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

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

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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.



'Parasite'

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.



'RBG'

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. 



'Babyteeth'

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.  



'Buffaloed'

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.



'Booksmart'

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'

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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



The best 4K Blu-ray players in 2021

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  • To play the best-quality movies on a 4K TV, you need a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player.
  • 4K Blu-ray players are capable of better video and audio performance than most streaming services.
  • Sony's UBP-X700 4K Blu-ray player offers the best balance between price and performance for most people.
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Streaming services might offer the most convenient way to watch movies at home, but if you want the very best video and audio quality on a 4K TV, there's still no real substitute for a disc format. Yes, you do actually have to get up from the couch to pop in a movie, but the performance benefits are clear — especially when watching 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray is the latest and greatest disc format for movies and TV shows. The format uses an Ultra HD video resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels for impressive detail, along with high dynamic range (HDR) support for enhanced contrast and colors. 

Without internet bandwidth limitations to worry about, 4K Blu-ray allows studios to present content with less compression than streaming services. Less compression means you'll get images with better detail, along with lossless sound for a greater range of frequencies. For more information about all the benefits of 4K Blu-ray, be sure to read our additional breakdown of features

Of course, to watch 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays you'll need a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player. 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players are also backward compatible with regular Blu-rays and DVDs, so even if your 4K disc collection is just getting started, you'll still be able to watch all of your old discs, too. There are several worthwhile 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player models available from companies like Sony, LG, and Panasonic. Some gaming consoles even include 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drives as well.

I've been covering the consumer electronics industry for nine years, and during that time I've reviewed numerous media devices and Blu-ray players. Through hands-on testing and research, we've picked the best 4K Blu-ray players you can buy for a variety of needs and budgets.

Here are the best 4K Blu-ray players:

The best 4K Blu-ray player overall

Thanks to its affordable pricing, excellent media support, and solid build quality, the Sony UBP-X700 is the best 4K Blu-ray player for most people.

Pros: Affordable, HDR10 and Dolby Vision, Wi-Fi and Ethernet, access to some streaming apps

Cons: No optical audio output, lacks Bluetooth, Dolby Vision has to be manually activated, missing some advanced video and audio features, no HDR10+ support

When it comes to covering all of the basic features most buyers will need from a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the Sony UBP-X700 essentially checks every box — and it offers all of those capabilities for a surprisingly low price.

The device provides 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc playback with support for both HDR10 and the more advanced Dolby Vision HDR format. Like competing models, the UBP-X700 also features backward compatibility with standard Blu-rays and DVDs, along with 4K upscaling to make those older discs look better on modern Ultra HD TVs. 

Connectivity options are also solid thanks to dual HDMI connections — the extra HDMI port can be used for dedicated audio output to an AV receiver if you want to bypass having to also transmit the video signal through a receiver. A coaxial digital out is included as well, but the player is missing a digital optical port. The lack of an optical connection shouldn't be an issue for most modern TVs and audio systems, but it could be a problem if you want to plug the player into certain soundbar models.

The X700 doesn't include all of the audiophile bells and whistles that are integrated into more expensive players, but it will still output lossless Dolby Atmos and DTS:X from compatible discs just fine. You can also play high-resolution audio files up to 24bit/192kHz in multiple formats, including FLAC.

Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity are included as well for access to select apps, like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. The X700 actually has greater support for streaming services than most Blu-ray players, but it's still lacking compared to a smart TV or a dedicated streaming box

As great as overall performance is on the X700, there are a couple of noteworthy drawbacks worth mentioning. Unlike Sony's step-up UBP-X800M2 and UBP-X1100ES, the X700 does not include Bluetooth support, so you can't connect wireless headphones for private listening. 

The player's Dolby Vision playback is also hindered by an odd design choice on Sony's part. Instead of automatically detecting when a Dolby Vision disc is being played and then switching to Dolby Vision output, you have to manually select Dolby Vision in the settings menu. Sadly, if you leave Dolby Vision selected, the player then incorrectly forces Dolby Vision for any disc you put in. This can make the picture look inaccurate on some discs. 

For buyers who don't have a Dolby Vision TV or who really don't care about the differences between HDR10 and Dolby Vision, this really shouldn't be an issue. Just disable Dolby Vision and forget about it. If you're buying a 4K Blu-ray player with Dolby Vision in mind, however, having to manually turn the setting on and off could prove to be annoying. With that in mind, we recommend the more expensive LG UBK90 as a better player for Dolby Vision.     

Despite these flaws, there's no denying the value of the X700. Home-theater enthusiasts who want more advanced features and connections will have to opt for a more expensive player, but most buyers who simply want to watch 4K Blu-rays on their 4K TV should be more than satisfied with what the Sony UBP-X700 has to offer.



The best 4K Blu-ray player for Dolby Vision

The LG UBK90 offers a solid assortment of features for a midrange 4K Blu-ray player, along with support for automatically detecting Dolby Vision discs.

Pros: HDR10 and Dolby Vision support, Dolby Vision playback is automatically detected, Wi-Fi and Ethernet, optical audio connection

Cons: No Bluetooth support, lacks advanced video and audio features, very limited library of apps, doesn't support HDR10+

Though it's more expensive than Sony's X700, the LG UBK90 is a more convenient option for buyers who are specifically looking for a reliable Dolby Vision 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player.

The device offers all of the same basic features you'll find on all players, including 4K disc playback and backward compatibility with Blu-rays and DVDs. The UBK90 also supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision playback. Unlike the more affordable Sony X700, however, the LG has no issues automatically activating or deactivating Dolby Vision when it needs to. No matter what 4K disc you put in, the player will be able to recognize what format it should output in and then adjust accordingly.

Dual HDMI outputs are included for easy video and audio connectivity. There is one digital optical output, but no digital coaxial output — the former is commonly found on many soundbars. Wi-Fi and Ethernet are also supported, and you can play high-resolution audio in the FLAC format. When it comes to apps, however, the player only includes access to Netflix and YouTube. In other words, if you're looking for a device to stream movies on, this isn't it. 

You won't get any advanced tone mapping features, chroma upscaling, Bluetooth connectivity, or multi-channel analog audio ports, but for buyers who want a straightforward 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player with convenient Dolby Vision playback, The LG UBK90 is one of the most affordable options. 



The best high-end 4K Blu-ray player

The Panasonic DP-UB820 is pricier than a lot of other 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players, but it offers comprehensive HDR format support and advanced processing. 

Pros: Support for all of the major HDR formats, high-end audio processing, advanced tone mapping and chroma upsampling, compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant devices

Cons: Remote seems flimsy compared to the main unit, no support for SACD or DVD-Audio, pricier than many competing players

As an all-around great 4K Blu-ray player, it doesn't get much better than the Panasonic DP-UB820. While it's on the expensive side, its performance is basically unmatched by any other model in its price range. In fact, as a home theater journalist, this is the Blu-ray player I bought for my own entertainment setup — and I couldn't be more happy with my purchase.

Unlike most 4K Blu-ray players, which only support one or two HDR formats, the DP-UB820 supports all four HDR types: HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Hybrid Log-Gamma. The player also has no issues automatically selecting the proper format that should be played. This means you never have to worry about manually selecting Dolby Vision or researching which HDR version a disc supports. As long as all of the HDR formats are enabled in the settings, the player will simply activate the best format supported by each disc.   

It's also a network connected player, meaning you can stream (from the internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet) Netflix, YouTube, and a few other apps. With that said, the app selection is not as wide as most standalone streaming media players, like a Roku or Fire TV Stick. Wirelessly streaming videos from a connected DLNA-compatible device, such as a computer or media-enabled hard drive, is also supported.

Powering the DP-UB820 is Panasonic's HCX processor, which is the same chip found in the company's much more expensive DP-UB9000. With it, the DP-UB820 is able to interpolate 4:2:0 color signals into 4:4:4, which refers to a ratio in something known as chroma sample. To spare you the technical details, higher numbers can result in more defined colors and an overall higher-quality image with smoother gradients.

The player also has Panasonic's HDR Optimizer feature, which uses tone mapping to better scale HDR performance to your TV's particular capabilities (HDR10 only). Your HDR TV will use its own tone mapping by default, but you may find better results relying on Panasonic's process instead of your display's.

If you have an extensive collection of DVD and regular Blu-ray movies, the DP-UB820 can upscale them to 4K. While they still technically won't be true 4K, upscaling can make movies in Full HD or standard definition look a lot better on a 4K TV.

As for sound, the DP-UB820 leaves nothing to be desired. The built-in 192-kHz/32-bit 4-DAC produces excellent audio quality. Panasonic gives you ample connectivity to take advantage of it, too. The DP-UB820 supports digital and optical outputs, as well as HDMI and, most impressively, 7.1-channel analog output for surround sound. The DP-UB820 also supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and high-resolution digital audio file formats.

If that wasn't enough, Panasonic even integrated support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa devices, so you can control playback with your voice if you have a compatible smart speaker at home. 

On the downside, the player doesn't include support for SACD or DVD-Audio discs, but those formats aren't exactly popular, so this is unlikely to be a deal-breaker. For a sturdier build and even more advanced audio connections, you could opt for the more expensive DP-UB9000, but in general, the DP-UB820 really is the high-end 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player to beat.  



The best 4K Blu-ray player for gamers

Sony's PlayStation 5 is one of the most powerful gaming consoles you can buy, and the standard model includes a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray drive for movies.

Pros: 4K HDR10 support for 4K Blu-ray discs, HDR gaming capabilities

Cons: No Dolby Vision or HDR10+ support, standalone players offer more comprehensive options, expensive

Though I recommend a standalone Blu-ray player for the best performance, there are a few video game consoles that can also serve as 4K Blu-ray players. If you're a gamer who wants to watch 4K discs through your console, you currently have two main options: the Sony PlayStation 5 (standard model) or the Xbox Series X

Both devices have similar Blu-ray capabilities and cost the same amount of money, but the PS5 is our preference when it comes to gaming.  It's one of the most powerful next-gen systems on the market, offering 4K gaming with advanced features like HDR, ray tracing, and 120Hz support. The system also uses an incredibly fast solid state drive (SSD) to enable minimal loading times.

The standard model comes with a built-in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray drive capable of playing 4K discs and regular Blu-rays. HDR10 is also supported for high dynamic range, and you can enjoy Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio through compatible speaker systems via the PS5's bitstream audio setting. 

With that said, the console only supports HDR10 for disc playback and does not offer Dolby Vision or HDR10+. The PS5 also lacks Blu-ray 3D disc playback. These limitations are all found on the Xbox Series X as well. As a whole, the system does a solid job playing discs, but home theater enthusiasts who want those missing features will be better off with a dedicated 4K Blu-ray player.

If you're looking to buy a new console, however, and 4K Blu-ray support is a key feature you'd like to have, the PS5 gets the job done just fine. It's important to note, though, that you will need to purchase the standard PS5 model since the cheaper all-digital edition does not include a disc drive.

Unfortunately, PlayStation 5 consoles remain hard to find, and stock continues to sell out quickly when stores get more inventory. Check out our PS5 buying guide for the latest details on how to find a system.



The benefits of 4K Blu-ray

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray offers several key benefits over streaming services and older disc formats, like regular Blu-ray. Most notably, the format offers superior compression, color, and audio quality.

Compared to 4K streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presents video and audio content with far less compression. This means you'll get a more stable image with no drops in quality.

For instance, you might sometimes notice your videos becoming blocky or fuzzy when streaming movies on Netflix. If you watch the same video on a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc, those issues will be virtually eliminated. This is because videos on a disc can be encoded with more data and presented at higher and more consistent bitrates. In other words, the video never needs to buffer and it will always look consistently good. 

Expanding upon the previous Blu-ray format, 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays can hold up to 100 GB of information, allowing them to store movies and TV shows in 4K resolution. 4K offers four-times the number of total pixels compared to the Full HD resolution previously used on standard Blu-rays. This enables 4K Blu-ray movies to offer more detail than ever. 

In addition to including more pixels, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs also add support for high dynamic range (HDR) with 10-bit color. This process allows for a wider range of colors, contrast, and brightness compared to standard Blu-rays. You'll need a compatible 4K HDR TV to take advantage of this feature, but the improvements can be dramatic.  

When it comes to audio, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray supports lossless Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. If you have the right audio gear, this means you'll get to hear movie soundtracks bit for bit as they were meant to be heard with surround effects in all directions — even from above.



What you should look for in a 4K Blu-ray player

When shopping for a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, there are a few key performance specifications and extra features that you should look out for depending on your needs.

  • HDR support: Though all 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players support the standard HDR10 format, only specific models add support for more advanced HDR formats, like Dolby Vision and HDR10+. If you have a TV that's compatible with Dolby Vision or HDR10+, and you want the very best picture performance, it's worth seeking out a player that can output those formats.
  • Advanced video options: Since all 4K Blu-ray players can simply pass the data contained on a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc directly to a TV, default image quality is nearly identical on all models. With that said, certain players include enhancement features, like chroma upsampling and specialized tone mapping, that can help improve 4K HDR contrast and gradient performance. Many players also include advanced upscaling capabilities to make lower-quality videos, like Full HD (1080p), look better on 4K TVs. Most buyers will be fine simply letting their display handle all the work, but enthusiasts might prefer the enhancements a high-end player can provide.
  • Audio capabilities: When it comes to general home theater playback, all 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players include support for outputting Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio over HDMI. Some players also include a digital optical connection for transmitting audio if you can't use HDMI. On top of that, certain models offer added support for more advanced audio processing and features, including high resolution music playback, multi-channel analog outputs, and support for SACD and DVD-Audio discs.
  • Connectivity: Ethernet and Wi-Fi are common on many players for keeping your device current via firmware updates. Bluetooth connectivity is also featured on certain models for connecting to separate devices, like wireless Bluetooth headphones.
  • Smart features: Though app selection on most Blu-ray players is rather limited, certain models include access to streaming services, like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. More expensive models even offer compatibility with voice assistants. This feature may be redundant if you already own a smart TV or streaming box (Roku, Apple TV, etc.), but it's convenient if you don't like to switch between devices in order to access Netflix.



How to watch 'The Little Things' starring Denzel Washington when it hits HBO Max and theaters on January 29

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"The Little Things" comes to HBO Max on January 29. The film is the second in a series of Warner Bros. movies that are scheduled to start streaming on the same day they premiere in theaters.

The film follows Deke, a deputy sheriff played by Denzel Washington, who winds up searching for a serial killer in Los Angeles. Deke meets Baxter (Rami Malek), a sergeant from the LA Sheriff's Department, who tags along on the investigation. But as the search continues, it reveals secrets of Deke's past. The thriller is directed by John Lee Hancock and also features actor Jared Leto.

The movie follows the release of "Wonder Woman 1984" as the second Warner Bros. title to be released in theaters and through HBO Max at the same time. "Wonder Woman 1984" brought in 4.3 times the average amount of HBO Max signups in December 2020, according to research startup Antenna.

Although "Wonder Woman 1984" was the highest-grossing opening weekend release in domestic theaters since the start of the pandemic — earning $16.7 million — its box office still hasn't captured the amount it cost to make the $200 million movie. The expectations for "The Little Things" are similar as more people flock to streaming services and fewer people attend cinemas, either due to closures or hesitancy to go back to theater seats.

How to watch 'The Little Things' on HBO Max

"The Little Things" will be available to stream through HBO Max on January 29. If you have an HBO Max subscription, you can watch the film with no additional fees. "The Little Things" will be available through March 1, but after that, the movie will leave HBO Max with no known return date.

HBO Max costs $15 per month. If you prepay for six months, you can currently receive a 20% discount. Cable subscribers who pay for HBO can also get HBO Max for free as part of their existing plan, although there are some limitations.

You can watch "The Little Things" through HBO Max on your mobile device, Playstation or Xbox, Chromecast, Samsung smart TV, Roku, Android TV, or Fire TV device.

For detailed impressions, check out our full HBO Max review here.

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

The next scheduled Warner Bros. release on HBO Max is "Judas & The Black Messiah," a film following the life of Black Panther Party activist Fred Hampton, on February 12. 

You can also catch "Tom & Jerry," a new movie featuring the classic cat and mouse duo on February 26. Warner Bros. will release "The Matrix 4,""Mortal Kombat,""Space Jam 2,""Godzilla vs. Kong," and more on HBO Max throughout the year.

Here's a complete list of every upcoming Warner Bros. movie with same-day releases on both HBO Max and in movie theaters.

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Apple breaks Sundance record with $25 million acquisition of the movie 'Coda,' outbidding Netflix and Amazon

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Apple Studios reportedly agreed to pay a record $25 million for "CODA," a breakout hit at this year's Sundance Film Festival, winning a bidding war against Netflix and Amazon. 

After the digital premiere of "CODA" on Friday, the festival's opening night, the three companies each showed interest during a bidding war, according to Variety. Netflix backed out of the bidding, because it already has a full roster of films to release in 2021, the trade publication reported.

 Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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The "CODA" purchase broke Sundance's previous record, set last year when Hulu and Neon paid about $22 million for Andy Samberg's "Palm Springs."

The initial deal for that film was for $17.5 million and 69 cents, placing it 69 cents above the previous record. With total costs and fees, the deal was closer to $22 million. 

Read more: Netflix is the streaming leader, but its US market share shrank in 2020 as competitors like Disney Plus and HBO Max emerged

Apple Studios has picked up a series of high-profile movies since its launch, although it stumbled with one of its first big premieres, "The Banker." The company in 2019 cancelled the premiere of that movie, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie, after concerns were raised about one of its real-life subjects. 

In the last year, Apple TV has premiered "On The Rocks," from director Sofia Coppola, along with films starring Tom Hanks, Justin Timberlake, and The Beastie Boys. 

Apple's reported newest addition, "CODA," written and directed by Siân Heder, is the story of a 17-year-old daughter of a fisherman. Its title stands for "Child of Deaf Adults," as the main character is the only hearing person in her family, according to Heder.  

Netflix accounted for about 34% of the streaming market in the US in the last quarter of 2020, but its dominance has shrunk with the rise of Disney Plus, HBO Max, Apple TV, and others.

Apple TV had a relatively small piece of the pie, sharing 2% of the market with NBC's Peacock and other smaller streamers, according to data from Antenna. 

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Netflix is reportedly making a movie about the GameStop saga starring Noah Centineo

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Streaming giant Netflix is in talks to make a movie about how Reddit users bumped up the price of GameStop stock and torched some massive hedge funds in the progress, Deadline reported Monday.

This could rival a similar film MGM is making.

The currently untitled Netflix film would star "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" actor Noah Centineo and be produced by Brad Weston and Nick Styne, sources close to the matter told Deadline.

"The Hurt Locker" screenwriter Mark Boal is in negotiations to write it, and NYU Stern marketing professor Scott Galloway is in talks to consult on the script, the sources said.

The movie will investigate the power social media has given the masses to challenge the financial and political elite, the sources said. Alongside the GameStop saga, they said the movie would explore how social media was used to spread baseless claims about voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election, which ultimately culminated in supporters of former President Donald Trump storming the US Capitol in a violent insurrection on January 6.

Insider has reached out to Netflix for comment.

Read more: How hedge funds are tracking Reddit posts to protect their portfolios after the Wall Street Bets crowd helped tank Melvin Capital's short positions

Netflix isn't the only company making rapid moves to bring the GameStop saga to the big screen. Rival film studio MGM has bought the rights to the book "The Antisocial Network" by Ben Mezrich, whose work includes the inspiration for the hit 2010 film about the founding of Facebook, "The Social Network."

MGM's film would be produced by Ryder Picture Company's Aaron Ryder, with both Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss as producers, sources close to the matter told Deadline. MGM acquired the rights Friday night after a heated bidding war, Deadline's sources said.

Redditors drove up GameStop stock

Day traders banded together on Reddit to bump up the prices of several stocks, most notably video-games retailer GameStop but also AMC, BlackBerry, and Nokia, after noticing that hedge funds were betting against them.

GameStop stock has gained massively in recent weeks — from below $5 late last year to a peak of more than $450 a share on Thursday. As a result, some of Wall Street's prominent hedge funds were forced to close their bearish bets against the company, with hefty losses.

Online brokerage Robinhood responded by restricting purchases in highly volatile stocks on Thursday, causing GameStop stock to drop. Robinhood's CEO, Vlad Tenev, is reportedly expected to testify as part of a House hearing on Wall Street's role in the chaos.

SEE ALSO: The Robin Hood Society has seen a surge of interest after people mistook the group celebrating the legendary outlaw for the Robinhood app

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'Promising Young Woman' is nominated for 4 Golden Globes — here's how to watch the thriller at home

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"Promising Young Woman" is now streaming through a variety of digital rental services. The thriller is the directorial debut of Emerald Fennell, whose previous writing credits include several episodes of "Killing Eve." 

The film tells the story of Cassandra Thomas (Carey Mulligan), a young woman who seizes the opportunity to take revenge on a group of men responsible for a traumatic event in her past. Fennell's smart script and direction infuse the thriller with elements of dark comedy. The movie also stars comedian Bo Burnham as Mulligan's love interest, along with Laverne Cox ("Orange is the New Black"), Clancy Brown ("Highlander"), and Alison Brie ("GLOW"). 

"Promising Young Woman" has been nominated for four Golden Globe awards, including the top award of the event, Best Motion Picture Drama. Emerald Fennell is among two other female filmmakers nominated for Best Director. That's the most female nominations for that category in the show's history.

The movie has also received positive reviews from critics, and currently holds a "91% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. If you want to see what has critics and audiences talking, you can now watch the film at home.

How to watch 'Promising Young Woman'

"Promising Young Woman" premiered on streaming services on January 15. The movie is currently only available to rent, but a purchase option is expected to be added over the coming months.

You can rent "Promising Young Woman" on a number of video-on-demand (VOD) platforms, including Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, FandangoNow, RedBox, Apple TV, Google Play, and Microsoft. Since the movie is still playing in theaters, digital rentals are priced at a premium rate, so expect to pay around $20.

Most platforms allow you to rent new releases for a 30-day period and, once you start the film, you typically have 48 hours to watch it. The movie is available in a number of formats, including 4K Ultra HD with HDR, high definition (HD), and standard definition (SD).

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Digital rental services are available on a variety of media devices and smart TVs. You can find more information about how to rent movies online here

For people who prefer DVD and Blu-ray releases, "Promising Young Woman" will be available to buy on disc starting March 16. You can preorder the Blu-ray for $25 on Amazon, which is just $5 more than the cost to rent the streaming copy.

What other Golden Globe-nominated films can I watch?

Aside from "Promising Young Woman," a number of other Golden Globe-nominated movies are available to watch at home through VOD providers and streaming services. This includes Best Drama nominees "The Trial of the Chicago 7" and "Mank," which are both available exclusively on Netflix.

"The Trial of the Chicago 7" follows a group of anti-war demonstrators in the late '60s who are charged with conspiracy and crossing state lines with the intent to start a riot at the Democratic National Convention. "Mank," on the other hand, leads all films with six Golden Globe nominations and follows the life of "Citizen Kane" screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz. You can watch both films on Netflix for as low as $9 per month.

"Nomadland," another nominee for Best Drama, follows a woman leaving her small town behind to travel across America in search of a new life. It will be released on Hulu on February 19, which is the same day the movie debuts in theaters.

There are several ways you can watch Hulu, but our recommendation is to take advantage of the $13 per month bundle that includes ESPN+ and Disney Plus. The bundle will also give you access to other Golden Globe-nominated films, like "Hamilton" on Disney Plus.

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The top 9 movies on Netflix this week, from 'The Dig' to 'Below Zero'

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A bunch of new Netflix original movies, such as "Below Zero" and "The Dig," were popular with users this week. And the Jason Statham movie "Homefront" is still holding strong.

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: The movie-grading company CinemaScore navigated a chaotic year for the theater business. Now it wants to grow by courting streamers.

9. "Penguin Bloom" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "As a mom copes with the aftermath of a harrowing accident, she finds inspiration from an injured magpie taken in by her family. Based on a true story."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 66%

What critics said: "There's a thin line between feel-good entertainment and hokum. While Penguin Bloom never quite slips into the latter, it comes awfully close."— Newsday



8. "All About the Benjamins" (2002)

Description: "An elaborate heist brings a bounty hunter and a small-time con man together as they team up to find stolen diamonds and a winning lottery ticket."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 30%

What critics said: "The home-run performances of Cube and Epps are handicapped by inept and illogical action sequences."— Chicago Tribune



7. "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: "The screenplay for this violent retro schlock was written by Sylvester Stallone, and the movie feels like something out of the early eighties."— New Yorker



6. "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 need a baby-sitter we can trust while nursing the last of the season's hangovers. Just try and stay out of the room for the excruciatingly sunny cover of David Bowie's Heroes."— Irish Times



5. "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: 21%

What critics said: "The Vanished, quite honestly, should live up to its name."— Austin Chronicle



4. "The Next Three Days" (2010)

Description: "When his wife becomes a murder suspect and is sent to prison, a professor plots a meticulous plan to take back her freedom and reunite his family."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 51%

What critics said: "It's laughably, eye-rollingly absurd, so you don't watch it and wonder, 'Hey, why not?' You endure it and wonder, 'So ... why did they do that?'"— New York Daily News



3. "The Dig" (2021, Netflix original)

Description:"On the eve of World War II, a British widow hires a self-taught archaeologist to dig up mysterious formations on her land, leading to a staggering find."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 88%

What critics said: "The Dig is a movie steeped in the inevitable passage of time, but it's also a reminder that the past lives on through the things we leave behind."— Time



2. "Finding O'hana" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "On Oʻahu for the summer, two siblings from Brooklyn connect with their Hawaiian heritage — and their family — on a daring quest for long-lost treasure."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 82%

What critics said: "While its beats are familiar, TV director Jude Weng's debut feature diverges from its well-worn path when it matters, staying true to its heart and love of Hawaiian culture."— Los Angeles Times



1. "Below Zero" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "When a prisoner transfer van is attacked, the cop in charge must fight those inside and outside while dealing with a silent foe: the icy temperatures."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 83%

What critics said: "Below Zero builds a strong sense of foreboding from the beginning."— Decider



How to watch 'Nomadland' when it premieres on Hulu and in theaters on February 19

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If you're trying to make your way through all of the Golden Globe-nominated dramas before the awards show is broadcast on February 28, Hulu is here to help. "Nomadland," which is up for Best Picture, will premiere in theaters and on Hulu simultaneously on February 19.  

The film is based on the book "Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century." The story centers on a woman, Fern (Frances McDormand), who loses her job due to the recession. As she searches for work on the road in her van, Fern hears stories from other nomads in the American West. The film features supporting actors who are actually nomads in real life, including Bob Wells, known for his YouTube channel CheapRVliving.

"Nomadland" is directed by Chloé Zhao, who is up for Best Director at the Golden Globes. Her next film will be Marvel's highly anticipated superhero movie "Eternals" starring Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, and Salma Hayek. 

Reviews have been positive for "Nomadland" so far. The film has a "95% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and Insider critic Jacob Sarkisian gave the movie an "A-" grade in his full review.

How to watch 'Nomadland' on Hulu

You can watch "Nomadland" on Hulu starting February 19. The film will be free for current subscribers but, if you haven't subscribed to the streaming service yet, you'll need to sign up first. You can get access to Hulu for $6 per month with its basic, ad-supported plan

It's unclear how long the film will remain on the streaming service, but the Hulu premiere will give viewers a chance to catch the Golden Globe-nominated movie at home before the show announces its winners on February 28.

Aside from the basic plan's monthly payment option, you can buy a whole year of Hulu for $60. That's $12 cheaper than the cost of paying for a year on a monthly basis. If you're not a fan of ads, Hulu also has an ad-free option for $12 per month.

If you're interested in even more streaming content, we recommend that you take advantage of the $13 per month bundle that includes Hulu Basic, ESPN+, and Disney Plus. With this bundle, you'll get access to three more 2021 Golden Globe-nominated movies via Disney Plus: "Hamilton,""Soul," and "Onward."

You can watch "Nomadland" through Hulu on a number of streaming devices, including iOS and Android products, Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Nintendo Switch, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox, web browser, and smart TVs.

What other Golden Globe-nominated films can I watch?

Aside from "Nomadland," there are several other Golden Globe-nominated movies available to watch at home through VOD platforms and streaming services. This includes Best Picture nominees "The Trial of the Chicago 7" and "Mank," which are both available exclusively on Netflix.

Meanwhile, "Promising Young Woman," another nominee for Best Picture, is now available to rent through VOD services like Amazon and Vudu.

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How to watch 'Judas and the Black Messiah' starring Daniel Kaluuya on HBO Max

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  • "Judas and the Black Messiah" premiered in theaters and on HBO Max on February 12.
  • The biopic stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chicago Black Panther Party chair Fred Hampton.
  • The film will be available on HBO Max for 31 days; the streaming service costs $15 per month.
  • See also: How to watch "The Little Things" on HBO Max
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"Judas and the Black Messiah" is the latest movie to premiere on HBO Max and in theaters on the same day. The film started streaming on February 12. 

The movie chronicles the death of Fred Hampton, the chairman of the Chicago Black Panther Party who was killed in a joint FBI and police raid in 1969. "Get Out" and "Queen & Slim" star Daniel Kaluuya plays Hampton in the film, while Lakeith Stanfield plays the FBI informant tasked with spying on Hampton and the Black Panthers.

For many Black activists, Hampton's killing exemplified violent methods that racists and the government would use to suppress their movement, sowing years of distrust for Chicago police and federal law enforcement. 

Years after Hampton's death, it was revealed that the FBI had identified Hampton as a radical and launched a campaign to undermine his activism. They planted an informant named William O'Neal within the Black Panther Party to track Hampton's actions and spread misinformation about Hampton to other Black activist groups in Chicago.

"Judas and the Black Messiah" has received critical acclaim from reviewers. The movie currently holds a "97% Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 87/100 on Metacritic.

Updated on 2/12/2021 by Kevin Webb: The language in this article has been updated for timeliness.

How to watch 'Judas and the Black Messiah'

"Judas and the Black Messiah" premiered on HBO Max on February 12 at 12:01 a.m. PT, 3:01 a.m. ET. The movie released in theaters that same day as well. "Judas and the Black Messiah" will remain available to stream on HBO Max for 31 days. After that period, the movie will be removed from the service, but it's possible that it could be added back at a later date.

HBO Max costs $15 per month, but new or returning subscribers can get 20% off a six-month membership thanks to a special promotion. If you already subscribe to HBO through your cable provider, you may be able to activate your HBO Max subscription for free, though there are some restrictions.

The HBO Max app is available on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android, iOS, Mac, PlayStation, Xbox, and Samsung smart TVs. "Judas and the Black Messiah" is available in 4K with Dolby Vision, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos on supported devices.

For detailed impressions on HBO Max, check out our full HBO Max review here.

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

The next Warner Bros. movies coming to HBO Max are "Tom & Jerry," a new version of the classic cartoon due out on February 26, and the monster mash-up of "Godzilla vs. Kong" on March 31.

Other upcoming releases include "Mortal Kombat,""Space Jam: A New Legacy," and "Matrix 4."

Here's a complete list of every upcoming Warner Bros. movie with same-day releases on both HBO Max and in movie theaters.

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The top 9 movies on Netflix this week, from 'Malcolm and Marie' to 'War Dogs'

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The new Netflix movie "Malcolm and Marie," starring Zendaya and John David Washington, was a hit for the streaming giant this week. But it couldn't top the 2002 movie "All About the Benjamins."

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.

Robert Rodriguez's "We Can Be Heroes" is also still popular on Netflix almost two months since its release.

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

SEE ALSO: How Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max, and more compare in the amount of 'exclusives' and 'originals' they offer

9. "The Dig" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "On the eve of World War II, a British widow hires a self-taught archaeologist to dig up mysterious formations on her land, leading to a staggering find."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 87%

What critics said: "None of this would have worked without the presence of such fine actors."— Vulture



8. "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: "A sort of sequel to 'The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl,' this film gives kids exactly what they want. Adults? Not so much."— San Jose Mercury News



7. "Money Talks" (1997)

Description: "A motormouthed hustler on the run after an unplanned prison break teams up with the ambitious TV reporter who helped put him away."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 16%

What critics said: "Tucker has a personal triumph. He's funny in that cocky, freefall way that Carrey and Jerry Lewis get away with: He's floating on inspiration and improvisation, like a musician."— Chicago Sun-Times



6. "Finding 'Ohana" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "On Oʻahu for the summer, two siblings from Brooklyn connect with their Hawaiian heritage — and their family — on a daring quest for long-lost treasure."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 82%

What critics said: "An entertaining mix of adventure, comedy, heartwarming family moments, and even a little (teen) romance."— RogerEbert.com



5. "War Dogs" (2016)

Description: "A massage therapist gets in over his head when he partners with a charismatic childhood pal in the lucrative but shady business of global arms dealing."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 61%

What critics said: "Sure, there's voiceover, freeze frames, and morally reprehensible characters, but it reads more like a parody film than an inspired one."— Complex



4. "Space Sweepers" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "Chasing after space debris and faraway dreams in year 2092, four misfits unearth explosive secrets during the attempted trade of a wide-eyed humanoid."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 54%

What critic said: "The interplay between these characters is the film's saving grace, and the reason it's still mostly a joy to watch."— Polygon



3. "Are We There Yet?" (2005)

Description: "To impress a single mom, a determined suitor offers to take her kids on a road trip and is then forced to endure their wildly mischievous antics."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 12%

What critics said: "'Are We There Yet?' all too effectively conveys the claustrophobic horror of being shackled in a small space with two whiny, hateful children."— AV Club



2. "Malcolm and Marie" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "As a filmmaker and his girlfriend return home from his movie premiere, smoldering tensions and painful revelations push them toward a romantic reckoning."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 59%

What critics said: "The message at the core of Malcolm & Marie is facile, vain and undemanding, an attempt to sell a loud, sullen tantrum about artistic work as soulful debate shot on 35 mm film."— Salon



1. "All About the Benjamins" (2002)

Description: "An elaborate heist brings a bounty hunter and a small-time con man together as they team up to find stolen diamonds and a winning lottery ticket."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 30%

What critics said: "One groan-inducing familiarity begets another."— Washington Post



How to watch 'Raya and the Last Dragon' on Disney Plus the same day it premieres in theaters

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Dragons, warriors, and the mystical land of Kumandra are ready to take the Disney universe by storm in "Raya and the Last Dragon." The action-adventure film starring the voices of Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina will debut on Disney Plus as a Premier Access title on March 5 — the same day the movie hits theaters. 

"Raya and the Last Dragon" focuses on Raya (Tran), a warrior who embarks on a quest to defeat an evil force plaguing her land. In order to bring the world back together and restore peace, Raya must find the last dragon. The film comes from director Don Hall, known for his work on "Moana," and director Carlos López Estrada, whose previous work includes "Blindspotting," a dramedy starring Daveed Diggs.

If you want to watch "Raya and the Last Dragon" before it makes its way to all Disney Plus subscribers in June, here's how you can purchase early streaming access to the movie at home.

How to watch 'Raya and the Last Dragon'

"Raya and the Last Dragon" will be available to stream on Disney Plus starting March 5 as a Premier Access title. If you have a Disney Plus subscription, you'll need to pay a one-time $30 fee to unlock the film on that date. 

After you buy the movie, you can watch it as long as you have a Disney Plus plan. If you don't want to pay $30, you'll have to until June 4 when the movie will be available to all Disney Plus subscribers without an extra fee.

Disney Plus costs $7 a month or $70 for an annual plan. You can also pair Disney Plus with ESPN+ and Hulu so you can watch sports and tons of additional shows and movies. The bundle costs $13 a month, which saves you about $6 a month compared to buying all three services on their own.

The Disney Plus app is available on popular devices such as Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and most smart TV brands. After you get the movie, you can watch it as long as you have a Disney Plus plan. If you don't want to pay $30 but you subscribe to Disney Plus, you'll have to wait to watch it on June 4.

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

Disney isn't the only studio streaming new movies that were originally planned for theaters. Warner Bros. announced that it will release its entire 2021 movie lineup in theaters and on HBO Max at the same time. You can watch "The Little Things" and "Judas and the Black Messiah" right now on HBO Max. 

Meanwhile, the new drama "Nomadland" starring Frances McDormand will debut on Hulu and in theaters on February 19.

Other studios, like Sony, Universal, Lionsgate, and Paramount have also been offering streaming rental or purchase options for select titles that were originally planned for theaters. "In-theater" digital rentals or purchases can be made through a variety of services, including Apple TV, Vudu, FandangoNow, and Google Play

For more information about digital rentals, check out our guide to streaming rental services.

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Staffers at the animation studio Blue Sky say it's 'heartbreaking' that Disney canceled its final movie, 'Nimona'

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Blue Sky Studios' final movie will likely never see the light of day and staffers say it's a big disappointment.

The animation studio, which was behind the "Ice Age" movies and more, will close for good at the end of April. Disney inherited the Connecticut-based studio in its Fox acquisition in 2019. But the company announced last week that it would shut down the studio after 34 years due to the "current economic realities" of the coronavirus pandemic.

Disney also canceled the release of the studio's final feature, "Nimona," which was to be directed by Patrick Osborne and based on the web-comic-turned-graphic-novel by Noelle Stevenson.

"The worst feeling is that 'Nimona' is not going to be seen by the world," a Blue Sky staffer told Insider of the company shutdown. "We all believed in it."

Four Blue Sky staffers that Insider spoke with expressed disappointment that "Nimona" wouldn't be released, noting that it featured LGBTQ themes rarely seen in animated movies.

The staffers requested anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

In a statement, a Disney studio spokesperson said: "Given the current economic realities, after much consideration and evaluation, we have made the difficult decision to close filmmaking operations at Blue Sky Studios."

"Nimona," which first landed at Fox Animation and Blue Sky in 2015, takes place in a futuristic medieval setting and follows a young shape shifter who teams up with a villainous knight to take down a corrupt government.

The movie faced "hiccups" over the years, the first staffer said, notably a leadership change after the Disney-Fox merger (Disney named the former Disney Animation president Andrew Millstein as copresident in 2019). And the last Blue Sky movie, "Spies in Disguise," faced several delays that hindered "Nimona," the staffer said. 

But the four staffers said that it felt like business as usual at Blue Sky right up until a virtual town hall on February 9 that was scheduled that same day, in which leadership broke the news to the studio's 450 employees. 

"It's heartbreaking to put so much time into a project and then have it not release," a second staffer said. "It didn't look like anything else in the animated world. It's a big loss of effort and time."

The staffers said that Blue Sky was revamping its software from the ground up in an effort to modernize. They called "Nimona" a step forward for the company. A third staffer said that people were enthusiastic about "Nimona" in a way they hadn't been for other recent projects. This staffer even stayed at the studio just to finish the movie after considering a career change. 

The fourth staffer speculated that Blue Sky's ambitions may have contributed to Disney's decision, though, as it had already spent a lot of money and more was needed.

"Between that and COVID affecting the larger Disney business ... Blue Sky needed too much to survive," this person said.

The first staffer said "Nimona" was on track to be finished by October ahead of its planned January 2022 release date. Now, staffers don't think it will ever be completed and released, as another studio would have to step in to finish it.

"Absolutely blew me away and I'm so heartbroken you won't be able to see it," Stevenson tweeted last Friday after seeing reels and art from the film. "Blue Sky was making something really special."

Have more to share? Email the author at tclark@insider.com or DM him on Twitter @TravClark2

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The top 9 movies on Netflix this week, including 'To All the Boys: Always and Forever'

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"To All the Boys: Always and Forever," the third movie in the hit "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" trilogy, was Netflix's most popular movie this week. 

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: Staffers at the animation studio Blue Sky say it's 'heartbreaking' that Disney canceled its final movie, 'Nimona'

9. "Are We There Yet?" (2005)

Description: "To impress a single mom, a determined suitor offers to take her kids on a road trip and is then forced to endure their wildly mischievous antics."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 12%

What critics said: "A joyless road-trip comedy that's about as pleasant as a bad case of car sickness."— Variety



8. "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: 60%

What critics said: "Your kids will be sufficiently entertained, but they also deserve a dog that's willing to learn a few new tricks."— RogerEbert.com



7. "Animals on the Loose: A You vs. Wild Movie" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "When wild animals escape from a sanctuary, Bear Grylls — and you — must pursue them and secure their protective habitat. An interactive special."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: "If you thought Bear Grylls had utterly exhausted the survival-series formula by the time he slid down a mudhill with Tom Arnold, you were wrong — wrong as hell."— Decider



6. "Squared Love" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "A celebrity journalist and renowned womanizer starts to rethink his life choices after he falls for a mysterious model who leads a double life."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: N/A



5. "Finding 'Ohana" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "On Oʻahu for the summer, two siblings from Brooklyn connect with their Hawaiian heritage — and their family — on a daring quest for long-lost treasure."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 83%

What critics said: "Netflix's Finding 'Ohana is a family-friendly adventure that's sure to be treasured."— IGN



4. "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 rarity: A kids movie actually made for kids, bringing what was special about Spy Kids to a new generation, and a complete delight on its own."— Polygon 



3. "Red Dot" (2021, Netflix original)

Description: "Trying to rekindle their marriage and with a child on the way, a young couple on a ski trip suddenly finds themselves stalked by remorseless killers."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 83%

What critics said: "The idea that things are bad but you could be in these folks' shoes is the basis for all controlled-fear cinema. 'Red Dot' contorts that notion in an unsettling and unsparing fashion you won't soon forget, winter, spring, summer or fall."— Midwest Film Journal



2. "War Dogs" (2016)

Description: "A massage therapist gets in over his head when he partners with a charismatic childhood pal in the lucrative but shady business of global arms dealing."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 61%

What critics said: "By the end we have warmed — almost — to the innocent villainy of two con folk serving a greater maladroit maleficence."— Financial Times



1. "To All the Boys: Always and Forever" (2021, Netflix original)

Description:"Senior year of high school takes center stage as Lara Jean returns from a family trip to Korea and considers her college plans — with and without Peter."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 80%

What critics said: "Centineo and Condor remain the best part of Always and Forever, as they were the best part of P.S. I Still Love You ... But like P.S. I Still Love You, Always and Forever fails to find strong, specific details in which to ground this love story."— Vox



Is Plex free? Yes — here's how to sign up for a free or paid account on the streaming and hosting platform

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Plex is a server that allows you to host and stream digital content. The platform is particularly popular among media creators and digital media hoarders alike. 

If you like Plex for its hosting abilities, you'll probably want to opt for its paid tier, which gives you more sovereignty over your server. However, casual media consumers can also get a lot of mileage out of Plex on its free tier alone.

Here's what the differences are between the free and paid tiers and how to sign up.

What is in the free version of Plex

Plex also hosts a streaming service, including a partnership with Crackle, allowing you to watch ad-sponsored TV and movies. With a free Plex account, you'll have access to more than 100 free channels, which you can stream online at any time, and 20,000 on-demand TV and movie titles. 

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You can also connect your media to Plex and play it back for free on the Plex web platform. That includes photos and music, which Plex will automatically and intuitively sort and organize in a digital library collection upon upload. You can then access and share this media across devices. 

For full access to mobile media playback, the Plex mobile app must be unlocked first with an in-app purchase. Mobile access also comes included with a Plex Pass subscription. Otherwise, you're limited to one-minute previews on mobile.

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You can use your Facebook, Gmail, or Apple account to sign up for a free account if you'd rather not register directly with an email and password. 

What to know about the premium tier Plex Pass

If you're running your own Plex server, rather than just invited to access another user's, the $4.99 a month Plex Pass might be the better option. With it, you can invite other Plex accounts to become a part of your Plex Home, allowing you to easily switch between accounts, as well as restrict what content you share from your server.

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For a high-frequency media consumer, the Plex Pass also grants more flexibility than a free Plex account, including the ability to record and replay available live broadcasts with a compatible tuner and digital antenna. You also have offline access to media on your Plex server via Plex Pass for when you don't have internet access, like on a plane.

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Once signed up and logged in, you can navigate to "Go Premium" under your account settings.  

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

SEE ALSO: The best streaming services you can sign up for in 2021

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