StudioBinder’s guide to the best streaming movies and TV shows for cinephiles and filmmakers alike. We’ve collect the best content from Netflix, HBO, and Prime. This “What to Watch” list is updated monthly.
What to Watch on Netflix
A serial killer movie that keeps the gruesome bits to the bare minimum and focuses on the futile attempts to catch him doesn't work on paper. And, yet, there is something so absolutely captivating about David Fincher's Zodiac. Hands down one of Fincher's best movies.
The pacing in this movie is out of the world — days, weeks, and years fly by in this story but it never drags. The dialogue helps in this regard. Exposition, clues, witnesses, dates, locations are all delivered with very little regard for the audience. You either pay attention or get left behind. We don't even get that much character development...but we don't need it. We are here to solve a case and every rewatch gives you another chance to crack it.
Here's our breakdown of David Fincher's directing style. Make sure to watch the editing section where we discuss an interrogation scene from Zodiac and how Fincher uses editing to make us detectives.
For more, check out these must-watch Netflix movies.
What to Watch on Amazon Prime
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
Sure, the basic plot of Inside Llewyn Davis is the story of a down on his luck musician, but this movie is much deeper than that. There is thick layer of existential quandry on top of this nostalgic ode to the beatniks.
The Coen Brothers are known to dabble in the big questions but rarely do they provide answers. Llewyn Davis is no different. The music is heartbreaking and one cannot understate Oscar Isaac's performance of it. His ability to channel Llewyn's angst through sorrowful tunes should have nabbed him an Academy Award. Perhaps it's poetic irony that Isaac's performance would go unrecognized, just like Llewyn Davis.
For more, check out the best movies on Amazon.
What to Watch on HBO
Jojo Rabbit (2019)
Writer-director Taika Waititi has been making some of the best comedies out of uncomfortable situations for years. Making Nazis funny is a tall order but Waititi rose to the challenge and knocked it out of the park.
If you've seen Waititi's earlier work like Eagle vs. Shark, Boy, and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, you also know he's got a big heart. He brings this combination of humor and heart to Jojo Rabbit and he won an Oscar for his adapted screenplay. Jojo is an impressionable young man torn between ideology and common sense — it is a coming-of-age tale told with a heavey does of satire while still able to hit us right in the gut.
In this video, we explore the way Waititi weaves visual and story motifs throughout the film leading up to the film's dramatic climax. Watch the film first because we're dealing with massive spoilers.
For more, check out the best movies on HBO.
What to Watch on disney+
The Princess Bride (1987)
If you were a child of the '80s, chances are good Rob Reiner's The Princess Bride was high on your revolving movie playlist. If there was ever a movie constructed out of pure charm, it's this one.
Recently, Jason Reitman had the brilliant idea to remake The Princess Bride for a fundraiser. Using an unfathomable cast playing each scene from quarantine, the movie's charm has never been more evident. Growing up on fairy tales means we never truly lose our affection for them. Reiner's direction of William Goldman's screenplay will instantly take you back to a time when true love was uncomplicated, monsters existed, and evil was always vanquished.
Watch a segment from the remake below and don't deny that seeing this reenactment doesn't make you want to do the same.
For more, check out the best Disney Plus movies.
What to Watch on hulu
Booksmart is not just "Superbad with girls." Anyone who says that is grossly underestimating this movie. Don't get me wrong, Superbad is great for what it is. But Booksmart is amazing for it is with a shocking amount of heart that will guarantee to start the waterworks by the end.
Sure, it captures the well-worn "youth-to-adult" transition. The whole "last day of high school and we never did anything fun" thing has been done before. But not like this. There's a reason why this story has been told before — it happens to every single one of us. But not like this.
Olivia Wilde's directorial debut is happy, hilarious, ecstatic, heart-breaking, tragic, and nostalgic. The two leads (Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever) are oozing with chemistry. They handle the silliness and seriousness with equal acumen, and they give what might otherwise be just another run-of-the-mill teen comedy a life worth living.
For more, check out the best movies on Hulu.