Greatest low cost Keurig offers for August 2021

Life seems easier when you can start each day with a good cup of coffee, especially with the convenience of a Keurig K-Cup single-serve coffee maker. We gathered the best Keurig deals available to make it easy for you to choose the model that’s best for you. When you have a Keurig coffee maker on your countertop, you can get the satisfying taste you desire and caffeine push you need in just a couple of minutes. Keurig coffee makers brew tea and cocoa creations as well as coffee. Right now, you can even bank on savings as we’ve rounded up here the best Keurig deals on major retailer sites. We tossed in a few buying tips and discussed some features to help you select which model suits your needs best.
Looking for more savings other than these Keurig deal options? You may want to browse through our compilation of coffee maker deals, which include models from Nespresso deals, Ninja, Breville, KitchenAid, and other leading brands.
Today’s best Keurig deals

How to choose a Keurig
Perhaps the most attractive feature of a Keurig coffee maker is its ability to produce a nearly perfect cup of joe with a simple touch of a button. It also works with pods containing a variety of coffee types and brands as well as tea, hot chocolate, and cider. And since all current models are based on a similar brewing system and use pre-measured K-Cups, you’ll most likely get the same cup of coffee with each machine. That doesn’t mean all of them are created equal, though. Brew functionalities and size capacities still vary from model to model.
One of the first steps in picking the right Keurig coffee maker is identifying the most ideal size for your space. A small model (like the Mini) is a great choice if you have limited kitchen space or if there’s only one coffee drinker in your household. The only downside of having a small machine, though, is that you’ll need to fill it up with water every time you use it. But you can think of it as starting with fresh water every time you brew.
Larger machines are suitable for bigger kitchens, offices, or households with lots of coffee drinkers. This type typically carries a water reservoir which lessens the need for you to keep refilling from time to time. There are also models available (like the K150P) that can connect directly to a water source, completely removing the hassle of refilling.
Go for a Keurig single-serve machine if you just want to make one cup, like to try many different flavors, or if coffee drinkers in your home have different preferences. They offer faster brewing, require little maintenance, and has a capacity ranging from three to five cup sizes. A two-way model, on the other hand, is perfect for those who like hosting friends and for households with many coffee drinkers. It can brew a single-serve cup of coffee as needed, and at the same time, can brew a whole carafe for more servings. Carafe options cost less per cup than single-serve ones (if you drink every pot to the bottom), but they also generally tend to require more cleanup.
Other things to look out for when choosing a Keurig coffee maker involve your coffee preferences. Some models let you prepare both hot and cold drinks, have an adjustable brew temperature, and have strength control options so you can modify your cup just the way you like it. If you’re a latte or cappuccino lover, you’re going to want to stick to a unit that can make a strong shot of coffee and has an onboard milk frother (such as the K-Café and K-Latte) which makes it easy for you to whip up foamy toppings.
Naturally, a Keurig coffee maker with more bells and whistles will come at a higher price tag. If you have less to spend, though, you’ll need to forgo certain features such as high-altitude setting, dishwasher compatibility, and lots of options for customizing your beverage. Nonetheless, you’ll still be able to enjoy cool functions with a no-frills model, including automatic shutoff, a variety of serving size capacities, and strength control settings. Score one on the cheap by taking advantage of these Keurig deals.
Do Keurigs have filters?
Yes. Keurig coffee makers have a small charcoal filter that removes the impurities from the water. This filter eliminates the taste and smell of chlorine, iron, and sulfur as well as some minerals.
Do Keurigs make tea?
Yes. Keurig coffee makers can brew tea. Keurig partnered with various brands to provide amazing K-Cup tea choices. If you prefer standard tea bags over K-Cups, then you can just use the machine as an instant hot water dispenser. Simply put your standard tea bag in a mug and place it on a drip tray, and then run a water-only brew cycle.
Are Keurig coffee makers loud?
It depends on the model. Some units boast a quiet brew technology to minimize the noise when in use, perfect if you’re worried about waking up everyone in the house. Others tend to operate more loudly, which can be advantageous for a quick indication that brewing is complete.
Do Keurigs need to be cleaned?
Yes. Keurig coffee makers need regular cleaning and it comes in two forms: Thorough cleaning and descaling. Thorough cleaning covers clearing up every part and component of the machine, while descaling specifically tackles calcium deposits. Some Keurig models will alert you when it’s time to descale, while others will show symptoms like stinky buildup, settings that no longer work, and slower pours. Keurig recommends descaling at least every three months especially if used with regular tap water, either with a Keurig descaling solution or white vinegar. The filter cartridge of the water filter also needs occasional replacing about every 60 tanks or so.
Be sure to check out our curated deals page for more exciting deals on other kitchen products, including blender deals, Instant Pot deals, refrigerator deals, and dishwasher deals.
We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

Editors’ Recommendations

Finest low-cost wi-fi router offers for August 2021

Shopping for a router might not be as exciting as hunting for gaming deals or laptop deals, but if you use Wi-Fi on a daily basis (especially for work or study), then you need a good one. A quality router can not only cure your local wireless network of congestion and other connectivity problems, but buying your own can also potentially save you some cash on ISP equipment rental fees. It’s a broad market, though — virtually everybody uses Wi-Fi today — so to help you save some time and money, we’ve already brought you all the best wireless router deals of the month, along with a quick buying guide.
Today’s best wireless router deals

A beginner’s guide to wireless routers
If you have the internet, then you almost certainly have a wireless router somewhere in your home. There’s also a good chance that it was the one supplied by your ISP, which means you’re probably paying a monthly fee to rent it. These ISP-supplied routers are, as you might expect, generally not the best — they’re often the same cheap routers you can buy yourself for $20 to $40 — but that doesn’t stop service providers from charging anywhere from $5 to $15 per month in “equipment rental fees” for the privilege of using one.
That alone is a big reason why it’s a good idea to find a good wireless router deal and buy your own, as even a solid midrange unit can easily pay for itself in a matter of months. Yet another reason is that the best wireless routers can enhance your home or office Wi-Fi network by allowing you to enjoy the internet speeds you’re paying for. This is especially important if you frequently have multiple users connected to the internet at once, and even more so if you regularly stream or game online. Routers are relatively complicated and some of the specs and terminology can be a bit confusing to the uninitiated, however, so here’s what you should know before buying.
What does “dual-band” mean?
Most Wi-Fi routers you will see today (even cheap routers) are dual-band, meaning that they transmit data across two separate streams or “bands.” The 2.4GHz band is used for tasks with moderate bandwidth needs, such as web browsing, while the 5GHz band is reserved for bandwidth-hungry jobs like HD video streaming and online gaming where a lot of data is being transmitted at once. Dividing your wireless connection up between two “highways” in this manner prevents congestion, particularly when multiple people are using the internet at the same time, which can slow down your connection. Many newer routers also have a feature called MU-MIMO (multiple user, multiple input/multiple output) which divides the bands into separate channels to further mitigate congestion when the network is under heavy load.
What does “bandwidth” mean?
If a “band” is a data stream, the “bandwidth” refers to how much data can be transmitted across that stream at one time. Imagine something like an oil pipeline — the wider the pipe, the more can pass through it at once. Routers vary widely when it comes to bandwidth, and how much you need will depend on your network environment. A wireless router will typically have its bandwidth speed represented by a number — N450, AC1900, AC5300, et cetera – which tells you at a glance how many megabytes per second (Mbps) of data can be transmitted across all bands at once.
The routers that are typically rented out by ISPs are on the lower end of the bandwidth spectrum (which, as we said, is why you find a good wireless router deal so you can buy your own), but 600 to 2,400 Mbps is a good range for normal users and small families. Larger networks and more demanding users, such as gamers, will be better served by a router in the 3,200 to 6,700 Mbps range, while routers in the 7,200 to 9,600 Mbps range are deep into “professional” territory — think large offices and other bandwidth-heavy network environments. Note that this total bandwidth is divided between the bands; for instance, a dual-band AC1600 router with 1,600Mbps total bandwidth might commit 300Mbps to the 2.4GHz band and 1,300Mbps to the 5GHz band.
Can wireless routers provide wired connections?
Pretty much all wireless routers (again, this includes cheap routers) have Ethernet LAN ports on the back that allow for multiple wired connections where you want them. Depending on where your wireless router is installed, it might be worth it to use a wired Ethernet connection, as these will almost always be faster than a wireless connection. For instance, if your router is close to your PC or smart TV, it’s not a bad idea to take advantage of this wired connectivity. It will also free up some wireless bandwidth that your other devices are using for their Wi-Fi, preventing wireless traffic congestion, although your overall bandwidth will still be determined by your internet service.
Can a faster wireless router give me faster internet?
Your base internet speeds are capped by your service provider and depend on what internet plan you are paying for. A faster wireless router cannot increase the bandwidth limits set by your ISP; however, a faster router can allow you to more fully enjoy the speeds that you’re paying for if a slow unit — such as the cheap routers typically provided by ISPs — is bottlenecking your connection. If you’re paying for faster internet, make sure you get a router that won’t create a “choke point” that slows your Wi-Fi down to ensure you’re getting all the bandwidth that you’re already paying for. You’ll want a gigabit-capable router (that is, at least 1,000Mbps on the 5GHz band) if you have gigabit internet service, for example.
What are mesh routers?
If you have a large home or are looking for a router capable of sufficiently covering a similar large space (like a multi-story office), then you might want to consider investing in a mesh router system. In contrast to standard single-unit wireless routers, mesh router systems feature multiple “hubs” that you place throughout your network zone. These hubs amplify your internet’s wireless signal, essentially blanketing your home or office in Wi-Fi connectivity and thereby mitigating or eliminating dead zones in the network. This prevents you from losing your connection when moving about.
Looking for more great stuff? Find tech discounts and much more on our curated deals page.
We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

Editors’ Recommendations

The most effective earbuds for 2021

Whether you go wired for an old-school experience or wireless for cordless freedom, picking the right earbuds can be tricky — there are so many choices out there. But we’ve tried hundreds of models from a wide variety of manufacturers, so you don’t have to.
In our opinion, the best wired earbuds you can buy are the 1More Triple Drivers, which offer a sweet mix of style and performance at a reasonable price, while Sony’s WF-1000XM4 offer the best overall feature set in a pair of true wireless earbuds.
But there are tons of great models out there, some of which really excel in specific areas. So if the 1More and Sony models aren’t quite what you’re looking for, we’ve got several awesome alternatives.
Don’t forget, we also keep updated lists of the best true wireless earbuds, the best cheap true wireless earbuds, and the best noise-canceling true wireless earbuds, in case you’re looking for something specific.
The best earbuds at a glance

The best wired earbuds: 1More Triple Driver

Why you should buy them: They’re a sweet mix of style, performance, and shocking affordability.

Who they’re for: The discerning listener who craves quality but hasn’t yet landed that corner office.
Why we picked the 1More Triple Driver:
We could have gone many ways for this pick, but 1More’s unassuming Triple Driver just wouldn’t stop popping up into the picture. The 1More in-ear headphones aren’t at the top of the class in performance, but what they do have going for them is unrivaled quality and value at their (very reasonable) price point. The company has created plenty of iterations since, including the recent Dual Driver ANC Pro Wireless, the Quad Driver, and even an over-ear version, creatively called the Triple Driver Over-Ears. But when it comes to value for the money, we always come back to the original wired earbuds.
China-based upstart 1More blew our minds when we discovered how little the company wanted for the Triple Driver headphones, the first pair we’d ever heard from the brand. For this kind of build quality and performance, we’d expect to pay at least double. And while these aren’t wireless earbuds, if you don’t mind some strings attached, they more than make up for their wired constraints with sweet sound for the dough.
So what specifically do the Triple Driver offer your ears? A gorgeous aesthetic, solid construction, and — you guessed it — three drivers within each earbud for excellent sound. That includes one dynamic driver for warm and full bass and a balanced armature driver for both the midrange and treble to create clear and articulate sound. It’s an intriguing design that one might think is a gimmick, but we can assure you that when it comes to the results, it’s anything but.
Along with the earbuds, you get a carry case, an airplane travel adapter, a cable clip, and a huge assortment of silicone and foam eartips to help you find the perfect fit.
The 1More Triple Driver’s sound signature provides sparkling clarity, smooth and powerful bass, and balanced sound that outdoes everything we’ve heard at a similar price point. These headphones provide exceptional sound for anything you listen to, from electronica to acoustic folk. Unlike many dedicated wired earbuds, the Triple Drivers include an inline mic and playback controls. Oh, and if you’re rocking a new iPhone and you using Apple’s headphone adapter, there’s a Lightning version, too.
If the 1More Triple Driver appeal to you, but you want to spend less, check out the Strauss & Wagner EM205. They sound almost as good but cost half the price. They’re also tiny and very lightweight — perfect for tossing in a backpack. If, on the other hand, you want to level up your wired listening, both the $159 Final Audio A4000 and $199 Campfire Audio Satsuma will deliver gorgeously detailed audio. The only caveat: As true in-ear monitors (IEMs), they do not have a mic for calls or buttons for music control.
Read our in-depth 1More Triple Driver review
The best true wireless earbuds: Sony WF-1000XM4
Sony
Why you should buy them: They’ve got brilliant sound quality, battery life, noise-canceling, and tons of extra features.

Who they’re for: Those who want one set of earbuds that do it all and do it really well.
Why we picked the Sony WF-1000XM4:
Sony’s previous flagship earbuds, the WF-1000XM3 were already some of our favorites, so when the company released the follow-up WF-1000XM4, we knew they’d be pretty hard to beat. We were right.
With the XM4, Sony has essentially improved on every aspect of the XM3. The design, battery life, ANC, and transparency are all better than before. Meanwhile, Sony kept the price the same, while dropping the price of the XM3, giving buyers two fantastic choices.
At the top of the improvement list is the new, compact shape. Though only 10% smaller than the XM3, the XM4 fit almost entirely inside your outer ear, making them appear way smaller. The new shape makes the touch controls easier to use, but some with especially small ear openings may actually find them to be less comfortable.
The earbuds are more robust too, with an official IPX4 rating for water resistance. Don’t swim with them, but you need not fear sweat, rain, or the occasional splash.
The charging case was put on a diet too. At 40% smaller, it also packs wireless charging, something the XM3’s case didn’t offer.
Total battery life is the same at 24 hours with ANC on and 36 hours with it off, but the earbuds can now go longer between charges: Eight hours with ANC on, and a huge 12 hours when it’s off.
Sound quality is generally better as well, but not across the board. The low-end bass response has been improved, with an uncanny ability to render tiny details from the lowest frequencies. However, there’s been a little loss of energy at the high end of the spectrum as compared to the XM3. We attribute this to Sony’s decision to ship the XM4 with foam eartips only, which can affect the sound.
As with the XM3, ANC and transparency are excellent and even moderately improved. A big bonus is Sony’s speech-sensing tech, which switches transparency on and mutes your music when the earbuds detect that you’ve started talking.
Add to this a slew of features like being able to use wake words with Alexa and Google Assistant on Android phones, and Sony clearly has another winner in the WF-1000XM4.
Read our in-depth Sony WF-1000XM4 review
The best earbuds for running: Sony WF-SP800N
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends
Why you should buy them: With astonishing battery life, sound quality, and noise cancellation, they’re great workout companions.

Who they’re for: People who want total wireless autonomy for demanding workouts.
Why we picked the Sony WF-SP800N:
Sony has a reputation for making stellar audio products, and the WF-SP800N take all of Sony’s know-how and squeeze it into a compact set of workout-friendly earbuds. Their IP55 water- and dust-resistant rating means they can take pretty much whatever you can throw at them, and their battery life is enormous: Nine hours if you leave their active noise cancellation on and 13 hours if you turn it off.
Though bulkier than some other workout buds like the Elite Active 75t, the SP800N won’t budge once they’re sitting in your ear thanks to their silicone wingtips that provide a secure three-point anchor in your concha.
Sound quality, as you would expect, is excellent, and the Sony Headphones app lets you tweak the equalization to your heart’s content, including turning on and off the ExtraBass feature. If you’re curious about Sony’s 360 Reality Audio format, which can give you the feeling of being at a live performance, the WF-SP800N are compatible with the streaming services that offer it, like Deezer and Amazon Music HD.
The adjustable ANC is also a high point, though this feature tends to work best in non-windy environments. You can engage a transparency mode any time you need it or simply use the quick-attention mode, which automatically switches to transparency and lowers your music volume temporarily while you press the left earbud.
Call quality is very good, whether indoors or outside. Our only real complaint about the WF-SP800N is their charging case. It’s definitely on the bulky side and doesn’t offer wireless charging.
Looking for alternatives to the WF-SP800N? These models are all excellent options:

Jabra Elite Active 75t
Powerbeats Pro
JBL Reflect Mini NC
Jaybird Vista 2

Read our in-depth Sony WF-SP800N review
Best earbuds for bass: JVC HA-XC90T
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends
Why you should buy them: Their enormous bass is matched with the longest battery life we’ve ever seen.

Who they’re for: Those who want big bass, clear sound, and a battery that will outlast anything else out there.
Why we picked the JVC HA-XC90T:
While some true wireless earbuds attempt to offer something for everyone, JVC’s HA-XC90T (also known as JVC XX) are unapologetic about their mission to provide the biggest bass you’ve ever heard.
The black earbuds with the red rings deliver what can only be described as a subwoofer-grade bass response, and that’s before you engage their bass boost mode, which makes them downright thunderous.
Amazingly, this powerful low end doesn’t prevent the mids and highs from taking their place on the soundstage, though make no mistake: If you’re not a fan of deep notes, the JVC XX are not the buds for you.
Along with that incredible boosted bass is a boosted battery. The JVC XX can go a whopping 15 hours on a single charge, making these earbuds the stamina kings of the true wireless world. The charging case holds another two full charges, which means you can use the JVC XX for almost 48 hours before needing to plug the case into a power cord.
Speaking of the charging case, it’s a big, solid affair made of aluminum. The slide-out tray feels sturdy and locks into place with a satisfying click. There’s no wireless charging option, but given how infrequently you’ll need to grab a USB-C cable, that’s not such a bad thing.
Other caveats include no app for customizing the equalizer or button controls, no active noise cancellation, and no auto-pause when you remove an earbud.
Those are a lot of missing features on a set of earbuds at this price, but they have IP55 protection from dust and water and a “touch and talk” feature, which gives you a temporary transparency mode when you need it.
When you consider that, plus the JVC XX‘s two big benefits (bass and battery), these earbuds still manage to justify their asking price for those who value what they offer.
Read our hands-on impressions of the JVC HA-XC90T
Best earbuds for swimming: Sony Walkman NW-WS413

Why you should buy them: You want a water-safe device so you can listen to your favorite tracks while hitting the lap lanes.

Who they’re for: Swimmers and athletes who prefer to leave their phones at home.
Why we picked the Sony WS413 Walkman W-Series:
It doesn’t matter how waterproof you make them, true wireless earbuds won’t be able to play your tunes when you dip below the surface. It’s simple physics: Bluetooth can’t travel through the water like it can through the air. And should an earbud become dislodged while you’re swimming, your odds of retrieving it are slim to none.
That’s why the Sony W-Series Walkman Sports MP3 player wins this category, even though they don’t possess any wireless capabilities at all. Not only can they be completely submerged and continue to play music, but they can operate in salt or fresh water at depths of up to 2 meters — so go ahead and jump in the deep end.
They’ll even stay on after that cannonball, kept in place by both around-the-ear hooks and a tiny band that snugly stretches around the back of your head. The headphones also feature unique earbuds that are designed to keep water from entering the driver casing — which would otherwise ruin the headphones for good.
The Sony WS413 Walkman WS Series is an all-in-one device that doesn’t need to be connected to a phone or other playback source; instead, it has 4GB of storage to hold your music, and you can load up songs and playlists on your PC via the included USB cable.
Sure, 4GB might not sound like much space, but that adds up to about 1,000 to 2,000 tracks, depending on their file size. All playback is controlled with tiny buttons on the sides of each earbud. Speaking of charge, the W-Series Walkman will last up to 12 hours per charge, and Sony claims you’ll be able to charge them in no time via their quick-charge feature.
The WS413 is perfect for swimmers who want total immersion in both the water and their tunes, but sometimes we need to be more aware of our surroundings. Whether it’s being able to hear a swim coach’s instructions, a lifeguard’s warnings, or just other swimmers, earbuds that block out the outside world aren’t always the best tool for the job.
In these circumstances, the $150 Aftershokz Xtrainerz are the way to go. They offer the same 4GB capacity as the Sonys, but they use bone conduction to transmit sound to your ears, which leaves your ear canals open. That means you can hear everything going on around you and your music, plus you can insert your favorite swimming earplugs if you want — and they won’t interfere with the audio.
The best earbuds for iPhone: Apple AirPods Pro
Digital Trends
Why you should buy them: As long as they’re synced to an iPhone, the AirPods Pro have features few other devices can match.

Who they’re for: Apple die-hards who want a fully wireless option.
Why we picked the Apple AirPods Pro:
The truth is, there are better-sounding earbuds out there that can work with iPhones, but even so, we still think the AirPods Pro are the best iOS-specific choice thanks to how Apple they are.
For better or for worse, AirPods Pro have all the hallmarks of an Apple product: They’re sleek, feature-rich, and extremely easy to use. The design includes simple controls and no-fuss compatibility with other Apple products. That last point is probably the most important reason why the AirPods Pro are our pick for the best wireless headphones to use with iPhones. Unlike other Bluetooth devices, AirPods Pro are designed to automatically sync with your device.
Perhaps most importantly for Apple users (apart from the iconic style), these earbuds couldn’t be easier to pair and set up. Just open the case, hold the new AirPods next to your iPhone, and you’re ready to listen. Once the AirPods Pro are paired, they’ll also show up automatically on any of your iCloud-connected Apple devices, including a companion iPad or MacBook. Switching can be done with a single click, but if you’re on the latest versions of iOS and macOS, that switching can even happen automatically.
The main difference between the AirPods Pro and the AirPods 2 with Wireless Charging Case, which used to hold this spot, is the addition of noise-canceling. They also offer a more discreet, fitted design that makes use of silicone tips to, A) keep the Pods firmly fixed to your ears during intense exercise, B) make them more pleasant to wear for extended periods, and C) create the seal that’s required for noise-canceling to function as intended.
They’re also IPX4 sweat-resistant and offer much better sound quality. Earlier in 2020, Apple added spatial audio to the AirPods Pro, making them an intriguing companion for watching movies on Apple’s devices. When iOS 15 launches in the fall of 2021, the AirPods Pro will also be able to offer hearing enhancement in situations where conversations may be more difficult due to competing sounds.
For all these reasons, the Apple AirPods Pro are a solid choice for Apple’s products, especially the iPhone.  But we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that every other pair of fully wireless earbuds work great with iPhones too. And you can find a pair that sound just as good as the AirPods Pro for a bit less money. It’s a big world out there, so before you just jump into the most obvious Apple pairing, we suggest shopping around a bit.
Read our in-depth AirPods Pro review
The best earbuds for Android: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
Samsung
Why you should buy them: They’re chock-full of the latest features like ANC and wireless charging, but cost way less than the AirPods Pro.

Who they’re for: Android fans looking for comfortable, great-sounding buds with noise cancellation.
Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2:
Our previous pick for this category was the Google Pixel Buds A-Series. With their $99 price and virtually all of the features from the $179 Pixel Buds, they were an obvious choice.
But Samsung’s Galaxy Buds 2 have forced us to change things up. For an extra $50, they offer ANC, transparency mode, and wireless charging — three very desirable features you won’t find on the Pixel Buds A-Series. What’s more, the Galaxy Buds 2 are even comfortable and secure than the A-Series, making them a welcome change for folks who have traditionally struggled to find a good fit.
Sound quality is very good if not quite up to the standard set by the Sony WF-1000XM4 or the Master & Dynamic MW08, and you get several EQ presets within the Samsung Wearables app. That app also provides a fit test to make sure you’ve got the right size of eartips installed, and a find my buds feature for when they inevitably go missing.
Battery life is solid: Five hours per charge and 20 hours total with the charging case if you keep ANC on, and that rises to 7.5/29 hours if you turn the feature off. An IPX2 rating means you probably shouldn’t expose them to much water, but they’ll at least be able to handle a bit of rain and sweat without incurring any damage.
Our only real caveat with the Galaxy Buds 2 is their touch controls. They’re a bit too easy to accidentally trigger when inserting or adjusting the earbuds, but we do appreciate that you can customize these controls or even turn them off entirely within Samsung’s app. Why do we only recommend these buds for Android users? That awesome app just isn’t available for iOS, which drastically reduces the Buds 2’s value to iPhone owners.
Read our in-depth Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 review
The best earbuds for listening to music: Master & Dynamic MW08
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends
Why you should buy them: They have huge battery life, sound incredible, and have a unique, stylish design.

Who they’re for: Anyone who wants a no-compromises listening experience in a set of true wireless earbuds.
Why we picked the Master & Dynamic MW08:
When it comes to true wireless earbuds that deliver audiophile-grade sound quality, it’s a small crowd. Leading that pack are the Master & Dynamic (M&D) MW08, a beautifully crafted set of buds that sound as good as they look.
M&D is no stranger to the true wireless space. Its MW07 and MW07 Plus models were both very well received for their top-notch sound, and the MW08 take the design even further. They’re smaller and more comfortable than the previous models and their battery life is incredible, with up to 12 hours between charges when you turn off active noise cancellation (ANC) and keep the volume level under 50%.
Their stainless steel charging case provides another 30 hours of capacity, for a total of 42 hours before you need to plug them back in using a USB-C cable.
But the real story here is the MW08‘s sultry sound. Across the frequencies, from the lowest lows to the highest highs, these earbuds deliver a crisp and precise response, letting you appreciate each element of a song. Whether it’s the booming bass of hip-hop or the delicate resonances of jazz and classical, the MW08 sacrifice nothing.
M&D has used some pretty exotic materials on the MW08 including ceramics and aluminum, which give them a sophisticated, high-end look and feel that stands apart from the all-plastic designs from Sony, Bose, Apple, and Sennheiser. They also feature physical control buttons instead of the touch controls that are becoming ubiquitous. These controls give you access to every feature, from volume to voice assistants, and have a very precise operation.
Our only real critique of the MW08 is that their ANC isn’t as good as what you’ll find on the AirPods Pro, WF-1000XM3, or Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. However, when you consider just how good the MW08 sound, we think it’s worth the tradeoff.
If wireless charging is a big feature for you, the Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport edition adds that capability in a much lighter weight Kevlar-wrapped charging case.
Read our in-depth Master & Dynamic MW08 review
The best earbuds for Amazon Alexa fans: Amazon Echo Buds 2
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends
Why you should buy them: They’re very affordable, sound great, and let you summon Alexa whenever and wherever you like.

Who they’re for: Folks who love Amazon’s virtual assistant and want an affordable set of true wireless earbuds.
Why we picked the Amazon Echo Buds 2:
We were already big fans of the original Amazon Echo Buds, so when Amazon released the next version (technically named Echo Buds 2nd Gen) for the same price, but with some nice upgrades, we knew they’d be a solid pick.
What sets the Echo Buds 2 apart from other earbuds (other than Alexa, which we’ll get to) is the sheer value they offer. For $120 ($140 for the version with wireless charging), you get a small and comfortable set of buds, with an equally small charging case. They have active noise cancellation (ANC) and a transparency mode, they auto-pause the music when you pull an earbud out, they can be used independently, and they even have a basic workout tracking feature.
Using the Alexa app (which you pretty much need for all of the advanced features) you can adjust their EQ settings, fine-tune the side-tone (how much of your own voice you hear during calls), and even locate your earbuds if they go missing.
To put that in perspective: A feature set like this would normally cost $180 — the price of the Jabra Elite 75t — so $120 feels like a bargain.
The sound quality is very good. Not quite what you’d get from pricier earbuds, but close enough for folks who just want great tunes or podcasts for their daily commutes.
Being able to simply say “Alexa,” followed by hundreds of different commands (including all of the earbud and playback functions like ANC and call answer) is a major convenience, and the Echo Buds 2 are the only earbuds (other than the original Echo Buds) that let you do this.
Battery life on the buds themselves, at five hours with ANC and Alexa turned on, and 6.5 hours with these features off, is a little better than Apple’s AirPods Pro, but nothing stellar when compared to other earbuds at this price. Unfortunately, the case only holds two full charges, so you may have to adjust your habits accordingly.
We didn’t think that Amazon’s ANC was a big improvement over the previous generation’s Bose tech but given how much more comfortable the new design is, it’s not a deal-breaker by any means and we definitely recommend the Echo Buds 2.
Read our in-depth Amazon Echo Buds 2 review

Research and buying tips

Can earbuds damage your ears?
Yes, because of their isolation and because the drivers are closer to your eardrums, it is not recommended to listen at higher volumes for extended periods of time. Check out our helpful noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) explainer for how to avoid this from happening.
Are earbuds waterproof?
Many are water-resistant, few can be fully submerged. We recommend checking for an IP rating if you want to make sure you are treating them properly.
Can earbuds sound as good as over-ear headphones?
Yes, at the high end, in-ear monitors can sound as good as virtually any headphones on the market. That said, you’ll have to pay a hefty premium to get top-tier sound.
How should earbuds fit?
Comfortably and securely. You may want to find a pair with earfins or earclips if you are planning on working out.
Should I use earbuds when driving?
No. It is dangerous and illegal in many regions.
Glossary

Driver: The unit that produces sound in a headphone, made up of magnets, voice coils, and other materials. Typically, the larger the driver, the more power a headphone has, and bigger drivers inside in-ear headphones generally indicate that a better range of frequencies can be reproduced.
Dynamic driver: A single driver capable of covering the entire frequency range. The diaphragm is connected directly to a voice coil in the headphone, with the voice coil moving between magnets to produce sound.
Balance armature driver: In a balanced armature driver, the headphone’s diaphragm is connected to the armature, with micro-vibrations producing the sound. Most balanced armature drivers are best within a specific frequency range, which is why many headphones contain multiple balanced drivers, with certain frequencies divided between drivers for full-spectrum sound.
Soundstage: The perceived size and depth of the sound coming through the headphones.
Passive noise isolation: Noise that is blocked out by the headphone or earbud based on its physical shape and size in your ear.
Frequency response: The spectrum of frequencies that a headphone can reliably reproduce. Typically, this is 20Hz-20kHz — a spectrum that is widely regarded as the limits of human hearing. However, some models claim a frequency response as high as 40kHz, which some regard as necessary to reproduce hi-res audio.

How we test
We test headphones and earbuds the way normal people live.
We run every pair of earbuds through a rigorous process over several days. That includes playing them in all sorts of scenarios — be it on a bus, in the listening room, or at the office — and playing back from a wide array of sources. We know most people use their headphones with a smartphone, often with lower quality MP3 resolution tracks, so we test that, too.
We also move up to high-resolution audio files, as well as a wide variety of sources, including plugging in directly to a PC or Mac, using USB DACs (digital-to-analog converters), and employing high-quality dedicated portable players and amplifiers. Finally, we compare the earbuds to some of our go-to models, both in their class and price point, as well as a level or two above, to find out if they can punch above their weight.

Editors’ Recommendations

Greatest low cost printer offers for August 2021

We can admit it: Printers are kind of boring. But saving money isn’t, and since you probably need a new printer (you’re reading this, after all), we can help you out a bit. If you haven’t gone printer-shopping in awhile, you might not be up to speed with all the latest bells and whistles that these humble appliances come loaded with — features like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, app controls, and even color laser printing — but this roundup of the best printer deals available this month will steer you in the right direction while saving you some cash. We’ve also included a list of a few of our favorites to keep an eye out for.
Today’s best printer deals

Best all-in-one printer: HP OfficeJet Pro 9015

HP makes some of the best printers money can buy, and sorting through the company’s catalog can take awhile. Let us save you some time by taking you right to the best one: The HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 is our favorite all-in-one printer, copier, and scanner for most uses. It’s fast, it offers great printing, and it’s wireless, so you can print from network-connected devices via Wi-Fi or Apple AirPrint.
HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 is easy to use and configure, too, thanks to its color touchscreen. The only drawback that’s worth noting is that, while it’s smaller than previous models, this printer still a bit bulkier than most inkjet all-in-ones. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a premium do-it-all printer for the home or a small office (and you’re willing to pay a little extra for it), the OfficeJet Pro 9015 is the one.
Best budget printer: Canon Pixma MG6320

If the OfficeJet Pro 9015 was a little rich for your blood (let’s face it, not all of us are willing to spend more than $50 on a printer), then Canon has you covered with its budget-friendly Pixma MG6320. This all-in-one inkjet can print, copy, and scan, and it’s wireless, so you can easily print from your connected computer or mobile device right on your home network as well as via apps like Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print — no wired hookups required.
Naturally, a printer this cheap isn’t going to give you gallery-quality results or professional-grade volume output, but that’s not the point. For the price, it’s hard to look a gift horse like the Canon Pixma MG6320 in the mouth if your printing needs are basic.
Best laser printer: Brother HL-3170CDW

The best laser printers are purpose-built for offices and other professional settings, cutting through high-volume tasks that a traditional inkjet printer would struggle with. These printers used to be primarily monochrome (made for school and business environments where a lot of black-and-white printing happens), but the best color laser printers are no longer rare and are even quite affordable.
You’ll still pay more for one, though, but models like the Brother HL-3170CDW — which happens to be our top recommendation for most people — punch above their weight when it comes to price. It’s simple, sleek, and considerably less bulky than many laser printers, and can crank out 23 pages per minute from its 250-sheet feed tray. You can pay four figures for a “professional” color laser printer if you want to, but for around $400, you’d be hard-pressed to do much better than the Brother HL-3170CDW.
Best small business printer: Canon Maxify MB5420
Les Shu/Digital Trends
Printers see the heaviest use in offices, whether it’s a small home office or a large business, and for that, your standard consumer-grade all-in-one printer probably won’t cut it. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a good office-grade printer, though, and the Canon Maxify MB5420 does plenty of heavy lifting at a price that won’t make you wince.
It’s surprisingly compact for its output capacity (more so than many other office printers, anyway), holding 500 sheets of paper while boasting a snappy monochrome print rate of 22 pages per minute and a color print rate of 10ppm. And like any good modern printer, it can also copy and scan, and can even do faxes if you’re still into that sort of thing. Not bad for less than $300 at its normal price — and even better if you can find a printer deal.
We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

Editors’ Recommendations

One of the best streaming gadgets for 2021

Your smart TV probably has a number of popular streaming apps built-in, like Netflix or YouTube. But if your TV isn’t “smart” or if you want to expand beyond the biggest of the streaming services, your next step is finding a high-quality streaming device to watch your favorite movies, whether they’re on Netflix or elsewhere.
Not only do dedicated streaming devices have more apps and features than a typical smart TV, but streaming services often enable new formats (like Dolby Atmos) on these devices before they’re added to TVs. Plus, they can add valuable features like Apple AirPlay 2, or Google Chromecast.
Of all the choices out there, we think the Google Chromecast with Google TV is the best all-around smart streaming device. It’s tiny, it’s powerful, it’s versatile, and most people will find it an affordable option.
We’ll explain our choice in greater detail below, but don’t worry — if the new Chromecast isn’t right for you, we’ve pulled together a list of smart streaming device alternatives, each with its own unique strengths.
The best streaming devices at a glance

The best streaming device: Google Chromecast with Google TV

Why should you buy this? It’s all of the best parts of Google’s Chromecast, and it’s a full media streamer too.

Who’s it for? Those who want an affordable and capable alternative to Roku, Apple, and Amazon.
Why we picked the Chromecast with Google TV:
Google’s $70 Chromecast Ultra was a pretty good pick if you wanted a no-nonsense 4K UHD streaming device, but the new Chromecast with Google TV totally changes what we’ve come to expect from a Chromecast device — and what we expect to pay for it.
At just $50, the Chromecast with Google TV is already a great deal if you liked the Chromecast Ultra — it’s $20 cheaper and can do all of the same things. But it does way more too. It’s a fully functional Android TV streamer, equipped with its own voice-capable remote.
That remote can be used to control your TV’s power, volume, and mute, but it’s also how you navigate Google TV — the built-in content curation and discovery interface that acts as the Chromecast’s home screen.
One of the best parts of the Google TV experience — for those who have associated their streaming subscriptions to their Google account — is that it automatically pulls these subscribed services into your home screen, with no awkward and time-consuming entering of account names and passwords.
Google TV can pull content recommendations from over 30 of the top streaming services (as long as you’re a subscriber) but you can add any streaming app that is available for Android TV on the Google Play store. Speaking of
If you’re a YouTube TV subscriber, it gets even better. Under the Google TV Live tab, you can access the full YouTube TV channel guide as well as all of the service’s DVR features.
You can build your own watchlist, with individual user profiles, and these can be accessed on the go via the Google TV app for Android devices.
There’s no lack of media format support — the Chromecast has HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos all built-in. If you’re a gamer, you can now take advantage of Google’s Stadia cloud gaming platform on the new Chromecast.
Doing the initial setup takes some time, especially if you don’t already have the Google Home app on your phone, but once you’re done, the Google Chromecast with Google TV will reward you with a highly engaging, personalized, and future-proofed way to enjoy all that the streaming world has to offer. And at just $50, we can’t think of a better value.
Read our in-depth Google Chromecast with Google TV review
The best streaming stick: Roku Streaming Stick+
Caleb Denison/Digital Trends
Why should you buy this? It’s the best streaming stick on the market, and it’s affordable to boot.

Who’s it for? Anyone who wants to stream 4K and HDR through an easy-breezy interface.
Why we picked the Roku Streaming Stick+:
Though it’s now one of the oldest devices on this list, the Roku Streaming Stick+ still has one of the best features-to-price ratios among streaming devices out there. You’ll be able to experience 4K HDR video and Dolby Atmos Audio through this tiny device that looks like a USB thumb drive and easily hides behind your TV.
The discreet design extends beyond just its physical profile. Thanks to powerful 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless support, you’ll be able to set it up anywhere within your home’s Wi-Fi range — no Ethernet required. The only actual requirement with the Streaming Stick+ is a TV with an HDMI port. If your TV also has an available USB port, the setup is even easier — that port can probably be used to power the streamer.
Despite being a 2017 model, Roku has continued to update its software and features. Recent additions include Apple HomeKit and AirPlay support, plus compatibility with Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. The superb free Roku app for Android and iOS gives you a second remote control option, private listening, and on-the-go access to the Roku Channel’s wide selection of free, ad-supported content.
One of our favorite things about the Roku Streaming Stick+ is a feature shared by all Roku devices: An awesome user interface. Roku OS keeps things simple, with big, easy-to-see icons and menus that are totally self-explanatory. This makes finding TV shows and movies to watch easier than with almost any other device on the market. Despite lacking Dolby Vision support that newer devices like the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K possess, we still prefer Roku’s voice search and easy-to-use interface. As far as we’re concerned, it’s the best streaming stick on the market.
Read our in-depth Roku Streaming Stick+ review
The best premium streaming device: Roku Ultra (2020)
Roku
Why should you buy this? It’s a powerful, well-rounded set-top streaming box bolstered by Roku’s excellent interface and app support.

Who’s it for? Those who like the features of the Streaming Stick+, but want even more speed and media options.
Why we picked the Roku Ultra (2020):
The previous version of the Roku Ultra was already our pick for the best premium streamer, and the new 2020 version cements that honor.
In addition to its support for 4K, HDR10, and HLG the Ultra (2020) now includes Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos compatibility, bringing it in line with both the Fire TV Cube and Apple TV 4K in terms of media support.
Like the Fire TV Cube, the Ultra sports an Ethernet port to help improve connection speeds, but you may never need it — Roku has given the new Ultra powerful 802.11ac MIMO dual-band Wi-Fi. It also has a USB port, so you can view content from an external hard drive or flash drive.
The box also features a “lost remote” button that will trigger a tone from the remote (even though we all know it’s under the couch). The remote has both a headphone jack for private listening and dedicated power/volume buttons that can control TV volume, depending upon the model.
The remote has two customizable shortcut buttons that are a snap to program: Simply speak a voice command while holding the microphone button, then hold the shortcut button until you hear a beep. The Ultra is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant-powered smart speakers, and Roku’s Featured Free menu option makes finding free content to watch incredibly easy.
The Night Listening mode of the Roku Ultra automatically adjusts volume scene-by-scene to avoid waking up the kids, and the included JBL headphones should offer better sound for headphone playback as well.
New in 2020 is the ability to use the Ultra as a Bluetooth receiver for any audio you’d like to play from a smartphone or tablet. The Ultra is also among select Roku 4K-capable devices that have been upgraded with Apple AirPlay and HomeKit. When you factor these features in, the Ultra becomes an even more compelling alternative to the much pricier Apple TV 4K.
As you probably already guessed from our look at the Streaming Stick+, we love the Roku OS. From the biggest library of apps (aka “Roku channels”) to incredible cross-channel search functionality, there is no digital ecosystem that competes. Plus, The Roku Channel recently announced that it’s adding more than 100 channels of free live TV to browse through.
The best budget streaming device: Roku Express 4K+
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends
Why should you buy this? It’s the absolute cheapest way to get 4K UHD plus HDR streaming for your TV.

Who’s it for? Anyone who wants an affordable and powerful streaming media player for movies and TV shows and doesn’t care about Dolby Vision.
Why we picked the Roku Express 4K+:
Originally, we had the excellent Fire TV Stick Lite in the category, and at just $30, it’s still a phenomenal value. But when Roku released its Express 4K+ for just $10 more, we had to reconsider: Roku has packed so many features into the Express 4K+, we think it more than justifies spending that extra money.
Let’s start with the remote. Roku’s remotes have always been excellent, but this is the first time Roku has made its voice remote available in a device that costs less than $50. It also upped the ante by adding TV power, volume, and mute controls, which might just let you put your TV remote in a drawer and never look at it again.
If you’re an Apple iPhone, iPad, or Mac user, the included AirPlay feature makes screen mirroring and streaming content from these devices a snap.
The Express 4K+ might not be quite as easy to hide behind your TV as the Roku Streaming Stick+, but thanks to the remote’s ability to communicate with it over wireless instead of infrared, it doesn’t need to be within the remote’s line of sight.
The Roku interface is quick and responsive, and as the name indicates, if your chosen streaming content is presented in 4K resolution, you’ll be able to see all of that detail on your 4K TV. And as long as your TV supports HDR, you’ll get much brighter and more vivid imagery than with the non-4K HDR Roku Express.
Dolby Atmos passthrough is also supported via Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video with more coming soon.
As with Roku’s other devices, what you get doesn’t start and end with the hardware in the box. The free Roku app gives you another remote control option for when the physical remote inevitably becomes stuck between the couch cushions, and it gives you a private listening feature — perfect for when you need to keep things quiet while you binge the latest series way into the wee hours of the morning.
All of this makes the Roku Express 4K+ an amazing budget buy.
Read our in-depth Roku Express 4K+ review
The best streaming device for gamers: Nvidia Shield TV Pro (2019)

Why should you buy this? It offers 4K, Dolby Vision HDR, and Dolby Atmos paired with premium gaming features.

Who’s it for? Those who prefer their streaming with a healthy side of gaming.
Why we picked the Nvidia Shield TV Pro:
Most of the products on this list are squarely focused on streaming video, but despite the “TV” in its name, the Nvidia Shield TV Pro takes a different approach. The device features 4K resolution and HDR streaming capabilities based on the Android TV platform, but at its heart, the Shield TV Pro is designed for gamers.
More than 200 games are available to play via Android TV, with many exclusive to the Shield TV. If you’re a PC gamer, the ability to stream PC games to your Shield TV while you kick back on the couch makes it an even more attractive option. It has 16GB of storage, a voice-capable, backlit remote control with dedicated media buttons (something the previous generation lacked), and it has Google Assistant and Chromecast onboard. In fact, Shield TV is the only media streamer to which you can cast Disney+ content.
The new Tegra X1+ processor is 25% faster than the previous Shield TV Pro’s Tegra X1 and will deliver even better gaming performance. You can buy an Nvidia-designed wireless game controller, but it’s no longer included in the box. Instead, Nvidia suspects most buyers will opt to use an existing Bluetooth controller, including Sony’s DualShock 4 and Xbox One controllers — they’re both compatible with the Shield TV Pro.
For 4K streaming, Netflix, Disney+, Vudu, UltraFlix, Amazon Video, and YouTube are all supported, with HDR support available on select services. It also has Dolby Vision support, which users have been asking for. For HD streaming, many more options are available, including HBO Max, Twitch, CBS, Fox, and Vimeo — basically, anything in the Google Play store — and live TV is available via Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV. Many of these apps can easily be searched using the built-in Voice Search feature.
Nvidia’s GeForce Now service lets users stream games to their Shield TV at up to 4K resolution, but performance is dependent upon internet speed. And with the recent addition of support for Google’s Stadia gaming platform, the Shield TV gives you the best of both worlds.
On the audio side, the Nvidia Shield TV Pro supports 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound as well as Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound. High-resolution audio is also supported, with some formats supported natively and others supported via passthrough. If you’re a Plex user, you’ll appreciate that the Shield’s Plex client is one of the few that supports Dolby TrueHD with Atmos and is powerful enough to play 4K HDR movies without server-based transcoding.
If you’d like to save some money, the $130 Shield TV (2019) has all  the same streaming capabilities as the Shield TV Pro, but it lacks any USB ports, and it can’t be used as a Plex Media Server.
The best streaming device for Apple lovers: Apple TV 4K (2021)

Apple

Why should you buy this?

Who’s it for? Devotees of Apple’s ecosystem who want a top-flight streaming media experience.
Why we picked the Apple TV 4K (2021):
Let’s start with what the Apple TV 4K supports, which in short is pretty much everything. Dolby Vision at up to 60 frames per second, HDR10, Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Atmos, HDMI 2.1 with ARC and eARC support. It’s a techno tour de force and more powerful than the previous version thanks to a new processor: The A12 Bionic chip.
If you own one or more Apple HomePod or HomePod Mini smart speakers, these can be connected wirelessly to give you another high-quality audio alternative to a big, bulky soundbar.
There are thousands of apps for the tvOS software, and we can’t think of a single streaming service that isn’t available. In fact, most new features from these companies show up on the Apple TV 4K before they get to other platforms.
With the preeminent AirPlay device in Apple’s arsenal, you can mirror the contents of an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to your TV and stream from hundreds of apps. This works the other way too: The Apple TV 4K can AirPlay its audio to any AirPlay 2-compatible speaker.
It’s the big-screen home of Apple Arcade, which turns the small black box into a capable casual gaming platform that works with both Sony and Xbox Bluetooth wireless game controllers — even the most recent PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X  controllers. Recent updates add picture-in-picture capabilities and the ability to pair two sets of Apple’s AirPods at the same time for completely silent listening.
It’s also worth mentioning that as we are still in the midst of a pandemic, Apple Fitness+, which only works on Apple devices, is a great way to turn your Apple TV 4K into your own personal home gym.
You can use Siri to search for content from any of the streaming services that Apple supports, with intuitive questions and statements like “Show me 4K movies on Netflix” instead of resorting to awkward jargon. And though Apple’s library of apps isn’t as diverse as Roku’s, you can access all of the majors like Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, and Amazon Prime Video.
Speaking of Siri, for some, the biggest advantage of Apple’s new streamer is the new remote. Gone is the flat touchpad that so many grew to dislike, replaced with a physical directional pad that is — wait for it — also a touchpad. You get the best of both worlds. Apple has also added a power button, which combines with the volume buttons for better TV control, and a new side-mounted push-to-talk mic button makes speaking to Siri more intuitive.
With Dolby Atmos, 4K, and HDR in both Dolby Vision and HDR10, it’s got the support you need to watch and listen to the newest formats, though beware: It is super picky about which HDMI cables you’re using and might well prevent you from seeing Dolby Vision if your cables aren’t rated for ultrahigh-speed connections.
Speaking of Dolby Atmos, now that Apple has added thousands of Dolby Atmos Music tracks to Apple Music, an Apple TV 4K connected to a Dolby Atmos-capable soundbar or A/V receiver is a fantastic way to experience this immersive music format. When tvOS 15 launches in the fall of 2021, you’ll be able to enjoy head-tracking-based spatial audio when using Apple AirPods Pro or AirPods Max.
Is the Apple TV 4K worth its hefty price tag? We’re on the fence there, but if you’re one of those “all-Apple-everything” types, this is the streaming device for you. This is even more true now that the iPhone 12 series of phones can record and play back Dolby Vision HDR video, which makes an Apple TV 4K the perfect big-screen companion.
One last thing we want to point out: Although many other third-party devices and smart TVs now have Apple’s TV app (along with access to Apple TV+), we think the Apple TV 4K is the best way to experience it. You’ll probably get faster updates and better OS integration with Apple TV. Keep that in mind if Apple TV+ is important to you.
Read our in-depth Apple TV 4K (2021) review
The best streaming device for those who want to ditch their remotes: Amazon Fire TV Cube
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Why should you buy this? The Cube isn’t just an excellent streaming device — it can control your entire entertainment system better than your remotes can.

Who’s it for? Those looking for a streamlined, Alexa-driven home entertainment experience.
Why we picked the Amazon Fire TV Cube:
When the Fire TV Cube debuted, it was (and still is) the only streaming media device to feature a built-in smart speaker. That alone is a pretty good reason to consider it — totally hands-free voice commands are very, ahem, handy. But the Cube is way more than Alexa trapped inside a streaming box. It’s loaded with powerful tech and features that will let you control just about everything in your entertainment center with minimal need for a remote.
Thanks to ports supporting HDMI CEC and HDMI ARC alongside included IR blasters, you’ll be able to use voice commands to turn on your TV, swap between apps, and even switch inputs over to other connected devices like gaming consoles, A/V receivers, and Blu-ray players. You can direct Alexa to do things like “play Snowpiercer,” and the Cube will switch on the TV and sound system and immediately start up the show on Netflix — all without a remote. It’s pretty much the home theater equivalent of talking to the computer on the Enterprise.
While Alexa requires specific voice commands out of the box, the A.I. assistant will learn to recognize your input style. Amazon also promises to continually update Alexa’s voice recognition abilities and tune the assistant to meet the needs of users, meaning simple, even vague speech may be recognized as more people use it.
The Cube’s nature as a home theater control hub may be its biggest selling point — especially now that Logitech has exited the smart remote business —  but it is also just an excellent streamer. It’s capable of 4K and HDR playback, it has built-in support for Dolby Atmos, and comes with an Ethernet adapter for the most reliable data connection possible — something lacking in other Fire TV devices.
In 2019, Amazon released a refreshed model that added HDR10+ and — more importantly — Dolby Vision, the lack of which was a big knock on the original. With that, the Amazon Fire TV Cube is better than ever. There are a lot of reasons to love the Fire TV Cube, but it’s the all-in-one control afforded by HDMI CEC support, the IR blaster, and Alexa voice commands that makes it the ultimate home theater companion for those who never want to reach for their remote again.
Read our in-depth Fire TV Cube review
Other information
How we test
We test our streaming players over a period of days or weeks, replicating exactly how you’d use them in real-life scenarios. That includes testing them for speed, convenience, intuitiveness, and a variety of features. Accessibility to a wide variety of apps is also crucial — after all, most TVs and Blu-ray players are already set up for basic streaming — so a designated streamer should offer something more.
A streamer might have the best hardware in the world, but this won’t matter if you can only watch content from one streaming service. To meet our standard, a streaming media player ideally supports all or most of the major content providers, as well as a wide variety of newer features like 4K Ultra HD and HDR. Finally, we look at how much quality and how many features you get on a dollar-by-dollar scale to ensure each of our top streamers is not only a great experience but also a great value.
Is now a good time to buy?
The streaming media device category is fiercely competitive, and new models appear each year. That said, even older models tend to enjoy long lifespans. The Apple TV 4K (2017), for instance, is four years old and Apple shows no signs of dropping support for it.
The most recent products are:

Walmart onn. FHD Streaming Device
Apple TV 4K (2021)
Roku Express 4K+
Chromecast with Google TV
Roku Ultra (2020)
Fire TV Stick Lite

Platform differences
Roku: Roku’s interface is consistent across every model, whether you’re talking the top-of-the-line Ultra model or the entry-level Express. There is also a certain look to Roku apps, and you won’t find interface differences across different apps as much as you might on other platforms.
As we’ve mentioned before, you’ll find nearly every streaming service or channel you care about represented here, and unlike certain other platforms, you won’t find any gaps, with the notable exception of iTunes, which is only available on Apple streamers.
Amazon: Amazon offers four Fire TV models — the Fire TV Stick Lite, the Fire TV Stick, the Fire TV Stick 4K, and the Cube and the new Fire TV user interface puts a greater emphasis on content discovery and curation — it’s quite similar to Google TV.
As of June 24, 2021, you can add the Peacock app to Fire TV devices, which leaves Google Play as just about the only major service that isn’t available (there is a workaround). It used to be much worse: Vudu, HBO Max, and YouTube were all unavailable at one point or another, but all are now on Fire TV.
Apple TV: The Apple TV user interface lies somewhere between the Roku and Amazon Fire TV. Apps have a fairly consistent look, but you’ll always be able to tell when you’re watching on an Apple TV. Apple would prefer users to buy and rent content via iTunes, so you won’t currently find an app for Google Play Movies and TV. There’s a workaround: Make sure you’re signed into the YouTube app and your purchases should show up. Failing that, Google Play offers a mobile app that allows content to be streamed to an Apple TV via AirPlay — but only from an iOS device.
Android TV (Nvidia Shield, Chromecast with Google TV): Android TV is a little different from the other options here in that manufacturers can put their own spin on the interface, similar to phone manufacturers with Android.
You’ll find that many apps exhibit plenty of individuality on Shield TV and Chromecast with Google TV, which contrasts with the visual in-app consistency with Roku apps. There were some annoying gaps early on, such as Amazon Video not being available out of the box outside the U.S., though that issue has since been rectified. Generally speaking, Android TV devices include the Google Assistant for voice commands and smart home control and have Chromecast built-in too.
Google is said to be slowly migrating Android TV over to the Google TV interface, which debuted on the Chromecast with Google TV. This interface de-emphasizes individual apps in favor of a curated and personalized content recommendation layout that is arguably much more helpful when trying to find something to watch.
Chromecast: Until the debut of the newest version of Chromecast with Google TV, Chromecast ran entirely on the magical power of casting — i.e., beaming content from one device wirelessly to your TV. Everything about the Chromecast was controlled via your casting device — including app search, content playback, and even private listening modes — whether that’s an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet, a Windows PC, or a Mac.
But the new Chromecast with Google TV changes that script, bringing in a handy remote control and on-screen interface. Essentially, this new $50 dongle is the best of both worlds.
Words and terms you need to know

4K Ultra HD: While no longer the highest resolution available (that title goes to 8K), 4K Ultra HD is the highest resolution with significant support from content creators and distributors. At around four times that of 1080p HD (3840 x 2160), it’s the standard for all but the most expensive new TVs.
802.11ac Wi-Fi: Superseded by Wi-Fi 6, 802.11ac is still plenty fast — fast enough even for streaming 4K HDR content — but it’s not as reliable (or as fast) as Ethernet.
Android TV: An app-centric smart TV platform powered by Google’s Android software and available across smart TVs, set-top boxes, and more.
Google TV: A curated and personalized smart TV interface that runs on top of the Android TV software. We expect that Google will eventually make the Google TV experience the default for all Android TV devices.
Casting: A term, popularized by Google, for making content found on a mobile device or PC and appear on a TV or wireless speaker.
High Dynamic Range (HDR): Short for High Dynamic Range, HDR offers better contrast and more colors than standard dynamic range. It’s considered by many to be a more notable visual improvement than the jump from 1080p Full HD to 4K Ultra HD resolution. Not all media streamers support it, and of those that do, not every flavor of HDR is necessarily supported.
HDR10: The most widely adopted HDR format. If you buy an HDR TV, it may support other formats too, but it will always have HDR10.
Dolby Vision: A dynamic HDR format (as opposed to the static HDR10), Dolby Vision has several advantages, such as the ability to gauge your HDR TV’s capabilities and tailor the HDR experience. Not all TVs or media streamers support it, however, so be sure to check the specifications before you buy.
HDR10+: A license and royalty-free dynamic HDR format that appears predominantly on Samsung TVs (which do not offer Dolby Vision).
Dolby Atmos: A technology that allows sound designers to specify the positioning of audio in an immersive, 3D soundstage. Sounds can be placed anywhere around a room, bringing you deep inside the action on-screen. Dolby Atmos sound systems can range from multi-thousand-dollar setups with installed ceiling speakers, but can also be had in a $200 soundbar that creates a virtual Atmos experience from as few as two channels. Support for this sound format varies from device to device and not all streaming services offer it. Those that do, don’t offer it on all of their TV shows and movies.
Single Sign-on (SSO): A feature that allows users to use a single login to automatically sign in to all linked apps, provided they support the feature. This is supported by each of the devices we’ve picked here but requires an account through a paid TV provider.

Editors’ Recommendations

Amazon Hearth TV Stick 4K is discounted in time for again to highschool

Whether you’re headed back to school, or just looking for better, cheaper, ways to stream, one of the best ways to enjoy content is through Amazon, and the items offered in these Amazon TV deals. They connect you to endless amounts of content, for way less. Right now, at Amazon, the Fire TV Stick 4K streaming device is only $38, which means you can save $12 from its regular price of $50. That’s nearly 25% off!

Ideal for students traveling between dorm rooms, the Fire TV Stick 4K, allows you to bring your TV with you, wherever you go. It’s fast, offers support for HDR10+, has super responsive voice control, a better remote, and improved Alexa. If you’re looking for an easy, fast, and versatile way to get streaming to your 4K TV, the Fire TV Stick 4K could be for you. Amazon built the Fire Stick to compete with other streaming dongles such as Roku’s Streaming Stick Plus, but it’s nearly half the price; plus it has Alexa voice integration.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K can be the ultimate streaming device because you can just plug it into the HDMI slot in any accommodating TV and you have all your content ready to go. You don’t need to be an Amazon Prime member to use it, but if you are, it will come pre-registered to your account, giving you instant access to all your Amazon Prime shows and films the minute you plug it in (not to mention all the Amazon Original shows you want). But it’s not just for Amazon content by any means; you can of course access your other favorite content streamers, be it Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, or YouTube.
If you are a student, and you happen to have a subscription to live sporting events, or Hulu, or Amazon Prime — you can bring the Fire Stick 4K to a friend’s house, plug it in, and everyone there can watch the big game or latest episode of White Lotus.
And controlling your Fire TV Stick 4K is easy. Using Alexa, you can even ask her to switch HDMI ports. Alexa can also help you control playback within multiple apps, including Netflix (if you want even more controls, try the Fire TV Cube). In addition to Alexa, the new remote has the Fire TV’s patented navigation dial, and all the basics you’d expect, plus a power button for your TV and volume control. But this dongle is also aligned with a remote app, which works with Android and iOS, and gives you a full digital keyboard. Amazing! Especially for only $38.

More 4K TV deals
Want to find the best way to enjoy your home theater? Check out this roundup of the best 4K TV deals, below.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

Editors’ Recommendations

The 50 finest motion pictures on Netflix proper now

Movie night is easy with a Netflix subscription, thanks to the enormous collection of new and classic films available on the popular streaming service. Whether you’re in the mood for a tense thriller, a raunchy comedy, an exciting adventure, or a thought-provoking documentary, there’s something for everyone in the Netflix library. In order to make your decision even easier, we’ve searched through the entire collection and put together a list of the best movies available on Netflix right now.
Looking for something else? We’ve also rounded up the best shows on Netflix, the best movies on Hulu, the best movies on Amazon Prime, and the best movies on Disney+.

Misha and the Wolves (2021)
Move over, Tiger King, Netflix has another wild documentary you need to see to believe. The film chronicles the far-reaching investigation that took place after the publication of Misha Defonseca’s widely circulated 1997 memoir Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years, in which the author describes her experiences as a young Holocaust survivor who was raised by wolves while searching Europe for her parents. It’s best not knowing any of the twists and turns the story takes ahead of time, so just sit back and let this true, stranger-than-fiction story unfold. You won’t be disappointed.
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%Genre: DocumentaryStars: N/ADirector: Sam HobkinsonRating: PG-13Runtime: 90 minutes
Watch on Netflix

A Ghost Story (2017)
In the wake of a fatal car crash, C (Casey Affleck) returns to the earth as a white-sheeted phantom. After a spiritual pilgrimage back to the suburban ranch he shared with M (Rooney Mara), C’s spirit begins to haunt the home. Time seeps away as minutes, months, and years pass. M grieves, new families come and go, but the house (and the ghost) remain. Director David Lowery shot the project in relative secrecy, using the same VFX crew that lent their talents to Lowery’s Disney-financed remake of Pete’s Dragon. A cinematic experience like no other, A Ghost Story explores love, life, and loss in ways seldom seen onscreen.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%Genre: Drama, Romance, FantasyStars: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Will OldhamDirector: David LoweryRating: RRuntime: 90 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Bad Trip (2021)
Eric André and Lil Rel Howery headline this hidden-camera prank film that has them playing two friends, Chris and Bud, who embark on an ill-fated road trip so Chris can tell his high school sweetheart he loves her. As they stumble from one ridiculous scenario to another, they’re pursued by Bud’s convict sister (Tiffany Haddish), whose car they stole for the trip. Raunchy, shocking, and relentlessly funny, the film blends scripted scenes with wild hidden-camera pranks and its duo’s signature comedy for a film that’s all about the journey, not the destination.
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%Genre: ComedyStars: Eric André, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany HaddishDirector: Kitao SakuraiRating: RRuntime: 84 minutes
Watch on Netflix

The Devil All the Time (2020)
Written and directed by Antonio Campos, The Devil All the Time is American Gothic at its most perverse. Set in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia after World War II, the story follows Arvin Russell (Tom Holland), a young man who is determined to protect his loved ones against the corruption and violence that plagues his town. From complete strangers to the most powerful institutions in the area, brutality is pervasive as everyone seeks desperately to assert their own small bits of power in a broken — but recovering — world. Things aren’t getting better for everyone, however, and The Devil All the Time takes its time exploring the generational trauma and cold truths that inhabit this sinister town.
Rotten Tomatoes: 65%Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, ThrillerStars: Robert Pattinson, Tom Holland, Sebastian StanDirector: Antonio CamposRating: RRuntime: 138 minutes
Watch on Netflix

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
What’s better than a new Western from the Coen brothers? How about six? The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a sextet of short films, all set in the Wild West. They follow different characters through wild plots that explore the themes of human depravity and cosmic justice (or injustice) that recur so often in the Coens’ works. The stories and protagonists vary wildly. The eponymous sequence follows Buster Scruggs (Tim Blake Nelson), a sharpshooting, guitar-slinging cowboy roaming the West and singing of his adventures. In another, a lonely prospector (Tom Waits) digs for his fortune. The stories in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs fall on the surreal end of the Coen spectrum — they’re somewhat comical, occasionally brutal folk tales that don’t always leave the viewer feeling they’ve learned a lesson. Here’s our list of the best comedies on Netflix to browse if you’re looking for more in this genre.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%Genre: Comedy-dramaStars: Liam Neeson, James Franco, Tim Blake NelsonDirector: Ethan Coen, Joel CoenRating: TV-MARuntime: 133 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Stowaway (2021)
After the three-person crew of a manned mission to Mars discovers a fourth, accidental occupant of their ship, a crisis occurs when a related equipment failure leaves only enough oxygen to support the original crew. That’s the heart-wrenching premise of this sci-fi drama that Netflix won the right to distribute in the U.S. after a bidding war. The moral quandary posed by the film is supported by a small but impressive cast, with Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, and Toni Collette portraying the ship’s crew and Shamier Anderson portraying the engineer who wakes up inside the ship shortly after takeoff.
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%Genre: Drama, Sci-FiStars: Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, Shamier Anderson, Toni ColletteDirector: Joe PennaRating: TV-MARuntime: 116 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Vivo (2021)
The first musical animated feature from Sony Pictures Animation, Vivo follows a musically gifted kinkajou — a long-tailed, raccoon-like mammal usually found in tropical regions — as he embarks on a journey from Havana, Cuba, to Miami, Florida, in order to bring a message of love to his guardian’s former partner. Hamilton and In the Heights mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda created the songs for the film and voices Vivo the kinkajou, with Ynairaly Simo voicing Gabi Hernández, the young girl who helps Vivo on his quest. A long list of popular Cuban musicians and performers — including Gloria Estefan — fill out the film’s cast and contribute to a musical score rooted in the region’s history and culture.
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%Genre: Musical, FamilyStars: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ynairaly Simo, Zoe Saldana, Juan de Marcos González, Gloria EstefanDirector: Kirk DeMiccoRating: PGRuntime: 98 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Widely considered one of the best films of celebrated filmmaker John Hughes, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off casts Matthew Broderick as the movie’s titular teenage slacker, whose decision to skip school one day kicks off an adventure with his best friend and girlfriend that could either be the best day of their lives or the worst. Alan Ruck and Mia Sara deliver wonderful performances as the pair swept away in Ferris’ plans, but it’s Broderick who steals the show as the fourth-wall-breaking hero of the story. While the film served as Hughes’ love letter to Chicago, it was Broderick’s portrayal of Ferris that made the character one of Hollywood’s most iconic teenage rebels of ’80s cinema.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%Genre: ComedyStars: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia SaraDirector: John HughesRating: PG-13Runtime: 108 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Ravenous (2017)
Ravenous (originally titled Les Affamés) begins after a mysterious plague has annihilated much of Quebec, turning its victims into shrieking, flesh-eating monsters. The story follows various survivors who eventually band together to fight back the horde, but despite the familiar plot, this isn’t a typical zombie movie; it is a deliberately paced, eerily beautiful horror movie. The protagonist is a man named Bonin (Marc-Andre Grondin), who wanders the countryside, finding other survivors and slaying zombies. As the group grows, the film gives each character proper development, so they feel fully fleshed out, unlike the stock survivors of many a zombie film. While the film has its gory moments, Ravenous frequently employs an atmosphere of dread built through uncanny imagery, such as when the zombies congregate before a shrine made of furniture.
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%Genre: HorrorStars: Marc-Andre Grondin, Monia ChokriDirector: Robin AubertRating: TV-MARuntime: 103 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Django Unchained (2012)
In Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, the barrage of spaghetti-western bullets is never-ending. When Django (Jamie Foxx) is rescued from enslavement by the mysterious Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), the unlikely duo forms a partnership. Django agrees to help Schultz track down bounties. In return, Schultz will help Django locate his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). After some winter bounty hunts, Django and Schultz track Broomhilda to the plantation of a notorious slaver named Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). He’s a charismatic host, but cunning like no other, and it’s not long before Candie and his cohorts begin sniffing out Django’s true intentions. Big, bold, and bloody, Django Unchained is Tarantino’s second collaboration with actor Christoph Waltz and the first with the late composer, Ennio Morricone.
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%Genre: Western, Drama, ActionStars: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprioDirector: Quentin TarantinoRating: RRuntime: 165 minutes
Watch on Netflix

The Beguiled (2017)
The tension just keeps getting higher in this Civil War-era drama from filmmaker Sofia Coppola, based on Thomas P. Cullinan’s novel of the same name. Colin Farrell portrays a Union soldier who’s forced to take refuge in a Southern boarding school for women, only to have his presence there upset the institution’s delicate balance of power. Sexual tension and dark secrets flame the fires of drama, pitting the women against each other while a terrible war rages outside the school’s doors.
Rotten Tomatoes: 79%Genre: Drama, ThrillerStars: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle FanningDirector: Sofia CoppolaRating: RRuntime: 94 minutes
Watch on Netflix

The Old Guard (2020)
Netflix goes superhero in this action-packed flick about a secret organization of immortals that has protected the Earth from extinction for centuries. But when they are set up on an emergency mission, their powers are mistakenly exposed to the world. Now they must work together to ensure none of the various powerful competing interests can control them for personal or monetary gain.
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%Genre: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & FantasyStars: Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Chiwetel EjioforDirector: Gina Prince-BythewoodRating: RRuntime: 125 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Midnight Special (2016)
Jeff Nichols’ Midnight Special is a brilliant love letter to sci-fi chase films like Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind and John Carpenter’s Starman. The film follows Roy (Michael Shannon), Lucas (Joel Edgerton), and Roy’s son Alton (Jaeden Martell), a trio on the run from the FBI and religious extremists. Why? It turns out that Alton has otherworldly abilities. Glowing blue eyes, literal earthquakes, and satellite explosions are just a few of his tricks. Roadbound by night, it’s up to Roy and Lucas to get the boy to a predetermined latitude-longitude destination in Florida, coordinates spoken in tongues by Alton that the zealots have deciphered as scripture. In essence, Alton is their messiah, and he’s missing. Gripping from start to finish and featuring one of Sam Shepard’s last performances as the prolific cult leader, Midnight Special is a perfect weekend watch.
Rotten Tomatoes: 84%Genre: Sci-Fi, Mystery, ThrillerStars: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten DunstDirector: Jeff NicholsRating: PG-13Runtime: 121 minutes
Watch on Netflix

I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020)
Writer-director Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Synecdoche, New York) is at his most delightfully weird in this Netflix original movie. This time- and the perspective-bending story follows a young, nameless woman on a road trip to her new boyfriend’s parents’ house in the middle of a blizzard. When she gets there, she finds the parents (Toni Collette, David Thewlis) are extremely weird, and the house seems to exist in some kind of surreal alternate reality where time and character morph with abandon. Alternatively strange and hilarious, and constantly thought-provoking, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is powered by strong writing and outstanding performances from all the actors involved.
Rotten Tomatoes: 82%Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery & SuspenseStars: Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons, Toni Collette, David ThewlisDirector: Charlie KaufmanRating: RRuntime: 134 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Fear Street Part One: 1994 (2021)
This retro slasher feature based on R.L. Stine’s book series of the same name follows a group of teenagers in fictional Shadyside, Ohio, who find themselves terrorized by a supernatural killer with a link to the town’s dark history. Dripping with ’90s nostalgia and plenty of blood, the movie is the first installment of a trilogy that explores Shadyside’s deadly reputation as the murder capital of the country, with each chapter unfolding in a different era. Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Julia Rehwald, and Fred Hechinger star in the terrifying tale.
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%Genre: HorrorStars: Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Julia Rehwald, Fred HechingerDirector: Leigh JaniakRating: RRuntime: 105 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Gunpowder Milkshake (2021)
Karen Gillan plays a lethal assassin who finds herself on the run after she refuses to kill a young girl in this fast-paced, beautifully choreographed thriller. While fleeing the mysterious organization out to end her contract, Gillan finds an unexpected ally in the mother she thought she lost (played by Game of Thrones actress Lena Headey) and a trio of brutally effective hitwomen (Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh, Carla Gugino). With nonstop action and an impressive ensemble of leading ladies, the film gives new meaning to smashing the patriarchy.
Rotten Tomatoes: 69%Genre: Action, ThrillerStars: Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh, Carla Gugino, Chloe ColemanDirector: Navot PapushadoRating: RRuntime: 114 minutes
Watch on Netflix

The Karate Kid (1984)
Before Cobra Kai was all the rage, there was The Karate Kid, the film that made actor Ralph Macchio an unlikely martial arts icon and allowed Pat Morita to deliver one of Hollywood’s most inspirational performances of the era. The film casts Macchio as a bullied California teenager who finds an unexpected ally and mentor in the quiet Okinawan handyman at his family’s new apartment. Not only did the film earn Morita an Academy Award nomination for his performance, but it spawned three sequels, a 2010 remake, an animated series, and the aforementioned Cobra Kai revival series, which brought back many of the original franchise’s stars.
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%Genre: Drama, ActionStars: Ralph Macchio, Pat MoritaDirector: John G. AvildsenRating: PGRuntime: 126 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Wildling (2018)
Life has never been normal for Anna (Bel Powley). Confined to an attic bedroom, her adolescence is spent on empty days of staring out the window, longing for the wilderness. Cared for by a man she refers to as “Daddy” (Brad Dourif), he warns Anna that lurking in the world outside her bedroom is a terrifying creature called the Wildling. Traumatic events unfold, and a teenage Anna awakens in a hospital. When Ellen Cooper (Liv Tyler), the local sheriff, agrees to take Anna in, the dark mythos of the Wildling starts spreading. Is Anna losing her mind, or is something evil truly afoot in the woods? Director Fritz Böhm delivers a gripping yet morose fairytale about the coming-of-age process, a time where we lose touch with our mind and body when we need them most.
Rotten Tomatoes: 70%Genre: Fantasy, Mystery and Thriller, HorrorStars: Liv Tyler, Brad Dourif, Bel PowleyDirector: Fritz BöhmRating: RRuntime: 93 minutes
Watch on Netflix

I Care a Lot (2020)
Rosamund Pike portrays a diabolical con artist who poses as the legal guardian for elderly people in order to seize their assets in this dark, satirical thriller. Her highly profitable scam takes a dangerous turn when her latest victim turns out to be the mother of a powerful mob boss, leading to a deadly battle of wills between Pike’s character and a ruthless criminal kingpin played by Peter Dinklage. Eiza González and Dianne Wiest play supporting roles in the film, which earned praise from critics and led to Pike taking home a Golden Globe Award for her performance.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%Genre: Drama, Comedy, ThrillerStars: Rosamund Pike, Peter DinklageDirector: J BlakesonRating: RRuntime: 118 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Midnight Run (1988)
Robert De Niro plays a bounty hunter tasked with bringing in a shifty accountant portrayed by Charles Grodin in this classic comedy directed by Beverly Hills Cop filmmaker Martin Brest. Dubbed “the Casablanca of buddy comedies” by Rolling Stone, the film was a surprise hit based on the memorable chemistry between De Niro and Grodin, whose characters must deal with one setback after another on their cross-country journey, as well as corrupt cops, overzealous FBI agents, mafia hitmen, and a host of other threats. Nominated as one of the year’s best films at the 46th Golden Globe Awards, Midnight Run remains a truly underappreciated gem of ’80s cinema featuring two actors who bring the best out of each other’s performances.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%Genre: Action, ComedyStars: Robert De Niro, Charles GrodinDirector: Martin BrestRating: RRuntime: 122 minutes
Watch on Netflix

The Impossible (2012)
On Christmas vacation in Thailand, the Bennett family, consisting of Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor), Lucas (Tom Holland), Thomas (Samuel Joslin), and Simon (Oaklee Pendergast), are thrust right in the middle of the catastrophic 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The onslaught ravages the resort and separates the family. Maria and Simon awaken together, with Maria having sustained serious injuries. Henry, Thomas, and Simon have also survived but must wade through the chaos and literal ruins of the tsunami to try to find Maria and Simon. Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, from a script by Sergio G. Sánchez, The Impossible features bold performances from its main ensemble, incredible set pieces, and a powerful true story at its core.
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%Genre: DramaStars: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom HollandDirector: Juan Antonio BayonaRating: PG-13Runtime: 114 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Over the Moon (2020)
Fei Fei (Cathy Ang), grieving the loss of her mother, clings to a legend about a moon goddess named Chang’e. Much to the dismay of her father and his new family, the girl aims to prove that the goddess does indeed exist. To do so, she begins work on a rocket that will take her to the moon to prove Chang’e’s existence. Filled with heart and mesmerizing animation, Over the Moon often looks and feels like your standard Disney epic, but the familiar structure and dazzling music are enough to keep everyone glued to the screen.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%Genre: Adventure, Musical, Fantasy, Comedy, Kids And Family, AnimationStars: John Cho, Sandra Oh, Ken JeongDirector: Glen KeaneRating: PGRuntime: 100 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Fruitvale Station (2013)
Before he was one of Marvel Studios’ most celebrated filmmakers, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler wrote and directed this 2013 biographical film that cast Michael B. Jordan as Oscar Grant, who was murdered by police officer Johannes Mehserle in 2009 while traveling on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system in Oakland, California. The film chronicles the events of Grant’s day leading up to his fatal encounter with BART officers that was caught on video and ignited months of protests that — after similar incidents were recorded in the years that followed — would eventually coalesce into the Black Lives Matter movement for racial justice. A powerful, personal film that puts a face on one of the many victims of deadly police misconduct in recent years, Fruitvale Station launched Coogler’s career and earned a long list of awards for both its director and star while bringing wider attention to Grant’s story.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%Genre: DramaStars: Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Kevin Durand, Chad Michael MurrayDirector: Ryan CooglerRating: RRuntime: 85 minutes
Watch on Netflix

The Dig (2021)
Edith Pretty (Carey Mulligan), a widowed landowner, decides to tackle the Sutton Hoo burial mounds on her sprawling Suffolk estate. To do so, she hires amateur archaeologist Basil Brown (Ralph Fiennes) to tackle the job. As he and his crew begin the work, they unearth profound treasures that spark a national call to arms for prominent British historians. As a hierarchy of high-class excavators steamrolls Edith’s private operation, Edith argues for Brown’s position as the higher-ups try and force him out. A brilliant ensemble cast and picturesque cinematography make The Dig one of the best new historical dramas on Netflix.
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%Genre: DramaStars: Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes, Lily James, Ben ChaplinDirector: Simon StoneRating: RRuntime: 112 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Adapted from Matthew Quick’s 2008 novel of the same name, David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook is an ensemble tour de force with a stripped-down Bradley Cooper as its lead. When Patrick Solitano Jr. (Bradley Cooper) is released from eight months of intensive psychiatric care, he moves back in with his parents, Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) and Dolores (Jacki Weaver). Intent on getting his wife back, Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a widowed woman with an unspecified disorder of her own. As she and Pat begin to bond, Tiffany asks Pat to enter a dance competition with her, a move that Pat is convinced will get him his wife back. A romantic comedy turned on its head and injected with emotional realism, Silver Linings Playbook explores love, family, and psychosis in ways that other filmmakers would never dare to.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%Genre: Drama, Romance, ComedyStars: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De NiroDirector: David O. RussellRating: RRuntime: 121 minutes
Watch on Netflix

His House (2020)
After suffering a major tragedy on their pilgrimage from South Sudan to the U.K., Bol (Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku), married refugees fleeing their war-ravaged country, are placed in a decrepit tenement home. As Bol does his best to acclimate to a new life of racial discrepancy, a series of horrific ghouls make themselves known to the grieving man. Blending a socio-political immigration story with a haunted house story, His House bends both sub-genres in a way we’ve never seen pulled off before. An exciting and unsettling directorial debut from Remi Weekes, His House should definitely fill your screen this weekend.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%Genre: Mystery, Thriller, HorrorStars: Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù, Wunmi Mosaku, Matt SmithDirector: Remi WeekesRating: RRuntime: 93 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Stand by Me (1986)
Rob Reiner helmed this critically acclaimed adaptation of Stephen King’s novella The Body, which follows four young friends who embark on a hike through the Oregon wilderness in 1959 in the hopes of finding a dead body of a lost boy and claiming the reward. The film features an all-star cast of actors who went on to become household names, with Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O’Connell portraying the childhood friends and Kiefer Sutherland playing the leader of a local teenage gang. A powerful, funny, and occasionally heart-wrenching coming-of-age story, Stand by Me was nominated for an Academy Award for its screenplay and a pair of Golden Globe Awards as the year’s best film and for Reiner’s directing.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%Stars: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer SutherlandDirector: Rob ReinerRating: RRuntime: 89 minutes
Watch on Netflix

The White Tiger (2021)
Based on Aravind Adiga’s 2008 novel of the same name, The White Tiger follows the rags-to-riches story of Balram Halwai (Adarsh Gourav), an impoverished Indian villager that, through hard work (and a little manipulation), pushes himself into a much-lauded driver position for Ashok (Rajkummar Rao) and Pinky (Priyanka Chopra Jonas), two highly influential business magnates. Coming to love his position, a tragic misstep places Balram in the crosshairs of Ashok’s family. Unwilling to serve as a scapegoat, Balram chooses to fight back against the corrupt forces at play. A gripping class-drama akin to Parasite mates with Joker, The White Tiger is one of the greatest dramas you can stream today.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%Genre: DramaStars: Adarsh Gourav, Rajkummar Rao, Priyanka Chopra JonasDirector: Ramin BahraniRating: RRuntime: 126 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Finding ‘Ohana (2021)
Uprooted from her Brooklyn life, Pilialoha “Pili” Kawena (Kea Peahu) and her family travel to Oahu to care for her ailing grandfather. Initially disappointed by the lack of big-city buzz and activity, they discover a pirate journal that alludes to an ancient treasure buried somewhere on the island. As Pili and her older brother begin their quest for the trove, their journey takes them on a Hawaiian odyssey that connects them with their ancient island heritage. A loving family drama, Finding ‘Ohana is The Goonies meets visually breathtaking Hawaii.
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%Genre: Adventure, Action, ComedyStars: Kea Peahu, Alex Aiono, Lindsay WatsonDirector: Jude WengRating: PGRuntime: 123 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Childhood friends Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park) cross paths as adults, years after a teenage fling, and soon find themselves navigating life and love while maintaining two very different career paths and social circles. She’s a celebrity chef who hangs out with Keanu Reeves and he installs air conditioners. Can they ever find common ground? You probably know the answer to that already, but watching how they get there is where the fun lies — particularly when it comes to Reeves’ memorable performance.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%Stars: Ali Wong, Randall Park, Keanu ReevesDirector: Nahnatchka KhanRating: PG-13Runtime: 102 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Space Sweepers (2021)
Widely regarded as Korea’s first blockbuster space adventure, Space Sweepers is set in the year 2092 and follows the colorful crew of The Victory, a salvage ship that retrieves debris from space and sells it to the megacorporation that owns humanity’s last hope for survival, an orbiting space station high above the toxic surface of Earth. When the crew encounters a young girl in their latest salvage haul, it kicks off a wild adventure that pits them against powerful forces intent on steering mankind’s future. Filled with gorgeous visual-effects sequences, fascinating characters, and plenty of comedy — and a memorable robot named Bubs — the film is a fast-paced, fun throwback to classic space adventures with some wonderfully modern twists.
Rotten Tomatoes: 59%Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure, ComedyStars: Song Joong-ki, Kim Tae-ri, Jin Seon-kyu, Yoo Hae-jinDirector: Jo Sung-heeRating: TV-MARuntime: 136 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Moonlight (2016)
2016’s Best Picture winner established Mahershala Ali as a tour de force actor and introduced the world to the brilliant Ashton Sanders. Moonlight attempts to convey the Black experience through three defining chapters of one man’s life. Chiron (Sanders) grows up in Miami, surrounded by a community that is full of love and support despite the crack epidemic that is ravaging it. As Chiron is pulled from his biological family by drug abuse and misunderstanding, he’s guided into manhood by Juan (Ali), a man who recognizes the struggles Chiron will face as a gay Black man. Juan tries to help Chiron find peace with his identity.
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%Genre: Drama, RomanceStars: Mahershala Ali, Ashton Sanders, Alex R. LittleDirector: Barry JenkinsRating: RRuntime: 111 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Sleight (2016)
In this tense drama from director and co-writer J.D. Dillar, a brilliant young street magician in Los Angeles finds himself in over his head when he gets entangled with a violent drug supplier and must use every trick he knows to save himself and his sister. A surprise hit, Sleight won over audiences at the Sundance Film Festival with its unexpected twist on conventional thrillers, as well as star Jacob Latimore’s compelling performance.
Rotten Tomatoes: 78%Genre: Drama, ThrillerStars: Jacob Latimore, Seychelle GabrielDirector: J.D. DillardRating: RRuntime:  90 minutes
Watch on Netflix

The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the duo that gave us The Lego Movie and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, return for this animated feature about a dysfunctional family that ends up becoming humanity’s last, best hope against a robot uprising. Mike Rianda (Gravity Falls) makes his directorial debut with the film, which also features an impressive voice cast that includes Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Eric Andre, Olivia Colman, Fred Armisen, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Blake Griffin, and Conan O’Brien, among other familiar names (and voices). An early favorite for the year’s best animated feature — and one of the best movies of the year — The Mitchells vs. The Machines has quickly become a surprise hit for Netflix.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%Genre: Comedy, Family, Sci-FiStars: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Mike RiandaDirector: Mike RiandaRating: PGRuntime: 114 minutes
Watch on Netflix

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)
Hollywood stalwart Aaron Sorkin rises to the occasion once more with his blistering interpretation of the 1969 Democratic National Convention trials, where seven Vietnam protestors were charged with crimes well beyond their intent. As peaceful demonstrations turn caustic, prejudice bleeds into testimony and eyewitness accounts of what took place the day of the riots. Featuring performances from Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baren Cohen, Alex Sharp, and John Caroll Lynch, Sorkin’s big-budget historical drama takes liberties here and there, but the result is a spellbinding examination of American history.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%Genre: Drama, HistoryStars: Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baren Cohen, Yahya Abdul-Mateen IIDirector: Aaron SorkinRating: RRuntime: 130 minutes
Watch on Netflix

The Social Dilemma (2020)
Director Jeff Orlowski’s The Social Dilemma is an eye-opening docudrama that puts big tech like Google, Facebook, and Instagram under the microscope. Various talking heads (many ex-employees of big tech) weigh in on social media’s harmful implications — from algorithmic data mining to mental health detriments. The more one watches Orlowski’s film, the more questions one begins asking about their own social media exposure. The Social Dilemma doesn’t stray from its intent, leaving us with all kinds of things to think about (particularly our own social media accounts) once the credits roll.
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%Genre: Documentary, DramaStars: Tristan HarrisDirector: Jeff OrlowskiRating: PG-13Runtime: 94 minutes
Watch on Netflix

My Octopus Teacher (2020)
The Academy Award winner in the Best Documentary Feature category at the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony, My Octopus Teacher chronicles the year filmmaker Craig Foster spent free-diving off the South African coast and forging a relationship with a wild octopus he discovered there. In following the octopus’s life and experiences, Foster learns lessons about his own life and relationship to the world around him and his family.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%Genre: DocumentaryStars: Craig FosterDirector: Pippa Ehrlich, James ReedRating: GRuntime: 85 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Shadow (2018)
Legendary Chinese director Zhang Yimou followed up his misbegotten The Great Wall with 2018’s Shadow, a beautiful return to form. The film begins when Commander Ziyu (Deng Chao) is defeated in a duel with enemy commander Yang Cang (Hu Jun), losing an important city in the process. This infuriates Ziyu’s king, who demotes Ziyu to commoner status and tries desperately to reclaim the city. Unbeknownst to the king, the actual Ziyu is on the verge of death after the duel, replaced by a body double who must now train to beat Yang Cang. Shadow is a historical epic of grand scope, heavy on intrigue and stylish combat sequences accented by a stark color palette.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%Genre: DramaStars: Deng Chao, Sun Li, Ryan ChengDirector: Zhang YimouRating: TV-MARuntime: 116 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Total Recall (1990)
Acclaimed filmmaker Paul Verhoeven directed this 1990 adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale and filled it with his trademark blend of over-the-top violence, sex, and dark social satire. One of the most expensive films ever made at the time of its release, Total Recall cast Arnold Schwarzenegger as a construction worker in humanity’s far-flung future who suddenly finds himself at the heart of an interplanetary conspiracy that may or may not even be real. Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, Rachel Ticotin, and Michael Ironside play supporting roles in this brutal — and occasionally brutally funny — adventure that brings Schwarzenegger’s character from Earth to Mars in pursuit of the truth about himself and his past. Along with being a critical and commercial success when it was released, the film also won a Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects at the Academy Awards.
Rotten Tomatoes: 82%Genre: Sci-Fi, ActionStars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, Rachel Ticotin, Michael IronsideDirector: Paul VerhoevenRating: RRuntime: 109 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Widely regarded as one of the funniest movies ever made, this parody of Arthurian legend was written and performed by the famous Monty Python comedy troupe and directed by troupe members Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. The film chronicles various elements of King Arthur’s quest to find the Holy Grail and those of his fellow Knights of the Round Table as they encounter one ridiculous scenario after another in pursuit of the relic. If you’ve ever wondered about the airspeed of a swallow, the best ways to determine whether someone is a witch, or how a fuzzy bunny could be the most terrifying creature in the world, well … you might not get all the answers in this film, but you’ll definitely find plenty of laughs.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%Genre: ComedyStars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael PalinDirector: Terry Gilliam, Terry JonesRating: PGRuntime: 90 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Loving (2016)
Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, and inspired by the 2012 HBO documentary The Loving Story, Loving depicts the trials and tribulations of Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Loving (Ruth Negga), an interracial couple who wanted nothing more than to be wed. But after traveling from Virginia to Washington D.C., to get married, the couple is tracked down by their hometown authorities and charged with violating Virginia’s segregation laws. For their prison sentences to be thrown out, the couple must agree to vacate Virginia and not return for 25 years. But the couple doesn’t want to give up on their love. Ruth writes to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, which sets into motion one of the most vital Supreme Court cases in civil rights history.
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%Genre: Biography, Drama, HistoryStars: Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Nick KrollDirector: Jeff NicholsRating: PG-13Runtime: 123 minutes
Watch on Netflix

If Anything Happens I Love You (2020)
From writer/director duo Michael Govier and Will McCormack, If Anything Happens explores a world of profound grief in a beautifully illustrated and meditative manner. Navigating the emotional aftermath of one family’s tragic loss, the short animation begins in a dark and near-unforgiving place, but through the power of love and the will to move forward, the film progresses into a place of love, forgiveness, and hope. Not the easiest watch in this roundup, but worthy of attention for its emotional bravery and stellar composition.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%Genre: Drama, AnimationStars: N/ADirector: Michael Govier, Will McCormackRating: RRuntime: 12 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Based on Donn Pearce’s novel of the same name, Cool Hand Luke stars Paul Newman as the titular war veteran, Luke Jackson, a man sentenced to a chain gang after a night of drunken revelries. Testing the waters with the hot-headed authorities in charge of the prison detail, Luke quickly rises to prominence as an inspirational figure among his jail peers. But as the hot-headed vet grows ever-more comfortable with his pedestal prominence, events transpire that test his resilience and resolve. Cool Hand Luke would go on to inspire countless prison dramas over the years, thanks in part to the film’s rich acting ensemble and Gordon’s precise directing.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%Genre: DramaStars: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, J.D. CannonDirector: Stuart RosenbergRating: PGRuntime: 126 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Uncut Gems (2019)
Uncut Gems is not for the faint-hearted. The Safdie Brothers’ drama about a gambling-addicted jeweler is a relentlessly intense, high-stress ride through the world of high-stakes gambling. Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler) is a charismatic New York City jeweler who is always on the lookout for the next big score. When NBA All-Star Kevin Garnett takes an interest in Howard’s most recent high-value acquisition, believing it brings him luck, Sandler makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime. Unfortunately, not everyone in his life is willing to wait for that windfall. Howard has to perform a precarious balancing act between business, family, debt collectors, and more to get the payoff.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%Genre: DramaStars: Adam Sandler, LaKeith Stanfield, Kevin GarnettDirector: Josh Safdie, Benny SafdieRating: RRuntime: 135 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Pan’s Labyrinth is a breathtakingly beautiful and heart-wrenchingly tragic film. Winner of three Academy Awards (on six nominations), Pan‘s Labyrinth launched director Guillermo del Toro onto the American awards show radar and introduced audiences to the blend of sci-fi, horror, and surrealistic elements that characterize his style. Set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, the film follows an imaginative young girl who also may just be a princess of an underground kingdom. Cast aside by her cruel, militaristic stepfather and isolated from her mother, Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) entertains herself on the grounds of their home in the Spanish countryside. When she stumbles upon a stone labyrinth presided over by a suspicious faun named Pan (Doug Jones), she is asked to complete three life-threatening tasks to prove she is the mythical princess, returned to reclaim her kingdom. Ofelia’s journey is expertly foiled by a guerrilla resistance to the rule of fascist Francisco Franco and the crumbling fragility of her newly formed family.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%Genre: Drama, fantasyStars: Ivana Baquero, Sergi LópezDirector: Guillermo del ToroRating: RRuntime: 115 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Roma (2018)
Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma opens quietly, the camera staring, motionless, at a tile floor as the credits play; eventually, water pours over the floor, as the sound of a mop spills in from just offscreen. It’s a boldly mundane opening, fitting for a film about an ordinary woman. Roma follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a maid working in the household of a wealthy doctor, Antonio (Fernando Grediaga) and his wife, Sofia (Marina de Tavira). Cleo cleans the house, tends to the children, and keeps the household running as Antonio and Sofia’s marriage strains. Cleo is the type of character typically relegated to the background of stories like this, but Cuaron makes her the focus, depicting her daily labor and struggles with a surprise pregnancy and unreliable lover. It’s a beautiful Netflix film, delicately composed and shot in stark black and white.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%Genre: DramaStars: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de TaviraDirector: Alfonso CuarónRating: RRuntime: 148 minutes
Watch on Netflix

The Disaster Artist (2017)
James Franco directs, produces, and stars in The Disaster Artist, an adaptation of Greg Sestero (portrayed in the film by Dave Franco) and Tom Bissell’s non-fiction book of the same name. Both the novel and film are a chronicle of Sestero’s rollercoaster friendship with infamous cult film legend Tommy Wiseau (Franco), an enigmatic actor with Hollywood dreams and plenty of money to pursue them — although no one can figure out why he’s so rich. After being turned down for role after role, Tommy decides to write, direct, and star in his own film called The Room, a bizarre and disjointed melodrama that he also casts Greg in. As the film runs into continued troubles and delays (mostly because of Tommy’s inabilities as a filmmaker), tensions rise between Greg and Tommy, along with the rest of the cast and crew. Whether you’ve seen The Room or not, The Disaster Artist is a mesmerizing examination of one of the strangest film productions of all time.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%Genre: Comedy, DramaStars: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison BrieDirector: James FrancoRating: RRuntime: 103 minutes
Watch on Netflix

The Babysitter (2017)
Cole (Judah Lewis) loves his babysitter, Bee (Samara Weaving). She’s fun, good-looking, and worships the dark lord of all dark lords. Behind Bee’s charming smile is a sinister satanist with a thirst for blood. As members of a creepy cult begin their descent over Cole’s life, it’s up to the preteen to outsmart their efforts before he becomes Bee’s next victim. A Netflix original film, The Babysitter doesn’t surprise in many ways but follows the genre formula to a tee, and we love the dedication. It’s campy, edgy, and a joyride through and through.
Rotten Tomatoes: 72%Genre: Horror, ComedyStars: Bella Thorne, Judah Lewis, Samara WeavingDirector: McGRating: TV-MARuntime: 85 minutes
Watch on Netflix

The Florida Project (2017)
Just miles away from “the happiest place on earth” is a wonderland far from a dream come true. But seen through Moonee’s (Brooklynn Prince) eyes, the Magic Castle Inn and Suites is a home filled with family, friends, and unrequited love. Sean Baker’s The Florida Project looks past the palm trees and theme parks of Orlando for a series of impoverished day-in-the-life vignettes. Featuring powerful performances across the board, the film paints an emotional but authentic picture of life on the fringe, as seen through the eyes of an adventurous and inquisitive child.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%Genre: Adventure, Action, Sci-Fi, Mystery, ThrillerStars: Willem Dafoe, Brooklynn Prince, Valeria CottoDirector: Sean BakerRating: RRuntime: 111 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2017)
Based on Barry Crump’s novel Wild Pork and Watercress, Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople stars Sam Neill and Julian Dennison as an unlikely foster-father/foster-child duo. After his adoption by the Faulkner family, Ricky (Dennison) attempts to settle into his new family, but tragic events scare the boy into the dense New Zealand wilderness. Hec (Neill), Ricky’s foster-parent, tracks the boy down but suffers a debilitating injury in the process. Bonding over their pasts and hope for a freer future, the pair decide to hide away in the brush together. But with a national manhunt underway to find the man and boy, how long can their odyssey truly last? Hunt for the Wilderpeople lives and breathes through Neill and Dennison’s onscreen chemistry, an acting partnership only deepened by Waititi’s rich and emotive script.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%Genre: Adventure, ComedyStars: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rima Te WiataDirector: Taika WaititiRating: PG-13Runtime: 101 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Yes, God, Yes (2020)
Stranger Things alum Natalia Dyer stars in writer-director Karen Maine’s Yes, God, Yes, a coming-of-age take on religious repression and burgeoning sexuality. Alice (Dyer) and her friend Laura (Francesca Reale) decide to attend their Catholic school’s annual Kirkos retreat. On their pilgrimage, Alice inadvertently enters into a promiscuous AOL chat when she tries to look up a particular sex act. This puts into place a daisy chain of rumors among Alice’s peers, with Alice’s genuine innocence and curiosity put uncomfortably in the middle. Based on her 2017 short film of the same name, Maine’s Yes, God, Yes is a nuanced and mature story of one teenager trying to wade her way through the stigma of sex, featuring a powerful lead performance from Dyer.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%Genre: ComedyStars: Natalia Dyer, Alisha Boe, Francesca RealeDirector: Karen MaineRating: RRuntime: 78 minutes
Watch on Netflix

Editors’ Recommendations

The 52 finest exhibits on Amazon Prime Video proper now

Whether you’re in the mood for romance (try Modern Love), action (The Boys), or maybe you want a good laugh (30 Rock), Amazon Prime Video is home to tons of great series. Many of them, like the first two mentioned above, are Amazon originals. The slate of originals includes quality programming, as is evidenced by Amazon Prime Video’s many Emmy nominations this year. But look through the library and you’ll also find other titles that are available to stream, including shows that aired on some of your favorite linear networks way back when. Not sure what to watch? We’re here to help you get the most out of your Amazon Prime subscription beyond keeping your supply of toilet paper sufficiently stocked each month.
Looking for something else? We’ve also rounded up the best shows on Netflix, the best movies on Hulu, the best movies on Amazon Prime Video, and the best movies on Disney+.

How I Met Your Mother
“Ha-ave you met Ted?” Told from the perspective of Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) talking to his teenage kids in the year 2030, the premise of this sitcom is the story of how Ted met their mother. But like any long-winded dad regaling stories of his past, before Ted can recall how he met the love of his life, he waxes nostalgic about all of the women he dated first. Naturally, going into detail about being a single man in his late ’20s and early ’30s in New York means delving into everything else in his life at that time, including his career and, most importantly, his close-knit group of friends. The sitcom is Friends for a new generation, and the ensemble cast is made for comedy gold. While there are nine seasons and a total of 208 episodes to get through, it’s worth the investment of time, not only for the big reveal (who’s mom?) but mostly so you can finally be in on the joke when friends and family quote the endless one-liners and references from the show.
Created by: Carter Bays, Craig ThomasCast: Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson HanniganNumber of seasons: 9
Watch on Amazon Prime

Modern Love
A weekly column in The New York Times inspired this romantic comedy anthology series, which premiered in 2019 and features an impressive cast of A-list actors in the first two seasons of eight episodes each. The series follows various residents of New York City as they deal with the trials and tribulations of finding romance and keeping it alive in the modern era. Among the actors appearing in the series’ half-hour episodes are Kit Harington, Anna Paquin, Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, Andy García, Dev Patel, John Slattery, Catherine Keener, Cristin Milioti, Sofia Boutella, Ed Sheeran, and Judd Hirsch.
Created by: N/ACast: Kit Harington, Anna Paquin, Ben Rappaport, Garrett Hedlund, Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, Andy García, Dev Patel, Cristin Milioti, Ed Sheeran, Judd HirschNumber of seasons: 2
Watch on Amazon Prime

30 Rock
This satirical sitcom created by and starring Tina Fey was inspired by her experiences as head writer for Saturday Night Live and ran for seven seasons, earning an astounding 103 Primetime Emmy Award nominations and winning 16 times over the course of its run. The series follows the showrunner of a sketch comedy series who’s forced to juggle the competing interests of her brash network boss, narcissistic actors, and sensitive writers as she attempts to keep her show on the air and successful. Along with Fey, the series’ impressive cast included Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, and Judah Friedlander, among other familiar faces.
Created by: Tina FeyCast: Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Alec BaldwinNumber of seasons: 7
Watch on Amazon Prime

The Pursuit of Love
Set in pre-World War II Europe, Linda and Fanny are cousins who are on the hunt to find true love, marriage, and the perfect husband. But as their priorities change and their lives begin to go in different directions, their friendship is tested. With a decent critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this British romance drama has been lauded for its spot-on casting and “stylish proceedings.” The New Yorker calls the series, which was created by Emily Mortimer (The Newsroom) and is based on the novel by Nancy Mitford, a “scathing satire of the British upper class.”
Created by: Emily MortimerCast: Lily James, Andrew Scott, Emily Beecham, Dominic West, Dolly Wells, John Heffernan, Beattie Edmondson, Assaad Bouab, Shazad Latif, Freddie Fox, Emily MortimerNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Amazon Prime

The Underground Railroad
Imagine if the Underground Railroad, the hidden routes and safe houses that were used to help enslaved Black people escape in the 1800s, was an actual railroad? This is the premise taken in this historical drama based on the novel of the same name by Colson Whitehead. Made by the same creative team that produced the Oscar-winning film Moonlight, critics praise the “superb ensemble” and director Barry Jenkins’ “singular eye” and call the story “challenging and necessary.” At the heart of the story is Cora, who meets Caesar, and together they try to make it to the train and ride toward freedom.
Created by: Barry JenkinsCast: Thuso Mbedu, Chase W. Dillon, Aaron Pierre, Joel EdgertonNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Amazon Prime

Bones
If you’re looking for your basic and predictable yet thoroughly entertaining crime procedural comedy-drama, Bones will fit the bill. And there are a dozen seasons to get through. As is typical of the genre, each episode deals with a new FBI case file involving human remains and the special agent who works alongside a forensic anthropologist to try and solve it. Stories also delve into the personal lives of the main characters. Loosely based on the life of real forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs and her novels, it’s an interesting look at the intersection and debates between science and empirical evidence and faith and intuition.
Created by: Hart HansonCast: Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, Michaela Conlin, Eric Millegan, T.J. Thyne, Jonathan Adams, Tamara TaylorNumber of seasons: 12
Watch on Amazon Prime

One Mississippi
The death of a loved one does not seem like the most auspicious start to a comedy series, but One Mississippi is anything but conventional. Starring comedian Tig Notaro as a fictionalized version of herself, the show draws on several tragedies in her real life. Still reeling from breast cancer, fictional Tig returns to her hometown in Mississippi to witness her mother being taken off life support and decides to stay and reconnect with her stepfather and brother. Despite the depressing first chapter, One Mississippi is not an unrelenting drama. The show balances grief and joy in equal measure, examining the long, up-and-down process of trauma and recovery.
Created by: Tig Notaro, Diablo CodyCast: Tig Notaro, Noah Harpster, John RothmanNumber of seasons: 2
Watch on Amazon Prime

Mr. Robot
As information technology creeps into every aspect of life, one can’t help but look at the people controlling that technology (corporations, government agencies) with a wary eye. The modern world, at times, seems like the prelude to a cyberpunk dystopia, at least the way Mr. Robot portrays it. The show follows Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a paranoid security engineer who, in addition to his day job working for a massive corporation, engages in acts of vigilante hacking.
When Elliot is courted by a mysterious activist-hacker known as “Mr. Robot,” he has a chance to use his skills for more than acts of petty justice. Mr. Robot has a grand plan to topple society, and Alderson could play a key role. Mr. Robot is a cyber-thriller with a keen grasp of the technology it represents, but don’t mistake technical accuracy for realism — the show dives headfirst down a rabbit hole of paranoia and espionage, with a plot that constantly challenges the viewer’s perceptions.
Created by: Sam EsmailCast: Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Carly ChaikinNumber of seasons: 4
Watch on Amazon Prime

Bosch
Titus Welliver plays Los Angeles homicide detective Harry Bosch in this Amazon Studios original series based on Michael Connelly’s series of novels. The first season of the critically acclaimed series has Bosch standing trial for the killing of a serial murder suspect while simultaneously confronting his past when a cold case involving a missing boy suddenly heats up again. After six well-received seasons, Bosch was renewed for a seventh and final season in February 2020.
Created by: Eric Overmyer, Daniel Pyne, Michael Connelly, Henrik Bastin, Pieter Jan Brugge, John MankiewiczCast: Titus Welliver, Annie Wersching, Amy Price-FrancisNumber of seasons: 7
Watch on Amazon Prime

Tales from the Loop
Inspired by the futuristic paintings and designs of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, the Amazon original series Tales from the Loop centers on a small rural town where people live above “The Loop,” a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe. Duncan Joiner and Rebecca Hall star in this drama that aims to make the science fiction appear more real-life than ever.
Created by: Nathaniel HalpernCast: Duncan Joiner, Rebecca WilliamsNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Amazon Prime

Flack
In her first big television role since True Blood, Anna Paquin trades vampire blood for high heels as Robyn, a public relations executive from America navigating the industry in Britain. Despite her best efforts, however, it seems that at every turn, her clients, which include high-maintenance personalities in entertainment, fashion, and sports, keep getting themselves into ridiculous messes, leaving her (alongside her sassy colleagues) to pick up the pieces. Ironically, while Robyn always knows just what to do to get her clients out of tough situations, her sharp wit translates to self-sabotage when it comes to her own personal life.
Created by: Oliver LansleyCast: Anna Paquin, Sophie Okonedo, Genevieve Angelson, Lydia Wilson, Rebecca Benson, Arinze Kene, Marc Warren, Rufus JonesNumber of seasons: 2
Watch on Amazon Prime

The Man in the High Castle
World War II seems to be the most common source for the “What if?” scenario in fiction. The Man in the High Castle, based on Philip K. Dick’s novel of the same name, starts with the premise that not only did the Axis powers win the war, but they also occupied the United States afterward, with Imperial Japan governing the West Coast and the Nazis controlling the territory east of the Rockies. The show follows a few different characters living in different regions as they try to endure the occupation and simultaneously investigate a mysterious film reel that depicts an alternate universe where the Allies actually won the war. Dick was a true visionary author, and The Man in the High Castle captures the otherworldly, authoritarian nature of the world he imagined. Rich with intrigue and superb direction, The Man in the High Castle is an exciting thriller. The series wrapped up its impressive run with November 2019’s season 4.
Created by: Frank SpotnitzCast: Alex Davalos, Luke Kleintank, Geoffery Blake, Rupert Evans, Luke KleintankNumber of seasons: 4
Watch on Amazon Prime

Comrade Detective
In the 1980s, with the Cold War getting warmer, American pop culture produced a bounty of movies expressing the anxieties and patriotism of the era: Films like Red Dawn, or 1985’s lesser-known Invasion U.S.A. (starring Chuck Norris). Comrade Detective lifts the aesthetics of ’80s action cinema and filters them through a (sardonic) communist lens, following a pair of Romanian detectives investigating a plot by Western imperialists to subvert the communist order. The show — which is framed as an actual show from Romania, dubbed over in English with voices from actors like Channing Tatum and Joseph-Gordon Levitt — begins with detective Gregor Anghel (a hard-nosed cop who plays by his own rules but gets results) and his partner busting drug dealers, only for a sniper to shoot Anghel’s partner. Out for vengeance, Anghel and his new partner, Iosif Baciu, hunt the killer but stumble on a conspiracy of international proportions. Comrade Detective is a strange show even by the inventive standards of modern television, a parody wrapped in a layer of faux-authenticity, but its odd charms are worth watching.
Created by: Brian GatewoodCast: Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jenny SlateNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Amazon Prime

The Americans
It’s 1981, President Ronald Reagan has just been elected, and like most Americans, Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys) are enjoying the country’s rising prosperity as the Cold War heats up. Unlike most Americans, however, the Jennings are actually KGB spies. From that singular premise emerges one of the most exciting thrillers on the air today. The political intrigue is exciting, but what makes The Americans stand out is its focus on the Jennings’ marriage. In examining the tensions of married life, the show demonstrates that personal issues like spousal conflict can be every bit as exciting as geopolitical maneuvers.
Created by: Joseph WeisbergCast: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Holly TaylorNumber of seasons: 6
Watch on Amazon Prime

Dexter
Taking Jeff Lindsay’s dark and disturbing series of novels and turning them into a compelling crime drama mystery series, Dexter is easily one of the best shows to ever grace the small screen. The sub-par ending aside (redemption may come with the limited series revival), the story of a vigilante serial killer who learns to follow his father’s code and harness his dark urges to only kill criminals who “deserve it” will quickly get you addicted to its unique premise. Viewers find themselves puzzlingly rooting for and sympathizing with the title character (Michael C. Hall), even though he’s, well, a cold-blooded killer. Dexter struggles to appear “normal” despite just going through the motions of life, mimicking the behavior of others. His day job helps him accomplish his after-hours pleasures with ease: He’s a skilled blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police, using his access to research victims before he kills. It’s a deliciously devilish series that’ll have you anxious for the upcoming revival.
Created by: James Manos Jr. (based on Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay)Cast: Michael C. Hall, Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter, Erik King, Lauren Velez, David Zayas, James Remar, C.S. Lee, Desmond HarringtonNumber of seasons: 8
Watch on Amazon Prime

House
Over the course of eight seasons, actor Hugh Laurie turned the irascible Gregory House into one of pop culture’s most iconic physicians in this medical drama that ranked among the most popular shows in the world during its run. The series followed House as he used his unique insights to diagnosis puzzling illnesses while simultaneously battling his own addictions. Laurie’s unconventional medical genius was the show’s titular star, but his supporting cast played a big role in making House one of the highest-rated series in the U.S. between 2004 and 2012.
Created by: David ShoreCast: Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein, Robert Sean LeonardNumber of seasons: 8
Watch on Amazon Prime

Red Oaks
Red Oaks doesn’t offer much in the way of length. However, while you could easily binge the entire three seasons over a single weekend, the casual pacing makes it more suitable for quick installments. Set during the 1980s, the show is centered on a young tennis player (Craig Roberts) who opts for a job at the exclusive Red Oaks Country Club during the summer between his sophomore and junior year of college. What ensues is a warm and heartfelt nod to the sex comedies that were a staple of that decade. Boasting dry humor and a solid ensemble that includes Ennis Esmer as the hilarious tennis pro, Nash, Red Oaks rises above the raucousness to create characters you really care about.
Created by: Gregory Jacobs, Joe GangemiCast: Craig Roberts, Jennifer Grey, Paul ReiserNumber of seasons: 3
Watch on Amazon Prime

The Tick
People who watched Fox in the early 2000s may have vague memories of a short-lived superhero sitcom called The Tick (based on the comic of the same name), in which a blue-costumed superhero played by the unmistakable Patrick Warburton dealt with supervillains and awkward situations. Amazon’s The Tick is a fresh adaptation of the franchise, with no Warburton in sight (he was just as disappointed as we were), but it maintains the comic’s absurd, cheerful sense of humor.
The show follows a superhero called The Tick (Peter Serafinowicz) and his companion, Arthur (Griffin Newman), who fight crime and investigate a conspiracy involving an infamous supervillain called The Terror (Jackie Earle Haley). The Tick is an upbeat palate-cleanser after years of more dour superhero tales, even if it only lasted two seasons before cancellation.
Created by: Ben EdlundCast: Peter Serafinowicz, Griffin Newman, Jackie Earle HaleyNumber of seasons: 2
Watch on Amazon Prime

Invincible
With a star-studded cast and Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead universe, behind it, it’s no surprise that this new Amazon original series is already receiving rave reviews. While it’s an animated superhero series, Invincible isn’t a show to watch with the kids. As per Kirkman’s signature style, there’s a lot of violence and gore. At the heart of the story is Mark Grayson (voiced by The Walking Dead‘s Steven Yeun), the teenage son of the world’s most powerful superhero, Omni-Man (J.K. Simmons). Once Mark turns 18, he begins to develop his own superhero skills and must balance becoming Invincible with being a typical coming-of-age teenage boy, and learning the truth about his dad. Keep an ear out for the members of the Guardians of the Globe superhero team, loosely based on the Justice League, all of whom are voiced by Walking Dead cast members, past and present. Also lending their local talents to the series are A-listers like Zachary Quinto, Gillian Jacobs, Walton Goggins, Seth Rogen, Mark Hamill, Mahershala Ali, and Zazie Beetz.
Created by: Robert KirkmanCast: Steven Yeun, Sandra Oh, J.K. SimmonsNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Amazon Prime
Ken Woroner / BBC America
Orphan Black
In this critically acclaimed Canadian series, a young woman named Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) has a chance encounter with a woman who looks just like her. This sets Sarah down a path to discovering that she is one of several clones who have been created as part of an ongoing experiment. Soon, she is at odds with the corporation that created her and a mysterious organization that wants to get rid of her. It’s a fast-paced thriller that takes the time to explore themes of self-identity and bioethics. And Maslany does a beautifully captivating job of playing several clones, each of whom has very a distinct personality, mannerisms, and style. Her performance alone, which earned her a Primetime Emmy Award in 2016, is worth watching, with the fascinating story surrounding it as icing on the cake.
Created by: Graeme Manson, John FawcettCast: Tatiana Maslany, Jordan Gavaris, Dylan BruceNumber of seasons: 5
Watch on Amazon Prime

Jack Ryan
Tom Clancy’s “Ryanverse” franchise makes the leap from film to TV with this spy thriller that premiered in 2018 and casts John Krasinski as the titular CIA analyst who finds himself investigating one far-reaching international threat after another. Lost co-creator Carlton Cuse serves as co-creator and executive producer on the Amazon Original series along with Krasinski and Michael Bay (among others), and the show has offered up two well-received seasons so far, with a third on the way.
Created by: Graham Roland, Carlton CuseCast: John Krasinski, Abbie Cornish, Wendell PierceNumber of seasons: 2
Watch on Amazon Prime

Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams
You could call this Amazon Prime’s Black Mirror, and you wouldn’t be wrong. The Show is an anthology sci-fi series based on stories from the late science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick, whose work inspired Blade Runner and Amazon series The Man in the High Castle. Electric Dreams‘ first season explores injectable consciousness, mind readers, humans beings replaced by robots, and a genocidal presidential candidate, to name a few. The production value is impressive, with Hidden Figures and Moonlight actress Janelle Monae playing an artificially intelligent robot in a metallic suit that looks convincingly realistic. Like Black Mirror, Amazon’s sci-fi series employs some major stars, including Terrence Howard, Bryan Cranston, Steve Buscemi, and Anna Paquin. Those looking for a gripping dose of dark sci-fi will definitely find it here.
Created by: N/ACast: Geraldine Chaplin, Steve Buscemi, Richard MaddenNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Amazon Prime

Star Trek: The Original Series
A groundbreaking science fiction series from Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek follows the crew of the Starship Enterprise as they travel on a five-year mission of peace and exploration. Starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy in the roles that launched them into stardom, the Original Series’ 79 episodes serve as a cornerstone of television history that spawned nine more (and counting) TV series, both live-action and animated, and 13 feature films. Each episode explores timeless philosophical and social ideas. Star Trek also was famous for its ethnically diverse cast in the tumultuous 1960s, making the series far ahead of its time. Roddenberry envisioned a future where humanity would bring its best traits and ideals into space, and the show shares his boundless idealism. The primitive special effects can make Star Trek seem a bit cheesy to the modern eye, but even its most inept action scenes have a certain bizarre charm to them.
Created by: Gene RodenberryCast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest KelleyNumber of seasons: 3

Chuck
Consumer tech clerk Chuck Bartowski suddenly finds himself at the center of an international battle between rival spy organizations in this series that aired on NBC for five seasons and starred Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski. Levi portrays slacker hero Bartowski, whose college pal puts him on the CIA’s radar when he sends him an email containing many of the agency’s most important secrets — a treasure trove of data that ends up stuck in Bartowski’s brain. His predicament soon finds him paired with CIA agent Sarah Walker (Strahovski), who must work with Bartowski to use the information in his head and somehow keep him alive while doing so.
Created by: Josh Schwartz, Chris FedakCast: Zachary Levi, Yvonne StrahovskiNumber of seasons: 5
Watch on Amazon Prime

Mozart in the Jungle
One of Amazon’s first original series was created by Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, and Alex Timbers and stars Gael García Bernal, Malcolm McDowell, and Bernadette Peters as luminaries in the modern classical music scene. Not a bad get for the platform’s first show. Bernal stars as Rodrigo, the brash new conductor of the New York Symphony Orchestra, whose style clashes with the more straight-laced symphony benefactors behind the scenes. However, his talent is undeniable, and as he strikes up a friendship with an up-and-coming oboist (Lola Kirke), it becomes clear that the two of them can bring out the best in each other.
Created by: N/ACast: Gael García Bernal, Lola Kirke, Malcolm McDowell, Bernadette PetersNumber of seasons: 4

Monk
An eight-time Emmy Award winner, Monk casts Tony Shalhoub as private detective Adrian Monk, who assists the homicide department of the San Francisco Police Department with various cases. His powerful deductive skills are matched only by his myriad phobias, which — along with his obsessive-compulsive disorder — complicate his work with police investigators. The series concluded its eight-season run in 2009 with a finale that wrapped up one of the show’s longest-running mysteries.
Created by: David HobermanCast: Tony Shalhoub, Traylor Howard, Ted LevineNumber of seasons: 8
Watch on Amazon Prime

The Grand Tour
For years, the trio of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond drove cool cars and clowned around with each other on the BBC’s Top Gear. Despite their departure from that series, however, the good times keep rolling on The Grand Tour, which reunites the three snarky hosts for a show that is very similar in format to Top Gear. Episodes often feature studio segments and test drives on the show’s test track, the “Eboladrome.” As with Top Gear, the best episodes are the ones where the hosts venture to foreign lands, testing unique vehicles on unfamiliar terrain. For car enthusiasts or Top Gear fans not satisfied by that show’s new hosts, The Grand Tour is a welcome return to form.
Created by: Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May, Andy WilmanCast: Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James MayNumber of seasons: 4

Billions
Check out the first three of the current five seasons of this riveting Showtime drama that follows Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis), a ruthless hedge fund manager in New York who continues to grow his wealthy portfolio, and increase the power that comes with it. He doesn’t accomplish this on the up-and-up, though, and his sometimes illegal dealings have caught the attention of prosecutor Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti), who is intent on taking Axelrod down. With a mix of fiction and storylines that mirror real-life financial crimes, the series has been lauded for its fresh narrative each season and new character introductions that represent a who’s who of the A-list Hollywood scene.
Created by: Brian Koppelman, David Levien, Andrew Ross SorkinCast: Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis, Maggie Siff, Malin Akerman, Toby Leonard Moore, David Costabile, Condola RashadNumber of seasons: 5
Watch on Amazon Prime

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
If you want to watch a star being born, stop what you’re doing and immerse yourself in Rachel Brosnahan’s work as Miriam “Midge” Maisel on the 1950s-set comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Midge is a housewife who pursues a career in stand-up comedy after her husband, Joe Maisel (Michael Zegen), unexpectedly leaves her. After a drunken, impromptu, and mile-a-minute stand-up set that ends with Midge being arrested, hard-nosed venue employee Susie Myerson (Alex Borstein) takes Midge under her wing in hopes of molding a diamond in the rough. The show has won numerous awards and is on track for a fourth season.
Created by: Amy Sherman-PalladinoCast: Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein, Michael ZegenNumber of seasons: 3
Watch on Amazon Prime

The Expanse
Imagine a future in which humans have colonized every part of the solar system. The Expanse turns that hypothetical future into a powerhouse sci-fi drama. The series is set 200 years from now and centers on a conspiracy that threatens to wipe out the human race. Don’t let the CGI effects and space setting fool you, The Expanse is a riveting drama that tackles the nuances of human conflict in a way that rivals shows like Game of Thrones and Westworld. Here’s a list of the best sci-fi movies on Amazon if you’re looking for more like this.
Created by: N/ACast: Thomas Jane, Steven Strait, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Cas Anvar, Dominique TipperNumber of seasons: 4
Watch on Amazon Prime

Downton Abbey
Set in the English countryside shortly after the turn of the 20th century, Downton Abbey follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their hierarchy of servants. A fascinating look at the English aristocracy at the dawn of the modern age, Downton Abbey deftly balances historical drama with the steamy character-driven conflicts that exist within the family and the staff.
Created by: Julian FellowsCast: Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim CarterNumber of seasons: 6
Watch on Amazon Prime

American Horror Story
The horror anthology that is Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story, though novel, continues to surpass expectations with every passing season. Each essentially functions as a self-contained miniseries, focusing on a repertory cast of characters and a storyline that features its own beginning, middle, and end. Each season — whether it revolves around a coven of witches, an insane asylum, or a haunted house in the middle of Los Angeles — features lavish set pieces and campy aesthetics, which add to sterling performances from the likes of Lady Gaga and Academy Award- and Emmy Award-winning Jessica Lange. Many of the seasons even take jabs at current social issues, and they often leave a weird and wonderful impression. Well, that, and an awful taste in your mouth.
Created by: Ryan MurphyCast: Sarah Paulson, Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan PetersNumber of seasons: 9
Watch on Amazon Prime

Upload
In 2033, people who are near death can be “uploaded” into virtual reality afterlives of their choosing. These VR afterlives are run by six tech firms, setting up a new kind of corporate competition over human death. When Los Angeles party boy Nathan’s (Robbie Amell) self-driving car crashes, his girlfriend uploads him into the luxurious Lakeview digital afterlife. There, he meets Nora, a customer service representative for Lakeview, who onboards Nathan to his version of heaven. The series follows their friendship as Nathan grows accustomed to life away from his loved ones while Nora balances her connection with the virtual Nathan with her real-life financial and personal struggles.
Created by: Greg DanielsCast: Robbie Amell, Andy Allo, Chris WilliamsNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Amazon Prime

The Wilds (2020)
This addictive series captures the trials and tribulations of being a teenage girl, combining them with the trauma of being stranded on a deserted island following a supposed plane crash. The Lost meets angsty teen drama examines each young girl, all from very different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, and the hardships they face back home that have shaped their reactions and actions on the island. But to survive the elements means banding together, despite their differences, to make it out alive, even though they all dread what the real world has waiting for them if they do eventually get back home. Viewers are let in on the juicy twist early: The girls didn’t end up on the island by accident. It’s a thrilling series that has quickly become one of the best Amazon originals.
Created by: Sarah StreicherCast: Rachel Griffiths, Sophia Taylor Ali, Shannon Berry, Sarah Pidgeon, Erana James, Jenna Clause, David Sullivan, Troy Winbush, Helena Howard, Reign Edwards, Mia HealeyNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Amazon Prime

The Affair 
What ripple effects do extramarital affairs have? This intriguing drama explores the answer to that question with a star-studded cast that includes Dominic West, Ruth Wilson, Maura Tierney, and Joshua Jackson. In a unique format, every episode is divided in two, with each half being told from the perspective of one party involved in the infidelity. Naturally, memory bias comes into play as events are recalled far differently by one person than they are by the other.
Airing on Showtime for five seasons, the first season, which is now available for streaming, focuses on the perspectives of husband and father Noah (West) and Alison (Wilson), a married waitress with whom he begins a torrid affair. Viewers get to see things from each person’s lens, with subsequent seasons focusing on other characters and how they view the situation.
Created by: Sarah Treem, Hagai LeviCast: Dominic West, Ruth Wilson, Maura Tierney, Joshua Jackson, Julia Goldani Telles, Jake Siciliano, and othersNumber of seasons: 5
Watch on Amazon Prime

Small Axe
This British anthology film series by Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) has garnered almost universal praise, with the first episode called Mangrove lauded for its strong performances and fierce convictions. It has been described as a “powerful indictment of institutional racism.” Organized as six independent films to make up season 1, episodes are set in the 1960s, ’70s, or ’80s, and each focuses on a different story that involves London’s West Indian community and its fight against racism and discrimination. Episode 1, which stars Leticia Wright (Black Panther, Black Mirror) and Shaun Parkes (Lost in Space), follows a group of Black protestors who are wrongfully arrested and charged with inciting a riot and the trial that follows. In episode 3, titled “Red, White, and Blue,” John Boyega (the Star Wars sequel trilogy) stars as a young Black man who wants to join the police force but must fight racism to achieve his goals of changing the institution from within.
Created by: Steve McQueenCast: Leticia Wright, Malachi Kirby, Shaun Parkes, John Boyega, and othersNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Amazon Prime
Luke Varley / Amazon Prime
Fleabag
At times introspective and moody, at others absurd and raunchy, Fleabag defies easy categorization. In its funnier moments — such as the intro, which is an elegant, extended soliloquy ending in a sudden smack of a sex joke — it is one of the sharpest comedies around (season 2 won the 2019 Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series), but underneath it all runs a current of sadness. The show follows a lady known only as “Fleabag” (Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who took home Emmys herself for acting and writing), a neurotic woman juggling a failing business and disastrous personal life.
The term fleabag immediately conjures images of filth, and the protagonist’s problems run deeper than her name. Selfish, wanton, and a compulsive liar, she fits in with the various antiheroes that have become popular on television. Uniquely, Fleabag does not keep its damaged lead at a distance; she frequently speaks directly to the viewer in frantic monologues, offering insight into her unquiet mind.
Created by: Phoebe Waller-BridgeCast: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Ben Aldridge, Sian CliffordNumber of seasons: 2
Watch on Amazon Prime

Scrubs
Streaming services are flooded with various medical shows, but none quite like this comedy-drama that takes a far more comedic look at the life of medical interns (eventually doctors), nurses, hospital administrators, and even the hilarious hospital janitor. The chemistry between the two leads, Zach Braff and Donald Faison, who play co-workers, doctors, and super-close best friends (who often still act like they’re in college), is off the charts. But it’s the entire cast, brilliant writing, and unique concept that sees the protagonist John “J.D.” Dorian (Braff) narrating his story, interspersed with daydream sequences, that make it stand out from the many other more serious and intense medical dramas.
Created by: Bill LawrenceCast: Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke, Donald Faison, Neil Flynn, Ken Jenkins, John C. McGinley, Judy Reyes, Eliza Coupe, Kerry Bishe, Michael Mosley, Dave FrancoNumber of seasons: 9
Watch on Amazon Prime

The Boys
Of all the superhero movies and TV shows out there, none of them are quite like The Boys, a dark, depraved deconstruction of super-powered heroes and villains. Based on Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comic book series of the same name, The Boys follows a group of vigilantes who take it upon themselves to police the super-powered heroes who abuse their abilities and take advantage of the trust the public has placed in them.
As grim and shockingly violent as it is clever, the series is set in a world in which superpowers, corporate greed, and media consolidation have bled together to create a particularly frightening form of corruption. The audience sees it all through the eyes of Hughie, an average guy whose chance encounter with a superhero changes his life forever.
Created by: Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson, Eric KripkeCast: Jack Quaid, Elisabeth Shue, Jessie T. Usher, Karl Urban, Antony Starr, Erin MoriartyNumber of seasons: 2
Watch on Amazon Prime

Mr. Bean
Rowan Atkinson drags audiences along on an adventure in ineptitude in this British sitcom created by Atkinson and Richard Curtis. Originally broadcast in the early 1990s, the 15-episode series follows the titular Mr. Bean (Atkinson) as he throws the most mundane tasks into chaos, pinballing from one scenario to the next as he goes about his day. The series earned international acclaim and countless awards for its simple, silly stories that often use little to no dialogue and rely on Atkinson’s gift for physical comedy.
Created by: Rowan Atkinson, Richard CurtisCast: Rowan AtkinsonNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Amazon Prime

Tumble Leaf
Tumble Leaf, Amazon’s heralded foray into the realm of children’s programming, is a stunning example of what a children’s show should be. The recent stop-motion title is based on the short film Miro and aimed at preschool-aged children, though it remains charming enough to entertain adults who want to further engage with their children.
Each episode follows Fig the Fox (Christopher Downs) and his science-centric escapades around the whimsical world of Tumble Leaf, a woodland locale laced with a melange of quirky creatures with whom Fig is friends. Together, the humanoid creatures discover how reflections, shadows, and other facets of our natural world work, examining the value of friendship and kindness as they do so. The scenery is as vibrant and colorful as are the characters, rendering it both eye candy and a conversation starter.
Created by: Drew HodgesCast: Christopher Downs, Zac McDowell, Alex TrugmanNumber of seasons: 4
Watch on Amazon Prime

Dino Dana
If you’re looking for a family-friendly series for the young dinosaur enthusiast in your household that adults can enjoy as well, add Dino Dana to the list of must-see TV. The popular Amazon Original series is a spinoff of the Dino Dan series, but improves on the original show’s formula with better dinosaur effects, clever dialogue, and a diverse cast of characters that both kids and older viewers will find endearing. The series follows a young girl named Dana (Michela Luci) who uses her ability to see dinosaurs in the world around her to conduct “dino experiments” that not only teach her about the aforementioned creatures, but often teach a valuable lesson about life. The series encompasses three seasons and a feature-length film, Dino Dana: The Movie, which was released in September.
Created by: J.J. JohnsonCast: Michela Luci, Saara Chaudry, Nicola Correia-Damude, Amish PatelNumber of seasons: 3
Watch on Amazon Prime

Alias
The show that really put now super-creator J.J. Abrams on the map, as well as its star Jennifer Garner, Alias is a sexy, high-octane thriller that aired on ABC for five seasons — all of which are available on Amazon Prime. The story follows superspy Sydney Bristow in her adventures and battles against shadowy intelligence agencies, along with her own wacky family. Famous for over-the-top characters, hilarious disguises, and jaw-dropping twists, Alias is alternatively good-humored fun and provocatively dark.
Created by: J.J. AbramsCast: Jennifer Garner, Victor Garber, Mia MaestroNumber of seasons: 5
Watch on Amazon Prime

Catastrophe
One of Amazon’s most popular Original Series, Catastrophe follows two unlikely parents after a weekend tryst turns into a lifelong commitment. Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney write and star in this series as an Irish woman and a Boston ad exec who have a torrid affair in London only to accidentally get pregnant. Despite this “catastrophe,” they decide to try to make it work. Delaney and Horgan are both outstanding as well-meaning, deeply temperamental people who are desperately trying to make the best of this new life they didn’t really choose.
Created by: Rob Delaney, Sharon HorganCast: Rob Delaney, Sharon HorganNumber of seasons: 4
Watch on Amazon Prime

Transparent
A trailblazing, original series straight from Amazon, Transparent follows Maura Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor), a transgender woman who comes out to her family. Not content to merely present a novel premise, the show explores the relationships and neuroses of Maura and her children. A show that never wavers in its attempt to mine the depths of the human condition, it’s a bold offering from Amazon. Transparent is also the first show from a streaming service to win a Golden Globe for Best Series, which likely bodes well for the future of Amazon’s original content. Harassment allegations levied against Tambor put a damper on the show’s legacy, and the actor didn’t return for Transparent‘s final season, but it’s a special show anyway. It’s worth watching for its musical series finale alone.
Created by: Joey SolowayCast: Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, Jay DuplassNumber of seasons: 5
Watch on Amazon Prime

Sneaky Pete
Amazon’s original series Sneaky Pete crafts a nail-biting drama out of an intricate case of identity theft. Marius Josipovic (Giovanni Ribisi) is a con man recently released from prison who assumes the identity of his former cellmate, Pete Murphy, who spent years regaling him with childhood stories of his tight-knit family (who he hadn’t seen since he was a child) and their bail bonds business. The show shines thanks to its ensemble of critically acclaimed actors including The Americans’ Margo Martindale, but the core of its brilliance lies in the clever writing. Watch all three seasons, which complete the series as it was canceled in 2019.
Created by: Bryan Cranston, David ShoreCast: Giovanni Ribisi, Marin Ireland, Margo MartindaleNumber of seasons: 3
Watch on Amazon Prime

Undone
From the creators of BoJack Horseman, Undone is an Amazon Original Series that tells a young woman’s complex journey to solve the mystery of her father’s death and uncover the keys to her past. A genre-bending animated series, Undone sees Alma Winograd-Diaz (Rosa Salazar) come apart at the seams after a near-fatal accident induces visions of her late father, Jacob. The persistent visions begin to tap into a mysterious ability that allows her to pass through space and time, with the ultimate goal of stopping his untimely death.
Created by: Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Kate PurdyCast: Rosa Salazar, Angelique Cabral, Bob OdenkirkNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Amazon Prime

Poldark
After three years fighting in the American Revolution, Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) returns to his home in Cornwall, England, only to find his estate in shambles and his lover, Elizabeth (Heida Reed), married to his cousin. As Ross attempts to rebuild his family’s tin mines, he rescues a young woman named Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) and gives her a job as a maid. Making things more complicated for Ross is his rival, George Warleggan, an ambitious industrialist.
Based on a series of 20th-century novels, this adaptation of Poldark moves at a brisk pace befitting a modern show, deftly juggling romance, action, and political maneuvering.
Created by: Debbie HorsfieldCast: Aiden Turner, Heida Reed, Eleanor TomlinsonNumber of seasons: 5
Watch on Amazon Prime

Hanna
Esme Creed-Miles stars as the title character, a young teenager who was raised in isolation in a remote forest in Poland with a man named Erik (Joel Kinnaman), who escaped the CIA with her. She was part of a program called UTRAX where children were given enhanced DNA to become super soldiers. But when Erik fell in love with Hanna’s mother, he fled with her to protect the young girl. Based on the 2011 film of the same name, and called a “gritty reimagining” of it, season 2 follows Hanna along her journey now that she knows who and what she is. She also discovers that UTRAX never actually shut down after her escape and that there might be other “sisters” out there like her.
Created by: David FarrCast: Esme Creed-Miles, Mireille Enos, Joel KinnamanNumber of seasons: 2
Watch on Amazon Prime

Farscape
This cult-favorite series that premiered in 1999 follows a modern-day astronaut whose accidental journey through a wormhole finds him joining the colorful crew of a living spaceship in an unknown region far from Earth. On the run from a powerful military force known as the Peacekeepers, he and the crew attempt to find sanctuary — and a way home — in a strange galaxy. The award-winning series is notable for being a production of The Jim Henson Company and including multiple featured characters created by the company’s Creature Shop. The show’s four-season run was followed by a three-hour miniseries that concluded the story, and also inspired a long list of spinoff stories in novels, comic books, and other formats.
Created by: Rockne S. O’BannonCast: Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony SimcoeNumber of seasons: 4
Watch on Amazon Prime

Vikings
For those who enjoy the political maneuvering and messy military battles of Game of Thrones but want something a bit more grounded, Vikings is sure to please. A down-to-earth historical fantasy saga, Vikings chronicles the rise of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) from farmer to legendary warrior. Ragnar sails around Northern Europe searching for plunder, accompanied by his warrior wife, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), and other allies.
It’s a grim series, drawing on the legends surrounding Viking raids in the Middle Ages. Although not the most historically accurate show, Vikings does maintain a grittier aesthetic than some of its fantasy contemporaries; there’s a lot of blood and a lot of mud.
Created by: Michael HirstCast: Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Alexander LudwigNumber of seasons: 6
Watch on Amazon Prime

Shaun the Sheep
From Aardman Studios — the creators of Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run, and Creature Comforts — comes the children’s series Shaun the Sheep. Shaun is a sheep who doesn’t follow the herd. In fact, he often brazenly leads them into all sorts of madcap shenanigans around Mossy Bottom Farm. The show also features the iconic studio’s stop-motion animation and remains free of dialogue, which is actually a welcome reprieve for parents who simply can’t get on board with the high-pitched voices and exuberant makeup of many modern children’s shows.
Created by: Nick ParkCast: John Sparkes, Justin Fletcher, Richard WebberNumber of seasons: 6

Editors’ Recommendations

The 54 finest reveals on Hulu proper now

There really is so much to watch on Hulu, it’s virtually impossible to scroll through the list of programming and not find something to suit your tastes and mood. With that said, however, the vast amount of choice also makes it difficult to make a selection, which could leave you endlessly scrolling all night and never landing on something. Recommendations are always the best way to pick, and we have plenty. In fact, we have rounded up the best shows you can watch right now on Hulu to help you select what to add to your queue. From comedy to drama, true crime, and more, there’s something for everyone.
Looking for something else? We’ve also rounded up the best movies on Hulu, the best shows on Netflix, the best shows on Amazon Prime Video, and the best shows on Disney+.

Reservation Dogs
With a predominantly Native American cast and crew, Reservation Dogs provides a comedic glimpse into indigenous life. When four Indigenous teenagers living on a reservation in rural Oklahoma set their sights on moving to a wonderful and exotic place they know as California, they are willing to do whatever it takes to get there. That means engaging in criminal activities to acquire the funds they need to leave. But when a rival gang shows up in town, the boys find themselves fighting crime as much as they are committing it. Having just premiered in early August 2021, the series is already getting rave reviews. With a perfect 100% Certified Fresh RottenTomatoes rating, critics say it’s a “low-key comedy that deftly captures the malaise of youth and Rez life.”
Created by: Sterlin Harjo, Taika WaititiCast: D’Pharoah Woon-A-Tai, Devery Jacobs, Paulina Alexis, Lane Factor, Dalton CramerNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Hulu

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Parks and Recreation creator Michael Schur and director Dan Goor struck comedy gold yet again with their action-comedy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Andy Samberg stars in the show, which focuses on a fictional police department precinct in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Andre Braugher plays the yin to Samberg’s yang, providing dry yet hilariously timed humor during each episode. In just its first season, Brooklyn Nine-Nine took home two Golden Globe trophies. The series will conclude after its eighth and final season.
Created by: Dan Goor, Michael SchurCast: Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, Chelsea Peretti, Andre Braugher, Dirk Blocker, Joel McKinnon MillerNumber of seasons: 8
Watch on Hulu

Legion
Noah Hawley, the creator of FX’s Fargo, tries his hand at telling a superhero story with Legion, a visually dynamic series that isn’t your typical man-in-a-cape origin story. The show follows David Haller (Dan Stevens), a man who, having heard voices in his head since a young age, starts the series in a psychiatric hospital. His official diagnosis is schizophrenia, but after meeting another patient, Syd Barrett (Rachel Keller), who can switch bodies with anyone she touches, he discovers that the voices in his head are a sign of his own latent powers. Fitting for a show about a man who may or may not be insane, Legion is a hallucinogenic ride, with psychedelic visuals and format-breaking sequences that keep David — and the viewer — confused as to what is real.
Created by: Noah HawleyCast: Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza, Bill Irwin, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton, Jean Smart, Navid Negahban, Jemaine Clement, Hamish Linklater, Lauren TsaiNumber of seasons: 3
Watch on Hulu

Atlanta
Donald Glover is a modern Renaissance man: Since launching a comedy career via skits circulated on YouTube, he has branched into rapping, acting, and even showrunning, with the remarkable, surreal comedy-drama Atlanta. The show follows a dogged college dropout named Earn (Glover), who sleeps at his on/off-again girlfriend’s place and struggles to provide for their child. When he learns that his cousin Alfred is starting to achieve success as a rapper — stage name: Paper Boi — Earn becomes his manager. There is not much of an overarching plot to Atlanta. Most episodes play out like short films, and the show experiments with a variety of stories and formats — one standout episode is presented entirely as an episode of a local interview show, complete with fake commercials. Daring and frequently poignant, Atlanta is one of the most exciting shows on TV today.
Created by: Donald GloverCast: Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Stanfield, Zazie BeetzNumber of seasons: 2
Watch on Hulu

PEN15
These days, coming-of-age stories are a dime a dozen, but few of them are as novel — or cringeworthy — as PEN15. Co-creators Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle star as 13-year-old versions of themselves, allowing the series to address topics and situations many would consider taboo if performed by younger lead actors. The two find their footing in hormone-fueled incidents involving masturbation and AOL Instant Messenger, not to mention everyday encounters with parents, principals, and the kind of insult-spewing preteens you can expect to find at any middle school. It’s all served with a heavy dose of ’90s-inspired nostalgia, meaning if the show’s no-holds-barred look at adolescence isn’t enough, perhaps the constant references to the Spice Girls will be. Season 2 debuted on September 18, 2020.
Created by: Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Sam ZviblemanCast: Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Mutsuko Erskine, Richard Karn, Taylor Nichols, Melora Walters, Taj Cross, Dallas LiuNumber of seasons: 2
Watch on Hulu

Rick and Morty
Creators Dan Harmon (Community) and Justin Roiland (House of Cosbys) teamed up to create one of the best animated comedies in years. The basic premise centers on Rick (Roiland), a scientist who employs the help of his grandson, Morty, to assist him with dangerous quests and various schemes across space and time. The Adult Swim series is chock full of biting satire and clever humor, and moreover, has garnered a cult following in the wake of its successful and highly-acclaimed first season.
Created by: Justin Roiland, Dan HarmonCast: Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer, Sarah ChalkeNumber of seasons: 4
Watch on Hulu

My Wife and Kids
Debuting in the early 2000s, My Wife and Kids was a perfect combination of traditional sitcom and modern-day (by Millennium standards) comedy. Based, in part, on comedian Damon Wayans’ own life, it follows the story of two young Black parents who had their first child at 16 and are now raising their three children in an upper-middle-class lifestyle. Micheal has his own unique parenting style (think tricking the kids to get his point across). Like all of the best sitcoms, the series combines slapstick humor and laugh tracks with a discussion of serious issues. Wayans is at his best as the hilarious dad who loves to do impressions, and Campbell-Martin is perfection as the mom and voice of reason amidst a chaotic family dynamic.
Created by: Don Reo, Damon WayansCast: Damon Wayans, Tisha Campbell-MartinNumber of seasons: 5
Watch on Hulu

RuPaul’s Drag Race
There’s good reason that this series has earned numerous Primetime Emmy awards, including not only for RuPaul as host but also as Outstanding Reality-Competition Program; in 2018, the series became the first to ever win in both categories the same year. The contestants set out to win the race to become the next big drag superstar. They receive mentorship and coaching from RuPaul, as well as critiques on their performances in different challenges from a panel of judges. Now on its 13th season, you can catch the first seven streaming.
Created by: World of WonderCast: RuPaul, Merle Ginsberg, Santino Rice, Michelle Visage, Billy Brasfield, Ross Mathews, Carson KressleyNumber of seasons: 13
Watch on Hulu

This Way Up
Irish comedian, actor, and writer Aisling Bea both wrote and stars in this British comedy-drama about Aine, a young single woman living in London and teaching English as a second language. The story picks up after Aine leaves a rehabilitation center following a nervous breakdown and deals with picking up where she left off in life. That includes coping with both the personal and professional pressures, with the help of her worried sister, Shona. Its first season was a huge success, with a perfect 100% audience score and a 92% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, which described the show as a comedy about “moving on, moving forward, and trying to find happiness.” Season 2 starts streaming on Hulu beginning July 9, giving you lots of time to binge season 1 first.
Created by: Aisling BeaCast: Aisling Bea, Sharon Horgan, Tobias Menzies, Aasif MandviNumber of seasons: 2
Watch on Hulu

Dave
Rapper/comedian Lil Dicky became internet famous after releasing his song “Ex-Boyfriend” on YouTube back in 2013, then released his debut rap album, Professional Rapper, in 2015. He went on to collaborate with the likes of Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and Wiz Khalifa. In 2020, Dicky, real name David Andrew Burd, worked with producer Jeff Schaffer to create a comedy series based on his life, and, as it turns out, the talented rapper is a talented comedian, too. Burd stars in the series as a fictionalized version of himself, a neurotic young man living in a small suburban town who believes he can make it big in the rap game. GaTa, Burd’s real-life hype man, plays himself on the show, including depicting his real-life battle with bipolar disorder. Critic reviews for the first season applaud the “juvenile sense of humor,” for those who appreciate those types of jokes. It’s a refreshing and fun show with a laundry list of A-list guest stars, not to mention Kevin Hart counted among its executive producers.
Created by: David Burd, Jeff SchafferCast: Lil Dicky, Taylor Misiak, GaTa, Andrew Santino, Travis Bennett, Christine KoNumber of seasons: 2
Watch on Hulu

Love, Victor 
A refreshingly modern take on your typical coming-of-age teen drama, this series follows a young man named Victor as he navigates life in a new high school and embarks on a journey to self-discovery, including figuring out his sexuality. The series is set in the same world as the 2018 teen drama Love, Simon, which starred Nick Robinson as the title character. Robinson is now a producer and narrator, helping Victor through his struggles and providing guidance. The spinoff series received an overwhelmingly positive reception, with the consensus being that it’s an easily digestible and entertaining watch.
Created by: Isaac Aptaker, Elizabeth BergerCast: Michael Cimino, Rachel Hilson, Anthony Turpel, Bebe Wood, Mason Gooding, George Sear, Isabella Ferreira, Mateo Fernandez, James Martinez, Ana OrtizNumber of seasons: 2
Watch on Hulu

Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.
With a stellar voice cast, lots of laughs, and striking stop-motion visuals, this latest Marvel project is a hit. Referred to by critics as an “entertainingly chaotic diversion,” Patton Oswalt voices the title character, a Marvel supervillain and floating robot-engineered head who is convinced that he’s far superior to other supervillains and despises everything about superheroes. But after losing his company and his family, he enters a troubling mid-life crisis. M.O.D.O.K. is rated for mature audiences, so this adult animated series isn’t one to watch with the kids. But for adult Marvel fans, it’ll provide some hearty laughs.
Created by: Jordan Blum, Patton OswaltCast: Patton Oswalt, Aimee Garcia, Ben Schwartz, Melissa Fumero, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Beck Bennett, Jon Daly, Sam RichardsonNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Hulu

Community
Community saw its fair share of ups and downs while on NBC but this Dan Harmon comedy is one of the funniest shows on TV — its first three seasons were, at least. The show centers around a group of newly acquainted friends who attend a blunder of a community college. Joel McHale, Chevy Chase, and Donald Glover headline this hilarious show while Jim Rash’s turn as the dean is as funny as any character on TV. It’s no longer on the airwaves, but rumors of a forthcoming movie persist.
Created by: Dan HarmonCast: Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Ken Jeong, Chevy Chase, Jim RashNumber of seasons: 6
Watch on Hulu

The Handmaid’s Tale
In a not-too-distant future, after an environmental disaster causes widespread infertility, an extremist cult in the United States stages a coup, establishing the totalitarian state of Gilead. In this new society, women are relegated to subservient roles, and due to the low birth rate, a class of women called “handmaids” is conscripted to bear children for the leaders of Gilead. The protagonist of The Handmaid’s Tale, Offred (Elisabeth Moss), is one such woman, forced to have ritualized sex with Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) to provide him and his wife a child. Living without any rights or power, Offred tries to survive each day, hoping to one day be free. The Handmaid’s Tale is a masterful adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s grim novel of the same name, with excellent performances and gorgeous, oft-disturbing scene composition. Season 4 is streaming now on Hulu.
Created by: Bruce MillerCast: Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Alexis Bledel, Madeline Brewer, Ann Dowd, O.T. Fagbenie, Max Minghella, Samira Wiley, Amanda Brugel, Bradley WhitfordNumber of seasons: 4
Watch on Hulu

Solar Opposites
From the creators of Rick and Morty, this Hulu original animated sitcom, which has a solid 92% aggregate critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, sees four aliens crash-land into a suburban American town. While waiting for the right moment to take over Earth, they do their best to learn the ways of humans and live among them — but they each have their own perceptions about human behavior and what is awful versus awesome. With an impressive voice cast, including both main and recurring characters, the series has been a hit for Hulu.
Created by: Justin Roiland, Mike McMahanCast: Justin Roiland, Thomas Middleditch, Sean Giambrone, Mark MackNumber of seasons: 2
Watch on Hulu

Lost
One of the most talked-about shows of the early- to mid-2000s, this drama combined elements of supernatural with sci-fi and general intrigue. A group of survivors winds up on a mysterious island after the commercial jet airliner they’re traveling on supposedly crashes. Every episode delves into character backstories, raises questions, and introduces strange new happenings. You’re continually drawn into the compelling, puzzling, mind-bending twists and turns — it’s near impossible to watch just one episode per sitting! Binge all six seasons of this J.J. Abrams series that has widely been considered one of the greatest of all time.
Created by: Jeffrey Lieber, J.J. Abrams, Damon LindelofStars: Naveen Andrews, Emilie de Ravin, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia, Maggie Grace, Josh Holloway, Malcolm David Kelley, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly, Dominic Monaghan, and othersNumber of seasons: 6
Watch on Hulu

The Twilight Zone
Rod Serling’s science fiction/fantasy series The Twilight Zone remains one of the best-written shows ever to air on American television. The original series aired for five seasons from 1959 to 1964 with Serling serving as not just head writer but also host and narrator. Each episode’s new story sees the main character encounter paranormal or unusual events that lead to an eventual moral. Though it has spawned two spinoff series, the original Twilight Zone is the best of the bunch.
Created by: Rod SerlingCast: VariousNumber of seasons: 5
Watch on Hulu

Bob’s Burgers
At first, Bob’s Burgers struggled to find traction in Fox’s animation block, failing to pull in the dedicated audiences of Family Guy and The Simpsons. Over the last decade, however, the Belchers have emerged as an entity all their own, a family struggling to make ends meet, but never struggling to cheer each other up and have as good of a time as they can. The characters never age, but the sitcom only seems to get better with time, fixating on the fictional family and their burger joint. With 10 seasons in the books and an 11th on the way — not to mention a feature film — there’s no better time to start binging the Belcher family’s escapades.
Created by: Loren BouchardCast: H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Larry Murphy, John Roberts, Kristen SchaalNumber of seasons: 10
Watch on Hulu
Jonathan Hession / History Channel
Vikings
History (the network) melds historic accuracy with epic action in Vikings, a dramatized recounting of a prolific figure in Scandinavian lore, Ragnar Lothbrok. Vikings follows the exploits of the cunning Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) as he becomes the most powerful ruler of Europe’s Viking Age, or at least, the one the history books and Nordic sagas remember him as. The show has received much acclaim during its run thus far — and without the gratuitous nudity common to most cable epics — earning it numerous Emmy nominations for both effects and design.
Created by: Michael HirstCast: Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen, Jessalyn Gilsig, Gustaf Skarsgard, and moreNumber of seasons: 6
Watch on Hulu
Sabrina Lantos / FX
Mrs. America
The effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was one of the central battlegrounds of the women’s movement in the 1970s. Mrs. America chronicles that fight and the unexpected backlash brought by Phyllis Schlafly (Cate Blanchett), dubbed “the sweetheart of the silent majority.” Told through the eyes of Schlafly and second-wave feminists Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug, and Jill Ruckelshaus, Mrs. America is a political drama that adroitly plays both sides of the aisle, depicting one of the toughest political battles of the 20th century. The series explores how this fight helped give rise to the Moral Majority and completely shifted the American political landscape.
Created by: Dahvi WallerCast: Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Uzo Aduba, Elizabeth Banks, Kayli Carter, Ari Graynor, Melanie Lynskey, Margo Martindale, John Slattery, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Tracey Ullman, Sarah PaulsonNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Hulu

Little Fires Everywhere
Hollywood A-listers Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington burn their talented acting candles bright in this gritty miniseries as both show off their talents for pulling off seriously dramatic — and highly emotional — roles. Based on the 2017 Celeste Ng novel of the same name, the period series is set in the ’90s and highlights the dramatic differences between these two women. While they share motherhood in common, they come from very different socioeconomic backgrounds, making them markedly different people with very different lives and life experiences. It beautifully examines the dichotomy between wealth and privilege and hardship and sacrifice. Reviews criticize the series for playing it safe sometimes, but there’s no denying that it’s electric when Witherspoon and Washington share screen time.
Created by: Liz Tigelaar (based on Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng)Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Joshua Jackson, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jade Pettyjohn, Lexi Underwood, Megan Stott, Gavin Lewis, Jordan ElsassNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Hulu

Animaniacs (2020)
Sparking nostalgia for kids from the ’90s, Steven Spielberg and his company Amblin Entertainment (in association with Warner Bros. Animation) return with this reboot of the popular animated comedy musical. The original Animaniacs entertained kids with characters like Yakko, Wakko, Dot, and the Goodfeathers, and it pleased parents with the sneaky adult humor (from sexual innuendo to parodies and dated pop culture references) that went right over kids’ heads. Many of the original voice actors reprise their roles here, and there’s a similar variety show format with different skits following characters and their own independent plot lines. For anyone who grew up in the ’90s, it’s a must-watch throwback series, with or without kids.
Created by: Tom RueggerCast: Jess Harnell, Maurice LaMarche, Tress MacHeille, Rob Paulsen, Frank Welker, Andy Milder, Abby TrottNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Hulu

The Great
Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult star in this satirical, genre-bending drama about the rise of Catherine the Great from boring outsider to Russian Empress. The anti-historical romp through 18th-century Russia would make Chekhov blush and throw his vodka. It’s a fictionalized series that leans into some of its historical characters’ basest, silliest, and most stereotyped characteristics, which makes for some great fun. Fanning’s Catherine is delightfully intense and idealistic with just a touch of sadism toward her depraved, dopey husband, Peter III.
Created by: Tony McNamaraCast: Elle Fanning, Nicholas Hoult, Phoebe Fox, Sacha Dhawan, Charity Wakefield, Gwilym Lee, Adam Godley, Douglas HodgeNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Hulu
Karolina Wojtasik / NBC
New Amsterdam
“How can I help?” That’s Dr. Max Goodwin’s manta as medical director of the fictional New Amsterdam public hospital, and words you’ll hear him utter over and over again each episode. Despite the predictability as far as stereotypical medical dramas go, the soapy series is worth watching thanks to its talented cast and ridiculous yet thoroughly entertaining storylines.
The story begins with Goodwin, believing his secret cancer diagnosis is a death sentence, decides to run the hospital the way it should be run, ignoring all the red tape and bureaucracy that might otherwise hold a medical facility back from providing sufficient medical care to all of its patients. Naturally, the powers that be are none too pleased with Goodwin’s “no rules” strategy and the risks it brings along with it, even if deep down they agree with his caring intent. As the series progresses, and peripheral storylines develop, it’s easy to find a favorite character and get invested in them. Watch the first two seasons as well as new season three episodes as they air.
Created by: David SchulnerCast: Ryan Eggold, Janet Montgomery, Feeema Agyeman, Jocko Sims, Tyler Labine, Anaupam KherNumber of seasons: 3
Watch on Hulu

Homeland
This spy thriller kept fans glued to their screens for eight seasons as they watched Claire Danes brilliantly portray Carrie, a CIA agent trying to balance her career with her bipolar disorder. The series began when Carrie believed that a sniper from her team who had been captured by al-Qaeda had been turned and posed a threat to the team. The plot evolved and spiraled from there to touch on a long list of twists and turns, and viewers couldn’t get enough of the story. The series garnered consistently favorable reviews through to the end, with the final season lauded for being “tautly thrilling” and providing a fitting finish to the captivating story.
Created by: Howard Gordon, Alex Gansa (based on Prisoners of War by Gideon Raff)Cast: Claire Daines, Damian Lewis, Morena Baccarin, David Harewood, Diego Klattenhoff, Jackson Pace, Morgan Saylor, Mandy Patinkin, Jamey Sheridan, David Marciano, Navid Negahban, Rupert Friend, Sarita Choudhury, and othersNumber of seasons: 8
Watch on Hulu

Archer
Sterling Archer is an agent for a dysfunctional intelligence agency in this animated sitcom that takes inspiration from franchises like James Bond and mid-century comic art. Relying on reference-heavy humor and meta-comedy, Archer revolves around the narcissistic, womanizing secret agent Archer and his seven colleagues, each with their own quirks, like his snarky mother, delusional and psychotic personal assistant, and a morally bankrupt scientist. The later seasons of this series, which was originally created for basic cable network FX then moved to sister network FXX, are designed like an anthology, with each season having its own self-contained story. Season 11 is available on Hulu immediately after airing on FXX in 2020.
Created by: Adam ReedCast: H. Jon Benjamin, Judy Greer, Amber Nash, Chris Parnell, Adam Reed, Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter, Lucky YatesNumber of seasons: 11
Watch on Hulu

Letterkenny
Set in the remote, rural town of Letterkenny (populated, the show tells us, entirely by hicks, skids, hockey players, and Christians), Jared Keeso’s comedy Letterkenny follows a group of hicks: Wayne (Keeso), his friend Daryl (Nathan Dales), sister Katy (Michelle Mylett), and Squirrelly Dan (K. Trevor Wilson), as well as a pair of hockey players, Reilly (Dylan Playfair) and Jonesy (Andrew Herr), with whom Katy has a three-way relationship. The show revolves around their lives and encounters with the other eccentrics in the town. It’s a show deeply rooted in Canadian culture, with heavy use of slang, but even those unfamiliar with the vernacular will quickly come to appreciate the show’s deadpan wit.
Created by: Jared KeesoCast: Jared Keeso, Nathan Dales, Michelle Mylett, K. Trevor Wilson, Dylan Playfair, Andrew Herr, Tyler Johnston, Alexander de Jordy, Daniel Petronijevic, Melanie Scrofano, Jacob Tierney, Lisa CodringtonNumber of seasons: 9
Watch on Hulu

Fargo
Based on the Coen brothers’ beloved film of the same name, Fargo returns to the icy plains of Minnesota, a place where nefarious plots are conceived and enacted by otherwise seemingly normal folks. The TV adaptation features a rotating all-star cast that has included Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman, not to mention Colin Hanks and Allison Tolman, and stays true to the same black comedy and deadly mishaps that made the original film so popular.
Created by: Noah HawleyCast: Billy Bob Thornton, Colin Hanks, Martin Freeman (season 1); Kirsten Dunst, Ted Danson (season 2); Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (season 3)Number of seasons: 4
Watch on Hulu

The X-Files
Chris Carter’s science fiction drama, The X-Files, operated under one simple premise: The truth is out there. FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate unsolved mysteries called X-Files. These X-Files deal with paranormal activity, aliens, UFO sightings, and various phenomena. Mulder believes in the existence of alien life while Scully offers scientific explanations for the mysterious happenings, with their relationship serving as the show’s bedrock.
Created by: Chris CarterCast: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Robert Patrick, Annabeth Gish, Mitch PileggiNumber of seasons: 11
Watch on Hulu

Grey’s Anatomy
There’s good reason this series has become the longest-running scripted primetime medical drama: Every season brings a fresh, new take on the personal and professional lives of a team of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals working at Seattle Grace Hospital. While there has been a revolving door of cast members, including some major character deaths, the title character, Dr. Meredith Grey, remains at the heart of the show. With intense crossover episodes, special episodes that present like mini-movies, and heart-wrenching storylines, the series that brought to life doctors “McDreamy” and “McSteamy” continues to capture the attention of its core audience, and attract new viewers.
Created by: Shonda RhimesCast: Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, Justin Chambers, T.R. Knight, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr., Isaiah Washington, Patrick Dempsey, Kate Walsh, Sara Ramirez, Eric Dance, and othersNumber of seasons: 17
Watch on Hulu

American Horror Story
American Horror Story is an anthology series where each season centers on its own unique story, with a core cast whose roles change from season to season. Each season provides scares and frightening psychological storylines, whether they take place within a troubled family home, amid a coven of witches, or inside a hotel of circus freaks. American Horror Story is a unique drama, one that capitalizes on the work of series creator Ryan Murphy.
Created by: Ryan Murphy, Brad FalchukCast: Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange, and others (varies by season)Number of seasons: 9
Watch on Hulu

Killing Eve
For MI5 agent Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh), the life of a spy is more mundane than the movies make it out to be. She’s stuck working at a desk, and the most excitement she sees is late-night karaoke, rather than infiltrating high-tech facilities or something similar. Eve gets a shot at a much livelier case when someone murders a Russian politician and Eve correctly deduces the assassin was a woman. Soon, she is on the trail of the assassin, Villanelle (Jodie Comer), a highly-skilled killer with no conscience, who takes an interest in the woman hunting her. Blending drama, humor, and international spy antics, Killing Eve is an exceptional psychological thriller, built around a complicated cat-and-mouse relationship.
Created by: Sally Woodward GentleCast: Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer, Fiona Shaw, Darren Boyd, Owen McDonnell, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, David Haig, Kim Bodnia, and othersNumber of seasons: 3
Watch on Hulu

Sons of Anarchy
A biker gang, the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original (aka SAMCRO), makes ends meet by trafficking guns and subverting the law at every turn. However, when the gang’s young vice president Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) discovers the diary of his deceased father, he begins to question SAMCRO’s business decisions. This puts Jax at odds with his stepfather Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman), who presides as the club’s president. The series tells the story of Jax’s efforts to keep the club together while balancing his complicated family life.
Created by: Kurt SutterCast: Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior, Kim Coates, Tommy Flanagan, Johnny Lewis, Maggie Siff, Ron Perlman, Ryan Hurst, William Lucking, Theo Rossi, Dayton Callie, Jimmy Smits, Drea De Matteo, David Labrava, Niko NicoteraNumber of seasons: 7
Watch on Hulu

Veronica Mars
Fans were outraged when this teen noir mystery drama, airing from 2004 to 2007, was canceled prematurely. It has since developed a cult following and even spawned a follow-up film in 2014 as well as an eight-episode fourth-season revival in 2019, 12 years after the original cancellation. Putting Kristen Bell on Hollywood’s radar as a young actor to watch, the show starred the then up-and-comer as the title character, a high school student who works as a private investigator at night with her detective father. While a mystery at heart, Veronica Mars is really the story of a sharp-tongued young woman and her somewhat atypical yet still very relatable coming-of-age story. You can binge all four seasons.
Created by: Rob ThomasCast: Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, Teddy Dunn, Jason Dohring, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Francis Capra, Enrico Colantoni, Ryan Hansen, Kyle Gallner, Tessa Thompson, Julie Gonzalo, Chris Lowell, Tina Majorino, Michael MuhneyNumber of seasons: 4
Watch on Hulu

Ramy
The streaming world is awash in introspective, character-driven comedies, and while Ramy’s format will feel familiar, it adds a new wrinkle. The eponymous character (played by comedian Ramy Youssef) isn’t just a millennial dealing with the awkward ups and downs of work and dating in the 21st century. He’s also Muslim trying to lead a moral life in amoral times. Ramy wades in ambiguities and its protagonist’s hypocrisies and hang-ups; for instance, he’s uncomfortable kissing a Muslim woman on their first date, but fine hooking up with non-Muslims, for which the former chews him out. It’s a show with a unique perspective and a willingness to present its characters in an unflattering light.
Created by: Ramy Youssef, Ari Katcher, Ryan WelchCast: Ramy Youssef, Mohammed Amer, Hiam Abbass, Dave Merheje, Amr Waked, May Calamawy, Laith NakliNumber of seasons: 2
Watch on Hulu

Nathan for You
Life is tough for small business owners, but if your business is struggling, there’s one man you can turn to for help: Nathan Fielder (playing a fictional version of himself), a consultant with a metaphorical briefcase full of bizarre marketing ideas and social anxiety. When an ordinary business owner finds themselves in a tricky situation, Fielder strolls into their lives like an awkward Rumpelstiltskin, ready to solve their problem in some bizarre way. Nathan for You is a brilliant mockumentary, with Fielder’s outlandish marketing stunts confusing the ordinary folk entangled in them — his parody coffee shop Dumb Starbucks even made international news!
Created by: Nathan Fielder, Michael KomanCast: Nathan FielderNumber of seasons: 4
Watch on Hulu

Catch-22
Adapting a great work of literature, particularly one as stylish as Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, is a daunting task, but George Clooney and company managed to do it, more or less successfully, in this six-part miniseries. Set during World War II, Catch-22 follows Capt. Yossarian (Christopher Abbott), an American bombardier desperate to get out of the war. He wants to take advantage of the military’s policy of discharging any soldier on the basis of insanity. Unfortunately, Yossarian’s desire to get discharged for insanity is stifled by the military’s Catch-22 clause: Anyone who is crazy can ask to be discharged, but anyone asking to be discharged is clearly thinking rationally. So Yossarian keeps flying missions, and his superiors keep raising the number of missions required to end the war, and the war seems no closer to ending. Catch-22 is a darkly hilarious examination of the horrors of bureaucracy (and war), with a brilliant cast including — along with Abbott — George Clooney, Kyle Chandler, Hugh Laurie, and Julie Ann Emery.
Created by: Luke Davies, David MichodCast: Christopher Abbott, Kyle Chandler, Daniel David Stewart, Rafi Gavron, Graham Patrick Martin, Lewis Pullman, Austin Stowell, Pico Alexander, Jon Rudnitsky, Gerran Howell, Hugh Laurie, Giancarlo Giannini, George ClooneyNumber of seasons: 6
Watch on Hulu

The Venture Bros.
Adult Swim’s long-running (the series has been airing off and on since 2003) dark comedy The Venture Bros. is a hilarious, occasionally depressing exploration of failure and legacies, set in a world full of colorful characters. Originally built as a parody of ‘60s adventure shows like Jonny Quest, The Venture Bros. focuses on Dr. Rusty Venture (James Urbaniak), a once-famous boy adventurer who fizzled out, growing up to become a failed scientist. Now the owner of his father’s company, the show follows Rusty, his two sons Hank (Christopher McCulloch) and Dean (Michael Sinterniklaas), and their bodyguard, secret agent/bulky murder machine Brock Samson (Patrick Warburton), through various adventures and schemes, flitting through various genres and story structures. The humor is weird but often brilliant — one particularly strange episode reimagines the Scooby gang as a bunch of drug-addled fiends — but what truly stands out about the show is how it has built a vast world full of recurring, oddball characters whose relationships evolve over time.
Created by: Jackson PublickCast: Christopher McCulloch, Michael Sinterniklaas, James Urbaniak, Patrick Warburton, Doc Hammer, Steven Rattazzi, Dana SnyderNumber of seasons: 7
Watch on Hulu

Better Things
The age of the subversive sitcom continues with Better Things, a dark, caustic comedy about growing older and raising kids. The show follows Sam Fox (Pamela Adlon), a struggling actress raising three kids by herself in Los Angeles. Sam juggles her attempts to advance her career and have fun with her responsibility to her daughters, each of whom presents their own unique difficulties. Adlon and co-creator Louis C.K. (who is no longer involved) previously worked on the surreal comedy-drama Louie, and Better Things shows a similar mean streak, narrowing in on the grimy, depressing aspects of parenthood that other sitcoms gloss over.
Created by: Pamela Adlon, Louis C.K.Cast: Pamela Adlon, Mikey Madison, Hannah Alligood, Olivia Edward, Celia ImrieNumber of seasons: 4
Watch on Hulu

Key & Peele
Great sketch shows have been in short supply for a while now, which makes it all the easier to appreciate the short but brilliant life of Key & Peele. Starring former MADtv members Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, the show is an adventurous collection of sketches that blend absurdist humor and social commentary. See, for example, a skit in which white news anchors complain about the dangers of “black ice” on the streets at night, to the indignation of their black colleagues. Not every sketch is political, however; sometimes they just freak out about the latest Liam Neeson film. Both hosts bring manic energy and throw themselves fully into a variety of roles.
Created by: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan PeeleCast: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan PeeleNumber of seasons: 5
Watch on Hulu

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
What South Park is to late-night animation, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is to sitcoms. Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton, and Charlie Day — who also created and write the show — star as three best friends who kind of hate each other, while Kaitlin Olson and Danny DeVito round out the cast as the infamous Dee and Frank. The group often finds itself in some of the most absurd situations as the members push into the uncharted and irreverent comedic territory for which the show is well known, usually as a result of their own botched schemes.
Created by: Rob McElhenneyCast: Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney, Kaitlin Olson, Danny DeVitoNumber of seasons: 14
Watch on Hulu

Adventure Time
Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time amassed a huge audience over its ten-season run, one that crosses over into numerous demographics, making it a contemporary classic for adults and kids alike. The stories of best friends Jake and Finn in the magical Land of Ooo are a joy to watch. Whether the duo is protecting the land from the evil (and misunderstood) Ice King or helping a young vampire navigate her family life, Adventure Time captures a sense of adventure and fun, while providing a subtle maturity that speaks to older audiences.
Created by: Pendleton WardCast: Jeremy Shada, John DiMaggio, Hynden Walch, Niki Yang, Tom Kenny, Olivia Olson, Pendleton Ward, Polly Lou Livingston, Jessica DiCiccoNumber of seasons: 10
Watch on Hulu

Broad City
Ilana and her best friend Abbi are two 20-something women, living in New York. Abbi is a struggling artist, working at a fitness center while she attempts to get her career off the ground. Ilana, on the other hand, does everything in her power to avoid working, and instead pursues all manner of pleasurable distractions, including sexual escapades and consuming large amounts of marijuana. The two are often pulled into crazy situations, frequently as a consequence of one of Ilana’s ill-conceived plots. Broad City has received high praise from critics due to its clever writing and subtle-yet-effective message of female empowerment.
Created by: Ilana Glazer, Abbi JacobsonCast: Abbi Jacobson, Ilana GlazerNumber of seasons: 5
Watch on Hulu

Seinfeld
Seinfeld is a show that needs no introduction. Starring comedian Jerry Seinfeld as himself, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes, Jason Alexander as the neurotic George Costanza, and Michael Richards as the hilarious Kramer, each episode follows the group of friends as they endure the absurdities of life in the big city (along with their own foibles). Thankfully, the Emmy-winning sitcom has endured since its original run in the ’90s, further solidifying it as one of the most popular and important comedies to ever air on television.
Created by: Larry David, Jerry SeinfeldCast: Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael RichardsNumber of seasons: 9
Watch on Hulu

Arrested Development
Despite getting canceled by Fox in 2006, Ron Howard and Mitchell Hurwitz’s Arrested Development saw critical success across the board. Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Michael Cera star as family members of the very dysfunctional Bluth family living in Newport Beach, California. The show centers around Michael Bluth (Bateman) as he’s forced to assist his off-the-wall relatives after the family business comes under fire.
Created by: Mitchell HurwitzCast: Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica WalterNumber of seasons: 5
Watch on Hulu

Black-ish
ABC’s Black-ish is one of many shows to have sprung up during the latest sitcom renaissance, which seems to emphasize distinct points of view not often seen on TV. This particular sitcom follows the Johnsons, an upper-middle-class family in America. Parents Dre (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross) try to raise their children, whom they worry may be growing up in a vastly different milieu than they did. The show takes a critical look at issues of race and identity in contemporary America, balancing heavy social commentary with character-driven comedy.
Created by: Kenya BarrisCast: Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown, Marsai Martin, Jeff Meacham, Jenifer Lewis, Peter Mackenzie, Deon ColeNumber of seasons: 6
Watch on Hulu

Futurama
Although it didn’t attain immortality like its unending older brother The Simpsons (which now has the most scripted episodes of any prime-time series), Matt Groening’s other cartoon, Futurama, established an identity of its own as a funny, often poignant vision of the future. The show follows Philip J. Fry (Billy West), a delivery boy who stumbles into a cryogenic pod and wakes up a thousand years in the future. He ends up working for an interplanetary delivery company, working with a variety of colorful characters, including steely cyclops Leela (Katey Sagal) and hard-drinking, sociopathic robot Bender (John DiMaggio). Futurama is an inventive comedy, with every episode going in some wild directions, and it has an incredible cast of oddballs to bounce off each other.
Created by: Matt GroeningCast: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Phil LaMarr, Lauren Tom, David Herman, Frank WelkerNumber of seasons: 7
Watch on Hulu

Samurai Champloo
There are some great anime series on Hulu, and this is one of them. Although it lives in the shadow of Cowboy Bebop, director Shinichiro Watanabe’s follow-up, Samurai Champloo, is a terrific anime series, one that deserves to be considered on its own terms. Set in Edo-era Japan, the series follows an unlikely trio of travelers: A young waitress named Fuu, quiet ronin Jin, and wild swordsman Mugen. Fuu wants to find a samurai who smells like sunflowers, and after saving Jin and Mugen from execution, enlists them as bodyguards. The three wander Japan, encountering a variety of bizarre characters and scenarios (including a baseball game for the fate of Japan and a possible zombie apocalypse). Dynamic animation, vibrant art, and a chill hip-hop soundtrack are just a few of the reasons to watch this masterpiece.
Created by: Shinji ObaraCast: Ayako Kawasumi, Ginpei Sato, Steve BlumNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Hulu

Firefly
Before he was the mastermind behind Marvel’s cinematic universe, Joss Whedon was known for creating memorable television series such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly. While the latter only lasted for one season before it was ultimately canceled and later revived with the film Serenity, it has garnered a rabid cult following. The sci-fi series is set just after an interplanetary civil war between the populated inner system planets and the outer planets, where life resembles the American West. The series is well known for its cast of likable characters, including Nathan Fillion’s Mal Reynolds, who captains the titular ship and is arguably the coolest space criminal since Han Solo.
Created by: Joss WhedonCast: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, Ron GlassNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Hulu

Cowboy Bebop
Anime is often labeled as a niche genre, but like with all forms of media, there are breakout examples that transcend the genre, crossing over in appeal. Cowboy Bebop is a prime example. Set in the early era of humanity’s colonization of the solar system, a ragtag group of bounty hunters led by Spike Spiegel (Steven Blum) makes ends meet by taking in wanted criminals, while simultaneously trying to avoid the law and powerful criminal organizations. This space-western has been lauded as one of the best anime series ever made, with a memorable cast and compelling story, featuring one of the most iconic final scenes ever.
Created by: Hajime YatateCast: Kôichi Yamadera, Unshô Ishizuka, Megumi HayashibaraNumber of seasons: 1
Watch on Hulu

Star Trek: The Original Series
Few franchises have grown as massive of a fanbase as Star Trek. The Original Series features William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy as the iconic Captain Kirk and Commander Spock, respectively. Though dated — the show aired from 1966 to 1969 — it’s an appreciated blast from the past and one which created the foundation for so many TV spinoffs and movies. Few would argue that Kirk and Spock are among television’s all-time best duos.
Created by: Gene RoddenberryCast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest KelleyNumber of seasons: 3
Watch on Hulu

Star Trek: The Next Generation
Perhaps the most popular of the Star Trek TV shows, The Next Generation ran for an impressive seven seasons from 1987 to 1994. Patrick Stewart takes the lead as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, who guides the Enterprise across the galaxy in search of new life and civilizations. It built off the cult success of The Original Series and solidified the Star Trek franchise as one of the best science fiction universes across TV or film. Despite taking place within the boundaries of space — where no man had gone before — TNG drew allegories to our earthbound cultural issues that took place during its televised run.
Created by: Gene RoddenberryCast: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Denise Crosby, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Wil WheatonNumber of seasons: 7
Watch on Hulu

Harlots
This historical drama follows Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton), a madam running a brothel in 18th century London. Eager to climb the social ladder — and dodge the authorities — Margaret moves into the territory of her former boss, high-class madam Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville), sparking a war between the two. Caught up in Margaret’s schemes are her two daughters, Charlotte (Jessica Brown Findlay) and Lucy (Eloise Smyth), whom she has pushed into prostitution. Despite the lurid subject matter, Harlots is never merely titillating; this is a show with a keen eye for the power dynamics at work in its setting, and how hierarchy turns even sex into a cold transaction. A complicated drama with intriguing characters, Harlots is a great show for people who like their historical dramas on the seedier side.
Created by: Alison Newman, Moira BuffiniCast: Samantha Morton, Lesley Manville, Jessica Brown Findlay, Dorothy Atkinson, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Kate Fleetwood, Holli Dempsey, Douggie McMeekin, Edward Hogg, Richard McCabe, Danny Sapani, Hugh Skinner, Eloise Smyth, Liv Tyler, Sebastian Armesto, Julian Rhind-TuttNumber of seasons: 3
Watch on Hulu

Twin Peaks
In the quiet titular town of Twin Peaks, the sudden and tragic murder of high school student Laura Palmer set off a chain of events that turns the town on its head. FBI agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) teams up with local sheriff Harry Truman (Michael Ontkean) to solve the murder, only to uncover a complicated mess of grisly truths that border on the supernatural. Twin Peaks is among director David Lynch’s most iconic works, yet the show initially only lasted two brief seasons. Despite this, it produced some timeless episodes. Those who have finished the original two seasons will be delighted to know that the show returned for its first new episodes after 25 years in 2017, though those aren’t available on Hulu.
Created by: Mark Frost, David LynchCast: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Madchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, Richard Beymer, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sherilyn Fenn, Warren Frost, Peggy LiptonNumber of seasons: 3
Watch on Hulu

Editors’ Recommendations

The 48 greatest motion pictures on Amazon Prime Video proper now

Remember when Netflix was the only game in town when it came to streaming services? They had a good solo run there for a while, didn’t they? Things are a lot different now, though, with viewers being so spoiled for choice that the biggest dilemma is finding what to watch, across a veritable sea of streaming services to choose from (we’ve got guides to all of them, too). Amazon Prime Video, which you may not know comes free with your Prime membership, isn’t the cream of the crop, but it’s pretty damn good with a huge library of award-winning Originals, blockbuster hits, indie darlings, and everything in between. And it’s just getting better. So if you’re looking for something to watch this weekend and beyond, we vet everything that comes to Prime Video each week and add the best of the best to this list.
We’ve also put together guides to the best shows on Amazon Prime Video, the best movies on Hulu, the best movies on Netflix, and the best movies on Disney+.

Sideways (2004)
Nominated for five Academy Awards in 2005, including Best Picture and Director for Alexander Payne (who also won for Best Adapted Screenplay, by the way), Sideways is a charming, California wine country-set dramedy drenched in sun-kissed landscapes, flowing reds, and … a wine snob yelling about merlot. OK, it’s a lot more than that. Paul Giamatti is the delightfully disgruntled Miles, a middle-aged failed writer and recovering divorcé, who escapes with his friend Jack (Thomas Haden Church) for a week of wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley before Jack ties the knot. But Jack’s got other ideas for the week, as he sets his sights on Stephanie (Sandra Oh), a wine server, and swears Miles to secrecy about his upcoming nuptials. Things get hot between Jack and Stephanie, while Miles and Stephanie’s friend Maya (Virginia Madsen), also a divorceé with some baggage, begin to fall for each other. Can Miles keep Jack’s secret? Does he even want to? And what of his budding romance with Maya if he lets it slip? Full of wit, humor, and more than a few jabs at the pretentiousness of the wine elite, Sideways is a rom-com well paired with, perhaps, a nice cab sauv (spit).
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%Genre: Comedy, DramaStars: Paul Giamatti, Sandra Oh, Virginia Madsen, Thomas Haden ChurchDirectors: Alexander PayneRating: RRuntime: 127 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

In Bruges (2008)
Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ben (Brendan Gleeson) are bad men. They kill people for money. It’s a very stressful job, and after one particularly difficult hit has Ray riddled with guilt, the pair retreat to the quaint, medieval tourist town of Bruges, Belgium, to lay low and await instructions from their employer, Harry (Ralph Fiennes). What’s a team of hired killers to do in one of Europe’s most romantic and historic towns, go sightseeing? While that’s exactly what Ben spends his time doing, Ray, on the other hand, can’t stop thinking about the botched job until he meets the enchanting Chloe (Clémence Poésy), a member of a film crew in town shooting a movie. For the first time, the hilariously sarcastic and cynical Ray starts to see a future beyond the “life.” But just as Ray starts to get swept away by Chloe and the picturesque Bruges, Harry shows up with very different plans. Written and directed by Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), In Bruges is a smart, beautifully shot, fish-out-of-water comedy, but with silencers.
Rotten Tomatoes: 84%Genre: Comedy, Crime, Action, SuspenseStars: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clémence PoésyDirectors: Martin McDonaghRating: RRuntime: 107 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Val (2021)
Whether the Val Kilmer in your mind’s eye is him in some of his iconic roles like Top Gun‘s Iceman, The Doors‘ Jim Morrison, or Batman Forever‘s caped crusader, or you kept up with the ’80s heartthrob into his later, quieter career for films such as Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang and beyond, one thing is for sure — you’ve never seen Val Kilmer like this. Fascinating and often heart-wrenching, Val is an Amazon Original autobiographical documentary assembled by the actor and directors Leo Scott and Ting Poo from more than 40 years of home video recordings Kilmer obsessively took throughout his life and career — including behind-the-scenes footage with Tom Cruise, Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, and more. Now in his ’60s and recovering from throat cancer surgery that has left him with the need to speak through a voice box on his trachea, Kilmer’s doc is a deep look inward at his life, his rise and fall from fame, his personal triumphs and failures, and, ultimately, his coming to terms with all of it.
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%Genre: DocumentaryStars: Val KilmerDirectors: Leo Scott, Ting PooRating: RRuntime: 108 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Attack the Block (2011)
The nutters behind Shaun of the Dead do what they do best in 2011’s hilarious alien adventure, Attack the Block, starring who would become two of cinema’s biggest sci-fi stars, the Star Wars prequels’ John Boyega and current Doctor Who, Jodie Whittaker. When their South London apartment complex neighborhood is bombarded with furry, razor-toothed alien visitors hell-bent on a takeover, the kids and adults band together to defend themselves and their block. An invasion flick with heart, Attack the Block adeptly shows the transformation of the mischievous and questionably delinquent youngsters into heroes, using their street smarts to send the aliens packing.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%Genre: Sci-fi, Comedy, ActionStars: John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Alex Esmail, Leeon JonesDirector: Joe CornishRating: RRuntime: 80 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Jaws (1975)
Bathtubs, puddles, kitchen sinks full of dishwater: If you were of the generation that was terrified by Stephen Spielberg’s legendary shark film Jaws, no body of water — big or small — was safe after that. You probably know the premise by now, but it all starts when a young woman is killed by a shark off the coast of the small New England town of Amity Island. The shifty town mayor (Murray Hamilton) doesn’t want to shut the touristy beach down, but Police Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) has a bad feeling about this and knows something bigger is asunder. Much bigger. Following his instincts to protect the town, Brody enlists the help of shark expert Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and a prickly sea-worn boat captain (Robert Shaw) and his not-big-enough boat to hunt down the Great White. If, after watching the first film, you’re not afraid of the water for life, Prime Video is also streaming Jaws 2 and Jaws 3 so you can stage your own Shark Week.
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%Genre: Adventure, Horror, Mystery & ThrillerStars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Murray HamiltonDirector: Steven SpielbergRating: PGRuntime: 124 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
More than a decade before Dazed and Confused, there was Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which introduced the world to Sean Penn in one of his greatest and oft-imitated roles, stoner surfer Jeff Spicoli. Based on the book Fast Times at Ridgemont High: A True Story by Cameron Crowe (which he wrote after going undercover at a San Diego high school), this classic ’80s coming-of-age comedy follows various plotlines in the lives of a handful of California high schoolers. Sophomores Stacy (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Mark (Brian Backer) are getting curious about sex, and are respectively egged on by seniors Linda (Phoebe Cates) and slimy ticket scalper Mike Damone (Robert Romanus) to go all the way. Meanwhile, Stacy’s older brother Brad (Judge Reinhold) has the perfect life — he’s popular, has a good job, and a great girlfriend — until it all comes crashing down when he’s fired. That brings us to Spicoli. When he’s not hot-boxing his VW van with his surfer bros, he’s at war with the perpetually stuffy Mr. Hand (Ray Walston), a teacher of Jeff’s who has it out for him and his stoner ways.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%Genre: Comedy, DramaStars: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates, Ray WalstonDirector: Amy HeckerlingRating: RRuntime: 90 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Moneyball (2011)
Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say. So when the struggling Oakland A’s 2002 baseball team needed to work with a limited budget while still assembling a winning team, General Manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) turns to the unconventional (at the time) use of analytics to do it. Beane recruits intelligent young Yale economics grad Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) as his assistant GM, whose use of sabermetrics brings together undervalued players that the data would suggest have strengths that would be great when combined with other overlooked players. Is Beane and Brand’s nerdy approach the future of baseball? Will it pay off and bring the A’s to the World Series? Well, if you don’t already know the answers to these questions (it’s all in the source material, too — author Michale Lewis’s 2003 nonfiction novel, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game), we highly suggest watching this Oscar-nominated movie.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%Genre: Biography, Sports, DramaStars: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Chris PrattDirector: Bennett MillerRating: PG-13Runtime: 143 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Catch Me If You Can (2002)
A young boy cries in pain, lying on a table in a hospital ER, his leg bloody and broken. Barely 21 years old, Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio), posing as a doctor and clearly nauseous at the sight of blood, is called to assist the two junior doctors on the case. “Dr. Harris, do you concur?” is all the freaked-out Frank can muster before passing the boy off and rushing away. Another narrow escape for the young con man, who, by the time Stephen Spielberg’s brilliant Oscar-winning film Catch Me If You Can come to its end, will have also become a master cheque forger and posed as an airline pilot and a lawyer while traveling the world on an adventure to end all adventures. But hot on Frank’s heels is FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks), who develops a respect and bond with the young, scared Abagnale, as he chases the master criminal around the globe. Based on the real-life story of Abagnale Jr., Catch Me If You Can is a not-to-be-missed cat-and-mouse film with incredible performances from two of Hollywood’s best.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%Genre: Biography, Crime, DramaStars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher WalkenDirector: Stephen SpielbergRating: PG-13Runtime: 140 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Aliens (1986)
Starting this writeup on Aliens by telling you that this 1986 sci-fi thriller won two Oscars for visual and sound effects and had four other nominations, including a Best Actress nod for Sigourney Weaver, is just an attempt to distract you from the fact that this film is going to scare the living daylights out of you. Weaver makes her first return as Ellen Ripley, who, 57 years after escaping from the horrific alien infestation situation of the first film, is the only person alive who can help a human colony on a distant planet that may be under siege from the same savage species. A crew sent by the corporation that owns the colony includes an android (Lance Henrikson), a couple of Marines (Bill Paxton and Michael Biehn), and shifty company exec Burke (Paul Reiser), who’s more interested in the monetary gains capturing the aliens represents. Boy, are they in for a surprise. Of course, the colony is teeming with the drooling beasts, who begin picking the crew off one by one. Ripley discovers the colony’s sole survivor, a little girl named Newt, and uses everything she knows about the alien enemy to rescue the girl and get off the planet alive. If this James Cameron-directed sequel doesn’t terrify you enough, Prime Video is also streaming the OG Alien film that started it all.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-FiStars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Bill PaxtonDirector: James CameronRating: RRuntime: 137 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Patton (1970)
The story of World War II’s infamous hero-villain, U.S. General George S. Patton, is on Amazon Prime Video in all its three-hour glory. Sweeping the 1971 Academy Awards with 10 nominations and seven wins, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor, Patton was hailed as a revelation in filmmaking. George C. Scott’s portrayal of the controversial military figure is nothing short of jarring, capturing all the unpredictability, ruthlessness, and ego of the General, as the film tracks his storied career, shining a light on his victories and defeats on the battlefield, his intense rivalries with German and fellow Allied generals alike, his relieving of duty and fall from grace, and eventual redemption at the famous Battle of the Bulge. Patton is a classic that still holds up today, with Scott’s performance becoming a mold for future hard-assed military film characters.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%Genre: Biography, Drama, WarStars: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael StrongDirector: Franklin J. SchaffnerRating: PGRuntime: 172 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest (2011)
For fans of ’90s hip-hop legends A Tribe Called Quest, Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest is required viewing. But even if you’re only vaguely familiar with the group, this directorial debut from actor Michael Rapaport will school you on the world of these iconic artists. Following the trajectory of members Q-Tip (Kamaal Ibn John Fareed), Phife Dawg (Malik Taylor), DJ Producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Jarobi White from their beginnings in Queens, New York, in the mid-’80s, Beats, Rhymes & Life mixes archival footage with interviews from fellow hip-hop luminaries such as Common, Ludacris, Questlove, and the Beastie Boys to take viewers through the group’s career highs, lows, and conflicts surrounding their controversial and sudden breakup in 1998. Rapaport’s documentary then picks up with the group during their strained reunion for the 2008 Rock the Bells tour, offering faint hope to fans.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%Genre: DocumentaryStars: Ludacris, Common, Q-TipDirector: Michael RapaportRating: RRuntime: 97 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008)
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist has two great stars (Scott Pilgrim‘s Michael Cera and WandaVision‘s Kat Dennings) who are genuinely great together. Nick (Cera) is bummed out because his girlfriend, Tris (Alexis Dziena), has dumped him, and when she shows up at his band’s gig in Manhattan with a new guy, he gets even more bummed. That is until he meets Norah (Dennings), who has had a serious crush on Nick because of his cool mix-CDs that he made for Tris. The duo serendipitously end up on an adventure through the East Village in search of a secret show by the mysterious band Where’s Fluffy? that has left clues all around town. As they navigate the city in Nick’s beat-up car, he can’t stop thinking about Tris, while the whole time, the real deal is sitting right next to him.
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%Genre: Comedy, DramaStars: Michael Cera, Kat Dennings, Alexis DzienaDirector: Peter SollettRating: PG-13Runtime: 89 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Big Fish (2003)
Edward Bloom (Ambert Finney) is on his death bed. The larger-than-life patriarch has lived what many would say was a fantastical life, filled with circus adventures, giants, witches, and a catfish the size of a whale. Well, only one person would say all that, and that person is Edward himself, who has told these stories and more, over and over to his son, Will (Billy Crudup), who has returned home to be by his estranged dad’s bedside. But what Will wants to know more than anything before his dad shuffles off this mortal coil is whether all his dad’s stories were fact or fiction. Told mostly in visually stunning and dream-like flashbacks of Edward’s tall tales, in the way only Time Burton can, and with the aid of Ewan McGregor as a young Edward, Will makes a last attempt to reconnect with and understand his father.
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama, Adventure, RomanceStars: Billy Crudup, Hailey Anne Nelson, Ewan McGregorDirector: Tim BurtonRating: PG-13Runtime: 125 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Snatch (2000)
Trying to explain the intricate and scribbling plot of Guy Ritchie’s Snatch is not a wise idea — you kind of just need to buckle up and hang on for the ride. What might be helpful to know about this gritty English crime comedy, though, is that it involves the seemingly random intertwining lives of a diamond thief named Frankie Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro), a psychopathic Russian named Boris the Blade, who is trying to steal Frankie’s priceless stolen diamond, a group of amateur thugs with a dog that has swallowed said diamond, a deadly gangster boss running a boxing racket, and (perhaps the best character in the film) Brad Pitt as a bare-knuckle gypsy boxer with one of the best incomprehensible “pikey” accents in cinema. There are, of course, other larger-than-life characters in the film, but all you need to know is that Snatch is a hilariously dark, connect-the-dots film that’s satisfying for fans of clever Tarantino-style action.
Rotten Tomatoes: 73%Genre: Crime, ComedyStars: Brad Pitt, Jason Statham, Vinnie Jones, Benicio Del ToroDirector: Guy RitchieRating: RRuntime: 102 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

The Tomorrow War (2021)
In what should have brought audiences to the theater in droves, this end-of-the-world action-adventure from one of the guys behind The Lego Movie (Chris McKay) is getting the Amazon Original treatment because of that pandemic thing we’ve all been dealing with. But don’t let that fool you — there’s enough explosive action here to impress even in your living room. The Tomorrow War is kind of a Terminator in reverse, where instead of forces from a future war coming to battle it out in the present, this time, the good guys fighting an alien invasion in 2051 come back in time to recruit soldiers and civilians to join the fight in the future before humankind is wiped out. Chris Pratt stars as Dan Forester, a high school teacher with some serious gun skills who is among the recruits crossing time to save the world.
Rotten Tomatoes: 54%Genre: Sci-fi, Action, Drama, Comedy, AdventureStars: Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strzechowski, J.K. Simmons, Betty GilpinDirector: Chris McKayRating: PG-13Runtime: 78 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Vertigo (1958)
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 masterpiece is still as spellbinding now as it was more than 60 years ago. James Stewart stars as the tormented John “Scottie” Ferguson, a San Francisco detective forced into early retirement after his debilitating fear of heights and vertigo play a part in the death of a fellow officer. But that’s just the setup. Vertigo is a dizzying, noir love story, and at its center is the enchanting Madeline Elster (Kim Novak), the wife of Scottie’s friend, Gavin (Tom Helmore), who hires Scottie to tail Madeline, who has been acting strangely. As Scottie grows obsessed with Madeline and the two fall in love, tragedy strikes again because of Scottie’s vertigo. Scottie’s reality becomes even more unhinged when he meets and falls for Judy Barton, who is the spitting image of Madeline (or is it really her?), and the disturbing truth of the plot is uncovered in divine Hitchcock fashion.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%Genre: Suspense, Romance, HorrorStars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel GeddesDirector: Alfred HitchcockRating: PGRuntime: 70 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Awakenings (1990)
Based on the memoir of the same name by renowned British neurologist Dr.Oliver Sacks, Awakenings tells the remarkable story of Dr. Malcolm Sayer (Robin Williams), a fictionalized version of Sacks who is hired at a hospital in the Bronx to study several patients who have been catatonic and, for all intents and purposes, lost in time for decades as a result of encephalitis from the 1920s and 1930s. When the discovery of an experimental Parkinson’s drug allows Sayer to “awaken” one 40-year-old patient, Leonard (the mesmerizing Robert De Niro), and later several more of the hospital’s patients, many of whom have been “frozen” since they were children, the result is a gripping and bittersweet reminder of just how precious life is as Leonard and the patients come to terms with the time they’ve lost and the time they have left.
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%Genre: DramaStars: Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Julie Kavner, John Heard, Ruth NelsonDirector: Penny MarshallRating: PG-13Runtime: 120 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Burn After Reading (2008)
The final film in the Coen brother’s “idiot trilogy” preceded by O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Intolerable Cruelty, Burn After Reading isn’t so much about the plot as much as it is the characters insanely screwed up in it. Osborne (John Malkovich) is a disgruntled former CIA agent whose conniving wife, Katie (Tilda Swinton), is cheating on him with Harry (George Clooney), a womanizing U.S. Treasury agent. When a disc containing Osborne’s revealing, unfinished memoir is dropped on the changeroom floor of Katie’s local gym, its moronic employees, Chad and Linda (Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand), attempt to use it to blackmail Osborne for some cash so Linda can get the plastic surgery she thinks she needs. Russians get involved, bodies are stuffed in closets, and Pitt’s blonde frosted tips steal the show. Burn After Reading isn’t one of the Coen brothers’ best, but even that’s saying a lot considering their track record leading up to it (Miller’s Crossing, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and No Country for Old Men, to name a few). It’s a fun, screwball comedy, Coen brothers style.
Rotten Tomatoes: 78%Genre: Suspense, Comedy, Drama,Stars: Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Tilda SwintonDirectors: Joel Coen, Ethan CoenRating: RRuntime: 96 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Knives Out (2019)
Writer and director Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper) gives the classic Agatha Christie-style murder mystery a modern spin in this tale about a famous crime novelist whose unexpected death one night after a family gathering makes everyone a suspect. Daniel Craig portrays the brilliant, debonair detective Benoit Blanc, whose investigation brings the depths of the family’s dysfunction to light and leaves you guessing who will ultimately emerge as the culprit of the film’s heinous crime. The film’s ensemble cast makes a great mystery even better, with memorable performances from every actor involved, resulting in a modern mystery masterpiece.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%Genre: MysteryStars: Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, LaKeith Stanfield, Daniel CraigDirector: Rian JohnsonRating: PG-13Runtime: 130 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Pinocchio (2019)
Italian author Carlo Collodi’s classic children’s story dates back to 1881, and since then, it’s been reimagined and adapted countless times in print, on television, for the stage, and in film — perhaps most notably in Disney’s 1940 animated movie. With this most recently released feature version, Italian filmmakers Matteo Garrone and Massimo Ceccherini use live-action, stunning CGI, and some pretty fantastic costumes and makeup to once again tell the tale of a lonely carpenter, Gepetto (Roberto Benigni), who creates a wooden boy puppet who magically comes to life. Pinocchio‘s universal themes of perseverance through adversity, honesty, and redemption ring true in Garrone’s adaptation as well, as the boy puppet heads out into the film’s bizarre world of animal tricksters, blue fairies, and gigantic fish to learn the lessons he needs to get back to Gepetto and realize his dream of becoming a real boy.
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%Genre: DramaStars: Roberto Benigni, Federico Ielapi, Rocco PapaleoDirector: Matteo GarroneRating: PG-13Runtime: 125 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Stop Making Sense (1984)
Concert films are not a new phenomenon, but they do seem to be fewer and far between. In 1984, director Jonathan Demme teamed up with the band called Talking Heads for Stop Making Sense, one of the most influential concert films of all-time. Demme filmed the movie over four live performances at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, and Talking Heads put on the show of their lives every night. The band had a great sense of showmanship and stage presence, and Demme captured it all. Stop Making Sense has even pulled off the rare feat of a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. If it’s not a “Once in a Lifetime” experience, it’s close enough.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%Genre: Concert FilmStars: Talking HeadsDirector: Jonathan DemmeRating: NRRuntime: 105 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

The Vast of Night (2020)
This nostalgic throwback to classic sci-fi thrillers follows a young switchboard operator and a radio DJ whose discovery of a mysterious audio frequency sets off a series of discoveries that lead them deep into the unknown. The Amazon Studios film is the directorial debut of Andrew Patterson and has earned high praise from critics and streaming audiences alike for its suspenseful, low-budget spin on the genre.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%Genre: Sci-Fi, MysteryStars: Sierra McCormick, Jake HorowitzDirector: Andrew PattersonRating: PG-13Runtime: 89 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Adaptation (2002)
Director Spike Jonze’s Oscar-winning Adaptation is hard to describe. It’s a film about the making of a film and a story about real-life rare orchid hunters, murder, and conspiracy — all balancing on the razor-sharp edge of reality and fiction. But one thing we know for sure is that it’s brilliant. Nicolas Cage plays a fictionalized version of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. He’s neurotic, depressed, and struggling to adapt Susan Orlean’s (Meryl Streep) non-fiction book The Orchid Thief, which is about Florida con man and orchid poacher John Laroche (Chris Cooper), into a coherent film. To break his writer’s block, Charlie shadows Orleans, following her to Florida, where he discovers that she is involved in a passionate, drug-fueled affair with Laroche, and she’ll stop at nothing to keep her reputation intact. The film is thrilling, often funny, totally bizarre, and a complete must-watch.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%Genre: Drama, ComedyStars: Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Tilda SwintonDirector: Spike JonzeRating: RRuntime: 115 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

An American Werewolf in London (1981)
If you had to choose one werewolf movie to watch in your entire life, it’s this one. A horror cult classic, legendary writer-director John Landis (Animal House, The Blues Brothers, Coming to America) used some of the era’s best makeup and special effects artists to bring to life this story of American tourists David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne), who are traveling the English countryside when they’re attacked by a wolf-like creature in the night. Jack is killed, but David survives, only to discover that he is turning into a vicious lycanthrope that will unleash unspeakable horrors come the next full moon. Jack, who appears to David in visions as a decayed corpse, tells David that he must die to end the werewolf cycle, but David’s fallen in love with Alex (Jenny Agutter) and must find another way to break the curse — and stop killing basically everyone he comes across in London.
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%Genre: Horror, ComedyStars: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher, Griffin DunnerDirector: John LandisRating: RRuntime: 97 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
In the immortal words of legendary dodgeball coach Patches O’Houlihan (Rip Torn), “If you’re going to become true dodgeballers, then you’ve got to learn the five D’s of dodgeball: Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge! Of course, this wisdom was immediately followed by Patches whipping wrenches at his team, but that’s beside the point. This is the kind of necessary training the losers of Average Joe’s Gymnasium’s dodgeball squad need if they’re going to win the American Dodgeball Association of America’s (ADAA) International Dodgeball Competition. The $50,000 prize is a last-ditch effort by Joe’s owner, Peter LaFleur (Vince Vaughan), to keep the megalomaniacal owner of rival Globo Gym, White Goodman (Ben Stiller), from putting him out of business. Teeming with memorable characters and quotable lines (including the origins of “I just threw up in my mouth a little bit”), Dodgeball culminates in one hell of a tournament sequence in which Peter and his misfits battle teams from around the world (and their own demons) toward their eventual showdown with White and his Purple Cobras. Watch for Jason Bateman’s hilarious cameo as spaced-out tournament commentator Pepper Brooks.
Rotten Tomatoes: 71%Genre: Comedy, Action, SportsStars: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughan, Christine Taylor, Rip Torn, Justin Long, Hank Azaria, Jason Bateman, Alan Tudyk, Chuck NorrisDirector: Rawson Marshall ThurberRating: PG-13Runtime: 92 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Midsommar (2019)
What better way to celebrate the summer solstice than by having the crap scared out of you? Called an “operatic breakup movie” by director Ari Aster, Midsommar proves to be exactly that and more in this suspenseful film. It centers around an American couple with serious relationship issues who travel with friends to a midsummer festival. It gets significantly more violent and unsettling from there, with the setting of a remote Swedish village serving as the backdrop for a cult with less-than-admirable intentions, to put it lightly. It was a hit in summer 2019 and, if you’re up for a nearly 2.5-hour movie where the scares consistently and constantly creep up on you, it won’t take long to understand why.
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%Genre: HorrorStars: Florence Pugh, Liv Mjönes, Jack ReynorDirector: Ari AsterRating: RRuntime: 140 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things (2021)
Heavily in line with the time-loop movies that this cute coming-of-age romantic comedy itself references, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is like Groundhog Day or Edge of Tomorrow (without all the death and aliens) for a new generation. Mark (Kyle Allen) is your typical teenager trying to figure life out, except that he seems to be the only one aware that he’s living the same day over and over again — he argues with his dad over his future, plays video games with his clueless best friend, and, like Bill Murray’s Phil Connors, learns the routine so well he can do little things like rescue folks from their everyday annoyances. Mark seems content in his loop, and then he meets Margaret (Kathryn Newton), who, as if fate planned it, is also stuck in the same unremarkable day. Now with something more to live for, the pair revel in their predicament and, of course, fall for each other. Written by The Magicians author Lev Grossman, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is a sweet exploration of youth and the fear that comes with taking that leap of faith to get out of our own ruts and move forward with life.
Rotten Tomatoes: 82%Genre: Romance, Comedy, Young AdultStars: Kathryn Newton, Kyle Allen, Jermaine HarrisDirector: Ian SamuelsRating: PG-13Runtime: 98 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Sylvie’s Love (2020)
Can we all just agree that Tessa Thompson is great in just about everything she’s in? Alright, then. In this dreamy period melodrama by Eugene Ashe, Thompson plays Sylvie, an aspiring television producer in late ’50s-early ’60s New York. While working in her dad’s record shop, Sylvie meets Robert (Nnamdi Asomugha), a talented up-and-coming jazz saxophonist with big dreams of his own. Robert takes a job in the store and the two begin a friendship that blossoms into love, despite Sylvie having a fiancé who is away at war. But as Robert’s career begins to take off and Sylvie is torn between her own ambitions and obligations, the two go their separate ways … for a little while, anyway. The pair eventually meet again, with Sylvie, having overcome many of the struggles of the era’s racism and women’s rights obstacles to become a successful TV producer, and Robert’s career skyrocketing. Is the love still there? Can and will they pick up where they left off? Sylvie’s Love is a refreshing take on the over-done love-conquers-all trope and is a romantic must-watch.
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%Genre: Drama, RomanceStars: Tessa Thompson, Nnamdi Asomugha, Eva LongoriaDirector: Eugene AsheRating: PG-13Runtime: 116 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)
Facing displacement from the home his grandfather built as a result of gentrification in his San Francisco neighborhood, Jimmie and his best friend, Mort, set out on a mission to reclaim the house before it is irreversibly changed. Their odyssey tests their friendship and forces them to question where they belong in the place they’ve always called home. A poignant, often intense journey, this film was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards.
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%Genre: DramaStars: Jimmie Falls, Tichina Arnold, Mike EppsDirector: Joe TalbotRating: RRuntime: 120 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

One Night in Miami (2021)
In actress Regina King’s excellent directorial debut, she takes Kemp Powers’ screenplay of his own stage play and turns it into a riveting drama. One Night in Miami is a fictionalized ponderance of a real-life meeting that happened in Miami Beach in 1964 in which famous friends Cassius Clay (Eli Goree), who earlier that night just beat Sonny Liston for the world championship, Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben -Adir), singer Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.), and football star Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) gathered to enjoy each other’s company, debate, and discuss their roles in affecting change in Black America. Each star holds his own portraying such cultural heavyweights, and the film mixes beautifully-shot sequences of their individual lives and achievements with fly-on-the-wall ensemble scenes that give you a sense of what it might have been like being in the room with these icons.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%Genre: DramaStars: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom JrDirector: Regina KingRating: RRuntime: 114 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Herself (2020)
Get ready for a tear-jerker of a drama that’s full of both pain and beautiful redemption in this Amazon Original film that won the Human Rights Film Award at last year’s Dublin International Film Festival. Actress Clare Dunne, who co-wrote the film with Shameless U.K. writer Malcolm Campbell, is Sandra, a mother of two in Dublin who, after escaping her abusive husband, finds herself on the cusp of homelessness. Told with care and often intense reality by The Iron Lady director Phyllida Lloyd, Sandra eschews Ireland’s bureaucratic social housing system and decides to try to build her own house DIY-style — all she needs is a bit of land. As Sandra’s friends and strangers alike pitch in to help rebuild (literally) her life, it’s hard not to get swept up in this touchingly unique story.
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%Genre: DramaStars: Clare Dunne, Ruby Rose O’Hara, Molly McCann,Director: Phyllida LloydRating: RRuntime: 97 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Sound of Metal (2020)
Sound of Metal doesn’t mess around, getting straight to the intense and terrifying moments that Ruben (Riz Ahmed), a drummer in a heavy metal duo with his girlfriend (the wonderful Olivia Cooke), starts to lose his hearing. It’s the little things we take for granted that director/screenwriter Darius Marder zeroes in on in the film’s opening minutes — the excruciating silence of a blender, the subtle drip of percolating coffee, or the shushing spray of a showerhead — all gone. But Sound of Metal isn’t about deafness, it’s a story about change and the journey we must take to embrace it, as Ruben enters a facility to help him learn to live with his deafness while also avoiding a relapse into his old life of drug abuse. It’s a beautiful film about life-changing loss and redemption and shouldn’t be missed.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%Genre: DramaStars: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul RaciDirector: Darius MarderRating: RRuntime: 120 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

I’m Your Woman (2020)
Premiering in October at this year’s virtual edition of AFI Fest, this gritty 1970s-era crime drama features Mrs. Maisel as you’ve never seen her before. The marvelous Rachel Brosnahan trades swing dresses and handbags for bellbottoms and handguns in I’m Your Woman, playing Jean, the bored suburban housewife of Eddie (Bill Heck), a hustler and thief with some shady associates. Jean learns just how shady when Eddie shows up one night with an infant, declaring “he’s our baby,” and then disappears a couple of days later, triggering a series of events that has Jean terrified, confused, and on the run from gun-toting henchmen. Jean’s only respite from the madness is Cal (British-Nigerian actor Arinzé Kene), who shepherds Jean and baby to a safe house where his wife, Teri (Marsha Stephanie Blake), and father, Art (Frankie Faison), teach her how to navigate her new life on the lam. Dripping with ’70s style, loud wardrobe choices, boat-sized cars, and a groovy Motown soundtrack, I’m Your Woman is a great way to time-warp out of your daily grind.
Rotten Tomatoes: 78%Genre: Crime, DramaStars: Rachel Brosnahan, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Arinzé KeneDirector: Julia HartRating: RRuntime: 120 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)
There are very few performers in the world who can switch gears so expertly as Sacha Baron Cohen. Comedian, actor, and activist, in the last two years, Cohen has navigated the roles of famous Israeli spy Eli Cohen in The Spy and American “Yippy” activist Abby Hoffman in The Trial of the Chicago 7 (both on Netflix). But perhaps his greatest role of all is Borat. Cohen’s clueless reporter from Kazakhstan is back for another go at America in this sequel to 2006’s Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. After spending 14 years in prison, Borat is released not only to find that he has a daughter, Tutar (Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova), but that he must return to the U.S. to redeem the reputation of his homeland by gifting the feral Tutar to Mike Pence. Along the way, Cohen, of course, resumes his pranking of Trump-era America, but with his cover mostly blown from the first film, much of the task lands on the brilliant Bakalova, who delivers some bewilderingly-awkward situations and poignant political skewering.
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%Genre: ComedyStars: Sacha Baron Cohen, Maria Bakalova, Rudy GiulianiDirector: Jason WolinerRating: RRuntime: 96 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
A classic Christmas movie with an iconic James Stewart performance, It’s a Wonderful Life follows George Bailey (Stewart), a banker in the town of Bedford Falls who is preparing to throw himself off a bridge. An angel named Clarence (Henry Travers) appears to save George, and takes him on a journey through the most important moments in George’s life, showing him all the good things he’s done for other people despite the costs to himself. It’s a Wonderful Life is a charming story about perseverance in the face of an often cruel universe and the value of relationships.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%Genre: Drama, Science FictionStars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel BarrymoreDirector: Frank CapraRating: PGRuntime: 135 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Chi-Raq (2015)
Aristophanes’ classic Greek comedy Lysistrata gets a modern update in this 2015 film directed by Spike Lee. The film follows a group of women who decide to withhold sex from their partners until they agree to curb the gang violence plaguing their Chicago neighborhood. Told in a mixture of music and verse, the film stars Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Teyonah Parris, Jennifer Hudson, Angela Bassett, John Cusack, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Rotten Tomatoes: 82%Genre: DramaStars: Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Teyonah Parris, Jennifer HudsonDirector: Spike LeeRating: RRuntime: 118 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Honey Boy (2019)
Shia LaBeouf’s debut script is directed by Alma Har’el and follows the life of child actor Otis Lort as he rises through young success to self-destructive Hollywood star. Navigating fame and his abusive, alcoholic father proves to be next to impossible as their contentious relationship crumbles across the course of a decade. LaBeouf also stars in this semiautobiographical tale that draws from his experience with his father.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%Genre: DramaStars: Shia LaBeouf, Lucas HedgesDirector: Alma Har’elRating: RRuntime: 93 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

High Life (2019)
From award-winning French filmmaker Claire Denis, High Life is described as an erotic sci-fi horror film, but it really defies classification. It’s difficult to explain High Life in just a few words but we’ll try. Juliette Binoche stars as Dr. Dibs, overseer of a damned space mission that is sending criminals to attempt to extract energy from a black hole. Along the way, Dibs performs sexual experiments on the criminals that lead to their deaths. Ultimately, murderer Monte (Robert Pattinson) is left alone with his daughter, trying to survive and thrive as they hurtle toward certain death.
Rotten Tomatoes: 82%Genre: Science FictionStars: Robert Pattinson, André Benjamin, Mia GothDirector: Claire DenisRating: RRuntime: 110
Watch on Prime Video

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
In the soft shadows of The Gaslight Cafe, folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) croons that he “wouldn’t mind the hanging.” Leave it to the Coen Brothers to oblige him. Two of America’s most mercurial filmmakers, the Coens have approached both grim tragedy and madcap comedy in their films, sometimes at the same time. Inside Llewyn Davis falls on the bleaker end of the spectrum, following Davis as he attempts to get his music career on track in the wake of his musical partner’s suicide. His finances are not the only part of his life falling apart; his former lover, Jean (Carey Mulligan), pregnant with a child that is likely his, wants nothing to do with him. Davis’ struggle, set against the frost-glazed backdrop of New York, is a tragic one. But the film is not without humor, black though it may be. The characters surrounding Llewyn are as vibrant as he is cold, particularly Justin Timberlake as Jane’s new boyfriend (although Isaac’s future Star Wars nemesis also has a memorable musical cameo).
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%Genre: DramaStars: Oscar Isaac, John Goodman, Carey MulliganDirector: Ethan & Joel CoenRating: RRuntime: 105 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

The Handmaiden (2016)
From Korean director Park Chan-wook, award-winning director of Oldboy, The Handmaiden is an intense, pulse-pounding crime drama set in the early 1900s during the Japanese occupation of Korea. The film follows two women — a young Japanese lady on a secluded estate, and the Korean woman who is hired as her new handmaiden. Little does the former know, though, that the latter is conspiring with a con man to defraud the woman out of her inheritance.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%Genre: DramaStars: Kim Min-hee, Ha Jung-woo, Cho Jin-woongDirector: Park Chan-wookRating: NRRuntime: 145 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

You Were Never Really Here (2017)
This Amazon Original was nominated for four 2019 Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Feature and Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix). Phoenix stars as a traumatized veteran who harnesses his trauma into hunting down missing girls for a living. However, as his nightmares begin to overtake him and he continues to get in over his head, he begins to uncover a conspiracy that threatens to destroy or save him, depending on the paths he takes.
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%Genre: Mystery & SuspenseStars: Joaquin Phoenix, Judith Roberts, John DomanDirector: Lynne RamsayRating: RRuntime: 89 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Cold War (2018)
Paweł Pawlikowski’s gorgeous historical drama Cold War follows Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and Zula (Joanna Kulig), a music director and singer respectively, who meet and fall in love in Poland after the end of World War II. As the years drag on and the Soviet grip over Eastern Europe tightens, the two drift across borders, in and out of each other’s lives. Their turbulent romance, set against a backdrop of paranoia and repression, is messy but moving. Filmed in stark black and white, Cold War is a beautiful film full of masterfully composed shots.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%Genre: DramaStars: Joanna Kulig, Tomasz Kot, Borys SzycDirector: Pawel PawlikowskiRating: RRuntime: 89 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

The Big Sick (2017)
Comedian Kumail Nanjiani and comedy writer Emily V. Gordon adapted their real-life love story for film in The Big Sick, a charming romantic comedy that was one of Digital Trends’ favorite movies of 2019 and helped score Nanjiani and Gordon their own Apple TV+ show. The movie begins with Kumail (playing a loosely fictionalized version of himself) struggling to build a stand-up career, mining his Pakistani background for material. After a run-in with a heckler named Emily (Zoe Kazan) turns into a one-night-stand and eventually a relationship, the two start to run into troubles. For starters, Kumail’s parents want him to settle down with a Pakistani woman, leading them to break up. Making things even more complicated, an infection leaves Emily in a coma. While visiting Emily in the hospital, Kumail meets her parents, Terry (Ray Romano) and Beth (Holly Hunter), learning more about them and Emily as he processes his own feelings.
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%Genre: Romance, ComedyStars: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly HunterDirector: Michael ShowalterRating: RRuntime: 119 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

The Lighthouse (2019)
Director Robert Eggers was initially moved to adapt Edgar Allan Poe’s The Light-House as a film, but The Lighthouse ultimately went in its own direction as one of 2019’s most unusual movies. Filmed entirely in black-and-white, The Lighthouse takes place in the late 19th century, as Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson) finds himself stationed with the mercurial Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe). Alone and stranded on the remote island, Winslow and Wake battle both each other and the onset of insanity. Pattinson and Dafoe’s confrontations and performances are riveting, but it’s the movie’s surprises that will keep viewers talking long after the film comes to an end.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%Genre: Psychological ThrillerStars: Robert Pattinson, Willem DafoeDirector: Robert EggersRating: RRuntime: 109 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

The Farewell (2019)
In China, the name of this movie is “Don’t Tell Her.” The Farewell‘s American title doesn’t entirely capture the premise of the movie in the same way, but the core message is similar. Awkwafina stars as Billi Wang, a Chinese-American writer who learns that her grandmother, Nai Nai (Zhao Shuzhen), is dying from terminal lung cancer in China. To make matters worse, Billi’s parents, Haiyan Wang (Tzi Ma) and Lu Jian (Diana Lin), as well as the rest of the family, forbid Billi from telling Nai Nai that she has only a short time to live. It’s a promise that weighs heavily on Billi, but her connection with her beloved grandmother is beautiful and touching. Nai Nai may not know the truth, but she’s still got something valuable to teach her family.
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%Genre: Comedy, DramaStars: Awkwafina, Zhao ShuzhenDirector: Lulu WangRating: PGRuntime: 100 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

The African Queen (1951)
One of the joys of Amazon Prime is that it allows viewers of all ages to get acquainted with the films that came out decades before they were born. The African Queen is one of director John Huston’s most beloved films, thanks in no small part to the pairing of Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn as the leads. The story is set in World War I, as a missionary named Rose Sayer (Hepburn) and the captain of a riverboat, Charlie Allnut (Bogart) join forces against the Germans after their lives are upended. The journey of the African Queen takes Charlie and Rose into countless dangers, as well as an occasionally rocky romance. This is a classic, folks. And everyone should see it at least once.
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%Genre: AdventureStars: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert MorleyDirector: John HustonRating: PGRuntime: 105 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Blow the Man Down (2020)
Blow the Man Down is a dark comedy and a hidden gem that arrived on Amazon Prime under the radar earlier this year. Morgan Saylor and Sophie Lowe co-headline the film as feuding sisters Mary Beth and Priscilla Connolly, respectively. When Mary Beth kills a man who tried to harm her, Priscilla decides that blood is thicker than water and she helps her sister cover up the evidence. Unfortunately for the Connolly sisters, secrets are hard to keep in a small town, and they never quite know who they can trust. Margo Martindale also has a terrific supporting turn as Enid Nora Devlin, a local brothel owner who may know too much.
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%Genre: Comedy, ThrillerStars: Morgan Saylor, Sophie Lowe, Margo MartindaleDirector: Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle KrudyRating: RRuntime: 91 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Paterson (2016)
The stakes aren’t particularly high for Paterson the film. But for Paterson himself, they’re everything. Adam Driver stars as the title character, a man who works as a bus driver. But in reality, Paterson is a poet who hasn’t learned to fully accept that aspect of himself. The entire movie takes place over the course of a week, and we see the daily routine of both Paterson and his wife, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani). But when the pattern breaks and misfortune strikes, it will take a minor miracle to get Paterson back on the right track.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%Genre: DramaStars: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Barry Shabaka HenleyDirector: Jim JarmuschRating: RRuntime: 118 minutes
Watch on Prime Video

Editors’ Recommendations