The best movies new to streaming this April

Greetings, Polygon readers! April is here, and you know what that means. That’s right: There’s a slew of exciting new films coming out in theaters this month, like the sci-fi drama The Beast starring Léa Seydoux, Alex Garland’s Civil War, Dev Patel’s Monkey Man, and more. All of those look great, but if you’re looking to enjoy a fantastic movie from the comfort of your home, there’s a wealth of great films to watch on streaming in April.

This month, we’ve got Jonathan Glazer’s harrowing historical drama The Zone of Interest, an underappreciated classic by the late, great William Friedkin, Bong Joon-ho’s terrifying monster flick The Host, and more.

Here are the movies new to streaming services you should watch this month.


Editor’s pick

Sorcerer

Image: Paramount Pictures/Warner Home Video

Where to watch: Criterion Channel
Genre: Thriller
Director: William Friedkin
Cast: Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal

Late last month, director Julien Leclercq released his latest movie, The Wages of Fear, the third remake of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s seminal 1953 thriller. If you’re looking for a nail-biting drama about a group of men risking life and limb for a second chance at life, what better film to watch than The Exorcist director William Friedkin’s 1977 remake?

Named after Miles Davis’ 1967 album, Sorcerer follows a group of four men: fugitives, resistance fighters, outcasts, and debtors, each of whom has taken refuge in a remote village in Colombia with no way home. Desperate to escape their predicament, each of them accepts a terrifying job offer: Transport a convoy of unstable dynamite through the jungle to extinguish an oil well explosion in exchange for enough money to leave the country. Over the course of their journey, all of the men are brought face-to-face with their own mortality and rendered shadows of their former selves by the ruthless perils of the jungle.

Friedkin’s film is a brutal, adrenaline-pumping experience, packed to the brim with moments that will have viewers gasping in their seats. You wanna see a man get impaled by a bunch of trees while maneuvering a truck over a unstable bridge during a raging storm? You wanna see the hope drain out of a man’s eyes as he watches his last chance at returning home erupt in a plume of hellfire? Boy, is this the movie for you! —Toussaint Egan


New on Netflix

Amadeus

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with hands outstretched, conducting a symphony in Amadeus Image: Warner Home Video

Genre: Biographical drama
Director: Miloš Forman
Cast: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge

Look: There are biographical dramas, and then there are great biographical dramas. Miloš Forman’s 1984 dramatization of the life and career of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart sits squarely within the latter category.

Told from the perspective of Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham), the film recounts the composer’s earliest meeting with Mozart, his intense jealousy of his rival’s apparent musical genius, his subsequent crisis of faith, and his inevitable plot to undermine him. As much a period epic about Mozart’s greatness as it is about Salieri’s descent into madness, Amadeus is a lavishly opulent and enrapturing ode to the power of classical music, as well as a captivating portrayal of one of the greatest haters to ever grace cinema. F. Murray Abraham’s Salieri ran so that Robert Downey Jr.’s Lewis Strauss could fly. —TE

New on Hulu

The Host

The monster in The Host barrels toward a man holding a gun Image: Magnolia Home Entertainment

Genre: Monster horror
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Byun Hee-bong, Park Hae-il

Bong Joon-ho’s career is filled with bangers, from the tense serial killer drama Memories of Murder to his Western breakthrough with Parasite. But my favorite movie of his remains The Host, an excellent example of exciting blockbuster filmmaking with a message.

After a member of the American military orders the dumping of toxic chemicals into the Han River, strange things start happening in the water. Years later, a young girl is kidnapped by a creature that emerges from the river, and it’s up to her clumsy father (Song Kang-ho) to try and save her. Bong fires on all cylinders in The Host — it’s exciting, tense, funny, and deeply emotional. It’s the best kind of blockbuster filmmaking, and if you haven’t seen it, now is your chance to fix that. —Pete Volk

New on Max

The Zone of Interest

Several people stand in a walled garden with the towers of Auschwitz behind them in The Zone of Interest Image: A24

Genre: Historical drama
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Cast: Christian Friedel, Sandra Hüller, Johann Karthaus

The further away we get from 2023, the more convinced I become that The Zone of Interest is the movie of that year, and will live on as a defining piece of cinema from this age.

Jonathan Glazer turns his camera away from the usual, often exploitative way of shooting Holocaust films, eschewing gratuitous shots of suffering to instead show the easy, casual nature with which humans can commit atrocities. It’s a triumph in storytelling and a huge formal achievement, creating a new kind of cinema through its innovative and horrifying use of sound design. It’s a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience that reminds you of the power of art, and while it may not sound like a particularly fun time, I could not recommend it more highly. —PV

New on Prime Video

Richard Jewell

A man wearing glasses consoling a distraught man seated at a diner table. Image: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Genre: Biographical drama
Director: Clint Eastwood
Cast: Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates

One of many stellar recent Clint Eastwood movies unfairly dismissed because of perceptions of the director and his politics, Richard Jewell is a great adaptation of a real story that is fully committed to the idea that people in power cannot be trusted.

Paul Walter Hauser is Richard Jewell, a quiet and awkward man who long dreamed of being a police officer, but couldn’t cut it and ended up as a security guard. While working a concert during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, he notices a suspicious package and herds people away, saving lives after the package is revealed to be a bomb. After initially being hailed as a hero, Jewell becomes the target of an FBI investigation into the bomb and an ensuing media circus, with all parties painting the one man who saved the day as a villain.

The most interesting part of Richard Jewell is the disconnect between Jewell’s beliefs about law enforcement agencies and the truth. He completely idealizes the FBI… until he’s faced with the reality of their harassment. It’s a terrific performance from Hauser, best known for his work in the comedy genre, and a very charming man in real life who plays convincingly off-type here. I’m still sore he was snubbed from the Oscars. —PV

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