11 best new movies to hit Netflix, Amazon, HBO Max, and Hulu: October 2021
It’s finally October, and you know what that means: Halloween and pumpkin spice season. We’re finally at the peak of fall, with crisp leaves, waterproof coats, hot drinks, and appropriate spooky decorations. We also have a new batch of movies to stream this month on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Criterion Channel.
We’ve got some scary new movies to watch in October with the legendary 1931 Spanish version of Dracula and Jennifer’s body arriving on Criterion Channel, 1990s Flatliners on Hulu, and the The invisible Man remake on HBO Max. If you’re in the mood for something less seasonal, we’ve got plenty of other great choices to fill those blind spots, starting in the 2020s. Emma To From Russia with love.
Read on for 11 of the best new movies to hit streaming services in October.
The story of a knight
The story of a knight was a bit of a flop in theaters, but has become a cult classic. Heath Ledger takes the tale forward, facing a steaming Shannyn Sossamon, both of whom are backed up by an oddly modern soundtrack. For my money, all eyes should be on Paul Bettany, who does ham in every scene like a pathological version of Geoffrey Chaucer. —Charlie Hall
The story of a knight is streaming on Netflix.
Dracula (Spanish version)
Chris Plante of Polygon wrote about the 1931 Spanish adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula for last year’s Halloween Advent calendar: a sexier, faster version shot on the same sets as Tod Browning’s original film with a superb lead performance courtesy of Carlos Villarías as the Earl himself. The film has been notoriously hard to find in the years since its release, and only recently went on sale on home video. As part of his October Streaming Picks Announced List, Criterion Channel added the Spanish version of Dracula as well as several other classic Universal horror films such as 1933 The invisible Man, 1935s Bride of Frankenstein, and the years 1954 Creature from the black lagoon. If you haven’t seen this early horror movie masterpiece, you owe it to yourself to take the time to watch it this month!
Dracula (Spanish version) is streaming on Channel criterion.
The 2020 version of Emma isn’t just decadent pastel dresses and curly curls of hair, it’s also an adaptation that really questions Emma being the mean girl she rightly is. The Queen’s Gambit Star Anya Taylor-Joy does a masterful job of portraying the antiheroine, a bored rich girl who enjoys playing matchmaker with everyone in her community and is very aware of the social dynamics. It gives this adaptation a bit of an edge that some lose, but there’s still the sizzling chemistry between Emma and Mr. Knightley as they collide. Emma grows up as a character, but not before delicious misunderstandings. – Petrana Radulovic
Emma is streaming on HBO Max.
The strangely boring flop of 2017 Flatliners was just a pale shadow of the 1990 original, about a group of ambitious medical students (the all-star team of Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin and Oliver Platt) who kill and revive each other to study “near death”, with results from horror films. Directed by Joel Schumacher at the top of his stage “Colored lighting filters equal drama”, Flatliners is sleek and edgy in a way that puts him above his cheesy premise and equally cheesy execution: everything from concept to acting is overkill, in a way that makes it a cheerfully goofy watch . It’s also genuinely scary! —Tasha Robinson
Flatliners is streaming on Hulu.
From Russia with love
James Bond may be an old-fashioned spy with outdated morals, but Sean Connery’s piercing looks and disarming charm really make this 58-year-old action flick work in 2021. Based on the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, the film finds 007 to go along with SPECTER and help a SMERSH operational fault in the West. But Bond finds himself trapped in a conspiracy and makes his way through trains, boat chases, and helicopter attacks as he and Tatiana Romanova shoot down SPECTER. A movie bigger and more tropes-filled than the real kickoff of the franchise, Dr No, From Russia with love is a prime example of people of the day who liked Fleming’s character very much, and why everyone from Roger Moore to Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig saw Connery in this film as a perfect example of an action performance. calibrated. —Mat patches
From Russia with love is streaming on Hulu.
If you get excited to see Wes Anderson’s The French dispatch later this fall watch or review Rushmore – a true modern classic. The bizarre character study that is sort of disturbing and heartwarming at the same time. This is the leading role of Jason Schwartzman, and perhaps one of Bill Murray’s best performances of all time. It’s also on our list of the “spiciest pumpkin spice” movies of all time. —CH
Rushmore is streaming on Hulu.
Gore without being gratuitous, sexy without being degrading, enhancing without being flattering, Jennifer’s body is one hell (ha ha) of a good time and sort of just the movie I have, as someone who went to high school around this time and still unpacks all the mixed messages about female friendships and l empowerment that was presented to me at the time, I needed to see that weekend. —PR
Jennifer’s body is streaming on Channel criterion.
Akira Kurosawa’s Samurai Saga Kagemusha is a heartbreaking beautiful story of a humble thief who is spared execution and hired to act as double the body of a dying lord of a large clan. As the titular kagemusha (“shadow warrior”), the thief must convince the allies and enemies of daimyo Takeda Shingen that his clan still has a competent leader and preserve the deception of the clan. (You might notice some similarities to the 1993 Ivan Reitman political comedy Dave with Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver, but Kagemusha is a much more serious matter.) The magnificent Kagemusha features some of Kurosawa’s most awe-inspiring military battles, worth keeping for three hours. —Michael McWhertor
Kagemusha is streaming on Channel criterion.
Kill Bill: Book 1 is 100 different films brought together into one brilliant, messy, and hugely entertaining ensemble, held together by a bottomless well of borrowed plume and an unstoppable sense of forward momentum. Every cut, flashback, and tangent is at the service of bringing us to the final conflict: O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) vs. Uma Thurman’s unnamed bride. While that leaves 2nd volume grappling with all the burdens of plot and character development, this frees up the first half for Tarantino to work to the height of his stylistic powers.
Every tip Tarantino has ever noticed in a movie, or a fight scene he loves, or a weird choice that he wonders if he could get away with it, is on display in Kill Bill: Book 1. It’s like flipping through movie channels at midnight: a Jackie Chan-style fight – where glass explodes on contact and cast iron stoves beat guns and knives every time – is followed by a scene of Hospital covered in grindhouse grime and capped off by the antagonist’s origin story anime (produced by outstanding animation studio IG Productions). Then, in a climax that attempts to surpass everything that came before it, the film’s final brawl shifts from color to black and white, silhouetted shadows against a blue background, and back to color for a snowy confrontation. It’s dizzying, disorienting and perfect. –Austen Goslin
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 & 2 is streaming on HBO Max.
at Brian de Palma The Untouchables stars Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness, a federal agent tasked with taking down notorious smuggler Al Capone and his criminal empire. With several offers on the police secretly on Capone’s payroll, Ness must recruit police trainee George Stone (Andy Garcia), accountant Oscar Wallace (Charles Martin Smith) and veteran officer Jimmy Malone (Sean Connery) in a special task force to take on the fight directly against Capone and his cronies. The action is exceptional, with a fantastically memorable shootout filmed in Chicago’s Union Station and stage robbery performances by Costner, Connery, and Robert De Niro as cigar-chompin ‘and sneering Al Capone himself. -YOU
The Untouchables is streaming on Hulu.
The invisible Man
Upgrade director Leigh Whannell’s contemporary remake of The invisible Man stars Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) as Cecilia Kass, a woman who escapes her abusive and wealthy ex-boyfriend Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), only to learn two weeks later that he has apparently committed suicide. Left with 5 million dollars, Cecilia tries to rebuild her life but nevertheless doubts that Adrian is really dead. Hunted by an unknown presence, Cecilia’s demeanor begins to unravel as she becomes more and more paranoid and terrified. Is there someone really taking on Cecilia, or is it just in her head? Whannell’s increases the psychological aspect of the original story before directing a truly macabre and awe-inspiring physical horror in the second half of the film. -YOU
The Invisible Man is streaming on HBO Max.