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The best movies on Apple TV+ right now (June 2024)

Isabel Deroy-Olson and Lily Gladstone in Fancy Dance.
TheMovieDB

Apple TV+ is home to an amazing archive of episodic content, but it’s also a phenomenal place to catch a new film. From Apple’s original productions and partnered efforts with A24 to the platform’s festival acquisitions, there’s certainly no shortage of terrific titles to enjoy. 

Encompassing multiple genres, eras, and nationalities, it can actually be quite daunting to scroll through the numerous Apple TV+ film options, which is why we’ve created this rotating roundup of the best movies on Apple TV+ you can watch right now.

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+.

Fancy Dance (2024)

Fancy Dance
84%
7.2/10
r
90m
Genre
Drama
Stars
Lily Gladstone, Isabel Deroy-Olson, Ryan Begay
Directed by
Erica Tremblay
Watch on Apple TV+
Academy Award-nominated actress Lily Gladstone stars in the all-new Apple TV+ film Fancy Dance, which garnered praise at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. The story follows Jax (Gladstone) and Roki (Isabel Deroy-Olson), an aunt and niece just trying to get by on the Seneca-Cayuga Reservation. Jax’s sister and Roki’s mother has been missing for quite some time, an issue compounded by the fact that Roki’s father Frank (Eileen‘s Shea Whigham) is trying to get custody of his daughter. A race against time ensues as Jax and Roki hit the road in search of their sibling and parent. Praised for its strong performances and airtight script, Fancy Dance lands on Apple TV+ on June 28.

Killers of the Flower Moon (2023)

Killers of the Flower Moon
89%
7.8/10
r
206m
Genre
Crime, History, Drama
Stars
Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone
Directed by
Martin Scorsese
Watch on Apple TV+
Prolific director Martin Scorsese’s latest effort is the epic Killers of the Flower Moon. Adapted from the 2017 nonfiction novel of the same name by David Grann, the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Ernest Burkhart, a returning World War I vet who becomes steeped in a world of non-combat violence and big business. When oil is discovered on Osage soils, a local politician orders the murders of several tribe members who own mineral rights to the land. This heinous act would come to be known as the Reign of Terror. An ensemble Western epic with powerhouse performances from DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon is yet another notch in Scorsese’s cinematic belt.

The Family Plan (2023)

The Family Plan
pg-13
118m
Genre
Action, Comedy
Stars
Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan, Maggie Q
Directed by
Simon Cellan Jones
Watch on Apple TV+
When he’s not hanging out with a CGI teddy bear or doing the buddy-cop thing with Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg (Shooter) can be found hanging out on Apple TV+. The actor’s latest action-comedy vehicle is called The Family Plan. Wahlberg stars as Dan Morgan, the neighborhood nice guy who just so happens to be an infamous, albeit retired assassin. While attempting to lead a normal life with wife, Jessica Morgan (Michelle Monaghan,) and their two kids, some of Dan’s past demons start knocking at his door. In response, he and his clan flee to Las Vegas, as Dan secretly plots the demise of an old nemesis. The film premieres on Apple TV+ on December 15.

The Velveteen Rabbit (2023)

The Velveteen Rabbit
44m
Genre
Animation, Family, Fantasy
Stars
Phoenix Laroche, Ellie Mejia, Samantha Colley
Directed by
Jennifer Perrott
Watch on Apple TV+

Based on the 1922 Margery Williams novel of the same name, The Velveteen Rabbit stars Phoenix Laroche as seven-year-old William, a boy who receives a very special gift on Christmas Day. It’s the titular stuffed bunny, of course, and over time, the two become the best of pals. But like any heart-wrenching story about children and the close bond they share with their toys, both William and the rabbit are forced to contend with some emotional situations. Presented in 2D animation, three-dimensional CGI, and live action, The Velveteen Rabbit is narrated by British actress Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown).

Flora and Son (2023)

Flora and Son
76%
7.4/10
r
97m
Genre
Comedy, Drama, Music
Stars
Eve Hewson, Orén Kinlan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Directed by
John Carney
Watch on Apple TV+

Starring Eve Hewson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jack Reynor, Flora and Son brings drama, laughs, and plenty of music to Apple TV+ movie fanatics. Hewson stars as Flora, a Dublin single mother who’s having a hard time raising Max (Orén Kinlan), her rebellious teenage son. That is until law enforcement encourages her to find Max a hobby. After unearthing a beat-up guitar, Max starts taking online lessons from a Los Angeles musician (played by Gordon-Levitt), which ends up changing his life for the better.

The Pigeon Tunnel (2023)

The Pigeon Tunnel
pg-13
94m
Genre
Documentary
Stars
John le Carré
Directed by
Errol Morris
Watch on Apple TV+

Have you ever seen The Constant Gardener or Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy? Both of these gripping thrillers are cinematic adaptations of British author David Cornwell’s books, but the world knows him best by his pen name: John lé Carre. In The Pigeon Tunnel, renowned documentarian Errol Morris delivers an immersive doc that covers the life, times, and bibliography of Cornwell. Covering six decades worth of material, and featuring rare archival recordings of the celebrated author, The Pigeon Tunnel comes to Apple TV+ on October 20.

Stephen Curry: Underrated (2023)

Stephen Curry: Underrated
110m
Genre
Documentary
Stars
Stephen Curry, Bob McKillop, Reggie Miller
Directed by
Peter Nicks
Watch on Apple TV+

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
Watch on Apple TV+

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
Watch on Apple TV+
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)

Ghosted
Genre
Adventure, Romance, Action, Comedy
Stars
Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Adrien Brody
Directed by
Dexter Fletcher
Watch on Apple TV+
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)

Tetris
r
120m
Genre
Drama, History
Stars
Taron Egerton, Nikita Efremov, Sofia Lebedeva
Directed by
Jon S. Baird
Watch on Apple TV+

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)

Sharper
r
116m
Genre
Crime, Drama, Thriller
Stars
Julianne Moore, Sebastian Stan, Justice Smith
Directed by
Benjamin Caron
Watch on Apple TV+
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
Watch on Apple TV+

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)

Emancipation
r
132m
Genre
Thriller, History, Drama
Stars
Will Smith, Ben Foster, Charmaine Bingwa
Directed by
Antoine Fuqua
Watch on Apple TV+
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
Watch on Apple TV+

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)

Causeway
63%
6.8/10
92m
Genre
Drama
Stars
Jennifer Lawrence, Brian Tyree Henry, Linda Emond
Directed by
Lila Neugebauer
Watch on Apple TV+

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)

Spirited
Genre
Comedy
Stars
Ryan Reynolds, Will Ferrell, Octavia Spencer
Directed by
Sean Anders
Watch on Apple TV+
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%
6.3/10
r
106m
Genre
Drama, Comedy
Stars
Ewan McGregor, Ethan Hawke, Sophie Okonedo
Directed by
Rodrigo García
Watch on Apple TV+
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
104m
Genre
Documentary
Stars
Louis Armstrong, Nas, Wynton Marsalis
Directed by
Sacha Jenkins
Watch on Apple TV+
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)

Sidney
pg-13
106m
Genre
Documentary
Stars
Sidney Poitier, Quincy Jones, Oprah Winfrey
Directed by
Reginald Hudlin
Watch on Apple TV+
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
Watch on Apple TV+
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)

Luck
G
97m
Genre
Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Stars
Eva Noblezada, Simon Pegg, Jane Fonda
Directed by
Peggy Holmes
Watch on Apple TV+
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%
7.3/10
r
107m
Genre
Comedy, Drama, Romance
Stars
Cooper Raiff, Dakota Johnson, Vanessa Burghardt
Directed by
Cooper Raiff
Watch on Apple TV+
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%
7.5/10
pg-13
89m
Genre
Documentary, History
Stars
George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice
Directed by
Adam Wishart
Watch on Apple TV+
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
6.3/10
pg-13
91m
Genre
Documentary
Stars
Jeremy Morris
Directed by
Becky Read
Watch on Apple TV+
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)

The Sky Is Everywhere
66%
5.6/10
pg-13
103m
Genre
Drama, Romance, Music
Stars
Grace Kaufman, Jacques Colimon, Cherry Jones
Directed by
Josephine Decker
Watch on Apple TV+
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)

Palmer
53%
7.2/10
r
110m
Genre
Drama
Stars
Justin Timberlake, Ryder Allen, Juno Temple
Directed by
Fisher Stevens
Watch on Apple TV+
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)

The Tragedy of Macbeth
87%
7.1/10
r
105m
Genre
Drama, War
Stars
Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Alex Hassell
Directed by
Joel Coen
Watch on Apple TV+
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%
6.8/10
r
116m
Genre
Drama, Science Fiction
Stars
Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Awkwafina
Directed by
Benjamin Cleary
Watch on Apple TV+
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
7.3/10
36m
Genre
Animation, Family
Stars
Meryl Streep, Jacob Tremblay, Chris O'Dowd
Directed by
Philip Hunt
Watch on Apple TV+
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)

Finch
57%
6.9/10
pg-13
115m
Genre
Science Fiction, Drama, Adventure
Stars
Tom Hanks, Caleb Landry Jones, Oscar Avila
Directed by
Miguel Sapochnik
Watch on Apple TV+
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%
7/10
pg
97m
Genre
Documentary
Stars
Werner Herzog, Clive Oppenheimer
Directed by
Werner Herzog, Clive Oppenheimer
Watch on Apple TV+
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)

Hala
75%
6.2/10
r
93m
Genre
Drama
Stars
Geraldine Viswanathan, Jack Kilmer, Gabriel Luna
Directed by
Minhal Baig
Watch on Apple TV+
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%
7.6/10
r
121m
Genre
Documentary, Music
Stars
Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison
Directed by
Todd Haynes
Watch on Apple TV+
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%
8.8/10
pg-13
107m
Genre
Comedy, Drama
Stars
Jenn Colella, Joel Hatch, Tony LePage
Directed by
Christopher Ashley
Watch on Apple TV+
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?
7.2/10
g
54m
Genre
Documentary, Animation
Stars
Lupita Nyong'o, Tyler James Nathan, Terry McGurrin
Directed by
Michael Bonfiglio
Watch on Apple TV+
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
8.3/10
pg
48m
Genre
Documentary
Stars
David Attenborough, Bhashkar Bara, Dulu Bora
Directed by
Tom Beard
Watch on Apple TV+
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)

Fathom
67%
5.7/10
pg
86m
Genre
Documentary
Stars
Ellen Garland, Michelle Fournet
Directed by
Drew Xanthopoulos
Watch on Apple TV+
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)

CODA
75%
8.1/10
pg-13
112m
Genre
Drama, Music, Romance
Stars
Emilia Jones, Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur
Directed by
Siân Heder
Watch on Apple TV+
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%
7.8/10
r
140m
Genre
Documentary, Music
Stars
Billie Eilish, Finneas O'Connell, Maggie Baird
Directed by
R.J. Cutler
Watch on Apple TV+
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)

Wolfwalkers
87%
8.0/10
pg
103m
Genre
Animation, Family, Adventure, Fantasy
Stars
Honor Kneafsey, Eva Whittaker, Sean Bean
Directed by
Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart
Watch on Apple TV+
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%
7.8/10
pg
96m
Genre
Documentary, Family
Stars
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Directed by
Victoria Stone, Mark Deeble
Watch on Apple TV+
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)

Greyhound
64%
7/10
pg-13
91m
Genre
War, Action, Drama
Stars
Tom Hanks, Stephen Graham, Rob Morgan
Directed by
Aaron Schneider
Watch on Apple TV+
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)

Dads
59%
6.9/10
pg
87m
Genre
Documentary
Stars
Bryce Dallas Howard, Ron Howard, Judd Apatow
Directed by
Bryce Dallas Howard
Watch on Apple TV+
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%
7.3/10
pg-13
120m
Genre
Drama
Stars
Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Nicholas Hoult
Directed by
George Nolfi
Watch on Apple TV+
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%
7.3/10
90m
Genre
Documentary, Music
Stars
Bruce Springsteen, Roy Bittan, Nils Lofgren
Directed by
Thom Zimny
Watch on Apple TV+
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%
6.4/10
r
96m
Genre
Drama, Comedy
Stars
Rashida Jones, Bill Murray, Marlon Wayans
Directed by
Sofia Coppola
Watch on Apple TV+
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%
7.6/10
pg-13
109m
Genre
Documentary
Stars
Ben Feinstein, Steven Garza, Robert MacDougall
Directed by
Jesse Moss, Amanda McBaine
Watch on Apple TV+
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%
7.8/10
119m
Genre
Music, Documentary
Stars
Adam Horovitz, Michael Diamond, Adam Yauch
Directed by
Spike Jonze
Watch on Apple TV+
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.

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Michael Bizzaco

Michael Bizzaco has been writing about and working with consumer tech for well over a decade, writing about everything from A/V components and smart home devices to encryption software, cloud backup platforms, search engine tools, and more. He has written for Digital Trends for over three years, covering entertainment content, A/V, and smart home devices.

Michileen Martin

Michileen Martin has written about pop culture in general and comics in particular for two decades. His work has appeared in numerous sites including Looper, PopMatters, Popdose, and nerdbastards.com. He probably knows more about the Incredible Hulk than you.

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