Best Movies Streaming Right Now Knives Out

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

Knives Out
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 2019

Genre: Mystery

Director: Rian Johnson

Cast: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Christopher Plummer

Rian Johnson‘s wildly entertaining whodunit Knives Out has a killer cast and a killer mystery. Daniel Craig is a delight as a private detective with a Foghorn Leghorn accent trying to solve the murder of a wealthy writer. All of the dead man’s family members are suspects – but so is his live-in nurse, played by Ana de Armas in a breakthrough role. Everyone here is firing on all cylinders, and while Chris Evans gets the most attention as a smug, entitled rich kid, this is really de Aramas’ show, and she holds her own against an incredible lineup of players.

For fans of: Murder on the Orient ExpressClue, a donut hole inside a donut’s hole.

 

Shirley
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2020

Genre: Fictional Biopic

Director: Josephine Decker

Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Michael Stuhlbarg, Odessa Young, Logan Lerman

Elisabeth Moss turns in another raw, brilliant performance, once again playing a woman coming unhinged. It’s what she does best, and Shirley might be the best work Moss has turned in yet. Moss plays Haunting of Hill House author Shirley Jackson as she struggles to write a new novel based on a real-life missing person case. Shirley and her husband (Michael Stuhlbarg) take in a young couple, Rose (Odessa Young) and Fred (Logan Lerman), and before long, a strange love-hate relationship blossoms between Rose and Shirley. Josephine Decker’s direction is dreamlike and surreal, full of jarring close-ups, and using a unique sound design that totally disarms you.

For fans of: Madeline’s MadelineThou Wast Mild And Lovely, Elisabeth Moss goin’ crazy.

 

Da 5 Bloods
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2020

Genre: Drama

Director: Spike Lee

Cast: Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Mélanie Thierry, Paul Walter Hauser, Jasper Pääkkönen, Jean Reno, Chadwick Boseman

The latest Spike Lee Joint is a blistering blend of Vietnam War film and heist movie. But, as is usually the case with a Spike Lee picture, it has a lot of other things on its mind. It’s like a multimedia history lesson, with Lee contrasting the narrative against the struggles of Black soliders fighting for a country that doesn’t even respect them. In Da 5 Bloods, four Vietnam vets, played by Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, and Isiah Whitlock Jr., travel back to Vietnam to both find the body of their dead leader, and a cache of hidden gold. Camaraderie turns to confrontation as the men realize that even though they made it out of Vietnam alive, they never really left. The cast here is great across the board, but Delroy Lindo’s tense, haunted performance is a work of brilliance that has to be seen to be believed.

For fans of: BlacKkKlansmanThe Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Marvin Gaye.

 

Casino
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 1995

Genre: Crime Drama

Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, Don Rickles, Kevin Pollak, James Woods

To the uninitiated, Casino might seem like an excuse for Martin Scorsese to recycle GoodFellas. It’s another mob movie based on a book by Nicholas Pileggi, and it once again stars Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. But Casino is in a class all its own, with Scorsese pulling out all the stops to craft a chaotic, sprawling saga of greed and violence. Robert De Niro is a gambling expert who gets sent out to Vegas by the mob to run a casino and send money back home. Things are going well until De Niro’s old pal, a short-fused mobster played by Joe Pesci, comes to town, too, and starts turning everything upsidedown. In the midst of all of this, the marriage between De Niro’s character and Sharon Stone (in an Oscar-nominated performance) grows toxic. Operatic, gory, and practically bursting with energy, Casino is one of Scorsese’s best.

For fans of: GoodFellasThe Irishman, excess.

 

The Guest
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2014

Genre: Thriller

Director: Adam Wingard

Cast: Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Leland Orser, Sheila Kelley, Brendan Meyer, Lance Reddick

Adam Wingard‘s The Guest is a stylish mash-up of Halloween and The Terminator. Dan Stevens is fantastic as a soldier who shows up one day at the home of a dead army buddy, and manages to work his way into the lives of the dead man’s family. He seems too good to be true, and of course, he is. He’s an unstoppable killing machine, which is a bummer for the dead man’s sister (Maika Monroe), since she thinks the killer super-soldier is hot as hell (which, let’s be honest, he is). Fast, violent, and loaded with manic midnight movie energy, The Guest is the best thing Wingard has ever done.

For fans of: HalloweenThe Terminator, Dan Stevens wearing a towel.

 

Crawl
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu 

Release Date: 2019

Genre: Horror

Director: Alexandre Aja

Cast: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper

Speaking of midnight movies, here’s Crawl! This is a B-movie with A-movie production-levels, and it’s an absolute blast. Kaya Scodelario is a competitive swimmer who heads out to find her father (Barry Pepper) during a hurricane. As bad luck would have it, dear old dad is trapped in the basement – surrounded by hungry, hungry alligators. It’s by no means a sophisticated plot, but it doesn’t have to be. Alexandre Aja keeps things moving, loading the movie up with great set pieces involving gators swimming their way through an increasingly wet house.

For fans of: AlligatorThe Shallows, getting wet.

 

In Fabric
Now Streaming on Kanopy

Release Date: 2018

Genre: Horror-Comedy

Director: Peter Strickland

Cast: Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Hayley Squires, Leo Bill, Julian Barratt, Steve Oram, Gwendoline Christie, Barry Adamson, Jaygann Ayeh, Richard Bremmer, Terry Bird, Fatma Mohamed

In Fabric is a delightfully silly and stylish horror-comedy about a killer dress – literally. While it wasn’t marketed as such, this is more or less a horror anthology film, telling different stories surrounding a cursed dress sold from an even more cursed department store. Channeling giallo and European thrillers in general, director Peter Strickland pulls out all the stops to create a genuinely weird movie, featuring a unique performance from Fatma Mohamed, playing a heavily accented sales clerk prone to saying things like, “Dimensions and proportions transcend the prisms of our measurements,” and “Did the transaction validate your paradigm of consumerism?”

For fans of: The Duke of BurgundySuspiria, great deals.

 

Clemency
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2019

Genre: Drama

Director: Chinonye Chukwu

Cast: Alfre Woodard, Richard Schiff, Danielle Brooks, Michael O’Neill, Richard Gunn, Wendell Pierce, Aldis Hodge

Alfre Woodard turns in an astounding performance in Clemency, playing a jail warden who finds herself increasingly haunted by the executions carried out in her prison, while Aldis Hodge gives an equally strong performance as a death row inmate who is clearly innocent, desperately awaiting a pardon as his death date approaches. Clemency is a very introverted film – it’s not flashy, it’s not showy. Instead, it trusts the audience to understand what’s happening without spelling everything out. And the results are harrowing. This film oddly flew under the radar last year – both Woodard and Hodge should’ve landed numerous awards season nominations, but were ultimately shut out – which makes it perfect for audiences to discover now.

For fans of: Just MercyLuce, acting at its finest.

 

Scream, Queen
Now Streaming on Scream Factory

Release Date: 2019

Genre: Documentary

Director: Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen

Cast: Mark Patton

In the 1980s, Mark Patton was on his way to major stardom. And then he landed the lead role in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, which promptly destroyed his career. Patton is a gay man, and he was unable to “play straight,” to the point where his performance in Nightmare 2 became something of a joke. Scream, Queen chronicles Patton’s life and career as he comes to terms with his legacy, and turns negativity into positivity through activism. Scream, Queen isn’t the most polished of documentaries, but it has a big heart, and Patton’s story is one worth telling.

For fans of: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2Never Sleep Again, lots of footage of horror conventions.

 

Child’s Play 
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu

Release Date: 2019

Genre: Horror

Director: Lars Klevberg

Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, Brian Tyree Henry, Tim Matheson, David Lewis, and Mark Hamill as the voice of Chucky

The 2019 Child’s Play remake was unnecessary, especially since the original franchise is still on-going. And the final film is nowhere near as good as the original. Still, it has its moments. Aubrey Plaza is fun as a young mom (she got pregnant on prom night, as she explains). And Mark Hamill does some great work as the new voice of Chucky. Rather than try to mimic the iconic work of Brad Dourif, Hamill goes for something more childish, and actually makes Chucky kind of sympathetic here. Premise-wise, it’s more of the same: a kid named Andy (Gabriel Bateman) gets a doll that comes to life and kills. Rather than have Chucky possessed by a serial killer this time, the doll is actually a very advanced toy with impressive A.I. Think of him like an iPhone with a knife.

For fans of: The other Child’s PlaySmall Soldiers, Mark Hamill singing the Buddi song.

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