Movies Available for Rent/Purchase
The bulk of the feature-length films on YouTube fall into this category, and while Google’s selection can’t quite compare to what’s available on iTunes or Amazon, it does boast a pretty solid library of new and old releases. It was tough narrowing it down to just ten, so we highly recommend browsing through YouTube’s full collection on your own. That being said, here are our favorites:
Quentin Tarantino directs this epic five-act film about a band of Jewish mercenaries who make their way through Germany on a mission to assassinate Adolf Hitler. It’s one of Tarantino’s best, featuring a star-studded cast which includes Brad Pitt and Cristoph Waltz, with the former commanding the screen as the leader of the mercenaries. Nonetheless, Waltz won an Academy Award for his remarkable portrayal of Colonel Hans Landa, aka the notorious “Jew Hunter.”
Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice casts Joaquin Phoenix as a stoner private eye living in Southern California in the 1970s. After an ex-girlfriend of his shows back up in his life claiming her boyfriend is at risk of being abducted, Phoenix goes down a rabbit hole of politics, drugs, and prostitution. As he attempts to unravel the conspiracy, he runs into a colorful cast of characters played by Maya Rudolph, Benicio Del Toro, and Michael K. Williams. Based off the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name, Inherent Vice is a psychedelic journey through ’70s Los Angeles’ criminal underbelly.
Ryan Gosling plays a stunt driver who moonlights as a wheelman for the mob in this stunning film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. The cinematography alone will have you glued to the screen — never mind the intense car chase scenes. For anyone that is grieving the loss of Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston is featured as Gosling’s boss who organizes the crimes they commit. When they get involved with the members of the Jewish mob, things take a dark turn.
A harrowing look at the most lethal sniper in U.S. Armed Services history, American Sniper tells the tale of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. Led by Bradley Cooper, and directed by Clint Eastwood, Sniper chronicles Kyle’s life as a happily married man, a loving father, and a devoted SEAL. After embarking on several tours in Iraq, Kyle’s greatest feat is how he copes with life back home, and his yearning to continue to aid in the war on terror. The Academy nominated this epic film for a slew of awards — it won Best Achievement in Sound Editing — and is no doubt a powerful piece of filmmaking.
The third movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Two, Captain America: The Winter Soldier picks up just a short time after the events of The Avengers. As Steve Rogers continues to cope with living in the present day, he’s soon tasked with taking on a brutal enemy hellbent on dismantling S.H.I.E.L.D. and everything it’s associated with. The cast for this impressive action flick includes Chris Evans, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson, and Scarlett Johansson.
Christopher Nolan’s 2008 Batman film The Dark Knight shattered not only its fair share of box office records, but expectations of it being just another comic book movie. Despite solid performances from Christian Bale, Aaron Eckhart, and a timeless Michael Caine, the late Heath Ledger’s turn as the iconic Joker was one for the ages, earning him a posthumous Best Supporting Actor award for the role. No matter if you’re a fan of Batman or not, The Dark Knight is one of the most enjoyable action films of the last several decades.
Another film featuring a star-studded cast, Ocean’s Eleven follows Danny Ocean (George Clooney) as he tries to rob the three biggest casinos in Las Vegas with a ragtag crew that includes Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Julia Roberts. Steven Soderbergh’s version of the film is an update on the 1960 film of the same name, but the modern-day ensemble cast is just as good as the original’s — even if it lacks Sinatra and the Rat Pack. The first sequel isn’t too shabby, either.
Eddie Redmayne’s brilliant performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything rightfully won him the Academy Award for Best Actor, and ranks among the best character performances of all time. The film follows Hawking as a student at Cambridge in the 1960s and chronicles his relationship with fellow student Jane Wilde, his diagnosis and battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease, and his massive impact on theoretical physics and cosmology. Expert direction and superb acting make The Theory of Everything an absolute joy to watch, even if it does provoke a tear, or four.
Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is accidentally sent back in time to the 50s in a plutonium-powered Delorean, built by his friend Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd). Upon arrival in the past, Marty runs into his 16-year-old mother who ends up falling in love with him. Marty realizes he has to set up his parents or risk never being born. It was the most successful film of ’85, and Fox’s entire career, exhibiting an impeccable balance between seriousness, sci-fi, and humor.
Harrison Ford made his return to action movies in this modern Western. The year is 1837 and a stranger (Daniel Craig) wakes up in a field without any memory or clothes and a strange metal bracelet on his arm. He is considered an outlaw in the town, but manages to team up with Harrison Ford to protect Earth from an impending alien attack. It’s based on Scott Rosenberg’s graphic novel, and though the storyline is so-so, the modern special effects are still stunning.
Due to the fact that Google periodically adds/removes movies from this list, some of the films listed above may no longer be available. If you find that any of these links lead to movies that have been removed, let us know in the comments and we’ll swap them out as soon as we can.