now stream this sam shepard

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

Crank the air conditioner – August is upon us, bringing with it the dog days of summer and the realization that the winter is more terrifyingly close than ever. But there’s still plenty of time left to stream movies. In fact, you have your entire life to do that, so why not get started now? If you’re unsure of just what to watch, never fear – Now Stream This is here.

In this edition, we have a recent film with a stellar performance from the late, great Sam Shepard; one of the most genuinely creepy ghost movies ever made; an ambitious, often misunderstood sci-fi epic; a Stephen King adaptation; one of the strangest sequels in Hollywood history, and much more! So dab some sunscreen on your nose and pull the recliner up nice and close to the TV. Let’s get streaming.

1. Cold In July
Now Streaming on Netflix

Actor and playwright Sam Shepard died earlier this week. Shepard’s death is a great loss to film and theatre, but at least he leaves behind a wealth of work to cherish. There’s plenty to pick from to highlight Shepard’s talent, but one of the best recent examples is Jim Mickle’s 2014 thriller Cold In July. Adapted from a story by Joe R. Lansdale and throwing off some serious John Carpenter vibes, Cold In July features Michael C. Hall as a man who kills a home intruder, only to be drawn into a much bigger and far more sinister plot with the dead intruder’s father, played masterfully by Shepard. Don Johnson also shows up, and nearly steals the whole film, but this is a perfect showcase for Shepard’s talents.

For fans of: Hap and LeonardChristine, Blue Ruin, mullets.

2. The Friends of Eddie Coyle
Now Streaming on FilmStruck

If you like your crime dramas bleak and grainy, don’t miss Peter Yates’ marvelous, depressing The Friends of Eddie Coyle. Robert Mitchum gives a career-best performance as weary, aging bakery truck driver Eddie Coyle. To make ends meet, Coyle runs guns on the side – a smooth operation that goes south very quickly. One of those ’70s flicks where the film grain is essentially a character itself, The Friends of Eddie Coyle is melancholy and memorable, just don’t sit down to watch it expecting a feel-good experience.

For fans of: The Taking of Pelham One Two ThreeThe Town, existential woe.

3. Lake Mungo
Now Streaming on Shudder

This criminally underseen 2010 Australian chiller from Joel Anderson is the rarest of the rare: a modern horror movie that’s actually scary. And I’m not talking about cheap jump scares here. No, Lake Mungo is a ghost story that creeps under your skin and chills your blood, having you nervously looking around once it’s over. A found-footage style story of a family coming to terms with the sudden death of a loved one who may or may not have entirely departed. This is the perfect horror film to watch in your living room with the lights turned down. Just don’t be surprised when you’re quickly turning them back on once the credits are rolling (oh, and by the way, keep watching all the way through the credits for even more creepiness).

For fans of: Session 9, Paranormal ActivityThe Others, getting the creeps.

4. Laura
Now Streaming on FilmStruck

Otto Preminger’s brilliant film noir sets up a seemingly straightforward mystery: who killed successful advertising executive Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney)? But nothing is straightforward in Laura, and the film travels down dark alleys you wouldn’t have suspected as the cop investigating the case (Dana Andrews) finds himself smitten with the dead dame. Somehow simultaneously breezy and disturbing, Laura is one of the best movies Hollywood ever produced, so you should probably get around to watching it if it’s somehow escaped you all this time.

For fans of: Anatomy of a Murder, The Big SleepTouch of Evil, Vincent Price without a mustache.

5. Cloud Atlas
Now Streaming on Netflix

Even if you don’t entirely like Cloud Atlas, you have to appreciate it for the ambitious, wild film experience that it is. The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer adapted David Mitchell’s novel into a sprawling 171 minute extravaganza. Multiple plots stretch out across six different time periods, from the past into the distant future, with a cast that includes Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant and many, many more, all playing multiple characters. It’s almost impossible to summarize this movie – you just need to see it to believe it.

For fans of: The FountainThe MatrixThe Hours, Tom Hanks using an incredibly unconvincing Irish accent.

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