What to Watch

What to Watch This Week: Evil Dead Rise, Beau Is Afraid, and More

This week's recommendations include the revival of a beloved horror franchise, new films from popular directors, and a couple of noteworthy TV series.

by | April 20, 2023 | Comments


Have no fear, as this week’s picks are the opposite of evil or dead. Along with the return of the popular Evil Dead franchise, we’re also serving up a Guy Ritchie thriller, a Joaquin Phoenix drama, a nun fighting against artificial intelligence, and the final episode of The Adventures of Baby Yoda.

Heading ito a theater near you is the horror flick Evil Dead Rise.

This marks the fifth installment in the Evil Dead film series and follows two estranged sisters trying to save their family from demonic creatures. It was written and directed by Lee Cronin, but if you’re a longtime fan of the franchise, don’t worry too much, because creator Sam Raimi did serve as an executive producer.

Plus, this one is currently Certified Fresh on the Tomatometer at 90%, with critics largely agreeing that the new entry offers just about everything longtime fans could hope for while still managing to carry the franchise forward.

Where to Watch: In theaters

Also opening in theaters is the action thriller The Covenant — well, technically Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant, since he co-wrote and directed it.

Ritchie knows his way around an action scene or two, so that’s reason No. 1 to see this movie. Plus, it has a pretty great premise: It stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a US Army sergeant who, after his life is saved by an Afghan interpreter, returns to a dangerous warzone to return the favor.

The film is currently quite Fresh on the Tomatometer at 81%, and critics are especially digging the evolution of Ritchie, who takes a much more serious tone here than he’s known for. David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter called it “a gritty change of pace” for Ritchie, while Variety’s Owen Gleiberman said, “We’re seeing a born-again filmmaker.” In other words, this isn’t Snatch or The Gentlemen, so don’t expect a lot of Cockney slang or double-crossing British shenanigans.

Where to Watch: In theaters

Another strong option in the theaters this week is the black comedy horror film Beau is Afraid, coming in Fresh at 72% on the Tomatometer.

This one stars Joaquin Phoenix, who has pretty much become a must-watch star with the unique roles he takes and the success his films have seen. And for good measure, he’s backed by a strong supporting cast that includes Nathan Lane, Amy Ryan, and Parker Posey, among others.

But Phoenix isn’t the only talent on a roll who’s involved with this project. Writer/director Ari Aster’s previous films, Hereditary and Midsommar, are both Certified Fresh critical darlings, and Beau Is Afraid looks to be his most personal film yet.

To complete the trifecta of Hollywood momentum, Beau is Afraid also comes courtesy of the indie studio A24, which has been behind countless hits over the past few years, including recent Best Picture-winner Everything Everywhere All at Once. Add all those things together, and we’ve got potential for something special.

Where to Watch: In theaters

It’s not all theatrical releases this week, though, as you could also snuggle up on the couch for the premiere of the Peacock series Mrs. Davis.

There’s plenty of good reasons to give this one your time, starting with the fact that it was co-created by Damon Lindelof, who’s been behind a ton of hit shows like Lost, The Leftovers, and Watchmen.

Plus, the series, which is Certified Fresh in its first season, stars Betty Gilpin as a nun who uses her faith to take on a powerful artificial intelligence technology — talk about a timely topic.

Speaking of Gilpin, the Emmy nominee brings a strong resume to this leading role after great parts in shows like GLOW and Nurse Jackie, and joining Gilpin in the cast is none other than character actress Margo Martindale, whose versatility and acting chops always elevate every project she’s in.

Where to Watch: Peacock

Finally, and sadly, another season of The Mandalorian comes to a close with the season 3 finale this week.

Following two Certified Fresh seasons, this third installment is also Certified Fresh on the Tomatometer, with critics once again singing the show’s praises. Another reason this finale is a must-see is that it was directed by Rick Famuyiwa, who has been behind some of the most action-packed episodes of the series so far. And while we recognize this season has been somewhat divisive for fans, it’s worth noting that a fourth season is already in development, and a recent announcement indicates that it will lead up to a feature film alongside the stars of other Disney+ Star Wars shows.

Where to Watch: Disney+

Hopefully our recommendations helped you fill up your entertainment calendar this weekend. Be sure to let us know in the comments what you watched, whether it was on this list or not!

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