The Best Movies Streaming Right Now: Dune, Halloween Kills, No One Gets Out Alive, The Blackwell Ghost, Coffee And Cigarettes

(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.)

The weekend is upon us once again, and thank heavens for that. Every weekend, I try to bring you five movie recommendations for your streaming pleasure. Think of this as the modern-day equivalent of the Employee Picks shelf at the video store (back when the video store was something we all went to). As always, I try to pick movies from a wide variety of streaming services, because there are so many damn streaming services out there right now. And while I try to offer a variety of genres, this latest list is a bit horror-centric. But hey, we are only a few days away from Halloween after all. 


Now Streaming on HBO Max

I know Denis Villeneuve will punch me in the neck for daring to suggest you stream his new movie "Dune" instead of watching it in theaters, but how the hell can I not include "Dune" here? It's a huge movie, and while I do think it looks great on the big screen, I also think it'll play just as well on HBO Max, where it's currently streaming. Adapting Frank Herbert's massive book, "Dune" follows Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) as he goes from House Atreides heir to a hunted, exiled guy fighting to stay alive on the deadly desert planet of Arrakis. Villeneuve has managed to make Herbert's often impenetrable book more palatable to mainstream audiences and crafted a true sci-fi epic in the process. While I take issue with the fact that this is very much part one of a two-part story – the movie just kind of ends – I can't deny Villeneuve has created something special here. 

For fans of: "Arrival," "Blade Runner 2049," spice. 

Halloween Kills

Now Streaming on Peacock

The general reaction to "Halloween Kills" has been decidedly mixed leaning towards negative, especially when compared to 2018's "Halloween," which went over much better. And I get it: "Halloween Kills" is a messy movie that very much feels like the middle entry in a trilogy rather than its own thing, and that's not ideal. But I do think time will be kinder to "Halloween Kills," especially after we can view it in context with the upcoming third film, "Halloween Ends." None of this is to say "Halloween Kills" is some misunderstood masterpiece. It's a terribly flawed film, and it makes some rather odd choices – why is Laurie Strode out of commission for the entire movie, for instance? But there are also solid ideas here – the idea of mob justice running out of control; the idea of Michael Myers as some sort of force that grows more and more powerful the more he kills; and, most intriguing of all, the idea that Laurie Strode isn't as important as she might think she is. Laurie spent the last few decades assuming Michael was coming back just for her, but that wasn't true. Laurie is just another body for Michael to slice up; she's not his arch-enemy, despite what Laurie thinks. And then there are the kills – this is a movie that lives up to its title, and then some. Micahel is a full-blown killing machine here, and no one is safe. 

For fans of: "Halloween" (you decide which of the films called "Halloween" I'm referring to; maybe all of them!)

No One Gets Out Alive

Now Streaming on Netflix

Cristina Rodlo is Ambar, an undocumented Mexican immigrant trying to make it in America. Ambar moves into an extremely spooky house in Cleveland where other tenants – immigrants, just like her – come and go with alarming regularity. Ambar is convinced there's something going on in her new home, but she has nowhere to turn – she can't go to authorities out of fear of being deported, and she doesn't have much money to pack up and move. Meanwhile, things grow stranger and creepier, the longer Ambar stays. "No One Gets Out Alive" is a tad predictable, but director Santiago Menghini conjures up enough ominous atmosphere that the familiarity won't derail your viewing. Rodlo is also low-key great here, creating a sympathetic, believable protagonist we're rooting for every step of the way.

For fans of: "His House," "Most Beautiful Island," creative monster designs. 

The Blackwell Ghost

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Found footage horror movies are a dime a dozen, and more often than not, the results are lackluster. But the ultra-simple, ultra-low-budget "The Blackwell Ghost" is a nice surprise. The premise is simple; a little too simple, and the overall vibe of the film owes a lot to "Paranormal Activity." But I have to admit I was taken with "The Blackwell Ghost," a film that proves sometimes less is more. The film – which is presented as a real documentary, even though it's obviously fiction – follows a ghost hunter who is offered a chance to spend some time in an allegedly haunted house. The ghost hunter accepts the offer and heads to the house with his wife and a whole bunch of camera equipment. Needless to say, spooky stuff begins happening. Again: this is simple stuff, and no one is going to call "The Blackwell Ghost" groundbreaking. But it gets the job done, and with an hour-long runtime, never overstays its welcome.

For fans of: "Paranormal Activity," "Grave Encounters," scary basements. 

Coffee and Cigarettes

Now Streaming on The Criterion Channel 

Jim Jarmusch brings together a cavalcade of famous faces – Robert Benigni, Steven Wright, Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, Cate Blanchett, the White Stripes, Alfred Molina, Steve Googan, GZA, RZA, Bill Murray, and more – for 11 short vignettes in which people sit around talking. That's it, really! They sit, they smoke, they drink coffee, and they talk. That may not sound particularly cinematic, but Jarmusch finds a way to make it work. True, some of the segments are better than others – the one where Cate Blanchett plays two characters and has a conversation with herself is one of the best of the bunch – but the fact that this movie works at all is kind of a minor miracle.

For fans of: "Night on Earth," "Down by Law," coffee and/or cigarettes.