Best new shows and movies to stream this week: El Camino, Happy Death Day 2U

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Streaming entertainment is bigger than ever, and with so many streaming services adding new shows and movies every week, it can be nearly impossible to sort the good from the bad. If you need something to watch and don’t want to wade through the digital muck that washes up on the internet’s shores, follow our picks below for the best new shows and movies to stream on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon, and other services.

On the list this week: Jesse Pinkman rides again in El Camino, two mermaids trade the sea for a night club, and more.

El Camino

Breaking Bad’s last episode provided closure for all its characters — those who were still alive by that point, anyway — but if fans weren’t satisfied with the reduced screen time of Walter White’s (Bryan Cranston) sidekick Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), they now have a chance to see a whole lot of him in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. The film picks up where Jesse’s story ended, with him speeding away from the site of White’s bloody last stand in a stolen car. Jesse may have his freedom after a lengthy imprisonment at the hands of a neo-Nazi gang, but he’s wanted by the law now, and the film follows him through his frantic quest to find a new life free of his past. El Camino moves with the breakneck pace that the best episodes of the show did, and Paul, now occupying center stage, gets a chance to show off his skills as the haunted man-on-the-run.

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Happy Death Day 2U

Happy Death Day took a familiar premise — someone is stuck in a time loop a la Groundhog Day — and gave it a fun twist: College student Therese “Tree” Gelb (Jessica Rothe) wakes up on her birthday, is eventually murdered by a person wearing a baby mask, and then wakes up again, her body and mind scarred by the previous events. It was a fun horror-comedy, and the sequel leans into the humor, following Tree as she ends up once again trapped in a time loop, this time in an alternate timeline, turning to the school’s physics students for help. Unfortunately, there’s a new Babyface in this timeline. Happy Death Day 2U is a hilariously dark comedy, and Rothe’s performance is superb.

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Hard Eight

Lately, Paul Thomas Anderson is known for strange, increasingly cerebral dramas, but way back in 1996 he got his start with a more straightforward (but beautifully executed) crime drama, Hard Eight. The film follows an old gambler named Sydney (Philip Baker Hall) who becomes a mentor to a down-on-his-luck guy named John (John C. Reilly). Two years later, John is a successful gambler in his own right, and falls in love with a waitress, Clementine (Gwyneth Paltrow). When John and Clementine get into some deep trouble, John turns to Sydney for help, unaware that the old man has dark secrets of his own. Hard Eight is a tight thriller with a great cast, and despite it being his first film, Anderson’s direction shows a high level of craftsmanship.

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Amazon Prime

The Gate

1987 The Gate may languish in obscurity, but it’s worth digging up. The film follows two young boys, Glen (Stephen Dorff) and Terry (Louis Tripp), who discover a portal to hell in Glen’s backyard. Boys will be boys, and so while Glen’s parents are out of town, the two of them perform a ritual to open the portal, unleashing an army of demons that assaults the house. Though it may seem schlocky today, The Gate is a fun ‘80s b-movie with some memorably gruesome moments.

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Amazon Prime

The Lure

Don’t let Disney fool you: Mermaids aren’t nice, and they have a tendency to lure people into the water and eat them. They sure can sing though, as shown in Polish horror-comedy-musical The Lure, which follows a pair of mermaids, Golden (Michalina Olszańska) and Silver (Marta Mazurek), who meet a rock band playing music by the water one night, and decide to follow them. The women end up working as cabaret performers, but while Silver falls in love with the bassist, Golden can’t contain her urge to feed on humans. The Lure is a surreal, magical movie, one that manages to balance cannibal fish-women with delightful musical numbers.

Watch now on:

Criterion Channel

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