Poor Things, Aquaman 2, Netflix’s Spaceman, and every new movie to watch this weekend

February is coming to a close, and with it, more awards contenders are heading to streaming services with the Oscars around the corner.

Poor Things, Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest oddball dark comedy, is now out to rent or purchase digitally (with a Hulu release around the corner on March 7). Ridley Scott’s epic Napoleon makes its way to Apple TV Plus Saturday (but only the theatrical cut — sorry to my fellow nerds who hoped for the four-and-a-half-hour director’s cut).

But it’s not all awards contenders. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom splashes its way onto Max, and Netflix has a pair of exciting new sci-fi releases in the Adam Sandler drama Spaceman and Code 8 Part II, the sequel to the cult hit movie from 2019. And two more to keep an eye on in the VOD department: Dark comedy Lisa Frankenstein and Hirokazu Kore-eda’s masterful mystery Monster also make their debuts this week. I cannot recommend the latter more highly (I haven’t seen the former, but have heard good things).

Here’s everything new to watch this weekend!


New on Netflix

Spaceman

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Jakub the astronaut (Adam Sandler) in extreme closeup, wearing his spacesuit and helmet Image: Netflix

Genre: Science fiction
Run time: 1h 47m
Director: Johan Renck
Cast: Adam Sandler, Carey Mulligan, Paul Dano

You’ve seen Dramatic Adam Sandler, but what about Dramatic Adam Sandler… in space?

Adapted from Jaroslav Kalfař’s novel, the movie follows an astronaut on a lonely mission who strikes up an unusual relationship with an alien spider (voiced by Paul Dano).

We talked to the Sandman about his work in the movie, including the new skill he picked up in his most serious role yet.

Code 8 Part II

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

A man shoots lightning bolts out of his hands, striking two uniformed officers, in Code 8 Part II Image: Netflix

Genre: Sci-fi
Run time: 1h 40m
Director: Jeff Chan
Cast: Robbie Amell, Stephen Amell, Sirena Gulamgaus

The first Code 8 was a surprise hit when it dropped on Netflix in 2020, so don’t be shocked if the sequel ends up being one of the most popular movies on Netflix this week. Starring real-life cousins Robbie and Stephen Amell, this movie sees them help a teenage girl hoping to avenge her dead brother, who was killed by police officers.

New on Max

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Where to watch: Available to stream on Max

Aquaman fights Black Manta with a trident but looks a little exhausted in The Lost Kingdom Image: Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Comics

Genre: Superhero
Run time: 2h 4m
Director: James Wan
Cast: Jason Momoa, Patrick Wilson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

Put on your swim gear and strap on your flippers, because we’re going back to Atlantis. The movie underwent serious reshoots and generally got significantly worse reviews than the surprisingly good first entry, and is the final movie of the DCEU before James Gunn’s reboot of the DC Universe.

From our review:

The sequel to Aquaman is a total bummer for those of us who enjoyed Aquaman. Wan has proven himself on every scale, but in trying to carve out another adventure in this universe, he feels a bit stuck. This might be the predicament of an ongoing Aquaman franchise, if DC ever tries again: When your sequel is stuck in the ocean, the only way to go is down.

New on Apple TV Plus

Napoleon

Where to watch: Available to stream on Apple TV Plus

Napoleon stands proud in front of a desert battlefield in the film Napoleon Image: Apple TV Plus

Genre: Historical epic
Run time: 2h 37m
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Vanessa Kirby, Tahar Rahim

Ridley Scott and Joaquin Phoenix reunite with another historical epic, this time telling the story of Napoleon Bonaparte. Scott’s original vision of the movie was over four hours long, so the theatrical version now streaming is significantly pared back at about two and a half hours. The movie was nominated for three Oscars: Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Visual Effects.

From our review:

But Napoleon doesn’t spend much time belaboring its subject’s power. In spite of the broad 32-year scope, Scott and Scarpa keep the film’s focus narrow, its power plays dispassionate. Treating Bonaparte’s stature in history as settled, the film gives Phoenix room to paint a portrait of the man in conversation with peers, rivals, and his wife, between visually striking and meticulously rendered battles. Those battles are great: Few filmmakers are afforded the resources to operate at this scale, and fewer are so effective at beautifully rendering the violence of men at war. But in Napoleon, the combat sequences are also romantic overtures, a violent manifestation of the tortured letters Bonaparte writes to Joséphine.

New on AMC Plus

The Disappearance of Shere Hite

Where to watch: Available to stream on Apple TV Plus

Shere Hite, wearing a light green dress, floats in the water with a notebook open on a statue of a turtle. She looks more than a little like a mermaid. The image is from the documentary The Disappearance of Shere Hite Photo: Iris Brosch/IFC Films

Genre: Documentary
Run time: 1h 58m
Director: Nicole Newnham

This documentary tells the story of famed sex educator and feminist Shere Hite, and is narrated by Madame Web star Dakota Johnson (her web truly does connect them all). It was nominated for documentary awards at numerous festivals in 2023, including Sundance.

New to rent/buy

Poor Things

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Mark Ruffalo embraces Emma Stone, who holds a pen and paper, in Poor Things Photo: Atsushi Nishijima/Searchlight Pictures

Genre: Dark comedy
Run time: 2h 22m
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Cast: Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, Mark Ruffalo

Emma Stone stars as a young woman brought to life from a brain transplant in this twist on the Frankenstein formula, adapted by Greek dark comedy filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos from Alasdair Gray’s novel. It’s been an awards darling so far, winning five BAFTAs and two Golden Globes, and was nominated for 11 Oscars, including Best Picture.

Monster

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Sakura Andō and Sōya Kurokawa lean on a railing over a cityscape in Monster Image: Well Go USA

Genre: Mystery
Run time: 2h 5m
Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Cast: Sakura Andō, Eita Nagayama, Sōya Kurokawa

I can not speak more highly of Hirokazu Kore-eda’s (Shoplifters) Monster. It’s a beguiling thriller about a mother trying to figure out what is going on with her son, who has been acting up recently and got into a conflict at school with his teacher. Kore-eda is an incredibly deliberate filmmaker, with every detail deeply considered, and uses the film’s complicated narrative to unspool one of the best mysteries in years. It’s an absolute gem.

Lisa Frankenstein

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Lisa gripping the back of the Creature after he has just murdered someone Photo: Michele K. Short/Focus Features

Genre: Horror comedy
Run time: 1h 41m
Director: Zelda Williams
Cast: Kathryn Newton, Cole Sprouse, Carla Gugino

Love stories about reanimated corpses are all the rage this week. This time, it’s a teenage goth girl (Kathryn Newton) who falls in love with a 19th-century man (Cole Sprouse) who comes back to life after a lightning strike. The movie is directed by Zelda Williams, Robin’s daughter, and written by Diablo Cody, who has said the movie takes place in the same universe as her previous teen horror classic Jennifer’s Body.

From our review:

Even though this movie is sometimes haphazardly stitched together, like a dismembered hand added onto a corpse, Lisa Frankenstein is shocked back to life by magnetic visuals, engaging chemistry, and deliciously escalating motives.