Best New Shows and Movies to See This Week


In the hotly awaited prequel to Yellowstone, Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren (who played a married couple in 1986’s The Mosquito Coast) play Montana’s Jacob and Cara Dutton, the great-great-uncle and great-great-aunt of Yellowstones John Dutton (Kevin Costner). They cope with pandemics, drought, the end of Prohibition, the start of the Great Depression and villainous enemies played by Game of Thrones’ Jerome Flynn and former James Bond Timothy Dalton. Not a bad lineup for Ford’s TV series debut.

Watch it: 1923, on Paramount+

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Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Season 3 (Amazon original)

Fans of Amazon’s adaptation of Clancy’s Jack Ryan series, with John Krasinski starring as the intelligence operative once played in the movies by Harrison Ford, have been waiting three years for this latest season. Krasinski’s superspy will be hopscotching across Europe attempting to save the planet from World War III, but this time he’s also running from his own CIA, having been framed for … something or other.

Watch it: Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, on Prime Video

And read an interview with Wendell Pierce: Meet Broadway’s First Black Willy Loman in ‘Death of a Salesman’

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Top Gun: Maverick

Feel the need for speed? Tom Cruise’s greatest hit, the sequel to his 1986 flyboy epic, is now streaming.

Watch it: Top Gun: Maverickon Paramount+on Prime Video and on demand

⭐⭐⭐☆☆ Babylon, R

Oscar darling Damien Chazelle (La La Land) has made a big, bubbly, tap-dancing, coke-snorting extravaganza set in the 1920s and early 1930s. Imagine a big, fat Hollywood orgy with leading lady Margot Robbie as an ambitious starlet, Brad Pitt as a jaded silent film star, Jean Smart as a gossip columnist and breakout Diego Calva channeling Al Pacino. The salacious period piece unpacks the explosive moment when silent movies began to fade along with many of their stars, and the world of talkies rose up to reinvent moving pictures and raise its own matinee idols. The performances are fun, the music raucous, the costumes glorious. And yet, the entire visual feast of a movie recalls the excessive party scene in Baz Luhrmann’s overstuffed The Great Gatsby, beautiful and damned. Sooner or later, the drugs wear off, the morning comes, and the story disappears into the dusty light of day. —T.M.A.

Watch it: Babylon, in theaters

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Wildcat, R

Don’t miss this heartwarming documentary about a British Afghan war vet, tormented by PTSD, who went to Peru’s Amazonian jungle, met a woman who rescued a baby ocelot orphaned by loggers and fell in love with the woman and the ocelot. It’s an amazing nature documentary that’s also about humans. Don’t you wish you could pat your shoulder and a wild ocelot who’s crazy about you sprints out of the jungle and jumps onto your shoulders? —Tim Appelo (T.A.)

Watch it: Wildcat, on Prime Video

The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari

Rory Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy’s Oscar-nominated documentarian daughter, presents a spectacular disaster film that’s also an inspiring true story of 47 quick-thinking people trapped by an erupting volcano on an island off the coast of New Zealand. It was the No. 1 Netflix Original hit this week.

Watch it: The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari, on Netflix

Don’t miss this: Members Only Access: Rory Kennedy interview

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Women Talking, PG-13

Fans of The Handmaid’s Tale may like this smarter, more arty movie inspired by the horrific true story of women in a Mennonite religious community who were drugged and raped in their sleep by men. Eight women gather in a hayloft to debate whether to flee or submit meekly to unseen, impenitent male authorities. The cast is fantastic, led by Judith Ivey, Frances McDormand, Rooney Mara, Claire Foy and Jessie Buckley. For a film that’s basically all talk, it’s highly dramatic, and gorgeously photographed. —T.A.

Watch it: Women Talking, in limited theaters, wide release Jan. 27

⭐⭐⭐⭐☆ Living, PG-13

Bill Nighy is at his very best, unflinching, unflagging, as heartbreakingly useful, very proper British bureaucrat Mr. Williams. His life has been an homage to dutiful respectability. As his doctor gives him a terminal prognosis, he realizes that for all his proper behavior from birth to near retirement, he forgot to live, to give and receive joy, to risk and rise. Based on a simple yet elegant screenplay adapted by Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day) from the 1952 Japanese masterpiece Ikiru, this wise and moving drama is an existential journey that celebrates learning how to live life, in all its fleeting beauty — and a reminder not to wait until the last minute to celebrate the wonders of existence on this lonely planet. —T.M.A.

Watch it: Living, in theaters

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Corsage, NR

Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread) thrills in a creative burst of historical fiction that falls between Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette and the Princess Di film Spencer. She plays Sissi, the iconic empress of Austria, wife to Emperor Franz Joseph and mother of four. Exuberantly written and directed by Marie Kreutzer, the film begins when the beauty has a royal midlife crisis at 40. She’s fed up with trying to keep up appearances in the social straitjacket of her corset. Groomed to be in the public eye, sometimes adored, sometimes criticized, she’s rarely valued for her individuality. This astounding film reimagines the breakthrough moment of Elisabeth’s rebellion to reclaim herself and her agency, to slip out of life’s corset and, even if it’s only for one shining moment, dance like nobody’s watching. It’s both exhilarating and tragic. For another popular 2022 take on her life story, try Netflix’s The Empress—T.M.A.

Watch it: Corsage, in theaters

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, R

Director Alejandro González Iñárritu takes on the role of an itinerant troubadour who conveys his people’s stories, legends and traditions. Silverio Gama (Daniel Giménez Cacho, a stand-in for Iñárritu), a successful Mexican documentarian living the U.S., visits Mexico City and undergoes a transition in which memories, dreams and fantasies become confused with “reality.” Like a soul hovering between one reincarnation and the next in Tibetan Buddhism’s “bardo,” Silverio feels “from neither here nor there.” He enters a labyrinth of memories and visions: He appears on a bizarre, circuslike Mexican TV show, chats with conquistador Cortés and has a vision of the thousands of unresolved disappearances, femicides and gruesome murders that happen every year in Mexico, with impunity or acquiescence by authorities. The sequences depicting the violence of modern-day Mexico are magnificent. Bardo is a 174-minute recitative poem that rises to the level of such classics as Kalatozov’s I Am Cuba and Tarkovsky’s Mirror—Anne Hoyt (A.H.)

Watch it: Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, on Netflix

⭐⭐⭐⭐☆ Avatar: The Way of Water, PG-13

Welcome back to the distant moon Pandora, the paradise of the saintly, otherworldly Na’vi people, menaced by nasty, gnarly Col. Miles Quaritch. The sequel to the biggest film hit ever boasts whale-like tulkun, skimwings, ilus and ikran, dragon-like predators that make the fire-breathing beasts in Game of Thrones seem like beagles. Director James Cameron completely succeeds at world building — he’s the Jacques Cousteau of CGI undersea photography. Why is it a lock for a visual effects Oscar? Because it may be the movie that most exemplifies why we should go out to the theater for that big-screen, big special effects experience. Who doesn’t love iridescent sea creatures, fiery cinders and weapons poking into the theater through the magic of 3D? If there’s only one movie you put on pants and leave the house for, this one is it for the visuals alone. —T.M.A.

Watch it: Avatar: The Way of Water, in theaters

Ticket to Paradise (2022)

Divorcees (George Clooney and Julia Roberts) jet to Bali to prevent their lovestruck daughter (Dopesick‘s Kaitlyn Dever) from making the mistake they made: getting married. Clooney and Roberts are friends in real life, and this is their fifth movie together, so their bickering is masterfully amusing.

Watch it: Ticket to Paradise, on Peacock

Don’t miss this: Julia Roberts’ Best Rom-Com Roles, Ranked!

⭐⭐⭐⭐☆ Empire of Light, R

Olivia Colman keeps killing it. She follows her Oscar-nominated turn in The Lost Daughter and 20 episodes as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown with another challenging role. She’s Hilary, a single, bipolar, British cinema employee who wobbles while working at the seaside Empire Theater in the 1980s, circa Chariots of Fire. Surrounded by coworkers — Colin Firth as an unsavory theater manager, Micheal Ward as the Black ticket-taker confronting skinhead prejudice, and Toby Jones as the projectionist whose religion is the light that emanates from his movie machine onto the screen below — Hilary struggles between the numbness she feels on lithium and the giddy heights she reaches without her meds. While Hilary and these disparate characters attempt to connect in tumultuous times, the script from writer-director Sam Mendes is muddled and the direction uneven, creating a piece of movie-house nostalgia with larger aspirations that never entirely comes into focus. —T.M.A.

Watch it: Empire of Light, in theaters

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Best New Shows and Movies to See This Week

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