Since its debut in 2021, Paramount+ has quickly risen to become one of the greatest subscription-based streaming platforms you can currently find online. Combining a range of properties from CBS, Paramount, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central, it boasts a rich library of beloved movies, TV series, and documentaries.
Like all the most noteworthy streaming platforms, Paramount+ also has a ton of exclusive content at its disposal, such as Star Trek: Picard, 1883, and The Good Fight.
Along with those exclusive titles, the platform also has a dense catalog of movies streaming on the service, from newer films like Mission: Impossible and Aftersun classics like The Godfather and Saturday Night Fever.
Here are some of the best movies you can find playing on Paramount+ right now.
Updated: July 13.
Action: Mission: Impossible – Fallout
It’s not often you see a franchise get only better with time, most series falling apart by its fourth or fifth entry. With each new sequel, though, the Mission: Impossible films continuously raise the stakes, delivering more action, more nuanced characterization, and more thrills than anything that came before it.
Two years after taking down terrorist Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his I.M.F. team are tasked with stopping the Apostles – a bioterrorist group formed from the remnants of Lane’s old organization, the Syndicate.
With the newest installment in the series (Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One) set for release on July 12, there’s no better time to revisit the previous films in the Mission: Impossible saga than the present. And when you get right down to it, there’s simply no greater entry in Tom Cruise’s spy saga than Fallout, the latest landmark in the M:I series.
Action: Raiders of the Lost Ark
The fifth Indiana Jones movie – Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – which will very likely be the last entry in the Harrison Ford-led adventure series, is struggling in theaters. With that in mind, what better way to redeem Indiana Jones’s final adventure than by revisiting his very first, courtesy of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
In the 1930s, industrious archaeologist Indiana Jones (Ford) races against Nazi forces to locate the fabled Ark of the Covenant, a Biblical artifact that houses powers beyond human understanding.
Written by Lawrence Kasdan and Philip Kaufman, directed by Steven Spielberg, scored by John Williams, and based on an idea by George Lucas, Raiders of the Lost Ark possesses little to any weakness whatsoever in the entirety of the film. A loving homage to the bygone pulp films of the 1930s, it’s a fast-paced, exciting film that has action, romance, and comedy in spades.
Classic: Foxy Brown
After her beloved boyfriend is killed by a group of drug dealers, vigilante Foxy Brown (Pam Grier) infiltrates the gang’s inner circle, going after each of them to avenge her lover’s death.
In the 1970s, the popularity of the blaxploitation genre was in full swing, ushering in an era of cult classic movies centered around predominantly Black characters (a demographic criminally underrepresented and marginalized in pre-’70s films). And if ever there was a star of blaxploitation, it had to be the iconic Pam Grier.
The lead actor in such revered films as Coffy and The Big Doll House, Foxy Brown ranks favorably among Grier’s numerous performances – one that challenged the social conventions of its day, both for women and non-white Americans.
In the wake of his son’s (Matthew Hurley) accidental death, a grieving father (Lance Henriksen) summons the spirit of a hulking, demonic creature that begins preying on those who took his child’s life.
While Pumpkinhead does have a dedicated following of fans, it’s fair to say it isn’t the most universally well-known horror movie of its era, typically failing to earn the same recognition as A Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th.
In spite of its lack of mainstream success, however, the movie has persevered as a burgeoning series in its own right, the title character later appearing in several sequels, a comic book, a video game, and an upcoming reboot from Paramount Players.
Cult Classic: Dazed and Confused
On their final day of school, several groups of teenage friends embark on a night of epic adventures together, traveling from party to party and experiencing what it’s like to grow up in the 1970s.
Summer is finally here – and we all know what that means. For adults, it may just mean a slightly warmer cubicle at work, but for teens, it means cruising around town with friends, stopping at the local hang-out spots, and having a party or two with your school-time classmates.
Channeling this feeling of temporary freedom in youths’ lives is Dazed and Confused, one of the best teen movies of the past three decades. A loose, stylistic precursor to the teen-centric hijinks of That ‘70s Show, it’s an addictively fun movie that transports viewers back to the carefree days of their adolescence, no matter the age group they fall into.
Sci-Fi: Super 8
J.J. Abrams has received a ton of flack for his handling of Disney’s Star Wars films, most fans criticizing his plot decisions and treatment of major characters in the series. As controversial as Abrams’ run in Star Wars was, most sci-fi fans are able to look back with fondness at his earliest movies prior , like 2011’s Super 8.
While shooting an amateur film together, a group of ‘70s teenagers witness a train derailment just outside their town, releasing a mysterious entity that the U.S. military are determined to capture.
An homage to the early films of Steven Spielberg, Super 8 was essentially the Stranger Things of its day, following a group of ordinary suburban kids thrust into an extraordinary situation. With plot elements liberally taken from E.T., Close Encounters, and, to some extent, Jaws, it’s a nostalgic sci-fi movie that might very well be Abrams’ best movie to date.
Comedy: A Fish Called Wanda
After their gang leader (Tom Georgeson) is captured by police, a group of jewel thieves plot against one another to find a cache of diamonds hidden by their former employer, leading them to try and manipulate an absent-minded lawyer (John Cleese).
With an ensemble cast made up of Cleese, Michael Palin, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Kevin Kline, it’s no wonder why A Fish Called Wanda is often considered just to be one of the funniest movies ever made.
Using an incredible script penned by Cleese, A Fish Called Wanda allows each of its four stars to stretch their comedic wings, ushering in performances that are fine-tuned to each cast members’ sensibilities and talents. From Cleese’s restrained barrister Archie to Kline’s anglophobic American Otto, it’s a film that deserves to be at the very top of each comedy fans’ watch-list.
Western: 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
In need of capital to save his struggling farm, a meditative rancher (Christian Bale) agrees to escort a notorious outlaw (Russell Crowe) across the frontier, racing against the outlaw’s gang to reach a train station in Contention, Arizona.
In hindsight, it shouldn’t be surprising that Bale and Crowe make an incredible on-screen pairing opposite one another as a traumatized veteran and charismatic castle rustler, respectively. What is surprising is the degree to which they’re upstaged by Ben Foster’s Charlie Prince, a performance that could only accurately be described as Oscar-worthy.
The right-hand man to Crowe’s Ben Wade, Foster is utterly delightful as Prince, a man with an unfettered fondness and appreciation for his criminal mentor that seems to border more closely on a romantic longing. It’s among Foster’s best performances, and perhaps the single standout reason to watch this 2007 Western in the first place.
Documentary: The Fire That Took Her
Rising to the top of this week’s most-watched list on Paramount+ is the 2022 documentary, The Fire That Took Her. Using a harrowing true crime case as the basis for its film, The Fire That Took Her is just as fascinating to watch as it is completely heartbreaking to sit through.
In 2015, Ohio resident Judy Malinowski was severely burned by her abusive boyfriend. Living in a hospital for the next two years before she succumbed to her wounds, Judy became the first woman to testify at her own homicide trial, providing evidence to local law enforcement that helped convict her murderer.
An effective documentary for the times, The Fire That Took Her asks us how far women have to go before their domestic assault claims are taken seriously. Fortunately, unlike other documentaries, the filmmakers manage to frame the story principally around Judy, focusing almost entirely on her as opposed to her boyfriend-turned-killer.
Fantasy: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
David Fincher is that rare breed of director who has yet to make a bad movie. The definition of a perfectionist, his astounding work on films like Gone Girl, Seven, Fight Club, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button all speak for themselves.
Experiencing a miraculous birth in late 1910s New Orleans, young Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) ages in reverse, regressing from an elderly physical state into an increasingly youthful appearance.
A film somewhat very similar to Forrest Gump, Benjamin Button extolls the importance of a life well-lived, imparting each of us to enjoy every moment of our individual existence – both the good and the bad.
War: Full Metal Jacket
Over the course of his 40-year career, the iconic director Stanley Kubrick took on a variety of different subjects and genres, working within horror (The Shining), crime (The Killing), and science fiction (2001: A Space Odyssey). In the mid-1980s, Kubrick set his sights on crafting a truly unique war film, doing so with 1987’s well-loved classic, Full Metal Jacket.
Preparing to serve in the Vietnam War, a group of Marine recruits undergo an unforgiving training regimen at the infamous Parris Island military camp, pushing them to their physical and psychological limits.
One of the most famous movies set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, Full Metal Jacket excels at illustrating the dehumanizing effect war has on soldiers, turning them into thoughtless, remorseless killing machines struggling to retain both their humanity and their very sanity in the heat of battle.
Family: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
Three films have been made based on the wildly popular children’s TV series, SpongeBob Squarepants, the latest of which (Sponge on the Run) hit theaters in 2020. As with the two SpongeBob films that came before it, it’s a riotously funny family film with stunning animation and infectious humor throughout.
After his beloved pet snail Gary is kidnapped by Posiedon (Matt Berry) and taken to the kingdom of Atlantic City, SpongeBob (Tom Kenny) and his best friend Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke) set out to rescue him.
Leaving the series’ traditional 2D animation behind and opting instead for 3D, Sponge on the Run retains SpongeBob’s inherent sense of charm and humor, presenting some of the show’s famous characters in new situations. Add in cameos from Keanu Reeves, Danny Trejo, Tiffany Haddish, and Awkafina, and you have the makings of a great movie on your hands.
History: Dances With Wolves
Along with Titanic, Gone with the Wind, and The Lord of the Rings, Dances with Wolves is one of the most popular films to ever win the Academy Award for Best Picture. A film responsible for revitalizing the Western genre for the next decade, it also explores the devastation and genocide reaped against Native Americans throughout the 19th century.
In the late 1860s, Civil War veteran John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) is ordered to man an isolated military outpost on the Western frontier. His mission soon leads him to contact with the nearby tribes of Indigenous Americans, who Dunbar slowly develops a close bond with.
Touching upon the injustices committed by settlers against Indigenous tribes across the American plains, Dances with Wolves underscores the social differences between white and Natives in the latter half of the 1800s. As seen from Dunbar’s gradual transformation, it also highlights humanity’s incredible ability to coexist with one another – so long as a mutual effort is made by all parties involved.
Teen: Ghost World
Having just graduated from high school, two teenage social outcasts (Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson) have their friendship tested when one of them decides to change her cynical outlook on life.
Few names have earned as cherished a place in underground comics as Dan Clowes. The mastermind behind such topsy-turvy comics as Eightball and David Boring, Clowes’ most vivid masterpiece likely remains his 1997 comic, Ghost World, which formed the basis for the 2001 film of the same name.
A fantastic teen dramedy, Ghost World gives you the chance to bond with a cast of unusual characters, from Birch’s embittered Enid to Steve Buscemi’s nostalgia-obsessed Seymour. Despite how openly unlikable these characters are on the service, the movie underlines just how broken and aimless they are in their personal lives, unsure of where to go or what to do with the expanse of the future at their fingertips.
Romance: Chasing Amy
As with many prominent filmmakers, Kevin Smith has amassed a loyal cult following of fans over the years, largely thanks to his intricate, interconnected cinematic universe known as the View Askewniverse. Occupying a special place in Smith’s View Askewniverse is the director’s 1997 romantic comedy, Chasing Amy.
Meeting fellow comic book artist Amy (Joey Lauren Adams) while attending a convention, the hopeless romantic Holden (Ben Affleck) is instantly infatuated. Planning to pursue a romantic relationship with Amy, Holden’s romantic aspirations are thrown into jeopardy when he learns that Amy is actually a lesbian.
A wholly unconventional rom com, Chasing Amy helped cement Smith as a star in the indie film industry, further capitalizing on his earlier success with his debut film, Clerks. The movie’s humor and treatment of its character and themes are all excellent, handling its central subject matter brilliantly.
Western: The Shootist
It says volumes about John Wayne’s lasting influence that he’s as synonymous with the Western genre today as he was during the course of his lifetime. The premiere star of the Western film, Wayne’s final send-off to the genre came with 1976’s The Shootist, released three short years before the Duke’s death in 1979.
Recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, a legendary gunfighter (Wayne) in turn-of-the-century Nevada comes to terms with his imminent death, hastening the end of his life to ensure he dies with minimal pain and suffering.
The last film to feature the irreplaceable John Wayne, The Shootist acts as a farewell letter to Wayne’s career in its entirety, featuring the Duke in a role that’s almost an amalgamation of the different Western heroes he’d embodied over the years.
Animated: Rugrats in Paris: The Movie
Every age group has a cartoon that sums up their respective generation. In the 1960s, it was The Smurfs; in the 2000s, it was SpongeBob. In the 1990s, that distinction fell to Nickelodeon’s cherished children’s show, Rugrats. Entertaining younger viewers from the mid-’90s into the 2000s, Rugrats’ popularity led to it being expanded into several movies, video games, and spin-off series, including 2000’s Rugrats in Paris: The Movie.
Traveling to Paris on a family vacation, intrepid infant Tommy Pickles (E. G. Daily) and his fellow Rugrats try to find Chuckie (Christine Cavanaugh) a new mom, all the while trying to prevent Chuckie’s dad from marrying a crotechy, child-hating businesswoman (Susan Sarandon).
If the initial Rugrats movie was principally aimed at kids, Rugrats in Paris: The Movie gears itself more inclusively towards older audience members as well. Packing a ton of emotional undertones into its plot – largely surrounding Chuckie and his dad’s grief over his deceased mom – it’s arguably the best of the Rugrats films, having aged phenomenally in the 20+ years since its release.
Inspired by the winning season of the 1954 Milan High School Indians basketball team, Hoosiers is among the most famous sports movies there is. Employing an all-star cast and a well-written script, it takes an otherwise cliche story about underdogs and turns into a thoroughly enjoyable film that holds your attention throughout.
In the early 1950s, a former college basketball coach (Gene Hackman) and a sports-loving alcoholic (Dennis Hopper) train a high school basketball team, leading them to Indiana’s state championship.
Perhaps the single best reason to watch Hoosiers is the main performances of Hackman and Hopper, two giants of ‘70s film who make for a splendid pairing together here. Between Hackman’s dialed-back seriousness and Hopper’s outward eccentricities, Hoosiers is propelled from a mere boilerplate sports drama into something that’s almost impossible not to fall in love with.
Black & White: His Girl Friday
If there was ever a master of the screwball comedy, it was Cary Grant. The go-to leading man of the 1930s and ‘40s, Grant was a true innovator when it came to his diverse assortment of roles, able to play the perpetually addled David Huxley in Bringing Up Baby or the more astute, scheming Walter Burns in His Girl Friday.
Arriving at her former place of work to formally quit, a talented newspaper reporter (Rosalind Russell) is pulled back onto the job, covering a story involving a runaway fugitive alongside her employer/ex-husband (Grant).
Often regarded as one of the most famous screwball comedies of all time, His Girl Friday ranks among Grant’s finest films as an actor, balancing a delicate, energetic romantic chemistry with his on-screen co-star, Rosalind Russell.
It’s impossible to put into words how important Charlie Chaplin was for the growth and development of the film medium itself. A comedic genius, Chaplin’s forward-thinking skills as a director and narrative storyteller helped film become the next great artform in human history, an idea that is discussed at some length in 1992’s Chaplin.
Looking back on his life, Charlie Chaplin (Robert Downey Jr.) reminisces about his celebrated career in the film industry, which took him from an impoverished childhood to the heights of Hollywood royalty.
Though the film itself tends to provide a whitewashed look at the influential filmmaker’s career and personal life, Chaplin coasts off the strength of Downey’s charismatic performance. A physical dead-ringer for the historical Chaplin, Downey manages to get every aspect of Chaplin’s character down in his performance, from his subtle facial ticks to his distinct physical movements.
A24 can be commended for the fact that it gives aspiring young filmmakers a platform to craft the movies they want to make. Case in point with Charlotte Wells’ breath-taking directorial debut, Aftersun, a layered drama about memory, family, and adulthood.
In the late 1990s, a divorced father (Paul Mescal) takes his 11-year-old daughter (Frankie Corio) to a Turkish resort in what would be the final vacation they spend together.
In what is assuredly a highly personal project for its director, Charlotte Wells manages to explore how our memory of events changes with time, as do our perceptions of loved ones. Looking back on her life, the adult Sophie (Celia Rowlson-Hall) remembers her father with a certain level of fondness, idealizing him for his strengths while acknowledging a distance between father and daughter that she was never able to bridge during their time together.
Crime: The Godfather
In the entire history of film, The Godfather remains the most celebrated entry in the entire crime genre. Fifty years since its 1972 release, nothing else comes close to matching the acclaim it’s garnered for its direction, acting, settings, themes, or writing.
Returning home after his service in the U.S. military, young Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) finds himself thrust into his family’s mafia organization after his gangster father (Marlon Brando) is targeted by assassins working for a rival crime family.
One of the most influential movies ever put to the screen, director Francis Ford Coppola retains the spirit of Mario Puzo’s original novel, presenting a man’s gradual acceptance of his destiny – one that takes him on the ultimate path to moral damnation.
Romance: Days of Heaven
Terence Malick has always been a director of startling ambition, able to oversee production on philosophical war films (The Thin Red Line) and avant garde experimental movies (The Tree of Life). Following up on his directorial debut, Badlands, Malick created an equally vivid film with his gorgeous period romance, Days of Heaven.
In the early 20th century, a fugitive steel worker (Richard Gere) and his lover (Brooke Adams) find work at an isolated ranch owned by a romantic, reclusive farmer (Sam Shepard) suffering from a terminal illness.
Incorporating a sparse use of dialogue, Malick relies on his actors’ body language alone to tell the main narrative of Days of Heaven. Conveying abundant emotion through simple glances, Adams and Shepard are simply mesmerizing together in their onscreen romance here.
Horror: Interview with the Vampire
In late 20th century San Francisco, a reporter (Christian Slater) interviews a strange man (Brad Pitt) who claims to be a vampire, detailing his life story from late 18th century Louisiana to the present day.
Next to other literary giants like Stephen King and Neil Gaiman, Anne Rice had one of the most successful careers in horror fiction, creating an international bestseller with The Vampire Chronicles, the first entry of which formed the basis for the 1994 film, Interview with the Vampire.
As with Rice’s original novel, Interview with the Vampire combines horror, romance, and historical fiction to create a one of a kind vampiric story. While some aspects of the movie are certainly questionable (such as its excess violence and ill-advised casting), the movie’s utter originality helps it rise to the top of the vampire subgenre in horror.
Nearly half a century since its release, Chinatown is still without a doubt among the bleakest, most pessimistic, and cynical movies ever made. At once, one might think it’s an homage to the L.A.-set noir stories of the ‘30s and ‘40s. But even more than that, it’s a nauseating film of such deep complexity that it requires multiple viewings to fully understand.
Hired to shadow a mysterious woman’s husband (Darrell Zwerling), an industrious private detective (Jack Nicholson) in 1930s Los Angeles stumbles into a vast, disturbing conspiracy at the heart of the City of Angels.
Often cited as having the best screenplay ever written, Chinatown focuses on one man’s attempt to do the right thing in face of wicked injustice and systemic corruption. Against constant threats and attempts at bribery, Nicholson’s Gittes forges ahead, uncovering a dark case with a final reveal that is just as disturbing now as it was five decades ago.
Music: Saturday Night Fever
John Travolta may have gotten his start on Welcome Back, Kotter, but his eclectic dance moves in movies like Grease and Saturday Night Fever made him a cinematic sensation by the late 1970s.
Growing up in an impoverished Brooklyn neighborhood, 19-year-old Tony (Travolta) escapes his grim surroundings by spending his nights at a local disco club, using his inspired dance moves to woo a young woman he has his eyes on (Karen Lynn Gorney).
Saturday Night Fever is more than just a fiery dance drama; it’s also an example of how we all seek solace from our problems doing what we love. It could be gaming, it could be collecting vintage refrigerator magnets – or it could be lighting up the neon-lit dance floor as the Bee Gees serenade us in the background as Tony does here.
Thriller: Black Sunday
If any director came close to releasing thrillers on par with Alfred Hitchcock, it was John Frankenheimer. A brilliant and innovative creative thinker, Frankenheimer was one of the few directors able to succeed Hitchcock’s place as the Master of Suspense, as seen with such underrated masterpieces as The Manchurian Candidate, Seconds, and Black Sunday.
Working with the FBI, a Mossad agent (Robert Shaw) races against time to stop a terrorist attack on the Super Bowl’s stadium.
A wildly original thriller, Black Sunday succeeds through its inventive plot, skillful direction, quick-paced plotting, and the performances of its ensemble cast (Shaw, Bruce Dern, and Marthe Kelle). It’s not nearly as renowned a thriller as Notorious or North by Northwest – but it almost definitely deserves to be.
Underrated: Black Bear
Aubrey Plaza is without a doubt one of the bravest and most versatile actors working today. Taking on a multitude of faceted roles, she’s able to appear in prominent TV shows like The White Lotus one moment, and then transform into an indie actor of the highest caliber with films like Black Bear in the next.
Experiencing a debilitating creative block, a filmmaker (Plaza) escapes to the remote Adirondack Mountains, staying with a couple (Sarah Gadon and Christopher Abbott) in the hopes of finally unlocking her artistic potential.
A taut, minimalist dark comedy thriller, Black Bear focuses on the tense love triangle that forms around the film’s three main characters, building to a nerve-racking conclusion and giving way to a film of almost Kafkaesque absurdity and intricacy.
Richard Chachowski is a freelance writer based in New Jersey. He loves reading, his dog Tootsie, and pretty much every movie to ever exist (especially Star Wars).