The days of having one to three streaming services in order to enjoy all of the TV series and movies you want are long gone. That being said, Peacock quickly jumped ahead of other newcomers to the streaming wars by offering a free version of its streaming service, in addition to a low-cost premium version for just $4.99/month.
Whether you’re paying for Peacock or not, it’s not hard to find yourself in a situation where you’re not sure if you’re getting the most bang for your buck with the streaming app. Thankfully, Peacock has plenty to offer its paid and free subscribers—especially in the realm of movies. From cult classics to must-watch new releases, Peacock has something for everyone and every genre. Here’s an alphabetized list of the 40 best movies to stream on Peacock so you can get the most from your subscription.
The Northman (2022)
Director: Robert Eggers
Cast: Alexander Skarsgard, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Duration: 2hr 17m
Rotten Tomatoes: 89% Critics, 64% Audience
Starring Alexander Skarsgard and Nicole Kidman (as well as Claes Bang, Ethan Hawke, and Anya Taylor-Joy), this Norse epic is all-in on guts and glory. Despite its brutality and bloodshed, director Robert Eggers mines a certain cinematic beauty from this revenge story. While The Witch and The Lighthouse were subtler pieces, The Northman shows that Robert Eggers can spread his wings while still maintaining a flair for impressive cinematography and austere tone.
The Super Mario Bros Movie (2023)
Director: Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic
Cast: Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Anya Taylor-Joy
Genre: Comedy, Family, Animated
Duration: 1hr 32m
Rotten Tomatoes: 59% Critics, 95% Audiences
One of the biggest movies of the year is now available on streaming, a welcome addition to Peacock for gamers and families alike. In The Super Mario Bros Movie, plumbers Mario (Chris Pratt) and his brother Luigi (Anya Taylor-Joy) get transported from New York to the Mushroom Kingdom, where they mast save the land from the evil Bowser, intent on marrying Princess Peach. Jack Black memes and Chris Pratt voice acting hot takes aside, The Super Mario Bros Movie was such a hit for the way its creators infused such an immense sense of nostalgia and color into this spirited adventure story.
Director: Chris McKay
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage, Awkwafina
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Action
Duration: 1hr 33m
Rotten Tomatoes: 58% Critics, 79% Audience
Four words: Nicolas Cage vampire movie. That legitimately should be reason enough to convince you to check out this film, but I’ll continue anyway. Part horror, part comedy, all camp, Renfield follows Dracula’s loyal servant, Renfield (played by a committed Nicholas Hoult) as he seeks to get out from under his overlord’s shadow. Brimming with buckets of blood, Cage has a field day playing the world’s most famous literary vampire. Forget Team Edward or Team Jacob…after watching this wildly silly gorefest, you’ll be Team Renfield 100%.
Polite Society (2023)
Director: Nida Manzoor
Cast: Priya Kansara, Ritu Arya, Nimra Bucha
Duration: 1hr 43m
Rotten Tomatoes: 91% Critics, 84% Audiences
Bollywood meets British comedy in this thoroughly entertaining film from writer/director Nida Manzoor. In Polite Society, Ria Khan, a budding martial artist, sets out on a quest to save her sister Lena from an impending marriage. Borrowing from kung-fu action movies, Bollywood, and wry British humor, this movie is bursting with heart, action, and entertainment. If you’re looking for a fresh and funny heist film that also functions as a winning exploration of sisterhood, look no further than Polite Society.
Shooting Stars (2023)
Director: Chris Robinson
Cast: Wood Harris, Mookie Cook, Caleb McLaughlin
Genre: Sports, Biography
Duration: 1hr 55m
Rotten Tomatoes: 50% (Critics) 68% (Audience)
Set in the 1990s, this basketball docudrama follows the rise and friendship of the self-proclaimed “Fab Four”: a young LeBron James, Lil Dru, Willie McGee, and Sian Cotton. Filled with a lot of heart, this inspirational film is largely anchored by its warm and talented cast, with LeBron James being played by Marquis “Mookie” Cook, and his friends played by Stranger Things’ Caleb McLaughlin, Cobra Kai’s Khalil Everage, and Avery s. Wills, Jr. While Shooting Stars doesn’t do much to reinvent the sports film, it does tell its story with a focus on camaraderie that you doesn’t always get realized as effectively as it does in director Chris Robinson’s take on this famous foursome.
Redeeming Love (2022)
Director: D.J. Caruso
Cast: Abigail Cowen, Tom Lewis, Logan Marshall-Green
Duration: 2hr 14m
Rotten Tomatoes: 11% (Critics) 95% (Audience)
Redeeming Love is the sort of romantic historical drama that has going for it that you don’t have to be a fan of the novel it’s adapted from in order to enjoy the film itself. Set during the California Gold Rush, Abigail Cowen and Tom Lewis have excellent chemistry that makes each of their scenes crackle. Beyond that, the story’s focus on how love can truly be a redeeming force allows for more than just romance in this historical drama.
When Love Springs (2023)
Director: Jo-Anne Brechin
Cast: Rhiannon Fish, James William O’Halloran, Erin Connor
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Duration: 1hr 30m
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A (Critics) N/A (Audience)
Set in a bed-and-breakfast during a parental vow renewal, When Love Springs follows Rory, a young woman who runs into her ex and pretends that the owner of the B&B is her boyfriend. The scenery of the film is gorgeous, with a lily pond near the bed and breakfast serving as the backdrop to many conversations. Fans of Hallmark romantic comedies will enjoy the comfortable way When Love Springs cruises along, even with the surprises it has in store for Rory.
Praise This (2023)
Director: Tina Gordon
Cast: Chloe Bailey, Druski, Anjelika Washington
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Romance
Duration: 1hr 50min
Rotten Tomatoes: 50% (Critics) 83% (Audience)
Anyone who’s a fan of the Pitch Perfect films will likely have a blast watching Praise This. The set-ups are somewhat similar in that a young, musically-gifted woman helps infuse a competitive singing (or praise) team with much-needed pizazz. Chloe Bailey plays Sam, who moves to Atlanta and helps a competitive choir praise team make it in a field of wildly idiosyncratic acts. While the comedy is infused with Christianity, it does so in a way that’s welcoming of all viewpoints and allows for plenty of humor and heart.
The Bodyguard (2023)
Director: LaQuita Langhorn
Cast: Dazarae Mathews, Kentrell Wright, Kizra Deon
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Duration: 1hr 15min
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A (Critics) N/A (Audience)
Written and directed by LaQuita Langhorn, The Bodyguard tells the story of a woman named Candace Maxwell who hires a retired hitman named Quincy as her bodyguard to protect her from a dirty cop. Not to be confused with the Whitney Houston film of the same name, The Bodyguard lives very much in the camp of thriller, asking questions about who Candace can trust in the wake of an attempt on her life. While the production value is decidedly indie, novelist-turned-filmmaker Langhorn knows how to craft compelling characters and stories, making this worth a watch.
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Jennifer Ehle
Genre: Romance, Drama
Duration: 2hr 5min
Rotten Tomatoes: 24% (Critics) 41% (Audience)
So-bad-its-good, Fifty Shades of Grey is the same type of movie you might stream if you’ve already re-watched the Twilight series one time too many. Of course, that’s not surprising, since in the literary world, Fifty Shades at first began as a work of Twilight fan-fiction. While there isn’t much substance to its story, the film adaptation of Fifty Shades is at least more artistically assured than its source material, in part due to a surprising career breakout from Dakota Johnson and the weird-but-pitch-perfect performance from Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey.
Unexpected Grace (2023)
Director: Linda-Lisa Hayter
Cast: Erica Tremblay, Michael Rady, Erica Durance
Genre: Family, Drama
Duration: 1hr 30min
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A (Critics) N/A (Audience)
In Unexpected Grace, which has the charm and appeal of the best Hallmark channel dramas, Erica Durance plays Noelle, an English professor who becomes unlikely penpals with a young, motherless girl named Grace. Unlike other Hallmark films, Unexpected Grace actually centers around a teenage girl and features a surprisingly strong performance from Erica Tremblay in the titular role. While it’s predictably melodramatic in the ways that you’d expect, the storyline and characters actually keep you invested for its hour-and-a-half runtime, so fans of these types of films should definitely check it out.
John Wick (2014)
Director: Chad Stahelski
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen
Genre: Action, Thriller
Duration: 1hr 41min
Rotten Tomatoes: 86% (Critics) 81% (Audience)
From Point Break to The Matrix and now John Wick, it’s clear that Keanu Reeves is a true action star. An action-packed revenge thriller, John Wick sees Keanu Reeves as the eponymous John Wick, an assassin who comes out of retirement to avenge the death of his wife and puppy. Stylishly filmed and frenetic, this action movie has some of the best fight sequences of the last decade. With the fourth John Wick film on the horizon, now’s a great time to check out the exhilarating franchise if you’ve slept on it until now.
I, Robot (2004)
Director: Alex Proyas
Cast: Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action
Duration: 1hr 55min
Rotten Tomatoes: 56% (Critics) 70% (Audience)
Set in 2035 and loosely based on Isaac Asimov’s short, science fiction stories, I, Robot is a mid-2000s blockbuster that still has something to say. Starring Will Smith as a detective investigating an alleged suicide, the film’s production design and worldbuilding still stand up almost twenty years after release, fully immersing you in the futuristic world of the film. Packed with sleek, stylish action and gravity-defying robotic enemies, I, Robot features a particularly strong turn from actor Alan Tudyk as Sonny the robot.
Fruitvale Station (2013)
Director: Ryan Coogler
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz
Duration: 1hr 25min
Rotten Tomatoes: 94% (Critics) 85% (Audience)
Before he directed hits like Black Panther and Creed, director Ryan Coogler helmed the intimate, character-driven drama, Fruitvale Station. Featuring a career-high performance from Michael B. Jordan, the film is both celebratory and condemnatory as it follows the life of Oscar, a Black man working to rebuild his life following his time in San Quentin State Prison. Rounded out by equally-impressive performances from Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, and Ahna O’Reilly, the film remains an important commentary on contemporary issues surrounding policing and excessive force. If you love character studies of flawed people doing their best with the hand they were dealt, Fruitvale Station is a drama that will make you think as much as it makes you feel.
Bruce Almighty (2003)
Cast: Jim Carrey, Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Aniston
Runtime: 1hr 41min
Rotten Tomatoes: 48% (Critics), 57% (Audience)
In this classic early aughts comedy, Jim Carrey plays a selfish TV anchorman who is granted the powers of God from God himself. In typical Carrey fashion, he uses this newfound gift for personal gain rather than actually helping others. Fans of Jim Carrey will appreciate his slapstick bits, and even those who are lukewarm on the comedian will find plenty of laughs and heart in this movie. With a great balance of manic antics from Carrey and genuine warmth from Morgan Freeman as God, Bruce Almighty is an entertaining re-watch if you haven’t thought of the film over the past two decades.
Director: Jordan Peele
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Duration: 2hr 15min
Rotten Tomatoes: 82% (Critics) 69% (Audience)
Jordan Peele’s latest masterpiece is a big get for Peacock, especially considering the fact that the film invites repeat viewings to fully grasp its layered themes and storylines. For those who missed it in theaters (but don’t want too many spoilers), the film’s plot centers on two siblings who train horses for use in movies and discover something sinister over their ranch. With echoes of films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Nope is grandiose, ambitious, and wholly satisfying in its unwillingness to clearly spell things out for its viewers. Wrestling with themes of legacy, animal instinct, surveillance, and voyeurism, the movie solidifies Jordan Peele as this era’s next horror auteur.
The Silent Twins (2022)
Director: Agnieszka Smoczynska
Cast: Letitia Wright, Tamara Lawrance, Nadine Marshall
Runtime: 1hr 52min
Rotten Tomatoes: 67% (Critics) 76% (Audience)
Based on the best-selling novel—which was itself based on a true story—The Silent Twins stars Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrance as twins who have created a world between themselves to escape to. Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Smoczynska (The Lure) lends her singular stylistic sensibilities to the story, which is a thoroughly engrossing look at institutionalization, mental health, and sisterhood. Perhaps one of the most fascinating choices is to keep the film’s events open to interpretation, a decision that ultimately makes it a much more engaging film. It also helps that all of this is anchored by strong leading performances from Wright and Lawrance.
Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022)
Director: Kyle Balda
Cast: Steve Carell, Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh
Genre: Kids, Family, Comedy, Animated
Runtime: 1hr 27min
Rotten Tomatoes: 70% (Critics) 89% (Audience)
It seems like just yesterday that the #Gentleminions TikTok craze was taking over movie theaters, but just because you’re not traveling to a cinema to check out The Rise of Gru doesn’t mean you can’t dress up at home to stream it on Peacock. A prequel/sequel in the wildly popular Despicable Me universe, Minions: The Rise of Gru takes audiences back to the 1970s to explore an origin story for Gru. It just so happens that the minions are as polarizing as politics to some moviegoers; however, if you’re a fan of their buffoonery and zany antics, there’s plenty to enjoy in Minions: The Rise of Gru, whether or not you’re watching with children.
Jurassic World: Dominion (2022)
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern
Genre: Action, Adventure
Runtime: 2hr 27min
Rotten Tomatoes: 29% (Critics) 77% (Audience)
The epic conclusion to the reboot of the Jurassic Park franchise, Jurassic World: Dominion was much more popular with audiences than critics, so that should probably tell you whether or not this one is worth checking out. If you’re a purist and prefer Spielberg’s original film, it may make sense to pass on this, but if you’ve been a fan of Chris Pratt and director Colin Trevorrow leading the franchise in new directions, you’ll likely find this to be a satisfying conclusion. Despite its action-adventure bonafides and eye-popping special effects, there are actually some interesting ethical quandaries at the heart of this film, giving it a bit more depth than previous iterations in the Jurassic World series. Plus, you get to see actors like Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Sam Neill return to the franchise for all the nostalgia junkies out there.
The Black Phone (2021)
Director: Scott Derrickson
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw
Runtime: 1hr 42min
Rotten Tomatoes: 82% (Critics), 88% (Audience)
The Black Phone divided the internet upon its release, with many viewers unable to determine whether it was unnerving-enough-to-be-scary or needed more classic jump scares in order to really up the ante as a horror film. Regardless of what you may have read, The Black Phone’s story of a serial killer and a kidnapped child who can hear the voices of past victims through a phone on the wall is still worth checking out and determining for yourself how you feel. The realistic, limited approach to the film in terms of location makes it all the more impressive as an entry in the horror genre, anchored by a menacingly good performance by Ethan Hawke.
Director: Sam Mendes
Cast: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Colin Firth
Runtime: 1h 59m
Rotten Tomatoes: 88% (Critics), 88% (Audience)
This war drama set on April 6, 1917, was a major ringer when it came to awards nominations, and nabbed Best Cinematography, Visual Effects, and Sound Mixing at the 2020 Academy Awards ceremony. The story centers around two British soldiers who find themselves deep in enemy territory and are tasked with delivering a vital message in a race against time to save more than a thousand of their fellow soldiers. What’s most impressive about this film is the way it plunges you straight into the action of the Western Front through one, seemingly continuous shot. Fans of war dramas will be thrilled by the immersion—even streaming it from the comfort of your living room.
Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza González
Runtime: 2h 16m
Rotten Tomatoes: 68% (Critics) 88% (Audience)
What starts as the biggest bank robbery Los Angeles has ever seen quickly devolves into an action-packed thrill ride when the heist goes sideways and the two robbers steal an ambulance to get away. Bay is no stranger to directing crowd-pleasing blockbusters (Transformers, Bad Boys, Bad Boys II, Armageddon) and the aerial shots in Ambulance take his stylized action sequences to (literal) new heights. Packed with plenty of car chases, bullets, and explosions, this movie serves as an adrenaline-fueled tour of downtown Los Angeles with a surprising amount of heart thanks to the central performances by Gyllenhaal and Abdul-Mateen II.
American Pie (1999)
Director: Paul Weitz
Cast: Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Eugene Levy
Runtime: 1h 35m
Rotten Tomatoes: 61% (Critics) 61% (Audience)
Arguably one of the biggest sex comedies from the late ‘90s/early 2000s (and known for popularizing the term “MILF”) the setup for American Pie is simple: Four teenagers make a pact to lose their virginity by prom night, with high school hijinks ensuing. While American Pie certainly isn’t for everyone, as a precursor to comedies like Superbad and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, it’s well worth your time if you’ve never seen it and usually enjoy films in this genre. As raunchy as the film is (if you know about the infamous pie scene, you know what I mean), it still has heart and is able to tackle themes beyond sex, including high school relationships and friendships. Plus, you get Eugene Levy and Jennifer Coolidge playing well-meaning parents who just add to the hilarity.
Director: Paul Feig
Cast: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy
Runtime: 2h 5m
Rotten Tomatoes: 90% (Critics) 76% (Audience)
If you’ve ever experienced the stress of a wedding, then you’re bound to have a good time watching the antics of a group of bridesmaids devolve as out-of-work Annie (Kristen Wiig) does her best to keep up with all the pomp and circumstance that comes with being maid of honor for her childhood best friend (Maya Rudolph). Rounding out this ensemble comedy is the hilarious gaggle of bridesmaids: rich and perfect Helen (Rose Byrne), brash and friendly Megan (Melissa McCarthy), over-it mother of three boys, Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey), and the newlywed and naive optimist Becca (Ellie Kemper). Combining gross-out comedy, raunch, and a heartfelt story about the lengths to which you’ll go for your friends, Bridesmaids is a laugh-out-loud, feel good film. Melissa McCarthy’s performance in the dress shopping scene alone is reason enough to watch this comedy.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
Director: Richard Linklater
Cast: Jason London, Wiley Wiggins, Matthew McConaughey
Runtime: 1h 43m
Rotten Tomatoes: 92% (Critics) 90% (Audience)
Geeks, jocks, and stoners—oh my! Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused is a ‘90s cult classic and has definitely earned a spot in the pantheon of high school coming-of-age films like The Breakfast Club, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Set on the last day of school in Texas in 1976, the film is an ensemble piece chronicling the adventures of a group of graduating seniors and junior high students trying to avoid first-year hazing. Equal turns stylish, simple, entertaining, and philosophical, Dazed and Confused is worth watching for more than Matthew McConaughey’s breakout role and blond bangs.
Despicable Me (2010)
Directors: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
Cast: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand
Genre: Animated Family Comedy
Runtime: 1h 35m
Rotten Tomatoes: 81% (Critic) 83% (Audience)
While Minions: Rise of Gru may serve as an origin story for Gru (and is responsible for the #Gentleminions TikTok trend causing some cinemas to cancel screenings or host special #Gentleminions-only screenings), Despicable Me is the real movie that started it all. The plot centers around Gru (voiced by Carell), who finds that a trio of orphans he kidnaps for a villanois scheme are actually making him a better person. With a who’s who of comedic talents voicing the cast (including Will Arnett, Kristin Wiig, Danny McBride, and Mindy Kaling) and the obnoxious-yet-lovable yellow blorbs known as the Minions, Despicable Me is entertaining for adults and kids alike.
Downton Abbey: A New Era (2022)
Director: Simon Curtis
Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Jim Carter
Runtime: 2h 5m
Rotten Tomatoes: 86% (Critics) 97% (Audience)
Downton Abbey was a big enough TV hit prior to hitting theaters Christmas of 2019 for a big-screen debut. The period drama/romance craze has continued with HBOMax’s The Gilded Age, but if you can’t get enough of the OG Crawley family, Downton Abbey: A New Era will surely do the job. Chronicling the family’s trip to France to uncover the dowager countess’s mysteriously inherited villa, this film iteration is admittedly a bit light on plot. That being said, there’s a case to be made for British fluff in this day and age, and if witticisms about garlic sound like just what you need right now, A New Era is certainly going to be your cup of tea.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Director: Michel Gondry
Cast: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson
Genre: Science Fiction Comedy
Runtime: 1h 48m
Rotten Tomatoes: 92% (Critics) 94% (Audience)
When Joel (Jim Carrey) discovers that his spunky girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) has chosen to erase him from her memory medically, he decides to get even—only to realize he may still love her after all when it might be too late. Emotionally resonant writing from Charlie Kauffman, combined with gorgeous cinematography and performances, make this film as much a tear-jerker as it is a head trip. A high-concept film that is sure to connect with anyone who has ever fallen in and out of love, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind proves that Carrey is more than capable of tackling dramatic performances.
Field of Dreams (1989)
Director: Phil Alden Robinson
Cast: Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta
Genre: Sports, Drama
Runtime: 1h 46m
Rotten Tomatoes: 88% (Critics) 86% (Audience)
Equal parts fantasy and sports flick, it’s hard to imagine a film as sincere or endearing being made these days. While 1989 really was a different time, thanks to Peacock, you can stream Field of Dreams and relive the comforting tale of an Iowa farmer (Kevin Costner) who listens to the voices in his head and constructs a baseball diamond in his cornfield. Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, Field of Dreams captures the role that America’s favorite pastime plays in the lives of many. And with winning performances from James Earl Jones and Ray Liotta, it’s hard not to be swept up in this charming story about following your dreams.
Director: Keith Thomas
Cast: Zac Efron, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Sydney Lemmon
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Runtime: 1hr 34min
Rotten Tomatoes: 10% (Critics) 47% (Audience)
Not to be confused with the 1984 Drew Barrymore version, 2022’s Firestarter is a Peacock-exclusive adaptation of the Stephen King film/novel of the same name. It centers around a young girl, played by Ryan Kiera Armstrong, with pyrokinesis struggling to learn more about her incendiary powers. Anyone who enjoyed Armstrong in American Horror Story will likely enjoy this film too. A mixture of science fiction, drama, and horror, the film boasts an interesting premise and solid lead performances, making it worth checking out for anyone who loves Stephen King or horror genre films.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Cast: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis
Runtime: 1h 52m
Rotten Tomatoes: 83% (Critics) 76% (Audience)
The film that really solidified Jason Segel as a comedian (and also brought Mila Kunis to the forefront), Forgetting Sarah Marshall shows how an aspiring musician (Segel) deals with his breakup when he winds up at the same resort as his ex. A romantic comedy with a hysterical puppet musical interlude that really earns its R-rating, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is both hilarious and heartwarming. Just be prepared for one too many, full-frontal shots of Segel if it’s your first time watching.
Good Hair (2009)
Director: Jeff Stilson
Cast: Maya Angelou, Chris Rock, Nia Long
Genre: Documentary, Comedy
Runtime: 1h 35m
Rotten Tomatoes: 95% (Critics) 69% (Audience)
Ironic as it is after this year’s Oscars ceremony that Chris Rock was once involved in a comedic documentary about hairstyles in the Black community, that irony alone isn’t a reason to sleep on this film. While not all of it ages well (it was originally released 13 years ago), it is an entertaining and educational exploration of the historical and cultural significance of Black hairstyles. Aside from being eye-opening for many audiences, it also features a who’s who of Black celebrities from the mid-2000s, including appearances from folks like Tracie Thoms, Raven-Symoné, and T-Pain.
Harry Potter Series (2001-2011)
Directors: Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, David Yates
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
In a major move that helps Peacock go toe-to-toe with HBOMax, you can stream all eight Harry Potter films on the platform (for a fraction of the price of HBOMax). Whether you like to have these magical movies on in the background for comfort, are re-reading the novels and reliving the nostalgia via film as well, or have just introduced your child to the wizarding world of Harry Potter, Peacock is here for you. While J.K. Rowling may be on the outs, the lasting messages in the films of acceptance and fighting for the good of all wizards, witches, Muggles, and magical creatures will never go out of style.
Director: Judd Apatow
Cast: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson
Runtime: 2h 5m
Rotten Tomatoes: 84% (Critics) 66% (Audience)
In Trainwreck, the R-rated rom-com from Amy Schumer and Judd Apatow, Amy (Schumer) must face her fears of commitment when she meets a guy she actually sees potential in. If that sounds like a gender-flipped version of a typical “playboy settles down” romantic comedy to you, you’re not totally wrong. Even so, between some acerbic writing, Hader’s charm, and a totally winning comedic performance from WWE’s John Cena, Trainwreck is definitely worth a watch for movie night.
The Outfit (2022)
Director: Graham Moore
Cast: Mark Rylance, Johnny Flynn, Zoey Deutch
Runtime: 1h 45m
Rotten Tomatoes: 85% (Critics) 92% (Audience)
In this thriller and directorial debut from Moore (writer of The Imitation Game), an English tailor working in Chicago finds himself in trouble with the mob and must use his wits to make it through the night alive. Even though it spans only one night and one location, there’s still plenty to grip you and keep you engaged as the story twists and turns. Plus, Rylance’s performance helps to keep the tension ratcheted up, even as the film has plenty of wit. Released just this year, there’s a good chance you missed this in theaters, making it all the more enticing to check it out on Peacock.
The House of the Devil (2009)
Director: Ti West
Cast: Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov
Runtime: 1h 33m
Rotten Tomatoes: 85% (Critics) 63% (Audience)
West’s most recent film, X, made waves in theaters earlier this year, but for horror fans who missed it, The House of the Devil is a great alternative to watch. Set in that classic 1980s horror era, a college student named Samantha takes a babysitting job at the same time as an eclipse, only to discover that her clients have a terrible secret they’re hiding from her. Even though The House of the Devil was made in 2009, it looks straight out of the ‘80s thanks to its production design, costuming, and overall aesthetic. While not as outright scary as some of the other horror movies on this list, The House of the Devil still features an impressive enough slow burn to make it worth your watchlist.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
Cast: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore
Runtime: 1h 57m
Rotten Tomatoes: 83% (Critics) 93% (Audience)
While the Coen brothers have made bigger films than The Big Lebowski, it’s Lebowski that remains the movie with one of the biggest cult followings. When LA slacker Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) is mixed up with a different Jeffrey Lebowski, he and his friends are thrust into a series of misadventures. Its characters are truly memorable, the sort of people who grow on you as you watch the film, slowly learning their mannerisms and finding them funnier and funnier. With Bridges, Goodman, Moore, and Buscemi bringing its distinctive oddballs to life, this is a movie that gets better with each subsequent viewing. Thankfully, Peacock makes that easy.
Director: Scott Derrickson
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Vincent D’Onofrio
Runtime: 1h 49m
Rotten Tomatoes: 63% (Critics) 62% (Audience)
A horror movie that matches scares with a unique premise, Sinister follows Ellison Oswalt (Hawke), a true-crime writer who moves his family into a murder house to try and research his next book. Of course, that idea doesn’t go entirely according to plan, as the supernatural entity responsible for the murders doesn’t take too kindly to Oswalt’s investigations. From Hawke’s lead performance to the concept and its execution, there are plenty of disturbing events to get under your skin watching this horror film.
Director: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson
Cast: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz
Runtime: 1h 29m
Rotten Tomatoes: 88% (Critics) 90% (Audience)
Shrek may be a bit of a meme (okay, a lot of a meme) these days; however, that doesn’t take away from the fact that even without the internet as it is today, Shrek was a super popular film when it was first released in 2001. An inventive spin on the traditional fairy tale premise of a damsel in distress with a cast of top-tier vocal talent bringing its characters to life, Shrek is still a fun animated comedy to enjoy ironically or otherwise two decades later. If it’s been a while since you’ve last watched it, you may be surprised by just how many quotes you remember.
Short Term 12 (2013)
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Cast: Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., Rami Malek
Runtime: 1h 36m
Rotten Tomatoes: 98% (Critics) 92% (Audience)
Led by a moving performance from Larson as supervisor Grace, Short Term 12 is an intimate portrait of a foster home and the at-risk teens living there. While Larson and Malek have gained even more acting fame since, equally as impressive are the performances of the young cast members who bring authenticity to these neglected children. A carefully observed drama that feels 100% real, Short Term 12 was a darling with the critics when it first came out in 2013 for a reason. Be forewarned: This one is a tearjerker for a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth watching!
Prince: Sign 'o' the Times (1987)
Cast: Prince, Sheila E., Levi Seacer, Jr.
Runtime: 1h 25m
Rotten Tomatoes: 81% (Critics) 92% (Audience)
Forget about holograms, if you want to relive the glory that was Prince live in concert, simply head over to Peacock and check out Prince: Sign ‘o’ the Times. Captured in 1987 during Prince’s European tour, Sign ‘o’ the Times was theatrically released alongside the album of the same name. “U Got the Look” appears in music video form, but otherwise the experience of watching the film is just like having a Prince concert in your living room.
Director: Clive Barker
Cast: Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby, David Cronenberg
Runtime: 1h 39m
Rotten Tomatoes: 45% (Critics) 60% (Audience)
Horror, fairy tale, monster movie, or all of the above? No matter how you slice it, Nightbreed remains a cult classic, as much for its practical special effects as for its wild and weird story of belonging. Aaron Boone (Sheffer) escapes his troubles by journeying to Midian, home to a host of monsters hiding from the rest of the world. Perhaps as famous as the film itself is the multiple cuts that exist, with diehard fans decrying the sloppy theatrical cut and praising legendary versions like the Cabal Cut, which adds a whopping 45 minutes to the total runtime. If you’re streaming it on Peacock, you’ll be happy to know that you’re getting the Director’s Cut, the two-hour version many fans swear by.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Director: George A. Romero
Cast: Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Karl Hardman
Runtime: 1h 36m
Rotten Tomatoes: 97% (Critics) 87% (Audience)
In glorious 1960s black-and-white, Night of the Living Dead remains a classic of the horror genre. In part, that’s to do with its thrills and chills. However, Romero goes beyond the trope of zombies to reflect the human psyche and a nation of anxieties in his film about the social bonds that form (and break) when the inhabitants of a rural farmhouse must survive an onslaught of the living dead. Nowadays, it remains as scary (and timely) as ever, and the horror flick that indisputably popularized the zombie genre.
Director: Rian Johnson
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt
Runtime: 1h 59m
Rotten Tomatoes: 93% (Critics) 82% (Audience)
The futuristic world of Looper takes the idea of time travel and turns it on its head. Time travel has been invented, but is illegal, and is only used on the black market by the mob who send hitmen (“loopers”) along with their target back in time to be taken care of. Equal parts action and thriller, the smart script, deft direction, and excellent performances from the whole cast really engross you in the storytelling. If you love puzzle boxes or the works of Nolan but haven’t yet watched Looper, do yourself a favor.
Director: John Logan
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Anna Chlumsky, Carrie Preston
Genre: Thriller, Horror
Runtime: 1hr 41min
Rotten Tomatoes: 30% (Critics) 18% (Audience)
Look no further than Friday the 13th’s Camp Crystal Lake to see how cabins in the secluded wilderness make for the perfect horror movie setting. Updating the familiar formula to explore the traumas and psychological horrors of an LGBTQIA+ conversion camp seems like a bold creative move for the current moment, and They/Them (pronounced “They Slash Them”) deserves attention for its inclusive cast and interesting setup. Critics and audiences may agree that They/Them is a bit of a mess, but for the talents of its cast and a few interesting concepts, horror fans may still want to check this one out.
Uncut Gems (2019)
Director: Benny and Josh Safdie
Cast: Adam Sandler, LaKeith Stanfield, Julia Fox
Runtime: 2hr 15min
Rotten Tomatoes: 92% (Critics) 52% (Audience)
Adam Sandler has a rocky reputation when it comes to his dramatic work, but when the right character and story come along, Sandler can really deliver. Uncut Gems sees Sandler play the part of Howard Ratner, a charming jeweler who gets caught up in a high stakes bet and must juggle a variety of adversaries and obligations in his quest to score big. Tense, full of anxiety, and exhilirating freneticism, Uncut Gems is a roller coaster ride that will leave you reeling from each and every performance. Part of me has to wonder if the 52% audience rating is because they were expecting more comedy from Sandler.
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