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The 10 Best New Movies and Shows to Watch This Week

As we creep towards the end of March and spring really starts to bloom, there is still plenty to stream (especially if those allergies are getting you down). This week we have a prestige drama starring Ewan McGregor (“A Gentleman in Moscow”), a two-part documentary about Steve Martin, a new remake of “The Wages of Fear,” and the end (for now) of “The Bachelor.” Plus a documentary on Alex Jones (“The Truth vs. Alex Jones”) and the long-awaited return of both “American Rust” and “Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock.” Who did you miss more – Jeff Daniels or Boober?

On with the television!

“A Gentleman in Moscow”

Friday, March 29, Paramount+ 

L-R: Ewan McGregor as Count Rostov and Alexa Goodall as Nina in A Gentleman in Moscow episode 1, streaming on Paramount+ 2024. Photo Credit: Ben Blackall/Paramount+ With Showtime
Left to Right: Ewan McGregor and Alexa Goodall in “A Gentleman in Moscow” (Paramount)

This new limited series, based on the best-selling book of the same name by Amor Towles, follows a fictional Russian aristocrat named Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov (played by the very Scottish actor Ewan McGregor) who, following the October Revolution, is sentenced to house arrest in an opulent hotel for the rest of his life. The Bolshevik tribunal who makes this arrangement warns that, should he ever leave the hotel, something very terrible will befall him. Russia! Adapted by Ben Vanstone and co-starring McGregor’s real-life wife as an actress visiting the hotel (who the Count naturally falls in love with), the promotional materials have suggested “A Gentleman in Moscow” will have a grand historical sweep and an undercurrent of hopefulness (we could stand to use both). Plus McGregor is sporting a mustache that would make Poirot weep. Leah Harvey, Hohnny Harris, Paul Ready, John Heffernan and Alexa Goodall co-star. [TRAILER]

“The Bachelor”

Monday, March 25 at 8 p.m., ABC

(Disney/John Fleenor) LEXI, JOEY GRAZIADEI
(Disney/John Fleenor) LEXI, JOEY GRAZIADEI

Who will Joey Graziadei, the 28-year-old teaching tennis pro from Royersford, Pennsylvania, give his final rose to? And how did ABC convince 30 women that a 28-year-old teaching tennis pro from Royersford, Pennsylvania was the ultimate catch? At least one of these questions will be answered in Monday’s finale, which is immediately followed by the “After the Final Rose” special (both are hosted, of course, by Jesse Palmer). Expect the next “Bachelorette” to also be announced, as is tradition. Lots of moving pieces to this “Bachelor” finale! But we’ll be there, watching the last petal fall. [TRAILER]

“The Wages of Fear”

Friday, March 29, Netflix

wages-of-fear
Netflix

“The Wages of Fear” is a French thriller from 1953, directed and co-written by Henri-Georges Clouzot, based on the 1950 novel by George Arnaud. The plot – about a group of down-on-their-luck Europeans tasked with driving a truck full of nitroglycerine over rocky terrain in an effort to extinguish an oil fire – is deceptively simple and malleable to other scenarios. The movie has been remade twice before, first in 1958 with “Violent Road,” released by Warner Bros. and directed by Howard Koch; and more impressively in 1977 wish “Sorcerer,” directed by William Friedkin from a screenplay by Walon Green. (It also served as inspiration for a 1985 episode of “MacGyver” called “Hellfire.”) This new “Wages of Fear” is once again a French production and again involves an out-of-control oil fire, a bunch of roughnecks, dangerous cargo and some very treacherous driving conditions. It is now directed by Julien Leclerq, who made the Netflix series “Ganglands” in 2021, who contemporizes the action to modern day. It stars Franck Gastambide, Alban Lenoir, Ana Girardot and Sofiane Zermani and looks very awesome. Maybe not as awesome as the original. And definitely not as awesome as “Sorcerer.” But still. Awesome. [TRAILER]

“STEVE! (martin) a documentary in 2 pieces”

Friday, March 29, Apple TV+

Steve Martin Doc
A24/Apple

A two-part documentary about the life and career of Steve Martin, directed by Morgan Neville (“Won’t You be My Neighbor?,” “20 Feet from Stardom”) and produced by A24. Do we need to go on? Oh okay. The super-sized movie features archival footage of Martin, plus new interviews with Martin, Finn Wittrock, Martin Short, Tina Fey, Jerry Seinfeld, Eric Idle, Diane Keaton and Selena Gomez. The two sections are actually thematically specific too – “Then” “chronicles Steve Martin’s early struggles and meteoric rise to revolutionize standup before walking away at 35” (according to the official synopsis), while “Now” “focuses on the present day, with Steve Martin in the golden years of his career, retracing the transformation that led to happiness in his art and personal life.” This is one of the most anticipated documentaries of the year. We can’t wait to explore what makes this wild and crazy guy tick. [TRAILER]

“Fraggle Rock”

Apple TV+

The reboot’s second chapter sees the Fraggles, Doozers and Gorgs forced to confront their past and celebrate their interdependence, as they move through challenges together with hope, silliness and brand new songs. (Apple TV+)
The reboot’s second chapter sees the Fraggles, Doozers and Gorgs forced to confront their past and celebrate their interdependence, as they move through challenges together with hope, silliness and brand new songs. (Apple TV+)

“Fraggle Rock,” which aired in America on HBO from 1983 to 1987, is one of the most powerful (and most underrated) Jim Henson creations. Centered on a group of underground creatures called Fraggles, the series was playfully surreal, with a sweetly psychedelic aesthetic. (Look no further than Cantus, the flute-playing minstrel, voiced by Henson himself. He – and his virtues – are groovy.) It was also incredibly prescient, dealing with ecology and the way that one species impacts another. There were smaller creatures in the Fraggle world called Doozers, while they lived underneath giant creatures called Gorgs. There was also “outer space” aka the human world. It was a heady concept that only Henson and his talented collaborators could conjure. And it speaks to the elemental power of the original episodes that it was resurrected for two more seasons on Apple TV+. [WATCH]

The Best of the Rest

Alex Jones
(Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)

“The Truth vs. Alex Jones”

Tuesday, March 26 at 9 p.m., HBO

Alex Jones was always a loudmouth, obnoxious conspiracy theorist who shouted outrageous, often incendiary remarks from his studio in Texas. But when he suggested that the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting were “crisis actors,” he set of a firestorm of controversy that would ultimately envelope and destroy him. This documentary, which recently played at SXSW, “takes you inside the courtroom” as parents of the victims square off against Jones. [TRAILER]

“American Rust: Broken Justice”

Thursday, March 28, Prime Video

Incredibly, “American Rust” has returned. Three years after the original season aired, the series (based on the novel by Philipp Meyer) is back. The series still stars Jeff Daniels and Maura Tierney, only this time the show is on Prime Video instead of Showtime. The second season, set in a small rustbelt town, “picks up with a string of seemingly unrelated murders, hinting at a much larger conspiracy that threatens everyone in this small, tight-knit town” (according to the official synopsis). All 10 episodes stream Thursday. What, did you think they’d make you wait longer? [TRAILER]

“We Were the Lucky Ones”

Thursday, March 28, Hulu

“We Were the Lucky Ones,” based on the best-selling novel by Georgia Hunter, is a limited series “inspired by the incredible true story of one Jewish family separated at the start of World War II, determined to survive and reunited” (according to the official synopsis). The cast includes Joey King, Logan Lerman, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Amit Rahav, Hadas Yaron and Moran Rosenblatt star. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are some of the producers. Just have the Kleenex handy. [TRAILER]

“Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock”

Friday, March 29, Apple TV+

Dance your cares away! “Fraggle Rock” is back on Apple TV+. Two years after the first season streamed on Apple TV+, all of your favorite characters have returned, along with voice talent like Daveed Diggs, Cynthia Erivo, Dave Goelz, Ed Helms and Patti LaBelle. It’s a fun, fresh, more visually sophisticated take on the beloved Jim Henson series (see above). And it’s good that they’ve returned. Hopefully next time we won’t have to wait as long. [TRAILER]

“Renegade Nell”

Friday, March 29, Disney+

This show seems really fun and sort of bizarre (in a good way). Louisa Harland plays Nell Jackson, an 18th century highwayman, er, -woman, who encounters a magic spirit (played by “Ted Lasso’s” Nick Mohammed) that grants her special powers. Sounds fun right? It was created by Sally Wainwright, who created “Happy Valley” and “Unforgiven.” Hopefully it has the right mixture of drama, comedy and whatever else she wants to throw in there. We’re already fully on board. [TRAILER]

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