With April 2022 already halfway done, spring is well underway, and new cinematic and television programming are arriving on streaming services like Hulu and Prime Video at a steady clip. From original series making their debut on the digital platforms to old favorites that have gained new relevance, there is a lot to choose from both services’ respective libraries. Fortunately, CBR is here to help you choose the right program to binge as tax season reaches its annual deadline.
Here are the best movies and television shows to stream on Prime Video and Hulu this weekend, from supernatural Westerns and medieval horror to the best movies in Nicolas Cage and Bruce Willis’ prolific careers.
Outer Range Rustles Up a Western Mystery
15 years after starring in No Country for Old Men, Josh Brolin is back for another modern twist on the Western genre with the Prime Video original series Outer Range. Brolin stars as Wyoming rancher Royal Abbott, whose life is completely upended when a mysterious drifter named Autumn with links to the Abbott family arrives at the ranch. This coincides with Royal’s daughter going missing and a suspicious death in the local community as Royal tries to protect his family.
Boasting an all-star cast, with Brolin also serving as an executive producer alongside Brad Pitt, Outer Range is one of Prime Video’s biggest original series premieres in April. With a strange black void threatening Royal’s remote Wyoming home, Outer Darkness puts a supernatural edge on the Western genre. The series is set to debut its first two episodes on April 15, with new episodes released each subsequent Friday for its eight-episode first season.
The Rock Showcases Nicolas Cage at His Best
As Nicolas Cage stars in the meta-textual celebration of his acting career, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, one of his most acclaimed roles is currently available to stream on Prime Video. 1996’s The Rock stars Cage as FBI chemical weapons expert Stanley Goodspeed, sent to disarm a heavily armed group of terrorists headquartered in Alcatraz. Joining Stanley is SAS Captain John Patrick Mason, portrayed by Sean Connery, the only inmate to ever escape from Alcatraz alive.
The Rock really is one of Cage’s best action movie roles, delivering just the right amount of quirky swagger as he and Connery prove a surprisingly effective on-screen duo. The film is also one of the projects that catapulted director Michael Bay into blockbuster filmmaking, showing just how engaging he can stage an action sequence. With Bay’s latest film Ambulance now in theaters, The Rock also offers audiences a look at his early career and stylistic influences.
Black Death Is a Medieval Diamond in the Rough
Right before his fan-favorite performance in Game of Thrones, Sean Bean starred in a very different medieval horror story with the 2010 film Black Death. Now available to stream on Hulu, the movie has Bean portray a warrior named Ulric who is dispatched to an isolated village where an alleged necromancer has been hiding out. As Ulric and his small band of soldiers reach the village, they find its inhabitants under the full thrall of their unholy target.
Black Death could have easily been a slick period horror story, favoring style over substance as it delved into its medieval setting. Instead, filmmaker Christopher Smith opted for a more gritty, grounded twist on a small squad being sent on a deadly mission, leaving an air of ambiguity about whether or not the paranormal truly existed in the story. Grounded by performances from Bean and Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne, Black Death is an entertaining genre blend that takes full narrative advantage of its premise.
Looper Is One of Bruce Willis’ Finest Overlooked Roles
Fans around the world were devastated to learn that beloved actor Bruce Willis was retiring from acting following a diagnosis of aphasia. Amidst the widespread outpouring of support, audiences have been revisiting Willis’ career, from his more established roles like John McClane from Die Hard to his line of collaborations with acclaimed filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan. One of the more overlooked movies in Willis’ extensive filmography is the 2012 sci-fi action flick, Looper.
Streaming on Hulu, Looper has Joseph Gordon-Levitt play a hitman named Joe in the near future, with targets sent back in time to be eliminated by a fearsome crime syndicate. When Joe learns that his next target is an older version of himself, portrayed by Willis, the two men embark on a deadly cat-and-mouse game as the syndicate intervenes when Joe fails to kill his older self right away. Showing an impressive amount of emotional range while reminding audiences exactly why he’s been a bonafide action movie hero, Looper is a strong showcase for Willis’ acting chops.
Carrie Remains Frightening as Ever Over 40 Years Later
It feels like every year brings its own wave of film and television adaptations of the works of beloved author Stephen King. The first King adaptation of them all is the 1976 horror movie, Carrie, adapting the 1974 novel of the same name, starring Sissy Spacek in the title role. Victimized high schooler Carrie White begins to display telekinetic powers while being constantly bullied by her classmates and enduring the abuses of his overbearing mother, leading to a bloody outburst of her abilities.
Available to stream on Prime Video, Carrie remains one of the most chilling King adaptations over 45 years since its initial premiere. As lethal as Carrie becomes by the film’s climax, the more disturbing content is just how cruel her peers and own mother are, with Carrie’s vengeance unleashed after years of mistreatment. Carrie is a prime example of just how good a filmmaker Brian DePalma is as well as an enduring testament to King’s vision.
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