Here's a look at some of the genuine must-watch movies on Apple TV Plus.
The good news is that if you've bought an Apple product recently, you probably already have access to the streaming service for free. Here's a selection of some of the best movies so far.
In this first offering from Skydance Animation, Sam Greenfield is mired in bad luck-- until she finds a lucky penny. After she loses the penny, she goes on a quest to turn her luck around and ends up in the Land of Luck with a talking cat voiced by Simon Pegg.
On The Rocks (2020)
On The Rocks brings Sofia Coppola back together with Bill Murray for the first time since A Very Murray Christmas. It's a father and daughter drama essentially. It's a little breezier than Coppola's usual work, but that seems to suit Murray, whose charming, world-weary performance elevates the whole project.
Cha Cha Real Smooth (2022)
Cooper Raiff directed this coming-of-age movie, and he stars in it as Andrew, an aimless 22-year-old college grad who starts working as a party starter for bar and bat mitzvahs. He also meets and befriends an older woman, Domino (Dakota Johnson), and her daughter, Lola (Vanessa Burghardt). If you're in the mood for a feel-good film, this one delivers. It also won an Audience Award at the 2022 Sundance Film festival.
Starring Tom Hanks as a commander in the US Navy, Greyhound was well-received upon its release and -- unlike most modern movies -- comes in lean with a 90-minute run-time. Tense, well-acted and produced, and earning an Oscar nom for its sound, Greyhound is perhaps one of the best movies available on Apple TV Plus.
A dazzling animated movie by the team behind Song of the Sea, this is the third installment of Tomm Moore's loosely connected "Irish Folklore Trilogy." It's probably one of the best animated movies of 2020, richly deserving an Oscar nomination up against the giants of Disney and Pixar. Completely mesmerizing.
The Banker (2020)
It's a bit light for the subject matter 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 bypass racist attitudes -- is worth a watch at the very least.
A fantastically made documentary by Bryce Dallas Howard about what it is to be a dad in these times. Affecting, well-produced. A must watch, particularly for parents.
Beastie Boys Story (2020)
Fight for your right to party with Beastie Boys Mike Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) as they recount the story of their music, and 40 years of friendship with the late Adam Yauch (MCA ). This "live documentary experience" is directed by their longtime collaborator Spike Jonze as a fitting testament to these rap legends.
The coming-of-age story Hala tells a relatable story about the struggle to form an identity, as a teenager balances her Muslim upbringing with her social life and identity as a high schooler.
Bruce Springsteen's Letter to You (2020)
This 2020 documentary offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Boss' album of the same name.
The Year Earth Changed (2021)
Nature is healing. No, really -- this isn't about those ironic early 2020 memes of crocodiles floating on pool noodles or cats riding a baggage carousel. When humans abandoned cities, parks, oceans and plenty of other places during COVID lockdowns in 2020, all sorts of wild critters 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 interfere less with their lives.
The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021)
Joel Cohen of the Cohen brothers filmmaking duo directs this adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth, which scored three Oscar nominations this year. Sure, a film in Shakespearean English may not be for everyone, but the feature is undeniably gorgeous, and Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand and Alex Hassell offer powerful performances.
This acclaimed coming-of-age film centers on 17-year-old Ruby, the only hearing member of a deaf family. After excelling in a choir class at her high school, she becomes torn between supporting her family's fishing business and fully pursuing her passion for music. Featuring a standout performance from Emilia Jones, CODA (which stands for "child of deaf adults") is a touching tale that deserves a spot on this list. It's this year's best picture Oscar winner.
The Elephant Queen (2019)
This documentary follows a mother elephant named Athena, leading her family across the wilderness on the onset of the dry season. It's narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor and was an official selection at both the Sundance Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.
Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds (2020)
This stunning documentary explores the cultural and scientific impacts 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 being has ever touched anything older. It's really looking eternity in the eye." One particular crater we see near the start of the film is absolutely gorgeous.
You can read our full review of 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 road trip has real charm and is well worth watching.
Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry (2021)
This raw behind-the-music documentary gives you a closer look at the life of singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, from her breakthrough hit Ocean Eyes to the recording of James Bond theme No Time to Die. In the frank film, Eilish faces the pressures of touring, making music videos and writing and recording her smash hit album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth (2020)
It's more of an animated short than a movie, but considering the subject matter (and the fact Apple TV Plus doesn't have that many movies) we're adding it. Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth is gorgeous, heart-warming and perfect for families with young kids.
Playing an ex-convict stumbling into the life of a young boy, Palmer is hardly ground-breaking, but it's carried by Timberlake's central performance. Prepare for tears.
Who Are You, Charlie Brown? (2021)
If you're a fan of Charlie Brown -- let's face it, who isn't? -- this informative, family-friendly documentary will sweep you off your feet (and you won't even have to go in for an ill-fated football 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.