Now Stream This: 'Booksmart', 'Mikey and Nicky', 'Inside Out', 'Drive', 'Creed II', 'The Souvenir' 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.)

A long holiday weekend is just around the corner, folks. You know what that means: stuffing your face with carbs. Also: watching movies. But where to start? There are so many options now, thanks to the wild world of streaming. And to complicate matters even more, there are new streaming services popping-up every week! For instance: for the first time ever, Disney+ is featured in this column. But don’t fret: I’m here to help guide you. These are the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming!

The Best Movies Streaming Right Now

Booksmart
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2018

Genre: Comedy

Director: Olivia Wilde

Cast: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams, Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte, Jason Sudeikis, Billie Lourd

Olivia Wilde‘s coming-of-age comedy Booksmart is one of 2019’s best films – a funny, charming, sweet portrait of two friends during one wild night. Studios Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) have spent their entire high school experience sticking to the books and avoiding any ounce of fun. With graduation looming, the two head out to a cool party, but getting there won’t be easy. Along the way, they have to deal with bad drug trips, strange encounters, and heartbreak. It would’ve been very easy for Booksmart to lean on cliche, but Wilde and company manage to keep things fresh. It helps that the film has an unusual amount of empathy for every character here – even characters who are set-up to seem like antagonists. Feldstein and Dever are wonderful together, but the film really belongs to Billie Lourd, who steals the entire show as a particularly strange classmate.

For fans of: Lady BirdSuperbad, pancakes.

 

Mikey and Nicky
Now Streaming on The Criterion Channel

Release Date: 1976

Genre: Drama

Director: Elaine May

Cast: Peter Falk, John Cassavetes

Mikey (Peter Falk) has spent his life bailing his ne’er-do-well buddy Nicky (John Cassavetes) out of jams. And at the start of Elaine May‘s Mikey and Nicky, Nicky has gotten himself into his biggest jam yet. Sure enough, Mikey comes calling, and the two small-time crooks stumble out into the night. Along the way, their tumultuous friendship comes to a head, all while a hitman is following after them. There are twists and turns, but really, this movie is all about Falk and Cassavetes bouncing off each other, and May letting the cameras run as long as possible in order to capture authenticity. Mikey and Nicky doesn’t move or behave like any other gangster-themed movie you’ve ever seen.

For fans of: MadeHusbands, 2-hour-long arguments.

 

Inside Out
Now Streaming on Disney+

Release Date: 2015

Genre: Animated Comedy That Will Make You Sob

Director: Pete Docter

Cast: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Lewis Black, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan

I’m sure everyone has their own personal “Best Pixar Movie Ever!” pick, but for my money, it’s Inside Out. For the life of me, I can’t remember ever seeing a movie – let alone a movie aimed at younger audiences – that tells its audience that sometimes, it’s okay to be sad. It’s a message I sure as hell could’ve used when I was younger. In Inside Out, we go inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl named Riley, and meet her controlling emotions. The leader of the pack is the ever-bubbly Joy (Amy Poehler), but events in Riley’s life end up trapping Joy with Sadness (Phyllis Smith), and the two of them have to work together to set things right. This entire concept could’ve backfired terribly, and yet, Inside Out works. And yes, you’re going to cry.

For fans of: Up, Innerspace, sobbing.

 

Drive
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2011

Genre: Action-Drama

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman, Oscar Isaac, Albert Brooks

Drive has built up a reputation as being a bit of a “dude-bro” movie. It’s certainly the most mainstream, commercial thing Nicolas Winding Refn has ever done. But if you can remove yourself from years of guys buying their own scorpion jackets off of Etsy to look cool, you can find that the film itself still holds up. It’s a hyper-violent saga of an emotionally unstable stunt man (Ryan Gosling) who injects himself into the life of a woman in trouble (Carey Mulligan). If you take a step back from it all you’ll realize that the film isn’t really turning Gosling’s unnamed driver into a hero – he’s making himself a hero in his own narrative. In reality, he’s just as dangerous and scary as the people he’s going up against. And hey, this is the only movie where Albert Brooks stabs someone in the eye with a fork. You can’t beat that!

For fans of: The DriverOnly God Forgives, hammers.

 

Creed II
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu

Release Date: 2018

Genre: Sports Drama

Director: Steven Caple Jr.

Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Phylicia Rashad, Dolph Lundgren

Creed II never reaches the lofty heights of the first Creed, but it is a nifty little continuation of the Rocky saga. Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) grows cocky with his success, and that sets him up for failure when he’s challenged to a fight by the son of the man who killed his father in the ring. Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) warns Adonis to walk away, but the young fighter’s pride won’t let him. You can probably guess where this is going from here, because Creed II is rather predictable. But it still manages to pack an emotional punch (see what I did there?), and actually manages to turn Rocky IV‘s Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) from a stock movie villain into a surprisingly three-dimensional character.

For fans of: CreedRocky IV, punching.

 

Pete’s Dragon
Now Streaming on Disney+

Release Date: 2016

Genre: Fantasy Adventure That Will Make You Sob

Director: David Lowery

Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence, Robert Redford

Pete’s Dragon is the least-talked-about of the recent Disney remakes, and what a damn shame that is, because it’s the best. David Lowery‘s approach is the right one: rather than trying to just recreate the original movie, he takes the basic concept and does something much more interesting with it. After a car crash kills his parents, young Pete is raised by a friendly dragon in the woods. Then civilization comes intruding, and the friendship between boy and beast is threatened. Will you cry? Yes. Yes, you will. Sorry to put so many movies that make you cry on this list. That’s just the way it goes.

For fans of: Family films that open with sudden death.

 

The Souvenir
Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Release Date: 2019

Genre: Drama

Director: Joanna Hogg

Cast: Honor Swinton Byrne, Tom Burke, Tilda Swinton

Joanna Hogg paints a staggering portrait of a doomed relationship with The Souvenir. Young film student Julie (a fantastic Honor Swinton Byrne) begins a relationship with the very upper-class Anthony (Tom Burke, also great). The romance between the two is strong at first, even though Anthony appears to be on a different wavelength. But soon, Anthony’s addictions rear their ugly heads, and things grow increasingly unstable. Rather than follow a traditional narrative path, Hogg instead opts for vignettes – little glimpses into the lives of these characters at various times. It results in an almost voyeuristic quality, as if we’re spying on real people’s lives, and standing by as they crumble.

For fans of: Accents and cigarettes.

 

Klaus
Now Streaming on Netflix

Release Date: 2019

Genre: Animated Holiday Film

Director: Sergio Pablos Carlos and Martínez López

Cast: Jason Schwartzman, J. K. Simmons, Rashida Jones, Joan Cusack, Will Sasso, Norm Macdonald

Who knew an animated Santa Claus origin story on Netflix could be…good? I certainly didn’t, but Klaus is a bit of a treat. The story isn’t that impressive – you know how it’s going to turn out; the guy named Klaus is going to become the big man in red. But the animation is stunning. While this is a digitally animated film, directors Sergio Pablos Carlos and Martínez López have designed a process that makes things look hand-drawn. It’s gorgeous, and better looking than 90% of the non-Disney animated films that hit theaters every year.

For fans of: The Emperor’s New Groove, getting into the holiday spirit a little early.

 

Bride of Re-Animator
Now Streaming on Shudder

Release Date: 1990

Genre: Horror

Director: Brian Yuzna

Cast: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Fabiana Udenio, Kathleen Kinmont

Bride of Re-Animator lacks the cleverness of the original Re-Animator, but it still has plenty of gory fun, and yet another memorable performance from Jefferey Combs as Dr. Herbert West. After the events of the first film, West and fellow doctor Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott) decide to continue experiments to resurrect the dead. What could go wrong? The plan is to use the heart of Dan’s dead girlfriend (played by Barbara Crampton in the first film, who sadly doesn’t return here) to create a new woman, but of course, there are bound to be complications. Silly, violent complications.

For fans of: Re-Animator, flying severed heads.

 

The Limehouse Golem
Now Streaming on Hulu

Release Date: 2017

Genre: Horror-Mystery

Director: Juan Carlos Medina

Cast: Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke, Douglas Booth, Daniel Mays, Sam Reid, María Valverde, Henry Goodman, Morgan Watkins, Eddie Marsan

There’s a serial killer on the loose in Victorian London – and it’s not Jack the Ripper. The Limehouse Golem is a gory, stylish horror-thriller that plays like a modern-day Hammer Horror Film. Bill Nighy is Inspector John Kildare, looking into the death of the husband of music-hall star Elizabeth Cree (Olivia Cooke). Elizabeth has been charged with her husband’s death, and she’s facing down the gallows. But the good Inspector believes there’s more than meets the eye here, and that Elizabeth’s dead husband might have been a murderer known as the Golem. It all makes for a twisty and rather odd film, one in which Karl Marx (!) ends up as one of the murder suspects. What holds it all together is the lush direction from Juan Carlos Medina, and Bill Nighy’s stoic performance.

For fans of: Hands of the Ripper, Bill Nighy getting to be the lead in a movie.

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