Adventure Movies

58 Best Movies on Disney Plus Right Now (March 2024)

March 22, 202425 Mins Read

The volume of content available on Disney+ may feel overwhelming. Indeed, there are a plethora of good movies on Disney+, from forgotten live-action films from the 60s, 70s, and 80s alongside a ton of Disney Channel Original movies — and that’s not to mention the catalog titles from Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm and the growing library of new original films you can only find on Disney+. To help you find the cream of the crop, we’re compiled a list of the best movies on Disney Plus across all genres. Take a look!

For more recommendations, check out our list of the best shows on Disney+, best comedies on Disney+, and best romantic movies on Disney+.

Editor’s note: This article was updated March 22nd to include Dumbo.

‘Dumbo’ (1941)

Rotten Tomatoes: 95% | IMDb: 7.2/10

dumbo poster

Dumbo (1941)

Release Date
October 31, 1941

Ben Sharpsteen

Verna Felton , Cliff Edwards , Sterling Holloway , Hall Johnson Choir

1 hr 4 min

A circus elephant is blessed with a baby of her own, whom she calls Jumbo Jr. However, when it’s revealed that he has oversized ears, the other elephants call him Dumbo. One day, while defending Dumbo from some troublesome children, his mother goes berserk and is locked up. The other elephants shun Dumbo for bringing shame to their species, but he finds a friend in a theatrical mouse named Timothy (Edward Brophy). Together, they work to turn Dumbo into a star in order to get his mother released while also finding a beneficial use for his ears.

Dumbo is one of Disney’s shortest films, and while not as artistically groundbreaking as other Golden Age films, its story and themes are some of the company’s most beautiful. It’s a story about outcasts working together to elevate one another and turn their perceived weaknesses into their greatest strengths. The animation is impressive and fits the bright atmosphere of the circus. Dumbo himself is one of Disney’s most expressive protagonists despite having no lines of dialogue, which serves as a testament to the skills of animator Bill Tytla. Tyler B. Searle

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‘The Princess Bride’ (1987)

Rotten Tomatoes: 98% | IMDb: 8.0/10

A sweeping romantic fantasy, The Princess Bride follows a swashbuckling farmhand-turned-pirate on a quest to rescue his beloved Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright) from being forced to marry Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). Finding acquaintances in the vengeful Spaniard Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and a Greenlander giant called Fezzik (André the Giant), Westley’s (Cary Elwes) pursuit to save his lost love takes him to many dangerous and magical places in the kingdom of Florian.

With no small amount of fairy tale allure, The Princess Bride has become a beloved ‘80s classic due to its ability to spoof the swashbuckling romantic fantasies of early cinema while honoring them with an earnest appreciation as well. Intelligent, fun, charismatic, and utterly charming, the Rob Reiner classic is a truly timeless masterpiece that appeals to everyone with its sense of adventure. – Ryan Heffernan

Watch on Disney+

‘Inside Out’ (2015)

Rotten Tomatoes: 98% | IMDb: 8.1/10


Inside Out

Release Date
June 19, 2015

Pete Docter , Ronaldo Del Carmen

95 minutes

Read Our Review

Inside Out traces the story of Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), a happy 11-year-old girl who loves hockey and her Midwestern life. However, when she and her parents relocate to San Francisco, her emotions, led by Joy (Amy Poehler), strive to navigate this significant life change. The move’s stress places Sadness (Phyllis Smith) in the spotlight. In an unexpected turn of events, Joy and Sadness end up in the far reaches of Riley’s mind, leaving only Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) in control at Headquarters.

Inside Out skillfully turns emotional turmoil into an adventure, offering a surreal glimpse into the intricate workings of our feelings and the reasons behind them. It stands as a remarkable achievement in world-building and screenwriting — a level of artistry seldom seen in any film, let alone an animated one primarily targeting younger audiences. Moreover, blending a timeless fish-out-of-water story with Pixar’s signature wit and keen insights, delivered by an outstanding comedic cast and stunning visuals, the film stands as one of Pixar’s finest works. It’s also the type of film that gains depth with each viewing, resonating differently at various stages of life. Despite its relatively young age, Inside Out has already achieved classic status. – Jessie Nguyen

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‘Pinocchio’ (1940)

Rotten Tomatoes: 100% | IMDb: 7.5/10

Pinocchio (1940) movie poster


Release Date
February 23, 1940

Hamilton Luske , Ben Sharpsteen


An elderly woodcarver named Gepetto (Christian Rub) crafts a wooden puppet that he names Pinocchio (Dick Jones). Before going to sleep, he wishes on a star for Pinocchio to become a real boy, and a blue fairy (Evelyn Venable) decides to grant his request. She gives Pinocchio life but tells him that he must prove himself brave, truthful, and unselfish to become a real boy. To aid him in this task, she assigns a cricket named Jiminy (Cliff Edwards) to be his conscience and help him learn right from wrong. This task proves more difficult than anticipated, thanks to the numerous people who seek to exploit Pinocchio’s unique status and naivete.

Pinocchio is a treasure from Disney’s Golden Age that remains one of the company’s most beloved films. This is due in large part to its strong morals and characters. Pinocchio himself is a very likable protagonist whose experience of navigating the world is timeless. The film also isn’t afraid to show how dark the world can be or that sometimes, evil people succeed at the expense of the innocent. Despite this, its overall message is optimistic: keep to the right path rather than the easy one, and you can bring your dreams to life. – Tyler B. Searle

Watch on Disney+

‘Mary Poppins’ (1964)

Rotten Tomatoes: 96% | IMDb: 7.8/10

Mary Poppins poster

Mary Poppins

Release Date
August 27, 1964

Robert Stevenson

Julie Andrews , Dick Van Dyke , David Tomlinson , Glynis Johns , Hermione Baddeley , Reta Shaw


Groundbreaking for its time, 1964’s Mary Poppins stars the lovely Julie Andrews alongside the incredibly charming Dick Van Dyke in the tale of a dysfunctional family living in London, England, as they are blessed with the presence of a fantastical nanny named Marry Poppins. Quickly becoming the highest-grossing film of 1964, it gathered 13 Academy Award nominations, a record for Disney. The film won five Oscars, including Best Original Music Score by Irwin Kostal (West Side Story) and the Sherman Brothers (It’s A Small World), Best Actress for Julie Andrews, Best Film Editing, Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee.”

Audiences’ fascination with the film has continued to intrigue viewers, new and old, and a film based on the creation of Mary Poppins, Saving Mr. Banks, starring Tom Hanks, was released in 2013. A sequel to the original film, Mary Poppins Returns, starring Emily Blunt in the titular role, premiered in 2018. In addition, the 1939 book the original film was based on, “Marry Poppins” by P.L. Travels, has had a renaissance of its own, as readers continue to pick up the book for the first time or repeat reads. Even today, the visual effects continue to impress, and the music will forever be stuck in your head. – Emily Cappello

Watch on Disney+

‘Pocahontas’ (1995)

Rotten Tomatoes: 54% | IMDb: 6.7/10

Pocahontas 1995 poster


Release Date
June 14, 1995

Mike Gabriel , Eric Goldberg

Irene Bedard , Judy Kuhn , Mel Gibson , David Ogden Stiers , John Kassir , Russell Means


Based on the real-life Powhatan woman named Pocahontas, the story follows the young woman as a group of English settlers from the Virginia Company arrive and she saves the life of John Smith, one of the settlers. Directed by Mike Gabriel (The Rescuers Down Under) and Eric Goldberg (The Princess and the Frog), the film premiered in 1995 and starred Irene Bedard as Pocahontas and Mel Gibson as John Smith, alongside Christian Bale in the role of Thomas, John Smith’s friend; John Kassir as Meeko, the mischievous pet raccoon belonging to Pocahontas; Billy Connolly as Ben and Joe Baker as Lon, two settler friends of John Smith. With an iconic and instantly recognizable score by Alan Menken and words by Stephen Schwartz, the film was an instant hit and is now a Disney classic.

The film was a massive success, earning $346 million worldwide against a budget of $55 million. The film’s promotion followed in the lion-shaped footsteps of The Lion King by releasing a four-minute musical number in advance. The Pocahontas team chose “Colors of The Wind,” the film’s most well-known song, and it played during a theatrical re-release of The Lion King. While some critics disliked the lack of humor in the script, the film was a different kind of release for Disney, attempting to tell a slower and more heartfelt story. Still, the film remains an all-time classic, and if you go outside to start singing any one of its songs right now, at least one or more bystanders will question why you’re singing but know exactly where the song is from. – Emily Cappello

Watch on Disney+

‘The Lion King’ (1994)

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% | IMDb: 8.5/10


The Lion King (1994)

Release Date
June 24, 1994

88 minutes

Drawing inspiration from William Shakespeare‘s Hamlet, incorporating elements from the Biblical stories of Joseph and Moses, and taking cues from Disney’s 1942 animated feature film Bambi, The Lion King is set in a kingdom of lions located in Africa. The film follows the journey of Simba, a lion cub destined to be the King of the Pride Lands. When his uncle Scar kills Simba’s father, Mufasa, and convinces Simba he’s to blame, he goes into exile. Raised by Timon and Pumbaa, Simba gains wisdom from his friend Nala and the shaman Rafiki and then returns to confront Scar, ending his reign and claiming his place as the rightful king in the Circle of Life.

With stunning animation, a captivating score by Elton John and Tim Rice, an emotionally resonant storyline, and Simba’s profound character arc, The Lion King offers a rich cinematic experience. It evokes both tearful moments and hearty laughter, making it an enduring and cherished animation that leaves a lasting impression on viewers of all ages. The movie remains a classic, upholding Disney’s high standard in animated features. It sets the bar so high that anything that comes after this version can leave you with a sense that something essential is lacking. – Jessie Nguyen

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‘Princess Diaries’ (2001)

Rotten Tomatoes: 49% | IMDb: 6.4/10

princess diaries poster

The Princess Diaries

Release Date
August 3, 2001

1 hr 55 min

The Princess Diaries centers on Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway), a timid American teenager living in San Francisco with her mother (Caroline Goodall) and her cat, who discovers her royal heritage as the heiress to a European kingdom’s throne and a real-life princess. With guidance from her estranged grandmother (Julie Andrews), the current reigning queen, Mia faces a pivotal decision: whether to embrace her inherited throne or relinquish her title forever.

The Princess Diaries served as Anne Hathaway’s debut in the world of cinema, and her charming portrayal of Mia Thermopolis earned her recognition and kick-started her career. Despite not receiving extensive critical acclaim, the film has garnered a substantial and adoring audience following, solidifying its status as an iconic coming-of-age film that resonates with the dreams of many teenagers. The movie also showcases Julie Andrews in a role that perfectly suits her – that of a queen, exuding grace and timeless charm. Furthermore, it masterfully blends humor and poignant moments, striking a harmonious balance that captivates both young and adult audiences. The Princess Diaries also delivers valuable life lessons to its target audience about the responsibilities tied to power and the significance of utilizing it for the common good. – Jessie Nguyen

Watch on Disney+

‘Fire of Love’ (2022)

Rotten Tomatoes: 98% | IMDb: 7.6/10

fire of love poster

Fire of Love

Release Date
July 6, 2022

Miranda July

1 hr 33 min

Fire Of Love is a National Geographic documentary that follows the blossoming love of scientists Katia and Maurice Krafft, who for their entire lives have loved two things: each other and volcanoes. For two decades, the duo made it their life’s work to travel across the planet in chase of volcanic eruptions and their aftermath in order to gather a greater understanding of the volcanoes of the world. As they document their discoveries with photographs and breathtaking film, they share their findings with the public and become the premiere volcano experts of the world before their untimely demise during a 1991 volcanic explosion on Japan’s Mount Unzen.

Fire of Love takes the already beautiful and mesmerizing footage shot by the Kraffts and allows it to reach the same level of gravitas and beauty that the couple had always envisioned volcanoes to be. The film is filled to the brim with countless beautiful setpieces as they work hand-in-hand with the beautiful yet heartbreaking real-life romance at the center of the story. Narration from Miranda July helps keep the film focused and grounded as a narrative progression, seeing the couple’s evolutions and changes as they work more and more with a world becoming more aware and reactive to volcanoes and their destruction thanks to their work. The film is easily one of the most memorable and well-regarded documentaries in recent memory and is a must-watch just for those looking for a visual feast for the eyes. – Robert Lee III

Watch on Disney+

‘Enchanted’ (2007)

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% | IMDb: 7.1/10



Release Date
November 20, 2007

Kevin Lima


Enchanted serves as both a loving tribute to and a playful satire of Disney’s animated classics. The story begins in the animated realm of Andalasia, where Giselle (Amy Adams), an optimistic maiden, envisions true love and a fairytale ending with Prince Edward (James Marsden). However, her dreams are abruptly shattered when the wicked Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon) transports her to the bewildering real-world setting of New York City, where she takes on a live-action form. In New York, Giselle meets divorce lawyer Robert Philip (Patrick Dempsey) and his daughter, Morgan (Rachel Covey), resulting in amusing and heartwarming encounters with the city’s residents.

Enchanted is a delightful treat for Disney enthusiasts, brimming with references and playful self-mockery. It seamlessly combines traditional animation with live action, promising to enchant the whole family. Additionally, the movie boasts a remarkable ensemble of talents, with Adams at the forefront. Her innocent gaze and sweet, enchanting voice effectively bridge the gap between Disney’s magical fantasy world and our reality, making it a genuine dream come true. While following a traditional romantic comedy format with a happy ending, Enchanted is a resounding success. It not only fills children with joy through its music but also brings smiles to adults with its relatable and tender approach. – Jessie Nguyen

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‘Spider-Man 2’ (2004)

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% | IMDb: 7.5/10

Based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name and serving as the second installment in Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man franchise, Spider-Man 2 is set two years after the events of Spider-Man. The film follows the titular character, aka Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), and his struggle to prevent scientist Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) from reenacting a perilous experiment that led to the death of his wife and left him neurologically bonded to mechanical tentacles. Simultaneously, Peter grapples with an existential crisis concerning his dual identities, which seems to be diminishing his superpowers.

Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 skillfully represents a pinnacle entry in the franchise, seamlessly blending drama and action, somber moments, and pure entertainment, offering the audience the ultimate superhero experience. In addition, throughout the film, Maguire proves to be the perfect actor to portray the conflicted superhero. His earnest and vulnerable portrayal showcases why he revels in the superhero transformation, as well as the weight of its responsibilities. Molina’s portrayal of Doc Ock also brings a fresh and more grounded perspective compared to Willem Dafoe‘s Green Goblin. In the end, Raimi reminds the audience with Spider-Man 2 that it’s possible to create highly marketable films while maintaining one’s artistic integrity. – Jessie Nguyen

Watch on Disney+

‘Turning Red’ (2022)

Rotten Tomatoes: 95% | IMDb: 7.0/10


Turning Red

A thirteen-year-old girl named Mei Lee is torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the changes of adolescence. And as if the challenges were not enough, whenever she gets overly excited she transforms into a giant red panda.

Release Date
March 11, 2022

Domee Shi

Read Our Review Directed by Domee Shi in her feature debut, Turning Red follows 13-year-old Meilin “Mei” Lee (Rosalie Chiang), a young girl about to enter the anxiety-inducing stages of puberty, causing her to be torn between the innocence and parental safety of her formative years and the exciting unknown of growing up. Alongside plenty of other teenage worries in her school and home life, Mei seems to be facing down the barrel of the most difficult time in her life yet… and that doesn’t even account for her hereditary condition, passed down through a familial curse, that means she turns into a furry red panda whenever she becomes overwhelmed with emotion.

In typical Disney/Pixar fashion, writers Domee Shi, Julia Cho, and Sarah Streicher bring to life a beautiful metaphor for the emotional overload felt by adolescents, creating a wide-eyed, fun physical form for young teenagers’ sometimes uncontrollable state of mind. Supported by a wonderful voice cast headlined by Sandra Oh as Ming, Rosalie Chiang is fantastic in her breakout role, with her ability to find genuine heartfelt nuance in her performance more than credible. As Pixar’s fastest production ever, Turning Red never feels like it was rushed; from the impressive animation down to the spellbinding story, this feels like a labor of love and passion. – Jake Hodges

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‘Cinderella’ (1950)

Rotten Tomatoes: 98% | IMDb: 7.3/10

cinderella poster

Cinderella (1950)

When Cinderella’s cruel stepmother prevents her from attending the Royal Ball, she gets some unexpected help from the lovable mice Gus and Jaq and from her Fairy Godmother.

Release Date
March 4, 1950

Wilfred Jackson , Hamilton Luske , Clyde Geronimi

Homer Brightman , Erdman Penner

1 hr 14 min

This timeless tale based on Charles Perrault‘s 1697 fairytale follows the titular character, voiced by Ilene Woods, during her time under the regime of her evil stepmother. Bullied by her stepsisters into not going to the royal ball, Cinderella is surprised by a Fairy Godmother (Verna Felton) and given until midnight to enjoy an evening of luxury at the dance. As midnight chimes, Cinderella leaves the ball and is magically returned to her previous impoverished state. However, a missing glass slipper found by the aptly named Prince Charming will set him on a search for its owner, but can he find Cinderella now she is in her truest form?

A classic of Dinsey’s golden era, Cinderella is a rags-to-riches story with a central plot so brimming with possibility it could give even the most hopeless a sense of potential. Despite this being a well-told tale, this version of Cinderella manages to really capture each emotional beat, with its short 74-minute run-time lending itself to the movie keeping its perfect pacing. To this day, it can be hard to understand exactly how a team of late 1940s animators was able to produce something so visually gorgeous under the constraints of the time, with this film certainly more impressive than many other animations released recently. – Jake Hodges

Watch on Disney+

‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ (1993)

Rotten Tomatoes: 70% | IMDb: 7.1/10

mrs doubtfire poster

Mrs. Doubtfire

After a bitter divorce, an actor disguises himself as a female housekeeper to spend time with his children held in custody by his former wife. 

Release Date
November 24, 1993

Chris Columbus


Robin Williams at his mesmerizing best, Mrs. Doubtfire is a touching tale of a down-on-his-luck voice-actor father named Daniel (Robin Williams), who has been ousted by his frustrated wife Miranda (Sally Field). In search of a way back into his family’s lives, Daniel realizes they are on the search for a female housekeeper, and with the help of some iconic prosthetics and a charming Scottish accent, gets the job as his alter ego, Mrs. Doubtfire. Finally getting to spend quality time with his children again, how long can Daniel keep up his double life, and just how strained will his role become when Miranda’s new boyfriend appears?

An endearing tale of the true depths of familial love, Mrs. Doubtfire is one-part heartwarming drama and one-part exuberant hilarity thanks to Robin Williams working at his career best. From the cake face mask to the Heimlich maneuver dinner scene, Williams delights with his unique ability to perfectly craft over-the-top humor from unbelievable situations without ever losing a sense of grounded reality. The face of Mrs. Doubtfire is certainly one of Hollywood’s more iconic creations, marked by an Academy Award win for Best Makeup, with the soothing Scottish tones of the gentle housekeeper still ringing in the ears of the movie’s fans to this day. – Jake Hodges

Watch on Disney+

‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ (2010)

Rotten Tomatoes: 55% | IMDb: 6.2/10

diary of a wimpy kid poster

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Release Date
March 19, 2010

Thor Freudenthal

Zachary Gordon , Robert Capron , Rachael Harris , Steve Zahn , Connor Fielding , Owen Fielding


Based on Jeff Kinney’s beloved children’s novel of the same name, Diary of a Wimpy Kid follows twelve-year-old Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) as he documents the trials and tribulations that come with starting middle school, navigating friendships, and dealing with protective parents and a frustrating older brother. Told through his own diary entries, illustrated in the film with the iconic style debuted in Kinney’s novel, Greg and his best friend Rowley (Robert Capron) must find a way to survive their terrifying new chapter in education — and hopefully exit the journey still as close as ever.

A perfect child-friendly romp that seems to find the true emotions of a 12-year-old, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is equal parts slapstick hilarity and touching life lessons. Although some of the plot points feel exaggerated, it is that very style that nearly captures the mind of a young person, where what many would consider insignificant can be genuinely life-altering. Back by a surprisingly strong ensemble cast, including a young Chloë Grace Moretz, the narrative’s mission statement is one of true friendship and the realization that the ones we love should not be sacrificed for popularity. Diary of a Wimpy Kid is endearing and relatable, all with a sprinkling of horror in the form of the dreaded CHEESE TOUCH. – Jake Hodges

Watch on Disney+

‘Finding Nemo’ (2003)

Rotten Tomatoes: 99% | IMDb: 8.2/10


Finding Nemo

After his son is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney, a timid clownfish sets out on a journey to bring him home.

Release Date
May 30, 2003

Andrew Stanton , Lee Unkrich


Read Our Review When Disney and Pixar get it right, they get it really right. Following a devastating prologue in which clownfish Marlin (Albert Brooks) loses his partner and all of their children bar one, Finding Nemo’s story begins some years later with his only son Nemo (Alexander Gould) about to begin school. Because of his tragic past, Marlin is very protective of his son, leading to Nemo, on his first day of school, rebelling and being accidentally caught by a diver. Suddenly, and with the help of an eclectic mix of characters (including Ellen DeGeneres’ Dory), the search is on to bring Nemo back home safe and in the arms (or fins) of his father.

A fast-paced rush of family-friendly fun, Finding Nemo is astounding in all of its relevant categories, such as animation, voice acting, and narrative. Proving that 3D animated water can look beautifully realistic despite the doubts of many at the time, the creative team at Pixar continued their streak of excellence by making the world of Finding Nemo both typically exuberant yet genuinely grounded. Ellen DeGeneres is hilarious as companion Dory, with her endlessly quotable performance eventually earning Dory her own feature film in 2016. Joyfully entertaining for both 6 and 60-year-olds alike, Finding Nemo is Pixar at their best. – Jake Hodges

Watch on Disney+

‘Smart House’ (1999)

IMDb: 6.1/10

smart house

Smart House

Release Date
June 26, 1999

LeVar Burton

1 hr 22 min

This Disney Channel Original Movie from director LeVar Burton tells the story of 13-year-old Ben Cooper (Ryan Merriman), who, after the death of his mother, decides to carry more of the burden of his household alongside his father Nick (Kevin Kilner) and little sister Angie (Katie Volding). After using his computer skills to enter an online competition, Ben wins a house designed to take full automation of their living — something he could have only dreamt of before. However, after influencing the computer with 1950s TV shows to try and replace his mother after his father gets a new girlfriend, hoping the artificial maternal stand-in will prove a new mother figure is not needed, all hell breaks loose as the computer becomes out of control, with only Ben able to save the day.

Heaps of joyous fun with a heartfelt central message about the grief of a child, Smart House is one of the standout Disney Channel Original Movies thanks to its family-friendly script and mission to bring pure entertainment. Although told through the eyes of young Ben, it is admirable just how much nuance is given to father Nick after he becomes widowed and must bring up two children on his own. Thanks to its easy-going nature, Smart House is the sort of film perfect for a cozy night in with the family. – Jake Hodges

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‘Isle of Dogs’ (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes: 90% | IMDb: 7.8/10


Isle of Dogs

Set in Japan, Isle of Dogs follows a boy’s odyssey in search of his lost dog.

Release Date
March 23, 2018


Read Our Review This Wes Anderson stop-motion movie follows the aftermath of a dog flu outbreak in the city of Megasaki, Japan. With the community on high alert, Mayor Kobayashi (Kunichi Nomura) declares that all of the city’s dogs must be sent to the ominous Trash Island. Despite the struggles of many owners, the dogs are rounded up and shipped across, with one boy in particular, Atari (Koyu Rankin), deciding to take the matter into his own hands. With the help of five other dogs, Atari searches the Island for his dog Spots, although such a mission was never going to be easy.

Realized with impeccable detail, both Megasaki and Trash Island feel bursting with life, with Anderson and the team at 3 Mills Studios reuniting seamlessly following their success with Fantastic Mr. Fox. It isn’t simply eye-catching animation and a heartwarming story that push Isle of Dogs towards triumph — the typically Anderson star-studded ensemble definitely helps, too. With the likes of Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, and many more applying their talents to this tale, it can be difficult to imagine not simply spending the run-time pointing out whose voice is whose. However, such is the tender brilliance and deep immersion of this story that really doesn’t happen. – Jake Hodges

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‘Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark’ (1981)

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% | IMDb: 8.4/10

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark Poster

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.

Release Date
June 12, 1981

115 minutes

One of the most highly-celebrated exports of the action/adventure genre, Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark is set in 1936 and follows the exciting journey of archeology professor Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford). Known for his genius in the field, Jones is requested directly by the US government to go on a mission to find the mythical Ark of the Covenant. With the Nazis also hunting the prize, Jones must battle time, travel, and some terrifying set pieces in an attempt to get to the Ark first and discover the key to human existence.

By its very nature, Raiders of the Lost Ark is a masterclass in adventure movies, with the dense jungles of South America and the heat of Egypt just two of the stunning places Jones visits. Despite having some of the most famous action scenes in cinema history littered throughout its runtime, Raiders of the Lost Ark never loses sight of the heart of its story, with the tale of the determination of our central hero a remarkable one. Benefiting hugely from a dedication to practical effects and stunts, the movie is an almost two-hour rollercoaster ride, and certainly one you will queue up again for right away. – Jake Hodges

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‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ (2022)

Rotten Tomatoes: 76% | IMDb: 7.6/10

Avatar The Way of Water Movie Poster

Avatar: The Way of Water

Jake Sully lives with his newfound family formed on the extrasolar moon Pandora. Once a familiar threat returns to finish what was previously started, Jake must work with Neytiri and the army of the Na’vi race to protect their home.

Release Date
December 16, 2022

James Cameron

192 minutes

Read Our Review 13 years on from the box office behemoth that was Avatar, Avatar: The Way of Water returns to Pandora with life seemingly flourishing. Jake Scully (Sam Worthington), now some years after the defeat of the RDA, lives in peace with his new family, with their harmonious life set to come to a crashing halt. Unbeknownst to Pandora’s community, the RDA is planning to take revenge and steal Pandora, with the pending attack causing Jake and others to form a guerrilla group. What follows is a fight for freedom that certainly rivals the first film.

Alongside cinematographer Russell Carpenter, James Cameron crafts what just might be his most dazzling movie to date, with each frame meticulously designed to be marveled at — and that’s just what this film allows you to do. Taking time to saunter through gorgeous landscapes in appreciation like one might do at an art gallery, The Way of Water flows like its namesake at a gentle tempo. That is, until the tide turns and battle is afoot. With a fast-paced finale ready to ignite a burning desire inside viewers, The Way of Water neatly balances both high-octane action and a pensive appreciation of the artistic talent (and budget) that went into its creation. – Jake Hodges

Watch on Disney+

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