Ranking the best streaming movies this month (January 2020)
Deciding what to watch on any streaming platform can be downright overwhelming, so let’s create a ranking of the best streaming movies arriving this month.
The vast majority of these titles will have just returned to streaming on New Year’s Day, with only some coming later in the month. They wouldn’t be on here if they weren’t well worth the wait.
Now presenting SNIPdaily’s ranking of the top 10 newly arrived or returning, highly recommended movies to stream this January.
10. Holes – Disney+
For the sake of variety in terms of streaming services and genre variety, let’s highlight a somewhat forgotten gem in Disney’s catalog.
Holes stars a young Shia LaBeouf as Stanley Yelnats, a falsely accused thief sent to a juvenile corrections camp in Texas. Novelist Louis Sachar penned the screenplay, and Sigourney Weaver and Jon Voight deliver great supporting performances.
9. The Goonies – Amazon Prime Video
One of the classics from the 1980s, this film served as a launching point for actors such as Josh Brolin and Sean Astin. It’s the ultimate young boys action-adventure comedy.
8. Eyes Wide Shut – Hulu
Stanley Kubrick’s final film is a little uneven compared to his other work, yet it’s extremely fascinating. Married in real life at the time, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman co-star in this disturbing drama that earns its ranking among the best streaming movies of the month beyond Kubrick’s name.
Eyes Wide Shut features explicit sexual content, strange secret society intrigue and occult symbolism. It’s a beautifully shot movie, but be prepared for something really strange.
This movie is unlike anything you’ve seen before. Even more interesting is to go into the rabbit holes of the Internet regarding the film’s conspiracy theories. Warning: it’s all very, very dark stuff.
7. Lethal Weapon – Starz
Mel Gibson shines as an unhinged, suicidal detective named Martin Riggs. His more pragmatic partner, Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover), helps create lots of comedy, dramatic depth and excellent chemistry.
6. Catch Me If You Can – Netflix
Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Frank Abagnale in this brilliant adaptation based on a true story. Frank is a young, charming con man who outwits the FBI at every turn.
Tom Hanks plays the FBI investigator tasked with hunting Frank down. Hanks and DiCaprio are electric on screen together. Oh, and this movie is directed by none other than Steven Spielberg.
5. The Master – Netflix
Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson has a highly eclectic filmography which probably doesn’t get enough appreciation. He’s on top form here with The Master, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams.
Phoenix plays a World War II Navy veteran dealing with PTSD. He gets sucked into a cult run by the charismatic Hoffman. Their scenes together are incredibly powerful.
Many top critics regarded The Master as 2012’s best film, so don’t miss it! This may be Phoenix’s finest hour, save for his recent, legendary turn in Joker.
4. The Talented Mr. Ripley – Netflix
Matt Damon is a good dude, right? Not so fast, people! In this 1999 thriller, Damon is Tom Ripley, a straight-up manipulator who’s hustling for odd jobs as a young man in 1950s New York City. He’s a con man, and convinces Herbert Greenleaf (James Rebhorn) to give him $1,000 to find his son Dickie (Jude Law) in Italy. Mr. Greenleaf believes Dickie and Tom attended Princeton together. Well, they didn’t.
Tom ends up overstaying his welcome in more ways than one as he snakes into the lives of Dickie and his lady Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow). Dickie and Tom are great friends initially, sure, but that changes in a big way. No spoilers here, but it’s so dark.
Great jazz music populates the movie, as does a perpetually beautiful backdrop and electric performances from all these young actors. Those elements, along with an engrossing but disturbing story, combine The Talented Mr. Ripley ripple with energy.
3. Pulp Fiction – Starz
A nonlinear narrative with multiple plot lines and impeccable, juicy dialogue for an incredible ensemble cast make Pulp Fiction an absolute classic.
This was only Quentin Tarantino’s second feature film as a director. It doesn’t show, because he defied convention with his script, and won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay with co-writer Roger Avary.
2. No Country for Old Men – Starz
Coen brothers movies don’t always work for me, but No Country for Old Men is undeniably brilliant. Javier Bardem delivers one of cinema’s most menacing villainous performances, and it’s worth seeing for that alone.
Add in the fact that Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson and Tommy Lee Jones are along for the party too, and this is a must-see crime thriller. No Country for Old Men won Best Picture at the 80th Academy Awards.
Note: all these Starz movies can be accessed via premium add-on through Hulu.
1. Inception – Netflix
Rather than dig for another Oscar Best Picture winner, I opted to go less conventional, and in that spirit, with Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic.
Nolan created a fascinating heist thriller revolving around dreams. Since he has another trippy-looking, original film opening this coming summer in Tenet, it’s worth reacquainting yourself with his most mind-boggling movie to date.
I’m a sci-fi geek, so if ranking Inception as the best among streaming movies this month over multiple Best Picture winners is wrong, I don’t want to be right!
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