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'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, doesn't hit U.S. theaters until October. Please do not read spoilers or watch the trailer: Just go to the movies and pony up for this one. In the meantime, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Originally Appeared on GQ