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75 Best Movies Streaming

We live in a world of streaming. Whether we're talking Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, or Disney+, there are a ton of options out there. As a result, people now have access to hundreds of movies, and while that's awesome, sometimes the choices can get a bit overwhelming. Picking the best film to watch on random movie nights can be time-consuming for viewers who can get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of available content or who don't know where to find the very best offerings. In the mood for laughs but don't know where to turn? Want something scary but aren't sure where to look? Well, never fear — that's exactly why we've decided to make it easier for you by gathering 75 of the very best movies available for your viewing pleasure. 

Updated on April 7, 2023: Ranging from horror and comedy to action and drama, the movies listed below can definitely keep you entertained and satisfied, whether you're watching with friends, family or even by yourself.

The Adam Project - Netflix

Directed by Shawn Levy, "The Adam Project" follows time-traveling fighter pilot Adam Reed as he escapes a dystopian world and crashes in 2022 during a quest to save his wife. He's soon discovered by his 12-year-old self, who's still having a hard time accepting his father's death. The little guy's life is about to get even more difficult as Adam's enemies are chasing him across time, and the two must jump to 2018 and enlist the help of — you guessed it — their dearly departed dad, the man who invented time travel.

The film features a heartwarming and relatable storyline about growing up, acceptance, and loss. Leading the sci-fi adventure are Ryan Reynolds and Walker Scobell, who makes an impressive feature acting debut. Their comedic chemistry serves as the heart of the story, leaving the audiences wanting for more of their entertaining banter.

  • Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Mark Ruffalo, Walker Scobell
  • Director: Shawn Levy
  • Year: 2022
  • Runtime: 106 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%

Almost Famous - Paramount+

1970s teen William Miller is thrilled when he gets the opportunity to work as a music journalist. On his first assignment, he meets free-spirited groupie Penny Lane, with whom he quickly forms a bond. Things get even more intense when William joins rising band Stillwater's tour and finds himself becoming close to the musicians. Loosely based on director Cameron Crowe's personal experiences, "Almost Famous" is a vivid exploration of 1970s rock. it also features a breakout performance from Kate Hudson, who earned a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for her work as Penny Lane.

  • Starring: Kate Hudson, Patrick Fugit, Billy Crudup
  • Director: Cameron Crowe
  • Year: 2000
  • Runtime: 122 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Another Round - Hulu, Kanopy

"Another Round" is a black dramedy following the lives of high school teachers Martin, Tommy, Peter, and Nikolaj, who are feeling dejected with what's happening in their personal lives and careers. In an attempt to improve themselves, they start a social experiment to see if maintaining a certain level of blood alcohol content throughout the day could have a positive effect on their lives. However, after enjoying success, they try to push past their limits in order to find out if this would even make them happier.

This Danish film scored an Oscar for Best International Feature, and Mads Mikkelsen delivers an incredible and compelling performance — one that's teeters back and forth from joy to heartbreak. Come for the premise, stay for the amazing dance number. 

Avengers: Endgame - Disney+

The culmination of 11 years of storytelling, "Avengers: Endgame" picks up in the aftermath of "Infinity War." It's been five years since half the universe disappeared, and the remaining Avengers are still grieving from their devastating loss to Thanos. But after Ant-Man reemerges from the Quantum Realm, Earth's Mightiest heroes — including Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, and Thor — reunite to pull a time-traveling heist in their quest to undo the Snap.

The Russo brothers do an exceptional job at delivering a highly entertaining and satisfying finale to "The Infinity Saga," masterfully directing a massive ensemble cast of award-winning actors and blockbuster stars. In addition to breaking box office records, the film also received critical acclaim with critics praising it for its heartfelt story, well-made action sequences, and pitch-perfect performances.

  • Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson
  • Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 185 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Bad Genius - Netflix

Based on real-life events, "Bad Genius" is a coming-of-age heist thriller following a group of high school students in Thailand as they try to pull off a massive cheating operation — stealing and sharing the answers for the STIC exams, which allow students to qualify for universities abroad.

Our protagonist is Lynn, a teenager who's highly intellectual but doesn't come from a wealthy background like her fellow classmates. So she turns to helping other students cheat on school tests in exchange for money. And when the opportunity for earning millions arises, Lynn takes her business to another level by trying to outsmart the STIC.

The film offers a refreshingly unique twist to the heist genre through its entertaining and nerve-wracking exam sequences. Model turned actress Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying makes an impressive acting debut by giving a captivating lead performance.

  • Starring: Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, Chanon Santinatornkul, Eisaya Hosuwan
  • Director: Nattawut Poonpiriya
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 129 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Ball of Fire - Pluto TV

A charming romantic comedy that's sexier than it has any right to be, "Ball of Fire" lives and dies on the chemistry between Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper in the two lead roles. Stanwyck is playing right in her comfort zone, as a brassy dame who can wrap a man around her little finger, while Cooper is outrageously against type as an awkward, bookish professor more interested in finishing his beloved encyclopedia than going out on the town. But somehow, they work — it's the ultimate "opposites attract" screwball comedy. And while its romantic duo is more than worth the price of admission, they're adorably supported by a troupe of Cooper's shy fellow academics, loosely inspired by the seven dwarfs of "Snow White."

  • Starring: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Dana Andrews
  • Director: Howard Hawks
  • Year: 1941
  • Runtime: 111 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

The Banshees of Inisherin - HBO Max

What would happen if you woke up one day and learned that your best friend suddenly decided that they wanted nothing to do with you, seemingly overnight? How would that shake your entire world? A dull but kind-hearted man named Padraic meets this fate in "The Banshees of Inisherin," when his drinking buddy Colm is so committed to abandoning their friendship that he threatens to cut off one of his fingers for each time Padraic tries to talk to him. A melancholy dark comedy about the death of friendship, community, and a united Ireland itself, "The Banshees of Inisherin" features a cast full of stars in rare form, creating an emotionally devastating tableau of village life.

The Batman - HBO Max

Take some classic film noir elements, the Zodiac Killer, a little Kurt Cobain, and an iconic comic book character, mix 'em all up, and you get "The Batman." This brooding superhero flick finds the Dark Knight in the early stages of his career, driven by anger and violence as opposed to being a beacon of hope for Gotham City. And Gotham sure could use a little hope, what with the Riddler on the loose.

Reinvisioned as a maniacal serial killer, the Riddler is leaving a trail of mutilated bodies in his wake, forcing Batman to team up with the enigmatic Catwoman and the city's one good cop, Jim Gordon, to bring the murderer down. Along the way, we get to witness Robert Pattinson's phenomenal performance as a Caped Crusader who's drowning in darkness and struggling to differentiate himself from his angry masked persona. This world feels like an extension of David Fincher's "Se7en," the use of shadows is exceptional, and watching Batman get to be a detective is an absolute blast — and that's not even mentioning Colin Farrell's incredible Penguin by way of Robert De Niro.

  • Starring: Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano

  • Director: Matt Reeves

  • Year: 2022

  • Runtime: 176 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Blade Runner 2049 - Hulu

Serving as a sequel to Ridley Scott's 1982 cult classic, "Blade Runner 2049" follows K, an LAPD blade runner tasked with dispatching life-like robots called replicants. Making things even more complicated, K knows full well that he's a replicant himself. However, when his latest hunt leads him to suspect that replicants have developed the ability to reproduce, he sets off in search of serious answers to some very big questions — questions that some very powerful people don't want answered.

Denis Villeneuve masterfully directs this brilliant, sentimental sequel that's filled with beautiful cinematography and effects. The result is a sequel that some regard as superior to the '82 original. Both philosophically thoughtful and visually spectacular, "2049" also hinges on the chemistry between leads Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas, with their performances being the highlights of the film.

Braveheart - HBO Max

Inspired by the true-life tale, "Braveheart" takes place in the 13th century, where the cruel Edward Longshanks holds Scotland in his iron grasp. Fortunately, there's a blue-faced hero on the horizon — one William Wallace. Motivated by a lust for freedom and a need for revenge, Wallace gathers an army and takes it to the British, resulting in some of the greatest medieval battle scenes ever filmed. 

The movie serves as the second directorial effort from Mel Gibson, who earned an Oscar for best director for his work here. The movie also won best picture, and in addition to being praised for Gibson's smooth direction and commanding performance, critics have lauded the film for its well-developed screenplay, beautiful cinematography, and grisly action scenes.

  • Starring: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson
  • Director: Mel Gibson
  • Year: 1995
  • Runtime: 178 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

Can't Hardly Wait - HBO Max

In the sprawling subgenre of 1990s teen romantic comedies, "Can't Hardly Wait" may not be the best, but it's difficult to think of another film that serves as a better "who's who" of both the hottest young stars of the era and the up-and-comers who got their big break here — everyone is in this movie. 

It takes place over the course of one high school grad party, when Preston Meyers is determined to confess his love to Amanda, who he's pined over since the first day he met her and has just recently broken up with her boyfriend. Amanda, for her part, is horrified that every boy she crosses paths with (even, distressingly, her own cousin) is ready to hook up with her now that she's not with anybody, even though she makes it clear she wants to be single for a while. Some dodgy relationship issues aside, "Can't Hardly Wait" is at its best when it focuses on its broader cast of hilarious supporting characters, who easily steal the film.

  • Starring: Ethan Embry, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Lauren Ambrose
  • Director: Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont
  • Year: 1998
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 40%

Casablanca - HBO Max

As World War II ravages the globe, Rick Blaine spends his days running a bar in Casablanca — a town that plays host to smugglers, Nazis, and refugees hoping to escape. Cold and cynical, Rick ignores the conflict that's right on his doorstep ... until she walks into his bar. She is Isla Lund, Rick's old flame who ditched him in Paris, and now she's here with her husband, freedom fighter Victor Laszlo. The two need to escape to America, and Rick is the only one who can help, but can he put his past with Ilsa behind him and do the right thing?

Shot in beautiful black and white, "Casablanca" is quite possibly the greatest love story ever told, with a smoldering chemistry between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. And with one of the tightest screenplays ever written — perfectly balancing the passion, action, and laughs — "Casablanca" is also a stirring tale of overcoming cynicism and taking a stand, even when you're sure you'll lose.

  • Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid
  • Director: Michael Curtiz
  • Year: 1942
  • Runtime: 102 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

Constantine - HBO Max

In the hopes of obtaining Heaven's favor and avoiding his destined damnation, occult detective John Constantine hunts demons and performs exorcisms for ordinary people. Things become more complicated after he meets Angela Dodson, who asks him to help her investigate her twin sister's mysterious death. Constantine soon finds himself in the middle of a grand demonic plot to unleash Hell on Earth. Though it's somewhat clunky, "Constantine" boasts an impressive performance from Keanu Reeves, great visuals, and high-octane action sequences.

  • Starring: Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Shia LaBeouf
  • Director: Francis Lawrence
  • Year: 2005
  • Runtime: 120 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 46%

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Paramount+

Benjamin Button was born with a strange medical condition — he physically ages in reverse, beginning life with the appearance of an old man. During his difficult childhood, he meets young Daisy, and after forming an instant connection, they each lead a lifetime of trying to catch up with each other. Throughout the film, we also follow Benjamin as he travels the world, interacts with the father who abandoned him, and romances Daisy, all while growing older and younger at the same time.

The film features a star-studded cast, with notable names like Tilda Swinton, Mahershala Ali, and Julia Ormond supporting the main cast. David Fincher's thoughtful direction and Claudio Miranda's amazing cinematography bring "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" to life, as the film delves into what it means to truly live.

  • Starring: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson
  • Director: David Fincher
  • Year: 2008
  • Runtime: 166 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Day of the Dead - fuboTV, Kanopy, Peacock, Tubi

Legendary horror filmmaker George A. Romero delivers a zombie horror classic in 1985's "Day of the Dead," which serves as the third installment in his "Living Dead" film series. The story follows a group of scientists and soldiers residing in an underground bunker in Florida while zombies overrun the surface. Due to the limited space and waning supplies, tensions begin to rise between the scientists and soldiers as their mental health slowly gets affected by their situation. What comes next is absolute chaos as the living dead invade the bunker, while the remaining survivors try to find a way to escape the madness. As for the gore, it's pretty intense, courtesy of special effects legend Tom Savini ("Dawn of the Dead"), with the help of Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger of "The Walking Dead" fame.

  • Starring: Lori Cardille, Terence Alexander, Joseph Pilato
  • Director: George A. Romero
  • Year: 1985
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Dune - HBO Max

Based on Frank Herbert's 1965 novel, "Dune" centers around Paul Atreides, a young man gifted with superhuman abilities. But his gifts might not matter much thanks to the political intrigue at play. House Atreides has been put in charge of the most dangerous place in the galaxy, the spice-mining planet of Arrakis, and Paul's life turns upside down when the ruthless House Harkonnen launches a surprise attack. Burdened by visions of the future and hunted by dangerous enemies, Paul must confront his fears in order to fulfill his family's wishes for Arrakis. 

Brilliantly directed by Denis Villeneuve, "Dune" boasts an all-star cast that includes everyone from Zendaya and Jason Momoa to Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem. Breathtakingly shot by Greig Fraser and memorably scored by Hans Zimmer, "Dune" is the first half of a two-part story and an epic opening to one of our greatest sci-fi adventures.

Elvis - HBO Max

Former teen star Austin Butler completely transforms himself into the King of Rock and Roll in Baz Luhrmann's biographical musical drama "Elvis." It chronicles the titular artist's life from living in poverty in Mississippi and his early music influences to his unprecedented rise to stardom and the tumultuous final years of his career. Elvis Presley's epic story is told from the point of view of his manager Colonel Tom Park, as the film also depicts their complicated and strained relationship. Without a doubt, the main reason to watch "Elvis" is Austin Butler's lead performance, which has earned mountains of praise from critics. To prepare for the biggest role of his career, Butler underwent a three-year journey to capture Elvis' voice and master his moves, as well as have a true understanding of what he was like off the stage.

Encanto - Disney+

Set in a hidden village in the Columbian mountains, "Encanto" follows the Madrigal family as they live in a magical house. Each Madrigal child has been gifted with unique abilities such as being able to understand animals, controlling the weather, super strength, and more. However, for an unknown reason, the miracle skips the young Mirabel. Because of this, Mirabel constantly feels left out, but after seeing a terrible vision about the house's destruction, Mirabel discovers her destined role in saving the family's waning magic.

The film features a relatable, emotional storyline that perfectly depicts generational trauma within extended families. In addition to its impeccable animation, vibrant visuals, and rich display of culture, it's also been praised for its catchy and charming songs that audiences just can't seem to forget.

  • Starring: Stephanie Beatriz, María Cecilia Botero, John Leguizamo
  • Director: Jared Bush, Byron Howard
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 112 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Europa Europa - HBO Max

An incredible true story of survival against all odds, "Europa Europa" stars Marco Hofschneider as a Jewish teenager who embarks on a journey across Europe after Hitler rises to power. He flees from Germany to Poland, ends up in first a Soviet orphanage and later a prisoner-of-war camp, before finally finding refuge in the lion's den, posing as a young Aryan at a prestigious Hitler Youth Academy. He lives in fear of having his true identity discovered, all while agonizing over the fate of the rest of his family. "Europa Europa" is almost too amazing to be believed, and with Agnieszka Holland's empathetic direction, it's one of the most compelling Holocaust films of the 20th century.

  • Starring: Marco Hofschneider, Julie Delpy, Andre Wilms
  • Director: Agnieszka Holland
  • Year: 1990
  • Runtime: 115 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Everything Everywhere All at Once - Showtime

Evelyn Wang has hit a pretty rough spot in her life — she feels like she's wasted her potential, she's being audited by the IRS, her marriage has hit a rocky patch, and she 100% doesn't understand her daughter. And then she gets sucked into a multiversal battle where the fate of everything hangs in the balance.

However, the stakes are even higher than that — her very family is at risk. With the appearance of multiverse-hopping versions of her relatives engaging in high-flying martial arts battles, Evelyn will have to heal her own heart, learn the secrets of multiversal warfare, and try to fix her broken family before everything falls apart.

The result is perhaps the most creative movie of 2022, complete with hot dog fingers, a singing raccoon, and Jamie Lee Curtis doing sumo moves — not to mention some of the most epic kung fu showdowns in recent memory. With incredible performances from Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan, "Everything Everywhere All Once" has the action, the heart, and ... well... everything.

  • Starring: Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu

  • Directors: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert

  • Year: 2022

  • Runtime: 139 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Fear Street Part One: 1994 - Netflix

Based on the series by R.L. Stines, "Fear Street Part One: 1994" takes place in Shadyside — a town plagued by an endless stream of slashers. Things get even worse for our hero, Deena, when she learns that her ex, Sam, has been cursed by a long-dead witch, and now, an army of resurrected murderers are on her trail. Together with her young friends, Deena must find a way to break Sam's curse while fighting against the evil entity and her posse of killers.

Directed by Leigh Janiak, the first installment of Netflix's supernatural slasher trilogy is a gore-filled homage to iconic horror films like "Scream," all while delivering a refreshing and entertaining new story. Best of all, beneath the terror and violent kills, there's a queer romance serving as the driving force of the whole story.

  • Starring: Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Ashley Zukerman
  • Director: Leigh Janiak
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 107 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Four Sisters and a Wedding - Netflix, The Roku Channel

"Four Sisters and a Wedding" is a Filipino dramedy centering around the themes of family, love, and the complicated relationships between siblings. 

After learning about their youngest brother's engagement to a girl he's been seeing for less than a year, older sisters Teddy, Bobbie, Alex, and Gabbie reunite to stop their sibling from making the biggest mistake of his life. However, while they try to sabotage the wedding, their different personalities continue to clash, and as long-kept issues and emotional wounds from their childhood start emerging, they'll slowly realize how each of them is struggling in their own ways.

If you're new to Filipino films, "Four Sisters and a Wedding" is the perfect entry point, especially with its cast of acclaimed actresses who all deliver hilarious performances and absolutely click with one another in both the light-hearted and tear-jerking moments.

Free Guy - Disney+, HBO Max

In "Free Guy," Ryan Reynolds stars as Guy, a bank teller who discovers he's a non-playable character in a popular video game. Things continue to unravel when he falls in love at first sight with Millie, who's actually a skilled real-world player. Motivated by love, Guy decides to take control of his story and become more than just a helpless NPC. When the game's sleazy owner reveals his intentions of destroying Guy's world, Guy must become the hero in order to save his fellow NPCs.

If you're looking for a film that's fast, fun, and feels like an actual video game, "Free Guy" is for you. With Shawn Levy's direction, Ryan Reynold's charming lead performance, and "Killing Eve" star Jodie Comer absolutely, well, killing it in her first blockbuster feature, "Free Guy" is a total blast. (Keep your eyes and ears peeled for all the hilarious cameos.)

Fresh - Hulu

A darkly comic horror tale, "Fresh" tells the tale of Noa, a young woman who's had enough of dating. However, her seemingly hopeless search for love changes with the arrival of Steve, a handsome and charming guy she meets at a grocery store. Could this be the man of her dreams? Maybe so, which is why Noa accepts Steve's invitation to go on a weekend getaway ... which is when she's hit with the harsh reality that Steve isn't who she thinks he is.

To say anymore would be to give away the game, but be warned — don't watch "Fresh" if you're at all squeamish. A savage takedown of the modern dating scene, "Fresh" truly shines thanks to its two lead performances. "Normal People" breakout star Daisy Edgar-Jones delivers a sharp and strong leading performance, while MCU vet Sebastian Stan excels in his devilishly charming portrayal of Steve.

  • Starring: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Sebastian Stan, Jonica T. Gibbs
  • Director: Mimi Cave
  • Year: 2022
  • Runtime: 114 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Gladiator - Netflix

Maximus, a loyal and courageous Roman general, but even that can't save him from the late emperor's power-hungry son, Commodus. After refusing to pledge his allegiance to the new regime, Maximus suffers the loss of his wife and son, is enslaved, and becomes a gladiator. As he gains popularity, Maximus' desire for revenge and justice intensifies — but even that might not be enough to topple Commodus. This epic film revived the sword-and-sandal genre with its sharp script, thrilling action sequences, and genuine emotion. Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix deliver phenomenal performances that cemented them as two of the most exciting starts of the new millennium.

  • Starring: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Year: 2000
  • Runtime: 155 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

The Grand Budapest Hotel - HBO Max

Wes Anderson is best known for two things — perfectly crafted worlds and comedies tinged with sadness. Both are on full display in "The Grand Budapest Hotel," which follows the tale of Zero Moustafa, a 1930s lobby boy at a prestigious ski resort. Working under the eccentric hotel concierge, Monsieur Gustave H., is always interesting, especially when he's accused of murdering an 84-year-old dowager to get his hands on a priceless painting. That's when Zero and Gustave set off to prove the concierge's innocence, all while war is looming on the horizon. The result is a whimsical tale that's haunted by deep tragedy. The sets are immaculately designed, the colors perfectly picked out, and the performances bright and cheery, but with World War II on the horizon, we know the Grand Budapest Hotel's best days are behind it.

  • Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Saoirse Ronan
  • Director: Wes Anderson
  • Year: 2014
  • Runtime: 99 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

The Guilty - HBO Max

Coming in at just under an hour and a half, "The Guilty" is a lean thriller with nary a single wasted shot. A police officer is working as an emergency operator while awaiting the outcome of a misconduct trial — he's bored by the work and itching to get back into the field. But then he gets a call from a kidnapped woman, and he will have to pour all of his energies into keeping her alive. Tense and claustrophobic, "The Guilty" is a masterclass in efficient storytelling. It was so popular in both its native Denmark and around the world that it inspired a Netflix English-language remake starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

  • Starring: Jakob Cedergren, Jessica Dinnage, Omar Shargawi
  • Director: Gustav Möller
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 85 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Hamilton - Disney+

Disney+'s "Hamilton" is the filmed version of Lin-Manuel Miranda's award-winning Broadway musical. Based on the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton, the musical drama follows the politician's rise from an ambitious immigrant to the secretary of the treasury. But that journey isn't easy, as he's plagued by rival politicians, a sex scandal, and his fiery relationship with jealous frenemy Aaron Burr. Complete with the original 2015 cast — including Philippa Soo, Leslie Odom Jr., and Daveed Diggs — "Hamilton" is a fascinating look at a forgotten American figure, recontextualized for a modern age. And, oh yeah, the songs are fire.

  • Starring: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Philippa Soo, Leslie Odom Jr.
  • Director: Thomas Kail
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 160 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Happy Old Year - Netflix

After spending three years in Sweden, 20-something aspiring interior designer Jean finally returns home to Thailand where she plans to declutter her messy and disorganized childhood home in hopes of transforming it into her minimalist office. By while throwing away her old stuff, a wave of long-forgotten memories hit her as she discovers items belonging to her ex-boyfriend. Not having the courage to dispose of his stuff, Jean realizes that letting go of people isn't as easy as getting rid of things. The result is an emotional, relatable dramedy about the difficult process of moving on. And despite having a limited filmography, Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying proves her natural talent for acting as she delivers an engrossing lead performance.

Hidden Figures - Disney+

"Hidden Figures" follows three Black female mathematicians in NASA, each one struggling inside a racist, sexist system to achieve their goals. Due to her high intelligence with numbers, Katherine Johnson will be instrumental in finding the numbers needed for astronaut John Glenn's impending launch. Meanwhile, Mary Jackson plans to become NASA's first ever Black female aeronautical engineer. And after learning about plans to replace human computers with machines, Dorothy Vaughan takes it upon herself to personally study how the new machines work in order for her to adapt to changing times and become indispensable to NASA. 

This real-life story is an utterly inspiring tale of courage in the face of discrimination and a lovely tribute to the Black women who were hidden behind the scenes for far too long. Couple that with Taraji P. Henson's career-best performance of Katherine Johnson, and you have a historical drama that's definitely worth a watch.

  • Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe
  • Director: Theodore Melfi
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 127 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

In the Mood for Love - The Criterion Channel, HBO Max

At once smoldering and understated, "In the Mood for Love" is beautiful in its restraint. Tony Leung Chui Wai and Maggie Cheung star as a pair of neighbors in 1960s Hong Kong who slowly begin to realize that their respective partners are having an affair. They begin spending time together partially out of loneliness, but as they get to know each other better, a mutual attraction grows between the two. Vivid and passionate, "In the Mood for Love" blends gorgeous visuals, a melancholy score by Shigeru Umebayashi, and pitch-perfect chemistry between Leung and Cheung.

  • Starring: Tony Leung Chui Wai, Maggie Cheung, Ping Lam Siu
  • Director: Wong Kar-wai
  • Year: 2000
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

The Irishman - Netflix

Based on Charles Brandt's "I Heard You Paint Houses," legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese directs Robert De Niro in the epic crime drama "The Irishman." The story revolves around Frank Sheehan's experience as a hitman for a Northeastern Pennsylvania crime family. Through his partnership with the Mafia, he meets and befriends Jimmy Hoffa, an influential labor union leader. But as the film unfolds, we watch the events of Hoffa's mysterious disappearance play out and see how Frank was involved. 

A true modern-day tragedy, "The Irishman" shows how a life marred by violence leads to nothing but loneliness, pain, and death. There's no glitz or glamor to being a gangster here. Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino all give career-best performances, and thanks to de-aging tech, we watch them play their characters over the course of decades, growing into old men broken by their decisions. 

Klaus - Netflix

As punishment for his childish behavior, unskilled postman Jesper Johansen gets stationed to the small Norwegian town of Smeerensburg. For Jesper to be able to leave the town, he must first complete the task of posting 6,000 letters within a year. Because of this, he must find a way to encourage the residents of Smeerensburg to start writing letters. An idea sparks within him when he meets toymaker Klaus, as they band together to show how one small act of kindness can change everything, even a hundred-years-long feud. This animated holiday film offers the audiences a fresh new take on the classic tale of Santa Claus, and Sergio Pablos delivers a beautiful and timeless story of love, friendship, and kindness that features a stunning visual animation.

  • Starring: Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones
  • Director: Sergio Pablos
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Lady Bird - Paramount+

A well-written and clever coming-of-age dramedy from Greta Gerwig, "Lady Bird" centers around Christine MacPherson, aka Lady Bird, a strong-willed young woman in her senior year of high school. Set in Sacramento, California, the film features Lady Bird joining her theater club, making new friends, and pursuing romantic relationships. But at the core of the story, it's about Lady Bird's rocky relationship with her mother, as they constantly argue over everything due to their different views of life.

Leading the cast is four-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan, proving to the audiences that she's a force to be reckoned with. On the other side of the mother-daughter coin is Laurie Metcalf, playing the immovable object to Lady Bird's unstoppable force. It's their mother-daughter chemistry that elevates the film to the status of modern-day classic.

  • Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Timothée Chalamet
  • Director: Greta Gerwig
  • Year: 2017
  • Runtime: 94 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

Logan - Disney+

Set in 2029, James Mangold's "Logan" takes place in a world where the mutant race is nearing extinction. The story follows Logan/Wolverine in his weakest form yet as his healing abilities are in decline. He works as a limousine driver in order to support himself and Professor X, who now has a hard time controlling his telepathic abilities due to dementia. But their life changes after meeting Laura, a young mutant who surprisingly has the same powers as Logan. Now, Logan must reclaim his forgotten hero identity in order to protect Laura from those who plan to utilize her powers for their own selfish needs.

Regardless of its continuity problem, this is hands down the best and most unique film in the "X-Men" franchise — a violent Western that pays homage to classics of the genre like "Shane." Hugh Jackman delivers his greatest Wolverine performance to date as he's able to effectively showcase the beloved hero's strength and vulnerability at the same time.

Luca - Disney+

Luca is a curious young boy living in 1950s Italy. He's also a sea monster. But that doesn't stop him from embarking on an unforgettable summer alongside fellow sea monster Alberto, his confident and adventurous best friend. After the boys discover sea monsters can shapeshift into human forms once they're out of the water, they take to dry land, meet spirited Giulia, and have as much fun as possible. But they can't keep their identities secret forever — and not everyone in town is okay with sea monsters. "Luca" tells a highly entertaining and luminously animated story about friendship, social prejudice, and the importance of staying true to one's self.

  • Starring: Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, Maya Rudolph
  • Director: Enrico Casarosa
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Memories of Murder - Hulu

From the brilliant mind of acclaimed filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, "Memories of Murder" is loosely based on South Korea's infamous Hwaseong killings. This crime thriller follows a pair of local detectives assigned to solve the murders of two women. Due to outdated forensic technology and their lack of experience, the cops turn to unconventional means to catch the killer, including eye contact and beating potential suspects. However, their case only starts gaining momentum with the arrival of a younger, level-headed detetive from Seoul, who doesn't exactly get along with the local authorities. The result is a nail-biting investigation that could favorably be compared to David Fincher's "Zodiac," complete with solid lead performances and a gut punch of an ending.

  • Starring: Song Kang-ho, Kim Sang-kyung, Kim Roi-ha
  • Director: Bong Joon-ho
  • Year: 2003
  • Runtime: 131 minutes
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Mississippi Masala - The Criterion Channel

"Mississippi Masala" features a young Indian woman whose family has sought refuge in Mississippi after being forced to leave their previous home of Uganda. While adjusting to the United States, she strikes up a relationship with a Black carpet cleaner. Although they both have feelings for one another, their cultural differences — and the disapproval their blossoming romance faces from both sets of families — threaten their happiness. A smart, sizzling romantic drama, "Mississippi Masala" lends a different perspective on a cross-cultural love affair.

The Mitchells vs. the Machines - Netflix

"The Mitchells vs. the Machines" is a sci-fi adventure centered around the disorganized Mitchell family as they become humanity's only hope against a robot uprising. It begins with Katie, an aspiring young filmmaker who's accepted into her dream school in California. But her smooth plans of finally meeting "her people" gets delayed when her father decides to cancel her flight and use this opportunity to go on a family road trip in hopes of renewing their bond. However, things get derailed when they suddenly find themselves in the middle of an A.I. uprising, forcing Katie and her quirky family to stop squabbling and save the world. A non-stop visual treat that's packed in equal measure with big emotions and relentless laughs, "The Mitchells vs. the Machines" is a hilarious and heartwarming feel-good story that will leave audiences with a big smile on their faces.

  • Starring: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph
  • Director: Michael Rianda
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 114 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Next Exit - Hulu

There's high-concept science fiction, and then there's "Next Exit." This film posits a world in which humanity has just received incontrovertible proof that there is some form of life after death. Naturally, there are scientists interested in studying the phenomenon further, seeing the afterlife as the next frontier. And naturally, they need test subjects to send to the great beyond, people who are willing to, well ... die for science. That's where Teddy and Rose come in, two profoundly sad volunteers who road trip together across the country to head to the facility where this will all be carried out. But along the way, their relationship deepens, and they begin to have doubts about what they're doing. Bittersweet and thought-provoking, "Next Exit" is an underrated gem.

  • Starring: Katie Parker, Rahul Kohli, Karen Gillan
  • Director: Mali Elfman
  • Year: 2022
  • Runtime: 103 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

The Nightmare Before Christmas - Disney+

Set in the fantasy world of Halloween Town, "The Nightmare Before Christmas" introduces Pumpkin King Jack Skellington, who becomes bored of the annual Halloween traditions. So he decides to change things up by taking over Christmas — a plan that involves making horror-themed toys and kidnapping Santa Claus so Jack can deliver presents himself. It seems like Jack has everything figured out, but as you might expect, his good intentions have frightfully disastrous consequences. Produced by Tim Burton, this remarkable stop-motion tale marks the feature directorial debut of Henry Selick, who imbues this world with a dark charm. The result is a movie that's perfect for both Halloween viewing and Christmas viewing, as the spirits of both holidays are strong in this lovely dark fantasy.

  • Starring: Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey
  • Director: Henry Selick
  • Year: 1993
  • Runtime: 80 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Nomadland - Hulu

Chloé Zhao's adaptation of "Nomadland" follows the widowed Fern, who, after losing her job in the Great Recession, who becomes a nomad traveling across the American West to find new job opportunities. Along the road, she meets fellow van-dwelling nomads who are friendly enough to teach her some new skills and tricks on how to survive the van life. Through every job she takes, Fern meets new people who will change her life and help her heal and move on from all the things she has lost.

In addition to its beautiful cinematography, the film features a sincerely moving and realistic story about the American dream, elevated through Frances McDormand's thoughtful and sentimental leading performance. Zhao once again successfully assembles a great supporting cast of non-actors including real-life nomad Charlene Swankie, who's definitely one of the main highlights of Fern's journey.

  • Starring: Frances McDormand, Charlene Swankie, David Strathairn
  • Director: Chloé Zhao
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Nope - Amazon Prime

Ever feel like watching a horror-Western-comedy-science fiction movie? If so, you're in luck — Jordan Peele has made the best one ever. "Nope" finds O.J. Haywood struggling in the wake of his father's death. The family business — training horses for Hollywood films — is falling apart, and he's desperate for a miracle. That's when he discovers there's a UFO lurking about in the skies above. With the help of his sister, Em, O.J. decides to film the craft and make bank from the footage ... but that turns out to be much easier said than done.

It's hard to talk about "Nope" without spoiling it, but rest assured, Peele is on the top of his game here. If you're a fan of the director's previous works or if you enjoy horror-tinged adventure films like "Jaws," then "Nope" is right up your alley. We'll also say it features perhaps the most gripping climax of 2022, as well as one of the year's most messed-up scenes. We can also say you'll never look at clouds the same way again.

  • Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun

  • Director: Jordan Peele

  • Year: 2022

  • Runtime: 130 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

The Old Guard - Netflix

Based on Greg Rucka's comic book series, "The Old Guard" revolves around immortal warriors, who've been working as mercenaries for centuries. Unfortunately, there are some very powerful people who want to know the secrets of their immortality — even if that means slicing and dicing them up. With new enemies on the horizon and the discovery of a new immortal, our heroes find themselves thrown into a deeply personal struggle, made all the more interesting by their leader's growing cynicism and frustration with her long life and violent existence.

In addition to its unique story, the film offers thrilling action-packed sequences that will leave audiences on the edge of their seats. It's also a groundbreaking film for the superhero genre as it features an openly gay superhero couple in the form of Joe and Nicky, whose eternal love story is one of the film's main highlights.

One Night in Miami... - Amazon Prime

Directed by Regina King and based on Kemp Powers' 2013 play, "One Night in Miami..." depicts a fictionalized meeting of four influential Black figures — Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, Jim Brown, and Cassius Clay — as they gather to celebrate Clay's upset win against Sonny Liston. However, activist Malcolm X uses the opportunity to ask them to reflect on their individual successes and contributions within their community, including how they should use their power to advocate for civil rights and the empowerment of their people.

Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, and Leslie Odom Jr. each give brilliant leading performances as they effectively convey their respective characters' flaws and strengths. King also shines here for her well-crafted storytelling and ability to humanize such monumental, historical icons.

  • Starring: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Leslie Odom Jr., Eli Goree
  • Director: Regina King
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 115 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Paddington - Netflix

"Paddington" is a live-action animated family comedy featuring the voice of BAFTA winner Ben Whishaw, as he portrays a lovable and curious Peruvian bear who finds himself in London. While searching for a home, he meets the Brown family at the train station. To Mr. Brown's dismay, family matriarch Mary Brown welcomes the lost bear into their home and decides to call him Paddington. Meanwhile, after learning about Paddington's arrival, cruel taxidermist Millicent Clyde hope to turn him into a stuffed exotic bear display at a museum.

At the time of its debut, the film received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and audiences, who credited its success to the titular character's irresistible charm. The film features a highly entertaining story full of wonder and adventure as Paddington navigates an unfamiliar and sometimes unforgiving world with optimism and a whole lot of heart.

  • Starring: Ben Whishaw, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville
  • Director: Paul King
  • Year: 2015
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Parasite - Hulu, Kanopy

"Parasite" took the world by storm in 2019, going on to win of slew of Oscars and becoming the first non-English language film to win best picture. And the movie more than deserves the hype. From the wonderfully twisted mind of Bong Joon-ho, "Parasite" introduces us to the Kims — a family struggling to find even semi-decent jobs. However, they're a clever and adaptable family, so when the opportunity arises, they con their way into the lives of the well-to-do Parks. Unfortunately for the Kims, their deception leads them to a shocking discovery that will change their lives — and the Parks' lives — forever. The result is a black comedy thriller that features thought-provoking views on social classes and capitalism, all while jumping back and forth from outright hilarity to straight-up terror.

  • Starring: Song Kang-ho, Park So-dam, Choi Woo-sik
  • Director: Bong Joon-ho
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 132 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Hulu

In this coming-of-age drama, we meet awkward teen Charlie Kelmeckis in his freshman year of high school. His non-existent social life dramatically changes when he meets stepsiblings Sam and Patrick, two cool and friendly seniors who openly welcome Charlie into their tight-knit clique. After hanging out with them, Charlie becomes more confident with trying new things as he finally finds people who understand him, but he also must deal with his growing anxieties and untreated childhood trauma before it truly gets the best of him.

Based on the critically acclaimed novel by Stephen Chbosky, the film offers a heartwarming and sensitive story about the perils of growing up. It features moving performances from Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller, as their genuine chemistry effortlessly reels the audiences into their story, leaving you envious of their bond.

  • Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller
  • Director: Stephen Chbosky
  • Year: 2012
  • Runtime: 102 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Pig - Hulu, Kanopy

A haunting, unique film, Michael Sarnoski's "Pig" centers around former chef Rob Feld who left the city in exchange for a reclusive life as a truffle hunter, alongside his beloved foraging pig. One night, Rob gets assaulted by unknown intruders who steal his swine, and desperate to get his four-legged friend back, Rob immediately enlists the help of young truffle supplier Amir. Together, their search leads Rob back to the city, where he must confront memories from his past.

As Rob, Nicolas Cage delivers one of his all-time performances, with critics praising him for his compassionate and honest portrayal of a complicated man who's lost the only thing that brings him out of loneliness and misery. The film may feature a strange premise, but with its skilled walk between "indie arthouse drama" and "dark gritty revenge thriller," audiences will indeed appreciate it once they've reached the emotional climax.

  • Starring: Nicholas Cage, Alex Wolff, Adam Arkin
  • Director: Michael Sarnoski
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 92 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Portrait of a Lady on Fire - Hulu, Kanopy

Set in the late 18th century, "Portrait of a Lady on Fire" begins when painter Marianne accepts a commission on a remote island where she's tasked to paint a wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who must marry a wealthy stranger to secure her family's place in the elite class. Due to Héloïse's resistance to posing for portraits, Marianne tries to secretly paint her by pretending to be a hired walking companion. However, they soon start having intense feelings of passion and admiration for one another, subjecting them to a life of endless longing and heartbreak.

The film features a beautiful and compelling story of forbidden romance elevated by Céline Sciamma's thoughtful direction and well-written screenplay. Aside from its exceptional visuals, the story is driven by the genuine leading performances of Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel, who both pour out their hearts and souls to effectively convey Marianne and Héloïse' tragic love story.

  • Starring: Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami
  • Director: Céline Sciamma
  • Year: 2019
  • Runtime: 121 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Prey - Hulu

The "Predator" franchise has had its fair share of ups and downs, but 2022's "Prey" is one of the highlights — perhaps the second best film of the series. This one throws the titular man-hunter into 1700s North America, where he begins picking off Comanche warriors for fun. However, the Predator has bitten off more than he can chew with Naru, a young Comanche woman with the skills and the smarts to match the alien's strength and weaponry.

As Naru, Amber Midthunder gives a gritty, determined performance of a woman battling everything from colonialists to societal expectations to a killer with an arm cannon. The action scenes are top notch, the Predator looks truly intimidating, and the wild idea of 18th-century Comanches vs. a futuristic enemy is executed perfectly.

  • Starring: Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers, Dane DiLiegro

  • Director: Dan Trachtenberg

  • Year: 2022

  • Runtime: 100 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

The Princess Bride - Disney+, fuboTV

"The Princess Bride" takes viewers into a world full of romance, fantasy, and adventure. Cary Elwes and Robin Wright star as young lovers Wesley and Buttercup, whose epic romance is constantly tested throughout the film, beginning with Wesley's apparent death and a five-year-separation. As Buttercup is now arranged to be married to an evil prince, a masked savior arrives out-of-nowhere to save her from a trio of clumsy kidnappers and free her from her betrothal to Prince Humperdinck. But who is that masked man? Hmmmm.

Based on William Goldman's 1973 novel, "The Princess Bride" features exceptional performances from Elwes and Wright, whose undeniable chemistry will truly make you root for their happy ending. Another highlight to watch out for is the magnetic performance of Mandy Patinkin, who nearly steals this tongue-in-cheek film with his compelling portrayal of Iñigo Montoya, a cheerful swordsman searching for revenge.

  • Starring: Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin
  • Director: Rob Reiner
  • Year: 1987
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Raiders of the Lost Ark - Amazon Prime

Out of all the film characters floating around in the universe, there aren't many who are more iconic than Indiana Jones. The fedora, the whip, the exciting music, the famously charming nerdy academic by day, treasure hunter by night persona — what's not to like? "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is his first outing, and over the course of the film, we watch our intrepid hero face off against Nazis for ownership of the legendary biblical Ark of the Covenant. Based in the tradition of the 1930s movie serials that its filmmakers grew up watching, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is one of the most entertaining thrill rides in modern cinema.

Reservoir Dogs - Netflix

The film that put Quentin Tarantino well and truly on the map, "Reservoir Dogs" features a group of would-be criminals in the aftermath of a horribly botched heist. To be fair, though, it's not entirely their fault. As the surviving stragglers meet up at their pre-determined rendezvous point, it becomes apparent that they have a traitor in their midst who doomed the mission from its very start. But which man is the informant? With the fast-paced dialogue and brutal violence that Tarantino is known for, "Reservoir Dogs" is perhaps the purest distillation of what makes his films so unique.

  • Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen
  • Director: Quentin Tarantino
  • Year: 1992
  • Runtime: 105 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Riders of Justice - Hulu

In "Riders of Justice," soldier Markus returns home to Denmark to grieve with his daughter after the sudden death of his wife, who was killed in a tragic train accident. However, after being contacted by a survivor of the crash, Markus comes to believe this was no accident and that his wife was collateral damage in an assassination attempt. With a ragtag bunch comprised of his kid and some computer programmers, Markus sets out for some revenge against the gang who murdered his wife. Mads Mikkelsen is phenomenal here as Markus, delivering a compelling, emotional performance, but what really makes "Riders of Justice" stand out from many other revenge flicks is its shifts from action to comedy, delivering both laughs and violence.

Ruby Sparks - Hulu

In the 2000s and 2010s, the cinematic vision of the manic pixie dream girl was at a fever pitch, and "Ruby Sparks" is an eccentric romance that embodies the character trope while also casting a critical eye at it. Paul Dano stars as a writer who discovers the ability to create his perfect woman out of thin air (played by Zoe Kazan who, ironically, also wrote the film). Whatever he wants her to be, he can just write out her character description on his magical typewriter, and that's what she'll become. Fluent in French? No problem. Extremely needy to appease his ego? You got it. But what starts out as every man's dream becomes a monkey's paw situation, where he is forced to grapple with both the unexpected consequences of his character tweaks and his growing sense of guilt over having this kind of control over Ruby.

  • Starring: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Antonio Banderas
  • Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
  • Year: 2012
  • Runtime: 104 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

Rurouni Kenshin Part I: Origins - Netflix

Want some serious samurai action? Then check out "Rurouni Kenshin Part I: Origins," which centers around reformed assassin Himura Kenshin, who vows to never kill again after witnessing the consequences of his violent wartime actions. He's so serious about his vow that he walks around with a reverse-bladed katana, which makes slicing people up more than a tad difficult. Armed with his specialized sword, he decides to protect those who need help, all while trying to deal with bad guys and doing his best to avoid killing them. This 2012 flick gained recognition for its stunning and well-choreographed action sequences, and if you're a fan of this film, there are four more sequels, all based on Nobuhiro Watsuki's popular best-selling samurai manga series.

Rye Lane - Hulu

"Rye Lane" rings in a new era in the modern romantic comedy, with style and panache to spare. David Jonsson stars as Dom, a sad little guy who's struggling to get over a recent breakup, in which his long-time girlfriend left him for a close friend and he got exactly zero closure. By chance, he meets Yas, played by Vivian Oparah, who's having a tough time in her own way, although she puts on a braver face. As they spend the day together, getting up to various hijinks, their chemistry and affection for one another become more difficult to deny. If you're looking for a gentle, light-hearted rom-com that will put a smile on your face through sheer exuberance, "Rye Lane" is a great pick.

  • Starring: David Jonsson, Vivian Oparah, Alice Hewkin
  • Director: Raine Allen-Miller
  • Year: 2023
  • Runtime: 82 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Singin' in the Rain - HBO Max

Hollywood legend Gene Kelly stars and co-directs "Singin' in the Rain," which follows silent movie star Don Lockwood, whose world gets turned upside down when Hollywood switches over to "talkies." This leads to a number of complications — notably, his self-absorbed leading lady, Lina Lamont, has the most grating voice imaginable. Enter young stage actress Kathy, who's enlisted to secretly dub over Lina. Things only get more complex when Don finds himself falling for Kathy, much to Lina's chagrin.

"Singin' in the Rain" is big and joyful — from Gene Kelley's sensational title number to Donald O'Connor's exciting and athletic "Make 'Em Laugh" number. The result is a highly entertaining and feel-good spectacle that will leave you with a smile on your face. No wonder it's endured the test of time and remains of cinema's greatest musicals.

  • Starring: Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor
  • Director: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
  • Year: 1952
  • Runtime: 102 minutes
  • Rating: G
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Smile - Paramount+

Dr. Rose Cotter has had a rough day. A very troubled patient showed up at her office, saying there's an evil spirit after her — one that takes the form of smiling people who tell her she's going to die. And then, suddenly, the very same patient starts grinning from ear to ear ... and kills herself in Rose's office.

If that wasn't bad enough, now Rose is haunted by visions of smiling people, all promising she's going to kill herself too. Is Rose losing her mind, or is there something supernatural going on? The doctor goes in search of answers, hoping to find them before it's too late. The result is one of the most chilling horror films of 2022.

Basically, "Smile" is like if A24 went mainstream. Yes, there are plenty of jumpscares, but as critic Alistair Ryder points out, the feeling of doom and dread is very similar to that of "Hereditary." A movie that functions as both white-knuckle horror flick and an exploration of trauma, "Smile" will certainly leave you shaken.

  • Starring: Sosie Bacon, Kyle Gallner, Caitlin Stasey

  • Director: Parker Finn

  • Year: 2022

  • Runtime: 116 minutes

  • Rating: R

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Some Kind of Wonderful - HBO Max

Watts is head over heels in love with her best friend, the sensitive, artistic Keith. There's just one problem: He happens to be currently obsessed with their high school's "it" girl, Amanda Jones, a cheerleader so cool she even has her very own theme song ("Miss Amanda Jones"). Is it any wonder that Keith is willing to blow his entire art school savings just to take her out on a nice date and buy her expensive jewelry? (Okay, he definitely shouldn't be doing that, but you know teenagers and their brains that haven't finished cooking yet.) Some might make the argument that "Some Kind of Wonderful" is just a gender-swapped "Pretty in Pink," but you can't argue against the chemistry on display between Eric Stoltz's Keith and Mary Stuart Masterson's Watts.

  • Starring: Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart Masterson, Lea Thompson
  • Director: Howard Deutch
  • Year: 1987
  • Runtime: 94 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

Spider-Man: No Way Home - Starz

After Mysterio leaks Spider-Man's true identity, Peter Parker is thrown into the chaos of public scrutiny. The worst part is, Aunt May and his friends are also affected by it. In order to restore normalcy, Peter turns to Doctor Strange, who tries to cast a spell that will make everyone forget he's Spider-Man. But the spell goes wrong, and accidentally transports dangerous villains from different universes into their world. Peter must now face the consequences of his actions and learn that being a superhero always comes with a price. This engaging story is elevated by its stellar cast, whose chemistry is evident throughout the film. Tom Holland delivers an especially compelling and emotional lead performance that keeps him from being overshadowed by the film's big name guest stars.

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

Spirited Away - HBO Max

In "Spirited Away," 10-year-old Chihiro finds herself trapped inside a mystical realm where here parents have been turned into pigs. Desperate to save them and get back home, she's forced to make a deal with the wicked witch Yubaba. As a result, she must work in Yubaba's busy bathhouse, where supernatural creatures are the clients. Along the way, she'll encounter dragons, spirits, and monsters of all sorts, and the visual world created by director Hayao Miyazaki is absolutely breathtaking. Considered as one of Studio Ghibli's most enchanting films, this 2001 film was Japan's highest-grossing film for nearly 20 years and won Ghibli its first Academy Award for best animated picture. If you're looking for a wondrous fantasy that's a modern-day "Alice in Wonderland," then let yourself be spirited away by this beautiful movie.

  • Starring (English dub): Daveigh Chase, Jason Marsden, Suzanne Pleshette
  • Starring (Japanese dub): Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki
  • Director: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Year: 2001
  • Runtime: 124 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Sputnik - Hulu

With a hint of inspiration from "Alien," "Sputnik" tells the tale of a Russian cosmonaut who's survived a disaster in space, only to realize that he's a brought a stowaway along with him back to Earth. He's held in isolation while a psychiatrist is brought in to perform an evaluation on him, determining to what extent he remains a threat. A self-assured directorial debut from Egor Abramenko, "Sputnik" shines with its depiction of the alien organism itself, which is presented as an undulating, completely symbiotic lifeform and one of the most creative creature designs we've seen in ages.

  • Starring: Pyotr Fyodorov, Oksana Akinshina, Fedor Bondarchuk
  • Director: Egor Abramenko
  • Year: 2020
  • Runtime: 107 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Terminator 2: Judgment Day - HBO Max

James Cameron's action-packed sequel, "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," features the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger — only this time, he's the good guy. Arnold plays a reprogrammed Terminator sent back to 1995 to protect humanity's savior, the teenaged John Connor. Unfortunately, he must face the far-advanced T-1000, a molten shape-shifter who's nearly unstoppable. Luckily, our heroes are joined by a muscled-up Sarah Connor. While she doesn't trust Arnold's T-800, she knows how to hold her own against sci-fi assassins.

The 1991 sequel became a box office hit and is widely considered the best film of the franchise. That's largely thanks to the revolutionary visuals, thrilling action sequences, and iconic lines ("Hasta la vista, baby"). But most importantly, "Judgment Day" has a big beating heart. While the first "Terminator" film was ice cold, this one centers on the friendship between John and his robo-bodyguard — a friendship that will leave you in tears once all the action is done.

Top Gun: Maverick - Paramount+

The highest-grossing film of 2022 — and one of the most critically acclaimed — "Top Gun: Maverick" resurrects Pete "Maverick" Mitchell from 1986 and plants him in the modern day. In this world of drones and super advanced fighter jets, Maverick is a man out of time. They don't make 'em like they used to, and most of the brass are fine with that. But despite his reckless ways, Maverick gets results, so all these years later, he's sent back to Top Gun, where the rebellious lone wolf is suddenly forced to become a teacher.

With his superiors eager to ground him the moment he messes up, Maverick must get pilots like the hot-headed Hangman and the second-guessing Rooster to 1) work as a team and 2) prep for a mission so impossible that even Ethan Hunt couldn't handle it — a top-secret bombing run on well-fortified enemy stronghold. It all leads to a thrilling final act where Tom Cruise and company take to the skies for real. With the actors and cameras actually zooming around in those jets, "Top Gun: Maverick" feels more engaging than any blockbuster has in years. It's the kind of action movie they don't make anymore, and it's no wonder the film has become such a hit.

"Top Gun: Maverick" hits Paramount+ on 12/22/22.

  • Starring: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Glen Powell

  • Director: Joseph Kosinski

  • Year: 2022

  • Runtime: 131 minutes

  • Rating: PG-13

  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Train to Busan - Amazon Prime, Kanopy, Peacock, The Roku Channel, Shudder, Tubi

After feeling guilty for missing his daughter Su-an's recital, workaholic father Seok-woo grants Su-an's wish of spending her birthday with her mother in Busan. What's supposed to be a brief and normal journey to Busan turns into a complete nightmare when a zombie virus starts spreading across the train. Soon, it's absolute chaos as passengers turn into flesh-eating monsters, forcing Seok-woo to do everything he can to protect Su-an, all while his humanity is tested in the face of disaster. Thanks to its thrilling action sequences and its underlying sense of empathy, this 2016 South Korean horror film became an instant hit. Come for the zombie action, stay for Ma Dong-seok of "Eternals" fame being absolutely awesome.

  • Starring: Gong Yoo, Ma Dong-seok, Jung Yu-mi
  • Director: Yeon Sang-ho
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 118 minutes
  • Rating: NR
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Turning Red - Disney+

Inspired by the childhood experiences of filmmaker Domee Shi, "Turning Red” revolves around 13-year-old Chinese-Canadian girl Meilin "Mei" Lee, who's introduced as an academic overachiever, a dutiful daughter, and a boy band-obsessed teen. Her life turns upside down after she learns all the women in her family have the ability to shapeshift into red pandas — something that happens to her whenever she feels any strong emotions. Controlling her feelings proves to be a difficult task for Mei, especially when she's a teenage girl navigating the consequences of growing up.

"Turning Red" is an absolutely hilarious and entertaining film that features a heartfelt storyline about friendship, embracing your true self, and the complicated relationship between mothers and daughters. After winning an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for 2018's "Bao," filmmaker Domee Shi scored another achievement by becoming the first woman to solely direct a Pixar film.

The Wicker Man - AMC+, Shudder

Put aside your memories of Nicolas Cage and his ridiculous bees: This is the real "Wicker Man." Starring Edward Woodward as a police officer who travels to a remote Scottish island to investigate a missing child case, "The Wicker Man" is a folk horror classic, filled with pagan rituals and a pervasive sense of foreboding. The entire film operates at a slow burn, leading up to the grand conflagration in what is now one of the most memorable set pieces in all of 1970s horror (major spoiler coming if you haven't seen the movie) — the terrifying wicker man, inside which an unsuspecting outsider must be sacrificed in order to ensure the community's future prosperity.

  • Starring: Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, Christopher Lee
  • Director: Robin Hardy
  • Year: 1973
  • Runtime: 84 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Wild Rose - HBO Max

All Rose-Lynn Harlan has ever wanted to be is a country music star. But not many Grand Ole Opry alumni hail from Glasgow, Scotland, and that's just the first of the issues standing between Rose and stardom in "Wild Rose." Recently released from prison and attempting to reconnect with her two young children, she makes an effort to settle down, getting a job working as a cleaner for a wealthy family. But her dreams aren't so easily pushed to the side. Jessie Buckley puts in a star-making performance in the lead role, pouring raw emotion into her vocals, especially in the film's show-stopping finale, "Glasgow (No Place Like Home)."

  • Starring: Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters, Sophie Okonedo
  • Director: Tom Harper
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Willow - Disney+

After finding a baby girl by the river, aspiring sorcerer Willow Ufgood welcomes the baby into his village of Nelwyn. Unbeknownst to him, the child has a great destiny ahead of her, as she's fated to end Queen Bavmorda's reign of terror. Because of this, the queen unleashes her minions to slay the child, but Willow bravely volunteers to become her companion as they search for a great warrior capable of protecting the baby. This cult classic hails form the creative minds of Ron Howard and George Lucas, so it definitely has a "Star Wars"-lite feel, complete with a heroic quest, scary monsters, and a grand adventure. Warwick Davis anchors this magical tale of courage and friendship, delivering an endearing performance as the would-be magician who will never give up.

The Wolf of Wall Street - Amazon Prime, Paramount+

Celebrated filmmaker Martin Scorsese directs Leonardo DiCaprio in the black comedy crime film "The Wolf of Wall Street," based on the real-life story of Jordan Belfort's controversial Wall Street career. Over the course of the film, we watch his rise and fall — going from a hot shot stockbroker to committing fraud and corruption in exchange for drugs, sex, and wealth. DiCaprio delivers a powerful Oscar-nominated performance as he masterfully portrays Belfort with such confidence and chaotic energy that it makes him compelling to watch, despite the flawed character's obvious faults. Hilariously, because of its controversial content, the film set the Guinness World Record for having the most swearing in a film.

The Wonder - Netflix

In 1800s Ireland, an English nurse is sent for in order to bear witness to a miracle. A young Irish girl has apparently been surviving without food for weeks on end. Nurse Wright will observe the patient for 12 hours out of the day, with a nun holding vigil the other 12 hours, and after two weeks, both will report their findings to the council. From the very first moments of "The Wonder," it's clear that the film is as much about the artifice of storytelling and myth-making as it is about the actual narrative itself. With gorgeous cinematography from Ari Wegner and a powerful performance from young Kíla Lord Cassidy, "The Wonder" casts a spell over its audience.

  • Starring: Florence Pugh, Tom Burke, Kíla Lord Cassidy
  • Director: Sebastián Lelio
  • Year: 2022
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

X-Men: Days of Future Past - Disney+

One of the very best "X-Men" films, "Days of Future Past" starts off in a dystopian future where the mechanical Sentinels have almost wiped out all mutants, save for a few of our old X-Men friends. To rescue their world, Kitty Pride sends Wolverine's consciousness to the year 1973, where he must prevent Mystique from assassinating a prominent scientist — an event that leads to the creation of the Sentinels. 

As a result, we get to watch Hugh Jackman's Wolverine travel through the 1970s, resulting in a timey-wimey adventure with franchise-wide implications. In addition to the fun '70s vibe and Jackman's always great performance as Logan, a real highlight here is Evan Peters' Quicksilver, whose speedy skills are matched only by his taste in music. Plus, the film is a fan-favorite for bringing together both the old and young versions of Professor X and Magneto.

  • Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender
  • Director: Bryan Singer
  • Year: 2014
  • Runtime: 132 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Zootopia - Disney+

A delightful buddy cop comedy, "Zootopia" centers on rookie cop Judy Hopps, a rabbit who hopes to prove herself to her skeptical colleagues. How so? By solving the sudden disappearance of Emmitt Otterton, an animal who's suddenly gone missing. But the only way she can make a breakthrough with the case if she teams up with the sly Nick Wilde, a con artist fox with a whole lot of street smarts.

The 2016 animated film features a highly entertaining and well-crafted story that effectively highlights timely issues including discrimination, stereotypes, and xenophobia. Thanks to its top-notch visuals and clever but thoughtful storyline, the film won an Oscar for best animated feature. Plus, it features a ton of great Disney in-jokes, well-done pop culture references, and animal-based gags (like a DMV office staffed by sloths).

  • Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons
  • Director: Byron Howard, Rich Moore
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 109 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%