September is known as one of the quietest months on the movie release calendar. The summer blockbusters have mostly left theaters and are heading rapidly towards the small screen, while the prestigious awards-season films are yet to be released. The only notable new movies this week are the Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish’s comedy Night School and the horror movie Hell Fest, plus Robert Redford’s final movie The Old Men and the Gun.
The most anticipated film of the week, however, is on Netflix. Jeremy Saulnier’s previous movies Blue Ruin and Green Room picked up many fans and much acclaim, and his next movie, the intense thriller Hold the Dark, debuts on the streaming service this Friday. There’s also the Netflix debut of the lavish fantasy A Wrinkle In Time, and Dwayne Johnson fans can buy this summer’s action-packed Skyscraper.
The landscape for consuming movies has really changed over the past few years. The biggest films still debut in the old fashioned-way–in theaters, with home releases still a few months off. But with the rise of streaming and Video on Demand, we are increasingly seeing simultaneous releases for smaller movies, with films getting a limited theatrical release on the same day that they are available to buy and rent digitally.
The rise of Netflix and Amazon as major players in film production has also disrupted standard release patterns. Netflix in particular has attracted some major directors, and their movies will bypass theaters entirely and premiere worldwide on the streaming platform. And of course, movies that did get a theatrical release continue to move to digital platforms after a few months. This is a great way to catch up on movies you might have missed on the big screen–or are keen to rewatch. So here’s our look at the best and most interesting new movies in theaters and available to watch at home this week.