The Best Movies Streaming on Paramount Plus

couple watching tv
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Since its debut in 2021, Paramount+ has quickly risen to become one of the greatest subscription-based streaming platforms you can currently find online. Combining a range of properties from CBS, Paramount, Nickelodeon, Showtime, and Comedy Central, it boasts a rich library of beloved movies, TV series, and documentaries.

Like all the most noteworthy streaming platforms, Paramount+ also has a ton of exclusive content at its disposal, such as Star Trek: Picard, 1883, and The Good Fight.

Along with those exclusive titles, the platform also has a dense catalog of movies streaming on the service, from newer films like Mother! and Mafia Mamma to classics like The Three Amigos and Forrest Gump.

Here are some of the best movies you can find playing on Paramount+ right now.

Updated: September 17.

Drama: Forrest Gump (1994)

Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump (1994)
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Thirty years after its original release in 1994, Robert Zemeckis’s comedic drama Forrest Gump continues to find a welcome audience among today’s viewers. Achieving significant attention on whatever streaming platform it ends up playing on, Forrest Gump’s poignant emotion, off-kilter comedy, and sweeping romance might just make it one of the most popular films on Paramount+ right now.

Coming of age in the late 1950s, a young man with below-average intelligence (Tom Hanks) experiences an extremely eventful life, taking him from service in the Vietnam War to competing in U.S. ping-pong negotiations against China.

A roving historical that takes viewers from the racially segregated South in the 1950s to the tumultuous political atmosphere of the 1970s, Forrest Gump is the kind of crowd-pleasing that leaves a long-endearing impression on viewers, encouraging them to live every moment to its fullest.

Comedy: Three Amigos (1986)

Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short in Three Amigos! (1986)
Image Credit: Orion Pictures.

At the beginning of August, Hulu began releasing the third season of its popular series, Only Murders in the Building, on a weekly basis. As hilarious as the show is, it’s also worth highlighting each of Steve Martin and Martin Short’s previous collaborations together, starting with 1986’s iconic comedy film, Three Amigos.

Mistaken for the dashing heroes they play on screen, three silent film actors (Martin, Short, and Chevy Chase) agree to protect a small town in Mexico from ruthless bandits in the area.

Featuring three of the hottest stars in comedy at the time, Three Amigos is pure ‘80s hilarity at its finest, lampooning everything from vintage silent movies to the stereotypes associated with Westerns.

Sci-Fi: A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001)

Haley Joel Osment in A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

With how frequently discussed artificial intelligence has been lately, technological innovations such as A.I. are very much on the back of everyone’s minds. That being said, there’s no shortage of great films showing the complications that might arise from artificial intelligence, as spotted in 2001’s sci-fi epic, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence.

In the 22nd century, an experimental android with child-like characteristics (Haley Joel Osmont) is raised by a human foster family. As he spends time with his surrogate relatives, the mechanical boy develops increasingly humanistic emotions, including the ability to love.

Adapting the story of Pinocchio through a sci-fi lens, Steven Spielberg presents the concept of artificial intelligence with startling clairvoyance, depicting the topic with staggering sensitivity and sensibility.

Mystery: Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Jacqueline Bisset in Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

With Kenneth Branagh’s latest installment in his Agatha Christie series – A Haunting in Venice – recently making its way into theaters, there’s no better time to revisit some of the past adaptations of Christie’s work, starting with the 1974 whodunit, Murder on the Orient Express.

Snow-bound in the Yugoslavian mountains, a skilled detective (Albert Finney) is forced to find the guilty party aboard the illustrious Orient Express after one of his fellow passengers (Richard Widmark) is found murdered.

Possibly the best take on an Agatha Christie novel to date, Murder on the Orient Express operates as a deft mystery film, one that – like all standout whodunits – features a massive ensemble cast all playing to their strengths, whether it’s Sean Connery’s aloof British colonel or Anthony Perkins’ neurotic secretary.

Horror: mother! (2017)

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

More so than most other horror directors of his generation, Darren Aronofsky’s films have the potential to garner a wide range of reactions from audiences, ranging from bafflement and confusion to hostility and praise. This divisive characteristic applies most directly to Aronofsky’s 2017 film, mother!, as controversial and polarizing a movie as any other in the director’s filmography.

Moving into an isolated manor house with her charismatic husband (Javier Bardem), a young woman (Jennifer Lawrence) becomes unnerved when larger and larger groups of people start showing up to their house.

A psychological horror film disguised as a religious allegory, mother! can be seen as a miniaturized translation of the Bible, complete with detailed portraits of Mother Nature (Lawrence), God (Bardem), Adam (Ed Harris), and Eve (Michelle Pfeiffer).

International: Love in Taipei (2023)

Ross Butler, Ashley Liao, and Nico Hiraga in Love in Taipei (2023)
Image Credit: Paramount Plus.

A new addition to Paramount+ that’s been performing remarkably well on the streaming platform, Love in Taipei is yet another crowd-pleasing romantic comedy, one that follows in the footsteps of recent romcoms like Crazy Rich Asians or The Big Sick in analyzing social differences between cultural backgrounds.

Spending her summer vacation in a Taipei cultural immersion program, a young American (Ashley Liao) learns to enjoy life in the moment rather than constantly worrying about the future, meeting new friends and even falling in love with a fellow program attendee (Nico Hiraga).

Based on a best-selling young adult novel by Abigail Hing Wen, Love in Taipei is as much concerned with exploring Ashley Liao’s lead protagonist as it is with the budding romance between her and Hiraga’s character. A celebration of life and carefree adolescence, it’s the kind of light-hearted existential film that almost every audience member can relate to.

Cult Classic: The Big Lebowski (1998)

The Big Lebowski Steve Buscemi, Jeff Bridges, John Goodman
Image Credit: Gramercy Pictures.

The cult film to end all cult films, The Big Lebowski’s unparalleled popularity today should indicate the one-of-a-kind movie it is. A postmodernist satire of the noir genre, it’s among the finest – not to mention the funniest – film ever made by the celebrated Coen brothers.

In early 1990s Los Angeles, an unemployed, bowling-obsessed slacker (Jeffrey Bridges) winds up in the center of a conspiracy involving a millionaire (David Huddleston), his trophy wife (Tara Reid), and a gang of nihilistic kidnappers.

Perfectly cast and relying on an endlessly quotable script, the Coen brothers bring to life some of the greatest cinematic characters to ever grace the silver screen, from Bridges’ sloppily-dressed hippie, the Dude, to John Goodman’s fiery-tempered Vietnam vet, Walter.

Sci-Fi: 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead in 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Following in the footsteps of 2008’s Cloverfield almost a decade later, 10 Cloverfield Field is an exciting spin-off film that takes J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi horror universe in unexpected new directions (allowing for some highly creative results).

Waking up from a serious car accident, a young woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) finds herself in an underground emergency bunker, where her would-be rescuer (John Goodman) informs her a cataclysmic event has rendered the outside world uninhabitable.

Creating an air of mystery and suspense where the viewer (like Winstead’s protagonist) is never entirely sure of what to believe, 10 Cloverfield Lane makes for a palpable psychological thriller, one equal parts claustrophobic as it is shocking.

Biopic: Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Catch Me If You Can
Image Credit: DreamWorks Pictures.

Before he was busy reinventing the alien invasion subgenre with War of the Worlds, Steven Spielberg was hard at work bringing a vivid portrait of skillful con artist Frank Abagnale to the big screen, something he accomplished with 2002’s biographical crime caper, Catch Me If You Can.

Developing into an exceptional con artist while still just a teenager, Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio) makes millions posing as a doctor, a lawyer, and an airline pilot, dodging the efforts of the F.B.I. to track him down.

Led by DiCaprio’s masterful and charismatic performance as the dashing and self-confident Abagnale, Catch Me If You Can has all the humor, charm, and inherent style of a classic Spielberg adventure film, one that dials back to the spirit and tone of the director’s earliest work in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Found Footage: The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The Blair Witch Project
Image Credit: Artisan Entertainment.

It’s difficult to think of an indie horror movie more successful or influential than 1999’s all-time classic, The Blair Witch Project. Using an inventive emphasis on the-then novel found footage concept, the young filmmakers behind The Blair Witch Project created a certified masterpiece of a psychological horror film.

Filming a low-budget documentary together, three aspiring filmmakers venture into the Maryland woods, hoping to piece together a film about the urban legend of the Blair Witch. As they head deeper and deeper into the forest, it becomes clear that the Blair Witch may be much more than a simple tall tale meant to frighten kids.

Prioritizing a tense atmosphere over gaudy visuals, The Blair Witch Project relies extensively on what you don’t see in its main narrative, reinforcing the idea that the images within our imagination are often scarier than what’s actually on screen.

Action: The Last Samurai (2003)

The Last Samurai Tom Cruise, Koyuki
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

With how many action franchises Tom Cruise is known for nowadays (Mission: Impossible, Jack Reacher, and Top Gun, to name just a few), it can be easy to overlook some of the actor’s earlier contributions to the action genre, like his underrated 2003 historical epic, The Last Samurai.

Overcoming his past personal trauma, a veteran American soldier (Tom Cruise) assists a faction of samurai in a war against the industrialized might of the Japanese Empire in the mid 19th century.

While fairly heavy-handed about its themes and likening itself a little too closely to Dances with Wolves, The Last Samurai nevertheless makes for an entertaining movie to watch, focusing on a pivotal moment in Japanese history (one marked by the gradual end of the samurai nobility and the birth of Japan’s succeeding empire.)

Award Winner: The Whale (2022)

The Whale Brendan Fraser
Image Credit: A24.

Last year’s Oscars was perhaps the most inspirational in the Academy’s history. Launching themselves from decade-long obscurity to the Academy Awards were Ke Huy Quan and Brendan Fraser, the latter of whom won the Oscar for Best Actor off his starring role in Darren Aronofsky’s psychological drama, The Whale.

In the mid 2010s, a reclusive literature professor suffering from morbid obesity (Fraser) tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter (Sadie Sinker) as his health rapidly declines.

While the film’s treatment of obesity has earned a polarized response from critics, most have singled out the performances of its cast as The Whale’s greatest strength. Led by a transformative performance from Fraser and supporting appearances from Sink and Hong Chau, it’s an acting tour de force from virtually every talent involved.

Crime: Road to Perdition (2002)

Road to Perdition Tom Hanks, Tyler Hoechlin
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

As fantastic as Tom Hanks is when he’s featured in a comedic performance, the Oscar-winning Hanks has also proven himself able to transform into far more serious roles as well, handing in a notably chilly performance as the icy hit man, Michael Sullivan, in 2002’s Road to Perdition.

Upon witnessing his professional assassin father (Hanks) perform a hit on a rival mobster, 12-year-old Michael (Tyler Hoechlin) is whisked away by his father, running from his dad’s employers who want to ensure the crime remains unreported.

A stylish homage to the ‘30s gangster film, Road to Perdition focuses on the notion of cyclical violence and the bond between fathers and sons, as well as each person’s responsibility to protect and watch over their family (for better or for worse).

Comedy: Blazing Saddles (1974)

Gene Wilder and Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles (1974)
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Mel Brooks has no shortage of classic films that should be at the top of every comedy fan’s viewing list. With the possible exception of Young Frankenstein, however, no movie is as famous or well-loved among Brooks’ filmography as his iconic 1974 film, Blazing Saddles.

Hoping to weaken and demoralize a Western town in order to construct a railroad through it, a scheming businessman (Harvey Korman) assigns a Black sheriff (Cleavon Little) to patrol the town. Initially meeting hostility from the townspeople, the sheriff soon manages to pool the town’s efforts in combating the encroaching railroad, rallying the community to his side.

A riotous satire of the Western genre, Blazing Saddles utilizes the same lightweight flexibility and sense of humor of a vintage Looney Tunes cartoon. The characters are all incredibly hilarious, with Brooks relying on what might very well be the best cast he ever assembled (Little, Korman, Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Slim Pickens, Dom DeLuise, and Count Basie).

Musical: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Sweeney Todd
Image Credit: DreamWorks & Warner Bros.

At first glance, the idea for Tim Burton to adapt a musical as macabre as Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is an obvious one, fitting all Burton’s creative sensibilities as a director. Indeed, to no one’s surprise, the finished film turned out to be just as excellent as you’d initially expect.

Returning to Victorian England after a wrongfully imposed 15-year exile, a former barber (Johnny Depp) targets the corrupt judge (Alan Rickman) who ruined his life, slowly transforming himself into a cold-blooded, revenge-obsessed serial killer.

Easily the darkest film ever directed by Burton, Sweeney Todd coasts on the strength of its fantastic cast, most especially Johnny Depp, who leaves his typically comedic performances behind for the horrifying titular character.

Fantasy: Stardust (2007)

Claire Danes and Charlie Cox in Stardust (2007)
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Neil Gaiman is a treasure trove of modern fantasy. Having penned numerous short stories, novels, and comic books that have been met with praise from fans and critics alike, Gaiman’s work has also served the basis for several equally outstanding adaptations, including 2007’s magical realist adventure, Stardust.

Hoping to win the heart of his beloved, a young man (Charlie Cox) attempts to gift his intended a falling star, discovering the star is actually a young woman (Claire Danes) fleeing a cruel witch (Michelle Pfeiffer).

The 2000s equivalent to The Princess Bride, Stardust treads an entertaining balance between comedy, adventure, romance, and fantasy, freely moving between its each genre with the ease of a fast-paced novel.

Western: El Dorado (1966)

El Dorado
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

John Wayne will forever be known for his association with the Western genre, serving as the definitive iteration of the Western hero from the 1930s until his retirement in the 1970s. For every well-known Western that Wayne appeared in, though, there are three other little-known gems most people aren’t aware of – 1966’s El Dorado being a great example.

Learning this old friend (Robert Mitchum) may be in danger, a veteran gunfighter (Wayne) ventures to the frontier town of El Dorado, assisting the local law enforcement in combating a ruthless cattle baron (Ed Asner).

A loose remake of 1958’s Rio Bravo (which also starred Wayne and was directed by El Dorado’s Howard Hawks), El Dorado thrives off its impressive cast, which sees the Duke go toe to toe with fellow acting legend, Robert Mitchum, in an epic collaboration between two Western icons.

Family: The Monster Squad (1987)

Monster Squad
Image Credit: TriStar Pictures.

If you’ve ever wondered what The Goonies might’ve been like if they were based around ‘30s Universal Horror rather than a Spielbergian pirate adventure story, The Monster Squad is the film for you. A film every as bit humorous and lovable as Richard Donner’s cult favorite family film, it’s a comedy adventure with a satisfying dose of horror to appease most viewers in attendance.

Uncovering a plot organized by Dracula (Duncan Regehr) to use his army of monsters to conquer the world, a group of horror-loving pre-teens attempt to stop the vampiric lord from seeing his plan through.

Though it seldom receives the same attention as The Goonies, The Monster Squad has obtained a larger cult following in the decades since its release, with fans praising the film for its realistic special effects, tonal blend between campy horror and comedy, and incorporation of classic movie monsters (the Mummy, the Gill-man, and the Wolfman, among others.)

Superhero: The Crow (1994)

The Crow
Image Credit: Miramax.

Like his father – the legendary martial artist Bruce Lee – Brandon Lee passed away far too soon, leaving audiences to wonder what the future for the 28-year-old actor would’ve been like if he hadn’t met his tragic end. As it is, Lee leaves behind at least one truly remarkable film in the form of The Crow, the gothic superhero movie that contains his breakout performance.

One year after he and his fiancée (Sofia Shinas) were brutally murdered, a vengeful spirit (Lee) returns to the mortal world, pursuing the gang responsible for his death.

Like other ‘90s superhero films like Darkman and Batman Returns, The Crow opts for a notably darker aesthetic than its later successors in the MCU, weighing its action-oriented narrative with plenty of macabre moments. Fortunately, Lee’s lively performance prevents the movie from falling into total darkness, lighting up the screen as his supernatural alter ego.

Classic: To Catch a Thief (1955)

Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief (1955)
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Working together over the course of four films, each cinematic collaboration between Cary Grant and Alfred Hitchcock is worth watching in their own right. While their 1955 film, To Catch a Thief, might lack the intrigue of Notorious and the suspense of Suspicion, it still lives up to the best the Master has to offer, serving as a timeless entry in Hitchcock and Grant’s individual bodies of work.

Framed for a series of robberies he never committed, a legendary cat burglar (Grant) comes out of retirement to catch the guilty party responsible.

Combining the on-screen talents of Grant and an-always phenomenal Grace Kelly, Hitchcock crafts yet another exceptional thriller, characterized by the foremost components one associates with a Hitchcock movie (the femme fatale blonde, a wrongfully-framed protagonist, the shocking plot twist, etc.)

History: Dances With Wolves

Dances With Wolves
Image Credit: Orion Pictures.

Along with Titanic, Gone with the Wind, and The Lord of the Rings, Dances with Wolves is one of the most popular films to ever win the Academy Award for Best Picture. A film responsible for revitalizing the Western genre for the next decade, it also explores the devastation and genocide reaped against Native Americans throughout the 19th century.

In the late 1860s, Civil War veteran John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) is ordered to man an isolated military outpost on the Western frontier. His mission soon leads him to contact with the nearby tribes of Indigenous Americans, who Dunbar slowly develops a close bond with.

Touching upon the injustices committed by settlers against Indigenous tribes across the American plains, Dances with Wolves underscores the social differences between white and Natives in the latter half of the 1800s. As seen from Dunbar’s gradual transformation, it also highlights humanity’s incredible ability to coexist with one another – so long as a mutual effort is made by all parties involved.

War: Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)

Sands of Iwo Jima, John Wayne
Image Credit: Republic Pictures.

Before he was typecast as the stereotypical Western hero, John Wayne embarked on a series of wide-ranging films, starring in everything from World War II epics to more dialed-down boxing dramas in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s. As many movies as Wayne starred in during this period, few were as impressive or noteworthy than his 1949 war film, Sands of Iwo Jima.

As they prepare for service in the Pacific War, a group of Marines are bullied and harassed by their seemingly hateful sergeant (Wayne). Arriving to the battlefront, however, they soon realize the sergeant’s domineering attitude may have helped them prepare for the enduring horrors of war.

It may not be the Duke’s most celebrated role, but Sands of Iwo Jima nevertheless illustrates Wayne’s dramatic gifts as an actor, able to appear outwardly cantankerous and mean-spirited, yet harboring a more sentimental side to his character.

Young Adult: The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

Freddie Highmore and Seth Rogen in The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Moving into the dilapidated Spiderwick Estates, a pair of twins (Freddie Highmore) and their sister (Sarah Bolger) discover a world bordering their own, populated by fairies, trolls, and a power-mad, shapeshifting ogre (Nick Nolte).

If that plotline sounds eerily identical to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the similarities between the two plotlines stop and end at its general premise. Though taking plenty of narrative inspiration from C.S. Lewis’s famous series of children’s books, this 2008 adaptation of Holly Black’s young adult novel introduces plenty of narrative elements to differentiate itself from the Narnia books.

Borrowing numerous figures and fantastic creatures from folklore and mythology, The Spiderwick Chronicles presents such dated characters as ogres and trolls with startling innovation, setting itself apart from other family-friendly fantasy films through pure imagination alone.

Road: Easy Rider (1969)

Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider (1969)
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

In the late 1960s, the Golden Age of Hollywood began its gradual transition into the influential New Hollywood movement. Introducing a new slew of actors and directors to the world of Hollywood, the movement was also responsible for forever changing the kinds of movies that could be made in the film industry, focusing on more introspective, unconventional stories, as happens to be the case with 1969’s Easy Rider.

On a road trip from Los Angeles to New Orleans, two bikers (Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda) indulge in everything the counterculture has to offer, their free-wheeling lifestyle clashing with the societal norms around them.

Often cited as the starting point of the New Hollywood movement, Easy Rider is a direct precursor to the indie films that came about in the decades that followed. Using a minuscule budget, Dennis Hopper created a philosophical film centered around the American counterculture, one that challenged audience preconceptions about what a road movie could be.

Classic: The Odd Couple (1968)

Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in The Odd Couple (1968)
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Before it was the basis for several different TV series, Neil Simon’s classic play, The Odd Couple, served as the basis for a film adaptation starring the irrevocable pairing of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, two of the finest comedians of their generation.

After separating from his wife, the depressed Felix (Lemmon) moves into the apartment of his good friend Oscar (Matthau). As his stay continues, the two start to notice the adverse affect their differing lifestyles are affecting their living arrangement.

Portraying two polar opposites, Lemmon and Matthau hammer home the old adage that, just because you’re close friends with somebody, doesn’t mean you’d make ideal roommates. Constantly bickering, arguing, and getting on each other’s nerves, Lemmon and Matthau spend the bulk of the film pestering one another like an old married couple, often building to hilarious results.

Documentary: Reinventing Elvis: The '68 Comeback (2023)

Reinventing Elvis: The '68 Comeback
Image Credit: Paramount Plus.

Though an indelible star throughout the 1950s, the King of Rock and Roll – Elvis Presley – had fallen onto hard times as the 1960s rolled out. Fearing career stagnation as the world of rock ‘n’ roll changed around him, Elvis dedicated himself to an epic return to form with his influential ‘68 Comeback Special.

Focusing on this historic concert special is the new 2023 documentary, Reinventing Elvis: The ‘68 Comeback. Chronicling Elvis’s time in the music industry up to that point, Reinventing Elvis also analyzes Elvis’s decision to perform the concert in the first place, as well as the profound effect said performance had on his career and lasting legacy as a musician.

Complete with interviews from Elvis experts and music historians, Reinventing Elvis will leave you with a new appreciation for the King, as well as his theatricality and willingness to reinvent himself in front of the changing audience demographics of the late 1960s.

Thriller: The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

The Talented Mr. Ripley Matt Damon
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

In the late 1950s, a New York lavatory attendant (Matt Damon) takes to impersonating someone of a higher social class, his con soon sending him to Italy to recover a spoiled playboy (Jude Law).

Following the 1997 release of his breakthrough film, Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon experienced a rapid surge in his career, helping him transform into one of the most sought-after dramatic actors in the film industry almost overnight.

As part of his newfound success, Damon starred in several more excellent films throughout the ‘90s, including 1999’s The Talented Mr. Ripley. A taut and smoldering adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel, it’s a role that illustrated Damon’s ability to handle more grounded narrative roles aside from his smart-mouthed Boston genius.

Romance: Like Water for Chocolate (1992)

Lumi Cavazos in Like Water for Chocolate (1992)
Image Credit: Miramax.

The fact that Like Water for Chocolate was never nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards is nothing short of a travesty. Missed accolades aside, this 1992 romantic drama film is just as powerful now as it was over three decades ago.

Prevented from marrying the man she loves (Marco Leonardi), a young woman (Lumi Cavazos) escapes the frustrations of her home life by honing her skills in cooking, allowing her to literally toss her emotional issues into her food.

A thought-provoking romantic drama packed with plenty of relatable themes, Like Water for Chocolate does a good job translating the magical realist elements of Laura Esquivel’s novel to the big screen. Like Esquivel’s original text, the film constructs a feasible narrative around an otherwise surreal plot, leaving viewers as comforted as they are hungry while viewing.

Teen: The Virgin Suicides (1999)

The Virgin Suicides Kirsten Dunst, Chelse Swain
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

More of a coming-of-age drama than strictly a teen film, The Virgin Suicides served as respected director Sofia Coppola’s first foray into film, the budding filmmaker providing a heartending adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides’s best-selling debut novel.

In the suburbs of Detroit in the 1970s, a group of male best friends find themselves fixated on five sisters raised by a pair of overprotective parents (James Woods and Kathleen Turner).

A movie of surprising sophistication and maturity for Coppola, The Virgin Suicides is a tender portrait of youthful angst, as well as the reverence people hold for childhood in general. Attempting to break from their overbearing parents, each of the Lisbon siblings struggle to obtain some semblance of personal freedom, finding it in the most tragic of resolutions.

Sports: The Longest Yard (2005)

The Longest Yard Adam Sandler Burt Reynolds Chris Rock
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

When most people think of Adam Sandler, it’s not likely they think of sports films. In 2005, however, the former SNL talent appeared in the ensemble sports comedy, The Longest Yard, a remake of the 1974 classic of the same name.

Arriving at a hellish Texas prison, a disgraced ex-football player (Sandler) organizes a ragtag team of inmates to play football against the prison’s abusive guards.

With a cast that includes Sandler, Burt Lancaster, Chris Rock, Terry Crews, and several prominent pro wrestlers and former NFL players, The Longest Yard’s exceptional cast is offered plenty of comedic moments, leaving viewers generally satisfied with its blend between laughs and hard-hitting football.

Underrated: Mafia Mamma (2023)

Toni Collette in Mafia Mamma
Image Credit: Cornerstone Films.

Appearing on this week’s most-watched movies list on Paramount+ is the streaming platform’s most recent arrival, the 2023 comedy crime film, Mafia Mamma. A harebrained concept bolstered by a great cast, it’s an enjoyable enough film to watch once, even if it doesn’t necessarily leave you clutching your armrests in unending throes of laughter.

Unhappy in her personal and professional life, an American writer (Toni Collette) attends the funeral for her grandfather in Italy, reluctantly taking his place as the head of a vast Mafia empire.

Despite Toni Collette’s best efforts, Mafia Mamma never rises above its mediocre premise, wallowing in pitiful attempts at comedy and even more disappointing tries at exciting action. Still, there’s evidently something attracting viewers to this 2023 film, whether it’s Collette’s dedicated performance or its satirization of the gangster film.

Richard Chachowski is a freelance writer based in New Jersey. He loves reading, his dog Tootsie, and pretty much every movie to ever exist (especially Star Wars).