Films on the leading streaming platforms — Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and HBO — are constantly coming and going. It happens so frequently, it’s easy for something great to slip by unnoticed. Between new original movies hitting streamers every week and some classics quietly joining their ranks, we’ve got an eye on what’s new to stream each week. We’ve created this list to help you stay on top of the best new releases that have hit the major streamers. We update every week, so remember to check back!
Thunder Force (2021)
Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer star in this superhero send-up about two childhood best friends who reunite as adults to form a crime-fighting superhero duo when one of them invents a formula that gives normal people superpowers. Now, suddenly imbued with great power, will they also show great responsibility?
Concrete Cowboy (2021)
Caleb McLaughlin (Stranger Things) and Idris Elba star in this coming-of-age drama about the Fletcher Street Cowboys, a tight-knit Philadelphia community of Black cowboys. Cole (McLaughlin) is a rebellious teen who continues to stray from the straight-and-narrow, so he’s sent to live with his estranged father for the summer. It just so happens that his father keeps a horse in the house and is an urban cowboy.
Legally Blonde (2001)
The classic legal comedy that inspired a musical and multiple sequels, Legally Blonde is one of the 21st century’s most popular comedies. Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) is a spoiled Beverly Hills rich kid who, upon graduating from UCLA, expects to marry her college beau, Warner, and live out her days as a happy housewife. But when Warner breaks up with her to attend Harvard Law, Elle makes it her mission to win him back by gaining admission to Harvard herself (what, like it’s hard?). But when she’s there, she discovers a sleeping part of herself she never knew existed.
The Pianist (2002)
Roman Polanski’s adaptation of Wladyslaw Szpilman’s autobiography “The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945” won him a Best Director Oscar as well as one for lead Adrien Brody. Brody plays Szpilman, a Polish Jewish radio station pianist who is forced into the Warsaw Ghetto as World War II begins. The film follows his story through his separation from his family during Operation Reinhard and his desperate evasion of Nazi forces among the ruins of Warsaw.
Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal (2021)
You likely heard about the college admissions scandal that rocked the country’s elite universities, from UCLA and USC to Stanford and Harvard. In this documentary, director Chris Smith uses interviews and reenactments from wiretap and court transcripts to illustrate how wealthy parents paid hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to get their kids into elite universities through “side doors” created by college counselor and conman Rick Singer. The moral shamelessness of the tapes is galling, but the collegiate system is the real target here.
The Sandlot (1993)
You don’t have to love baseball to fall into the blissful nostalgia of The Sandlot, one of the great movies about childhood summers. It’s a classic story about a new kid in town who joins a group of neighborhood kids down at the local sandlot and, in between trips to the community pool and theater, learns just about everything a kid needs to know about America’s pastime. Especially the most important rule, when it comes to hitting a home run into the backyard of the neighborhood monster, Hercules: You hit it, you get it.
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
From “Vote for Pedro” to “Get yourself a dang quesadilla” to one of the worst/best dance routines in cinema history, Napoleon Dynamite is one of the most weirdly memorable films of the 21st century. In a tiny Idaho town, frizzy-haired high school geek Napoleon has a tough time fitting in. After his grandmother is injured and his odd uncle Rico shows up to keep an eye on him, things keep getting worse. With nowhere else to turn, Napoleon finds safe haven in a friendship with the new kid, Pedro, and the two launch a grassroots campaign for class president.
28 Days Later (2003)
One of the more provocative zombie films you’ll ever see, Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later stars Cillian Murphy as a man who wakes up out of a coma to discover London is just plain empty. After a deadly virus that transforms humans into bloodthirsty, rage-filled zombies was released from a lab, it spread rapidly through the country, infecting all but a handful of survivors. The man was spared simply by being unconscious. As he navigates this terrifying new world, he’ll rely on a few allies to attempt to figure out just how far-reaching this virus is or if it’s contained to the British island.
Die Hard (1988)
Meet John McClane, an ordinary New York City cop on a trip to Los Angeles to reconnect with his estranged wife, Holly, at her company’s holiday party. Unfortunately, a terrorist organization led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) has targeted the company for a major heist, taking the party hostage while they drill into the corporate vaults. By sheer chance, they miss McClane, who evolves into the most badass action hero in movie history as he battles the terrorists inside the LA skyscraper.
An early Oscar favorite for 2021, Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland is a strangely familiar yet original revisiting of the 2008 financial crisis. The film centers on Fern (Frances McDormand), a woman who loses everything during the recession and decides to set off on a journey across the American West. Her Grapes of Wrath-esque journey becomes one of both rebirth and poignant directionlessness, where the reward truly isn’t the destination but the journey itself.
With a star-studded cast including Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, and more; an adolescent romance; a hyper-stylized setting; and a half-million bits, Moonrise Kingdom might be the most Wes Anderson-est of Wes Anderson movies. It’s 1965 in New Penzance, an island off the coast of New England where the community seems immune to the happenings of the rest of the world. In this setting, two 12-year-olds (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) have fallen in love and are running away. Unfortunately, a violent storm is approaching the island, and the adults must mobilize to find the kids before they’re stuck.
My Cousin Vinny (1992)
Bill and Stan are a couple of New Yorkers on a road trip through the South who get caught in quite the predicament when the owner of a shop they just left is killed moments after their departure. Imprisoned in a foreign land and penniless, Bill reaches out to the only person who can help them: His cousin Vinny (Joe Pesci). Vinny, however, has never won a case, took six tries to finish law school, and could not possibly stick out more in this podunk Alabama town. Despite overwhelming odds, Vinny pulls it together with help from his lovely fiancée Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei).
A Simple Plan (1998)
If you’re in a crime drama mood, you’ll love Sam Raimi’s A Simple Plan. Out in the woods near their small town, Hank Mitchell (Bill Paxton), Jacob (Billy Bob Thornton), and Lou (Brent Briscoe) discover a crashed plane with two things in it — a dead pilot and $4 million. Hank is reluctant to keep the money, but Jacob and Lou convince him otherwise as they devise a plan to split the money among themselves. Although the plan sounds simple, it doesn’t play out that way as the trio becomes embroiled in a battle among themselves and the community.
Coming 2 America (2021)
Akeem and Semmi are finally back! The long-awaited sequel to the classic comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall has landed on Amazon Prime. Newly crowned King Akeem (Murphy) of Zamunda and his trusted confidante Semmi (Hall) embark on a brand-new adventure back to where it all began: Queens, New York.
Back to the Future trilogy
Streamers have frequently had Back to the Future and Back to the Future Part II available at varying times over the past year, but now Amazon Prime officially has the entire trilogy. Go back (or forward) in time with Marty McFly in Doc Brown’s DeLorean for some of the greatest sci-fi tales ever told.
HBO and HBO Max
The New Mutants (2020)
Famously caught in development hell for years, The New Mutants quietly released in theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic to little enthusiasm. Really, the main reason it’s here is because who doesn’t want to know how this movie ultimately turned out after literally five years in the making. One of the few superhero horror movies, The New Mutants follows five teenage mutants as they undergo treatments at a secret institution designed to cure them of their dangerous powers. Dr. Cecilia Reyes (Alice Braga) works tirelessly to help them suppress their powers, believing she’s working toward a greater good. But there’s something evil present that forces each mutant’s memories to turn into terrifying realities. The cast included Game of Thrones‘ Maisie Williams and The Queen’s Gambit‘s Anya Taylor-Joy.
Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
It’s a true battle of the titans in the newest entry to Warner Bros. Monsterverse. Building on the events of Godzilla: King of Monsters, Godzilla is now the last of the monster titans except for one … King Kong, who has been imprisoned in an enclosed, isolated facility on Skull Island for research. As Godzilla becomes more aggressive toward humanity, the company Apex Synthetics seeks to drill into a new energy source from the home of all titans, the Hollow Earth. But they’ll need a titan to guide them there. But taking Kong to the entry point will prove to be a perilous journey when Godzilla comes hunting.
The preeminent golf comedy, Caddyshack follows Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe), a down-on-his-luck teen who works as a caddy at the snob-infested Bushwood Country Club to earn money for college. Hoping to earn a college scholarship reserved for caddies, Noonan plays politics by volunteering to caddy for an influential club member while he prepares for the Caddy Day golf tournament. But when that influential club member strikes up a beef with New Age golf pro Ty Webb (Chevy Chase), Noonan will find himself torn between his aspirations and his friendship with Webb.
Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
An Eddie Murphy classic, Beverly Hills Cop (and its two sequels, both on HBO as well) is a beloved cop comedy. After his childhood buddy is murdered in Detroit, police officer Axel Foley (Murphy) follows a lead all the way to Beverly Hills, California, while pretending to be taking a vacation. Checking in with an old friend, Jenny Summers, he soon realizes that her art dealer boss might be involved in the murder. The Beverly Hills Police Department, however, does not take kindly to this outsider meddling in the hoity-toity community.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
Warner Bros. long denied its existence despite fan clamor. But after years of waffling and denying, the studio finally conceded that an original Zack Snyder cut of the 2017 superhero blockbuster did indeed exist, at least in part. Snyder was famously replaced on the film by Joss Whedon, who promptly put out one of the most bloated, universally-panned superhero movies of recent memory. The massive, four-hour new (old?) release is faring much better from critics and audiences alike. It’s only available on HBO Max.
- The 56 best movies on Amazon Prime right now
- The best sci-fi movies on Amazon Prime right now
- The 20 best movies on HBO Max right now
- The best comedies on Netflix right now
- The best movies leaving Amazon Prime at the end of March