Memorial Day weekend movie guide: What to watch, from Disney’s ‘Cruella’ to ‘A Quiet Place Part II’

Hallelujah! We’re going to have a Memorial Day weekend full of new movies, at home and in movie theaters.

The vast majority of cinemas are back up and running, and director John Krasinski’s ready to freak you out with a sequel to his 2018 horror hit “A Quiet Place.” Emma Stone’s take on Cruella de Vil is also invading the big screen starting Friday, though if you prefer an at-home viewing, you can check out this new take on the classic villainess on the Disney+ streaming service. If all that’s not thrilling enough, Angelina Jolie’s saving kids from assassins, Chris Rock is hunting down creepy cop killers and Zack Snyder’s unleashed a bunch of zombies on Las Vegas. (The undead kind, not the folks who’ve been gambling all night and need a nap.)

In other words: You need a movie this long weekend? We got you, fam. Here’s a guide to what’s out there that’ll satisfy every cinematic taste, whether you want to mask up for a trip to the nearest big screen or if you’re just fine hunkering down on the couch:

Tips: Heading back to the movie theater this Memorial Day? Here’s what to know about new safety protocols

Emma Stone plays the classic Disney villainess as a young 1970s punk fashionista in "Cruella." (Photo: LAURIE SPARHAM)

If you want to see Emma Stone go to the dark side: ‘Cruella’

Boosted by bonkers outfits and a chef’s kiss of a soundtrack, the fun and stylish coming-of-age crime comedy casts Stone as a young British fashion designer named Estella who wants to take down her cruel, icy idol/boss (Emma Thompson) and becomes Cruella – though not exactly the classic Disney baddie we’ve seen before. For the Mouse House, it’s a bold move that might not hook in young kids but will appeal to teens and tweens.

Where to watch: In theaters and on Disney+ (with Premier Access)

Review: Emma Stone’s ‘Cruella’ fashions the coolest Disney movie in forever

After facing tragedy in the first film, Evelyn (Emily Blunt) braves the unknown and tries to keep her kids safe in a landscape filled with monsters in the horror sequel "A Quiet Place Part II.” (Photo: JONNY COURNOYER)

If you find silence generally unnerving: ‘A Quiet Place Part II’

A quiet cinema – i.e., social-distanced from popcorn eaters – is the best place to rattle your nerves watching this solid horror sequel. Though not quite as good as the innovative original, the new film expands the post-apocalyptic world where blind alien creatures with great hearing hunt down anything that makes noise and a family (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe) tries to stay alive.

Where to watch: In theaters

Review: ‘A Quiet Place Part II’ roars back as a solidly freaky, monster-filled followup

Chris Rock and Max Minghella play police partners who have secrets in "Spiral: From the Book of Saw." (Photo: Brooke Palmer)

If you yearn for A-listers and gore: ‘Spiral: From the Book of Saw’

The ninth and latest chapter in the long-running “Saw” horror series adds star power (executive producer Chris Rock) as well as a cop-thriller twist on the usual murderous trap madness. A copycat of the infamous Jigsaw Killer is targeting police officers, and Rock plays a detective obsessed with catching the bad guy. It’s worth it alone to see Samuel L. Jackson in a fright fest.

Where to watch: In theaters

‘Spiral’: The most diabolical death traps of the ‘Saw’ horror films, ranked

Scott Ward (Dave Bautista) trudges through the remnants of a zombie outbreak for a daring Las Vegas casino heist in "Army of the Dead." (Photo: CLAY ENOS/NETFLIX)

If you like when Dave Bautista blows stuff up: ‘Army of the Dead’

Snyder’s zombie heist thriller centers on a crew of mercenaries (including Bautista and Tig Notaro) who have to steal $200 million from a casino in undead-infested, quarantined Vegas before a nuclear blast wipes out the city on the Fourth of July. (We’re not even kidding.) Yes, it’s absolutely nuts but also decently watchable given the zombie tiger and rotting creepers with some personality.

Where to watch:Netflix

‘Like Braveheart but flipped’: Zack Snyder evolves zombies in a big way for ‘Army of the Dead’

Smokejumper Hannah (Angelina Jolie) and young Connor (Finn Little) encounter a number of dangerous situations in "Those Who Wish Me Dead." (Photo: EMERSON MILLER)

If you like when Angelina Jolie saves the day: ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’

In Taylor Sheridan’s throwback wilderness thriller, a self-destructive Montana smokejumper (Jolie) haunted by past tragedy gets a chance at redemption by helping a boy (Finn Little) being pursued by hitmen (Aidan Gillen and Nicholas Hoult) and an out-of-control wildfire. Seeing Jolie crazily defy death every 15 minutes or so is one of the few highlights in this middling affair.

Where to watch: In theaters and on HBO Max

Review: Even with a game Angelina Jolie, ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ is a good-looking flameout

Strait-laced Sunny (Kuhoo Verma, left) and her rebel BFF Lupe (Victoria Moroles) are South Dakota high schoolers on an epic trip to find a morning-after pill in the comedy "Plan B." (Photo: BRETT ROEDEL/HULU)

If you yearn for a good, inclusive teen sex comedy: ‘Plan B’

Fans of “Blockers” and “Booksmart” – super-clever, female-centric takes on a familiar subgenre – will find lots to love in director Natalie Morales’ fun and heartfelt one-crazy-night caper. Sunny (Kuhoo Verma) is a “good girl” South Dakota high schooler who regrettably loses her virginity to the wrong guy, and she hits the road with her best friend Lupe (Victoria Moroles) to get the morning-after pill at an out-of-town Planned Parenthood.

Where to watch:Hulu

Mary (Rosario Dawson) embraces her caring son Gunner (Lonnie Chavis) in the family adventure "The Water Man." (Photo: KAREN BALLARD)

If you dig Spielbergian kid adventures: ‘The Water Man’

Director David Oyelowo’s directorial debut is an old-school fantasy lending artistic graphic-novel sequences and a vibrant 1980s sensibility to the tale of a young boy (Lonnie Chavis) who ventures into a forest with a rebellious new friend (Amiah Miller) to find an immortal mythical man to see if he can help his leukemia-stricken mother (Rosario Dawson). 

Where to watch:Apple TV, Vudu, Fandango Now and in theaters

‘The Water Man’: Rosario Dawson drove her family across country mid-pandemic on ’empowering’ bus trip

Toni Collette stars as a Welsh bartender who gets financial help from family and friends to train a race horse and finds finds overnight success in "Dream Horse." (Photo: KERRY BROWN/BLEECKER STREET)

If you could use your heart warmed: ‘Dream Horse’

Toni Collette headlines the mushy yet likeable underdog Welsh dramedy, based on a true story, as a grocery-store worker and bartender who really wants to breed a racehorse. With the help of her husband (Owen Teale) and a local accountant (Damian Lewis), she gets her fellow townsfolk to help her invest in their prized new effort named Dream Alliance, whose overnight success brings togetherness as well as conflict.

Where to watch: In theaters

Archived home movies and new interviews revisit the lives of those who participated in Hitler's Third Reich in the documentary "Final Account." (Photo: Focus Features)

If you live for historical deep dives: ‘Final Account’

Not an easy watch but in many ways an essential one, the late Luke Holland’s gripping Holocaust documentary revisits the darkest days of Nazi Germany before and during World War II with the last living generation of participants in Hitler’s Third Reich. Archival footage is interspersed with interviews featuring former Hitler Youth, SS stormtroopers and others in a fascinating study full of deep regret as well as stunning ambivalence.

Where to watch: In theaters

‘Final Account’: Holocaust documentary is the searing last mission for late director Luke Holland

Valter Skarsgård plays a C-list celebrity ex-husband participating in a "Big Brother"-style reality show with a bloody twist in "Funhouse." (Photo: MAGNET RELEASING)

If you can’t stand social-media influencers: ‘Funhouse’

Another Skarsgård enters the chat – 25-year-oldValter Skarsgård, son of Stellan, younger bro of Alexander and Bill – in this horror film that resembles an overlong, very mediocre “Black Mirror” episode. A bunch of C-level celebrities are rounded up for a strange online “Big Brother”-style reality show, hosted by a twisted cartoon panda, that turns into a bloody series of death challenges to win $5 million.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Vudu, Fandango Now and in theaters

Dance-music icon Moby has a deep chat with Death in the documentary "Moby Doc." (Photo: GREENWICH ENTERTAINMENT)

If you are a Moby super-fan: ‘Moby Doc’

Only one documentary this year is likely to have a deep convo between an electronic-music guru and Death. Rather than take part in a conventional biography (though that’s pretty much what this is), Moby wants to get to the “whys” of life, from his career to his love of animals, in this mercurial and avant-garde flick full of animated sequences, meta dramatizations and Moby telling stories in a grocery store on his cellphone.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Vudu, Fandango Now

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