If you’ve ever spent an evening scrolling through Netflix looking for the best movies out there and ultimately landing on… nothing, you know the glut of streaming options means that, paradoxically, it’s harder than ever to figure out what to watch. These are the very best movies to stream right now. (For the best TV shows to stream right now, click here.)
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Phil Brooks, who you probably better know as retired WWE star CM Punk, stars in this trippy, gooey horror that avails itself well despite its low budget and the fact it’s offputtingly gross in some segments. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel but it’s a damn fine midnight movie for a rainy weekend.
Gillian Robespierre’s debut film is a masterpiece. Change my mind. (Just kidding, don’t.) It’s weird to think Jenny Slate was once, to many, “that actor who swore on SNL in 2009” and now is one of our most treasured comedians. A big part of that is Obvious Child, which carries some weighty themes but never once veers into melodrama, or away from a deeply smart, wonderfully funny movie.
The Invitation is the best horror movie of the 2010s, and either you agree with me or you haven’t seen it yet. I can speak from experience: That final shot will linger with you for years.
The Safdie Brothers were cruelly snubbed by the Academy for the mini-masterpiece Uncut Gems earlier this year, but at least we also have Good Time, yet another mini-masterpiece that utilizes an unfairly-pigeonholed actor in one of the performances of their lifetime. If you think you know where this movie’s going at any point, the Safdies have a swerve for you. Never has the inevitable felt so unpredictable.
A struggling punk band, stranded in the middle of the Pacific Northwest, suddenly finds itself playing in a far-right Nazi bar for gas money, and it only gets worse from there. Jeremy Saulnier has made a quick name for himself creating high stress, hyper-realistic action thrillers like Blue Ruin, but Green Room is the pinnacle, anchored by brilliant performances by Imogen Poots, the late Anton Yelchin, and Patrick Stewart as the eerily charming owner of the bar that turns out to be a death trap.
The Other Guys
Before the likes of The Big Short and Vice, Adam McKay first leaned into political satire with The Other Guys, using a Will Ferrell action parody movie as a trojan horse for increasingly desperate issues like financial inequality, the inhumanity of the ruling class, and how powerless most people are to preventing corporations from ruining their lives. That’s all while delivering a resoundingly McKay-style comedy that doesn’t quite live up to the quality of Step Brothers or the cultural penetration of Anchorman, but does feature perhaps the funniest death scene in modern movie history. You’ll know it when you see it.
The Dark Knight
Joaquin Phoenix recently became the second actor to win an Oscar for playing Batman’s cackling nemesis, the Joker, but Heath Ledger’s interpretation is still, for many, the seminal version of the character. Christopher Nolan wraps a near-flawless crime drama epic around the mythos of Batman without ever pandering or trying too hard to distance the film from its comic book origins. You’ve probably seen it already, but why not again?
What Did Jack Do?
David Lynch’s new short film is… well, very David Lynch. For 17 serene minutes, the mercurial genius interrogates a capuchin monkey about a vile crime the monkey may or may not have committed. There’s more to it than that, but really, how much more do you need?
Now 11 years old, Moon still holds up as one of the great modern sci-fi stories. Sam Rockwell turns in the performance of his lifetime as Sam Bell, a man approaching the endpoint of his three-year stint working on a remote outpost on the moon. Just weeks before he’s due to return home, he starts to suffer from hallucinations, time skips, and strange physical symptoms that lead him to uncover a horrible truth about the outpost. To say any more would be spoiling the care with which Moon handles its twists, but this is one to watch many times over.
Adam McKay might next be tackling Bong Joon-ho’s Oscar-nominated masterpiece Parasite for HBO, but Step Brothers will always be McKay’s own special kind of masterpiece. Will Ferrell gives his best off-the-wall comedy performance of the 2000s. And John C. Reilly matches his lunacy moment to moment. It’s an inexhaustibly good comedy movie.
Survival horrors don’t come more bare-bones than Sweetheart, but don’t let that description trick you into thinking there’s nothing going on in this tense, sharp film. There’s an insidious mythology hiding under the surface here (in more ways than one) and a monster reveal shot so inventive and terrifying you’ll wonder why you haven’t seen it in 100 other movies before now.
Into the Dark’s latest entry is a winking, frenetic homage to the invasion movies of yesteryear, combining blood-drenched mayhem with the something-else-soaked mayhem of St. Patrick’s Day. If you’ve ever rolled your eyes at a roving group of financial analysts, drunk off their asses, dressed as leprechauns at 2 p.m., this is the movie for you.
One of the best films of the 2010s is now all yours to enjoy on Hulu any time you want. The Cannes-winning Japanese masterpiece found a healthy audience in the U.S. but, hey, it could always be healthier. Get on it.
Maika Monroe and Bill Skarsgård are both gifts to the horror genre, and team up for this twisty, violent indie thriller. Is it a work of art? Nah, but it’s a hell of a midnight movie.
Into the Dark: A Nasty Piece of Work
Blumhouse’s Into the Dark series for Hulu has been, charitably, a mixed bag, but December’s entry, A Nasty Piece of Work, was one of its best installments yet. Evoking the underrated Cheap Thrills, the film asks how far would a normal person go for money, what would they do to get ahead? A horrid game of morals, this is one that keeps you thinking.
A Simple Favor
Paul Feig redeems his reputation as a less-than-ambitious comedy director with perhaps the greatest Lifetime Movie homage ever committed to screen. Blake Lively does the best work of her career in this delightfully complex (but never complicated) mystery thriller with a dark, dark sense of humor.
Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart easily belongs in the grand pantheon of “teen party night gone awry.” That’s thanks mostly to Beanie Feldstein and Unbelievable‘s Kaitlyn Dever who, surrounded by a flawless supporting cast of kind, lived-in weirdos, would be fun to watch goofing around for 10 straight hours.
Sorry to Bother You
Boots Riley’s directorial debut is nothing if not ambitious. It’s gloriously unsubtle, ridiculous to the point that it becomes unrecognizable as a world meant to reflect the times, and it’s also very, very funny. Riley throws hundreds of ideas at the wall like spaghetti, and more than enough stick to make Sorry to Bother You one of the most fascinating films released in the last few years, let alone as a debut feature.
When’s the last time someone won an Oscar for an out-and-out rom-com? In my opinion, that drought should have ended with Maya Erskine this year, whose work in the charming and whip-smart Plus One was definitely an overlooked performance of 2019 opposite the endlessly reliably Jack Quaid. This movie does a lot right, but Erskine’s presence is its masterstroke, and worth watching for this alone.
The Art of Self-Defense
Riley Stearns readily admits his treatise on masculinity is anything but subtle, and that only works in The Art of Self-Defense‘s favor, which introduces us to an otherworldly, almost Lanthimos-ian realm of affected speech and deliberately stiff acting. Don’t sleep on one of the best dark comedies of last year.
Jennifer Kent (The Babadook) crafts beautiful, hard-to-watch movies, and The Nightingale delivers both. Set in Tasmania during the Black War of the 1820s, it’s an uncompromising film that toes the line between horror and drama, tackling everything from colonial racism to infanticide. Truth be told, it’s not for everyone.
I was told to watch Tickled without knowing anything about it—what begins as a quirky, if off-putting, documentary about an economy based around videos of attractive young men being tickled slowly, devolves into a wild, almost unbelievable conspiracy movie.
The Lion King
Not everyone loved Disney and Jon Favreau’s big-budget photorealistic remake of The Lion King. It makes inexplicable choices such as stretching the movie 30 minutes longer than its original version and deploying “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” during the daylight hours, but honestly look me in the eye and tell me you’re not gonna watch this to listen to Donald Glover and Beyoncé put their own spin on it, anyway.
Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
No better cleanse for the empty The Rise of Skywalker than Rian Johnson’s 2017 middle chapter in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, which opened up new doors and themes for a 40-year-old franchise few people thought possible.
Amazon Prime Video
Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead are a horror filmmaking duo to watch: The Endless is a taut cult thriller that propelled them into the mainstream, but their first movie, 2012’s Resolution remains their best and most unsettling piece of work to date. Peter Cilella stars as Michael, a family man who, after receiving a disturbing video message from his childhood friend Chris, takes a trip to the rural shack where Chris is holed up to force him to quit his drug habit once and for all. The first problem? Chris never sent a video message, and quickly the pair realize they’re trapped in a special kind of hell. If you think you know where this one’s going, trust me: You don’t.
Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion is having a hell of a moment thanks to the Coronavirus outbreak, with streaming figures of the pandemic thriller up several hundred percent. If you’ve ripped through that already, it’s time to enjoy his best film in ages, Logan Lucky, which brings Adam Driver and Channing Tatum together in a so-smart-it’s-dumb crime caper comedy.
At last, Ari Aster’s loud, terrible (in a good way) masterpiece Midsommar is available to watch on a streaming site. Don’t sleep on it (not that you’ll be able to sleep after it, either).
Two former washed-up MMA fighters from the wrong side of the tracks find themselves going back to the cage. The twist? They’re estranged brothers! I wonder what the final match of the tournament will be?? Warrior isn’t full of surprises, but it’s one of the most well-written, well-made films in this vein since Rocky ran up those stairs.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
In the opening five minutes of this movie, John Wick kills someone with a book, a throwing axe, and by aiming a horse’s backside at his target and then slapping the horse, causing it to kick that person into a wooden beam. It may drag in the middle just a tad, but this is another deeply satisfying entry into the unlikely saga of John Wick, which adds brilliant turns from Asia Kate Dillon and Iron Chef himself Mark Dacascos, both of whom keep things feeling fresh.
Happy Death Day
One of the great horror-comedies of our time, Happy Death Day made a deserving star of Jessica Rothe and again proved Blumhouse is a genre studio to watch as closely as some people do A24.
The Best TV Shows to Stream Right Now
Here’s what to watch at home this weekend.
Originally Appeared on GQ