Viewers are turning to streaming entertainment more than ever thanks to the global pandemic, and the plethora of services can serve as a much-needed escape. At the start of each month, most streamers do a little shuffle, adding new movies and taking some away, and io9 is here to help with your decision making.
Welcome to The Nerd’s Watch, our monthly column where we curate the most interesting sci-fi, fantasy, and horror movies coming to the biggest streaming services. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Disney+ are all ready for November with lots of holiday content and more, so let’s get to it.
A Clockwork Orange - Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece about an ultra-violent teen brainwashed into forced obedience remains one of the creepiest, most fascinating films...ever? Maybe? Yeah, let’s go with that.
Casper - The friendly ghost didn’t make it to Netflix in time for Halloween, but his live-action adaptation from the ‘90s is charming any time of year.
Little Monsters - This Howie Mandel-Fred Savage film was on Netflix last year, left, and is now back. In that time I rewatched it because I loved it as a child and well, it did not hold up. Here’s the review.
The Indian in the Cupboard - The book every kid who grew up in the 1980s read in elementary school became a Frank Oz-directed movie in 1995, which just so happened to be the year Pixar made a similar movie about toys that come to life. I don’t remember loving the movie when it came out but maybe it holds up.
The Next Karate Kid - The fourth Karate Kid movie lost Ralph Macchio for Hilary Swank, and with it most of the fun of the first three movies. But the team behind Cobra Kai does consider it part of the canon, so it’s worth watching just in case the show references it.
Yes Man - In the realm of Jim Carrey comedies, Yes Man isn’t quite the cream of the crop. However, the idea of a man cursed to never say “No” works and the movie does have a few great moments along with its laughs.
Prospect - If you missed this recent sci-fi film—starring none other than the Mandalorian himself, Pedro Pascal—about a man and his daughter mining for materials in space, now you can catch it on Netflix. Read more about it here.
Prom Night - Jamie Lee Curtis stars in one of those classic 1980s horror movies that maybe doesn’t get the love it deserves. But the tale of a killer stalking six kids during prom is loads of fun and wildly influential to the genre.
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey - This Netflix original film is a big, Hollywood musical about a toymaker whose latest creation is stolen. It looks magical, thanks in large part to an amazing cast that includes Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, John Legend, and others.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 - The sequel to Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s animated debut sees the man who created a machine that makes food fall from the sky realize it’s now making food hybrid monsters. Not quiet as good as the original, but still funny and clever.
V for Vendetta - Really Netflix? You release this on November 15? Not the fifth?
Alien Xmas - The description for this Netflix original stop-motion movie very much caught my attention. It reads: “When a race of kleptomaniac aliens attempts to steal Earth’s gravity in order to more easily take everything on the planet, only the gift-giving spirit of Christmas and a small alien named X can save the world.”
Machete Kills - Danny Trejo is back for the second installment of the Machete series which sees him play the badass killer trying to stop a drug dealer from launching something into space.
The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two — Kurt Russell returns as Santa Claus, and this time Goldie Hawn’s Mrs. Claus is along for the adventure.
28 Days Later - Danny Boyle’s game-changing zombie movie is coming to streaming. It’s a terrifying, incredible classic of the genre.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - Ang Lee’s martial arts masterpiece starring Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh celebrates its 20 year anniversary this year. What better time to revisit the film that made you believe a man could fly...on bamboo.
I Know What You Did Last Summer - This 1997 slasher film owes everything to the aforementioned Prom Night, in that it has a very similar plot, but this time infused with the IQ of Scream. The result is a fun, but forgettable, horror film.
The Expendables, The Expendables 2, The Expendables 3 - Stay with me here. The first one is bad, the second one is great, the third one is bad. Agree? Disagree? Either way, seeing action stars like Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, Lundgren, Statham, and more all together on the same screen was, and remains, remarkable. (Also on Hulu)
The X Files: I Want To Believe - Yes, there was a second X-Files movie made in 2008. Yes, it was way past its prime. And yes, it will now live, at least for a while, on Amazon Prime.
Underworld, Underworld: Evolution, Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans - The first three films in the vampires vs. werewolves action franchise are coming to streaming, making for the perfect Kate Beckinsale with guns and slow-motion blood triple feature.
3 Ninjas - If you grew up in the 1990s, odds are you watched, or imitated, this 1992 film about three kids who learn martial arts from the grandfather. It’s frivolous but a great film for kids.
A View to a Kill, Diamonds Are Forever, For Your Eyes Only, From Russia with Love, License to Kill, Live and Let Die, The Living Daylights, The Man with the Golden Gun, Moonraker, Octopussy, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Thunderball, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, You Only Live Twice - Most of the Bond films of the 1970s through 1990s return to streaming to heal the wounds of continued No Time to Die delays.
Alien Nation - A police officer (James Caan) begrudgingly teams up with the first alien cop (Mandy Patinkin) in this sci-fi film which spawned a short-lived multimedia franchise.
The Blair Witch Project - Hands down, one of the scariest, most influential horror films ever. It may not scare us now like it did in 1999, but at the time it was everything and everywhere.
The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum - The first three, and frankly, best of the Jason Bourne films come to streaming. Time for some intense action combined with a subversive spy story.
Children of the Corn - The 2009 remake, not the 1984 original. Unless you’re a huge Stephen King fan, you’ve probably only seen the first one. This was a TV movie and maybe that makes it worth watching just so you can say you did.
Johnny Mnemonic - Before he was Neo, Keanu Reeves was the star of this half-baked sci-fi film. And yet, even though the movie isn’t great, it’s Keanu, and that makes it worth revisiting.
Lost in Space - Not to be confused with the original TV show or the Netflix remake, this is the 1998 live-action film directed by Stephen Hopkins and starring Matt LeBlanc and Gary Oldman, among others. Yeah. It’s pretty bad. But it’s Lost in Space so maybe it’ll be fun to check out again.
The Net - This Sandra Bullock thriller is fairly decent on its own but now, 25 years after its release, it has inadvertently become a hilarious snapshot of the earliest days of the internet too.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief - Many people might have written this action fantasy off as purely some kind of Harry Potter rip off, and while it’s certainly similar, it’s still a rather entertaining, inspiring adventure on its own. We’ll be getting another version soon if you’d like to familiarize yourself.
The Prestige - One of Christopher Nolan’s most popular films features the magical rivalry between Batman and Wolverine. Oh, sorry, Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street - Tim Burton’s adaptation of the violent musical is, arguably, one of his last good films. Sure some people don’t like it, but no filmmaker was better suited to the material.
Universal Soldier - Jean Claude Van-Damme and Dolph Lundgren are soldiers who die during the Vietnam war, only to be resurrected in the future as super soldiers. It’s a high octane action movie that’s as ridiculous and fun now as it ever was.
Wanted - The movie that introduced us to the concept of bullet bending, Wanted is an ultra entertaining comic book adaptation starring James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie.
Disney’s A Christmas Carol - Robert Zemeckis’ CG heavy adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic isn’t as memorable as some other adaptations, but it’s visually stunning and has a great cast. There are worse holiday movies to revisit.
Mr. Magoo - Starring Leslie Nielsen. Really. I forgot this one existed.
The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special - While fans patiently wait for the original Holiday Special to arrive somewhere, Lucasfilm, Disney, and Lego have combined...Forces to make this homage. It takes place after The Rise of Skywalker but blends all eras of Star Wars into a big, holiday celebration.
Planes, Planes: Fire and Rescue - These two films were made after the success of Cars, and while they aren’t quite Cars, the first one especially is a really surprising, fun family movie. That they weren’t on Disney+ already is weird but it’s a series worth checking out.
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