Best Movies Streaming Right Now Gone Girl

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

Gone Girl
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2014

Genre: Mystery-Drama

Director: David Fincher

Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Carrie Coon, Tyler Perry

David Fincher is back this year with Mank, but the last film he made was 2014’s Gone Girl, which is now streaming on Hulu. Fincher and writer Gillian Flynn take Flynn’s page-turner and work it into something wickedly funny and delightfully twisted. Cheating layabout Nick (Ben Affleck) becomes the prime suspect when his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) goes missing. But Amy isn’t really missing – she’s run away and concocted an elaborate plan to frame Nick for her murder after discovering he’s been cheating on her. The stage is set for an elaborate, darkly comedic mystery where Nick has to evade the suspicious police and the even more suspicious public while Amy tries to decide what to do next. If there was any justice in this dumb world, Pike would’ve won an Oscar for her amazing work here. But she’s also backed-up by a great cast: Affleck gives what might be his best performance, and even Tyler Perry is surprisingly great as a slick, high-priced lawyer Nick hires.

For fans of: A Simple FavorTo Die For, framing Ben Affleck for murder.

 

His House
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2020

Genre: Horror

Director: Remi Weekes

Cast: Wunmi Mosaku, Sope Dirisu, Matt Smith

Remi Weekes‘ fantastic new horror film His House deserves more buzz than it’s getting. Sometimes Netflix titles generate plenty of heat, and sometimes they slip through the cracks, and I’d hate for this one to slip through the cracks. The film follows Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku), a refugee couple from South Sudan who ends up in the UK. They’re granted probational asylum in Britain and housed in a flat in a dingy looking neighborhood. The flat isn’t exactly what you’d call a palace but it’s a lot more than the couple could’ve ever dreamed of, and they seem overjoyed at the prospect of their new life. At first. But strange things start happening in the house, and before long, Bol is ripping off wallpaper and knocking holes in the walls, convinced that there’s someone – or something – on the other side. Gorgeously shot – there are several different surreal dream sequences that took my breath away – and tragically haunting, His House is a must-see.

For fans of: Get OutThe Others, horror movies with something on their mind.

 

Moneyball
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2011

Genre: Sports Drama

Director: Bennett Miller

Cast: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, Chris Pratt

A baseball movie that’s also about math probably shouldn’t work, but Moneyball manages to pull it off. With a funny, inventive script via Steven Zaillian and Aaron SorkinMoneyball tells the true-ish story of how Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) put together a better ballclub with the help of some fancy algorithms and other unconventional means. The performances – Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Philip Seymour Hoffman in particular – combined with the snappy script keep Moneyball light on its feet even when the characters have to convey complex information. Trigger Warning: There’s footage from an actual ballgame at the start of the film that features quick shots of evil, melting ghoul Rudy Giuliani, so you might want to close your eyes during those moments and make sure the kids leave the room.

For fans of: The Social NetworkThe Big Short, math.

 

Deja Vu
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 2006

Genre: Sci-Fi Action-Thriller

Director: Tony Scott

Cast: Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Jim Caviezel, Val Kilmer, Adam Goldberg, Bruce Greenwood

I miss Tony Scott. Known for his kinetic, quick-cut action extravaganza, Scott was not as sophisticated as brother Ridley, but he didn’t have to be. He was in a class of his own. Scott’s Deja Vu was one of his several collaborations with Denzel Washington, and while it’s not the best of the bunch, it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Washington is a New Orleans cop investigating a ferry bombing that killed over 500 people. In the midst of his investigation, he joins forces with an FBI agent (Val Kilmer!) who works with a team that has the ability to look back in time. Don’t even try to understand the science at work here because it’s mumbo jumbo. All you need to know is that Washington now has a giant TV screen that lets him see into the past, and he’s using it to try to catch the bomber. He’s also trying to solve the murder of a woman (Paula Patton) who mysteriously called him just before her demise. And since Washington can look back in time the inevitable question arises: can he change the past, too? The stage is set for all sorts of swooping cameras and degraded cinematography. It’s junk food entertainment at its most pleasurable.

For fans of: Man on FireUnstoppable, wonky science that makes absolutely no sense.

 

Unfriended
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2014

Genre: Horror

Director: Leo Gabriadze

Cast: Shelley Hennig, Moses Storm, Renee Olstead, Will Peltz, Jacob Wysocki, and Courtney Halverson

Unfriended seemed like a terrible idea at the time: a movie set entirely on a computer screen. I’ll freely admit I was hesitant to even give it a chance – but I did, and what a pleasant surprise it was. It’s an inventive way to reconfigure the “found footage” subgenre, drawing us into this world by surrounding us with things we’re used to seeing every day – a laptop screen; an iTunes playlist; a Skype chat window. It’s all so familiar, and that familiarity disarms us when the horror starts. Here, a group of teens is video chatting with one another online when they suddenly find themselves targeted by a supernatural force. The results are genuinely creepy, complete with twists and turns that you won’t see coming.

For fans of: SearchingUnfriended: Dark Web, watching horrible teens get their comeuppance.

 

The Rock
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 1996

Genre: Action

Director: Michael Bay

Cast: Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, William Forsythe, Michael Biehn

Sean Connery, who died recently, retired after making the craptacular The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. It was one of the many late-period films he made that just wasn’t very good, up there with forgettable stuff like Entrapment and Finding Forrester. But one late-period Connery film that does hold up is Michael Bay’The Rock. Bay can be hit or miss – and honestly, more miss than hit – but every once in a while he turns out something like this. Yes, it’s bombastic and overblown, but it all clicks. Connery is part of the reason for the film’s success, as the actor lends his rogueish charm to the part of the one guy who managed to successfully break out of Alcatraz. When a group of rogue military men, lead by Ed Harris, takes a bunch of hostages at the former island prison, Connery’s jailbird is brought in to help a team break back into the Rock. Also part of the team is nerdy chemical weapons expert Nicolas Cage, and the odd couple partnership between Connery and Cage is dynamite. If Michael Bay made more movies like this and less junk like the Transformers series, we’d all be a lot better off.

For fans of: Escape From AlcatrazArmageddon, explosions. So many explosions.

 

Deathdream
Now Streaming on Criterion Channel

Release Date: 1974

Genre: Horror

Director: Bob Clark

Cast: Richard Backus, John Marley, Lynn Carlin

Bob Clark (Black Christmas) helmed this horror flick that was one of the first genre pics to directly confront the traumas of the Vietnam War. Married couple Charles (John Marley) and Christine Brooks (Lynn Carlin) are devastated when they learn their adult son Andy (Richard Backus) has been killed in combat. But then…Andy comes home. And he seems perfectly fine – at first. But as the days tick on it becomes clear to Charles that there’s something very, very wrong with his son. His wife doesn’t want to believe it – she’s just happy to have her boy back. But Andy’s behavior goes from strange to downright deadly, to the point where no one can ignore the fact that he’s not the person they think he is. Rough around the edges, Deathdream is brutal and cruel, but also a fascinating look at how horror movies reflect real-world events.

For fans of: Black ChristmasRolling Thunder, bright red blood.

 

8MM
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 1999

Genre: Thriller

Director: Joel Schumacher

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini, Peter Stormare, Anthony Heald

8MM is so unapologetically sleazy and nasty that it’s surprising that it was a major release and not some obscure indie film. Taking a script from Seven writer Andrew Kevin Walker (a script that was even darker than the finished film, according to Walker himself, who disowned the final film), 8MM has Nicolas Cage as a private eye who is hired to find out if a snuff film featuring a young girl being murdered is the real deal or a piece of well-done fakery. This sends Cage’s character into the porno underworld where he recruits porn shop clerk Joaquin Phoenix to be his side-kick in the case. Cage is actually rather dull here – he dials down his usual impulses to seem like an ordinary guy caught in an unordinary world. But Phoenix, who still wasn’t a household name at the time, is fantastic, turning in a great supporting turn that hinted at his eventual ascent. Joel Schumacher cranks up the grime and lets the film be just weird enough to seem a little dangerous, with James Gandolfini and Peter Stormare both turning in memorable performances as creepy, underground pornographers.

For fans of: SevenHardcore, Nic Cage smoking lots and lots cigarettes.

 

Crazy, Not Insane
Now Streaming on HBO Max

Release Date: 2020

Genre: Documentary

Director: Alex Gibney

Are some people just born bad? It’s a tricky question with no shortage of answers. And it gets even trickier when you bring that question into the legal system when trying to determine if someone committed horrible deeds due to some form of psychosis. Alex Gibney, a man so prolific that he’s probably already made ten different documentaries while I’ve been typing this sentence, tackles that question with Crazy, Not Insane, a new doc that focuses on psychiatrist Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis. Dr. Lewis specializes in the study of violent individuals and people with dissociative identity disorder and has often been used as an expert witness in criminal trials, and here, Dr. Lewis makes the case that no one springs forth from the womb fully formed and evil (“evil” is a religious term as far as Lewis is concerned, and shouldn’t even enter into the discussion). Based on her studies, even people like serial killer Ted Bundy, whom Dr. Lewis interviewed on death row, have some sort of background trauma that contributes to their actions. Even if you don’t agree with Dr. Lewis’ conclusions, Crazy, Not Insane is a fascinating look at how the medical field and the justice system come together, and sometimes clash, over these very topics.

For fans of: Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy TapesGoing Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.

 

Wild Things
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 1998

Genre: Neo-Noir

Director: John McNaughton

Cast: Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell, Kevin Bacon, Denise Richards, Bill Murray, Theresa Russell

John McNaughton‘s sexy, funny, unapologetically trashy Wild Things lures you in with its promise of risque material – pretty much all the marketing for the film focused around a threesome scene – and then delivers something far more clever, and enjoyable. A high school guidance counselor (Matt Dillion) in Florida is accused of rape by a student (Denise Richards), but he swears he’s innocent. Those claims of innocence seem to go right out the window when another student, played by Neve Campbell, comes forward with similar claims. But there’s more than meets the eye going on here, and while Stephen Peters’ script requires some huge logic leaps, the end result is surprisingly effective. It’s trash, but it’s the type of trash you can’t help but embrace, especially when Bill Murray shows up as a shady lawyer fond of wearing phony neck braces.

For fans of: Basic InstinctBody Heat, movies that keep revealing plot twists during the end credits.

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