Channel: Movies

The top 9 movies on Netflix this week, from 'Peppermint' to 'Marauders'


peppermint movie

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The Jennifer Garner-starring action movie "Peppermint" rose to the top of Netflix's popularity rankings this week, but notably absent was David Fincher's new movie, "Mank."

The potential Oscar contender failed to make the week's top nine movies, suggesting it lacks widespread appeal among Netflix users.

Every week, the streaming search engine Reelgood compiles for Business Insider a list of which movies have been most prominent on Netflix's daily top-10 lists that week. On Reelgood, users can browse Netflix's entire movie library and sort by IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes ratings.

Below are Netflix's 9 most popular movies of the week in the US:

SEE ALSO: WarnerMedia's CEO predicts that blockbuster movies will have $1 billion budgets in the future as streaming surges

9. "Little Nicky" (2000)

Description: "The devil sends his sweet son Nicky to Earth to bring back his scheming siblings, who have plans to oust dear old dad from power."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 22%

What critics said: "Creating perhaps his most irritating persona to date, Sandler manages to get through the entire movie with barely a single gag, save for a few uninspired chuckles."— BBC

8. "Triple 9" (2016)

Description: "A group of dirty Atlanta cops blackmailed by the Russian mob plan a seemingly impossible heist that sets off an explosive chain reaction of violence."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 54%

What critics said: "One of those productions in which much of the creative energy has been funneled into gaudily inventive displays of violence."— New York Times

7. "Rust Creek" (2018)

Description: "A wrong turn in the woods becomes a fight for her life when a career-seeking college student runs into two outlaw brothers looking to cook up trouble."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 84%

What critics said: "Director Jen McGowan and screenwriter Julie Lipson take too leisurely of an approach to a story that should be more taut, but the attention they pay to characters and setting makes a difference in how the movie plays out."— Los Angeles Times

6. "The Christmas Chronicles" (2018, Netflix original)

Description: "After accidentally crashing Santa's sleigh, a brother and sister pull an all-nighter to save Christmas with a savvy, straight-talking St. Nick."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 67%

What critics said: "Hot Santa is a premise that requires a few risks, but this movie falls just short of making the leap. Still the film has a few interesting points to make as to the way the idea of how Christmas has changed over the years."— Polygon 

5. "Ava" (2020)

Description: "An elite assassin wrestling with doubts about her work scrambles to protect herself — and her estranged family — after a hit goes dangerously wrong."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 17%

What critics said: "Ava is a napping-on-the-couch movie through and through, with recognizable names and a sexy premise but no distinct personality."— AV Club

4. "The Christmas Chronicles 2" (2020, Netflix original)

Description: "Unhappy over her mom's new relationship, a now-teenage Kate runs away and lands at the North Pole, where a naughty elf is plotting to cancel Christmas."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 73%

What critics said: "Chris Columbus takes over the reins as director and binges on the cheesy digital effects, but his story does dash off into an exciting new direction as it revisits the origins of Santa."— San Jose Mercury News

3. "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (2000)

Description: "The Grinch decides to rob Whoville of Christmas — but a dash of kindness from little Cindy Lou Who and her family may be enough to melt his heart."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 49%

What critics said: "It's sweet enough for the very young, edgy enough for teens, and world/pop culture savvy enough for adults."— IGN

2. "Marauders" (2016)

Description: "A series of high-stakes thefts at banks owned by a manipulative millionaire sparks an FBI agent to suspect a sinister plan behind the deadly heists."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 20%

What critics said: "It's a bank-robbery thriller and a 'political' expos all at once: No wonder this overly elaborate potboiler turns into a muddle."— Variety

1. "Peppermint" (2018)

Description: "After her family is murdered, a mild-mannered mom remakes herself into a badass vigilante in order to exact violent justice."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 12%

What critics said: "There was a time when a woman being the star of her own bad action franchise could have been considered the apex of progress, but that time is past."— Vulture

How to watch 'Wonder Woman 1984' on HBO Max at the same time it hits theaters on Christmas Day


wonder woman 1984 warner bros

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  • "Wonder Woman 1984" will premiere in theaters and on HBO Max on December 25, Christmas Day.
  • The blockbuster sequel is the first in a series of Warner Bros. movies that will premiere on HBO Max and theaters at the same time.
  • HBO Max subscribers won't have to pay extra to stream "Wonder Woman 1984," but the movie will only be available for one month.
  • The HBO Max streaming app costs $15 per month, though it's usually included if you already pay for HBO through your cable provider.

"Wonder Woman 1984" will arrive in theaters and on HBO Max on December 25. The movie is the first in a series of Warner Bros. films that will be available for streaming the same day they hit the big screen.

Director Patty Jenkins and stars Gal Gadot and Chris Pine return for the sequel to 2017's ""Wonder Woman." The action picks up 40 years after the conclusion of the last film. Kristen Wiig plays Cheetah, a villain who can match Wonder Woman's superhuman abilities, and "The Mandalorian" star Pedro Pascal plays nefarious businessman Maxwell Lord.

"Wonder Woman 1984" will be available on HBO Max for just one month starting December 25. It's possible the movie will return to the service at a later date once it finishes playing in theaters. Viewers outside the US will be able to see "Wonder Woman 1984" in theaters starting December 16, with dates staggered through January based on region.

This article was updated on 12/17/20 to reflect the release of the HBO Max app on Roku and PlayStation 5.

How to watch "Wonder Woman 1984" on HBO Max

You can watch "Wonder Woman 1984" on HBO Max starting December 25. Streaming access to "Wonder Woman 1984" won't cost extra for HBO Max members. "Wonder Woman 1984" will remain on HBO Max for 31 days. The movie will then be removed from the HBO Max library, but it's possible that it could be added back in the future. 

The HBO Max service is priced at $15 per month, and new members can currently receive over 20% off if they prepay for six months. You can sign up directly through the HBO Max website, with your cable subscriber, or through select streaming services, like Hulu. If you already pay for HBO through your cable provider, you should be able to access HBO Max for no extra cost, with some restrictions. 

The HBO Max app is available on Apple devices, Android, Roku, Chromecast, Fire TV, Xbox, PlayStation and Samsung smart TVs. Deals bringing the HBO Max app to Roku and FireTV were announced just weeks before the release of "Wonder Woman 1984," ending months of tense negotiation between AT&T, Amazon, and Roku. 

"Wonder Woman 1984" will be the first movie on HBO Max to stream in 4K with support for high dynamic range (HDR). "Wonder Woman 1984" will meet the standards for HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos on supported devices, matching the maximum quality typically seen on Netflix and Disney Plus.

What other Warner Bros. movies are coming to HBO Max?

The next scheduled Warner Bros. release on HBO Max is "The Little Things" starring Denzel Washington and Rami Malek, which is due out on January 29, 2021. Other major releases set to arrive on the streaming service throughout 2021 include "Dune,""The Matrix 4,""The Suicide Squad,""The Conjuring 3," and more.

You can see a full list of upcoming Warner Bros. movies scheduled for day-and-date releases in theaters and on HBO Max here.

Hopefully HBO Max will be able to maintain the level of technical quality it's setting with "Wonder Woman 1984" as more theatrical releases launch in 2021. HBO Max representatives said 4K support will arrive for more films and TV shows in 2021, but it's unclear which will be prioritized.

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Christopher Nolan's 'Tenet' is now available to stream on VOD services — here's how to watch the sci-fi film at home


John David Washington Tenet

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  • "Tenet" is now available to stream through several video-on-demand (VOD) services.
  • The sci-fi movie received a theatrical release in September, but some people were unable to see the film due to theater closures in their area.
  • You can purchase "Tenet" now through platforms like Prime Video, Vudu, and FandangoNow; the movie will be available to rent on January 5.
  • Read more: How to rent movies online

Christopher Nolan's "Tenet" was one of the few big-budget studio films to receive a theatrical release in 2020. The movie debuted on the big screen in September, but since many theaters remain closed, only select audiences actually got to see the film when it premiered. 

Thankfully, "Tenet" is finally available to buy on several streaming platforms, enabling a larger audience to enjoy Nolan's latest sci-fi epic. The movie centers around a CIA operative who embarks on a mission to help prevent World War III. Mixing espionage thrills with time-bending elements, the movie builds upon director Christopher Nolan's penchant for stunning action and complicated narratives.   

"Tenet" stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh, and Michael Caine. Christopher Nolan is best known for directing blockbuster movies like "The Dark Knight,""Inception," and "Interstellar." The filmmaker has been nominated for three Academy Awards throughout his career, including a Best Director nomination for "Dunkirk" in 2018.

Nolan has long been an advocate for the big-screen movie experience and encouraged Warner Bros. to release "Tenet" in theaters despite box office challenges caused by theater closures. The director recently criticized HBO Max's decision to stream all of Warner's upcoming 2021 films.   

"Tenet" has received positive reviews from critics since its premiere in September. The movie currently holds a "71% Fresh" rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, as well as a score of 69/100 on Metacritic

How to watch 'Tenet'

"Tenet" is now available to purchase through several VOD retailers, including Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, FandangoNow, Microsoft, Apple TV, and Google Play. The movie costs $19.99 to buy. Once purchased, you can stream the film whenever you'd like through the service you selected.

Though "Tenet" is currently only available to buy, VOD platforms will add a rental option on January 5. Digital rentals usually give you 30 days to start streaming. After you begin watching a rental, they typically expire after 48 hours. 

The movie is available in standard definition (SD), high definition (HD), and 4K Ultra HD resolution with high dynamic range (HDR) through all of the listed services. Pricing is currently the same no matter which version you buy. 

To watch "Tenet" through any of the services listed above, you'll need to sign up for an account on the retailer of your choice and download the corresponding streaming app. Apps for Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, FandangoNow, Apple TV, Microsoft Movies, and Google Play are available on mobile devices, as well as on many smart TVs and streaming players.

In addition to VOD services, "Tenet" is also available to purchase on DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. Blu-ray disc formats still offer benefits over streaming options, including lossless audio and higher quality video with less compression. Though most people will be satisfied with streaming, if you have a 4K TV and you want to watch "Tenet" in the best quality available, you'll need a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player and the 4K disc

What other brand-new movies can I watch at home?

In addition to "Tenet," there are several other brand-new movies you can buy or rent at home. As select theaters remain closed across the US due to the coronavirus pandemic, many studios are continuing to debut new titles directly through VOD services. 

Universal, Sony, Paramount, Disney, Lionsgate, and Warner Brothers have been offering streaming rental or purchase options for select titles that were initially planned for theaters. "In-theater" digital rentals or purchases can be made through several services, including Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Vudu, FandangoNow, and Google Play. For more details on digital rentals, check out our guide to streaming rental services.

Warner Bros. is even taking its streaming plans one step further, as the studio has announced that it will release all of its upcoming movies in theaters and on HBO Max at the same time. The ambitious strategy will begin with the premiere of "Wonder Woman 1984" on December 25. 

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13 movie night essentials for fun family time at home


family movie_night

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  • Family movie night is a fun way to spend an evening at home together any time of year.
  • With the right setup, including a small digital projector or television set, some snacks, and comfy seating, it can also be just as enjoyable as a trip to the theater and more budget-friendly.
  • If you're considering which streaming services offer the best movies for your family's viewing preferences, you can try out Disney Plus, Hulu, and Netflix through their free trial periods.

Movie night is a big event in our house, and one of the few activities our schedule allows us to enjoy together almost every week. Besides dedicated family time, what makes it special is the setup. The first task is finding a flick we can all agree on, although we usually take turns picking one to watch on the big screen. After that is the next most important step: snacks, usually some combo of popcorn, candy, and cookies. Then, settle in, park it a comfortable chair, wrap up in cozy blanket, and watch the show.  

If you're looking to make your family movie night into a running tradition, it's important to settle on a few essentials that will make it easy, except for maybe deciding what to watch. Below are some suggestions we've collected to help you enjoy a trip to the theater without leaving the comfort of home.

Here are 13 things to make a great family movie night at home:

The popcorn, of course

Popcorn is the best part about a trip to the theater, besides the movie itself. The Lukue Microwave Popcorn Popper makes it easy to recreate that experience — just add kernels and set the cook timer for two to three minutes. Unlike the bagged stuff, you won't be stuck with a bowl full of unpopped kernels either. It's also easy to clean and small enough to stow away in the cabinet. If you want something a little bigger, there are plenty of options available.

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Popcorn buckets

You can leave your popcorn in the bowl, or you can dish it out into one of these novelty popcorn containers that look just like the tubs you'd get at the theater. This way everyone can have the flavor they want too.

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*currently unavailable at Target

Delicious low-sugar candy you and your kids will love

Finding the right candy to go with salty popcorn is the holy grail of movie snacking, but if you overdo it with too much sugar, it throws the whole thing out of balance. Besides, giving the kids anything too sweet before bedtime is never a good idea. Perfect Snacks Peanut Butter Cups have a lower glycemic index than most candy bars to keep everyone focused on the show and not bouncing off the walls. If you'd rather have a chocolate bar or sour candies, there are plenty of other tasty, low-sugar treats out there.

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Product Name: Perfect Snacks Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Peanut Butter Cups - 2ct/1.4oz
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Cookies that taste great and even have some nutritional value

Just because a cookie isn't loaded with empty calories doesn't mean it has to taste like cardboard. Each of these cookies from Lenny & Larry comes packed with 16 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. There are other flavors available too, in case chocolate chip isn't you're favorite.

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Refreshing beverages for everyone

You've got the popcorn and candy — now you need something to wash it down with. Whatever you're drinking, a set of Tervis Tumblers will keep everything cold for the entire movie. They're also durable to the point of being virtually indestructible, so there's no worry about pausing the move to clean up broken glass. You can get them in a variety of colors or even with some of your favorite movie characters.

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Matching family pajamas make movie night an event

It's not unusual to see fans in costumes for the latest Star Wars or Marvel movie, so why not recreate that experience at home, too, but with matching pajamas. Even better, everyone's ready for bed when the credits roll. Sleep sets featuring characters like Marvel Fairisle and "The Mandalorian" start at $42 for kids at Hanna Andersson, and you can find plenty of other options at Target and Walmart. PJ's from Primary are another great option if you're looking for something that's not specific to a movie franchise.

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The perfect seat for kids

Getting kids to sit still for the entire length of a film can be a challenge, unless you have one of these bean bag chairs. They melt right into its armchair shape, glued there for the next 120 minutes. It's lightweight, so you can carry it anywhere in the house, and large enough for a teenager.

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A TV that gives you the theater experience

These days it's not hard to find fantastic values on large TVs with glossy high-definition picture quality, like this 65-inch model from TCL for less than $700. Besides the HD 4K resolution, what's great about this one is that it puts Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and other streaming services in one place with the built-in Roku software, and it's easy enough to use that you might not have to ask the kids to set it up for you. There are other great options if you're looking for something a little smaller or less expensive, like TCL's 43-inch Class 4 Series 4K UHD Smart Roku TV for just $230.

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A projector that can make any wall into a movie screen

The great thing about a projector is that you can turn any place in the house, or outside it, into a theater — all you need is a flat wall. This one connects to a DVD or Blu-Ray player, gaming consoles, or even smartphone or tablet. And there's almost no limit to how big you can make projections. This one can go as large as 14 feet from corner to corner, as long as you have enough to space and a dark enough room.

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Big sound in a small package

While TVs have evolved, their sound systems often aren't all that great. One minute, you'll be straining to hear a conversation; the next, a deafening action sequence starts. Soundbars are a great option for most home theaters because they don't take up much space, they're easy to set up, and they deliver an awesome audio experience. Vizio's 36-inch SB362An-F6 is a 2.1 channel model that uses Dolby and DTS technologies along with a pair of built-in subwoofers for a deep stereo sound that will fill most living rooms. It's also a great value. If you're set on a more robust surround sound speaker system, there are plenty of options.

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Lights that make your screen stand out and save your eyes

A simple adhesive strip of LED lights that attaches to the back of your television can really make your home theater pop. The light helps reduce eye strain, so your eyes don't have to adjust between the dark room and the screen. This set from Power Practical comes with a wireless remote to adjust the colors to boost the picture contrast too.

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A luxurious plush throw at a matinee price

One thing you can't do at the theater is snuggle up under a warm throw blanket with someone you love. L.L.Bean's Wicked Plush Throw is incredibly soft thanks to brushed fleece on both sides, and it's made to the exacting standards you expect from one of our favorite heritage brands. It's also machine washable, which comes in handy wherever kids and snacks intersect.

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A small, powerful heater to warm up the screening room

If you're struggling to get the temperature right in your home theater, a space heater can take the edge off the chill, whether you're in the basement or just needing a break from winter. Despite a svelte 4-pound frame, this one cranks out plenty warmth on three different settings. It's also got an automatic shutoff feature in case you forget about it when the show's over.

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Movie theaters may slash ticket prices to $3 for Warner Bros. films, according to a report, after the studio said it would debut movies on HBO Max alongside cinemas


wonder woman 1984 gal gadot

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US cinema chains may reportedly drop the prices of tickets for Warner Bros. films, after the studio said its 2021 releases would be available on HBO Max the same day they hit theaters.

Some movie theaters are considering slashing film tickets to as low as between $3 and $5 for Warner titles, insiders told The Hollywood Reporter– and the cinemas want to keep a hefty chunk of the ticket sales, too, at around 75% to 80% of revenue, the sources said. This is higher than normal.

Warner Bros. will release all its 2021 movies on the HBO Max streaming platform the same day they're released in theaters, it announced in early December. The movies will be available on HBO Max for one month, and will continue to play in theaters after that.

Some of the US's largest movie theater chains, including AMC and Cinemark, have already said that they will review Warner titles on a case-by-case basis to decide whether to screen them.

Read more:HBO Max's chief breaks down the seismic decision to stream all 2021 Warner Bros. movies as they hit theaters and responds to speculation about 2022 and beyond

While Warner's plan is, for now, only for 2021, it could have major and permanent ramifications for both Hollywood and movie theaters, who usually get to show a movie for 75 days before it can debut on streaming services.

Even before Warner made its announcement, movie theaters had been devastated by the pandemic.

Cinemas have been hit by both the lack of new releases because of coronavirus-related production delays, and waves of temporary closures and capacity limits.

The HBO Max deal is part of the reason why AMC could run out of money by the end of January, the cinema chain wrote in an SEC filing earlier this month.

Recent spikes in COVID-19 cases, alongside delays to major releases or decisions to launch straight to streaming, "have had, and are expected to continue to have in the future, a material adverse impact on theatre attendance levels and our business,"AMC wrote in the filing.

This has been exacerbated by Warner's announcement, it said, though AMC noted it doesn't know the full impact this will have yet. Other studios may adopt a similar strategy to Warner, it added.

Read more:Hollywood is raging over Warner Bros.' HBO Max plan. But one producer whose movie was impacted gave us the counter argument.

"Wonder Woman 1984" director Patty Jenkins warned that "we could lose movie theater-going forever" because of the advent of straight-to-streaming.

Warner itself could be financially hit, too. The studio could lose around $1.2 billion through lost revenue in 2021 because of fewer people seeing its movies in theaters, Moffett Nathanson analysts estimated earlier this month.

Business Insider has contacted AMC, Cinemark, and Warner Bros. for comment.

SEE ALSO: 'Tenet' director Christopher Nolan blasts Warner Bros. decision to debut movies on HBO Max, 'the worst streaming service'

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How to watch Chadwick Boseman's final role in 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' on Netflix


Ma Raineys Black Bottom David Lee Netflix

Summary List Placement
  • "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" debuted on Netflix on December 18 after a short run in theaters.
  • The film features Chadwick Boseman's final performance; the actor, best known for his role in "Black Panther," died of colon cancer on August 28.
  • "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" also stars Oscar winner Viola Davis in the titular role, with Denzel Washington producing.
  • Netflix starts at $9 per month, though the most popular option is $14, so you can get high definition streaming on your TV, smartphone, or computer.
  • See also: How to watch select Netflix movies and shows for free

Chadwick Boseman, the late star of "Black Panther" and "42," delivers his final performance in Netflix's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," an adaptation of the play of the same name. The film debuted on the streaming platform on December 18 after a limited theatrical run that drew critical acclaim for Boseman's role as musician Levee Green.

"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" is a part of the 10-play Pittsburgh Cycle written by August Wilson; it was first performed in 1984. In the Netflix adaptation, Viola Davis plays Ma Rainey, a real blues singer who inspired Wilson's character. Davis won an Academy Award for her role in another Wilson adaptation, "Fences," in 2016. Denzel Washington co-starred, directed, and produced "Fences," and is credited as a producer for "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom."

Boseman filmed "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" in July 2019, one year before he died of colon cancer. His role has been described as "a parting gift" by critics, and members of the cast described Boseman's performance as both "extraordinary" and "terrifying." Davis, whose character clashes with Boseman's Green on stage, said she broke down when she heard news of Boseman's death in August.

Along with the film, Netflix has produced a 30-minute documentary exploring how Wilson's play was adapted to the screen, with interviews from Davis, Washington, and director George C. Wolfe.

How to watch 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'

Outside of a very limited theater run, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" is exclusive to Netflix, so you'll have to sign up for the streaming service to watch.

Netflix plans start at $9 per month for standard definition streaming, but most people opt for the $14 per month option so they can get high definition streaming and share their account with another person. An $18 per month plan is also available with support for 4K streaming and playback on up to four screens.

"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" is available in up to 4K resolution with Dolby Vision HDR contrast and Dolby Atmos sound on supported devices. You can find the Netflix app on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and most smart TV brands.

Netflix is also home to "Da 5 Bloods," Boseman's penultimate performance, directed by Spike Lee. In that film, Boseman plays a member of a Black US Army troop in Vietnam, alongside Jonathan Majors and Delroy Lindo.

What other movies and shows can I watch on Netflix?

Netflix members can access a huge library of original shows and movies, as well as full seasons of select network series and a catalog of older films from different studios.

Popular Netflix Originals include shows like "Stranger Things,""The Witcher,""Ozark", "The Umbrella Academy,""The Crown," and "Cobra Kai." The service is also home to exclusive movies like "Enola Holmes,""The Devil All the Time," and "Rebecca."

If you're interested in sampling some of Netflix's original content but you don't want to sign up for a subscription just yet, you can watch some movies and shows for free right now. The free selection features 10 titles, including the movie "Bird Box" starring Sandra Bullock, and the first episode of "Stranger Things."

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James Bond maker MGM Holdings, valued at about $5.5 billion, is reportedly considering a sale


no time to die

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Movie studio MGM Holdings, best known for the James Bond franchise, is exploring a sale, sources familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

The company has already started a formal sale process, the sources said, and has a market value of about $5.5 billion including debt, based on privately traded shares.

MGM has a large catalog of big-name movies and TV shows it has either produced or distributed, including the Rocky franchise, "Legally Blonde," and "A Star is Born," which could make it attractive for sale, investors told the WSJ.

It is best known for the James Bond franchise, which it co-owns with holding company Danjaq.

It also owns the streaming service Epix.

Potential buyers have been expressing interest since the spring, when demand for streaming began to surge during national lockdowns, a person familiar with the process told the publication.

MGM hopes that interest will extend beyond traditional Hollywood players, one of the sources told the publication. They suggested international media companies, private-equity investors, and blank-check companies could be interested.

MGM did not immediately reply to Insider's request for comment.

Read more: Hollywood is raging over Warner Bros.' HBO Max plan. But one producer whose movie was impacted gave us the counter argument.

This isn't the first time the studio has reportedly considered a sale in recent years.

In 2016, MGM was close to a deal with a Chinese buyer for around $8 billion, sources told the WSJ, but this fell through.

Two years later, MGM's former CEO Gary Barber reportedly held talks with Apple to sell the studio for more than $6 billion, the publication said.

The studio fired Barber for having early, unsanctioned conversations, and Kevin Ulrich, the chairman of MGM's board and co-founder of Anchorage, MGM's biggest shareholder, reassured investors that he could sell MGM for more than $8 billion in two to three years, per the Journal.

Read more: HBO Max's chief breaks down the seismic decision to stream all 2021 Warner Bros. movies as they hit theaters and responds to speculation about 2022 and beyond

The film industry has been hard hit by the pandemic.

Studios have faced both coronavirus-related production delays and the closure of cinemas during lockdowns, and many have pushed back their 2020 theatrical release dates.

MGM wasn't exempt from this. "No Time to Die," the upcoming Bond installment, was pushed back from November to April 2021 so it could hit movie theaters. The studio had reportedly asked Netflix and Apple for $600 million to bring the film straight to streaming, but the streaming giants only wanted to pay half this price.

But during the pandemic, MGM has been saved by its impressive catalog, and has said it continued to see strong demand.

Production has since picked back up, and 2021 could possibly be the studio's biggest year for new content, Christopher Brearton, the company's chief operating officer, said in a third-quarter earnings call in November.

In early December, Warner Bros. shocked the film industry by saying it would release all its 2021 movies on the HBO Max streaming platform the same day they're released in theaters. Key Hollywood figures have openly slammed the decision, with "Tenet" director Christopher Nolan calling HBO Max "the worst streaming service."

SEE ALSO: Movie theaters may slash ticket prices to $3 for Warner Bros. films, according to a report, after the studio said it would debut movies on HBO Max alongside cinemas

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The biggest US movie-theater trade group says it's optimistic about a return to normalcy in the spring, but many consumers are wary


FILE - In this April 29, 2020 file photo, a message on the ticket window at the AMC Burbank 16 movie theaters complex informs potential customers that it is currently closed in Burbank, Calif.  AMC says its business is suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic and it may not survive. All of the company's theaters are shut down through June, and while the theaters are closed the company is generating no revenue.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

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The US movie-theater industry got some much-needed good news on Monday when Congress passed a $900 billion pandemic relief bill that included $15 billion in grants for independent theaters and live-entertainment venues.

The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), the largest movie-theater trade group that represents thousands of theaters across the country, praised the bill in a statement. The organization's president, John Fithian, said: "With multiple vaccines beginning to roll out, we see a bright light at the end of a very dark tunnel. There is a very real chance that our business can begin to return to normal in the spring."

But the stimulus package doesn't include relief for large theater chains like AMC Theatres and Cinemark, which remain open amid the pandemic. Other chains, like Regal and Cineworld, have closed all locations in the US and UK. 

NATO said it would continue to seek help for these chains.

But the reality is that movie theaters in the US won't return to any sense of normalcy until audiences are actually prepared to return. And that may be later than what theaters owners are hoping for.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, said last week that the US could return to some sense of normalcy by mid-fall 2021. But that's if 75%-85% of the population has received the vaccine by then. 

In a Morning Consult survey of 2,200 US adults released on Monday, 51% of respondents said they would not feel comfortable returning to a movie theater for another six months or more. Just 26% of respondents feel comfortable returning within the next three months and 23% weren't sure.

That is roughly in line with an October poll of 1,100 US consumers by the consulting firm Deloitte, in which 52% of respondents said they did not feel comfortable returning to a theater for another six months or more. 19% weren't sure at the time. And coronavirus cases have spiked across the country since then.

Still, it doesn't necessarily spell doom for theaters, as 35% of respondents to the Deloitte poll said they would prefer to watch a movie at a theater if it were released simultaneously on a streaming service at the same price. 42% said they would prefer to stay home and watch on the streaming service, even if the pandemic were over. And 23% said they would consider both equally.

The seeming reluctance by US consumers to return to movie theaters during the next six months shows potential for Warner Bros.' plan to release its entire 2021 theatrical slate on the HBO Max streaming service (at no extra cost) simultaneously with theaters. The move, which has rankled many in Hollywood, suggests that parent company WarnerMedia is not optimistic about theaters returning to normalcy soon.

Other movie studios are taking a hybrid approach to the uncertainty. Disney is releasing some movies straight to Disney Plus, such as Pixar's "Soul," while holding out for others in theaters, like "Black Widow." Universal has struck deals with some major theater chains to shorten the theatrical window to in most cases 17 days, at which point they can release movies to digital-rental platforms.

Whatever approach movie studios take, however, it is clear that for the industry to return to any sense of normalcy, consumers will have to be comfortable returning to theaters. Once that happens, the industry will see how many of the pandemic-related changes Hollywood has made were temporary, and how many have become the new normal.

SEE ALSO: 'Wonder Woman 1984' flopped at the China box office ahead of its HBO Max debut. A surge in piracy could be next.

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If Godzilla existed in real life, he wouldn't be able to stand up

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  • Since his debut in 1954, Godzilla has gotten bigger and bigger.
  • In 2019's "Godzilla: King of the Monsters", he's bigger than ever, towering at a whopping 119 meters. At that size, his heart wouldn't be able to pump blood to his brain.
  • His brain would send messages too slowly to his muscles, so he wouldn't be able to move properly either.
  • Plus, he'd either have to spend all his time sunbathing to stay warm, or produce his own body heat and cook himself.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. 

The newest Godzilla is bigger than ever, towering at a whopping 119 meters. At that size, his heart wouldn't be able to pump blood to his brain. And if he were a reptile, he'd have to spend all his time sunbathing to keep warm, while a mammal of his size would cook itself with its own body heat.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: The roar belongs to one of the most iconic movie monsters of all time: Godzilla. Since his debut in 1954, the King of Monsters has rampaged across Tokyo, New York City, and Osaka to name a few. And over the years, he's gotten bigger, and bigger, and bigger. The latest Godzilla is a record 119 meters tall, about six times taller than the tallest animal in history. And to be fair, it's a fantasy film, not a nature documentary.

But just how fantastical is a 36-story-tall lizard-dinosaur creature who breathes beams of atomic energy? Well, energy beams aside, Godzilla is actually even more unrealistic than you might think. Now, Earth is no stranger to enormous animals.

Just look at the largest dinosaur, the titanosaurs, or today's blue whales, which reach up to 30 meters long and can weigh 200 tons. Compared to them, Godzilla doesn't seem that impossible, right?

Mike Habib:  These critters are massive on a scale that's just totally impossible. I mean, assuming, at least, they're made of anything even remotely like what we're made out of and follow any of the roles of biology, they are completely impossible.

Narrator: That's paleontologist Mike Habib. He's an expert in giant reptiles and also helps design fantastical creatures for TV and film. And according to him, a creature like Godzilla could never exist in real life for multiple reasons. First, he would be brain-dead long before he ever reached a city because his heart simply isn't large and powerful enough to pump blood to his head.

Mike Habib: His heart would have to be thousands of tons and fill most of his chest. You'd have to have vessels that you could drive a car through, and he would need the energy consumption of a small power plant, probably, every minute in order to run it. Of course, he's nuclear-powered, so maybe he has the energy to spare.

Narrator: In reality, large animals like titanosaurs got around this by walking on all fours with their heads held out in front them, not held up high. That way, they don't have to pump blood against gravity as far. But even if Godzilla did crawl across cities on all fours, he'd have another problem: movement.

You see, whenever you lift your leg or arm, it's because your brain fires signals to the nerves in your leg and arm muscles. The fastest of these signals travel around 100 meters per second, so the message from brain to leg is virtually instantaneous. Not for Godzilla though. It would take more than a full second for nerve signals to travel the length of his body. Now, a second still sounds pretty quick, but in reality...

Mike Habib: His nerve-conduction speed becomes so slow that he can't move. Takes forever to do anything.

Narrator: Now, Godzilla does look pretty sluggish in the films, but it turns out, in reality, it would look more like this. But even if Godzilla could move super fast, he wouldn't have time to fight enemies or demolish buildings because he'd be too busy sunbathing. All animals need a way to regulate body temperature. Reptiles and other cold-blooded animals stay warm by basking in the sun.

But in Godzilla's case, heat from the sun would have to travel through meters upon meters of tissue to penetrate his hide and reach his internal organs. So to stay warm, he'd have to spend hundreds of hours straight sunbathing. But what if Godzilla were more like a mammal? Like us? He wouldn't need to rely on the sun since we warm-blooded creatures produce our own body heat. But unfortunately, that would cause yet another problem.

Mike Habib: But then he's so big, he probably cooks himself. His core temperature hits 300 degrees.

Narrator: Yikes. And even if he somehow got around all these problems, his skeleton would still collapse under its own weight. Now, Mike says he's a whopping 90,000 metric tons, and that skeleton's just not strong enough to support 90,000 metric tons of, well, anything.

Mike Habib: Yeah, he would just crumple. Yeah. He'd just collapse. He'd be a very large pile of meat.

Narrator: Not a very intimidating picture. In the end, Mike says Godzilla could only be about half as tall as he was in the original film before his poor heart would give out. But just because Godzilla's body is unrealistic doesn't mean it's bad. In fact, he's perfect for the role. He's tall enough to stalk past city skyscrapers, which give us iconic scenes like this.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This video was originally published in May 2019.

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DC wants to make 2 superhero movies a year that would be exclusive to HBO Max


Justice League

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DC's movie ambitions are coming into focus.

The company behind the likes of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman wants to make two superhero movies a year exclusively for corporate parent WarnerMedia's flagship streaming platform, HBO Max, according to a New York Times profile of DC Films president Walter Hamada published on Sunday.

The Times noted that movies based on characters like Batgirl and Static Shock would go straight to Max while the "most expensive DC movies" would stick to theaters.

DC still plans to release up to four theatrical movies a year starting in 2022.

READ MORE: Insiders say major questions hang over DC Universe as its parent company prepares to launch Netflix rival HBO Max

DC and its parent company Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to requests for further comment.

The revelation comes amid Hollywood shock over Warner Bros.' plan to release all of its 2021 movies simultaneously on HBO Max and in theaters. Those movies will be available to stream for 31 days before leaving for an exclusive theatrical run (the movies will play in international theaters as intended, as Max has not launched outside of the US yet).

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Warner Bros. already implemented this hybrid model with "Wonder Woman 1984" over the weekend. The movie grossed $16.7 million at the US box office, the best domestic opening for a movie since the coronavirus pandemic began. 2017's "Wonder Woman" earned $103 million in its debut, which just shows how much the pandemic has impacted the theatrical industry.

Meanwhile, WarnerMedia said on Sunday that half of Max's retail subscribers — as in, those who subscribe directly to Max rather than through a cable provider — watched the movie on its premiere day on Friday. It didn't provide specific viewership numbers, though.

READ MORE: Two Black former DC Comics editors describe the career obstacles they faced, from white leadership saying they'd never be promoted to their achievements being undercut

The reasoning behind DC's long-term goal for its movies comes down to a couple factors.

First, WarnerMedia is looking for ways to boost Max, which has struggled to convert existing HBO customers and sign up new ones since launching in May. Max had 12.6 million activations as of December 8 (Max and HBO had 38 million subscribers combined as of October). DC, with its collection of popular characters, is an essential part of that, and not just on the movie front. Multiple big-budget DC TV shows are in the works, from spin-offs of upcoming theatrical releases like "The Batman" and "The Suicide Squad" to standalone projects like "Green Lantern"— and a director's cut of "Justice League."

Second, DC and Warner Bros. have so far lagged behind Marvel and Disney in creating a cross-platform franchise. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the highest-grossing movie franchise of all time with multiple TV spin-offs coming to Disney Plus starting this year. During a recent investor day presentation, Disney announced 10 new Marvel TV shows that are in the works.

"With every movie that we're looking at now, we are thinking, 'What's the potential Max spinoff?'" Hamada told the Times.

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NOW WATCH: What makes 'Parasite' so shocking is the twist that happens in a 10-minute sequence

'Wonder Woman 1984' stalled at the China box office with a 92% decline from last week


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"Wonder Woman 1984" took a nosedive at the China box office in its second weekend in theaters in the region.

The superhero sequel earned just $1.5 million over the weekend, according to Artisan Gateway, a Chinese film consulting firm. It's a 92% decline from its debut weekend in China when it earned a disappointing $18 million.

It has grossed $85 million globally so far.

The movie's debut weekend was a slow one across the board for China, whose theatrical industry has otherwise started to rebound after being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic (the Chinese box office has even surpassed North America as the world's biggest this year). The Chinese movie "The Rescue" also fell below projections with $36 million last weekend.

But this weekend was different, as the Hong Kong action movie "Shock Wave 2" earned $64.5 million in China and the Chinese fantasy movie "Dream of Eternity" grossed $39 million. Yet "Wonder Woman 1984" continued to flounder in the region.

READ MORE: DC wants to make 2 superhero movies a year that would be exclusive to HBO Max

"Wonder Woman 1984" fared better in its debut in US theaters over the weekend. It made $16.7 million, the best opening since the pandemic began, but a sign that US movie theaters are far from a full recovery. 2017's "Wonder Woman" earned $103 million in its opening weekend in the US. It ultimately grossed $822 million worldwide, $90.5 million of which came from China.

"Wonder Woman 1984" debuted simultaneously on WarnerMedia's streaming service HBO Max in the US over the weekend (it's not available internationally yet). WarnerMedia said on Sunday that nearly half of its retail subscribers (those who subscribe directly to Max rather than through a cable provider) watched the movie on its first day on Friday, but didn't provide specific viewership numbers. Max had 12.6 million activations as of December 8.

Industry experts previously said that piracy could be an issue once the movie had become available to stream.

"A pristine, high-definition copy of the movie will be available in everyone's queues within days," Shawn Robbins, the Box Office Pro chief analyst, told Business Insider last week. 

But a lack of enthusiasm for "Wonder Woman 1984" may have contributed to its dramatic decline at the China box office. It scored a 7.8 on the Chinese ticketing app Maoyan and a 6.5 from the Chinese social network Douban, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The movie has generally been favored less than its predecessor, "Wonder Woman," among audiences and critics.

It has a 65% Rotten Tomatoes critic score and a 73% audience score based on over 1,700 user ratings ("Wonder Woman" has a 93% critic score and 84% audience score). The sequel received a B+ on Cinemascore, which surveys audiences on a movie's opening night (the first movie received an A).

SEE ALSO: 'Wonder Woman 1984' made over $16 million at the US box office over the weekend, the best opening during the pandemic

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Data suggests 'Wonder Woman 1984' is giving HBO Max a huge boost as the movie struggles at the box office


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After "Wonder Woman 1984" debuted simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max in the US on Christmas Day, it grabbed headlines for grossing the biggest pandemic-era opening weekend at the domestic box office with $16.7 million.

But it was also a sign of how the theatrical industry has suffered gravely in the last year, as 2017's "Wonder Woman" grossed $103 million domestically in its first weekend.

In its second weekend, "Wonder Woman 1984" dropped 67% at the domestic box office with $5.5 million. In fairness, just 35% of North American theaters are currently open, according to Comscore. And the movie's presence on Max for subscribers, at no extra cost, deemphasizes the urgency to head to a theater for some.

READ MORE: 'Wonder Woman 1984' stalled at the China box office with a 92% decline from last week

But the superhero sequel, which cost $200 million to make, was sluggish at the international box office over the weekend too, and Max isn't available outside of the US. It grossed $10 million across 40 international markets, bringing its global total to $118.5 million.

As the movie stalls at the box office, data from the research startup Antenna shows that it is providing a boost for Max, WarnerMedia's flagship streaming service.

"Wonder Woman 1984" and "Hamilton,"which debuted on Disney Plus in July, were the two most impactful streaming releases of 2020 in terms of attracting sign-ups, according to Antenna. The company pulls from a variety of opt-in panels like budgeting apps to track purchase and transaction data, which doesn't include free trials.

For its debut weekend, "Wonder Woman 1984" generated 4.3 times the amount of signups as the average for the previous three weekends in December, according to Antenna

The chart below illustrates the subscriber gains.

antenna hbo max disney plus signups wonder woman 1984

20% of the Max signups came through Roku and Amazon platforms, the two biggest streaming distributors, according to Antenna. Max launched in May, but WarnerMedia didn't strike a deal with Amazon until November and with Roku until a week before the release of "Wonder Woman 1984."

A representative for HBO Max declined to comment. Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Max has struggled to gain new subscribers and convert existing HBO customers since launching. It had 12.6 million activations as of December 8, while HBO and Max had a combined 38 million subscribers as of November.

But the response to "Wonder Woman 1984" could be a positive sign for the service. WarnerMedia said that nearly half of the service's retail customers watched the movie on its first day (though it didn't provide specific viewership numbers). 

READ MORE: DC wants to make 2 superhero movies a year that would be exclusive to HBO Max

Warner Bros. is planning to release all of its 2021 movies with the same hybrid streaming/theatrical model that it used for "Wonder Woman 1984," which includes other tentpole films like "The Suicide Squad" and "Dune."The plan received backlash from talent, including prominent filmmakers like Christopher Nolan, who called Max the "worst streaming service," and "Dune" director Denis Villeneuve, who wrote a critical op-ed for Variety.

But it's unclear when the theatrical industry will recover. Major theater chains like Regal and Cineworld remain closed in the US and UK. Warner Bros.' release plan is a way to get its movies out to the biggest possible audience at a time when people have been wary of heading to a theater, especially in the US.

Of course, one major concern about the plan is that Warner Bros.' movies could see a surge in piracy once they're available on Max.

"A pristine, high-definition copy of the movie will be available in everyone's queues within days," Shawn Robbins, the chief analyst at Box Office Pro, previously told Business Insider.

At any rate, Jeff Bock, the Exhibitor Relations senior media analyst, thinks the sluggish box office of "Wonder Woman 1984" is more of a sign that Warner Bros. made the right call to also release it on Max.

"It's going to be problematic to release blockbuster content on a global scale, especially early on in 2021 and possibly over the entire year," he previously said.

SEE ALSO: The top 20 streaming TV shows of the year from services like Netflix, Disney Plus, and HBO Max

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The top 9 movies on Netflix this week, from 'The Midnight Sky' to 'We Can Be Heroes'


the midnight sky netflix

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George Clooney's new directorial effort "Midnight Sky" and Robert Rodriguez's follow-up to 2005's "Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl" were among Netflix's most popular movies this week. 

Every week, the streaming search engine Reelgood compiles for Business Insider a list of which movies have been most prominent on Netflix's daily top-10 lists that week. On Reelgood, users can browse Netflix's entire movie library and sort by IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes ratings.

Seven of the top nine movies this week had a "rotten" score (below 60%) on Rotten Tomatoes, including the top movie, Liam Neeson's "Unknown."

Below are Netflix's 9 most popular movies of the week in the US:

SEE ALSO: The top 9 streaming TV shows this week, from 'Cobra Kai' to 'The Expanse'

9. "The Midnight Sky" (2020, Netflix original)

Description:"In the aftermath of a global catastrophe, a lone scientist in the Arctic races to contact a crew of astronauts with a warning not to return to Earth."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 52%

What critics said: "The Midnight Sky is a good example of a movie that sells itself short by trying to be one thing — serious, heavy, emotional — when, by all available indicators, it should be more of a thriller, or more ridiculous, or at the very least more fun."— Rolling Stone

8. "S.W.A.T." (2003)

Description: "A veteran cop is tasked with drafting and training a special weapons and tactics team, who soon find themselves up against an international criminal."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 48%

What critics said: "As summer shoot-'em-ups go, this is pretty well executed, with plenty of macho posing and gunfire."— Chicago Reader

7. "Four Christmases" (2008)

Description: "A dating couple is forced to spend their first Christmas together visiting each of their four divorced parents — in a single day."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 25%

What critics said: "Gordon's stars are charmless, his script cheerless, and his sterling supporting cast can't seem to figure out what they've been brought on board to do."— NPR

6. "Rango" (2011)

Description: "When he becomes lost in the desert, pet chameleon Rango pretends he's a tough guy and ends up sheriff of a corrupt and violent frontier town."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 88%

What critics said: "Though young children may enjoy it, the film is built for viewers of any age with a taste for joyful anarchy."— New Yorker

5. "Death to 2020" (2020, Netflix original)

Description: "As the year we all want to end finally does, take a look back at 2020's mad glory in this comedic retrospective from the creators of 'Black Mirror.'"

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 37%

What critics said: "Death to 2020 is ultimately just more of the same painfully humorless noise that's made up most of the year."— Vox

4. "30 Minutes or Less" (2011)

Description: "Two crooks planning a bank heist wind up abducting a pizza delivery driver and force him to commit the robbery — with a strict time limit."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 45%

What critics said: "It all goes horribly wrong, with the characters and the audience united in anguish."— Financial Times

3. "17 Again" (2009)

Description: "Nearing a midlife crisis, thirty-something Mike wishes for a "do-over"— and that's exactly what he gets when he wakes up to find he's 17 again."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 56%

What critics said: "When 17 Again isn't pilfering from its betters, it's engaging in the most Pavlovian button-pushing."— Slant Magazine

2. "We Can Be Heroes" (2020, Netflix original)

Description: "When alien invaders capture Earth's superheroes, their kids must learn to work together to save their parents — and the planet." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 69%

What critics said: "This was clearly made for kids, not critics, and the design and action are vibrant enough to divert them. Rodriguez is well-versed in superhero tropes for parents who can appreciate comic-book satire."— CNN

1. "Unknown" (2011)

Description: "Liam Neeson stars as a man who regains consciousness after a car accident, only to discover that another man is impersonating him."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 55%

What critics said: "A nifty final twist, but it is so joyless and heavy-handed I found it impossible to like."— Guardian

Warner Bros. is planning to introduce a new payment structure with filmmakers, casts, and crews, based partly on HBO Max streaming fees


Dune Warner Bros

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Warner Bros. is agreeing to new payment structures for filmmakers and their crews based in part on HBO Max streaming fees, according to multiple reports. 

The studio in December surprised Hollywood by announcing that its entire 2021 line-up would be released on its HBO Max streaming service. The movies, including "The Matrix 4,""Space Jam: A New Legacy," and "Dune," will hit theaters on the same days as their streaming debuts. 

Now, Warner Bros. is in the process of altering deals with partners to "guarantee payment regardless of box-office sales and to increase the odds of performance-based bonuses,"Bloomberg reported Saturday. 

Read moreThe exec in charge of HBO Max breaks down the Hollywood-shaking decision to release all 2021 Warner Bros. movies to streaming and theaters simultaneously: 'Predictability is at a premium'

Those bonuses have traditionally been linked to box office success. There are several movies on Warner Bros.'s 2021 release list that would have been considered tentpoles if they were released into theaters more traditionally.  

Legendary Entertainment's "Godzilla vs. Kong," is at the heart of the negotiations, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Forbes reported that film had a monster budget of about $180 million, while The Hollywood Reporter said it was closer to $200 million. It would be expected to earn more than that if released exclusively in theaters. It's a sequel to "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" and "Kong: Skull Island," which earned $387 million and $567 million, respectively, in theaters worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. 

Legendary had attempted to sell "Godzilla vs. Kong" to Netflix for $225 million, but Warner Bros. stopped the deal, according to Forbes. Now, it seems Warner Bros. and Legendary might make a deal.

Under the deal, HBO Max would pay Warner Bros. a fee for the streaming movies, some of which would go to the movies' production partners, filmmakers, casts and crews, according to Bloomberg. 

The deal would also cut in half the amount in box office sales that a film would need to hit before partners begin earning bonuses, according to Bloomberg. 

It's unclear from the reports whether all filmmakers and production companies involved with Warner Bros.'s 2021 releases will agree to the new deal. 

"Dune" director Denis Villeneuve, for example, wrote a scathing essay in Variety after the HBO Max announcement. He said the decision by AT&T, the corporate parent of Warner Bros., was a "sacrifice." 

"I strongly believe the future of cinema will be on the big screen, no matter what any Wall Street dilettante says," Villeneuve wrote. 

HBO Max released"Wonder Woman 1984" on Christmas Day, the same day it arrived in theaters. The movie made more than $16 million in its first weekend, the best opening during the pandemic. 

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The most watched streaming TV shows and movies of 2020, according to Nielsen


the mandalorian

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Streaming saw a major boom in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic and the average US streaming home now subscribes to four streaming services, according to recent research.

But even as more companies entered the streaming space, from WarnerMedia to NBCUniversal, Netflix still dominated 2020.

The research company Nielsen released its lists of the top streaming original series, acquired series, and movies on Tuesday. Netflix topped both TV lists with "Ozark" and "The Office," the latter of which left the service at the end of 2020 for NBCU's Peacock. 

Overall, "The Office" was the most watched streaming title of 2020, according to Nielsen, which measured minutes watched in the US across four streaming platforms: Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video (no titles from the latter two services made Nielsen's lists). 

"The Office" has been a consistent hit for Netflix and shows that while the company is investing heavily in original content and wants to build its own franchises, its library of old TV shows is still essential for its success.

Since Nielsen measured the minutes watched for each title, TV shows had an advantage when looking at how the movies and TV shows stacked up against each other. Insider combined the lists based on minutes watched to come up with a top 20, and only one movie made that list: "Frozen II," which is streaming on Disney Plus.

Disney Plus dominated the movies list with seven titles, but only one of its TV shows, "The Mandalorian," broke through.

Longer-running shows also have an advantage on Nielsen's list. For instance, "The Office" has nearly 200 episodes compared to "The Mandalorian's" 16.

Below are the top 20 streaming titles of 2020 according to Nielsen, based on minutes watched in the US:

SEE ALSO: New research shows the average US household now subscribes to 4 streaming services — and it could lead to a major shift in the market

20. "Longmire" (Netflix original)

Minutes watched: 11.38 billion

Number of episodes: 63

19. "Boss Baby: Back in Business" (Netflix original)

Minutes watched: 12.6 billion

Number of episodes: 49

18. "The Great British Baking Show" (Netflix original)

Minutes watched: 13.28 billion

Number of episodes: 65

17. "The Umbrella Academy" (Netflix original)

Minutes watched: 13.47 billion

Number of episodes: 20

16. "The Vampire Diaries" (streaming on Netflix)

Minutes watched: 14.09 billion

Number of episodes: 171

15. "The Blacklist" (streaming on Netflix)

Minutes watched: 14.48 billion

Number of episodes: 152

14. "The Mandalorian" (Disney Plus original)

Minutes watched: 14.52 billion

Number of episodes: 16

13. "New Girl" (streaming on Netflix)

Minutes watched: 14.54 billion

Number of episodes: 146

12. "Frozen II" (streaming on Disney Plus)

Minutes watched: 14.92 billion

11. "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" (Netflix original)

Minutes watched: 15.61 billion

Number of episodes: 8

10. "The Crown" (Netflix original)

Minutes watched: 16.27 billion

Number of episodes: 40

9. "Shameless" (streaming on Netflix)

Minutes watched: 18.2 billion

Number of episodes: 122

8. "Lucifer" (Netflix original)

Minutes watched: 18.97 billion

Number of episodes: 75

7. "Supernatural" (streaming on Netflix)

Minutes watched: 20.3 billion

Number of episodes: 318

6. "Schitt's Creek" (streaming on Netflix)

Minutes watched: 23.78 billion

Number of episodes: 70

5. "NCIS" (streaming on Netflix)

Minutes watched: 28.13 billion

Number of episodes: 353

4. "Ozark" (Netflix original)

Minutes watched: 30.46 billion

Number of episodes: 30

3. "Criminal Minds" (streaming on Netflix)

Minutes watched: 35.41 billion

Number of episodes: 277

2. "Grey's Anatomy" (streaming on Netflix)

Minutes watched: 39.4 billion

Number of episodes: 366

1. "The Office" (left Netflix at the end of 2020, now streaming on Peacock)

Minutes watched: 57.1 billion

Number of episodes: 192

The biggest streaming original TV shows of 2020 according to Nielsen, based on minutes watched in the US (all on Netflix unless otherwise noted)

  1. "Ozark"— 30.5 billion
  2. "Lucifer"— 18.97 billion
  3. "The Crown"— 16.27 billion
  4. "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness"— 15.6 billion 
  5. "The Mandalorian"— 14.5 billion (Disney Plus)
  6. "The Umbrella Academy"— 13.47 billion
  7. "Great British Baking Show"— 13.28 billion 
  8. "Boss Baby: Back in Business"— 12.6 billion 
  9. "Longmire"— 11.38 billion
  10. "You"— 10.96 billion


The biggest streaming library TV shows of 2020 according to Nielsen, based on minutes watched in the US (all on Netflix)

  1. "The Office"— 57.1 billion 
  2. "Grey's Anatomy"— 39.4 billion
  3. "Criminal Minds"— 35.4 billion
  4. "NCIS"— 28.1 billion
  5. "Schitt's Creek"— 23.78 billion
  6. "Supernatural"— 20.3 billion
  7. "Shameless"— 18.2 billion
  8. "New Girl"— 14.5 billion
  9. "The Blacklist"— 14.48 billion
  10. "The Vampire Diaries"— 14.09 billion

The biggest streaming movies of 2020 according to Nielsen, based on minutes watched in the US

  1. "Frozen II"— 14.9 billion (Disney Plus)
  2. "Moana"— 10.5 billion (Disney Plus)
  3. "The Secret Life of Pets 2"— 9.1 billion (Netflix)
  4. "Onward"— 8.37 billion (Disney Plus)
  5. "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch"— 6.18 billion (Netflix)
  6. "Hamilton"— 6.1 billion (Disney Plus)
  7. "Spenser Confidential"— 5.37 billion (Netflix)
  8. "Aladdin" (2019) — 5.17 billion (Disney Plus)
  9. "Toy Story 4"— 4.42 billion (Disney Plus)
  10. "Zootopia"— 4.40 billion (Disney Plus)

The 18 best movies on Hulu that you can stream right now


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  • For $6 a month (ad-supported) or $12 a month (ad-free), Hulu offers access to its entire streaming catalog of TV shows, original series, and movies.
  • While movies often aren't the main draw ofHulu, its collection of around 2,500 titles is nothing to sneeze at.
  • Standout new releases include "Palm Springs,""Parasite,""Babyteeth," and "The Assistant."
  • If you're looking for a reliable device to stream Hulu on, check out our guides to the best cheap TVs and the best streaming players.
  • Read more: The 17 best TV shows that you can stream on Hulu right now

Though Hulu originally launched as a platform aimed at bringing TV series to streamers, over the years it's built a sizable movie catalog, with an estimated total of around 2,500 titles across genres. I've often viewed it as a nice supplement to my Hulu subscription rather than what drives me to the platform, which is still its collection of my favorite shows and its host of original content

But as I was browsing their film selection, I kept finding myself saying, "I didn't know Hulu had this," and adding it to my watch list. It's become clear to me that I have to turn my attention away from watching "30 Rock" over and over again and start streaming some of Hulu's vast movie collection. Clearly, I have a lot of content to catch up on.

If you don't yet have a Hulu subscription, the ad-supported option remains one of the most affordable streaming services on the market at $5.99 a month, or you can upgrade to the ad-free option — which I think is well worth it— for $11.99 a month. For those who want even more content, the ad-supported Hulu is also available as a bundle with Disney Plus and ESPN+ for $12.99 a month ($6/month less than buying each separately). 

Each tier gives you access to Hulu's entire movie catalog as well as the platform's entire collection of shows and Hulu Originals. And it couldn't be easier to stream. The Hulu app already comes installed on most smart TVs, so all you have to do is log in and start streaming. If you don't have a smart TV, most streaming boxes or sticks will have Hulu available as an app as well. Or you can always stream on your phone or laptop.

Once you get set up, here's our list of the best movies available for streaming on Hulu. Our selection features a mix of recent releases and classic titles across multiple genres, ensuring that all viewing needs are accounted for. All of the movies we've selected are categorized as fresh by critics on the review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes

Updated on 01/14/2021 by Ben Blanchet: Removed films no longer available on Hulu. Added "Chicken Run,""Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,""Babyteeth,""Buffaloed," and "The Assistant."

'Palm Springs'

"Palm Springs" is a romantic comedy with a sci-fi spin. The film stars Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti as two strangers who get trapped in a time loop. No matter what they do, every morning they wake up at a wedding in Palm Springs living the same day over and over again. The Hulu Original movie is directed by Max Barbakow, and features a script written by Andy Siara. Jason Guerrasio, senior entertainment reporter at Insider, gave the film an A- grade in his full review.


Winner of the 2020 Academy Award for Best Picture, "Parasite" is a dark comedy that deals heavily with social and economic themes related to class. The story centers on a poor family, the Kims, who are in need of work. When the Kims trick a wealthy family into hiring them all for various jobs, it looks as if their money problems are solved. But complications soon arise that could reveal the family's con. "Parasite" comes from director Bong Joon Ho ("Snowpiercer") and is presented on Hulu with its original Korean audio mix. English and Spanish subtitle options are available.


Over the past several years, the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent a transformation from legal expert and Supreme Court Justice to the Notorious R.B.G. — an unlikely pop culture icon and feminist superstar. This critically acclaimed documentary tracks the groundbreaking, revolutionary career of a political powerhouse and her rise to prominence as the second-ever female Supreme Court Justice

'Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery'

Comedian Mike Myers' groovy character is the center of this spoof of spy movies. After over three decades spent frozen away from society, British spy Austin Powers emerges to take on Dr. Evil (also played by Myers) who is bent on world domination. This first film in the "Austin Powers" franchise is riddled with sex jokes and humor poking fun at the playboy's misplacement in time.

'Mission: Impossible - Fallout'

Paramount's "Mission: Impossible" franchise has been going strong since 1996, and the latest installment in the series just might be the best yet. "Mission: Impossible – Fallout" picks up after the events of the last film, and focuses on Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) as he and his team of spies attempt to track down a criminal who has stolen plutonium. Filled with thrilling visuals, the movie is a perfect fit for action junkies.  

'How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World'

If you're looking for an entertaining family film on Hulu, then Dreamworks' "How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World" is a great fit. The third film in the animated trilogy finds Hiccup and Toothless embarking on a journey to find a secret land where dragons live in peace. The movie stars the vocal talents of Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, and F. Murray Abraham. 


Director Shannon Murphy's debut film tells the story of Milla, a teenager fighting cancer, who meets Moses, a man in his early 20s who is addicted to drugs. Her parents aren't fond of the relationship between the two although it appears to bring Milla a new outlook on life. The coming-of-age tale is based on the play of the same name.

'I, Tonya'

This dark comedy mockumentary follows the infamous scandal in which Tonya Harding's ex-husband hired a goon to attack and injure rival ice skater Nancy Kerrigan prior to the 1994 Olympics. Harding's involvement in the plot ruined her career and got her banned from ice skating competitions for life. Margot Robbie earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Harding, and the great Allison Janney took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Harding's mother

'Little Monsters'

In this Hulu Original movie, Lupita Nyong'o plays a school teacher who must protect her kindergarten class during a zombie apocalypse. The film also stars Alexander England as a struggling musician, and Josh Gad as a kids' TV personality. Blending horror and laughs, "Little Monsters" offers a gory twist on romantic comedy sensibilities. 

'Sorry to Bother You'

Cash is finding his job as a telemarketer to be nearly impossible until his coworker lets him in on the secret to success: "white voice." When he excels at the skill, he rises quickly through the ranks only to discover the company he's working for has a freakish dark side. This sci-fi satire takes on race, class, and labor themes in a truly unique way.

'Chicken Run'

This British stop motion animated film tells the tale of a group of chickens who attempt to escape from a pair of sinister egg farmers who wish to make a meal out of any bird that doesn't meet their demands. The film comes from the Academy Award-winning creators of "Wallace & Gromit" and features the voice of Mel Gibson, who stars as an American rooster who falls in love with a hen on the farm.

'Three Identical Strangers'

Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, the documentary film "Three Identical Strangers" presents a classic instance of "truth is stranger than fiction." This unlikely true story examines the peculiar case of identical triplets who meet each other as young adults after being separated at birth. As the three brothers attempt to piece together how this could have happened, they discover surprising twists and turns that gradually expose a complex mystery.  


This comedy-drama originally premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. The story follows Peggy Dahl (Zoey Deutch), a young woman who wants to leave her life in Buffalo, New York behind. She decides to pivot to a career in debt collection and tries to hustle her way into paying for an Ivy League education.

'The Cabin in the Woods'

More than just a typical horror flick, director Drew Goddard's "The Cabin in the Woods" acts as a clever satire on typical horror movie tropes and clichés. The film starts off with a standard premise as five friends encounter a deadly threat in a secluded cabin – but as the story develops, the movie playfully turns that common plot on its head. Funny and thrilling, this is a slasher with some genuine smarts and laughs on top of a healthy helping of scares.


Following in the footsteps of similar coming-of-age teen comedies, "Booksmart" offers ample laughs and heartfelt insights in equal measure. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein star as a pair of high school seniors who suddenly realize they've spent their entire lives focusing on grades without having any fun. Before their graduation, they attempt to make up for lost time with a night of partying they'll never forget.  

'Missing Link'

Winner of the 2020 Golden Globe for Best Animated Motion Picture, "Missing Link" is a beautiful stop-motion film from the same studio who produced "Coraline" and "Kubo and the Two Strings." The story follows a Sasquatch named Mr. Link who seeks the help of an explorer to help him find his Yeti relatives. Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, and Zach Galifianakis all lend their voices to the cast.

'The Assistant'

Julia Garner ("Ozark") stars in a drama built for the #MeToo era. Garner's character, Jane, plays an assistant to a film producer whose typical work consists of coffee runs and minor office tasks. When she begins to see signs of an abusive workplace, she decides to take action.

'Big Time Adolescence'

"Big Time Adolescence" focuses on a high school student named Monroe (Griffin Gluck) as he follows the unusual guidance of his best friend, a college dropout named Zeke (Pete Davidson). The coming-of-age comedy also stars Jon Cryer, Emily Arlook, Colson Baker, and Sydney Sweeney. "Big Time Adolescence" is written and directed by Jason Orley. The movie originally premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

The top 9 movies on Netflix this week, from 'We Can Be Heroes' to 'Superbad'


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Robert Rodriguez's "Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl" sequel, "We Can Be Heroes," was Netflix's most popular movie this week after trailing behind Liam Neeson's "Unknown" last week. 

Every week, the streaming search engine Reelgood compiles for Business Insider a list of which movies have been most prominent on Netflix's daily top-10 lists that week. On Reelgood, users can browse Netflix's entire movie library and sort by IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes ratings.

Below are Netflix's 9 most popular movies of the week in the US:

SEE ALSO: The most watched streaming TV shows and movies of 2020, according to Nielsen

9. "Superbad" (2007)

Description: "Hoping to have sex before college, high school seniors Seth and Evan try to score booze for a huge party, leading to a series of wild misadventures."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 88%

What critics said: "What makes the film so appealing is the disconnect between what comes from the mouths of these hormone-addled pups and what's going on in their heads, where they're still clinging desperately to the innocence they're leaving behind."— NPR

8. "Unknown" (2011)

Description: "Liam Neeson stars as a man who regains consciousness after a car accident, only to discover that another man is impersonating him."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 55%

What critics said: "For about an hour or so, 'Unknown' is intriguing."— New Yorker

7. "Catch Me If You Can" (2002)

Description: "An FBI agent makes it his mission to put cunning con man Frank Abagnale Jr. behind bars. But Frank not only eludes capture, he revels in the pursuit."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 96%

What critics said: "A gently funny, sweetly adventurous film that makes you feel genuinely good, that is to say, entirely unconned by false sentiment or sharp, overmanipulative Hollywood practices."— Time

6. "Killers" (2010)

Description: "After a whirlwind romance, Jen and Spencer settle into married life — until Spencer's secret past as a hit man shakes up their suburban bliss."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 10%

What critics said: "It's pretty much dead in the water as soon as a shirtless Kutcher tries to play suave and utters some terrible French in his first attempt to woo his co-star."— Toronto Star

5. "Charming" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "On the eve of his 21st birthday, an adored prince must find his one, true soulmate before a spell takes away all love from his kingdom."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 24%

What critics said: "It has the odd fun conceit but the set-up is tortured, the storytelling is episodic, the gags scattershot, the songs forgettable and the animation rudimentary. You'll live happily ever after without it."— Empire

4. "17 Again" (2009)

Description: "Nearing a midlife crisis, thirty-something Mike wishes for a "do-over"— and that's exactly what he gets when he wakes up to find he's 17 again."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 56%

What critics said: "17 Again makes the '80s comedies on which it's modeled seem positively cutting-edge by comparison."— New York Post

3. "Pieces of a Woman" (2021, Netflix original)

Description:"A heartbreaking home birth leaves a woman grappling with the profound emotional fallout, isolated from her partner and family by a chasm of grief."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 75%

What critics said: "Pieces of a Woman is a rather blunted depiction of an endlessly complex subject that deserves much more contemplation. Despite impressive performances, it fails to truly hit that mark."— Elle

2. "Good Burger" (1997)

Description: "Working at a neighborhood fast-food joint, two teens try to save the restaurant when a giant burger franchise fires up the competition."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 32%

What critics said: "[Good Burger] will satisfy their audience's appetite for basic, messy silliness while leaving many grown-ups mildly bemused by the fuzzy obviousness of its humor, the gawky pacing of its sight gags and the second-handedness of its slapstick."— Los Angeles Times

1. "We Can Be Heroes" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "When alien invaders capture Earth's superheroes, their kids must learn to work together to save their parents — and the planet." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 72%

What critics said: "The get-a-load-of-this facetiousness of 'We Can Be Heroes' feels a bit rote, like the child-lite version of a 'Men in Black' escapade crossed with wisps of nostalgia for 'The Goonies.'"— Variety

How Lin-Manuel Miranda's non-stop work ethic from a young age made 'Hamilton' one of the most successful musicals of all time


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Lin-Manuel Miranda seemingly came out of nowhere. After creating "Hamilton," he became a household name, and his career has skyrocketed in the years since.

"Hamilton," which he wrote and starred in, made its off-Broadway debut in 2015, and it quickly became one of the most popular and most profitable musicals of all time. It easily ranks among modern classics like "The Phantom of the Opera,""The Lion King," and "Wicked."

Before Broadway shut down in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, "Hamilton" was still one of the most popular shows on Broadway. Tickets were still hundreds of dollars (or thousands on resale websites), and had to be purchased months in advance. 

But "Hamilton"wasn't Miranda's first big hit. He also wrote and starred in "In the Heights," a musical combining hip-hop and salsa that he started to work on while he was in college, which also has a theatrical version all lined up for 2021. In just over a decade, he has won the MacArthur Genius Grant, a Pulitzer Prize, an Emmy, three Tonys, and three Grammys. He's just an "O" away from earning an EGOT — one of the most impressive feats in show business.

As he turns 41 on January 16, we've profiled the rise of Miranda's booming career, to see how he did it and how he continues to aim higher every day.

Carrie Wittmer contributed to a previous version of this article.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda had been interested in musical theater from an early age.

Miranda was born in New York City and grew up in upper Manhattan — specifically Washington Heights.

He credits his inspiration for a career in musicals to "Les Misérables," the first show he saw on Broadway. He saw it with his family when he was 7 years old — you can see him praise the show during his Carpool Karaoke appearance.

His music tastes eventually evolved to include R&B and hip-hop, but musical theater was always a passion. When he attended Hunter College High School, he participated in musical theater.

Most importantly, in college, he started writing his first musical, "In the Heights," that would eventually make it to Broadway. 

In college, Miranda wrote the music and lyrics for his first musical, "In the Heights," which he also starred in. It would go on to debut on Broadway in 2008.

Miranda's non-stop work ethic started in college at Wesleyan University. He wrote an early draft of his first musical, "In the Heights," when he was a sophomore in 1999. The show was added to Wesleyan's student theater company, Second Stage, and played in April 2000.

The lively musical combines hip-hop with salsa and Latin sounds, and is set in the Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights, a Hispanic-American neighborhood close to where Miranda grew up. 

After the show's debut, Miranda was approached about expanding the show into a Broadway production. After a run in Connecticut in 2005, "In the Heights" made its premiere on Broadway in February 2008, when Miranda was 28 years old. The show received mostly positive reviews, with many critics noting Miranda's emotional lyrics as its strength.  

"In the Heights" was nominated for 13 Tony Awards and won four, including Best Musical and Best Original Score, and the show ended its run in 2011. By then, Miranda was already two years into his work on his biggest hit to date, "Hamilton."

But while he was developing his first musical, Miranda was hustling to support himself with other jobs.

After college, when Miranda was in his 20s and supporting himself while working on "In the Heights," he wrote political jingles.

Miranda wrote the jingles in English and Spanish for ads for politicians including Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York. He got the work through his father, who worked as a political consultant.

Even when Miranda was supporting his career in music, he was writing it.

In between "In the Heights" and "Hamilton," he also wrote music for the musical adaptation of "Bring It On."

With "Bring It On: The Musical," Miranda notched another Best Musical nomination under his belt, as well as a Drama Desk nomination for Best Lyrics.

Read more:The creator of Broadway hit 'Hamilton' shares the money advice he wishes he'd known in his 20s

Miranda began working on "Hamilton" in 2009 — it took six years for it to premiere on Broadway.

Miranda began working on "Hamilton" in 2009. He was inspired to write a hip-hop musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton after reading the 2004 biography"Alexander Hamilton" by historian Ron Chernow. 

He "saw Hamilton's relentlessness, brilliance, linguistic dexterity, and self-destructive stubbornness through his own idiosyncratic lens,"wrote The New Yorker in 2015. "It was, he thought, a hip-hop story, an immigrant's story."

Miranda has said that Hamilton reminded him of rapper Tupac Shakur, which is how he came up with the idea for a diverse hip-hop musical about Hamilton's life.

Miranda worked on "Hamilton"— a project people, including his mentor and famed lyricist Stephen Sondheim, told him would never work — for years. He has said that he worked on the songs"Alexander Hamilton" and "My Shot" for an entire year each. But Miranda never let anyone's opinion discourage him, and it ultimately made its debut at the Public Theater in 2015. Months later, it went to Broadway.

The musical earned him Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and Kennedy Center Honors.

"Hamilton" became an overnight hit, with tickets selling out and being resold for thousands — if you could even find one. In 2016, "Hamilton" won the Pulitzer Prize for drama. 

Sondheim, who was sent Miranda's lyrics before the show came out and didn't think it had a chance, later told the New York Times, "The wonderful thing about [Miranda's] use of rap is that he's got one foot in the past."

Read more: Lin-Manuel Miranda has made millions off 'Hamilton' in its 5-year run. Here's how the composer makes and spends his fortune, from luxury Manhattan real estate to philanthropic work in Puerto Rico.

After over five years on Broadway, "Hamilton" still sells out theaters, and audiences have to buy expensive tickets months in advance. In 2018, the show made a record-breaking $4 million in one weekend. The show has since been expanded to other cities in the United States and the world, including Los Angeles, London, Chicago, Sydney, and more.

One of the major draws of "Hamilton" is its emphasis on diversity, rather than historical accuracy in its casting.

As the son of Puerto Rican immigrants, Miranda has made diversity an integral part of his work. "In the Heights" was about a Hispanic-American neighborhood in Manhattan, and the musical was cast accordingly.

But if anyone else had written a musical about Alexander Hamilton and his peers, it would have probably featured an all-white cast, since these historical figures were white. With "Hamilton," Miranda opted for color-conscious casting. He chose non-white actors, save for the campy role of King George III. 

For Miranda, representing the spirit of Alexander Hamilton, the spirit of the Founding Fathers, and the spirit of the American Revolution, which emulates that of American hip-hop, was more important than visual historical accuracy.  

'The idea of hip-hop being the music of the Revolution appealed to me immensely,'' Miranda told the New York Times in 2015. ''It felt right.''

While the original cast has left "Hamilton," the show has continued its color-conscious casting, and does so in its touring productions as well.

After he left the show as a cast member, Miranda kept the "Hamilton" content coming with "The Hamilton Mixtape."

He left in 2016 to move on to other things, but he still hasn't lost one bit of his passion for
"Hamilton." That year, "The Hamilton Mixtape," an album that features covers of songs from "Hamilton" by popular artists including Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend, was released.

"The Hamilton Mixtape"debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and marked the largest sales in a week for a compilation album since "Cruel Summer" by GOOD Music in 2012.

In December 2017, Miranda announced yet another "Hamilton"-adjacent project, the "Hamildrops."

The first Hamildrop was "Ben Franklin's Song" performed by the Decemberists — it was a cut song from the show that never got set to music, and was just lyrics written by Miranda. Almost every month for the next year, Miranda released a song, 12 in total.

In addition to "Ben Franklin's Song," there was a remixed version of "Wrote My Way Out" by Royce Da 5'9", Joyner Lucas, Black Thought, and Aloe Blacc (the original appeared on the "Mixtape"), a polka medley of songs from the musical by Weird Al Yankovic, a mash-up called "Found/Tonight" that put together a song from "Hamilton" and one from "Dear Evan Hansen" performed by Miranda and Ben Platt, "First Burn," which is an alternate version of the song "Burn" from the show performed by various actresses who played the role of Eliza, a cover of "Helpless" by The Regrettes, a song "Boom Goes the Cannon..." by Mobb Deep that sampled from the musical's song "Right Hand Man,""Rise Up, Wise Up, Eyes Up" by Ibeyi, "A Forgotten Spot (Olvidado)," which was released on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria hitting Puerto Rico and performed by Miranda and Puerto Rican musicians Zion & Lennox, De La Ghetto, Ivy Queen, PJ Sin Suela and Lucecita Benítez, a cut song called "Theodosia Reprise" performed by Sara Bareilles, a new "Hamilton"-inspired song performed by Miranda as his character called "Cheering For Me Now," and — lastly — a rendition of "One Last Time" called "One Last Time (44 Remix)," which has Christopher Jackson (the original George Washington on Broadway) and former president Barack Obama reciting Washington's real-life farewell address.

Also in 2017, Miranda got drunk and talked about Alexander Hamilton for so long that Comedy Central's "Drunk History" had to extend his episode.

"Drunk History," created by Derek Waters and Jeremy Konner, is Comedy Central's liquored-up version of our nation's history. Comedians and actors get drunk and retell a historical event. Then A-list actors, from Michael Cera to Winona Ryder, act out the narration. 

In a 2017 episode, Miranda got drunk and told the story of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Speaking with Business Insider, Emmy-nominated "Drunk History" production designer Chloe Arbiture said that Miranda talked so much about Hamilton that his episode was extended. Usually "Drunk History" episodes feature a few historical events per episode.

"For the Lin-Manuel Miranda episode, we knew he was going to talk about Hamilton," Arbiture said. "But we didn't know it would be a long standalone episode. But there was so much great footage that we couldn't cut. So to do it justice, we morphed it into his own episode."

Arbiture mentioned that the extended episode length was a challenge for the production design team, especially for budget reasons. 

Miranda has lent his songwriting abilities to various other films, like "Moana,""Star Wars," and "The Little Mermaid."

In addition to his theater and TV work, Miranda collaborated with Opetaia Foa'i and Mark Mancina on the music and lyrics for the 2016 Disney film "Moana," which earned him an Oscar nomination for the song "How Far I'll Go" in 2017. He started to work on the music for the film in 2014, a year before "Hamilton" came to Broadway.

He also co-wrote and contributed vocals to the cantina song, "Jabba Flow," which was featured in 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

In 2017, it was confirmed that Miranda is working with songwriter Alan Menken on new music for Disney's live-action version of "The Little Mermaid." He is also writing music for a Sony animated film, "Vivo," which will be released in 2021.

He's also been acting more as well, with starring roles in "Mary Poppins Returns" and "His Dark Materials," and a guest spot on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."

In the 2018 sequel to the iconic Disney film, Miranda played Jack, a Cockney lamplighter and former apprentice to Dick Van Dyke's character from the original film. Miranda received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance.

Miranda also took on the role of Lee Scoresby in the HBO adaptation of the Philip Pullman "His Dark Materials" trilogy that premiered in 2019. It has been renewed for a third and final season.

In addition to those main roles, he's popped up in "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" as the brother of Melissa Fumero's character, Amy Santiago, as Julián Castro on "Saturday Night Live," as real-life actor Roy Scheider in an episode of "Fosse/Verdon" (which he also produced), among other roles. He also hosted an episode of "SNL," making him one of the few Broadway stars to host the show — proving how mainstream "Hamilton" has become.

As if he's not busy enough, he also wrote a book, "Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You" with Jonny Sun.

For years, almost every morning and night, Miranda famously tweeted sweet little messages and affirmations, telling his followers that everything will be OK. He worked with illustrator Jonny Sun to compile his tweets into a book with drawings. It was released in October 2018.

"The real joy of it was really working with Lin to make sure that the illustrations were reflective of him. We spent some time going through each of the tweets, and he kind of gave me like the director's commentary of each kind of passage, and told me here's how he was feeling this day, here's what he was thinking of. And the joy for me was taking all of that stuff and trying to fit it into the image,"said Sun of working with the playwright.

Miranda also makes time for advocacy and charity work for Puerto Rico, especially after Hurricane Maria. He returned to the part of Alexander Hamilton when the musical was in Puerto Rico in 2019.

In September 2017, Hurricane Maria brought devastation to Puerto Rico. His parents had grown up on the island and in his youth, Miranda had spent summers there visiting his grandparents.

Since the hurricane hit, Miranda has used his platform and voice to raise awareness and funds for disaster relief. He visited Puerto Rico and saw what little remained of his grandparents' beloved home. "My job is to amplify the concerns of Puerto Rico," Miranda told CBS News in November 2017. Miranda said that there are still towns in Puerto Rico struggling to get aid. 

Read more: Jennifer Lopez, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Eva Longoria, and more sign letter of solidarity for Latinx community: 'You are not alone'

The day after Maria hit, Miranda wrote a song, "Almost Like Praying." It features Puerto Rican artists, including Jennifer Lopez. The song was released in October 2017, and became the No. 1 song on iTunes in 17 countries. All proceeds from the song went to hurricane relief.

In January 2019, the touring company of "Hamilton"traveled to Puerto Rico, and Miranda returned to the titular role— the entire three-week run sold out and raised an estimated $15 million for Miranda's Flamboyan Arts Fund, according to Rolling Stone.

In 2018, Miranda announced he will be making his directorial debut with the movie adaptation of the Jonathan Larson musical, "Tick, Tick ... Boom!" It's set to premiere on Netflix in 2021.

"Tick Tick ... Boom!" is Larson's other musical — the late playwright is more well-known for megahit "Rent." Miranda was announced to be directing an adaptation of the musical in 2018. It was later picked up by Netflix, with Andrew Garfield starring. On Twitter, it was confirmed that Miranda's directorial debut will premiere on the streaming service this year.

Last summer, the theatrical adaptation of "In the Heights" was supposed to be released, but it was pushed back due to the coronavirus.

While Miranda is not reprising his role as Usnavi, he will be making an appearance as a side character, Piraguero, or the Piragua Guy.

The movie was supposed to be released last summer, but due to the pandemic, it was pushed back a full year. Now, it's part of HBO Max's larger plan to release all films simultaneously in theaters and on the streaming service.

Watch the trailer here.

Just five years after its debut, a filmed version of "Hamilton" was released on Disney Plus on July 3, 2020.

Perhaps to make up for the lack of Miranda-approved musical content, the filmed version of "Hamilton," complete with its original cast, was pushed from an October 2021 theatrical release to a surprise July 2020 drop on Disney Plus.

As CNET noted at the time, it is the only way to see the musical right now, as Broadway performances are shut down for the foreseeable future.

Read More: Lin-Manuel Miranda says he's 'really glad' Prince Harry didn't take the King George III storyline personally when he came to see 'Hamilton'

In December 2020, Disney announced yet another collaboration with Miranda — this time, to write songs for their upcoming animated film "Encanto."

During the overwhelming Disney Investor Day presentation, one of the less-talked-about reveals (since there were so many) was that Miranda is collaborating with the House of Mouse once again to pen the songs for the upcoming "Encanto."

According to IMDb, the film is "centered on a young girl and her family in Colombia, who all have magical powers [while], sadly, the young girl has no powers."

The 10 biggest Netflix original movies of all time


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Netflix said it had passed 200 million subscribers in its latest earnings report on Tuesday, and it has the blockbuster movies to reflect its streaming dominance.

The streamer highlighted recent movies like "The Midnight Sky" and "Holidate" in its report, saying that they were watched by 72 million and 68 million households worldwide in their first 28 days of release, respectively. That means they move into the top 10 of the biggest Netflix movies ever.

Netflix provided a list of its top movies to Bloomberg in July, but it's changed even in that time. Based on Netflix's own viewership numbers, other more recent movies like "Enola Holmes" and "Project Power" have also entered the conversation since then. 

The list favors newer movies since Netflix has gained subscribers over time. Seven of the 10 movies in this updated list were released last year. Netflix counts a view if an account watches at least two minutes of a movie.

Half of the movies are rated as "rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning they have below a 60% critic score. The critically acclaimed and Oscar-nominated "The Irishman" was booted from the list, as were three other movies. The four movies no longer in the top 10 are: 

  • "The Platform" (2020) — 56 million
  • "The Wrong Missy" (2020) — 59 million
  • "Triple Frontier" (2019) — 63 million
  • "The Irishman" (2019) — 64 million

Below are the top 10 most popular Netflix original movies of all time, based on its own viewership numbers in the first month of release: 

SEE ALSO: Netflix added 8.5 million paid subscribers in Q4, surpassing 200 million for the first time despite slowed growth following a massive pandemic-driven spike

10. "Holidate" (2020) — 68 million

Description: "Fed up with being single on holidays, two strangers agree to be each other's platonic plus-ones all year long, only to catch real feelings along the way."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 44%

What critics said: "Holidate falls in the bland no-man's land between being sharp enough to appeal to adults (à la Bridesmaids) and tame enough to watch with the whole family."— Polygon

9. "The Midnight Sky" (2020) — 72 million

Description: "In the aftermath of a global catastrophe, a lone scientist in the Arctic races to contact a crew of astronauts with a warning not to return to Earth."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 51%

What critics said: "The Midnight Sky is a good example of a movie that sells itself short by trying to be one thing — serious, heavy, emotional — when, by all available indicators, it should be more of a thriller, or more ridiculous, or at the very least more fun."— Rolling Stone

8. "Project Power" (2020) — 75 million

Description: "An ex-soldier, a teen and a cop collide in New Orleans as they hunt for the source behind a dangerous new pill that grants users temporary superpowers."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 61%

What critics said: "A film built on the thrill of the now, the hyper-modernity on show in hip-hop trappings, tricks lifted from gaming and yes, the availability of the whole thing at the push of a button in the palm of your hand."— Financial Times

7. "Enola Holmes" (2020) — 76 million

Description: "While searching for her missing mother, intrepid teen Enola Holmes uses her sleuthing skills to outsmart big brother Sherlock and help a runaway lord."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 90%

What critics said: "'Enola Homes' is the kind of movie that the preteen set will surely delight in and watch over and over. I know I would have."— Associated Press

6. "The Old Guard" (2020) — 78 million

Description: "Four undying warriors who've secretly protected humanity for centuries become targeted for their mysterious powers just as they discover a new immortal."

Rotten Tomatoes critics score: 80%

What critics said: "The Old Guard asks some existential questions that leave the audience wanting more."— Vox

5. (tie) "Murder Mystery" (2019) — 83 million

Description: "On a long-awaited trip to Europe, a New York City cop and his hairdresser wife scramble to solve a baffling murder aboard a billionaire's yacht."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 44%

What critics said: "Every Adam Sandler comedy abides by a trope as hoary as 'the butler did it.' At some point in the shenanigans, Sandler's schlub has gotta get a chance to prove he's the bravest boy in the world."— Variety

5. (tie) "6 Underground" (2019) — 83 million

Description: "After faking his death, a tech billionaire recruits a team of international operatives for a bold and bloody mission to take down a brutal dictator."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 36%

What critics said: "This is a terrible action movie that utilizes Michael Bay's worst instincts and none of his best."— Newsday

3. "Spenser Confidential" (2020) — 85 million

Description: "Spenser, an ex-cop and ex-con, teams up with aspiring fighter Hawk to uncover a sinister conspiracy tied to the deaths of two Boston police officers."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 37%

What critics said: "An ending that teases the possibility of sequels, with Wahlberg's Spenser tackling more cases of police officers and emergency personnel who have been falsely accused of crimes, should elicit nothing but groans."— AV Club

2. "Bird Box" (2018) — 89 million

Description: "Five years after an ominous unseen presence drives most of society to suicide, a survivor and her two children make a desperate bid to reach safety."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 64%

What critics said: "Bird Box's pieces feel forcibly screwed together, a movie marionetted by strings of data code. There's good scenes and smart ideas, but overall, the movie mostly clomps."— Guardian

1. "Extraction" (2020) — 99 million

Description: "A hardened mercenary's mission becomes a soul-searching race to survive when he's sent into Bangladesh to rescue a drug lord's kidnapped son."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 67%

What critics said: "The fight scenes are plastic and glossy. Hargrave mistakes gore for cool and technical prowess for choreography, deploying overlong one-take shots that look like 'Call of Duty' outtakes."— New York Times

The top 9 movies on Netflix this week, from 'Outside the Wire' to 'The Secret Life of Pets 2'


Outside the Wire Jonathan Prime Netflix

Summary List Placement

Anthony Mackie's new Netflix original movie, "Outside the Wire," was the streamer's  most popular movie this week. And Robert Rodriguez's "We Can Be Heroes," which topped the list last week, is still holding steady at No. 2.

Every week, the streaming search engine Reelgood compiles for Insider a list of which movies have been most prominent on Netflix's daily top-10 lists that week. On Reelgood, users can browse Netflix's entire movie library and sort by IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes ratings.

Below are Netflix's 9 most popular movies of the week in the US:

SEE ALSO: Netflix's push into franchise TV will be essential as Disney Plus prepares a barrage of Marvel and 'Star Wars' shows

9. "The Secret Life of Pets 2" (2019)

Description: "On a farm outside New York, Max aims to boost his confidence while in the city, Snowball attempts to rescue a tiger cub and Gidget pretends to be a cat."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 61%

What critics said: "It's never a great sign when the biggest laughs a movie gets are during the end credits."— New York Post

8. "Homefront" (2013)

Description: "When an ex-DEA agent is widowed, he moves with his young daughter to a small town, but his quiet life is shattered by a meth-making drug trafficker."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 43%

What critics said: "A maniacally muddled and maudlin thriller, co-written and produced by Sly Stallone."— London Evening Standard

7. "Crack, Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "A cheap, powerful drug emerges during a recession, igniting a moral panic fueled by racism. Explore the complex history of crack in the 1980s."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 67%

What critics said: "The movie takes us back and also forward, into the sadder and wiser present day, when we can now see how crack changed the culture."— Variety

6. "Good Burger" (1997)

Description: "Working at a neighborhood fast-food joint, two teens try to save the restaurant when a giant burger franchise fires up the competition."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 32%

What critics said: "If you like your burger well-done, you're in for a disappointment."— New York Daily News

5. "Pinkfong & Baby Shark's Space Adventure" (2019)

Description: "Joined by new friends from other planets, Pinkfong and Baby Shark explore outer space and search for missing star pieces to return home."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: N/A

4. "Penguins of Madagascar" (2014)

Description: "Elite penguin spies Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private join forces with the suave agents of the North Wind to defeat power-mad genius Octavius Brine."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 73%

What critics said: "These penguins really are cute, the animation is consistently appealing, and the movie is obviously bound for megamoolah at the box office."— Wall Street Journal

3. "The Vanished" (2020)

Description: "When their daughter disappears during a family vacation, two terrified parents launch their own investigation that soon exposes local secrets."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 15%

What critics said: "The Vanished does its best to entertain, yet with two central protagonists who ultimately are more like villains, the movie never really works."— CBR

2. "We Can Be Heroes" (2020, Netflix original)

Description: "When alien invaders capture Earth's superheroes, their kids must learn to work together to save their parents — and the planet." 

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 73%

What critics said: "We Can Be Heroes is a cheerful and colorful take on the superhero genre with a powerful message about empowering younger generations to take the reins and do better than their parents."— IGN

1. "Outside the Wire" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "In the near future, a drone pilot sent into a war zone finds himself paired with a top-secret android officer on a mission to stop a nuclear attack."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 37%

What critics said: "Despite strong lead performances and some intriguing themes, this rarely rises above being a serviceable action thriller."— Empire