'Don't Worry Darling,' 'Lou': Movies to see (or skip) this weekend

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Florence Pugh and Harry Styles go back in time in "Don't Worry Darling," Allison Janney has a very special set of skills in "Lou," and Tyler Perry tackles his passion project in "A Jazzman's Blues," all of which are among this week's new movies and streaming titles. 

Here's a look at what's new in theaters and at home this week, where to find them and whether they're worth your time.

'Don't Worry Darling'

Florence Pugh in "Don't Worry Darling."

It's one of the year's most talked-about movies, for reasons that don't have anything to do with what's on screen. The backstage drama from the making of "Don't Worry Darling," director Olivia Wilde's Palm Springs-set psychological thriller, has all but engulfed the conversation surrounding the film, and after seeing the movie itself, well, the backstage drama is a lot more interesting than what happens front and center. At least the desert looks magnificent. In theaters.

'Don't Worry Darling': Stylish but empty thriller traps Pugh, Styles


Allison Janney in "Lou."

Academy Award-winner Allison Janney — she won for "I, Tonya" — is a hardcore survivalist in the Pacific Northwest who helps her neighbor (Jurnee Smollett) track down the man who kidnapped her daughter, and along the way she beats some guys senseless using a can of food as a weapon. If this is Allison Janney starting her Liam Neeson phase, who's going to tell her no? On Netflix.

'Lou' review: Allison Janney tough as nails in survivalist action pic

'A Jazzman's Blues'

Solea Pfeiffer and Joshua Boone in "A Jazzman's Blues."

Tyler Perry wrote the script for this epic drama back in 1995, put it in a drawer, and is revisiting it now. Call it his passion project, his story of love and music and racism, set in the deep South over a 10-year period in the 1930s and 1940s. It's more earnest and serious than many of Perry's productions, and at times it's clunky, but the filmmaker's sincerity shines through in the end. On Netflix.

With 'A Jazzman's Blues,' Tyler Perry looks forward by looking back

'Catherine Called Birdy'

Bella Ramsey in "Catherine Called Birdy."

Writer-director Lena Dunham goes back to the '90s — the 1290s, that is — in this rather delightful coming of (middle) ages comedy about a teenager (Bella Ramsey) fighting for her independence against the order of the day. In theaters, on Amazon Prime Video Oct. 7.

'Catherine Called Birdy' review: Lena Dunham goes medieval


Sidney Poitier in "Sidney."

The life and legacy of the magnificent Sidney Poitier is examined in this respectful if by-the-numbers documentary from director Reginald Hudlin. On Apple TV+.

'Sidney' review: Loving doc pays tribute to cinema giant


Sami Slimane in "Athena."

An incendiary French drama with a breathtaking visual sweep and a sometimes muddled sense of purpose. On Netflix.

'Athena' review: A fiery drama of civil unrest mostly blows smoke


This image released by 20th Century Studios shows Ronal, voiced by Kate Winslet, left, and Tonowari, voiced by Cliff Curtis in a scene from "Avatar: The Way of Water."

The 2009 blockbuster is back on screens this weekend, ahead of the December launch of its sequel, "Avatar: The Way of Water." But does the movie still matter the way it once did? Here's an Associated Press Q&A with writer-director-king of the world James Cameron, who says, "'Avatar' isn't going anywhere." In theaters.

Q&A: James Cameron on the return of 'Avatar'