Friday night is movie night, and Apple TV+ has some of the best movies around. If you've found yourself wondering the same old question (what to watch on Apple TV+) we've got answers for you.
Apple's streaming service has a growing library of original films, some of which have been honored with prestigious awards -- including the Academy Award for Best Picture. The films and movies Apple has greenlit and produced cross over a number of genres, from documentary and thriller to comedy, action, and even family friendly flicks. So there’s something for everyone on Apple TV+. We’ve spot lit our favorites among those available now for you to check out. Stream away!
No list of the best Apple TV Plus movies would be complete without this award-winning film. CODA won three Oscars, including "Best Picture" as well as "Best Adapted Screenplay" in 2022. This is a universally appealing film we would recommend to just about everyone. The main character of the film, Ruby, is a CODA, or child of Deaf adults. Ruby’s role in the family includes working on her family’s fishing boat before school and often serving as an interpreter for her Deaf parents and brother.
She joins her high school’s choir and discovers she that she’s a gifted singer, but has to make the difficult choice whether to keep helping her family or to pursue her own dreams. CODA made history in several ways: it’s the first film with a predominantly Deaf cast to win Best Picture and actor Troy Kotsur (who plays Ruby’s father) is the first Deaf male actor to win an Oscar (Best Supporting Actor). Additionally, CODA makes Apple TV Plus the first streaming service to win the "Best Picture" Academy Award. CODA will get you right in the feels.
Causeway was Apple's main shot at an Academy Award in 2023 and worth checking out if you're a fan of heartfelt dramas. The film follows Lynsey, a US Military soldier sent home from Afghanistan with severe PTSD following the explosion of two roadside bombs. I can't say it's an easy watch, as it tackles some heavy subjects and doesn't shy away from the difficult emotions. Elevated by strong performances from Jennifer Lawrence and "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar-nominated Bryan Tyree Henry, Causeway isn't for everyone but it's an excellent film.
Pop some popcorn and put on the PG-rated animated Wolfwalkers, winner of five Annie Awards, for your next family movie night. The fantasy film takes place in ancient Ireland, where superstition and magic rule. The main character, Robyn, and her father are tasked with destroying the last of the wolves, for they are considered to be evil. While out exploring, Robyn meets a mysterious girl named Mebh, and is drawn into her enchanted world. Wolfwalkers is great fun for all the family and well worth checking out.
The Tragedy of Macbeth
Literature fanatics will love this haunting adaption of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Joel Cohen's bold take on the classic won't be for everyone, but Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand are formidable talents that will keep you engaged from the first eerie moments of the film until the last. In case you're not familiar with MacBeth, the plot revolves around a Scottish general who is told by three witches that he will be King of Scotland. Emboldened by his wife, Macbeth proceeds to kill the king and become the new king, devolving into madness in the process.
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
Apple TV Plus original The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse garnered an Oscar in 2023 for "Best Animated Short". You may have heard of Charlie Mackesy's 30 minute short film before as it has been adapted from his beautiful book of the same name. A must-watch for anyone, particularly children and families, the film shows the beauty of friendship in a profound and easy to watch way.
Swan Song is a science fiction drama set in the near future. Mahershala Ali stars as Cameron, a man diagnosed with a terminal disease. He's offered an option that would shield his wife and son from grief: replacing himself with a carbon copy clone. He has to decide how far he will go and what he will sacrifice for love. This thought-provoking film will stick with you.
The Year Earth Changed
2020 was the year that changed the lives of everyone on earth. It was a difficult time, and in many ways, its effects still linger on. The Year Earth Changed, recipient of the Television Academy Honors, puts a positive spin on that time period, sharing stories of nature's triumph brought on by the changes in human behavior. You'll witness whales in Glacier Bay, capybara in South America suburbs, and birdsong returning to cities. David Attenborough narrates this uplifting documentary about nature's resilience.
Sharper is a fun, twisty thriller about upper crust New York society and con artists playing their games. It's sleek, sexy, dark, and fun to watch. This film seems to have flown under the radar a bit, but it's well worth the watch. The stellar cast includes Julianne Moore, Sebastian Stan, and John Lithgow.
Who knew that the invention of a video game would lead to a cold war era thriller? But it does. Tetris is a taut, fun adventure behind the iron curtain. It's based on the true story of an American video game salesman, Henk Rogers, who discovers the Russian-made game in 1988 and seeks the rights to share the game with the world. The events of the film Tetris are slightly exaggerated for dramatic purposes, but the spirit of the film remains true.
STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie
I can't overstate Michael J. Fox's popularity and influence on pop culture in the 80s. To say he was a household name would be an understatement. He was one of the most beloved stars of both TV and film at the time, starring in top sitcom Family Ties for most of the decade as well as the massively popular Back to the Future franchise. His devastating Parkinson's diagnosis affected us all. STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie explores what happens when "an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease."
Coming in 2023
What's coming next for Apple TV Plus?
These are just a few of our favorites. But there are plenty of other great films for you to discover on Apple TV Plus, and more exciting feature-lengths on the horizon. In the coming months we've got Ridley Scott's Napoleon starring Joaquin Phoenix to look forward to.
With Apple TV Plus, you can watch well-produced, big-budget films from famed directors, and starring award-winning actors and actresses across all your Apple devices and with up to six members of your Family Sharing group.
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Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.
- John-Anthony DisottoHow To Editor