When you subscribe to a service like Showtime for a certain show, you often don’t recognize the incredible library of movies that are also available through the service. For Showtime, that library includes many fairly recent movie releases that were critically acclaimed when they first came out. Some of these movies were nominated for Oscars, but every single one of them is well worth checking out.
Showtime has a great selection of recent films from all-star directors, and plenty of their films come with A-list casts as well. These are just 10 of the best movies that are now available to stream on Showtime.
Ethan Hawke has become an actor who can be relied upon to deliver, and First Reformed stacks up with the best performances he’s ever given. In the film, Hawke plays a priest who has to reckon with the way his church has lined up behind a massive company that is killing the planet. First Reformed is unrelentingly despairing, but it does suggest that the only hope we have for the future may be one we find in one another. Writer and director Paul Schrader proves that he’s the only person capable of telling this kind of fable about our modern world without ever letting it feel even a little bit hokey.
Director: Paul Schrader
Main Cast: Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Cedric the Entertainer
Runtime: 113 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.1
This film tells the story of a broke punk band that books a gig at a rural bar run by Nazis. When they accidentally witness a murder, they’re forced to fight for their lives in order to escape. As thrillers go, Green Room is one of the darker and more gruesome entries in the genre. Even so, the movie is still serves up plenty of thrills, even if some of them are as likely to make you squeamish as they are to make you squeal. Green Room is visceral in all the right ways.
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Main Cast: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart
Runtime: 94 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.0
Like all of Kelly Reichardt’s films, First Cow is slow and meditative but deeply entrancing. The film is set in Oregon in the 1800s, when two men decide to team up in order to sell cakes in their frontier settlement. In order to make the cakes great, though, they have to steal milk from a wealthy man’s cow. The movie’s simple conceit allows for some refreshing comedy, but also for plenty of rumination on the nature of friendship. First Cow is, above all else, one of the most tender, subtle bromances you’re every likely to see.
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Main Cast: John Magaro, Orion Lee, Toby Jones
Runtime: 122 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.1
Based on a true story, Hustlers lives up to its flashy billing. The movie follows strippers who begin catering to high-profile clientele, drugging them and then dining out on their credit cards. Jennifer Lopez delivers a revelatory performance in a supporting role, one that the Oscars famously snubbed when it came time to dish out awards at the end of the year. From beginning to end, Hustlers is a movie about criminals and sisterhood, and the ways in which capitalism is designed to serve certain groups of people, even as it totally ignores others.
Director: Lorene Scafaria
Main Cast: Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Lili Reinhart
Runtime: 110 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.3
In less able hands, Ex Machina could have felt claustrophobic in all the wrong ways. The movie features only four actors, and only three of them do any real speaking. The movie works, though, because it’s exactly as claustrophobic as writer/director Alex Garland wants it to be. Telling the story of a low-level coder who’s brought to a palatial estate to test an advanced artificial intelligence, Ex Machina works because you’re never sure who to trust. As it spirals out in strange, unexpected directions, Ex Machina keeps the viewer hooked thanks to strong performances from its core trio and a tight script.
Director: Alex Garland
Main Cast: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac
Runtime: 108 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.7
Moonlight may be best remembered now for the shocking way in which it won Best Picture, but the movie behind that story couldn’t have been more deserving of that honor. Telling the story of a young, gay, Black child in Miami in three chapters, Moonlight brings its story to life with vivid detail, beautiful cinematography, and a truly mesmerizing score. Moonlight is a movie about shaping who you want to be, and about how those around you help or hinder your own growth. It’s a subtle, moving character portrait that’s perfectly paced and feels remarkably lived in.
Director: Barry Jenkins
Main Cast: Mahershala Ali, Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders
Runtime: 111 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.4
Horror movies are designed to scare you, but few are as existentially terrifying as Hereditary. Ari Aster’s directorial debut tells the story of a family coming apart at the seams. There are supernatural elements at work here, but they aren’t really the point. The most terrifying thing about Hereditary is the way that grief and loss can hollow you out so completely that you don’t even know what’s left anymore. There are plenty of legitimate scares in Hereditary, but what you’re left with after the movie’s over is the feeling that the world is a scarier place than you ever realized.
Director: Ari Aster
Main Cast: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Gabriel Byrne
Runtime: 127 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.3
Charlie Kaufman is one of the most original minds in moviemaking, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind might be his masterpiece. The film follows Joel and Clementine, two people who fall in and out of love, and ultimately decide that they don’t want to remember one another anymore at all. That decision ultimately leads to a mind-bending journey about memory and love, and what it means to treasure a relationship even with the understanding that it might not last forever. Love doesn’t have to be permanent for it to mean something.
Director: Michel Gondry
Main Cast: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst
Runtime: 108 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.3
Alfonso Cuarón is one of the world’s best working filmmakers, and Children of Men might be his magnum opus. Set in an apocalyptic future in which no children have been born for 18 years, the movie tells the story of a former freedom fighter who gets recruited to smuggle a miraculously pregnant woman out of the country. The movie has plenty of political ideas that remain salient to this day, but what really makes Children of Men an achievement is the scale and design of every single set piece. This is one of the best action movies ever made, and there isn’t a single superhero in it.
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Main Cast: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine
Runtime: 109 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.9
Sometimes iconic movies are iconic for a reason. In the case of Psycho, it’s because this 1960 horror film is still one of the most suspenseful movies ever made. The film famously starts as a movie about a woman who steals from her boss, before it abruptly becomes something much darker and seedier than that premise implies. Psycho was horrifying because it wasn’t what anyone expected, but also because it featured some of the best direction of Alfred Hitchcock’s career. There’s a reason he’s known as the “master of suspense,” and Psycho is Hitchcock working at the peak of his powers.
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Main Cast: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles
Runtime: 109 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.5
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