Best Movies Streaming Right Now

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

Congratulations: you’ve survived the 4th of July. There are only two days left in the work week, and then you can blow off steam with the much-cherished weekend. There’s a heat-wave sweeping the world, and it’s just too hot to go outside. So what better thing to do this weekend than stay the heck inside and stream some great movies? That’s where this list comes in. Below you’ll find some of the best movies streaming right now, including Taxi DriverStar Wars: The Last JediInterview With the VampireSingle White Female, and more.

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

The Best Movies Streaming Right Now

1. Taxi Driver
Now Streaming on FilmStruck

Release Date: 1976

Genre: Drama

Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel, Leonard Harris, Peter Boyle, Cybill Shepherd

Almost from the very start of his career, Martin Scorsese was already a filmmaker to pay attention to. But Taxi Driver was the movie that officially put him on the map. A bleak, gritty, existential drama, Scorsese – working from a script by Paul Schrader – makes Taxi Driver a descent into one man’s fractured mind. Robert De Niro is Travis Bickle, a former U.S. Marine who just can’t quite fit back into society. He prowls the night, driving his cab through the filthy, crime-ridden streets of New York City. During his journey, he befriends a teenage prostitute (Jodie Foster), and becomes convinced he can save her from this terrible world. Few films are as engrossing as Taxi Driver. Few films draw you so completely into the world of its main character. If all you know of this film is De Niro’s famous “You talkin’ to me?” speech, you owe it to yourself to sit down and witness the masterpiece Scorsese crafted. There’s more to this film than memorable quotes.

For fans of: First ReformedRaging BullBringing Out the Dead, mohawks.

 

2. Star Wars The Last Jedi
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2017

Genre: Sci-fi epic

Director: Rian Johnson

Cast: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Benicio del Toro

I will not launch into a soapbox rant about the silliness of a minority of crazy “fans” who want to claim The Last Jedi is some sort of abomination. I will not point out the fact that the majority of “plot holes” that YouTube critics complain about in this film aren’t actually plot holes at all, but part of the storytelling. To hell with all of that. Instead, I will state that I firmly believe Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the best Star Wars film to date. Rian Johnson takes the power of myth and folklore and molds it into a bold, brilliant epic. A film that takes risks. A film bursting with life, and humanity. You know the story: the Resistance continues its struggle against the First Order. Somewhere in the midst of all that, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) grapples with his legacy, and what it means to be a Jedi in an era when there are virtually no Jedi left. Is this an easy film? Absolutely not. Does it go in directions you could never predict? It definitely does. But these are not flaws. These are things that make The Last Jedi a truly special movie. I will cherish it always. Also: porgs!

For fans of: The Force AwakensRanBlack Narcissus, Luke Skywalker chugging some greenish-blue milk.

 

3. We Own The Night
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2007

Genre: Crime drama

Director: James Gray

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Robert Duvall

Trailers tried to sell James Gray‘s We Own the Night as another The Departed, primarily because both films featured Mark Wahlberg and plots about people going undercover. But We Own the Night is worlds removed from The Departed. It’s not as flashy as that Martin Scorsese film. Nor is it as overwhelming. Instead, Gray’s film is a mostly quiet endeavor with occasional bursts of violence. Joaquin Phoenix is a small time hood who comes from a family of cops. When his brother and father are threatened by the very people Phoenix works for, Phoenix agrees to go undercover to try to help. Things do not go according to plan. Gray is one of our finest filmmakers working today, even though the bulk of his movies fly under the radar. Phoenix is predictably brilliant here, balancing both a cocky swagger and a pathetic uncertainty. And while this is more of dialogue-driven film, Gray does occasionally stage magnificent action pieces, including a stunning car chase scene in heavy rain.

For fans of: The ImmigrantThe Yards, The Place Beyond the Pines, Eva Mendes smoking cigarettes in slow motion.

 

4. Interview With the Vampire
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 1994

Genre: Horror melodrama

Director: Neil Jordan

Cast: Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Stephen Rea, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater, Kirsten Dunst

Anne Rice‘s Vampire Chronicles books started off strong, and then got progressively worse. That’s probably why they never took off as a film series. We can take solace in the creation of Interview With the Vampire, though. Neil Jordan took Rice’s book and turned it into a gloriously gothic melodrama. Jordan’s film tones down the gay subtext of Rice’s novels, but it’s clearly there if you’re looking. Brad Pitt is a centuries-old vampire who recounts the story of how he became a bloodsucker. Pitt is a bit low-key here, but the real star is Tom Cruise, who hams it up big time as Rice’s ultimate protagonist/antagonist Lestat de Lioncourt. Many were a bit put-off at Cruise’s casting – including Rice herself. But the actor proved the naysayers wrong, making Lestat his own. This is a poetic, romantic horror film, with some genuinely moving moments. In the midst of it all is a scene-stealing turn from a young Kirsten Dunst.

For fans of: Hannibal (the TV series), Bram Stoker’s DraculaCrimson Peak, Tom Cruise wearing a lot of ghoul makeup.

 

5. The Stepfather
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 1987

Genre: Horror-thriller

Director: Joseph Ruben

Cast: Terry O’Quinn, Jill Schoelen, Shelley Hack

The Stepfather is one of those ’80s thrillers that really holds up. Terry O’Quinn is a serial killer who has a habit of assuming new indentures. After slaughtering his own wife and kids, O’Quinn starts over, marrying into a new family. His new stepdaughter (Jill Schoelen), however, is suspicious. And rightfully so. This premise might sounds kind of goofy, but director Joseph Ruben has the whole film unfold in a serious fashion that makes it all work. The best part of the movie is O’Quinn, who is fantastic and jumping back and forth between his identities, until he begins to crack and loses track. “Who am I here?” he asks in one of the film’s most memorable scenes. The Stepfather was later cursed with a toothless remake, which you should avoid at all costs.

For fans of: Dead CalmPacific HeightsPin, fake beards.

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