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New Movies: Release Calendar for October 22, Plus Where to Watch the Latest Films

This week's choices include much-anticipated theatrical releases like "Dune" and "The French Dispatch," plus a handful of festival standouts.

“Dune”

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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.

This week’s releases are packed with compelling picks of all kinds, from Denis Villeneuve’s much-anticipated take on “Dune” to Liz Garbus’ charming doc “Becoming Cousteau,” and Wes Anderson’s also much-anticipated period piece “The French Dispatch” to Jeymes Samuel’s rollicking Western “The Harder They Fall.” A number of festival standouts are also getting wider releases, including “A Cop Movie” and “Women Is Losers,” while Netflix offers up a vampire thriller without much bite in the form of “Night Teeth” and 20th Century Studios tries its hand at the cute robot scheme with the animated “Ron’s Gone Wrong.”

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 October 18 – October 24

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.

“A Cop Movie” (directed by Alonso Ruizpalacios)
Distributor: 
Netflix
Where to Find It:
Select theaters, streaming on Netflix starting on Friday, November 5

“A Cop Movie” is almost half over before it reveals the full scope of its plot, and even then, it still has a few surprises in store. Director Alonso Ruizpalacios’ exciting and unpredictable look at a pair of Mexico City police officers blends documentary and narrative techniques to deliver a refreshing and innovative look at the challenges of modern-day police work — as well as the underlying corruption that makes the most earnest officers vulnerable to a system rigged against them. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“At the Ready” (directed by Maisie Crow)
Distributor: 
Gravitas Ventures
Where to Find It:
Select theaters, plus various VOD and digital options

They’re suited up in kevlar. Their bulletproof helmets snap tightly at the chin. A lieutenant gives assignments: “Active Shooter,” “Drug Raid.” But we’re not about to see seasoned law enforcement professionals enter harm’s way. These are high school kids being directed into simulations of high-stress policing situations as part of Horizon High School’s Law Enforcement Club. The school, located 10 miles east of El Paso, is one of 900 Texas high schools that now offer police training as a vocational track. As captured on camera by journalist and documentarian Maisie Crow, these teenagers, nearing graduation and hoping to enter law enforcement, anchor one of the most compelling journalistic accounts of America’s culture of policing. Read IndieWire’s full review.

Jacques Cousteau wears his iconic red diving cap aboard his ship Calypso, circa 1970s. (Credit: The Cousteau Society)

“Becoming Cousteau”

The Cousteau Society

“Becoming Costeau” (directed by Liz Garbus)
Distributor:
National Geographic and Disney+
Where to Find It:
Theaters

Whether you watched his films and television shows or are simply familiar with his kicky red hat, it’s hard to imagine anyone who doesn’t know the name of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. The Frenchman brought the living world of the oceans into people’s homes and was an early celebrity voice emphasizing the horrors of climate change. But it’s often easy to assume Cousteau lived his entire life underwater — and that’s where director Liz Garbus hopes to tell a new story with “Becoming Cousteau.” Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Dune” (directed by Denis Villeneuve)
Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Where to Find It:
Theaters and streaming on HBO Max

In the end, Denis Villeneuve was all too right: Your television isn’t big enough for the scope of his “Dune,” but that’s only because this lifeless spice opera is told on such a comically massive scale that a screen of any size would struggle to contain it. Likewise, no story — let alone the misshapen first half of one — could ever hope to support the enormity of what Villeneuve tries to build over the course of these interminable 155 minutes (someone mentions that time is measured differently on Arrakis), or the sheer weight of the self-serious portent that he pounds into every shot. For all of Villeneuve’s awe-inducing vision, he loses sight of why Frank Herbert’s foundational sci-fi opus is worthy of this epic spectacle in the first place. Such are the pitfalls of making a movie so large that not even its director can see around the sets. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“The Electrical Life of Louis Wain” (directed by Will Sharpe)
Distributor: 
Amazon Studios
Where to Find It: 
Select theaters, streaming on Amazon Prime Video starting on Friday, November 5

Fresh off delivering the best and most unexpected performance of his career in Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog,” Benedict Cumberbatch retreats to more familiar territory in a whimsical Victorian biopic that might as well be called “The Ridiculousness of the Cat.” Of course when it comes to the late 19th- and early-20th-century artist Louis Wain — whose adorable illustrations of big-eyed moggies effectively invented our modern understanding of felines as domestic friends — “ridiculousness” is meant with utmost affection. After all, Wain was nothing if not a ridiculous man himself, at least by the rigidly classist standards of his time. Read IndieWire’s full review.

THE FRENCH DISPATCH, from left: Bill Murray, Wallace Wolodarsky, Jeffrey Wright, 2021. © Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

“The French Dispatch”

©Searchlight Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

“The French Dispatch” (directed by Wes Anderson) — IndieWire Critic’s Pick
Distributor: 
Searchlight Pictures
Where to Find It:
Theaters

So much has been made about the precise frames, the vibrant colors, and the deadpan delivery of Wes Anderson’s work, but less about the substance beneath it. Anderson’s movies may be pretty, whimsical flights of fancy, but they also express genuine curiosity about the strange nature of human relations. The people at the center of “The French Dispatch” do that, too: This charming sketchbook of stories about American expatriates in France delivers a welcome salute to storytelling as a way to make sense of the world. A freewheeling three-part salute to old-school journalism in general and The New Yorker in particular, the movie works in fits and starts, swapping narrative cohesion for charming small doses of wit and wonder about odd people and places worth your time. Read IndieWire’s full review. 

“The Harder They Fall” (directed by Jeymes Samuel)
Distributor:
Netflix
Where to Find It: 
Select theaters, streaming on Netflix starting on Wednesday, November 3

Jeymes Samuel’s “The Harder They Fall” is a dynamite Black Western that doesn’t waste any time putting its cards on the table. “While the events of this story are fictional…” reads the opening scrawl, “These. People. Existed.” The point couldn’t be clearer: This tense, propulsive, and ultra-glossy Netflix oater might lay a thick new Jay-Z track over the opening credits (of a film that he also produced) and assemble an Avengers-worthy team of obscure Black icons from across the entire 19th century into a single explosive shootout, but Samuel has little interest in letting his film be ascribed to fantasy or lumped in with the rest of its genre’s revisionist streak. Read IndieWire’s full review.

L to R: Barney (voiced by Jack Dylan Grazer) and Ron (voiced by Zack Galifianakis)

“Ron’s Gone Wrong”

Locksmith Animation

“Ron’s Gone Wrong” (directed by Sarah Smith, Jean-Philippe Vine, Octavio E. Rodriguez)
Distributor: 
20th Century Studios
Where to Find It:
Theaters

The worst thing about “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” the debut feature from Locksmith Animation, is that it came out right under the heels of the superb Netflix effort “The Mitchells vs. the Machines.” Don’t let that stop you from watching this film, however, because even without experimental visuals, this film packs enough heart and ideas about the social connections and friendship in the Extremely Online era to become a fun film for the whole family. Set in a future where an Apple-like tech company dominates so much of the world’s collective consciousness that the latest keynote conference is attended by hundreds of kids chanting about how much they love codes and algorithms, the hottest device in town is not a phone, but a robot. Read IndieWire’s full review.

Also available this week:

“The Estate” (directed by James Kapner)
Distributor:
Vertical Entertainment
Where to Find It:
Theaters, plus various VOD and digital options

“Every Last One of Them” (directed by Christian Sesma)
Distributor:
Saban Films
Where to Find It:
Theaters, plus various VOD and digital options

“Learning to Live Together: The Return of Mad Dogs & Englishmen” (directed by Jesse Lauter)
Distributor:
Abramorama
Where to Find It:
Theaters

“No Future” (directed by Andrew Irvine and Mark Smoot)
Distributor: 
Gravitas Ventures
Where to Find It:
Theaters, plus various VOD and digital options

New Films on VOD and Streaming, Including Premium Platforms

“Found” (directed by Amanda Lipitz)
Distributor: Netflix
Where to Find It: Streaming on Netflix

It’s fascinating to watch Liu Hao carry out the process of identifying and locating the girls’ parents, which starts as an ad on social media (the tool that enabled this whole project to exist at all) with photos of the children. Then there’s the endless culling through hospitals and orphanage records, and wherever her research leads her, she has to procure a DNA sample to substantiate the relationship. Liu spends months trekking across the country to locate their families, which Amanda Lipitz and editor Penelope Falk shrewdly condense into a 90-minute running time. Read IndieWire’s full review.

NIGHT TEETHDebby Ryan as Blaire and Lucy Fry as Zoe. Netflix © 2021

“Night Teeth”

Netflix

“Night Teeth” (directed by Adam Randall)
Distributor: Netflix
Where to Find It: Streaming on Netflix

“Night Teeth” never met a long-winded piece of exposition it didn’t love. As its neon-colored opening credits slip by, star Debby Ryan’s narration introduces the audience to a secret world of vampires. They are very real, she says, with a long-held, tenuous truce between the bloodsuckers and the humans keeping the bad stuff at bay. Most stories, books, films, and TV shows get the details wrong. What should be a fun addition to the vampire lore becomes mired in murky dissertations, nonsensical character twists, and a worrying lack of understanding of how to strike a fun tone. “Night Teeth” lacks much more than bite. It’s incoherent to boot. Read IndieWire’s full review.

“Women Is Losers” (directed by Lissette Feliciano)
Distributor: HBO Max
Where to Find It: Streaming on HBO Max

Lissette Feliciano’s feature debut is just as scrappy as her leading lady. When “Women Is Losers” kicks off — so named for the Janis Joplin song of the same name — a righteously pissed off Celina (the wonderful Lorenza Izzo) is all but dragging her cheating husband Mateo (Bryan Craig) out of another woman’s apartment by his hair, but she’s still got the time to turn to the camera and apologize for any perceived lack of production value. This is, after all, “a story about making do with what you’ve got,” and both Feliciano and Celina make a lot out of their talents and passions. Though not every one of the first-time filmmaker’s big leaps pan out — her ’60s- and ’70s-era production values really are quite high for an indie production, though some of her more out of the box musical selections would be odd anywhere — “Women Is Losers” is an infectious and auspicious debut. Read IndieWire’s full review.

Check out more new films and how to watch them on the next page.

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