Yet another week on the books, which means another weekend has arrived and we're yet again faced with the perennial question of what to watch. But the abundance of excellent options across Netflix, Max, and more of the best streaming services can make it difficult to narrow down the cream of the crop for your next movie night.
So why not let us do the heavy lifting for your? We've carefully curated a list of the best movies to jumpstart your weekend, offering a mix of both classic and new releases that's sure to have something for anyone's taste.
In honor of Halloween looming on the horizon, we've included a couple of options to set the spooky vibes, including Hulu's creepy new horror thriller Cobweb and the cult classic Shaun of the Dead. And speaking of new movies, the Letitia Wright-led Western drama Surrounded made its streaming debut on Prime Video this week, while Max has a new animated short Peter & the Wolf that's a feast for the eyes with 2D drawings composited over real-world environmental models.
Here are our top picks for what to watch on streaming this weekend.
Surrounded (Prime Video)
To kick things off, we've got a Western that sees Letitia Wright (Shuri in Black Panther) saddle up and forge ahead across the Wild West. Five years after the Civil War, freedwoman and former Buffalo Soldier Moses "Mo" Washington (Wright) poses as a man and sets out to lay claim to a Colorado gold mine bequeathed to her by her late slaveowner father. But when her stagecoach is ambushed by a group of murderous thieves, her plan and property are thrust into limbo.
For some extra leverage on her path West, she takes the gang's leader, legendary outlaw Tommy Walsh (Jamie Bell), hostage. The two clash in a battle of wills, blurring the line between captor and captive, as they both strive to endure the unforgiving terrain of the American West.
Streaming now on Prime Video
Silver Linings Playbook (Netflix)
Romantic movies don't usually get a lot of love at the Oscars, but Silver Linings Playbook bucked that trend thanks to its stacked cast of A-listers and laser-sharp script. Bradley Cooper stars as Pat, a former teacher struggling with bipolar disorder. After being released from a mental institution, he moves back in with his parents (Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver) and tries to get his life back on track.
Top of that list is reconnecting with his estranged wife, but things get complicated when he meets a vivacious young widow Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) who offers to help him win her back, but only if he’ll partner her in an upcoming local dance competition. As the two grow closer, Pat begins to see Tiffany as more than just his dance partner. If you're in the mood for a rom-com that tackles some heavy themes, then Silver Linings Playbook is definitely one to check out.
Streaming now on Netflix
It's October, which means we're practically required to include at least one horror movie recommendation. Hulu's latest scarefest Cobweb doesn't break any new ground, but it is a solid entry in the genre and directorial debut for Samuel Bodin.
The movie follows Peter (Woody Norman), an eight-year-old boy struggling with bullying in school and being raised by his emotionally distant helicopter parents Carol (Lizzy Caplan) and Mark (Antony Starr of The Boys fame). He becomes suspicious of his parents after they brush off his concerns about a mysterious tapping behind his bedroom wall. As he pokes around further, he starts to think that Mom and Dad are hiding a terrible secret from him — the evidence of which could still be trapped in the house with him.
Streaming now on Hulu
Shaun of the Dead (Peacock)
Shaun of the Dead easily takes the crown for funniest zombie movie of all time. It also stands as the peak of director Edgar Wright and actor Simon Pegg's partnership before they went on to produce other hit comedies like Hot Fuzz and The World's End.
Pegg stars as the titular Shaun, a 30-something bumbling electronics salesman who finds himself in quite a pickle when zombie hordes descend on London. He teams up with his slovenly best friend and roommate Ed (Nick Frost) on a mission to save their friends and family, and it all goes about as well as you'd expect. Its script perfectly balances outlandish humor and smart, subtle foreshadowing, but what really sells the whole thing is how believable Pegg and co.'s performances are as just your average Jo caught up in a decidedly not-so-average situation.
Streaming now on Peacock
Peter & the Wolf (Max)
The pitch behind Peter & the Wolf feels a bit gimmicky, but the fluid and gorgeously stylized animation in the trailer is enough to intrigue me. Featuring artwork based on original illustrations from Bono along with music and narration by The Virgin Prunes' Gavin Friday, this short film brings Sergei Prokofiev’s titular symphony to life in a coming-of-age tale that explores themes of grief, courage, transformation, and our relationship with nature.
Still reeling from the loss of a parent, 12-year-old Peter finds himself under the care of his grandfather. After hearing stories of a wolf on the loose, his curiosity gets the better of him and he decides to explore the vast meadow and forest nearby to try and find the wolf himself. Along the way, he befriends some of the local fauna who help him on his quest while contending with hunters aiming to win a prize for capturing the wolf.
The art overlays hand-drawn 2D animations with real-world environmental models punctuated by almost chalk-like sketches that serve as a nod to the scratchy white lines of Bono's illustrations. Between that and the black, white, and red color palette, Peter & the Wolf oozes style and looks like an absolute treat, especially for those looking for something more family friendly.
Streaming now on Max
Jurassic Park (Peacock)
While the subsequent five films in the Jurassic Park franchise are of varying and sometimes questionable quality, the original is unquestionably a classic. It’s based on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name — the same author who wrote and directed the movie Westworld, which would later be adapted by HBO. And like Westworld, Jurassic Park takes place at an awe-inspiring amusement park powered by unbelievable science. Unfortunately, when the people running the park lose control of what they’ve created, things go unbelievably wrong.
Starring Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant, Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Sattler, Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm and Richard Attenborough as Dr. John Hammond, Jurassic Park is an incredible piece of cinema. It has everything you could need — a phenomenal cast, an excellent director (Steven Speilberg), an iconic John Williams score and CGI from Industrial Light and Magic. Frankly, it’d almost be more shocking if this wasn’t one of the greatest movies ever made. So make sure to watch it while it’s on Peacock.
Streaming now on Peacock
Old Dads (Netflix)
Comedian Bill Burr makes his directorial debut in Netflix's latest raunchy comedy, Old Dads, which has quickly moved into the top spot on the streaming giant's list of most-watched movies.
Three middle-aged men and lifelong best friends become fathers later in life and "find themselves battling preschool principals, millennial CEOs and anything created after 1987," reads Netflix's synopsis. In addition to sitting in the director's chair, Burr also stars in the film alongside Bobby Cannavale and Bokeem Woodbine as out-of-touch LA dads.
Streaming now on Netflix