The 8 best movies on Starz

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 Starz and its movie library may be the best-kept secret in streaming. A quick look at the selection on the Starz app shows a library with over 1,000 titles. Starz offers movies across nearly every genre, so there’s always something to catch your eye no matter what you’re in the mood for. It’s not hyperbolic to say that Starz’s selection can contend with the other major streaming sites: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Showtime, and HBO Go. Below is a sampling of some of the best movies on Starz, and it’s just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. And if you’re in the mood for something new, check out our bonus list of the best new movies of 2018 on Starz.

The best new movies on Starz: 2018 new releases to watch

1) Loveless

Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless isn’t an easy watch: 12-year-old Alyosha is caught in the middle of his parents’ toxic divorce, and they’re not coy about the fact that neither of them wants custody. These moments of bitter neglect will get under your skin, but after Alyosha disappears, the film’s tone shifts a bit and opens up a critique of institutions in Russia, both social and political. —A.S.

Best movies on Starz - Loveless Sony Pictures Classics/YouTube

2) Final Portrait

Stanley Tucci steps into the director role for this dramatic retelling of the relationship between James Lord and Alberto Giacometti. More specifically, it reimagines the story of artist Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush) painting a portrait of American writer and friend Lord (Armie Hammer) that is never quite finished, and the subject becomes imprisoned in the artist’s quest for perfection. It’s somewhat maddening, but you get to stare at Armie Hammer’s face for long stretches of time. —A.S.

Best Movies on Starz - Final Portrait Sony Pictures Classics/YouTube

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3) The Rider

Chloé Zhao’s breakout dramatic film about a rodeo star benefits from taking a naturalistic route: She used real rider Brady Jandreau to tell his true story of suffering a brain injury and being told he could never ride again. Brady’s sister and father star as dramatized versions of themselves, and the cinematography—long shots of amber South Dakota plains, close-ups of the horses Brady longs to ride again—compliments Zhao’s quiet study of a man who has been forever changed by the thing he loves most. The Rider isn’t a hero story; it sets itself apart by showing the connection he has to these creatures, not his power over them. A.S.

Best movies on Starz - The Rider Sony Pictures Classics/YouTube

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4) Humor Me 

Elliott Gould and Jemaine Clement as father and son is already an enticing pairing. Sam Hoffman’s film falls back on the trope of distant father and needy son, but the two performers add some tenderness to the proceedings. More entertaining is his son’s new job at the retirement community, where he befriends a group of women (including Annie Potts) and directs an elderly version of The Mikado. Don’t worry: He learns something about himself! A.S.

Best movies on Starz - Humor Me Movieclips Indie/YouTube

5) Permission

In this dramedy from Brian Crano, Dan Stevens and Rebecca Hall are a long-term New York City couple who are trying to keep the magic alive by sleeping with other people. This premise has been tested quite a bit, most recently in Netflix series Wanderlust, but Permission isn’t messing with the boundaries of monogamy as a morality tale or comic relief. It explores straight and gay relationships, doing a scene study of the elasticity of intimacy and partnership instead of labeling an indiscretion as right or wrong. A.S.

Best movies on Starz - Permission ONE Media/YouTube

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6) Happy End (2017)

Director Michael Haneke (Funny Games, Amour) always has an eye on class tension and familial relations, and with Happy End, he winks at the audience as he makes us spend time with an unhappy rich family. Haneke once again teams with Amour‘s Jean-Louis Trintignant, the family’s patriarch, and the incomparable Isabelle Huppert plays his daughter. Everyone has their hangups and fuckups, but this film is a little different than Haneke’s previous in that it’s framed by 13-year-old Eve’s phone, and it includes a wonderful karaoke (sub)version of Sia’s “Chandelier.” Audra Schroeder

Best movies on Starz - Happy End Sony Pictures Classics/YouTube

 

The best movies on Starz

7) The Thing

John Carpenter’s masterpiece, one of them at least, continues to get better with time. This ingenious story about a group of researchers being overtaken by an alien being is a masterclass of paranoia and tension. Anchored by Kurt Russell and awesome practical effects, The Thing earns its reputation as one of the best horror films and sci-fi films of all time.

best movies on Starz - The Thing MyEdit/YouTube

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8) Children of Men

Alonso Cuaron’s dystopian masterpiece is one of the great sci-fi movies of the new millennium. Based on P.D. James’s novel, it’s set in a world where women can’t pregnant and humanity is staring down extinction. That is until one pregnant woman is found and a small group, led by Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, have to get her to safety. It’s a smart movie anchored by jaw-dropping action set pieces.  

best movies on starz : Children of Men Screengrab via Movieclips Trailer Vault/YouTube

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Still not sure what to watch or what service to choose? Here are the 60 best movies on Amazon Prime, 35 best movies on HBO, 50 best movies on Hulu, 105 best movies on Netflix, 15 best movies on Showtime, 25 best movies on Starz, and 45 free movies on YouTube.

Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance. 

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Eddie Strait

Eddie Strait

Eddie Strait is a member of the Austin Film Critic Association. His reviews focus primarily on streaming entertainment, with an emphasis on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other on-demand services.