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The 16 best Apple TV Plus movies you can watch
Apple TV Plus is one of the fastest-growing streaming services currently on offer. It doesn’t have any older movies in its content library (although recent reports claim that could change soon). But the streaming service does have a few original films available for its subscribers, and it’s producing and acquiring more all the time. So what are the best Apple TV Plus movies? Read on for our list, which includes a number of Academy Award nominees.
Read more: Best Apple TV Plus shows
Best Apple TV Plus movies:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Apple TV Plus movies regularly as new ones make it to the streaming service.
This live-action drama is based on a true story. It stars Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie as two real estate businessmen in the mid-1950s. The two Black men face racism from white businessmen as they try to make it in Los Angeles, so they decide to hire a white man, played by Nicholas Hoult, to be the public face of their company. Together, the three men manage to become highly successful real estate owners. Out of all the movies on Apple TV Plus, this is probably one of the most powerful stories and does a great job portraying a story about race relations in the US that many people may have never heard of before now.
Beastie Boys Story
This documentary, directed by Spike Jonze, is an obvious must for the many fans of the hip-hop group. It goes deep into the history of the group over the past 40 years and shows how they make their own mark on hip hop, and on music in general.
The Elephant Queen
Narrated by actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, this nature documentary chronicles part of the life of a herd of female-only elephants in Kenya. They are led by a 50-year-old mother elephant named Athena. The movie documents the herd as they move 200 miles to secure a watering hole. The filmmakers recorded this herd over the course of four years. It’s a fascinating look at the biggest land animals on Earth.
In a not-too-distant future, when a solar flare has wreaked havoc on Earth, a man named Finch (Tom Hanks) lives a quiet life, doing his best to survive alongside his dog, Goodyear. As Finch deals with radiation sickness and an increasingly unlivable environment, he builds a robot, Jeff, that will look after Goodyear in his absence. And soon, the three hit the road together, seeking out a safer home in San Francisco. Hanks is in top form, and the mix of practical and CGI effects are terrific in this 2021 Apple TV Plus movie.
This drama follows the character of Hala, a Pakistani-American teenager girl. She is trying to stay balanced while being torn between her Muslim family and her American friends in high school. Geraldine Viswanathan does an excellent job playing the title character as we watch her navigate her way into becoming a young woman.
Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth
This animated movie (more of an extended short than a feature film) is based on the best-selling children’s book by Oliver Jeffers. It follows a seven-year-old, voiced by Jacob Tremblay, who learns about the wonders of Earth from his parents, voiced by Chris O’Dowd and Ruth Negga. Meryl Streep narrates the short film, which should be very entertaining for both kids and their parents.
This World War II drama stars Tom Hanks as a US Navy captain who leads a fleet of Allied warships and troop carriers across the Atlantic. With no air cover, the fleet has to deal with Nazi U-boat submarines that will stop at nothing to destroy the ships. This movie, which Hanks also wrote, was supposed to be released by Sony Pictures in theaters before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It is now available to stream exclusively on Apple TV Plus.
CODA is not only the title of this great movie, it’s also an acronym for Child of Deaf Adults. Indeed, the movie, which has been getting tons of awards and critical acclaim, centers on one of these children, Ruby. She may be a child of deaf parents, but she can actually hear. When she attends her high school’s choir, she and others find out she has an excellent singing voice. But can she make it as a singer, or will her parents keep her at home to help them navigate through the hearing world? This movie was nominated for a number of 2021 Academy Awards, and won for Best Picture.
This documentary is a fascinating look at one of the most unusual high-school events ever. Every year, 1,000 teenage Texas male students converge on the state capital of Austin. Their purpose is to set up a mock Texas state government, with the ultimate goal of electing one of their number as governor. This movie shows how some of these teenagers become laser-focused on their goal of winning the governorship. In the process, they, and the rest of us, learn how real political parties can form into highly fractious units, and how ultimately they have to come together to form a working government for everyone.
Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You
Bruce Springsteen is one of the greatest rock and roll artists ever, with his songs reflecting themes of working-class people living and enjoying life. This new documentary looks back on his career, while also documenting the recording of his first studio album with The E Street Band.
On The Rocks
This is the latest movie from writer-director Sofia Coppola. She reteams with her Lost in Translation star Bill Murray for her latest effort. He plays a father to a daughter, played by Rashida Jones, who believes her husband, played by Marlon Wayans, could be cheating on her. Father and daughter decide to follow her husband around New York City to see if he’s really faithful, and in so doing, they learn more about each other as well.
Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry
Justin Timberlake puts in the best performance of his acting career in this drama. He plays Eddie Palmer, a former convict who finally gets out of prison after 12 years. He returns to his small hometown to live with his grandmother. However, he soon starts taking care of a small boy named Sam. Sam has been mostly abandoned by his parents. He may be different than other kids his age, but he and Palmer start to bond. However, when Palmer asks for official guardianship of Sam, he runs into resistance due to his criminal past.
This is a beautiful hand-animated fantasy movie that’s set in 1650 Ireland. A small town has been ordered to clear the surrounding lands by Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell for farming. That includes exterminating the local wolves. However, a young girl soon discovers that there are “wolfwalkers” in those lands. These are humans whose spirits turn into wolves when they sleep. This movie was nominated for Best Animated Film at the 2020 Academy Awards, and it’s easy to see why.
Anthony and Joe Russo took a step back from directing huge Marvel superhero movies like Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame to make this much smaller drama. It stars one of their MCU actors, Tom Holland, as Cherry, a young man who quickly falls in love with Emily, who he met in college. They get married just before Cherry enters the US Army as a medic. However, after his two-year tour ends, which was filled with battle, Cherry suffers from PTSD. He takes prescription medication to deal with it but soon becomes addicted to the drugs, to the point that he robs banks to pay for his addiction. This is a powerful drama that shows how ordinary people can become hooked on drugs and it can be a huge uphill battle to finally beat the addiction.
The Tragedy of Macbeth
William Shakespeare’s legendary tragic play Macbeth gets a new adaptation from director Joel Coen. Shot in black and white, and with minimal sets, the movie tells the tale of a general who is prophesied to become the King of Scotland, and how he will stop at nothing to achieve this goal. The movie includes some excellent performances by Denzel Washington as Macbeth and Frances McDormand as his equally tragic wife Lady Macbeth.
Upcoming Apple TV Plus movies
There are a lot of upcoming high-profile films coming to Apple TV Plus. Here is just a sample of what’s to come:
- Killers of the Flower Moon – This crime movie set in Oklahoma in the 1920s, will star Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro and will be directed by Martin Scorsese
- Spirited – This new modern-day musical version of A Christmas Carol will star Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell,
- Argylle – This super-spy action drama will star Henry Cavill and will be directed by Matthew Vaughn, the director of the Kingsman films.
- The Sound of 007 – A documentary about the music used in the 60 years of the James Bond movie franchise.
- Luck – An animated film about a girl who finds a world filled with creatures that either have good or bad luck.
Apple TV Plus Movies FAQs
Some of the films are released in theaters a few weeks before they show up on the service, but on a very limited basis, mostly just in New York City and Los Angeles.
Unfortunately, none of the films have been released to physical disc media so far.
At the moment, the company has not released any of its Apple TV Plus movies for separate digital downloads, even on its own digital storefront.
So far, none of the movies can be accessed on other streaming services.
There’s no indication that will happen anytime soon.
Those are the best Apple TV Plus movies you can stream right now, with more than a few gems to make the service worthwhile. We will update this list as more movies are added, including if and when the service adds older films to its small but stellar library of movies and TV shows.