This week's new crop of indie movies are a collection of firsts, either from directors new to the format or new to the language. Take your picks, or choose them all from our selections of the best newly available indie movies that you can watch right now.
Noovie's Indie Movie Pick: Nine Days
First-time feature director Edson Oda gets existential with "Nine Days." Winston Duke leads a cast of top talent, as an interviewer of sorts, whose job is to select the right candidate for life. The candidates (Zazie Beetz, Bill Skarsgård, Benedict Wong, and Tony Hale) are souls, and they're interviewing for the chance to be born. "Nine Days" premiered last year at the Sundance Film Festival and even landed a pre-release Indie Spirit Nomination (the film was to hit theaters late last year). As you dig in, consider this an adult companion to Disney/Pixar's "Soul."
- Where to watch: Select Theaters
We've been writing a lot about this musical opera since it opened Cannes a few months ago. Featuring dazzling performances from Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, Leos Carax's avant-garde English-language debut, with music from the Sparks brothers, is certainly not for everyone. But, if you're up for something different, you will not be disappointed.
- Where to watch: Select Theaters (coming to Amazon August 20)
Musical / 2021 / R
John and the Hole
Since his film's debut at Sundance earlier in the year, first-time director Pascual Sisto has been one filmmaker to watch. His psychological thriller, which was to debut at Cannes in 2020, finally hits screens after a few pandemic-related delays. "John and the Hole" follows the titular teen (Charlie Shotwell) as he discovers a giant hole in his backyard and realizes it can be a quick ticket to freedom and adulthood. "John and the Hole" plays out like a twisted combination of "Home Alone" and Macaulay Culkin's 1993 thriller follow-up "The Good Son."
- Where to watch: Select Theaters and VOD
The lives of four different women collide underground in this riveting new drama from first-time director David Gutnik. "Materna" plays out like an anthology. The four women in question, Jean (Kate Lyn Sheil), Mona (Jade Eshete), Ruth (Lindsay Burdge), and Perizad (Assol Abdullina), find themselves suddenly connected on a subway ride. Gutnik's drama was to play the Tribeca Festival in 2020 before COVID canceled those plans. Nevertheless, the Tribeca jury still awarded the film Best Cinematography and Best Actress for Abdullina (who also was a co-writer). Earlier this year, Tribeca gave "Materna" its proper in-person debut.
- Where to watch: Select Theaters (on VOD August 10)
Ride the Eagle
After years of helming various TV projects like "New Girl," "The Good Place," and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," Trent O'Donnell takes the leap to the big screen, with this comedy also starring his TV compatriots Jake Johnson and D'Arcy Carden. "Ride the Eagle" might have the kind of plot we've all seen on the small screen before, but soars on its heart and its performances, especially from Johnson.
- Where to watch: Select Theaters & VOD
Hot Indie Trailer: Flag Day
Sean Penn returns to the directing chair with "Flag Day," a family drama that also stars his daughter and son, Dylan Penn and Hopper Penn. Based on a true story, "Flag Day" follows the story of Jennifer Vogel (Dylan Penn), who carries herself through life in spite of the shadow cast by her father (Sean Penn) and his criminal past. Penn's new feature made waves at Cannes this year where it competed for the Palme d'Or.
- In theaters August 20
About the Author
Matt Lissauer is a writer & data manager for Noovie. When he is not busy writing listicles, Matt is enjoying life in New Jersey with his lovely wife and three kids.