If you’ve never spent hours scrolling through Netflix and ultimately landed on … nothing, then consider yourself lucky. For most of us, deciding on a movie can take ages — there’s so many films, how do you pick just one? That’s where we come in. Curating a list of the best movies on streaming services is no easy feat, since there’s so much to choose from. But we’ve gone through it all so you don’t have to — viewing, reviewing and approving the following titles found on Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and The Criterion Channel. We’ve got classics from auteurs, horror flicks, rom-coms, musicals, masterpieces, Greta Gerwig and Alain Delon. So grab some popcorn and hit the lights, we’re about to enter the magical realm of cinema.


The Big Lebowski (1998):

You don’t like our first pick? Well, that’s just like your opinion, man. The Coen Brothers film might seem like a mindless comedy, but there’s more to the Dude’s (Jeff Bridges) adventures than just bowling. There’s a wealth of imagination to this story of mixed identities, noir parodies and blunt-smoking hippies that ties the film together.

The Nightingale (2018):

Jennifer Kent entered our nightmares with her breakout feature The Babadook, and then followed her ghost story with something even more terrifying: a sexist patriarchy. Set in 19th-century Tasmania, the film follows a woman who is brutally assaulted and her journey to get revenge on those who did it. Don’t go in expecting Liam Neeson revenge, however. This is ugly, unwieldy stuff.

Alien (1979):

On your couch, no one can hear you scream. Well, I guess the neighbors can, but that doesn’t stop the feeling of isolation from creeping in while watching Ridley Scott’s Alien. One of the most iconic horror movies ever made, this remains one of the scariest experiences in all of cinema, as Sigourney Weaver’s Final Girl takes on an alien in space.

Anatomy of a Fall (2023):

Did she do it? It’s a question that lingers in the frigid air of Justin Triet’s murder mystery. Nominated for multiple Oscars, the film plays with perspective like a photographer changing lenses, shifting in and out of focus. In one scene, we think Sandra could have killed her husband. In another, we haven’t a clue.

Die Hard (1988):

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(20th Century Studios)

Is it one of the best action movies ever made? Maybe. Is it one of the best Christmas movies ever made? Absolutely. Die Hard is at the top of the skyscraper when it comes to Christmas flicks, adorned with many of the subgenre’s gifts (a snowy setting, a holiday gathering, a bunch of family members) along with a hero who puts bullets in villains.


Roma (2018):

Parasite is cool and all, but Roma should have been the first international feature to win Best Picture. It was projected to win, had some of the finest images ever composed and ebbed and flowed with the tides of memory. There’s never been a childhood film like it. 

Frances Ha (2012):

Before she was directing Barbie, she was one of our favorite actresses on screen. Greta Gerwig’s energy translated perfectly to Frances, a 20-something who is trying to find herself on the streets of New York. It’s familiar stuff, but her husband Noah Baumbach directs it with a unique, spontaneous style that’s part Woody Allen and part French New Wave. 

The Matrix (1999):

The Matrix is one of the most influential films ever made, not just as a revolutionary piece of filmmaking technology but as a commentary on how technology has infiltrated people’s lives. What’s real and what’s online? What’s the difference? Keaunu Reeves enters a rabbit hole deeper than any Reddit thread, and can only come out if he defeats the villains.

The Florida Project (2017):

This is one of the most vibrant and playful movies on the streaming service. Sean Baker’s neo-realist approach to indies, in which he uses handheld cameras, non-actors and realistic plots about financially struggling people, has never been more effective than in this story of children living in a motel. It’s a tale of poverty that feels like a playground.

Phantom Thread (2017):

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(Focus Features)

If your idea of a movie night is repressed romantic suffering, then this is the movie for you. Phantom Thread sees a fashion designer (Daniel Day-Lewis in his final role) falling for one of his models, a waitress who is more independent then he initially thought. A power struggle breaks out over silent glances, harsh words and over cooked toast — a battle every bit as sumptuous and intricate as the dresses on display.

Amazon Prime

Charade (1963):

Audrey Hepburn. Carey Grant. A murder mystery with a side of comedy. What more could you want from a movie night? This is about as entertaining as movies get, with plot twists, lavish locations and movie stars being movie stars. Charade turns a whodunnit into a who-directed-this-movie, I-want-to-know.

The General (1926):

Move over Tom Cruise — there’s another movie star who does his own stunts. Buster Keaton is arguably the first movie star to do his own feats, like running on top of trains, jumping off roofs and standing under collapsing buildings, and he has the bravado of a lion with the heart of a human. A hopeless romantic who enters the war to impress a girl, his character goes through jaw-dropping acts of bravery, all done by Keaton, to win the neverending battle of love.

The Night of the Hunter (1955):

It’s about a murderous “preacher”! Chasing children through the countryside, Robert Mitchum delivers a career-defining performance as a wolf disguised in sheep’s clothing. His “preacher” is after the inheritance of two children who wander through a landscape so mystical it feels like a childhood daydream, where everything seems heightened and nothing seems real.

Chinatown (1974):

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(Paramount Pictures)

Amazon Prime is loaded with classic films, and this is one of their best. There aren’t many noirs on the level of Chinatown, a hazy, erotic thriller about a private eye who gets roped into a conspiracy he didn’t sign up for. To peep into Roman Polanski’s vision is to get a window into an era when mistrust was the norm, when no one believed anyone and institutions were to be avoided. That’s the 70’s for you. 

Apocalypse Now (1979):

The horror, the horror. The unimaginable horror of war is depicted with awe-inspiring grandeur in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, which ran over budget and had more celebrity feuds than the current rap game. Actors complained, producers complained and even the director himself complained. But somehow what’s on screen is eloquently orchestrated.


The Parent Trap (1998):

Many prefer the original, but this one has Lindsay Lohan! In one of the greatest child performances ever, Lohan plays twins who are trying to get their parents back together. There’s laughs, there’s tears, there’s pranks and there’s Lohan, keeping the whole thing together.

Star Wars (1977):

In a galaxy far away, everyone thought Star Wars was going to be a flop. The studio hated it. George Lucas’ friends mocked it. There wasn’t much going for it other than advertising. But then it hit theaters and a galaxy of people watched it. Blockbusters weren’t the same after this space opera, in which Luke Skywalker and his friends take on the dark side.

The Criterion Channel

La Piscine (1969):

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(The Criterion Collection)

The sexiest movie ever made. There’s nothing quite like watching Alain Delon lounge by the pool with his girlfriend. There’s never been a cooler, hotter film, and watching his vacation turn into a thriller when other people arrive is sheer cinematic escapism. The locations are dazzling. The outfits are impeccable. Delon is the definition of a movie star. Take a dip in La Piscine, why don’t you.

8 1/2 (1963):

A movie about a director making a movie about a director making a movie? What is this, movie Inception? Try a portal into the mind of a director. Federico Fellini takes elements of his own life — a circus of friends, family and Italy — and places them on screen for all to see. It’s mesmerizing stuff.

The Red Balloon (1956):

Boy meets balloon. Boy becomes best friends with balloon. Boy tries to keep balloon away from those who try to steal it. It’s a tale we’ve all seen before — well, actually, it isn’t. It’s one of the most original, imaginative and spellbinding premises out there, a wonderful film that sees a red balloon fly across town with a mind of its own. It soars majestically through your mind. 


































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