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TY BURR

Movies to stream while you’re stuck inside this winter

Here are some movies well worth streaming that you likely missed when in theaters

Song Kang-ho, Ko Ah-sung, Luke Pasqualino, and Chris Evans in "Snowpiercer."
Song Kang-ho, Ko Ah-sung, Luke Pasqualino, and Chris Evans in "Snowpiercer."RADiUS-TWC

It’s January — where have all the movies gone? Not to the multiplex, where the big studio release this week is the dire Downey “Dolittle.” More than ever, the video on-demand landscape is the best way to get through a fickle New England winter, especially if you need to catch up on the movies nominated for an Oscar. Of the recently announced best picture nominees, only ”Ford v Ferrari,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Little Women,” and “1917” aren’t available for streaming at home. “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story” can be found on Netflix, “Joker” and “Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood” can be rented on Amazon, YouTube, Apple TV, and other platforms, and “Parasite” will be rent-able in a few weeks (you can buy it right now.)

Many of the other nominees can be found on one service or another, including four out of five of the documentary features; websites like justwatch.com are handy for finding out where a title you’re looking for might be lurking. But the time is ripe as well for catching up on lesser-known gems and revisiting old favorites. I’ve been doing a bit of both recently, and here are my January streaming recommendations.

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Bong Joon-ho movies – You’ve seen “Parasite” and discovered the slyly merciless filmmaking wonder that is South Korea’s Bong Joon-ho. Why stop there? His recent dystopian satires “Snowpiercer” and “Okja” can be found on Netflix, the 2006 tongue-in-cheek Godzilla goof “The Host” is available for rental on YouTube, Apple TV, and Google Play, and “Mother” (2009), a very dark comic tale of a mom who will go to any lengths to clear her son of a murder charge, just popped up on Amazon for $2.99. Now all you have to do is wait for Bong’s fantastic sophomore feature, the 2003 serial-killer drama “Memories of Murder,” to resurface on demand.

Jennifer Lopez (left) and Constance Wu in "Hustlers."
Jennifer Lopez (left) and Constance Wu in "Hustlers."Alison Cohen Rosa/Handout

Hustlers I continue to be surprised by the number of readers and other moviegoers who’ve dismissed this from their watch-list as a bad Jennifer Lopez B-movie about strippers. You’re so wrong: This is a good Jennifer Lopez B-movie about strippers. B+, really, as the stakes raised by this true story about pole-dancers bilking their fat-cat customers ripple out to the real world. You know all those women directors I keep talking about whose work was unfairly overlooked this year? Lorene Scafaria is one. Constance Wu is the lead, but Lopez, smart and tough and unrepentant, is the star.

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Available on Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

A scene from "I Lost My Body."
A scene from "I Lost My Body." Associated Press

I Lost My Body The one best animated feature nominee you haven’t heard of turns out to be a strange and quite affecting story from French director Jeremy Clapin, about a severed human hand making an arduous trek across Paris to be reunited with its owner, a lovelorn young man. The movie balances the poetic and grotesque in wholly original ways, and while the diffuse final scenes emphasize the poetry at the expense of the story line, this is still a fine trip for everyone but little kids to be taking. And in a 24-7 digital world, the (appropriately) hand-drawn visuals are a breath of cool air.

Available on Netflix

Austyn Tester in "Jawline"
Austyn Tester in "Jawline"courtesy IFFB

Jawline A documentary of exceptional empathy and concern that follows 16-year-old Austyn Tester in his quest to become a social media star. Director Liza Mandelup takes a fly-on-the-wall approach, capturing the kid’s impoverished Tennessee home and family, the under-decorated LA house he shares with other wannabe teenage influencers overseen by a shady manager, the adolescent girls fleeing from their own problems into the safety of a cute, unthreatening web-boy. The American dream of fame has never seemed so empty, yet it’s the only rope ladder a kid like Austyn can see. A subtle, provocative, and very telling movie, and it’s a shame it’s available only on Hulu.

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Jimmie Fails and Jonathan Majors in "The Last Black Man in San Francisco."
Jimmie Fails and Jonathan Majors in "The Last Black Man in San Francisco." Courtesy of A24

The Last Black Man in San Francisco One of the very best films of 2019, but a hard one to sell. What’s it about? Gentrification? Friendship? The need to hold on to your roots? In the playing, Joe Talbot’s feature debut is a honey: elegiac and assured, with deeply-felt performances, and a score to make you swoon. Talbot’s childhood pal Jimmie Fails basically plays himself as a long-time San Franciscan who squats in the Fillmore District mansion his grandfather built after the current (white) owners have had to move. Jonathan Majors is his levelheaded friend and you feel the film’s pain down to your bones as a city, a neighborhood, and a culture are becoming lost to change.

Available on Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

Daniel Craig (left) and Dwight Yoakam in "Logan Lucky."
Daniel Craig (left) and Dwight Yoakam in "Logan Lucky."Claudette Barius

Logan Lucky Were you enraptured by Daniel Craig’s devilish Foghorn Leghorn act in “Knives Out”? You might want to visit this underseen Steven Soderbergh caper movie (2017), in which Channing Tatum and Adam Driver are unlikely brothers pulling off a heist in the middle of a NASCAR race. In a supporting role, Craig road-tests his fraudulent Southern accent as a bottle-blond jailbird who has to get out of prison — and then back in — to be part of the team. He’s a hoot, and the movie’s a gas.

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Available on Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

Zack Gottsagen, Dakota Johnson, and Shia LaBeouf in "The Peanut Butter Falcon."
Zack Gottsagen, Dakota Johnson, and Shia LaBeouf in "The Peanut Butter Falcon."Courtesy of Roadside Attractions and Armory Films

The Peanut Butter Falcon Another tough sell that turns out to be a delight, a road trip built around Zack Gottsagen, an actor with Down syndrome, and backed up with savvy performances by Dakota Johnson, Thomas Haden Church, Bruce Dern, and especially co-lead Shia LaBeouf. I missed this in theaters and was intrigued by the number of readers who let me know about it. They’re right: What might sound like a squishy family film is in fact a much edgier piece of work, with a regional feel that’s rough but right and a great bluegrass score from Noam Pikelny and others. More Gottsagen, please.

Available on Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

Mark O'Brien and Samara Weaving in "Ready or Not."
Mark O'Brien and Samara Weaving in "Ready or Not." Eric Zachanowich/Fox Searchlight Pictures

Ready or Not A little bit of “Knives Out,” a little bit of “Get Out” — not as good as either but plenty good enough for a slow night at home. A new bride (the elegantly scrappy Samara Weaving) learns the hard way that her husband’s ultra-rich family likes to welcome new members with a most dangerous game of hide-and-seek. A lively cast, an unexpectedly witty script, and a flair for creative demise hoist this horror-suspense entry well above the genre norm.

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Available on Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube


Roadhouse Maybe the guiltiest of my personal guilty pleasures, this 1989 B-movie bone-crusher stars Patrick Swayze as Dalton, a softspoken zen nightclub bouncer (and former Rhodes Scholar!), plus a supremely greasy Sam Elliott as his mentor. The perfectly named Rowdy Herrington directs this knucklefest. “You’re too stupid to have a good time,” the hero tells one fight-hungry good ol’ boy. Don’t you make the same mistake.

Available on Amazon Prime, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube

Malcolm McDowell in "A Clockwork Orange."
Malcolm McDowell in "A Clockwork Orange."New York Times

1970s sci-fi classics on the Criterion Channel Another reason to subscribe to the best-curated streaming service on the planet: This month they’ve rounded up 18 head-trips from my moviegoing youth, from classics (“A Clockwork Orange,” “Soylent Green,” “Mad Max”) to fondly remembered cheese (“Logan’s Run,” “Roller Ball,” “The Omega Man”) to edgy cult wonders (“A Boy and His Dog,” “Dark Star,” “God Told Me To”). If you’re a Bostonian of the right age, the title sequences alone are enough to put you right back in the third row of the Sack Cheri off Boylston Street, circa 1974.


Ty Burr can be reached at ty.burr@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @tyburr.