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New Movies to Watch This Week: Steve McQueen’s ‘Mangrove,’ ‘Sound of Metal,’ ‘Run,’ ‘Collective’

If last week was a big one for Netflix (what with “Mank” and “Hillbilly Elegy” out in theaters), then this one belongs to Amazon, who have a pair of big projects launching via their Prime Video subscription service. The first is “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen’s anthology “Small Axe,” an epic and altogether unconventional series that doesn’t fit neatly into the “film” or “TV” categories: McQueen has made five features, all set in London’s immigrant West Indian community, dealing with aspects of cultural identify, racism and community. Of the three entries I’ve seen, this week’s entry, “Mangrove,” is the strongest — and a great way to kick off the cycle, with a courtroom drama for those who felt Netflix’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” didn’t give adequate time to Bobby Seale.

Amazon also launches “The Sound of Metal,” a drama about a heavy metal drummer losing his hearing that doesn’t go at all in the direction one expects. Netflix continues its weekly run-up to Christmas with “The Princess Switch: Switched Again,” adding yet another Vanessa Hudgens lookalike to its trading-places shenanigans. And “Hulu” has an inventively over-the-top thriller in “Run,” wherein a teenager whose spent her life using a wheelchair realizes that her concerned mom (Sarah Paulson) may be the one holding her back.

There are a small handful of movies opening in theaters, including the astonishingly bad Chinese action film “Vanguard,” whose early-2020 release was delayed on account of COVID — and which doesn’t look likely to fare much better these days. The film “stars” Jackie Chan, but he mostly observes while other people do the fighting around him.

It’s another good week for documentaries, including deep dives into the life and work of “Soros,” “Belushi” and

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