It’s that time of year where there aren’t many good movies playing at the theater and the weather is crappy. Let’s be real, none of us really want to leave the house right now. Well lucky for you, I have created a diverse list of movies for you to stream this weekend on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime! Bold and underlined titles link to reviews we published when the films were originally released.
Now a days most of Netflix’s streaming titles are all original content. These two films are ones that you probably were not able to catch in the theater because they had a very small release in order to meet the minimum qualifications for awards season eligibility. At this point, they might even be films you have already streamed. But, I am always going to recommend these two 2019 releases.
- Marriage Story: Noah Baumbach’s story of divorce is one that is absolutely heartbreaking and will shake you to your core. This one definitely isn’t easy to watch if you have personal experience with the subject matter. However, the performances (Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson) and screenplay create an experience for the viewer that is unforgettable.
- American Factory: This documentary tells a story of an Ohio manufacturing town that is struggling to stay afloat. When a Chinese company purchases the local factory, the transition is not an easy one. Cultural differences and the American value of worker’s rights create a sense of tension that makes you thankful for the rights we are given in this country.
Hulu has been acquiring quite a few new release titles. While these films are only releases from 2019, I highly recommend checking out their entire streaming catalog. They have a lot of film classics and independent movies that aren’t always easy to find.
- Luce: We didn’t get the chance to see this one when it first came out but we finally watched it a couple weeks ago. It tells the story of Luce (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) as he deals with the pressure of being a teenager. The narrative focuses on his relationship with his teacher Ms. Wilson (Octavia Spencer). There are unexpected twists and turns in this thriller that you never see coming. Even now, I am not sure who the true villain of this story is.
- Booksmart: Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut is one that will leave you with a gut ache afterwards from laughing so much. The narrative follows two female friends (Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever) on the eve of their high school graduation. Our protagonists regret of not having enough fun in high school, so they embark on an adventure that will change their relationship forever. This one features a solid cast and excels where many teen comedies fall short: queer representation.
Amazon is giving Netflix a run for their money when it comes to creating original content. However, Amazon is taking a different approach. Amazon’s films have been getting a much wider theatrical release before being added to the streaming platform. They also seem to add A24 titles rather quickly after they end their theatrical runs. So, these are films you definitely had the chance to catch in theaters, but if you didn’t I am here to tell you that you have another opportunity!
- The Last Black Man in San Francisco: Joe Talbot’s directorial debut is loosely based on the story of Jimmie Fails, who is also the star of the film. It explores themes of gentrification, family responsibility, and our connection to the physical objects around us that may not have much meaning to others. The screenplay and score of this film are phenomenal, as is the absolutely stunning cinematography. This is a fairly slow burn plot wise, but you will not be disappointed.
- The Farewell: Lulu Wang’s debut film tells the story of Billi, a member of an immigrant family that grew up in the U.S. When her grandmother becomes ill and the family makes a decision she doesn’t understand, she must struggle to reconcile her American upbringing with her deep need to understand her Chinese heritage. Awkwafina and Zhao Shuzen have such chemistry that I cannot imagine any other actors playing these parts. It is a surprisingly funny and relatable story regardless of the culture you belong to.
- Honey Boy: Shia LaBeouf had a comeback year of sorts and a lot of that can be contributed to the autobiographical screenplay he wrote for this film. Starring LaBeouf, Noah Jupe, Lucas Hedges, and FKA Twigs, this film takes a look into the life of a child actor and his complicated relationship with his father. This film will make you laugh, cry, and cringe throughout. It tells both a heartwarming and somehow soul destroying story. I don’t want to ruin too much of the plot for you because I think it is best to go into this one blind.
I hope this list helps to make your weekend viewing choices easier!