New movies to stream from home this week.
Based on a 2010 New Yorker short story by George Saunders, “spider headis a futuristic thriller starring Chris Hemsworth as Steve Abnesti, the warden of an innovative penitentiary that doubles as a testing lab for drugs that control your emotions, with Miles Teller as a prisoner and guinea pig. Pharmaceuticals have silly names: Laffodil for the one who makes every dad joke hilarious (“What do you call a cheese that isn’t yours? Nacho cheese.”), Luvactin for an aphrodisiac, Verbaluce for a speech-enhancing serum , and Darkenfloxx for – well, maybe don’t take that one When Jeff de Teller begins to balk at some of Steve’s research methods, he finds his status in the cushy island sanctuary under threat, as well as his relationship with fellow convict (Jurnee Smollett).Joseph Kosinski’s film (“Top Gun: Maverick”), based on a screenplay by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, retains Saunders’ veneer of dark humor, layered with satire more of the modern impulse to take a pill for everything. (Some drugs, however, have dubious purposes: why would anyone take – let alone manufacture – a drug called Phobica, which scares you of, say, a stapler?) But the film is suspenseful and elegant enough. And the unresolved thought that this leaves us with – that self-forgiveness is something we have to create ourselves – is good. A. Available on Netflix. Contains violence, coarse language and sex. 107 minutes. — MO