As another wintery weekend rolls around, so does a whole bunch of new releases on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus to keep us entertained. You can test your stamina with a Lord of the Rings marathon – all three movies are available to stream on Amazon Prime in the US. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for laughs, Big Mouth season 4 is ready and waiting to be binged, or you can embrace your inner film nerd with David Fincher’s highly anticipated Mank.
If you didn’t want to splash any extra cash on the new live-action Mulan, you’re in luck – it’s now free to watch on Disney Plus. Plus, for fans of genre cinema in the UK, there’s dark fairytale Pan’s Labyrinth on Amazon Prime or Spielberg’s sci-fi classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind on Netflix. If you need further inspiration, we’ve got our more extensive guides to your favourite streaming services, from the best Netflix shows to the best movies on Amazon Prime.
Big Mouth season 4 – Netflix
Big Mouth is back – the animated sitcom about the horrors and wonders of puberty returns for a fourth season. Based on comedian Nick Kroll’s own adolescence in suburban New York, the series follows a group of seventh-graders who are accompanied by ‘hormone monsters’ that take the form of not-so-helpful shoulder angels. Alongside Kroll, it features the voices of a host of big-name comedians including John Mulaney, Maya Rudolph, Jason Mantzoukas, and Jordan Peele. Get ready to laugh and cringe.
Mank – Netflix
David Fincher’s long-awaited biographical drama about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz is finally available to stream. Fincher’s father Jack wrote the script for the movie back in the 1990s, but the project didn’t come to fruition until last year. It follows Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) as he writes Citizen Kane, as well as his relationships with newspaper tycoon WIlliam Randolph Hearst (Charles Dance) and Hearst’s mistress Marion Davies (Amanda Seyfried). Oldman and Seyfried’s performances have been widely praised, plus it’s Fincher’s first movie since 2014’s Gone Girl. And if you want to know more, it's well worth picking up the latest issue of Total Film, which features Mank on the cover.
Mulan – Disney Plus
Technically the live-action adaptation of Mulan has been on Disney Plus for a while – but now you can watch it for free. Starring Liu Yifei as the titular heroine, this is quite different to the animation – there aren’t any songs, for one thing. However, the major plot points remain the same: Mulan disguises herself as a man to enlist in the army so her ailing father doesn’t have to. Struggling to hide her real gender, she must prove herself to be a good warrior and save the day.
Pan's Labyrinth – Amazon Prime
Guillermo del Toro’s dark fairytale is set in Spain in 1944, five years after the Spanish Civil War and early on in General Franco’s dictatorship. The real world of fascism and political unrest intertwines with a mythical one in an abandoned labyrinth and a mysterious faun creature who believes that protagonist Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) is the reincarnation of the princess of the underworld. The movie received international acclaim and won a lot of awards, including three Oscars and three BAFTAs. See for yourself whether it lives up to the hype.
Lord of the Rings trilogy – Amazon Prime
If you’ve got a spare 11 hours and 10 minutes this weekend, you’ve got time to watch all three Lord of the Rings movies. The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King are all available to stream on Amazon Prime if you’re in the US. Set in the fictional world of Middle Earth, the movies follow hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) and an array of friends (and foes) as he sets out on a mission to destroy the powerful and malevolent One Ring.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Netflix
Originally released in 1977, Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi classic tells the story of Roy Neary (played by Richard Dreyfuss), a blue-collar worker in Indiana, who has an encounter with an unidentified flying object that the army is determined to cover up. This experience sparks an obsession with UFOs that threatens his marriage and changes his life forever. The movie was a long-cherished project for Spielberg and it was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning Best Cinematography. Alongside Star Wars, the movie is also responsible for the re-emergence of sci-fi films.