TV & Movies

30 Of The Best New Movies On Stan Right Now

By Morgan Reardon
9th Apr 2021

A sure-fire way to ruin the perfect night on the couch is having to waste your precious binge time searching for the perfect flick. Fortunately, Stan is packed with a bunch of epic blockbusters.

To ensure you can start smashing the popcorn sooner, we’ve rounded up the very best movies on Stan right now. Happy binging.

I Used To Go Here

This comedy drama follows Kate Conklin (Gillian Jacobs), an author whose picture perfect life falls apart when her engagement collapses at the exact same time her book tour for her new novel is cancelled due to poor sales. At a crossroads in her life, she accepts the chance to speak at her alma mater—a fictitious Chicago university. Whilst there she reconnects with her former professor—and crush—David Kirkpatrick and makes friends with a group of college students who are now living in her old university digs. As Kate finds herself becoming deeply enmeshed in their lives, she begins to reconnect with the person she once was. 

Guns Akimbo

We’re not going to lie, this movie is a little weird, but a fun watch nonetheless, so pop it on your weekend viewing list. It follows Miles (Daniel Radcliffe), a video game player who lives in an alternative near future. He gets his kicks trolling online trolls, but meets his match when he logs onto Skizm, a game that turns murder into entertainment. When Riktor, the psychopath who runs Skizm, breaks into Miles’ apartment and bolts guns into both of his hands, he is forced to participate in a real-life death match. His biggest competitor? Nix (Samara Weaving), an elite killer at the top of her game. 

Snitch

If you like your movies fast-paced and packed with heart-stopping action then you’ll want to line up Snitch for a viewing stat. Dwayne Johnson aka the king of action movies, stars as John Matthew’s a successful businessman who lives a pretty great life. But everything is upended when his estranged teenage son Jason is wrongly arrested for drug trafficking. In an effort to get him out of a lengthy prison sentence, John makes a deal with police—going undercover in the drug underworld to help catch much bigger fish. 

My First Summer

As a 16-year-old, Claudia has grown up in isolation from the outside world. Stranded on a remote property after her mother's death, she is shocked when Grace, a spirited local teen, appears in the garden kind of like a mirage, a breath of fresh, sugary air. The pair find in each other the support, love and intimacy they need and teach each other the restorative power of human connection. But their teenage peace is a fragile one as the adult world closes in and threatens their secret summer love.

Shirley

Based on the acclaimed novel by Susan Scarf Merrell, Shirley tells the story of a famous horror writer who finds inspiration for her next book after she and her husband take in a young couple. Starring Elisabeth Moss, the movie is very loosely based on the life of horror author Shirley Jackson. If that name sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because she’s the literary genius behind The Haunting Of Hill House. Needless to say, this movie is one to cancel your weekend plans for.

Savage

Inspired by stories from New Zealand’s boys' homes and the early history of New Zealand gangs, Savage follows Danny (Jake Ryan) across three different ages during important junctures in his life that push and pull him towards and away from gang life. Each chapter of Danny’s life is a complete short story set in a defining time for New Zealand gangs—from the abusive state-run boy’s homes of the sixties; to the emerging urban gang scene in the seventies, where disenfranchised teens created their own families on the streets; to the eighties, when gangs became more structured, criminal, and violent. Together the three chapters combine to create a deeper look at a boy who grows up to become the brutal enforcer of a gang; to understand how he got there.


Our Kind Of Traitor

If you want to know what a holiday from hell looks like, this action thriller is it. Based on John le Carré's 2010 novel of the same name, Our Kind Of Traitor follows Perry (Ewan McGregor) and his wife Gail (Naomie Harris) who are on holiday in Marrakech, Morocco, when they befriend charming Russian Dima, (Stellan Skarsgård). Inviting them over for drinks at his house, Dima gives Perry a USB drive linking corrupt British politicians and businessmen to the Russian mafia. Fearing for his life, he begs Perry to deliver the drive to MI6 when he returns to London. The couple are soon caught in a game of deadly cat and mouse between the Russian Mafia and the British Secret Service, neither of whom they can trust.
 

Bad Neighbours

If you’re after a good, solid LOL-fest look no further than Bad Neighbours. The flick follows Mac (Seth Rogan) and his wife Kelly (Rose Byrne) who are trying to adjust to life as first time parents. But their peaceful suburban dream is shattered when a fraternity house, Delta Psi Beta, moves in next door. Inhabited by a loud group of 50 party boys, their leader Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron) wants to make Delta Psi's Hall of Fame by throwing a massive end-of-the-year party. As the name suggests, these new neighbours do not sit well with Mac and Kelly and a hilarious game of one upping each commences. 



Snow White And The Huntsman

Forget everything you remember about this childhood classic because this version of Snow White And The Huntsman is packed with epic fight scenes and twisted storylines. It follows Eric The Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) who is hired by the evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) to take her stepdaughter, Snow White (Kirsten Stewart) into the woods and kill her. In exchange, the Queen promises to bring his wife back from the dead. But when the Huntsman finds out the Queen is lying to him, he turns from Snow White’s assassin to her protector, taking on the full wrath of the Queen. 
 

Inglourious Basterds

When a flick involves Quentin Tarantino sitting in the director’s seat, you just know it’s going to be epic. Enter eight 2009 war flick Inglourious Basterds which garnered worldwide praise and a whopping eight Academy Award nominations. Boasting an all-star cast including Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth and Diane Kruger. The history-bending flick tells an alternate story of two plots to assassinate Nazi Germany's leadership, one planned by a young French/Jewish cinema proprietor, and the other by a team of Jewish American soldiers led by First Lieutenant Aldo Raine (played by Brad Pitt). 

About Time

Honestly, in our opinion, this British comedy didn’t get the love it truly deserved when it dropped in cinemas back in 2013. It follows Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) who, like all the males in his family, possess the power to travel in time when he turns 21. Upon the advice of his dad (Bill Nighy), Tim uses his powers to win over his love interest Mary, (played by Rachel McAdams). Before you write this off as some woo woo fantasy flick, it’s so much more than that. Set in the present day, it begs the question, if one could go back and alter things, what kind of ripple effect would that have on the rest of your life? Tim soon finds out that his power can result in both love and heartbreak. Look out for Margot Robbie who has a small but funny role in the flick. 

8 Mile

It’s hard to believe this flick is 18 years old, and yet, we still can’t get enough of it. If you’re one of the few people on Earth that haven’t watched Marshall Bruce Mathers III AKA Eminem’s acting debut, then pop this beauty to the top of your must watch list. Part fiction, part based on Mather’s own upbringing, 8 Mile follows Jimmy 'B-Rabbit' Smith (Mathers), an aspiring rapper struggling to make ends meet, working a dead end job at the local factory and trying to support his single mum and young sister who live in a caravan. Drawing on his rap skills, he enters a notoriously hard rapping contest in an effort to get out of the ghetto. It also stars the late Brittany Murphy, Kim Basinger and Mekhi Phifer. 

A Sunburnt Christmas

Not your typical cliché Christmas movie, A Sunburnt Christmas is a wild, hilarious and heartfelt story about a single mum and her kids doing it tough on their outback farm until a runaway criminal dressed as Santa Claus crashes into their property and their lives. It all goes down when Daryl the kindly crim, (played by Snowtown’s Daniel Henshall) is mistaken for the real Santa by the young and fearless Daisy. Her anxious brother Tom and wily teenage sister Hazel see Daryl as an opportunity to get her family back on trac but things turn sour when Dingo, a mobster on the hunt for Daryl, turns up at the family farm. 


The Ghost Writer

This mystery thriller is absolutely one of the best films on Stan right now. The flick follows an uber successful ghostwriter played by Ewan McGregor—FYI that’s when someone is hired to write literary work but is not credited as the author—who (McGregor) is tasked with finishing the memoirs of England’s former prime minister Adam Long (Pierce Brosnan). Packing up his life, he moves into Long’s countryside mansion. But what should be a career-defining job, turns out to be something a lot more sinister when the ghost begins to uncover evidence that suggests his late predecessor knew a dark secret about Lang, and may have been murdered to prevent it from coming to light.

Precious

This flick, based on the novel Push by Sapphire was an absolute game-changer when it premiered back in 2009. It bagged a ton of awards, like the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize for best drama at Sundance; People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, and Oscars for best supporting actress and best adapted screenplay, becoming the first African-American to win a screenplay award at the Academy Awards. It follows 16-year-old Claireece "Precious" Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) who is pregnant by her father for the second time. Unable to read or write and suffering daily abuse from her mum (Mo'Nique), she is given a way out when she’s offered the opportunity to transfer to an alternative school. Keep the tissues close for this one. 

Boy

Directed by the legendary Taika Waititi, this comedy drama is a must watch. Set in the 80s in New Zealand, it follows Boy (played by the incredible James Rolleston) a loveable and cheeky, dreamer who loves Michael Jackson. The only person Boy idolises more than the Thriller hitmaker is his dad Alamein (Waititi) who he believes has been away playing rugby and finding treasure as a deep sea diver, when really, he’s been locked up for the last seven years. When Alamein finally returns home, Boy is forced to confront the man he thought he remembered and learn to get along with the hero he had been hoping for. 

Sweet Country

This movie is another absolute stunner of cinematic gold from director Warwick Thornton, a proud Kaytetye man. Set in the late 1920s in the Northern Territory outback, Sweet Country is based on a series of shocking true events that took place between the European settlers and First Nations people in the interwar period in Australia. In particular, it follows Sam Kelly (played by Warlpiri man, Hamilton Morris), a farm worker who goes on the run with his wife Lizzie (Arrente woman Natassia Gorey-Furber) after they were subjected to a series of horrific events at the hands of a brutal, alcoholic World War One veteran Harry March (Ewen Leslie). Yes, it will rip your heart out but it’s an incredibly important watch to educate yourself on Australia’s often untold history. 

A Most Wanted Man

Based on the novel of the same name by John le Carré, this espionage thriller will have you on the edge of your seat until the closing credits. One of the Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final films before his passing, it follows Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin), a Muslim refugee who flees Chechnya and illegally enters Hamburg, Germany in an attempt to start a new start in life. But when he tries to claim an inheritance, he becomes a target for German agent Günther Bachmann (Seymour Hoffam) who lays an intricate trap for a well-regarded Muslim scholar who is suspected of financing terrorists. This cracking film also stars William Dafoe, Robin Wright and Rachel McAdams

Miss Sloane

This fast-paced drama is one of the best movies on Stan. The movie follows Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain), a fierce Capitol Hill lobbyist, that will stop at nothing to get the laws she believes in passed. Her current crusade? Attempting to pass gun control legislation which is proving to be no easy feat. When she begins to finally make headway however the opposing party will stop at nothing to bring her down, including digging deep into her personal life and uncovering her penchant for drugs and male prostitutes. Yep, it gets really juicy from there and yes you’ll want to put it straight to the top of your must-watch list. 

Carol

Starring Aussie darling Cate Blanchett in one of her most superb roles ever, Carol is a must-watch. Based on the romance novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith the movie is set in New York in the 50s and follows Carol (Blanchett), an unhappy woman in the midst of a very messy divorce with her husband Harge (Kyle Chandler). But her whole world changes when she meets and falls instantly in love with department store assistant Therese (Rooney Mara) while buying a Christmas present for her daughter. But it’s not that simple. Therese is a relationship with a guy called Richard who wants to get married and move to France. But while Carol and Therese’s love blossoms, Harge gets suspicious and hires a private investigator to reveal their relationship, putting Carol’s chance at custody in jeopardy. It’s ultimately an equally heartwarming and heartbreaking story. 

Gran Torino 

Starring the legendary Clint Eastwood (who also directed and produced the flick), Gran Torino is easily one of the best movies on Stan right now. It tells the story of recently widowed Walt Kowalski (Eastwood), a Korean War veteran who is angry at the world, and has particular distaste for his new Asian immigrant neighbours. Their strained relationship only gets worse when he catches teenager Thao (Bee Vang) attempting to steal his Ford Gran Torino as a coerced initiation into a local gang. Wanting to save Thao and his family from a life of crime, Walt befriends them (in his own way) and soon a life-changing bond is formed. We don’t want to give anymore away but let's just say you’ll need to keep the tissues close for this one. 


Before I Fall

Kind of like a really sad Groundhog Day, Before I Fall follows Samantha Kingston (Zoey Deutch) who wakes up at the same time every morning, only to relive the day over and over again. And the worst part? Every time it ends with a deadly car crash. Each day though she magically wakes up and is given the chance to make things right, like making amends with her family, ditching her clique of mean friends and following her heart to find a guy who truly cares about her and not her popularity status. This flick will teach you how the power of a single day can make a difference.

Z For Zachariah 

This sci-fi thriller gives us serious Tomorrow When The War Began vibes and we dig it. Shot in New Zealand but set in a post apocalyptic world, Z For Zachariah stars homegrown legend Margot Robbie as Ann Burden, a young woman who has been living a secluded life on her family farm believing she is the only person left on earth after the population was wiped out by a nuclear disaster. That is until John Loomis (Chiwetel Ejiofor) stumbles onto Ann’s land in a failing anti-radiation suit. As Ann nurses John pack to health a relationship forms, but that’s soon disturbed when another survivor Caleb (Chris Pine) turns up and a love triangle evolves.

Legend

The only thing better than one Tom Hardy, is two and thankfully Legend delivers that dream. Based on the true story of London’s most notorious gangsters, twins Reggie and Ronnie Kray (both played by Hardy) this crime thriller chronicles their rise through the dark underworld of London. While the brothers grow their wealth and reign of terror, Ronnie thrives, becoming more cruel and violent by the day, while Reggie finds love and struggles to go legitimate. This movie will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish making it one of the best movies on Stan right now.

Bran Nue Dae

This feel-good Aussie flick is an absolute must watch and boasts a seriously stacked cast. Taking place in Western Australia in the late 60s, Bran Nue Dae follows Aboriginal teen Willie Johnson (Rocky McKenzie) who after running away from his Catholic boarding school with his headmaster (Geoffrey Rush) in hot pursuit, tries to hitch his way back to his hometown of Broome to win over the girl of his dreams Rosie (Jessica Mauboy). Along the way he gets help from a bunch of hilarious characters like his Uncle Tadpole (Ernie Dingo), hippies, 'Slippery' the German (Tom Budge) and Annie (Missy Higgins), and 'Roadhouse Betty' (Magda Szubanski). We could explain further but honestly, just go watch it. 

We Are Your Friends

Who doesn’t love a little bit of Zac Efron? Directed by Catfish’s Max Joseph, We Are Your Friends stars Efron as an aspiring young DJ called Cole. The flick follows Cole and his tight-knit group of 20-something mates as they try to pursue their dreams of making it in Hollywood. Desperate to crack into the electronic music scene, Cole finally gets his big break when he befriends world famous DJ James Reed (Wes Bently) at a party. Taking Cole under his wing and acting as his mentor, James introduces him to all the right people. The only problem? One of those said people is James’ girlfriend Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski) who Cole just happens to fall in love with. Messy? You betcha. 

I Am Woman

This epic biopic chronicles the life of Australian, Grammy-award winning artist Helen Reddy who was responsible for co-writing and singing ‘I Am Woman’—a song that went on to become the anthem for the women's movement in the 1970s. The flick follows Reddy from the 60s where she bravely swapped Melbourne for New York, with her three-year-old daughter, a suitcase and $230 in her pocket. Within five years she was one of the biggest superstars of her time, and a feminist icon, whose music galvanised a generation of women to fight for change.

Selma

From the incredible director Ava DuVernay comes this moving, thought-provoking flick that garnered Oscar nominations for Best Picture and won Best Original Song (an absolute banger from John Legend and Common). The plot of Selma draws inspiration from the life and death of Martin Luther King Jr. played by David Oyelowo. The movie centres on King's campaign to secure equal voting rights for people of color, resulting in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama in the 60s. Selma offers a raw look into how far the civil rights movement has come and how much further, we as a society have to go.

The Paperboy

From Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels, The Paperboy is based on Pete Dexter's 1995 novel of the same name. The flick takes place in Florida's bayou in the 60s, where investigative reporter Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) returns to his hometown with his partner Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo) to report on a career-changing story. With the help of Jansen’s younger brother Jack (Zac Efron) and kooky groupie Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman), the duo tries to prove that creepy swamp-dweller Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack) was framed for murder. The victim? The town’s corrupt sheriff. We’re not going to lie, this one is a bit dark, a bit twisted, but the stellar, all-star cast makes it worth a watch.

Brooklyn

If you're a sucker for a romantic drama then put this beauty to the top of your list. Based on the novel of the same name, Brooklyn tells the story of Eilis Lacey (played by the incredible Saoirse Ronan) a young Irish woman who in the 1950s emigrates to Brooklyn, New York in search of a new life. At first homesick for her home town of Enniscorthy, she soon finds work at a local department store, begins night school and falls in love with a cheeky Italian plumber called Tony. But when tragedy strikes back home, Eilis returns and is torn between her new life in New York and her family in Ireland. Yes, you’ll need tissues and yes you’ll want to book a holiday to Ireland stat. 

 
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Image Credit: Gravitas Ventures

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