Of all of the streaming platforms fighting for your attention, Paramount might be the one with the most surprisingly deep film catalog.
No, really, there are a ton of great movies lurking over there. Their roster of classic films alone is worth the subscription price, and we’ve name-dropped a few standouts in the streaming guide below. But the lineup of cult favorites and contemporary titles is nothing to scoff at either. We think we’ve got a pretty good mix represented on this list — from sci-fi epics to ’90s teen comedies and yes, a Bill Murray Christmas movie — that’ll keep you thoroughly entertained.
Here are some of the best movies streaming on Paramount right now.
The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)
Run Time: 180 min | IMDb: 8.2/10
Martin Scorsese is known for crafting crime epics but his usual anti-heroes are kingpins and mob bosses, not the slimy, fast-talking Wall Street shark that Leonardo DiCaprio delivers in this more white-collar fare. Based on a true story, the film recounts the felonious, often hilarious hijinks involved in Jordan Belfort’s rise from mid-level stockbroker to a multi-millionaire playboy involved in one of the biggest corruption scandals in history. DiCaprio’s performance is basically the acting equivalent of a wadded-up ball of manic desperation and delusional self-confidence, and he’s joined in his drug-addled descent into madness by Jonah Hill — sporting a bizarrely mesmerizing set of prosthetic teeth — Matthew McConaughey, Jon Bernthal, Margot Robbie, and more. You’d have to be strung out on quaaludes not to get excited about this one.
Run Time: 121 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
The tortured artist thing only goes so far, especially when you consider how many times we’ve all seen that story across dozens of brilliant but cliche-filled music bios. Rocketman is not exactly that thing, injecting the formula with electric song and dance numbers that give a splashy Broadway musical feel to the transformative moments in Elton John’s career and life, entertaining viewers and matching the vivacity of his stage presence.
Run Time: 103 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
Matthew Broderick plays a depressed high school teacher who tries to manage his imploding marriage while facing off against a determined and cunning student in this dark comedy that features Reese Witherspoon in one of the best performances of her career. Witherspoon plays Tracy Flick, an overachieving student with dreams (of becoming the student body president) that are quickly dashed by the school’s popular jock. Tracy’s willing to go to extreme lengths to win the race, Broderick’s Mr. McAllister is willing to anything to stop her and, by the end of their high school gladiator match, we’re not sure which one we really want to come out on top.
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (1989)
Run Time: 127 min | IMDb: 8.2/10
Any of the Indiana Jones films could have made this list, but we’ll go with Last Crusade on account of it being the funniest in the series. There are moments of undeniable silliness here that land so well, like Indy coming up for air from a makeout session to remark on the sounds of Venice, Harrison Ford’s Scottish lord accent whilst looking for tapestries, or Sean Connery quoting Charlemagne after using a flock of birds to down a Nazi plane. It also has the densest plot, valuable backstory, amazing chemistry between two of cinema’s most charming tough guys in Ford and Connery. They perfected the formula of what an Indiana Jones film could be and then they stopped making them for almost 20 years.
Minority Report (2002)
Run Time: 145 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
A mind-bending, futuristic crime drama starring Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell, directed by Steven Spielberg – what’s not to like about this sci-fi entry? Cruise plays John Anderton, a police chief in charge of a unit capable of arresting criminals before they commit their crimes thanks to a trio of psychics called “precogs.” When Anderton is identified as a future murderer, he goes on the run with one of the precogs and uncovers a deeper conspiracy that forces him (and us) to question the nature of free will. By now, Cruise is a bonafide action star, but this turn marks one of the more interesting career choices he’s made within the genre.
Run Time: 116 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Speaking of terrific sci-fi movies, this Amy Adams-starring epic takes a more methodic, thoughtful approach to the classic alien invasion story. Adams plays a linguistic genius named Louise who struggles to figure out a way to communicate with two creatures that have inexplicably shown up in Montana. While Louise tries to buy more time in understanding the visitors, she butts heads with the military side of the operation who keep pressuring her for quick answers on what they see as a threat. There’s some time-travel mumbo-jumbo we won’t spoil — mostly because we’re still not sure we fully understand it — but Adams is terrific in this and we’re kind of bummed she didn’t get any awards recognition for basically acting her way out of a hazmat suit with just an Etch-A-Sketch.
The Long Goodbye (1973)
Run Time: 112 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
There’s a generation (or two) that probably knows Elliot Gould as Monica and Ross’s kindly dad on Friends, as a member of Danny Ocean’s crew, or worse, don’t know him at all. But for a time in the ‘70s, he was one of Hollywood’s most interesting actors, connecting with Robert Altman on MASH, California Split, and The Long Goodbye, where he plays Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler’s iconic PI. Marlowe has been played by about a dozen actors previously and since Gould took his turn — most notably by Humphrey Bogart and Robert Mitchum. There’s a type, but Altman and Gould took things in a slightly different direction in a scattered but brilliant who done it with Gould as an ultra-cool, detached seeming PI tangled in his friend’s messy life. Gould has been working on pushing a sequel uphill for years. Here’s hoping someone puts money on the table to make it or otherwise refresh the story in the near future, if for no other reason than to inspire exploration of the original.
Run Time: 157 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo star in this mystery crime thriller directed by David Fincher that recounts the decades-long manhunt for the Zodiac Killer — a criminal who committed several murders in the Bay Area in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Enough true crime documentaries have dropped since this debuted that we all know how this cat-and-mouse game will eventually end, but it’s the journey that matters here. Gyllenhaal plays a newspaper cartoonist who becomes obsessed with the case, decoding ciphers sent by the killer and targeting a man he believes could be the Zodiac. Downey Jr. plays a crime reporter who partners with Gyllenhaal on the case and leaks information to the police. Both deliver stand-out performances that’ll keep you invested even if the ending’s been spoiled.
A Simple Plan (1998)
Run Time: 121 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
The supposed dream scenario of finding a big bag of money is explored in this 1998 film from Sam Raimi that might qualify as a domestic horror tale if you accept family dysfunction, jealousy, and paranoia as true monsters. A gem of a film that deserved a lot more hardware in its day, A Simple Plan is a slow burner that feels connected to some of the Coen Bros’ earlier, less complicated, and less quirky works. The more obscure 1993 John Cusack starrer, Money For Nothing, is another one that might be ripe for comparison.
Run Time: 90 min | IMDb: 6.5/10
Before Owen Wilson was flirting with God-like Marvel villains, before Ben Stiller was producing and directing prestige drama fare, and before Will Ferrell introduced America to the most popular musical competition in the world, all three starred in this comedic adventure about a clueless fashion model and a political assassination plot. Come for the still-quotable one-liners, stay for the patented “Blue Steel” staredown.
Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982)
Run Time: 113 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
The Star Trek franchise was wounded in the early ‘80s. Star Trek: The Motion Picture had gotten a cool reception, and while there was a vocal fanbase still eager for more, there were enough concerns to cause a behind the scenes shakeup that altered the creative direction of the sequel with the director Nicholas Meyer and producer Harve Bennett taking the reins from series creator Gene Roddenberry. The end result connects directly to Star Trek: TOS and the “Space Seed” episode, injecting adventure, action, vengeance, and self-reflection from a middle-aged Captain Kirk and crew. William Shatner was never better as Kirk, blending the overwhelming charm of the character with a sense of rage and frustration as a part of a chess match with Khan (Ricardo Montalban) that has very real stakes for his character.
Run Time: 101 min | IMDb: 7/10
It feels mildly off-the-mark to include a Christmas movie on a non-Christmas movie list, doesn’t it? But Charles Dickens’ story (which was adapted here for the late ‘80s by Mitch Glazer and former SNL madman Michael O’Donoghue) about greed and an epiphany about empathy and charity feels like it might strike a few relevant notes. The film also features one of Bill Murphy’s best big-screen performances. Murphy always seems most at home when playing an asshole or someone right on the cusp, and there’s no denying that label here as he plays the dark, moody as hell, and wickedly funny (and mean) Frank Cross. Go wild, watch it in June or July.
The Core (2003)
Run Time: 135 min | IMDb: 5.5/10
A ridiculous movie that manages to be wildly entertaining, dropped in an era where special effects epics and old guard absurdist action sci-fi films were still finding ways to work together. The film features Hilary Swank, Aaron Eckhart, and members of their crew trying to pull a reverse Armageddon, which is, they have to drill to the core of the Earth to stop the end of days. If you liked the subterranean chaos within the recent Godzilla vs. Kong, this will definitely appeal.
School of Rock (2003)
Run Time: 109 min | IMDb: 7.1/10
Jack Black is charming as hell in this kid-friendly comedy about a wannabe rockstar who catfishes as an elementary school teacher and finds a unique way to enter his local Battle of the Bands competition. Black’s Dewey Finn is the kind of old-school rock-enthusiast you can’t help but flash some devil’s horns at and watching him convert a classroom of uptight kids into rebels, anarchists, and star-powered performers in the kind of pure, innocent fun you crave in a feel-good comedy watch — which this totally is.
Run Time: 138 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
Another absurd film that isn’t so much good as it is amazing, Face/Off is a triumph in scenery-chewing, letting Nic Cage off the chain as a criminal maniac who is having the very best time injecting chaos into the world while messing with the sullen and driven fed that’s on his trail (John Travolta). And then they switch! And Travolta lights up like a Christmas tree while playing Cage’s character with a touch of madness and a whole lot of swagger. Throw in some signature John Woo slow-mo action scenes, fake science nonsense, and four garbage trucks worth of bullets, and you’ve got a ‘90s action classic.