(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.)
Welcome back, streamers. Come along with me as I take you on a journey through several great films you can stream right now. As always, I’m trying to highlight titles that might not stand out on first glance – titles that slip through the cracks. Here, you’ll find a few documentaries, a stylish ’70s throwback, a chilly ghost story, and more.
These are the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming!
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Life Itself, an attempt by This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman to bring his brand of sentimental cross-generational storytelling to the big screen, has been obliterated by critics. Boasting a meager 14% on Rotten Tomatoes, nearly every critic — man, woman, minority — hates this film and all its emotionally manipulative claptrap. But, according to Fogelman, they just don’t get it. Or more specifically, “white male critics” don’t get it.
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When all the craziness of blockbuster summer has come to an end, it’ll be time to catch our breath with some quieter movies in fall. One of those movies is coming from This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman, and it looks like quite the charming romance that will make for a good date movie when the leaves start to turn.
Life Itself follows Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde as a couple who started dating in college and go on to get married, start a family and live through all the trials and tribulations of life and everything it has to offer. A new trailer has just arrived, and the movie certainly has flares of Fogelman’s previous big screen effort Crazy, Stupid, Love, but it seems to have a little more drama instead of comedy this time around. Read More »
Dan Fogelman has been making audiences cry all the time with his NBC family drama series This Is Us. Now he’s bringing that same level of tearjerking to the big screen with his sophomore directing effort.
Life Itself (not to be confused with the Roger Ebert documentary of the same name) stars Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and Olivia Wilde (TRON Legacy) in a multi-generational love story that spans decades, not unlike This Is Us. But this one even spans across the globe with every story we see connected by a single event. And if the Life Itself trailer that debuted during the most recent episode of the aforementioned Emmy-nominated show is any indicator, Dan Fogelman will likely yank tears straight from your face. Read More »
We expect the annual announcement of Academy Awards nominations to come with a healthy set of surprises, and usually a few snubs for films that arguably deserve to be in the final round of contention for one of the biggest arts awards in the world. This year’s set of snubs was more pronounced than most, with a set of nominations that ignores the diversity of great filmmakers and films that hit theaters in 2014. We know the Academy is made up of old (less than 14% under 50), white (94%) men (77%), but even with that understood, this year’s crop of nominees is sadly, even pathetically homogenous.
Granted, there are some pleasant surprises, too, if not nearly as many as there are snubs. Here’s a list of twelve major 2015 Oscar snubs and surprises.
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Top-ten lists can be predictable. They often feature the same 15 or so movies, recycled and reshuffled to a point where it’s pretty obvious those were the best movies of the year — or at least the ones that made it to the top of the consensus pile. But out of the hundreds of films released every year, why cut it off at ten?
This list is not the ten best movies of 2014. These are the films that almost made the cut. Numbers 11-25. I decided to feature them because, unlike my top ten, these movies are at least a bit more varied. Foreign films, independent films, documentaries, animation, the movies on this list come from all over and contain at least a few surprises in an otherwise tired format.
Make no mistake. The films I previously wrote about, in my opinion, are the ten best of 2014. But these movies are pretty damn great too. Below read my not quite top 10 movies of 2014.
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So we’ve looked at the best and worst movies of the year as rated by the largest sampling of moviegoers available publicly (IMDB). And as you know, the public opinion sometimes differs from that of professional film critics. As it should, film critics often see hundreds of new movies a year (a larger sampling of content) and have thus have a more discerning taste. So after the jump we will take a look at the best reviewed movies of 2014.
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One of the interesting things about awards season is how voters are sometimes forced to vote on certain films. Take, for example, the Oscar shortlists. A small group of people wade through the hundreds of eligible films in certain categories and then provide a shortlist. Then, nominees can only be picked from that list. So there’s really a round of nominations before the actual nominations.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences already released a shortlist for the Best Animated Feature Oscar, and now they’ve made public the shortlist for Best Documentary. Plenty of fantastic films are on the list including the Roger Ebert doc Life Itself, The Overnighters, CitizenFour and Jodorowsky’s Dune. Check out the full Oscar documentary shortlist below. Read More »
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For the next few weeks, you’re going to be hearing a lot about how great a year for movies 2014 was. That’s true, but this is not that list — this isn’t our “best of 2014.” As it is Thanksgiving week here in the United States, we’ve come up with a list of movies from 2014 we should be thankful for. These are all good films, but each of them has something unique about them. Something that makes us thankful they exist.
So what does that mean? Well some of these films should probably not exist. Others should probably not have been good. And a few contained surprises, stories or topics that are simply miraculous for one reason or another. We’ll explain each below as we unveil the 15 films to be thankful for this year. Read More »
NOTE: Life Itself is now in theaters and on demand. To mark the occasion, we’re republishing our interview with director Steve James that took place following the film’s premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
Steve James credits Roger Ebert with launching his career. It was Ebert’s championing of James’ first film Hoop Dreams, at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, which put that film on people’s radars. James scored an Oscar nomination and the film enjoyed a successful box office run. Afterwards, the two remained friends and James was eventually tasked with directing Life Itself, a documentary based on Ebert’s memoir.
Soon after filming began, Ebert tragically passed away. James endured and finished the film in time for the 20th anniversary of the beginning of his relationship with Ebert, the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. It’s a gorgeous, heartbreaking look at the career of the man many consider to be the most influential film critic in history.
During Sundance I was lucky enough to talk to James about the film. We discussed his approach to the story, balancing the tragedy with humor, the relationship between critic and filmmaker, and the choice to include Gene Siskel’s story. Check it out below. Read More »