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What to watch this weekend: Disney's 'Jungle Cruise,' 'The Green Knight,' 'Stillwater'

USA TODAY
USA TODAY
 2021-07-29

Need to escape nonstop Olympics coverage and watch a new movie this weekend? There are plenty of places to see them with theaters back up and running for the summer season and new films still streaming at home to entertain you and your family.

This weekend is a packed one, starting with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt teaming up for an action-adventure based on a Disney theme-park ride . Dev Patel saddles up for a dark Arthurian fantasy , Matt Damon plays a desperate dad in a French-set thriller, and  "Black Panther" star Winston Duke gets a lead role as a chooser of souls in an existential drama.

Here's a guide to movies that'll satisfy every cinematic taste, whether you want to mask up for a trip to the nearest big screen or you're fine hunkering down on the couch:

If you want to see The Rock do his best Indiana Jones impression: 'Jungle Cruise'

Never actually been on the ( recently updated ) Disneyland ride? This is pretty much the experience, but with a lot more computer-generated critters. Set during World War I, the goofy and enjoyable journey centers on a punny skipper (Johnson) taking an eager explorer (Blunt) down the Amazon to find an ancient mystical tree artifact and running afoul of a crazy German prince (Jesse Plemons) in a submarine and a cursed conquistador (Edgar Ramírez).

Where to watch: In theaters and on Disney+ via Premier Access

Review: Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt are well-matched heroes on a cheesy-fun 'Jungle Cruise'

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"The Green Knight" (July 30, theaters): Sir Gawain (Dev Patel), King Arthur's headstrong nephew, runs into ghosts, giants and thieves on his epic quest to confront the formidable, emerald-skinned Green Knight in David Lowery's fantasy. ERIC ZACHANOWICH/A24 FILMS

If you enjoy a proper fantasy quest: 'The Green Knight'

David Lowery, who directed the best movie of 2017 ("A Ghost Story"), scores again with this dazzling Camelot tale – and new addition to the Christmas movie canon , since it involves a holiday celebration – about honor, heroism and mortality. King Arthur's nephew (Dev Patel) ventures to confront the mysterious title knight and runs into obstacles that test his bravery, from a temptress (Alicia Vikander) to a ghostly damsel in distress (Erin Kellyman).

Where to watch: In theaters

Review: You'll lose your head over a great Dev Patel and dazzling 'The Green Knight'

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Winston Duke stars as a man tasked with conducting a series of interviews with human souls for a chance to be born and he finds a connection with one of them (Zazie Beetz) in "Nine Days." MICHAEL COLES/SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

If you want to chew on the meaning of life: 'Nine Days'

Writer/director Edson Oda's debut feature is a deep, insightful and ultimately uplifting drama about the human experience. Duke plays a quiet and reserved man in a desert afterlife who chooses which souls should be born on Earth. When a vacancy opens up, he begins a nine-day process pick from a crop of newbies, including one (Zazie Beetz) who reminds him of what it means to really live.

Where to watch: In theaters

'I miss my friend': Winston Duke gets existential with 'Nine Days,' reflects on Chadwick Boseman

If you live for Matt Damon and/or family dramas: 'Stillwater'

Director Tom McCarthy ("Spotlight") and his A-list star are both on their games for this film that juggles a couple of genres splendidly. Damon plays an unemployed Oklahoma roughneck who moves to France to help get his estranged daughter (Abigail Breslin), a convicted murderer, out of jail. But he also finds redemption – and a larger world view – befriending a theater actress (Camille Cottin) and her 8-year-old.

Where to watch: In theaters

'How did I mess that up?': Matt Damon talks 'Stillwater,' parenting and writing again with Ben Affleck

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<strong>14. &quot;The Boy Behind the Door&quot;:</strong>&nbsp;Lonnie Chavis (&quot;This Is Us&quot;) stars as young boy who has to rescue his&nbsp;best pal Ezra Dewey) when they&#39;re&nbsp;kidnapped and taken to a strange house in the country in an&nbsp;excellent survival chiller with a cool twist. AFI FEST

If you could use a good horror movie: 'The Boy Behind the Door'

In this excellent survival chiller with a cool twist, Lonnie Chavis ("This Is Us") stars as young boy named Bobby who has to rescue his best pal Kevin (Ezra Dewey) when they're kidnapped and taken to a strange house in the country. The youthful heroism smooths out the film's visceral and all-too-real nature as Bobby escapes and stealthily avoids his captor while trying to save the day.

Where to watch: Shudder

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"Ride the Eagle" (Late summer, theaters and VOD): Jake Johnson co-writes and stars in the heartfelt comedy as a man who inherits his late's mom's Yosemite cabin and has to complete her elaborate to-do list of making amends. JTJ FILMS

If you're a Jake Johnson superfan: 'Ride the Eagle'

More serious than it should be, the comedy-drama gets a boost from "The New Girl" star as a directionless bongo player whose estranged mom (Susan Sarandon) dies and leaves him her cool Yosemite mountain cabin – but only if he crosses every item off a wish list she left, from calling up his old flame (D'Arcy Carden) to realizing the natural wonders around him.

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

If you dig retro teen comedies: 'The Exchange'

The 1980s-set film stars Ed Oxenbould as an awkward Canadian teen who feels like an outcast and agrees to host a French exchange student, thinking the new kid might be a cultured, academic sort. What he gets instead is an ultrasmooth, cologne-drenched dude (Avan Jogia) who quickly becomes the coolest guy in school. Justin Hartley co-stars as a porn-stached P.E. teacher in the quirky charmer.

Where to watch: Apple TV , Vudu , Fandango Now

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An ex-con (Pablo Schreiber) gets out of jail and reunites with his high school sweetheart (Jena Malone) in the working-class drama "Lorelei." VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT

If you need a solid redemption story: 'Lorelei'

Director Sabrina Doyle's drama is a heartfelt affair with a fabulous turn from Pablo Schreiber as a biker fresh off a 15-year prison sentence for bank robbery. Trying to get his footing again, he runs into his high school sweetheart, a single mom (Jena Malone) with oversized ambitions. When she turns out to be a bit of a mess, he steps in to become a father figure for her three kids while navigating his own struggles.

Where to watch: In theaters and on Apple TV , Google Play , Fandango Now

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A seemingly ordinary Midwestern family is at the center of a stranger-than-fiction story in the documentary "Enemies of the State." IFC FILMS

If you like stranger-than-fiction documentaries: 'Enemies of the State'

Sonia Kennebeck's fascinating film chronicles the story of the DeHarts, a seemingly ordinary Indiana family, but one where the protective mom and dad are both ex-military intelligence. Their 25-year-old hacker son is targeted by the government for having some fairly juicy confidential CIA documents, they seek asylum in Canada, and the details get crazier and twistier from there.

Where to watch: In theaters and on Apple TV , Vudu , Google Play

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Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as an enigmatic ex-secret service agent who returns to France when his estranged son is falsely accused of arms and drug trafficking following a government blunder in "The Last Mercenary." NETFLIX

If you're a Jean-Claude Van Damme completist: 'The Last Mercenary'

While a far cry from the halycon days of "Bloodsport," "Sudden Death" and "Double Impact," seeing Van Damme back in action is at least a nostalgic treat in this ridiculous French action comedy. The old-school actor star plays a legendary secret service agent forced back into a world of international intrigue when the son (Samir Decazza) he's never met becomes a wanted man thanks to a bureaucratic mixup.

Where to watch: Netflix

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What to watch this weekend: Disney's 'Jungle Cruise,' 'The Green Knight,' 'Stillwater'

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