Check out my picks for the best things coming to Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, Criterion Channel, and HBOMax in October. This month offers up a lot of great options, but the highlights include some of the most intriguing and exciting titles of 2020, which at this point are few and far between.
Full list of everything coming to Netflix in October can be found here.
CAPE FEAR (Martin Scorsese, 1991)
- One of Martin Scorsese’s most underrated movies and a top-tier Robert De Niro performance.
CAROL (Todd Haynes, 2015)
- Todd Hayne’s beautiful, heartbreaking forbidden love story features career best work from Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.
DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD (Kirsten Johnson, 2020)
- Tons of buzz swirled around this one at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, as this documentary looks at a daughter helping her father prepare for the end of his life.
FARGO (The Coen Brothers, 1996)
- A Coen Brother masterpiece with a masterful screenplay and iconic performance from Frances McDormand.
THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANNER (Mike Flanagan, 2020)
- The follow-up series to Mike Flanigan’s brilliant The Haunting of Hill House looks just as scary and twisted.
HUBIE HALLOWEEN (Steven Brill, 2020)
- I love Adam Sandler in any form and though this looks the film Sandler threatened to make if he didn’t get an Oscar nomination for Uncut Gems (he didn’t), I’m still going to give it a watch.
HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE (Taika Waititi, 2016)
- Director Taika Waititi’s breakout is a sweet and hilarious adventure film.
MONEYBALL (Bennett Miller, 2011)
- One of the best movies of the 2010’s and Brad Pitt’s best performance to date.
PARANORMAN (Chris Butler, Sam Fell, 2012)
- A true stunner from the great team over at Laika.
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (Aaron Sorkin, 2020)
- Aaron Sorkin wrote and directed this true account of the trial stemming from various charges surrounding the uprising at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. It is one of the best movies of the year.
Full list of everything coming to Prime Video in October can be found here.
A KNIGHT’S TALE (Brian Helgeland, 2001)
- A rockstar performance by Heath Ledger leads this wildly entertaining film.
THE DEPARTED (Martin Scorsese, 2006)
- Martin Scorsese won his sole Best Director Oscar for this cat-and-mouse cop thriller.
MUD (Jeff Nichols, 2013)
- Matthew McConaughey is excellent in Jeff Nichols’ tale of two boys who encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail.
THE PIANIST (Roman Polanski, 2002)
- A harrowing Holocaust film led by Adrian Brody’s Oscar-winning performance.
QUANTUM OF SOLACE (Marc Forster, 2008)
- On the lower end of the Daniel Craig-led Bond films, but still an entertaining entry in the franchise.
RAGING BULL (Martin Scorsese, 1980)
- Robert De Niro gives the greatest performance I have ever seen on film in Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece about boxer Jake LaMotta.
SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU (Richard Tanne, 2016)
- A charming account of the first date between former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
TERMINATOR: DARK FATE (Tim Miller, 2019)
- The best Terminator film since T2.
TIME (Garrett Bradley, 2020)
- Another documentary that got a lot of buzz of out this year’s Sundance Film Festival, this one looking a woman who is fighting for the release of her husband, Rob, who is serving a 60-year sentence in prison.
Full list of everything coming to Hulu in September can be found here.
A BEAUTIFUL MIND (Ron Howard, 2001)
- This biopic of mathematician John Nash won four Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director for Ron Howard, Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Connolly, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
BAD HAIR (Justin Simien, 2020)
- Justin Simien’s cultural satire about a haunted weave.
BLADE/BLADE II/BLADE TRINITY (Stephen Norrington, 1998/Guillermo Del Toro, 2002/ David S. Goyer, 2004)
- Wesley Snipes is iconic as the half man/half vampire superhero.
DEEP BLUE SEA (Renny Harlin, 1999)
- Some good ol’ fashion 90’s shark attacks.
GOOD HAIR (Jeff Stilson, 2009)
- Chris Rock takes us on an insightful journey about the wonders of African-American hairstyles.
THE HURT LOCKER (Kathryn Bigelow, 2009)
- Kathryn Bigelow’s became the first woman to win Best Director for her incredible intense war film.
SCREAM 4 (Wes Craven, 2011)
- Shame the first three aren’t available here, but Scream 4 is an excellent entry in one of the best entries in a great horror franchise.
SNAKES ON A PLANE (David R. Ellis, 2006)
- A camp classic with a locked-in Samuel L. Jackson.
SUPERBAD (Greg Mottola, 2007)
- One of the funniest comedies of the 2000’s.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S ROMEO + JULIET (Baz Luhrmann’s, 1996)
- Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Dane’s became stars in Baz Luhrmann’s wild interpretation of the iconic story.
Full list of everything coming to Disney+ in October can be found here.
MALEFICENT (Robert Stromberg, 2014)
- The movie itself might not be great, but Angelina Jolie is perfect for the part.
THE MANDALORIAN (SEASON 2) (Jon Favreau, 2020)
- The Emmy-winning show is back with more space adventures and Baby Yoda.
THE RIGHT STUFF (SEASON 1) (Various, 2020)
- Based on the Oscar-winning film, I am excited to see how this show turns out.
X2 (Bryan Singer, 2003)
- The best X-Men movie to date.
Full list of everything coming to Criterion Channel in October can be found here.
*The Criterion Channel does things a little differently than every other streaming service. The Criterion Channel, a wonderful streaming service that focuses on independent, foreign, and under-appreciates movies, doesn’t just throw a bunch of random movies to stream. They get more creative by having categories like “DOUBLE FEATURES” or “FILMS FROM…”, giving us curated lists of films that somehow blend together or feature a specific artist.*
DOUBLE FEATURE – PRYING ODDS
PEEPING TOM (Michael Powell, 1960)
ODD OBSESSION (Kon Ichikawa, 1959)
- Two eerie, controversial films looking at voyeurism and obsession.
DOUBLE FEATURE – TWISTED SISTERS
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? (Robert Aldrich, 1962)
SISTERS (Brian De Palma, 1972)
- A perfect double bill for the Halloween season, with Baby Jane looking at a former child star tormenting her paraplegic sister, and Sisters being director Brian De Palma’s twisted look at the relationship that forms between a fashion model, her former conjoined twin, and a hotshot reporter who suspects the latter of murder.
DOUBLE FEATURE – WOMAN ON THE EDGE
CHRISTINE (Antonio Campos, 2016)
KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE (Robert Greene, 2016)
- Two films, one a narrative featuring a masterful performance by Rebecca Hall, the other being an unconventional documentary, that look at Florida newscaster Christine Chubbuck, who in 1974 committed suicide on national television.
DOUBLE FEATURE – TWICE BITTEN
NOSFERATU (F.W. Murnau, 1922)
NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE (Werner Herzog, 1979)
- The original is a vampire classic, the other is a stellar Werner Herzog reimagining.
SHORT + FEATURE
INFLUENZA (Bong Joon Ho, 2004) + CACHÉ (Michael Haneke, 2005)
- Two eerie films from masters Bong Joon Ho and Michael Haneke.
SHORT + FEATURE
IT’S NOT JUST YOU, MURRAY! (Martin Scorsese, 1964) + THE PUBLIC ENEMY (William A. Wellman, 1931)
- One of Martin Scorsese’s earliest short films paired with one of the greatest gangster movies ever made is a perfect double feature.
– A showcase for 70’s horror films, featuring classics like The Wicker Man, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Crazies, and The Hills Have Eyes.
- Trog, Freddie Francis, 1970
- The Vampire Lovers, Roy Ward Baker, 1970
- Daughters of Darkness, Harry Kümel, 1971
- Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, John D. Hancock, 1971
- The Nightcomers, Michael Winner, 1971
- Dracula A.D. 1972, Alan Gibson, 1972
- Images, Robert Altman, 1972
- Death Line, Gary Sherman, 1972
- Season of the Witch, George A. Romero, 1972
- The Crazies, George A. Romero, 1973
- Don’t Look Now, Nicolas Roeg, 1973
- Ganja & Hess, Bill Gunn, 1973
- Sisters, Brian De Palma, 1973
- Theater of Blood, Douglas Hickox, 1973
- The Wicker Man, Robin Hardy, 1973
- Black Christmas, Bob Clark, 1974
- Deathdream, Bob Clark, 1974
- It’s Alive, Larry Cohen, 1974
- The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Tobe Hooper, 1974
- Shivers, David Cronenberg, 1975
- The Tenant, Roman Polanski, 1976
- The Witch Who Came from the Sea, Matt Cimber, 1976
- The Hills Have Eyes, Wes Craven, 1977
- Rabid, David Cronenberg, 1977
- Coma, Michael Crichton, 1978
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Philip Kaufman, 1978
- Long Weekend, Colin Eggleston, 1978
- The Brood, David Cronenberg, 1979
- The Driller Killer, Abel Ferrara, 1979
WATCHING THE POLLS
– Six politically-focused movies to watch before next month’s elections.
- Primary, Robert Drew, 1960
- The Best Man, Franklin J. Schaffner, 1964
- Shampoo, Hal Ashby, 1975
- The Last Party, Mark Benjamin and Marc Levin, 1993
- The War Room, Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker, 1993
- Election, Alexander Payne, 1999
NEW KOREAN CINEMA
– One of the most exciting film movements of the last thirty years, New Korean Cinema features a number of great, brilliantly made films from filmmakers like Bong Joon Ho and Park Chan-wook.
- Nowhere to Hide, Lee Myung-se, 1999
- Barking Dogs Never Bite, Bong Joon Ho, 2000
- The Foul King, Kim Jee-woon, 2000
- Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Park Chan-wook, 2002
- A Tale of Two Sisters, Kim Jee-woon, 2003
- Crying Fist, Ryoo Seung-wan, 2005
- Lady Vengeance, Park Chan-wook, 2005
- The Host, Bong Joon Ho, 2006
- Mother, Bong Joon Ho, 2009
STARRING JOAN CRAWFORD
– A plethora of films from a screen icon.
- The Unknown, Tod Browning, 1927
- Our Dancing Daughters, Harry Beaumont, 1928
- Our Modern Maidens, Jack Conway, 1929
- Possessed, Clarence Brown, 1931
- Grand Hotel, Edmund Goulding, 1932
- Dancing Lady, Robert Z. Leonard, 1933
- Sadie McKee, Clarence Brown, 1934
- Love on the Run, W. S. Van Dyke, 1936
- The Last of Mrs. Cheyney, Richard Boleslawski, Dorothy Arzner, and George Fitzmaurice, 1937
- Mannequin, Frank Borzage, 1937
- The Women, George Cukor, 1939
- Strange Cargo, Frank Borzage, 1940
- A Woman’s Face, George Cukor, 1941
- Above Suspicion, Richard Thorpe, 1943
- Mildred Pierce, Michael Curtiz, 1945
- Humoresque, Jean Negulesco, 1946
- Possessed, Curtis Bernhardt, 1947
- The Damned Don’t Cry, Vincent Sherman, 1950
- Harriet Craig, Vincent Sherman, 1950
- Sudden Fear, David Miller, 1952
- Queen Bee, Ranald MacDougall, 1955
- Autumn Leaves, Robert Aldrich, 1956
- What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Robert Aldrich, 1962
- Strait-Jacket, William Castle, 1964
- Trog, Freddie Francis, 1970
CAT PEOPLE (Jacques Tourneur, 1942)
- A horror classic from the 1940’s.
VIDEODROME (David Cronenberg, 1983)
- One of the David Cronenberg’s best films.
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN (Lynn Ramsey, 2011)
- Lynn Ramsey’s deeply disturbing look at a mother struggling to love her increasingly dangerous son is one of the best directed movies of 2010’s.
Full list of everything coming to HBOMax in August can be found here.
AUSTIN POWERS: INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY/AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME (Jay Roach, 1997/1999)
- Austin Powers is one of my favorite movie characters ever and the first two films are classic.
BOOGIE NIGHTS (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1997)
- Paul Thomas Anderson’s breakout is an epic look at the porn industry in the 1970’s.
CHARM CITY KINGS (Angel Manuel Soto, 2020)
- One of the most hyped movies out of Sundance this year follows a young Black kid an who wants to join an infamous group of Baltimore dirt-bike riders who rule the summertime streets.
DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA (Spike Lee, 2020)
- A semi-sequel to Jonathon Demme’s Stop Making Sense, Spike Lee’s concert documentary of the great David Byrne’s latest concert.
FRIDAY/NEXT FRIDAY/THE FRIDAY AFTER NEXT (F. Gary Gray, 1995/Steve Carr, 2000/Marcus Raboy, 2002)
- Though they decrease in quality each film, these are great movies and underrated in terms of their place as a great stoner trilogy.
GALAXY QUEST (Dean Parisot, 1999)
- A great ensemble led by Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and Alan Rickman leads this sci-fi comedy.
LETHAL WEAPON/LETHAL WEAPON 2/LETHAL WEAPON 3/LETHAL WEAPON 4 (Richard Donner, 1987/1989/1992/1998)
- A legendary action series.
MALCOLM X (Spike Lee, 1993)
- Spike Lee’s sprawling epic about the legendary civil rights leader features Denzel Washington in one of cinema’s finest performances.
THE MATRIX/THE MATRIX RELOADED/THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS (The Wachowski’s, 1999/2003)
- The first film is a classic and the next two films are visually stunning and interesting enough to make this a great trilogy.
NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS (Eliza Hittman, 2020)
- This raw, unflinching look at a teenager looking to get an abortion is one of the best movies of 2020.
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