NO TIME TO DIE | Stream now
The 25th film in the fifth-highest-grossing film franchise of all time, No Time to Die sends Daniel Craig off with a bang in his fifth and final turn as British MI6 agent James Bond, 007.
No Time to Die was the fourth-biggest box office hit of 2021, won an Oscar for its Billie Eilish theme song, and took home two Critics Choice Super Awards, for Best Action Movie and Best Actor in an Action Movie (Craig).
With Emmy winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) co-writing the screenplay, No Time To Die has an 83% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As TIME Magazine says, “With his fifth movie as 007, Craig is so extraordinary he leaves only scorched earth behind. There will be other Bonds for those who want them. For everyone else, there’s Craig.”
THE CARD COUNTER | Stream now
Written and directed by Oscar nominee Paul Schrader (First Reformed, Taxi Driver), The Card Counter tells the story of an ex-military interrogator turned gambler, haunted by the ghosts of his past.
Executive produced by Oscar winner Martin Scorsese (The Irishman, The Wolf of Wall Street, Goodfellas), the crime drama stars Critics Choice nominee Oscar Isaac (Moon Knight, Star Wars’ Poe Dameron), Emmy winner Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip, Night School), Teen Choice nominee Tye Sheridan (Ready Player One, X-Men’s Scott Summers/Cyclops), and four-time Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe (Nightmare Alley, Spider-Man).
The multi-award-winning revenge thriller has an 87% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In their 4/4-star review, Chicago Sun-Times praised Oscar Isaac’s performance as “magnetic”, calling The Card Counter, “one of the best films of the year”… “searing” and “stunning”.
ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE | Stream now
The follow-up to Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, this is director Zack Snyder’s cut of 2017’s Justice League. While he was the original director of that film, Snyder handed over the reins to Joss Whedon after the death of his daughter. Mixed reviews led to HBO commissioning a recut, and the return to Snyder’s darker, grittier version.
The death of Superman triggers the reactivation of the Mother Boxes, millennia-old world-destroying devices. This sparks the interest of Darkseid and his Parademon army, who know the Mother Boxes are the key to their conquest of the world. To fight them, Batman and Wonder Woman attempt to assemble a team of metahumans, including Cyborg, Aquaman and The Flash.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League was hailed as one of the 10 best films of 2021 by Variety’s Owen Gleiberman, who praised it as “a superhero movie with a difference. It’s a piece of ominous glittering Wagnerian comic-book pop, its superhero backstories unfolding with an imaginative fury, its battles spilling forth with a dark grandeur worthy of Tolkien (not the Lord of the Rings films, but the dream battles Tolkien wrote on the page), all rendered with an incendiary conviction that sweeps you up and won’t let go.“
A QUIET PLACE PART II | Stream from 14 July 2022
Shhh… A Quiet Place Part II, the sequel to 2018’s Oscar-nominated post-apocalyptic horror, pits the Abbott family against the terrors of the outside world as they’re forced to venture into the unknown, where the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.
Part II was named Best Horror at the 2022 Critics Choice Super Awards, where Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders) and Millicent Simmonds were nominated as Best Actor and Actress in the category. BAFTA nominee Emily Blunt, Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou, and Emmy-nominated writer-director John Krasinski co-star.
Part II was the 15th biggest box office hit of 2021 globally and has a 91% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “A nerve-wracking continuation of its predecessor, A Quiet Place Part II expands the terrifying world of the franchise without losing track of its heart.”
GODZILLA VS. KONG | Stream now
The eight biggest blockbuster of 2021, the super-sized creature feature Godzilla vs. Kong stars Emmy winner Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies) and Emmy nominee Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things).
Nominated for numerous awards for its visual effects, the epic next chapter in the cinematic Monsterverse pits two of the greatest icons in motion picture history against one another, with humanity caught in the middle. The result, says Dread Central, is, “Kaiju mayhem on a massive scale,” while ABC News calls it “a clash of the titans that is spectacular in every sense of the word.”
Godzilla vs. Kong’s impressive cast includes BAFTA nominee Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3), Emmy nominee Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta), Lance Reddick (John Wick), Eiza González (Baby Driver), and SAFTA-winning South African-Nigerian actor Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Black Sails, Hotel Rwanda).
THE CONJURING 3: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT | Stream from 28 July
The latest incarnation of the second-highest-grossing horror franchise of all time sees Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga and Emmy nominee Patrick Wilson return as real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.
The 21st biggest box office hit of 2021, The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It sees the Warrens investigate a murder that may be linked to a demonic possession – based on the 1981 real-life murder trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson in Connecticut.
Bloody Disgusting calls the film “a wholly different experience that still feels like a warm reunion with horror’s favourite couple.”
THE PROTÉGÉ | Stream now
Maggie Q (Mission: Impossible III) was nominated for a 2022 Critics Choice Super Award for her starring role in The Protégé as Anna, a skilled contract killer who was rescued as a child by the legendary assassin Moody (Oscar nominee Samuel L Jackson).
When Moody is brutally killed, Anna sets out to avenge the man who taught her everything she knows, but a cat-and-mouse entanglement with an enigmatic killer (Oscar nominee Michael Keaton) turns deadly as the loose ends of a life spent killing weave themselves ever tighter.
Directed by BAFTA winner Martin Campbell (Casino Royale), The Protégé also stars multi-award winner Robert Patrick (Peacemaker, Terminator 2: Judgment Day).
GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE | Stream from 11 July
Nominated for Best Action Movie at the 2022 Critics Choice Super Awards, Gunpowder Milkshake is about three generations of women who fight back against those who would take everything from them.
Multi-award-winner Karen Gillan (Avengers: Endgame, Guardians of the Galaxy, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) was nominated at the Critics Choice Super Awards for Best Action Movie Actress as Sam. The all-star cast includes five-time Emmy nominee Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones), multi-award winner Carla Gugino (The Haunting of Hill House), BAFTA nominee Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians), Oscar nominees Paul Giamatti (Chuck Rhoades in Billions) and Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), and Freya Allan (Ciri in The Witcher).
Chicago Sun-Times’s Richard Roeper calls Gunpowder Milkshake “an insanely over-the-top, deeply stylized, bullet-riddled and female-centric riff on the John Wick movies … featuring an outstanding cast of first-rate actors clearly having a great time shooting up the joint.”
IN THE HEIGHTS | Stream from 21 July
Nominated for the People’s Choice Award for The Drama Movie of 2021 and the 2022 Grammy Award for its soundtrack, In the Heights brings us a sueñito – a little dream – for a better life, in a community powered by music (and sueñitos) in Washington Heights, New York City.
Directed by Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M Chu, In the Heights is based on the Tony Award-winning musical by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes and multiple Tony, Emmy and Grammy winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, tick, tick… BOOM!, Encanto), who also produced the film.
Anthony Ramos (Hamilton, A Star is Born) won the 2022 Black Reel Award for Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, while Melissa Barrera (Vida), Olga Merediz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine and the singing voice of Abuela Alma in Encanto) and acting newcomer Leslie Grace (now soon-to-be the new Batgirl) were all nominated for awards for their performances.
In the Heights has a 94% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the consensus hails it as “a joyous celebration of heritage and community fueled by dazzling direction and singalong songs.” As Financial Times says, “They don’t make ’em like this any more, truly.”
PAW PATROL: THE MOVIE | Stream from 18 July
No city’s too big, no pup’s too small, in PAW Patrol: The Movie. Based on the beloved pre-school TV series, the #33 biggest movie of 2021 tails Ryder and his pack of puppy hero friends to Adventure City, where greedy Mayor Humdinger is turning the bustling metropolis into a state of chaos. Plus, there’s a courageous new girl pup on the squad: Liberty, voiced by Teen Choice nominee Marsai Martin (Little, Black-ish).
PAW Patrol: The Movie is recommended for ages 4+ by Common Sense Media, where they say, “These adorable, selfless rescue pups are irresistible to preschoolers, who will be delighted by the movie’s sweet, simple adventure,” and “even audiences who don’t know anything more than the theme song will be pleasantly surprised… Its themes of teamwork, trust-building, and courage are overt without being preachy, and the celebrity voice cameos will make parents laugh, like Jimmy Kimmel playing a TV reporter, Tyler Perry as a truck driver in need of saving, and even Kim Kardashian West as a fancy poodle (naturally).”
“The movie has slightly more peril and cartoon violence than the show,” Common Sense adds, “but it continues to promote positive messages about courage, perseverance, teamwork, and problem-solving.”
CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG | Stream now
Heroes don’t get any bigger than Clifford the Big Red Dog, which was nominated for a 2022 Kids’ Choice Award for Favourite Movie. Based on the beloved series of 80 children’s books by Norman Bridwell, the story centres on a tiny puppy called Clifford, who, it’s said, will only grow as much as his new best friend loves him. As it turns out though, young Emily loves Clifford quite a lot…
The live action film stars Young Entertainer Award nominee Darby Camp (Big Little Lies) as Emily, alongside the likes of British Comedy Award winner Jack Whitehall (Jungle Cruise, Bad Education), Emmy winners Tony Hale (Veep, Arrested Development) and Kenan Thompson (Kenan, Saturday Night Live), as well as Oscar nominees John Cleese (from Monty Python and the Spud movies) and Rosie Perez (The Road to El Dorado, Birds of Prey).
Common Sense Media calls the movie “undeniably tenderhearted,” and recommends the film for ages 6+, saying, “Clifford is such a delightful dog that even cynical parents will understand why Emily’s heart melts for him.”
THE BOSS BABY: FAMILY BUSINESS | Stream now
Nominated for a People’s Choice Award for The Family Movie of 2021 and a 2022 Annie Award for Outstanding Character Animation, The Boss Baby: Family Business (aka The Boss Baby 2) catches up with the now-adult Templeton brothers, who’ve drifted apart, until a new boss baby sets out to bring them together again – and save childhood along the way.
Once again directed by Oscar nominee Tom McGrath (the Madagascar movies), The Boss Baby: Family Business’ all-star voice cast includes gravelly-voiced Oscar nominee Alec Baldwin, who reprises his role as the Boss Baby alongside the likes of Critics Choice winner James Marsden, Oscar nominee Jeff Goldblum, Emmy winner Lisa Kudrow, Emmy nominees Amy Sedaris and Eva Longoria, and TV host Jimmy Kimmel.
The Boss Baby: Family Business is “a delightful mix of understated humour, wild fantasy, cheeky needle-drop songs and some of the best-constructed action scenes in animated films,” says Movie Mom. Showmax is also home to the Oscar-nominated first film, The Boss Baby.
FROM 7 JULY:
• Attorney Kenneth Feinberg (Oscar nominee Michael Keaton) battles against cynicism, bureaucracy and politics to help the victims of 9/11 in the critically-acclaimed biographical drama Worth.
• In his multi-award-winning feature film directorial debut, The Water Diviner, Oscar winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator, LA Confidential) stars as Connor, an Australian man who travels to Turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli to try to locate his three missing sons.
FROM 18 JULY:
• Set against the vast (and combustible) backdrop of the Montana wilderness, Taylor Sheridan’s Those Who Wish Me Dead stars Oscar winner Angelina Jolie (Eternals, Salt, Wanted) as a firefighter who must protect a young boy from a pair of ruthless assassins.
• Filmed in Namibia and South Africa, Mad Max: Fury Road won six Oscars and was nominated for Best Picture, with South African Oscar winner Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa opposite Oscar nominee Tom Hardy as Max.
• Based on the true story of airline pilot Chesley Sullenberger’s heroic 2009 emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River, the Oscar-nominated drama Sully is directed by Oscar winner Clint Eastwood, with Oscar winner Tom Hanks starring alongside Oscar nominee Laura Linney and People’s Choice winner Aaron Eckhart. Also look out for another Clint Eastwood classic now on Showmax, Gran Torino.
BARRY S3 | Binge now, first on Showmax
Rotten Tomatoes’ Best Series of 2022 (So Far), Barry S3 finds our favourite hitman desperate to leave his violent past behind in favour of his newfound passion for acting. But getting out of contract killing is messy. While Barry has eliminated many of the external factors that pushed him towards violence, he soon discovers they weren’t the only forces at play …
S3 of the hitman comedy has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Daily Beast calling it, “the best show on TV”; Variety hailing it as “a masterpiece … funnier and sharper than ever… TV’s most fascinating protagonist”; and Entertainment Weekly writing, “I’ve never seen violence like the violence on Barry. HBO’s hitman comedy is a legitimate thrillfest, and the new season has three of the best action scenes I’ve ever seen.”
The first two seasons won six Emmys, including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for co-creator Bill Hader and Outstanding Supporting Actor for Henry Winkler (Arrested Development’s Barry Zuckerkorn). S3 sees Stephen Root, Sarah Goldberg and Anthony Carrigan (as fan favourite NoHo Hank) all return in their Emmy-nominated roles.
HBO recently renewed Barry for a fourth season, with Hader set to direct the full season.
THE SEX LIVES OF COLLEGE GIRLS S1 | Binge now, first on Showmax
Nominated for Outstanding New Series at the 2022 GLAAD Awards, The Sex Lives of College Girls follows four first-year roommates at the fictional Essex College in Vermont, taking on the highs and lows of the best years of their lives.
Created by six-time Emmy nominee Mindy Kaling (Never Have I Ever, The Office) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine writer Justin Noble, HBO Max’s 18SNL sex comedy has a 97% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. AV Club says, “The way the show tackles how teens cope with sudden freedom is both funny and truthful,” while Rolling Stone describes the show as “Fifty Shades of Freshman.”
Also nominated for the 2022 MTV TV Awards Here for the Hookup prize, The Sex Lives of College Girls has already been renewed for a second season by HBO Max. Look out for Pauline Chalamet (Timothée Chalamet’s sister, from The King of Staten Island) as one of the four leads.
WESTWORLD S4 | Stream episode 1 now, with new episodes every Monday, first on Showmax
One of Rotten Tomatoes’ most anticipated series of 2022, Westworld is a dark odyssey about the fate of sentient life on Earth.
The 18VSNL-rated, eight-episode fourth season brings back Thandiwe Newton in her Emmy-winning role as Maeve, as well as Jeffrey Wright and Ed Harris in their Emmy-nominated performances as Bernard and The Man In Black respectively. Three-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul, Emmy nominees Evan Rachel Wood and Tessa Thompson, and Screen Actors Guild nominees Luke Hemsworth and Angela Sarafyan are also returning, with Oscar winner Ariana DeBose (West Side Story) joining the cast this season as a recurring guest star.
Inspired by the film written by Michael Crichton, Westworld has won seven Emmys to date, with a further 45 nominations, and has twice been named Best Science Fiction Series by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. It has an 80% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.6/10 rating on IMDb.
As Mashable puts it, “It’s hard to talk about Westworld‘s fourth season without fear of giving too much away, so I’ll just say this: It’s awesome… As Westworld continues to expand outside its original park, the callbacks are treats for viewers who remember just where we started. However, they’re also proof of just how far the show has come from its original concept, making this season a strong synthesis of the old and the new of Westworld. With its epic scope and some of the show’s most devastating storytelling so far, Season 4 of Westworld is not one you want to miss.”
TIME | Binge now
Time was named Best Miniseries at the 2022 BAFTAs, where Sean Bean (Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings) won Lead Actor and Stephen Graham was up for Supporting Actor.
Eric is a prison officer who tries to protect those in his charge, including a newly imprisoned inmate consumed by guilt for his crime. When one of the most dangerous inmates identifies his weakness, Eric faces an impossible choice between his principles and his love for his family.
Time has an 8.2/10 rating on IMDb and a rare 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “Strong writing and a magnificent performance from Sean Bean make for an incredible, thought-provoking watch.”
RESIDENT ALIEN S2 | Binge now
Nominated for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Series at the 2022 Critics Choice Super Awards, S1 of Resident Alien starred Alan Tudyk (Hoban “Wash” Washburne in Firefly and Serenity) as an alien trying to pass himself off as a small-town human doctor, solve a murder, and decide whether to go through with his secret mission to wipe out humanity. Tudyk was nominated for Best Actor at the 2022 Critics Choice Super Awards for the role.
Created by five-time Emmy nominee Chris Sheridan (Family Guy), the Syfy comedy has a 94% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, who call it “one of the treats of last year.” Resident Alien also has an 8.1 rating on IMDb, who call it “one of the funniest shows – about destroying the entire human race.”
Look out for guest appearances from three-time Emmy winner Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and People’s Choice winner Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle) in Season 2.
THE INVESTIGATION | Binge now
Named Best Foreign TV Film/Miniseries at the Shanghai International TV Festival, The Investigation is a Scandi-noir that recreates the real-life investigation into the 2017 murder of young Swedish journalist Kim Wall, which made headlines around the world as “the submarine case”.
Showrunner Tobias Lindholm wrote the Oscar-winning Another Round, as well as Oscar nominees The Hunt and A War, which he also directed. He also wrote the BAFTA-winning political drama series Borgen.
Multi-award-winning Danish actor Søren Malling (Borgen) leads the cast as Jens Møller, the head of Homicide for the Copenhagen Police, alongside Berlin winner Pilou Asbæk (Game of Thrones’ Euron Greyjoy) and Cannes winner Pernilla August (Star Wars).
The Investigation has an 84% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the Independent praising its “radical take on the true crime genre” that “elevates true crime into something far more engaging”.
RAGDOLL | Binge now
Detectives try to untangle the case of the Ragdoll Killer, who has murdered six people and sewn their bodies into the shape of one grotesque body nicknamed the Ragdoll.
Based on Daniel Cole’s bestselling debut novel, Ragdoll stars People’s and Teen Choice winner Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars), Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Killing Eve) and Thalissa Teixeira (Trigonometry, F9: The Fast Saga).
Ragdoll has a 92% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Guardian saying this “wicked Killing Eve-style thriller will make you wriggle with joy.”
THE RISING | Binge now
When Neve Kelly (Danish actress Clara Rugaard) discovers she’s dead, she’s scared and confused … and furious. Determined to track down her killer, she must learn to navigate this new existence in order to find justice from beyond the grave.
The Rising is based on the award-winning 2017 Belgian series Hotel Beau Séjour. Den of Geek calls the show, “a supernatural crime mystery exploding the ‘perfect victim’ myth,” adding, “By giving its victim a voice and not falling into the trap of pious moralising, The Rising rights several wrongs.”