9 Movies Like Madame Web (2024)

Staff & contributors

Being an awkward comic is a very difficult trick to pull off; even self-deprecating humor and long, quiet beats in between jokes can't just be used over and over. But while Ralph Barbosa's incredibly chilled-out personality might not be for people who like their comedians loud and animated, his matter-of-fact punchlines and willingness to make himself sound like a bit of a wimp work like a charm. Cowabunga doesn't touch on any hot-button topics, but it doesn't have to. Throughout this hour-long special, Barbosa gives us a strong, frequently very funny view from the point of view of a guy who doesn't want any trouble, but feels no pressure just being himself—a relatable dude if ever there was one.

Genre: Comedy

Actor: Ralph Barbosa

Director: Eric Adams

For the longest time, it was always about how wrestling was affected by David Arquette; this documentary finally turns it around and asks how Arquette was affected by pro wrestling. We get interviews from his family that mostly look down on his silly wrestling phase; and from established wrestling personalities that, despite dated fan perceptions, welcome him at every turn. We really get in the weeds of Arquette’s motivations, anxieties, and training for a comeback tour on the indies. The audio levels may be a little erratic, but the intangible rawness combined with its polished nature make this a very fitting film for the wild man.

Genre: Documentary

Actor: André Roussimoff, Aurelian Smith Jr., Bill Goldberg, Billy Corgan, Booker Huffman, Brett Giehl, Brian Yandrisovitz, Brian Zachary Pillman, Chris Jericho, Chris Klucsarits, Conan O'Brien, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, David Penzer, Dusty Rhodes, Elizabeth Hulette, Ellen DeGeneres, Eric Bischoff, George Murdoch, Harvey Levin, Hulk Hogan, Jack Perry, James Ellsworth Morris, Jay Leno, Jeffrey Jarrett, Jerome Saganovich, Jerome Young, Jerry Lawler, Jim Cornette, Jim Fullington, Joe Rogan, Joseph Ryan Meehan, Julian Micevski, Karen Yu, Ken Anderson, Kevin Nash, Kurt Russell, Lewis Arquette, Luke Perry, Mark LoMonaco, Maxwell Friedman, Michael Lee Alfonso, Mick Foley, Monty Sopp, Mr. T, Nathan Blauvelt, Nicholas W. Wilson, Noah Nelms, Oprah Winfrey, Page Falkinburg Jr., Patricia Arquette, Randy Savage, Ric Flair, Richmond Arquette, Rob Strauss, Rosanna Arquette, Scott Colton, Scott Hall, Tony Schiavone, Vince Russo, Wendy Williams

Director: David Darg, Price James

Rating: R

We would never know when we would die, but oftentimes, when faced with a deadline to one’s mortality, most would tie up loose ends, make the most of the time left, and reunite with their loved ones. 24 Hours with Gaspar is centered instead on the revenge of a grizzled, worn-out detective that only has one last regret: letting go of his childhood friend Kirana, not being able to find her. He hopes to enact his revenge by enlisting some friends and disgruntled victims of Wan Ali, who’s the most likely guy behind her disappearance. There are moments when the dialogue does falter, but Gaspar’s adventure is depicted in the most stylish way, complete with slick cinematography and a soundtrack that sets the mood for each turn in the mystery, even in a fairly depressing low tech dystopia. The film’s sci-fi might not be as hopeful as usual, and is mainly limited to Gaspar’s artificial heart, but 24 Hours with Gaspar is such a fun neo-noir mystery mash to watch, as long as you don't expect something akin to John Wick or Blade Runner.

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller

Actor: Ali Fikry, Alleyra Fakhira Kurniawan, Dewi Irawan, Kristo Immanuel, Landung Simatupang, Laura Basuki, Reza Rahadian, Sal Priadi, Shenina Cinnamon, Shofia Shireen, Whani Darmawan

Director: Yosep Anggi Noen

Rating: R

Producer-turned director Sean King O'Grady has some fresh ideas about what can shake up the dystopia genre, but The Mill needs more than a corporate critique to lift it off the ground. Even with Lil Rel Howery's apt acting skills (you'll probably remember him from Get Out), the film falls flat in its second half, losing the momentum built up by the original idea of the gristmill as an exteriorization of the corporate grind and its meaningless nature. The issue is that, aside from this smart use of symbolism, The Mill plays it rather safe by relating dystopia to capitalism. It's almost like O'Grady hasn't the slightest clue that capitalism and dystopia have been one and the same thing for decades now; if only he would have taken the equation to much, much darker places...

Genre: Horror, Science Fiction

Actor: Allya F. Robinson, Blair Wilson, Getchie Argetsinger, Jaiden K. Brown, Karen Obilom, Lil Rel Howery, Pat Healy, Patrick Fischler

Director: Sean King O'Grady

Rating: R

With a boring wedding, attended by a guarded woman and a spontaneous man, starting a series of shared recollections of past heartbreak, Which Brings Me to You has all the elements needed for an early aughts romcom, releasing at a time when Y2K is trending. The original novel’s epistolary format is interestingly translated into flashbacks told in one whole day, with Will and Jane visually popping within the sequences as the two get to know each other through their past heartbreaks. It’s a unique idea, but the execution feels lackluster, with the dialogue and direction that can’t be saved through Lucy Hale’s or Nat Wolff’s efforts. There’s certainly something here about romance being a possible avenue to open up, but Which Brings Me to You doesn’t build the chemistry to get there.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Actor: Alexander Hodge, Avery Cole, Britne Oldford, Chase Liefeld, Genevieve Angelson, Jamie McRae, John Gallagher Jr., Laura Kai Chen, Lucy Hale, Marceline Hugot, Michael Mulheren, Mitzi Akaha, Nat Wolff, Ward Horton

Director: Peter Hutchings

Rating: PG-13

Amid energetic lights and obnoxious airhorns, Katt Williams makes his way to the stage and quickly greets you with the gospel of crass. His descriptions and premises aren’t anything to write home about as his style is more a boisterous NSFW style that resembles a night of gossip. But for most of this set, you’ll just be thinking about how his performer voice sounds like a cartoon grandma, a southern Spongebob, and “Macho Man” Randy Savage preaching to you all at once. The set had a touchy mental health bit that sucked the life out the room for a moment, but would take an empowering turn in its final third as Williams talks about racism in 2024. It’s a mess, but it finishes strong, at least.

Genre: Comedy

Actor: Katt Williams

Rating: R

Five Blind Dates is a squeaky clean, hopelessly boring film pretending to be a raunchy romcom. Despite Lia (Shuang Hu) going on five (or four, really) dates, she doesn’t find real chemistry with any one of them. There’s no heat, no passion, no inane fun to be had, or reckless experimentation. It’s clear that what she’s after isn’t really love but a partner who accepts her traditional whims, which I guess counts as a happy ending if this were airing on Hallmark or any other wholesome TV channel. But it isn’t, and instead of embracing its true form—that is, family drama—it instead postures as a modern and exciting romcom, even though it contains zero spice. To be fair, the film has its funny moments, and I do think the first date’s premise, while played for laughs, has the potential to spark an interesting discussion about our generation’s willingness to sacrifice intimacy for financial security. But the film doesn’t really go there, nor anywhere, and remains as stale and safe as can be.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Actor: Desmond Chiam, Ilai Swindells, Jon Prasida, Rob Collins, Shuang Hu, Tzi Ma, Yoson An

Director: Shawn Seet

It’s got a main character, 10-year-old Tochtli (Miguel Valverde Uribe), with the most unforgettably forgettable idiosyncrasies. The emotional anchor of this whole thing is entirely dependent on our inclination to be protective of children, but it gives surface level characterization of both the young boy and his father Yolcaut (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo). The most interesting thing it almost pulls off is the father trying to reconcile his commitment to his son and to being macho, but it’s barely a chapter in this 2-hour story. It has some potential with the teachings and aphorisms, but it never really leans into it. It fails four different times, never with fireworks.

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Actor: Alfredo Gatica, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Debi Mazar, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Mercedes Hernández, Miguel Valverde, Pierre Louis, Raúl Briones, Teresa Ruiz

Director: Manolo Caro

Rating: R

, 2024

When life imitates art unexpectedly, it can be thrilling, exciting, and maybe even dangerous. As dissatisfied wife Gokce finds an unpublished novel, we hoped that her eventual escapades would be similarly riveting, but sadly, Ashes isn’t thrilling. Part of it is because the first half is just dedicated to pretty images that don’t even feel particularly steamy, but mostly this stems from the fact that Ashes hasn’t formulated a coherent plotline for the manuscript Gokce was reading, so all the twists and turns in the second half feels more randomly tossed, than carefully set up as a surprise.

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Actor: Alperen Duymaz, Canan Atalay, Funda Eryiğit, Gökçe Eyüboğlu, Mehmet Günsür, Nur Sürer, Seda Türkmen, Yıldıray Şahinler

Director: Erdem Tepegöz