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31 Best Movies On Starz [February 2023]

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 January 27, 2023: Starz frequently adds (and deletes) films from its online library of content, so check back here each month to see what's new.

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.

The Adjustment Bureau

Rising political star David Norris is about to fulfill a long-held dream and win a seat in the U.S. Senate. But then, he falls in love with ballet dancer Elise. "The Adjustment Bureau" swiftly becomes a thriller as David and Elise run for their lives, pursued by aggressive secret agents who work for the concept of fate itself. They do everything they can to keep David and Elise apart, because their love is not predestined. This ambitious movie makes the philosophical debate between destiny and free will utterly visceral.

  • Starring: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie
  • Director: George Nolfi
  • Year: 2011
  • Runtime: 105 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Alien

"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.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly

Part of the expansive "Dragon Ball" franchise, "Dragon Ball Super: Broly" is one of the few movies in the broader series that can be watched on its own. In fact, this movie offers some great expositional history lessons regarding the world of the franchise, without ever assuming viewers know anything about what's come before. The story explores the rediscovery of an extremely powerful character, the titular Broly, who is enlisted by the villainous Frieza to destroy the heroes of the series. It's a simple plot, but the flashbacks throughout add depth to each of the lead characters' actions — and there's certainly a lot of action.

  • Starring (Japanese dub): Masako Nozawa, Ryō Horikawa, Ryūsei Nakao
  • Starring (English dub): Vic Mignogna, Christopher Sabat, Christopher Ayres
  • Director: Tatsuya Nagamine
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Fargo

The Coen brothers have been a staple of Hollywood for decades now, and while not every single one of their films has become a cultural touchstone, "Fargo" certainly did. This one-of-a-kind film follows pregnant Minnesota police chief Marge Gunderson as she investigates a series of homicides in the wake of a kidnapping gone wrong. "Fargo" perfectly mixes humor, crime drama thrills, and big ideas about morality into a movie that's just as delightfully funny as it is thought provoking. It's also an amazing star vehicle for Frances McDormand, who holds the entire film together from its silliest to its most gruesome moments.

  • Starring: Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi
  • Director: Joel Coen
  • Year: 1996
  • Runtime: 98 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

"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.

Fresh

A bleak but bubbling crime thriller, "Fresh" is about the intense and deadly world of 1990s New York City, where poverty, hopelessness, and a thriving drug trade make life complicated and hostile. This is especially true for a 12-year-old kid named Fresh, who survives it all by dealing drugs. The criminal sector is lorded over by a drug kingpin named Esteban, who comes into Fresh's personal purview by way of dating his sister. In order to rid himself and his family from Esteban's cruelty, Fresh has to get clever. He concocts an elaborate and dangerous plan with the assistance of his father, a down-on-his-luck former chess master.

  • Starring: Sean Nelson, Giancarlo Esposito, Samuel L. Jackson
  • Director: Boaz Yakin
  • Year: 1994
  • Runtime: 115 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

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%

Galaxy Quest

This fun and silly comedy hinges on its very clever premise. In "Galaxy Quest," the cast of the titular, canceled sci-fi series can't get much work anymore, typecast for their roles as space explorers and extraterrestrials on the cheesy, "Star Trek: The Next Generation"-esque show. As a result, they bitterly pass the time and earn a meager wage appearing at sci-fi fan conventions. But the fake crew finds real purpose when fiction and reality blur and collide. They're approached, or semi-kidnapped, by the earnest representatives of an alien race seeking their help to defeat an evil, conquering space lord. It would seem that episodes of "Galaxy Quest" have traveled through the cosmos, to distant planets where the residents think they're documentary evidence of space heroics.

  • Starring: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman
  • Director: Dean Parisot
  • Year: 1999
  • Runtime: 104 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Gangs of New York

Throughout his impressive body of work, filmmaker Martin Scorsese has frequently explored the history of organized crime in New York. For example, take "Gangs of New York," a realistic and grim look at life for the Irish immigrant community in the not-yet-Big Apple of the 1860s. Relatively recent emigre Amsterdam Vallon (a scrappy Leonardo DiCaprio) is sprung from prison, and he immediately heads for the busy and crime-centric Five Points neighborhood, with a steely focus on avenging the death of his father at the hands of William Cutting, aka Bill the Butcher, a powerful crime lord who shows off his might by slaughtering immigrants. In order to get close enough to Bill (a frightening and over-the-top Daniel Day-Lewis), Amsterdam has to talk his way into the boss' trusted inner circle of thieves and thugs.

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%

Idiocracy

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%

Milk

"Milk" spread the inspiring and tragic story of a civil rights pioneer and American icon who was previously known mostly on the West Coast and in the LGBTQ+ community. Sean Penn won his second Oscar for his work as Harvey Milk, a charismatic and crusading San Francisco city supervisor in the 1970s and one of the first openly gay people in the United States to hold elected office. "Milk" tracks Milk's rise from New York-transplant camera store owner and gay rights organizer to his accomplishments in the highest sectors of government in one of America's largest cities through to his shocking murder at the hands of a rattled fellow politician.

  • Starring: Sean Penn, Emilie Hirsch, Josh Brolin
  • Director: Gus Van Sant
  • Year: 2008
  • Runtime: 128 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

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%

Spider-Man: Homecoming

In this, the first chapter in the third modern-day movie series starring your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, web-slinging teen Peter Parker tries to live an ordinary life. That's a tall order, however, given he's a local superhero who's still reeling from having fought beside the Avengers and his mentorship by Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. Stark doesn't think he's ready for primetime, but Peter is positively raring to go when a villain called the Vulture starts wrecking havoc around the city. It's up to Spider-Man to save the day and prove his heroic mettle once and for all — and make sure he's not late to the big school dance.

  • Starring: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Michael Keaton
  • Director: Jon Watts
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 133 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • 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%

Stan and Ollie

Fans of film history may be well-served by "Stan and Ollie," a movie about one of the most famous and important screen comedy duos of all time — legends who are becoming increasingly more obscure as the years pass. This biopic of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, aka Laurel and Hardy — particularly their later, scraping-by years — is a look at the entertainment industry of yore with a lot to say about the toll a creative life can take on its practitioners. "Stan and Ollie" is set in the early 1950s, many years after Laurel and Hardy dominated movie comedies with their silly shorts featuring them as their popular characters, dimwitted and perpetually angry, respectively. As Hardy falls ill, they have to reckon with their friendship, as well as their age-old professional resentments.

  • Starring: Steve Coogan, John C. Reilly, Shirley Henderson
  • Director: Jon S. Baird
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 97 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

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%

That Thing You Do!

Tom Hanks, universally liked actor and chronicler of 20th-century phenomena like space flight and World War II, made his directorial debut with "That Thing You Do!" — a fast-paced, loving, and very funny tribute to 1960s Beatle-esque rock. Hanks plays a minor role as Mr. White, a Svengali-type who turns a goofy small-town garage band called the Oneders into the Wonders, a brief pop sensation on the strength of their one hit, the supremely catchy "That Thing You Do." The film is told primarily through the eyes of replacement drummer Guy, a jazzman at heart who soaks in the band's quick rise and even faster fall while tumbling head over heels for the lead singer's girlfriend. ("That Thing You Do!" will hit Starz on March 18.)

  • Starring: Tom Everett Scott, Liv Tyler, Jonathon Schaech
  • Director: Tom Hanks
  • Year: 1996
  • Runtime: 110 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 93%

Trainspotting

Based on the novel of the same name by Irvine Welsh, "Trainspotting" follows a group of Edinburgh friends and heroin addicts as they navigate substance abuse, economic anxiety, and romance. It's a film that starts with a bang and is a shockingly good time for much of its run — until the real horror of addiction becomes clear. "Trainspotting" is full of great performances from its stars and offers a look at why and how some people deal with addiction without ever becoming overly preachy or bleak. While the movie doesn't shy away from darkness, the incredible way it balances joy and despair is what makes "Trainspotting" great.

  • Starring: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller
  • Director: Danny Boyle
  • Year: 1996
  • Runtime: 93 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

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%