It seems critics often have a bias against movies that don’t get a theatrical release. Before the days of streaming, movies dubbed “straight to video” were synonymous with low-budget, poorly written and acted throwaway movies. But while the preconceived notions and biases of movie critics might not have changed over the past few decades, technology has.
Theaters cost more than most millennials want to spend on a single night out; services like MoviePass start off like a dream come true, and then devolve into a nightmare service that does nothing for the customer, yet can’t be canceled, and people are growing tired of paying upwards of $100 for television service while still having to sit through commercials.
Simply put, people in the movie and television industry are angry because their model of making money hand-over-fist by grossly overcharging the consumer is drawing to a close. Streaming platforms like Netflix are becoming less of an alternative and more the standard.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best films of 2018 that were released by streaming companies. While some of these did get a limited theatrical release, they were released to the general public on a streaming service.
5. Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot — Amazon
This Gus Van Sant-directed film was released by Amazon and stars Jaoquin Phoenix. Phoenix stars as a quadriplegic cartoonist with a serious drinking problem. The film is heart-wrenching and is of 2018’s best.
4. Bodied – YouTube
Produced by Eminem, Bodied is a battle rap movie conscious of the current politically correct world in which it resides. Movie critics loved it and Bodied boasts some of the funniest battle rap lines in cinematic history, even when compared with 8 Mile
3. Mandy – Shudder
Nicolas Cage is back and better than ever in this highly stylized fever dream of a movie. Hyper-violent, surreal, and simply stunning to watch, Mandy throws some homage to classic horror movies like Hellraiser. That said, it’s something all its own and completely original that has to be seen to be believed.
2. Revenge – Shudder
I honestly think a horror movie that snuck under the radar this year was Revenge. If you have Shudder you can watch it. It starts off as the typical rape-revenge trope and becomes so much more. Obvious TW, read the synopsis before you watch. It is such a good film pic.twitter.com/HUjefwBKft— KATE SÁNCHEZ ???????????? (@OhMyMithrandir) December 17, 2018
Another rock-solid release from Shudder is Revenge. With a premise involving a young woman who is raped and seeks out revenge for her attackers, Revenge currently holds a 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and brings heavy emotional resonance to the horror genre.
1. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs — Netflix
If streaming is good enough for the Coen Brothers, it’s should be good enough for anyone. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a western anthology with critics have praised and audiences have delighted in watching again and again.