With the new year comes new movies releasing on a variety of streaming platforms. To help you sift through the plethora of titles, we’re giving you our top picks, along with the performances to note in each. Keep reading for four new films that you may just want to add to your watchlist.
The Tender Bar
The latest directorial endeavor from George Clooney is an adaptation of J.R. Moehringer’s best-selling memoir, The Tender Bar. The film follows a young J.R. (Daniel Ranieri) as he grows up on Long Island with an absentee dad (Max Martini) and a mother (Lily Rabe) who works to provide him opportunities she wasn’t afforded. Along the way, J.R. gleans wisdom from some father figures in his life that include his grandfather (Christopher Lloyd), his uncle Charlie (Ben Affleck), and the colorful patrons at his uncle’s bar. The film follows J.R.’s transition from child to young adult (played by Tye Sheridan), including his pursuit of both professional and romantic dreams at Yale. Amongst a number of heavy-hitters on The Tender Bar cast list, pay special attention to Affleck’s work as uncle Charlie. Deadline calls it his “best screen performance” and “a part he was born to play.” You can see for yourself when The Tender Bar drops on Prime Video come January 7, following its theatrical release last month.
The Tragedy of Macbeth
Fans of the Coen brothers can anticipate seeing how Joel Coen does with his first solo outing, The Tragedy of Macbeth. Coen adapted the film’s screenplay from one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, as well as directed the picture. And he had some serious star names to work with — Denzel Washington plays the title character opposite Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth. Then there’s Brendan Gleeson as Duncan and Corey Hawkins as Macduff. It’s a rare treat for audiences to see screen actors tackle works of the bard, and Variety lauds Washington’s mastery of the “all-too-rare art of delivering Shakespeare as if it were conversational speech.” After a limited theatrical release last month, The Tragedy of Macbeth will premiere globally on Apple TV+ come January 14.
Munich: The Edge of War
As a film in the thriller genre, it bodes well that the trailer for Munich: The Edge of War may just have you on the edge of your seat. The feature is based on a Robert Harris novel and takes place during the autumn of 1938 when Europe was on the brink of war. In the film, Adolf Hitler (Ulrich Matthes) is getting ready to invade Czechoslovakia while Neville Chamberlain (Jeremy Irons) attempts to find a peaceful solution. The story follows a British civil servant (George MacKay) and a German diplomat (Jannis Niewöhner), two old friends who travel to an emergency conference in Munich where they try to change the course of history amidst a web of political subterfuge. In an interview with The Guardian, MacKay referenced the film as a “thrumming, pacy political thriller” and described the work of his co-star Irons as “brilliant.” Come January 21 when Munich: The Edge of War releases on Netflix — following its limited theatrical release last month — you can decide for yourself.
This family-friendly comedy is based on the true story of when New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton was suspended for an entire season in 2012 as a result of the “Bountygate” scandal. The film stars Kevin James as Payton, who reconnects with his 12-year-old son (Tait Blum) during the interim by coaching his youth football team. Keep an eye out for Taylor Lautner as Payton’s co-coach of the Pop Warner team, as well. And with Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions behind the endeavor, it may come as no surprise to see names like Jackie Sandler, Jared Sandler, and Rob Schneider on the cast list, as well. You can see all these performances and more when Home Team releases on Netflix on January 28.
Whether you’re looking for a heartwarming family drama, a Shakespeare adaptation, a historical thriller, or a family comedy to watch this month, we’ve got you covered. And from Washington playing a Scottish king to Irons portraying a former British prime minister, our picks come packed with A-list performances you can anticipate.