No one wants their movie night ruined with a dud. If you're trying to figure out what to watch this weekend, we've rounded up some of the best movies available on Netflix, Disney Plus, Max and all the other top streaming services.
September is already shaping up to be a great month for musical fans. The latest live-action remake of the Mouse's animated library, The Little Mermaid, just hit Disney Plus, while the earworm-filled classic Little Shop of Horrors arrived back on Max. Meanwhile, one of last year's biggest surprise hits The Menu makes its debut on Hulu, joined by Meryl Streep being peak Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. And Netflix adds the rare war movie that even someone who hates war movies (i.e. me) regularly recommends people check out: Hacksaw Ridge.
So without further ado, here is our guide on the best movies to stream right now.
The Little Mermaid (2023)
The Little Mermaid is Disney's latest animated classic given the live-action remake treatment. It follows in the footsteps of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Mulan, and as with those remakes, this one has its naysayers and fans alike. The divide is especially apparent on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, where this year's The Little Mermaid currently holds a 67% critics score and 94% audience score.
And just as with Disney's previous remakes, this is more a reimagining than a beat-for-beat re-creation of Ariel's "Under the Sea" adventure. Disney made that much clear from the initial trailers, which had some viewers frothing at the mouth with a truly disturbing level of vitriol aimed at Black actress Halle Bailey.
As Ariel, Bailey brings something truly refreshing to the fairy tale we all know and love. Her singing chops and utterly charming screen presence form the heart of the movie. The story of an outsider yearning for a different life is as familiar and comforting as ever. Plus, the ubiquitous Lin-Manuel Miranda adds new music to make this IP-plumbing cash grab a little more interesting.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 67%
Genre: Kids and family/musical
Stream on Disney Plus
The Menu (2022)
The Menu is one of those movies best gone into blind. This thriller/horror flick follows a group of big spenders with a demanding palate who are eager to dine at the Hawthorn, an exclusive, speakeasy-style restaurant out on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest.
At Hawthorn, renowned chef Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes) runs an extremely tight ship preparing lavish, multiple-course meals that are billed as the experience of a lifetime. The night unfolds through the perspective of a couple of first-timers: Tyler (Nicholas Hoult), a true believer foodie, and his unimpressed plus one Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy).
Slowly, and often from the voice of Elsa (Hong Chau), the general of Slowik's staff, we learn that the guests all have secrets — and the chef has ulterior motives. His menu is filled with some less-than-pleasant (and often downright disturbing) dishes. Get ready for a wild and disturbing ride.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 88%
Genre: Horror/mystery and thriller
Stream on Hulu
Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
Even if you're not usually a fan of musicals, Little Shop of Horrors is a hilarious romp full of earworms that shouldn't be missed. Where else are you going to see Steve Martin as a demented dentist who looks like he just stepped out of Grease and sings about how much he loves causing people pain?
Rick Moranis headlines the star-studded film as hapless flower shop assistant Seymour, who has a crush on his co-worker Audrey (Ellen Greene). Seymour cooks up an ill-fated idea to help drum up business by displaying an unusual plant he purchases during a solar eclipse and names Audrey II. But when he pricks his finger on the plant, he discovers it feeds on blood. As more customers start flooding in, Seymour finds that he has to keep the increasingly bloodthirsty Audrey II fed.
The songs are ridiculously catchy, and the practical effects alone are worth resisting this classic musical. No digital optical effects, green screens or CGI were used to bring Audrey II to life, which led Little Shop of Horrors to become the most expensive movie in the history of Warner Bros at the time of its release.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 90%
Stream on Max
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
The blue sweater scene from The Devil Wears Prada made the rounds on Tiktok recently, and it has me wanting to rewatch this classic (Is 2006 old enough to call it a classic yet? Never mind, I don't want to think about that).
Meryl Streep's performance as the ruthless editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly is truly iconic. The story follows Andrea "Andy" Sachs, played by a fresh off The Princess Diaries Anne Hathaway, who lands a job way out of her league as a junior assistant at a prestigious fashion magazine.
While Andy is admittedly clueless about fashion, she's quick on her feet adapting to Miranda's demanding and often unreasonable requests, including fetching her coffee, organizing her appointments, and dealing with her personal and professional matters. As Andy becomes more entrenched in the world of high fashion, her new gig becomes a serious strain on her personal life and relationship with her boyfriend Nate (played by Adrian Grenier). It's only then that Andy begins to understand the sacrifices Miranda has made for her career.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 75%
Stream on Hulu
Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
I'll be the first to admit I am not a war movie buff. But Hacksaw Ridge is the war movie for people who don't like war movies. In part because the fighting itself isn't the main focus, but rather the extraordinary conviction and journey of Desmond Doss, a real-life World War II medic who served in the Battle of Okinawa without ever carrying a weapon.
Andrew Garfield brings an infectious southern charm and genuineness to his portrayal of Doss, a conscientious objector who enlists in the U.S. Army despite it conflicting with his deep commitment to pacifism as part of his Seventh-day Adventist beliefs. His decision is met with skepticism and ridicule by his fellow soldiers and superiors. Though he faces severe persecution and is even court-martialed for his refusal to pick up a rifle, he's ultimately cleared to join the frontlines.
There, he and his fellow soldiers are thrown into one of the bloodiest battles on the Eastern Front. After a hasty retreat, Doss stays behind and risks his life to save wounded soldiers, single-handedly lowering them down a steep cliff known as "Hacksaw Ridge" until reinforcements arrive.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 84%
Stream on Netflix