We’ve got plenty of variety in the top 7 new movies of the week, starting with a fun young adult comedy starring rising stars. So if you’re trying to wait for more Dustin from Stranger Things, you won’t have to wait any longer if you check out Honor Society on Paramount Plus.
A fun high school comedy, Honor Society is about Honor, a student who lived through her high school years with the sole purpose of qualifying for the Ivy Leagues. The only problem is that getting there now seems to mean she has to derail some of her classmates’ dreams, by way of manipulation. If Honor Society is as good as it looks, it could help Paramount Plus make it to our list of best streaming services.
On Netflix, Purple Hearts tells the story of a couple who fake their entire relationship for medical benefits. Of course, it goes wrong. Those wanting a documentary will flock to HBO Max, where the “cameras” are virtual, as a new film examines those who live their best lives in virtual reality.
Elsewhere on Hulu, there’s a cautionary tale of a social media influencer who becomes the main character (and that’s not a good thing) by faking a trip to France. Two other picks this week are digital VOD releases and tell tales of art theft and supernatural horror.
If that’s not enough for you, check out our list of 7 new movies and shows to watch from last weekend. And you can fill your calendar with all 17 new movies and shows to watch in July 2022 on all the top streamers.
Honor Society (Paramount Plus)
Angourie Rice (whom you might know from Mare of Easttown or her minor role as Betty Brant in the Tom Holland Spider-Man films), is entering her “starring role” phase. Here in Honor Society, she plays this generation’s version of Reese Witherspoon’s Tracy Flick – but Honor isn’t quite as unhinged. Highly ambitious to leave her small town and go to a big university, Honor is that classmate who does everything you’re supposed to do to succeed.
Unfortunately, there is competition to get the right recommendation from the guidance counselor, Mr. Calvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, as, McLovin is now old enough to play a guidance counselor). This is where Honor sets her sights on one of Mr. Calvin’s other favorites: Michael (Gaten Matarazzo of Stranger Things). And as you’d expect, her attempts to seduce and break him turn into a real crush.
Post it on Paramount More (opens in a new tab) Friday (July 29)
They live in the gray
Need some good horror? Original Shudder They Live in the Gray is finally leaving the walls of Shudder, on sale digitally this week. After being haunted by supernatural visions for years, social worker Claire Yang (Michelle Krusiec) discovers that she has a kind of clairvoyance.
Her latest mission, however – a case of possible domestic violence – shows Claire where her powers come from. It turns out that Claire’s powers are rooted in a supernatural being that she must now stop. And hopefully she can save the possessed child. Oh, and Claire’s boyfriend is drawn into this intricate web of mysteries.
Sometimes stealing artwork is justified. Such is the case with The Duke, which is based on a true story of a man in Britain who stole Francisco Goya’s “Portrait of the Duke of Wellington” from the National Gallery in London in 1961. No, Kempton Bunton (Jim Broadbent) didn’t steal the Goya because it wasn’t obtained legally.
Bunton took the painting because he felt the government was not giving widowers and war pensioners what they deserved. In the process, he was imprisoned and shocked his wife Dorothy (Helen Mirren) for not letting her participate in the scam. This story, something legendary, has only been truly understood in recent times.
Buy it on Apple (opens in a new tab) and other services today (July 26)
We met in virtual reality (HBO Max)
Virtual reality, the metaverse, whatever you call it, the online virtual world has become a place where people go to connect. And so, HBO switched its (proverbial, virtual) cameras to virtual reality for a new special “filmed” entirely in virtual reality.
In We Met in Virtual Reality, we’ll meet people who use virtual reality to make a long-distance relationship work, practice their career prospects in the online world, and those who say they’ve stayed sane at through these worlds. Our big question is whether this look at tightly knit online communities will suffer because it is presented exclusively in the virtual world. By not showing people’s lives outside of virtual reality, the documentary may seem limited in the truths it tells.
Post it on HBO Max (opens in a new tab) starting tomorrow (Wednesday July 27)
In Topside, we meet a secret community of homeless New Yorkers – including mother Nikki (Celine Held) and daughter Little (Zhalia Farmer) – who have traveled through abandoned tunnels. Of course, because it’s New York, even their residence is completely shattered, and Nikki and Little have to go upside down.
Alone in New York, the two take refuge in a church, which does not work very well. After hitting several dead ends, the two accidentally part ways, and while Nikki desperately searches for her daughter, no one thinks she’s a suitable parent.
Post it on Hulu (opens in a new tab) Friday (July 22)
Purple Hearts (Netflix)
Aspiring (and struggling) songwriter Cassie (Sofia Carson) and sailor Luke (Nicholas Galitzine) married — as some do — for health insurance benefits. But their act of pretending to love each other turned into something completely different once Luke was injured in battle.
Back home, Luke undergoes physical therapy, while Cassie takes the stage. A ton of emotion packed into a movie that has an original song performed and co-written by Carson, Purple Hearts is probably the best new movie online this week for anyone wanting some cathartic drama.
Post it on netflix (opens in a new tab) Friday (July 29)
Wondering what it’s like for the “main character” of the news? No Deal tells that kind of story, as Danni Sanders (Zoey Deutch) fakes a vacation to try to gain social media clout only to find herself declared a hero. The Internet then, of course, turns on Danni in due time.
A cautionary tale about social media success, Not Okay feels uniquely modern. We’re not sure this will stop people from participating in online dogpiles when the next “Danni Sanders” pops up.
Post it on Hulu (opens in a new tab) Friday (July 29)