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One Perk of the Quarantine? All of These Movies Are Streaming Online Early

The COVID-19 virus has devastated and challenged the human population in more ways than one with nearly 100,000 deaths worldwide, economies suffering and hundreds of millions of people social distancing inside. Non-essential businesses around the globe are closed including restaurants, coffee shops and movie theaters.

The entertainment industry has felt some of the strongest effects of the pandemic with theaters closing and concerts and festivals cancelled. The potential risk posed by large groups of people gathering has made going to the movies too dangerous, disrupting the scheduled releases of many major films. The solution? Streaming. Beautifully convenient streaming that’s allowed us to see movies we missed in the theaters way earlier than anticipated and still see some anticipated releases from the comfort of our couches.

Which movies have premiered early online or released for streaming earlier than expected? Which ones are actually worth seeing? These are our picks for the best movies streaming online early.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Digital Release Date: March 13

Available: iTunes, Amazon Prime Video

The highly-anticipated final installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy was digitally released on March 13th far before it was expected to.

In this chapter the Resistance discovers that Emperor Palpatine was not actually killed by Darth Vadar, and they must find his whereabouts and stop him before the First Order forms a new Empire. Finn and Poe lead the charge as tension builds about the inevitable confrontation between Rey and Kylo Ren.

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It’s a Star Wars film, it’s epic, it’s got a ton of CGI — you know what to expect. Although it got mixed critical reviews, it’s a chapter of a phenomenally influential series and if you had been meaning to catch the last one, now’s your chance.



The Invisible Man

Digital Release Date: March 20

Available: YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play

After she narrowly escapes her wealthy abusive ex-boyfriend, a woman, played by Elisabeth Moss, believes he’s found a way to make himself invisible after staging his own suicide and continue to stalk and terrorize her. After the police refuse to help her and write off her story as crazed and grief-stricken, she decides to take control and fight back.

This film came out in theaters in late February and was fast-tracked for digital release on March 20th.


The Hunt

Digital Release Date: March 20

Available: YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video

This satirical horror film about a group of wealthy elites hunting redneck humans for sport was fast-tracked for digital release after the closure of movie theaters nationwide. The film follows the action as the working-class, red state characters attempt to figure out where they are and why, until one of them decides to turn the tables.

This film’s original September release was delayed due to the controversy the premise sparked but is now available for viewing.


The Way Back

Digital Release Date: March 24

Available: YouTube, Google Play, Vudu and Amazon Prime Video

The Way Back follows construction worker, played by Ben Affleck, who returns to the court as a high school basketball coach whilst battling alcoholism. The team is mediocre but he sparks a winning streak with his leadership, whilst fighting for his own life internally. It earned critical appraise for the story and Affleck’s performance, and is available to stream online just a few weeks after its premiere in theaters.


Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Digital Release Date: April 3

Available: YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play

With an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy on her hands and close to no resources around her Autumn and her cousin Skylar take a trip elsewhere to seek an abortion. They must travel across state lines to New York City alone on a voyage that both tests and strengthens their compassion for one another, bravery in the face of adversity and friendship.



Digital Release Date: March 20

Available: Disney+, On Demand

It’s a shame that Pixar’s latest feature’s run in theaters was cut short, but we can all still enjoy it in the comfort of our own homes on Disney+ and On Demand. Starring the voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as two elf brothers, this film tells the story of them trying to bring their father back from the dead in an old timey world filled with wizards, elves and other mythical creatures.


The Lovebirds

Digital Release Date: May 15

Available: Netflix

This action comedy from Paramount Pictures stars Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani and was supposed to premiere in theaters on April 3 but will go straight to Netflix instead. It premiered in other countries but will be available in the US on May 15th. This was the first movie to forego its theatrical release and go straight to streaming due to the pandemic. They star as two lovers who were unexpectedly and serendipitously implicated in a murder and now need to solve the crime in order to clear their names, together.


The Gentlemen

Digital Release Date: March 24

Available: Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu

This crime comedy film comes from director Guy Ritchie and stars a stacked lineup of Hollywood elites including Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant, Charlie Hunnam and Henry Golding. McConaughey plays an American kingpin attempting to sell his marijuana business in the UK when he accidentally becomes entrenched in web of blackmail and must maneuver his way out.


Birds of Prey

Digital Release Date: March 24

Available: Google Play, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu

Despite the Suicide Squad’s mixed reviews this new chapter finds Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie, is newly single and ready to mix it up with a few other crime-fighting ladies in order to emancipate herself from the Joker. The group teams up and attempts to save a tween from a demonic crime lord all the while establishing themselves as the ones to be feared and respected in the DC universe.



Digital Release Date: March 20

Available: Google Play, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video

Autumn de Wilde’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel hit the silver screen on February 21st right before the COVID-19 shutdown began and thus they pushed up the digital release to late March. In case you’re unfamiliar with the plot, this film follows the wildings of Emma Woodhouse in Georgian-era England. We follow along with her adventures as she meddles in the lives of friends and family and explores the inherently comedic realities of finding love.