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New Movies: Release Calendar for May 20, Plus Where to Watch the Latest Films

With Cannes eating up airtime, stateside cinephiles can still find a few treats at the theater and home, like a new Alex Garland, a "Downton" trip, and even a nutty-fun reboot.

Men

“Men”

A24

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As theaters begin showing signs of life and streaming and VOD options stay hefty, there are more movies (and platforms to watch them on) than ever to sift through, and IndieWire is here to help you do just that each week.

While all eyes may be currently trained on what’s rolling out at Cannes (hey, we’re guilty of it, too!), stateside cinephiles still have plenty of new movies to enjoy this week, both at home and in the theater, they just might have to dig a bit deeper for them. That’s, of course, a terrible “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” joke (we’ve already tapped out the “nutty” versions of them), one of this week’s new releases that offers some truly unexpected delights.

Elsewhere, Alex Garland’s “Men” (also screening at Cannes!) arrives in theaters, the latest “Downton Abbey” feature makes the case for a full-fledged film franchise for the beloved series, and a variety of festival hits finally get their very own release.

Each film is now available in a theater near you or in the comfort of your own home (or, in some cases, both, the convenience of it all). Browse your options below.

Week of May 16 – May 22

New Films in Theaters

As new movies open in theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic, IndieWire will continue to review them whenever possible. We encourage readers to follow the safety precautions provided by CDC and health authorities. Additionally, our coverage will provide alternative viewing options whenever they are available.

“Downton Abbey: A New Era” (directed by Simon Curtis)
Distributor: Focus Features
Where to Find It:
 Theaters

The first “Downton Abbey” film made for a charming last hurrah, film picking up five years after the beloved television series had ended, giving both fans and newbies a glimpse into how the lives and loves of a sprawling cast of characters were continuing to unfold. And yet, while Michael Engler’s film offered plenty of closure (or, as the case might be, confirmed closure) on a number of stories and subplots, it also seemed to test the waters for still more continued adventures with the Crawleys and co. Is there still life in these bones, basically? The answer is yes, with caveats, many of them on display in Simon Curtis’ fluffy, frothy, occasionally quite moving, and often scattered-feeling followup, “Downton Abbey: A New Era.” Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Downton Abbey: A New Era”

Focus Features

“Fire in the Mountains” (directed by Ajitpal Singh)
Distributor: Kino Lorber
Where to Find It:
Theaters

At first glance it’d be easy to mistake the Himalayas for the Alps, and that’s a similarity the central family in Ajitpal Singh’s “Fire in the Mountains” very much wants to play up. (The original title of the film was “Swizerland.”) Singh tells a personal story loosely inspired by a real-life family tragedy. This tale of parents driven to distraction by an ailing child — and doing whatever they can to get him treatment despite the most strained of means — isn’t original in itself. However, it feels like something new because of its beauteous setting. Like “Pather Panchali” in the age of AirBnb and TikTok, “Fire in the Mountains” empathetically dramatizes the struggles that locals face in a place where tourists come to play. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Hold Your Fire” (directed by Stefan Forbes)
Distributor: IFC Films
Where to Find It:
Select theaters, plus various VOD and digital platforms

“Hold Your Fire” uncovers the untold story behind the longest hostage siege in New York Police Department history that also became the origin story of modern hostage negotiation. Director Stefan Forbes’ “Rashomon”-esque examination of policing in America, told from a triad of conflicting perspectives, arrives as the country finds itself amid a relitigating of the historically volatile relationship between police and African American communities.

In January 1973, a fatal 47 hours at John and Al’s Sporting Goods store in Brooklyn began when four young Black men — Shuaib Raheem, Salih Abdullah, Dawud Rahman, and Yusef Almussidig — were cornered by the NYPD after they attempted to steal guns and ammunition. The four men took hostages, a gun battle ensued, and soon police officer Stephen Gilroy lay dead on the sidewalk. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Men” (directed by Alex Garland)
Distributor: A24
Where to Find It:
Theaters

Are men OK? The fact that we live at a time when a horror movie can simply be called “Men” — a title as cheeky but unsarcastic as that of Jordan Peele’s forthcoming “Nope” — would suggest not. And needless to say, it doesn’t exactly require a spoiler warning to reveal that the un-fairer sex causes all sorts of fucked up grief in Alex Garland’s arresting but half-formed nightmare of a new film.

Be that as it may, anyone familiar with Garland’s protean and increasingly surreal genre exercises (e.g. “Ex Machina,” “Annihilation,” and the FX series “Devs”) should know to expect that his latest film has more on its mind than skewering toxic masculinity. For better or worse — and often at the same time — Garland doesn’t tell the kind of easily digestible sci-fi stories that can be reduced to a hashtag, and he sure as hell isn’t starting to now; not with a movie that often feels equally inspired by both “The Holiday” and “Antichrist.” Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Mondocane”

Kino Lorber

“Mondocane” (directed by Antonio Leotti)
Distributor: Kino Lorber
Where to Find It:
 Select theaters

The stakes at the center of “Mondocane” aren’t without importance or tragedy: two boys search in the rubble of civilization for wealth, safety, and friendship. Owing to the lineage began by “Lord of the Flies,” this dreary and distant tale, backgrounded by glittering seas and abandoned buildings, should follow in the footsteps of Kim Nguyen’s harrowing film “War Witch” or Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s shocking “Johnny Mad Dog” — two movies about wayward children navigating harsh environments rendered harsher due to their age. But this Italian post-apocalyptic film from director Alessandro Celli angles for child soldier depravity without any of the heart. Read IndieWire’s full review.

Also available this week:

“Cane Fire” (directed by Anthony Banua-Simon)
Distributor: Cinema Guild
Where to Find It:
Select theaters

“Cordelia” (directed by Adrian Shergold)
Distributor: Screen Media
Where to Find It:
Theaters, plus various VOD and digital platforms

“Good Mourning” (directed by Machine Gun Kelly and Mod Sun)
Distributor: Open Road
Where to Find It:
Theaters, plus various VOD and digital platforms

New Films on VOD and Streaming, Including Premium Platforms and Virtual Cinema

“Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” (directed by Akiva Shaffer)
Distributor:
Disney+
Where to Find It:
Streaming on Disney+

First things first: if you’re wondering why Chip and Dale, the animated crime-fighting chipmunk stars of Disney’s popular ’80s and ’90s animated series “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers,” have such distinctly different looks in Akiva Schaffer’s cinematic reboot, it’s all part and parcel of the new film’s cleverly self-referential style. Taking a cue from the imaginative world of Roger Rabbit — Schaffer’s film is set in a Hollywood populated by both humans and “toons” — the zany new film leans hard on winking references and throwback jokes, a much more adult-skewing offering than the original series that inspired it.

Part of that bent? Chip (voiced by a well-cast John Mulaney) remains firmly in the hand-drawn animation camp, while flashy former best pal Dale (voiced by Andy Samberg, also excellent casting) has undergone “CGI surgery” to keep him, quite literally, hip and young. No, younger viewers might not get it, but fans of the original Disney series (a staple of the Disney Afternoon lineup in the early ’90s) will eat it up. The final result is a film a bit more clever than explicitly funny, but still a canny reminder that even in a remake-obsessed industry, fresh ideas and gentle jabs can still break through. Read IndieWire’s full review.

Chip (voiced by John Mulaney) and Dale (voiced by Andy Samberg) in Disney's live-action CHIP N' DALE: RESCUE RANGERS, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers”

Courtesy of Disney Enterprises,

Also available this week:

“The Valet” (directed by Richard Wong)
Distributor:
Hulu
Where to Find It: 
Streaming on Hulu

Check out more films to watch on the next page.

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