10 new movies to watch this week: Netflix’s ‘Me Time’, ‘Samaritan’

The month of August is going off with a bang thanks to a Idris Elbean overpowered Sylvester Stallone and the team full of twists of Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg.

This weekend, Elba plays a genius-like figure opposite Tilda Swinton’s lonely academic in George Miller’s new fantasy, the director’s first film since “Mad Max: Fury Road. Stallone plays an aging man thought of as a superhero by a teenager in an Amazon Prime action thriller, Hart and Wahlberg are best friends in trouble in a Netflix comedy, and Jean Boyega has one of his most dramatic roles in a real-life crime thriller.

Here’s a guide to new movies that will satisfy all cinematic tastes, plus some standout theatrical movies that are making their streaming and on-demand debut:

Idris Elba:Star talks about new ‘Beast’ movies, ‘Three Thousand Years of Longing’

If you need an “Aladdin” for adults: “Three thousand years of nostalgia”

The visually lavish fantasy features Swinton as a visiting narratologist in Istanbul when she cleans a bottle with an electric toothbrush and releases a djinn (Elbe) who will grant her three wishes. She’s heard this cautionary tale before, but the two form a bond as he weaves sprawling tales of his past, including his great loves. Before the crazy action of the iconic “Fury Road”, Miller crafted a hugely effective emotional journey with “Babe”, which is heart-warming and driven by a pig, and although “Years” looks fabulous, the storytelling sorely lacks the same moving connection needed.

Where to watch: In theaters

Best friends Sonny (Kevin Hart, left) and Huck (Mark Wahlberg) reunite and a birthday party goes awry in the Netflix comedy "Me time."

If You Think Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg Make a Dynamic Duo: ‘Me Time’

Sonny (Hart) is a stay-at-home dad and president of the PTA who has no life outside of his two children. His architect wife Maya (Regina Hall) takes them on spring break, a suddenly solo Sonny reconnects with his best pal Huck (Wahlberg) for one of his over-the-top birthday celebrations, and things spiral disastrously out of control. Lots of madness ensues, involving flamethrowers, loan sharks and a turtle, in a vast, predictable comedy filled with silliness and funny moments.

Where to watch:netflix

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Javon Walton plays a youngster convinced his neighbor (Sylvester Stallone) is a superhero in the action-thriller "Samaritan."

If you miss Sylvester Stallone punching people: ‘Samaritan’

At 76, the “Rocky” star always makes an effective action hero. In Granite City – a fictional run-down metropolis a la Batman’s Gotham – teenage Sam (Javon Walton) is saved from a beating by his neighbor Joe (Stallone), a garbage man with apparent superpowers. Sam becomes convinced that he is Samaritan, the city’s masked champion who disappeared 25 years ago fighting his nemesis. Although a major reveal is telegraphed almost immediately, it’s a decently entertaining throwback to Stallone’s 80s/90s fare that borrows plenty of comic book tropes.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

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Nathalie Emmanuel is an American artist who learns that she is part of a wealthy English family – and their sinister past – in the horror film "The invitation."

If you like your horror any class and other: ‘The Invitation’

In this bland and overly serious mix of “Downton Abbey”, “Get Out” and “Ready or Not”, Nathalie Emmanuel plays a New York artist who, through the magic of DNA ancestry, learns that she is part of a wealthy London family. She is invited to a posh wedding in the English countryside, where she is wooed by the suave lord of the manor (Thomas Doherty). Once she learns the grim truth of why she’s here, it all descends into complete silliness, but at least has a little fun in the chaotic climax.

Where to watch: In theaters

When he can't get a veteran's backing, a Marine war veteran (John Boyega) holds a bank in real-life drama

If you like a tense thriller and/or all things John Boyega: “Breaking”

An Iraq War veteran (Boyega) takes hostages (Nicole Beharie and Selenis Leyva) from an Atlanta bank and threatens to blow it up if he doesn’t get his Veterans Affairs disability check. However, the money is not as important to him as telling his story. Based on a true story, the solid drama features a powerful performance from Boyega and a moving final role for Michael K. Williams as a police negotiator in contact with the vet on a soldier-to-soldier level.

Where to watch: In theaters

Daniel Zolghadri stars as a New Jersey teenager who drops out of high school to become a cartoonist in the coming-of-age comedy "Funny pages."

If you liked the cinematic stress of ‘Uncut Gems’: ‘Funny Pages’

The coming-of-age comedy, with shades of “American Splendor” and “Ghost World,” is produced by the Safdie brothers and slathered in their penchant for awkward situations. Daniel Zolghadri plays a middle-class teenager from New Jersey who drops out of school and lives in poverty in order to find his identity as a cartoonist. Come for the scathing humor and comedic culture, stay for Matthew Maher’s deliciously unhinged performance as the child’s maniacal and eccentric mentor.

Where to watch: In the halls and on AppleTV, Vudu

An abandoned woman (Nicky Whelan) and a vengeful boat captain (Trace Adkins) hunt a rogue great white shark in the thriller "Man eater."

If you want to see Trace Adkins against a shark: ‘Maneater’

Watching a country music singer take on a Great White is somehow more fun than Elbe hitting a lion. Adkins growls and curses a storm in this B-movie at sea as a boat captain to murder a shark when it starts feasting on tourists. While the creature effects leave a lot to be desired, the attack scenes are quite gnarly (if you like that) and Adkins provides macho satisfaction as a vengeful, ticked-off dad.

Where to watch: In theaters and on Apple TV, Amazon, google play

Madelaine Petsch (left) stars as a high school girl haunted by the recent suicide of her friend (Chloe Yu) in the psychological thriller "Joan."

If you’re a big ‘Riverdale’ fan: ‘Jane’

Madelaine Petsch stars in the psychological thriller as Olivia, a high school student who dreams of going to Stanford but is also haunted by the suicide of her best friend Jane (Chloe Yu). Olivia and her friend Izzy (singer Chlöe Bailey) begin using Jane’s social media to punish classmates and college competition, which affects Olivia’s mental state. The bizarre contemporary twist on the familiar teen drama genre earns a solid B+ for premise but a C- for execution.

Where to watch: In theaters (and on Creator+ September 16)

Captain Pete "maverick" Mitchell (Tom Cruise) trains a squad of young fighter pilots for a dangerous mission in the sequel "Top Gun: Maverick."

Also streaming

Alfonso E. Cramer