Movies and TV, and…that’s it.

Well, six weeks later, here we are, and all I can think about as I write is this question from the Queen of Twitter herself, Chrissy Teigan:

We’re just a group of people who love to write about movies, and you don’t need us to say we’re all in this together. Though we do send our well wishes, you don’t need them, and you definitely don’t need our unqualified medical advice. But because we’re a group of people who love to write about movies, what we can do is recommend ones that will make your day better. We’re fully qualified to do that!

You can bet we’ve been watching new movies and old favorites while sheltering in place, and these are the ones we recommend adding to your queue most, no matter what kind of film or television series you’re in the mood for. We’ve selected our favorite action flicks and classic picks, comedies and documentaries, drama stories, horror gore, and a few thrillers more you can watch at home. You’ll find the usual suspects like Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix, but you can also watch many of these titles on smaller streaming services that don’t require subscriptions like Crackle, Pluto TV, and Tubi.

You don’t need us to be “here for you because you’ve been here for us” in this “unprecedented situation,” and you don’t need us to “hope you’re well” in a “new normal” of “uncertain times.” (Yikes, who talks like that?) But hey, here are a few movies and shows we think you’ll like—hopefully that’s enough.

Catch our first batch of streaming selections if you want even more.


Flu (2013)
Need another pandemic movie fix? Try this Korean entry, framed around an especially pernicious strain of influenza. The love story is hokum, and the characters are broad (to put it mildly), but the large-scale scenes—panicked shoppers raiding a grocery store, a quarantined crowd rushing the soldiers assigned to stop them—are well-directed and exciting.  Also, one of the film’s central roles belongs to a very young child, Park Min-ha, and she gives the most naturalistic performance in the entire movie.  Available on Amazon Prime. —Sharon Autenrieth

National Treasure (2004)

Wow, a 2004 throwback! Nicolas Cage chose a good film to lead a treasure hunt for the ages, one we can all enjoy. The sequel is not as good (they never are), but both would make for a nice afternoon watch with the family. Even as an adult I still enjoy this movie, and honestly, I might go watch it again right now. Available on Disney+ and Netflix. —Madeline Brophy

The Wave (2015) and The Quake (2018)
I am big fan of disaster movies. Big fan! But even I know that many of them are objectively bad. The Wave, a Norwegian disaster film in which a mountain collapses into a fjord creating a tsunami, is not objectively bad. It’s a great film, with action and peril anchored by an amazing performance from lead actor Kristoffer Joner. Joner is the reason The Wave’s sequel, The Quake, is worth watching, too. The story is not as strong, but Joner brings crushing intensity to his scenes.  Both available on Hulu. The Wave available for free on Tubi and YouTube. —Sharon Autenrieth


A Star Is Born (1937)

If Spotify says you’ve listened to the soundtrack for the 2018 A Star Is Born an embarrassing number of times (guilty!), it’s worth checking out where this story started. Janet Gaynor and Fredric March star (with the star power of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper) in a script co-written by Dorothy Parker. The plot structure has stayed in tact through four versions because it was so compelling here and because its insights into fame were so sharp. Available on Amazon Prime and for free on Kanopy, Pluto TV, Sling TV, and Tubi. —Taylor Blake

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

There’s a reason this is Audrey Hepburn’s most iconic role, and it’s not for the divine Givenchy gowns, boppy Henry Mancini score, or her endearing nameless Cat, though all of those are a delight. Holly Golightly could have been fluff, or worse, a joke the audience is meant to laugh at. Hepburn makes her complicated and believable, and we know George Peppard is smitten with more than her funny face. As for that offensive and unfunny Mickey Rooney performance? Well, the less said about that the better. Available on Hulu. —Taylor Blake

Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962)

Who would have thought my French-speaking sister who has trouble sitting still through movies would be the one to introduce me to the mind of Agnès Varda? Her heroine Cléo is fashionable and eccentric and flighty, but most of all, she is vulnerable. As we watch in near-real time the two hours leading up to getting test results back from her doctor, we follow her around 1960s France and through every emotion that comes with her anticipation. Available on The Criterion Channel and for free on Kanopy. —Taylor Blake

Double Indemnity (1944)

A salesman and his lover plot to kill her husband for the insurance money—it doesn’t go as planned. To say more would give some of the fun of the movie away, but one piece of advice: Don’t start a drinking game for every time Fred MacMurray calls Barbara Stanwyck “baby”—you won’t remember anything past the premise I just described tomorrow. Available on Hulu. —Taylor Blake

Sunset Blvd (1950)

There are probably things you say that you don’t realize are famous quotes from Sunset Blvd, which shows how ingrained this Billy Wilder classic is in our cultural psyche. (Watch with Double Indemnity for a Billy Wilder double feature!) It’s about integrity and making a living, love and lust, and the promise and heartbreak of Hollywood, but it’s also an eat-the-full-bucket-of-popcorn-without-realizing-it-because-you’re-so-tense kind of movie. Available on Amazon Prime and The Criterion Channel, and for free on Crackle and Pluto TV. —Taylor Blake


Community (2009-2015)

When Netflix dropped this sitcom that aired back-to-back with The Office and Parks & Rec earlier this month, I rewatched the whole series in a week, and it’s even better than I remembered. Joel McHale plays a lawyer who got caught with fake bachelor’s, and now he’s hoping to swing an easy degree at Greendale Community College and woo the “hot blonde” in his Spanish class (Gillian Jacobs). Somehow he ends up there for six years in a study group full of weirdos including Chevy Chase, Donald Glover, and Ken Jeong. Come for the blink-and-you’ll-miss-them jokes and the insanely detailed spoofs, stay for the characters that become a community despite their many flaws. Now, how about that movie? #SixSeasonsAndAMovie Available on Hulu and Netflix. —Taylor Blake

Groundhog Day (1993)

I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a perfect movie, but this is about as close as it gets. With Bill Murray at his driest, Andie McDowell at her sweetest, and every other quirky character in Punxsatawney, PA at their funniest, reliving the same day over and over is more than a gimmick. While Christmas keeps churning film after film, this holiday only needed one to get it right. Available on Netflix. —Taylor Blake

Moonstruck (1987)

For those who love romantic comedies and haven’t seen this one, all you need to know is it’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets While You Were Sleeping. What more do you need? Available on Amazon Prime. —Taylor Blake

Onward (2020)

This is a fun ride! Join the adventure as two brothers try to hang with their deceased dad for a day. (I admit that’s not the best pitch for this). As a critic, I found the first half of the film really frustrating—note that this movie was not made for me, an adult—but I think it’s a good watch for the entire family. And like most Disney films, its message comes through at the end and will leave you in a light, happier mood, something I know we could all use these days. Available on Disney+. —Madeline Brophy

Zombieland (2009)

Yep, this movie is still funny, and so much so you’ll ignore any comparisons you could make between a zombie outbreak and our own pandemic. Its sequel, Zombieland: Double Tap, is also hilarious if you’re so inclined to rent it as it’s still unavailable to stream for free right now. Available on Amazon Prime and Hulu. —Taylor Blake


20 Feet From Stardom (2013)

I saw this at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and I went out of my way to see it again in theatres that summer. If you follow the background singers of some of the biggest acts of the 20th and 21st century, you’ll learn their stories are just as fascinating as the people wailing in front of them. Despite their struggles with getting lost in the background and the recording industry as a whole, the miracle of this doc is we see they still find joy in making music. Available on Netflix. —Taylor Blake

Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children (2020)

This documentary miniseries explores the mysterious murders of African-American children and teens in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. This powerfully unfortunate story is one I think all should watch though it’s incredibly tragic and heartbreaking. Available on Amazon Prime and HBO. —Madeline Brophy

Three Identical Strangers (2018)

Three triplets are separated at birth and reunited as adults by chance—it’s a story insane enough to write itself. Thankfully, this full-length doc finds more than just this crazy premise to focus on, and once it digs into the triplets’ past, it will make you ask questions about how we care for our children and mental illness. Available on Hulu. —Taylor Blake

Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson in SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (1995)


Little Fires Everywhere (2020)

Based on the popular novel, watch Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon battle it out in an upper middle class Ohio town. The show’s drama is sometimes over the top, but I recommend it for its well-thought-out discussion on race, wealth, and privilege. The show has a way of being multifaceted like this, tackling the big topics while staying grounded and honest. The series concluded this month. Available on Hulu. —Madeline Brophy

Mrs. America (2020)

Cate Blanchett portrays real-life author Phyllis Schlafly and her journey in rallying conservative women against the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1960s. Sure, I’d be frustrated if negative figures in history were glorified—maybe that’s how the TV trailer portrays it to be—but I find this an intriguing watch, one with a full cast of characters on both sides of the aisle, like real-life feminist and activist Gloria Steinem. In an age of a new women’s movement like #MeToo, I enjoy seeing the ways in which women help and harm one another, recognizing there are always lessons we can learn from the past. Ultimately, what puts this show over the top is its production design and direction. New episodes launch every Wednesday. Available on Hulu. —Madeline Brophy

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched this Jane Austen adaptation, and I find new details to love every time. When Elinor and Marianne’s father dies, their half-brother lends little support to their all-female family, relegating them to a cottage instead of an estate and a less-than-desirable standing with society and suitors. Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet perfectly play the sense and sensibility respectively, but a supporting cast including Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman takes Thompson’s Oscar-winning script to all its hilarious highs and heartbreaking lows. Available on Hulu and Sling TV. —Taylor Blake

Unorthodox (2020)

This miniseries is only four episodes, and I have one more to go. (I watched three in one sitting!) The series explores a young Jewish woman, Esty, and her escape to Berlin, leaving her husband and strict community behind. It’s equally fascinating to watch her make friends (for what might be the first time) and nerve-racking to worry her past might catch up with her. Available on Netflix. —Madeline Brophy

Watchmen (2019)

This meticulously created series managed to accomplish what was previously considered improbable, if not outright impossible. Every location, prop, set, story arc, and musical cue (right down to a most curious closing credits song for the final episode) is inviting the insatiable obsessiveness of true genre fans. Just as 1985’s Watchmen addressed uneasy issues of its day, so too does this HBO series, and unlike LOST and other early Damon Lindelof projects that wrapped without satisfying closure, Watchmen leaves deftly few threads hanging. If you love intelligent, high-end superhero fantasy that is challenging and exceptionally carried out, you should watch the Watchmen! Available on Amazon Prime and HBO. —Jim Tudor

Sennia Nanua in THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS (2016)


The Girl With All the Gifts (2016)
An interesting little zombie pandemic movie in which children born to infected women have the appetites of zombies but the free will and intelligence of uninfected humans.  One of them, Melanie (Sennia Nanua) is the hero of the film. She’s an exceptionally bright and kindhearted girl who must evade the humans who want to experiment on her and protect the human she most loves, her teacher, played by Gemma Atherton. With my recommendation of Little Monsters last month, this makes two zombie movies saluting the selfless devotion of schoolteachers! Available on Netflix. —Sharon Autenrieth

The Night Eats the World (2018)

A young man (Anders Danielsen Lie) falls asleep at a party and wakes up to find himself alone and the streets outside crowded with zombies. Think The Last Man on Earth, and you’ll get the basic idea. How long can a man survive—not just physically, but emotionally—without any human interaction? This takes social distancing to a whole new level, although the main character does “befriend” a zombie.  Desperate times, desperate measures. Available on Amazon Prime. —Sharon Autenrieth

Night of the Comet (1984)
I can’t say I really understood this artifact from the ‘80s in which two teenage girls survive a comet that turns most people into either piles of dust or zombies. The girls may look like mallrats, but they prove resourceful and brave as they battle zombies, street gangs, and governmental scientists. They also ally with another survivor played by Robert Beltran. (You probably know him as Commander Chakotay on Star Trek:  Voyager.) This is not a good movie, but it’s fun. Available for free on Pluto TV and Tubi. —Sharon Autenrieth

The Platform (2019)

If I had to place this with another film for a double feature watch, it’d be Parasite. Much like Parasite (or even Snowpiecer for that matter), The Platform showcases the rich and poor on different levels (quite literally) in a sort of prison where those on higher levels have a better chance at survival with more food, leaving those below sometimes nothing at all. This is a difficult watch (quite gruesome), but if you can stomach it, a super interesting film. Available on Netflix. —Madeline Brophy

Train to Busan (2016)

If you haven’t watched it yet, what on earth are you waiting for? This Korean pandemic film is an absolutely top tier zombie movie. Truly. It is funny, terrifying, and deeply human, with a full range of well-developed characters whose fates feel monumentally important. The film’s beating heart is the relationship between a too-busy father (Yoo Gong) and his perceptive daughter (Su-an Kim). Only the best zombie movies make you cry, and this is one of the best.  Available on Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Shudder, and for free on Crackle, Tubi, and Vudu. —Sharon Autenrieth


Them That Follow (2019)
We were overdue for a tense drama set inside a snake-handling congregation in Appalachia.  The story centers on Mara (Alice Englert), the preacher’s daughter who is betrothed to one young man in the tight-knit community and in love with another. Olivia Colman and Jim Gaffigan are both excellent as parents torn over the fate of their son, and can you imagine anyone better than Walton Goggins to play a charismatic, backwoods, snake-handling preacher? I’ll answer that for you: No, you cannot.  Available on Hulu and Showtime. —Sharon Autenrieth

Waco (2018)

Based on real events, this suspenseful drama has everything to keep you on the edge of your seat. Originally launched in 2018, the miniseries has found a new audience since finding a new home on Netflix. A warning, however: Later episodes include extremely sad and challenging material. Otherwise, an exceptional show. Available on Netflix and Paramount Network. —Madeline Brophy

WarGames (1983)

Sure, a lot of this movie is stuck in the ‘80s, like a Matthew Broderick/Ally Sheedy romance (#BratPack) and every computer we see on screen. However, its perspective on artificial intelligence and global warfare feels as relevant as ever, and its build to the final showdown between man and computer is still tense. Available on Hulu. —Taylor Blake

What do you recommend while staying inside? Tell us in our Facebook group.