Starz has plenty of great original programming, but that’s not the only thing that the service has to offer. You may not know it, but Starz has a surprisingly deep library of movies from master directors that span a wide variety of genres. Starz’s library may not be as great as HBO Max’s, but the service has everything from horror to comedy to westerns, and there’s plenty more where the entries below came from.
The movies on this list span a wide variety of eras. Some were released just a few years ago, while others are part of the long history of cinema. Regardless of when they were released, though, each film on this list is proof that Starz has plenty of movies well worth watching.
Night of the Living Dead
Night of the Living Dead is the zombie movie upon which all zombie movies are based. The film follows a group of strangers who wind up secluded in a farmhouse after the population begins transforming into the undead. From there, the movie is a simple tale of survival, but it’s grippingly told by director George Romero. Although plenty of zombie movies have ripped Night of the Living Dead off in the years since its release, few have managed to top what the original had to offer.
Director: George Romero
Main Cast: Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Karl Hardman
Runtime: 96 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.9
Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino’s most recent feature may seem a little meandering, but it’s ultimately a movie about two friends coming to realize they missed out on their dreams. The film follows an aging TV actor and his stunt double as they come to the end of their respective careers, and then become unwittingly involved in the Manson murders. Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood is also a love letter to Los Angeles, and it features a beautiful rendering of what the city looked like at the end of an era in the late 1960s. The film’s violent, gleeful climax may rub some the wrong way, but the film manages to create two fictional characters and place them in actual history in a way that ultimately leads to a happy ending of sorts.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Main Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie
Runtime: 161 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.6
The Coen brothers have been making great movies for decades, and Miller’s Crossing is proof of that. The 1990 neo-noir film follows a criminal enforcer who finds himself caught between two warring gangs in the 1920s. As often happens, the plot quickly becomes convoluted, but the core elements of all great Coen films are on display here. There’s plenty of hilarious dialogue, a few darkly comic displays of violence, and a few moments that are genuinely suspenseful. Miller’s Crossing is always surprising, and that’s just part of what makes it excellent.
Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
Main Cast: Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, Marcia Gay Harden
Runtime: 115 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.7
Chloé Zhao is now an Oscar-winning director with a Marvel movie in her future, but in 2017, it was The Rider that first offered a sense of what she was capable of to most critics. The Rider follows Brady, a rodeo rider who is recovering from a severe injury he sustained in the ring. Like much of Zhao’s work, The Rider is a pseudo-documentary and is based in large part on actor Brady Jandreau’s real life. The movie is a moving portrait of Brady’s struggle for purpose, and an examination of what a person does after they seem to have lost everything.
Director: Chloé Zhao
Main Cast: Brady Jandreau, Lane Scott, Tim Jandreau
Runtime: 105 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.5
Eddie Murphy made more iconic comedies in the 1980s than you can count on both hands, but Trading Places may be the very best of them. The movie follows a Wall Street stockbroker and a low-level hustler who swap places as part of a bet between two ultra-wealthy brothers. One brother believes that circumstances determine a person’s well-being, while the other believes that the circumstances come as a result of personal traits. The movie is hilarious, but it’s also a searing critique of capitalism, one that condemns both brothers for using these men, played by Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, as mere props in their own twisted game.
Director: John Landis
Main Cast: Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis
Runtime: 116 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.5
Many movies have riffed on the idea laid out in Groundhog Day, but few have been able to match the original concept. The film stars Bill Murray as a Philadelphia weatherman who travels to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to find out whether the groundhog sees his shadow. Murray’s weatherman is the consummate cynic who finds himself reliving Groundhog Day over and over. Eventually, he learns that in order to escape from this doom loop, he has to improve himself and prove that he can be a better person than who he’s been before.
Director: Harold Ramis
Main Cast: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott
Runtime: 101 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.0
Call Me By Your Name
Thanks to the lushness of the Italian countryside, Call Me By Your Name is one of the most beautiful films on this list. The movie, which follows the sexual relationship between a grad student and a teenager, is beautiful not just because of the natural landscapes, though. It’s a movie about allowing yourself to feel, and about the beauty of a youthful tryst that could never have lasted forever. Call Me By Your Name is sad and wistful and heartbreaking, but thanks to a breakout performance by Timothée Chalamet, it’s well worth feeling whatever you might feel while you watch it.
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Main Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg
Runtime: 132 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.9
Greta Gerwig’s debut feature was great, but Little Women was proof that she could do anything. The film is just the latest adaptation of the beloved book of the same name but brings new life to virtually every element of the story. Thanks to a cast that includes Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Timothée Chalamet, and Meryl Streep, 2019’s Little Women may be the best adaptation to date. Its story of love and loss is both beautiful and deeply humane, and the ways in which it changes the source material it’s based on are both inventive and totally logical.
Director: Greta Gerwig
Main Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Timothée Chalamet
Runtime: 135 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.8
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
The fact that Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which is not in English and is about ancient China, managed to gross such a significant sum in the U.S. speaks to its high quality. The movie, which features plenty of wuxia fight choreography and a fairly complex plot, is one of the most thrilling action films ever made. Director Ang Lee creates a visual feast out of every fight sequence, but all of that action doesn’t come at the expense of a moving, human story. Crouching Tiger is one of the best films ever made, and it’s a great gateway for those looking to get more interested in Hong Kong cinema.
Director: Ang Lee
Main Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chow Yun-fat
Runtime: 120 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.8
John Carpenter had already proved himself to be a great director before he made The Thing, but it was this movie that cemented his status as a legend. The movie, which is adapted from an earlier film of the same name, has a beautiful, simple premise. An alien invades a remote arctic camp and has the ability to transform itself into anyone. As a result, it’s impossible to know for sure whether the person you’re talking to is the alien or not. It’s a dark, wonderful horror movie filled with iconic lines and moments, and it features career-best work from star Kurt Russell.
Director: John Carpenter
Main Cast: Kurt Russell, Keith David, Wilford Brimley
Runtime: 109 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.1
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