As we all begin to bunker down at home, now's a great time to catch up on some movies you missed, forgot about or couldn't previously find time for.
There's a huge range of films across all genres available at your fingertips, so we encourage you to deep-dive into the dusty menus of your preferred streaming service to see what cinematic treasures you uncover.
To get you started we've highlighted some of the biggest and best releases across all the various platforms.
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Acclaimed for its vertigo-inducing special effects, The Aeronauts is a suspenseful and charming Victorian ballooning adventure. What's more, it's based on a true story, meaning there were real people out there who had real-life ballooning adventures. Yes. This particular ballooning adventure is about two rivals, played by Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, who in 1862 attempted to fly higher than anyone ever flew before.
Yeah it's an oldie, but hey, you can't beat the classics, and as it's only just been added to APV's library it's making our list. Director Steven Spielberg's adventure about dinosaurs breaking out of their cages at an ill-advised theme park to chase down a stoic Sam Neill and a gulping Jeff Goldblum is a thrill ride from start to finish and remains as wondrous today as it was way back when.
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Our reviewer called this doom-laden remake of the 1977 cult horror of the same name "gloriously nuts" and a "phantasmagoric experience". Golly. This unsettling movie stars Dakota Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz and Tilda Swinton pirouetting away in a dance academy that's -surprise - not really a school of dance but actually a witches' coven. Heavy on gore, bold of vision and lengthy in running time. Ticks all boxes then.
Beastie Boys Story
They fought for your right to party, they told y'all it was sabotage and their success was truly intergalactic (planetary). Now the surviving members of rap brats turned rap icons The Beastie Boys tell their story in this upcoming doco by director Spike Jonze. If you miss this you'll need to check your head. Out next month.
In the movie game, there's one thing you can bank on; Samuel L. Jackson delivering a helluva performance. And so it is in The Banker, a drama loosely based on the real-life story of the first two African-American bankers in the US. It's Apple's first big shot at the sort of prestige film that the Oscars usually find so appealing so that's got to be worth depositing some time into.
Disney+ has done parents everywhere a solid by adding Frozen 2 to their library three months ahead of schedule. The gang's all back as Elsa goes bush, Anna goes to solve a family mystery while also trying to save Olaf from going to the big Cumulus in the sky and Kristoff goes 80s in a quite brilliant power ballad. Enchanting stuff.
The Lion King
The Circle of Life is remade in photo-realistic fashion here, which divided critics but delighted audiences who made it the second-highest-grossing animated film of all time at the box office. Hakuna Matata indeed. With an all-star voice cast including Donald Glover, Seth Rogen and Beyonce, and animation so realistic you half expect to hear the gentle tone of David Attenborough narrating the on-screen adventure, let The Lion King rule your screen for a couple of hours. Purists will be happy to know the OG 1994 version is available as well.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Far better than its reputation and lack of sequels suggest, this space Western is a high-spirited and fun action romp that's thoroughly entertaining despite a few questionable choices we won't go into here because ... spoilers. That said, Alden Ehrenreich does an outstanding job in the most thankless role ever by channelling the spirit of Harrison Ford's lovable rogue Han Solo without delivering a try-hard imitation. So if you thought you never needed to know the origin story of the famous space smuggler, well ... you're not wrong. Nevertheless, this is a great way to spend a fun afternoon in the Star Wars universe after you've finished The Mandalorian.
Miss the days of wandering cluelessly between the shelves at the local video shop for hours trying to decide what to watch before forking out some cash to take a movie home for a limited time? Well, Lightbox has you covered with their rental service! Alongside their excellent TV offerings (we're looking at you Better Call Saul and Better Things), they also hire new release films for a mere $6.99, which is at least $2 cheaper than I remember.
Parasite infected this year's Academy Awards and made history by becoming the first foreign-language film to walk away with the highest honour of Best Picture. The movie itself is a black comedy thriller that explores social themes. This is the film that should claim your first $6.99.
Daniel Craig leads a high-quality ensemble cast in this old-school murder mystery that was one of the last year's critical darlings. Sitting on a ripe 97 per cent Rotten Tomatoes approval rating, this will have you scratching your head as you puzzle over whodunnit while shouting out your entirely wrong deductions at the screen.
J-Lo and her G-string lead an ensemble cast in this sexy heist drama about a band of strippers who hatch a scheme to fleece their rich Wall Street clients. High on razzle-dazzle, black comedy and emotional depth, this crime flick saw Lopez praised for her empowering performance, the movie being picked by Time Magazine as one of the best of 2019 and Malaysia banning it altogether.
Netflix's recent deal with Japan's legendary Studio Ghibli was an absolute boss move as it made Spirited Away, one of the greatest movies of all time, readily available. Written and directed by auteur animator Hayao Miyazaki, this Alice in Wonderland-esque story is filled with beautifully haunting imagery and imaginatively striking visuals that captivate and delight, while the story touches on themes of materialistic greed, overcoming difficulties and the power of the spirit. An absolute classic for all ages. If you're not sure where to start with the films of Studio Ghibli, start here.
Uncut Gems is that rare treasure, a truly great Adam Sandler movie. Here the Sandman schemes and fidgets and sweats and swears as he goes about trying to hawk a unique and highly desirable opal he's come into possession of while staying one step ahead of the thugs aiming to collect on his gambling debt. This crime thriller is suspenseful intense viewing backed up by a career-best performance by Sandler and a cracking synth-driven soundtrack.
Finally, we have the three hours-plus needed to devote to Martin Scorsese's latest crime epic, The Irishman. After some time away from making flashy films about rich a-holes (The Wolf of Wall Street) and meditative movies about Catholic priests having a hard time in feudal Japan (Silence), this is Scorsese doing what he does best, hardboiled mob movies. Starring a don line-up that includes Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and the best de-aging computers money can buy, The Irishman is a viewing offer you can't refuse.
John Wick 3: Parabellum
The concluding chapter of the best action trilogy of modern times just shot its way on to Neon in a blaze of violently stylish, adrenaline-pumping action. Keanu Reeves is the aggrieved former hitman out for justice after hired goons killed his puppy way back in the first film. The neo-noir action thriller franchise won its reputation on its bone-breakingly inventive fight choreography and bullet-ridden set pieces, so expect this final instalment to go out all guns blazing.
Yesterday all our troubles seemed so far away, now it looks as though they're here to stay for at least another 15 days or so, making this heartwarming rom-com just the ticket to ride. Okay, that's enough with the Mop Top references. This movie pairs rom-com writer extraordinaire Richard Curtis (Love, Actually) with the stylistically flashy, Academy Award-winning director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) to tell the story of a struggling singer-songwriter who wakes up one day to discover he's the only person in the world to remember The Beatles. By claiming their world-changing songs as his own, fame, fortune and falling in love all beckon but, you guessed it, things don't quite go to plan.
Mega Time Squad
This local sci-fi, crime caper explores what would happen if a low-level criminal discovered a time-travelling device in a junk shop in Thames. Answer: he'd commit crimes. Well, duh. But in this very funny, foul-mouthed, no-budget flick things begin to go awry when his efforts to steal bags of cash from his boss, get the girl and escape to the big smoke of Paeroa see him bumbling into his multiple past selves, who are living through his former time jumps. With its 80s aesthetic and b-movie magic, this lo-fi flick from Thames local Tim van Dammen is cult viewing at its finest.
For the brave of heart and lard of ass, now is the time to take up the challenge of a movie marathon. Across the various services, there's plenty of options ranging from easy, through to difficult before reaching totally insane. But who knows how long we're gonna be asked to stay in our bunkers so why not make the most of it?
Dig deep into the Netflix archives and you'll discover all of the Indiana Jones movies buried away. These high-spirited and rollicking fun action-adventures are not only one of the action genre's holy grails but they're also family-friendly and a total entertainment blast. Netflix has all four but we can't in good conscience recommend 2008's Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Instead, keep it real with the classic 80s trilogy.
We're not gonna lie, undertaking the Sharknado sextuplet on Neon will test all but the most hardened of movie marathoners - and not just because there are six of the damned things to sit through. Like an actual marathon the going gets tougher the longer you keep going. This is because the movies get steadily and progressively worse. What starts off as campy, trashy fun with 90s Teen Queen Tara Reid and forgotten Beverly Hills 90210 star Ian Ziering running away from a tornado filled with sharks - the most brilliantly stupid premise we've ever heard - the franchise quickly devolves into a gruelling waste of your time. Again, just like an actual marathon. Good luck. You're gonna need it.
Are you kidding me?
If you want to supersize your movie marathon then on Disney+ you'll find 20 - yes, 20! - movies from the blockbuster Marvel Cinematic Universe. Starting with the big-budget beginnings of 2009's Iron Man and concluding with the budget-blowing extravaganza of 2019's Avengers: Endgame you'll need to possess buns of steel and the superpower of sitting for long periods to cross the finish line of the epic, cinematically unprecedented achievement that is The Infinity Saga. And hopefully by then, we'll have the all-clear to leave the house.
Seen something here you want to watch but don't want to add more strain to your pay cheque in these uncertain times? No problem! Just take advantage of the sweet loophole known as the free trial. Only one miserly streamer doesn't offer up a time-limited, cost-exempt sampling period, so as long as you set a reminder on your phone to cancel before the end of the trial period, you can binge your way through all their best offerings without spending a penny.
Amazon Prime Video - 30 days free trial
Apple TV+ - Seven-day free trial
Disney+ - Seven-day free trial
Lightbox - One-month free trial
Neon - 14-day free trial
Netflix - No free trial
It's well worth remembering that you don't need to pay any money at all to fire up some free movies on your telly. As well as having a healthy amount of truly top telly to watch, TVNZ OnDemand also has a pretty decent selection of films on offer.
We're talking Taika Waititi's globe-conquering, family comedy Hunt for the Wilderpeople and David Farrier's documentary Tickled, which takes a deep dive into the world of professional ticklers and ticklees before taking an extraordinarily dark turn. Simply sign up and stream away for free.