Here’s a look at some of the real must-watch movies on Apple TV Plus.
The good news is that if you’ve recently purchased an Apple product, chances are you already have access to the streaming service for free. Here’s a selection of the best films so far…
Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds (2020)
This stunning documentary explores the cultural and scientific impact that meteorites and craters have had on Earth. It’s complicated but compelling stuff. The film interviews people like Norwegian jazz guitarist Jon Larsen, who describes the feeling of holding a micrometeorite: “No human has ever touched anything older. One particular crater that we see at the beginning of the film is absolutely gorgeous.
That celebrated Coming-of-age film revolves around 17-year-old Ruby, the only hearing member of a deaf family. After excelling in a choral class at her high school, she is torn between supporting her family’s fishing business and fully pursuing her passion for music. With an outstanding performance by Emilia Jones, CODA (which stands for “Child of Deaf Adult”) is a touching story that deserves a spot on this list. It’s this year’s Oscar winner for best picture.
A dazzling animated film from the team behind Songs of the Sea, this is the third installment in Tomm Moore’s loosely connected Irish Folklore Trilogy. It’s probably one of the best animated films of 2020 and deserves an Oscar nomination against the giants of Disney and Pixar. Completely mesmerizing.
The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021)
Joel Cohen of the Cohen brothers filmmaking duo directs this adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth, which received three Oscar nominations this year. Sure, a Shakespearean English film might not be for everyone, but the feature film is undeniably superb, and Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand and Alex Hassell give powerful performances.
who are you charlie brown (2021)
If you’re a fan of Charlie Brown, honestly, who isn’t? — this informative, family-friendly documentary will blow your mind (and you don’t even have to get involved in an ill-fated soccer kick). Narrated by Lupita Nyong’o, Who are you, Charlie Brown? is a short and sweet film that explores the allure and origins of the classic cartoon character. But I’ll stop going on like wah, wah, wah Watch this one now.
You can read ours full review by Finch here, but long story short: We liked it! It’s often overly sentimental, with a few cloying “life lessons,” but this post-apocalyptic tale of a lone survivor and a robot on a last gasp has real charm and is worth watching.
The Year the Earth Changed (2021)
Nature heals. No really — this isn’t about those ironic crocodile memes from early 2020 floating on pool noodles or cats ride on a baggage carousel. As people fled cities, parks, oceans and many other places during the COVID lockdowns of 2020, all manner of wild creatures benefited. Narrated by the legendary David Attenborough, The Year Earth Changed shows that we owe it to whales, penguins, cheetahs and a whole host of other animals to be less involved in their lives.
Billie Eilish: The World’s a Bit Blurred (2021)
This raw, behind-the-music documentary gives you a closer look into the life of singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, from her breakthrough hit Ocean Eyes to recording the James Bond track No Time to Die. In the candid film, Eilish faces pressures to tour, direct music videos, and write and record her hit album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
It’s a bit light for the subject, but The Banker, a biopic of Bernard Garrett — an enterprising black business owner who hired a white person to be the face of his company to sidestep racial attitudes — is at least worth a watch.
It’s easy to forget that Justin Timberlake is an accomplished actor, but Palmer will be sure to remind you of that fact. Playing an ex-con who stumbles into the life of a young boy, Palmer is hardly groundbreaking, but it’s carried by Timberlake’s central performance. Prepare for tears.
A fantastically made documentary by Bryce Dallas Howard about what it means to be a father in these times. Touching, well produced. A must especially for parents.
Here We Are: Notes on Life on Planet Earth (2020)
It’s more of an animated short than a movie, but given the subject matter (and the fact that Apple TV Plus doesn’t have that many movies), we’ll include it. Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth is beautiful, heartwarming, and perfect for families with young children.
Greyhound, starring Tom Hanks as the US Navy Commander, was well received upon release and, unlike most modern films, comes across as a meager 90 minute runtime. Tense, well acted and produced, and Oscar-nominated for its sound, Greyhound might just be one of the best films available on Apple TV Plus.
On The Rocks reunites Sofia Coppola with Bill Murray for the first time since A Very Murray Christmas. It’s essentially a father-daughter drama. It’s a little airier than Coppola’s usual work, but that seems to suit Murray, whose charming, world-weary performance elevates the entire project.
Beastie Boy Story (2020)
Fight with Beastie Boys Mike Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) to celebrate your right as they tell the story of their music and 40 years of friendship with the late Adam Yauch (MCA). This “live documentary experience” is helmed by longtime collaborator Spike Jonze as a fitting testament to these rap legends.
The coming of age story Hi tells a relatable story about the struggle to form an identity as a teenager balances his Muslim upbringing with his social life and identity as a high school student.
Movies coming in 2022 from Marvel, Netflix, DC and more
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