Best movies on Disney Plus for grown-ups: what to watch after the kids go to bed

The French Dispatch
(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)
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It's well known that Disney Plus offers an unrivalled selection of kid-friendly movies, offering a huge library of Disney classics along with every Star Wars, Marvel Studios and Pixar film to date. 

However, since the arrival of the Star section on Disney Plus, that content library has grown by leaps and bounds, rounding out the service with a more grown-up collection of movies.

From adult-oriented thrillers, to raunchy comedies, Star's selection proves there's now something for everyone to enjoy on Disney Plus. With that in mind, we've put together a list of the best movies on Disney Plus for grown-ups, which you can check out below.

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Best movies on Disney Plus for grown-ups

The French Dispatch

(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)

The French Dispatch (opens in new tab)

The latest film from Wes Anderson, the inimitably quirky director behind such stylish films as The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Moonrise Kingdom, The French Dispatch is a humorous ode to journalism. Inspired in large part by The New Yorker magazine, The French Dispatch is an anthology film recounting the four short stories (and one obituary) which will comprise the final issue of The French Dispatch magazine, a fictional publication based out of the similarly fictional French town, Ennui-sur-Blasé (which roughly translates to "jaded on boredom"), and which is aimed exclusively at readers of a small-town Kansas newspaper. While it lacks some of the charm of Anderson's previous films, The French Dispatch is the filmmaker's most meticulously crafted work to date, and will surely delight fans of his whimsical aesthetic.

Fight Club

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Fight Club (opens in new tab)

Like many great films which inspire an intense reaction from moviegoers, David Fincher's Fight Club has been (and still is) misinterpreted by the very people it seeks to critique and (hopefully) enlighten. The film follows a disaffected male office worker (Edward Norton) who forms a friendship with Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a charismatic alpha male whose rhetoric about the supposed disenfranchisement of men in modern society sparks a chord within the film's beta-male protagonist and narrator. Coming to the conclusion that societal restrictions no longer allow men an outlet for their aggression, the pair form an underground fight club which sees them get together with like-minded guys to pound the living crap out of each other. In what has proven to be an all-too-accurate premonition of today's world, their angry little all-male club quickly turns to vandalism, before graduating to full-fledged terrorism. Now, it's up to our narrator to come to his senses and reject Tyler's toxic influence over him before it's too late.

The Last Duel

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

The Last Duel (opens in new tab)

Nobody crafts a more handsome historical epic than Ridley Scott, director of Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven and Robin Hood, and The Last Duel is no exception. It tells the true story of the last legally sanctioned duel to the death in France's history. Taking on a Rashomon-like structure, The Last Duel recounts multiple versions of the same story from the unique perspectives of its three main characters. Sir Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) returns home after months away on official business only to discover that his wife, Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer) has accused knight and squire Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) of rape. In an effort to find justice and redeem the honour of his name, Jean challenges Jacques to trial by combat, in which the "truth" will be determined by whomever God supposedly chooses to win. Should Jean lose, however, Marguerite will be publicly burned at the stake.

The Shape of Water

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

The Shape of Water (opens in new tab)

Visionary filmmaker Guillermo del Toro's unique way of telling creature-filled fantasy stories for adults arguably hit its highpoint with The Shape of Water, which went on to win several Oscars, including Best Director and Best Picture. In this dark romance film, which is set against the backdrop of the Cold War, a mute janitor (Sally Hawkins) falls in love with an amphibious creature (Doug Jones) that's being held captive in the top secret laboratory she works at. As you'd expect, their relationship has clear obstacles in its path, none more urgent and dangerous than Colonel Strickland (Michael Shannon), a man who personally hates the creature and has plans to torture, dissect and kill him.

28 Days Later

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

28 Days Later (opens in new tab) / 28 Weeks Later (opens in new tab)

The film that brought zombies back into fashion (even though it isn't what you'd call a traditional zombie film), Danny Boyle and Alex Garland's 2002 horror classic 28 Days Later set the tone for zombie movies for at least the next decade. When a rage-infected monkey escapes a laboratory, an outbreak more or less plunges Britain into a full-blown zombie apocalypse in just under a month. The film follows Jim (Cillian Murphy), a bike messenger who awakens from a coma to find London completely deserted. Before long, he realises the only people on the street are infected with rage and want nothing more than to rip him apart. Now, he and a ragtag group of survivors must do whatever it takes to find sanctuary. A sequel called 28 Weeks Later arrived shortly after, and while it wasn't as good as the original, it does a good job of expanding on the first film's premise.


(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Alien (opens in new tab) / Aliens (opens in new tab) / Alien3 (opens in new tab) / Alien Resurrection (opens in new tab)

When it comes to space-set horror, nothing beats the Alien quadrilogy. Ridley Scott's original Alien film set the benchmark for deep space terror, introducing the world to Lieutenant Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), a warrant officer-turned-warrior who, over the course of four films, would find herself squaring off against Xenomorphs – deadly aliens that are incredibly hard to kill – in a bid to protect humanity. Unfortunately, her employers at the Weyland-Yutani Corporation have other plans for the Xenomorphs.


(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Braveheart (opens in new tab)

While the merits of its historical accuracy can be argued from here to eternity, there's no denying Braveheart's legacy as a grand cinematic achievement which inspired countless historical epics in its wake. Director and star Mel Gibson delivered a stirring and powerful film that recounted (and exaggerated) the story of William Wallace, a Scottish knight who led the First War of Scottish Independence against the tyrannical English way back in the 13th century. Featuring thrilling and visceral battle scenes, the likes of which had never been seen before at the time of its release, Braveheart is a remarkable film about heroes who give their lives in the fight against oppression.


(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Commando (opens in new tab)

One of the most purely enjoyable films of action superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger's career, Commando sees Arnie play John Matrix, a retired Special Forces colonel who sets out on a mission to rescue his young daughter Jenny (Alyssa Milano) from a deranged former member of his unit. Featuring a cheeky script that plays up the overblown machismo on display, and some of the best Arnie one-liners ever committed to film, Commando is a joy for action junkies.

Con Air

(Image credit: Touchstone Pictures)

The Rock (opens in new tab) / Con Air (opens in new tab) / Face/Off (opens in new tab)

What better way to spend a night in than with a Nicolas Cage '90s action triple-bill? Thanks to the arrival of Star on Disney Plus, you can now watch The Rock, Con Air and Face/Off in the one place, which makes it the premiere streaming destination for watching the incomparable Nic Cage run from explosions in slow motion. What more could you possibly want? 

The Favourite

(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)

The Favourite (opens in new tab)

Yorgos Lanthimos' Academy Award winning film The Favourite is now available to stream on Disney Plus. It tells the darkly comedic story of Oueen Anne (Olivia Colman, who would go on to win an Oscar for her performance in the film) and her relationship with Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz). Their friendship is thrown into turmoil with the arrival of Abigail (Emma Stone), a servant who sets off a rivalry with Lady Sarah to become the Queen's favourite friend.


(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Nomadland (opens in new tab)

The film that swept last year's Oscars, Chloé Zhao's thoughtful masterpiece Nomadland invites us into a community of people who live off the land in the American West. We follow Fern (Frances McDormand), a woman in her sixties who sets off on a journey while living out of her van. Along the way, she meets and befriends other nomads who have rejected conventional society. Poignant and illuminating, it's no wonder the film inspired Marvel Studios to seek Zhao's talents for its most philosophical MCU entry, Eternals. 


(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Deadpool (opens in new tab) / Deadpool 2 (opens in new tab)

With the launch of Star on Disney Plus, Deadpool has finally arrived at his rightful place alongside the rest of his more kid-friendly Marvel peers. Oft-described as a "merc with a mouth", Deadpool is the most hilariously profane character in Marvel's catalogue of super-powered individuals. Played to wise-cracking perfection by Ryan Reynolds, both Deadpool movies do a fantastic job of skewering the entire superhero genre from the inside. We can't wait to see what kind of mischief Deadpool will get up to now that he's officially set to join the MCU.


(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Logan (opens in new tab)

Our own Hugh Jackman gives the character that made him world-famous a righteous send-off in Logan, the most mature Marvel movie to date. This time, Jackman plays an older, washed-up Wolverine who is slowly losing the ability to heal. With most of his time spent caring for an ailing Charles Xavier (Sir Patrick Stewart), Logan's world is turned upside down with the arrival of a young girl who shares his mutant healing ability. Now, he must protect her from nefarious forces who want to exploit her powers. An emotional end to a fantastic journey, Logan is a stunning accomplishment.

Die Hard

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Die Hard (opens in new tab)

The entire Die Hard saga is now available to stream in 4K Ultra HD on Disney Plus, but for the sake of quality, let's just focus on the original Die Hard film. Considered by many to be a Christmas classic, Die Hard sees New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) attend his estranged wife's work Christmas party in Los Angeles, only to find himself single-handedly defending her building from a group of violent terrorists. The film is perhaps most notable for its 'everyman' approach to action in an era where most movie heroes were unstoppable killing machines with enormous muscles. In John McClane, we had a vulnerable hero who was in over his head and would actually get hurt. While the first Die Hard is undoubtedly the best, you could also opt to watch the third entry, Die Hard with a Vengeance, which sees Willis team up with Samuel L. Jackson to stop yet another terrorist plot. Feel free to skip the rest, though.


(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Predator (opens in new tab)

Remember what we said earlier about unstoppable heroes with big muscles? Here's a prime example: Predator sees Arnold Schwarzenegger lead a team of mercenaries on a rescue mission in Central America, only to come face-to-face with the only opponent who could possibly kill him – a 7-foot tall alien hunter who kills humans for sport. Featuring buckets of blood and even more testosterone, Predator is a must-watch for action fans.


(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)

Wild (opens in new tab)

Reese Witherspoon gives a magnificent performance in Wild, the inspirational true story of a woman who sets off on a journey of self discovery after years of reckless behaviour. What better way to leave your troubles behind and heal your soul than with a redemptive thousand-mile hike across the American wilderness with no previous experience to speak of?

Starship Troopers

(Image credit: Buena Vista International)

Starship Troopers (opens in new tab)

At the time of its release in 1997, many people missed the brilliant political satire at the heart of Paul Verhoeven's sci-fi epic Starship Troopers, which is strange because this is the man who made RoboCop, an equally subversive film that was stealthily released in the guise of a silly futuristic actioner. Verhoeven and writer Ed Neumeier offer a vision of the future in which a totalitarian government sends soldiers (played by soap-level actors) to war against a race of bugs on a different planet. The soldiers proceed to invade their enemy's turf and an attempt at extermination, only to find that they've greatly underestimated the bugs they're up against. Featuring incredible visual effects that still hold up today, loads of gore and a smattering of sex, Starship Troopers is one of the most clever and entertaining sci-fi blockbusters that ever snuck through the Hollywood system.

Ready or Not

(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)

Ready or Not (opens in new tab)

Australia's own Samara Weaving stars in Ready or Not, a comedic horror film in which she plays a new bride who obliges a strange tradition in the groom's rich, eccentric family – anyone who marries in must engage in a game of Hide and Seek on their wedding night. Unfortunately for her, the game turns out to be lethal, and now everyone in the family is out to kill her. It's worth mentioning that the directors of Ready or Not scored the gig to direct the latest Scream movie based on the strength of their work on this film, so you know it has to be good.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.