Best Movies Streaming Right Now Parasite

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

Another week stuck inside, another excuse to block out the horrors of the real world and stream some great movies. And there are a whole slew of genuinely great movies streaming right now. Because I’m such a nice guy, I took the liberty of rounding a bunch up in one place so you don’t have to go searching for them. I do it because I care, folks.

Killing Them Softly
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2012

Genre: Crime Drama

Director: Andrew Dominik

Cast: Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn

Killing Them Softly was a box office bomb when it opened in 2012, but lord almighty has this aged well. This is one bleak, cynical movie – and that’s perfect for our bleak, cynical times. There’s even an election going on in the background. In the film, two small-time meth-head crooks (played by Scoot McNairy and an extremely moist Ben Mendelsohn) knock off a mob card game, thinking it’s going to be the perfect crime. Enter Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt), a hitman who has to clean up the mess. He brings in another hired gun, played by the late, great James Gandolfini, but finds him to be rather useless – a shadow of his formal self. Which means he has to do all the work himself. It’s all darkly comedic and ultimately unflinchingly honest in its hopelessness. “This guy wants to tell me we’re living in a community. Don’t make me laugh,” Cogan says at the end while listening to a speech of recently elected Barack Obama. “I’m living in America, and in America, you’re on your own. America’s not a country. It’s just a business. Now fucking pay me.” When I saw Killing Them Softly in 2012, I found the film – and those words – far too cynical. Now, I realize how on-the-money they are.

For fans of: The Friends of Eddie CoyleMikey and Nicky, Ben Mendelsohn looking increasingly wet.

 

Parasite
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2019

Genre: Dark Comedy/Thriller

Director: Bong Joon-ho

Cast: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Jang Hye-jin, Lee Jung-eun

Bong Joon-ho‘s Parasite is just as good as you’ve heard. In fact, it’s probably better. An indictment of capitalism and class warfare, Parasite follows two families: the wealthy Parks, and the ultra lower-class Kims. One by one, members of the Kim family find a way to worm their way into landing jobs working for the Parks, which means they’re soon living in the Parks’ huge, modernist home. But there’s more to this house than meets the eye. To say more would ruin the fun, but just know that Parasite builds and builds, using every scene as a stepping stone, or a ladder rung, towards something shocking and ultimately heartbreaking.

For fans of: SnowpiercerThe Host, peaches.

 

Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2019

Genre: Romantic Historical Drama

Director: Céline Sciamma

Cast: Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel

Our own Hoai-Tran Bui included Portrait of a Lady on Fire in her recent Pop Culture Imports column, and I usually try to avoid too much crossover when it comes to our respective streaming columns. But Portrait is so god damn good, I felt the need to recommend it, too. So consider this a double endorsement. Set in the late 18th century, Portrait of a Lady on Fire follows artist Marianne (Noémie Merlant) as she heads to a remote island. She’s been tasked with painting the portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), and the portrait is intended to be a gift to the nobleman Héloïse is betrothed to marry. But Héloïse doesn’t want to marry, and therefore refuses to sit for her portrait. Because of this, Marianne has to paint her in secret – which means she has to do a lot of studying of her would-be subject. All those long gazes soon translate to passionate feelings – feelings that Héloïse returns. The result is a white-hot portrait of smoldering desire, all of it rendered in gorgeous color courtesy of Claire Mathon‘s breathtaking cinematography.

For fans of: CarolWater Lilies, portraits of ladies who may or may not be on fire.

Malcolm X
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 1992

Genre: Biopic

Director: Spike Lee

Cast: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Albert Hall, Al Freeman Jr., Delroy Lindo

Spike Lee‘s astounding epic portrait of Malcolm X as he goes from small-time crook to leading voice in the Nation of Islam was just further proof that Lee was the real deal (not that he should’ve needed any more proof at this point in his career). A sprawling film (it clocks in at 202 minutes), Malcolm X never feels bloated, or slow. Instead, it pulls us entirely into the world, all of it anchored by a phenomenal lead performance from Denzel Washington. Many other filmmakers had tried to get a Malcolm X movie made before Lee, but it’s impossible now to imagine anyone else but Lee behind the camera.

For fans of: SelmaAli, being reminded that Spike Lee is great at his job.

 

The Long Goodbye
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 1973

Genre: Neo-Noir

Director: Robert Altman

Cast: Elliott Gould, Sterling Hayden, Nina Van Pallandt, Jim Bouton, Mark Rydell

Robert Altman‘s laid-back, hazy take on Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe has Elliott Gould as a mumbling, chain-smoking, aloof Marlowe, who gets mixed-up in a case almost by accident when the wife of one of his friends turns up murdered. From here, things get complicated as Marlowe stumbles his way through Los Angeles, pausing only to feed his cat. The Long Goodbye is not your typical detective movie, and that’s what makes it so special. The plot – and mystery – is honestly secondary here. What matters is Gould’s performance, which is so unusual that you can’t take your eyes off it.

For fans of: Inherent ViceThe Big Sleep, Courry brand cat food.

 

The Social Network
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2010

Genre: Biographical Drama

Director: David Fincher

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella

“A movie about Facebook? Boy, that sounds like a terrible idea!”, said nearly everyone when The Social Network was first announced. And then we all saw the trailer (see above), and said: “Well…maybe this will be better than we thought?” And it was. Much better. One of the best films of early 2000s, in fact. David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin took the story of the creation of Facebook and spun a cautionary tale of a guy too smart for his own good, Mark Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg. When The Social Network came out, many thought the film was being unfair, and too mean to Zuckerberg. Of course, with hindsight, we now know the film probably wasn’t being mean enough. The Zuckerberg in the movie seems to have some sort of redeeming qualities. The same can’t be said of the real guy, at least not at this particular moment.

For fans of: Steve JobsThe Founder, the good old days when Mark Zuckerberg was just kind of a creep and not the guy who helped destroy democracy.

 

Road to Perdition
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2002

Genre: Crime Drama

Director: Sam Mendes

Cast: Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, Daniel Craig

Contrary to rumor, Road to Perdition was not a box office bomb (it grossed $180 million worldwide on an $80 million budget). That said, the movie didn’t quite have as much buzz as everyone was hoping, especially since it was Sam Mendes‘ direct follow-up to his big Oscar winner American Beauty. In the years since, however, most have come to accept Road to Perdition for the great movie it truly is. Moody, somber, and featuring Tom Hanks in a rare “bad guy” performance, Road has Hanks playing a mob enforcer who has to go on the run with his son after his wife and other son are killed. This puts Hanks directly at odds with his old boss, and father figure, played by Paul Newman in his final live-action performance. Featuring gorgeous, painterly cinematography from Conrad Hall, Road to Perdition is a beautiful film about fathers, sons, and people with Tommy guns.

For fans of: Miller’s CrossingThe Untouchables, Jude Law wearing hideous fake teeth.

 

How to Fix a Drug Scandal
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2020

Genre: Docuseries

Director: Erin Lee Carr

Everyone is talking about Tiger King on Netflix right now, but there’s an even better true crime docuseries waiting for you on the service. It’s How to Fix a Drug Scandal, a fascinating portrait of not one but two different crime drug lab chemist in Massachusetts who ended up tampering with evidence. One of the two chemists gets the most focus, though – Sonja Farak, who was actually taking the drugs she was supposed to be testing. What How to Fix a Drug Scandal reveals is that after Farak was caught, certain people in power tried very hard to cover up a lot of what she did, because they didn’t want all of the cases she worked on thrown out. It’s a portrait of addiction, lies, and small government cover-ups, and it will shock you.

For fans of: The StaircaseThe Confession Killer, realizing how corrupt your local government can be.

 

Molly’s Game
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2017

Genre: Crime/Gambling Drama

Director: Aaron Sorkin

Cast: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Chris O’Dowd, Joe Keery, Brian D’Arcy James, Bill Camp

Aaron Sorkin made his feature directorial debut with this true story of Molly Bloom, a former would-be Olympic skier who finds a new, very lucrative career running high-stakes poker games. All of the games are entirely on-the-level…at first. But things change fast, and Molly’s life quickly spirals off the rails. Molly’s Game has a few issues – the finale is a bit ho-hum, for instance. But Sorkin’s crackling dialogue and star Jessica Chastain‘s lighting-fast delivery of said dialogue keep things incredibly exciting and intense.

For fans of: RoundersI, Tonya, Michael Cera playing Tobey Maguire.

 

Cursed Films
Now Streaming on Shudder

Release Date: 2020

Genre: Horror Docuseries

Director: Jay Cheel

Cursed Films is a neat little docuseries that delves into the urban legends surrounding some of the most famous horror movies ever made. The supposedly real skeletons used in Poltergeist? They’re covered here. So are all the weird occurrences that surrounded the production of films like The Omen, and The Exorcist. What makes the series enjoyable isn’t just the trivia of these legends, but also the way director Jay Cheel attempts to pull back the curtain and reveal the truth behind it all. It’s a must-watch for horror fans.

For fans of: Real skeletons!

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