Best Movies Streaming Feb.

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

Looking for something to stream this weekend and beyond? I’ve got you covered. This latest edition of Now Stream This has scoured streaming services to bring you back a variety of films: comedy, horror, drama, as well as modern-day movies and classics from Hollywood’s yesterday.

Here you’ll find the directorial debut of Amber Tamblyn; a classic screwball comedy; a horror anthology film; a forgotten Nicole Kidman thriller; a recent highly acclaimed sci-fi flick; an intense indie drama; yet another incredible performance from Michael Stuhlbarg; and much more. It’s time for best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming.

1. Paint It Black
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2016

Genre: Indie-Drama

Director: Amber Tamblyn

Cast: Alia Shawkat, Janet McTeer, Alfred Molina, Emily Rios, Rhys Wakefield

Actress Amber Tamblyn made her directorial debut with this intense, stylish drama. Alia Shawkat plays a young woman dealing with the sudden death of her boyfriend. The grieving process is hard enough as it is, but Shawkat’s character also has to contend with her dead lover’s extremely unstable mother, played with smoldering yet sad menace by Janet McTeer. Paint It Black is one of those rare unpredictable films that never goes the way you’d expect. It also looks incredible, proving that Tamblyn has a great directorial eye (with some help from cinematographer Brian Rigney Hubbard).

For fans of: The Neon Demon, Sunset Blvd., Search Party, mood lighting. 

2. Bringing Up Baby
Now Streaming on FilmStruck

Release Date: 1938

Genre: Screwball Comedy

Director: Howard Hawks

Cast: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charles Ruggles, Walter Catlett, May Robson, Nissa the Leopard

You can’t go wrong with this Howard Hawks classic. Audiences avoided this screwball comedy when it hit theaters in 1938, but it’s since gone on to become renowned as the masterpiece that it really is. Cary Grant plays an absent-minded paleontologist who gets caught-up in a madcap adventure with a possibly crazy heiress, played by Katherine Hepburn. Do these two loons fall in love? Of course they do, but before that happens they have to deal with a missing dinosaur bone and a leopard named Baby. Bringing Up Baby is one of the funniest damn movies ever made, so if you’re feeling blue (and I can’t blame you if you are), feel free to fire this flick up and forget your troubles for 102 minutes.

For fans of: His Girl Friday, The Philadelphia Story, What’s Up Doc?, endless double entendres.

3. Arrival
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 2016

Genre: Sci-Fi Drama

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg

Jóhann Jóhannsson’s death over the weekend was a huge loss for film scores. Jóhannsson seemed to be at the very beginning of an incredible film score career, only to have his life tragically cut short. One of his recent, haunting scores is featured in Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi drama Arrival. Amy Adams stars as a linguist recruited to decode an alien language. The more she interacts with the aliens, the closer the world comes to catastrophe. This is big, bold, intelligent science fiction, the likes of which Hollywood usually shys away from. Villeneuve packs Arrival with big ideas, but best of all, the film has an emotional core that you might not expect. And underneath it all is Jóhannsson’s eerie, experimental score.

For fans of: Blade Runner 2049, Contact, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, heptapods. 

4. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story 
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2007

Genre: Comedy

Director: Jake Kasdan

Cast: John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer, Kristen Wiig, Tim Meadows, Chris Parnell

Walk Hard was not a hit when it played in theaters, but since then it’s gained a cult following. And rightfully so. This movie is hysterical, and endlessly quotable. Director Jake Kasdan and co-writer Judd Apatow take a sledgehammer to the by-the-numbers musician biopic (i.e. Walk the Line, Ray, etc.). John C. Reilly is Dewey Cox, the type of musician who likes to think about his entire life right before he plays a show. From beginning to end, Walk Hard is laugh-out-loud funny, and features some killer cameos too good to spoil.

For fans of: Airplane!, Young Frankenstein, The Naked Gun, famous characters announcing who they are when they enter a scene. 

5. A Serious Man
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2009

Genre: Dark Comedy

Director: Joel and Ethan Coen.

Cast: Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Fred Melamed, Sari Lennick

Were you (rightfully) bummed-out when Michael Stuhlbarg failed to net a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination this year for Call Me By Your Name or The Shape of Water? Well, the Academy is starting to make a habit of stubbing Mr. Stuhlbarg, and they should quit it. For example: the actor failed to receive a Best Actor nod for his brilliant turn in the Coen Brothers’ quirky dark comedy A Serious Man. Stuhlbarg plays a physics professor in the 1960s whose life slowly falls apart. What follows is a funny, surprising film that only the Coen Brothers could create. And heads-up: the very last shot of the film is stunning.

For fans of: Inside Llewyn Davis, Burn After Reading, Barton Fink, accepting the mystery. 

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