We hope you love the shows and movies we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of revenue or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh and FYI: Platform, prices, and other availability details are accurate as of time of posting. 1. About a Boy (2002)
This witty and heartfelt movie manages to be both funny and tender without descending into schmaltz. Hugh Grant stars as Will, a rich and childless playboy who lies about having a son to attend single parent meetings and meet women. At one of these meetings, he meets Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), a socially awkward 12-year-old boy who has problems at school. The two form an unlikely friendship that leads to Will becoming a more mature adult as he bonds with Marcus and helps the boy to gain confidence. Featuring excellent performances from Grant, Hoult, Toni Collette, and Rachel Weisz,
About a Boy is a star-studded, charming coming-of-age story full of laughs, sweetness, and flawed but lovable characters — making it a much more mature offering from the filmmakers behind . American Pie
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Peacock for free. Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection 2. Anthony (2020)
When Black teenager Anthony Walker was murdered 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.
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Based on the true events of the Apollo 13 lunar mission, this film tells the harrowing story of three astronauts who have to call off their scheduled moon landing after an oxygen tank explodes, leaving their entire crew’s safe return to Earth in peril as they work to overcome numerous technical problems and fight for survival. Director Ron Howard sends viewers straight into outer space and puts us right in the middle of the claustrophobic danger, while the ensemble cast — led by the magnificent Tom Hanks — bring an emotional authenticity that’ll have you on the edge of your seat even if you already know how the tale ends.
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Peacock for free. Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection 4. Away From Her (2007)
Sarah Polley’s directorial debut is a moving look into the effects of Alzheimer’s, complemented by Julie Christie’s incredible performance as Fiona, a woman suffering from the disease. When Fiona checks into a nursing home due to her worsening condition, fractures begin to appear in her longtime marriage to Grant (Gordon Pinsent), as her memories fade and she develops a close relationship with another nursing home resident (Michael Murphy). Polley and Christie’s thoughtful work earned them both a long list of accolades from across the industry, including Oscar noms for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actress, and a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama. Fans of Sarah Polley's direction can also look forward to her forthcoming film
Women Talking, starring brilliant Frances McDormand! Nomadland's
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Peacock for free. Lions Gate/Courtesy Everett Collection 5. Being John Malkovich (1999)
This brilliantly strange film from Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze offers a mind- and genre-bending exploration of identity, celebrity, love, and art. When Craig (John Cusack), an unsuccessful puppeteer, starts a temp job as a filing clerk, he stumbles upon a portal into the mind of acclaimed actor John Malkovich — a discovery that turns his entire life, and the lives of those around him, completely upside down. An inventive screenplay, masterful direction, and fantastic acting from Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, Orson Bean, and, of course, Malkovich himself ensures that this film's bizarre premise is fully realized, balancing humor, darkness, surrealism, and existentialism while keeping viewers on their toes, wondering what could possibly happen next in this twisted journey that continues to draw you in deeper and deeper until there's no turning back.
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Peacock for free. USA Films / Courtesy Everett Collection 6. Better Watch Out (2016)
Everything seems normal when 17-year-old Ashley (Olivia DeJonge) arrives to babysit 12-year-old Luke (Levi Miller) during the Christmas holidays, but that changes when they hear the sound of a window shattering upstairs. Among the broken glass, they find a brick inscribed with a threatening message — "U leave and U die." What happens next could only happen in a movie as twisted and unhinged as this one. Great performances and a truly bizarre storyline make this shocking horror-comedy film a surprisingly fun and unique offering among the countless less successful flicks in the home invasion genre. And if another year of slogging through a pandemic-soaked holiday season makes you wanna gravitate toward the darker side of holiday movies,
Better Watch Out just might be the one for you.
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Peacock for free. Well Go USA Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection 7. The Big Lebowski (1998)
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.
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Peacock for free. Gramercy Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection 8. Black Boys (2020)
This documentary celebrates Black youth 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,
Teach Us All (2017), 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, including 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 of a picture of the Black male experience as possible, avoiding the two-dimensional version often shown in media. Highlighting the persistent racism and dehumanization Black males face, Black Boys provides an urgent conversation about opportunity, equity, and ultimately humanity.
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Peacock for free. Peacock / Everett Collection 9. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
Peacock now offers the third
Bourne installment, (2007), which follows Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a man trying to discover his true identity while evading assassins in the midst of a CIA conspiracy. Whether you're itching to relive the thrilling, carefully crafted car chase scenes or are more interested in the character-oriented focus that helped this series of smart thrillers rise above other spy-genre exercises, there's a lot that makes this film worth rewatching all these years later! Damon's embodiment of Jason Bourne and use of subtle body language to hint at his former life add depth to the titular character, and while some viewers and critics knocked the shaky cam aesthetic that appears throughout the films (and possibly went on to influence a plethora of lesser action flicks), the complex, unpredictable storyline is well executed and balances intelligent writing with gripping action sequences, making this final addition to the series of blockbuster films worthy of the hype. The Bourne Ultimatum
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Peacock for free. RGR Collection / Alamy Stock Photo 10. Boy Erased (2018)
Following his work in Oscar-nominated pictures like
and Lady Bird , Lucas Hedges plays Jared Eamons, the son of a small-town Baptist pastor (Russell Crowe), who is pressured to attend a conversion therapy program after being outed as gay to his parents. Hedges is remarkable in the role, offering a subtle but mesmerizing window into the heart and mind of a conflicted teen grappling with his sexuality, faith, and the approval of his family. His strong chemistry with his onscreen mother, played by the excellent Nicole Kidman, brings the story to life, as does Kidman and Crowe's moving portrayal of parents caught between their religious values and their love for their son. Critics questioned the praise for a well-acted, but somewhat muted film on this subject matter from a heterosexual writer-director, especially in the same year that Manchester by the Sea — an arguably better film about conversion therapy, written and directed by Desiree Akhavan, who identifies as a bisexual woman — was released with less fanfare. But while the themes are nothing new to the majority of viewers, the way The Miseducation of Cameron Post Boy Erased humanizes Jared's parents while offering a look into the horrors of conversion therapy just might be the dose of reality that less-progressive viewers need to understand the cruelty of these programs.
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Peacock with a Premium membership. Focus Features /AF archive / Alamy Stock Photo 11. The Breakfast Club (1985)
A classic coming-of-age teen comedy-drama,
The Breakfast Club is celebrated for authentically capturing the teenage disposition and for its terrific young actors. Five high school students from different cliques are forced to get to know each other during Saturday detention, allowing each to tell their own story and see the others a little differently than they did before. Despite its standout performances and preservation in the United States National Film Registry for being culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant, the 1985 film has certain problematic aspects that haven't aged well. The film was called out by star Molly Ringwald in 2018.
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Peacock with a Premium membership. UNIVERSAL / AA Film Archive / Alamy Stock Photo 12. Bridesmaids (2011)
If you could use a good laugh (and couldn't we all right about now?),
Bridesmaids is the perfect cinematic world to sink into. When Annie (Kristen Wiig) is asked to serve as her lifelong best friend's (Maya Rudolph) maid of honor, she is forced to confront her own struggles as she and the other bridesmaids suffer through a series of hilariously unfortunate events along the bumpy road to the wedding. The brilliant cast, featuring standout performances from Wiig, Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Melissa McCarthy, Rebel Wilson, Chris O'Dowd, Franklyn Ajaye, and Jill Clayburgh, bring an abundance of comedy chops, charm, and heart to the film, while the smart screenplay (by Wiig and Annie Mumolo — who recently reunited on the film ) deftly balances laugh-out-loud gags and touching moments that keep it feeling fresh throughout. Whether you're tuning in for the first time or coming back for another round, Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar Bridesmaids is the wedding gift that keeps on giving.
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Peacock for free. Suzanne Hanover/©Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection 13. *Brokeback Mountain (2006)
Based on a 1997 short story by Annie Proulx,
Brokeback Mountain was released in 2006 to strong reactions. Conservative pundits spent a lot of airtime complaining that it pushed a "gay agenda," and there was unfortunately no shortage of homophobic jokes circulating, but serious viewers recognized it as a gorgeously composed, impeccably acted love story that was sure to be the darling of awards season — which it was, bringing home Oscars for Best Director (Ang Lee's first Best Director win, making him the first non-white director to receive the award and the only nominee of Asian descent throughout the decade), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score, as well as nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Heath Ledger), Best Supporting Actor (Jake Gyllenhaal), Best Supporting Actress (Michelle Williams), and Best Cinematography. Powerful performances from Ledger, Gyllenhaal, Williams, and Anne Hathaway, combined with masterful direction from Lee, results in a quietly moving film whose devastating ending lingers long after the credits roll. Its success drove major film studios to eagerly back queer-themed projects, and it's been credited with influencing countless movies and TV shows, leaving a lasting legacy that solidifies it as a film worth revisiting for years to come.
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Peacock for free. Focus Films / Courtesy Everett Collection 14. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
This meta-comedy horror movie is a smorgasbord of winking slasher flick clichés, witty laughs, and unflinching gore, with filmmakers Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon conceiving of the film as both an homage to and critique of their favorite bloody genres. Critics praised its cleverly dense layers of references and ability to move from genuinely frightening to hilarious with ease, as well as the cast — including Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, and Bradley Whitford — for delivering standout performances despite the film's well-trodden concept of college friends being picked off by zombies in a remote cabin. The addition of scientists (Jenkins and Whitford) manipulating the supernatural forces brings an extra sense of mystery to the plot that veers between by-the-numbers tropes and unexpected turns.
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Peacock for free. Diyah Pera/©Lionsgate/Courtesy Everett Collection 15. * Crooklyn (1994)
This semi-autobiographical film showcases a warmer and more sentimental side of iconic filmmaker Spike Lee, and was co-written with his siblings Joie and Cinqué Lee to depict a fictionalized version of their childhoods in Bed-Stuy in the early '70s. After financial troubles force the Carmichaels to postpone their family trip, nine-year-old Troy Carmichael — played by Zelda Harris (
The Baby-Sitters Club) — is sent to her affluent relatives' home in the south for the summer where she feels alienated despite enjoying spending time with her cousin. After receiving a letter from her mother (Alfre Woodard), Troy returns home to Brooklyn where she is confronted with facts about life and loss that change her forever. This touching film features classic songs from the '60s and '70s, heartfelt performances from the excellent cast, and a distinctive visual style, making it one of the less appreciated offerings in Lee's oeuvre that deserves more attention.
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Peacock for free. David Lee / © Unviersal Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection 16. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Matthew McConaughey is at his absolute best in his portrayal of Ron Woodroof, a Texas electrician and rodeo cowboy who is shocked to discover that he has AIDS and is told he has only 30 days to live. Instead of greeting that news with despair, he reacts with defiance, looking for alternative therapies, smuggling unapproved drugs over the border, and selling treatments to the ever-growing number of people who have been utterly failed by the US medical system. While the film was praised for McConaughey's incredible physical transformation and for its heartbreaking look back to the era when the AIDS crisis was met with horrific anti-gay prejudice and a stunning lack of humanity, it also received criticism for the casting of Jared Leto in the role of a transgender woman.
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Peacock for free. Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection 17. Darkman (1990)
If you like your horror movies to veer more toward the superhero variety, this 1990 film starring Liam Neeson and Frances McDormand is full of thrills, laughs, darkness, and ambitious action sequences that are sure to scratch that itch. When Dr. Peyton Wilder (Neeson) is attacked and left disfigured by a ruthless mobster, he undergoes treatment for his injuries that ultimately fails, but unexpectedly leaves him with super-human abilities. He channels these powers into a phantom avenger persona called Darkman who is able to infiltrate the criminal community thanks to his malleable facial qualities. This movie was lauded by critics for blurring the lines between horror, sci-fi, action, comedy, romance, drama, and more into a singular vision while also being more faithful to the look and style of comic books than other films of the era. If you approved of writer-director Sam Raimi's handling of superhero characters in the 2000's
trilogy or are fans of his horror offerings like Spider-Man (1981) and The Evil Dead (2009), it's worth checking out the way he merges these various influences in Drag Me to Hell Darkman.
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Peacock for free. Universal / Â©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection 18. Dave Made a Maze (2017)
This unconventional horror comedy adventure movie impressively stretches its tiny budget to create a bold visual world of its own. Writer-director Bill Watterson's imaginative debut starts with a frustrated artist named Dave (Nick Thune) who winds up getting trapped in a cardboard fort he built in his living room while his girlfriend Annie (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) was out of town. When Annie returns, she calls on a group of friends and quirky characters to help rescue Dave, but they soon find out that the fort is somehow much bigger once they are inside, *and* it's packed with deadly traps and creatures. The maze itself is possibly the true star of this quirky indie flick, which uses practical effects to immerse audiences in gorgeous, whimsical sets, inside of which a once-straightforward seeming plot goes off the rails and asks that you join in on its absurd journey. You'll be glad you did.
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Peacock for free. Gravitas Ventures / Courtesy Everett Collection 19. Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors (2015)
While the saccharine, faith-based aspect of this made-for-television Dolly Parton drama sometimes falls a little flat, the movie as a whole ultimately proves itself to be as wholesome and watchable as the beloved icon herself. Alyvia Alyn Lind plays young Dolly, a talented and rebellious 9 year old whose struggling family is doing their best to get by in 1955 Tennessee. The storyline is based on the lyrics of Parton's 1971 hit ballad "Coat of Many Colors" — which she penned about the time her poverty-stricken mother (impressively portrayed here by country singer Jennifer Nettles) stitched together a coat for young Dolly made from rags given to the family, telling the biblical story of Joseph and his Coat of Many Colors as she sewed. But when Dolly arrived at school feeling proud to wear the coat her mother made, she was confronted by bullies who made fun of it. Meanwhile, the film shows her family reeling from the death of Dolly's baby brother amid marital problems that lead them into dark times where they find that their only path to lightness is through their shared faith — a point the film makes in no uncertain terms, yet somehow does so without being overly preachy. While there's plenty of talk throughout about Jesus, salvation, and church, this holiday special's main takeaways are lessons in humility, self-worth, relationships, loss, overcoming adversity, and the importance of love. Parton herself even appears at the beginning and end of the special to greet viewers from a sparkling Christmas sleigh and offer commentary on the morals of the story. If you're willing to let it, this sweet, well-intentioned movie will charm you while giving you a glimpse into the life of a legend we love to love.
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Peacock for free. Quantrell Colbert / ©NBC / Courtesy: Everett Collection 20. Erin Brockovich (2000)
Julia Roberts is unforgettable in her Oscar-winning portrayal of Erin Brockovich, a legal clerk and activist who fought to hold energy corporation Pacific Gas and Electric responsible for their role in the Hinkley groundwater contamination incident. While there's debate around how some of the plot lines up with the real-life facts, screenwriter Susannah Grant and director Steven Soderbergh do an excellent job balancing the legal drama with Brockovich's own emotional story arc. They mix in enough humor and inspiration to make this powerful film a consistently engaging watch. Both earned Oscar noms for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director, and the film also nabbed a nomination for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Albert Finney, who played Brockovich's attorney Ed Masry. (Most recently, Soderbergh was tapped for the Herculean task of producing the pandemic Oscars.)
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Peacock for free. Universal / courtesy Everett Collection 21. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Brought to you by the dream team (no pun intended) Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry,
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a twisty love story unlike any other. Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey give phenomenally vulnerable performances as a couple who break up and decide to undergo a procedure to erase their memories of each other. Elements of sci-fi and romance are expertly melded by Gondry, who brings Kaufman’s Oscar-winning original script to life. The entire film feels like a vivid fever dream that’ll break your heart — Jon Brion's score certainly factors in here — and give you hope at the same time.
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Peacock for free. Focus Features / courtesy Everett Collection 22. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
From the moment the words "E.T. phone home" first rang out across theaters, audiences all over the world were smitten with one of Steven Spielberg's most lovable characters — a gentle alien stranded on Earth and befriended by a young boy and his siblings. This film was so much of an instant hit that it snatched the crown of highest-grossing film of all time from
and held onto it for 11 years...before the title was claimed by yet another Spielberg classic, Star Wars It also brought home four Academy Awards and was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant," solidifying what moviegoers already knew — that this iconic movie was one of the best of its kind. Still equally beloved by both kids and adults, Jurassic Park. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is full of warmth, humor, thrills, wonder, and more that keep audiences from all demographics coming back to get in touch with their inner child.
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Peacock with a Premium membership. Universal Pictures/ Courtesy Everett Collection 23. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Despite being a box office flop maligned by critics as aimless, bizarre, and incoherent, this film adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's 1971 novel of the same name remains a cult favorite that introduced countless viewers to Thompson's trailblazing style of Gonzo journalism. Johnny Depp plays Raoul Duke (a fictionalized version of Thompson) who drives a convertible across the Mojave Desert with his attorney Dr. Gonzo (Benicio del Toro) and a suitcase jam-packed with mind-altering substances, which the two consume at an alarming rate on their trek to Vegas. This leads to a variety of drug-addled adventures and predicaments involving the trashing of a hotel room, a run in with a police officer (Gary Busey), and, naturally, hallucinations of giant lizards. Some audiences saw the film as a tale of nostalgia for the hope and promise of the '60s combined with a critique of run-of-the-mill journalism and a skewering of the American dream through the lens of Sin City's capitalistic excesses — but you'll just have to stream it for yourself to decide if those audiences were onto something.
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Peacock for free. Fear and Loathing LLC / Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection 24. *A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
This iconic Spaghetti Western film, directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood in his first leading role, kickstarted the genre's popularity and spawned the classic followups
For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly — which is also available to watch on Peacock for free! Leone's distinctive visual style — influenced by Akira Kurosawa and John Ford — as well as a landmark soundtrack from visionary composer Ennio Morricone came to not only define a new era of Westerns, but would go on to influence countless films across a variety of genres that bare more than a striking resemblance to this original trilogy (Tarantino, Hans Zimmer, the Coen Brothers, and Radiohead are just a few of the many filmmakers and musicians who have drawn from this stylistic well). Using Akira Kurosawa's film Yojimbo as his template, Leone crafted the leading character, The Man With No Name — a morally ambiguous anti-hero who inserts himself into the middle of a long-simmering battle in a Mexican village, selling false information to both sides for his own benefit. Despite a cool initial response from critics, the role would catapult Eastwood to fame in both Italy and the US, and the film would go on to be considered one of the greatest in the genre.
Watch it on
Peacock with a Premium membership. Jolly Film / MXMLXIV / Courtesy Everett Collection 25. The Harry Potter series (2001–11) 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.
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Peacock with a premium membership. cineclassico / Alamy Stock Photo 26. Hollywoodland (2006)
This intriguing neo-noir film follows a fictional detective (Adrien Brody) investigating the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of real-life actor George Reeves (portrayed here by Ben Affleck), who played Superman in the '50s. While the events are mainly fictional, the excellent cast and strong writing, direction, and production values give this parable on the perils of fame legs, patiently fleshing out the characters while moving at a slow but deliberate pace. Affleck was nominated for a Golden Globe for his deft portrayal of the late movie star, and the film garnered positive reviews from critics while debuting at number two at the box office. And despite its tendency to leave viewers with more questions than answers about Reeve's strange death, it's well worth the ride for anyone interested in a glimpse into the life of a troubled icon.
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Peacock for free. Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection 27. I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story (2015)
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 proves 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 continues to touch well into his eighties. 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.
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Peacock for free. Tribeca Film 28. Izzy Gets the F Across Town (2018)
This film is an exhilarating journey that hinges on Mackenzie Davis's (
, Happiest Season , Tully ) 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. Black Mirror
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Peacock for free. Shout! Factory /Courtesy Everett Collection 29. * Meet the Parents (2000)
This hilariously uncomfortable comedy includes just about every awful thing that could happen to a person visiting their partner's parents for the first time. Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) wants to propose to his girlfriend Pam (Teri Polo), but decides to do so after meeting her parents, Jack and Dina (Robert De Niro and Blythe Danner) at her sister's wedding. Unfortunately, things quickly start to unravel when Jack, an intimidating former CIA agent, continuously ridicules Greg and makes it clear that he doesn't really care for him. Despite his well-meaning intentions to win over Pam's parents, Greg finds himself in increasingly cringeworthy situations — think flooded toilets, lost pets, and a broken nose — that begin to threaten not only his relationship with Pam, but her sister's entire wedding. De Niro's brooding intensity and Stiller's hapless nervousness make for a perfect pairing in this slapstick romcom, and Owen Wilson's brief appearance adds to the awkward hilarity. While the ensuing sequels
Meet the Fockers (2004) and Little Fockers (2010) never quite lived up to the original, their star-studded casts alone (adding Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Alba, Laura Dern, Kevin Hart, and others to the mix) make them worth a watch as well, and thankfully they too are featured on Peacock this month!
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Peacock for free. Universal / courtesy Everett Collection 30. A Most Beautiful Thing (2020)
An inspiring documentary about the Manley High rowing team,
A Most Beautiful Thing tells the tale of a group of young Black men from the West Side of Chicago who, despite many being 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, who tell their own stories that 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 in the times we live in.
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Peacock for free. 50 Eggs Films / Courtesy Everett Collection 31. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
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 and further cemented its legacy by directly influencing movies like 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 gives it an almost documentary-like atmosphere, making the horrors that unfold all the more horrifying and going on to influence not just countless zombie flicks, but also filmmakers across a variety of genres with small budgets and big ideas. Get Out
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Peacock for free. Image Ten / Via Courtesy Everett Collection 32. Notting Hill (1999)
This 1999 rom-com about an unlikely romance between an American celebrity (Julia Roberts) and a London bookseller (Hugh Grant) earned positive reviews from reviewers and audiences alike — breaking records at the box office and nabbing Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical, Best Motion Picture Actor – Comedy/Musical (Grant), and Best Motion Picture Actress – Comedy/Musical (Roberts). Critics praised the well-told love story for being clever and funny, and the likable leads for their strong performances and undeniable chemistry, as their characters struggle to reconcile their vastly different lifestyles despite falling deeper in love. Is the movie somewhat flawed and unrealistic? Absolutely! But whether you view it as a comment on the nature of celebrity or simply as a heartwarming love story, its charms are powerful enough to make every rewatch well worth it. However, if this is your first time, maybe wait until
after watching to read about Hugh Grant's idea for a sequel that some fans have found...depressing.
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Peacock for free. Polygram Filmed Entertainment / Universal / courtesy Everett Collection 33. October Sky (1999)
This inspirational coming-of-age story treads familiar thematic territory, but does so with such depth and sincerity that even the more predictable moments are effective and compelling. Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, and Laura Dern deliver moving performances, while director Joe Johnston pulls the right strings at just the right time in this expertly crafted, perfectly paced family film about following your dreams. Based on the true story of Homer "Sonny" Hickam (as recounted in his 1998 memoir,
Rocket Boys), October Sky follows high school-aged Hickam (Gyllenhaal) as he works to achieve his goal of one day becoming a rocket scientist — against the wishes of his father (Cooper), who expects all of his sons to follow in his footsteps working in the coal mine. That doesn't stop Homer or his friends from constructing and launching small rockets with the help of their sympathetic science teacher (Dern), who oversees their trials and errors with much-needed support and encouragement. If you're in the mood for a heartfelt movie that offers a portrait of the sometimes tough family dynamics of the post-war era, or are someone whose interest in rocket fuel was rekindled by the recent SpaceX launch, October Sky should be on your list!
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Peacock for free. MCA / Courtesy Everett Collection 34. Olympic Pride, American Prejudice (2016)
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 doc focuses on the 18 Black athletes from the United States who participated, poring through 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 inequality both at home and overseas. The tale of track and field star Jesse Owens' four gold medal wins dismantling 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 making up just a few of the ways Black people in sports are unfairly targeted, this documentary remains a vital look into the underbelly of racism that persists in the American and the global sporting world today.
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Peacock for free. Gravitas Ventures / courtesy Everett Collection 35. Parenthood (1989)
This feel-good 1989 family comedy-drama is one of the best of its kind, showcasing the trials and tribulations of parenthood through four related families. The delightful cast features outstanding performances from Steve Martin, Joaquin Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest, Tom Hulce (
, Amadeus ), Rick Moranis ( National Lampoon's Animal House , Ghostbusters ), Martha Plimpton ( Honey, I Shrunk the Kids , The Goonies ), and Jason Robards ( Raising Hope ), who have incredible chemistry, making the familial bonds feel all the more genuine and moving. The story follows a perfectionist father named Gil (Martin), who interprets his children's struggles as reflections of poor parenting on his part, his sister (Wiest), who is dealing with her daughter's (Plimpton) teenage pregnancy, their other sister (Kozak), who is trying to convince her husband (Moranis) to have more children, and their brother (Hulce), who is having a hard time handling his young son. Thoughtful direction from Ron Howard balances expertly timed moments of humor with touching looks at the ups and downs of being a parent. And while many movies with this broad of a scope have trouble adequately developing the ambitious number of featured parts, this film pulls it off with ease! Despite its age, there's something truly universal in this perceptive slice of life that makes it just as engaging to watch now as it was when it first hit theaters. Oh, and FWIW, NBC's television series All the President's Men — also Parenthood available to stream on Peacock — is loosely based on this Howard classic.
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Peacock for free. Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection 36. Prince: Sign o' the Times (1987)
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 bombastic 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 wanna crank up the TV and get lost in some of the greatest music ever made.
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Peacock for free. Cineplex-Odeon Films/Courtesy Everett Collection 37. Psycho (1960)
Often considered one of the greatest films of all time, Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 classic is a masterclass in artful horror. Its iconic performances, brilliant direction, and chilling score set the tone for countless horror movies to come and is still thrilling and shocking viewers decades later. Helpful tip: you might wanna consider taking a shower
before watching this movie instead of after. Trust us.
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Peacock for free. Shamley Productions / Courtesy Everett Collection 38. * Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970)
If you're looking to get into the Christmas spirit, this classic stop-motion special from 1970 is a great place to start! Both adults and little ones will love the holly jolly retelling of Santa Claus's origin story, full of giddy renditions of Christmas songs, delightfully intricate wood-figure animation, and charming voice performances from Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney, Keenan Wynn, Robie Lester, Joan Gardner, and Paul Frees. The mood is so decidedly cheery, that not even a villain named Burgermeister Meisterburger can spoil the lighthearted kindness that radiates from this brightly colored, somewhat trippy movie. And during a
particularly stressful holiday season (thanks Omicron!), that sounds like exactly the kind of escape from reality we all need.
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Peacock for free. Rankin/Bass Productions / Via Courtesy Everett Collection 39. Shaolin (2011)
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.
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Peacock for free. VARIANCE FILMS/WELL GO USA / Album / Alamy Stock Photo 40. Short Term 12 (2013)
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 stratospheric fame, critics recognized the brilliance on display — and rightfully so.
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Peacock for free. Cinedigm / Courtesy Everett Collection 41. The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show (2020)
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 Rev. Dr. 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 as well as frustration toward how many of the issues of the time have yet to be resolved. Belafonte, now 93, 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.
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Peacock for free. Peacock Original 42. Train to Busan (2016)
If you enjoyed Gong Yoo's appearance as "The Salesman" in Netflix's smash hit
, 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. Squid Game
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Peacock for free. Well Go USA Entertainment /Courtesy Everett Collection 43. The Wiz (1978)
This 1978 adaption of
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz features a star-studded, all-Black cast and reframes the classic story of Dorothy's adventure around the Black experience. This spectacular production, set in a New York–like Oz, still holds up all these years later, in part due to excellent performances from Diana Ross, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Theresa Merritt, Thelma Carpenter, Lena Horne, and Richard Pryor, as well as rousing musical numbers and a palpable sense of joy. While reviews were mixed at the time, there is a lot to love about this splashy, revolutionary take on a Broadway classic that is still a rite of passage for countless viewers young and old.
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Peacock for free. Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection * Denotes title has been newly added to Peacock for December. There are so many things you can watch on Peacock for free, but if you want even more content, you can sign up for Peacock Premium for $4.99 a month or Peacock Premium Plus for $9.99 a month after a seven-day free trial. View comments