The Best Movies Streaming Right Now: Annette, Collateral, Bob Ross, Candyman, Unsane

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

Time again for me to highlight five movies you can stream right now, or this weekend, or whenever the mood strikes you (unless they get removed from their respective streaming services). This week we have a weird musical, a movie shot on an iPhone, a horror sequel, a documentary about a painter, and Tommy Cruise saying, "Yo, homie."


Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 2021

Genre: Musical

Director: Leos Carax

Cast: Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard, Simon Helberg, Devyn McDowell

"Annette" was always destined to be a polarizing movie, so I will say up front that this may not be your cup of tea. But Leos Carax's big, weird, overlong musical was everything I wanted, and more. Adam Driver is an angry stand-up comic who has one of the worst routines you'll ever see and Marion Cotillard is a world-renowned opera singer. These two mismatched souls end up in a relationship that has the tabloids talking. And before you know it, that romance has spawned a child: baby Annette. And oh yeah, Annette is inexplicably a wooden puppet who can move around on her own. When Driver's aggro creep character learns his new puppet baby has a heavenly singing voice he decides to exploit her to make a fortune, consequences be damned! Featuring sometimes catchy, sometimes odd songs from Sparks, and a truly unhinged, all-in performance from Driver, "Annette" plays like a two-hour-plus "I Think You Should Leave" sketch performed semi-straight, and you'll either love that or want to burn every frame of the film with fire. 

For fans of: "Vox Lux," "Southland Tales," Adam Driver sucking toes and performing oral sex (not at the same time). 


Now Streaming on HBO Max

Release Date: 2004

Genre: Neo-Noir

Director: Michael Mann

Cast: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, Bruce McGill

Digital ash in a digital urn. Michael Mann's cold, hard, amazing neo-noir has one of Tom Cruise's best performances. Going against type, Cruise dons silvery hair to play a meticulous hitman. In Los Angeles for a series of kills, Cruise recruits unwitting cab driver Jamie Foxx to take him from location to location. But when Foxx's cabbie learns what Cruise is really up to, the hitman forces him to keep going. And thus the stage is set for one long, dark night through the streets of LA as these two very different men learn to feed off each other's energy. The harshness of the digital cinematography lends a unique edge to the proceedings, with the entire film resembling the look of a world through eyes that have been open way too long.

For fans of: "Heat," "Miami Vice," Tom Cruise saying "Yo, homie." 

Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed

Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2021

Genre: Documentary

Director: Joshua Rofé

When word about the Netflix documentary "Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed" arrived, I saw several people on social media worrying that the film was going to tarnish the image of the saintly Bob Ross, he of the big afro and happy little trees. I'm here to tell you that's not the case. This doc isn't out to cancel Bob Ross or anything long that lines — although it does take the time to point out that despite his soft-spoken, nice-guy image, Ross was just as human and flawed as everyone else. The "Betrayal & Greed" part of the title instead refers to what happened after Ross' untimely death. According to this doc, Ross wanted most of his money passed down to his son. But his business manager thought differently, and that's where things get tricky. This isn't the most in-depth doc, and it's a little all over the place. Still, it serves as a nice primer on Ross, his legacy, and what made him so damn special to people. 

For fans of: "The Joy of Painting," perms. 

Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 1995

Genre: Horror

Director: Bill Condon

Cast: Tony Todd, Kelly Rowan, William O'Leary, Bill Nunn, Matt Clark, Veronica Cartwright

There's a new "Candyman" sequel hitting theaters this weekend, which gives me an excuse to talk about the original "Candyman" sequel. "Candyman: Farewell" to the flesh isn't nearly as good as the original film, but it has its bloody charms. The film confusingly retcons Candyman's backstory — even though the first movie made it clear that he lived (and died) in Chicago, "Farewell to the Flesh" suddenly tells us that he was from New Orleans. But once you overlook that strange decision you'll find a nifty little film that deeps the character's backstory and includes some fun horror visuals (from Bill Condon, the director of several "Twilight" movies and the live-action "Beauty and the Beast"!). And while the sudden shift from Chicago to New Orleans is a little jarring, the New Orleans setting makes for a nice backdrop to the overall story. 

For fans of: "Candyman," "Angel Heart," people saying "N'awlins" excessively. 


Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2018

Genre: Thriller 

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Cast: Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah, Juno Temple, Aimee Mullins, Amy Irving

The ever-prolific Steven Soderbergh helmed this throwback thriller completely with iPhones, and it works! Claire Foy is Sawyer Valentini (what a name!), a woman with a lot of problems. Among those problems is a stalker, played by "Blair Witch Project" alumn Joshua Leonard. The trauma from stalking has given Sawyer several mental and emotional problems, and they end up unwittingly landing her in a psychiatric hospital. That's bad enough, but to make matter worse, her stalker arrives one day, posing as a hospital employee. Sawyer tells everyone who the man really is — but no one believes her. She's in a mental hospital, after all. Soderbergh gets plenty experimental here, and Foy's performance is quite good and intense. 

For fans of: "Dementia 13," "Shock Corridor," the name Sawyer Valentini.