Time to unwrap the best, solid, and questionable titles to stream this week if you need a blissful getaway from your family.
The Matrix Resurrections
It’s been over eighteen years since The Matrix Revolutions gave us what we thought was the final chapter to this cyberpunk saga. But there’s no time like the present to reignite an old flame. Neo (Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie Ann Moss) bless us once again with their coolness. Critics have been fairly kind to the new entry with Resurrection sitting at a breezy 70 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. There’s no questioning the iconicness of the Matrix franchise and everything it’s launched into the world’s lexicon. It’s done so much for us pop culture succubi; it’s nice to see Lana run with it even further. The loss of Laurence Fishburne and Hugo Weaving in their legacy roles is certainly felt, but the show must go on. And for the most part, Lana (without her sister Lily, who is busy with Showtime series Work In Progress) succeeds in her first solo project—Vulture states Lana “proves how powerful a blockbuster can be in the hands of those with vision and ambition,” and that she “builds on what of the greatest and most singular aspects of the original trilogy: its queerness.” It’s great to have you back, Mr. Anderson. 12/22 on HBO Max (and in theaters).
The Silent Sea: Season 1
Worldwide treasure Gong Yoo returns to grace us in his first television appearance since Squid Game (three months is too long). While critics haven’t had a chance to get their hands on this one yet, there’s very little doubt it’s going to be huge. South Korean genre dramas have been consistently out-performing on Netflix this year, most recently with Yeon Sang-ho’s Hellbound. The Silent Sea, diving into a science fiction world where a group of astronauts blast off to the moon to retrieve samples from an abandoned research facility (and shenanigans ensue), is sure to be on everyone’s lips during this holiday break. 12/24 on Netflix.
Don’t Look Up
Adam McKay’s star-studded new film, Don’t Look Up, lands on Netflix on Christmas Eve. Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, I mean this list goes on forever. But while McKay is known for stacking his movies with the A-list of the A-list, Don’t Look Up has been touted as being one that doesn’t reach the heights of its talent. McKay’s heavy-handedness with the script seems to be the main culprit: “His film needn’t have offered some actionable strategy for combating climate change apathy, but it could have been more daring or nuanced in its targeting of that indifference. Simply making fun of pop stars and pundits and Trumpism is easy and ineffectual, as either parody or polemic” (Vanity Fair). So yes, it’s a bit of a mess, but could it be the absolutely perfect movie to watch with your climate-change-denying family members? If you’re a drama starter like me, definitely. 12/24 on Netflix.
Vigil: Season 1
BBC’s most viewed new drama of the year makes its way to Peacock this week. Vigil, starring the absolutely perfect Suranne Jones (I’ve told you once already—go watch Doctor Foster) and Rose Leslie (also perfect), tells of a detective who investigates a death on board a submarine. British critics were most positive about the series, although they weren’t without their knocks— many say it starts strong and subsequently goes off the deep end (no pun intended!). But with its many—and unbelievable—twists and turns, Vigil still manages to keep afloat (no puns!!). “The confined-space aspect is used to wonderful effect, the characters are engaging and, you know, if you throw in a Russian submarine, too, you’ve got a killer, six-part thriller,” says The Globe and Mail. Will the American population embrace Vigil the way it did with Bodyguard? Well, it’s not on Netflix, so I’m doubtful. But I hope it finds its little niche. 12/23 on Peacock.
Insecure: Series Finale
Here it is… the finale of Insecure. Five years and as many seasons of perfect television, perfect tweets, perfect hot men later. It’s unbelievably sad to have this one come to an end. Team Issa vs. Team Molly debates will forever ring in my head (I was notoriously on team Molly to the chagrin of all my friends), but this season alone has proven there’s no limit to what friendship can overcome, as corny as that is. Issa’s struggles with work (we love to see her succeed), relationships (It’s got to be Lawrence. It just has to be!), and life have kept us all going, seeing ourselves and our friends in Issa and her forever iconic foursome. I doubt we’ll get the Insecure cinematic universe in the same way Sex and the City unceremoniously blasted us all with multiple bad films and a it’s-just-not-the-same limited series (which better be limited), but hopefully we’ll get the closure we need and deserve. 12/26 on HBO and HBO Max.
Being The Ricardos
AMC Spokesperson Nicole Kidman plays Lucille Ball in Aaron Sorkin’s newest effort. I am confident that Kidman delivers, but I can’t help feeling uneasy regarding her casting. In line with Jessica Chastain in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, it feels very…Uncanny Valley. And yes, I know Nicole Kidman is a human. But you get what I’m saying. Critics have been non-stop praising the performances of Kidman, Javier Bardem, and J.K. Simmons, but “Sorkin seems to view history as the fodder for working with A-list stars and scoring ideological zingers. […] At a certain point, however, you really wish the film would stop ‘splaining its creator’s viewpoints and start actually being about its subjects” (Rolling Stone). So, typical Sorkin. 12/21 on Prime Video.
Mike Mill’s (Beginners, 20th Century Women) latest heads to VOD today with his signature emotional destruction. One of the most splendid viewing experiences I’ve had this year, C’mon C’mon is both an absolute joy and a heart-wrenching tearjerker. I originally wrote it was “an ode to caretakers and children,” but it’s more than that. It’s an ode to listening and connection. It’s an ode to being heard. It almost (almost) made me want to have a child, so consider that immense praise. Joaquin Phoenix is as tender and caring as we’ve ever seen him. But the real star of the show is child actor Woody Norman, who absolutely destroys every heart. That face! I would give my life. 12/23 on VOD.
Emily In Paris
Season 2 of the critically acclaimed and heavily accoladed series premieres on Netflix. 12/22 on Netflix.
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