What to watch this weekend: 'The King's Daughter,' Netflix rom-com 'The Royal Treatment'
This weekend is pretty light on new films but a couple can boast of being a crowning achievement.
For those not diving into the virtual Sundance Film Festival, Pierce Brosnan plays French ruler King Louis XIV – with an English accent! – in a new fantasy action adventure, while Mena Massoud, who played the live-action title character in Disney's recent "Aladdin" redo, is a prince falling for a New York City hairdresser in a Netflix romantic comedy. In addition Jeremy Irons stars as British prime minister Neville Chamberlain in a tense pre-World War II spy thriller while a new period horror flick centers on a lesbian romance and supernatural goings-on in 19th-century America.
Here's a guide to new movies that'll satisfy every cinematic taste, plus some noteworthy theatrical films making their debut on video-on-demand platforms and streaming services:
2022 movie preview: The 10 most must-see films, from 'The Batman' to 'Top Gun: Maverick'
If you need a fantastical escape: 'The King's Daughter'
The family-friendly adventure features Kaya Scodelario as Marie-Josèphe, a rebellious sort sent from the convent to the palace of King Louis XIV (Brosnan) to be his in-house composer. She's actually his illegitimate daughter (he knows, she doesn't), the king tries to marry her off, but instead, she falls for a sea captain (Benjamin Walker) who's just delivered a mermaid (Fan Bingbing) that the king plans to sacrifice to gain immortality. It's all a little much but the supporting cast is impressive (including William Hurt and Julie Andrews as the narrator) and real-life couple Scodelario and Walker at least give off some romantic sparks.
Where to watch: In theaters
If you need feel-good familiarity: 'The Royal Treatment'
The modern fairy tale features ex-Disney Channel regular Laura Marano as brassy, good-hearted Manhattan stylist Izzy, hired for the royal wedding of Prince Thomas (Massoud) after a Big Apple meet-cute. She and her friends travel to the fictional kingdom of Lavania for the gig, Thomas isn't sure about an arranged marriage to a Texas hotel tycoon's daughter, and, well, it's fairly obvious where this is headed. The film is sweet and cheeseball enough to watch if you can weather many unfortunate accents.
Where to watch: Netflix
If you could use a historical potboiler: 'Munich – The Edge of War'
Based on author Robert Harris' fact-based historical fiction, the intriguing international thriller revolves around world leaders and a couple of accidental secret agents. In 1938, Hitler's on the move and a conference is called in Munich to broker peace. English civil servant Hugh Legat (George MacKay) travels there as Chamberlain's secretary to meet with his estranged college friend, German diplomat Paul von Hartmann (Jannis Niewöhner), who possesses a document that shows Hitler's real intent is to conquer Europe.
Where to watch: Netflix
If you love a good inclusive scary movie: 'The Last Thing Mary Saw'
The horror film begins with Stefanie Scott's title character being interrogated while blood seeps down from her blindfold. And the narrative just gets way darker from there as the unnerving 1843-set mystery unfolds in regard to what happened to Mary; her secret girlfriend, housemaid Eleanor (Isabelle Fuhrman); and Mary's devout family, who went to brutal lengths to stop the relationship. Throw in some freaky supernatural aspects, creepy visuals and one bonkers supper for an effective throwback chiller.
Where to watch: Shudder
2022 horror movies: Every scary movie you need to see this year, from 'Halloween Ends' to 'Nope'
Also streaming this weekend
For those needing to prep for Oscars, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's tense moral drama "A Hero," about a jailed man (Amir Jadidi) whose act of charity goes tragically awry, arrives to watch on Amazon Prime. It's on the shortlist for the Academy Awards' best international film category.
If you need more Scodelario this weekend, her action horror film "Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City" reboots the video game-to-movie franchise and is now on demand.
Edgar Wright's psychological thriller "Last Night in Soho," which takes Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy back to 1960s London, is also on demand if you're seeking a retro creeper.
Fans of the gone-too-soon sitcom "Happy Endings" can check out star Eliza Couple's new dark comedy "The Estate," in which she plays a wicked woman plotting to kill her rich husband with her stepson and a buff hitman, on Hulu.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'King's Daughter,' 'Royal Treatment': New films streaming, in theaters