The Best Movies on Apple TV+ Right Now (July 2022)

The best flicks on Apple's streaming video service

Apple TV+ doesn't have the thousands of movies that Netflix, Hulu, or HBO Max offers. But it does have a great selection of high-quality films from major talents and big-name stars. Whether you want an engaging drama, a thought-provoking documentary, or something for the kids, these are the best movies on the Apple TV+ streaming platform.

01
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Cha Cha Real Smooth (2022): A Moving Love Story

The cast of Cha Cha Real Smooth

Apple TV+

IMDb rating: 8.0/10

Starring: Cooper Raiff, Dakota Johnson, Evan Assante

Director: Cooper Raiff

Rating: R

Runtime: 1 hour, 47 minutes

While his girlfriend is studying abroad, Andrew (Cooper Raiff) lands a job as a party starter for local Bar Mitzvahs. Unexpectedly, he forms a bond with the mother of an autistic child who is impressed with Andrew's ability to get anyone dancing.

Not quite a rom-com, Cha Cha Real Smooth is likely to make you laugh and cry. The movie was released simultaneously in theaters and on Apple TV+.

02
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CODA (2021): A Family Movie About Pursuing Your Dreams

Key art for the Apple TV original film 'CODA'

Apple

IMDb rating: 8.2/10

Starring: Emilia Jones, Troy Kotsur, Marlee Matlin

Director: Sian Heder

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 1 hour, 51 minutes

This Apple original is the story of 17-year-old Ruby (Emilia Jones), the only hearing member of a deaf family, or a "CODA" (child of deaf adults). She serves as an interpreter for her family while working on their struggling fishing boat. But when she joins the high school choir and develops a passion for music, she struggles between wanting to pursue her dreams and feeling obligated to care for her family.

03
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The Tragedy of Macbeth (2022): Joel Cohen's Take on Shakespeare's Doomed Scottish King

Denzel Washington in 'The Tragedy of Macbeth'

Apple

IMDb rating: 7.7/10

Starring: Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Alex Hassell

Director: Joel Cohen

Rating: R

Runtime: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Plenty of directors have put their own spin on Shakespeare, but this Macbeth adaptation from Joel Cohen promises to be an interesting adaptation. Denzel Washington plays the titular Scottish king doomed by his own madness and ambition, while Frances McDormand plays his murderous wife.

04
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Wolfwalkers (2020): A Beautiful Animated Fantasy Film

Honor Kneafsey and Eva Whittaker in 'Wolfwalkers'

Cartoon Saloon

IMDb rating: 8.1/10

Starring: Honor Kneafsey, Eva Whittaker, Sean Bean

Director: Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart

Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 43 minutes

Wolfwalkers is a lovely animated adventure film about a girl and her father sent to eradicate all the wolves from the forest surrounding the Irish village of Kilkenny. But there's more than a bit of magic in those woods and those wolves. The movie has a lush visual style, strong voice performances, and a big heap of Irish folklore. It's a good one to watch with the whole family.

05
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Who Are You, Charlie Brown? (2021): Examining an Enduring Piece of Pop Culture

1978: Portrait of American cartoonist Charles M Schulz (1922 - 2001), creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip, sitting at his studio drawing table with a picture of his character Charlie Brown and some awards behind him. Schulz created the comic strip in 1950.

CBS Photo Archive / Getty Images

IMDb rating: 7.3/10

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Drew Barrymore, Al Roker, Kevin Smith

Director: Michael Bonfiglio

Rating: TV-G

Runtime: 54 minutes

Who Are You, Charlie Brown? examines the pop culture significance and enduring popularity of the Peanuts comic strip and the man who created it, cartoonist Charles Schulz. Narrated by actress Lupita Nyong’o (Black Panther, Us), it interviews Charles Schulz's widow, Jean, along with celebrities like Drew Barrymore, Al Roker, Kevin Smith, and more. The documentary also includes an all-new animated story about Charlie Brown, who's on a quest to discover himself.

06
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It's the Small Things, Charlie Brown (2022): Best New Original Charlie Brown Special

Charlie Brown in Snoopy Presents: It's the Small Things, Charlie Brown

Apple TV

IMDb rating: 6.9/10

Starring: Hattie Kragten, Rob Tinkler, Jacob Soley

Director: Raymond S. Persi

Motion Picture Rating: TV-G

Running Time: 38 minutes

In this Earth Day special, the Peanuts gang must rescue a flower that's sprouted on the baseball field before it gets trampled upon during the big game.

Apple TV+ has tons of exclusive Charlie Brown and Snoopy cartoons that are appropriate for all ages. As an added bonus, this one has a positive environmental message.

07
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Finch (2021): A Man, a Dog, and a Robot Take a Road Trip

Caleb Landry Jones (as Jeff the robot) and Tom Hanks in “Finch,” premiering globally November 5, 2021 on Apple TV+.

Apple

IMDb rating: 6.9/10

Starring: Tom Hanks, Caleb Landry Jones 

Director: Miguel Sapochnik

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 1 hour, 55 minutes

Finch (Tom Hanks) is a robotics engineer in a post-apocalyptic world. For years, he's been living in an underground bunker with his dog, Goodyear, and working on a robot named Jeff. But, when he wants to make sure Goodyear is taken care of after he's gone, Finch goes on a road trip across the wastelands of the American West. It's an unusual premise, but Hanks is always watchable and the film promises to have some heart and humor.

08
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Cherry (2021): A Dark Tale of PTSD and Drug Addiction

Key art for the Apple original film 'Cherry'

Apple

IMDb rating: 6.6/10

Starring: Tom Holland, Ciara Bravo, Jack Reynor

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Rating: R

Runtime: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Based on the best-selling novel by Nico Walker, Cherry stars Tom Holland as a disenfranchised former vet who turns to bank robbery to fund his drug addiction. After returning home from the Iraq war, Cherry suffers from PTSD and falls in with a bunch of depraved misfits. The only good thing in his life is his relationship with Emily (Ciara Bravo). Holland gets to stretch his acting muscles and move beyond Spider-Man.

09
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Come From Away (2021): Best for Broadway Fans

De’Lon Grant, Tony LePage, Sharon Wheatley, Joel Hatch, Jim Walton and Emily Walton in “Come From Away” premiering September 10, 2021 on Apple TV+.

Apple

IMDb rating: 9.4/10

Starring: Petrina Bromley, Jenn Colella, De'Lon Grant

Director: Christopher Ashley

Rating: TV-14

Runtime: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Filmed at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in New York City in front of an audience of 9/11 survivors and frontline workers, this award-winning Broadway musical is the story of 7,000 people who are stranded in a small town after flights are grounded on September 11, 2001. The townspeople welcome them all as they struggle to process the events of the day and find new hope in an extraordinary situation.

10
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Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry (2021)—The Singer's Coming-of-Age Story

Key art for the Apple TV documentary 'Bilile Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry'

Apple TV

IMDb rating: 7.9/10

Starring: Billie Eilish

Director: R.J. Cutler

Rating: R

Runtime: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Billie Eilish is one of music's hottest new stars, and now she has her own documentary on Apple TV. The World's a Little Blurry chronicles the teenaged singer-songwriter's rise from normal 17-year-old to household name, all while recording and releasing her debut album "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?" What's it like for a teen to live on the road, perform in worldwide tours, and record chart-topping hits with her family? This film seeks to answer those questions and more.

11
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Palmer (2021): A Drama About Family and Picking Up the Pieces

Justin Timberlake in 'Palmer'

Apple TV

IMDb rating: 7.3/10

Starring: Justin Timberlake, Ryder Allen, June Squibb

Director: Fisher Stevens

Rating: R

Runtime: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Palmer is the story of a college footballer (Justin Timberlake) who returns to his hometown to start life over after spending time in prison. There he connects with a young boy (Ryder Allen) who was abandoned by his mother. Together, perhaps they can reassemble the pieces of their broken lives—if Palmer's past doesn't get in the way.

12
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The Year Earth Changed (2021): Putting a Positive Spin on the Covid-19 Pandemic

Key art for the Apple TV documentary 'The Year Earth Changed'

Apple

IMDb rating: 8.5/10

Starring: David Attenborough

Director: Tom Beard

Rating: TV-PG

Runtime: 48 minutes

This documentary special narrated by David Attenborough takes a look at some of the more uplifting stories to come out of 2020. When the whole world went on lockdown as the Covid-19 virus sickened and killed millions, it had a positive effect on the environment. Whales returned to Glacier Bay, capybara started appearing in suburbs across South America, and more. The documentary chronicles how small changes in human behavior, like not going on cruises or closing beaches for a few days a year, can have a drastic impact on nature and offers a blueprint for how we can live more harmoniously with our environment in the future.

13
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Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth (2020)—The Beloved Children's Book in Animated Form

A family goes for a bike ride in 'Here We are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth'

Apple

IMDb rating: 7.4/10

Starring: Meryl Streep, Jacob Tremblay, Chris O'Dowd

Director: Philip Hunt, Douglas Carrigan

Rating: TV-G

Running Time: 36 minutes

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth is a short animated film based on the beloved children's book by Oliver Jeffers. Filled with beautiful art and soothing vocal performances from actors like Meryl Streep, Chris O'Dowd, and Ruth Negga, it's a lovely glimpse at the basics of life on this planet. Plus, the short length is perfect for smaller attention spans.

14
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Beastie Boys Story (2020): Best Non-Earth-Shattering Hip Hop Time Capsule

Beastie Boys Story on Apple TV+

IMDb rating: 7.8/10

Starring: Mike D, Adam Horovitz

Director: Spike Jonze

Rating: TV-MA

Runtime: 1 hour, 59 minutes

Hip hop heads can't afford to miss this career-spanning look back at seminal group, the Beastie Boys. From the group's start nearly 40 years ago, through their breakout early albums, their '90s reinvention, to the 2012 death of co-founder Adam "MCA" Yauch, this documentary runs the gamut.

Directed by Spike Jonze—who also directed the band's iconic music video "Sabotage," along with indie feature hits like Her, Adaptation, and Being John Malkovich—the film may not break any news or provide major insights, but it's still a great time capsule for long-time fans and new converts.

15
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screenshot from the Boys State documentary

IMDb rating: 7.7/10

Starring: Ben Feinstein, Steven Garza, Robert MacDougall  

Director: Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 1 hour, 49 minutes

This award-winning documentary (it took home the Grand Jury Prize for documentaries at Sundance 2020) is extra relevant in the wake of the U.S. presidential election and a renewed focus on democracy and governance worldwide.

Boys State chronicles the journey of over 1,000 teenagers attending the eponymous annual event, in which they design a government. This process includes everything you'd expect, including creating parties, running campaigns, and all of the messiness and ugliness that can come with politics—all of which makes it an important look at how we govern ourselves and what that might look like in the future.

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Swan Song (2021): A Sci-Fi Film About Grief

Key art for the Apple TV movie 'Swan Song'

Apple

IMDb rating: 8.3/10

Starring: Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Glenn Close  

Director: Benjamin Cleary

Rating: R

Runtime: 1 hour, 56 minutes

Swan Song is a tearjerker of a film starring Mahershala Ali as Cameron, a husband and father diagnosed with a terminal illness. His doctor (Glenn Close) presents him with an intriguing solution: replace himself with a clone. How far will Cameron go to shield his family from grief?

17
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The Banker on Apple TV+

IMDb rating: 7.3/10

Starring: Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Nicholas Hoult   

Director: George Nolfi

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 2 hours

This film, which is based on true events, had its premiere marred by accusations of sexual misconduct against a co-producer, but that shouldn't subtract from its power.

The Banker tells the true story of a pair of Black real-estate entrepreneurs in 1950s Los Angeles and Texas. Facing challenges due to racism, the pair recruit a White man to pose as the head of their company. The trio buy properties and integrate neighborhoods, fighting racism along the way, until a suspicious executive and missteps by the White partner bring the business down.

18
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The Elephant Queen (2018): Best Nature Documentary Following a Herd of Elephants

The Elephant Queen on Apple TV+

IMDb rating: 7.8/10

Starring: Sadoc Vazkez, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sadoc Vazquez  

Director: Mark Deeble, Victoria Stone

Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 36 minutes

Following in the footsteps of nature documentaries like March of the Penguins, this award-nominated film follows the journey of a herd of elephants displaced by drought.

Narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor, the film has been praised for its nuanced and sensitive look nature, community, and family. Suitable for viewers of all ages, The Elephant Queen tells a complex, rewarding story.

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The Velvet Underground (2021): Documenting One of Rock 'N' Roll's Most Influential Bands

Key art for the 2021 documentary 'The Velvet Underground'

Apple

IMDb rating: 7.3/10

Starring: Mary Woronov, Lou Reed, Johnathan Richman

Director: Todd Haynes

Rating: R

Runtime: 1 hour, 50 minutes

While they were commercially unsuccessful during the height of their career in the '60s and '70s, The Velvet Underground is now considered one of the most influential rock bands of all time. This new documentary charts the band's rise to fame, combining in-depth interviews with never-before-seen performances and some experimental art. It's both dark and reverent, and a worthy follow-up for director Todd Haynes, who's also responsible for the Bob Dylan flick I'm Not There.

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