Best Movies Streaming Right Now the commuter

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

Hello there, streamers. As usual, I’ve gathered together a smorgasbord of movies you can stream right now. The goal of Now Stream This is to offer variety. While the other streaming columns we run here at /Film are usually focused-in on specific genres or styles, Now Stream This likes to keep things loosey-goosey. I want to give you options, because taste is subjective, and sometimes you feel like watching high art, and other times you just want to watch something sleazy. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. These are the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming!

The Best Movies Streaming Right Now

1. The Commuter
Now Streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 2018

Genre: Thriller

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Cast: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks, Sam Neill

Of all the Liam Neeson/Jaume Collet-Serra films, this might be my favorite. The Commuter stars Neeson as a former cop turned insurance agent who takes the same train to and from work every day. His dull routine is seriously interrupted when a mysterious woman (the always-welcomed Vera Farmiga) sets up him up to perform a dangerous, deadly task. Neeson has to locate a hidden passenger on the train, or his family will be killed. Somehow, Farmiga’s character has an entire network of evil characters willing to do her bidding, making things very difficult and deadly for Neeson. The Commuter could’ve been a z-grade thriller, but consummate stylist Collet-Serra knows exactly how to make this very exciting with montages, crazy zooms, and over-the-top moments that will have you pumping your fist.

For fans of: The ShallowsNon-StopSpeed, pretending this is a secret Conjuring sequel since it features both Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson.

 

2. Ricochet
Now Streaming On MAX Go

Release Date: 1991

Genre: Sleazy Action Movie

Director: Russell Mulcahy

Cast: Denzel Washington, John Lithgow, Ice-T, Kevin Pollak, and Lindsay Wagner

Ricochet feels like a film that time forgot – which means it’s perfect for rediscovery. This is a sleazy, nasty, hyper-violent action movie that borders on horror territory. Denzel Washington plays a former cop turned Assistant District Attorney who has his entire life turned upside down and sent straight to hell when a hitman he put away 8 years ago comes back for revenge. John Lithgow plays the hitman, and Ricochet belongs to him. Lithgow is downright terrifying here, playing his character with gleeful menace. Just watching him go all-in on this evil character is a sight to behold. Director Russell Mulcahy goes nutso with the direction here – lots of crash-zooms and slow-motion. Also: there’s a scene where Lithgow and Jesse Ventura have a giant sword fight in prison.

For fans of: Raising CainHighlanderDirty Harry, John Lithgow refusing to dial it down.

 

3. Tombstone
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 1993

Genre: Western

Director: George P. Cosmatos

Cast: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Michael Biehn, Powers Boothe, Robert Burke, Dana Delany, Sam Elliott, Stephen Lang, Bill Paxton, Michael Rooker, Billy Zane, Charlton Heston

Tombstone really should not have turned out as well as it did. The Western had severe behind-the-scenes issues, with original director Kevin Jarre being fired during production, star Kurt Russell taking over directorial duties, and then director George P. Cosmatos being brought in to finish the job. Yet even with these issues, Tombstone is an absolute banger, as the kids say. It’s brutal, funny and crazy entertaining. The film tells the tale of Wyatt Earp (Russell) and the infamous shoot-out at the O.K. Corral. Russell, complete with a giant mustache, is fantastic as Earp, and he’s surrounded by an incredible cast that includes Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael Biehn, and Dana Delany, among others. But really, this movie is all about Val Kilmer‘s iconic performance as Doc Holliday. Wheezy, sickly, and yet riotously funny, Kilmer’s Holliday steals the show. But Doc is no comic relief – he’s a tragic character, and Kilmer brings a melancholy to the part that truly seals the deal. “Doc, you oughta be in bed, what the hell you doin’ this for anyway?” a character asks Holliday in the midst of a potentially deadly scenario. “Wyatt Earp is my friend,” Doc replies matter-of-factly. “Hell, I got lots of friends,” says the other fella. ” I don’t,” Doc counters, and the mix of humor and sadness Kilmer brings to this line is perfect.

For fans of: Wyatt EarpUnforgivenMy Darling Clementine, mustaches.

 

4. The Phantom
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu

Release Date: 1996

Genre: Superhero

Director: Simon Wincer

Cast: Billy Zane, Treat Williams, Kristy Swanson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, James Remar and Patrick McGoohan

Before Hollywood got a firm grasp on superhero movies, they tried their hand at stuff like 1996’s The Phantom. This pulpy, pop art-infused action flick is dumb, dumb, dumb. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth watching. In fact, it’s a heck of a lot of fun, and features a kind of aw-shucks attitude that modern-day superhero movies wouldn’t be caught dead using. Billy Zane is Kit Walker, who is also a masked avenger known as The Phantom. The Phantom has existed since the 16th century, with the title being passed down from generation to generation. Walker is The Phantom of the 1930s, and gets swept up in an adventure that badly wants to emulate Indiana Jones, but can never really come close. No matter – this movie is fun, and it features one of the best taglines of all time: “Slam evil!” Will do!

For fans of: The ShadowThe MummyThe Mask of Zorro, purple.

 

5. American Gangster
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2007

Genre: Crime Drama

Director: Ridley Scott

Cast: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Cuba Gooding Jr., Josh Brolin, Ted Levine, Armand Assante, John Ortiz, John Hawkes, RZA

Ridley Scott is prolific. He loves to work, and he churns out movies at an alarming rate. As a result, some of those movies get lost in the shuffle. Now, I’m not saying American Gangster is some undiscovered movie that no one saw. But it really feels as if no one talks about this flick anymore, and they should. Denzel Washington plays real-life gangster Frank Lucas, who rose to power in the 1970s. Russell Crowe is Detective Richie Roberts, one of the first cops to see how powerful Lucas was becoming. The lives of these two men unfold across an epic 158 minutes, as Scott crafts a big, violent crime saga. Washington turns in one of his best performances here, playing Lucas as both charming and terrifying – grinning as he guns people down.

For fans of: HoodlumTraining DayNew Jack City, bellbottoms.

 

6. Cat People
Now Streaming on Shudder

Release Date: 1982

Genre: Horror

Director: Paul Schrader

Cast: Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, John Heard, Annette O’Toole, Ruby Dee, Ed Begley Jr., Scott Paulin, and Frankie Faison

Long before he helmed First Reformed, Paul Scharder directed Cat People, a remake of the 1942 film of the same name. But where the 1942 film was subtle and mysterious, Schrader’s Cat People is lurid and kind of trashy. Nastassja Kinski plays a woman reunited with her long-lost brother (Malcolm McDowell) in New Orleans. Soon after Kinski’s character arrives, a leopard is found in a cheap motel. The animal proceeds to maul a prostitute, causing zoologist John Heard to show up and take it into captivity. Soon, Kinski and Heard’s characters meet, and strike up a romance. But the love story is complicated when it’s revealed the leopard is no normal cat – instead, it’s a were-cat; a human that can assume feline form. Sexy, unsavory and blood-soaked, Cat People is a strange, satisfying film.

For fans of: SleepwalkersSea of LoveBasic Instinct, John Heard playing a romantic lead.

 

7. The Last Boy Scout
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 1991

Genre: Action

Director: Tony Scott

Cast: Bruce Willis, Damon Wayans, Chelsea Field, Noble Willingham, Taylor Negron, Danielle Harris, Halle Berry

Tony Scott directing a script from Shane Black? Say no more. This early ’90s action film stars Bruce Willis as a former Secret Service agent turned private eye, and Damon Wayans as a washed-up former football player. In other words, they’re two losers, which makes them perfect for each other. When one of Willis’ clients (Halle Berry) is murdered, he teams with her boyfriend (Wayans) to solve the crime. As it turns out, the murder was part of something much bigger, and more dangerous. But really, the plot is secondary here. What matters most is the typical crackling Shane Black dialogue mixed with Tony Scott’s bombastic yet artistic direction. Plus, his was back before Willis decided to sleepwalk through every role, so he’s actually trying here!

For fans of: Lethal WeaponThe Nice GuysKiss Kiss Bang Bang, football game shoot-outs.

 

8. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 1997

Genre: Comedy

Director: David Mirkin

Cast: Mira Sorvino, Lisa Kudrow, Alan Cumming, Julia Campbell, Janeane Garofalo

What a silly, strange and ultimately sweet movie this is. Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow play life-long friends who are suddenly faced with the prospect of going to their 10-year high school reunion. The two ladies have lived mostly uneventful lives, and haven’t really attempted to better themselves in any way. This triggers anxiety, as they worry they won’t be impressive enough to their former classmates. In true movie comedy fashion, they concoct a harebrained scheme involving fake identities and a story about inventing Post-Its. Of course, along the way, they learn it’s best to be themselves, and that it doesn’t matter what other people think of them. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion was not a hit in theaters, but has since garnered a cult following – and rightfully so. Not only is it hilarious (Janeane Garafolo is a particularly highlight as a vulgar former classmate), but there’s a good heart beating beneath all the dumb jokes.

For fans of: Wayne’s World, Clueless21 Jump Street, Cyndi Lauper.

 

9. Changing Lanes
Now Streaming on Starz

Release Date: 2002

Genre: Drama-Thriller

Director: Roger Michell

Cast: Ben Affleck, Samuel L. Jackson, Toni Collette, Sydney Pollack, William Hurt, Amanda Peet, Dylan Baker

Changing Lanes is the type of adult drama that Hollywood doesn’t bother with much anymore, unfortunately. This is an actor showcase – just look at that cast. The story involves two very different people – Ben Affleck as a high-priced  Wall Street attorney, Samuel L. Jackson as an alcoholic insurance salesman – who are thrust together by chance, or maybe fate. The two men are involved in a fender-bender, and while the accident itself is very minor, the fallout proves cataclysmic. Jackson ends up missing a custody hearing for his kids, all because Affleck wants to rush off to engage in some dirty dealings – unaware that he’s left some very important paperwork with Jackson. Soon, the two men are engaged in war with each other, with each trying to ruin the other’s life. It’s tense, smart, and original, and I wish we’d get more movies like this.

For fans of: Glengarry Glenn RossThe Constant GardenerState of Play, memorable Dylan Baker cameos.

 

10. Ghost Ship
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2002

Genre: Nonsense

Director: Steve Beck

Cast: Gabriel Byrne, Julianna Margulies, Ron Eldard, Desmond Harrington, Isaiah Washington, Karl Urban

Oh yeah, we’re doing this. Ghost Ship, baby. Where to begin. This horror film opens with a surprisingly great and gory moment in which a whole slew of people on a cruise ship’s deck are violently dispatched, tricking you into thinking this movie is going to be great. But it’s not! Instead, it’s going to be wall-to-wall nonsense. So why is it on this list? Look – I love a fancy dinner from time to time. But sometimes, I crave greasy, unhealthy, indigestion-causing garbage, too. And that’s where movies like Ghost Ship come in. This film makes absolutely no sense – there’s an entire subplot here about a demon who wants gold (???). But it’s oddly watchable, and Julianna Marguiles is giving this her all – acting her head off, as if she were in some serious drama. The story involves a bunch of salvagers who come across a long-lost ocean liner, only to discover it’s haunted. Then they all start dying violently. What more do you need (don’t say “A good movie”)?  So pour yourself the cheapest bourbon you can find, kick back, and hit the high seas with Ghost Ship.

For fans of: Trash!!

Cool Posts From Around the Web: