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Team AA: Our favorite movies you should stream during lockdown
Depending on where you live, you might be still dealing with a COVID-19 lockdown. Not being able to go out to restaurants, hit the beach, or even go to a concert can be frustrating. There is a silver lining though: you have tons of time to watch some lockdown movies! As such, we thought we’d put together a list of the best movies to watch during the lockdown as chosen by us, the staff here at Android Authority.
This isn’t like our usual “best” lists where we pore over tons of content to determine what really is the best on a particular streaming platform within a particular genre. Instead, these are just our favorite lockdown movies for watching while trapped at home with no particular theme.
We did have two criteria for our picks, though: the movie needed to be currently streaming on a popular platform and it needed to be something pretty much anyone would enjoy. As such, you won’t find any arthouse fare or grim horror films here — these are the best streaming movies only the biggest curmudgeon would have a problem with.
If you have a suggestion you’d like to add to this list of the best lockdown movies, hit up the comments!
The best movies to watch during lockdown
Chosen by: Chris Thomas, Head of Product Testing
The 2007 comedy film Hot Fuzz is the second feature in the loosely connected Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy (the first being Shaun of the Dead and the third being The World’s End). One of the best movies to watch online right now on any platform, it centers on an ambitious and fussy city police officer (Simon Pegg). He gets reassigned by jealous colleagues to a small English village. There, he and his bumbling partner (Nick Frost) begin investigating a series of strange deaths.
Here’s what Chris had to say about his favorite lockdown movie:
It’s my go-to sick movie. The perfect satire of the grimdark cop film.
Monty Python’s Life of Brian
Chosen by: Oliver Cragg, Features Editor
Since Monty Python’s Life of Brian is heralded as such a classic now, it’s easy to forget that the film was incredibly controversial when it came out. In fact, multiple countries outright banned the film for decades. It may have lost its dangerous bite over the years since, but it certainly hasn’t become any less funny, and it is easily one of the best movies to watch on Netflix at the moment.
If you haven’t seen this film somehow, it centers on the titular character Brian who is a Jewish man born on the same day and in the same general vicinity as Jesus Christ. What follows is the usual absurdity you would expect from the Monty Python troupe as Brian makes his way through history.
Here’s what Oliver had to say about his favorite lockdown movie:
What better way to cheer yourself up during lockdown than watching the funniest film ever made? Holy Grail is there if you want something a little more irreverent, but Brian is Python at its best. “Always look on the bright side of life,” has never felt more appropriate.
Chosen by: John Callaham, News Writer
Even if you somehow aren’t a fan of The Matrix, there’s no denying its massive influence on not only film but the cultural zeitgeist. Bullet-time, “hacking The Matrix,” cool-ass sunglasses, and even “Whoa” are all forever tied to this movie.
If you haven’t ever seen this, one of the best movies to watch on Netflix, you are truly missing out. It’s as action-packed as it gets while still taking time to build characters you truly care about — as well as some villains you’ll never forget. Oh, and don’t forget the soundtrack, which is pure 90s hard rock electronica bliss.
Here’s what John had to say about it:
It still holds up over 20 years after its release, with great characters, action, visuals, and quotable lines. It may be close to a perfect movie.
Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi
Chosen by: Jimmy Westenberg, Managing Editor
Jimmy is easily the biggest Star Wars geek on staff here, so it’s unsurprising he picked Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi as his favorite lockdown movie. The second film in the sequel trilogy, it finds our hero Rey training with the legendary Luke Skywalker. Meanwhile, antagonist Kylo Ren starts to have doubts about his role as a Sith leader.
If you’re not already a Star Wars fan or feel like you don’t know enough about the series to understand the eighth film in the saga, don’t worry: as long as you understand the basic gist of the fantasy universe, you’ll be able to follow along just fine. Remember that Disney owns Star Wars now, so this is actually one of the best Disney movies to watch, as well as one of the best lockdown films.
Here’s what Jimmy had to say about his favorite lockdown movie:
The Last Jedi is one of my favorite movies of all time. Between Luke Skywalker’s character development, all of the Rey/Kylo dialogue, and Leia being a badass leader, The Last Jedi is exactly what I wanted out of a Star Wars movie. It challenges the characters in ways I didn’t know I needed!
Chosen by: C. Scott Brown, Senior Staff Writer
Before director James Cameron took us out to sea with Titanic, he made a much different film about the ocean. ;The Abyss is probably his least-successful film ever and is often overshadowed by the unbridled successes of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Aliens, and of course Avatar. However, it deserves much more attention!
After a US submarine carrying nuclear weaponry goes down in the deep, a ragtag group of oil drillers is called upon by their country to assist the military operation to recover the weapons and help any possible surVivors. While the mission progresses, the team realizes it isn’t the only group down there. What follows is not only a terrific action/sci-fi film but also a brilliant treatise on humanity and our connection to our planet. It’s truly one of the best movies to watch anywhere!
Here’s what C. Scott Brown (wait, that’s me!) had to say about his favorite lockdown movie:
Everything about this movie is top-notch. The direction, acting, screenplay, and even the decades-old effects are best-in-class. Michael Biehn, in particular, plays one of the best villains of cinema here, as far as I’m concerned. Don’t miss this one! Also, be sure to read all about the making of the film, which is almost as thrilling as the movie itself.
Chosen by: Adam Molina, Editor
As long as there have been humans, there’s been the desire to climb mountains. The Australian documentary film Mountain, which Adam has chosen as his favorite lockdown movie, uses stunning visuals and poetry readings to tell the story between man and mountains.
With beautiful orchestral music played by the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Willem Dafoe as narrator, Mountain lets you escape the confines of lockdown and see the beauty of nature as if you were there first-hand. It’s one of the best movies to watch on Netflix right now.
Here’s what Adam had to say about his favorite lockdown movie:
This is a documentary about mountains that is way more of an artistic film than it is a political statement. It’s beautifully shot, beautifully scored, and even has Willem Dafoe narrating it with poetry. What more could you want? It has become the background scenery to my quarantine.
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened
Chosen by: Matt Horne, Deals Editor
The 2017 Fyre Festival was supposed to be the ultra-elite music festival that put other events to shame. Marketed as a festival just for the wealthy and promoted by influencers, musicians, and celebrities, it turned out that it was actually a fraudulent enterprise created by a conniving “entrepreneur.” Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened is a documentary telling the insane story behind the notorious festival.
The documentary gives you a full behind-the-scenes look at how the festival came to be through interviews with the people involved. It also gives direct accounts of the derelict “festival” that people found when they arrived at the quickly canceled event. It’s all quite shocking but acts as a perfect send-up of the wealth disparity and obsession with elitism we have as a society.
Here’s what Matt had to say about his favorite lockdown movie:
It’s joyous to watch because it’s such an audacious f*** up. I’m pretty sure the reason it’s so enjoyable is that there are almost no characters in it you feel sorry for — the organizers, all the influencers, etc. Only the island residents get screwed.
Chosen by: David Imel, Senior Reporter/Producer
Sometimes, an acting performance is so good that it elevates a film to dizzying heights. The performance of J.K. Simmons in Whiplash is one such example of this. Even though the film itself is a pretty straightforward story, Simmons’ role as an absolutely brutal music teacher is something acting classes will be talking about for decades. Without him, this film very likely wouldn’t be on this list of the best lockdown movies we here at Android Authority love.
All that shouldn’t detract from the film itself, though. The writing and direction are top-notch and Miles Teller’s turn as the jazz drummer who faces the bulk of Simmons’ brutality is also incredible.
Check out what David had to say about his favorite lockdown movie:
I’m a big fan of music films and I used to play drums in a lot of jazz bands. It’s a really intense movie with a lot of twists. The director wanted the film to feel like a boxing movie, and the editing reflects that perfectly.
The Social Network
Chosen by: Ryan-Thomas Shaw, Producer
When director David Fincher announced that he would be making a film telling the story of Facebook with Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails in charge of the score, people were dumbfounded. Fincher is known for his meticulously dark style and Reznor is equally famous for his brutal intensity. What were these two artists doing making a Facebook movie?
Once The Social Network came out, though, all was made clear. Not only was it some of the best work from literally everyone involved in its creation, but it succeeded in pulling back the veil on Facebook and social media in general, exposing the dirty truths behind our global obsession.
This isn’t just one of the best streaming movies on this list, but one of the best films ever made.
Here’s what Ryan-Thomas had to say about his favorite lockdown movie:
My favorite film of all time. The story, the shots, the acting. Love it.
Chosen by: Joe Hindy, Apps Editor
One of the most annoying tropes in the movie industry is “the sports film.” You know the one: a young sports player who has the odds stacked against them tries their hardest to make the team/win the championship, and that they do. Rocky, The Karate Kid, Rudy — the list goes on forever.
Thankfully, Moneyball is the rare sports film that gives you all the feel-good emotions you expect from the tired formula while also delivering a great film that even people who hate sports will love. Even if you ignore the incredible (true!) story, the acting here is absolutely stellar. The fact that Jonah Hill didn’t win an Oscar for his performance here is a true crime as his subdued acting pretty much single-handedly elevates this film.
Here’s what Joe had to say about his favorite lockdown movie:
One of the worst parts of the pandemic for a lot of folks is a lack of sports, especially baseball because not a single game has been played in 2020 so far. Moneyball is a movie about the 2002 Oakland Athletics, a team with no budget that decided to hire players based on stats instead of star power.
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Chosen by: Adamya Sharma, Editor
At this point, the terms “feel-good film” and “dog movie” are essentially synonymous. The Art of Racing in the Rain knows how to tug on your heartstrings like any good dog movie does, but it thankfully doesn’t descend into campiness or saccharine overload.
Our own Adamya Sharma is a big fan of dog films. Here’s what she had to say about her favorite lockdown movie:
If you’re a dog person, this movie is for you. It spans the life and times of a golden retriever named Enzo — dog and friend to a professional race car driver. The entire narrative is viewed from the four-legged creature’s perspective as he grows older and sees his master transition from a single guy to a married man, and subsequently, a father. It’s one of those feel good, heart-warming stories that you’ve come to expect from great canine movies like Hachi and House of House of Marley & Me. A fun watch for the entire family, with a great ending.
Chosen by: Eric Zeman, Reviews Editor
When you have a film series with more than 20 movies, dozens of television episodes, and decades of comic book lore behind it, how do you close it out? That was the predicament the creators of Avengers: Endgame faced, and they surprisingly pulled it off.
Granted, if you haven’t been following along with the Avengers and their world-saving saga, you might be a bit lost here. However, if you just want tons of action and awesome special effects, you can’t go wrong with this one. If you’re feeling ambitious, though, you could just run the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe series and then cap it off with this. If you’re in lockdown, you’ve certainly got the time!
Here’s how Eric very succinctly sums up his favorite lockdown movie:
DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story
Chosen by: David Nguyen, Affiliate lead
Remember “the sports film” trope mentioned in the Moneyball section? It can be fun when movies satirize the predictability of those films, and that’s exactly what DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story does.
Granted, the humor in DodgeBall is over-the-top and might not be for everyone. However, if you’re a fan of Vince Vaughan, Ben Stiller, and the irreverent comedy of films like Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Wedding Crashers, and Balls of Fury, you’ll absolutely love this one.
Here’s what David had to say about his favorite lockdown movie:
One of my all-time favorite comedy movies. Ben Stiller and his casts are all an absolute joy to watch in this film. There are so many relatable and quotable moments that I still refer to this day.
Chosen by: Sam Moore, Editor
You probably have a favorite film with some great lines. You know the one: that film where there are certain bits of dialog that are ingrained in your brain. Well, for a lot of people, the full 96 minutes of Clue are exactly that.
Based on the board game of the same name, Clue is a murder mystery farce that is so well-written, so well-acted, and so drop-dead funny that it needs to be seen to be believed. You need to pay attention though since the jokes come fast and they are dry as a bone. If you don’t listen and watch intently, you could miss them.
Here’s what Sam had to say about his favorite lockdown movie:
Murder mysteries offer a setup where everything is complicated, rife with intrigue, and ultimately neatly solvable in a way that still treats the audience intelligently. That’s pretty appealing to me these days (go figure). Clue happens to be basically the best one ever made. Plus, it’s hilarious.
Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics
Chosen by: Sarah Clary, Campaign Media Operations
Despite the lack of legal status for psychedelic drugs, more and more research suggests there could be incredibly beneficial qualities to things like “magic” mushrooms and LSD. In the documentary Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics, host Nick Offerman talks with dozens of celebrities about their first trips.
With the help of animation, some of the trip stories are visualized on screen as they’re described. It’s not only an interesting look at psychedelics but also a cool behind-the-scenes look at the personal lives of some mega-famous people.
Here’s what Sarah had to say about her favorite lockdown movie
Nick Offerman hosts this anecdotal anthology featuring tales by the likes of Anthony Bourdain, Sting, Carrie Fisher, and Sarah Silverman. The documentary is charming and a bit meandering but also thoughtful. And you can see Haley Joel Osment dressed as a character from Pretty in Pink.
Looking for other suggestions? Check out some of our more conventional best streaming movies lists below!