The Movie Guru: “Thirteen Lives,” “Wedding Season,” and other streaming gems you might have missed
With all the movies available on streaming services these days, it’s easy to miss a few good ones. If you’re looking for something new to watch this weekend, here are a few recent releases that might become your new favorites.
Thirteen Lives (Amazon Prime)
A retelling of the 2018 rescue of a Thai youth soccer team trapped in a flooded cave, “Thirteen Lives” is director Ron Howard’s best movie in years. Even though you already know the ending of the story — there was international news coverage — you’ll still be on the edge of your seat wondering if everyone makes it out OK. Though there’s a little too much focus on the English divers who made the final rescue, you also get some beautiful side stories from other people who came to help. It’s a long movie, but it doesn’t waste a moment.
An important streaming note: If you start the film and the Thai dialogue isn’t subtitled, either switch to the Amazon app or turn on English subtitles. You’ll end up with subtitles for all the dialogue, even English, but it’s worth it. The most emotional, tender parts of the movie are all in Thai, and if you can’t understand them you’ll miss out on so much.
Wedding Season (Netflix)
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Proof that movies can be both predictable and delightful, “Wedding Season” is an Indian “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” Written by Shiwani Srivastava, the movie imbues the classic romcom structure with Indian cultural touches and a sense of humor everyone can understand. Audiences already know what’s going to happen, but they’ll have fun getting there.
A big part of that fun comes from leads Pallavi Sharda and Suraj Sharma, who have fantastic chemistry together that propels the movie forward. They do prickly banter right, making it seem charmingly believable when the two do warm up to each other. They’re the beating heart of the movie, and you’ll root for them the entire time.
Secret Headquarters (Paramount+)
If you’ve been looking for fun, family-friendly entertainment, “Secret Headquarters” is the movie for you. The movie follows a young man who discovers his absentee father has a superhero lair in his basement, a set-up that leads to both plenty of lighthearted slapstick and some unexpectedly serious moments. It’s a take that doesn’t usually pop up in superhero media — constantly saving the world means you have no time for your kid — and “Secret Headquarters” leaves room for both silliness and some poignant moments.
Walker Scobell is a delight as Charlie, believable both when he did donuts in his dad’s super van and when he wrestled with his dad’s lies. Owen Wilson is the father, and his sheer suburban dad-ness offers up an interesting take on the reluctant superhero. He’s got nice chemistry with Scobell, particularly as he starts to realize everything he missed.
Jenniffer Wardell is an award-winning movie critic and member of the Denver Film Critics Society. Find her on Twitter at @wardellwriter or drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.