The best movies on Peacock right now

NBCUniversal’s streaming platform, Peacock, was released nationally on July 15. While Peacock has made it clear that it sees itself as a new take on cable, with an impressive lineup of new and classic television series from the NBCU archives, their content library goes well beyond just TV.

Peacock will offer more than 600 films in its first year after launch, drawing from the extensive libraries of Universal, DreamWorks, and Illumination. With a number of theme park-inspiring classics in the mix, as well as action-packed franchises and some original movies, Peacock has a lot to choose from. Who has time to sift through everything, though? Don’t worry — we’ve found the best movies currently available on Peacock for you.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

E.T. the Extra Terrestrial

Steven Spielberg’s classic film about an alien who accidentally finds himself on Earth was nominated for nine Oscars, winning four. This sci-fi adventure is a remarkable portrait of childhood, drawing a line in the sand between the mysteries of being young and the intense, paranoid world of grown-ups. Elliott (Henry Thomas) lives with his single mother (Dee Wallace), his older brother Michael (Robert MacNaughton), and his younger sister Gertie (Drew Barrymore). One day, while exploring in the backyard, he senses something watching him in the woods. Sure enough, an alien botanist has been mistakenly left behind after a scientific mission in Elliott’s backyard. As Elliott attempts to help him get home, he discovers that they can communicate telepathically. The two form a friendship and Elliott becomes determined to save the alien before government scientists get ahold of him.

Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Rating: PG
Genre: Kids and Family, Science Fiction and Fantasy
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Written By: Melissa Mathison
Starring: Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Drew Barrymore
Runtime: 114 minutes

Children of Men (2006)

Clive Owen in Children of Men

Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men is a dystopian movie for a post-9/11 world. Children of Men imagines a not-so-distant future in which the world is on the brink of extinction due to a global infertility crisis. Children have stopped being born and people have been driven mad by fear and xenophobia, exacerbating economic and social divisions as people cast blame in every direction while offering little in the way of solutions. In this harrowing backdrop, Clive Owen plays a former activist who agrees to help a miraculously pregnant woman get out of Britain and find sanctuary at sea before she’s discovered by the mobs. Cuarón brings beautiful sequences and extensive single-shot set pieces to life in an extremely grim universe.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Action and Adventure, Science Fiction and Fantasy
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón
Written By: Alfonso Cuarón, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby
Starring: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Runtime: 109 minutes

Phantom Thread (2018)

Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread

Peacock’s library is a bit sparse on recent critical darlings or award-winners, but the Oscar-nominated Phantom Thread is a worthy addition. Daniel Day-Lewis is predictably fantastic as renowned 1950s dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock, the corporeal epicenter of British fashion. He and his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) dress royalty, movie stars, socialites, and more in the distinct style of The House of Woodcock. Women come and go through The House of Woodcock, never derailing Reynolds’ carefully tailored and planned life. That is, until one particularly strong-willed woman, Alma (Vicky Krieps), sticks in his heart. As Reynolds feels his eye and his creative direction swaying by love, he is determined to find a balance between the two women who keep his world running and find some semblance of consistency.

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Rating: R
Genre: Drama
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson
Written By: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville, Vicky Krieps
Runtime: 130 minutes

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Reservoir Dogs

The film that put Quentin Tarantino on the map is also arguably his best film. Reservoir Dogs examines what happens before and after a botched jewelry store robbery, but not during. It’s obvious that something has gone wrong and that the crew has a rat among them. While one of their numbers bleeds out at the rendezvous point after the robbery and everyone else scrambles to shake the cops, Reservoir Dogs jumps between before and after events, painting a slow, deliberate picture of just what the heck happened here. The film is also rife with classic Tarantino riffs, like a discussion on the importance of tipping, how to act like a criminal, and what to do when you enter a men’s room full of cops carrying a briefcase of contraband.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Rating: R
Genre: Action and Adventure, Drama, Mystery and Suspense
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
Written By: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi
Runtime: 98 minutes

Back to the Future (1985)

One of the most beloved and influential sci-fi films of all time, Back to the Future is a great watch for the entire family. Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is an ordinary 1980s high schooler who likes to skateboard and hang out with his friends. At school, he’s harassed by his uptight principal, and at home, he has to endure the acrimonious relationship between his nerdy father and his lovely mother. Meanwhile, Marty’s dad has to endure the bullying of his jerk supervisor, Biff. Marty’s one great outlet is his friendship with the eccentric scientist, Doc, who is now working on a time machine. But when Marty is accidentally zapped back to the 1950s in that time machine, he’ll find himself suddenly in the middle of his parents’ relationship. Now, it’s up to him to ensure they get together lest he ceases to exist.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Rating: PG
Genre: Action and Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction and Fantasy
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis
Written By: Bob Gale, Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Crispin Glover
Runtime: 116 minutes

The Deer Hunter (1978)

Robert De Niro in The Deer Hunter

Winner of five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Michael Cimino, The Deer Hunter also features two legendary actors in their primes: Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep. The Deer Hunter is one of the most far-reaching, deepest movies about the Vietnam War, moving from the steel mills of Pittsburgh to the mountains of Pennsylvania to Vietnamese jungles, all while exploring the experiences of Russian Americans. It’s an outstanding addition to the gritty New Hollywood era of filmmaking popularized by directors like Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and Brian De Palma, using film as a lens to psychoanalyze society and history. Despite The Deer Hunter‘s success, however, Michael Cimino never reached quite the same heights as those directors.

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Rating: R
Genre: Drama
Directed By: Michael Cimino
Written By: Deric Washburn, Louis Garfinkle, Quinn K. Redeker
Starring: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep
Runtime: 183 minutes

Knocked Up (2007)

Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen in Knocked Up

The cream of Judd Apatow’s prolific comedy crop in the 2000s, Knocked Up holds its own as a comedy, a romance, and a drama about unexpected happenings and parenthood. Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) is a 24-year-old entertainment journalist who is on the fast track to the big time. Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) is a responsibility-shirking slacker who is on the fast track to the fridge. When an alcohol-infused one-night stand turns what should have been a one-time mistake into an unexpected pregnancy, the reluctant odd couple decides to try to make it work for the baby. Although they couldn’t be more different or come from more different worlds, they want to bring the baby into a functional co-parenting environment. That’s easier said than done.

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Directed By: Judd Apatow
Written By: Judd Apatow
Starring: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd
Runtime: 129 minutes

Jurassic Park (1993)

Sam Neill in Jurassic Park

Another Spielberg classic, Jurassic Park won three Oscars, was a box-office juggernaut, spawned a massive franchise, and is considered a groundbreaking film for special effects. Not too shabby, huh? The film follows two paleontologists, Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), who are invited by eccentric millionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) to preview his new amusement park on an island off of Costa Rica. The conceit? Hammond has cloned DNA harvested from pre-historic insects to create living dinosaurs. Accompanied by a cynical scientist and Hammond’s grandchildren, the doctors tour the park, only to discover that it’s woefully unprepared for the weather. When a tropical storm hits, chaos reigns.

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Action and Adventure, Mystery and Suspense, Science Fiction and Fantasy
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Written By: John Michael Crichton, Michael Crichton, David Koepp, Malia Scotch Marmo
Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Richard Attenborough, Jeff Goldblum
Runtime: 126 minutes

Billy Elliot (2000)

Jamie Bell in Billy Elliot

When 11-year-old Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell), a miner’s son in Northern England, stumbles upon a ballet class on his way to boxing lessons, his life is changed. He joins the class and hides it from his traditional, widowed father and his overbearing brother, only to find that he has an extraordinary amount of raw talent. When his instructor, Mrs. Wilkinson (Julie Walters), encourages him to try out for the Royal Ballet, his father and brother find out and forbid him to continue. Billy is caught between his responsibility toward and love for his family and his undeniable gift.

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Musical and Performing Arts
Directed By: Stephen Daldry
Written By: Lee Hall
Starring: Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Gary Lewis
Runtime: 110 minutes

Vertigo (1958)

Kim Novak in Vertigo

Widely dismissed upon release, Vertigo is now considered one of legendary director Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest films, while the director himself considered it one of his most personal ones. The adaptation of French novel D’entre les morts weaves an intricate web of obsession and deceit. Scottie Ferguson (James Stewart) discovers he has vertigo when a police officer is killed trying to rescue him from falling off a building. Scarred by the experience, Scottie retires from his position as a private investigator, only to be lured back to another case by an old friend, Gavin Elster (Tom Helmore). Reluctantly, Scottie agrees to follow Elster’s wife Madeleine (Kim Novak), who has been possessed by a spirit. But after saving her from suicide, Scottie develops feelings for Madeleine, while the film begins to undress itself, twisting and turning to challenge the audience’s preconceptions about the characters and events that have already occurred. Vertigo is an eerie, complicated movie that feels well before its time.

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Mystery and Suspense, Romance
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock
Written By: Samuel W. Taylor, Samuel Taylor, Alec Coppel
Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak
Runtime: 120 minutes

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The Blair Witch Project

One of the most innovative films of its time, The Blair Witch Project brought the “found footage” film to the mainstream. Presented as a straightforward documentary, the film explains that in 1994, three students went into the Maryland backwoods to research a film project on the Blair Witch incidents. The kids, however, were never seen again. This film is the footage from their recovered equipment. This creative setup has been seen many times in horror movies since, but The Blair Witch Project disarmed audiences with its intensely creepy premise, turning a routine trip into the woods into a horrifying encounter with the supernatural and unexplainable. As the students begin to lose their minds under the psychological torment they experience in the woods, you feel their fear, which helped to make this film a huge hit in 1999.

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Rating: R
Genre: Horror
Directed By: Eduardo Sánchez, Daniel Myrick
Written By: Eduardo Sánchez, Daniel Myrick
Starring: Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, Joshua Leonard
Runtime: 84 minutes

American Psycho (2000)

Christian Bale in American Psycho

Christian Bale leads a star-studded cast in this adaptation of the controversial novel about the dark side of yuppie culture in the 1980s. Patrick Bateman (Bale) is a Wall Street yuppie, obsessed with success, status, style, and power. On the surface he seems to have it all: Good looks, money, charm, and a stunning fiancée (Reese Witherspoon). However, he’s also a murderous sociopath who rapes and kills both strangers and acquaintances at will. American Psycho is terrifying and gruesome, yet maintains a strange sense of humor, borne out through Bateman’s obsessive personality and delusions of grandeur.

Rotten Tomatoes: 69%
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Horror, Mystery and Suspense
Directed By: Mary Harron
Written By: Guinevere Turner, Mary Harron
Starring: Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto
Runtime: 97 minutes

Field of Dreams (1989)

Field of Dreams

“If you build it, he will come.” That’s the message Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) hears that makes him construct a baseball diamond in the middle of his cornfield. At first, “he” appears to be the ghost of disgraced player Shoeless Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta), who materializes in the field. As time goes on, however, Ray keeps hearing messages from a disembodied voice. Soon, he discovers that his field is meant to give a second chance to people who have sacrificed parts of their lives. From writer Terence Mann (James Earl Jones) to general practitioner Doc Graham (Burt Lancaster), Ray finds that his magical field has the power to restore something special to those who need it. The field resides in Dyersville, Iowa, and still attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Kids and Family, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Sports and Fitness
Directed By: Phil Alden Robinson
Written By: Phil Alden Robinson
Starring: Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones
Runtime: 106 minutes

Jaws (1975)

Roy Scheider in Jaws

One of the most beloved franchises in Hollywood history, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Peter Benchley’s best-selling novel set a new standard for popcorn blockbusters. Amity Island (based on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusettes) is a peaceful resort island that depends on tourist dollars in the summer. However, when mangled bodies start turning up on the beach, Police Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) suspects there is a killer shark on the prowl. Mayor Vaughn (Murray Hamilton), however, can’t abide the beaches being closed on the July Fourth holiday and refuses to put the island on a business-killing shark alert. As the shark continues to kill, Brody takes matters into his own hands, setting out with help from a visiting ichthyologist (Richard Dreyfuss) and fisherman Quint (Robert Shaw) to kill the shark themselves.

Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Rating: PG
Genre: Action and Adventure, Drama, Mystery and Suspense
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Written By: Howard Sackler, Carl Gottlieb, Peter Benchley
Starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss
Runtime: 124 minutes

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Kara Hayward in Moonrise Kingdom

Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom follows two 12-year-olds as the fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away into the wilderness together. As authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing, pushing the peaceful community to the absolute limits of its sanity. The authorities are led by a star-studded group of adults including Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, and Tilda Swinton, all acting in Wes Anderson’s traditionally quippy style.

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: Wes Anderson
Written By: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
Starring: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand
Runtime: 94 minutes

Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)

Sissy Spacek in Coal Miner's Daughter

Sissy Spacek won a Best Actor Oscar for her portrayal of Loretta Lynn, one of the first female superstars in country music and most defining voices in the genre. With a hard-country voice and bold lyrics about wives who wouldn’t be pushed around by their husbands, Lynn introduced a feminist mindset to Nashville after the women’s liberation movement. Coal Miner’s Daughter tells Lynn’s story growing up as one of eight children in a coal-mining family in Butcher Holler, Kentucky, getting married at just 13 years old, and becoming a mother of four by age 20. Against all those odds, her and her husband Mooney (Tommy Lee Jones) stuck their noses to the grindstone and propelled Lynn to superstardom.

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Musical and Performing Arts
Directed By: Michael Apted
Written By: Tom Rickman
Starring: Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, Beverly D’Angelo
Runtime: 125 minutes

Eastern Promises (2007)

Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises

Eastern Promises is a gangster movie for a new generation. Russian-born Nickolai Luzhin (Viggo Mortensen) is a driver for one of London’s most notorious organized crime families, part of the Vory V Zakone Eastern European criminal brotherhood. When he crosses paths with Anna Khitrova (Naomi Watts), a midwife at a North London hospital, they stumble across a prostitution ring that will test Nickolai’s loyalties. As he is pulled between Anna and what is right and the family that has always supported him, Nickolai’s life hangs in the balance.

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Mystery and Suspense
Directed By: David Cronenberg
Written By: Steven Knight
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel
Runtime: 101 minutes

Shrek (2001)


DreamWorks’ beloved fairy tale parody evolved into a trilogy and even inspired a Tony-winning Broadway musical. In the original film, the evil Lord Farquaad decides he’d like to expand his empire, banishing all fairy tale creatures from his domain. He doesn’t bargain, however, that the fairy tale creatures would all take refuge on the land of an ornery, solitary ogre named Shrek. Desperate to keep his land and get all these dang creatures off of it, Shrek cuts a deal with Farquaad to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona and deliver her to Farquaad so that he may become king. Shrek sets off on a quest with his loyal, talking donkey friend to rescue the princess from a fire-breathing dragon. But the princess, it turns out, has a secret of her own.

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Rating: PG
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Kids and Family
Directed By: Vicky Jenson, Andrew Adamson
Written By: Joe Stillman, Roger S.H. Schulman, Terry Rossio, Ted Elliott, Conrad Vernon, Cody Cameron
Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy
Runtime: 93 minutes

Despicable Me (2010)

You’ve probably heard of Despicable Me for one reason: The Minions. Despicable Me was the film that introduced the world to the strange, gibberish-speaking little yellow blobs on legs. Kids love ’em, parents don’t get ’em, but the Despicable Me franchise is working on a fifth film so they’re clearly doing something right. When a mysterious criminal mastermind steals one of the pyramids in Egypt, evil genius Gru (Steve Carell) is deeply jealous. He hasn’t made the headlines since he and his Minions stole the Times Square JumboTron way back when. His real ambition, however, is to steal the moon. When he steals the shrink-ray that is central to his plans, however, the cunning super-nerd Vector (Jason Segel) steals it back! To defeat Vector, Gru enlists the help of three cookie-selling orphans. But, as he prepares to pull off his greatest heist yet, he makes the unfortunate discovery that these orphans have come to care about him, a feeling he’s never encountered.

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Rating: PG
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Kids and Family
Directed By: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
Written By: Ken Daurio Cinco Paul
Starring: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand
Runtime: 95 minutes

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