3 Movies Like The Watchers (2024)

Staff & contributors

It’s kind of amazing how Johnson, who writes, directs, and stars in this feature, narrowly escapes narrative holes by being so darn self-effacing and likable. The female lead Maddy (Anna Kendrick) should be denounced as a Manic Pixie Girl, but because of Johnson and Kendrick’s overflowing charm, you don’t question the flimsiness of her character until much later on. The game itself should not make sense, but because Johnson is so committed in his physical performance, and so arresting in his charisma, all is forgiven. Self Reliance is like a tasty souffle that looks great at the moment, but left for longer, poofs and deflates. As long as you don't take it too seriously, the film should be a fun if forgettable ride.

Genre: Comedy, Thriller

Actor: Andy Samberg, Anna Kendrick, Biff Wiff, Bjorn Johnson, Boban Marjanović, Christopher Lloyd, Daryl J. Johnson, Eduardo Franco, Ely Henry, Emily Hampshire, Eric Edelstein, GaTa, Gloria Sandoval, Ilia Volok, Jake Johnson, Jeff Kober, John Hans Tester, John Ponzio, Karen Maruyama, Mary Holland, Miriam Flynn, Nancy Lenehan, Natalie Morales, Sky Elobar, Steven Littles, Theo Wilson, Thomas Vu, Wayne Brady

Director: Jake Johnson

Rating: R

There is some dissonance here. A heavy coming of age backstory serves as the foundation to an otherwise straightforward, even feel-good plot involving fighting and protecting kaiju. The film doesn’t do the best job merging the shiny animations and cute story beats with the threat of the kaiju and the weight of the atmosphere set early on. Individually, however, each side is enjoyable, with the strained father-son relationship in particular being a worthwhile endeavor and full of honesty. But all things considered, there isn’t a whole lot of tension here, even for a film intended for younger audiences, making its 2-hour runtime unnecessarily long given everything it lacks.

Genre: Action, Animation, Family, Science Fiction

Actor: Artt Butler, Bret Marnell, Brittany Ishibashi, Christopher Sean, François Chau, Frank Buckley, Gedde Watanabe, Jonathan Groff, Julia Harriman, Julia Kato, Keone Young, Lee Shorten, Mayumi Yoshida, Paul Nakauchi, Rob Fukuzaki, Tamlyn Tomita, Vic Chao

Director: Shannon Tindle

Rating: PG

, 2024

Atlas is bad on every conceivable level. The writing is hackneyed, the cinematography is soulless, and the acting (save for a few) is one-dimensional. Only Jennifer Lopez and Sterling K. Brown are turning in serious performances, but somehow that makes the film worse, not better, because of how mismatched the energy is. If the acting wasn’t so serious, then Atlas could probably pass as camp—so bad and corny that it actually becomes fun to watch. If that’s the kind of film you’re looking for, then by all means, put on this Netflix film. But if you’re looking for genuine sci-fi fare, films with something meaningful and enlightening to say about the scary future of AI, then I suggest you look elsewhere.

Genre: Action, Science Fiction

Actor: Abraham Popoola, Amy Sturdivant, Briella Guiza, Gloria Cole, Gregory James Cohan, Howland Wilson, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Walker White, Lana Parrilla, Lesley Fera, Logan Hunt, Mark Strong, Mel Powell, Michelangelo Hyeon, Nicholas Walker, Paul Ganus, Samantha Hanratty, Simu Liu, Sterling K. Brown, Vaughn Johseph, Zoe Boyle

Director: Brad Peyton

Rating: PG-13