The 35 Best Movies to Stream Right Now

the big lebowski
The 35 Best Movies to Stream Right NowNBC Universal


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Remember the good old days when the only place you had to visit when you wanted to watch a movie was your local Blockbuster? If they didn’t have what you were looking for, you simply asked the pimply-faced, definitely-stoned sales clerk for a replacement recommendation and, based on your taste and his vast knowledge of the cinematic landscape, he suggested you check out Ernest Goes to Camp.

Sadly, those simple times are in the past. In the present, with the streaming wars still raging, picking out a movie has become inconvenient, at best—and downright infuriating at worst. Where there once was only Blockbuster and its worthless, stoned employee, now there is Hulu, Max, Netflix, Digger, Paramount+, Peacock, Amazon Prime Video, and whatever the hell Tubi is. Take all of that and add to it each streamer's distinct, constantly-rotating catalog of films, and the whole thing becomes complicated enough to compel even the most dedicated of cinephiles to spend their evening swiping through TikTok instead. Finding a flick to settle in with on a Thursday night shouldn’t be so difficult.

That’s where Esquire comes in. Like a prospector panning for gold, we’ve sifted through each of the streamers and surfaced the gems. These are the best films for Esquire readers to watch right now, no matter which damn streaming service you’ve signed up for.

Kimi

Steven Soderbergh’s sci-fi thriller, Kimi, is Rear Window for the Alexa generation. Zoë Kravitz plays an agoraphobic techie who stumbles upon a crime and must overcome her fears to crack the case. It’s a suspenseful ride that’ll have you side-eyeing your smart devices and cursing Jeff Bezos.

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Dune

Denis Villeneuve’s glossy, high-tech adaptation transforms Frank Herbert’s epic novel into a feast for the eyes. Timothée Chalamet leads a knockout cast including Zendaya and Josh Brolin through the vast desert landscapes and political intrigue of Arrakis, where everybody is on the hunt for spice.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings

Only Peter Jackson could be trusted with something as precious as J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, which follows a group of ragtag adventurers on their quest to destroy an evil, powerful ring. Each character in this now-classic film was perfectly cast—from a young Elijah Wood, who played the hobbit, Frodo Baggins, to a stately Sir Ian McKellen as the wise, old wizard Gandalf. Of course, the real star here is Andy Serkis, whose other-worldly portrayal of Gollum kickstarted a career in playing complex, motion-capture characters like Caesar in The Planet of the Apes and Kong in King Kong.

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Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting turned its co-writers, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, into superstars—not to mention Oscar winners—and for good reason. The heartfelt film about a math genius in janitor’s clothing and the importance of therapy is a masterclass in emotional storytelling. Come for the memorable dialogue, stay to see Robin Williams in one of the best performances of his life.

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Barbie

If you somehow managed to miss Barbie in theaters last summer, you can now see what all the fuss is about on Max. Margot Robbie brings the iconic doll to life, but Ryan Gosling steals the show as Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken. Both characters go through major identity crises in the film, but only one gets the major musical number treatment. Watch and find out who.

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Parasite

Bong Joon-ho’s Oscar-winning film, Parasite, is many things: a genre-defying thriller that explores the lives of two families from different worlds; a dark comedy about class warfare; and a social satire of the rich. Mostly, it’s a badass movie with an ending you simply do not see coming.

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All of Us Strangers

Listen, All of Us Strangers is a beautiful film, but it’s also a tearjerker. Technically, it’s about a lonely writer, played by the incomparable Andrew Scott, who reconnects with his deceased parents after a chance encounter with a neighbor. But there is so much more to this poignant drama than we can properly summarize here. Grab a box of tissues and watch it.

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Anatomy of a Fall

Anatomy of a Fall follows Sandra, a writer accused of murdering her husband in their remote mountain home, as her case goes to trial. It disrupts her fragile life with her blind son, Daniel, and their beloved family dog, Snoop. It’s impossible to discern who is telling the truth in this Oscar-nominated legal thriller, and that’s what makes it so fun to watch.

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The Big Lebowski

The Dude abides in The Big Lebowski, a Coen brothers-directed cult classic that’s as quirky and laid-back as its iconic protagonist. It’s an absurd film about a kidnapping (sort of) and also bowling.

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Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood is a wild ride through 1960s LA and a rapily changing film industry landscape. With Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt leading the way, Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood captures the chaos of the dawn of the New Hollywood era in Tarantino's signature unhinged style.

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Death of Stalin

Armando Iannucci’s satirical take on the power struggles following Stalin’s death is both hilarious and bone chilling. In the film, Stalin’s cronies, played by a knockout ensemble cast featuring Steve Buscemi and Jeffrey Tambor, scramble to seize control. Chaos obviously ensues, with the contenders’ scheming, paranoia, and ineptitude on full display. Watch Death of Stalin to see why so many critics considered it the best comedy of 2017.

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Thank You for Smoking

Thank You for Smoking is a razor-sharp satire that takes aim at the tobacco industry and the spin doctors who defend it. Aaron Eckhart shines as the smooth-talking lobbyist in a film that’s as clever as it is thought-provoking. It’s a must-watch for anyone who likes their humor dark.

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Sound of Metal

In Sound of Metal, Riz Ahmed delivers a gut-wrenching performance as a drummer who suddenly loses his hearing and is forced to rediscover himself amid silence. It’s a raw and immersive film, so watch it when you’re in the mood for something heavy.

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Interstellar

Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is a mind-bending, interplanetary odyssey through space and time that sticks with you long after the credits roll. Matthew McConaughey stars as a farmer-turned-pilot leading a crew of astronauts, including Anne Hathaway, in a quest to save humanity from extinction on earth.

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The Big Sick

The Big Sick is a heartwarming rom-com rooted in the real-life love story of Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. The pair’s budding romance is put to the test early on when Gordon falls into a coma amid a lover’s spat, forcing Nanjiani to come to terms with their cultural differences and prove himself to Gordon’s parents, all while the love of his life remains unconscious. Balancing humor and heartache, The Big Sick was a hit when it premiered at Sundance in 2017. Its authenticity and charm still holds up today.

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The Babadook

The Babadook is a psychological horror film that digs deep into the fears lurking in the shadows of motherhood. Jennifer Kent’s debut feature was well received by horror fans and critics alike for its profound insight into grief, mental health, and for being, frankly, scary as hell.

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Ringu

Remember The Ring, the horror flick about the creepy girl with black hair who crawled out of a television? Well, Ringu is the original Japanese version of The Ring, and it’s worth watching because it’s twice as scary and a much slower, more terrifying burn. Have fun!

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Top Gun: Maverick

Behold the movie that brought theaters back from their post-Covid brink of collapse! But is it really as good as everyone says? Honestly, yes it is. In Top Gun: Maverick, Tom Cruise returns as the iconic pilot with a problematic ego, except this time he has been called in to mentor a new generation of aviators while reconciling with his past decisions. Yes, there is a beach volleyball scene.

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Forrest Gump

Tom Hanks’ Oscar-winning performance anchors this touching tale of love, destiny, long distance running, and two hundred different kinds of shrimp. A critical and commercial success, Forrest Gump remains one of the best films to watch when you want to feel your feelings.

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The Godfather

Widely considered to be a cinematic masterpiece and one of the greatest films ever made, The Godfather follows the Corleone family’s rise to power and the complexities of organized crime. Francis Ford Coppola drew an Oscar-winning performance out of his star, Marlon Brando, and helped redefine the gangster film in the process. There would be no Goodfellas or The Sopranos if it weren’t for The Godfather.

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Mission: Impossible - Fallout

In Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and his lovable IMF teammates attempt to prevent another global catastrophe by tracking down some stolen plutonium. Despite its familiar premise, Fallout won praise from critics for its jaw-dropping stunts and savvy plot twists, with many claiming it to be the best film in the long-running franchise’s history.

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Past Lives

Past Lives is a beautiful meditation on life’s what-ifs. The critically acclaimed film follows childhood besties Nora and Hae Sung across three continents and two decades of will-they-won’t-they friendship, exploring the consequences of their connection to each other and each other’s loved ones. Watch if you’ve ever wondered what would happen if, one day, the one that got away showed up randomly on your doorstep.

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Jurassic Park

They don’t make movies like Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park anymore. The ‘90s blockbuster about dinosaurs on the loose is a nostalgic gem of a film that still delivers thrills, proving that remakes rarely live up to the original.

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Oppenheimer

Christopher Nolan is known for making brilliant, big-budget blockbuster films—and his Oscar winner about the father of the atomic bomb is no exception. If you happen to have a spare 3 and a ½ hours on a Thursday night, watching Oppenheimer is a great way to pass the time, if only to remind yourself of the horrors of nuclear war.

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Draft Day

Draft Day stars Kevin Costner as the general manager tasked with making football’s most stressful decisions look easy. Set in the high-stakes atmosphere that is the NFL Draft, it’s a behind-the-scenes peek at how teams are built—or bungled. Think of it as Moneyball’s less nerdy, more pigskin-obsessed cousin.

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No Time to Die

No Time to Die bids farewell to Daniel Craig’s James Bond with a bombastic blend of explosions, espionage, and emotional depth. It’s a fitting end for Craig, whose nuanced portrayal won over skeptical critics and reinvigorated the franchise by adding grit and emotional complexity to the suave spy.

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M3GAN

In M3GAN, a lifelike AI doll goes from adorable to absolutely terrifying. This horror flick blends technology and terror into a story that feels eerily realistic today. Watch if you need proof that Allison Williams can play someone other than Marnie from Girls.

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Inside Man

Spike Lee’s Inside Man is a moody heist film with a conscience starring Denzel Washington and Clive Owen in a cat-and-mouse game that’s as thrilling as it is intellectually engaging. If you like thrillers with a dash of World War II history, then Inside Man is the movie for you.

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Dark Waters

In Dark Waters, Mark Ruffalo plays a corporate lawyer who decides to take on a chemical giant in a battle for environmental justice. It’s a legal thriller that is based on a true story about corporate malfeasance and the scary things execs will do to preserve their profit margins.

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Dumb Money

Dumb Money captures the absurdity of the GameStop saga, offering hilarious insights into the chaotic world of stock market subreddits. It’s a Robinhood tale for the Internet meme era and perhaps the only feel-good(ish) film ever made about finance.

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Moneyball

Brad Pitt suits up in Moneyball to play Billy Beane, AKA the guy who turned baseball on its head with math. The movie, which is based on Michael Lewis’ book of the same name, takes audiences behind the scenes of the Oakland A’s unconventional approach to building a winning team on a shoestring budget in their 2002 season. Somehow, this movie about baseball and math isn’t boring. In fact, it’s entertaining as hell.

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Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Adam McKay’s hilarious send-up of NASCAR culture stars Will Ferrell as Ricky Bobby and John C. Reilly as his best friend and racing partner, Cal Naughton Jr. Laugh along as Ricky Bobby self-destructs in a fiery crash, only to rise from the ashes in a comeback race against his rival, French Formula One driver Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen). This film gave us the memorable mantra: “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

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Repo Man

Emilio Estevez stars in this campy, punk-infused, sci-fi satire about car repossession and alien conspiracies. Repo Man is a cult classic that’s as bizarre as it is brilliant.

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Kill Bill: Vol. 1

Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 1 is a blood-soaked revenge tale that’s as stylish as it is savage. Uma Thurman’s Bride slices through her enemies with grace and grit, in a film that blends martial arts with Tarantino’s flair for mayhem.

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Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

In Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Daniel Craig returns as the unflappable detective Benoit Blanc, who this time has been thrust into a murder mystery game on a lavish private island. The sequel features all the clever plot twists and razor-sharp dialogue that people adored in the original Knives Out, plus the arrival of a new cast, including Janelle Monáe in her best role to date. Come for the mystery, stay to see if you can spot the film’s two dozen cameos. We see you, Hugh Grant!

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