What to Watch

What to Watch This Week: Oppenheimer, Barbie, and More

This week's recommendations also include a Certified Fresh sci-fi comedy, a chilly horror flick, and the return of one of television's most acclaimed lawmen.

by | July 20, 2023 | Comments


This week’s picks include a serious biopic and a not-so-serious not-so-biopic, plus a sci-fi comedy flick, the return of a very popular TV show now in miniseries form, and a horror movie.

93% Oppenheimer (2023)

Don’t sleep on this buzzy biopic hitting theaters called Oppenheimer.

There are plenty of reasons to check this one out, but let’s start with the cast, led by Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, a theoretical physicist who is considered the “Father of the Atomic Bomb.” He’s joined by names like Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Rami Malek, Robert Downey Jr., Josh Hartnett, and Kenneth Branagh in supporting roles. Yeah, that’s a lot of names.

Another reason to give this one a look is that it was written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan and based on a 2005 biography called American Prometheus. Nolan wrote the script in the first person — the first time he’s done that — to really put people in Oppenheimer’s shoes. And he was one of the first ones to dabble in IMAX black-and-white photography for this to help add to the effect. The man is an innovator.

And now that the critics have been unsilenced, we can report to you that Oppenheimer is officially Certified Fresh at 93% on the Tomatometer, with critics saying it marks another engrossing achievement from Christopher Nolan that benefits from Murphy’s tour-de-force performance and stunning visuals.

Where to Watch: In theaters

88% Barbie (2023)

Also in theaters and probably bringing a little bit more pink to the screen than Oppenheimer is Barbie.

This may not be the first film based on a popular toy line from our childhoods, but it could be the most intriguing, in part because of director and co-writer Greta Gerwig and the unique and PG-13 approach she took with the material. And if Gerwig is reason one to unbox this Barbie, reasons two through a million is the epic cast, led by Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken, as well as Issa Rae, Dua Lipa, John Cena, and Kate McKinnon just to name a few (not to mention Helen Mirren as the narrator).

Reason one million and one to go rollerblading with this Barbie — other than the striking visuals and mind-tickling nostalgia — is that it’s officially Certified Fresh on the Tomatometer at 88%.

Where to Watch: In theaters

95% They Cloned Tyrone (2023)

Another movie option is the Netflix sci-fi comedy They Cloned Tyrone.

First and foremost, we have to point out the cast for this one. (Sensing a theme this week?) This one stars John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, and Jamie Foxx, with Kiefer Sutherland and David Alan Grier also showing up in supporting roles.

Along with its strong cast, the film boasts a fun and unique mystery premise, about an unlikely trio — Boyega, Parris, and Foxx — who end up unearthing a government cloning conspiracy. Plus, They Cloned Tyrone was directed by Juel Taylor in his feature debut, which we always love to support. He also co-wrote the screenplay, something he’s pretty good at after doing it for movies like Creed II and the new Lebron movie Shooting Stars on Peacock. And lastly, this film is also Certified Fresh, currently at a whopping 98% on the Tomatometer.

Where to Watch: Netflix

91% Justified: City Primeval: Season 1 (2023)

Making his glorious return to your TV is the one and only Raylan Givens in Justified: City Primeval. This miniseries continues the story from the popular FX series Justified and is similarly based on the fictional writing of Elmore Leonard.

Of course the original Justified wasn’t just good; we’re talking six Certified Fresh seasons with three of them at 100% and nothing below 93%. So that would be reason No. 1 to watch this one, and justifiably so.

The second reason is that Timothy Olyphant is back to fill the hat of Givens, a role that earned him an Emmy nod for Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Now, 15 years removed from the hollers of Kentucky, Givens lives in Miami but finds himself taking care of some business in Detroit, where things escalate quickly.

If you really need a third reason to dive back into Justified, how about the fact that it’s already Certified Fresh at 93% on the Tomatometer, with critics saying that “Olyphant’s quickdraw charm shows no signs of dulling in City Primeval, an introspective and very welcome return for Raylan Givens.” We, for one, can’t wait.

Where to Watch: Hulu

59% Cobweb (2023)

And finally, bringing the scare factor to our list — and to theaters — is the horror flick Cobweb.

Sticking with our theme of notable casts this week, this one stars the great Lizzy Caplan and Antony Starr, the latter of whom has been killing it — and lots of people — on The Boys.

Another reason to weave your way into this movie is that the premise brings the right amount of creepiness, centering on a young boy who hears a constant “tap-tap” from inside his wall, but nobody believes him. It’s also worth noting that producers for Cobweb include Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg — two guys who seem to always be producing quality stuff — and, again, it features a first-time director in Samuel Bodin, who has so far managed to impress the critics to the tune of a Fresh 73% on the Tomatometer.

Where to Watch: In theaters

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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