221 Movies Like Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023) (Page 14)

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Chasing the feel of watching Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse ? Here are the movies we recommend you watch right after.

Hallmark is the last place you'd expect to find a low-budget movie that decries excessive automation and advocates for local businesses, but for some reason this is the setting against which Love & Jane's story is told. And the movie doesn't come across as insincere either, as it uses a familiar romcom template to actually encourage its protagonist to grow beyond the romance novels she loves and to engage with her own experiences and emotions. Unfortunately, the rest of the film feels oddly obligatory, including a bland love interest and his half-baked chemistry with the heroine, and the inclusion of Jane Austen herself, who really has nothing to do here.

Genre: Comedy, Romance, TV Movie

Actor: Aadila Dosani, Alison Sweeney, Benjamin Ayres, Corina Bizim, Debbie Podowski, Eduardo Britto, John Prowse, Kehli O'Byrne, Kendra Anderson, Lynn Whyte, Matthew Kevin Anderson, Nevin Burkholder, Vivin Oommen, William Vaughan

Director: David Weaver

Rating: G

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To be fair to this visibly low-budget adaptation of H. G. Wells' seminal science-fiction novel, it doesn't always settle for the cheap way out. Though it still leaves much to be desired in its visual effects, awkward action scenes, and generally unimaginative direction, Fear the Invisible Man makes a valiant effort to deepen its story by placing a strong, unlikely protagonist at its center (played in all seriousness and with admirable resolve by Mhairi Calvey). Since the titular villain isn't actually the star of the show—nor is he made out to be an ever-present threat, like in the modern 2020 adaptation—this version of The Invisible Man is able to circle relatively newer ideas about a woman's "invisible" place in the world, and how she's tempted to go down a path of pride and violence. If only the rest of the film could keep up with the script's ambition.

Genre: Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller

Actor: David Hayman, Delroy Brown, Emily Haigh, Grahame Fox, Joe Tucker, Marc Danbury, Mark Arnold, Mhairi Calvey, Mike Beckingham, Simon Pengelly, Wayne Gordon

Director: Paul Dudbridge

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With a premise that just seems inherently emotionally manipulative, it should take an especially sensitive touch to make a story like this work on screen. Unfortunately, See Hear Love—itself based on a South Korean webcomic—is both overdramatic and not nearly stylized enough in any meaningful way to help its subject matter evolve beyond melodrama. It remains a well-shot and decently acted film that, at the very least, treats its characters as adults and not as caricatures with disabilities. But the movie makes little effort to place these characters in believable situations that should shed a light on what it's like to live with blindness or as a Deaf person. See Hear Love takes the easiest (and slowest) way out, bringing its two lovers together under somewhat creepy circumstances, and having them endure cartoonishly exploitative "antagonists"—all for the sake of portraying the romance as grand and artificially tragic.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: Dai Watanabe, Daikichi Sugawara, Mahiro Takasugi, Maika Yamamoto, Mari Natsuki, Masaya Kato, Motoki Fukami, Sayaka Yamaguchi, Tomohisa Yamashita, Tomoki Kimura, Yuko Araki

Director: John H. Lee

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The new stand-up special from Pete Davidson won't win over any skeptics, but there's something to admire in how the comedian heads straight towards edgy material, tells us he's going to go there, and still manages to surprise when he follows through. Which is to say Davidson's audacity might be more impressive than any of his actual writing in this special, with a good number of his jokes highlighting the bizarre situations his fame leads him into, but little more than that. It's stoner comedy for better or worse—observations about a strange world from a hazy point of view that may not always be coherent.

Genre: Comedy

Actor: Pete Davidson

Director: Jason Orley

Rating: R

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This is your bare minimum, bog-standard Netflix true crime documentary covering the infamous Jennifer Pan case. The film focuses on Pan's interrogation tapes, with detectives walking us through their thought process at the time, providing evidence and chilling head nods in reaction to her statements. The value of the film is its micro dissection of the tapes, examining it minute by minute, even line by line, which is an interesting way to learn about the case for the first time. But it feels so banally straightforward without adding anything new or being more informative, that it feels like it was just made to dig up old bones and make a bloated made-for-Netflix docu.

Genre: Crime, Documentary

Actor: Alan Cooke, Bill Courtice, Deborah Gladding, Fernando Baldassini, Samantha Chang

Director: Jenny Popplewell

Rating: R

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Yet another drama designed to be emotional without actually doing the heavy lifting to get us invested, Prisoner's Daughter takes the easy way out at every turn, mistaking its use of capital-I Issues and dramatic plot points for substantial writing. This doesn't mean that the film itself isn't still watchable and competently performed (by a typically strong Brian Cox, but especially by Kate Beckinsale); it just fails to make a statement about any of its disparate parts mashed together. At the end of the day, it feels as if the film doesn't have enough faith in the already complex and difficult relationship at its center, so it attempts to dress it up with prison, cancer, drug addicts, and epilepsy—which only cheapens what's already there.

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Actor: Brian Cox, Christopher Convery, Chuti Tiu, Cinthia Moura, Ernie Hudson, Jon Huertas, Kate Beckinsale, Mark Kubr, Mark Oliver Everett, Tyson Ritter, Yonel Dorelis

Director: Catherine Hardwicke

Rating: R

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Starting out with an ad for the protagonist’s practice, Irugapatru clearly advocates for couples therapy and marriage counseling. Dr. Mitra even recommends it as a preventative measure, not just as a cure. However, this well-meaning objective doesn’t feel like it’s been met. The film showcases common fights and situations that any couple might be familiar with, but these instances come and go without seeing any development within each marriage. It dumps a set of psychology theories and therapeutic strategies that might be useful, but it seems to come out of nowhere. But most of all, these relationships don’t feel real, because the characters themselves don’t feel like people, they feel like examples. Because of this, Irugapatru doesn’t really explore couples therapy, it only prescribes it without recognizing the love that was lost.

Genre: Drama, Family, Romance

Actor: Abarnathi, Manobala, Saniya Iyyappan, Shraddha Srinath, Sri, Vidharth, Vikram Prabhu

Director: Yuvaraj Dhayalan

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Better known as a podcast host, Stavros Halkias proves that he does have the writing ability and (the lack of shame and/or pride) to come up with effective jokes from his own perspective. But his momentum just doesn't hold throughout this hour-long special; he starts strong and keeps a coherent train of thought throughout the whole routine, but the latter sections begin to rely on gross-out comedy and potshots at the audience more than anything. Halkias knows who his audience is and he's very fortunate to be able to perform in front of people who seem to be very familiar with his style. But for a wider range of people watching through streaming, his more relaxed style of storytelling may come off as him simply droning on without particularly great timing.

Genre: Comedy

Actor: Stavros Halkias

Director: Ben O'Brien

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While investigating a gold heist in Johannesburg, Chili (S'dumo Mtshali) is jaded after an undercover operation fails spectacularly. With one chance left, he must choose between following the law and protecting the wealth of higher-ups or going against it and helping a heist crew dole out the riches to those in need. Wealth redistribution is at the heart of the film, with greed on all sides thwarting any prospects of prosperity for the city. The action-crime-thriller examines economic inequality via the lead cops trying to effect change, all while leaning into a warm visual style that shifts cameras to mirror the tensions. It's a nice touch to the average Robin Hood and "for the people" narrative, but the CGI choices and generic action scenes can get distracting at times.

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

Actor: Brenda Ngxoli, Deon Lotz, Presley Chweneyagae, S'Dumo Mtshali

Director: Donovan Marsh

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Despite an engaging opening that promises to deepen the world already established in 2018's Bird Box, this new installment slips back into the usual routine before long. That is: cheap thrills and an overall lack of scares, not necessarily because of the fact that the creatures terrorizing this world are invisible, but because the film doesn't take advantage of the fear and paranoia that builds among the human characters. A stronger focus on religious belief (or simply blind fanaticism) should lead to more interesting character dynamics, but there isn't a single person here who's defined by anything beyond a few base traits. So despite the efforts of a game cast (including Babylon's Diego Calva and especially Barbarian's Georgina Campbell), the film just can't overcome how boring it is to watch blindfolded people reacting to nothing.

Genre: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller

Actor: Alejandra Howard, Celia Freijeiro, Diego Calva, Georgina Campbell, Gonzalo de Castro, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Lola Dueñas, Manel Llunell, Mario Casas, Michelle Jenner, Milo Taboada, Naila Schuberth, Patrick Criado

Director: Àlex Pastor, David Pastor

Rating: R

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This B-movie sci-fi-action-thriller from co-writer-director Robert Rodriguez starts out like a hammy pastiche of (the already overdone) Taken, but its interminable succession of galaxy-brain twists reveals other obvious influences — among them Inception, Memento, and Shutter Island. Fine ingredients, but the recipe is all wrong, as a gravelly-voiced, seemingly barely awake Ben Affleck sleepwalks his way through the cringy dialogue. Alongside William Fichtner in shady supervillain mode, Affleck is joined in that endeavor by Alice Braga as the psychic who is (seemingly) helping his Detective Rourke track down his (again, seemingly!) kidnapped daughter, though what Braga mostly does is hold the audience’s hand and explain the plot’s increasingly convoluted sci-fi elements to us. At one point, she tells Rourke that “pain keeps the mind awake” — and, while the excruciating script doesn’t seem to have that effect on Affleck (judging from his lethargic performance), it’s hard not to find yourself a little enlivened by Hypnotic’s sheer absurdity.

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

Actor: Alice Braga, Ben Affleck, Bobby Hernandez, Bonnie Discepolo, Carrick O'Quinn, Corina Calderon, Dayo Okeniyi, Derek Russo, Gabriel 'G-Rod' Rodriguez, Hala Finley, J. D. Pardo, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeff Fahey, Kelly Frye, Kelly Phelan, Lawrence Varnado, Nikki Dixon, Ryan Ryusaki, Sonia Izzolena, William Fichtner, Zane Holtz

Director: Robert Rodriguez

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You can tell that Blaze director Del Kathryn Barton is an award-winning visual artist first and foremost. The images that she puts together in this film are frequently stunning—making use of the camera in fascinating, freeing ways, and with lots of practical and computer-generated/animated effects that paint her young protagonist Blaze's world in glitter and feathers and lush colors. The imaginary dragon, which acts as a shorthand to symbolize Blaze's complex psychological response to her trauma, is a wonderfully tactile life-size puppet that lead actress Julia Savage responds to in an entirely convincing way.

But you can also tell that this is Barton's debut feature. Ultimately her visuals don't do enough to shake off or give meaning to the graphic scene of rape and murder that occurs at the beginning of the film. And the way she structures the movie threatens to make it feel like a series of music videos or video art pieces. Despite its originality and the level of commitment displayed by both Savage and Simon Baker, Blaze has difficulty communicating a coherent message about trauma—the film strung together by heavy-handed scenes that spell out various ideas and lead to the most obvious conclusions.

Genre: Crime, Drama, Fantasy

Actor: Bernie Van Tiel, Heather Mitchell, John Waters, Josh Lawson, Julia Savage, Morgan Davies, Neal Horton, Rebecca Massey, Remy Hii, Simon Baker, Stephen James King, Will McDonald, Yael Stone

Director: Del Kathryn Barton

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The Machine wants us to assume many unlikely things, with Bert Kreischer’s global fame being the most improbable. It also wants to be both high stakes as we follow Bert and his father (Mark Hamill) being chased by the mafia and comedic as they make lighthearted jokes along the way. But it never really achieves that balance. Though it looks sleek and high-budgeted, its contents are lopsided and messy, not once hitting the mark on its many targets. Moreover, it's based on a premise so thin, that it loses all credibility midway through the film. After that, it simply becomes a parody of itself. To be sure, there are some noteworthy moments in between, like when Kreischer and Hamill share genuine father-and-son moments, but for the most part, it’s just too overbearing to warrant anyone’s attention.

Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime

Actor: Aleksandar Srećković 'Kubura', Amelie Child-Villiers, Bert Kreischer, Brian Caspe, Dobrila Stojnic, Đorđe Simić, Iva Babić, Jess Gabor, Jimmy Tatro, Mark Hamill, Marko Nedeljković, Martyn Ford, Mercedes De La Cruz, Milena Predić, Miodrag Dragičević, Nikola Đuričko, Oleg Taktarov, Rita Bernard-Shaw, Robert Maaser, Set Sjöstrand, Stephanie Kurtzuba, Tea Wagner, Vladimir Gvojić

Director: Peter Atencio

Rating: R

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A movie based on a theme park ride is always going to be a marketing exercise, but what’s remarkable about Haunted Mansion is how uninterested it is in even pretending to be anything more. Amazon, Yankee Candle, CVS, Baskin Robbins, Burger King: you could fill a mall with the list of brands shamelessly name-dropped in the movie. Gallingly, the cast are even forced to do double duty as brand ambassadors during some of the movie’s most determined efforts at poignancy — oof.

Not even an ensemble featuring the comedic-dramatic chops of LaKeith Stanfield, Rosario Dawson, Tiffany Haddish, Danny DeVito, Owen Wilson, and Chase Dillon (the best of the bunch) can make such naked cash-grabs feel organic. What’s more, though, Haunted Mansion depressingly asks so little of its cast that there aren’t really any opportunities for them to counterbalance these embarrassing moments with anything approaching compelling. Adding to its struggles are the mansion’s sludgy color palette (which renders every scene unremarkable, no matter how moving or spooky it’s supposed to be) and the fact that it somehow feels rushed even at an overlong two hours. Though you can appreciate director Justin Simien’s efforts at elevating the material into something coherent, Haunted Mansion feels as lifeless as the ghosts that fill it.

Genre: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Horror

Actor: Alisa Harris, Amy Parrish, Andrew Morgado, Anthony Burrell, Arielle Prepetit, Ashley John, Ayane Azevedo, Ben Bladon, Bryan McClure, Chad Crumley, Charity Jordan, Charles Black, Chase W. Dillon, Chenise Johnson, Christopher Winchester, Clarence White III, Creek Wilson, Cruz Abelita, D. Jerome Wells, Dan Levy, Danny DeVito, Derrick James Moss, Don Stallings, Edward Zhu, Elisabeth Lagrande, Erika Coleman, Erion Brandon WIlliams, Fedor Steer, Glendon Ray Hobgood, Gralen Bryant Banks, Hasan Minhaj, Hector Machado, Helene Henry, Ian Covell, J.R. Adduci, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jared Leto, Jared Simon, Jo Koy, John Curran, Joseph Miller, Julie Nalibov, Kailie Sanders, Kamran Shaikh, Kat Montes, Kathi Callahan, Kay Galvin, Keiko Bell, Kurt Yue, Lakeith Stanfield, Lindsay Lamb, Lorenzo Beronilla, Lumar Christopher Leblanc III, Manuel Perkins, Marcus Otis Hubbard, Marilu Henner, Mike Benitez, Nico Gomez, Owen Wilson, Paul Michael Robertson, Rachel Pitner, Raianna Brown, Rick Andosca, Rosario Dawson, Rowan Joseph, Sebastien Soudais, Steve Zissis, Terence Mathews, Terence Rosemore, Tiffany Haddish, Tony Paone, Tracy Goode, William Calvert, Winona Ryder

Director: Justin Simien

Rating: PG-13

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Girl in the Closet is a low-budget TV movie that gives us a peek into the lives of trafficked children, but nothing more beyond that. There is no compelling story or drama; no suspense as to how the children might possibly escape, or rousing speeches about how the system failed these kids. Instead of a real plot, the movie strings together one shocking abuse after the other and constantly jumps forward in time (one year later, five years later, nine months after) in an attempt to rush towards its predictable ending. It would’ve been thoroughly unwatchable if it weren’t for some dedicated performances, namely by Peters and Roman, who give much more than what the flimsy script and loose editing deserve. 

Genre: Drama, TV Movie

Actor: Daijah Peters, Danielle LaRoach, Remy Ma, Stevie Baggs Jr., Tami Roman, Teisha Speight

Director: Jaira Thomas

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