Now Stream This: Pie, Pi, Sports Crime, Dog Puppets, And Countries Without Old Men

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

How's 2018 going for everyone? We're not even a full month into this new year yet, but personally, I'm already exhausted. Thank heavens for movies, that's all I can say. Movies can be a great balm for the soul – a reminder that even when everything is a terrible mess, there are still folks out there making great art, and trying like hell to make that art connect with an audience.

Which brings us to this edition of Now Stream This. As always, I've compiled a list of some of the best movies streaming right now. There's something for everyone here: drama, horror, comedy, documentary. I'm not going to say you will personally love every movie on this list, but I sure as heck hope you'll try to love every movie on this list. This installment features a ghost story unlike any other captured on film before, an hilarious movie with puppets, a documentary about a shocking moment in sports history, a long-delayed horror movie, a one-man-show, a quirky comedy, an existential crime thriller, a cerebral nightmare, and a doc about a Stephen King adaptation. It's time for the best movies streaming right now. Let's get streaming.

1. A Ghost Story

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Yes, this is the movie where Rooney Mara eats an entire pie. But it's more than that, too. David Lowery's existential haunted house flick asks questions about life, the universe, and everything. It's a haunted, sad, beautiful film about grief, loss and remembering. I understand that the presence of Casey Affleck is repellant to some, but you if you can get past that (and no one is saying you should), you can at least take solace in the fact that he spends almost the entire movie under a sheet. On the surface, the very concept of this film – a ghost haunts his home while wearing a generic sheet like a kid on Halloween – seems silly. But A Ghost Story is anything but. It's one of the most unique films of the last few years. I'll leave this entry with a quote from the film; a quote that truly resonates: "We build our legacy piece by piece and maybe the whole world will remember you or maybe just a couple of people, but you do what you can to make sure you're still around after you're gone."

For fans of: Pete's Dragon, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Ghost, pie!  

2. Dog City

Now Streaming on FilmStruck

What an absolutely delight this movie is. Jim Henson's consistently hilarious puppet noir is set in a shadowy city where everyone is a dog, and the canine puns runneth over. Dog City has a slightly sharper edge than Henson's Muppets, but it's still loaded with charm and wit. It's also unapologetically silly; the type of film that's unafraid to have its characters turn directly to the camera and point out how dumb a joke was. Even better than that, though, is how wonderfully realized the world of this film is. The sets of Dog City alone, full of dark alleys, crowded wharfs, and smoky nightclubs, give normal, non-puppet movies a run for their money. Even though I was a child of the '80s, I somehow never heard of Dog City until recently. Thankfully, FilmStruck has uploaded this short, wonderful film for all to see, and if you subscribe to the service (which you really should), watch this ASAP. It's a surefire cure for the blues.

For fans of: The Muppets, Fraggle Rock, Labyrinth, constant and unrelenting dog puns.

3. 30 for 30: The Price of Gold

Now Streaming on ESPN.com

If you've seen I, Tonya, or are interested in eventually seeing it, I highly recommend pairing it with this excellent 30 for 30 documentary. For one thing, it puts almost every scene in I, Tonya in context, so much so that I'm pretty sure everyone involved with that production watched this documentary a dozen times as prep work. Director Nanette Burstein examines one of the most infamous stories in the history of sports: the Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan saga, which screamed from tabloid headlines and spilled over into mainstream news as well. Harding is front and center here, giving her side of the story. Like I, Tonya, The Price of Gold attempts to paint a sympathetic portrait of Harding – it doesn't argue for her innocence, but instead asks the viewer to at the very least empathize with the disgraced figure skater.

For fans of: I, Tonya, O.J.: Made In America, To Die For, landing the triple axel.  

4. Marie Antoinette

Now Streaming on Netflix

Sofia Coppola followed-up Lost in Translation with this lovely curiosity – a biopic of Marie Antoinette, she of "Let them eat cake" fame (even though she likely never said that). On the surface, Coppola's film looks like a gorgeous, ornate costume drama in the vein of Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon. But Coppola layers the film with a  New Wave and post-punk soundtrack that gives the entire experience an edge. At the center of it all is Kirsten Dunst, who turns in one of the best performances of her career as the doomed queen. Marie Antoinette wasn't received nearly as warmly as Lost in Translation, but the time is right for more audiences to rediscover the film.

For fans of: Barry Lyndon, The Virgin Suicides, The Beguiled, killer soundtracks.

5. Before I Wake

Now Streaming on Netflix

I've written before about how Mike Flanagan is one of the best horror filmmakers working right now, but for years, Flanagan's Before I Wake was delayed. Flanagan actually finished the film in 2013, but financial difficulties with the film's distributor, Relativity Media, delayed Before I Wake for years. It almost had a release in 2016, but that too got pushed. Now the film is finally available on Netflix, and unlike many other long-delayed films, this one is worth the wait. Flanagan once again proves why he's the best at what he does, crafting a story that's both scary and also down-to-earth. Room breakout star Jacob Tremblay plays a young boy adopted by a pair of grieving parents (Kate Bosworth and Thomas Jane), and while everyone seems happy with their new arrangement, things begin to change when it's revealed Tremblay has the power to make dreams come true – literally.

For fans of: Oculus, Absentia, Orphan, Tom Jane wearing a really bad wig.

6. No Country For Old Men

Now Streaming on FilmStruck

"Both had my father in 'em . It's peculiar. I'm older now then he ever was by twenty years. So in a sense he's the younger man. Anyway, first one I don't remember too well but it was about meeting him in town somewhere, he's gonna give me some money. I think I lost it. The second one, it was like we was both back in older times and I was on horseback goin' through the mountains of a night. Goin' through this pass in the mountains. It was cold and there was snow on the ground and he rode past me and kept on goin'. Never said nothin' goin' by. He just rode on past... and he had his blanket wrapped around him and his head down and when he rode past I seen he was carryin' fire in a horn the way people used to do and I could see the horn from the light inside of it. 'Bout the color of the moon. And in the dream I knew that he was goin' on ahead and he was fixin' to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold, and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there.

And then I woke up."

For fans of: The Man Who Wasn't There, There Will Be Blood, Fargo, existential dread.

7. All Is Lost

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu

This criminally under-seen one-man-show from A Most Violent Year director J. C. Chandor finds Robert Redford playing an aging pleasure cruiser who discovers his boat is slowly sinking. Alone on the Indian Ocean, Redford's character must deal with the fast-rising water, and then eventually abandon ship on a raft. This is all handled with deft skill by Chandor, who is an underrated director who deserves more work. Redford is wonderful, turning in a mostly dialogue-free performance as a man dealing with the impossible over and over again. The concept of this film alone – one guy alone, at sea – sounds like it might make for a boring film, but All is Lost is anything but. This film flailed when it was first released in few theaters, with very little promotion. Now is the perfect time for an audience to discover it. 

For fans of: Cast Away, Moon, Locke, Robert Redford aging like a fine wine.

8. The Future

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu

Miranda July writes, directs and stars in this very odd, yet very memorable indie comedy. The Future focuses on a young, hipster-esque couple (July and Hamish Linklater) who really need to get their shit together. Like, seriously. The couple decide to adopt a cat (named Paw Paw) from a shelter, but while they wait to finally go through with the adoption, their lives change considerably, and not for the better. The Future is definitely not going to be a film for everybody, and the narrative goes down some very...unexpected paths. I know for a fact that the way the film handles the cat subplot is going to upset, and possibly infuriate a few people (like it did me!). That said, this is another unique work of art from July, who makes movies unlike anyone else. I don't know if she'll ever make a film again, but if she does, I'll be first in line to see it.

For fans of: Me and You and Everyone We Know, and that's it really. There aren't too many films to compare this to. It's weird! 

9. Pi

Now Streaming on Shudder

Requiem for a Dream filmmaker Darren Aronofsky burst onto the scene with this grungy, unsettling, mind-blowing debut that makes math seem terrifying. Sean Gullette plays a math genius who is trying to build a supercomputer that might help predict the stock market. Instead, he stumbles upon something that might have biblical (we're talking Old Testament here) connotations. Shot in a murky black and white that makes everything look ancient and bombed-out, Pi is a slow descent into insanity that gets weirder and weirder as the clock ticks on. Also, there's a scene where someone finds a human brain just chilling in the subway.

For fans of: Eraserhead, Black Swan, mother!, 3.14159.

10. Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary

Now Streaming on Shudder

One of my personal favorite horror movies has its own making-of documentary! This doc from John Campopiano and Justin White is a little rough around the edges – it's not the most polished documentary you'll see, that's for sure – but it's still a pretty neat journey through both Stephen King's terrifying novel, and Mary Lambert's spooky 1989 film adaptation. There are interviews with some of the cast and crew here, as well as behind-the-scenes footage of Pet Sematary being made. If you're a fan of the film, Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary is a must-watch.

For fans of: Pet Sematary, Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th, covering your eyes when Zelda appears on screen.