Best Movies Streaming Right Now April

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

Hello, streamers. Are you ready for another round-up of great movies you can stream right now? I sure as hell hope so, or else I compiled this list for nothing. In this edition of Now Stream This, we have one of last year’s best movies, a Michael Mann masterpiece, Dustin Hoffman vs. a Nazi dentist, a modern animated classic, Richard Gere trying to solve spooky mysteries, a killer fetus, and more!

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

The Best Movies Streaming Right Now

1. The Florida Project
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 2017

Genre: Indie Drama

Director: Sean Baker

Cast: Willem Dafoe, Brooklynn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Valeria Cotto, Christopher Rivera, Caleb Landry Jones

Hey, look – the best movie of 2017 is now streaming! The Florida Project is a magical, heartbreaking indie film from Tangerine director Sean Baker, set on the outskirts of Disney. Six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince; crazy good here) lives in the run-down Magic Castle motel with her mom (Bria Vinaite). Moonee spends her days running wild with her friends, while the motel’s manager, played by Willem Dafoe, giving what is probably the best performance of his career, watches wearily. On the surface, The Florida Project doesn’t have a consistent narrative – it’s a series of vignettes stitched together. But Baker is building towards something here, and he’s presenting the film in a no-nonsense yet fantastical style that works even though it really shouldn’t. It all culminates in an ending that is all but guaranteed to make you break down into ugly, racking sobs. If you slept on this movie in 2017 (real talk: this was A24’s best last year, not Lady Bird, and I wish A24 had pushed it harder come awards season), here’s your chance to finally see what you’ve been missing

For fans of: Beasts of the Southern WildThe Little Rascals, Escape from Tomorrow, Willem Dafoe being amazing.


2. Heat
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 1995

Genre: Crime Epic

Director: Michael Mann

Cast: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Diane Venora, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Mykelti Williamson, Wes Studi, Ted Levine, Jon Voight

You ever hear of this movie Heat? It’s pretty good! Okay, look – I feel a bit silly including Heat here. When I compile this list, I try to avoid picking the most obvious choices, with the hopes of introducing readers to brand new things. But Heat is now streaming on Netflix, and gosh darn it, that’s too good to pass up. Even after all the years of hype, Michael Mann‘s crime epic still holds up. It’s just as good as it always was, and maybe better. Al Pacino is a cop prone to yelling and Robert De Niro is a master thief trying to pull off a few big scores before he retires. The two men end up in each other’s crosshairs, and what follows is a saga that’s like a great American novel, in film form. Even if you have seen Heat, it’s worth revisiting just to witness what a well-oiled machine this thing is. The film’s 170 runtime might seem intimidating, but Mann makes every minute count, creating a cast of characters with rich complexities. The film’s big climactic shoot-out is a miracle of scene staging – it feels epic and all-consuming in ways big blockbusters with even bigger budgets can’t come close to touching. And yet at the same time, this film is oddly intimate.

For fans of: ThiefMiami ViceCopland, Al Pacino screaming “GIMME ALL YOU GOT!!!!” at the top of his lungs.


3. Marathon Man
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 1976

Genre: Thriller

Director: John Schlesinger

Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider, William Devane, Marthe Keller

The film that made dentistry somehow even less appealing than it already is, Marathon Man is the type of taut thriller they really don’t make anymore. Dustin Hoffman is a timid Ph.D student and Roy Scheider is his tough brother who just happens to be a secret agent. After Scheider turns up dead, Hoffman gets sucked into an increasingly disturbing situation involving stolen diamonds and a fugitive Nazi war criminal (Laurence Olivier) with a fondness for drilling into people’s teeth. Hoffman is great here, playing a character growing more and more unhinged as the danger grow, and Olivier steals the show as the evil Nazi dentist. The script, by master writer William Goldman, is as tight and tension-filled as it possibly can be.

For fans of: Three Days of the CondorThe Boys from BrazilThe French Connection, the soothing sound of dental drills.


4. The Iron Giant
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 1999

Genre: Animated Sci-Fi Fantasy That Will Make You Cry

Director: Brad Bird

Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick, Jr., Vin Diesel, James Gammon, Cloris Leachman, Christopher McDonald, John Mahoney, Eli Marienthal, M. Emmet Walsh

Warner Bros. did a terrible job marketing The Iron Giant when it hit theaters in 1999, and the film underperformed. Thankfully, home video and TV syndication helped audiences realize what a special film this is. The Incredibles‘ Brad Bird helms this animated flick about a young boy in the 1950s who befriends a giant robot from outer-space. The pair grow close, but of course, the minute the government finds out about the giant, things get complicated, and dangerous. This is a beautiful, heart-felt film, full of an aching, unapologetic humanity that’s nearly impossible to resist. The animation – hand-drawn in a classic style – is gorgeous, and Bird creates cinematic, fluid sequences that other animation directors can’t touch.

For fans of: E.T., Wreck-It RalphHow to Train Your Dragon, being who you choose to be.


5. Metropolitan
Now Streaming on FilmStruck

Release Date: 1990

Genre: Indie Chamber Drama

Director: Whit Stillman

Cast: Carolyn Farina, Edward Clements, Taylor Nichols, Christopher Eigeman, Allison Rutledge-Parisi, Dylan Hundley, Isabel Gillies, Bryan Leder, Will Kempe, Elisabeth Thompson

Whit Stillman‘s Metropolitan is a film about privileged-class college kids who wax intellectually about things they don’t even really understand. I know that doesn’t sound like the most exciting kind of film, but Stillman crafted a fascinating indie film here, one that somehow makes people sitting in rooms talking inherently cinematic. At the center of Metropolitan is Tom Townsend (Edward Clements), a middle-class guy who says he hates parties. And yet, he seems to keep ending up at one party after another. Tom falls in with an upper-class crowd, where a young woman named Audry (Carolyn Farina) develops a crush on Tom. Tom, meanwhile, is hung-up on his ex-girlfriend, who has clearly moved on. Metropolitan is a film of moments captured over several nights. The characters are still young, yet so sure in their own existences and beliefs. We should grow to loathe these characters…and yet, we don’t. Their youthfulness softens their snobbery. The fact is, they have their whole lives ahead of them, and there’s something innocent about that — about the fact that no matter what wrongs they feel they suffered, or what romance they felt, it won’t really matter because there’s still seemingly so much time left. We should all be that lucky.

For fans of: The Last Days of DiscoLove and FriendshipDamsels in Distress, offering up comments on books without having actually read them.

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