Now Stream This: 'Carol', 'Lovers Rock', 'The New World', 'Big', 'She Dies Tomorrow', 'The Silent Partner', 'The Final Girls', and More

Now Stream This: 'Carol', 'Lovers Rock', 'The New World', 'Big', 'She Dies Tomorrow', 'The Silent Partner', 'The Final Girls', and More

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

Carol
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2015

Genre: Romantic Drama

Director: Todd Haynes

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Jake Lacy, Kyle Chandler

Carol is a Christmas movie. It’s set mostly at Christmas, Rooney Mara wears a Santa hat, it’s called Carol like a Christmas Carol – okay, that last one is a stretch, but you get the idea. Todd Haynes’ gorgeous melodrama finds 1950s shopgirl Rooney Mara falling head over heels for a wealthy woman (Cate Blanchett) who comes into her place of employment one day. The women soon hit the road, growing closer but also having to deal with the societal norms of the time, as well as Carol’s messy domestic situation involving her separation from her bitter husband (Kyle Chandler). Swooning, romantic, and unforgettable, Carol is one of the best films of the last decade.

For fans of: Far From HeavenDisobedience, creamed spinach over poached eggs.

 

The New World
Now Streaming on The Criterion Channel

Release Date: 2005

Genre: Historical Drama

Director: Terrence Malick

Cast: Colin Farrell, Q’orianka Kilcher, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale, August Schellenberg, Wes Studi, David Thewlis

Terrence Malick‘s The New World is a cinematic wonder; a film that lives, and breathes, and fully transports you into the landscape. Every leaf on every tree, every ripple in every body of water, every bit of muck and grime, every boat that rocks upon unsteady seas – all of it combines to paint a picture that takes your breath away. Malick takes a ton of liberties with the true story of Pocahontas (played here by Q’orianka Kilcher). History lesson this is not. But it is a romantic, tragic story of an untouched world being invaded by outsiders and the chain reaction that followers. Some may disagree, but I say this is Malick’s masterpiece. This isn’t just a movie – it’s something like a religious experience.

For fans of: The Thin Red LineThe Tree of Life, Christian Bale suddenly showing up.

 

Lovers Rock
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 2020

Genre: Drama

Director: Steve McQueen

Cast: Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn, Micheal Ward, Shaniqua Okwok, Kedar Williams-Stirling, Ellis George, Alexander James-Blake, Kadeem Ramsay, Francis Lovehall, Daniel Francis-Swaby

It’s 1980, and Martha (newcomer Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn, who is just fantastic here) and her friend Patty (Shaniqua Okwok, also wonderful) are headed to a house party. A “blues night” reggae party taking place in West London, to be exact. And so the stage is set for Steve McQueen‘s Lovers Rock, an entry in his Small Axe anthology. If you’re wondering if you have to watch all the other entries to make sense of Lovers Rock, don’t worry, you don’t (although you should probably watch them all anyway). It’s a standalone film, and a short one, too, clocking in at just 68 minutes. But McQueen makes every single one of those 68 minutes count. There’s not a traditional plot here, exactly – it’s more a collection of moments; moments full of life, love, tension, bitterness. It’s funny, it’s charming, it’s upsetting, it’s sexy. It’s kind of amazing. As the night wears on, the partygoers dance, and fight, and fall for each other. It’s almost cruel to watch this movie now, because your first thought when it ends will be, “Damn, I wish I could go to a party right now.”

For fans of: Going to parties and getting down to some great music.

 

She Dies Tomorrow
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2020

Genre: Psychological Drama

Director: Amy Seimetz

Cast: Kate Lyn Sheil, Jane Adams, Kentucker Audley, Katie Aselton, Chris Messina, Tunde Adebimpe, Jennifer Kim, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Michelle Rodriguez, Josh Lucas, Adam Wingard

One night, Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil) suddenly realizes something: she’s going to die. Of course, we all know that we’re going to die, eventually – but Amy knows she’s going to die tomorrow. She can’t explain why, but she’s 100% certain that by the time the new day arrives, she’ll be dead. Needless to say, this realization causes her entire outlook on, well, everything to change. She guzzles wine. She wanders around. She shops for colorful urns (for her ashes) online. And she tells her friend Jane (Jane Adams). Jane, understandably, thinks Amy is bonkers. At first. But then a funny thing happens – Jane thinks she’s going to die tomorrow, too. And when she starts telling others about this, they also become certain that their number is almost up. And so it goes – the realization of imminent death spreads through a small circle of friends like a virus. Writer-director Amy Seimetz‘s film was made before the coronavirus came to town, obviously, and she couldn’t have known she’d be releasing a film like this into a world where sickness and death start spreading at a rapid pace. As a result, She Dies Tomorrow feels like the movie of the moment. It’s bleak, it’s funny, it’s one of a kind.

For fans of: I’m Thinking of Ending ThingsUnder the Skin, leather jackets.

 

Big
Now Streaming on Disney+

Release Date: 1988

Genre: Comedy

Director: Penny Marshall

Cast: Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, David Moscow, John Heard, Robert Loggia

If it weren’t for Tom Hanks, Penny Marshall‘s Big would’ve been a disaster. Sure, the script is cute, and Marshall was a wonderful filmmaker. But the secret to Big is Hanks. The actor, who had yet to become the famous, Oscar-winning Tom Hanks we know today, knew exactly how to play the part of Josh Baskin, a 13-year-old kid who magically becomes an adult overnight. The script from Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg (sister of Steven) is smart enough to not go into too much detail as to how the magic works – Josh makes a wish on an unplugged carnival machine, and that’s all you need to know. But it’s not exactly the tightest script ever – characters and plotlines are introduced that go absolutely nowhere, and while the movie itself is firmly in the realm of fantasy, some of the things that happen require a lot of suspension of disbelief. But none of that ultimately matters because of Hanks, who is pitch-perfect as a kid trapped in an adult’s body.

For fans of: Dancing around on big-ass floor pianos.

 

The Final Girls
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2015

Genre: Horror-Comedy

Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson

Cast: Taissa Farmiga, Malin Åkerman, Adam DeVine, Thomas Middleditch, Alia Shawkat, Alexander Ludwig, Nina Dobrev

A slasher movie riff on Last Action HeroTodd Strauss-Schulson‘s The Final Girls is a wonderful little horror gem that deserves a wider audience. Taissa Farmiga is Max, the daughter of actress Amanda (Malin Åkerman), whose claim to fame was starring in a cheap Friday the 13th-like slasher pic. A car accident takes Amanda’s life, and, understandably, Max has a hard time dealing with that. Three years later, Max and some of her friends end up getting sucked into a screening Camp Bloodbath, the film that Max’s mother appeared in. Now, Max and her friends have to find a way to survive as the film’s killer targets them. And on top of that, Max has to deal with the emotional weight of seeing her mother again – although it’s the on-screen version of her mother, who has no idea who Max is. It’s a slightly convoluted set-up, but The Final Girls is so earnest and sweet (and funny) that it wins you over in the end.

For fans of: Last Action HeroScream, “Bette Davis Eyes.”

 

The Silent Partner
Now Streaming on The Criterion Channel

Release Date: 1978

Genre: Thriller

Director: Daryl Duke

Cast: Elliott Gould, Christopher Plummer, Susannah York, Celine Lomez, John Candy

Looking for an alternative Christmas-themed movie that isn’t Die Hard or something written by Shane Black? Look no further than The Silent Partner, a nasty little thriller from Canada. It’s the holiday season, and Elliott Gould is a bank teller who deduces that a mall Santa (Christopher Plummer) is getting ready to rob the bank where he works. Rather than alert the authorities, Gould’s character pulls a fast one on the thief and pockets most of the money for himself. Unfortunately, Plummer’s robber finds out about this, and he wants revenge. Plummer is wonderfully twisted here playing the sadistic bank robber who is fond of stepping on people’s faces and wearing mesh t-shirts, and the film sets up a battle of wits between thief and teller.

For fans of: ThiefBlue Velvet, sudden, graphic decapitations.

 

Shattered
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 1991

Genre: Mystery-Thriller

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Cast: Tom Berenger, Greta Scacchi, Bob Hoskins, Joanne Whalley, Corbin Bernsen

God damn, there’s something delightful about a ’90s mid-budget thriller. One of the best of the bunch is Shattered, Wolfgang Petersen‘s incredibly over-the-top, twist-filled flick about the aftermath of a terrible car accident. In the car were Dan Merrick (Tom Berenger) and his wife Judy (Greta Scacchi), and while Judy was thrown from the car with barely a scratch, Dan’s face was obliterated, so much so that he had to have extensive plastic surgery. Now, out of the hospital, Dan looks fine but he’s suffering from memory loss – at first. Every so slowly, though, he starts to remember things – and what he’s remembering isn’t adding up with what he’s been told by Judy. With the help of a private eye/pet store owner (Bob Hoskins, stealing the show), Dan tries to get to the bottom of the truth, with wonderfully lurid results.

For fans of: DiaboliqueBasic Instinct, being reminded of how great Bob Hoskins was.

 

Tesla
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2020

Genre: Biopic

Director: Michael Almereyda

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Eve Hewson, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Jim Gaffigan, Kyle MacLachlan

Not your average biopic. Michael Almereyda‘s Tesla tells the story of Nikola Tesla, but rather than sticking to the familiar formula that so many boring biopics use these days, Almereyda makes a movie as unique as its subject. Employing anachronistic details, rear-projection, and, yes, a scene where Tesla performs karaoke, Tesla defies expectations, with Ethan Hawke delivering a strong performance as the famous inventor.

For fans of: ExperimenterI’m Not There, ice cream fights.

 

Nocturnal Animals
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2016

Genre: Neo-Noir

Director: Tom Ford

Cast: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Sheen

If you combined No Country For Old Men with The NeverEnding Story, you might get Nocturnal Animals, Tom Ford‘s stylish curiosity. Amy Adams is a bored gallery owner who received a manuscript penned by her ex-husband, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s a novel called Nocturnal Animals, and as Adams’ character reads it, we’re pulled into the book. The book tells the tale of a man (also played by Gyllenhaal) who is helpless to stop the murder of his wife and daughter. Now, with the aid of a no-nonsense lawman (Michael Shannon), he hopes to get revenge. It’s a twisty, strange film, but Ford’s slick direction coupled with his game cast results in something special.

For fans of: No Country For Old MenBreakdown, watching Amy Adams lounge around in bed reading a book.

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