Best Movies Streaming Right Now Free Solo

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

Need something to stream today, this weekend, or even beyond? Good, you’ve come to the right place. This week, we have a nerve-wracking documentary; one of the best Scorsese/DiCaprio collaborations; a bunch of burly men firing guns; some wonderful Gerard Butler trash; a creepy kid; a one-room thriller; a tradionally animated epic; a kind-hearted family film; and more!  These are the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming!

The Best Movies Streaming Right Now

1. Free Solo
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2018

Genre: Documentary

Director: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin

Hey, do you want to have a nearly two-hour panic attack? Then you should watch the never-wracking documentary Free SoloAlex Honnold is a rock climber who loves to free solo – that is, he climbs giant mountains without ropes, harnesses or anything else. Basically, he’s doing it all with his feet and hands. A sane person would not do this, so it’s likely that Honnold is out of his dang mind. Directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin track Honnold’s quest to free solo climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. The camera crew follows Honnold up the rock face, capturing breathtaking (and terrifying) shots of the climber dangling thousands of feet in the air. It’s thrilling and scary as hell, and ultimately fascinating.

For fans of: Cliffhanger, the opening scene of Mission: Impossible II, biting your nails down to the quick.

2. The Aviator
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2004

Genre: Biographical drama

Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, John C. Reilly, Alec Baldwin

One of Martin Scorsese‘s best 21st century movies, The Aviator tells the story of the mysterious Howard Hughes. Rather than cover Hughes’ entire life, Scorsese focuses on a specific period of time, where Hughes first broke into the movie business and then set out to build the flying boat known as the Spruce Goose. It’s clear Scorsese is most interested in the old Hollywood elements of the film, as they’re the most exciting. Early on, Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Hughes woos Katherine Hepburn, played by a scene-stealing Cate Blanchett. As the story progresses, though, Hughes’ mental state and obsessive compulsive disorder begin to take over his entire life. Scorsese and cinematographer Robert Richardson employ eye-popping colors and camera stock to highlight each specific era the film takes place in, creating a visually stunning work in the process.

For fans of: Rules Don’t ApplyGangs of New YorkTucker: The Man and His Dream, ten chocolate chip cookies – medium chips; none too close to the outside.

 

3. Orphan
Now Streaming on Shudder

Release Date: 2009

Genre: Horror

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Cast: Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman, C. C. H. Pounder, Jimmy Bennett

Jaume Collet-Serra, who specializes in neon-lit art-trash, helms this delightfully deranged horror thriller about one creepy kid. Wealthy couple Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard already have two children, but they want another – especially after Farmiga miscarried their child-to-be. The couple decide to adopt, and end up with Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman), who seems a little weird but also polite and intelligent. But Esther has a dark side, and a big secret, and it’s not long before people start turning up dead. Stylish, trashy and endlessly watchable, Orphan is a treat.

For fans of: The Good SonThe ShallowsThe Bad Seed, Vera Farmiga fighting a kid.

4. Triple Frontier
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2019

Genre: Action

Director: J. C. Chandor

Cast: Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal

Triple Frontier is by no means great, or even really good. But it is the perfect Netflix movie – something to pop on late one night, and not worry about investing too much into it. Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal play a group of former Special Forces operatives who decide to rob a South American drug lord. Things don’t go according to plan, as is usually the case in these sorts of films. There’s nothing here to elevate the genre, and even though this cast is killer, their characters are mostly blank – save for Affleck’s sad sack soldier-turned-realtor, and Isaac’s private military man who keeps assuring everyone everything will work out, even though it clearly won’t. But if you’re looking for a loud, dumb, shoot-em-up, you can’t go wrong with a film like Triple Frontier.

For fans of: Den of ThievesZero Dar ThirtySicario, handsome men firing guns.

5. Christopher Robin
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2018

Genre: Family Disney movie

Director: Marc Forster

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett

Christopher Robin wasn’t a huge hit like other recent live-action Disney “remakes”, and that’s a shame, because it’s such a nice movie. Ewan McGregor plays the grown-up Christopher Robin, who has long since left Winnie the Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. Christopher is now a workaholic who neglects his family, and he needs to recapture the magic of his youth. In other words, this is Hook, swapping Winnie the Pooh for Peter Pan. But it’s good, too! And charming, and warm, and an all-around good hearted experience.

For fans of: HookWhere the Wild Things ArePete’s Dragon, honey.

 

6. The Prince of Egypt
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 1998

Genre: Animated epic

Director: Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, Simon Wells

Cast: Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum

DreamWorks’ first traditionally animated feature remains stunning, especially in this day of only digitally animated films. The Prince of Egypt adapts the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments into a emotional, rousing, and yes, musical epic. The songs are catchy, the animation is gorgeous, and the voice acting is across the board strong. You know the story: Moses is chosen by God to free the enslaved Hebrews from the Pharaoh. All the touchstones are here: the ten plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, and more. And even if you’re a damned heathen who doesn’t believe in any of this stuff (like me), there’s enough wonder here to latch on to.

For fans of: The Ten Commandments, Mulan, remembering that old school animation looks amazing.

7. Gamer
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 2009

Genre: Nonsense

Director: Neveldine/Taylor

Cast: Gerard Butler, Logan Lerman, Michael C. Hall, Ludacris, Amber Valletta, Terry Crews, Alison Lohman, John Leguizamo, Zoë Bell

Crank directors Neveldine/Taylor are responsible for this high-octane piece of lunacy that opens with the loudest, most chaotic gun battle ever created for the screen and only gets more bombastic from there. It’s the future, and evil weirdo Michael C. Hall has created a technology that lets people’s brains be controlled via computer. This has resulted in a game called Slayers, in which death row inmates have to fight their way through a war zone. If they survive a certain number of battles, they go free. Gerard Butler is the most popular player, a grumbling, grunting killing machine who just wants to see his wife and daughter. Butler is controlled by horny teen Logan Lerman, who is convinced to turn Butler loose – which unleashes even more violence. It’s all so big, and dumb, and trashy, and fun to watch. There’s a scene in Gamer where Butler’s character chugs some booze, then vomits and pisses into the empty gas tank of a car. The car then starts, because of course it does. Cinema!

For fans of: The Running ManTronCrank, Michael C. Hall dancing.

8. Gone Baby Gone
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2007

Genre: Mystery

Director: Ben Affleck

Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, John Ashton, Amy Ryan

Ben Affleck‘s directorial debut Gone Baby Gone is still his best film, even if people seem to have forgotten it. Adapted from the novel by Dennis Lehane, this mystery thriller stars Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan as a pair of Boston private eyes trying to find a missing girl. But this is no simple case, and the more the duo look, the more inconsistencies in the official story arise. Affleck (Ben, not Casey) does a remarkable job here capturing the feel of the down and out Boston neighborhood the film is set in, expertly evoking a sense of place that some filmmakers struggle with.

For fans of: Mystic RiverThe Town, Bahston accents.

9. The Guilty
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2018

Genre: Danish thriller

Director: Gustav Möller

Cast: Jakob Cedergren

It’s not easy making a single-location movie interesting and exciting, but the Danish thriller The Guilty pulls it off, and then some. Jakob Cedergren is a police dispatch operator who gets a startling call one night from a woman who says she’s been kidnapped. He then sets about trying to save her himself rather than letting officers in the field do the work, investigating the case and digging up clues all from his desk. It might sound boring, but it’s immensely thrilling. Director Gustav Möller uses quick cuts, extreme close-ups, and pregnant pauses to ratchet up the tension, and Cedegren’s taut, frantic performance ends up making The Guilty more energizing than most Hollywood action movies.

For fans of: The CallRear Window, sweaty brows.

10. Saving Mr. Banks
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2013

Genre: Drama

Director: John Lee Hancock

Cast: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Colin Farrell

Gather round children, and I shall tell you the tale of how the author of Mary Poppins hated everyone. In Saving Mr. Banks, Emma Thompson plays bitter, mean-spirited, and all-around cruel author P.L. Travers, creator of Mary Poppins. Travers is trying her damnedest to stop the mirth-makers at Disney from turning her story into a film, but she eventually relents – only to then complain about everything and anything going into the movie. Thompson is, predictably, magnificent as Travers. A less accomplished performer would’ve botched this prickly part, but Thompson manages to somehow make such a cruel person sympathetic. Tom Hanks is also on hand, stealing the show as Walt Disney himself.

For fans of: Mary PoppinsThe Founder, Tom Hanks with a tiny mustache.

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