The 25 Best New Movies to Stream in April 2023

Yoshiko Yap

April is here, and if you’re looking for some great new movies to stream, we’ve got you covered. This month there’s a slew of new releases and newly streaming library titles across Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max, Hulu, Peacock and Paramount+, and we’ve thumbed through all the new selections to single out the best of the best. Whether you’re looking to catch up on some recent new releases that are now streaming (like “Bros”) or want to know whether that new documentary (“Judy Blume Forever”) or Netflix original (“Chupa”) is worth watching, we guarantee you’ll find something worthwhile to watch in our curated selection.

Check out the best new movies to stream in April 2023 below.

Here’s What’s New on Netflix in April 2023

“The Bourne Identity” and “The Bourne Supremacy”

bourne identity
Universal Pictures

Netflix – April 1

The “Bourne” trilogy still stands as one of the most influential franchises of the 21st century, as the gritty and handheld approach to the action in these films would spawn imitators for years to come. Director Doug Liman’s initial entry, “The Bourne Identity,” is a refreshingly grounded international thriller with Matt Damon as an assassin who’s lost his memory and is on the run. Paul Greengrass directed the two sequels – “Supremacy” and “Ultimatum” – which move the series closer to political thriller territory and are arguably all the better for it. – Adam Chitwood

“Inside Man”

inside-man-denzel-washington-chiwetel-ejiofor
Universal Pictures

Netflix – April 1

Spike Lee’s 2006 thriller “Inside Man” is one of the director’s best and most entertaining films. The story opens in the aftermath of a bank heist, with those taken hostage giving their interviews to police about what happened. The film then flashes back to portray the events as they unfold, with Denzel Washington playing the detective trying to talk down the robber and kidnapper (played by Clive Owen) who seems to be harboring some kind of secret. Mind games ensue, and this one keeps you guessing all the way up through the end. – Adam Chitwood

“Inception”

inception-leonardo-dicaprio
Warner Bros.

Netflix – April 1

If you’re in the mood to watch a mind-bending thriller, you can’t go wrong with Christopher Nolan’s 2010 blockbuster “Inception.” Written and directed by Nolan, the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a professional thief who is proficient in performing heists within the subconscious of individuals who are subdued. He’s offered one last job in exchange for his freedom, and assembles a crew to perform a task thought near-impossible — planting an idea inside someone’s head. Marion Cotillard, Elliot Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, and Michael Caine co-star in this action-packed adventure with surprising emotional heft. – Adam Chitwood

“Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields”

Pretty Baby Brooke Shields
Hulu

Hulu – April 1

“Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields” charts the life and career of model and actress Brooke Shields, with the name taken from the controversial 1978 Louis Malle movie written by Polly Platt where Shields appeared, at age 12, fully nude. By using the name of that movie, it’s clear that filmmaker Lena Wilson (who also made the stunning “After Tiller,” a movie that is even more powerful now) and Shields are attempting to reclaim the title. If her agency was taken away so many years ago, now it is time to give it to the person who it should have belonged to all along. The two-part documentary initially debuted at Sundance and received rapturous reviews. Now it’s time for the rest of the world to watch. – Drew Taylor

“Lincoln”

lincoln daniel day lewis
DreamWorks Pictures

Hulu – April 1

Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” is one of his best films, bar-none, and maybe even slightly underappreciated. This is not your traditional cradle-to-grave biopic. Instead, Spielberg’s adaptation of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals” gets to the heart of the U.S. President by chronicling the last few months of his life as he battled to pass the 13th amendment. Daniel Day-Lewis delivers a phenomenal performance as a man wrestling with his own soul, and he’s surrounded by one of the best ensembles ever put to film – Sally Field, James Spader, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, Hal Holbrook, Adam Driver, Jared Harris, Gloria Reuben and so many more. – Adam Chitwood

“Mission to Mars”

mission-to-mars
Disney

Hulu – April 1

Brian De Palma’s last studio movie, before cobbling together independently financed features, mostly in Europe, for the past couple of decades, was Disney’s first movie-based-on-a-theme-park experiment. Why they chose a nominally remembered attraction that had closed at both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World almost a decade earlier remains a point of confusion, but the film is a hoot. Don Cheadle plays an astronaut marooned on Mars after an exploratory mission goes wrong, with Gary Sinise leading a crew composed of Jerry O’Connell, Tim Robbins and Connie Nielsen, who venture out to the red planet to rescue their friend and colleague. De Palma has distanced himself in the years since the movie was released (in the terrific documentary “De Palma,” he says that he was filling in for a filmmaker who had already left the project, inheriting the cast and the script) but this is a De Palma joint through and through – many of his key collaborators are along for the ride (including editor Paul Hirsch, cinematographer Stephen Burum, and “The Untouchables” composer Ennio Morricone) and the movie is full of elegant long-takes and masterful suspense (including a moment where a main character dies). The movie is somewhat undone by iffy visual effects in the last act and quite possibly the worst alien design in the history of cinema, but up until that point it’s effective hokum of the highest order. Take this mission. – Drew Taylor

“Oblivion”

oblivion-tom-cruise-olga-kurylenko
Universal Pictures

Peacock – April 1

Before Tom Cruise and Joseph Kosinski teamed for the mega-blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick,” they made “Oblivion,” an odd “daytime sci-fi” movie about the last man on Earth (Cruise), tasked with making sure marauding aliens don’t interfere with giant terraforming machines. (Yes, Cruise is playing WALL•E essential. And yes, it is excellent.) Recent Oscar nominee Andrea Riseborough plays Cruise’s partner and wife whose intentions remain obscured. And Morgan Freeman is the leader of a group of freedom fighters on the planet. Is “Oblivion” the most cohesive sci-fi spectacle you’ve ever seen? Probably not. But it is surely one of the most artful, with Kosinski’s video-art-installation aesthetic meshing perfectly with the movie’s odd tone (embroidered by a beautiful electronic score by French musician M83). By the end, it’s hard not to fall in love with “Oblivion,” even with its peaks and valleys, and it’s even easier to admire it for its bluster, energy and ambition. – Drew Taylor

The Best Movies on HBO Max Right Now

“Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping”

popstar-andy-samberg-image
Universal Pictures

Peacock – April 1

One of the funniest and best comedies of the last decade, “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” also features a killer soundtrack. Underseen and underrated upon release in 2016, the film hails from The Lonely Island trio and stars Andy Samberg as a current mega-popstar and former member of a Beastie Boys-like group whose latest album releases (and bombs) in the midst of a worldwide tour. The film is mockumentary in style like “This Is Spinal Tap,” but always embraces the absurd to hilarious results. Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer, Maya Rudolph, Chris Redd, Tim Meadows, Bill Hader and Imogen Poots co-star. – Adam Chitwood

“Tangerine”

tangerine-movie
Magnolia Pictures

HBO Max – April 1

Before “The Florida Project” or “Red Rocket,” filmmaker Sean Baker burst onto the scene with his 2015 comedy “Tangerine” – shot entirely on an iPhone. Kitana Kiki Rodriguez stars as a trans sex worker living in Los Angeles who finds out that her boyfriend and pimp has been cheating on her. While it looks like an indie and tackles some heavy material at times, the film has the tone and pacing of a raucous comedy, and is all the better for it. – Adam Chitwood

“The Long Riders”

the-long-riders
United Artists

HBO Max – April 1

One of director Walter Hill’s greatest and most underrated movies, 1980’s “The Long Riders” is built around an intriguing gimmick that could have just as easily sunk the movie – in depicting groups of western outlaws, each of them brothers, Hill cast real-life brothers in the roles. James and Stacy Keach play Jesse and Frank James; David, Keith and Robert Carradine play Cole, Kim and Bob; Dennis and Randy Quaid play Ed and Clell Miller; and Christopher and Nicholas Guest play Charley and Robert Ford. Working with regular collaborators like cinematographer Ric Waite and composer Ry Cooder, Hill creates an expressive, expansive canvas and all of the real-life family members pull their weight in a very real way. And best of all, the movie runs a svelte 99 minutes. We love a big movie with a short runtime. – Drew Taylor

“Mud”

mud
Lionsgate

HBO Max – April 1

Jeff Nichols is one of the most talented filmmakers working today and nowhere is this more evident than in “Mud,” a dramatic thriller about a pair of teenagers (Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland) who employ the title character (played by Matthew McConaughey), a criminal with a twinkle in his eye who is hiding out on an island in the middle of the Mississippi. Inspired by the works of Mark Twain (you can definitely tell), “Mud” features an all-star supporting cast of your favorite character actors, including Sam Shepard, Michael Shannon, Joe Don Baker and Paul Sparks; plus Reese Witherspoon in an ego-free supporting role as Mud’s girlfriend. Gorgeously photographed and with a vibe all its own, “Mud” sweeps you up and doesn’t let you go. If you’ve never seen it, prepare to be enchanted. If you already have, maybe it’s time for a re-watch. – Drew Taylor

“Basic Instinct 2”

basic-instinct-2
MGM

Paramount+ – April 1

The original “Basic Instinct” was a sensation when it was released in 1992; it was a lightning storm for controversy and a box office behemoth. The sequel, which came out more than a decade later and was really only made because of a very expensive lawsuit star Sharon Stone had filed, went over like a lead balloon. Several directors flirted with the project (including John McTiernan and David Cronenberg), before it was handed to Scottish filmmaker Michael Canton-Jones. (Canton-Jones later admitted that it was a “painful experience” and that he signed on because he was “completely broke and had to take anything that came in. ‘Basic Instinct 2’ was this poisoned chalice that had been passed around and eventually it arrived at my door.”) And yet, there’s a certain fun to be had with “Basic Instinct 2,” which is even better if you make sure to include its discarded subtitle “Risk Addiction.” Stone is absolutely having the time of her life, snarling all of her lines (many of them falling into the campy realm of “so bad they’re good”). This time her character is in London and being scrutinized by a stuffy psychiatrist (a completely out-of-his-depth David Morrissey) and surrounded by a cast of colorful supporting players including Charlotte Rampling, David Thewlis and Irma Varma. It might have been a nightmare to make and a complete bust at the box office, but “Basic Instinct 2” is ripe for rediscovery and reevaluation. It’s a future midnight movie classic worthy of the pantheon. We assure you. – Drew Taylor

“Heaven’s Gate”

heavens-gate
United Artists

Paramount+ – April 1

Few box office misfires are so devastating that they bring down an entire studio and ruin the reputation of one of the most celebrated filmmakers of his generation. But, incredibly, “Heaven’s Gate” did just that. Loosely based on the Johnson County Wars, whose archetypal-bordering-on-mythic framework (pitting homesteaders against cattlemen) also inspired classic westerns like “Shane” and “The Virginian,” the shoot was notoriously difficult and went long and overbudget, with principal photography lasting for nearly an entire year. Much of this had to do with the exacting (some would say demanding) perfectionism of writer/director Michael Cimino, coming off the Oscar-winning smash “The Deer Hunter.” When the movie was finally released, it was a monumental disappointment and was pulled from theaters, re-edited, and released back into theaters the following spring. And while it gained notoriety, first on the cutting-edge premium cable channel Z Channel and then, in 2013, when the full version was restored (now clocking in at 216-minutes) and reappraised as an unsung masterpiece. The pain of the production (which included criminal allegations of animal abuse) and the ensuing fallout from the film’s release (it virtually killed United Artists and has been cited as the reason studios wrestled control from filmmakers, as was the norm in the 1970s) has done much to overshadow was a genuinely impressive, overwhelming experience watching “Heaven’s Gate” is. Was it a lousy movie that deserved, for so many years, to be buried (and then mocked)? Or was it a misunderstood classic that is finally getting the attention it deserves? The only way to have an opinion is to watch. – Drew Taylor

The 30 Best Movies on Paramount+ Right Now

“Lifeforce”

lifeforce
Cannon Films

Paramount+ – April 1

After “Texas Chain Saw Massacre” director Tobe Hooper made two big studio horror films (“The Funhouse” for Universal and “Poltergeist” for MGM/UA), he was courted by Cannon Films, the somewhat dubious label behind such classics as “The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood,” “Enter the Ninja” and “Death Wish II” (among many, many others). They offered Hooper a lucrative three-picture deal, with the only string attached being that he had to make a “Texas Chain Saw” sequel for Cannon (which he did, in the most subversive way possible). The first (and best) of the Hooper/Cannon movies was “Lifeforce,” which Hooper gleefully described as his “70 mm Hammer movie.” Based on the novel “The Space Vampires” by Colin Wilson, Steve Railsback plays an astronaut who unwittingly wakes up an ancient evil (in the form of a very scary, frequently naked Mathilda May) and then must try and stop her from destroying the planet. Lively and colorful, “Lifeforce” features a terrific score by Henry Mancini, eye-popping visual effects by John Dykstra and a witty script co-written by “Alien” screenwriter Dan O’Bannon. It’s just so much fun. – Drew Taylor

“Out of Time”

out-of-time
MGM

Paramount+ – April 1

What a great thriller. When Denzel Washington and his “Devil in a Blue Dress” director Carl Franklin decided to reteam for another thriller, they went for “Out of Time,” a terrific, underrated thriller that moves like a freight train and is an absolute blast. Washington plays the morally compromised chief of police in a small town in the Florida Keys. His world spins out of control when he decides to steal money from the evidence locker to pay for the medical treatment for the local woman he’s having an affair with (played by Sanna Lathan). If things couldn’t get more complicated, the crime is being investigated by his ex-wife (Eva Mendes), who he still has a flirty, flinty relationship with. And, oh yeah, the DEA is involved too. This is true edge-of-your-seat stuff, with each minute in the movie’s 106-minute runtime more thrilling than the last and Washington providing a performance that reminds you why he’s one of the last remaining movie stars. This movie is, like a hurricane, a true tropical tour de force. It’ll blow you away. – Drew Taylor

“The Godfather” Trilogy

the-godfather-marlon-brando
Paramount Pictures

Paramount+ – April 1

One of the greatest film sagas ever made, you can stream the entire “Godfather” trilogy on Paramount+ right now – including Francis Ford Coppola’s reworked version of “The Godfather Part III,” now titled “The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.” All three films are remastered and looking better than ever, and the only question you need to ask yourself is whether “The Godfather” or “The Godfather Part II” is better. – Adam Chitwood

“Fast Times at Ridgemont High”

fast-times-at-ridgemont-high
Universal Pictures

Prime Video – April 1

“Fast Times at Ridgemont High” is many things – the debut feature from the wonderful Amy Heckerling; Cameron Crowe’s first produced screenplay; an astounding collection of early performances from future powerhouses like Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Forest Whitaker; perhaps the greatest non-John Hughes teen movie of the 1980’s – but the thing that really should make you want to watch (or re-watch) the movie is its extensive, era-appropriate documentation of the American mall. These days, it’s hard to find a living mall, much less one that is packed to the gills with teenagers eating food, shopping in retail locations and going to the movies. What makes “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” even more special is the mall where they shot the movie, the Sherman Oaks Galleria (also utilized in movies like “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” “Commando” and “Chopping Mall”), was destroyed and largely remodeled following the Northridge earthquake that shook the San Fernando Valley in 1994. “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” is a time machine to an earlier, more innocent, more mall-filled time. And other stuff. – Drew Taylor

“The Sisters Brothers”

the-sisters-brothers
Annapurna Pictures

Prime Video – April 1

Talk about a movie that nobody saw and even fewer people talked about. It’s not because it didn’t have stars, since it’s cast includes John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riz Ahmed and Rutger Hauer. Nor is it because the filmmakers behind the movie were obscure, since it was directed by the Palme d’Or-winning director of “A Prophet” and “Rust and Bone,” making his English-language debut, and was produced by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna (sort of the proto-A24) and Michael De Luca (who now runs Warner Bros. Pictures). And yet this darkly comedic western, about a pair of lowlife brothers (Reilly and Phoenix) who are sent to track down a scientist (Ahmed) who has concocted a formula that can help prospectors find gold, didn’t get any attention whatsoever and failed miserably at the box office. It’s a shame too because it’s absolutely stunning, switching wisely between tones and styles and genuinely upending the genre in a way that only a foreign filmmaker probably could. It’s also one of the most beautiful-looking westerns you’re ever likely to see, with a terrific score by the great Alexandre Desplat. When you watch it you’ll think, How have I never heard of this before? Well, don’t say we didn’t give you a heads-up. – Drew Taylor

The 41 Best Movies on Amazon Prime (April 2023)

“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

tinker-tailor-soldier-spy
StudioCanal

Prime Video – April 1

If you’re in the mood for a smart and brainy spy thriller, look no further than “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” Based on the John le Carre novel of the same name, the 2011 film stars Gary Oldman as George Smiley, right-hand man to head of British intelligence, and follows the ins and outs of an espionage operation gone wrong in the early 1970s. This is not a movie you can watch passively, nor would you want to. And a stacked ensemble cast of Tom Hardy, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong and Simon McBurney serves as further reason to check this one out. – Adam Chitwood

“Bros”

bros-billy-eichner
Universal Pictures

Prime Video – April 4

If you missed Billy Eichner’s rom-com “Bros” when it hit theaters or was streaming on Peacock, the film comes to Amazon Prime Video this month. Directed and co-written by “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Neighbors” filmmaker Nicholas Stoller, “Bros” stars Eichner as a man who has recently accepted a position as curator for a new National LGBTQ+ History Museum in New York City, and is struggling to find love in the big city. He strikes up a hot-and-cold relationship with a jock-y guy named Aaron (Luke Macfarlane) and your usual rom-com story follows with solid jokes and a lot of heart along the way. – Adam Chitwood

“Chupa”

chupa-netflix
Netflix

Netflix – April 7

In the 1990s a young boy (played by Evan Whitten) is visiting his grandfather (Demián Bichir) in Mexico when he forms an unlikely friendship with a Chupacabra – a “goat-sucking” creature in Mexican mythology. As it turns out, this Chupacabra, who the boy names Chupa, isn’t a fearsome, vampire-like abomination but an adorable, furry, feathered creature, like a dog with wings. (A connection is made between the creature and alebrijes, the monsters in Mexican folk-art that seem to be made of disparate animals.) Clearly borrowing from ‘80s kid-befriendsly-nonhuman-creature classics like “E.T.” and “Gremlins” (“Gremlins” writer Chris Columbus produced the movie), with ‘80s icon Christian Slater basically playing a modified version of Peter Coyote’s character from “E.T.,” “Chupa” is still charming and affecting. The kids give solid performances, and the creature is well-designed and emotionally involving; you care about his plight and that he is returned to his family (of bigger, scarier Chupacabras). Directed by Jonás Cuarón, the son of Alfonso Cuarón and the co-writer of “Gravity,” “Chupa” is also gifted with more visual wit and ingenuity than most family films released these days. If you give “Chupa” a chance, you’ll be rewarded. – Drew Taylor

“Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always”

mighty-morphin-power-rangers-once-and-always
Netflix

Netflix – April 19

Multiple original “Power Rangers” actors return to reprise their roles in this new original film, although sadly Amy Jo Johnson (the Pink Ranger) and the late Jason David Frank (Tommy) are not in the film. The synopsis is as follows: When Rita Repulsa returns, the Power Rangers are the only ones who can stop her. But after 30 years, can the team still be the heroes the world needs? – Adam Chitwood

“Judy Blume Forever”

Prime Video

Prime Video – April 21

Whether you’re a Judy Blume diehard or barely even know who she is, the documentary “Judy Blume Forever” is an enlightening must-watch. The film – which features interviews with various authors and notable personalities in addition to Blume herself – recounts how Judy Blume made waves and ruffled feathers with her realistic portrayal of what it’s like to be a young girl. Blume recounts the various controversies her books drummed up while so many current authors and voices explain just how formative and influential Blume’s approach to storytelling was for their own careers. – Adam Chitwood

‘Judy Blume Forever’ Directors on the Author’s Legacy: ‘Books That Get Censored Are the Books People Are Afraid Of’ (Video)

“The Hateful Eight” Extended Version

the-hateful-eight
TWC

Netflix – April 25

Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” had one of the most bungled releases of all time. It was put out by the Weinstein Company, then floundering after a series of costly failures, which didn’t have the money to properly market or promote the movie. And it went out in theaters, first in a longer “roadshow” version in 70mm venues (matching the way that it was shot) and then in a more condensed, all-audiences version that happened to be released around the same time as a little movie called “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which was bidding for the same large-format screens that “The Hateful Eight” wanted to utilize. (Guess which movie won out?) And it’s a shame too because that roadshow version is so good and has never been properly released. As an alternative, though, you can watch a Netflix miniseries version of Tarantino’s misunderstood masterpiece, which is slightly longer than the roadshow cut and released in four chapters. It’s the perfect way to watch the movie, a pitch-black locked-door western in the tradition of “Ten Little Indians” and John Carpenter’s “The Thing,” as you’re able to luxuriate in the whip-smart script, the subtleties of the performances (led by Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell) and Tarantino’s widescreen direction and staging. If we can’t ever get the roadshow version, this is the next best thing, especially as we barrel toward QT’s retirement. – Drew Taylor

“Peter Pan & Wendy”

peter-pan-and-wendy
Disney

Disney+ – April 28

Around the time that 2016’s remake of “Pete’s Dragon” was released, Disney announced that co-writer/director David Lowery was on the hook for another high-profile live-action remake, this time of 1953’s animated classic “Peter Pan.” And now “Peter Pan & Wendy” is finally here. Starring Alexander Molony as Peter Pan and Ever Anderson (Milla Jovovich’s daughter) as Wendy, with Jude Law as Captain Hook, this new take on the animated original (and the source material by J.M. Barrie) looks to include many of the same elements that made the original versions so special while also making room for new story beats and additional visual flourishes. Also, thankfully, Lowery hired an actual indigenous actress (Alyssa Wapanatahk) to play Tiger Lily. (We’re guessing “What Makes the Red Man Red” is being left off the soundtrack this time around.) Given that Lowery, already a talented filmmaker when “Pete’s Dragon” was released, recently made the medieval masterpiece “The Green Knight,” we’re guessing that “Peter Pan & Wendy” will be plenty special. – Drew Taylor

The Best Movies on HBO Max Right Now

Next Post

CalArts Anniversary Weekend Celebrates 50 A long time of Experimentation in Visible and Undertaking Arts

Established half a century back by Walt and Roy Disney as a multidisciplinary “community of the arts,” California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) has captivated generations of artists who have set the major edge of up to date practice across the accomplishing and visible arts. To celebrate its very first […]

You May Like