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The Best Movies On Tubi In 2021

For anyone who needs a good, enjoyable movie to watch, you might be surprised to know that Tubi, the free, ad-supported streaming site, has a lot to offer. The service launched in 2014 and has continued to grow steadily over the years, and in late 2020, Fox bought Tubi for $440 million. Tubi reportedly has "25 million active monthly viewers who spend over 160 million hours per month," showcasing recent and older content from MGM, Paramount, Starz, A&E, and many other popular studios and networks (via Tom's Guide). The streaming platform resolves to always be free, and although there are ads, i's not that different from watching cable or Hulu's regular subscription plan. In 2021, Tubi will reportedly begin venturing in original content. This will be mostly movies at first, though according to Engadget, Tubi is possibly willing to pay $4 million per episode for a series. 

Overall, there are a lot of great movies available to watch on Tubi and the service is continually adding new content, but it might be a little overwhelming for visitors. If you are ready to head over to Tubi and aren't quite sure what to watch first, here are some of the best movies on the streaming service right now.

God's Own Country

Tubi has a category of media completely dedicated to award-nominated and award-winning projects, and there are a bunch of fantastic films to find here. One of the best on offer is the 2017 romantic drama God's Own Country. The feature debut for director Francis Lee, the film won the Directing Award: World Cinema at the Sundance Festival that year. God's Own Country stars Josh O'Connor, who just won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Prince Charles in The Crown, as Johnny, a young man living and working at his family's farm in Yorkshire.

With only his father and grandmother around, Johnny is left with most of the responsibility in running the farm, and his father's health is only getting worse. The family decides to hire a Romanian migrant worker named Gheorghe, played by Alec Secareanu, to help with the extra work. Initially, Johnny takes out his own personal feelings of resentment and confusion out on Gheorghe, calling him by the offensive term "gypsy," but over time they form a connection that evolves into an intense, personal relationship.

God's Own Country received critical acclaim when it was released, and it has a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. While this is a beautiful film that everyone should check out, it's also the perfect movie to watch if you need a good, heart-wrenching cry.

I Am Not Your Negro

If you are looking for a documentary to stream, Tubi has a great selection, and I Am Not Your Negro is a must-see. The 2016 film, directed by Raoul Peck with narration by Samuel L. Jackson, is based on Remember This House, the unfinished manuscript of the late novelist, essayist, poet, and activist James Baldwin. Remember This House is a memoir of Baldwin's essays and notes about various influential civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers, and it was published as a book in 2017 alongside the film's release.

I Am Not Your Negro stands at an almost perfect 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. It won the BAFTA for Best Documentary Feature and was nominated for the Academy Award in the same category. Dagmawi Woubshet of The Atlantic said that "the documentary demonstrates Baldwin's unique ability to expose the ways anti-black sentiment constituted not only American social and political life but also its cultural imagination," strikingly intercutting "footage of police violence directed against black people in the '60s and shots of similar violence enacted today, using Baldwin's words to collapse the distance between the two eras."

Many other critics shared the appreciative sentiment, though Woubshet pointed out one of the film's few flaws in that it doesn't address Baldwin's openness about his sexuality and experience being queer. Still, I Am Not Your Negro is a brilliant exploration of Baldwin's life and lasting impact, as well as the deep racial disparity that this country continues to face.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Tubi's catalogue is thankfully not limited to the sad, dramatic, and thoughtful, and the streaming site has one of the best indie comedies to come out in recent years. Director-writer-actor-producer Taika Waititi, the mind behind What We Do in the Shadows and Thor: Ragnarok, has slowly begun to bring his unique humor to more serious topics, most notably in the 2019 Oscar-winning film Jojo Rabbit. But before that, Waititi created a touching yet hilarious story tackling the prejudiced experience of Māori youth in New Zealand, through the experiences of a boy named Ricky, played by Deadpool 2's Julian Dennison. The story follows Ricky as he flees child protective services, running into the woods with his foster "uncle," Hec (Sam Neill), and his dog Tupac.

The Hunt for the Wilderpeople got a great response from critics and has a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, with many praising the performances and Waititi's unique humor. The Australian literary magazine Overland took a more analytical approach to the film, digging deep into the sociopolitical side of the movie, and how the system's treatment of Ricky is "a reflection of the existing colonial mentality in New Zealand, where Māori children are treated as older and less innocent than their Pākehā [white New Zealanders] counterparts." Thanks to Waititi's adept use of humor, The Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a poignant story of connection and hope wrapped in an extremely funny adventure.

It Follows

It turns out that Tubi also has an expansive offering of great horror films, and one of the best on the site is 2014's It Follows starring Maika Monroe. The story follows Monroe's character Jay, a teenage girl whose first sexual experience with her new boyfriend causes her to be stalked by a murderous supernatural force. Like the title suggests, Jay is consistently followed by this creature, which can take the form of various people, some she knows, some complete strangers. The only way to escape the curse is to pass it on to someone else through sex. Unfortunately, if the person you pass it on to is killed by the creature, it then starts hunting you again. 

With a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, It Follows wowed audiences and critics with its frighteningly subtle horror story that works as a metaphor for many different troubles of real life, whether it's STDs or simply death itself. Emily VanDerWerff at Vox called it "the scariest American horror movie in years," referencing how the movie uses wide shots to make the audience feel like they're being stalked too, constantly looking everywhere for any sign of the monster's appearance. As VanDerWerff perfectly described it, "the monster of It Follows is the thing you cannot avoid. [...] It's regret, or growing up, or taking on responsibility, or even death." Of course, if you're just looking for a good scare, It Follows definitely delivers that too.

Train to Busan

The South Korean zombie thriller Train to Busan is one of the many international hit movies on Tubi. The 2016 film, directed by Yeon Sang-ho, stars many of Korea's biggest actors, with Gong Yoo as Seo Seok-woo, a rich, restrained man who is taking his young daughter Soo-an (Kim Su-an) to his estranged wife's place. The two board a train traveling from Seoul to Busan, and end up stuck on the vehicle as a zombie outbreak spreads across the country. Before the train leaves Seoul Station, a young, infected woman manages to get on, turning into a zombie and kickstarting an infestation on the train.

Over the course of the train ride, Seok-woo tries to protect his daughter, willing to do anything to ensure her survival. Experiencing this horrific event with the other passengers, Seok-woo starts to realize that his selfish, greedy way of life — which he thought he was doing to make Soo-an's life better — is actually tainting his relationship with her and how she sees him. The father and daughter team up with a pregnant woman and her husband, a baseball team, and a few others as they try to make it to Busan, where a safe zone is rumored to be set up.

The action thriller Train to Busan became a worldwide hit shortly after release, and the movie has a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. A sequel film called Peninsula came out last year, and the American remake at New Line is close to confirming a director (via Deadline).