With the 94th Academy Awards set for later this month on March 27, it couldn’t be better timing for some of the biggest nominees to hit streaming platforms in March. Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” boasts 10 Oscar nominations, the second most-nominated movie of the year, and it’s finally returning to HBO Max this month to stream after originally debuting on the streamer for 31 days last fall. Steve Spielberg’s seven-time nominee “West Side Story” and Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s four-time Oscar nominee “Drive My Car” are also streaming this month, just in time to boost visibility ahead of the Academy Awards telecast.
Outside of Oscar nominees, new additions to streaming platforms in March include memorable indies from 2021 such as “Mass” and “El Planeta.” Paul Verhoeven’s 2021 festival shocker “Benedetta” is also making its streaming debut on Hulu this month. Love Denis Villeneuve? In addition to “Dune” returning to HBO Max, the director’s “Blade Runner 2049” becomes available on Netflix later this month. Christopher Nolan fans will be able to stream “Dunkirk” on Netflix this month, too.
Check out the full list of the best films new to streaming in March 2022 (and which platforms to stream them on) in the list below.
1.After Yang (March 4 on Showtime Anytime)
Just like the release strategy for “The Humans” last fall, A24 is opening Kogonada’s intimate and heartfelt science-fiction drama “After Yang” in theaters on the same day it premieres on Showtime and becomes available to stream via the network’s Showtime Anytime app. The film stars Colin Farrell as a father figuring out how to mourn the loss of his family’s android in the near-future. From Variety’s review: “This film is precise, with its desaturated palette, meticulous framing and near-mathematical cutting style. And yet, Kogonada’s concerns remain fundamentally human. The movie’s pulse seldom rises above resting, but the director invites audiences to dive as deep as they want to go into the film’s themes, to read subtext into body language, silence and the space between characters.”
2. Drive My Car (March 2 on HBO Max)
Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car” is the rare foreign-language drama to break out of the international feature Oscar race and earn additional Oscar nominations for picture, director and original screenplay. From Variety’s review: “Haruki Murakami’s short story ‘Drive My Car’ is a sleek, streamlined slip of a thing that nonetheless, in the author’s signature style, packs an awful lot into its lean sentences. It’s a grief-stricken marriage story enfolded in a corrupted friendship study, related in turn via a separate tale of odd-couple companionship, all told in fewer than 40 pages…Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s deft, wise, whisper-soft adaptation of ‘Drive My Car’ never feels like an overextension of its delicate material. Instead, it pursues a kind of cinematic stillness to match Murakami’s plain, serene prose, and takes things suitably slow.”
3. West Side Story (March 2 on Disney Plus)
Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed “West Side Story” adaptation bombed at the box office with just $38 million in the U.S., which makes its arrival on streaming all the more important. Here’s a chance for many viewers to discover the magic of this exhilarating movie musical for the first time. From Variety’s review: “Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ has a brash effervescence. You can feel the joy he got out of making it, and the kick is infectious. Directing his first musical, Spielberg moves into the big roomy space of a Broadway-meets-Hollywood classic, rearranges the furniture (the film’s screenwriter, Tony Kushner, has spiced up the dialogue and tossed out the most cringe-worthy knickknacks), and gives it all a fresh coat of desaturated, bombed-out-city-block, gritty-as-reality paint. He makes it his own.”
4. Dune (March 10 on HBO Max)
Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” returns to streaming on HBO Max this month after originally debuting on the platform for 31 days on the same date it launched its theatrical release last October. The science-fiction epic earned 10 Academy Award nominations this year, including best picture, making it the second most-nominated movie of the year. From Variety’s review: “Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation has a majestic vastness, and most of it actually makes sense, but it’s an act of world-building that runs out of storytelling steam… ‘Dune,’ a majestically somber and grand-scale sci-fi trance-out, is full of lavish hugger-mugger — clan wars, brute armies, a grotesque autocrat villain, a hero who may be the Messiah — that links it, in spirit and design, to the ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ films, though with a predatory ominousness all its own.”
5. Mogul Mowgli (March 1 on HBO Max)
Riz Ahmed followed his Oscar nomination for “Sound of Metal” with this similarly-themed music drama about a a British-Pakistani rapper who, on the cusp of his first world tour, is struck down by an illness that forces him to face his past, his family and the uncertainty of his legacy. From Variety’s review: “Outside of Ahmed’s seething, spitting, can’t-look-away performance, ‘Mogul Mowgli’ is an atmospheric culture-clash drama that runs on some quite traditional father-son melodramatics…Ahmed’s turn is the substance and subtext here, drawing on his thespian and musical gifts, as well his personal history, to offer an impassioned reflection on the liminal place occupied by many immigrant artists in western culture.”