so far (all available to stream now). ​

Get the scoop: The 10 Best Movies by Ridley Scott (So Far!), Ranked​​

​Tom Skerritt gets his first leading role … at 88!

 East of the Mountains, Unrated 

Except for a best actor Emmy for Picket Fences, Tom Skerritt is most noted for making some of the most incandescent movie stars shine brighter in iconic films — M*A*S*H, Top Gun, Steel Magnolias, Alien. At an incredibly youthful-looking 88, he’s landed his first lead movie role, in S.J. Chiro’s film of David Guterson’s novel (Snow Falling on Cedars) about Ben, a widowed heart surgeon with stage IV cancer who grabs his dog and daddy’s shotgun and lights out for the land of his childhood, the stark landscape east of Seattle. Ben intends to take his life but instead plunges deeper into it, reckoning with his past and encountering kindly rurals and one violent coyote hunter (John Paulsen, 58). Skerritt is a jiujitsu actor who recedes and draws you in. His Ben is ghostly and grittily real, cowboy-laconic, heartwarming and rending. Skerritt’s career-capstone performance is a credit to his mentors Robert Altman and Hal Ashby. —T.A.

Watch it: East of the Mountains, in select theaters and video on demand

DON’T MISS THIS: Tom Skerritt Gets the Starring Role He Deserves at 88​

Calling all Stanley Tucci fans (in other words, all of us) ...​​

Stanley Tucci attends the 69th San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain

Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Can this man do no wrong? With a brand new memoir hitting bookstores this month, we’ve indulged in some excellent Tucci-mania, curating a veritable buffet of his great food-related moments on-screen and in print. Did you know that Tucci, 60, can teach you how to make a Negroni? Of course he can! Get the full list, here: The 6 Most Delicious Moments in Stanley Tucci’s Career​​

Football fans, this one’s for you​

Denzel Washington in the film Remember the Titans

Getty Images

Denzel Washington in "Remember the Titans."

The NFL is finally back, and not a moment too soon. Fingers crossed, it feels like a baby step toward normalcy. Which is why our Sundays — and Monday nights, and Thursday nights, for that matter — will be booked solid between now and mid-February. For the other days of the week, well, we’ve got a list of the 19 best football movies for you to stream while you’re waiting for the next slate of games to kick off.​​​

Kick it off here: 19 Great Football Movies to Stream Between NFL Games​

Don’t open Netflix again until you’ve read this

The Netflix logo is displayed on a smartphone in front a television screen that's on the streaming service's home page

Chesnot/Getty Images

Do you get a little dizzy from all those “recommendations” the streaming giant proposes for you? Our critic took a close look behind the browsing curtain at Netflix and has some uncomfortable truths about how Netflix is manipulating your browsing experience. Get the whole scoop and find out how to take control of your account (and see better stuff).

Read it: The Surprising Secrets Behind How Netflix Recommends Shows and Movies You Watch

What’s coming to theaters this fall? We’ve got it all for you!

Will Smith stars in the film King Richard, Daniel Craig reprises his role of James Bond in No Time to Die and Lady Gaga stars in House of Gucci

Chiabella James/Warner Bros. Pictures; Nicola Dove/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures; Fabio Lovino/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures

Will Smith as Richard Williams in "King Richard," Daniel Craig as James Bond in "No Time to Die" and Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani in "House of Gucci."

While last year’s COVID-19 theater shutdowns delayed big movies for 18 months or more, this season brings an exciting flurry of films. Whether you choose to head to the cineplex with safety measures and masks or wait for the films to stream online, you won’t be able to resist many of our critics’ handpicked preview choices.

Check out the list now: Your Ultimate Guide to All the Best Movies Coming This Fall

21 great movies you didn’t even know were on Netflix!

promotional pictures for Netflix shows Concrete Cowboy and The Dig

Courtesy Netflix; LARRY HORRICKS/NETFLIX

Idris Elba and Caleb McLaughlin in "Concrete Cowboy" (left) and Carey Mulligan in "The Dig."

Sure, you know the big-name shows and original series that the streaming giant wants you to browse … but did you know that Netflix has about 3,700 movies you can stream? Our critics sifted through the whole list to uncover 21 fantastic gems that are ready to watch. So what are you waiting for?

Get streaming: 21 Buried Movie Treasures You Didn’t Know Were on Netflix Now

Love Aretha (and Patsy, and Tina, and Loretta)?

Angela Bassett in What's Love Got to Do With It, Sissy Spacek in Coal Miner's Daughter and Jennifer Hudson in Respect

Buena Vista/Courtesy Everett Collection; Courtesy Everett Collection; Quantrell D. Colbert/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures

Angela Bassett as Tina Turner in "What's Love Got to Do With It," Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn in "Coal Miner's Daughter" and Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin in "Respect."

The history of popular music in America has been marked by women of massive talent, personality and grit. Moviemakers have tried to capture and share their spirit (and songs). Inspired by this summer’s release of Respect, our critics pulled together an all-star watch list of the best movies to stream online about those divas of stage and screen. Warning: It’s impossible not to sing out loud while watching!

Start streaming now: The 10 Most Rocking, Soulful and Inspiring Diva Biopics

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL: The funniest movies are here!

Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids, Will Ferrell in Anchorman and Eddie Murphy in Coming to America

Suzanne Hanover/Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection; Frank Micelotta/Getty Images; Courtesy Everett Collection

(Left to right) Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell and Eddie Murphy

Our new critics’ watch list, the 20 Funniest Movies of the Last 50 Years, is going to have you ROTFL, guaranteed (and maybe also arguing that your personal faves didn’t make the cut). Check out the list — just reading about these hilarious films might make you laugh out loud — and line up some great summer fun.

Get ready to bookmark this ultimate movie watchlist

Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire, Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz and Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction

Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images; Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images; Miramax Films/Courtesy Everett Collection

(Left to right) Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh on the set of "A Streetcar Named Desire," Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" and Uma Thurman in "Pulp Fiction."

Our critics scanned the entire film catalog from the 1930s to now to handpick just 30 films that you must ­— must — see. We’re not talking about the best films (everyone does that list) but rather the films that are essential. You want to have seen these movies not just because they’re great (they are), but because they ensure you’re tuned into their cultural moments, the power of their time. So when someone makes a Philadelphia Story reference or deadpans, “the Dude abides,” you know exactly what they mean.

Get the list here: The 30 Movies Every Grownup Should Know

Love rom-coms but tired of watching millennials have all the fun?

Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin star in the film It's Complicated and Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman in 5 Flights Up.

Melinda Sue Gordon/Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection; James Hamilton/Focus World/Courtesy Everett Collection

We hear you. Which is why our critics found the 13 best romantic comedies that feature older actors! From an all-grown-up Spencer and Tracy in 1957’s Desk Set to Angela Bassett in How Stella Got Her Groove Back in the late ’90s to Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland in 2017’s The Leisure Seeker, these are love stories for folks who know a thing or two about love. Grab your favorite rom-com date and get streaming here: Grown-ups In (and Out) of Love: 13 Great Rom-Coms Starring Older Actors

Feeling overwhelmed with all the streaming services on your TV?

A person holding a remote control in front of a wall displaying of dozen of screens showing content

simpson33/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Disney, HBO, Peacock … it seems like every time you turn around (or turn on the TV), another streaming service is vying for your attention (and subscription dollars). Which streaming services out there are really worth the money? How do you decide what to pick? Here’s what you need to know about your options on Apple, BET, CBS, Disney, HBO and NBC: Too Many TV Streaming Service Choices? Here’s What You Need to Know

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

 The Last Duel, PG-13

The Last Duel is something entirely unexpected: a lavish medieval swashbuckler for the Me Too era. And it comes from an unexpected creative team: Matt Damon, 51, and Ben Affleck, 49 — in their first writing collaboration since Good Will Hunting won the duo an Oscar in 1998. They’re partnered with cowriter Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said), with Ridley Scott directing. It sounds like a courtly traffic snarl. It’s not. The movie is engrossing, entertaining and ultimately eye-opening. Based on a historical incident, Duel casts Damon as Jean de Carrouges, a battle-scarred 14th-century French knight who challenges rival Jacques le Gris (Adam Driver) to hand-to-hand combat after le Gris rapes Carrouges’ wife. Affleck lurks entertainingly on the sidelines as a bottle-blond nobleman, but the movie belongs to Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) as the wronged wife who, at the climax of the Rashomon-style screenplay, tells us her truth — the truth — with heartbreaking conviction. —T.B.

Watch it: The Last Duel, in theaters

 Bergman Island

Bergman Island exemplifies the thrilling next wave of women directing their own stories. Mia Hansen-Love explores the relationship between two filmmakers — the cocky American Tony (Tim Roth, 60) and his ambivalent partner Chris (a brilliant Vicky Krieps). The couple travel to Sweden’s Faro Island, where the great maestro Ingmar Bergman lived and created such influential movies as Scenes From a Marriage (now an HBO limited series). Chris struggles to find her voice, plumb her feelings and shape her work, inspired by, and in opposition to, Bergman. The scene shifts to her movie-within-the-movie as filmmaker Amy (Mia Wasikowska) arrives in Faro for a destination wedding — and rekindles an old flame. The interlocking stories arrive in moody waves, as joy, daring, longing, playfulness, jealousy and fears of abandonment and imposter syndrome ebb and flow. Bergman Island gloriously captures the messy collision of love and creativity, and the ways women weave family life and personal obsession into the artistic struggle, reinterpreting the greats, like Bergman. —T.M.A.

Watch it: Bergman Island, in theaters, on demand Oct. 22

 No Time to Die , PG-13​​

Just when he thought he was out, James Bond (leathery but lethally sexy Daniel Craig, 53) gets pulled back into his old mess of international intrigue and MI6 office politics. Assuredly directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation), the film dashes from Italy to Cuba to London in one switchback after another with stunning scenes of escalating danger, stolen kisses, and fast cars. The action sequences, particularly in the thriller’s first two thirds, are seamless and giddy. The plot? It has something to do with bitter orphan Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek veering toward Peter Lorre) and his – mwahaha – scheme to unleash a genocidal DNA-driven bio weapon. Meanwhile, the band’s come back together – Lea Seydoux as the love interest; CIA pal Jeffrey Wright, 55; Ralph Fiennes, 58; Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris as Bond’s office pod; and Lashana Lynch as his 007 replacement. On a stealth mission to Cuba, Bond joins newcomer Paloma (Ana de Armas), who kicks butt in a plunging evening gown. The pair’s spark recalls the martini-swilling, devil-may-care Bond, who has left his emotional baggage in his other tux. Is Craig’s poignant farewell the best of the actor’s run? I’d put the emotionality of Skyfall and the eye-popping Casino Royale ahead, but No Time to Die unquestionably makes returning to theaters a reason to live. —T.M.A.

Watch it: No Time to Die, in theaters​

DON’T MISS THIS: The 5 Best (and 5 Worst) James Bond Movies of All Time​​

 The Rescue, PG​

In 2018, the Wild Boars Youth Soccer League plus coach disappeared in a Northern Thailand cave, inspiring a global panic. As monsoons surged, the real danger was that the 13 would drown. Using existing footage, including a tranche of footage from the Royal Thai Navy Seals, interviews and reenactments, filmmakers Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin reveal the heroism of all involved. This included a small circle of Western amateur cave divers that risked their lives and tipped the balance. If the couple’s Oscar-winner film Free Solo about Alex Honnold’s ascent up Yosemite’s El Capitan triggered acrophobia, The Rescue bristles with claustrophobia. The recent winner of the Toronto International Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award for Documentaries, this nail-biter is elevated by the notion that sometimes it takes a global village – plus a small circle of amateur experts exceeding their comfort zone – to save lives when natural disasters strike. —T.M.A.

Watch it: The Rescue, in theaters

 Mass , PG-13

Four of the best actors on earth break your heart and deepen your understanding in a drama about the aftermath of a school shooting. Ann Dowd (65, The Handmaid’s Tale) and Reed Birney, 67, play the shooter’s parents; Jason Isaacs, 58, and Martha Plimpton, 50, a victim’s parents. Years later, they meet in an Idaho Episcopal church to process their grief, anger and hunger for forgiveness — and find some way to carry on. Though it raises crucial questions about gun culture, circumambient rage and parental responsibility, it’s no dry issues film. It’s a plunge deep into the most troubled minds imaginable, and arguably the acting feat of the year. —T.A.

Watch it: Mass, in theaters​

 Old Henry, R

Tim Blake Nelson, 57, an Ivy League Phi Beta Kappa classics major from Oklahoma, is the living master of the bookish-hick role. A brilliant supporting player in the Coens’ O Brother, Where Art Thou? and the best star of The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, he plays a hog farmer whose skill in dealing with gun-toting bad hombres and a satchel full of stolen cash reveals a dark past he’d rather conceal. Old Henry is a small film that holds up fairly well against classic Westerns, with familiar oater-flick tropes and a good plot twist. But the reason to see it is Nelson’s career-capping role — critic Owen Gleiberman calls this “the Citizen Kane of Tim Blake Nelson hayseed varmint performances.” —T.A.

Watch it: Old Henry, in select theaters

 Cry Macho​​

At 91, Oscar winner Clint Eastwood is mature enough to make the pictures he damn well pleases. This time around the ring, he chooses a shaggy picaresque about broken-down rodeo cowboy Mike Milo, creaky from hips to skeletal grin. His hinky old boss Howard Polk (Dwight Yoakam, 64) dispatches Mike from Texas to Mexico City to “rescue” Polk’s 13-year-old biological son, Rafo (Eduardo Minett), from his “wanton” mother. It’s a dicey mission at best, but the dusty return road trip with the kid and his fighting rooster named Macho gives Eastwood a chance to reflect and jawbone ("this macho thing is overrated"). Mike also successfully romances a widow 40 years his junior (a charming Natalia Traven, 52). Eastwood's reached the point where starring, directing, producing, riding horses and composing additional music is clearly his pleasure — and if the film's not Unforgiven, the fact that Eastwood’s not stressing too hard and still adventurous is a virtue. As Mike tells Rafo, "We all have to make choices, kid.” —T.M.A.

Watch it: Cry Macho, in theaters and on HBO Max​

 The Eyes of Tammy Faye, R​

Not since I, Tonya (about Tonya Harding) has a widely loathed, wildly cartoonish figure in a public scandal been rendered so brilliantly on film as an appalling character we come to know and love. Jessica Chastain will likely get an Oscar nomination as eerily bubbly Tammy Faye, who fell for her bible school classmate Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield), a natural-born evangelist inclined to crime, sexual peccadilloes and illegal payoffs to accusers. It’s jaunty to watch them build their religious puppet show for kids into a multimillion-dollar TV empire, and a vast Disneyland for Christians that was both sincere and a scam. Chastain’s Tammy Faye is a grifter with a heart of gold under that mink, a rebel against patriarchal homophobes. Cherry Jones is excellent as her dour, repressed mom, and Vincent D’Onofrio plays the Bakkers’ nemesis Jerry Falwell with diabolical gravitas. —T.A. ​

Watch it: The Eyes of Tammy Faye, in theaters

 The Card Counter, R

Taxi Driver writer Paul Schrader, 75, is on a spectacular career comeback, first with 2017’s First Reformed, and now with another gorgeous film about Dostoyevskian torment. Incandescent Oscar Isaac plays William Tell, an Abu Ghraib interrogator haunted by what he did under his malevolent commander Major Gordo (Willem Dafoe, 66) and sent to Leavenworth prison for his actions, a fall guy for bigger, badder guys. He mastered gambling in stir, and now he’s recruited by a manager (Tiffany Haddish) who hooks up pros with plutocrat backers. He becomes a kind of spiritual mentor to The Kid (Tye Sheridan), an even more haunted young man connected with Tell’s nightmare past, and out to kill Gordo. It’s a brooding film that often dares to be dull, but Isaac’s darkly dazzling acting makes it a riveting experience. —T.A.​

Watch it: The Card Counter, streaming on demand

 Queenpins, R

Couponing is an intense subculture — some would say addiction. In this fresh comedy inspired by real events, former Olympic race walker Connie Kaminski (The Good Place’s Kristen Bell), married to an IRS jerk (Joel McHale) and distraught over infertility, throws all her competitive spirit into saving money by paper discounts. Enlisting the struggling video influencer next door, Jojo Johnson (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), Connie supersizes the scam. They discover more ways to grab free consumer goods, and sell coupons at a 50 percent discount via the web. With a newfound sense of purpose, the neighbors celebrate their financial liberation. Until ... they catch the attention of a sad-sack fraud investigator (Paul Walter Hauser) and U.S. Postal Inspector (a perfectly timed Vince Vaughn, 51). The hilarious comedy taps into the women’s economic frustration, and their Robin Hood decision to rip a page (of coupons) out of the corporate playbook and bring power to the people desperate for affordable diapers and Tide in these hard times. —T.M.A.

Watch it: Queenpins, on Paramount+

 Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali, PG-13

Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali’s historically significant, tragically troubled friendship got superb fictional treatment lately in the hits One Night in Miami and The Godfather of Harlem, so it’s a fine time for this thoughtful documentary by Marcus A. Clarke and Black-ish producer Kenya Barris about what really happened, with the piercing insights of Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz and colleagues Herb Boyd and A. Peter Bailey; Ali’s brother, Rahman, and daughters Maryum and Hana, and brilliant professors Johnny Smith, Randy Roberts, Todd Boyd and Cornel West. —T.A.

Watch it: Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali, on Netflix

DON’T MISS THIS: The daughters of Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X explain their fathers’ fraught friendship

 CODA, PG-13

Yes, it’s formulaic, with foreseeable TV-like beats, but there’s a reason this winsome indie film broke all Sundance Festival sales records. The most feel-good Sundance hit since Little Miss Sunshine, it’s an irresistible coming-of-age tale of a CODA, a Child Of Deaf Adults (Emilia Jones). Ruby helps her irascible hearing-impaired folks (Marlee Matlin, 55, and The Mandalorian’s Troy Kotsur) and brother (Daniel Durant) with the family fishing business in a salty Massachusetts town. She joins the school choir — there’s a cute boy — and proves to be a Glee-level singer with a shot at Berklee College of Music. When Ruby sings “Both Sides Now,” her parents can’t hear it, but they can feel it, bridging the gaps of both generation and hearing. Unsurprisingly, Matlin’s acting is just as good when she’s signing (with subtitles), not speaking. —T.A.

Watch it: CODA, on Apple TV+

DON’T MISS THIS: 10 Things Marlee Matlin Suggests Doing Now

Tim Appelo is AARP’s film and TV critic. Previously, he was Amazon’s entertainment editor, Entertainment Weekly’s video critic, and a writer for The Hollywood Reporter, People, MTV, LA Weekly and The Village Voice.

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