2020 movies: The best films new to UK streaming this week - 23 October

Kambole Campbell
·5-min read
Time, Borat 2, On The Rocks
Time, Borat 2, On The Rocks

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Another packed week of new releases is upon us, as streaming services drop a range of highly-anticipated titles, varying from the utterly poetic to the utterly vulgar. Prime Video might have the sharpest contrast between its offerings this week: Time, Garret Bradley’s melancholic, heartbreaking documentary about love and mass incarceration, and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which is, well, the second Borat film.

Also landing on the service is Bong Joon-ho’s historic Oscar winner and devilishly twisty thriller Parasite, a film that stands amongst the Korean filmmaker’s most despairing and biting anti-capitalist screeds, its Best Picture win in February now feeling like it was years ago.

Apple TV+ continues to gather high profile filmmakers via Sofia Coppola’s On The Rocks, which reunites the writer-director with Bill Murray. Netflix’s new releases are somewhat lacking but there’s still some fun mainstream fare in the form of the trilogy of Bourne films, which are beginning to appear as action movie time capsules somewhat, but that only increases the appeal in this writer’s eyes.

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Time - Amazon Prime Video

Documentary filmmaker Garret Bradley’s first feature length work, as the name suggests, is at its core about the passing of time. That passage of time is acutely felt because of how Bradley makes us perceive it – through the perspective of Fox Rich and her sons, waiting for her husband to be released from a cruelly lengthy prison sentence.

The editing is phenomenal – Bradley compiling and shuffling two decades of personal videos from Rich, jumping back and forth in time to highlight her husband’s absence, as well as highlight her very personal stake in her work as a prison abolitionist. Perhaps most powerful is how that editing makes Rich’s love for her husband transcend the boundaries of linear time itself in a way that only film can, the past and the future cut together and conjoined by powerful emotion.

Time is one of the greatest films of the year hands down, and should absolutely not be missed.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm - Amazon Prime Video

A still from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. (Amazon Prime Video)
A still from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. (Amazon Prime Video)

Sacha Baron Cohen’s affable, misogynist and anti-semitic Kazakh TV reporter has returned, with an eye to make amends for his disreputable conduct in the first Borat film – this time with his sights clearly trained on the USA’s feverishly reactionary Conservative establishment. Surprisingly, against the expectations of comedy sequels, the second Borat resists diminishing returns, partly by addressing the character’s cultural ubiquitousness, and partly through the pure shock value of some of its content.

Chief among those moments features former New York mayor and current Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, fully incriminating himself on camera in a truly stomach churning scene that made headlines before the film’s release, upon its address in numerous reviews. It’s surreal that Borat is making waves again in 2020 upon the eve of election, but here we are.

Also new on Prime Video this week: Parasite, If Beale Street Could Talk

On The Rocks - Apple TV+

Bill Murray and Rashida Jones in “On The Rocks,” premiering October 23 on Apple TV+.
Bill Murray and Rashida Jones in “On The Rocks,” premiering October 23 on Apple TV+.

Faced with sudden doubts about her marriage, a New York author and mother Laura (Rashida Jones) teams up with her larger-than-life playboy father Felix (Bill Murray) to tail her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans). Sofia Coppola’s latest film is broadly about one of her frequently revisited subjects – dissatisfaction and ennui amongst comfortably wealthy women, encaged by some form of traditionalism – but On The Rocks has a different feel to it, leaving behind the hazy and dreamlike atmosphere of her earlier work.

Watch: The trailer for On The Rocks

It’s more subdued, more breezily mundane in its approach to its existential crisis, taking the cadence of a more laid-back sitcom, particularly in Bill Murray’s charming and funny turn as an aged, carefree womaniser.

The Bourne Identity / Supremacy / Ultimatum - Netflix

Matt Damon in a scene from the film 'The Bourne Identity', 2001. (Photo by Universal Pictures/Getty Images)
Matt Damon in a scene from the film 'The Bourne Identity', 2001. (Photo by Universal Pictures/Getty Images)

For better or worse (in most cases the latter), Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass’s Jason Bourne films (based on a series of airport novels by Robert Ludlum) changed action movies for a solid half of the 2010s. Greengrass’s efforts in particular – defined by a wild handheld style that aimed to visually emulate the disorientation and impact of fights enacted by lethal government assassins – was the most influential, even the usually glossy James Bond franchise beginning to emulate the grimy, rough-and-tumble aesthetic of Bourne.

As the amnesiac assassin who begins to seek reform as well as refuge from the agencies that blunted his humanity, Matt Damon is genuinely very compelling as an action star, more than one might anticipate. While Liman’s first film Identity is a series highlight, Greengrass is no slouch – Ultimatum bringing the trilogy home in exciting style. Strange to see this become something of an artefact, now that films like John Wick are the ones to replicate, but a great time in any case.

Also new on Netflix this week: Rebecca