Best Movies Streaming Right Now Early June

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.) 

Welcome, streaming fans. Once again, I’ve scoured streaming services far and wide to bring you back the best streaming options available to you this week, and beyond. In this edition, you’ll find the sci-fi meditation on grief and love The Fountain, Greta Gerwig‘s acclaimed Lady Bird, the very funny Thor: Ragnarok, the James Dean classic East of Eden, and many more.

These are the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming.

The Best Movies Streaming Right Now

1. The Fountain
Now Streaming on FilmStruck

Release Date: 2006

Genre: Sci-fi drama

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Ellen Burstyn

If you want to know what Darren Aronofsky‘s masterpiece is, look no further than 2006’s The Fountain. A heart-breaking, mind-bending story of love and loss, Aronofsky had originally planned The Fountain as a much bigger, much more expensive film. Budget problems forced him to retool the project, and perhaps that was for the best. Because the final film feels more intimate, more personal, and more special. The film features three storylines: the tale of a conquistador (Hugh Jackman) sent by the Queen of Spain (Rachel Weisz) to find the Tree of Life; the story of 21st century doctor Tom (Jackman again) trying to find a cure for his wife (Weisz again), who is dying of cancer; and finally, a trippy space saga in which an astronaut (Jackman once again) hurtles through space sometime in the 26th century. How are all these stories connected? You’ll have to watch the film to find out, but Aronofsky ties them all together in a heartbreaking way. Jackman has spent so long playing Wolverine that it’s easy to forget he’s got serious dramatic chops, and he uses them to great effect here. Weisz is even better. Best of all, though, is Clint Mansell’s haunting, melancholy score. Call it hyperbole if you want, but The Fountain is one of the best films of the 21st century.

For fans of: NoahUpstream ColorCloud Atlas, transcending death itself.

 

2. The Limey
Now Streaming on Shudder

Release Date: 1999

Genre: Crime drama with amazing editing

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Cast: Terence Stamp, Lesley Ann Warren, Luis Guzmán, Barry Newman, Peter Fonda

On the surface, The Limey is your standard revenge thriller. Terence Stamp plays a tough-as-nails Brit who travels across the pond to Los Angeles to find out who killed his estranged daughter. To get the info he needs, he cuts a path of destruction, badly injuring (or killing) anyone who gets in his way. Sounds by-the-numbers, right? Not so fast. Director Steven Soderbergh and editor Sarah Flack take this idea and chop it to hell – and I mean that in a good way. The Limey isn’t edited like normal movies – scenes cut at odd places; moments backtrack into moments we’ve already seen; a dreamy, disconnected feeling prevails. It makes the whole movie feel almost surreal. At the center of it all is a ferocious performance from Stamp, who commands the screen at every opportunity.

For fans of: Out of SightStraw DogsHardcore, Terence Stamp yelling at people.

 

3. Lady Bird
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 2017

Genre: Coming-of-age comedy

Director: Greta Gerwig

Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Lois Smith

I wasn’t quite as enamored with Lady Bird as some other critics last year, but that doesn’t mean the movie didn’t work its charms on me. Greta Gerwig helms this lovely, sometimes melancholy coming-of-age tale, featuring a phenomenal Saoirse Ronan. Ronan is Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, a high school senior living in Sacramento in 2002. All Christine wants to do is blow town and end up at an Ivy League school, but that won’t be easy with her financially strapped family. Along the way, Christine grows and rebels, and is at constant odds with her mother (a wonderful Laurie Metcalf). The film unfolds the way many other coming-of-age teen dramadies do, but Gerwig finds ways to make most of this seem fresh and, best of all, honest. The moments that really make Lady Bird work are the quiet ones – a scene where Christine catches Dave Matthews’ Band “Crash Into Me” on the radio, triggering a revelation somewhere in her mind, is just lovely. As is a moment where Christine’s best friend (Beanie Feldstein) almost casually tosses off the line, “Some people aren’t built happy, you know?” A line like that might sound clunky and on the nose in another film, but it works here. It works exceptionally well.

For fans of: Frances HaMistress America10 Things I Hate About You, weeping.

 

4. East Of Eden
Now Streaming on FilmStruck

Release Date: 1955

Genre: Drama

Director: Elia Kazan

Cast: James Dean, Julie Harris, Raymond Massey, Richard Davalos

All twitchy, nervous Caleb (James Dean) wants is to be loved by his dopey, aw-shucks father (Raymond Massey). But it’s clear his pop favors Caleb’s much more personable brother Aron (Richard Davalos). What’s a lonely early 1900s boy to do but become a war profiteer to please his pop? Elia Kazan adapts John Steinbeck’s Cain and Able-inspired story into a gorgeous, frenetic drama shot in breathtaking, all-encompassing CinemaScope. Every inch of the frame is filled to the brim, and at the center of it all is Dean, who seems more like he’s possessed rather than putting on a performance. Dean’s chaotic, force-of-nature work in this film is so captivating, so stunning that it makes almost every other actor around him – even the good ones, like Julie Harris, playing Aron’s girlfriend who finds herself suddenly attracted to Caleb – seem stiff and unconvincing in comparison. Everyone else is putting on a show; Dean is living it. If you want to know why Dean is so revered to this day, even though his career was so brief, look no further than East of Eden. Also, if you want to know where Paul Thomas Anderson got a lot of ideas for There Will Be Blood, look no further than this movie as well.

For fans of: The Grapes of Wrath, Rebel Without a CauseThere Will Be Blood, beans.

 

5. Thor: Ragnarok
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2017

Genre: Comedy (and also a superhero movie, but mostly comedy)

Director: Taika Waititi

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins

The Thor series was one of the worst things Marvel had to offer. And then Taika Waititi came along and said, “What if we made it funny?” The result was Thor: Ragnarok, one of the better Marvel films that actually allows its director’s vision and personality to come through. Chris Hemsworth‘s God of Thunder has never been better, as he’s thrust into a situation that requires him to get off another planet and also return home to save Asgard. Waititi loads his cast up with very talented, very attractive people: Cate Blanchett is the film’s heavy, and she hams it up (but really should’ve been in the movie more); Jeff Goldblum is Jeff Goldblum (although technically he’s playing a character called The Grandmaster, but let’s be honest, it’s just Jeff Goldblum); and, best of all, Tessa Thompson is hard-drinking, ass-kicking Valkyrie. All of this adds up to one very entertaining flick. Ragnarok converted me from someone who never wanted to see a Thor movie again, to someone who would be happy to see another Thor sequel – as long as Taika Waititi is involved.

For fans of: What We Do In The ShadowsHunt for the WilderpeopleGhostbusters, Jeff Goldblum at his Goldblumiest.

 

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