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31 Best Movies On Starz

Alongside HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax in the pantheon of classic premium cable networks — the ones that were highly sought after and attractive on a package deal because they cost a little bit extra each month — was Starz. Arriving in the 1990s, Starz offered an alternative to the increasingly original-series driven competition, programming a slate consisting almost entirely of movies, be they recent hits, all-time blockbusters, or enduring cult classics across all genres. In recent years, Starz has adapted to the changing climate of content delivery by supplementing its availability on cable company line-ups with a standalone service deliverable to smart TVs and other enabled devices.

At any given time, Starz has tons of movies up for instant streaming, from comedies to dramas to family films to little-known hidden gems. And in order to help Starz viewers and subscribers figure out what to watch next, here are all the best and most compelling choices currently available for your viewing pleasure.

Updated on April 3, 2023: From sci-fi gems to hilarious comedies, these are the best movies that you can watch on Starz.

12 Monkeys

The mind-bending "12 Monkeys" jumps between a miserable future and the tech-conscious 1990s to tell a story about the possible extinction of the human race. James Cole is locked up in prison. But he's released to participate in a top secret experiment that will see him travel backwards in time. Once he gets to the 1990s, he's on a fact-finding mission to get ahead of a catastrophic plague that will kill off most of humanity. The stress and stakes are high — all the more so because the two people meant to assist him are the possibly unreliable ward of a mental institution and a taciturn scientist.


"Alien" revitalized the science-fiction-horror genre after it had fallen out of favor in previous decades. After years of obvious symbols, laughable special effects, and significant dry spells, here came a high-minded creature feature that can be counted as one of the best films in both the science fiction and horror genres without any controversy. The film follows the crew of a mining ship who investigate a distress signal that leads them to a horrific and deadly creature. "Alien" is a master class in tension, as director Ridley Scott eases the audience into the world of the film and takes his time revealing the horrors of deep space — which go far beyond the creature itself.

  • Starring: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Year: 1979
  • Runtime: 117 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

There aren't very many people who don't love Mister Rogers, the impossibly sweet and patient minister who became an icon for hosting "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" for decades. "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" casts the almost-as-adored Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers for its semi-biographical story, and the results are mesmerizing. A reporter grown bitterly estranged from his father is skeptical about the sweater-and-sneakers-clad sweetheart. But this coldness melts away as he lets his subject (and eventual friend) get closer. His warmth and passionate kindness wash over the journalist and change his life for the better.

Better Luck Tomorrow

This empathetic, cautionary drama focuses on good teens who go bad after a taste of the wayward life. It's also one of the few films of this subgenre to focus on a group of predominantly Asian-American characters. Ben, a high-achieving high schooler, is bristling under intense parental pressure. After he becomes obsessed with a young woman who has little interest in him and starts hanging out with a petty criminal, he starts to drift from his studies and resume-building extracurriculars. Soon enough, Ben's bad decisions and small crimes ramp up. A little bit of danger and fun soon turns into a gigantic problem that could undo everything Ben has built.

  • Starring: Parry Shen, Jason Tobin, John Cho
  • Director: Justin Lin
  • Year: 2002
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Boyz n the Hood

Writer-director John Singleton was nominated for two Oscars for "Boyz n the Hood," and it isn't hard to see why. A tender and visceral look at life in South Central Los Angeles, this film follows Tre, a young boy who's sent to live in the Crenshaw neighborhood with his strict father. As he grows up, he encounters racism, romance, gang violence, and deep friendship. Life lessons are hard-won here — but even they can't protect Tre and his loved ones from the ravages of an unjust world.

  • Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr.
  • Director: John Singleton
  • Year: 1991
  • Runtime: 112 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Dear White People

Prestigious and predominantly white Winchester University is about to erupt in this audacious satire. Aspiring narrative artist and provocateur Sam, a Black woman, hosts a radio show where she calls out white people for offensively appropriating Black culture. This broadcasts to a student body where frat culture and a less-than-nuanced humor magazine allow things like a "blackface party" to happen. Underlying the movie's brilliant humor is a deep character study, which delves into different students' struggles to stay true to themselves and their backgrounds in a changing culture.

  • Starring: Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonah Parris
  • Director: Justin Simien
  • Year: 2014
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Die Hard

One of the best action movies ever made, "Die Hard" is a dazzling, unpredictable, and endlessly quotable romp filled with over-the-top villains, a complicated heist, and a wisecracking hero. Bruce Willis shines as New York City police officer John McClane, who pays a visit to Los Angeles to see his estranged wife. They meet up for her company Christmas party at the sleek Nakatomi Plaza, on the very evening that a group of sophisticated terrorists, led by the wicked Hans Gruber, hold everyone hostage. Before long, McClane is crawling through air vents, jumping off ledges, and communicating with the local cops outside in the hopes of getting everyone out alive.

Dirty Pretty Things

"Dirty Pretty Things" explores the unseen London, from the criminal underground to the day-to-day grind of undocumented migrant workers. Okwe struggles to make a living as a hotel clerk, but also uses his medical background to perform quasi-legal procedures. When he discovers a human heart in a hotel room's toilet, he gets involved with an organ harvesting scheme. Therein lies his dilemma: Does he help out with illegal surgeries to enrich himself financially and secure a better future, or does he blow up the whole unethical situation?

  • Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Audrey Tautou, Sergi Lopez
  • Director: Stephen Frears
  • Year: 2002
  • Runtime: 94 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

The Father

Anthony Hopkins won an Academy Award for his devastating performance as the titular character in "The Father," an aging man consumed by the progressing effects of dementia. He has moments of clarity, in which he tries to come to grips with how his very essence and concept of reality are slowly slipping away — but he stubbornly refuses to give up any independence. He is assisted — against his will — by his adult daughter, who struggles to find the patience and emotional fortitude necessary for the job.


"Foxcatcher" depicts a shockingly tragic real-life story from the world of wrestling. John du Pont (played to the ominous and creepy hilt by Steve Carell) is the heir to the vast du Pont chemical fortune. He's built a huge estate outfitted with a world-class facility to train elite wrestlers. Du Pont reaches out to Olympian Mark Schultz to offer his services, which the wrestler accepts. He thinks this will help him come into his own in a sport dominated by his more talented and popular brother, Mark. But things take a dark and deadly turn when Du Pont reveals he wants to train Dave Schultz, too. Therein lies this movie's explosive and fascinating tension.

Fruitvale Station

Before filmmaker Ryan Coogler and actor Michael B. Jordan made "Black Panther," they made "Fruitvale Station," a devastating movie that explores the real-life story of Oscar Grant's last day. Plagued by feelings of foreboding dread, as if he knows the end is near, Grant endeavors to right his wrongs by being a more responsible partner, a kinder son, and a better father to his young daughter. That sense of doom permeates "Fruitvale Station" as it briskly careens toward its inevitable ending in an Oakland transit station.

  • Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz
  • Director: Ryan Coogler
  • Year: 2013
  • Runtime: 85 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Guardians of the Galaxy

A departure from the usual superhero-centric Marvel movies, "Guardians of the Galaxy" is an antihero movie, as well as a rollicking science fiction action-comedy. Peter Quill — or Star-Lord, as he would love people to call him — is a crafty space criminal who swipes an orb of enormous power coveted by supervillain Ronan. Things quickly go awry, and Star-Lord ends up rolling with a band of misfits. This unforgettable group includes skilled warrior Gamora, sarcastic raccoon Rocket, sentient tree Groot, and vengeance-minded Drax the Destroyer. "Guardians of the Galaxy" is pleasantly aware of its own absurdity, and blossoms into a genuinely stirring tale of unlikely friends.

High Noon

In the mid-20th century, when Hollywood churned out dozens of low budget, simply plotted Westerns, along came "High Noon," one of the genre's best and most complex entries. Will Kane is a world-weary marshal looking to leave law enforcement and his tiny New Mexico town behind with his new wife beside him. But then his rival, local criminal Frank Miller, gets out of jail and sends word that he wants revenge on the marshal who put him away. Kane is pulled back into the cat-and-mouse game without the help of townsfolk or his usual deputies, setting up an epic final showdown.

  • Starring: Gary Cooper, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges
  • Director: Fred Zinnemann
  • Year: 1952
  • Runtime: 85 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%


A seething satire and commentary from "Silicon Valley" and "King of the Hill" creator Mike Judge, "Idiocracy" takes aim at the perceived dumbing-down of every aspect of modern American life, an existence saturated in corporate and media messaging. The plot finds Joe Bowers, statistically the most average guy in the entire U.S. Army, picked for a top-secret hibernation experiment. The project loses funding, and Joe is forgotten for 500 years. When he unfreezes, the world has changed for the worse. Humanity has devolved into a race of slack-jawed dummies, with Joe now the smartest man on Earth, and he's tasked by the failing U.S. government to save the dying crops and economy.

  • Starring: Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Terry Crews
  • Director: Mike Judge
  • Year: 2006
  • Runtime: 84 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

In America

"In America" tells the deeply personal and moving story of a family of Irish immigrants struggling to make a better life for themselves in New York City. Parents Johnny and Sarah try to stay even-keeled and keep up appearances for the sake of their plucky children, but they're haunted by a lack of career success, underpaid jobs, and the memory of their deceased child, Frankie. All the while, daughter Christy preserves the family's unique lives by recording everything on a video camera.

  • Starring: Paddy Considine, Samantha Morton, Djimon Hounsou
  • Director: Jim Sheridan
  • Year: 2002
  • Runtime: 103 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Little Women

Louisa May Alcott's classic 19th-century novel about four tight-knit siblings is refreshed with a 21st-century point of view from writer-director Greta Gerwig, who applies the same frankness and energy she used in "Lady Bird" to great effect, giving the women of the title far more agency and developed inner lives than even Alcott could. The film uses two parallel timelines — a rosy, nostalgic past and a darker, greyer future — to explore the relationships between the March sisters as they deal with love, illness, the Civil War, and the steady passage of time. Featuring standout performances from the likes of Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, and Timothee Chalamet, "Little Women" just might be the definitive adaptation of Alcott's classic novel.

  • Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh
  • Director: Greta Gerwig
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 135 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Love and Mercy

"Love and Mercy" is an entry in the sub-genre of biographical movies about rock music geniuses — in this case, Beach Boys mastermind and chief songwriter Brian Wilson. To convey the unique triumphs and tragedies Wilson experienced as one of the 20th century's pop architects, the film switches between two eras of the Beach Boy's life: His time as a sensitive innocent unprepared for the rigors of fame (portrayed by Paul Dano), and his experiences as a middle-aged man (John Cusack) troubled by years of mental health issues and the exploitation of a predatory doctor.

Mr. Turner

Timothy Spall picked up a slew of awards and nominations for his complex performance as 19th century British artist J. M. W. Turner in this fantastic film. Focusing on the final two decades of Turner's life, "Mr. Turner" depicts his professional triumphs, especially his development from a respected landscape painter into a truly progressive and groundbreaking one. It also exposes his complicated personal life, as he continually mourns the death of his father and moves in and out of a torrid love triangle.

  • Starring: Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson
  • Director: Mike Leigh
  • Year: 2014
  • Runtime: 149 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Never Let Me Go

"Never Let Me Go" plays like a fluid and visually stunning dream, with lots to say about what it truly means to be human. Adapted from the novel of the same name by Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro, "Never Let Me Go" follows Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy, an inseparable trio of friends who attend a countryside English boarding school. As they tentatively venture into the outside world, they discover a vague dystopia. Soon, the young adults realize they're actually clones — and their lives are not truly their own.

  • Starring: Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley
  • Director: Mark Romanek
  • Year: 2010
  • Runtime: 104 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

California is the subject of much mythology and nostalgia, and writer-director Quentin Tarantino unabashedly embraces it all in his cinematic love letter to Los Angeles in the 1960s and the old Hollywood system, before the Manson Family murders would forever change the former and the gritty auteur era would permanently undo the latter. "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" unfolds via intertwining storylines. First, there's washed-up Western star Rick Dalton who, in lieu of working, spends his days goofing off with laid back stuntman Cliff Booth (a role that won Brad Pitt an Oscar). Then there's his next door neighbor, Sharon Tate, ultimately doomed but enjoying the magic that Hollywood seems to present her with constantly.

Parallel Mothers

"Parallel Mothers" marks the seventh collaboration between two icons of Spanish cinema: filmmaker Pedro Almodovar and actor Penelope Cruz. "Parallel Mothers" is about two single mothers-to-be who meet in a hospital when both are preparing to go into labor. Their pregnancies are parallel, but the trajectory of their lives and those of their children are anything but. Cruz's 30-something Janis is a glamorous photographer pregnant by a dalliance, while Ana is a terrified teenager. Both suffer difficult deliveries, only one of the babies is declared healthy, and Janis and Ana stay in touch but become enemies after a tragedy, ultimately becoming each other's true ally in a world that's hostile to both.

  • Starring: Penelope Cruz, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, Milena Smit
  • Director: Pedro Almodovar
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 123 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Raising Arizona

"Raising Arizona" is a strange, surreal, and complicated crime comedy that sympathizes with the lawbreakers. Like "The Big Lebowski" and "Fargo," the characters in "Raising Arizona" are strange and none too bright. This is particularly true of repeat offender H.I. McDunnough who marries the booking officer he so frequently encounters. Their unlikely bliss is threatened by the couple's inability to conceive a child, so H.I. resorts to his usual problem-solving method: He steals one. An odious furniture tycoon has been getting a lot of publicity for his newborn quintuplets, so H.I. figures he won't miss just one. But soon there's a price on his head, and every hero and villain in Arizona is after the kind-hearted, poor-decision-making H.I.

Silver Linings Playbook

"Silver Linings Playbook" is an unconventional romantic comedy about two struggling people who help each other heal from trauma. Jennifer Lawrence won an Academy Award for her performance as Tiffany, a young widow dealing with relentless grief via self-destructive sexual relationships. She thinks there might be some solace in winning a local dance contest and teams up with Pat, an angry man and former teacher who just got out of a mental health facility and is living with his dysfunctional parents.

  • Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro
  • Director: David O. Russell
  • Year: 2012
  • Runtime: 122 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Spider-Man: No Way Home

In the latest epic solo outing about Peter Parker, mild-mannered teenage nerd turned web-slinging, high-swinging, villain-fighting Spider-Man faces the biggest challenges of his burgeoning superhero life. "No Way Home," the biggest Marvel movie in years, finds Peter dealing with the fallout after his secret identity is exposed, leaving him unable to keep up a double life any longer. In his ambitious quest to correct the world and get his privacy back — a process that involves him enlisting the help of fellow hero Doctor Strange — Peter unlocks the Multiverse, forcing him into direct contact with numerous villains and heroes of Spider-Man's past, a la Alfred Molina's Doc Ock and Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin. The result is an epic adventure that pays homage to three different "Spider-Man" trilogies and will leave you laughing, cheering, and crying in equal measure.

  • Starring: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Director: Jon Watts
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 148 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Talk to Me

A crackling, energetic true story set in the world of radio during the transformative 1960s, "Talk to Me" dramatically reflects the massive, broader social changes happening at the time. Don Cheadle plays Petey Greene Jr., a recent parolee who lands a gig as a Washington, D.C., radio personality, clashing with station management and some of his coworkers. But with the help of his program director, a fellow ex-convict, Greene becomes a hit with his freewheeling show where he can spin excellent records and express his provocative, establishment-challenging views.

  • Starring: Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Taraji P. Henson
  • Director: Kasi Lemmons
  • Year: 2007
  • Runtime: 118 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

The Thin Red Line

War movies aren't usually as emotionally intimate as "The Thin Red Line." Capturing how combat haunts people after the fighting is done, the lushly shot, Oscar-nominated film takes place in the Pacific Theater of World War II. An officer discovers a deserting soldier living happily on an island and forces him back into service in the ominous days leading up to the Battle of Guadalcanal. The American troops prepare and execute a seemingly unwinnable attack on Japanese territory. But the film's true meaning is found in its exploration of the men's deeply conflicted and fearful state of mind.

  • Starring: Sean Penn, Adrien Brody, Jim Caviezel
  • Director: Terrence Malick
  • Year: 1998
  • Runtime: 170 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Toni Erdmann

"Toni Erdmann" delicately balances ridiculous comedy with earnest relationship drama. Winfried is an elderly jokester whose grating behavior has left his relationship with Ines, his straight-laced and serious daughter, strained. Thus, Winfried decides to take a drastic approach to getting through to his daughter: He adopts the persona of an abrasive creep in a bad wig named Toni Erdmann. As Toni, a fake and incompetent life coach, Winfried invades his daughter's work life. Somehow, this brings them closer together.

  • Starring: Peter Simonischek, Sandra Huller, Ingrid Bisu
  • Director: Maren Ade
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 162 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

With his idiosyncratic acting style, sometimes bizarre choices of film, and colorful personal life, Nicolas Cage has become a bigger character than any he could ever play in a movie — up until "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent," that is. Cage performs with ironic, self-aware relish, trotting out all the Cage tropes and tricks to play the role he was born to play: a heightened version of himself. On the verge of bankruptcy, Cage accepts a $1 million check to attend a stranger's birthday party, only for the CIA to recruit him on a strange and twist-filled mission that seems unbelievable to both Cage and the audience at times, but it's one in which he'll have to rely on his prodigious, if latent, acting skills if he wants to survive.

Wild Indian

A dark indie thriller about abandonment and the ramifications of covering up a murder, "Wild Indian" is full of enthralling dread. In the film's 1980s-set scenes, Makwa and Teddo are two young Ojibwe boys growing up on a reservation. Makwa, with little provocation, kills a school friend, and Teddo helps him hide the crime. Life proceeds to move on: Teddo goes to prison for a long time, and Makwa attempts to put together a solid life for himself. No matter how entirely he ignores his crimes and erases his Ojibwe identity from his life, however, Makwa will eventually have to address his past — especially after he reconnects with a troubled Teddo in the present day.

  • Starring: Michael Greyeyes, Chaske Spencer, Kate Bosworth
  • Director: Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr.
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Year of the Dog

"Year of the Dog" is a low-key, animal-celebrating character study from Mike White, creator of "The White Lotus." Peggy is a middle-aged woman whose life moves from lackluster to chaotic after her beloved dog dies. She tries to be a champion for goodness, throwing herself into adopting dogs and working for animal rights organizations. Before she knows it, Peggy's whole life revolves around her passion for animals. But her do-gooding may come at the expense of her relationships — and her grip on reality.

Youth in Revolt

Awkward teenager Nick Twisp fancies himself an artistic outsider. He's thrown totally off-course when he's moved into a seedy trailer park by his mother and her ne'er-do-well boyfriend. But Nick quickly falls for Sheeni, his captivating neighbor, who similarly identifies with the midcentury artistic greats. There's just one problem: She doesn't share Nick's romantic interest. Thus, Nick sets out to win her heart by concocting a suave twin: Francois, a charming bad boy.

  • Starring: Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart
  • Director: Miguel Arteta
  • Year: 2009
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 66%