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Showtime has been building out its original TV programming, unleashing cultural bookends like Who Is America? and Twin Peaks: The Return—which are even easier to watch with Hulu. But its movie selection is also robust, from documentaries to horror to comedies. Here are the best new movies on Showtime, focusing specifically on 2018 new releases.
The best new movies on Showtime: 2018 new releases
1) Operation Odessa
This is a Showtime original documentary, but at times Operation Odessa is so unbelievable it feels like a mockumentary. The cast of characters spans Russia, Colombia, Cuba, and Miami, as Operation Odessa tells the story of three men who orchestrated the $35 million sale of a weapons-loaded Soviet submarine to a Colombian drug cartel in the ‘90s. That story is crazy enough, but then there are the cocaine cowboys in the present day talking about it in hindsight. Oh, and Vanilla Ice and the 1981 film Porky’s are tangentially involved in all of this.
2) I Feel Pretty
The premise of this film was certainly enough to get people riled up: A woman named Renee (Amy Schumer) struggles with her body image until one day she takes a spill and wakes up with a newfound, ironclad sense of confidence. It’s a formula that peaked in the ’80s and ’90s to be sure, and critics called out the movie’s message of superficiality over acceptance and self-love, but I Feel Pretty quietly calls out how people treat women who assert that they’re beautiful no matter what. Beyond that premise, I Feel Pretty does have some comedic moments, thanks to fellow standup Rory Scovel as Renee’s love interest and supporting work from Aidy Bryant and Busy Phillips.
3) The House of Tomorrow
Asa Butterfield (Sex Education) stars as a young man who lives a sheltered life in a geodesic dome with his grandmother (Ellen Burstyn), but his worldview is expanded when he meets a musician his age (Hereditary’s Alex Wolff) who introduces him to punk music—and friendship. The film goes beyond an easy “this song will change your life” premise, instead focusing on the genuine friendship between the two boys. But it also tries to thread the needle from architect Buckminster Fuller to punk rock, which, why not?
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4) The Death of Stalin
Armando Iannucci perfected the bumbling power struggle with Veep, and he funnels that talent into an ensemble satire about Joseph Stalin. After the Russian dictator 1953’s death, his inner circle—including Steve Buscemi, Michael Palin, and Jeffrey Tambor—bumbles around trying to figure out who’s next, alternately grieving and plotting.
5) Blood Fest
Rooster Teeth’s Blood Fest is a tribute to horror movies, and it’s hoping you get the references. Directed by and starring Owen Egerton, Blood Fest, which debuted at SXSW 2018, is for the horror heads, those who know all the conventions of the genre, who obsess over films and directors. In Blood Fest, that is embodied by three friends: Dax (Robbie Kay), Sam (Seychelle Gabriel), and Krill (Jacob Batalon). Dax has had an obsession with horror since his mother was murdered on Halloween night by one of his father’s deranged patients. He’s secured tickets to Blood Fest, the horror festival at the heart of Blood Fest, but his dad (Tate Donovan) forbids him from going, citing horror’s negative influence.
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6) Baby Driver
Edgar Wright’s car-chase thriller has at least one advantage over the classic films it’s toasting: a killer soundtrack. Music is the foundation of Baby Driver, which stars Ansel Elgort as Baby, a stoic getaway driver who choreographs his turns and peel-outs with his iPod. Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, and Lily James co-star, and at times the movie is more like a musical than a caper.
Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.