5 new to Paramount Plus movies with 90% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes

Paramount Plus app on a phone next to popcorn
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Paramount Plus isn’t using the shorter month as an excuse to skimp on the new movies this month. The streaming service is adding a sizable collection of new flicks to its library in February 2024, and that includes a handful that earned rave reviews. 

There are loads of new arrivals to the streaming service's movie catalog this month that are worthy of a place in our roundup of the best Paramount Plus movies. But, take it from me, combing through the full list of new additions is quite the task, and that’s why we’re doing all that hard work for you, and picking out the very best new movie that you can watch right now. 

From a 2024 Oscar contender to a previous Best Picture winner, the new to Paramount Plus movies down below all deserve your attention. Plus, each one scored an impressive 90% or higher on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, which is a testament to their quality. Now, let's dive into the list...

'Past Lives' (2023) 

(L-R) Teo Yoo as Hae Sung and Greta Lee as Nora Moon in Past Lives

(Image credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo / A24)

One of the most acclaimed movies of 2023, and my personal No. 2 pick in my year-end ranking, “Past Lives” is a heart-wrenching romantic drama that chronicles the shifting dynamic between two childhood friends, Nora Moon (Greta Lee) and Hae Sung (Teo Yoo). Growing up together in South Korea, the pair are inseparable but when Nora’s family moves to Canada, they grow apart. They reunite 20 years later in New York City, where they reflect on their journey, what they mean to each other and the choices they made along the way. 

A semi-autobiographical debut feature from writer/director Celine Song, “Past Lives” feels like reading the pages of somebody’s diary, and that degree of intimacy makes the movie highly compelling. Each scene feels impactful, and each character feels genuinely authentic. While both leads are excellent, Greta Lee is particularly remarkable. The entire movie is a masterclass in tender and honest filmmaking, but the melancholic ending is the true cinematic achievement.

Genre: Romantic drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 96% 
Stream it on Paramount Plus (with Showtime)

'12 Years a Slave' (2013)

Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave

(Image credit: Atlaspix / Alamy Stock Photo / Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Based on the true experience of professional violinist Solomon Northup, “12 Years a Slave” won Best Picture at the 86th Academy Awards and is one of the most harrowing looks at slavery in America ever put to film. With strong performances from Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and, most memorably, Lupita Nyong'o, not to mention expert direction from Steve McQueen, "12 Years a Slave" isn’t a fun watch, but it’s very much vital viewing. 

“12 Years a Slave” opens with Solomon Northup (Ejiofor) a free man working as a musician in New York. But when he’s tricked by two white men into accepting a job in Washington that is a front to sell him into slavery, he faces more than a decade of inhumane treatment. Despite being subjected to unimaginable cruelty, vile living conditions and back-breaking labor, Solomon finds the courage to not give into despair and never loses hope that one day he will be free again. 

Genre: Historical drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 95% 
Stream it on Paramount Plus

'Hell or High Water' (2016)

Jeff Bridges as Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton in Hell or High Water

(Image credit: Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo / Lionsgate)

A 21st-century western set in Texas, “Hell or High Water” combines the best elements of the genre with the tension and of a modern thriller. It packs a set of well-written (and very flawed) characters to boot. It’s a potent mixture, and the movie builds to a memorable finale. 

“Hell or High Water” sees two brothers, Toby (Chris Pine) and Tanner (Ben Foster), struggling to pay down the debt they inherited from their mom’s passing. In danger of losing their ranch when The Texas Midland Bank threatens to foreclose on their mortgage, the siblings decide to commit a series of audacious bank heists to keep their home and take revenge against the financial institution that has crippled them. But on their trail is a veteran Ranger (Jeff Bridges), looking for one last big victory before settling down for retirement. 

Genre: Thriller
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97% 
Stream it on Paramount Plus

'Sunset Boulevard' (1950) 

Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard

(Image credit: GRANGER - Historical Picture Archive / Alamy Stock Photo / Paramount Pictures)

A Hollywood classic that has endured for almost 75 years, “Sunset Boulevard” has a reputation that few movies can even dream of achieving. Directed by Billy Wilder, it stars William Holden and Gloria Swanson and is regularly ranked as one of the greatest American movies ever made — no wonder it was within the very first collection of movies chosen for preservation in the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry in 1989.  

The dark comedy-drama follows Joe Gillis (Holden), a down-on-his-luck screenwriter who thinks his ticket has finally been punched when he meets faded silent movie star, Norma Desmond (Swanson). Norma lives alone in her plush mansion but is unhappy in retirement. She aches to return to the bright lights of Hollywood and asks Joe to help her develop the perfect script for her big comeback. But as Joe becomes entangled in Norma’s life, the situation becomes increasingly uncomfortable, and Norma’s sanity comes into question. 

Genre: Drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 98% 
Stream it on Paramount Plus

'The Iron Giant' (1999) 

An image from The Iron Giant movie

(Image credit: Entertainment Pictures / Alamy Stock Photo / Warner Bros.)

Before writer/director Brad Bird made two of Pixar’s best-ever movies, “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille,” he created a thrilling, and surprisingly emotional, animated flick called “The Iron Giant.” This old-school-style sci-fi includes the voice talents of Eli Marienthal, Jennifer Aniston (at the height of “Friends” fame), Vin Diesel and Christopher McDonald. It’s become a firm favorite over the years despite being labeled a box office bomb upon its initial release.  

Based on the novel by famed poet Ted Hughes (Sylvia Plath's husband), this charming adventure centers on the relationship between a young boy, Hogarth Hughes (Marienthal), and a 50-foot-tall robot (Diesel) that crash lands on Earth from outer space. Hogarth sees the mechanical mech’s true friendly nature, but a U.S. government agent (McDonald) arrives on the scene with orders to destroy the giant. The bond between Hogarth and the Iron Giant is the movie’s beating heart, but the striking animation is also a real highlight. 

Genre: Sci-fi
Rotten Tomatoes score: 96% 
Stream it on Paramount Plus

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.