The best Apple TV Plus movies: 27 great films to stream in April 2024

Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon Bonaparte in the Egyptian desert in Napoleon, one of the best Apple TV Plus movies
Ridley Scott's Napoleon is a spectacular addition to the best Apple TV Plus movies. (Image credit: Apple)

The best Apple TV Plus movies are an impressive selection of unashamed popcorn fun (Ghosted, The Family Plan, Tetris), thought-provoking sci-fi (Fingernails, Finch), quality documentaries (Still: A Michael J. Fox Story, Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds), and a winner of the Best Picture Academy Award (CODA). You'll also find the latest releases from legendary directors Martin Scorsese and Ridley Scott – Killers of the Flower Moon and Napoleon, respectively – fresh out of theaters.

Apple TV Plus has had little trouble attracting A-list talent such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Mahershala Ali, Tom Hanks and Jennifer Lawrence to its homegrown slate of movies. The platform has traditionally struggled to compete with Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu or Max for volume, but that may be about to change with the news that US viewers will be able to enjoy a limited selection of films licensed from other studios as part of the new Great Movies feature

It's already one of the best streaming services on the market, so read on to find the best Apple TV Plus movies available to view right now.

Killers of the Flower Moon

Lily Gladstone's Mollie Burkhart smiles in Killers of the Flower Moon

Lily Gladstone won a Golden Globe for her brilliant performance as Mollie Kyle in Killers of the Flower Moon. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: January 12, 2024
Runtime: 206 minutes
Age rating: R (US) / 15 (UK)
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, and Jesse Plemons

Apple may have already won their first Best Picture Oscar with CODA (more on that below) but by bankrolling Martin Scorsese's latest epic, they've shown they're not done with big, awards-friendly movies yet. Just like the director's previous outing, The Irishman (one of the best Netflix movies), Killers of the Flower Moon is a lengthy affair. It's also utterly compelling, highlighting the tragic, true story of the members of the Indigenous Osage Nation brutally murdered for the oil discovered on their land in the early 20th century.

Scorsese has famously worked with both Robert de Niro (GoodFellas, Raging Bull) and Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Departed) on numerous occasions, but this is the first time he's put the two stars in the same movie. Unsurprisingly, both are brilliant here, but the real star of the show is Lily Gladstone, who won a Golden Globe for her performance.

Find out where Killers of the Flower Moon ranks in our best Martin Scorsese movies guide.


Napoleon Bonaparte looks through a telescope next to his troops in his self-titled Ridley Scott-directed film

Napoleon was a passion project for Ridley Scott, the veteran director of Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator. (Image credit: Apple Studios/Sony Pictures)

Release date: March 1, 2024
Runtime: 157 minutes
Age rating: R (US) / 15 (UK)
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Vanessa Kirby, Tahar Rahim, and Ben Miles

With a resumé that includes Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, The Last Duel and 1492: Conquest of Paradise, Sir Ridley Scott has long been a fan of the big-budget historical epic. Apple TV Plus bankrolled his latest trip back in time, an ambitious biopic with Gladiator and Joker star Joaquin Phoenix as French military commander turned emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

Despite its two-and-a-half-hour-plus running time, Napoleon feels strangely rushed as it dashes through key moments in its subject's life. But, despite its well-publicised historical inaccuracies, the film is every bit as spectacular as you'd expect from the director of Alien and Blade Runner, with the Battle of Waterloo a spectacular highlight.

Flora and Son

Eve Hewson carries a guitar through Dublin with screen son Orén Kinlan.

Flora, son and guitar in writer/director John Carney's latest Dublin-set musical opus. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: September 29, 2024
Runtime: 96 minutes
Age rating: R (US) / 15 (UK)
Director: John Carney
Cast: Eve Hewson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Jack Reynor

Writer/director John Carney has built his career on Dublin-set, music-themed dramas such as Sing Street and Once, and Flora and Son explores similar territory. Eve Hewson (one of the stars of Bad Sisters, one of the best Apple TV Plus shows) headlines this story of a single mother who tries to reconnect with her wayward teenage son via a guitar that's been discarded by the side of the road. Flora ends up learning to play herself, as Joseph Gordon-Levitt's LA-based online guitar teacher helps awaken her previously untapped musical gifts, and launches her on a voyage of personal discovery.

Flora and Son debuted at Sundance in 2023, and it's the sort of undemanding, heartwarming indie tale that tends to do well at the festival. Although the story doesn't represent any bold new musical direction for Carney, he guides his lead cast to some memorable and engaging performances.


Jessie Buckley laughs as Riz Ahmed looks at her in Fingernails.

Watching this romantic drama/comedy is definitely not like pulling fingernails. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: November 3, 2023
Runtime: 112 minutes
Age rating: R (US) / 15 (UK)
Director: Christos Nikou
Cast: Jessie Buckley, Riz Ahmed, and Jeremy Allen White

There's a painful twist on the old "s/he loves me, s/he loves me not" petal-pulling routine in a smart Apple TV Plus movie where romantic compatibility is assessed by ripping out fingernails. Jessie Buckley (Men) and Jeremy Allen White (The Bear) play a couple who, hoping to rekindle the lost spark in their relationship, take the test and discover they really are made for each other. But when Buckley's character starts to fall for a co-worker played by Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), they start to question everything.

Writer/director Christos Nikou's film is a clever anti-romantic comedy drama that uses sci-fi themes to put modern dating under the microscope. Indeed, Fingernails is something of a thought-provoker, that will make you feel more attached than ever to your own cuticles.

The Family Plan

Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan and their three kids walk through Las Vegas in The Family Plan.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas in The Family Plan. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: December 15, 2023
Runtime: 118 minutes
Age rating: PG-13 (US) / 12 (UK)
Director: Simon Cellan Jones
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan, Maggie Q, Saïd Taghmaoui, and Ciarán Hinds

From Mr and Mrs Smith to A History of Violence and The Long Kiss Goodnight, Hollywood has a long history of movies about skilled assassins settling down (in secret) to a quiet life in the suburbs. The Family Plan is the latest entry in this fruitful sub-genre, and an opportunity for leading Mark Wahlberg to exercise both his action and comedy muscles.

He plays Dan Morgan, a car salesman who takes his unwitting family on an impromptu road trip to Las Vegas when someone recognizes him from his former life as a government agent. What follows is a fun but derivative adventure thriller, with a few memorable action moments. Chances are you'll feel like you've seen most of the film before, but as Saturday night popcorn fodder, it's entertaining enough.


Chris Evans and Ana de Armas in Ghosted

An ordinary guy meets the spy of his dreams in Ghosted. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: April 21, 2023
Runtime: 116 minutes
Age rating: PG-13 (US) / 12 (UK)
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Cast: Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, and Tate Donovan

A long time ago, before superheroes became the dominant force at the box office, action thrillers like Ghosted were Hollywood’s bread and butter. These days, however, non-franchise blockbusters like The Old Guard, The Gray Man and Ghosted are more likely to be found on streaming services than in theaters.

That's probably appropriate in the case of Ghosted, seeing as this spy thriller is an algorithm’s dream come true. Not only is it based on a script from successful Deadpool/Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, it's also headlined by a pair of extremely bankable stars in the form of former Captain America Chris Evans, and Ana de Armas, who gets to show off the fighting skills she teased during her memorable cameo in No Time to Die

Human viewers may find the plot – about a normal guy who learns the woman he’s just spent the night with is actually an elite secret agent – a tad derivative, but Ghosted is a fun way to pass a couple of hours if you’re looking for some mindless entertainment.

Still: A Michael J. Fox Story

Michael J Fox in Still: A Michael J Fox Movie

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie tells the story of an extremely likeable Hollywood star. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: May 12, 2023
Runtime: 94 minutes
Age rating: R (US) / 15 (UK)
Director: Davis Guggenheim
Cast: Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox became a household name in the 1980s, first from his starring role as Alex P. Keaton in hit sitcom Family Ties, then as Marty McFly in the timeless Back to the Future trilogy. Then, when he was still in his 20s, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease while filming 1991 comedy Doc Hollywood. This documentary tells his story.

Director Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for “Superman”) uses a clever mix of archive footage, dramatizations of key moments, and interviews with Fox himself to look back on the star's life and career. It’s both sad and moving at times, but Fox makes for a thoroughly engaging, likeable subject, punctuating this biography with lots of humor.


Emilia Jones, Troy Kotsur and Marlee Matlin in CODA.

CODA was the surprising winner of the top prize at the 2022 Oscars. (Image credit: Apple TV)

Release date: August 13, 2021
Runtime: 111 minutes
Age rating: PG-13 (US) / 12 (UK)
Director: Siân Heder
Cast: Emilia Jones, Eugenio Derbez, Troy Kotsur, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, and Marlee Matlin

This gem pipped Netflix's highly-fancied The Power of The Dog to 2021's Best Picture Academy Award. Overshadowed on Oscar night by that infamous slap, CODA stars Emilia Jones as the only hearing member of an eccentric family of fishermen. But after discovering a previously untapped singing talent, the teen – and those who've relied upon her voice – are forced to reassess their futures. 

Yes, CODA does have a glorified Disney Channel movie vibe with its feelgood musical narrative. But it's also one of the best Apple TV Plus movies, making consistent use of sign language – alongside one particularly beautiful scene which shuts off all sound – to give a rarely authentic glimpse into deaf life. 

The Beanie Bubble

Elizabeth Banks and Zach Galifianakis wearing pink outfits in The Beanie Bubble.

In the pink: Elizabeth Banks and Zach Galifianakis star in The Beanie Bubble. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: July 28, 2023
Runtime: 110 minutes
Age rating: R (US) / 15 (UK)
Directors: Kristin Gore, Damian Kulash, Jr
Cast: Zach Galifianakis, Elizabeth Banks, Sarah Snook, and Geraldine Viswanathan

Beanie Babies make a bid for movie stardom but the results aren't quite as successful – or smart – as Barbie's box office smash. This middling movie is a effectively a biopic of the soft toys that briefly became hot property in the ’90s, when business mogul H Ty Warner (Zach Galifianakis) built an empire on glorified beanbags. 

While Warner does his best to take the credit for the Beanie Babies' success, the movie focusses more on sidelined Ty co-founder Robbie (Elizabeth Banks), ex-girlfriend Sheila (Succession's Sarah Snook), and Maya (Geraldine Viswanathan) – the latter was pivotal in turning the toys into one of the early successes of internet retail. It's told with a degree of style by directors Kristin Gore and Damian Kulash, though the story is a tad on the slight side.


A make up-less Lynsey stares out of a bus window in Causeway

Jennifer Lawrence delivers a stellar performance in Causeway. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: November 4, 2023
Runtime: 94 minutes
Age rating: R (US) / 15 (UK)
Director: Lila Neugebauer
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Brian Tyree Henry, Linda Emond, and Jayne Houdyshell

Causeway is an intimate, contemplative drama, which puts the spotlight on Lynsey (Jennifer Lawrence), a US Army veteran who has just returned from Afghanistan with a traumatic brain injury. Initially unable to walk or talk, she is nursed back to health and is eventually well enough to head back to her mother's home in New Orleans. There she meets James (Brian Tyree Henry), who has his own darkness to contend with, as we watch Lynsey try to come to terms with everything that has happened. 

This is a slow, emotional entry on our list of the best Apple TV Plus movies, handling hard-hitting issues with sensitivity while giving the cast the opportunity to deliver stellar performances.


Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton) meets Nintendo executives in Tetris

Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton) makes an extremely lucrative deal with Nintendo executives in Tetris. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: March 31, 2023
Runtime: 117 minutes
Age rating: R (US) / 15 (UK)
Director: Jon S. Baird
Cast: Taron Egerton, Nikita Efremov, Toby Jones, and Roger Allam

Just before The Super Mario Bros Movie started breaking box office records, Apple TV Plus brought another of Nintendo’s crown jewels to the screen. One thing Tetris is definitely not, however, is a literal adaptation of the game – after all, two hours watching a load of blocks slowly falling into place would be a very tricky sell.

Instead, this based-on-a-true-story drama turns the origins of the Game Boy classic into a Cold War thriller, as entrepreneurial developer Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton) travels beyond the Iron Curtain to bring Tetris to the West – and finds himself battling both newspaper mogul Robert Maxwell and the might of the former Soviet Union.

Unfortunately, the movie is never quite sure whether it wants to be an all-out comedy or a historical drama. So while the retro backdrops and occasional diversions into 8-bit graphics are undoubtedly fun, the final act stretches credibility a little too far.


An imprisoned Peter (Will Smith) leans against wooden bars as Fassel (Ben Foster) looks on.

Will Smith delivers a powerful performance in Emancipation. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: December 9, 2022
Runtime: 132 minutes
Age rating: R (US) / 15 (UK)
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Cast: Will Smith, Ben Foster, Mustafa Shakir, and Charmaine Bingwa

Will Smith’s filmography is so dominated by comedic roles that it’s easy to forget what a talented dramatic actor he is. His understated performance in Emancipation offers up a potent reminder.

It’s based on the harrowing real-life story of “Whipped Peter”, a 19th century slave who became famous after a photograph of his heavily scarred back spread around the world. That image went on to become a powerful weapon in the battle to abolish slavery.

Training Day director Antoine Fuqua doesn’t shy away from the brutality of the story as Peter endures unimaginable cruelty, before making a gruelling bid for freedom. As such, Emancipation is one of the most distressing entries in our selection of the best Apple TV Plus movies, but Fuqua still manages to find some hope among the most appalling of circumstances.

The Greatest Beer Run Ever

Russell Crowe and Zac Efron on the streets of Saigon in The Greatest Beer Run Ever.

Russell Crowe and Zac Efron go to war in The Greatest Beer Run Ever. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: September 30, 2022
Runtime: 126 minutes
Age rating: R (US) / 12 (UK)
Director: Peter Farrelly
Cast: Zac Efron, Russell Crowe, Bill Murray, and Jake Picking

We should preface this pick by saying there have been some very diverse opinions of this film. Some critics panned The Greatest Beer Run Ever for being simplistic and implausible (including our own reviewer), but there are also a lot of viewers out there that thoroughly enjoyed it, so we'll pop the film here in our list, and you can make up your own mind. 

Starring Zac Efron (The Greatest Showman) and Russell Crowe (Gladiator), the movie tells the tale of a merchant sailor, John "Chickie" Donohue (Efron), as he sneaks into war torn Vietnam to hand deliver beer to his hometown friends serving in the US Army. It's an outrageous premise, but is – believe it or not – inspired by a true story. 

Cha Cha Real Smooth

Cooper Raiff and Dakota Johnson stand outside a doorway in Cha Cha Real Smooth.

Cooper Raiff and Dakota Johnson in Cha Cha Real Smooth. (Image credit: Apple TV)

Release date: June 17, 2022
Runtime: 108 minutes
Age rating: R (US) / 15 (UK)
Director: Cooper Raiff
Cast: Dakota Johnson, Cooper Raiff, Leslie Mann, and Raúl Castillo

Cha Cha Real Smooth is the brainchild of Cooper Raiff, who wrote, directed and starred in an indie comedy-drama that wowed critics and audiences alike when it screened at the Sundance festival in 2022.

Alongside Raiff, the cast features Dakota Johnson, Vanessa Burghardt and Leslie Mann. The film tells the story of a man who works as a bar mitzvah party host, and comes to strike up a friendship with a young woman and her teenage daughter. Many have praised the movie for the writing and Johnson's performance, but our reviewer wasn't quite so keen, criticising the movie's not-always-successful efforts to generate charm.


Justice Smith in a bookshop in Sharper

Justice Smith goes by the book in Sharper. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: February 17, 2023
Runtime: 116 minutes
Age rating: R (US) / 15 (UK)
Director: Benjamin Caron
Cast: Julianne Moore, Sebastian Stan, Justice Smith, and Briana Middleton 

Fresh off helming episodes of brilliant Star Wars TV show Andor, British director Benjamin Caron made this crime drama for Apple TV Plus. Told in a succession of distinct chapters, Sharper follows a group of disparate characters (centered, more or less, on a New York bookshop) as they con and double cross their way through a twisty-turny crime thriller plot.

The film’s real trump card is its cast, which brings together Julianne Moore, Sebastian Stan, Justice Smith, Briana Middleton and John Lithgow. As you’d expect, they’re never less than watchable, even if the story isn’t quite as memorable as it could be.


Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds in a promotional image for Spirited

Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds stock up on Christmas spirit in Spirited. (Image credit: Apple)

Release date: November 18, 2022
Runtime: 127 minutes
Age rating: PG-13 (US) / 12 (UK)
Director: Sean Anders
Cast: Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds, Octavia Spencer, and Sunita Mani

You may not think there could be another way of telling the story of A Christmas Carol (definitely not one that could surpass the Muppets' version, as featured in our guide to the best family movies), but Spirited sheds new light on Dickens' tale of the original grinch, Ebenezer Scrooge. 

This version is told entirely from the perspective of the Christmas ghosts. Will Ferrell (Elf, Anchorman) plays The Ghost of Christmas Present, who usually spends the festive season visiting unfortunate, miserly souls. But this year, the ghost chooses a host he wasn't prepared for as Clint Briggs (Ryan Reynolds of Deadpool, The Adam Project and Welcome to Wrexham fame) shines the ghostly light back on his visitor, forcing Present to examine his own Christmases past, present and future. Oh, and did we mention it's a musical? 


Tom Hanks in a corridor with dog Goodyear and robot Jeff in Finch.

Tom Hanks with both his robot and canine buddies in Finch. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: November 5, 2021
Runtime: 115 minutes
Age rating: PG-13 (US) / 12 (UK)
Director: Miguel Sapochnik
Cast: Tom Hanks, Caleb Landry Jones, and Seamus

Intimate and post-apocalyptic would usually appear to be mutually exclusive terms, but they’re both fitting descriptions for this interesting spin on the one-man-and-his-dog tale. 

The ever-dependable Tom Hanks appears in every scene as the sickly sole survivor of a radioactive solar flare that’s wiped out the rest of civilization. But it’s the robot he builds as a substitute dogsitter – a lovable gangly creation akin to Short Circuit's Johnny 5, voiced by X-Men: First Class's Caleb Landry Jones – that very nearly steals the show. 

Perhaps Apple’s most visually-impressive film to date, Finch offers some wonderfully cinematic shots of the Aurora Borealis and New Mexico landscape as the trio attempt to tick off one final bucket list item. Get your hankies at the ready.  

On the Rocks

Rashida Jones walks alongside a child in a pushchair in On the Rocks.

Rashida Jones stars alongside Bill Murray in Sofia Coppola's On the Rocks. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: October 23. 2020
Runtime: 96 minutes
Age rating: R (US) / 12 (UK)
Director: Sofia Coppola
Cast: Bill Murray, Rashida Jones, Marlon Wayans, and Jessica Henwick

Reuniting for the first time since Lost in Translation, director Sofia Coppola and the ever-sardonic Bill Murray struck gold once again with an altogether more lightweight love story. 

On this occasion, the Ghostbusters star is playing the eccentric father rather than the romantic lead, and one who helps his daughter (Rashida Jones) determine whether she’s being cheated on in increasingly farcical ways. Murray deservedly picked up a Golden Globe nomination for his performance as an art dealer playboy who believes all men are programmed to be unfaithful. But he’s matched by an engaging Jones, who hopes to prove otherwise in an endearing New York caper.  

Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds

Clive Oppenheimer and Werner Herzog in a barren landscape in Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds

Clive Oppenheimer and Werner Herzog in Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: November 13, 2020
Runtime: 97 minutes
Age rating: N/A
Directors: Werner Herzog, Clive Oppenheimer
Cast: Werner Herzog, and Clive Oppenheimer

Werner Herzog (who played the mysterious Client in season one of The Mandalorian) is a unique filmmaker. This applies as much to his documentaries as fictional works like Fitzcarraldo, where the director and his crew infamously tried to pull a steamship up a hill.

Fireball (co-directed with Cambridge University scientist and Herzog’s Into the Inferno sidekick Clive Oppenheimer) brings the director’s one-of-a-kind perspective to the phenomenon of meteorites. As the duo travel around the world – exploring craters and talking to Nasa scientists who spend their time watching the skies for potential global killers – they tell an extremely watchable story incorporating both science and history.


Animated black cat Bob and Sam Greenfield in Apple TV+ original Luck

Simon Pegg voices lucky black cat Bob in Luck. (Image credit: Apple TV+)

Release date: August 5, 2022
Runtime: 105 minutes
Age rating: G (US) / PG (UK)
Director: Peggy Holmes
Cast: Eva Noblezada, Simon Pegg, Jane Fonda, and Whoopi Goldberg

This animated adventure follows a teenager named Sam Greenfield, a clumsy person whose life has been constantly plagued by misfortune. After meeting a mysterious black cat and finding a shiny lucky penny, Sam suddenly finds herself in the never-before-seen Land of Luck. Once there, she is tasked with uniting with an array of magical creatures in an effort to turn her luck around.

Luck has received mixed reviews, but it's big on heart and full of charm – and kids will love it.


An animated still of two childlike figures surrounded by wolves

Wolfwalkers keeps the spirit of traditional 2D animation alive. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: December 11, 2020
Runtime: 102 minutes
Age rating: PG (US) / PG (UK)
Directors: Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart
Cast: Honor Kneafsey, Eva Whittaker, Sean Bean, and Simon McBurney

Following on from The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, the Oscar-nominated Wolfwalkers brings Tomm Moore’s animated Irish Folklore Trilogy to a stunning close. 

The charming fantasy epic sees a young girl travel with her father to Ireland on a wolfpack-hunting mission, only to befriend a member of the tribe said to have a very strong affiliation with the lupine world. As with its predecessors, the enchanting hand-drawn animation (from Cartoon Saloon, who created Star Wars short 'Screechers Reach' for the second season of Visions) instantly immerses you in Moore’s fantastical universe. Meanwhile, its profound musings on colonialism, the environment and all-round compassion ensure there’s plenty of substance to its magical style.  

Swan Song

Mahershala Ali and Awkwafina wearing winter hats in Swan Song.

Send in the clones with Mahershala Ali and Awkwafina. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: December 17, 2020
Runtime: 111 minutes
Age rating: R (US) / 15 (UK)
Director: Benjamin Cleary
Cast: Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Glenn Close, and Awkwafina

Like many of the best sci-fi movies at the existential end of the spectrum, Swan Song poses a great big thought-provoking dilemma: if faced with a terminal illness would you spare all loved ones the grief by secretly substituting yourself with a clone? It’s a question Mahershala Ali’s ailing graphic designer must answer before it’s too late in this meditative near-future-set tale. 

Pulling double duty, the double Academy Award winner is typically magnetic as both the loving partner/dad and the replica who gets a trial run in the same roles. Meanwhile, an ambiguous Glenn Close keeps audiences guessing about the intentions of a doctor who presents this unique, and ethically dubious, opportunity.  

The Sky is Everywhere

Jacques Colimon and Grace Kaufman embrace in a promo shot for The Sky is Everywhere.

The Sky is Everywhere is a cut above the average YA weepie. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: February 11, 2022
Runtime: 103 minutes
Age rating: PG-13 (US) / 12 (UK)
Director: Josephine Decker
Cast: Grace Kaufman, Jacques Colimon, Pico Alexander, and Jason Segel

Apple TV Plus finally got into the young adult game in 2022 with one of those tragedy-tinged romances that were everywhere in mid-'10s. But The Sky Is Everywhere is a cut above The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns and the glut of slushfests that made Nicholas Sparks’ oeuvre appear the height of nihilism. 

For one thing, the film boasts a superlative performance from Grace Kaufman as a student dealing with the death of her sister and the complications of a teenage love triangle. And while director Josephine Decker undoubtedly leans into the tropes of the weepie genre, she also brings authenticity, and some distinctive visual flair inspired by magical realism.

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Denzel Washington wearing a crown as Macbeth

Heavy lies the crown for Denzel Washington in The Tragedy of Macbeth. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: January 14, 2022
Runtime: 105 minutes
Age rating: R (US) / 15 (UK)
Director: Joel Coen
Cast: Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Corey Hawkins, and Bertie Carvel 

A Shakespearean tale already adapted for the screen umpteen times might not have seemed like an obvious solo debut for a filmmaker as idiosyncratic as Joel Coen, the the elder half of the Coen brothers. But while the words remain slavish to the original text, The Tragedy of Macbeth’s striking aesthetics ensure that this is the Bard adapted as you’ve never seen before. 

Coen frames every monologue in pure monochrome, using the light and shade of studio soundstages to accentuate the depth of sublime performances from Denzel Washington as the titular general, and Frances McDormand as his ambitious wife.   


Hala sits next to a young man.

Hala was Apple TV Plus's first original movie. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: December 6, 2019
Runtime: 93 minutes
Age rating: R (US) / 15 (UK)
Director: Minhal Baig
Cast: Geraldine Viswanathan, Jack Kilmer, Gabriel Luna, and Purbi Joshi

Dropping shortly after its 2019 launch, Sundance hit Hala was the platform’s first original film. It's still one of the best Apple TV Plus movies. Adapted from director Minhal Baig’s same-named short film, the coming-of-age drama centres on a 17-year-old Muslim-American whose love of skateboarding and school crushes is at odds with her family’s traditional values. 

Geraldine Viswanathan (who's since appeared in The Beanie Bubble) follows up her star-making performance in Blockers with a subtle yet powerful turn as the conflicted lead, while Baig’s insightful script brings something new to the teen drama table. If you enjoy Little America’s charming vignettes of immigrant life, then this feature-length culture clash story should be right up your street.   


Tom Hanks and other sailors on the deck of a warship.

All hands – and Tom Hanks – on deck in World War II tale Greyhound. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: July 10, 2020
Runtime: 91 minutes
Age rating: PG-13 (US) / 12 (UK)
Director: Aaron Schneider
Cast: Tom Hanks, Stephen Graham, Elizabeth Shue, and Matt Helm

Apple TV Plus's first original to pick up an Oscar nomination (for best sound), Greyhound is based on naval warfare novelist CS Forester’s The Good Shepherd. It's set during World War 2‘s Battle of the Atlantic, and stars Tom Hanks as a US Navy commander tasked with defending an Allied convoy from a stalking German submarine. 

If it’s character development you’re after, then Hanks’ other entry on this list of the best Apple TV Plus movies, Finch, is a better bet. But if your idea of a perfect Sunday afternoon is watching a visceral recreation of a heroic WWII mission, then this tense and taut 90-minute thriller should do the trick.   


Justin Timberlake looking serious in Palmer.

Justin Timberlake delivers one of his finest screen performances in Palmer. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Release date: January 29, 2021
Runtime: 110 minutes
Age rating: R (US) / 15 (UK)
Director: Fisher Stevens
Cast: Justin Timberlake, Juno Temple, Alisha Wainwright, and June Squibb

Premiering at a time when a #MeToo backlash against Justin Timberlake was in full swing, this tear-jerking family drama was pretty much ignored on its early 2021 release. Which is a shame as Palmer not only boasts Timberlake's finest screen performance, but it also tackles an important LGBTQ+ issue with a much-needed sensitivity. 

The singer stars as the titular felon who, on returning to his Louisiana hometown, unexpectedly finds himself becoming a father figure to a gender non-conforming seven-year-old. If you can leave your cynicism at the door, you’ll be rewarded with a surprisingly touching celebration of self-identity.

For more Apple TV Plus-based coverage, read our guides on the best Apple TV Plus shows, Foundation season 3, and Severance season 2.

Richard Edwards

Richard is a freelance journalist specialising in movies and TV, primarily of the sci-fi and fantasy variety. An early encounter with a certain galaxy far, far away started a lifelong love affair with outer space, and these days Richard's happiest geeking out about Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel and other long-running pop culture franchises. In a previous life he was editor of legendary sci-fi and fantasy magazine SFX, where he got to interview many of the biggest names in the business – though he'll always have a soft spot for Jeff Goldblum who (somewhat bizarrely) thought Richard's name was Winter.

With contributions from