Best Movies Streaming Right Now December 20

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

We’re in the holiday season, which means you probably have some days off coming up. I suppose in theory you might want to spend Christmas and beyond with your families. Or you could ignore all of that and stream some movies. That’s where Now Stream This comes in. I’ve put together an eclectic mix of titles that you can stream right now, including a few unexpected Christmas movies to keep your days merry and bright. You’ll find a film shot on an iPhone, Charlize Theron kicking ass, the Boss rocking out, stray cats, Charles Dickens, a killer Santa, and more.

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

The Best Movies Streaming Right Now

1. Tangerine
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2015

Genre: Indie Christmas Movie

Director: Sean Baker

Cast: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian, Mickey O’Hagan, Alla Tumanian, James Ransone

Believe it or not, Tangerine, aka “the movie Sean Baker shot on iPhones”, is a secret Christmas movie. The story takes place entirely on Christmas Eve in Hollywood – but don’t expect your typical holiday tale. Tangerine follows two transgender sex workers, Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor), on a quest to track down Sin-Dee’s pimp and boyfriend Chester (James Ransone) after learning he cheated on Sin-Dee while she was in jail. There’s a lot more to the story, but that’s the basic set-up Baker uses to follow these characters around during one strange Hollywood Christmas Eve. Funny, surprising, and ultimately touching, Tangerine is wholly unique. Baker’s work here never feels exploitative, and he’s able to create some incredible cinematography using iPhones. The two leads – who had never really acted before – are both wonderful, and incredibly honest and real in their performances. It all builds to a remarkable, tender final scene that lingers with you long after the credits have rolled.

For fans of: The Florida ProjectStarletA Fantastic Woman, donuts.

 

2. Springsteen on Broadway
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2018

Genre: Broadway Show

Director: Thom Zimny

Cast: The Boss

If you were unable to score an expensive, constantly sold-out ticket to Bruce Springsteen‘s Broadway show, you’re in luck. The entire performance was filmed, and is now available on Netflix. And it’s astounding. For two-and-a-half hours, Springsteen offers up a killer show and confirms himself as our greatest living storyteller. The Boss takes us through his life, from early Asbury Park days to superstardom, blending stories and songs in perfect harmony. Emotional and raw, Springsteen on Broadway is a peek into Springsteen’s mind – how it ticks, how it works, and how he uses it to pull the rug out from under us. It’s also funny as hell – Springsteen has a knack for comedy. Even if you’re somehow not a Springsteen fan (do people like that exist?), I promise you’ll find something to enjoy here.

For fans of: Stop Making SenseThe Last Waltz, dancing in the dark.

 

3. Atomic Blonde
Now Streaming on MAX GO

Release Date: 2017

Genre: Action Extravaganza

Director: David Leitch

Cast: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella, Toby Jones

Listen, few things in life are more enjoyable than watching Charlize Theron beat the shit out of people. Is that high-art? Not really. But god damn is it fun to watch. In Atomic Blonde, Theron is a sexy spy who heads to Berlin only days before the Berlin Wall comes down. There, she gets caught up in a story involving double agents, and more. I’ll be honest: the plot doesn’t really make much sense, and the script, by Kurt Johnstad, takes some lazy shortcuts to get where it needs to. But almost none of that matters, because Theron is so damn good, and the direction from John Wick director David Leitch is action-packed. Leitch is one of the best action filmmakers working today, and the set-pieces he stages here put most modern action movies to shame. A lengthy, brutal fight that has Theron battling people up and down stairs has to be seen to be believed. In short, this movie kicks ass.

For fans of: John WickThe Long Kiss GoodnightLa Femme Nikita, lots and lots of punching.

 

4. King Cohen
Now Streaming on Shudder

Release Date: 2018

Genre: Documentary

Director: Steve Mitchell

Cast: Larry Cohen

Larry Cohen may not be a household name to general movie goers, but genre fans are well-versed in his remarkable career. A writer, producer and director, Cohen has spent his career doing exactly what he wanted to do. He’s the man behind Maniac CopQ: The Winged Serpent, the It’s Alive series, several blaxploitation flicks, The Stuff and more. King Cohen tracks Cohen’s wild career, from his early days working in television to breaking into the film world. Famous faces pop-up to sing his praises – including J.J. Abrams, Martin Scorsese, and more. An amusing, charming doc, King Cohen will give you a newfound appreciation for Cohen’s work, and for his no-nonsense way of making movies. Cohen himself is also on hand, of course, giving colorful accounts of his history – accounts some of the other interview subjects directly contradict.

For fans of: Best Worst MovieJodorowsky’s Dune, Martin Scorsese speaking thoughtfully about Q: The Winged Serpent.

 

5. Pyewacket
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2018

Genre: Horror

Director: Adam MacDonald

Cast: Laurie Holden and Nicole Muñoz

A wonderful under-the-radar surprise, Pyewacket is a creepy little indie horror film featuring a career-making performance from Nicole Muñoz. Muñoz plays Leah, a teen obsessed with the occult, and a somewhat adversarial relationship with her mother (Laurie Holden). After a particularly nasty argument, Leah runs out to the woods to summon a demon to kill her mother. She soon regrets her decision, and hopes that the ritual she performed didn’t actually work. Bad news: it did. Soon, incredibly creepy stuff begins to happen – shadowy figures, haunting hallucinations, mysterious noises, and more. The premise is rather simple, but writer-director Adam MacDonald does wonderful work building atmosphere and conjuring up some legitimate scares. Muñoz is the real stand-out here, though, turning in an assured, strong performance. Put her in more movies, please.

For fans of: Lady BirdThe Craft, bad titles for great movies.

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