Best Movies Streaming Right Now Vox Lux

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

Has this ever happened to you: you sit down on the couch (or bean bag chair) with your significant other, staring at a blank TV screen. “What shall we watch, my love?” your SO asks. “I dunno, how about security camera footage of an old warehouse?” you suggest. “No, we watched that last weekend,” SO replies. “I want something new. But there are so many options! How can we possibly choose?” “I don’t know,” you shrug. “I guess we should just go to bed. If only Chris Evangelista had been born, then he could offer us some suggestions.”

Oh, did I forget to mention this story takes place in an alternate universe where I was never born? Anyway, lucky for you, I do exist in this universe. And I’ve compiled a whole slew of great titles you can stream right this second. These are the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming!

The Best Movies Streaming Right Now

1. Phantom of the Paradise
Now Streaming on Shudder

Release Date: 1974

Genre: Musical Rock Opera Horror Comedy

Director: Brian De Palma

Cast: Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper, Gerrit Graham, Rod Serling’s voice

Brian De Palma‘s musical rock opera horror comedy is one of the most incredible films ever made – bursting with a manic energy and inventiveness that very few movies have ever matched, or likely ever will. Stylish, strange, and featuring killer tunes courtesy of Paul Williams, the film is essentially a retelling of both Phantom of the Opera and Faust. Hapless songwriter Winslow Leach (William Finley) catches the ear of legendary music producer Swan (Williams). Swan likes Winslow’s music so much he decides to steal it, ruining the songwriter’s life in the process. After an accident leaves him horribly scarred, Winslow becomes the Phantom, a masked monstrosity intent on rescuing budding singer Phoenix (Jessica Harper) from Swan’s sway. It’s wild, it’s weird, it’s punk rock. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.

For fans of: Streets of FireAbominable Dr. Phibes, that popular band The Juicy Fruits.

 

2. Vox Lux
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2018

Genre: Drama

Director: Brady Corbet

Cast: Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Stacy Martin, Jennifer Ehle, Raffey Cassidy

I can’t say that I loved Vox Lux when I first saw it, but I certainly appreciated it. It’s a fascinating experiment from Brady Corbet, essentially two movies in one. The first follows teen Celeste (Raffey Cassidy), who survives a horrifying school shooting and becomes a pop star. The second focuses on Celeste in her 30s, now played by Natalie Portman. She’s a big star, but she’s also in the midst of some kind of existential crisis, and everything she holds dear – including her daughter (also played by Cassidy) – hangs by a thread. Portman’s performance is broad to the max, and the extreme Staten Island accent she adopts is probably going to turn some people off. And yet, there’s something unshakable about what Corbet has created here, a blend of glitter and doom, blood and spotlights, fame and oblivion.

For fans of: The Childhood of a LeaderBlack Swan, Natalie Portman’s wigs.

 

3. Memories of Murder
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 2003

Genre: Mystery

Director: Bong Joon-ho

Cast: Kim Roe-ha, Kim Sang-kyung, Song Kang-ho

Has there ever been a thriller as tonally odd as Bong Joon-ho’s Memories of Murder? Here is a film that somehow blends serial killer mystery, social commentary, and extremely broad, goofy humor – and it works. The narrative moves up and down like cresting waves, rising to one spot before crashing down to another. You think you know what will happen – you don’t. Set in South Korea during the late ’80s and early ’90s, Memories follows three mismatched cops, played by Kim Roe-haKim Sang-kyung, and Song Kang-ho, as they attempt to catch a killer brutally murdering women. Funny, haunting, and horrifying, Memories of Murder wraps you up in its mystery, and leaves you utterly shaken.

For fans of: ZodiacHeat, lots of surprises.

 

4. Dreams
Now Streaming on the Criterion Channel

Release Date: 1990

Genre: Drama

Director: Akira Kurosawa

Cast: Akira Terao, Martin Scorsese, Chishu Ryu, Mieko Harada, Mitsuko Baisho

Akira Kurosawa‘s lush, lovely Dreams is an anthology film of sorts, focusing on eight different stories meant to represent dreams. The result is a film overflowing with visual splendor and poetry; fragmentary, illusive and unquantifiable, yet entirely watchable. On top of all that, one of the segments stars Martin Scorsese as Vincent van Gogh. Dreams is not Kurosawa’s best film, and indeed, many critics were split on the movie when it opened in 1990, and some may find the disjointed narrative a bit off-putting. But trust me on this – stick with it. You’ll be rewarded with something mesmerizing in the end.

For fans of: At Eternity’s GateKwaidan, dreams.

 

5. The Terror season 1
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2018

Genre: Horror Anthology Series

Director: Various

Cast: Jared Harris, Tobias Menzies, Paul Ready, Adam Nagaitis, Ian Hart, Nive Nielsen, Ciarán Hinds

Not enough people talk about The Terror, and I demand that be changed. I tend to focus on movies only in this column, but every now and then I make an exception for something TV related if it’s special – and The Terror is very special. A dark, bleak, beautiful nightmare, The Terror is a reflection on death that is definitely not the most pleasant thing you’ll ever see. Yet this series, based on the novel by Dan Simmons, is remarkable – a feat of storytelling, acting, and production design. Inspired by the true story of Captain Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition to the Arctic in the late 1800s, The Terror follows the men of Franklin’s expedition as they become hopelessly lost, and stuck, in the ice. But that’s the least of their problems – there’s a monster lurking out on the frozen wastelands. And there’s mutiny afoot. This is ultimately an ensemble piece, but it’s anchored by a stellar performance from Jared Harris, an actor who seems to specialize in starring in ultra-bleak TV shows (see the recent Chernobyl).

For fans of: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the WorldThe Thing, being depressed.

 

6. Mission: Impossible
Now Streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 1996

Genre: Action-Thriller

Director: Brian De Palma

Cast: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Henry Czerny, Emmanuelle Béart, Jean Reno, Ving Rhames, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vanessa Redgrave

I didn’t plan on having two Brian De Palma movies on this list – that’s just how it worked out. And what better way to highlight De Palma’s talents than to highlight the wildly different Phantom of the Paradise and 1996’s Mission: Impossible. Yes, the Mission: Impossible franchise has blossomed into a big, crazy, wildly entertaining showcase for jaw-dropping stunts, often performed by star Tom Cruise himself. But the first film in the series is a bit different. Sure, there’s action, and Cruise gets to do some fun stuff – like the famous scene where he dangles from a ceiling. But De Palma’s M:I is much more of a thriller, with heavy European influences. And it’s pretty damn great. The plot – which involves Cruise’s disgraced spy Ethan Hunt attempting to clear his name while also playing everyone against each other – is a bit hokey. But De Palma’s tight, rousing direction keeps everything moving wonderfully.

For fans of: Blow Out, all the other Mission: Impossible movies, exploding gum.

 

7. Bad Times at the El Royale
Now Streaming on HBO Go and HBO Now

Release Date: 2018

Genre: Neo-Noir

Director: Drew Goddard

Cast: Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Cailee Spaeny, Lewis Pullman, Chris Hemsworth

Bad Times at the El Royale deserved better. The movie boasted an impressive cast and compelling trailers, but it felt like audiences mostly ignored Drew Goddard‘s 2018 ensemble piece. To be fair, the film is far too bloated – there’s no reason for that 141 minute runtime. But despite the bloat, or perhaps because of it, I appreciate the style Goddard is bringing to this story of a group of strangers who converge on a hotel located smack-dab in the middle of the California-Nevada line. There’s a lot going on in the hotel’s walls, and everyone has a secret. Meanwhile, a Charles Manson-inspired cult leader, played with surprisingly effective menace by Chris Hemsworth, is heading towards the hotel too. The full cast brings their A-game, but the stand-outs are Jeff Bridges, playing an aging priest, and Cynthia Erivo, portraying a soul singer. Bridges and Erivo’s characters form an unlikely bond, and the actors have such great chemistry that I really want them to appear in more movies together.

For fans of: Pulp FictionCabin in the Woods, spectacular set design.

 

8. Ravenous
Now Streaming on Shudder

Release Date: 1999

Genre: Horror

Director: Antonia Bird

Cast: Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, Jeffrey Jones, David Arquette

Over the years, Ravenous has become something of a cult classic, with a vocal group of fans singing its nasty praises. But when this film arrived in 1999, it flopped, and it flopped hard. No one knew how to sell this thing, and once you see it, you might understand why: it’s a weirdly funny movie about cannibals. Set during the backdrop of the Mexican–American War, the story follows cowardly soldier Captain John Boyd (Guy Pearce) as he’s banished to a remote outpost. One night, a man (Robert Carlyle) staggers into camp, telling a horrific story about a wagon train journey gone wrong. Boyd and several other soldiers set out to find survivors – and that’s when things get messy. What follows is a weird, funny, gory tale that deserves to be discovered by more viewers. Like you, perhaps.

For fans of: Bone TomahawkGinger Snaps, raw meat.

 

9. Friday the 13th Parts I Through VIII
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 1980-1989

Genre: Horror

Director: Various

Cast: Ditto

Consider this a bonus! Not just one film, but eight! The bulk of the Friday the 13th franchise just popped up on Hulu, and you should take advantage. It’s the ultimate summertime horror series, set primarily at a summer camp where horny teens meet bloody demises. Yes, it can be corny. Yes, some of the movies have aged poorly. But the Friday franchise remains one of the most consistent horror series. It even maintains its continuity fairly well, which is something other horror franchises suffer from. And even when some of the movies grow a bit, well, bad, they remain endlessly entertaining. While not kick back this weekend, order take-out, and spend some time with your old pal Jason Voorhees?

For fans of: Creative deaths.

 

10. The Box
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2009

Genre: Thriller (I think?)

Director: Richard Kelly

Cast: Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella

Richard Kelly burst onto the scene with the indie hit Donnie Darko, and then spent the rest of his career to date making really weird shit that never found the same audience. After the cult curiosity Southland Tales, Kelly made The Box, a oddity inspired a Richard Matheson story that also served as an inspiration for a classic Twilight Zone episode. Set in 1976, The Box finds couple Cameron Diaz and James Marsden presented with a strange ethical problem. A weird stranger with half a face, played by Frank Langella, shows up one day and offers them a box with a button on it. Langella tells Diaz and Marsden that if they push the button, they will be rewarded with $1 million. Sounds good, right? Well, there’s a catch: the minute they push the button, a stranger will die. So what would you do? Would you say to hell with it and claim your million? Or could you never go through with bumping off some stranger? That’s a cool set up, but after using it, Kelly then proceeds to make The Box go absolutely fucking bonkers, introducing a whole bunch of stuff that will leave you asking, “What the hell?”

For fans of: Southland TalesThe Twilight Zone, bad Cameron Diaz accents.

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