It's nearly impossible to figure out what, exactly, are the best movies worth your time on all the streaming platforms out there, so we did the work and found the very best movies to watch online right now. (For the best TV shows to stream right now, click here.)
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Netflix finally, finally added easily the best comedy movie of the Judd Apatow-dominated heyday of the late 2000s. Step Brothers is vile, childish, and holds up in absolutely every way. Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are a dream team of chaos as the two emotionally stunted adult live-in sons to Richard Jenkins and Mary Steenburgen's newlywed couple. There's not a poor moment or performance in this entire thing, but cameos from Adam Scott and Kathryn Hahn threaten to steal the show.
Eli's a weird one: It's brand new, and streaming on Netflix as of last week after Paramount decided it was unmarketable and dumped it on the streaming service instead of taking it to theaters. Bad sign! And yet, that's exactly what the studio did with Annihilation outside the U.S, and look how that turned out. And in fact, Eli's pretty cool. It starts out telling something of a staid haunted house story with some decent stylish flairs: Eli is a young boy allergic to the world whose parents take him to an experimental medical facility retrofitted inside a remote mansion, complete with a team of ominous nurses. It's dumb but entertaining enough, and eventually everything gets turned on its head with a clever twist on the whole "something's wrong with this place" genre. It's spooky and there's some real ambition here. Don’t sleep on it.
John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid
John Mulaney is arguably the best stand up comedian working today, and his 2015 special might be the best of his oeuvre so far.
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Jesse Pinkman is back and... well... worse than ever before. Bruised, beaten, and scarred, El Camino tells the story of Aaron Paul's beloved character in the immediate aftermath of Breaking Bad. This is not one to miss.
Of course, if you'd prefer the vibe for your "Netflix and Chill" this weekend not be a harrowing study of trauma and misplaced loyalty, you could always watch Fractured, an insanely dumb Sam Worthington vehicle in which he checks his daughter into a hospital that then loses all trace of her whatsoever. It's profoundly idiotic, but the ending is fun.
Spike Jonze's slyly optimistic fable is streaming on Netflix right now, and if you haven't visited his pastel-colored vision of our potential future yet, get on that immediately.
And of course, a cult horror option. Candyman isn't going to win any screenwriting awards, and some of the cheesier effects just don't stand up to modern scrutiny, but it's still an effective chiller, and there's a reason Jordan Peele is eyeing a remake.
Derren Brown: Miracle
Okay, this isn't technically a movie, but the feature-length special will still scratch that "night-in" itch. Derren Brown, currently performing his first Broadway show in New York, has been a staple on U.K. TV for nearly two decades now. His act, briefly, is magic, but the avowed atheist is all about debunking phony mysteries as well as creating new ones. Miracle takes on a sinister turn about two-thirds of the way in when Brown unpacks the sham of faith healing by performing it on audience members. It's a brilliant combination of charisma, trickery, psychology, and just a little bit of horror.
Still one of the best Stephen King adaptations committed to the screen. The 1976 horror is as creepy and powerful today as it was 43 years ago, with a powerhouse performance by Sissy Spacek, who rarely gets the recognition she deserves in crafting a new kind of horror icon.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Edgar Wright makes good-looking movies, but this is still easily his most good looking. At nearly ten years old (!) Scott Pilgrim vs. the World still has a good rhythm and a not-entirely-irredeemable asshole douchebag at its center.
Netflix's big-budget horror directed by the guy who did Nightcrawler has all the elements of a pulp B-movie masterpiece: A satirical critique of the empty art world, plenty of blood, and Jake Gyllenhaal doing what some might call, "the most." Was it successful? That's for you to decide for yourself.
Swiss Army Man
The filmmaking team known as "Daniels" are, one feature film into their career, already one of the most exciting filmmaking units in the world. Swiss Army Man's first two acts are a vision in creativity, heart, and weirdness before a "twist" derails things slights. No matter: This is still one of the most original movies you'll ever see. promise.
Another Yorgos Lanthimos classic, The Lobster may as well be two entirely different movies. Lanthimos cuts the narrative down the middle with a narrative bread knife, the first bit being quite a bit more visionary and accessible than the second. Then again, since when was this guy ever that worried about his stories being accessible?
Burn After Reading
Woe betide whoever thinks they can decide on a best Coen Brothers movie, but Burn After Reading is definitely a sleeper pick if you absolutely must. It's an Avengers-level team-up of world-class actors taking part in one of the most frivolous, yet somehow high-pressure comedy of errors ever committed to the screen. Even 11 years later, Brad Pitt's Chad might be his best work, but that's splitting hairs in a film in which everyone's giving it their all.
A Serious Man
[Whispers] This is the Coen Brothers' best movie, please don't tell all those Fargo fans on Twitter.
James Wan is swimming faster than a friggin carp (they swim fast, right?) away from Aquaman 2 in order to return to horror. What's he doing? We don't know yet, but the Saw creator has had good luck with his Conjuring series, which all began with this fast, freaky period piece with some of the best scares of the modern era. Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston quietly steal the movie as the put-upon parents to a cadre of nightgown-wearing wuss children living in a heavily haunted house. A sequence midway through the film where the mother is lured to the basement, thinking she's playing a "come and find me game" with one of her daughters, has one of the best spooky payoffs in spooky film history.
Bong Joon-ho's newest masterpiece, Parasite, is finally in theaters. Please do not read spoilers or watch the trailer: Just go to the movies and pony up for this one. At home, though, Snowpiercer will do double duty as both a movie that'll scratch that unique genre itch only Bong knows how to reach, and also as a wild fantasy of inhabiting a frozen, desolate earth during this hellfire summer.
Super Dark Times
Super Dark Times keeps changing the kind of movie it is as it goes along. This isn't a bad thing! When you get to the film's first big "Oh shit! That's what this is!" moment, it doesn't let up from there. It's a coming-of-age story more by way of Stephen King than John Hughes. Let this one surprise you.
Await Further Instructions
This Christmas-set Brit horror checks all my boxes. It plays out like an episode of The Twilight Zone in which a dysfunctional family are trapped together in the family home—racist grandfather and all—and lets the mystery of what's going on unfold alongside the slowly-building interpersonal tension.
Ant-Man and the Wasp
A lot of people were upset when I ranked Walton Goggins's Sonny Burch so high on the list of Marvel's greatest villains, but let me ask you this: What is it about one of the greatest character actors of our time playing a bumbling but sinister Southern criminal that you think deserves to be penalized in any way? I cannot help you grow until you are willing to help yourself.
Simply put: One of the best indie thrillers of the entire decade. A group of punk rockers (played by the likes of Alia Shawkat, Imogen Poots, and Anton Yelchin) vs. a never-ending supply of backwoods neo-Nazis (led by Patrick Stewart) intent on maintaining their grasp on what little power they have? This 2015 film was, in every sense, ahead of its time.
Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are two of the most important names in lo-fi horror right now. They've made just three films and, as hyperbolic as it might sound, The Endless is a brilliant culmination of their limited filmography so far. It's not much of a spoiler to say genre completists might want to seek out their first movie, Resolution before sitting down with this one, a story of two brothers returning to the mysterious cult they grew up in—and escaped.
No one's ever too good for a trashy gore horror, and Cabin Fever (the remake) delivers in spades. Made just over a decade after Eli Roth's version, the new imagining (also written by Roth) introduces a new group of sexy teens subjected to a flesh-eating virus in a remote cabin. It's not high art, but it'll scratch that midnight movie itch.
Lady and the Tramp
I'm as surprised as the next guy that Lady and the Tramp is not only a good start for Disney+ original movies right out of the gate, but perhaps one of the best live-action efforts Disney has put out ever. Justin Theroux and Tessa Thompson ask no questions and cash their presumably giant checks playing voicing the two lead canine roles, and it's this kind of charming, half-assed vibe that helps this generously silly movie from ever becoming tiresome or uncanny.
Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3 is one of the best MCU movies and also it's a Christmas movie. No further questions at this time.
The Empire Strikes Back
If you're going to use that 7-day Disney+ trial for anything, you might as well reacquaint yourself with the original Star Wars trilogy and see what all the fuss was about.
The Love Witch
I'm not telling you a damn thing about this movie. You'll just have to go watch it.
Robert Pattinson drifts in space, plagued by flashbacks of the sexual experiments performed on him by Juliette Binoche on the craft earlier in his life. Stay weird, Claire Denis.
Hell House LLC
One of the best under-the-radar low-budget horrors in recent years, Hell House LLC is a masterclass in economical storytelling and brilliantly-worked scares, as a group of ambitious 20somethings refurbish an abandoned hotel into a haunted house experience that ends up taking things a little too far.
You Were Never Really Here
Joaquin Phoenix is one of the best actors in the world, and You Were Never Really Here is perhaps the best demonstration of that talent since The Master. Lynne Ramsay's brilliant, brutal, sparse thriller is based on a novella by Jonathan Ames, the two's taste for humanity amongst misery works wonders here. A scene in which Phoenix keeps a man company while he bleeds out on the floor of a suburban kitchen is one of my favorite moments in all of film.
We Need To Talk About Kevin
Another Ramsay triumph, this time with an unapologetic Tilda Swinton masterclass at its dark, dark core. Kevin asks truly terrifying questions about nature, evil, and the responsibility of a parent. This one's hard to shake.
Under the Silver Lake
Hyper-stylized noir filmmaking from the guy who did It Follows? A biting satire of the empty ambition of idiots living in a big city used as a playground for burnout creatives? Secret clues to unlocking the mysteries of the world hidden in plain sight, just waiting for someone to put it all together? This is entirely my shit, which makes it all the more upsetting that I... loathed this film. Still, plenty of smart and good people really liked it, and I'm not vain enough to think you're only gonna listen to me. Go nuts.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Yorgos Lanthimos creates harsh, polarizing worlds, and The Killing of a Sacred Deer might be his harshest and most polarizing yet: People speak amidst psychological torture in the affected monotone he toyed with in The Lobster, and the interfamilial discord rivals Dogtooth in its cruelty. Still, this is a darkly funny and beautifully-shot modern-day fable that feels no need to explain itself: Only to tell a singular, awful story.
It takes a lot for me to cry at a movie; before Lady Bird, the last time I wept in a movie theater was 2014's John Wick, and that was only because I'd gone through a break-up just hours prior (note: cancel all your plans the day you break up with someone). Lady Bird got me good, though, for reasons I still can't fully articulate. Greta Gerwig's directorial debut is brilliantly measured and as satisfying a coming-of-age movie that might ever be made.
A Quiet Place
With Part II well underway—sadly now without Brian Tyree Henry, who had to drop out for scheduling reasons—it's as good a time as ever to revisit John Krasinski's surprise smash hit, which married speculative horror with a disarmingly effective emotional family-focused subplot. If you haven't seen it, it's like Bird Box, but actually good and interesting.
A meditative horror film that feels like a haunting kind of fairy tale. Starfish focuses on Aubrey, a young woman trapped in her apartment after a mysterious signal causes, basically, the apocalypse. This is a prestige drama, a sci-fi mystery, and a horror film, all rolled into one.
Lupita Nyong'o stars in this really witty Australian horror-comedy in which a teacher and her band of preschoolers is beset by a zombie horde. Zombies are played out, and the "bloody but funny" genre can be hit or miss, but there are some lovely offbeat touches and great character-writing here that set this one apart.
All the Oceans movies are fun, but for my money, Twelve takes the lunacy and madcap spirit to another level. This movie isn't for everyone and the wildly meta gag that occurs halfway through is still divisive. See it and decide for yourself.
Juno is, in its 11th year, unfairly derided for its of-the-time lingo, when in fact writer Diablo Cody captured something so brilliantly in its voice that other, worse movies simply copied it to diminishing returns. This is still one of her best collaborations with Jason Reitman, who's always better with a female writer leading the way.
I Trapped The Devil
This movie pretty much follows the exact same premise as a classic Twilight Zone episode, "The Howling Man," with a few new twists. A concerned couple, Matt and Karen, go to visit Matt's weirdo brother, Steve, over Christmas. Steve's doing fine, he says, just as long as no one lets the devil escape, who he has caught and chained up in the basement. A tense three-way standoff with an ending you'll probably see coming, but the getting there's the fun.
Tessa Thompson is brilliant, as ever, in this sparse but painful movie about how far we'll go to help the people we love, and the all-too large population of America that's all but been abandoned by the government.
The Beach Bum
My roommate asked me a great question as I sat cackling at The Beach Bum the other night: "Will I like this if I'm ambivalent about Harmony Korine?" Resoundingly: Yes. This movie takes place in Florida, but that's about the only DNA it shares with his previous movie, Spring Breakers. The Beach Bum is a relentlessly funny ambling, hilariously good time, which meanders its way through a low-stakes plot with big laughs and an all-timer Matthew McConaughey performance. It's self-aware, it's charming, and it's arguably the best movie of 2019.
A Simple Favor
A screwball, over-the-top comedy-drama caper with an Oscar-worthy Blake Lively (no, really). A Simple Favor is hopelessly unsubtle and a little too long, but its venom is addictive all the same. Paul Feig graduates from a safe pair of hands to a full-fledged filmmaker, finally, with this one, and the costumes are out of control, too.
I don't care what anyone says: This movie is gorgeous AND the Pitbull/Toto remix is a banger.
I don't want to oversell it but MacGruber is one of the funniest movies of the decade, and was done so dirty by film critics and general audiences that I am vomiting into a trashcan just thinking about it as I type. Ostensibly an expansion of the SNL MacGruber sketches, as well as a loving jab at MacGyver, this movie is actually neither. It's a crass and shockingly violent film that damns action movie star machismo, driven by the engine that is Will Forte's bottomless hunger to play one of the most unpalatable, cruelest, thoughtless protagonists ever to be given the title role in a movie. It's a masterpiece.
7 Days in Hell
One of the great, underrated mockumentaries of our time, made better by its refreshingly zippy 45-minute runtime. 7 Days in Hell tells the story of a never-ending tennis match between Andy Samberg's American bad boy rockstar athlete and Kit Harrington's purebred British player. An insane roster of cameos including Will Forte, Michael Sheen, and, (who else?) John McEnroe, among many others, make this movie fly by.
Disclaimer: This will answer absolutely zero of the real questions you have about Brexit. This is a wildly inaccurate and quite silly reenactment from Benedict Cumberbatch, who never met a creepy weirdo he didn't want to inhabit. Still, it's really fun—something the real Brexit hasn't ever been in its nearly four-year lifespan.
Arguably the greatest slasher movie of all time, Halloween is bleak, brutal, and economic in its storytelling and kills. Many sequels, reboots, and franchise attempts later, John Carpenter's film (and score) remain the gold standard in the "teens gettin' stabbed" department.
It's not one of the "main" streaming sites, but Shudder deserves your attention, not least because it's added Take Shelter to its already-impressive movie lineup. This is one of my favorite movies of all time, in which a quiet family man (Michael Shannon) becomes obsessed with the idea a great, terrible storm is coming and starts to. obsess over building a shelter to protect his wife and daughter while fending off increasingly terrifying hallucinations (or visions?) of what he believes is coming. It's stunning, scary, and it's got an ending you'll be thinking about for years.
Originally Appeared on GQ