Glass Onion, Top Gun 2, and every new movie you can stream at home this weekend

Christmastime is here, Polygon readers, and Netflix got you a new Knives Out movie.

Daniel Craig returns with a new ensemble cast in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, one of quite a few new movies landing on streaming services and VOD this week. It’s joined by the Matilda musical on Netflix, while Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Plus) and Strange World (Disney Plus) look to make splashes on competing platforms.

It’s an exciting week in VOD releases, too. The indie darling Aftersun, one of our top movies of the year, is now available for home viewing, as is the Santa-as-an-action-star flick Violent Night.

Let’s get into it!


Netflix

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Daniel Craig as Detective Benoit Blanc, Dave Bautista as Duke, Edward Norton as Miles and Madelyn Cline as Whiskey in Glass Onion. They stand on a beach — Bautista, Norton, and Cline arm-in-arm, with a ton of luggage bags next to them.

Photo: John Wilson/Netflix

Genre: Mystery/comedy
Run time: 2h 20m
Director: Rian Johnson
Cast: Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Dave Bautista

Rian Johnson’s sequel to his 2019 ensemble mystery now finds itself as a part of a franchise. The once upstart, non-IP genre piece is now a Netflix tentpole, released first in theaters and now available for streaming at home.

Daniel Craig returns to reprise his role as the detective Benoit Blanc, now faced with a new group of wealthy people played by very famous people, as he attempts to solve a new murder. This time it’s in Greece, when a tech billionaire (Edward Norton) invites his friends for a party and one of them ends up dead.

From our review:

Glass Onion is a brighter, louder, more extroverted movie than the first Knives Out. Its themes and fashion flirt with brazen, cartoony silliness. This time around, Johnson aims for big ideas and big laughs — this is a funnier movie, almost an outright comedy at times, and a broad one at that. Where Knives Out targets the defensive pretension of inherited wealth, Glass Onion mocks the desperate peacocking of new money, in a world of tech billionaires, influencers, and flash-in-the-pan politicians. As before, though, the gentlemanly Benoit Blanc is here to strip these people’s illusions away with comic courtesy.

The Invitation

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Nathalie Emmanuel and Thomas Doherty dance together in The Invitation

Photo: Marcell Piti/Screen Gems

Genre: Horror
Run time: 1h 44m
Director: Jessica M. Thompson
Cast: Nathalie Emmanuel, Thomas Doherty, Sean Pertwee

Inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Invitation follows a young woman who meets her extended family after her mother’s death, only to discover they are… vampires!

From our review:

One part Get Out, one part Ready or Not, and too few parts Dracula, The Invitation is a pastiche of infinitely better horror stories that it never measures up to. You can make vampires do almost anything in movies, but The Invitation commits the one unforgivable sin: making vampires boring.

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

The school children in Matilda the Musical stack on a playground wearing their school uniforms.

Photo: Dan Smith/Netflix

Genre: Musical/fantasy
Run time: 1h 57m
Director: Matthew Warchus
Cast: Alisha Weir, Emma Thompson, Lashana Lynch

The movie adaption of the musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda went semi-viral a few weeks back, with eye-catching choreography that puts many other modern movie musicals to shame.

Paramount Plus

Top Gun: Maverick

Where to watch: Available to stream on Paramount Plus

Maverick stands in profile with his class of young bucks in a hella dramatic sunset shot for Top Gun: Maverick

Photo: Scott Garfield/Paramount Pictures

Genre: Action
Run time: 2h 11m
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Cast: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly

The undisputed box-office champion of 2022 (although The Way of Water lurks), Top Gun: Maverick finally makes its way to Paramount Plus this week, after many long months of waiting. This just means it’s a great time to watch Top Gun: Maverick again. Or jump out of a plane, if you’re Tom Cruise. Up to you.

From our review:

If there’s something worth salvaging from that era — and from Top Gun — it’s the sense of optimism that used to dominate ’80s action movies. That and the belief that the simplest, corniest story, if told with enough skill and conviction, can delight everyone in the world. Top Gun: Maverick has both these qualities in abundance. They’re embodied in Tom Cruise, who is the auteur of his own myth, and might be the last true movie star. He wants to show you a good time, and he will. But more than that, he wants to take off and never come back down.

Hulu

Mack & Rita

Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu

Diane Keaton does pilates in the park with a lot of young people in Mack & Rita.

Image: Gravitas Ventures

Genre: Comedy
Run time: 1h 34m
Director: Katie Aselton
Cast: Diane Keaton, Elizabeth Lail, Molly Duplass

A new wrinkle on Big, Freaky Friday, and other body-swap comedies, Mack & Rita follows a young writer (Elizabeth Lail) who one day wakes up as her 70-year-old self (Diane Keaton).

Sharp Stick

Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu

Kristine Froseth with long hair and a green top in Sharp Stick

Image: Utopia

Genre: Comedy
Run time: 1h 32m
Director: Lena Dunham
Cast: Kristine Froseth, Jon Bernthal, Luka Sabbat

Lena Dunham already delivered one of the best comedies of the year in Catherine Called Birdy. Her second 2022 comedy is more of the R-rated variety, about a woman (Kristine Froseth) who starts an affair with her employer (Jon Bernthal). Dunham also co-stars in this one, as do Jennifer Jason Leigh and Ebon Moss-Bachrach (The Bear, Andor).

Disney Plus

Strange World

Where to watch: Available to stream on Disney Plus

Five steampunk crew members sit on a green hovercraft in a red-hued underground world

Image: Walt Disney Animation

Genre: Action/adventure
Run time: 1h 42m
Directors: Don Hall, Qui Nguyen
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jaboukie Young-White, Gabrielle Union

This animated adventure was one of Disney’s biggest box-office flops in a while, and now you can check it out for yourself from the comfort of your home.

From our review:

When the emotional heart of the movie focuses on this group of ragtag explorers desperately trying to save the world they know, it’s a grand and exciting adventure, with beautiful scenery and fantastical creatures at every turn. When the movie focuses on its wider scope, it shines, but when it pulls back down to the overdone relationships, it loses what makes it sparkle. Those father-son dynamics seem like they were supposed to anchor the movie in some reality, but all they do is drag Strange World down when it could’ve soared.

Apple TV Plus

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

Where to watch: Available to stream on Apple TV

A boy, a fox, and a mole, sit on a horse in a hand-drawn animated image from The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

Image: Apple TV

Genre: Family
Run time: 34m
Director: Peter Baynton
Cast: Tom Hollander, Idris Elba, Gabriel Byrne

Charlie Mackesy’s 2019 children’s novel gets a gorgeous hand-drawn animated adaptation, with Idris Elba, Tom Hollander, and Gabriel Byrne providing voice acting.

VOD

Aftersun

Where to watch: Available to purchase for $19.99 on Amazon, Apple TV, and Google Play

A father and daughter lie on their backs next to a pool while the father points at the sky in Aftersun.

Image: A24

Genre: Drama
Run time: 1h 42m
Director: Charlotte Wells
Cast: Frankie Corio, Paul Mescal, Celia Rowlson-Hall

Polygon’s No. 8 best movie of the year, an impressive feature debut from filmmaker Charlotte Wells, is finally available to watch at home. I’ll let our blurb for Aftersun speak for itself.

The human memory is, famously, unreliable — faulty to the point of being thrown out even when it’s your sworn testimony. Childhood memories are perhaps the best example of this: Even a small, isolated memory can completely change tone later when seen with the full spectrum of adulthood, filtered through the prism of concern and care that comes with it. It’s a tough concept to wrap your brain around at times. And so Aftersun feels like a small miracle in the ways it not only captures that scope but manages to frame the whole concept with grace.

Young father Calum (Paul Mescal) and his 11-year-old daughter Sophie (Frankie Corio) are on a rare resort vacation, a fading moment captured by her on a clunky camcorder (at least partially; you know what it’s like to hand a kid a video camera). While that plot is simple in construction, the execution of it is far more profound, capturing the wistful vantage points of both Calum’s and Sophie’s experiences on holiday with equal, vivid clarity. In Aftersun’s hands, memory is just as slippery as it’s always been. Sometimes conversations wash over Sophie and threaten to drown Calum; growing up is seeing the full picture of their trip, and Aftersun is quietly devastating in its ability to capture that. It’s a testament to the performances at the center of it (Mescal’s compassionate weariness most of all) that the film manages to suggest so much without overstating its point. After all, memory may be unreliable, but sometimes memory — echoed in a grainy camcorder or the recollection of a warm embrace — is all we have. —Zosha Millman

Violent Night

Where to watch: Available to rent for $19.99 on Amazon and Vudu

Santa Claus (David Harbour) leans drunkenly against his sleigh, a blood-red wooden boat-shaped vehicle carved with Nordic runes, in Violent Night

Image: Universal Pictures

Genre: Action
Run time: 1h 52m
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Cast: David Harbour, John Leguizamo, Beverly D’Angelo

David Harbour stars as Santa Claus in this action movie from 87North Productions, the legendary Hollywood action studio that brought you many of your favorite parts of John Wick and other recent action classics.

From our review:

Violent Night works best when it captures the warped sensibilities of early-’90s Chris Columbus movies, particularly Home Alone. It’s been pointed out so often that it barely needs to be said that the events of that film are actually horrifically traumatizing and violent, and that Macaulay Culkin’s Kevin McCallister is a pint-size sociopath. Little Trudy Lightstone has a sadistic streak in her, too, and the film’s most demented scenes are played with an outsized sense of cheer that effectively creates a sense of giggly discomfort. The difference here is that those moments are being engineered on purpose. The film has fun lobbing snarky one-liners and outrageous bloodshed at the audience, but on the whole, Violent Night’s big red bag of self-aware tricks is overstuffed.

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