Apple TV+ is one of the strangest streamers out there, with almost no licensed TV or film nội dung and a small number of originals. Táo apple is clearly taking a “quality over quantity” approach, with its money spread across genres và targeted at making its subscribers (many roped in with a deal that came with one of the company’s tech products) treat it like a real contender. It also helps that it’s only $4.99 a month, or không tính phí for a year if you’ve just purchased a new (and eligible) device.

With films from up-and-comers lượt thích Minhal Baig, arthouse favorites lượt thích Sofia Coppola and Werner Herzog, some A-list music docs và one of the best animated movies of the 2020s, táo khuyết TV+ is actually making the case that it belongs in the conversation alongside the more established services. As long as it keeps adding good movies to its roster, that is. It recently snagged a few critical darlings like CODA và The Velvet Underground.

Here’re our ranked picks for the best ten movies on hãng apple TV+ right now. You can also find our ranking of the best táo apple TV+ original series.

10. The Velvet Underground

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had entropy within it,” one of the many talking heads featured in Todd Haynes’ documentary reflects, chewing on the ultimate fate of the band at the center of it all towards the kết thúc of The Velvet Underground. It’s true that the avant-garde artists Haynes details in his first doc were more a single moment in time that rippled outward, a doomed endeavor not meant to last in the most immediately tangible way. Lou Reed and his ragtag team of black-clad counterculture musicians were a single thread within the vast, wide-spanning fabric of 1960s thủ đô new york City, rubbing shoulders with artists, writers and musicians, & leaving a mark that would see their influence last long after the band’s members had already parted ways. In this respect, Haynes (who may be new khổng lồ documentary but, with Velvet Goldmine và I’m Not There, is no stranger to music movies) aptly paints a portrait of The Velvet Underground, albeit not with people unfamiliar with the band in mind. He never spends too much time in the past that led to lớn their artistic zenith or the legacy that it would leave behind, or even allows much space for true linear comprehension of the band at all. Through a rhythm which may feel inaccessible to more casual listeners, Haynes nonetheless effectively reckons with the moment that the band entered the world và the moment that they vacated.—Brianna Zigler




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9. The Elephant Queen

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Filmed over the course of four years, The Elephant Queen follows revered matriarch Athena & the herd she shepherds across the unforgiving terrain in tìm kiếm of food and water. Like any nature doc worth its salt, the film is a gorgeous visual journey through what have come to be perilous times for the world’s charismatic megafauna, something never made explicit in the script narrated by a staid Chiwetel Ejiofor. Unsure whether it wants to be more Planet Earth or pure Disney fare, The Elephant Queen’s message is mixed as it chronicles Athena’s long journey. Early on, Alex Heffes’ whimsical score delights alongside footage of creatures found “a toenail height” to the elephants, including a particularly frightened frog whose pond the herd start stomping around in. But there is also an extremely difficult sequence not too much later that more coolly details the death of the herd’s youngest member from starvation. The Elephant Queen is messy, but it’s still a worthwhile nature watch that educates viewers on how important elephants are khổng lồ the biomes across which they traverse and why. The documentary struggles khổng lồ narratively incorporate a gaggle other creatures encountered throughout, be they avian or amphibian, although just meeting these beings & learning a little more about their own life cycles is justification enough for their inclusion. There is a rawness and a beauty to lớn the production that should be appreciated even through some of its more questionable choices. Because when there is a hotline to kích hoạt at the very kết thúc of the film, I was ready to answer it. Sharing this story is one way khổng lồ help Queen Athena protect her herd.—Allison Keene


8. Hala

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Writer/director Minhal Baig’s Hala is an intimate coming-of-age drama held up by its personal writerly touches and a star-making turn from Geraldine Viswanathan as the title character. Hala’s struggling with the same kinds of things we normally see high school characters struggle with: What to bởi vì after graduation, how to manage a relationship with her parents that’s not quite adult and not quite childish, và (of course) boys. Viswanathan’s understated quiet & the warmth in which the situations are shot (almost always centered on her face)—be they at a family dinner or a walk in a Chicago park or a reading of a high school English assignment—make the dramatic ricochet of Hala’s minor rebellion rattle us all the harder. Her relationship with a poetry-loving floppy-haired boy, her parents’ imperfections và a boatload of baggage brought from Pakistan (including the threat of arranged marriage) create a compelling portrait of a family that overcomes Baig’s sometimes sleepy direction. While there’s a lot, probably too much, going on around Hala—to the point that the movie threatens to shake apart—and the film tends khổng lồ raise issues it’d rather not see through lớn any sort of conclusion, some striking shots, realistic dialogue (even in that heightened “everything’s the end of the world” way that teens can have) và Viswanathan’s ability lớn sell it all make the film a worthy và unique entry into the coming-of-age canon.—Jacob Oller


7. Boys State

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The tendency to read too much into Boys State as a representative of American politics—contemporary, functional, broken và otherwise—doesn’t quite line up with the sự kiện itself, in which every year the American Legion sponsors a sort of mock government sleepaway camp in Texas for high school boys (girls get a similar program of their own), where attendees join parties, run for office, craft platforms, run campaigns, hold debates, then ultimately exercise their right khổng lồ vote. As one candidate for giả boy office explains, “My stance on abortion would not line up with most guys’ out there. So I changed my stance. That’s politics…I think. You can’t win on what you believe in your heart.” Money has no place in their policies, nor bởi women, immigration, or anything that isn’t gun control or abortion. They aren’t much interested in exploring U.S. Governmental systems & lawmaking as they are in reinforcing an ideal of obsolescing democratic rule. There is no representation here, there are only screaming masses of peachfuzz and popularity contests. Instead of taking a divided nation’s temperature through its puberty-ridden youth, Jesse Moss & Amanda McBaine’s documentary becomes a dramatic trương mục of modern American masculinity in the making, blisteringly hormonal và desperate to lớn be taken seriously. —Dom Sinacola


6. On the Rocks

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Sofia Coppola’s new movie On the Rocks starts out as a story of possessive fatherhood, with Felix (Bill Murray) narrating to his teenage daughter, Laura: “And remember, don’t give your heart to any boys. You are mine until you get married. Then you’re still mine.” The girl laughs off the declaration as a jape, which turns out to be a catastrophic tactical mistake. In her womanhood, Laura (Rashida Jones), does indeed get married to a man, Dean (Marlon Wayans), & they have two beautiful daughters of their own, eldest Maya (Liyanna Muscat) & youngest Theo (Alexandra Mary Reimer). Dean is spearheading his own startup, a company that provides vaguely sketched-out services but which keeps him not only busy but in constant motion. Laura stays at trang chủ with the girls and, when she’s afforded rare moments of peaceful alone time, attempts to write a book the way Sisyphus attempts to push a boulder up a hill. She’s in a rut. Dean’s on the rise. He’s so often cross-country that the yawning gap between them is visible from the stratosphere, and then along comes Felix to sweep Laura up & indulge her fear that Dean in fact might be plowing his assistant, Fiona (Jessica Henwick), a knockout at least 10 years her junior. So begins a caper as Felix, protective by way of outmoded patriarchal charm, endeavors to lớn prove Dean’s infidelity khổng lồ prop Laura back up using all of his cunning & a not insignificant chunk of his wealth và social capital. On the Rocks suggests that men grown old are really just babies with an insatiable need for the world to love them, their kids—their daughters—in particular. Their childishness is revealed by the volume of their charisma: the taller the tales, the costlier the tab, the more blatant the flirt, the more extravagant the lifestyle, the more a man’s insecurity is revealed. Laura is at once drawn to & repelled by Felix. In light of Felix’s screed to young Laura, this is the inevitable crest of their bond, but Coppola’s gentle, yearning filmmaking generates sympathy for the father & empathy for the daughter. —Andy Crump


5. Bruce Springsteen’s Letter khổng lồ You

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The black-and-white behind-the-scenes documentary accompaniment lớn Bruce Springsteen’s album of the same name, Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You is a beautiful & companionable tour through the music & its making from an American master. Director Thom Zimny buys into the album’s concept, which focuses on just how long Springsteen’s been at this thing. Poignant juxtaposition with archival footage và pictures emphasizes just how long the E Streeters have been at this—and reminds us of who và what was lost along the way. It’s unabashedly emotional throughout and illuminating on occasion, but it’s mostly dedicated lớn giving Springsteen fans more of the album’s experience: Letter lớn You’s development is of minor importance in the film, but its performance is exceptional. In between tracks, Springsteen’s intense voiceover hovers over all the right imagery, with funerals, trains, snowy forests and lots of other muscular American iconography flitting by before another tuy vậy starts up. The thiết kế of the documentary may be a bit repetitive, but the musicality is masterful and there’s nothing lượt thích letting The boss extend a hand, inviting us to lớn join in the campfire kind of collaboration with which this album was constructed và the lovely melancholy with which it appreciates the passing of time.—Jacob Oller


4. Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds

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Werner Herzog will show you multiple clips from Mimi Leader’s Deep Impact for no other reason than because he likes them, he finds them well-done và evocative—he says as much in that even-keeled, oddly accented voice over—then soon after chastise “film school doctrine” when complimenting a field video shot by a South Korean meteor specialist in Antarctica. Like Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin, his documentary from earlier in the year, Fireball (co-directed with Clive Oppenheimer, with whom he made 2016’s Into the Inferno) is less about what it’s about (meteorites, shooting stars, cosmic debris—and the people who love them) than it is about Werner Herzog’s life, which is his filmography, which is a heavily manipulated tìm kiếm for ultimate truth. This is all he makes movies about anymore: himself, navigating falsehood until he can master it, which is basically what he sees as moviemaking anyway. Unlike Nomad, Fireball is partly shot by Herzog’s trusted cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger, which rewards majestic drone shots—now Herzog’s old man bread và butter—with casual sublimity as often as despairing humor. Together they follow tangents all over the world, ridiculing the depressing Mexican town where a meteorite destroyed the dinosaurs và today stray dogs’ dreams rot from their heads, or collecting microscopic space rocks from the roof of an Oslo sports arena. All is at the mercy of Herzog’s curiosity, ravenous và insatiable. —Dom Sinacola


3. CODA

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Sometimes a movie so successfully plunges you into its world that it completely engulfs you in a lived-in experience. From the gorgeous, scenic opening moments of CODA, you can almost smell the Atlantic salt air & pungent scent of the daily catch. The movie transports you to Gloucester, Massachusetts & lovingly drops you into the life of one family. Seventeen-year-old Ruby Rossi (Emilia Jones) is what the title of the movie refers to—a child of deaf adults. She is the only hearing thành viên of her immediate family. A senior in high school, Ruby lives with mother Jackie (Marlee Matlin), father Frank (Troy Kotsur) & older brother Leo (Daniel Durant). Every morning before school even begins, Ruby works with her brother and father on their fishing boat off the coast. As the family’s sole interpreter, they have come khổng lồ rely on her, and she feels the weight of familial responsibility more than most high schoolers. When Ruby joins the school choir, her teacher Bernardo Villalobos (Eugenio Derbez) notices that Ruby has a chất lượng vocal talent. “There are plenty of pretty voices with nothing to say. Vì chưng you have something khổng lồ say?” he asks. He works with her và encourages her to apply to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, a move that would take her away from the family that not only loves but desperately needs her. On the surface, this coming-of-age story is that simple và straightforward. But writer/director Sian Heder weaves a beautiful, nuanced & complex tale buoyed by delicate và deft performances. Although specifically about a Deaf family, the story of a child wanting to size her own identity outside of her parents is universally relatable. It’s no surprise that Matlin is terrific. The Oscar-winner has been knocking it out of the park in both television & movies since she won for Children of a Lesser God when she was just 21. Durant is equally fantastic as a guy eager to lớn prove he can bởi vì much more than what society and his parents think he’s capable of. Derbez hits just the right chú ý as the supportive yet demanding teacher who won’t let Ruby use her family as an excuse. As a man who has had people misjudge him his whole life, Kotsur will break your heart. But CODA truly rests on Jones’ very capable shoulders. She’s such a compelling screen presence: Ruby’s inner turmoil is palpable. By the time the movie reaches its poignant, beautiful conclusion, I defy anyone lớn have a dry eye. CODA is about letting go & letting your loved ones soar.—Amy Amatangelo


2. A Charlie Brown Christmas

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We could get into plenty of arguments over which Charlie Brown animated special is best, but A Charlie Brown Christmas is my favorite pull of the bunch. Charlie Brown’s confrontation with the Christmas season’s commercialism (back in 1965 no less) và a sad little fir tree make this a cartoon classic, as the ultimate funny-pages shlimazel suffers endless social indignities (no Christmas cards) & the holiday blues. The film remains a touching, funny 25 minutes that connects to kids both young and grown—capturing the spirit of Charles Schulz’s amusingly downer strip—ornamented with slapstick gags & the delightful jazzy Christmas score from the Vince Guaraldi Trio that’s become synonymous with the Peanuts crew. The animation might be a little jagged và repetitive—the child voice acting hit và miss—but the ragtag production helps make it extra endearing, as if the precocious children at the chip core of the holiday film had a real hand in putting it together. You’re not going to knock this film for those kids doing their weird dances on a loop và neither am I. It just wouldn’t be Christmassy of me.—Jacob Oller


1. Wolfwalkers

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Wolfwalkers is filmmaker & animator Tomm Moore’s latest project out of Cartoon Saloon, the animation studio he co-founded in 1999 with Paul Young, & the capper khổng lồ his loosely bound Irish folklore trilogy (begun with 2009’s The Secret of Kells và continued with 2014’s tuy nhiên of the Sea). At first blush, the film appears burdened with too much in mind—chiefly thoughts on everything from English colonialism lớn earnest portraiture of Irish myths, the keystones of Moore’s storytelling for the last decade. Linking these poles are a story of friendship across borders và social boundaries, a dirge for a world pressed beneath the heels of men, a family drama between a willful girl & her loving but overprotective father, and a promise of what life could be if strangers reached across those borders và boundaries to lớn find, if not love, then at least common ground. How Moore and his collaborators Ross Stewart và Will Collins created such a robust screenwriting economy that each of these threads not only fit into Wolfwalkers’ 103 minutes, but feel entirely essential to lớn its vibrance, is likely a whole narrative unto itself. Their collective achievement speaks for itself, of course: Wolfwalkers is a stunning effort, the best of Moore’s career and the best Cartoon Saloon has produced lớn date. Every detail here, every flourish, has a purpose, whether splashes of red on flower petals, soft edges around dusk-lit trees, or three-panel split screen sequences that read lượt thích the pages of illuminated manuscripts brought khổng lồ life. The effect is magic, and that magic is profound & breathtaking. —Andy Crump




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a charlie brown christmas

bruce springsteen"s letter lớn you

fireball: visitors from darker worlds

apple

apple tv plus

apple tv+

boys state

hala

on the rocks

the elephant queen

wolfwalkers

coda

the velvet underground