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What Movie Should You Stream this Weekend? Replay Our Live Chat with Our Critics' Suggestions

It happens every weekend: You decide you're in the mood to watch a movie and then, as you sit down to scan your streaming choices, the overwhelming enormity of the decision hits you: Through Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Hulu, and the other streaming options, you can choose what to see from, oh, just about every movie EVER MADE! Unless you have something specific in mind, the various services' recommendations are usually of little help, presenting you with a list of obvious (or inexplicable) choices that you've either already seen or have no context to figure out whether they're any good. Don't you wish someone could save you from panicking and just rewatching something familiar? Help is here! Right now, our movie critics, David Edelstein and Bilge Ebiri, are online in the below live chat for a one-hour session with readers to help pick the perfect movie for you. (UPDATE: The chat is over, but you can read it below and the suggestions will work just as well!)

So fire away: In the module below, just type in what kind of movie you're in the mood for ("I want a gritty 70s movie, but I've seen all the usual suspects," or "My partner and I want to curl up with a romantic comedy we haven't seen"), and they'll help out as many of you as they can with some inspired critic-approved choices to satisfy you. They'll also tell you where it's available, whether on a subscription service like Netflix or as a rental on Amazon or iTunes. You might not only get your evening's plans, but by the end of the chat, you will have enough great suggestions to fill up all your queues and last you the rest of the year. (Quick caveat: This will not be a forum to debate movies with them, this is all about serving as many people's entertainment needs as possible. Consider them your virtual video clerk!)

 Ask Vulture's Movie Critics What Film to Stream(01/24/2014) 
3:02
David Edelstein: 
Hi Bilge. There are many movies to see in theaters, but my tolerance for the cold is low. And by the way, I suffered through I, Frankenstein last night in Bay Ridge. The movie was bad enough, but the theater was unheated and I wore more layers than Frankenstein. Let's stream, baby.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:02 David Edelstein
3:03
[Comment From NathanielNathaniel: ] 
My girlfriend loves horror/scary films. I cannot deal with them. What are we going to watch tonight??
Friday January 24, 2014 3:03 Nathaniel
3:03
Bilge Ebiri: 
I can't WAIT to see I, FRANKENSTEIN, It sounds terrible, maybe even terrible/awesome. Welcome, David. And here's our first question!
Friday January 24, 2014 3:03 Bilge Ebiri
3:06
Bilge Ebiri: 
Hi Nathaniel, a good one you may want to consider is THE CHANGELING, starring George C. Scott. It's from 1980 -- a classic, so it's not too gory. But it's quite intense. I think/hope you will both enjoy it. It's available on Google Play for $2.99.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:06 Bilge Ebiri
3:06
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
I wanted to watch something that's kindda' like 21 and Over or This is the End, but I feel like I've seen most of what I know is out there. Also, I love Holy Motors, can you recommend something else very 'visual' like that?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:06 Guest
3:09
David Edelstein: 
A teen movie of unusual depth and power is The Spectacular Now, starring the wonderful Miles Teller as an increasingly alcoholic senior and Shailene Woodley as the innocent who falls for him. The studio apparently cut some darker scenes from the novel that were shot, but the scenes between the two teens are exquisite, and Kyle Chandler shows up near the end as Teller's father. And do you know Song for Zula by Phosphorescent? Such a moving song and it runs over the credits... perfect.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:09 David Edelstein
3:10
Bilge Ebiri: 
If you love HOLY MOTORS, consider seeing an earlier film by the same director, Leos Carax, called BOY MEETS GIRL. It's actually on YouTube.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:10 Bilge Ebiri
3:11
[Comment From ImaniImani: ] 
I'm in desperate need of a documentary that's good but won't leave me huddled in a corner (I'm looking at you "Blackfish"). Suggestions?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:11 Imani
3:13
David Edelstein: 
Twenty Feet From Stardom is one of the best movies of the year. Oh, God, it's great. It's the saga of under sung back-up singers like Darlene Love and Merry Clayton--and it works as a portrait of racial inequality, as a series of profiles of amazing talents, and a wowza series of numbers in extended period clips. See it NOW!!!!
Friday January 24, 2014 3:13 David Edelstein
3:13
[Comment From ZorakZorak: ] 
Last weekend involved a marathon of BBC’s Sherlock, with some of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original tales sprinkled in. What’s a good darkly comic detective yarn for this cold January day? I watch a lot of movies, so the deeper the cut, the better.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:13 Zorak
3:14
Bilge Ebiri: 
A really great Sherlock Holmes film -- very funny, very touching -- is Billy Wilder's THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. It's on iTunes or Youtube or Google Play.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:14 Bilge Ebiri
3:14
[Comment From ArtArt: ] 
What's the best movie to stream featuring a monkey sidekick?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:14 Art
3:15
David Edelstein: 
George R. Romero's Moneyshines is his most underrated movie and I love it. A guy who can't move after an accident gets a monkey sidekick--which begins to carry out his darkest impulses. It's like the Id Monster in Forbidden Planet and he can't control. And he has one of those hell mothers you want to see ripped to shreds.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:15 David Edelstein
3:15
[Comment From KateKate: ] 
They've taken 'When Harry Met Sally' off of Netflix. Can you recommend a similar banter-heavy, they hate each other/they love each other, Ephron-y romantic comedy to watch?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:15 Kate
3:16
Bilge Ebiri: 
SPECTACULAR NOW btw is pretty much everywhere -- ITunes, Amazon, Google, Youtube, etc.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:16 Bilge Ebiri
3:17
David Edelstein: 
Sandra Bullock won an Academy Award for the wrong movie the year The Blind Side came out. See The Proposal where she and Ryan Reynolds have to fake being a couple so horrible magazine editor Sandra can get her green card. I know it sounds contrived but it's so deft and funny. Reaching further back, my favorite film of all time is Preston Sturges's The Lady Eve, in which Barbara Stanwyck shows Henry Fonda that women are not as good as they hope but not as bad as they fear. Something like that--profound.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:17 David Edelstein
3:18
David Edelstein: 
Proposal is on iTunes for rental, The Lady Eve is on Amazon--and on Netflix.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:18 David Edelstein
3:19
[Comment From CapflyCapfly: ] 
I love foreign labguage movies, but I feel I've already seen the best movies from the few directors I know and really like (Kar Wai Wong, Godard, Yimou Zhang & Guillermo Del Toro). What great foreign flics might I have missed?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:19 Capfly
3:21
Bilge Ebiri: 
Two great foreign films you might have missed -- Alain Resnais's YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHIN' YET came out last year and was totally overlooked. It's on Netflix right now. Also, another obscurish one -- Bernardo Bertolucci's THE SPIDER'S STRATAGEM. One of the greatest of all films. Not available on DVD, but it IS on YouTube. You should totally see it.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:21 Bilge Ebiri
3:21
[Comment From JenniferJennifer: ] 
I totally love mindfuck movies. Like Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Fight Club, Inception, etc. Any ideas?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:21 Jennifer
3:21
David Edelstein: 
Shane Carruth's recent Upstream Color (on Netflix) and Primer could keep you busy for, like, years. Upstream is incomprehensible but so damn beautiful you won't care. And I love Amy Steinmetz.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:21 David Edelstein
3:24
Bilge Ebiri: 
Fellini's AMARCORD is a great movie about families. It's available on the Criterion Collection, and you can watch it via Hulu Plus and iTunes.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:24 Bilge Ebiri
3:25
Bilge Ebiri: 
That last answer btw was to the person who wrote in asking about family movies.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:25 Bilge Ebiri
3:25
David Edelstein: 
Paul Mazursky's Down and Out in Beverly Hills has dropped out of sight. It was a fun eighties fish out of water movie based on Renoir's Boudu Saved From Drowning--about a tramp (Nick Nolte) who invades the lives of a Beverly Hills family (Ricahrd Dreyfus, Bette Midler, Tracy Nelson).
Friday January 24, 2014 3:25 David Edelstein
3:25
[Comment From MarkMark: ] 
Any good political/crime Thriller recommendations? I feel like everything out right now is pretty standard/cookie-cutter
Friday January 24, 2014 3:25 Mark
3:28
David Edelstein: 
Alan Pakula's Parallax View with Warren Beatty is like the ur conspiracy movie. Very, very bleak and it will haunt you. From the same era, I love Arthur Penn's grim Night Moves, another labyrinth of despair with the great Gene Hackman and a young Melanie Griffith.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:28 David Edelstein
3:28
[Comment From CapflyCapfly: ] 
I love sweet (sometimes sad) small budget movies with a lot of heart, like Safety Not Guaranteed, Whip It, Sleepwalk With Me, Your Sister's Sister, Lost in Translation, etc. What is your favorite in the genre?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:28 Capfly
3:29
David Edelstein: 
Coasta-Gavras's Z is on Hulu--a classic depiction of a society so corrupt that you can hardly get to the bottom of it. The Greek version of Chris Christie's New Jersey.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:29 David Edelstein
3:30
Bilge Ebiri: 
Capfly -- While I wouldn't exactly call these "favorites," I'd recommend HUMPDAY (which is on Amazon streaming) and THE PUFFY CHAIR (which is on Hulu). They're very much in the same vein as the films you mentioned.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:30 Bilge Ebiri
3:30
David Edelstein: 
The Core is a yummy B-movie. Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Stanley Tucci (as an egomaniac scientist) and others ride a giant drill to the center of the Earth to stop... something or other. The deaths are pretty moving, actually.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:30 David Edelstein
3:30
[Comment From JamesJames: ] 
I'm into the disaster genre, esp the over the top stuff. It's not even a guilty pleasure. I like them! I love the big blockbusters like 2012 and the like. But, what are some of the hidden gem disaster movies?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:30 James
3:31
David Edelstein: 
whoops, wrote the answer before James's question popped up. Stay tuned.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:31 David Edelstein
3:31
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
I love dark comedies. Rec any movies on netflix?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:31 Guest
3:32
Bilge Ebiri: 
A very good, very underrated dark comedy from recent years is THE ICE HARVEST. Starring John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton. It's on Netflix.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:32 Bilge Ebiri
3:32
David Edelstein: 
Bilge, I like The Ice Harvest, too--from a very, very good novel by Scott Phillips.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:32 David Edelstein
3:33
[Comment From IanIan: ] 
What's a good movie about musicians that I may not know about?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:33 Ian
3:34
David Edelstein: 
Very few people saw David Chases's Not Fade Away about a young guy who loves the Stones and forms a group in the 60s--it's hopeful but suffused with melancholy and sexual confusion. Good soundtrack!
Friday January 24, 2014 3:34 David Edelstein
3:35
David Edelstein: 
Not Fade Away is on Netflix.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:35 David Edelstein
3:35
[Comment From Julia.Julia.: ] 
I want a good action movie with solid quips and a good star - Die Hard-style, but maybe a little less well-known. Thoughts?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:35 Julia.
3:36
Bilge Ebiri: 
A pretty cool and underrated action movie with awesome quips from recent years is LOCKOUT, with Guy Pearce, better known among my friends and me as "SPACE JAIL." It's basically DIE HARD in space. It's on Netflix.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:36 Bilge Ebiri
3:37
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
i'm in the mood for a good scifi movie or tv show. i would like for it to include time travel and, of course, aliens.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:37 Guest
3:38
David Edelstein: 
Dr. Who is worth getting an addiction for. My 11-year-old daughter is obsessed with it now. You can start with the "reboot" with Christopher Eccleston and move on to David Tennant and Matt Smith. Once you accept the cheesiness, you'll be in orbit. And the sidekicks are always dishy. It's all on Netflix!
Friday January 24, 2014 3:38 David Edelstein
3:38
[Comment From LukeLuke: ] 
I'm a guy but I like romantic movies - particularly the ones that are a little bit bitter or have sadder endings. Thinking along the lines of 500 Days of Summer. Any recommendations?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:38 Luke
3:39
David Edelstein: 
The Time Travelers Wife with Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams is everywhere. It was much underrated. So sad. A guy getting sucked into different times, leaving his wife behind, his likely death foreshadowed. Oh Cruel Fates!
Friday January 24, 2014 3:39 David Edelstein
3:41
[Comment From chilledplumchilledplum: ] 
Currently devouring high-school/college ensemble films a la Dazed and Confused and American Graffiti. Any similar titles I should check out?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:41 chilledplum
3:42
Bilge Ebiri: 
Chilledplum -- so, I have a slightly left-field answer for you. It's called BLAME IT ON FIDEL, and it's a French film about a protest in a high school. Very funny and poignant, and playful. I highly recommend it. It's on Netflix.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:42 Bilge Ebiri
3:42
[Comment From JulieJulie: ] 
Dark Comedy like "Heathers" or "Grosse Pointe Blank"
Friday January 24, 2014 3:42 Julie
3:42
David Edelstein: 
Shane Black's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang relaunched Robert Downey Jr.--and Black. Nobody saw it at the time but it's a tongue-in-cheek noir AND exciting thriller AND a weird comedy, with a good insane Val Kiler turn as a gumshoe. Michelle Monaghan is a cutie, too. Good to see her on True Detective.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:42 David Edelstein
3:43
David Edelstein: 
Kiss Kiss is everywhere to stream, by the way
Friday January 24, 2014 3:43 David Edelstein
3:43
[Comment From davissadavissa: ] 
Want to say this is an amazing idea & I admire you both so much. Alright, I tripped into watching Mean Streets the other night and have become newly Harvey Keitel obsessed, best recs?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:43 davissa
3:45
Bilge Ebiri: 
Thank you Davissa! So, here are some Harvey Keitel movies you should watch: BAD LIEUTENANT on Netflix and Hulu. And THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST, on Netflix and Hulu. He got a lot of grief for his performance in the latter, but I actually think it's one of the greatest perfs I've ever seen. (And we would have recommended FINGERS, but that doesn't seem to be streaming anywhere.)
Friday January 24, 2014 3:45 Bilge Ebiri
3:45
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Any overlooked/underrated classic musicals?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:45 Guest
3:45
David Edelstein: 
Bad Lieutenant is a terrible movie but it has one scene in which Keitel stops some girls in a car and basically tortures them that is among the most amazing I've ever seen. It is Keitel at his peak.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:45 David Edelstein
3:46
David Edelstein: 
Obviously Bad Lieutenant is not a musical. I was replying to the question above. It MIGHT make a good musical, come to think of it.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:46 David Edelstein
3:48
David Edelstein: 
It's Always Fair Weather is sometimes regarded as a very dark sequel to Singin' in the Rain. Gene Kelly is in it and Stanley Donan directed. It's streaming in iTunes, Google, and you can rent it from YouTube.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:48 David Edelstein
3:48
[Comment From Shawn in BrooklandShawn in Brookland: ] 
Any recommendations in the old school Film Noir genre? Preferably with some scenery chewing.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:48 Shawn in Brookland
3:50
Bilge Ebiri: 
So, two great noirs for you, both with some really BIG, great performances. IN A LONELY PLACE, which you can find on Crackle. And then GUN CRAZY from 1950, which is on iTunes, Google, and YouTube. (And if you can go old school with a DVD or Blu-ray, be sure to catch SHACK OUT ON 101, which has a Lee Marvin performance for the ages.)
Friday January 24, 2014 3:50 Bilge Ebiri
3:50
David Edelstein: 
Peggy Cummings loves her some guns. An NRA wet dream!
Friday January 24, 2014 3:50 David Edelstein
3:50
David Edelstein: 
Gun Crazy, I mean.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:50 David Edelstein
3:51
[Comment From JulieJulie: ] 
My favorite movie of all time is Dave, starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver. Do you have any suggestions matching feel-good, smart, well-casted films like that?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:51 Julie
3:52
David Edelstein: 
If you're into Kevin Kline, you can't do better than the farce A Fish Called Wanda. Of course John Cleese can't top the perfection of Fawlty Towers at feature length, but the thing is marvelously built, racy, irreverent, and even romantic. Kline is at his most theatrical and unhinged--not too sweet.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:52 David Edelstein
3:52
[Comment From JeremyJeremy: ] 
A smart film about Americans abroad like Cairo Time or The Loneliest Planet or 2 Days in Paris?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:52 Jeremy
3:53
David Edelstein: 
Fish Called Wanda is on Netflix, by the way.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:53 David Edelstein
3:53
David Edelstein: 
We only have time for a couple more--my heart is racing so I'm relieved.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:53 David Edelstein
3:53
Bilge Ebiri: 
Jeremy -- One of my favorite films of all time is the ur-text of Americans-abroad stories: Bertolucci's THE SHELTERING SKY, starring John Malkovich & Debra Winger. Best seen on a big screen of course (to take in the gorgeous cinematography) but you can catch it on iTunes, Google & Youtube.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:53 Bilge Ebiri
3:54
[Comment From gaétangaétan: ] 
I'm looking for a thriller with a good script and amazing twist(s), like The Game, Se7en, Zodiac or Prisoners. A movie that you think about days after watching it. Any idea ?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:54 gaétan
3:55
Bilge Ebiri: 
gaetan -- have you seen UNBREAKABLE? M. Night Shyamalan doesn't get much love nowadays (with some good reason), but this is probably his best film -- very gripping, with a totally amazing twist. It's available to stream via Amazon.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:55 Bilge Ebiri
3:56
David Edelstein: 
The Yorksire-set Red Riding Trilogy--1974, 1980, 1983--will haunt you for the rest of your life even if, like me, you can't figure out what happened. (I read the FOUR novels it's based on and still didn't know what was happening.) If you like layer upon layer of corruption and nearly impenetrable accents, go for it.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:56 David Edelstein
3:56
[Comment From SallySally: ] 
I'm looking for some under the radar documentaries. I just saw For the Love of Movies - The Story of American Film Criticism, and it changed my life. I also have the recently Oscar nominated film The Act of Killing on my Netflix list ready to watch.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:56 Sally
3:58
Bilge Ebiri: 
Sally - two under-the-radar docs for you. Errol Morris's THE GATES OF HEAVEN, about a pet cemetery, is beautiful & bizarre & brilliant & essential & available on Hulu Plus. Then there's Ross McElwee's amazing personal doc about tobacco, the south, family, and movies, called BRIGHT LEAVES, which is on Netflix. Both are amazing.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:58 Bilge Ebiri
3:59
David Edelstein: 
Rachel Boynton's Our Brand is Crisis is one of the most profound political docs I've ever seen--a tragedy centering on American political consultants (James Carville's firm) that help get the wrong man elected president. Tragedy follows swiftly. It's on iTunes.
Friday January 24, 2014 3:59 David Edelstein
3:59
[Comment From justinwadejustinwade: ] 
I've been digging 80's and 90's Australian Films like MURIEL'S WEDDING and STRICTLY BALLROOM. Any suggestions?
Friday January 24, 2014 3:59 justinwade
4:01
Bilge Ebiri: 
So, there are some really great Australian films you should check out. One of my favorite films is Gillian Armstrong's coming-of-age story HIGH TIDE, starring Judy Davis. it's on Vudu. It's a bit darker than the films you mention, but I think you'll dig it.
Friday January 24, 2014 4:01 Bilge Ebiri
4:01
[Comment From markmark: ] 
This is incredibly specific and maybe not in the exact vein of what this is intended to achieve, but I need to know if I should watch THE LONE RANGER or not. (The new one, obvs.) I have heard very mixed things and am torn as to whether to spend the $4.99 to rent it on VOD.
Friday January 24, 2014 4:01 mark
4:03
David Edelstein: 
We weren't SUPPOSED to take specific questions but I'll answer that: I dunno. Its ambitions are so high and its achievement is so variable. Imagine Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee remade as a Disney thrill ride. It doesn't begin to gel but it's like nothing you've ever seen. Mad at that wishy-washy answer? I hope not. You might have your own unique response.
Friday January 24, 2014 4:03 David Edelstein
4:04
David Edelstein: 
Thanks everybody. I hope we gave you SOMETHING to do this weekend besides drink and surf the web.
Friday January 24, 2014 4:04 David Edelstein
4:04
Bilge Ebiri: 
Alright, guys, that was our last question. I know we couldn't get to everybody's questions, but we hope this was as fun for you as it was for us. Thanks!
Friday January 24, 2014 4:04 Bilge Ebiri
4:04