Best Movies Streaming Right Now August

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

The world of streaming services can be overwhelming, and more often than not, you might find yourself unsure what to watch, and where to watch it. That’s where Now Stream This comes in! I’m here to help you navigate the murky waters of all thing streaming, and this week, I have some doozies for you. There’s not one, but two Keanu Reeves films; John Carpenter‘s last great movie; an underrated David Fincher thriller; a slasher remake; and much more.

These are the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming.

The Best Movies Streaming Right Now

1. Constantine
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2005

Genre: Action-Horror

Director: Francis Lawrence

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Shia LaBeouf, Tilda Swinton, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Djimon Hounsou, Peter Stormare

I’ve never read the Hellblazer comic, which might explain why I’ve always had a fondness for ConstantineBy all accounts, this 2005 totally botches the source material it’s adapting. If that’s true, fans have my sympathy. Yet at the same time, I don’t really care, because this movie is a blast. Keanu Reeves is a chain-smoking exorcist riddled with cancer, and damned to hell. While trying to buy his way into heaven he gets mixed up in a nonsensical mystery involving demons, angels, and a the spear that pierced the ribs of Jesus Christ. Rachel Weisz is also there, playing both a cop and her deceased twin. Director Francis Lawrence overloads Constantine with style – there’s such great use of shadows and out-of-focus imagery here – and gosh darn it, it’s just fun to watch Reeves smoke a bunch of cigarettes and act like an asshole. The film really belongs to two supporting players, though. Tilda Swinton is dynamite as the androgynous angel Gabriel, who wears dope suits and has a sick haircut. And Peter Stormare is one of the best on-screen representations of Satan ever, decked out in a linen white suit with tar dripping from his feet. Again: if you’re a huge fan of the Hellblazer comic and hate what this flick did to the character, I understand. But I think if you can divorce yourself from said source material you’ll find a genuinely enjoyable horror-mystery.

For fans of: Angel HeartChinatownThe Matrix, chain-smoking Keanu.

 

2. In The Mouth of Madness
Now Streaming on Shudder

Release Date: 1994

Genre: Horror

Director: John Carpenter

Cast: Sam Neill, Julie Carmen, Jürgen Prochnow, David Warner and Charlton Heston

John Carpenter‘s last great movie is finally streaming on Shudder, and I couldn’t be happier. While In the Mouth of Madness isn’t an actual H.P. Lovecraft adaptation, it’s probably the film that best understands how to approach Lovecraft’s work. The story involves a Lovecraft-like author who goes missing, and the insurance investigator (Sam Neill) hired to find him. Along the way, Neill’s character discovers that all the terrible, slimy things from the missing author’s books are slowly breaking through into reality, and the end of the world is nigh. I’m not quite sure what happened to Carpenter after this, but his post-Madness output was mostly terrible, and he hung up his director hat to play video games all day and make cool music. That’s fine – he’s earned it. And at least he left us with this creepy, wonderful movie.

For fans of: H.P. Lovecraft, HellraiserPrince of Darkness, Sam Neill laughing his ass off.

3. The Game
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 1997

Genre: Mystery mind-fuck

Director: David Fincher

Cast: Michael Douglas, Sean Penn, Deborah Kara Unger

When people talk about the work of David Fincher – which they do, constantly – it always seems like The Game is left out of the conversation. Which is a damn shame, because this is one of my favorite Fincher flicks. Fincher followed-up Seven with this dreary, gloomy thriller about a bored, depressed millionaire (Michel Douglas) who gets drawn into a very elaborate real-life game. Or is it a game? Maybe it’s all real. Or maybe he’s going insane. Fincher stages the film as a film within a film. Douglas is a pawn, trapped in someone else’s movie. And it just happens to be a David Fincher movie, loaded with danger and gloom. Fincher would only go on to make better films from here, but The Game is a slow-burning nightmare that sucks you into its unyielding darkness.

For fans of: SevenGame NightVanilla Sky, gloomy-yet-gorgeous cinematography.

 

4. La Jetée
Now Streaming on FilmStruck

Release Date: 1962

Genre: Sci-fi short

Director: Chris Marker

Cast: Hélène Chatelain, Davos Hanich, Jacques Ledoux

La Jetee, AKA the film that inspired Twelve Monkeys, is a haunting, experimental short (it’s only 28 minutes long, so you have time to watch it on your lunch break) about time travel in a post-apocalyptic world. The plot of the film is similar to Terry Gilliam’s adaptation, but with a distinct difference: it’s told almost entirely via still images. That may sound weird, because it is. But it’s also highly engrossing. We’re drawn in by the grainy, cryptic black and white images director Chris Marker presents us with, as we are with the film’s eerie soundtrack, full of whispers, narration and other noises. If you’ve seen Twelve Monkeys, you know exactly how this story ends. But it’s not about the ending. It’s about the journey.

For fans of: Twelve MonkeysLooperPrimer, existential dread.

 

5. Point Break
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 1991

Genre: Surfing Crime Action Movie

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Cast: Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Lori Petty and Gary Busey

That’s right, there are two Keanu Reeves movies on this week’s list. You’re welcome. Point Break is my personal-favorite Kathryn Bigelow movie, and one of my favorite movies of all time. On the surface, this story seems utterly ridiculous: Keanu Reeves is a cop who goes undercover as a surfer in order to catch a gang of bank robbers, who are also surfers. But Bigelow is so incredible at what she does that she ends up making Point Break a thing of beauty. Loaded with high-octane action scenes – there’s a foot chase that’s better than 95% of the action in modern movies – and gorgeous shots of waves crashing over beautiful people, Point Break is a real gem. I’ve seen people say that Reeves’ performance in this movie is bad, but I disagree. Sure, he’s very bro-ed out, but that’s his character. He’s an ex-football player turned cop turned surfer. It makes sense that he’d be kind of a dope. The real star here, though, is Patrick Swayze, playing the enlightened leader of the bank robbers. Swayze is very zen, very chill, and very cool – until he isn’t. There’s also an undercurrent of sexual tension between Reeves and Swayze that I feel like a lot of people miss. Like Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, this is ultimately a story about two very different men who are secretly in love with each other, but can’t actually act on their feelings, and instead result to extremes. There was a remake of Point Break in 2015, and it is the worst thing ever. Avoid it. Watch the original.

For fans of: Speed, Blue SteelThe Master, Gary Busey ordering two meatball sandwiches.

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