Best Movies Streaming Right Now Barton Fink

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

There’s a long holiday weekend coming up. You know what that means? If you answered “It’s time to go outside and spend time with friends and family!”, get the hell out of here! The correct answer is “Stay inside and stream movies.” But what in the world should you stream when there are so many options? That’s where Now Stream This comes in, my friends. These are the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming!

The Best Movies Streaming Right Now

1. Barton Fink
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 1991

Genre: Drama

Director: Joel and Ethan Coen

Cast: John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis, Michael Lerner, John Mahoney, Jon Polito

While writing Miller’s Crossing, the Coen Brothers encountered a bout of writer’s block. So what did they do? They wrote another movie. That movie was Barton Fink, a weird, haunting film about – what else – writer’s block. John Turturro is Barton Fink, a hot-shot New York playwright who goes out to Hollywood in the 1940s to try to write for the pictures. He finds writing a screenplay a tad more difficult than writing a stage play, and sinks into a bout of depression in the crumbling, creepy hotel where he’s set up residence. He soon befriends his neighbor, the good natured Charlie (John Goodman). But there’s more to Charlie than meets the eye, and soon Barton is in what appears to be a literal descent to hell. Goodman is phenomenal, using every inch of his hulking frame to make Charlie both charming and imposing. And Roger Deakins‘s gloomy-yet-gorgeous cinematography paints the perfect picture of Barton’s deteriorating mental state. This is one of the Coen’s best – and that’s saying something.

For fans of: Miller’s CrossingFargo, mysterious packages.

 

2. The Perfection
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2019

Genre: Horror (sort of?)

Director: Richard Shepard

Cast: Allison Williams, Logan Browning, Steven Weber

The first half-hour of The Perfection is wild to the extreme. What starts off seemingly innocent quickly descends into full-fledged chaos, to the point where it’s unnerving. The rest of the movie can never quite recapture this manic magic, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth seeing. This is definitely one of those “the less you know, the better it is” movies, but here’s the gist: Allison Williams is Charlotte, a former musical prodigy who had to give up her dreams of being a renowned cellist at a young age. After her musical career ended, Lizzie (Logan Browning) took Charlotte’s place at a highly selective musical school. Now, as adults, Lizzie and Charlotte meet. The two women seem friendly at first. Very friendly, in fact. But looks can be deceiving. And that’s all I’m going to say. Director Richard Shepard ratchets up the tension and anxiety, often dipping into body horror territory with shocking results. You may be able to guess some of the twists and turns to come, but I promise you it won’t make them any less startling.

For fans of: Black SwanMartyrs, shrieking.

 

3. Halloween
Now Streaming on HBO Go and HBO Now

Release Date: 2018

Genre: Horror

Director: David Gordon Green

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton

David Gordon Green did the impossible, and brought Halloween back from the brink of oblivion. After several lackluster sequels, and two questionable remakes, Green’s Halloween serves as both a sequel and a reboot of sorts. It ignores virtually every Halloween movie since the first, and brings back Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode. Decades after the events of the first Halloween, Laurie is still traumatized, living as a survivalist nut. Over the years, she’s alienated her daughter (Judy Greer), and is on the verge of alienating her granddaughter (Andi Matichak). Things change, however, when Laurie’s fears prove to be warranted, and boogeyman Michael Myers heads back to Haddonfield, knife in hand. This new Halloween does two things exceedingly well. One: it makes Michael Myers scary again, turning him into a hulking, inhuman monster capable of obliterating people with his bare hands. Two: it lets Laurie Strode take back her own narrative, reclaiming strength in the process.

For fans of: Halloween (the other one), banh mi sandwiches.

 

4. Three Days of the Condor
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 1975

Genre: Spy Thriller

Director: Sydney Pollack

Cast: Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, Max von Sydow

Sydney Pollack‘s 1975 political thriller Three Days of the Condor starts off by showing audiences the dull side of espionage. It’s not all spies on dangerous missions – it’s often analysts holed up in stodgy offices, pouring over mind-numbing material. One morning, CIA code breaker Joe Turner (Robert Redford) shows up for work at that stodgy office, and discovers all his coworkers brutally murdered. That’s bad enough, but making matters worse is the fact that the CIA is responsible for the deaths, giving Joe practically no one to turn to. The result is a tense, paranoid thriller where Pollack slowly ratchets things up, catching us as off guard as Redford’s character.

For fans of: All the President’s Men, The Parallax View, paranoia.

 

5. Kwaidan
Now Streaming on The Criterion Channel

Release Date: 1965

Genre: Japanese Horror Anthology

Director: Masaki Kobayashi

Cast: Rentar? Mikuni, Keiko Kishi, Kazuo Nakamura, Kanemon Nakamura

Kwaidan is a gorgeous, spooky Japanese horror anthology film from Masaki Kobayashi, telling four eerie, unique tales of ever-mounting horror. Abstract, poetic, and experimental, Kwaidan was the most expensive Japanese movie ever made at the time of its release. Full of a deliberate artificiality – the skies are clearly painted backdrops, the landscapes are obvious sets – and unsettling sound design – blowing wind, dripping water, mysterious sounds – Kwaidan is a sensory overload, and one of the more unique scary movies you’re likely to see. Ghosts, spirits, and more otherworldly beings populate the stories told here, conjuring up plenty of goosebumps in the process.

For fans of: Tales From the Darkside: The MovieHouse, extreme camera zooms.

 

6. Maniac
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 1980

Genre: Sleazy slasher film

Director: William Lustig

Cast: Joe Spinell

Sleazy, sickly, disgusting – and great! That’s ManiacWilliam Lustig‘s sweat-and-gore-drenched movie about a serial killer (Joe Spinell) who scalps his victims. As far as plot goes, Maniac is a bit thin. But Spinell’s performance is so believable that it’s downright disturbing. We believe he’s this killer. And the grimy, gritty nature of the cinematography make it all seem extra real – like we’re watching a documentary. Adding to al of this is the superb gore make-up effects from the legendary Tom Savini. The squeamish need not apply.

For fans of: SkinnerMs. 45, upsetting mustaches.

 

7. Punisher: War Zone
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 2008

Genre: Action

Director: Lexi Alexander

Cast: Ray Stevenson, Dominic West, Julie Benz, Doug Hutchison, Wayne Knight

Lexi Alexander‘s Punisher: War Zone is a ridiculous, giallo-infused freak show. Ray Stevenson‘s take on The Punisher/Frank Castle is, sadly, a bit boring. But thankfully, the movie around him is batshit crazy. A big part of that craziness is due to Dominic West, who plays the hideously scarred Jigsaw, who kind of looks like Frankenstein’s monster in a generic gangster costume purchased from the Halloween store. West, buried in his ghoul make-up, hams it up to the extreme, and it’s so fun to watch. The story involves the vigilante known as the Punisher trying to protect the family of a man he killed, but that’s really just an excuse to stage big, graphic death scenes where people’s heads explode. Hollywood has a really hard time adapting The Punisher to the screen for some reason. And while War Zone still doesn’t quite get it right, it’s a lot of fun to watch.

For fans of: BatmanDeep Red, exploding Parkour guys.

 

8. Insidious
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2010

Genre: Horror

Director: James Wan

Cast: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey

James Wan‘s Insidious spawned sequels, but none of them are quite as good as this simple, streamlined original. Drawing from PoltergeistThe Entity and more, Wan craft a unique haunted house story that’s smarter than average. After parents Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson move their family into a new house, terrifying things begin to happen, and their youngest son ends up in a coma that can’t be explained. As more and more ghosts pop-up, the decision is made to move the hell out of the house. But that doesn’t fix the problem – the ghosts just follow the family wherever they go. With this masterstroke of an idea, Wan and co-writer Leigh Whannell are deliberately addressing anyone who ever watched a haunted house movie and asked, “Why the hell don’t they just move?”

For fans of: PoltergeistThe Conjuring, jump-scares that are actually scary.

 

9. Wild Bill
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video 

Release Date: 1995

Genre: Western

Director: Walter Hill

Cast: Jeff Bridges, Ellen Barkin, John Hurt, Diane Lane, David Arquette

After seeming as if it would never, ever happen, the long-awaited Deadwood movie will hit HBO this month. If you’re craving even more Deadwood-set action to compliment the movie, you might want to check out Walter Hill‘s mostly forgotten 1995 Wild Bill. It’s set in Deadwood, and has a few of the same characters from the show. It even tells a story that unfolded during the first few episodes of that series. Former lawman Wild Bill Hickok (Jeff Bridges) heads to Deadwood at a point in his life when he’s lost in memory. Haunted by the past and unable to think much about the future, Bill is rudderless. His only real support system is his friend and sometimes lover Calamity Jane (Ellen Barkin). Hill’s script is deliberately paced, and focused more on inner turmoil than outer gunfights, so don’t expect your traditional Western.

For fans of: DeadwoodUnforgiven, Jeff Bridges wearing big-ass hats.

 

10. Escape From L.A.
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 1996

Genre: Sci-fi action

Director: John Carpenter

Cast: Kurt Russell, Stacy Keach, Steve Buscemi, Peter Fonda, Pam Grier, Cliff Robertson

Kurt Russell surfs a tsunami in this movie. Do you really need to know much more? John Carpenter‘s Escape From L.A. can’t hold a candle to his original Escape From New York. But it’s so much fun to see Snake Plissken again. And it’s equally fun to see all the weirdos he encounters in Los Angeles, which has become an island after an earthquake. Set in the futuristic year of 2013, Escape From L.A. finds anyone who doesn’t support the ultra-conservative President of the United States to the island of Los Angeles. As it turns out, though, the President’s rebellious daughter has ended up on the island as well. So the government decides to send in Snake Plissken. Yes, this is more or less the same plot as the original movie – but so what? Carpenter is pulling out all the stops, and taking us along on his goofy joyride.

For fans of: Escape from New YorkGhosts of Mars, Kurt Russell surfing on a god damn tsunami.

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