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7 best movies to stream this weekend on Netflix, Hulu, Max and more

 Emma Stone in Poor Things.
Emma Stone in Poor Things.

Another weekend is here, inching us closer to Spring and away from those frigid winter months. And with a new weekend comes a slew of great movie options coming to NetflixMax, and more of the best streaming services. With so much on offer, figuring out what to watch is no small task.

Which is why we've rounded up the best new movies that just landed on your favorite streaming services. Easily leading this weekend's lineup are two Best Picture contenders, "American Fiction" on MGM Plus and "Poor Things" on Hulu — just in time for you to see what all the fuss is about before the Oscars. Timothée Chalamet's take on the famous chocolatier, "Wonka," arrives on Max, while Prime Video gets "Five Nights at Freddy’s," the long-awaited big screen debut of a well-loved horror game series.

Here are our top picks for what to watch on streaming this weekend.

'Poor Things' (Hulu)

I saw "Poor Things" in theaters, and it's best described in just one word: unhinged. But you may have come to that conclusion on your own just by hearing the premise: An eccentric surgeon (Willem Dafoe) creates a sort of Frankenstein's monster (Emma Stone) using the reanimated corpse of a suicide victim with the brain of her unborn fetus. That reanimated corpse then goes through a sexual awakening that serves as the focal point of the story.

Up for 11 Oscar nominations, "Poor Things" is a surreal ride filled with steampunk fantasy settings, gratuitous sex and body horror, and the signature weirdness of director Yorgos Lanthimos ("The Favorite," "The Lobster"). Stone is the clear standout as Bella Baxter, grounding the character with sharp observations and a hilariously deadpan delivery as she sheds her childlike innocence while discovering all that the world has to offer.

Watch it now on Hulu

'American Fiction' (MGM Plus)

"American Fiction" is a biting social commentary and comedy that exposes the double standards of contemporary culture in its treatment of Black art. Jeffrey Wright stars as struggling author Thelonious "Monk" Ellison who is disenchanted by his lack of commercial success despite critical acclaim. After his latest manuscript is rejected for not being "black enough," he pens an intentionally hackneyed book that panders to cliches expected of black literature.

To his chagrin, the white liberal elite hails it as a work of genius, and the novel skyrockets to fame overnight. That leaves Monk wrestling with a moral dilemma as the book's sales help him afford much-needed care for his Alzheimer’s-stricken mother. Amid themes of loss and creative frustration, the story sparkles with comedic flair and incisive satire, delivering a poignant exploration of identity, integrity, and being stuck in your work.

Watch it now on MGM Plus

'Wonka' (Max)

Although "Dune: Part Two" is likely to stand out as Timothée Chalamet's most memorable performance in the last 12 months, "Wonka" remains a significant milestone on his acting journey. Though it may not be obvious from the trailer, this Willy Wonka origin story is a musical like the two "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" movies that came before it.

Chalamet stars as a younger version of the famous chocolatier, who arrives in Europe with big dreams of opening his own shop in a city renowned for its chocolate. He soon discovers that the industry is run by a cartel of greedy chocolatiers who aim to muscle the promising young upstart and his bag of tricks out of town.

Critics have praised Chalamet's portrayal of the iconic character, even if the script doesn't consistently showcase his talents. "Wonka" director Paul King is best known for the surrealist British comedy TV series "The Mighty Boosh" as well as directing Paddington Bear's big screen adventures.

Watch it now on Max

'Five Nights at Freddy’s' (Prime Video)

The big screen treatment for viral horror game series Five Nights at Freddy's has long been in the works. After making its streaming debut on Peacock last year at the same time it launched in theaters, the "Five Nights at Freddy's" movie finally arrives on Prime Video.

Produced by Blumhouse, it sees Josh Hutcherson as Mike Schmidt, a down-on-his-luck security guard new to the night shift at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, a rundown family entertainment center with a terrifying secret. Anyone who's played the games knows where this is going. What was supposed to be a cushy gig turns into a desperate bid for survival as the venue's Chucky Cheese-esque animatronic mascots stalk the grounds at night, tearing down anyone in their path.

While video game movie adaptations don't have the best track record, it's a good sign to see series creator Scott Cawthon listed as both a co-producer and co-writer on the Five Nights at Freddy's screenplay. And though the movie's currently sitting at an abysmal 32% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, it's notable that audiences were significantly kinder, rating it a fresh 87%.

Buy or rent on Prime Video

'Damsel' (Netflix)

"Strangers Things" star Millie Bobby Brown is back for another Netflix film, this time taking on high fantasy in a fairy tale gone wrong. She plays Princess Elodie, a devoted heroine who believes she's found her prince charming in Prince Henry (Nick Robinson).

But instead of a happily ever after, her fate is far more ominous — she's been chosen as a sacrifice to a dragon that threatens to bring down the whole kingdom. Also starring Robin Wright and Ray Winstone as the Queen and King and Angela Bassett as Elodie's stepmother, this Netflix original promises to captivate both subscribers and fantasy enthusiasts alike. It has all the makings of the streamer's next surprise hit.

Watch it now on Netflix

'Blackfish' (Prime Video)

“Blackfish” shocked the world in 2013, revealing the harrowing consequences of keeping killer whales in captivity. Primarily focusing on the orca known as Tilikum, the engrossing, but often disturbing documentary explores the tragic death of Dawn Brancheau, a SeaWorld trainer who was pulled underwater and drowned by the whale in 2010. Making the matter even more horrific, Tilikum had previously been responsible for the death of two other people, Keltie Lee Byrne and Daniel P. Dukes.

The feature-length documentary looks at the method used to capture killer whales, and the often unsuitable habitats they are held in, all of which have a measurable impact on their mood and temperament. And in the case of Tilikum, these factors ultimately lead to multiple tragedies. “Blackfish” is equal parts fascinating and shocking, and it’ll have you rethinking a trip to your local sealife park by the end.

Watch it now on Prime Video

'The Imitation Game' (Prime Video)

In “The Imitation Game”, Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, a British mathematician who led a team of very intelligent people at Bletchley Park, England during World War II. The team’s mission was of the utmost secrecy as they were attempting to crack the Enigma Code, a cipher used by the German forces to send coded messages without the Allies being able to understand them. During their effort to break the code, Turing built an early precursor to the modern-day computer and formed a deep bond with Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley), a Cambridge graduate who helped Turing hide his homosexuality, which was illegal at the time.

“The Imitation Game” manages to strike the perfect balance between being an exceptional character study of a truly brilliant man, and also a deeply compelling wartime thriller that has you hooked throughout. The stakes are high, and as Turing and his team struggle to crack Enigma, it’s hard not to feel the gravity of the situation and the complex manner of the task.

Watch it now on Prime Video

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