Best Movies Streaming Right Now The Lighthouse

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

Gather round, friends, and I shall tell you the tale of streaming movies! Once upon a time, we were all stuck inside, and we badly needed entertainment to fill our days. The problem: there was just too much entertainment to choose from. How could we even begin? Thankfully, Now Stream This came to our rescue, and told us exactly what to watch, and where to watch it.

The Lighthouse
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 2019

Genre: Horror-Comedy

Director: Robert Eggers

Cast: Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson

Robert Eggers‘ The Lighthouse was already a blast to begin with, but the current situation we’re in – where we all find ourselves trapped indoors – has made the movie extra relatable. Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson are two lighthouse keepers who go to work on a very remote island. Pattinson is new on the job, Dafoe is the old salt. And the two men clash almost immediately. From there, things get progressively weirder, with both Dafoe and Pattinson going off the deep-end. It’s all so very weird, and also hilariously funny. I have a feeling a lot of people didn’t realize The Lighthouse – which was sold as straight-up horror – was supposed to be funny. As a result, the film left some puzzled. And that’s understandable – it is a deeply strange movie that is bound to turn off plenty of people. Others, however, will revel in its monochrome insanity.

For fans of: Shutter IslandThe Witch, lobster.

 

The Death of Stalin
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2017

Genre: Dark Comedy

Director: Armando Iannucci

Cast: Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Paddy Considine, Rupert Friend, Jason Isaacs, Michael Palin, Andrea Riseborough, Paul Whitehouse, Jeffrey Tambor

One of the darkest comedies you’ll ever see, The Death of Stalin takes the true story of the power vacuum that opened up following Stalin’s death and spins it into a hysterical farce. Everyone here is bringing their A-Game, especially Steve Buscemi, who kills it as a constantly befuddled Nikita Khrushchev. Director Armando Iannucci uses this set up as a perfect allegory for the baffling political age we find ourselves in, and what starts off very comical and even over-the-top quickly turns unrelentingly bleak – in a funny way.

For fans of: In the LoopDr. Strangelove, laughing at horrible stuff.

 

The Lodge
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2020

Genre: Horror

Director: Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala

Cast: Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Alicia Silverstone, Richard Armitage

Another film that’s become weirdly appropriate for These Trying Times™, The Lodge should probably come with a disclaimer: it’s nasty. This is a mean movie – almost to the point of being sadistic. And it’s perfectly understandable if you’re not in the mood for that shit right now, believe me. But if you can stomach it, you’ll find The Lodge to be a brilliantly constructed work of ever-mounting dread. Riley Keough is a woman with a traumatic past, who wants nothing more than to endear herself to her future stepchildren (Jaeden Martell and Lia McHugh). The kids have other ideas – and because The Lodge understands that children are inherently awful, the movie doesn’t pull its punches. This isn’t a traditionally scary movie – don’t go looking for jump-scares. Instead, the horror comes from how oppressively bleak things are, and how the tension never lets up, right from the first scene.

For fans of: HereditaryThe Shining, acknowledging the awfulness of children.

 

Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Now Streaming on Max Go

Release Date: 2018

Genre: Biographical Drama

Director: Marielle Heller

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Dolly Wells, Jane Curtin, Anna Deavere Smith, Stephen Spinella, Ben Falcone

Melissa McCarthy does the best work of her career in this funny-but-melancholy film from Marielle Heller. Based on a true story, Can You Ever Forgive Me? follows Lee Israel, a once-successful writer on the skids. Her solution is to start selling phony correspondence from famous authors, forged by herself. Working with her friend Jack (a sublime Richard E. Grant), Lee starts making some serious money with her deception – resulting in all sorts of inevitable legal problems for herself. McCarthy is fantastic at making her abrasive, unlikeable character sympathetic, and her performance is bound to make her frequent low-brow comedy work extra frustrating. Stop making junk like Tammy, Melissa. You deserve better!

For fans of: The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Richard E. Grant killing it.

 

Richard III
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 1995

Genre: Shakespeare, baby!

Director: Richard Loncraine

Cast: Ian McKellen, Annette Bening, Jim Broadbent, Robert Downey Jr., Nigel Hawthorne, Kristin Scott Thomas, Maggie Smith

Richard Loncraine and Ian McKellen re-imagine Shakespeare’s Richard III set in an alternative 1930s England, where Nazi-like fascists reign supreme. The style is all 1930s, but Shakespeare’s words remain the same, and it works exceedingly well. McKellen is clearly having a blast playing the wicked king, and the stacked cast around him is eating it up as well. If you know someone who has no taste for Shakespeare adaptations, show them this – it might change their mind.

For fans of: Shakespeare – ever heard of him?

 

Midnight Special
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2016

Genre: Sci-Fi

Director: Jeff Nichols

Cast: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Jaeden Martell, Sam Shepard

Jeff Nichols‘ criminally underseen Midnight Special is like a blend of John Carpenter’s Starman and Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It’s also a poignant story of a father trying to do what’s best for his son. Michael Shannon is that father, and his son, Jaeden Martell, has special, otherworldly abilities that make him a target for the government, and others. Father and son hit the road, with danger around every corner. That makes Midnight Special sound like a constantly moving action pic, but it’s actually quiet and reserved, and altogether touching.

For fans of: StarmanClose Encounters, Michael Shannon playing a nice guy for once.

 

Melancholia
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2011

Genre: Drama

Director: Lars von Trier

Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgård, Brady Corbet, Cameron Spurr, Charlotte Rampling, Jesper Christensen, John Hurt, Stellan Skarsgård, Udo Kier

I don’t know if this list is a cry for help or what, but I swear I wasn’t planning on populating this week’s column with so many bleak movies. It just sort of happened! And what could be bleaker than a movie about the impending apocalypse? Lars von Trier‘s Melancholia features the discovery of a new planet – a planet that is slowly making its way directly towards us. Wrapped-up in this is the story of Justine (Kirsten Dunst), who suffers from crippling depression, and seems perfectly fine with the impending destruction of the planet and all the life on it. Melancholia is one of the rare films that genuinely gets clinical depression, which makes it unique. It’s also hauntingly beautiful, and has Dunst doing remarkable work outside her comfort zone. It’s also a film that perfectly encapsulates how people with depression handle extreme situations differently from people who don’t. When you’re already expecting the worst to happen you tend to not be surprised by much.

For fans of: AntichristNymphomaniac, never smiling again.

 

Hail, Caesar!
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2016

Genre: Comedy

Director: The Coen Brothers

Cast: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum

The Coen Brothers put together a crackerjack cast for a story about old Hollywood, and the studio system that went to great lengths to protect its stars. Hail, Caesar! is a bit scattered – it’s more a series of vignettes than one main story – but it’s also quirky and hilarious. Pre-Solo Alden Ehrenreich is an absolute hoot as a cowboy movie star forced to fit into a role that doesn’t suit him. Plus: Channing Tatum dances. What more do you need?

For fans of: O, Brother, Where Art Thou?Barton Fink, two Tilda Swinton’s for the price of one.

 

Absentia
Now Streaming on Shudder

Release Date: 2011

Genre: Horror

Director: Mike Flanagan

Cast: Katie Parker, Courtney Bell, Dave Levine, Justin Gordon, Morgan Peter Brown, James Flanagan, Scott Graham, Doug Jones

Mike Flanagan‘s debut feature was funded via Kickstarter and shot almost entirely within the filmmaker’s house. Sounds like a cheap movie, doesn’t it? It is. And yet, Absentia is effective in its scares, proving that you can do so much with so little – provided you’re as talented as Flanagan. Tricia (Courtney Bell) decides to finally declare her husband dead after the man has been missing without a trace for seven years. But the moment she decides to sign the paperwork she begins to experience unsettling visions. Her sister (Katie Parker) is visiting, and she, too, starts to have unexplainable encounters. And then, without warning, the missing husband returns – with seemingly no memory of where he was all this time. This is low-budget horror at its best – using great ideas, and even better atmosphere, to do most of the heavy lifting. Watching this, it’s easy to understand why Flanagan’s career has only gotten more impressive with each film he makes.

For fans of: The Haunting of Hill HouseOculus, Doug Jones cameos.

 

Demolition Man
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 1993

Genre: Sci-Fi Action

Director: Marco Brambilla

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock

A movie so dumb it deserves some sort of award, Demolotion Man has Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes as two violent dudes who get frozen, only to wake up in a future that’s gone soft. There’s no more crime, no more violence, and people apparently wipe their asses with three seashells. But that all changes when Stallone and Snipes start battling it out, turning this once-peaceful future into a warzone. It’s ridiculous. It’s wonderful.

For fans of: Fancy Taco Bell.

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