Best Movies Streaming

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

Summer is over. Good riddance, I say! Bring on chilly weather, heavy jackets and pumpkins as far as the eye can see. I’m talking thousands of pumpkins here, people. As the warm weather subsides and the cooler weather prevails, it’s time to once again shun the outdoors, bundle up with your blankets and stream some movies. In this edition of Now Stream This, we have a classic from Akira Kurosawa, a spy thriller for people who have no interest in seeing the new Kingsman movie, Al Pacino hamming up, the best horror-comedy in film history, and more! Let’s get streaming

1. Seven Samurai
Now Streaming on FilmStruck

Akira Kurosawa’s epic 1954 classic is unparalleled, even though it’s been adapted several times into several different films (mostly named The Magnificent Seven). The set-up is simple: a group of peasant farmers hire a band of samurai to protect their village from bandits. But with this framework, Kurosawa crafts a film brimming with excitement, pathos, honor and violence; a sweeping, absorbing experience. For 207 minutes, Kurosawa fully engrosses you in the cinematic world he’s created. Toshiro Mifune is remarkable as one of the samurai who seems like he’s all-talk but eventually proves honorable.

For fans of: Throne of BloodThe Magnificent Seven, hungry samurai.

2. An American Werewolf in London
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

What’s the greatest horror-comedy of all time? I’ll give you the answer, and there’s no room for argument here: An American Werewolf in London. John Landis’ 1981 monster classic is funny, scary and often alarmingly violent. They just don’t make them like this anymore, and they never really did to begin with. David Naughton is an American tourist who finds himself turning into a werewolf in the U.K., with bloody results. Rick Baker’s state-of-the-art werewolf effects were so groundbreaking that they became the first-ever recipient of an Academy Award for Best Makeup.

For fans of: Innocent BloodAnimal House, Griffin Dunne as a lively corpse.

3. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Now Streaming on Netflix

This week, Kingsman: The Golden Circle will assail audiences with style and bombast. But if you’re looking for a much more reserved, refine spy film, you can’t go wrong with Tomas Alfredson’s icy Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Retired spy George Smiley (Gary Oldman, superb as always) begins suspecting there’s a mole somewhere within British intelligence, and seeks to root him out. Cool and calculated, featuring a dynamite cast that includes Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Ciarán Hinds, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is one of the best spy flicks you’ll ever see.

For fans of: The Night ManagerThe Constant Gardener, blonde Benedict Cumberbatch.

4. Love & Friendship
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Whit Stillman adapts Jane Austen in this hysterical, brilliantly constructed comedy set in the late 1700s. Kate Beckinsale, reminding us all that she’s been totally misused by countless Underworld sequels, is Lady Susan Vernon, a noblewoman determined to find a suitor for her daughter, whether her daughter likes it or not. Everyone is a delight here, but Tom Bennett steals the show as the charmingly clueless Sir James Martin.

For fans of: MetropolitanThe Last Days of Disco, tiny green balls.

5. Hunger
Now Streaming on FilmStruck

Steve McQueen made his feature directorial debut with this 2008 drama centered around a prison hunger strike in Northern Ireland. Unflinching in the way it presents its subject matter, Hunger is hard to watch but still an immense testament to McQueen’s talent for filmmaking. Star Michael Fassbender is fantastic, particularly in an unbroken 17-minute long shot that’s already the stuff of movie legend.

For fans of: ShameIn the Name of the Father, long takes.

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