Hit a streaming rut? You may be feeling the fatigue after a year and a half of watching films at home. But dig deeper and you’ll find some worthwhile films to spruce up the watchlist.
Here are a few hidden gems to watch on Netflix, HBO Max and Hulu.
Recently added to Netflix is the 1984 Walter Hill-directed rock musical “Streets of Fire,” starring Diane Lane, Willem Dafoe and Rick Moranis. Lane stars as the lead singer of Ellen Aim and the Attackers, singing (or lip syncing) soaring anthems composed by Jim Steinman, the songwriter behind some of the biggest rock ballads (“Total Eclipse of the Heart,” “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”).
Also on Netflix, enjoy the darker side of Robert Pattinson in his transformed turn in the Safdie Brothers’ crime thriller “Good Time,” which has the same chaotic energy as their film that followed this one, “Uncut Gems.” For something a bit more calming, Mike Mills’ “20th Century Women” starring Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning is a loving tribute to his mother and slice of life in 1970s Santa Barbara, Calif.
On HBO Max, Korean auteur Park Chan-Wook, in his only English language film, “Stoker,” brings his signature high style to this family thriller starring Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode. Also on the service is Miranda July’s latest film, the strange, funny and touching “Kajillionaire,” about a family of LA-based grifters, starring Evan Rachel Wood, Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger. Gina Rodriguez co-stars as a newcomer who represents a way out for Wood’s Old Dolio. Another tale of Los Angeles, family and money is Nicole Holofcener’s finely observed dramedy “Friends With Money,” starring Frances McDormand, Jennifer Aniston, Catherine Keener and Joan Cusack.
Dive into Hulu’s indie and doc channels and you’ll turn up real gems, including many titles from indie-darling distributors A24 and Neon.
On the doc side, don’t miss Raoul Peck’s stunning James Baldwin text “I Am Not Your Negro,” based on the towering intellectual’s unpublished manuscripts. Also catch the zippy, riveting doc “Mike Wallace Is Here” about the colorful career of the “60 Minutes” newsman. Another topical doc is last year’s “The Fight,” following four ACLU attorneys who make up the last defense in the fight for civil rights for all.
On the narrative side, check out Oren Moverman’s complex family drama “The Dinner” starring Richard Gere and Rebecca Hall. For lighter fare, a pair of rom-coms: the Keanu Reeves-Winona Ryder film “Destination Wedding,” or “Plus One,” starring Maya Erskine (of “Pen15”) and Jack Quaid. For more Park Chan-Wook, his operatic Korean revenge film “Lady Vengeance” is a violent visual feast. Finally, in the mood for epistolary period romances? Watch “Vita and Virginia,” inspired by the relationship between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, starring Elizabeth Debicki and Gemma Arterton.