BY: THE DIFF EDITORIAL TEAM
Our monthly streaming rec series returns with a brand new name: The DIFFinitive Streaming Guide. This time, we’re covering not just Netflix, we’re doing it all. Here are the best movies/TV shows on streaming this month, approved and recommended by our amazing editorial writers.
Gabriel – Anne with an E (2017)
Anne with an E left me speechless, heartbroken, and ecstatic within just the first episode. If you feel a love for the world and are compelled by boundless curiosity to explore it, Anne with an E is the show for you. If you need to escape from reality and sink into a story about an imaginative, ambitious 13-year-old girl in the late 1890s Canada who takes on the world with only her love of books and her love of talking, Anne with an E is for you. If you want to sip hot coffee cradled in a warm blanket while pretending the world isn’t falling apart, Anne with an E is for you. If you’ve been overloaded with work and need a hug, Anne with an E is for you, because when you see Anne change the world, you can’t help but feel inspired. Not to mention the cinematography has NO RIGHT to be so good when you consider that the writing is already PERFECT. One of the most underrated shows on Netflix but it’s a show everyone should watch, and a story anyone can relate to.
Rett – Fargo (1996)
Directed by the critically acclaimed Coen Brothers, Fargo remains one of the greatest black comedies and thrillers ever made. Fargo stars Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, and Steve Buscemi and tells the tale of a man who hires two thugs to arrange a kidnapping of his wife to receive the ransom money to pay off his debts. Things quickly go south when a highway patrol officer is shot and a small-town police chief begins to investigate the case. Fargo was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won two (Best Actress for Frances McDormand and Best Original Screenplay). Fargo is a film that will keep you on the edge of your seat while also showing you the absurdness of small towns in the midwestern USA.
Sofia – Her (2013)
Her is a critically acclaimed science fiction movie that delves into an unconventional romance. The movie follows Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix): a sensitive, clever man that just went through a painful divorce. He installs a new operating system in which he meets the program “Samantha” (Scarlett Johansson) and falls in love. This film has captivated audiences due to its incredible Academy Award-winning script written by Spike Jonze, its outstanding performances, and its thought-provoking premise.
Olivia – Dark (2017)
Dark is a German mystery show, now with 3 seasons, which began airing in 2017. The story is set in the town of Winden as two children go missing, mirroring a similar crime that occurred exactly 33 years ago. Though certainly not a horror story, Dark’s atmosphere lapses into the chilling territory. The show’s sleek cinematograph and epiphanic storytelling draw you in, and the emerging connections showered throughout its successive episodes only add to the plot’s haunting mystique. Despite its serious subject matter, the best description of what it feels like to watch the show is in fact a meme: Charlie Day rabidly gesturing to his chaotic conspiracy web of paper and string. You know the one. Dark is complex, but its ambiguities are part of the draw. As the show goes on the very nature of time itself and the bonds which connect the past, present, and future come into question. If you’re one to theorize or enjoy engaging with a plot’s mysteries, this is the show for you.
Sofia – Superbad (2007)
Directed by Greg Mottola and written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, this teen comedy follows two best friends, played by Micheal Cera and Jonah Hill, in their last weeks of high school. They finally get invited to one of the biggest parties and both friends try their hardest to make a good impression on the popular goods which will lead to a series of mishaps including problems with the cops and a hilariously terrible fake ID. It’s a must-watch teen flick and has been considered as one of the best comedies of the 2000s. If you want a good laugh and meet the famous “McLovin” check this movie out!
Harry – The Mandalorian: Season 2 (2020)
The fan-favorite Star Wars series starring Pedro Pascal returns to Disney+ one year after the premiere of its Emmy-winning first season. In this space Western epic, Din Djarin (Pascal), a Mandalorian warrior, must combat the imperial forces led by Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) to rescue a mysterious creature known as “The Child”. The first season was beloved by critics and fans alike, with some praising it as the best entry of Star Wars since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm back in 2012. Furthermore, The Child, who fans colloquially refer to as “Baby Yoda”, has become a cultural phenomenon thanks to the show’s popularity. The second season will likely continue where Season 1 left off, and explore deeper into Din Djarin and his relationships with The Child. We are also likely to see more of Esposito’s Moff Gideon, a standout villain character who only appeared for two episodes in Season 1. Most interestingly, fans have long-speculated that Boba Fett, a Mandalorian character who died in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983), will finally make his return in this season. We can’t wait to see what Season 2 offers when The Mandalorian drops on Disney+.
Rett – The Departed (2006)
Directed by the renowned Martin Scorsese, The Departed remains one of Scorsese’s greatest films and one of the best crime dramas ever made. Released in 2006, The Departed stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, and Vera Formiga and tells an intricate story of modern-day crime in the city of Boston. The Departed centers around a young undercover cop (DiCaprio) who is told to infiltrate the organization of a local mob leader (Nicholson). At the same time, a young criminal (Damon) infiltrates the Boston Police Department and reports back to Nicholson’s organization. This thrilling film captivated audiences and won the film Best Picture and four other Academy Awards (Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Editing). Mark Wahlberg was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor. This airtight script will keep you engaged from start to finish as this unconventional crime drama surprises you at every turn.
Olivia – The Lighthouse (2019)
The Lighthouse is a black and white psychological thriller directed and co-written by Robert Eggers. Upon its release in 2019, the film enjoyed significant acclaim and received the International Film Critics Prize at Cannes Film Festival. Eggers’ narrative follows the tribulations of two lighthouse keepers, played by Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, who become stranded on the craggy shores of their post. The premise is deceivingly simple, allowing the central duo’s performances to take center stage as their relationship reaches a harrowing crescendo. Rife with insidious imagery and mythological allusion, The Lighthouse is an experiential film. Its forceful script and malevolent atmosphere make for borderline hypnotic sequences. The film is a mess of influences, its style, and square aspect ratio evoking a sense of history tinged with eldritch elements of Lovecraftian horror. The Lighthouse is surreal, sardonic, disturbing, and captivating, making it the perfect October film to prepare for Halloween. Brace yourself: it will certainly make a lasting impression.
Cate – Welcome to the Blumhouse
Horror fans will be excited to hear of Amazon Prime’s upcoming anthology series, especially as Halloween season draws near. Blumhouse, the production company linked to some of the best current titles in horror such as Get Out and The Invisible Man, has partnered with Amazon Studios to bring audiences “Welcome to the Blumhouse”—an eight-film anthology series set to release four films this October, with four more films to come in 2021. This series prioritizes the voices of emerging filmmakers, several of whom will be making their feature film debut. Stated in the press release, “each film presents a distinctive vision and unique perspective on common themes centered around family and love as redemptive or destructive forces.”
Here are the upcoming Blumhouse and Amazon Studios productions, each one guaranteed to supply “the spine-tingling suspense that’s a Blumhouse signature.”
“Black Box” is the story of a single father, who after losing his wife and memory in a car accident, decides to undergo an experimental treatment. A feature film debut for writer-director Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr., this film stars Mamoudou Athie (Jurassic World 3), Phylicia Rashad (Creed), and Amanda Christine (Colony).
“The Lie” looks at the aftermath of a teenage girl’s decision to murder her best friend and her parents’ attempts to cover up the crime. The cast includes Joey King (The Act), Mireille Enos (The Killing), and Peter Sarsgaard (An Education).
Based on an audio play of the same name from writer Madhuri Shekar, “Evil Eye” follows a mother who believes her daughter’s seemingly perfect new boyfriend is actually a reincarnation of a murder-driven man from her past. Produced by Priyanka Chopra Jonas, this film stars Sarita Choudhury (Mississippi Masala) and Sunita Mani (Glow) as mother and daughter.
The feature film debut of writer-director, Zu Quirke, and starring Euphoria’s Sydney Sweeney, “Nocturne” follows a shy musician’s discovery of a recently deceased classmate’s notebook and her subsequent ascent to the spotlight.
If you love witchcraft, Radiohead, dance, the occult, or Tilda Swinton, you might absolutely love Suspiria. Or you might hate it. But regardless, if ANY of the 5 things I listed appeals to you, then go and watch Suspiria. I don’t want to give anything away, so it’s a psychological thriller. And it’s about dance. They may or may not be trying to contact a dark god. You’ll at least feel something other than emptiness, which is more than I could say for the presidential debate.
Rett – The Matrix (1999)
Arguably one of the greatest action films of all time, The Matrix, directed by the Wachowskis, remains one of the most influential and important action movie milestones of all time. The Matrix stars Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, and Carrie-Ann Moss and tells the story of Neo, a young hacker who suddenly uncovers the truth about the world he lives in. Neo is brought under the guidance of Morpheus who tells Neo he is “the one” who must lead the rebellion and show people the truth about the world they live in. The Matrix remains one of the greatest action films of all time due to its use of slow-motion action sequences, in-camera fight scenes, and visual effects. The Matrix even won four Academy Awards (Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Editing, and Best Visual Effects). The Matrix will constantly enthrall you with its amazing action sequences and interesting sense of world-building that is a must-watch for any action movie fan.