Some days, it feels like there are too many streaming services and too many options. How can you possibly choose what movie to watch next?
For those of you who have Peacock (and why wouldn’t you? Their TV offerings are stacked!), we’re here to help. We’ve combed through the Peacock catalog to bring you the funniest comedies, the most moving dramas, the most suspenseful thrillers, and the all-around best movies for your viewing pleasure. All you need to bring is the popcorn!
Credit: Suzanne Hanover/Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock
If you haven’t seen Bridesmaids, written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, we’re so sorry that you’ve obviously been trapped in a siren’s cave for the last 11 years — because there is simply no other excuse. Bridesmaids was an era-defining film. In 2011, there were still prominent male comedians claiming women couldn’t be funny! Bridesmaids put an end to the debate.
Wiig stars as Annie, a wayward thirty-something who feels out of step with her best friend Lillian (a perfect Maya Rudolph) when she meets the other women in Lillian’s bridal party. What follows is both romantic comedy and buddy flick, stuffed to the brim with punchlines, physical gags, and a repulsive and unforgettable gross-out scene. The entire cast here is flawless: Rose Byrne is delightfully haughty. Jon Hamm is perfect as a hot idiot/ Chris O’Dowd is a swoon-worthy love interest, and Melissa McCarthy was nominated for a dang Oscar for her scene-stealing performance as another misfit bridesmaid. Please escape the siren’s cave and see this legendary comedy — for your own good!
2. The Outfit
Credit: Focus Features
This cleverly twisted crime film was written and directed by Graham Moore, who won an Oscar for his adapted screenplay of The Imitation Game in 2015. The incomparable Mark Rylance stars as a soft-spoken British tailor, who makes beautiful, bespoke men’s suits in 1950s Chicago. Unfortunately, most of his clientele are ruthless mobsters. The majority of the movie takes place in the span of one shocking and breathless night when his gangster clients seek shelter in the shop after an unexpected shootout from a rival organization.
The Outfit is a sophisticated and constantly surprising thriller. As Rylance’s assistant, Zoey Deutch is as charming as always, and Johnny Flynn thrives while playing against type as a no-good ’50s gangster. It’s an absolute gem of a film that will keep you guessing the whole way through.
3. The Fast and Furious franchise
Universal is the proud owner of the Fast and Furious franchise, so in any given month on Peacock, you’ll be able to watch at least one of the nine movies in this ongoing saga of cars going fast and occasionally blowing up. The earlier entries focus more on illegal street racing, whereas the later films expand the action to include heists, spy rings, cyber terrorists, hidden nuclear arsenals, and more. Yet they all orbit a central theme: “There’s a problem, and only this motley crew of street racers can solve it.” Honestly, there’s not much more you need to know!
These movies are high-action, low-substance in the best possible way. They’re fun, they’re truly ridiculous in a self-aware way, and last but not least, the car stunts are absolutely insane. Celebrities love being in Fast and Furious movies, from Vin Diesel and Idris Elba to Dame Helen Mirren, and people love watching them. It’s a no-brainer.
Credit: Mama Bear Studios/Kobal/Shutterstock
Devin Blackmon stars as Dayveon, a young kid in Arkansas struggling in the aftermath of his brother’s death. Unmoored and spending his days listlessly wandering the little town he lives in, he is increasingly drawn to the sense of belonging he finds in a local gang. Directed by Amman Abbasi, with a script by Abbasi and Steven Reneau, Dayveon is a sophisticated and deeply intimate film, made even more incredible by the fact that its cast is primarily made up of non-actors. It’s a moving and beautifully shot story that feels wholly, heartbreakingly real.
The best way to hide a body is to send it back in time, or so goes the prevailing logic of Looper, one of the best science-fiction movies of the last decade. Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a Looper, an assassin in the year 2044. He kills the poor souls that his mob bosses send to him from 30 years in the future. Joe dutifully waits at a specific spot and time for his target to appear so he can do the dirty deed and collect the cash with no one the wiser. The system works perfectly until the day he comes face to face with his latest hit — his future self, played by a superb Bruce Willis.
It’s a fantastic time-travel movie that shines even brighter because of its cast of immensely relatable and grounded characters. Writer and director Rian Johnson’s futuristic world is fascinating, but how Joe grapples with it is even more so. Willis shines in an uncharacteristically antagonistic role, Gordon-Levitt matches Willis’ energy seamlessly, and Emily Blunt is a surprise second-act star. Looper is a breathless thriller, as exciting as it is thought-provoking.
The mid-2010s brought us ombre hair, planking, and #YOLO, but its most enduring cultural addition was a wave of movies about imperfect women. More female-led films at the box office meant there was finally enough space for leading ladies who didn’t have to meet every standard to which we hold the modern women. Movie theaters were flooded with bad moms, anti-heroines, and the sloppiest drunks you’ve ever seen in your life. Enter Trainwreck, a hilarious and irreverent rom-com directed by Judd Apatow and starring Amy Schumer in a role that’s basically her hot mess stand-up persona come to life.
In this hysterical comedy, Schumer and Bill Hader are surprisingly charming together as opposites attract. Plus, John Cena and LeBron James both add an unexpected sparkle to a fun and cheeky romance.
7. Ip Man
Credit: Dreams Salon Culture/Pegasus Motion/Kobal/Shutterstock
Ip Man is an exciting Hong Kong martial arts biopic about the extraordinary life of the Wing Chun grandmaster who was Bruce Lee’s martial arts teacher. The film tracks Ip Man’s journey from the Southern Chinese village where he was well known as a skilled martial artist, to his family’s displacement during the Japanese occupation of the Second Sino-Japanese War, to his eventual rise as a fighter, and his establishment of a school in Hong Kong.
Starring the skillful Donnie Yen, Ip Man doesn’t skimp on character development; it’s an electrifying rumination on philosophy, power, and honor in addition to its stunning action. Ip Man is a deeply influential film in the martial arts genre and, to everyone’s delight, has inspired three equally stirring sequels, all of which are available on Peacock.
8. Harry Potter (The entire series!)
And now the franchise that needs no introduction: Harry Potter. The original eight-movie series starts as a charming coming-of-age tale about a boy wizard learning about magic and ends as a serious and emotional allegory about fighting fascism and the lengths we will go to protect the people we love. Harry Potter is our hero, Ron Weasley our goofy best friend, and Hermione our actual hero, because duh.
Though the quality of the movies vary based on the different directors at the helm and the age of the young leads, the strength of the source material paired with the prodigious gifts of the many, many storied British actors who fill out the sparkling supporting cast assure a satisfying watch. Most agree that the final two movies, each covering half of the last book in the series, are the most enthralling in the group — but you’ll have to watch them all to get what’s going on. So, you might as well start with number one, The Sorcerer’s Stone, and go from there. Poor you! You’re about to have a really great time!
9. Meet the Parents
Stiller vs. De Niro
Credit: hillip V. Caruso/Universal Studios and Dreamworks LLC/Delivered by Online USA/Getty Images
As long as you promise to not become that guy who says “I have nipples, Greg, could you milk me?” at every family get-together, we figure it’s high time to give Meet the Parents a rewatch. We say rewatch because there’s no possible world in which you haven’t seen this movie. It was everywhere. And then its lower-quality sequels were everywhere. And when we say the name Gaylord Focker, you’ll picture Ben Stiller pretending to milk a cat while Robert De Niro looks on in a silent rage. We don’t make the rules!
This is the king of «meeting-the-in-laws» movies, what with De Niro as a former CIA agent surveilling, interrogating, and antagonizing his future son-in-law until Stiller reaches his acting sweet spot: freaking the f*@# out. Like most 2000s comedies, there will be some jokes that no longer work (the humor of Stiller’s character career in nursing comes to mind, not to mention his first name), but the chemistry between the two leads still crackles.
10. Long Way North
This absolutely stunning, hand-drawn film hasn’t garnered as much attention as, say, Pixar’s latest, but that’s no reason to skip this immensely affecting French-Danish tale. Sasha (Christa Théret) is a 15-year-old aristocrat living in 19th-century St. Petersburg, Russia. Determined to find her missing grandfather, a famed explorer, and clear her family’s name, she locates a vessel and sets off with a motley crew into the unforgiving Arctic landscape.
Directed by Rémi Chayé, Long Way North is both an epic adventure and a human drama, exploring themes of empowerment and empathy. What truly makes this 80-minute movie special, though, is its unique artistic style. The snow-covered landscape might be stark, but Long Way North makes the icy world feel both beautiful and alive.
11. Anita: Speaking Truth to Power
Directed by Academy Award-winning documentarian Freida Lee Mock, Anita packed the house when it debuted at Sundance, and it’s no wonder why. This thoughtful documentary is a portrait of Anita Hill, the young lawyer called to testify before the Senate about allegations that she’d been sexually harassed by Supreme Court then-nominee Clarence Thomas — when he was her boss at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, of all things. It’s sobering to watch the calm and poised Hill repeatedly be made to describe her humiliating experiences to a panel of aging, white, male politicians who are visibly uncomfortable and baffled by the subject matter.
Anita is an important, moving primer on a major event in the fight for gender equality, especially for viewers who were perhaps too young to fully grasp their importance at the time. For those who remember the prevailing dismissive public opinion, this documentary offers us a chance to revisit these events with the sober clarity of a post-Weinstein mindset and to learn just how pivotal and galvanizing this moment was in our history.
12. The Big Lebowski
Both the Coen brothers’ most indisputably hilarious film and the greatest cinematic tribute to nihilistic philosophy in history, The Big Lebowski is more than a movie. It is, dear reader, a way of life. Jeff Bridges stars as «The Dude» — a simple Los Angeles man seeking justice after a case of mistaken identity leads a stranger to urinate on his living room rug. Enjoy. – * Alison Foreman, Entertainment Reporter
Every single Coen brothers movie, ranked
13. Despicable Me
Before there were gentleminions swarming our movie theaters, there was Despicable Me, a surprisingly sweet and funny kids’ movie about a so-called supervillain learning to care for three rambunctious young girls suddenly placed in his care.
Steve Carrell is impeccable as the dastardly curmudgeon Gru, whose heart slowly melts throughout the course of the film. In 2010, we couldn’t have predicted that this fun, family adventure (and Universal’s attempt to compete with the Disney/Pixar CGI monopoly of the 2000s) would become the media juggernaut it is today, but honestly, we were all young and dumb in 2010. Since then, Despicable Me has spawned two (and counting) sequels, two prequels, 15 short films, multiple video games, a web series, a television special, Lego sets, and a theme park attraction. It’s not just good; it’s «theme park» good.
14. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Credit: Apatow Productions/Kobal/Shutterstock
Jason Segel is Peter, a television soundtrack composer whose life revolves around his TV star girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (a deliciously bratty Kristen Bell). That is until she abruptly breaks up with him. While he’s naked. Cue the full frontal sobbing!
To get his mind off of her, Peter takes a trip to Hawaii, but unfortunately, Sarah is vacationing at the same resort with her new rock star boyfriend Aldous Snow. (Snow is played perfectly by Russell Brand in his pre-YouTube Guru years, and he resurrected the character for Get Him to the Greek two years later). Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a sweet and raunchy breakup rom-com full of characters that are flawed, idiosyncratic, and incredibly human, including Mila Kunis as Peter’s cool new love interest, Jonah Hill as an overeager fanboy, and Paul Rudd as a hippie-dippie surf instructor. And let’s not forget the singing vampire puppets!
(*) denotes writeup came from a previous Mashable list.