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    45 Of The Best Movies To Stream On Peacock In June

    Brokeback Mountain, The Matrix, Akeelah and the Bee, and more great titles you'll want to queue up on the NBC streaming service in June.

    We hope you love the shows and movies we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of revenue or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh and FYI: Platform, prices, and other availability details are accurate as of time of posting.

    1. The Matrix (1999)*

    Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss embracing
    Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Before Keanu Reeves was the internet's boyfriend, he was a black-clad computer programmer named Neo being led into a mysterious underworld by Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) to unlock the meaning of "The Matrix," with the help of Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), considered to be the most dangerous man in the world. This innovative futurist drama was praised for its groundbreaking special effects, and has been considered one of the best and most influential action and science fiction movies of all time — popularizing slow motion, bullet time effects that would go on to inspire countless other Hollywood offerings. It won Oscars in every category it was nominated for, including Best Film Editing, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, and Best Visual Effects, and both the cast and writer-director team The Wachowskis received acclaim for their work on the film, which spawned two sequels (2003's The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions — *both* of which are now available on Peacock) and a third slated for a 2021 release. The movies made headlines again just last year when The Wachowskis, both of whom are trans women, confirmed fans' longtime suspicion that The Matrix is a transgender allegory, which alone makes it worth a rewatch for anyone who may not have picked up on that the first time around.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    2. Being John Malkovich (1999)

    Two people looking at each other as one exits a tiny elevator
    USA Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

    This brilliantly strange film from Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze offers a mind- and genre-bending exploration of identity, celebrity, love, and art. When Craig (John Cusack), an unsuccessful puppeteer, starts a temp job as a filing clerk, he stumbles upon a portal into the mind of acclaimed actor John Malkovich — a discovery that turns his entire life, and the lives of those around him, completely upside down. An inventive screenplay, masterful direction, and fantastic acting from Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, Orson Bean, and, of course, Malkovich himself ensures that this film's bizarre premise is fully realized, balancing humor, darkness, surrealism, and existentialism while keeping viewers on their toes, wondering what could possibly happen next in this twisted journey that continues to draw you in deeper and deeper until there's no turning back.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    3. Far From Heaven (2002)*

    Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid dancing
    Focus Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

    This excellent 2002 film explores race, gender, sexuality, and class through the lens of America in the '50s, centered around a privileged suburban family coming apart at the seams. Frank Whitaker (Dennis Quaid) struggles with his attraction to men, while his wife Cathy (Julianne Moore) falls for a Black man named Raymond (Dennis Haysbert), making their family the focus of the community's gossip and threatening to unravel their strained relationship. The film has subsequently been considered writer-director Todd Haynes' masterpiece, and is praised for its thematic content and excellent cast, as well as the painstaking color choices, cinematography, and sound design that were crafted as an homage to the style of '50s-era melodramas, earning it Academy Award noms for Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Actress (Moore), along with Golden Globe nominations for Best Original Score, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Quaid), and Best Actress — Drama (Moore). While Haynes' is mostly known these days for his idiosyncratic Bob Dylan biopic, I'm Not There, and the romantic drama period film Carol, Far From Heaven is a movie that deserves to be remembered and rewatched by generations to come.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    4. Love & Mercy (2014)*

    Paul Dano, as Brian Wilson playing bass and  Kenny Wormald as Dennis Wilson playing drums
    Roadside Attractions / Roadside Attractions / Courtesy Everett Collection

    This excellent film about the genius behind The Beach Boys bounces back and forth between two time periods. One portion focuses on a young Brian Wilson (played with almost frightening accuracy by Paul Dano) as he works on the seminal album Pet Sounds, through his struggle to finish his would-be masterpiece Smile, with the grips of mental illness tightening around him. The other follows Wilson years later (achingly portrayed by John Cusack), during the dark period where he was heavily medicated and controlled by his sinister therapist and legal guardian, Dr. Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti), but finds hope in love interest Melinda Ledbetter (portrayed thoughtfully by Elizabeth Banks). The fly-on-the-wall scenes in the recording studio are simply a revelation, giving viewers a glimpse of what it looked like to make one of the greatest albums of all time. They were shot documentary style in the same studios that Pet Sounds was recorded in in the '60s, with Dano instructing actual session musicians based on his painstaking studies of outtakes from the legendary album and in-depth musical preparation for the role — which earned him a Golden Globe nom for Best Supporting Actor. And Cusack's portrayal of the years in which Wilson receded from the limelight brings focus to an important part of the story overlooked by many casual fans. While many biopics of musicians can be spotty — and this one certainly has its flaws — Love & Mercy does an admirable job at depicting the troubles and triumphs of a musical icon.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    5. Bridesmaids (2011)

    Rose Byrne (obscured by a mannequin), Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Ellie Kemper looking at a dress in a bridal store
    Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    If you could use a good laugh (and couldn't we all right about now?), Bridesmaids is the perfect cinematic world to sink into. When Annie (Kristen Wiig) is asked to serve as her lifelong best friend's (Maya Rudolph) maid of honor, she is forced to confront her own struggles as she and the other bridesmaids suffer through a series of hilariously unfortunate events along the bumpy road to the wedding. The brilliant cast, featuring standout performances from Wiig, Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Melissa McCarthy, Rebel Wilson, Chris O'Dowd, Franklyn Ajaye, and Jill Clayburgh, bring an abundance of comedy chops, charm, and heart to the film, while the smart screenplay (by Wiig and Annie Mumolo — who recently reunited on the film Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar) deftly balances laugh-out-loud gags and touching moments that keep it feeling fresh throughout. Whether you're tuning in for the first time or coming back for another round, Bridesmaids is the wedding gift that keeps on giving.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    6. Izzy Gets the F Across Town (2018)

    Mackenzie Davis's character wearing a blood-splattered white jacket
    Shout Studios / Peacock

    This film is an exhilarating journey that hinges on Mackenzie Davis's (Happiest Season, Tully, Black Mirror) pitch-perfect performance as Riot grrrl rocker Izzy, who wakes up to find out that her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend are having their engagement party that night. Izzy becomes fixated on crashing the party, despite having no money, no mode of transportation, and barely enough time to make it from Santa Monica to where the party is in Los Feliz. That won't stop her from trying though, and we tag along through her terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day as she frantically attempts to change the course of her life that didn't turn out the way she thought it would. Bolstered by a punk-filled soundtrack and a cast including Davis, Alia Shawkat, Haley Joel Osment, and Carrie Coon, this film will leave you both entertained and possibly a little exhausted.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    7. Short Term 12 (2013)

    Brie Larson, Kaitlyn Dever riding a bike at night in Short Term 12
    Cinedigm / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Writer-director Destin Daniel Cretton based this moving film on his own experience as a staffer at a facility for at-risk teenagers. Brie Larson is among one of his stand-ins, superb in her portrayal of a woman facing her own demons (prompted by a deepening connection with a new resident, played by the excellent Kaitlyn Dever). The raw emotion is balanced deftly with warmth and humor. And the heavy subject matter never descends into melodrama but instead soars high on the incredible performances of its young actors, as well as the thoughtful writing and direction. Its cast now looks like a launchpad for actors whose stars would continue to shine brightly, featuring Larson, Dever (newly minted Oscar nominee), LaKeith Stanfield, Rami Malek, Stephanie Beatriz, and John Gallagher Jr. But even before stratospheric fame, critics recognized the brilliance on display — and rightfully so.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    8. Ghostbusters (1984)*

    Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis
    Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection.

    It's always a great time to rewatch this laugh-packed, star-studded classic, which is now a Peacock exclusive! Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis make up the now-legendary dream team, but it's Murray who shines the brightest in a role that earned him a Golden Globe nom. This movie was so beloved upon release, that it became the second-highest-grossing film of the year and the highest grossing comedy of all time at that point, holding steady as the number-one movie in theaters for seven consecutive weeks, and going on to become a cultural phenomenon whose legacy remains strong today and has spawned a number of sequels and spinoffs — the first of which, Ghostbusters II, is also available on Peacock. Even Ray Parker Jr.'s theme song was a smash hit, staying at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks and getting an Oscar nom for Best Original Song. Sure the special effects (which were notably the most expensive ones to be used in a comedy at the time) are pretty cheesy now, but rest assured that this movie's abundance of charms never go out of style.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    9. Brokeback Mountain (2006)*

    Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger embracing
    Focus Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Based on a 1997 short story by Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain was released in 2006 to strong reactions. Conservative pundits spent a lot of airtime complaining that it pushed a "gay agenda," and there was unfortunately no shortage of homophobic jokes circulating, but serious viewers recognized it as a gorgeously composed, impeccably acted love story that was sure to be the darling of awards season — which it was, bringing home Oscars for Best Director (Ang Lee's first Best Director win, making him the first non-white director to receive the award and the only nominee of Asian descent throughout the decade), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score, as well as nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Heath Ledger), Best Supporting Actor (Jake Gyllenhaal), Best Supporting Actress (Michelle Williams), and Best Cinematography. Powerful performances from Ledger, Gyllenhaal, Williams, and Anne Hathaway, combined with masterful direction from Lee, results in a quietly moving film whose devastating ending lingers long after the credits roll. Its success drove major film studios to eagerly back queer-themed projects, and it's been credited with influencing countless movies and TV shows, leaving a lasting legacy that solidifies it as a film worth revisiting for years to come.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    10. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

    Leonardo Di Caprio in Catch Me If You Can walking through an airport with a bevy of female flight attendants around him
    DreamWorks / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Catch Me If You Can is based on the true story of Frank Abagnale, a forger and con artist who managed to steal millions of dollars...all before the age of 19. Leonardo DiCaprio brilliantly embodies Abagnale, sliding into various aliases — doctor, lawyer, pilot, etc. — with ease and charm, and Steven Spielberg's direction keeps the somewhat complex plot feeling light by injecting moments of humor into the suspenseful wild goose chase between Abagnale and the increasingly frustrated FBI agent tasked with tracking him down (portrayed by the always excellent Tom Hanks). The cast is rounded out with great performances from Christopher Walken, Amy Adams, Nathalie Baye, and Martin Sheen, and while some of the real-life facts are exaggerated for the screen, this movie is an exhilarating glimpse into one of the most successful cons in history.

    Watch it on Peacock with a Premium membership.

    11. Akeelah and the Bee (2006)*

    Keke Palmer and Laurence Fishburne sit in an office
    Lions Gate / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Akeelah and the Bee tells the story of a talented 11-year-old girl named Akeelah (Keke Palmer) who, with the support of an encouraging teacher (Laurence Fishburne) and her community, follows her dream of making it to the National Spelling Bee, despite her mother's (Angela Bassett) disapproval. Emotionally rich acting from Palmer, Fishburne, and Bassett allow this film to rise above formulaic sports movie cliches, turning it into something much more thoughtful and engaging, with Palmer being singled out for her pitch-perfect performance that earned her a Black Movie Award, a Black Reel Award, an NAACP Image Award, and a Young Artist Award. Though not without its problems, viewers found it to be an inspirational tale for both children and adults, and, in a time when Hollywood still struggles with representation, there is still a lot to be gained from a viewing even 15 years after its theatrical release.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    12. Jurassic Park (1993)*

    Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    This Steven Spielberg classic is now a Peacock exclusive, and it retains the magic that viewers saw in it when it was first released in 1993. Even 28 years later, the CGI and animatronic puppets hold up amazingly well, and the joy of watching the legendary ensemble cast including Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Richard Attenborough is utterly timeless. The film replaced Spielberg's own E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial as the the highest-grossing movie released worldwide at the time, and critics raved about what they considered to be a huge milestone in filmmaking. It won Oscars in all three of the categories it was nominated for — Best Visual Effects, Best Sound, and Best Sound Effects Editing — and its state of the art special effects influenced everyone from George Lucas to Stanley Kubrick and Peter Jackson. To say it has stood the test of time is an understatement the size of a tyrannosaurus rex.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    13. The Birdcage (1996)*

    Nathan Lane and Robin Williams sit on a bench
    United Artists / Courtesy Everett Collection

    This hilarious remake of the French comedy La Cage aux Folles features delightful performances from Nathan Lane and Robin Williams as Armand (Williams) and Albert (Lane), a gay couple who pretend to be straight to appease Armand's son's father-in-law (Gene Hackman), a conservative Republican senator. Between the witty dialogue, sharp directing, and sensational acting, it's no wonder this movie grossed nearly $200 million worldwide in the year it was released, topping the box office for weeks on end, garnering rave reviews, and helping pave the way for gay characters in mainstream media as culture has gotten increasingly progressive since this film's release in 1996. Despite a few misfires, The Birdcage still receives praise for going beyond stereotypes and showcasing the humanity of the characters, with Lane's outstanding performance in particular being singled out for acclaim. Elaine May and Mike Nichols' smart writing and direction, excellent costume design from Ann Roth (who would go on to win an Oscar for the The English Patient), exceptional visual style from DP Emmanuel Lubezki (who has earned three cinematography Oscars to date for Gravity, Birdman, and The Revenant), and fantastic, Oscar-nominated production design from Bo Welch and Cheryl Carasik combine forces with the incredible cast for a recipe for success that's just as fun to watch now as when it first arrived on the big screen.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    14. Prince: Sign o' the Times (1987)

    Prince performing onstage
    Cineplex-Odeon Films / Peacock

    This collection of highlights from Prince's 1987 European concert tour is thankfully here to hold you over if you've been desperately missing live concerts this year. Written and directed by Prince himself, Sign o' the Times transports us to The Purple One's commercial peak, jam-packed with bombastic hits (including the title track, "Little Red Corvette," "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man," and "U Got the Look"), colorful visuals, and electrifying performances that'll make you wanna crank up the TV and get lost in some of the greatest music ever made.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    15. Milk (2008)*

    Sean Penn as Harvey Milk
    Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Sean Penn's thoughtful, charismatic portrayal of Harvey Milk — the first openly gay man elected to a notable public office — was a remarkable achievement in a career full of distinguished performances. But while Penn is certainly the star of the show here, the supporting cast, including Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, and Diego Luna, also give strong performances under the excellent direction of Gus Van Sant. Critics praised Dustin Lance Black's screenplay for its attention to detail, born from his own extensive research, and lauded the film's vibrant visuals, atmosphere, and sense of hope and battle. Milk's success, solidified by Oscar wins for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Penn) and Best Writing, Original Screenplay, along with noms for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Brolin), Best Achievement in Directing, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Costume Design, and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score, make it an excellent vehicle to ensure that Harvey's voice and legacy will live on for generations to come — and that alone makes it a film everyone should see.

    Watch on Peacock for free.

    16. Peter Pan (2003)*

    Rachel Hurd-Wood and Jeremy Sumpter looking into each others eyes
    Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    This faithful adaptation of the classic tale rides high on powerful acting from its young stars, bolstered by the winning chemistry between Rachel Hurd-Wood, who received acclaim for her turn as Wendy Darling, and Jeremy Sumpter, who embodied the titular Pan. Critics lauded the film's expertly crafted visuals, stirring soundtrack, and uplifting storyline that leans heavily into the fantasy elements present in both the script and production. And while it's both a suitable and entertaining film for children, it deftly handles its more adult themes, making it a rewarding and emotional watch for viewers of all ages. Debates will rage on through the decades over which film and onstage trip to Neverland is considered the *definitive* version, but there's no doubt that 2003's Peter Pan is a worthy contender.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    17. Casino (1995)

    Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, 1995, in the casino
    Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    This 1995 epic crime drama is another strong offering from Martin Scorsese, full of excellent performances from its star-studded cast, impressive production value, attention to detail, and a whole lotta violence. When a mafia enforcer (Joe Pesci) and a gambling expert (Robert De Niro) butt heads over a casino empire and an ex-sex worker (Sharon Stone), their friendship devolves into something much more dangerous in this film based on Nicholas Pileggi's 1995 nonfiction book, Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas. Stone is quite possibly at her best in a role that earned her a Golden Globe win and an Oscar nom, while both De Niro and Pesci are almost as endlessly watchable as they were in Goodfellas. Sure the mafia storyline is well-worn territory for Scorsese, but this ambitious film packs enough decadent Vegas spectacle and fly-on-the-wall glimpses into the dangerous lives of its characters to keep both fans and newcomers entertained throughout its lengthy running time.

    Watch it on Peacock with a Premium membership.

    18. Bruce Almighty (2003)*

    BRUCE ALMIGHTY, Morgan Freeman, Jim Carrey, 2003
    Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Jim Carrey fans have reason to rejoice with the addition of Bruce Almighty to Peacock's roster, a perfect vehicle for Carrey and his beloved bag of zany comedic tricks (which ultimately save this flawed script from becoming overly saccharine). When Bruce Nolan's (Carrey) stalled career receives another blow, he turns his wrath to God, asking why the omnipotent being would treat him so badly. Turns out that God (played by Morgan Freeman with his characteristic warmth) takes offense to this claim, and offers Bruce all of his powers for a week to see if he can do a better job, which Bruce takes him up on — unaware of how his newfound abilities will affect his relationship with his girlfriend Grace (the excellent Jennifer Aniston), his career, and the rest of the world that depends on him. This 2003 movie is also notable for Steve Carell's supporting role as Evan Baxter before he found wider fame via The Office, Anchorman, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and the Bruce Almighty spin-off, Evan Almighty, in the years following. If you're looking for a feel-good comedy that taps the talents of its cast of familiar faces, this laugh-filled option is worth your time.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    19. Hollywoodland (2006)*

    Jeffery DeMunn, Diane Lane, and Ben Affleck sitting around a kitchen table
    Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection

    This intriguing neo-noir film follows a fictional detective (Adrien Brody) investigating the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of real-life actor George Reeves (portrayed here by Ben Affleck), who played Superman in the '50s. While the events are mainly fictional, the excellent cast and strong writing, direction, and production values give this parable on the perils of fame legs, patiently fleshing out the characters while moving at a slow but deliberate pace. Affleck was nominated for a Golden Globe for his deft portrayal of the late movie star, and the film garnered positive reviews from critics while debuting at number two at the box office. And despite its tendency to leave viewers with more questions than answers about Reeve's strange death, it's well worth the ride for anyone interested in a glimpse into the life of a troubled icon.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    20. Elizabeth (1998)

    ELIZABETH, Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth I, 1998
    Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Early in her reign over a dangerously divided 1558 England, Elizabeth I finds her power constantly threatened by the state, church, and men around her — but she is far too intelligent and wise to be defeated. Two words: Cate Blanchett. Her Oscar-nominated turn as a young Elizabeth in this celebrated historical drama catapulted her to international acclaim, and deservedly so. Blanchett gives a complex performance devoid of caricature, and director Shekhar Kapur ensures that the film remains highly entertaining and exciting throughout, avoiding the overly stuffy, cliched pitfalls of other period pieces. The costumes, makeup, and sets are all phenomenal, and the excellent supporting cast — including Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech and Shakespeare in Love), Christopher Eccleston (King Lear and 28 Days Later), Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love), and Lord Richard Attenborough — contributes to the sense of paranoia that grows throughout this dark and imaginative portrait that earned Oscar noms for Best Picture, Actress, Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design, and Dramatic Score, as well as a win for Best Makeup.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    21. Black Boys (2020)

    Adolescent boy sitting with his hands together
    Never Whisper Justice / Peacock

    This documentary celebrates Black youth and explores Black male identity in America through sports, education, and criminal justice. Director Sonia Lowman, who has a background in activism and whose first film, Teach Us All (2017), looked at segregation and racial inequities in American schools, came to this project with two main approaches. One was to explore how Black men are viewed by society, including acknowledging and grappling with her own limited understanding and prejudices that often go unexamined as a white woman who considers herself to be liberal and progressive. But the main focus was telling the stories of Black men and women in America across multiple generations and presenting as full of a picture of the Black male experience as possible, avoiding the two-dimensional version often shown in media. Highlighting the persistent racism and dehumanization Black males face, Black Boys provides an urgent conversation about opportunity, equity, and ultimately humanity.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    22. October Sky (1999)

    Jake Gyllenhaal in 1999's October Sky
    MCA / Courtesy Everett Collection

    This inspirational coming-of-age story treads familiar thematic territory, but does so with such depth and sincerity that even the more predictable moments are effective and compelling. Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, and Laura Dern deliver moving performances, while director Joe Johnston pulls the right strings at just the right time in this expertly crafted, perfectly paced family film about following your dreams. Based on the true story of Homer "Sonny" Hickam (as recounted in his 1998 memoir, Rocket Boys), October Sky follows high school-aged Hickam (Gyllenhaal) as he works to achieve his goal of one day becoming a rocket scientist — against the wishes of his father (Cooper), who expects all of his sons to follow in his footsteps working in the coal mine. That doesn't stop Homer or his friends from constructing and launching small rockets with the help of their sympathetic science teacher (Dern), who oversees their trials and errors with much needed support and encouragement. If you're in the mood for a heartfelt movie that offers a portrait of the sometimes tough family dynamics of the post-war era, or are someone whose interest in rocket fuel was rekindled by the recent SpaceX launch, October Sky should be on your list!

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    23. The Hobbit Trilogy (2012, 2013, 2014)

    Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, holding a sword and the ring
    Warner Bros. Pictures / Peacock

    An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) are all here for anyone who wants to revisit Peter Jackson's prequel to his The Lord of the Rings film trilogy — taking us back to Middle Earth for an extended, visually rewarding journey through J.R.R. Tolkien's magical world. The ensemble cast is full of fan favorites like Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Orlando Bloom, and countless others who bring charm, humor, and heart to these adventure-packed films. And while they weren't as acclaimed as the original trilogy, they're still excellent additions to the franchise that work great individually *or* all together if you wanna give 'em the epic movie night marathon treatment!

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    24. Parenthood (1989)

    Steve Martin as Gil embracing Mary Steenburgen as Karen at a table at a restaraunt
    Universal Pictures / Peacock

    This feel-good 1989 family comedy-drama is one of the best of its kind, showcasing the trials and tribulations of parenthood through four related families. The delightful cast features outstanding performances from Steve Martin, Joaquin Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest, Tom Hulce (Amadeus, National Lampoon's Animal House), Rick Moranis (Ghostbusters, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids), Martha Plimpton (The Goonies, Raising Hope), and Jason Robards (All the President's Men), who have incredible chemistry, making the familial bonds feel all the more genuine and moving. The story follows a perfectionist father named Gil (Martin), who interprets his children's struggles as reflections of poor parenting on his part, his sister (Wiest), who is dealing with her daughter's (Plimpton) teenage pregnancy, their other sister (Kozak), who is trying to convince her husband (Moranis) to have more children, and their brother (Hulce), who is having a hard time handling his young son. Thoughtful direction from Ron Howard balances expertly timed moments of humor with touching looks at the ups and downs of being a parent. And while many movies with this broad of a scope have trouble adequately developing the ambitious number of featured parts, this film pulls it off with ease! Despite its age, there's something truly universal in this perceptive slice of life that makes it just as engaging to watch now as it was when it first hit theaters. Oh, and FWIW, NBC's television series Parenthood — also available to stream on Peacock — is loosely based on this Howard classic.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    25. The Constant Gardener (2005)

    Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz holding hands in a scene from The Constant Gardener
    Focus Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

    This 2005 political thriller is faithfully based on John le Carré's book of the same name, following Justin, a British diplomat (Ralph Fiennes) in Kenya, as he tries to solve the murder of his wife Tessa (Rachel Weisz), a social justice activist, while uncovering a conspiracy with far-reaching effects. Alternating between flashbacks and present day, The Constant Gardener tells the story of Tessa and Justin's love while exploring themes of "Big Pharma" corruption and capitalism — loosely based on a real-life case in Kano, Nigeria. Weisz's excellent performance earned her an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress, and the movie got noms for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, Best Motion Picture — Drama, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing. While the acting, cinematography, suspenseful plot, and themes of social justice garnered critical acclaim, the film has also received criticism for its reliance on white savior tropes, prevalent in many movies of its time.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    26. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

    Russell Crowe's character peers through a window
    Universal Pictures / Peacock

    Inspired by the life of John Forbes Nash Jr., A Beautiful Mind takes us on the Nobel Prize–winner's journey from international acclaim through his struggles with mental illness. It's a stirring and absorbing work, often leaving viewers to sift through the facts and delusions that haunted the mathematician — making them feel all the more real. Jennifer Connelly's heartbreaking performance as Nash's supportive wife earned her an Oscar and Russell Crowe was nominated for his compelling portrayal of the mathematical genius. The movie also walked away with wins for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as nominations for its editing, score, and makeup.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    27. The Bourne Franchise (2002, 2004, 2007)

    Matt Damon as Jason Bourne sitting in a room with a man and people in military uniforms
    Peacock

    Peacock now offers the first three Bourne installments, The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), which follow Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a man trying to discover his true identity while evading assassins in the midst of a CIA conspiracy. Whether you're itching to relive the thrilling, carefully crafted car chase scenes or are more interested in the character-oriented focus that helped these smart thrillers rise above other spy-genre exercises, there's a lot that makes these films worth rewatching all these years later! Damon's embodiment of Jason Bourne and use of subtle body language to hint at his former life add depth to the titular character, and while some viewers and critics knocked the shaky cam aesthetic that appears throughout the films (and possibly went on to influence a plethora of lesser action flicks), the complex, unpredictable storyline is well executed and balances intelligent writing with gripping action sequences, making these blockbuster films worthy of the hype.

    Watch it on Peacock for free (three selections from the franchise are available for streaming).

    28. 1968 (2018)

    Tommie Smith and John Carlos standing on the Olympic podium with their medals around their necks
    Feelgood Entertainment / Peacock

    This NBC doc (not to be confused with CNN's four-part documentary series produced by Tom Hanks) takes us back to the turbulent social and political climate surrounding the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico, focusing on the protest of Tommie Smith and John Carlos that ultimately resulted in their dismissal from the US Olympic team. Narrated by Serena Williams, 1968 examines the confluence of sports and social issues that is just as relevant today as it was then.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    29. I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story (2015)

    Caroll Spinney wearing part of his Big Bird costume
    Tribeca Film / Peacock

    If you've ever wondered who was behind the iconic Muppet characters of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, this heartwarming doc is here to delight you with the story of Caroll Spinney, who proves himself throughout to be as lovable as the characters he created and embodied. This magical film takes us behind the scenes with the one-of-a-kind pioneer, revealing the lives he continues to touch well into his eighties. Though the sentimental soundtrack can sometimes cause it to drift into saccharine territory, it does nothing to sour this affectionate portrait that's sure to leave you with a smile on your face when you need it the most.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    30. An American Tail (1986)

    Fievel looking upset
    Universal Pictures / Peacock

    This sweetly animated coming-to-America story from Steven Spielberg and Don Bluth takes an unexpectedly unflinching look at immigration, the American Dream and anti-Semitism — heavy topics for a children's movie, but important and relevant ones that might make you wanna give it another watch as an adult to catch all the details you missed as a kid. And despite the sometimes intense subject matter, this movie's full of enough entertaining dialogue, catchy musical numbers, and fast-paced action scenes to keep little ones engaged. The story follows a young mouse named Fievel (Phillip Glasser) as he and his Russian-Jewish family embark on a journey to the US after their home is destroyed by anti-Jewish cats. But when Fievel is separated from his family, he is befriended by a kindly cat and mouse in New York (Pat Musick and Dom DeLuise, both of whom also voiced characters in 1994's A Troll in Central Park) who are willing to help him on his search for his lost loved ones. While this 1986 film tends to rely on racial stereotypes to make its points using animal characters, its strong message and refusal to overly romanticize the sometimes harsh truths of the world we live in give it staying power in an era that continually proves that this is a story worth retelling.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    31. Away from Her (2007)

    Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent's characters standing together outside
    Lionsgate Films / Peacock

    Sarah Polley’s directorial debut is a moving look into the effects of Alzheimer’s, complemented by Julie Christie’s incredible performance as Fiona, a woman suffering from the disease. When Fiona checks into a nursing home due to her worsening condition, fractures begin to appear in her longtime marriage to Grant (Gordon Pinsent), as her memories fade and she develops a close relationship with another nursing home resident (Michael Murphy). Polley and Christie’s thoughtful work earned them both a long list of accolades from across the industry, including Oscar noms for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actress, and a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama. Fans of Sarah Polley's direction can also look forward to her forthcoming film Women Talking starring Nomadland's brilliant Frances McDormand!

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    32. Spellbound (2002)

    A spelling bee contestant on stage
    ThinkFilm / Peacock

    This Oscar-nominated documentary follows eight young competitors in the 1999 Scripps National Spelling Bee as they and their families navigate the national spotlight and pressure to win scholarships and cash prizes that could change their lives forever. Look deeper, and you might find that Spellbound is actually an examination of the American Dream, which tells us that anyone should be able to reach the goals they are innately capable of. But watching families from different walks of life help their children prepare to compete reveals the role that social class, background, and privilege play in education and, ultimately, success. While this doc is a heartwarming and suspenseful glimpse into the world of competitive spelling and its charming young contestants, it resonates on an even larger scale that solidifies it as essential viewing.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    33. Lord of War (2005)

    Nicolas Cage in 2005's Lord of War
    Lions Gate / Courtesy Everett Collection

    This American crime drama from writer-director Andrew Niccol (The Truman Show, The Host) stars Nicolas Cage as Yuri Orlov, an illegal arms dealer in the 1980s who, on top of trying to shake off the pursuit of a federal agent (Ethan Hawke), becomes conflicted about the morality of his line of work after witnessing war crimes and other atrocities — although his brother (Jared Leto), who is also his business partner, is more ethically challenged. When Yuri falls in love with his childhood crush (Bridget Moynahan, Blue Bloods) —who has no idea what he does for a living — romance adds yet another layer of complication for this globetrotting character, whose story is inspired by the lives of several real-life arms dealers and smugglers. This smart, stylish, and thrilling action film is full of strong performances from its star-studded cast while managing to be unexpectedly funny despite the serious subject matter and palpable sense of outrage throughout. It's also a fascinating look into war profiteering toward the end of the Cold War and the emergence of worldwide terrorism, which led to an official endorsement by the human rights group Amnesty International for shedding light on arms trafficking by the international arms industry.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    34. Anthony (2020)

    Toheeb Jimoh wearing a suit and backpack as Anthony Walker
    Peacock Original

    When Black teenager Anthony Walker was murdered in an unprovoked racist attack by two white men in 2005, the world was sickened and mourned the loss of a life that had only just begun. In the wake of the 18-year-old's brutal murder, his mother Gee Walker approached her friend, screenwriter and producer Jimmy McGovern, and asked him to write about this horrifying loss. The result is a powerful look at what might have been, highlighting the positive impact Anthony made in his 18 years and imagining what his life might have looked like had it not been tragically cut short. Toheeb Jimoh and Rakie Ayola give tremendous performances as Anthony and his mother, respectively, and the film's structure makes even the happiest scenes heartbreaking and evocative. This Peacock original is a must-watch and will stick with you long after the credits roll.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    35. The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show (2020)

    Harry Belafonte interviewed in the present day
    Peacock Original

    This doc unearths a largely forgotten, but monumental 1968 week in late-night television, when Johnny Carson stepped aside to let legendary entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte temporarily take over the The Tonight Show to address the social and political tumult the country was experiencing. His guest list included Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, actor and activist Paul Newman, Native American folk singer Buffy Sainte-Marie, folk singer Leon Bibb, singer Petula Clark, and many of the top Black stars of the time, including Aretha Franklin, Lena Horne, Dionne Warwick, Freda Payne, Diahann Carroll, and Nipsey Russell. While much of the footage has sadly been lost, what remains is full of hope and inspiration as well as frustration toward how many of the issues of the time have yet to be resolved. Belafonte, now 93, is interviewed throughout, as are Warwick, Sainte-Marie, Clark, Whoopi Goldberg, Tamron Hall, Questlove, and New York Times critics Bill Carter and Wesley Morris, who add context and give modern-day reflections on an important week of television that remains just as relevant today.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    36. Boy Erased (2018)

    Lucas Hedges as Jared Eamons and Nicole Kidman as his mother sitting on a bed together, while Kidman puts a hand on his knee to comfort him
    Focus Features / Peacock

    Following his work in Oscar-nominated pictures like Lady Bird and Manchester by the Sea, Lucas Hedges plays Jared Eamons, the son of a small-town Baptist pastor (Russell Crowe), who is pressured to attend a conversion therapy program after being outed as gay to his parents. Hedges is remarkable in the role, offering a subtle but mesmerizing window into the heart and mind of a conflicted teen grappling with his sexuality, faith, and the approval of his family. His strong chemistry with his on-screen mother, played by the excellent Nicole Kidman, brings the story to life, as does Kidman and Crowe's moving portrayal of parents caught between their religious values and their love for their son. Critics questioned the praise for a well-acted, but somewhat muted film on this subject matter from a heterosexual writer-director, especially in the same year that The Miseducation of Cameron Post — an arguably better film about conversion therapy, written and directed by Desiree Akhavan, who identifies as a bisexual woman — was released with less fanfare. But while the themes are nothing new to the majority of viewers, the way Boy Erased humanizes Jared's parents while offering a look into the horrors of conversion therapy just might be the dose of reality that less-progressive viewers need to understand the cruelty of these programs.

    Watch it on Peacock with a Premium membership.

    37. Half Baked (1998)

    Dave Chappelle as Thurgood, Jim Breuer as Brian, and Guillermo Díaz as Scarface with their hands behind their heads
    Universal Pictures / Peacock

    This stoner flick was a critical and box-office failure when it was released, but it has since achieved cult-classic status by viewers who have found charm in its often silly, sometimes riotous humor. Dave Chappelle is hilarious as always, and he's joined by stand-up Jim Breuer, Harland Williams (Dumb and Dumber), and Guillermo Díaz (Scandal) for a rollicking good time. Even if the plot about a group of friends' outrageous schemes to get their pal out of jail falls a little flat, it's worth a watch just for the array of celebrity guests, including Snoop Dogg, Tommy Chong, Tracy Morgan, Jon Stewart, Willie Nelson, and more who swoop in just often enough to ensure that this movie's buzz never fades.

    Watch it on Peacock with a Premium membership.

    38. Tales from the Hood (1995)

    Clarence Williams III, looking ahead with a cigar in one hand
    Toni Scott / Savoy Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    This horror-comedy anthology deals with police brutality, domestic abuse, gang violence, and institutional racism through four supernatural vignettes. When three drug dealers (Joe Torry, De'Aundre Bonds, and Samuel Monroe Jr.) visit a mortuary to buy drugs from its eccentric owner (Clarence Williams III), the mortician shares creepy tales about some of his recent "customers." Directed by Rusty Cundieff and executive produced by Spike Lee, these darkly funny and frightening stories are packed with social commentary that feels just as relevant now as when it was released in 1995.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    39. Children of Men (2006)

    Clive Owen's character in Children of Men
    Universal Pictures / Peacock

    This sci-fi action-thriller is set in 2027, when 18 years of human infertility have threatened mankind with extinction. A cautionary tale featuring impressive long-take chase sequences, this film's excellent cast includes Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Clare-Hope Ashitey, Michael Caine, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, but succeeds largely due to Alfonso Cuarón's outstanding direction. Driven by anti-patriarchal rage, this tale of a dystopian future where men kill for the control of the refugee-born last baby on Earth and women die to protect it is still relevant today and earned itself three Oscar noms upon release. For anyone interested in Cuarón's work before his excellent Netflix original Roma, this one is definitely worth a watch.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    40. A Most Beautiful Thing (2020)

    The Manley High rowing team
    50 Eggs / Peacock

    An inspiring documentary about the Manley High rowing team, A Most Beautiful Thing tells the tale of a group of young Black men from the West Side of Chicago who, despite many being from rival gangs, came together to row the same boat, altering their trajectories forever. Thoughtfully directed by filmmaker, attorney, and Olympic rower Mary Mazzio and narrated by Common, this doc keeps its focuses on its subjects, who tell their own stories that glisten with joy and optimism even in the face of heartbreaking trauma. At its core, A Most Beautiful Thing shows the healing potential of sports and offers a powerful message that is incredibly necessary in the times we live in.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    41. Intolerable Cruelty (2003)

    Paul Adelstein, Edward Herrmann, George Clooney
    Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Peacock adds another Coen brothers' offering to the list, this time starring George Clooney as Miles Massey, a shrewd, high-powered divorce lawyer who meets his match in the cunning Marylin Rexroth (Catherine Zeta-Jones) — the soon to be ex-wife of one of his clients. Both give excellent performances, bringing the zingy one-liners and witty wordplay of the film to life, and the cast is elevated further by Cedric the Entertainer's hilarious turn as a rambunctious and decidedly unsubtle P.I. specializing in infidelity cases and Billy Bob Thornton as a Texas oil tycoon. While it may be one of the Coen brothers' more uneven films, there's a lot to enjoy in this screwball romantic comedy that takes an unflattering look at marriage and divorce among the rich and powerful through the lens of creators more than willing to warp the genre to meet their well-worn style.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    42. The Wiz (1978)

    Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson in The Wiz
    Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    This 1978 adaption of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz features a star-studded, all-Black cast and reframes the classic story of Dorothy's adventure around the Black experience. This spectacular production set in a New York–like Oz still holds up all these years later, in part due to excellent performances from Diana Ross, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Theresa Merritt, Thelma Carpenter, Lena Horne, and Richard Pryor, as well as rousing musical numbers and a palpable sense of joy. While reviews were mixed at the time, there is a lot to love about this splashy, revolutionary take on a Broadway classic that is still a rite-of-passage for countless viewers young and old.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    43. Beethoven (1992)

    Dean Jones and Beethoven, the dog
    Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    For those of us who have spent the past year stuck in a home *without* a dog to distract us from our worries, this flawed, yet charming movie about a lovably wacky and destructive St. Bernard is just what the doctor ordered. Kids will be overjoyed by the movie's sunny energy (and the adorably shaggy pooch), and adults who loved the movie when they were kids themselves might be pleasantly surprised by the entertaining acerbic asides from Bonnie Hunt and Charles Grodin, who bring a comedic edge to this family film that might've slipped past young viewers the first time around. True fans will be delighted to discover that Peacock has also added the sequel, Beethoven’s 2nd, to their roster, offering up another adventure with their favorite doe-eyed dog.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    44. Bring it On (2000)

    Kirsten Dunst in Bring It On
    Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    The first in a series of cult-favorite cheerleading movies (the first three of which are now available on Peacock) follows a high school cheerleading squad from San Diego eyeing a national championship. But when newly elected team captain Torrance (Kirsten Dunst) discovers that the team's impressive routine has actually been stolen from an East Compton hip-hop squad, headed by Isis (Gabrielle Union), their road to glory takes a shady turn. Many of the cast members went on to even greater fame, including Dunst, Union, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford, Clare Kramer, Lindsay Sloane — and, let's please not forget Solange Knowles. While some aspects of this 2000 comedy haven't aged well, its still-relevant take on cultural appropriation gives it staying power, mixed with strong acting and cheer routines that are sure to dazzle viewers, even 21 years later.

    Watch it on Peacock for free.

    45. Despicable Me (2010)

    Gru and the minions
    Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Everyone's favorite reformed super-villain is now on Peacock, as are his lovable minions! When criminal mastermind Gru (the always charming Steve Carell) hatched a plan to steal the moon, he never foresaw that his biggest obstacle would be three adorable orphan girls who want him to be their dad. Voiced by a star-studded cast, including Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Miranda Cosgrove, Kristen Wiig, Will Arnett, and Julie Andrews, this animated comedy-adventure is full of goofy fun, turning the villain trope on its head and creating fan-favorite characters that would eventually be given the full franchise treatment. Kids and adults will be equally charmed by this fresh and funny first installment that just wants to remind you that love can defeat evil after all.

    Watch it on Peacock with a Premium membership.

    * denotes title has been newly added for June

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