There’s nothing quite like the experience of sitting down in a packed theater on opening night, popcorn and drink in hand. But while we aren’t able to have this experience right now, film studios are well aware that, perhaps now more than ever, we need movies.
To that end, these studios are releasing movies straight to digital video, and in some cases offering them up to buy or rent much earlier than usual after their theatrical releases. Here’s what you can stream from the comfort of your living room, popcorn and favorite beverage in hand.
The Way Back
Ben Affleck stars as a recovering alcoholic who returns to his high school to coach the struggling basketball team. Both players and coach grow together, overcoming personal challenges and an absolute disaster of a first game. If you’re looking for a slightly darker take on the feel-good-sports genre, this is it.
Based on real events, this legal drama sees Michael B. Jordan as a civil rights lawyer take on the case of a wrongly convicted death row inmate in Alabama played by Jamie Foxx. Director Destin Daniel Cretton, of Short Term 12 fame, deftly handles the heavy source material.
Writer-director Greta Gerwig’s delightful adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott novel is as warm and inviting as the performances from Saoirse Ronan, Midsommar‘s Florence Pugh, and Laura Dern. Bonus: It’s also appropriate for just about all ages.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
The French sure do know how to tell a love story: Artist Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is hired to paint a portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), and the two are instantly drawn together—but can their love survive Héloïse’s forthcoming marriage? Writer-director Céline Sciamma turns nearly every frame into a painting herself.
Stream on Hulu.
Captives wake up in an unknown forest and must run and fight for their lives in this satirical horror story about rich people hunting “deplorables.” The script was co-written by Damon Lindelof, of Lost and Watchmen fame, so expect some twists and turns.
Available for purchase on Amazon Prime Video.
In the vein of films like Game Night, Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae are effortlessly charming in this rom-com about a couple who gets mixed up an a murder mystery.
Streaming on Netflix beginning May 22.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell star in this remake of Swedish film Force Majeur, about a family thrown into turmoil after an avalanche nearly kills them. This is more “dark family comedy” than “nature thriller,” so adjust expectations accordingly.
Jane Austen’s much-loved novel gets an attitude update with a stacked cast that includes Bill Nighy, Lovsick‘s Johnny Flynn, and Anya Taylor-Joy as the titular Emma, who loves to play matchmaker but sometimes overestimates her own abilities. The vibe takes its cues from Clueless (itself an Emma adaptation) and 2005’s outstanding Pride & Prejudice film.
The High Note
Assistant Maggie (Dakota Johnson) wants nothing more than to break into music producing. The problem is, her boss, superstar diva Grace Davis (Tracee Ellis Ross) doesn’t even know her last name. Eddie Izzard, Bill Pullman, and Ice Cube are there to round out the stellar cast. If you’re looking for something to scratch that diva-music itch, Ellis Ross has you covered.
Available for purchase beginning May 29.
The King of Staten Island
Pete Davidson and Judd Apatow have joined forces to bring you this comedy based loosely on Davidson’s life. Davidson plays Scott, an immature twenty-something who learns to finally come to terms with the death of his firefighter father.
Available for purchase beginning June 12.
Bad Boys for Life
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are back as Miami Detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett for at least one more buddy cop adventure. The widow of a cartel kingpin locked up by Mike is out for revenge, putting a damper on Marcus’ retirement plans.
Director Guy Ritchie returns to his slick crime-drama roots, this time with Matthew McConaughey in the lead as a “cannabis baron” who funds his business by growing said cannabis beneath aristocratic estates. Think more Snatch than Sherlock Holmes.
Birds of Prey
For those looking for more female-centric superhero films, this may be for you. Fan favorite Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) of Suicide Squad fame gets her chance to shine amidst several other misfit female criminals as she takes on Gotham criminal Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor). For those who wish Suicide Squad had been a movie instead of a mess, this one’s for you.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
The final chapter of the Skywalker saga brings back some old faces to finish its tale of a galaxy far, far away. The Last Jedi left the Resistance and its protagonists Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe (Oscar Isaac) on their last legs—can they prevail for good against the evil, reinvigorated First Order?
Stream on Disney+.
Trolls: World Tour
A musical romp through a wide array of genres, the Trolls sequel revolves around all of the various troll tribes uniting at a party where each tribe showcases its own type of music. The film features numerous stars voicing the characters, from Mary J. Blige to Justin Timberlake to Kelly Clarkson. If you need a good family singalong, this movie is right up your alley.
The Call of the Wild
Harrison Ford brings to life Jack London’s classic story about the bonds between man, dog, and nature. Buck the dog is kidnapped from his comfortable life and sent to the Yukon to pull a sled. He’s torn between his new master, played by Ford, and the call of the wild wolves. This film is for those who love a classic tale about man and dog.
Pixar’s latest film follows two elf brothers (voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) who live in a fantasy world both like and unlike our own. The brothers go on a quest to find a gem to bring their father back from the grave, following the Pixar tradition of being kid-friendly while reducing every adult in the audience to tears.
Stream now on Disney+.
Combine the genius intellect of the Series of Unfortunate Events children, the kid-spy shenanigans of old-school films like Agent Cody Banks, and a whole bunch of fairytale creatures to get this adaptation of the popular book series. Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl (Ferdia Shaw) comes from a long line of criminal masterminds. Naturally, when his father goes missing, he’s on the case, helped by his father’s former assistant Mulch (Josh Gad) and bodyguard Domovoi (Nonso Anozie).
Available to stream on Disney+ beginning June 12.
This CGI reboot of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon features original Scooby-Doo voice actor Frank Welker alongside a new voice cast that includes Gina Rodriguez, Zac Efron, and SNL star Will Forte. The CGI aspect allows the story to return to its cartoony roots while also adding a modern sensibility for maximum connection with the kiddos.
With new releases across genres, you now can simulate the experience of going to the movies from your couch.