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Netflixgets most of the attention, but it's hardly a one-stop shop for cinephiles who are looking to stream essential classic and contemporary films. Each of the prominentstreaming platforms caters to its own niche of film obsessives.
From mainstream fare on Amazon Prime and Huluto the boundless wonders ofthe Criterion Channel, and esoteric but unmissable festival hits on IFC Films Unlimited and MUBI, IndieWire's monthly guide highlights the best of what's coming to every major streaming site, with an eye toward exclusive titles that may help readers decide which service is right for them.
Here's the best of the best for April 2020.Photo : A24 Amazon Prime
“The Lighthouse” Robert Eggers, 2019
Robert Eggers' Oscar-winning sea dirge is high-key brilliant quarantine viewing, the kind of film that would make anyone go a little bit mad even in “normal” times. Starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as a pair of mismatched lighthouse keepers at the edge of the world and the end of their ropes, the Cannes 2019 premiere was a PSA against bad roommates and for pristine filmmaking a year ago, but now it's more relatable than ever.
In his review, IndieWire's Eric Kohn wrote that its “amusingly offbeat flourishes speed past in rapid-fire montages and dream sequences that resist any complete interpretation. ... 'The Lighthouse' keeps coming back to the two men, the smarmy veteran and his despondent underling, as they engage in an abstract power play that can only end in doom and gloom. As a storm careens over the lighthouse and sits there, their limbo becomes a private hell.”
Sounds familiar, but with a couple of compelling twists and an ending that begs for continued conversation, it's also the kind of challenging viewing that would be worth the watch no matter the time.
Available to stream April 16.Photo : Boo Prods/Kobal/Shutterstock The Criterion Channel
“Dogtooth” Yorgos Lanthimos, 2009
Before “Greek Weird Wave” auteur Yorgos Lanthimos made his pilgrimage to Hollywood to bring his keen eye to films like “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” and “The Favourite,” cinephiles fell for his wholly unique dark dramedies like Un Certain Regard winner “Dogtooth.” This month, the Criterion Channel is unspooling a mini-marathon of early Lanthimos offerings, including his rarely seen “Kinetta” and the underappreciated “Alps,” along with his 2009 breakout, which many still regard as his best film.
If nothing else, it's the most crystallized version of his style and obsessions, a surreal, darkly funny, and wonderfully original examination of family life and society at large. That might not sound too amusing — and that's...
Last Updated: April 4th
The Netflix name has meant many things, including the best shows not on TV. And while there are some glaring omissions in their selection of good movies, there's still plenty to peruse. Narrowing them down to just 50 of the best Netflix films wasn't easy. Nonetheless, here's a ranked list of the best movies on Netflix streaming no film lover should miss, all of them just a simple click away.1. Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981 Paramount
Run Time: 115 min | IMDb: 8.5/10
The Indiana Jones franchise has been housed on Amazon Prime for a while now, but it's finally making its way to Netflix with the streaming platform hosting all four feature films. Of course, nothing beats the original, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and as far as travel and adventure go, this movie has everything you could possibly want. A hero with a love for archeology and whips? Check. An adventure to recover a stolen artifact with destructive powers? Check check. Harrison Ford beating up Nazis while uttering sarcastic one-liners and with a twinkle in his eye? Did movies even exist before this?2. The Matrix 1999 Warner Bros.
Run Time: 136 min | IMDb: 8.7/10
The Wachowski sisters created one of the greatest sci-fi films in cinematic history with their mind-bending Matrix trilogy, but the original is hard to top. Keanu Reeves plays Neo, a young man unplugged from the matrix — a kind of alternate reality that keeps humans docile, so machines can harvest their life energy. He teams up with a band of rebels fighting the machines Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus and Carrie-Ann Moss as Trinity and faces off against a henchman named Agent Smith Hugo Weaving. The real draw of this trilogy, besides its inventive storyline, is the CGI effects. The movie also sports some of the most imaginative fight sequences you'll ever see on the big screen.3. There Will Be Blood 2007 Miramax
Run Time: 158 min | IMDb: 8.2/10
Daniel Day-Lewis stars in this gritty, Oscar-winning drama from Paul Thomas Anderson playing a turn-of-the-century prospector, who risks his faith and his family for oil. Daniel Plainview is a shrewd, callous businessman who adopts the orphaned son of a dead employee to make himself look more appealing to investors. When he hits oil in California, he wages a war with a local preacher and his family who stand in the way of Daniel's progress. Violence and yes, plenty of blood, follow.4. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse 2018 Sony
Run Time: 117 min | IMDb: 8.5/10
The Oscar-winning animated film follows a young kid named Miles, who becomes the web-slinging hero of his reality, only to cross paths with other iterations of...
Last Updated: April 6th
A good gangster movie must do two things: Make us want to live a life of crime and, at the same time, make us grateful we haven't indulged our dark sides like the characters on this list. Most gangster films make the criminal underworld look like a hell of a good time. There's booze, money, women, expensive cars, everything we're taught we should want, but the lavish lifestyle often comes with a price, which means a good gangster movie must also show us the downside of running a criminal empire: The violence, the bloodshed, and the very real threat of prison time. As they say, you can't have your cake and eat it too — but no one told that to the characters in these films.
Here are the 10 most enjoyable films currently streaming on Netflix.
Related: The Best Crime Movies On Netflix Right NowNetflix The Irishman 2019
Run Time: 209 min | IMDb: 8.7/10
Martin Scorsese delivers another cinematic triumph, this time for Netflix and with the help of some familiar faces. Robert De Niro and Al Pacino team up again for this crime drama based on actual events. De Niro plays Frank Sheeran a World War II vet who finds work as a hitman for the mob. Pacino plays notorious Teamster Jimmy Hoffa, a man who frequently found himself on the wrong side of the law and the criminals he worked with. The film charts the pair's partnership over the years while injecting some historical milestones for context. It's heavy and impressively cast and everything you'd expect a Scorsese passion-project to be.A24 A Most Violent Year 2014
Run Time: 125 min | IMDb: 7/10
Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac play a husband-wife duo caught up in the criminal underground in this darkly-lit drama. Isaac plays Abel Morales, an immigrant and aspiring business owner who finds himself the target of ruthless competitors when he takes steps to secure a facility to transport oil throughout the boroughs. Chastain plays his wife Anna, a shrewd businesswoman in her own right who comes from a mobster family. The two fights against a determined D.A. and corrupt criminals in order to secure the money they need to purchase the land, but in doing so, they become the enemy they've been fighting against. It's a heavy, morose kind of film, filled with violence and shady back-door dealings, but Chastain and Isaac bring a bit of brilliance to it all.Netflix Imperial Dreams 2014
Run Time: 87 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
John Boyega stars in this stirring drama about a recently released convict caught up in the terrible cycle that people often face after prison. Boyega plays Bambi, a 21-year-old who gets a taste of freedom after spending time behind bars for some kind of crime involving a weapon. Bambi's determined to live right and do right by...