The Best Movies Streaming Right Now: After Hours, The Autopsy Of Jane Doe, The Terminal, Avengement, Timecop

(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.)

It was a rough week (isn't it always?), but the weekend is finally here. I don't know about you, reader, but when the weekend comes along, I get excited to kick back and watch some movies. If you're like me, and on the lookout for some recommendations as to what to watch, I've swooped in here to help you. With this streaming column, I comb through the tangled forest of streaming titles and bring back entries that I think you should check out, be it during this weekend or the next.

After Hours

Now Streaming on the Criterion Channel

"What if a guy wanted to get laid?" That's pretty much the jumping-off point for Martin Scorsese's gloriously unhinged "After Hours." Griffin Dunne plays a guy working a mindless office job who ventures out into New York City one night on what he thinks is going to be a date. However, everything goes wrong in spectacularly surreal ways. Dunne's character bounces from one strange situation to the next, trying to both score with various women and also get the hell home before he's killed. If there is such a thing as an underrated Scorsese movie, this is definitely one of them (along with "Bringing Out the Dead"). It's not as polished as some of his best work, but it's bustling with cocaine-laced energy, where everything and everyone seems wired. If Kafka lived in the Big Apple in the 1980s, he'd probably end up writing something like this. 

For fans of: "Mean Streets," "Bringing Out the Dead," trying to get home. 

The Autopsy of Jane Doe

Now Streaming on Shudder

Sometimes less is more, and that's the case with André Øvredal's deceptively simple, supremely spooky "The Autopsy of Jane Doe." After an unidentified woman's body is found at a crime scene she's taken to a morgue/funeral home, where a father-son team of morticians (played by Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch) both get to work on her. There are no clear signs of death, so father and son start cutting the dead woman open to get to the bottom of things. However, the deeper they dig into Jane Doe, the weirder things get. I won't spoil things, I'll just say the pathologists keep coming across one improbable thing after another, and they start to get a distinct impression that all is not well. In fact, things are seriously wrong. Making great use of one location while masterfully building extreme dread, "The Autopsy of Jane Doe" is going to give you the creeps.

For fans of: "Annabelle Comes Home," "Oculus," internal organs. 

The Terminal

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

I know people think of "The Terminal" as "minor Spielberg," and I won't argue with that. But a minor Spielberg movie is still better than most other films, and "The Terminal" deserves more love. This is a charming, sweet little film where Tom Hanks gets stuck in an airport. And that's it, really! It's probably one of the most low-key movies Spielberg has made in years. Hanks is Viktor Navorski, a resident of the (fictional) nation of Krakozhia. Viktor has come to New York City, and while he's hanging out in JFK Airport, he receives some shocking news: Krakozhia has undergone a military coup and the U.S. is no longer recognizing its current government. This means Viktor has is unable to leave the airport to enter the U.S., and he can't return home, either, because his passport is no longer valid. Frank Dixon (Stanley Tucci), the Acting Field Commissioner at the airport, assumes Viktor will simply sneak out of the airport and then become someone else's problem. But he doesn't. Instead, Viktor, with no place to go, begins living within the airport, and making friends with several other employees in the process. All of this baffles Dixon, who can't figure out what Viktor's end game is. Again: this is minor Spielberg, but it doesn't mean we can't enjoy it. 

For fans of: "Catch Me if You Can," "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," Spielberg doing his thing. 


Now Streaming on Netflix

Is "avengement" even a word? I don't think it is. But it doesn't matter, because, real word or not, "Avengement" kicks ass. Directed by straight-to-VOD action expert Jesse V. Johnson and starring Scott Adkins, who has made a name for himself as a low-budget action start who looks like he can really beat people to death with his bare hands, "Avengement" is a gritty, violent film about Cain (Adkins), brother of a powerful loan shark. Cain ends up getting sent to prison after a horrible mistake, and once he's locked up, he's in serious danger. Because his brother, fearing that Cain will rat him out to the authorities, has put a hit out on his own flesh and blood. So now Cain has to survive in prison long enough to get out and confront his brother. Thus the stage is set for scene after scene where Scott Adkins fights hordes of dudes, beating them mercilessly while getting banged up himself (at one point he spits out some of his own teeth, and then keeps fighting). Brutal and fast-paced, if you're tired of boring big-budget Hollywood action and want something more exciting, this is it.

For fans of: "The Debt Collector," "Triple Threat," lots and lots of people getting punched. 


Now Streaming on HBO Max

Sometimes you want high-art, and sometimes you want to watch Jean-Claude Van Damme travel through time and do some splits. "Timecop" is an incredibly silly sci-fi actioner that finds Van Damme playing a lawman tasked with making sure crooks don't use time travel to mess up the past and change the future as a result. But Van Damme is up against a powerful enemy – a slimy Senator played by Ron Silver who is using time travel to steal a lot of money so he can fund his presidential election. That sounds like a needlessly complicated way to make money, but what do I know. Logic is not one of "Timecop"'s strengths, and that's fine – it doesn't have to be. You don't sit down to watch a movie called "Timecop" and expect it to be well-plotted. You expect it to involve time and cops. And on that front, it delivers. "Timecop" feels like the ultimate streaming movie to me; something cheesy and vacuous that you can watch late at night after you've had a few drinks or a few edibles. If I ran the world – and, god willing, I will someday – "Timecop" would always be streaming somewhere. Always. 

For fans of: "Universal Soldier," "Hard Target," questionable science.