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The best movies on Apple TV+ right now (August 2023)

Remember when Apple TV+ won the Best Picture Oscar for CODA? Well, that just goes to show that today’s power-player streaming platforms are every bit as good as traditionally developed and released studio films (although the line between streaming and studio grows ever meeker).

Since its 2019 inception, month to month, Apple TV+ has tended to release more episodic stories than full-length features, but that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of excellent movies to enjoy. In fact, we’ve put together this list of all the best movies you can stream on Apple TV+ right now, and there are plenty of amazing options to choose from.

Looking for something else? We’ve also rounded up the best shows on Apple TV+, the best movies on Hulu, the best movies on Amazon Prime Video, and the best movies on Disney+.

Stephen Curry: Underrated (2023)

Stephen Curry: Underrated
Genre Documentary
Stars Stephen Curry, Bob McKillop, Reggie Miller
Directed by Peter Nicks

Four-time NBA champ Stephen Curry is a force to be reckoned with, and Underrated, the 2023 Apple TV+ documentary film, aims to showcase the youth’s immense talent to the world.

A pair-up between Apple TV+ and A24, the movie will chronicle Curry’s career thus far, starting with his 2008 NCAA Tournament days, and leading up to his 2021-22 Golden State Warriors games. If inspiring sports docs are of interest to you, this is one you won’t want to miss.

The Beanie Bubble (2023)

The Beanie Bubble
Genre Comedy
Stars Zach Galifianakis, Elizabeth Banks, Sarah Snook
Directed by Kristin Gore, Damian Kulash

Written and directed by Kristin Gore and Damian Kulash, The Beanie Bubble is the cinematic adaption of the 2015 book The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute by Zac Bissonnette. Starring Zach Galifianakis as Ty Warner, the creator of the Beanie Babies, the film explores Ty’s rise to stardom as the founder of the pop-culture sensation that took the world by storm. Co-starring Elizabeth Banks (Cocaine Bear), Sarah Snook, and Geraldine Viswanathan, this rags to riches tale is sure to arrest our hearts and minds.

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie (2023)

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie
r 95m
Genre Documentary
Stars Michael J. Fox, Tracy Pollan
Directed by Davis Guggenheim
Still is one of those rare documentary gems that surface every once in a while, and it focuses on a subject that the world knows very well: the life and career of Michael J. Fox. Through a blend of archival footage, one-on-one interviews, and other cinematic methods, director-producer Davis Guggenheim delivers a rich chronicle of the actor’s legacy, from his days as a wiry Army recruit to his breakout roles in ’80s Hollywood films. The film premieres on Apple TV+ on May 12.

Ghosted (2023)

Genre Adventure, Romance, Action, Comedy
Stars Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Adrien Brody
Directed by Dexter Fletcher
Directed by Dexter Fletcher, Ghosted stars Chris Evans and Ana de Armas as Cole and Sadie. After a recent first date, Cole is all but sure that Sadie is ignoring his existence. But after trying to track her down, Cole learns that she’s actually a CIA operative, which is when the film kicks off its surface-level rom-com boots and straps on an action-thriller jetpack.

Tetris (2023)

r 120m
Genre Drama, History
Stars Taron Egerton, Nikita Efremov, Sofia Lebedeva
Directed by Jon S. Baird

We’ve all played Tetris at least a handful of times in our lives, but have you ever wondered how the popular puzzle game went from arcades to at-home video game consoles?Answers to questions like this (and more) will all be revealed on March 31 with the release of Tetris on Apple TV+. A biopic directed by Jon S. Baird from a script by Noah Pink, the film stars Taron Egerton as Henk Rogers, a Dutch video game designer who went through quite the logistical and legal maelstrom to bring Tetris into our living rooms, basements, and dorms.

Sharper (2023)

r 116m
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller
Stars Julianne Moore, Sebastian Stan, Justice Smith
Directed by Benjamin Caron
Directed by Benjamin Caron (The Crown), Sharper stars Sebastian Stan as Max, the royally peeved son of a wealthy New York City family who can’t seem to get his kin to recognize him for who he is. This leads the youth to carry out one of the most devilish schemes one can conjure: conning the billionaires in and around the five boroughs. Produced by and co-starring Julianne Moore, Sharper is described as a clever heist film inspired by such riveting caper flicks as The Usual Suspects and The Sting

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse (2022)

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
g 32m
Genre Animation, Drama, Family
Stars Jude Coward Nicoll, Tom Hollander, Idris Elba
Directed by Peter Baynton, Charlie Mackesy

Apple Original Films are the creative minds behind the animated adaptation of the Charlie Mackesy children’s book The Boy, The Mole, the Fox and the Horse. The film follows the quest of the titular human and his animal pals, a journey to return the boy to his proper home.

The short, which won the Oscar for Best Animated Short, features the voice-acting talents of Tom Hollander, Idris Elba, and Gabriel Byrne amongst others, and utilizes the same illustrative aesthetic as the original book.

Emancipation (2022)

r 132m
Genre Thriller, History, Drama
Stars Will Smith, Ben Foster, Charmaine Bingwa
Directed by Antoine Fuqua
Emancipation stars Will Smith as Peter, a Louisiana plantation slave who escapes from his abusive servitude to the American North, eventually joining up with Union Army forces to deliver justice to the Confederates. In development since 2018, Antoine Fuqua directs from a script by William N. Collage, with supporting cast members including Ben Foster and Charmaine Bingwa.

Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me (2022)

Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me
r 95m
Genre Documentary, Music
Stars Selena Gomez
Directed by Alek Keshishian

Apple TV+ is becoming a standout streamer for its documentaries alone, with prolific films like Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry and Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You serving as cinematic touchstones through which the artists behind the music reveal deeper layers to their respective celebrity lifestyles. Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me is the latest addition to the platform’s music-doc lineup, and it follows the titular singer-songwriter over six years in her career, a journey that begins in 2015 and chronicles Gomez’ navigation through a uniquely dark time in her life and career.

Causeway (2022)

63 %
Genre Drama
Stars Jennifer Lawrence, Brian Tyree Henry, Linda Emond
Directed by Lila Neugebauer

Causeway stars Jennifer Lawrence as Lynsey, a soldier making an unintended homecoming after suffering a traumatic brain injury while serving in Afghanistan. Now back in her stomping grounds, Lynsey is forced to re-acclimate to a world of family and friends that want nothing but the best for her, while waging a quiet war with inner demons that cease to let her rest. Lawrence gives an air-brushed but powerful lead performance in this emotional drama from director Lila Neugebauer. Lawrence’s onscreen presence harkens back to some of her early roles in movies like Winter’s Bone and The Poker House.

Spirited (2022)

Genre Comedy
Stars Ryan Reynolds, Will Ferrell, Octavia Spencer
Directed by Sean Anders
If it’s holiday cheer you want, then it’s holiday cheer you’ll get in director Sean Anders’ Spirited, a musical reimagining of Charles Dickens’ yuletide classic A Christmas Carol. Ryan Reynolds stars as Clint Briggs, a man who is accidentally visited by the spirit of Christmas Present (Will Ferrell). Briggs is soon able to turn the tables on Present, forcing the friendly ghoul to reexamine his own life. A star-studded ensemble of song and dance is always a welcome treat when winter rolls around, and we’re betting that Spirited will have us all laughing our hearts out.

Raymond & Ray (2022)

Raymond & Ray
50 %
r 106m
Genre Drama, Comedy
Stars Ewan McGregor, Ethan Hawke, Sophie Okonedo
Directed by Rodrigo García
It’s never easy to let go of loved ones, especially when the last-requested wish of your kin is for you and your half-brother to dig your dad’s grave. Such is the case in director Rodrigo Garcia’s 2022 film Raymond & Ray, starring Ethan Hawke and Ewan McGregor as the titular siblings. Doing their best to honor their father’s odd wish, both men set to work, discussing the finer points of life, manhood, and their dearly departed patriarch between shovelfuls of sod.

Louis Armstrong's Black & Blues (2022)

Louis Armstrong's Black & Blues
Genre Documentary
Stars Louis Armstrong, Nas, Wynton Marsalis
Directed by Sacha Jenkins
Louis Armstrong is probably one of the first names to come to mind when mining the infinite annals of American jazz music, and for good reason. A musical savant and well-respected cultural icon, Armstrong was a dominant player both onstage and at the podium during the Civil Rights era, with both sides of the coin beautifully captured in director Sacha Jenkins’ studious documentary Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues.

Sidney (2022)

pg-13 106m
Genre Documentary
Stars Sidney Poitier, Quincy Jones, Oprah Winfrey
Directed by Reginald Hudlin
Sidney Poitier is a prolific name in the annals of Hollywood stardom. An actor with incredible on-screen charisma and chops, a talented film director, and an inspiring political icon outside of showbiz, the man’s life and legacy are captured, examined, and reflected upon in director Reginald Hudlin’s Sidney. A documentary that honorably unpacks Poitier’s many years in the limelight, it’s the kind of single-subject doc that branches out into much bigger themes, addressing questions and concerns centered around significant topics like racial equality and social justice, presenting key perspectives and recollections from such names as Spike Lee, Robert Redford, and Lenny Kravitz.

The Greatest Beer Run Ever (2022)

The Greatest Beer Run Ever
r 126m
Genre Comedy, War, Drama
Stars Zac Efron, Russell Crowe, Kyle Allen
Directed by Peter Farrelly
Based on the John “Chick” Donohue and J.T. Molloy novel The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty, and War, director Peter Farrelly is the man behind Apple TV+’s cinematic adaptation of Chick’s incredible journey into the heart of the Vietnam War — all to bring his drafted friends a couple of cold ones. This biographical action-comedy stars Zac Efron as Chick himself, a big-hearted American whose life is forever changed after putting his titular “beer run” into action.

Luck (2022)

G 97m
Genre Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Stars Eva Noblezada, Simon Pegg, Jane Fonda
Directed by Peggy Holmes
From Skydance Animation, Luck follows Sam Greenfield (voiced by Eva Noblezada), a hopelessly unlucky individual whose life is forever changed when she enters the mythical Land of Luck. A kaleidoscope of animated locales and creatures, Sam must join forces with the magical inhabitants of this newfound place in order to correct the constant curse of bad luck that hangs over her head.

Cha Cha Real Smooth (2022)

Cha Cha Real Smooth
69 %
r 107m
Genre Comedy, Drama, Romance
Stars Cooper Raiff, Dakota Johnson, Vanessa Burghardt
Directed by Cooper Raiff
Making waves at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, Cha Cha Real Smooth stars the film’s director and writer, Cooper Raiff, as Andrew, a college graduate who returns to his New Jersey home with little direction, only to take a job as a bar mitzvah party host where he begins a friendship with a mother named Domino (Dakota Johnson) and her autistic teenage daughter, Lola (Vanessa Burghardt). Those two relationships will forever change Andrew’s life. This is an indie rom-com bursting with love, kindness, and some excellent performances. Cha Cha Real Smooth is also a film that’s hard to forget.

9/11: Inside the President's War Room (2021)

9/11: Inside the President's War Room
88 %
pg-13 89m
Genre Documentary, History
Stars George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice
Directed by Adam Wishart
9/11: Inside the President’s War Room presents several critical vantages from President George W. Bush and members of his cabinet on the day of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. A documentary unlike any other, 9/11 explores the many crucial decisions that had to be made by the U.S. government’s elites, with President Bush’s recollections serving as a predominant force throughout the 90-minute film. A co-production between Apple TV+ and BBC One, this documentary was released right around the 20th anniversary of the attacks, a horrific event that would reshape the world forever.

'Twas the Fight Before Christmas (2021)

'Twas the Fight Before Christmas
pg-13 91m
Genre Documentary
Stars Jeremy Morris
Directed by Becky Read
Christmas cheer takes on a whole new meaning in director Becky Read’s 2021 documentary, ‘Twas the Fight Before Christmas. The film follows the unbound holiday cheer of Jeremy Morris, a lawyer living in Northern Idaho that plans on throwing a community-wide Christmas extravaganza. When his neighborhood’s homeowner’s association cracks down on his festivities, the anticipated yuletide gathering quickly devolves into a battle of legalities between one man with an insatiable love of Christmas and the political powers of his town.

The Sky Is Everywhere (2022) new

The Sky Is Everywhere
66 %
pg-13 103m
Genre Drama, Romance, Music
Stars Grace Kaufman, Jacques Colimon, Cherry Jones
Directed by Josephine Decker
A dazzling kaleidoscope of drama, comedy, music, and coming-of-age storytelling, director Josephine Decker’s The Sky is Everywhere follows Lennie Walker (Grace Kaufman), a musical prodigy reeling from the sudden death of her older sister. Amidst the heartbreak, Lennie begins falling for Joe Fontaine (Jacques Colimon), a first love troubled by Lennie’s relationship with her deceased sister’s boyfriend (Pico Alexander). Adapted from the Jandy Nelson novel of the same name (Nelson also wrote the screenplay), The Sky is Everywhere is an arresting tale of life’s greatest emotional pulls: Love and loss.

Palmer (2021)

53 %
r 110m
Genre Drama
Stars Justin Timberlake, Ryder Allen, Juno Temple
Directed by Fisher Stevens
A homecoming story for the ages, Palmer stars Justin Timberlake as hometown hero Eddie Palmer. A high-school football star turned convict, Eddie returns to his stomping grounds after a 12-year stint behind bars. As the disenchanted man forges a fruitful friendship with the seven-year-old son of his next-door neighbor, things begin looking up for Eddie’s life — that is until his past starts catching up with him. A heartfelt film packed with incredible performances, Palmer is a small-town drama that you don’t want to miss.

The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021) new

The Tragedy of Macbeth
87 %
r 105m
Genre Drama, War
Stars Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Alex Hassell
Directed by Joel Coen
Joel Coen splits from the typical Coen brothers duo to bring us this remarkable cinematic rendition of the Shakespearian classic. Shot in beautiful black and white, The Tragedy of Macbeth stars Denzel Washington as the titular lord, a nobleman that receives a prophesy from a trio of witches that he will reign as king some day. Lady Macbeth (Frances McDormand), his spouse, will do whatever it takes to help her husband ascend to the throne. Bleak, graphic, and faithful to its source prose, The Tragedy of Macbeth is an arresting adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most renowned works.

Swan Song (2021)

Swan Song
66 %
r 116m
Genre Drama, Science Fiction
Stars Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Awkwafina
Directed by Benjamin Cleary
After being diagnosed with a terminal illness, Cameron (Mahershala Ali) must face his mortality in a way no man ever has before. When presented with an experimental cloning procedure that will provide a replicant of Cameron to his wife and son once he passes, the family must ponder the delivery of another husband and father that, while matching Cameron in every way, is not the exact same human being. An emotional blend of drama and sci-fi, Swan Song asks a number of important questions about the lengths we’ll go to to preserve the legacy of our loved ones.

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth (2020)

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth
Genre Animation, Family
Stars Meryl Streep, Jacob Tremblay, Chris O'Dowd
Directed by Philip Hunt
An animated adaptation of the children’s book of the same name, Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth follows Finn (voiced by Jacob Tremblay), a curious kid who learns about the wonders of living on Earth from an awe-inspiring museum exhibit, along with the inspiring messages shared by both his mother (Ruth Negga) and his father (Chris O’ Dowd). Packed with impressive visuals and only running 36 minutes, Here We Are … is ideal viewing for a younger audience but captivating enough for the whole family.

Finch (2021)

57 %
pg-13 115m
Genre Science Fiction, Drama, Adventure
Stars Tom Hanks, Caleb Landry Jones, Oscar Avila
Directed by Miguel Sapochnik
Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, Finch stars Tom Hanks as the titular robotics engineer. After building an automaton to care for his dog after he passes away, Finch, his hound, and their robot leave the confines of their underground bunker and set off for the West. Facing hardships and forging bonds along the way, the onscreen dynamic of man and machine has never been so humorous and heartwarming.

Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds (2020)

Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds
72 %
pg 97m
Genre Documentary
Stars Werner Herzog, Clive Oppenheimer
Directed by Werner Herzog, Clive Oppenheimer
Werner Herzog is a master when it comes to thrilling, existentialist-style documentaries. His latest foray into the genre, Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds takes a close look at the cosmological events, both big and small, that impact our planet and forged the universe as we know it. Exploring meteorites and shooting stars through a myriad of viewpoints from experts and theoreticians (the always-musing Herzog amongst them), Fireball doesn’t necessarily answer the ever-expanding set of questions we face when contemplating our existence, but the point is not the conclusion itself — it’s the journey of seeking the answers themselves that we’re here for.

Hala (2019)

75 %
r 93m
Genre Drama
Stars Geraldine Viswanathan, Jack Kilmer, Gabriel Luna
Directed by Minhal Baig
Hala stars Geraldine Viswanathan as the titular character, a 17-year-old suburban teen that attempts to lead the life of a normal youth. But amid balancing her desires with her familial and religious obligations, Hala begins to fall for a boy at school, a seemingly-innocent first-love that sends major waves through Hala’s nuclear unit.

The Velvet Underground (2021)

The Velvet Underground
87 %
r 121m
Genre Documentary, Music
Stars Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison
Directed by Todd Haynes
Writer-director Todd Haynes goes all-out with the insightful documentary into the prolific rise of New York’s The Velvet Underground. A pioneering rock-act that was hard to put a distinct label on, Haynes’ deep-dive explores the impact the famous band had on music as a whole and the art scene the world over, utilizing talking-head interviews, live performances, Warhol films, and more. More than just a typical music doc, The Velvet Underground paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of nostalgia, culture, and invention.

Come From Away (2021)

Come From Away
83 %
pg-13 107m
Genre Comedy, Drama
Stars Jenn Colella, Joel Hatch, Tony LePage
Directed by Christopher Ashley
A filmed adaptation of Irene Sankoff and David Hein’s 2017 musical of the same name, Come From Away is an American-Canadian co-production that tells the story of over 7,000 stranded individuals. In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, 38 airlines are directed to land in the small town of Gander in Newfoundland. The musical explores the perspectives of Gander’s townsfolk and the international travelers, showcasing the triumphs of humanity and the many strengths of love and empathy during one of the most horrendous hardships the world would ever endure. 

Who Are You, Charlie Brown? (2021)

Who Are You, Charlie Brown?
g 54m
Genre Documentary, Animation
Stars Lupita Nyong'o, Tyler James Nathan, Terry McGurrin
Directed by Michael Bonfiglio
For many, Peanuts is as traditional as perfectly wrapped presents on Christmas morning. Charles “Sparky” Schulz, the creator of the original comic strip, may not be, though Apple TV+ aims to set this straight. Director Michael Bonfiglio’s short documentary shines a spotlight on the life and career of Schulz, with narration provided by Lupita Nyong’o and featuring interviews with Peanuts fans, from Drew Barrymore to Kevin Smith.

The Year Earth Changed (2021)

The Year Earth Changed
pg 48m
Genre Documentary
Stars David Attenborough, Bhashkar Bara, Dulu Bora
Directed by Tom Beard
During the initial lockdowns of COVID-19, humanity stockpiled rations and took shelter with loved ones, leaving much of the outside world untouched. Narrated by David Attenborough, The Year Earth Changed chronicles the reemergence and proliferation of nature during the pandemic. An uplifting film that paints a harmonious picture of what life could be like if we kept beaches closed a few days every year and reduced cruise ship traffic, director Tom Beard’s vision of a thriving Earth doesn’t have to be far from fruition.

Fathom (2021)

67 %
pg 86m
Genre Documentary
Stars Ellen Garland, Michelle Fournet
Directed by Drew Xanthopoulos
Director Drew Xanthopoulos’ Fathom follows Ellen Garland and Michelle Fournet, a pair of scientists studying humpback whales with a focus on whale song and communication amongst the species. Seeking to illustrate the deep research process and field observations that go with an in-depth nature study, Fathom may not be breaking new ground in the documentary genre, but the film itself is a sincere homage to the hardworking, often unrecognized efforts of the scientific community the world over.

CODA (2021)

75 %
pg-13 112m
Genre Drama, Music, Romance
Stars Emilia Jones, Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur
Directed by Siân Heder
Not to be confused with the 2019 drama Coda, in which Sir Patrick Stewart plays a concert pianist, the lead of Apple’s 2021 original CODA is also passionate about music, but the title has another meaning as well. Emilia Jones plays 17-year-old Ruby, a CODA, or a Child of Deaf Adults. As the only hearing member of her family, Ruby helps her parents as they struggle to keep their fishing business alive, while in her high school choir club, her talent attracts the attention of the choirmaster (Eugenio Derbez), who pushes her to leave her hometown behind in favor of a prestigious music school. CODA is a sweet and hilarious coming-of-age film that not only features deaf characters but casts an impressive number of deaf actors, including Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin (Children of a Lesser God).

Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry (2021)

Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry
70 %
r 140m
Genre Documentary, Music
Stars Billie Eilish, Finneas O'Connell, Maggie Baird
Directed by R.J. Cutler
Even in the relatively young life of Apple’s streaming service, they’ve earned a reputation for great music documentaries. Their latest is Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry. Clocking in at over two hours, it’s the longest of Apple’s music docs by a wide margin, but it doesn’t drag. Eilish and her singular path to stardom are fascinating enough subjects to keep you engaged, whether she’s on stage, in her brother’s room recording her debut album, or sleeping in her parents’ bed because she’s afraid of monsters.

Wolfwalkers (2020)

87 %
pg 103m
Genre Animation, Family, Adventure, Fantasy
Stars Honor Kneafsey, Eva Whittaker, Sean Bean
Directed by Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart
In 17th-century Ireland, hunter Bill Goodfellowe (Sean Bean) is tasked with ridding the forest of the wolves who continue to harass nearby farmers. His daughter Robyn (Honor Kneafsey) is eager to help her father, but that’s before she meets the wild and irreverent Mebh (Evan Whittaker) — one of the legendary wolfwalkers who transform into wolves when they sleep. Robyn and Mebh soon become friends, Robyn discovers a stronger connection to her new companion than she ever could’ve imagined, and soon she’s stuck between her father, Mebh, and the tyrannical Oliver Cromwell (Simon McBurney). Charmingly funny, touching, exciting, and gorgeously animated, Wolfwalkers won’t leave you wondering for long how it attracted so much acclaim — including a nomination for Best Animated Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards.

The Elephant Queen (2019)

The Elephant Queen
69 %
pg 96m
Genre Documentary, Family
Stars Chiwetel Ejiofor
Directed by Victoria Stone, Mark Deeble
Narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor, The Elephant Queen places a documentary crew on the heels of Athena, the majestic, tusked matriarch of an elephant herd comprised of adult females and their offspring. When a drought strikes the idyllic oasis known as “The Kingdom” that the pack resides in, it’s up to Athena to lead her family over 200 miles across the harshest African terrains in pursuit of a new home. An intimate and heartfelt depiction of one herd’s struggle for survival, The Elephant Queen more than does its job in reminding us that man and beast are not so different, especially when it comes to heart and soul.

Greyhound (2020)

64 %
pg-13 91m
Genre War, Action, Drama
Stars Tom Hanks, Stephen Graham, Rob Morgan
Directed by Aaron Schneider
Adapted by Tom Hanks from the 1955 novel The Good ShepherdGreyhound stars Hanks as Navy Commander Ernest Krause. Carrying out a mission to escort an Allied defense battalion across the Atlantic, Captain Krause’s fleet enters enemy radar as a legion of German U-boats unleash a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. Stuck at sea, Captain Krause and his team must do everything in their power to complete their mission in one piece. Nominated for Best Sound at the 93rd Academy Awards, Greyhound is a gripping historical war film featuring a top-notch performance from Tom Hanks — although, by this point, we’ve all come to expect nothing but brilliance from everyone’s favorite Hollywood leading man and CGI-cowboy doll voice actor.

Dads (2019)

59 %
pg 87m
Genre Documentary
Stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Ron Howard, Judd Apatow
Directed by Bryce Dallas Howard
In Bryce Dallas Howard’s heartfelt Dads, the actress-turned-director points the lens at fathers the world over. Featuring talking-head interviews with the likes of industry figures like Judd Apatow and Jimmy Fallon, along with the stories and testimonies of six non-industry dads, Howard crafts an intricate portrait of modern fatherhood and what it takes to be a parent in the challenging world of today.

The Banker (2020)

The Banker
59 %
pg-13 120m
Genre Drama
Stars Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Nicholas Hoult
Directed by George Nolfi
Based on the real-life story of two Black businessmen who not only thrived in the Jim Crow era, but managed to help other Black business owners who had nowhere else to turn, The Banker asks “How do you win a rigged game?” While Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) is a brilliant financial prodigy, his skin color stops him from making the kinds of high-level deals he was built for. So Garrett and his street-smart business partner Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson) recruit Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult) to be the white face of their investments. The money rolls in, but things get a lot more complicated when Garrett convinces his partners to follow him to Texas to buy up white banks so they can offer loans to Black businesses. The Banker is a worthy drama with humor, an eye-opening crash course in business, and a message that sadly remains relevant.

Bruce Springsteen's Letter to You (2020)

Bruce Springsteen's Letter to You
73 %
Genre Documentary, Music
Stars Bruce Springsteen, Roy Bittan, Nils Lofgren
Directed by Thom Zimny
Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You feels less like a documentary and more like a music video for an entire album, and that’s OK. Presented in black and white, Letter to You chronicles the making of the album of the same name — the first Springsteen has recorded with his old friends in the E Street Band since 2014’s High Hopes. Springsteen narrates the documentary with stories from his life, memories from the E Street Band, and lead-ins to each song. It’s an intimate look at the construction of an album, complete with brief and always friendly disagreements between Springsteen and the E Streeters. It often feels less like they all came together to make an album, and more like they got together for drinks, occasionally plugged in their guitars just for fun, and eventually forget to do anything else.

On the Rocks (2020)

On the Rocks
73 %
r 96m
Genre Drama, Comedy
Stars Rashida Jones, Bill Murray, Marlon Wayans
Directed by Sofia Coppola
One of the best pieces of news any film fan could get in 2020 was that Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray — who collaborated on 2003’s Lost in Translation — were working together again, this time with the Apple TV+ original comedy On the Rocks. Rashida Jones stars as Laura, a wife and mother who doesn’t know whether or not her marriage is in trouble. She begins to think her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) is cheating on her, and it’s her charming, restless father Felix (Murray) who pokes at those fears and manipulates her into nightly adventures speeding through New York City in a dying convertible and even secretly following her husband to Mexico. While at heart the film is a comedy, there is an unspoken but brilliantly conveyed sadness to Felix, who seems to care less about whether or not his son-in-law is faithful and more about spending time with his daughter. On the Rocks is funny, sweet, and quietly heartbreaking.

Boys State (2020)

Boys State
84 %
pg-13 109m
Genre Documentary
Stars Ben Feinstein, Steven Garza, Robert MacDougall
Directed by Jesse Moss, Amanda McBaine
In the 2020 documentary Boys State, one thousand boys descend on Austin, Texas, to build a mock representative government, and sadly their youth doesn’t make things any less divisive than they are on the floors of the actual Congress. As a result, you probably won’t leave Boys State feeling particularly hopeful about the future of politics. Still, it’s an incredibly compelling look at boys learning to become young men, and if nothing else, it’s both a sobering portrayal of the political landscape the youth are in store for and a reminder of how badly things need to change.

Beastie Boys Story (2020)

Beastie Boys Story
74 %
Genre Music, Documentary
Stars Adam Horovitz, Michael Diamond, Adam Yauch
Directed by Spike Jonze
If you’ve been around long enough to remember hits like “Fight for Your Right” or “Sabotage” when they were first released, there is something surreal about watching Beastie Boys Story. For example, yes, that really is Mike D and Adam Horovitz, aka Ad Rock, up there on stage narrating things, but you may have to keep reminding yourself that Ad Rock in fact is not being played by Martin Freeman. The documentary presents one night of a stage show in which the rappers present the history of their group, from their early days as a hardcore punk act to the passing of their absent friend Adam Yauch. For already invested fans, it’s fun to see the group’s history retold from their perspective, and for the uninitiated, it’s a treasure trove. Make sure to keep watching through the credits for surprise celebrity cameos and some hilarious clips that include old MTV appearances, and at least one heated argument about dog-washing.

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Michael Bizzaco
Michael Bizzaco has been writing about and working with consumer tech for well over a decade, writing about everything from…
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