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The best Apple TV Plus movies with A-list actors

Whether you have an affinity for gripping war epics, captivating dramas, or mind-bending sci-fi, Apple TV Plus has got you covered.

Image via A24

As subscribers, we were in for a surprise when Apple TV Plus, with its competitive pricing, captivating free trials, and enticing bundling options, lured us into trying the service.

In a shocking turn of events, what initially seemed like a brief fling with free streaming has evolved into a full-blown commitment. And now this bond is wreaking havoc on our wallets thanks to our unwavering dedication to other streaming platforms, yet we find ourselves unable to sever ties. 

Apple TV Plus continues to captivate subscribers with its compelling original content, ingenious marketing strategies, and seamless integration into Apple’s already impressive infrastructure. With the app, members can choose from a diverse array of programming that blends the talents of seasoned actors and filmmakers with the fresh faces of rising stars. Whether you have an affinity for gripping war epics, captivating dramas, or mind-bending sci-fi, the platform has got you covered with an impressive lineup of must-see movies featuring A-list talent. 

10. Ghosted (2023) – Chris Evans and Ana de Armas 

Dexter Fletcher helms the romantic action comedy Ghosted, which features Chris Evans and Ana de Armas. The story follows Sadie and Cole as they meet at a farmers’ market in Washington, D.C., and go on a whirlwind affair. De Armas plays Sadie, a lonely CIA agent yearning for company. Evans plays Cole, a romantically hungry merchant. Their first meeting ignites a bond, which leads to an excellent all-night date.

However, the plot takes a thrilling turn when arms dealers kidnap Cole. The truth about Sadie’s identity as a trained CIA operative is eventually exposed. So that she can save him, she undertakes a perilous journey to recover a stolen bioweapon. The duo faces several challenges, such as evading criminals and working on their developing relationship amid the chaos. Action, romance, and comedy all combine seamlessly, creating a compelling and enjoyable viewing experience. After its release, Ghosted received lukewarm reviews at best. Despite this, it quickly became Apple’s most-watched film debut.

9. Swan Song (2021) – Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris

Swan Song is a thought-provoking and poignant science fiction drama directed by Benjamin Cleary. In addition to Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris, the cast also includes Glenn Close and Awkwafina. The near-future setting of Swan Song allows the author to explore ideas of self, death, and the moral ramifications of technological progress. Cameron Turner, played by Ali, is a caring husband and father living in a small village. Cameron is diagnosed with a fatal illness, and as he approaches the end of his life, he is offered an unusual and contentious opportunity. 

A corporation offers him the option to clone himself, making a carbon copy but with all of his thoughts, memories, and personality intact. Torn between his love for his family and his attraction to immortality, Cameron sets off on a personal and existential quest. The film delves into the morally murky waters of cloning technology, raising severe concerns about humanity’s nature, uniqueness, and the repercussions of playing God with life and death. Not only does Swan Song feature stellar acting from its lead, but it also boasts stunning photography that vividly and atmospherically depicts the future world. 

8. Sharper (2023) – Julianne Moore

Written by Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka and directed by Benjamin Caron, Sharper is a 2023 American crime thriller. Julianne Moore (who also produced the picture) is among the cast members, along with Sebastian Stan, Justice Smith, Briana Middleton, and John Lithgow. In Sharper, Madeline and Max, two skilled con artists, are working on a massive scheme to defraud billionaire Richard Hobbes. Madeline pretends to be a single mom and introduces Max as her son, but the two are actually romantically involved. 

Madeline acts as if she’s falling in love with Richard, giving the idea that Max’s penchant for deceiving others annoys her despite being clever. Madeline eventually cons Max, Richard, and others once again. When Richard dies, Madeline inherits his fortune and becomes a billionaire. But something else has been growing in the minds of the misled, and it will be a problem for Madeline. But now her victims are furious, which will be a problem for Madeline. 

7. Greyhound (2020) – Tom Hanks 

The Tom Hanks film Greyhound is a riveting war tale directed by Aaron Schneider and based on C.S. Forester’s novel The Good Shepherd from 1955. The film begins in 1942, when Hanks’ character, Commander Ernest Krause, is tasked with leading an Allied convoy through the dangerous North Atlantic. In order to deliver troops and supplies to Europe, the convoy must avoid being captured by German U-boats operating in groups known as “wolf packs.” 

As commander of the escort destroyer USS Keeling, codenamed “Greyhound,” Krause must deal with the enormous pressure of fending off enemy attacks on the convoy and its crew. The cat-and-mouse game between Allied forces and German submarines is expertly shown, making for some tense and exciting viewing. Hanks gives a compelling portrayal bringing home the mental and emotional costs of command in times of conflict.

6. Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie (2023) – Michael J. Fox 

Director Davis Guggenheim’s biopic Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie provides an emotional and inspiring look inside the life of actor-turned-activist Michael J. Fox as he deals with Parkinson’s disease. The film takes audiences on a trip through Fox’s incredible career, from his first significant role in Family Ties to his unforgettable turn as Marty McFly in Back to the Future. It showcases his undeniable talent, and his impact on the entertainment industry.

The film, however, digs deeper than Fox’s professional triumphs and explores his struggles on a personal level. It delves into his early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and his courageous efforts to deal with its mental and physical effects. The film is an inspiring account of his fortitude, resolve, and refusal to give up in the face of hardship. The documentary succeeds in part because of its ability to highlight Fox’s humor, which has served as an inspiration to many. 

5. Emancipation (2022) – Will Smith

Will Smith and Antoine Fuqua’s Emancipation is a stirring film set in 1860s Louisiana and depicts the narrative of Peter (Smith), a fugitive enslaved man who must travel hazardous swamps while being followed by slave catchers after the Emancipation Proclamation. Peter is stolen from his family and sold as slave labor to the Confederate Army. He refuses to accept his fate and becomes desperate to free his family. 

After fleeing his estate, he learns that Lincoln’s army is in Baton Rouge and prepares to meet them there to ask for their help. Dodienne, Peter’s wife, is sold and must prepare their children for life apart while Peter fights for his life and tries to find them. Slavery’s agonizing effects on families are depicted in the film, along with the strength of those who battled for liberation. Peter’s resolve and courage are inspiring throughout the film. 

4. The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021) – Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand

The Tragedy of Macbeth is a mesmerizing and visually stunning film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s iconic play. With an outstanding cast and innovative style, director Joel Coen brings the ageless story of ambition, power, and betrayal to the big screen in this dark, moody drama. The story of Lord Macbeth (Denzel Washington) and his ambitious wife, Lady Macbeth (Frances McDormand), unfolds in the medieval Scottish countryside. Macbeth’s ambition for the throne is stoked when he meets three witches who foretell his ascent to power.

Macbeth is driven to fulfill the witches’ prophecy by his wife’s manipulative and subtle encouragement, which leads him down a path of betrayal and murder. Washington portrays Macbeth with a disturbing and gripping intensity. He deftly navigates Macbeth’s layered personality, illuminating the struggle between the Scottish king’s moral compass and his insatiable drive for power. McDormand’s performance as Lady Macbeth is strong and subtle, giving the character fresh perspectives. The bleak, foggy terrain and the film’s monochrome color palette create an eerie atmosphere.

3. Raymond & Ray (2022) – Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke

The film Raymond & Ray is profoundly moving and introspective, exploring the nuances of grief and family interactions. The protagonists, half-brothers Raymond and Ray, are reunited following their father’s death. Ray’s (Ethan Hawke) brother Raymond (Ewan McGregor) shows up at his house to break the news that their father has died and that his dying desire was for them to dig his grave. 

The brothers are forced to deal with their own emotional baggage and the lingering troubles in their relationship as they take on this odd mission. Both McGregor and Hawke give spellbinding, deeply felt performances. The former gives Raymond a sense of openness and introspection, depicting a guy struggling with his problems and looking for comfort in the face of loss. In contrast, the latter gives a sympathetic portrayal of Ray, a man grappling with his own resentment and trying to find closure in the wake of his father’s death.

2. Causeway (2022) – Jennifer Lawrence

Lila Neugebauer’s film Causeway examines the mental and emotional challenges of picking up the pieces of one’s life after suffering a traumatic event. Lynsey (Jennifer Lawrence), the story’s protagonist, is a young woman who returns to the United States from Afghanistan after experiencing a life-altering event. She grapples with a severe brain injury that leaves her needing constant care and relearning basic tasks. The film showcases Lawrence’s exceptional acting skills as she portrays Lynsey’s frustration, impatience, and defiance through subtle body language. 

Her character’s seeming power wanes as she develops a friendship with Brian Tyree Henry’s James, who guides her through the trials of reintegrating into society and regaining trust. Their relationship adds a sense of joy and hope to the story, delivering a ray of light in the middle of gloom. The film garnered generally excellent reviews from critics, who commended Lawrence and Henry’s performances. Among other honors, Henry was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 95th Academy Awards.

1. Finch (2021) – Tom Hanks 

Directed by Miguel Sapochnik, Finch is a moving and thought-provoking post-apocalyptic science fiction drama. Starring Tom Hanks, the film boasts another outstanding performance from the actor that will have you wiping tears from your eyes. Hanks stars as the title character, a robotics engineer who must navigate a devastated world. After a devastating solar explosion that Earth can no longer support life, Finch is one of the only people still alive. With his trusty and adorable dog Goodyear by his side, Finch sets off on a risky cross-country voyage in a vehicle he made himself and powered by solar energy.

Despite the bleak surroundings, Finch’s brilliance shines through when he builds an intelligent robot friend he calls Jeff. Voiced by Caleb Landry Jones, Jeff is a sweet and naive addition to their improbable family, injecting fun and lightheartedness into an otherwise dreary setting. Finch faces many perils as he and his companions travel across the destroyed environment, such as a lack of supplies and potentially hostile survivors. The film’s depiction of Finch, Jeff, and Goodyear’s relationship is touching and moving, showcasing the value of friendship and the strength of the human spirit in the face of insurmountable tragedy.

Faith Katunga
About the author

Faith Katunga

Faith is a freelance writer with an insatiable curiosity for all aspects of current events, from the global economy and fashion to pop culture and travel. She watches an absurd number of cat videos on Instagram when not reading or writing about what is going on in the world.