The Best Movies on Peacock Right Now (June 2021)

Have you picked out your streaming service for the summer months ahead? As one of the more recent streamers, Peacock is shoring up its lineup of films. The good news is that some of these movies are free to watch via Peacock’s free tier. And as we like to say, nothing beats free! The bad news is that more and more of the new additions are only available on Peacock’s premium tier. But that’s still a pretty good deal, all things considered. There are so many great flicks that you’ll be set for a long time. To get you started, here’s a list of the best movies you can watch on Peacock right now.

Can’t find anything you like on Peacock? Lucky for you, we’ve also curated guides to the best movies on Netflix, the best movies on Hulu, and the best movies on Amazon Prime Video.

American Beauty

American Beauty (1999)

Director Sam Mendes’ American Beauty was the breakout film of 1999, and it took home several Oscars, including Best Picture. Within the film, Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is a profoundly unhappy man who is trapped in a loveless marriage with his wife, Carolyn (Annette Bening), and alienated from their daughter, Jane (Thora Birch). Lester’s mid-life crisis hits full swing when he becomes obsessed with Jane’s friend, Angeles Hayes (Mena Suvari). Meanwhile, Jane gets close with her new neighbor, Ricky Fitts (Wes Bentley), and she comes to appreciate his ability to see beauty through the lens of his camera.

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Allison Janney, Peter Gallagher, Mena Suvari
Director: Sam Mendes
Rating: R
Runtime: 122 minutes

Watch on Peacock

Bruce Almighty

Bruce Almighty (2003)

What would you do if you had the powers of God? That’s the premise of Bruce Almighty. Poor Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey) is having a real rough stretch in his life, and he takes out his frustrations on God. Much to Bruce’s surprise, God (Morgan Freeman) personally answers Bruce’s prayers in person and temporarily hands off his powers. But while Bruce is initially able to make life good for himself and his girlfriend, Grace Connelly (Jennifer Aniston), he soon loses control of his god-like abilities. No matter what Bruce does, he can’t alter free will, and he can’t make Grace stay with him when he messes up their relationship.

Rotten Tomatoes: 48%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Jim Carrey, Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Aniston, Philip Baker Hall, Steve Carell
Director: Tom Shadyac
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 101 minutes

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Fast Five

Fast Five (2011)

Later this summer, The Fast and the Furious saga will reach its ninth film, F9. But you can check out one of the best installments on Peacock. Fast Five really solidified the series’ shift from street racing to action-heist flicks as Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), and their crew go up against one of their most formidable foes to date: Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). To complicate things even further, Dom and the crew are also pursued by Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), an international drug lord who will stop at nothing to regain the intel key to his criminal enterprise.

Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
Genre: Action
Stars: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Dwayne Johnson, Ludacris
Director: Justin Lin
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 130 minutes

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Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters (1984)

The original Ghostbusters film is still the best, and the supernatural comedy remains unmatched nearly four decades later. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) prove the existence of ghosts and successfully launch a business to get rid of them. In fact, business is so brisk that Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) is hired to round out the team. But when the team meets Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), the Ghostbusters are drawn into an apocalyptic plot that may lead to the end of the world.

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis
Director: Ivan Reitman
Rating: PG
Runtime: 105 minutes

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The Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker (2009)

The Hurt Locker is another Best Picture winner on this list and one of the most memorable war films ever made. Jeremy Renner stars as Sergeant First Class William James, a maverick bomb disposal expert on assignment in Iraq. William’s antics quickly earn him the ire of his colleagues, Sergeant J. T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty). And while Williams faces constant danger from Iraq’s insurgents, he also has to watch his back when J.T. contemplates killing him. The tensions are always high in the desert, and not everyone gets to go home intact.

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Genre: Thriller
Stars: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Rating: R
Runtime: 131 minutes

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Meet the Parents

Meet the Parents (2000)

Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller are an unlikely comedic duo in Meet the Parents. Stiller plays Greg Focker, a nurse who is eager to propose to his girlfriend, Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo), during a trip home for her sister’s wedding. Unfortunately for Greg, Pam’s father is Jack Byrnes (De Niro), a former CIA operative who immediately dislikes his potential son-in-law. After Greg is subjected to a lie detector test and other indignities, he quickly becomes his own worst enemy with a number of embarrassing screw-ups. Greg and Pam really do love each other, but that love is put to the test.

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo, James Rebhorn, Jon Abrahams
Director: Jay Roach
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 108 minutes

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The Matrix

The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix is one of the seminal films of 1999, and it still holds up as one of the best action flicks of the last 25 years. Keanu Reeves stars as Neo, a hacker who has come to suspect that something is very wrong with his world. Thanks to the efforts of Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), Neo is brought before Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), the man who knows the truth about the Matrix. Morpheus believes that Neo is the key to taking down the Matrix and freeing the souls trapped within. But the malevolent Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) may eliminate Neo long before he can achieve his destiny.

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Genre: Action, Sci-fi
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano
Director: The Wachowskis
Rating: R
Runtime: 136 minutes

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Milk

Milk (2008)

Just in time for Pride Month, Peacock has added Milk, director Gus Van Sant’s biopic about Harvey Milk (Sean Penn). The real Harvey was one of the first openly gay men to achieve political office in the United States. He moved across the country to find acceptance. And yet Harvey’s political ambitions cost him his romantic relationships. The film also tracks Harvey’s connection to Dan White (Josh Brolin), the disgruntled politician whose anger and hate gave way to a national tragedy. Regardless of Dan’s actions, Harvey’s story is still aspirational.

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, Diego Luna, James Franco
Director: Gus Van Sant
Rating: R
Runtime: 128 minutes

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National Lampoon's Animal House

National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)

Welcome to “double-secret probation.” National Lampoon’s Animal House is a wildly hilarious comedy that revisits the early ‘60s at Faber College. Freshmen outcasts Lawrence “Pinto” Kroger (Tom Hulce) and Kent “Flounder” Dorfman (Stephen Furst) find acceptance among John “Bluto” Blutarsky (John Belushi) and the rest of Delta Tau Chi. Unfortunately for the Deltas, Dean Vernon Wormer (John Vernon) hates them with a passion. That’s why he enlists Omega Theta Pi in his quest to get the Deltas expelled from school. The escalating war of pranks pushes the Dean to his breaking point and threatens to break up the Deltas for good. Fortunately, Bluto’s not going to let that happen without a fight.

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: John Belushi, Tim Matheson, John Vernon, Verna Bloom, Thomas Hulce
Director: John Landis
Rating: R
Runtime: 109 minutes

Watch on Peacock

Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman (1990)

Julia Roberts quickly became a star after Pretty Woman hit theaters in 1990. She plays Vivian Ward, a prostitute who has an unexpected connection with corporate raider Edward Lewis (Richard Gere). Edward is so impressed by Vivian’s personality and spirit that he hires her to pose as his girlfriend for a week. It proves to be a transformative experience for both of them, as Vivian moves away from her profession and Edward starts to embrace his softer side. Yet, the way they met lingers over them and threatens to destroy their burgeoning relationship.

Rotten Tomatoes: 64%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, Ralph Bellamy, Jason Alexander, Héctor Elizondo, Laura San Giacomo
Director: Garry Marshall
Rating: R
Runtime: 119 minutes

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Casino

Casino (1995)

It’s hard to go wrong with a Martin Scorsese crime epic. And for Casino, Scorsese reunited Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, while adding Sharon Stone to the mix. In the 1970s, Sam “Ace” Rothstein (De Niro) is hired by the mob to oversee their gambling operation in Las Vegas. While greatly increasing profits, Sam has a tumultuous relationship with his lover-turned-wife, Ginger McKenna (Stone). Sam even befriends Nicky Santoro (Pesci), the enforcer sent to protect the mob’s interests. Unfortunately, the good times don’t last forever. And Sam can’t trust anyone as the walls close in on him.

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, Don Rickles, Kevin Pollak, James Woods
Director: Martin Scorsese
Rating: R
Runtime: 178 minutes

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The Bourne Identity

The Bourne Identity (2002)

You know his name. Matt Damon made his debut as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity, and it created a modern action franchise. In the initial film, Jason awakens without his memory after suffering gunshot wounds. While trying to piece together his past, Jason learns that he is a highly skilled fighter. He also befriends a young woman named Marie Kreutz (Franka Potente) while they are both pursued by an assassin known as The Professor (Clive Owen). The people who gave Jason his orders want to silence him forever. That’s easier said than done. Trying to have Jason killed just pisses him off.

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Genre: Action, Thriller
Stars: Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Chris Cooper, Clive Owen, Brian Cox, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Director: Doug Liman
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 119 minutes

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Parenthood

Parenthood (1989)

Parenthood may look like a comedy on the surface, but it has plenty of drama as well. It revolves around the trials and tribulations of the extended Buckman family. Steve Martin leads the large ensemble cast as Gilbert Buckman, a man who loses faith in his abilities as a father when he realizes that his children need therapy for their emotional issues. With a fourth child on the way, Gil doesn’t know who he can turn to. Gil’s father, Frank Buckman (Jason Robards), has problems of his own when his other son, Larry Buckman (Tom Hulce), shows up with his new child while on the run from criminals. The family can and does pull together, but not everyone has what it takes to be a parent.

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Stars: Steve Martin, Joaquin Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, Tom Hulce, Rick Moranis, Martha Plimpton
Director: Ron Howard
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 124 minutes

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King Kong

King Kong (2005)

After making the Lord of the Rings trilogy, director Peter Jackson could have made any movie. But what he really wanted to do was remake King Kong. And his remake does stay fairly close to the original film, with director Carl Denham (Jack Black) arranging a fateful trip to Skull Island with a motley crew of characters. An actress named Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) and a screenwriter, Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody), also come on the voyage. What they find is Kong, the eighth wonder of the world. Unfortunately, they make the mistake of bringing him home with them.

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Genre: Adventure, Action
Stars: Andy Serkis, Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Colin Hanks
Director: Peter Jackson
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 187 minutes

Watch on Peacock

The World's End

The World’s End (2013)

Director Edgar Wright reassembled Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for the final installment in his Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy. In The World’s End, Pegg plays Gary King, a forty-something alcoholic who is unhappy with his life. To recapture his youthful spark, Gary reunites with his friends Andrew Knightley (Frost), Oliver Chamberlain (Martin Freeman), Peter Page (Eddie Marsan), and Steven Prince (Paddy Considine), to complete an epic pub crawl. Unfortunately for Gary and his buddies, their night of revelry soon uncovers an alien invasion. And that knowledge lands them in more trouble than they ever imagined.

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Genre: Sci-fi, Comedy
Stars: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike, Pierce Brosnan
Director: Edgar Wright
Rating: R
Runtime: 109 minutes

Watch on Peacock

Dazed and Confused

Dazed and Confused (1993)

Dazed and Confused is a cult classic stoner comedy with a ridiculously stacked cast of future stars, such as Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey. But the crux of the movie revolves around Randall “Pink” Floyd (Jason London), a high school junior looking ahead to his senior year on the last day of school. While the incoming freshmen are hazed, Pink rejects that tradition. Instead of harassing Mitch Kramer (Wiley Wiggins), Pink invites the freshman student to accompany him and his friends for a night of partying and unexpected self-reflection. Don’t worry, it’s still a comedy first and foremost.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Jason London, Wiley Wiggins, Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Sasha Jenson, Michelle Burke, Christine Harnos
Director: Richard Linklater
Rating: R
Runtime: 102 minutes

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Elizabeth

Elizabeth (1998)

It’s good to be the queen, even when your life is nothing but constant turmoil. In Elizabeth, Cate Blanchett had a star-making turn as Elizabeth I. Elizabeth came to power centuries before, back when it was practically unheard of for a woman to wield such power. That’s one of the reasons why Elizabeth’s enemies will do almost anything they can to diminish her and seize control of the throne for themselves. At least Elizabeth has a discreet romantic relationship with Lord Robert Dudley (Joseph Fiennes). But can anyone truly be trusted in Elizabeth’s court? Don’t be so sure.

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Fiennes, Richard Attenborough
Director: Shekhar Kapur
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 123 minutes

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Despicable Me

Despicable Me (2010)

If you’re looking for a family film option, Despicable Me is a great alternative to the Disney flicks. Steve Carell lends his voice to Gru, a supervillain so nefarious that the Minions willingly serve him on every single one of his nefarious plans. When Gru decides to literally shoot for the moon, by stealing it, he adopts three orphaned sisters: Edith (Dana Gaier), Agnes (Elsie Fisher), and Margo (Miranda Cosgrove). Although Gru only did that to get his shrink ray, he finds himself actually caring for his adoptive daughters. This complicates things when even Gru’s followers acknowledge that he’s no longer the same evil genius that he used to be. He has too much love in his heart.

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Miranda Cosgrove, Kristen Wiig, Will Arnett
Director: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
Rating: PG
Runtime: 95 minutes

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Away From Her

Away From Her (2007)

There are some very interesting dilemmas that come up in Away From Her. When Fiona (Julie Christie) suffers from an advanced form of Alzheimer’s disease, her husband, Grant (Gordon Pinsent), reluctantly agrees to put her in a nursing home. In Grant’s brief absence from her life, Fiona not only forgets about him, but she forms an emotional bond with another patient named Aubrey (Michael Murphy). While Grant wonders if this is his wife’s revenge for his own infidelity, Aubrey’s wife, Marian (Olympia Dukakis), makes her presence felt and forces Grant to decide what matters most: His wife’s happiness or his own.

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Julie Christie, Gordon Pinsent, Olympia Dukakis, Michael Murphy, Kristen Thomson
Director: Sarah Polley
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 110 minutes

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Being John Malkovich

Being John Malkovich (2016)

John Malkovich has the unique distinction of not only starring in a movie that’s named after him but also being the MacGuffin of the story. In Being John Malkovich, would-be puppeteer Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) discovers a portal that connects directly to John’s mind. This allows Craig to inhabit the actor and romantically pursue his co-worker, Maxine Lund (Catherine Keener). Unfortunately for Craig, Maxine is far more attracted to Craig’s wife, Lotte (Cameron Diaz), when she uses the portal to inhabit John’s body. As for John, the world-class actor becomes desperate to discover why he’s losing control of himself … and he doesn’t like what he finds.

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, Orson Bean, Mary Kay Place, John Malkovich
Director: Spike Jonze
Rating: R
Runtime: 113 minutes

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Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids (2011)

Bridesmaids is a wild comedy that spins out of the pending marriage of Lillian Donovan (Maya Rudolph). Lillian’s two best friends, Annie Walker (Kristen Wiig) and Helen Harris III (Rose Byrne), develop an intense rivalry while serving as Lillian’s maids of honor. It doesn’t help Annie that she’s at a low point in her life, while Helen is wealthy and resourceful. The rest of the female ensemble cast isn’t afraid to get raunchy, and this movie also launched Melissa McCarthy into greater stardom for her role as Megan Price, another one of Lillian’s maids of honor.

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, Melissa McCarthy
Director: Paul Feig
Rating: R
Runtime: 125 minutes

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Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

It may surprise you that Frank Abagnale, the con artist at the heart of Catch Me If You Can, is a real man whose colorful exploits inspired Steven Spielberg to bring his story to the big screen. While it may not be entirely true, the story certainly makes for an entertaining movie. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Frank, a young man who forges bank checks before embracing his innate talent to pass himself off as a professional pilot, lawyer, and even an attending doctor. FBI Agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) spends years chasing Frank while also developing an appreciation for his skills, which leads to an unexpected friendship between them.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Genre: Crime
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Nathalie Baye
Director: Steven Spielberg
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 139 minutes

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The Constant Gardner

The Constant Gardner (2005)

Ralph Fiennes’ Justin Quayle is the titular character in The Constant Gardener, but his love for horticulture pales in comparison to his feelings for his wife, Tessa Abbott-Quayle (Rachel Weisz). When Tessa’s work as a humanitarian activist leads to her murder in Kenya, Justin pulls out all the stops to discover why his wife was killed. While reminiscing about his life and love with Tessa, Justin uncovers a deadly conspiracy and a pharmaceutical company that is more than willing to kill to protect its secrets.

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Genre: Thriller, Drama
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston, Bill Nighy, Pete Postlethwaite
Director: Fernando Meirelles
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 129 minutes

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The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1990)

There aren’t many movies that can fearlessly pull off an NC-17 rating, but The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover was unique for its time. Richard Bohringer stars as Richard Boarst, aka “The Cook.” But the movie really belongs to Helen Mirren’s Georgina, the wife of a brutal mobster named Albert Spica (Michael Gambon). Both Georgina and Richard have reasons to despise Albert, but it’s bookstore owner Michael (Alan Howard) who wins Georgina’s heart. Albert may not really love his wife, but that doesn’t mean he’ll simply allow her to find happiness with another man.

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Genre: Crime, Drama
Stars: Richard Bohringer, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren, Alan Howard
Director: Peter Greenaway
Rating: NC-17
Runtime: 124 minutes

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Farewell My Lovely

Farewell, My Lovely (1975)

Raymond Chandler’s hard-boiled private detective, Philip Marlowe, isn’t exactly in vogue anymore. But the classics never truly go out of style. In the 1975 adaptation of Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely, Robert Mitchum steps into the role of Philip as he finds himself in the midst of two difficult cases that may be related. In the first, a bank robber named Moose Malloy (Jack O’Halloran) hires Phillip to find his missing girlfriend, Velma (Charlotte Rampling). And in the second case, Phillip is helpless to prevent the murder of his client, Lindsay Marriott (John O’Leary). But not even police intimidation can keep Phillip from finding answers and solving the mystery.

Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Charlotte Rampling, John Ireland, Sylvia Miles, Anthony Zerbe
Director: Dick Richards
Rating: R
Runtime: 95 minutes

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The Motorcycle Diaries

The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

You’ve probably seen Che Guevara’s face on countless T-shirts and posters, but how much do you really know about one of the 20th century’s most famous revolutionaries? The Motorcycle Diaries is based on Che’s own account of his 1952 trip across South America with his friend, Alberto Granado (Rodrigo de la Serna). Back then, Che was simply known as Ernesto Guevara (Gael García Bernal), an idealistic medical student. However, the journey proves to be a transformative experience for Ernesto, as the injustices committed against the native people fuel his new ideology. The Motorcycle Diaries never forgets to portray Ernesto/Che as a man, not an icon. And the problems he fought against remain decades after his demise.

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Gael García Bernal, Rodrigo de la Serna, Mía Maestro
Director: Walter Salles
Rating: R
Runtime: 126 minutes

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The Blues Brothers on Peacock

The Blues Brothers (1980)

They’re Jake and Elwood — the Blues Brothers — and they’re on a mission from God. Starring Dan Aykroyd and the late John Belushi as the titular brothers in the very first film based on popular Saturday Night Live characters, The Blues Brothers is a musical comedy about a pair of siblings trying to save the orphanage that raised them from foreclosure. With guest appearances and musical numbers by Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and more, The Blues Brothers is part music education and part classic SNL-flavored comedy.

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Cab Calloway
Director: John Landis
Rating: R
Runtime: 133 minutes

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Love Actually on Peacock

Love Actually (2003)

While Love Actually is usually considered a Christmas movie, it’s equally suitable for Valentine’s Day. The film ambitiously features multiple storylines that are loosely connected. Perhaps the most crowd-pleasing tale belongs to David (Hugh Grant), the new Prime Minister of England. He falls head over heels for Natalie (Martine McCutcheon). Meanwhile, Mark (Andrew Lincoln) is hopelessly in love with Juliet (Keira Knightley) despite the fact that she just married his best friend, Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Not all of the stories have happy endings, but it’s largely an uplifting film that embraces the virtue of finding someone to love.

Rotten Tomatoes: 64%
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Stars: Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley
Director: Richard Curtis
Rating: R
Runtime: 136 minutes

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Serenity

Serenity (2005)

You don’t necessarily have to watch Joss Whedon’s space western series Firefly before catching Serenity. But it certainly helps. The entire cast returns for this stand-alone adventure, which also features Chiwetel Ejiofor as “the Operative” who has been assigned to kill or retrieve River Tam (Summer Glau) from Serenity’s crew. Inside River’s brain is a secret that can shake the Alliance to its core, and the Operative will stop at nothing to prevent that from happening … even if it means killing every friend and ally of the crew.

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Genre: Sci-fi
Stars: Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Director: Joss Whedon
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 119 minutes

Traffic

Traffic (2000)

Who wins in the war on drugs? Very few, according to director Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic. Through three loosely connected stories, Soderbergh explores the lives of users and dealers, as well as the people dedicated to putting them away. In Mexico, police officer Javier Rodriguez (Benicio del Toro) discovers that he has been used by one crime family to target another. In the United States, Judge Robert Wakefield (Michael Douglas) prepares to become the new drug czar while dealing with his daughter’s increasingly destructive addiction. Meanwhile, Helena Ayala (Catherine Zeta-Jones) learns that her imprisoned husband is a drug lord … and she will have to embrace the dark side of his business to secure her family’s future.

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Douglas, Luis Guzmán
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Rating: R
Runtime: 147 minutes

They Live

They Live (1988)

Long before the Rock made acting look easy, wrestler Roddy Piper headlined John Carpenter’s sci-fi/horror film They Live. Piper’s John Nada was an unassuming drifter until he came across a pair of sunglasses that let him see that the world has been overrun by aliens. Through subliminal messages, the aliens encourage humanity to consume and obey while secretly working with collaborators to bring mankind to its knees. John and his friend, Frank Armitage (Keith David), may be unlikely saviors, but they’re also Earth’s only chance to wake up from this nightmare.

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Genre: Drama, Sci-fi, Horror
Stars: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster
Director: John Carpenter
Rating: R
Runtime: 94 minutes

Drag Me To Hell

Drag Me To Hell (2009)

If there’s a moral to Drag Me To Hell, it’s this: If an elderly woman with vaguely supernatural powers begs you to extend her mortgage, say “yes!” In director Sam Raimi’s return to horror, poor Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) valued her promotion at a bank more than the well-being of her customer, Sylvia Ganush (Lorna Raver). For her heartless decision, Christine is cursed by Sylvia, which will doom her to eternal torment in Hell if she doesn’t find a way to escape its reach. Therein lies the problem, as Christine’s attempt to break the curse leads to even bigger sins. How far is she willing to go to save herself and her soul?

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Genre: Horror
Stars: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver
Director: Sam Raimi
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 99 minutes

Children of Men

Children of Men (2006)

Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men is a masterpiece that has only become more timely in the 14 years since its debut. The movie takes place in a future where a pandemic has rendered almost everyone on Earth incapable of having children. With humanity facing extinction, a cynical man named Theo Faron (Clive Owen) finds himself tasked with protecting Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey), the last woman pregnant on Earth. Theo and Kee’s journey is unrelentingly difficult. But the power of the story and the skill of the filmmakers and actors make this film an unforgettable experience.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Genre: Sci-fi, Drama
Stars: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Rating: R
Runtime: 109 minutes

3:10 To Yuma

3:10 to Yuma (2007)

It’s extremely difficult to improve on a classic Western, but director James Mangold brings a lot of life to the remake of 3:10 to Yuma. Russell Crowe and Christian Bale share the top billing in their respective roles as the outlaw Ben Wade, and an impoverished Civil War veteran named Dan Evans. After Evans has a disastrous encounter with Wade, he is recruited to escort Wade to a prisoner transport train at the specific time in the name of the movie. But there’s treachery afoot, and the two men reach a grudging respect while struggling to survive. It’s a modern classic.

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Genre: Western
Stars: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Peter Fonda
Director: James Mangold
Rating: R
Runtime: 122 minutes

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