31 Of The Best Movies To Stream On Peacock In July

·26 min read

1.Anthony (2020)

Toheeb Jimoh eating in the kitchen as Anthony Walker

When Black teenager Anthony Walker was killed in an unprovoked racist attack by two white men in 2005, the world was sickened and mourned the loss of a life that had only just begun. In the wake of the 18-year-old's brutal murder, his mother, Gee Walker, approached her friend, screenwriter and producer Jimmy McGovern, and asked him to write about this horrifying loss. The result is a powerful look at what might have been, highlighting the positive impact Anthony made in his 18 years, and imagining what his life might have looked like had it not been tragically cut short. Toheeb Jimoh and Rakie Ayola give tremendous performances as Anthony and his mother, respectively, and the film's structure makes even the happiest scenes heartbreaking and evocative. This Peacock original is simply a must-watch. —J.M.

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Peacock

2.*The Bad Guys (2022)

Mr. Snake (voice: Marc Maron) and Mr. Wolf (voice: Sam Rockwell) driving

Mr. Wolf (voiced by Sam Rockwell) has spent his whole life being bad, establishing himself as an infamous lawbreaker by leading a gang of dastardly criminal animals that includes a safe-cracking snake, hacker tarantula, and master-of-disguise shark. But after accidentally helping an old lady during a heist, Mr. Wolf starts to question his life of malfeasance and wonders if he would be happier if he committed his life to doing good instead of being the Big Bad Wolf. The Bad Guys is a fun, surprisingly heartfelt movie that parents will enjoy as much as their kids, as it is packed with jokes and a nice message about becoming the best version of yourself. —B.H.

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Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

3.*Batman (1989)

Michael Keaton as Batman pointing a weapon

This may not be the original (respect to Adam West), but Tim Burton's Batman set the template for Bruce Wayne's crime-fighting escapades. Unlike the Dark Knight trilogy and R-Patz's The Batman, Batman doesn't take itself or the larger mythology of the caped crusader too seriously. Instead, it's just an extremely entertaining movie that doesn't get enough credit for its general influence on the cultural dominance of superhero movies over the past few decades. And while Jack Nicholson didn't win an Oscar for playing the Joker, his fun yet menacing portrayal of the killer clown remains one of the best supervillains of all time. —B.H.

Watch it on Peacock for free.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

4.Betty White: First Lady of Television (2018)

Betty White smiling

Peacock is offering the chance to spend a little more time with Betty White — who died in December, mere weeks before her 100th birthday — with the 2018 PBS documentary Betty White: First Lady of Television. In it, we get a joyful journey through her extraordinary life and career, reminding us why we love her so darn much. If your main exposure to White was as America’s lovable, raunchy, and intensely memeable grandmother, you’re missing out on just how talented she always was. She was one of the first women to produce and star in their own sitcom, and she excelled at playing a variety of different characters while bringing her trademark timing, delivery, and masterful ad-libbing to each and every one — something the doc shows through charming footage as well as gushing testimonials from friends and costars. There’s a warmth and lightness throughout Betty White: First Lady of Television that makes it feel more like a loving celebration than an in-depth biography, but as we work toward coming to terms with living in a world without White in it, maybe that's exactly what we need right now. —J.M.

Watch it on Peacock with a Premium membership.

Peacock

5.*The Big Lebowski (1998)

Jeff Bridges, Steve Buscemi, and John Goodman sitting at a bar

This highly quotable comedy is a Coen brothers cult classic, stuffed to the brim with their characteristically witty dialogue, absurd plot twists, colorful characters, and trippy visuals. Jeff Bridges is magnetic as “the Dude,” a lovable stoner whose carefree lifestyle of bowling and vibing out to some Creedence is interrupted by a case of mistaken identity that leads to him getting caught up in a truly bizarre conspiracy full of millionaires, nihilists, porn directors, and other kooky characters around LA. John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, John Turturro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tara Reid, and countless others take this brilliantly zany film to the next level, and — fair warning — you’ll probably wanna go bowling after you finish watching it. —J.M.

Watch it on Peacock for free.

Gramercypictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

6.Black Boys (2020)

A child looking at the camera

This documentary celebrates Black youths and explores Black male identity in America through sports, education, and criminal justice. Director Sonia Lowman, who has a background in activism and whose first film, 2017's Teach Us All, looked at segregation and racial inequities in American schools, came to this project with two main approaches: One was to explore how Black men are viewed by society, which included acknowledging and grappling with her own limited understanding and prejudices that often go unexamined as a white woman who considers herself to be liberal and progressive. But the main focus was telling the stories of Black men and women in America across multiple generations and presenting as full a picture of the Black male experience as possible, avoiding the two-dimensional version often shown in media. Highlighting the persistent racism and dehumanization that Black boys and men face, Black Boys provides an urgent conversation about opportunity, equity, and ultimately humanity. —J.M.

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Peacock / Everett Collection

7.*Blue Crush (2002)

Kate Bosworth surfing

Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth) lives to surf, but when she's not shredding the gnar, she is working as a maid at a hotel in order to help provide for her younger sister. While training for the Pipeline competition in hopes of becoming a pro surfer, she has to balance overcoming her fear of big waves caused by a previous accident and making sure her little sis doesn't get into any trouble. To make it all more complicated, she ends up in a love connection with Matt Tollman (Matthew Davis), an NFL quarterback who is vacationing on the North Shore. This light and breezy flick remains one of the better surf movies ever made, and every time you watch Anne Marie and her pals catching waves, you'll feel like you're sitting on top of the world. —B.H.

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Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

8.*Cast Away (2000)

Tom Hanks holding a stick while sitting on the beach

Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) is traveling to Malaysia for work when the plane crashes and he ends up on a deserted island as the sole survivor. For four years, Chuck struggles to survive and keep his sanity with no one around him and none of the comforts of society that we enjoy every day. While this performance didn't win him an Oscar, I will always argue that Cast Away is Hanks's best work, as it is remarkable how he is able to spend so much of this movie alone and still deliver a hilarious and deeply moving performance. Plus, he even convinces you that he has forged a real bond with a volleyball, and if you don't cry when (SPOILER? I guess?) Wilson floats away, you are a heartless monster. —B.H.

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20thcentfox / Courtesy Everett Collection

9.Chicken Run (2000)

Mac (Lynn Ferguson), Ginger (Julia Sawalha), Babs (Jane Horrocks) and Bunty (Imelda Staunton), smiling

Chicken Run is the brainchild of four-time Oscar winner Nick Park and codirector Peter Lord, who are beloved for being the team behind Wallace and Gromit. They bring a palpable sense of joy and adventure to this Claymation film as we root for a charming group of chickens scheming to escape an evil farmer who intends to turn them into chicken pot pies. Viewers of all ages can easily find something to love in this high-spirited comedy, packed with hilarious gags, impressive stop-motion action sequences, and a tenderness that'll grip your heart. But the story doesn't end here! News of a Netflix-backed sequel on the horizon has delighted fans and will give you something to look forward to after the credits roll. —J.M.

Watch it on Peacock with a Premium membership.

Dreamworks / Courtesy Everett Collection

10.Downton Abbey (2019)

Maggie Smith and Michelle Dockery sitting together

Before you check out the new sequel, there's no better time to get up to speed on Downton Abbey. Fortunately, Peacock offers not only all six seasons of the original television series but also the 2019 movie. For fans of the popular British series, the two-hour movie feels like a comforting and welcome return of old friends, with much of the original cast appearing, including Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, and countless others. For those unfamiliar, the film may be a bit baffling, but it will encourage first-time viewers to go back to the beginning to discover what they've been missing out on all these years. In the movie, we find the Crawleys preparing for a visit from the King and Queen of England, and all of the scandal, romance, and intrigue that comes with it. The production values are grand, the acting is fantastic, the unmistakably British comedy is delightful as always, and the drama is, as ever, deliciously soapy. —J.M.

Watch it on Peacock with a Premium membership.

Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection

11.Downton Abbey: A New Era (2022)

Allen Leech and Tuppence Middleton smiling.

The latest entry into the Downton Cinematic Universe is officially here and proves that Downton continues to be the most delicious and exquisite comfort food possible, as creator Julian Fellowes knows how to build a world as well as anyone. A New Era was a quiet hit when it hit theaters, earning $90 million at the worldwide box office and getting rave reviews from critics and fans alike. Whether you missed it on the big screen or simply want to spend some more time in England in the early 20th Century, now is your chance.

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Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection

12.Driveways (2019)

Hong Chau with her arm around Lucas Jayne

Kathy (Hong Chau) heads to her deceased sister's house to prepare it for sale but is surprised when her son Cody (Lucas Jaye) starts to bond with Del (Brian Dennehy), an elderly widower living next door. Only 83 minutes long, Driveways is a concise but powerful story about the importance of human connection as we see through Del the toll that isolation can take on a person. Driveways also turned out to be the final film of Dennehy's career, as he died a month before its release, and critics praised it as a fitting last performance for the renowned actor. —B.H.

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FilmRise / Courtesy Everett Collection

13.*Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet sitting together.

After discovering that his ex-girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) has undergone a procedure to erase all of her memories of their relationship, Joel (Jim Carrey) decides to do the same. But once the process begins and he starts reliving his time with Clementine, Joel begins to question his decision and reexamine their relationship. Carrey and Winslet are both at the top of their game here, and watching the different moments of their relationship is equally heartbreaking and beautiful. This brilliant and inventive concept could only come from the mind of Charlie Kaufman, who managed to craft one of the most emotionally devastating romantic films of this century while also exploring the delicate and complex nature of connection. —B.H.

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Focus Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

14.*The Harry Potter Series (2001–11)

Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint screaming

Harry Potter fans can rejoice because all seven films in the franchise are available here. And if you haven't seen them yet, what are you waiting for? The opportunity to rewatch everyone's favorite Hogwarts attendees grow from uncertain students of magic to full-on heroes is too good to miss, and you'll fall in love with the star-studded cast all over again. Seriously. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Richard Harris, Helena Bonham Carter, and many, many more make this set of films feel like hanging out with old friends. And you might even see some famous faces you completely forgot were part of the wizarding world, like Emma Thompson, Robert Pattinson, Domhnall Gleeson, and Gary Oldman! From the early days of The Sorcerer's Stone to the Alfonso Cuarón–directed Prisoner of Azkaban, all the way through the two-part Deathly Hallows, this highly bingeable series of films makes for a cozy and comforting rewatch that we could all use right about now. —J.M.

Watch it on Peacock for free.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

15.I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story (2015)

Caroll Spinney as Big Bird

If you've ever wondered who was behind the iconic Muppet characters of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, this heartwarming doc is here to delight you with the story of Caroll Spinney, who proved himself throughout to be as lovable as the characters he created and embodied. This magical film takes us behind the scenes with the one-of-a-kind pioneer, revealing the lives he continued to touch well into his 80s. Though the sentimental soundtrack can sometimes cause it to drift into saccharine territory, it does nothing to sour this affectionate portrait that's sure to leave you with a smile on your face when you need it the most. —J.M.

Watch it on Peacock for free.

Copper Pot Pictures / Peacock

16.Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town (2018)

Mackenzie Davis's character wearing a blood-splattered white jacket

This film is an exhilarating journey that hinges on Mackenzie Davis's (Happiest Season, Tully, Black Mirror) pitch-perfect performance as riot grrrl rocker Izzy, who wakes up to find out that her ex-boyfriend and ex–best friend are having their engagement party that night. Izzy becomes fixated on crashing the party, despite having no money, no mode of transportation, and barely enough time to make it from Santa Monica to where the party is in Los Feliz. That won't stop her from trying, though, and we tag along through her terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day as she frantically attempts to change the course of her life that didn't turn out the way she thought it would. Bolstered by a punk-filled soundtrack and a cast including Davis, Alia Shawkat, Haley Joel Osment, and Carrie Coon, this film will leave you both entertained and possibly a little exhausted. —J.M.

Watch it on Peacock for free.

Shout! Factory / Courtesy Everett Collection

17.*The John Wick Trilogy (2014–19)

Keanu Reeves pointing a gun while running

All three installments of the John Wick franchise are now available to stream on Peacock as fans excitedly await 2023's promised John Wick: Chapter 4. Somehow avoiding the dreaded sequel slump, each of these films has been acclaimed by both critics and audience members. Star Keanu Reeves has also since become an internet favorite, with fans gushing over his every wholesome move — at odds with his titular character in the films, who kills at a frenetic pace throughout his hunt for vengeance after losing his wife and dog. Directed by onetime prolific stunt double Chad Stahelski, these sleek, stylish action flicks are chock-full of impressively choreographed fights with enough humor, fun, and visual prowess to keep audiences coming back for more. There's also the excellent cast, featuring Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe, Common, Laurence Fishburne, Halle Berry, Ian McShane, and many others who skillfully turn parts big and small into three-dimensional characters worth watching. If you're counting down the days until Chapter 4's release, maybe it's time for a rewatch of the first three! —J.M.

Watch it on Peacock with a premium membership.

David Lee / © Summit Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection

18.A Most Beautiful Thing (2020)

The Manley High rowing team rowing in the lake

The inspiring documentary A Most Beautiful Thing tells the tale of the Manley High rowing team, a group of young Black men from the West Side of Chicago who, although many of them are from rival gangs, came together to row the same boat, altering their trajectories forever. Thoughtfully directed by filmmaker, attorney, and Olympic rower Mary Mazzio and narrated by Common, this doc keeps its focus on its subjects as they tell their own stories, which glisten with joy and optimism even in the face of heartbreaking trauma. At its core, A Most Beautiful Thing shows the healing potential of sports and offers a powerful message that is incredibly necessary during the times we're living in. —J.M.

Watch it on Peacock for free.

50 Eggs Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

19.Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Duane Jones adjusts a radio

Often regarded as the first modern zombie movie and one of the greatest and scariest movies of all time, 1968's Night of the Living Dead was initially met with controversy and scorn in response to its extreme violence and gore as well as the casting of Duane Jones, a Black man, in the leading role. Writer-director George Romero has said that choosing Jones had nothing to do with race and that he was simply the best actor who auditioned, but intentional or not, this choice added layers of social commentary to the plot. It also further cemented the film's legacy by directly influencing movies like Get Out and nodding back to zombies' roots in Black culture — while presenting a depiction of the undead that would go on to set the standard for how zombies have appeared in media ever since. Despite being flawed and dated at times, this groundbreaking horror movie is still remarkably effective. Its limited budget and presentation in stark black and white give it an almost documentary-like atmosphere, making the horrors that unfold all the more horrifying — and influencing not just countless zombie flicks but also filmmakers, across a variety of genres, with small budgets and big ideas. —J.M.

Watch it on Peacock for free.

Image Ten / Courtesy Everett Collection

20.The Northman (2022)

Alexander Skarsgard giving a primal scream.

With just two films under his belt, director Robert Eggers had already established himself as one of the most unique and talented filmmakers working today. And The Northman, his highly-anticipated third film, proved once again that he is going to be one of the most important figures in film for the foreseeable future. Easily Eggers' most epic film in terms of both scale and ambition, The Northman is a story of Viking vengeance set in turn-of-the-10th-century Iceland as Amleth (Alexander Skarsgård), a warrior prince, seeks to avenge his father after he is betrayed and murdered by his uncle. Sound a bit like the plot of the most famous play ever written? It's intentional — but while the story may be yet another cinematic re-telling of Hamlet, Eggers' directorial style is wholly original, as he masterfully delivers a visual feast that is as exhilarating as it is breath-taking.

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Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection

21.*Ocean's Eleven (2001)

George Clooney and Brad Pitt sitting at a table

If you ask someone to name a heist movie, chances are pretty high their first answer will be Ocean's Eleven. That's because this Stephen Soderbergh classic nails every single trope in the genre: getting the gang together, executing the overly elaborate plan, and tossing in a few twists and turns to keep the viewer guessing. It also features an incredibly stacked cast, including Elliott Gould, Casey Affleck, Julia Roberts, and Don Cheadle. But the real heart of the film is the friendship between Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his best pal, Rusty (Brad Pitt). The two are perfectly in sync, always looking cool as hell and remaining one step ahead of whoever is dumb enough to try and catch them. —B.H.

Watch it on Peacock for free.

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

22.Olympic Pride, American Prejudice (2016)

Runners running a race

The 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin were set against the background of white nationalism in Germany, with Hitler and the Nazi Party's rise to power causing the US to be conflicted about sending American Jewish and Black athletes to compete. This effective documentary focuses on the 18 Black athletes from the US who participated — using historical footage, interviews, and news coverage, as well as conversations with surviving family members, to paint a compelling picture of the experiences of some of the nation's greatest athletes during a time when their lives were affected by massive inequality both at home and overseas. The tale of how track-and-field star Jesse Owens's four gold medal wins dismantled Hitler's Aryan-supremacy delusion has long been mythologized, but Olympic Pride, American Prejudice delves deeper into the other 17 Black competitors' stories, highlighting their remarkable achievements despite racism from the American coaching staff, and following them through their return to the US, where they were greeted with scant job opportunities and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's reported refusal to shake their hands in fear of alienating Southern voters. As Black athletes continue to face astonishing inequality and racism in the current age — with reactions to political protests, anti-marijuana laws rooted in systemic racism, and the banning of swim caps designed for Black hair just a few of the ways Black people in sports are unfairly targeted — this documentary remains a vital look at the underbelly of racism that persists in the US and global sporting world today. —J.M.

Watch it on Peacock for free.

Peacock

23.Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)

Gabourey Sidibe as Precious walking as two people look at her

Gabourey Sidibe and Mo'Nique both received well-deserved Oscar noms (and a win for Mo'Nique) for their extraordinary performances in this powerful film based on the 1996 novel Push by Sapphire. This movie is a complex portrait of a young woman named Claireece "Precious" Jones (Sidibe) who deals with her devastating circumstances by escaping into daydreams of a much better life. We find her at age 16 living with her abusive mother in 1987 Harlem, unable to read or write, and pregnant for the second time by her rapist father. Because of this pregnancy, Precious is transferred to an alternative school, and her life is impacted by a sympathetic teacher (Paula Patton), a social worker (Mariah Carey), and a kind nursing assistant (Lenny Kravitz) — all of whom give her hope for a better future. Audiences and critics were divided on some of its messaging, but one thing most viewers agreed on was that the fearless performances at its center were an absolute triumph. —J.M.

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Lions Gate / Courtesy Everett Collection

24.Prince: Sign o' the Times (1987)

Prince performing with a band

This collection of highlights from Prince's 1987 European concert tour is thankfully here to hold you over if you've been desperately missing live concerts this year. Written and directed by Prince himself, Sign o' the Times transports us to the Purple One's commercial peak, jam-packed with colossal hits (including the title track, "Little Red Corvette," "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man," and "U Got the Look"), colorful visuals, and electrifying performances that'll make you want to crank up the TV and get lost in some of the greatest music ever made. —J.M.

Watch it on Peacock for free.

Moviestore Collection Ltd. / Alamy Stock Photo

25.*The Rock (1996)

Nicolas Cage holding flares while on his knees

If you're talking all-time balls-to-the-wall, absolutely wild, and undeniably awesome action movies, it's tough to beat The Rock. This Michael Bay masterpiece tells the story of a team of the best ass-kicking special agents on Earth who hatch a plan to sneak onto Alcatraz to free hostages and stop a rogue terrorist group from launching rockets into San Francisco. SAS Capt. John Patrick Mason (Sean Connery) is the tough-as-nails leader of the mission, while FBI Special Agent Dr. Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage) fills the role of the comic relief/sidekick. The Rock features some of the best action sequences ever put on film, a plan so crazy it just might work, and killer chemistry from the lead duo. What else could you really ask for? —B.H.

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Buena Vista Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

26.Shaolin (2011)

Jackie Chan and Andy Lau's characters sitting together

When a ruthless general (Andy Lau) is betrayed by his sworn brother (Nicholas Tse), he seeks salvation at a Shaolin temple, where he decides to become a monk to atone for his past misdeeds — but his dangerous past isn't as far behind him as he might think. This ambitious, epic Hong Kong drama is more about introspection than hand-to-hand combat, although there is enough of both — plus a comedic supporting performance from Jackie Chan — to keep viewers engaged. The action set pieces are impressive and elaborate, while the anti-violence sentiment and compassionate Buddhist philosophy set it apart from other action period pieces, offering a path to enlightenment for even the most brutal warlords. —J.M.

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Variance Films / Well Go USA / Alamy

27.Short Term 12 (2013)

Brie Larson and Kaitlyn Dever riding a bike at night

Writer-director Destin Daniel Cretton based this moving film on his own experience as a staffer at a facility for at-risk teenagers. Brie Larson is among one of his stand-ins, superb in her portrayal of a woman facing her own demons (prompted by a deepening connection with a new resident, played by the excellent Kaitlyn Dever). The raw emotion is balanced deftly with warmth and humor. And the heavy subject matter never descends into melodrama but instead soars high on the incredible performances of its young actors, as well as the thoughtful writing and direction. Its cast now looks like a launchpad for actors whose stars would continue to shine brightly, featuring Larson, Dever (newly minted Oscar nominee), LaKeith Stanfield, Rami Malek, Stephanie Beatriz, and John Gallagher Jr. But even before their stratospheric fame, critics recognized the brilliance on display — and rightly so. —J.M.

Watch it on Peacock for free.

Cinedigm / Courtesy Everett Collection

28.The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show (2020)

Harry Belafonte smiling in a black-and-white photo

This doc unearths a largely forgotten but monumental 1968 week in late-night television, when Johnny Carson stepped aside to let legendary entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte temporarily take over The Tonight Show to address the social and political tumult the country was experiencing. His guest list included Martin Luther King Jr., Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, actor and activist Paul Newman, Native American folk singer Buffy Sainte-Marie, folk singer Leon Bibb, singer Petula Clark, and many of the top Black stars of the time, including Aretha Franklin, Lena Horne, Dionne Warwick, Freda Payne, Diahann Carroll, and Nipsey Russell. While much of the footage has sadly been lost, what remains is full of hope and inspiration, but also imparts frustration over how many of the issues of the time have yet to be resolved. Belafonte, now 95, is interviewed throughout, as are Warwick, Sainte-Marie, Clark, Whoopi Goldberg, Tamron Hall, Questlove, and New York Times critics Bill Carter and Wesley Morris, who add context and give modern-day reflections on an important week of television that remains just as relevant today. —J.M.

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Peacock

29.Time for Ilhan (2018)

Ilhan Omar giving a speech

If you've recently had that gnawing feeling that the US is overwhelmingly controlled by billionaires and corporations out of touch with the needs of…uh…nonbillionaires, this documentary is a beacon of light that'll remind you that you can still have faith in our democratic systems. Director Norah Shapiro presents an inspiring and engaging portrait of Ilhan Omar, a young, hijab-wearing mother of three who arrived in the US at age 12 as a refugee, on her journey from community activist to becoming the first Somali Muslim woman to be elected to state office in the United States. Thanks to intimate, behind-the-scenes footage of Omar’s first political campaign, we get a fly-on-the-wall glimpse into how she connects with voters, disrupts the system, and works tirelessly to fight for a better country for everyone. There’s no doubt that she’s become a controversial figure, but whether or not you consider yourself a supporter of hers, this documentary goes beyond the headlines to offer a more personal look at a political powerhouse whose story is far from over. —J.M.

Watch it on Peacock for free.

Peaock

30.Train to Busan (2016)

Seo Seok-woo and his daughter huddle together

If you enjoyed Gong Yoo's appearance as "the Salesman" in Netflix's smash hit Squid Game, you can watch him in the leading role of this South Korean action-horror film, which has been called one of the best zombie movies of all time, and with good reason. Writer-director Yeon Sang-ho pulls no punches, offering up a smattering of well-developed characters, expertly staged action, and a healthy dose of social and political commentary in this thrilling movie about a man (Yoo), his estranged daughter (Kim Su-an), and other passengers trapped on a speeding train during a zombie apocalypse. Critics lauded the film's unique take on the genre, which makes excellent use of the train's cramped quarters, wringing out brilliantly choreographed action and heartfelt emotion at every turn. And while it certainly reuses the same tropes that have plagued the crowded zombie genre for some time now, it does so with so much energy and style that it makes every element feel fresh, terrifying, and unexpectedly moving. —J.M.

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Well Go USA Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection

31.Winter’s Bone (2010)

Jennifer Lawrence with a horse

This quietly gripping film, directed by Debra Granik, is set in the rural Ozarks of Missouri, where teenager Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) takes care of her poverty-stricken family in her criminal father's absence. When news comes from the local sheriff that Ree's father put their home up for bond and then fled, she embarks on a dangerous quest to find him and save their family home. Lawrence's grimly determined, Oscar-nominated performance is revelatory, capturing her character's fear and resolve often without words, while stunningly naturalistic direction from Granik makes it impossible to look away from this film's unflinching window into a part of America not often portrayed with such precision and authenticity. Winter’s Bone also earned Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, and Supporting Actor Oscar noms (John Hawkes for his powerful and compelling portrayal of Ree's meth-addicted uncle, Teardrop) while garnering critical acclaim for transporting viewers into its mountainous landscapes and leaving them with characters and memories they won't soon forget. —J.M.

Watch it on Peacock for free.

Allstar Picture Library Ltd. / Alamy Stock Photo

* Denotes title has been newly added to Peacock for July.

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