Top 10 Best Movies on Peacock in April 2021
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NBC Universal’s streaming service Peacock has staked a lot of its identity on being the new home of The Office, even to the extent that they have the show baked into the tiers of their pricing plan. But if they wanted to tout their movies, too, they’d be well within their rights.
Peacock’s offerings are built on a cornerstone of the Universal Pictures library for more mainstream tastes and a smaller selection from their arthouse label Focus Features. The streamer also hosts a wide variety of box office hits and under-the-radar indie flicks from outside their own corporate umbrella.
Here is the list of best movies to watch in April 2021:
List of 10 best movies to watch on Peacock in April 2021
1. Short Term 12 (2013)
2. Knocked Up (2007)
3. Black Boys (2020)
4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
5. The Big Lebowski (1998)
6. Children of Men (2006)
7. Fences (2016)
8. Bridesmaids (2011)
9. Catch Me If You Can (2002)
10. It's Complicated (2009)
Short Term 12 (2013)
|Photo: Lisa Thatcher|
Writer-director Destin Daniel Cretton based this moving film on his own experience as a staffer at a facility for at-risk teenagers. Brie Larson is among one of his stand-ins, superb in her portrayal of a woman facing her own demons (prompted by a deepening connection with a new resident, played by the excellent Kaitlyn Dever). The raw emotion is balanced deftly with warmth and humor.
And the heavy subject matter never descends into melodrama but instead soars high on the incredible performances of its young actors, as well as the thoughtful writing and direction. Its cast now looks like a launchpad for actors whose stars would continue to shine brightly, featuring Larson, Dever (newly minted Oscar nominee), LaKeith Stanfield, Rami Malek, Stephanie Beatriz, and John Gallagher Jr. But even pre-stratospheric fame, critics recognized the brilliance on display — and rightfully so.
Knocked Up (2007)
Though unassuming in its presentation, Knocked Up may have inadvertently become the ur-text for Millennials. Seth Rogen’s slacker stoner set the tone for a new age of twentysomethings stuck in perpetual adolescence as they delayed major life milestones. So when a one-night stand with Katherine Heigl’s striving Alison turns into an unexpected pregnancy, the film becomes a hilarious — and surprisingly heartwarming — look at how an entire generation would take a circuitous route to hit the big adult achievements.
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Black Boys (2020)
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This documentary celebrates Black youth and explores Black male identity in America through sports, education, and criminal justice. Director Sonia Lowman, who has a background in activism and whose first film Teach Us All (2017) looked at segregation and racial inequities in American schools, came to this project with two main approaches. One was to explore how Black men are viewed by society, including acknowledging and grappling with her own limited understanding and prejudices that often go unexamined as a white woman who considers herself to be liberal and progressive.
But the main focus was telling the stories of Black men and women in America across multiple generations and presenting as full of a picture of the Black male experience as possible, avoiding the two-dimensional version often shown in media. Highlighting the persistent racism and dehumanization Black males face, Black Boys provides an urgent conversation about opportunity, equity, and ultimately humanity.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
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Is it possible that the greatest modern love story is actually about a couple determined to erase the memory of their relationship after an acrimonious breakup? Writer Charlie Kaufman and director Michel Gondry’s magical (sur)realist anti-romance captures the pains and pleasures of love in all its complex contradictions. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is an eternal bright spot in the cinematic canon.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
This highly quotable comedy is a Coen brothers cult classic, stuffed to the brim with their characteristically witty dialogue, absurd plot twists, colorful characters, and trippy visuals. Jeff Bridges is magnetic as “The Dude,” a lovable stoner whose carefree lifestyle of bowling and vibing out to some Creedence is interrupted by a case of mistaken identity that leads to him getting caught up in a truly bizarre conspiracy full of millionaires, nihilists, porn directors, and other kooky characters around LA. John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, John Turturro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tara Reid, and countless others take this brilliantly zany film to the next level, and — fair warning — you’ll probably wanna go bowling after you finish watching it.
Children of Men (2006)
|Photo: The New York Times|
Given the similarities between the social breakdown of Children of Men’s dystopian 2027 and the post-pandemic world, it’s easy to think of Alfonso Cuarón’s science-fiction film as the stuff of gloom and doom. But amidst the grittiness and grimness, there’s the faintest flicker of hope as a contemporary Nativity story plays out with a miraculous pregnancy occurring against the backdrop of worldwide infertility. The film is as much about humanity’s salvation as its demise, reported Buzzfeed.
|Photo: Time Out|
This extraordinary film written by August Wilson was based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning 1985 play of the same name, and its exploration of racism and masculinity is just as powerful onscreen as it was on the stage, thanks to stunning direction and acting from Denzel Washington, as well as powerful and emotionally raw performances from Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson and Saniyya Sidney. The story centers around Troy Maxson (Washington), a sanitation worker in 1950s Pittsburgh whose dreams of becoming a pro baseball player were laid to rest when he was deemed too old to compete by the time the major leagues began accepting Black athletes.
|Photo: Roger Ebert|
If you have time to read more than a blurb on why Bridesmaids is so great, I argued that its GIF-ability made it the definitive comedy of the 2010s in my Decider column “Smells Like ‘10s Spirit.” Those outsized reactions to everyday absurdity, particularly from leading lady Kristen Wiig, made it the perfect movie to capture the imagination of a culture moving further towards visual rather than text-based communication. But the movie also endures because it’s more than just a collection of outrageous moments – it’s an honest, heartfelt look at female friendships.
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Catch Me If You Can is based on the true story of Frank Abagnale, a forger and con artist who managed to steal millions of dollars...all before the age of 19. Leonardo DiCaprio brilliantly embodies Abagnale, sliding into various aliases — doctor, lawyer, pilot, etc. — with ease and charm, and Steven Spielberg's direction keeps the somewhat complex plot feeling light by injecting moments of humor into the suspenseful wild goose chase between Abagnale and the increasingly frustrated FBI Agent tasked with tracking him down (portrayed by the always excellent Tom Hanks).
It’s Complicated’ (2009)
|Photo: The Movie My Life|
Nancy Meyers is perhaps best known for providing easygoing cinematic comfort food. You get all of that in It’s Complicated and more — as it turns out, she’s got a real knack for bawdy, brassy comedy. As Meryl Streep’s cozy divorcee weighs her romantic options between her good-natured architect (Steve Martin) and her remarried ex-husband (Alec Baldwin), Meyers finds a way to make a raunchy sex romp go down with the silky smoothness of a chocolate croissant.
Other movies to watch on Peacock in April 2021:
11. Lost in Translation (2003)
12. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
13. Schindler's List (1993)
14. Happy Feet (2006)
15. 1968 (2018)
16. Apollo 13 (1995)
17. I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story (2015)
18. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
19. Seabiscuit (2003)
20. Pride & Prejudice (2005)
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