Considering the glut of services that allow you to stream media, it can be a little disorienting trying to figure out what to watch.
Even if you know exactly what movie you’re looking for, picking the right streaming video outlet for the best new streaming movies can be tricky. You could find yourself paying for something on Vudu that’s already available to stream on Netflix Instant.
The purpose of this post, and subsequent posts like it, is to keep you apprised of where the movies you want to watch are available, whether on streaming outlets for which you pay a monthly subscription (Netflix Instant, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video), or on pay-per-stream services (Vudu, iTunes, Amazon Prime).
Best New Movies to Rent/Own
Wreck-It Ralph – Keeping with the humanizing-unlikely-figures formula that has worked so well for animated features of the last fifteen years or so, Disney released the exciting, funny, and altogether winning Wreck-It Ralph. John C. Reilly stars as the titular Ralph, a video game villain who wishes he could be a hero for a change.
Rise of the Guardians – Here’s another animated feature you can enjoy with your kids: Rise of the Guardians is a star-studded (Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Jude Law, Isla Fisher) outing from Dreamworks about the evil Pitch (Law), his plans to attack the earth, and the Immortal Guardians who set out to stop him
This Must Be the Place – Maybe you’ve recently seen a stray picture or two of Sean Penn decked out in Robert Smith hair and glammy makeup, and just generally goth-ed to the hilt, and wondered why in the world such a thing exists. The answer is This Must Be the Place, which stars Penn as an aging rocker eager to avenge his father’s WWII tormentor. At the very least, that’s certainly not a plot that you hear every day.
Sound City – If you watch any talk shows regularly or listened to any podcasts in the past couple of months, you’ve likely seen or heard Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl aggressively promoting this new documentary, which he directed. Sound City tells the tale of the legendary titular studio (and it’s equally legendary soundboard) from inception to its modern incarnation, in the interest of promoting the raw, messy, and compelling humanity of pre-digital music-making.
This Is Not A Film – Though it’s not available to rent online, we thought this fascinating story was worth spotlighting nonetheless. Acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi (The White Balloon, The Mirror), under house arrest and ordered not to continue making films, secretively shot this day-in-the-life self-portrait and had it secreted out of Iran with the help of his friends (hence the somewhat surreptitious title). Suffice to say, it’s worth a look for any serious film fan.
Available on: Netflix
Smashed – This keenly observed, humanistic drama tells the story of a young, married, alcoholic couple whose bond is tested when the wife (Mary Elizabeth Winsted) decides to get sober. Fans of Breaking Bad and Parks and Recreation will get an additional kick out of seeing Aaron Paul (Jessie Pinkman to Bad fans) and Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson for fans of Parks) in a different context.
Best New Movies/Television to Stream on Netflix & Amazon Instant
Most of these options are also available to stream for a fee from sites like Vudu and iTunes, but we’re limiting this section to subscription sites that offer some free streaming new movies like Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime.
Archer: Season 3 – We tend to stick to movies in these posts, but the addition of a new season of Archer to stream on Netflix was too exciting to overlook. For those who haven’t checked out this wholly inappropriate, sardonic, bizarre, and hilarious animated series, about a self-centered and childish super-spy who works for his mother, now’s the time. To sweeten the deal, we’ll mention that season three features an appearance from Burt Reynolds as himself.
Available on: Netflix Instant
Friends With Kids – Despite gathering just about everyone from Bridesmaids together again (including Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Chris O’Dowd, and Jon Hamm), writer/director/star Jennifer Westfeldt’s Friends With Kids failed to draw massive audiences. Nonetheless, with a cast like that, as well as the ever-charming Adam Scott, Friends With Kids is certainly worth a stream.
Manhunter –Though The Silence of the Lambs would feature a far more notorious depiction of Hannibal Lector several years later, Michael Mann’s Manhunter beat Lambs to the punch, with Brian Cox intermittently appearing as a far less imposing version of the serial killer/cannibal. Generally speaking, Lambs is the better film, but Manhunter is a worthy, moody, and all-around haunting film in its’ own right, featuring a towering-in-every-sense, villainous turn from the great Tom Noonan.
Hustle & Flow – There was a time when Terrence Howard seemed poised for superstardom, and it was right around the release of Hustle & Flow, writer/director Craig Brewer’s empathetic portrayal of a pimp with dreams of becoming a famous hip-hop emcee. Though Howard has since squandered that potential, his turn as Djay still elevates Hustle & Flow, and makes the film far more moving than its potentially silly premise would lead you to believe it would be.
Available on: Netflix Instant
Big Fish – Tim Burton’s finest movies tend to balance darkness, whimsy, and a wickedly macabre sense of humor with almost supernatural grace. Big Fish, while certainly not prime Burton, certainly gets the whimsy part right. The story of a dying man (Albert Finney and Ewan McGregor, alternately) with a fondness for tall tales trying to bond with his estranged son (Billy Crudup), Big Fish piles on the sentimentality aggressively, but there are enough genuinely affecting moments (and a lovely Pearl Jam song, to boot) to keep this on Burton’s good list.
Available on: Netflix Instant
We here at Flashrouters have the media players to make it possible for you to enjoy these and many other streaming movies; we have the routers flashed with DD-WRT firmware that allow you to stream them as efficiently as possible, and whatever accessories you need to make them work.
Please visit our FAQ and support page on our newly refurbished website to learn more about how FlashRouters can make your streaming movie experience as hassle-free as possible.