The top streaming programs — Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Amazon Prime — play host to a veritable labyrinth of movies. Films are constantly coming and going, and it is easy for something great to slip by unnoticed. Especially since Netflix and HBO Max are releasing new movies almost each and every week of 2021. Right now is an excellent time for film fans, but only if you are up to speed on what is new! So we’ve created this list to help you identify the best new releases — both new and classic — which have hit on the major streamers. We update every week, so remember to check back!
Concrete Cowboy (2021)
Caleb McLaughlin (Stranger Things) and Idris Elba star in this coming-of-age drama concerning the Fletcher Street Cowboys, a tight-knit Philadelphia community of Black cowboys. Cole (McLaughlin) is a rebellious teen who continues to ramble from the straight-and-narrow, so he is sent to live with his estranged dad for the summer. It just so happens that his father keeps a horse in the home and can be an urban cowboy.
Legally Blonde (2001)
The classic legal humor that prompted a musical and many sequels, Legally Blonde is one of the 21st century’s most well-known comedies. Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) is a spoiled Beverly Hills rich kid who, upon graduating from UCLA, hopes to marry her college beau, Warner, and live her out as a happy housewife. But if Warner breaks up with her to attend Harvard Law, Elle makes it her mission to win him back by gaining entrance to Harvard herself (what, just like it’s hard?) . But when she’s there, she finds a sleeping area of herself she never knew existed.
The Pianist (2002)
Roman Polanski’s adaptation of Wladyslaw Szpilman’s autobiography”The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945″ won him a Best Director Oscar as well as one for lead Adrien Brody. Brody plays Szpilman, a Polish Jewish radio station pianist who is forced into the Warsaw Ghetto as World War II begins. The movie follows his narrative through his separation from his loved ones during Operation Reinhard and his desperate evasion of Nazi forces one of the ruins of Warsaw.
Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal (2021)
You likely heard about the college admissions scandal that rocked the country’s elite universities, from UCLA and USC into Stanford and Harvard. In this documentary, director Chris Smith uses interviews and reenactments out of wiretap and court transcripts to illustrate just how wealthy parents paid hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to get their children into elite universities through”side doors” made by faculty counselor and conman Rick Singer. The moral shamelessness of the tapes is galling, but the collegiate system is the real target here.
Audrey Hepburn was one of Hollywood’s first icons. An award-winning actress, fashion superstar, humanitarian, and worldwide inspiration, Hepburn transcended boundaries both geopolitical and social to become a beloved sensation. In this intimate portrait, filmmaker Helena Coan examines Hepburn’s remarkable career and the challenges she faced both in and outside the industry.
28 Days Later (2003)
One of the more intriguing zombie movies you will ever see, Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later stars Cillian Murphy as a man who wakes up from a coma to discover London is just plain empty. Following a deadly virus which transforms people into bloodthirsty, rage-filled zombies was discharged from a laboratory, it spread rapidly through the country, infecting all but a few survivors. The man was spared simply by becoming unconscious. As he navigates this frightening new world, he will rely upon some allies to try to work out how far-reaching that this virus is if it is contained to the British island.
Die Hard (1988)
Meet John McClane, a typical New York City cop on a trip to Los Angeles to reconnect with his estranged wife, Holly, at her company’s holiday celebration. Unfortunately, a terrorist organization led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) has directed the business for a significant heist, taking the celebration hostage while they drill into the corporate vaults. By sheer chance, they miss McClane, who evolves to the very badass action hero in film history as he battles the terrorists inside the LA skyscraper.
Attack the Block (2011)
Attack the Block is a traditional entry into the modern B-movie tradition. John Boyega leads a promising youthful cast of South London teens who suddenly find themselves on the front lines of an alien invasion. After all, why would the military attention to secure South London? As they battle the monstrous aliens who have any weapon they can find, things get uproariously gory in a hurry.
Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
It took a while, but if Sony’s live-action version of the popular Sega video game show hit theaters, it was a surprise hit. When the world needs a hero, it instead receives a hedgehog — albeit a very fast hedgehog. But while Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) accidentally knocks out the power grid, he catches the eye of evil genius Dr. Robotnik (a truly infectious Jim Carrey). It lays off a classic tête-à-tête: superhero vs supervillain as Robotnik attempts to exploit Sonic’s power to conquer the entire world.
An early Oscar favorite for 2021, Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland is a strangely familiar yet original revisiting of this 2008 monetary crisis. The film centers around Fern (Frances McDormand), a woman who loses everything throughout the recession and decides to put off on a journey across the American West. Her Grapes of Wrath-esque journey becomes among the two rebirth and poignant directionlessness, where the payoff actually isn’t the destination but the journey itself.
With a star-studded cast including Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, and much more; an adolescent love; a hyper-stylized setting; and a half-million pieces, Moonrise Kingdom might be the most Wes Anderson-est of Wes Anderson movies. It is 1965 in New Penzance, an island off the coast of New England where the community appears immune to the happenings of the rest of the planet. Within this setting, two 12-year-olds (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) have fallen in love and are operating away. Unfortunately, a violent storm is approaching the island, and also the adults should mobilize to discover the kids before they are stuck.
My Cousin Vinny (1992)
Bill and Stan are a couple of New Yorkers on a road trip through the South who have caught in quite the predicament once the owner of a store they just left is killed moments after their death. Imprisoned in a foreign land and penniless, Bill reaches out to the one person who can assist themHis cousin Vinny (Joe Pesci). Vinny, nevertheless, hasn’t won a situation, took six tries to complete law school, and could not possibly stick out more in this podunk Alabama town. Despite overwhelming odds, Vinny brings it together with assistance from his lovely fiancée Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei).
A Simple Plan (1998)
If you’re in a crime drama mood, you’ll love Sam Raimi’s A Simple Plan. Out in the forests near their little town, Hank Mitchell (Bill Paxton), Jacob (Billy Bob Thornton), and Lou (Brent Briscoe) find a crashed airplane with two things in it — a dead pilot and $4 million. Hank is reluctant to keep the cash, but Jacob and Lou convince him otherwise as they devise a strategy to split the money among themselves. Although the program sounds simple, it doesn’t play out like the trio becomes embroiled in a conflict among the community.
Coming 2 America (2021)
Akeem and Semmi are finally back! The long-awaited sequel to the classic comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall has landed on Amazon Prime. Newly crowned King Akeem (Murphy) of Zamunda along with his trusted confidante Semmi (Hall) embark on a fresh experience back to where it began: Queens, New York.
Back to the Future trilogy
Streamers have regularly had Back to the Future and Back to the Future Part II available at varying times over the past year, but today Amazon Prime officially has the entire trilogy. Go back (or forward) in time with Marty McFly at Doc Brown’s DeLorean for a number of the greatest sci-fi tales ever told.
HBO and HBO Max
Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
It’s a real battle of the titans in the newest entry to Warner Bros.. Monsterverse. Construction on the events of Godzilla: King of Monsters, Godzilla has become the last of the creature titans except for one… King Kong, who has been imprisoned in an enclosed, isolated facility on Skull Island for research. Since Godzilla becomes more aggressive toward humanity, the firm Apex Synthetics seeks to drill into a new energy supply from the home of all titans, the Hollow Earth. But they’ll need a titan to guide them there. But taking Kong into the entrance point will prove to be a perilous trip when Godzilla comes searching.
The preeminent golf comedy, Caddyshack follows Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe), a down-on-his-luck teenager who works as a caddy in the snob-infested Bushwood Country Club to make money for college. Hoping to make a college scholarship reserved for caddies, Noonan plays politics by volunteering to caddy for a successful club member while he begs for the Caddy Day golf championship. But when that powerful club member strikes up a beef with New Age golf ace Ty Webb (Chevy Chase), Noonan will find himself torn between his aspirations and his friendship with Webb.
Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
An Eddie Murphy timeless, Beverly Hills Cop (and its two sequels, both on HBO too ) is a beloved cop comedy. After his childhood buddy is murdered in Detroit, police officer Axel Foley (Murphy) follows a lead all the way to Beverly Hills, California, while pretending to take a holiday. Assessing with an old friend, Jenny Summers, he soon realizes that her artwork dealer boss might be involved in the murder. The Beverly Hills Police Department, however, does not take kindly to the outsider meddling from the hoity-toity community.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
Warner Bros. long denied its presence despite fan clamor. However, after years of waffling and denying, the studio eventually conceded an original Zack Snyder cut of those 2017 superhero blockbuster did indeed exist, at least in part. Snyder was superbly replaced on the film by Joss Whedon, who promptly put out one of the most bloated, universally-panned superhero films of recent memory. The massive, four-hour new (old?) Release is faring better from audiences and critics alike. It is only accessible on HBO Max.
Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa is one of the most famous characters in American history. That’s due in part to the fact that they are still producing new entries to the franchise nearly 50 years after the launch of the Oscar-winning 1975 original. On HBO and HBO Max, you can watch the total Rocky franchise, all the way through to 2006’s Rocky Balboa. If you’re looking for a movie marathon, you can do much worse than Rocky.
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