Apple TV+ may not have as robust a library of movies to stream as competitors like Max or Amazon Prime, but that doesn’t mean that what the streaming service has isn’t worth watching. In fact, in recent years, Apple TV+ has acquired rights and deals with some of the hottest films from the festival circuit, as well as movies that are anchored by well-known actors and musicians. The end result is a library of movies that is small but mighty. Here are the best movies you can watch on Apple TV+ right now.
1. Ghosted (2023)
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Cast: Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody
Genre: Action, Romance
Duration: 1hr 56min
Rotten Tomatoes: 26% (Critics), 56% (Audience)
If Ghosted proves one thing, it’s that Ana de Armas deserves her own action movie! In this film from Dexter Fletcher, de Armas plays Sadie, a mysterious woman (read: spy) who thrusts first date Cole (Chris Evans) into adventure when she has to get to work in this international action rom-com. The premise isn’t particularly high-brow, but this is a movie that knows the strengths of each of its respective genres and uses those strengths to create an entertaining movie. If you’re a fan of Evans, de Armas, or Adrien Brody, there’s nothing wrong with popping some popcorn and hunkering down for two hours to enjoy this fun movie.
2. On the Rocks (2020)
Director: Sofia Coppola
Cast: Bill Murray, Rashida Jones, Marlon Wayans
Runtime: 1hr 36min
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rotten Tomatoes: 87% (Critics), 50% (Audience)
Sofia Coppola’s latest film Priscilla is just hitting theaters, but if you’d prefer to stay in your house as the colder weather begins this November, On the Rocks can cure what ails you. The story follows Rashida Jones as a young mother who doubts her husband’s (Marlon Wayans) faithfulness. In order to get to the bottom of the matter, she teams up with her father (Bill Murray) who helps her stake out her spouse. With such an all-star cast, it’s probably no surprise that the actors carry the heart of this film, which is both bittersweet and comedic. As a director, Coppola lets you coast through the film’s breezy hour-and-a-half runtime, rather than rush you from plot point to plot point. Even if you aren’t normally one to go for romantic films, Bill Murray and Rashida Jones’ chemistry as a father and daughter in On the Rocks make this worth a watch.
3. Fingernails (2023)
Director: Christos Nikou
Cast: Jessie Buckley, Jeremy Allen White, Riz Ahmed
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi
Duration: 1hr 53min
Rotten Tomatoes: 63% (Critics), 47% (Audience)
What if your relationship had been scientifically proven to be “true love,” but you still had doubts? That’s the question at the heart of this unique sci-fi/drama film about Anna and Ryan, whose relationship comes under interrogation when Anna meets Amir at a new job. With a cast featuring Jessie Buckley, Jeremy Allen White, and Riz Ahmed, it should be readily apparent that one of Fingernails’ greatest strengths is its acting. The chemistry between these performers makes this an engaging film even if you think some of its ideas and execution come off a bit cold. With an interesting story and strong performances, fans of this genre or any one of its all-star cast members will definitely get something from Fingernails.
4. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (2022)
Director: Peter Farrelly
Cast: Zac Efron, Russell Crowe, Bill Murray
Genre: War, Comedy, Drama
Runtime: 2hr 6min
Rotten Tomatoes: 39% (Critics), 91% (Audience)
What would you do for your friends—or your favorite beer? The Greatest Beer Run Ever tells the story of Chickie Donohue (Zac Efron), who travels to the frontlines of the war in Vietnam to bring his friends a taste of home in a can. Part coming-of-age drama and part comedy, Zac Efron carries the film for the most part, although there are plenty of other great actors in the film, including solid performances from Russel Crowe and Bill Murray. Earnest and charming, The Greatest Beer Run Ever may not have the emotional heft you want for a film about a controversial American conflict, but that doesn’t mean the film is one gigantic ad for PBR either.
5. The Pigeon Tunnel (2023)
Director: Errol Morris
Cast: John le Carre, Jake Dove, Charlotte Hamblin
Runtime: 1hr 34min
Rotten Tomatoes: 96% (Critics), 75% (Audience)
In this documentary, the life of David Cornwell (a British Spy better known as the author, John le Carre) is explored. Famous for the espionage novels Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Constant Gardener, Le Carre’s life is full of the highs and lows one would expect from a former spy turned author. The documentary combines interview, historical re-enactment, and archival footage to bring viewers into Le Carre’s world. In the hands of Academy Award winning-documentarian Errol Morris, the film is as riveting as a spy thriller itself.
6. Flora and Son (2023)
Director: John Carney
Cast: Eve Hewson, Orén Kinlan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Genre: Musical, Comedy
Duration: 1hr 34min
Rotten Tomatoes: 94% (Critics), 84% (Audience)
From John Carney, the director of Once and Sing Street, comes yet another musical: Flora and Son. In this film, Eve Hewson plays a single mom with a rebellious son (Orén Kinlan). Encouraged to find him a hobby, she offers him an acoustic guitar and together, with the help of an LA-based music teacher played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the mother and son embark on an uplifting journey thanks to the transformative power of music. Funny, charming, and touching, Flora and Son is another entry in Carney’s already touching array of earnest, music-centric films.
7. Cha Cha Real Smooth (2022)
Director: Cooper Raiff
Cast: Cooper Raiff, Dakota Johnson, Vanessa Burghardt
Runtime: 1hr 47min
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rotten Tomatoes: 85% (Critics), 61% (Audience)
Written by, directed by, and starring Cooper Raiff, Cha Cha Real Smooth was a huge acquisition by Apple Original Movies following the film’s impressive run at the Sundance Film Festival. Much has been made of the 25-year-old Cooper Raiff’s meteoric career rise: Cha Cha Real Smooth is only his second feature, one that landed him a $15 million deal and is helping him launch his own production company. But those facts don’t negate the fact that Cha Cha Real Smooth has an earnest, infectious warmth. A film that is focused on all of its characters having kindness, Cha Cha Real Smooth tells the story of a recent college graduate (Raiff), who connects with a young high schooler on the autism spectrum (Vanessa Burghardt) and her mother (Johnson). Burghardt’s performance is measured, genuine, and laugh-out-loud funny, and her relationship with Raiff is the real star of this intimate character drama.
8. Swan Song (2021)
Director: Benjamin Cleary
Cast: Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Glenn Close
Runtime: 1hr 51min
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Romance
Rotten Tomatoes: 79% (Critics), 76% (Audience)
Combining the best elements of a sci-fi film and a romantic drama, Swan Song is, above all else, another showcase for the impressive acting skills of Mahershala Ali (Moonlight). In Swan Song, Ali plays Cameron Turner, a man diagnosed with a terminal illness in the near future and given the option to utilize an experimental treatment to shield his wife and son from grief. Helmed by Academy Award–winning filmmaker Benjamin Cleary, the film is a thought-provoking exploration of love, loss, and fate. With its tantalizing ethical questions (some of which are reminiscent of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and star turn by Ali playing not one but two distinct versions of Cameron Turner, what could be a downer of a film becomes life-affirming in its portrayal of love and humanity.
9. The Beanie Bubble (2023)
Director: Kristin Gore, Damian Kulash, Jr.
Cast: Zach Galifianakis, Elizabeth Banks, Sarah Snook
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Duration: 1hr 50m
Rotten Tomatoes: 49% (Critics), 61% (Audience)
Did you collect Beanie Babies as a kid? If so (or if not, have you seen this cast?), you’ll definitely get a kick out of The Beanie Bubble. Following Ty Warner (the creator of Beanie Babies, played by Zach Galifianakis), this film mixes both comedy and drama to tell the story of a narcissistic toymaker and the women he exploited on his way to the bank. While critics have been mixed about what this genre approach means about the topic itself (is late-stage capitalism really that funny?), the winning cast certainly makes this worth checking out.
10. Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Jeremy Irons
Genre: History, War, Drama
Duration: 2hr 25min
Rotten Tomatoes: 39% (Critics), 72% (Audience)
AppleTV+ is offering a lot of great historical epics on its platform as of late, and Kingdom of Heaven is one such title. Starring Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, and Jeremy Irons, this story pairs the Crusades with the typical large-scale spectacle you associate with blockbuster war epics. What makes Kingdom of Heaven worth revisiting is the fact that director Ridley Scott humanizes the conflict, too. Sure, the films is bursting with big set pieces and exciting battles, but its human pulse helps the film offer more than your typical blockbuster fare.
11. Troy (2002)
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Cast: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom
Genre: Action, Adventure, War
Duration: 2hr 42m
Rotten Tomatoes: 53% (Critics), 73% (Audience)
Living somewhere on the spectrum between Zack Snyder’s 300 and Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, Troy is an epic adventure based on Homer’s The Iliad. In it, Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom star as warring soldiers in the battle between Troy and Sparta over the beautiful Helen (Diane Kruger). Full of thrilling spectacle, what Troy lacks in nuance it makes up for in entertainment. After a rewatch (and while chowing down on popcorn), you’ll likely agree that the critics got it wrong on this one.
12. Wolfwalkers (2020)
Director: Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart
Cast: Sean Bean, Honor Kneafsey, Eva Whittaker
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Animation
Duration: 1hr 43m
Rotten Tomatoes: 99% (Critics), 98% (Audience)
With near-perfect Rotten Tomatoes scores from critics and audience alike, it’s a wonder more people haven’t heard of Wolfwalkers, a Celtic-inspired animated fantasy adventure about a young hunter’s apprentice named Robyn Goodfellowe. With bountiful, beautiful hand-drawn animation, this story rooted in ancient tradition quickly casts a spell over you — thanks in no small part to an exceptional cast of voice actors led by Sean Bean (Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings). Brimming with lush imagery and emotionally resonant themes, this is one animated flick that children and adults will get something from.
13. 300 (2006)
Director: Zack Snyder
Cast: Gerard Butler, David Wenham, Lena Headey
Duration: 1hr 56m
Rotten Tomatoes: 61% (Critics), 89% (Audience)
This. Is. Sparta! Zack Snyder’s epic adaptation of the Frank Miller graphic novel of the same name, 300 is now streaming on AppleTV+ as a bonus through the end of July. Bursting with stylish violence, brutal bloodshed, and a gloriously bombastic soundtrack, director Zack Snyder fills this movie to the brim (and then some) with plenty of visual punch. For pure, testosterone-fueled entertainment, it’s hard to beat this ancient story about the Battle of Thermopylae.
14. A Thousand and One (2023)
Director: A.V. Rockwell
Cast: Teyana Taylor, Josiah Cross, William Catlett
Duration: 1hr 57m
Rotten Tomatoes: 97% (Critics), 84% (Audience)
Featuring a breakout performance for the ages from Teyana Taylor, A Thousand and One is a powerful, raw, and heartfelt film about a mother and son clinging to hope and home in the face of systemic challenges. Not only is this an impressive debut from actor Teyana Taylor; but it’s also an impressive directorial debut from A.V. Rockwell, who coaxes excellent performances from his cast. While A Thousand and One is suffused with tragedy and hardship, it is ultimately a hopeful and inspiring tale of sacrifice.
15. Tetris (2023)
Director: Jon S. Baird
Cast: Taron Egerton, Nikita Efremov, Toby Jones
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Biography
Duration: 1hr 58min
Rotten Tomatoes: 78% (Critics), 91% (Audience)
If you’re surprised that everyone’s favorite arcade puzzle game from the 1980s has been adapted into an R-rated thriller, you’re not alone. But that also means that you may not know much about the can’t-believe-it’s-true story and its Cold War-era origins. In Tetris, Taron Egerton stars as Henk Rogers, the man who discovers the addicting game and endeavors to get it the worldwide debut it deserves. As strange as it is to say that a film about 8-bit blocks is edge-of-your-seat entertainment, the film is fun, and epic, and will likely result in you needing to head to your favorite online Tetris emulator to test your skills.
16. Emancipation (2022)
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Cast: Will Smith, Jon Mone, Joey McFarland, Todd Black
Genre: Drama, History
Duration: 2hr 12min
Rotten Tomatoes: 45% (Critics), 55% (Audience)
Will Smith’s first major film following the infamous slap heard ‘round the world at last year’s Oscars ceremony is Emancipation, a historical drama based on the life of Peter, the real-life slave who escaped slavery and whose whipping scars were photographed in gruesome detail and released in 1863 in Harper’s Weekly. Grim, yet stylized, Emancipation is a tough watch but manages to remain engaging, in part, due to some high-stakes action sequences. Critics may have been unnecessarily tough on this movie following the Oscars slap, but if you can stomach the real-life events at the heart of director Antoine Fuqua’s film, Smith gives a dignified performance worth watching.
17. Causeway (2022)
Director: Lila Neugebauer
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Brian Tyree Henry, Linda Emond
Duration: 1hr 32min
Rotten Tomatoes: 85% (Critics), 77% (Audience)
If you’re a fan of many of the intimate dramas A24 is known for, then you’re definitely in for a treat with Causeway. Jennifer Lawrence stars as Lynsey, a former solder trying to reintegrate in her old life in New Orleans after returning home. As an exploration of trauma and connection, what’s perhaps most impressive about Causeway is how simple it is in execution. For fans who fell in love with Jennifer Lawrence for her work on films like Winter’s Bone or Silver Linings Playbook, Causeway is in some ways a return to form for Lawrence, whose subtle acting shines in this big-hearted film.
18. Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me (2022)
Director: Alek Keshishian
Cast: Selena Gomez
Genre: Documentary, Music, Biography
Runtime: 1hr 35min
Rotten Tomatoes: 95% (Critics), 95% (Audience)
This documentary chronicling superstar Selena Gomez’s six-year journey to find light after an unexpected turn in her life is raw, intimate, and, overall, powerful. While just an hour and a half, thanks to Gomez’s honesty and willingness to present herself as authentically as possible, this documentary serves as an impressively deep dive into mental health and stardom. Director Alek Keshishian pulls no punches in capturing her day-to-day realities, ultimately creating a candid portrait of Selena Gomez as a truly genuine human being. The end result is surprisingly of-the-moment as the country still grapples with mental health in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
19. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse (2022)
Director: Peter Baynton, Charlie Mackesy
Cast: Idris Elba, Tom Hollander, Gabriel Byrne
Genre: Fantasy, Animation
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A (Critics), 79% (Audience)
If it seems to you like most family-friendly holiday classics were made in the 1960s, do yourself a favor and check out The Boy, the Mole, The Fox, and the Horse. Poised to be the kind of animated tale of hope and courage that warms your heart on a cold winter night for years to come, this 30-minute animated film is as gorgeous as it is emotionally resonant. Richly animated in a unique style evoking both watercolors and ink and pen drawings, The Boy, the Mole, The Fox, and the Horse’s beautiful visuals are matched by an all-star cast of voice actors. At such a short length, this animated tale about an unlikely friendship will hold the entire family’s attention as it spreads its message of kindness perfect for the holidays.
20. Beastie Boys Story (2020)
Director: Spike Jonze
Cast: Beastie Boys, Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz
Genre: Documentary, Music
Runtime: 1hr 59min
Rotten Tomatoes: 94% (Critics), 85% Audience
Perhaps unsurprisingly due to Apple’s synonymous with music thanks to iTunes and the iPod, one of the best bets for entertainment on AppleTV+ is their array of music documentaries. From Selena Gomez and Billie Eilish to The Velvet Underground, the streamer has a host of impressive and entertaining music documentaries worth watching — and Beastie Boys Story is no different. Directed live by Spike Jonze with flair and style, this is a film capturing the joy, exhilaration, and funkiness of all rap has to offer. Ad-Rock and Mike D are compelling storytellers, making for a thoroughly honest, emotional (have some Kleenex for the discussion of MCA), and ultimately nostalgic walk through decades of rap history.
21. Out of Sight (1998)
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames
Genre: Crime, Drama, Comedy
Duration: 2hr 2min
Rotten Tomatoes: 94% (Critics), 74% (Audience)
Three years before Soderbergh and Clooney made Ocean’s Eleven, they made Out of Sight — an adaptation of the novel by Elmore Leonard. Clooney plays Jack Foley, a notoriously successful bank robber who falls in love with Federal Marshal Karen Sisco (Lopez). Smart, sleek, and sexy, Out of Sight is entertaining for its story and craftsmanship as much as it is for the work of its impressive cast.
22. The Five-Year Engagement (2012)
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Cast: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Rhys Ifans
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Duration: 1hr 59min
Rotten Tomatoes: 64% (Critics), 51% (Audience)
While critic and audience reviews tended to be middling, when you take stock of the fact that most of that has to do with the film’s 2-hour run-time and commit to that length of the movie, The Five-Year Engagement is a much more enjoyable experience. It’s got the sentiment and humor you’ve come to expect from previous Stoller/Segel collaborations. It’s got an interesting set-up that doesn’t end in a 5-minute finale that strains credulity. Plus, Segel and Blunt have actual chemistry, which is always welcome in rom-coms from the 2010s.
23. Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues (2023)
Director: Sacha Jenkins
Cast: Louis Armstrong
Genre: Documentary, Music
Duration: 1hr 44min
Rotten Tomatoes: 98% (Critics), 80% (Audience)
Engaging, informative, and enriching, Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues tells the story of one of music’s most revolutionary jazz musicians in his own words. Crafted from Armstrong’s own writing and audio recordings, as well as archival footage, this documentary is as rewarding for longtime fans of Satchmo as it is to those new to his work. For anyone looking for a definitive deep dive into one of the true jazz greats, Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues is yet another feather in Apple’s cap when it comes to documentary content about famous musicians.
24. The Way We Were (1973)
Director: A.V. Rockwell
Cast: Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Bradford Dillman
Duration: 1hr 58m
Rotten Tomatoes: 64% (Critics), 81% (Audience)
If you’re looking for a melodramatic romance with an all-star cast, look no further than The Way We Were, featuring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford. Like many rom-coms, this is a story of opposites attracting, where Streisand plays a politically-active Jewish woman and Redford plays a WASPY man who dreams of pursuing screenwriting in Hollywood. While the premise begins with sentimentality, the political themes that screenwriter Arthur Laurents includes offer some more heft than romances from this period typically do.
25. STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie (2023)
Director: Davis Guggenheim
Cast: Michael J. Fox, Tracy Pollan, Andrew Barber
Genre: Documentary, Biopic
Duration: 1hr 35min
Rotten Tomatoes: 99% (Critics), 96% (Audience)
Michael J. Fox has told his story through several books, but never has it been told like this. In STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie, viewers are taken on a journey alongside Fox and his battle with Parkinsons Disease, including plenty of archival video where he was doing his best to cover for his symptoms. The documentarians making this movie had unprecedented access to Fox, his family, and his work, ultimately celebrating the perseverance and character of Michael J. Fox and his career. The end result is an uplifting, poignant documentary full of the same heart you associate with some of Fox’s crowning films, from Back to the Future to Teen Wolf and The American President.
26. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
Director: Peter Weir
Cast: Russel Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Duration: 2hr 19m
Rotten Tomatoes: 85% (Critics), 80% (Audience)
Released the same year as the first Pirates of the Carribean movie, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World takes a more dramatic approach to cinematic swashbuckling. Featuring a stellar cast lead by Russel Crowe, Paul Bettany, and Billy Boyd, this film follows the nautical ventures of the H.M.S. Surprise as it aims to capture one of Napoleon’s most powerful vessels in South America. A story of male friendship bursting with exciting action sequences, this war movie adapted from the novel by Patrick O’Brian is regarded by many as one of the genre’s best in recent decades.
27. Stephen Curry: Underrated (2023)
Director: Peter Nicks
Cast: Steph Curry
Genre: Documentary, Biopic
Duration: 1hr 50min
Rotten Tomatoes: 85% (Critics), 87% (Audience)
There’s been plenty of excellent basketball content to binge lately, and Stephen Curry: Underrated is no exception. Following the rise of NBA player Steph Curry from underdog to dynamic superstar, this documentary features plenty of highs and lows to keep the story interesting — even if we all know Curry is going to end up a four-time champion. Filmed with raw honesty, sports fans and non-fans alike will be able to take something away from this inspiring story of one of the game’s all-time greats.
28. The Year Earth Changed (2021)
Director: Tom Beard
Cast: David Attenborough
Rotten Tomatoes: 100% (Critics), 96% (Audiences)
If you’re looking for a shorter film to watch, the nature documentary The Year Earth Changed provides a unique perspective on what the global pandemic and ensuing shutdown meant for our planet. Narrated by David Attenborough, this documentary features never-before-seen footage that helps illustrate the impact that humans have on our planet’s seas, land, and skies. Especially at a time when climate change and historic weather events continue to make headlines, there is hope to be found revisiting The Year Earth Changed.
29. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
Director: Bill Melendez
Cast: Peter Robbins, Sally Dryer, Cathay Steinberg
Genre: Animated, Family
Rotten Tomatoes: 95% (Critics), 85% (Audience)
AppleTV+ is still building out its catalog of streamable movies, but it certainly packs one of the all-time greats in It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Released in 1966, and featuring the lovably stilted vocal performances of true children, this animated classic based on Charles Schulz’s beloved Peanuts comics is on many must-watch lists for spooky season, despite being not-so-spooky. With its short run time of just under 30 minutes, this is the perfect way to end a night of more typical horror fare, reminding you of the fun (and melancholy) that can come with Halloween season too.
30. The Velvet Underground (2021)
Director: Todd Haynes
Cast: Mary Woronov, Jonathan Richman, John Cale
Genre: Documentary, Music
Duration: 1hr 50min
Rotten Tomatoes: 98% (Critics), 80% (Audience)
This kaleidoscopic tribute to The Velvet Underground is a compellingly crafted rock documentary that honors just how much of a cultural touchstone the band is. Whether or not you’re a fan of the band, Todd Haynes’ documentary is wholly entertaining, full of bold visual and aural choices that perfectly complement additional exclusive interviews and archival footage. Stylized and full of choices that fly in the face of traditional documentarians, The Velvet Underground is a collage of textures and influences, a fitting tribute to a band as idiosyncratic as The Velvet Underground.