April 2024’s Best Streaming Titles: Fallout, The Big Lebowski, Harry Potter, Smokey and the Bandit, Dark City

Post-apocalyptic action, White Russians and bowling, the Boy Who Lived, Burt Reynolds, mysterious sci-fi, and more.
Smokey and the Bandit - Hal Needham
Burt Reynolds turns on the charm in Hal Needham’s Smokey and the Bandit

As Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, et al. add more content, it can be difficult to know what to look for amidst all of the new titles. Every month, I compile a list of particularly noteworthy and interesting movies and TV shows to add to your streaming queues.

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Amazon Prime Video

Chinatown (Apr 1)

Chinatown may be overshadowed by the crimes committed by its director, Roman Polanski. Which is a shame, because Chinatown is considered one of the greatest movies, and certainly one of the greatest noir movies, of all time. A private investigator (Jack Nicholson) finds himself in a political conspiracy involving California water rights in the ’30s, only to discover an even deeper and more disturbing mystery.

Ong Bak (Apr 1)

Ong Bak thrilled and delighted martial arts fans when it was released back in 2003. Starring Tony Jaa as a young man from the country who travels to the big city of Bangkok in search of his village’s sacred Buddha statue, Ong Bak is filled with mind-blowing action scenes. Jaa dispatches the bad guys with a flurry of feet, fists, knees, and elbows — sometimes even while on fire — and his acrobatic stunts recall classic Jackie Chan (read my review).

The Station Agent (Apr 1)

In this quirky indie drama, Peter Dinklage (aka Tyrion Lannister) inherits an abandoned train station, which leads him to meeting a cast of odd individuals who slowly draw him out of his shell. If “quirky indie drama” turns you off, rest assured there’s plenty of heart and fascinating character study to go along with the offbeat material.

Top Gun (Apr 1)

I feel the need, the need for speed… Directed with verve by Tony Scott and starring Tom Cruise in one of his most iconic roles, Top Gun is one of the great ’80s movies. Cruise plays Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a hotshot fighter pilot who finds his abilities pushed to the limit when he’s assigned to the Navy’s elite fighter pilot school. Top Gun is jam-packed with amazing aerial sequences which are made all the more thrilling by a stellar soundtrack, including the classic “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins.

Wayne’s World (Apr 1)

Arguably the best Saturday Night Live-inspired film, Wayne’s World follows the adventures of Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey) as they bring to their public access TV show to the big time. It’s basically an opportunity for Myers and Carvey to do their schtick, but what a schtick it is. Party on, Wayne. Party on, Garth. Sha-wing!

Fallout, Season One (Apr 11)

Centuries after nuclear war has decimated Earth, a young woman leaves the underground vault she’s known her entire life to explore the surface world. Based on one of the most popular video game franchises of all time, Amazon’s Fallout stars Ella Purnell, Walton Goggins, Kyle MacLachlan, and Chris Parnell. Although it’s clear that Amazon is spending a pretty penny on the series, it’ll be interesting to see if it captures the video games’ darkly satirical sense of humor.

Here’s everything arriving on Amazon Prime Video in April 2024.


The Big Lebowski (Apr 1)

Make yourself a White Russian and get ready to spend some time with the Dude… I’ll admit, the first time I watched The Big Lebowski, I kind of hated it. It seemed so directionless and pointless. But then I realized that it’s more about the characters and their interactions then any standard plot (though one does exist). The movie boasts a number of classic scenes, from the discussion about the importance of rugs to a discussion about nihilism. Oh, and the trippiest bowling dream sequence in cinema history.

The Fifth Element (Apr 1)

There are certain movies that, if I ever come across them playing on the TV, I will stop everything I’m doing and watch them. Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element is one such movie, with its sci-fi tale about a great evil that can only be stopped by a young woman. Packed to the gills with stunning visuals and set design, as well as an intriguing mythology all its own and a manic sense of energy, The Fifth Element is a blast to watch.

Hellboy (Apr 1)

Guillermo del Toro has proven himself with fantastical arthouse fare like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone. However, his adaptation of Mike Mignola’s acclaimed Hellboy comic is proof that the director is skilled at more straightforward action stuff, as well (read my review). Well, maybe “straightforward.” In Hellboy, a demonic-looking superhero and a clandestine government agency square off against Nazi occultists who want to summon extra-dimensional horrors that will bring about the end of the world.

The Host (Apr 1)

Bong Joon-ho’s The Host works on multiple levels (read my review). As a monster movie, it’s filled with thrills as a horrific creature stalks and threatens the people living alongside South Korea’s Han River. But it also works as a political satire, making pointed critiques of South Korean politics and society as well as the American military. And to top it all off, it’s hilarious… if you like your humor dark and absurd. Upon its release in 2006, The Host became a box office sensation in South Korea and received widespread acclaim around the world, even from North Korea (due to its criticism of the United States).

Ocean’s Eleven (Apr 1)

Ocean’s Eleven is about as slick as heist movies come, as Danny Ocean (George Clooney at his most charming) assembles a team to knock over three Las Vegas casinos in one night. Directed with all assurance by Steven Soderbergh, Ocean’s Eleven is just a joy to watch, as the twists keep coming and the stakes keep getting higher.

Pacific Rim (Apr 1)

In the near future, humanity lives under constant threat of attacks by colossal alien monsters called Kaiju. Humanity’s only hope lies in the form of giant robots called Jaegers, but even they might not be enough to stave off the waves of Kaiju. Written and directed by Guillermo del Toro, Pacific Rim is clearly indebted not just to classic kaijū movies like the Godzilla franchise, but also anime titles like Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (Apr 9)

Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, and the rest of the Teen Titans want desperately to be taken seriously as superheroes, but there’s just one problem: they don’t have a hit movie. Sick and tired of being seen as jokes, the Teen Titans set out to make a splash in Hollywood — with disastrous, and hilarious, results. Featuring an awesome soundtrack (I dare you to get “Upbeat Inspirational Song About Life” out of your head) and a surprisingly twisted sense of humor, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies gleefully deconstructs the superhero movie genre.

Here’s everything arriving on Hulu in April 2024.


The Harry Potter Series (Apr 1)

Based on JK Rowling’s best-selling books about a boy wizard, a magical school, and… well… you know the rest, the Harry Potter films represent one of the biggest and most successful film franchises of all time.

The Heroic Trio (Apr 1)

Michelle Yeoh, Anita Mui (RIP), and Maggie Cheung start in this uproarious Hong Kong action movie about a trio of superheroes who must prevent an evil villain from kidnapping babies. Directed by Johnnie To and featuring action choreography by Ching Siu-tung, 1993’s The Heroic Trio is an action smorgasbord as only Hong Kong can provide.

Infernal Affairs (Apr 1)

When it was released in 2002, Infernal Affairs quickly became one of the most acclaimed Hong Kong films in recent memory thanks to its twist-filled plot about an undercover cop and undercover criminal trying to outsmart each other (read my review). The film’s cast is packed with star power, including Andy Lau, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, and Anthony Wong, and the direction by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak just oozes style and panache. Infernal Affairs spawned two sequels and was remade by none other than Martin Scorsese as The Departed.

Lost in Translation (Apr 1)

Sofia Coppola’s acclaimed 2003 film stars Bill Murray as a washed up actor who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young college graduate played by Scarlett Johansson while they’re both in Tokyo. In addition to its gorgeous cinematography and beautiful Japanese locales, the film has an incredible soundtrack that includes music from Air, Squarepusher, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields.

Once Upon a Time in China (Apr 1)

Jet Li stars as Chinese folk here Wong Fei-hung in this Tsui Hark-directed martial arts epic that’s one of the best examples of ’90s-era Hong Kong martial arts cinema. Set in 19th century China, Wong must deal with rising tensions and human traffickers while trying to run his martial arts school and medicine clinic. Once Upon a Time in China was a massive box office hit when it was released in 1991 and was followed by multiple sequels and a TV series.

Ronin (Apr 1)

When a group of former spies and special operatives are hired to steal a briefcase with unknown contents, it’s bound to go smoothly without any betrayals or doubles-crosses, right? Ronin features a star-studded cast (Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Sean Bean, Jonathan Pryce) and puts them through the wringer, including some of the greatest car chase sequences in movie history.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Apr 1)

When people think of “comic book adaptations,” they probably think about our current glut of superhero movies. But this delightfully quirky film was adapted from Bryan Lee O’Malley’s celebrated graphic novels, which follow the titular slacker as he attempts to woo the girl of his dreams — and his epic battles with her evil ex-boyfriends. Directed by the one and only Edgar Wright, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is packed with visual panache, not to mention a bevy of on-screen talent including Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Evans, Aubrey Plaza, and Jason Schwartzman (read my review).

Here’s everything arriving on Max in April 2024.


Inside Man (Apr 1)

In this wonderfully executed heist movie by Spike Lee, an unorthodox hostage negotiator (Denzel Washington) finds himself squaring off against an equally unorthodox thief (Clive Owen) in a bank robbery where nothing is what it seems. The film’s star-studded cast also includes Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, Willem Dafoe, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Smokey and the Bandit (Apr 1)

Sometimes all you need to make a great movie is an iconic car, and it doesn’t get much more iconic than the Firebird Trans Am that Burt Reynolds drives in Smokey and the Bandit, as he tries to deliver a shipment of bootleg Coors beer without getting caught by the police. So in this movie, you’ve got a bitchin’ car, Burt Reynolds at his most Burt Reynolds-est, and Jackie Gleason as Sheriff Buford T. Justice (who delivers some of the greatest insults in cinema history). What else could you possibly want?

White Collar (Apr 1)

When FBI agent Peter Burke needs help solving unusual crimes involving white collar criminals, he turns to an unusual resource: a convicted thief, forger, and con man named Neal Caffrey. Airing between 2009 and 2014 on the USA Network, White Collar quickly became a hit thanks to its breezy tone, fun characters, and thrilling heists and mysteries.

Parasyte: The Grey (Apr 5)

After a young woman is infected with an alien parasite, she must find a way to co-exist with it (and its horrific powers) even as she must grapple with both other infected people and the government’s efforts to eradicate everyone like her. This live-action Korean horror/sci-fi series by Yeon Sang-ho is based on Hitoshi Iwaaki’s manga, was which was previously adapted into an anime series back in 2014.

City Hunter (Apr 25)

Based on Tsukasa Hojo’s long-running manga, which has previously been adapted into anime and a Jackie Chan movie, City Hunter follows the exploits of Ryo Saeba, a “sweeper” who spends his time cleansing the Tokyo underworld of crime. When he’s not chasing the ladies, that is. Directed by Yūichi Satō, Netflix’s live-action adaptation stars Ryohei Suzuki, Misato Morita, and Masanobu Ando.

Dead Boy Detectives, Season One (Apr 25)

Given that Netflix has already adapted Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, it only makes sense that they produce Dead Boy Detectives, a Sandman spin-off. Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine are the titular dead boys, who decide to forgo the afterlife and instead, remain on Earth to investigate supernatural crimes. The duo were originally introduced in the pages of Gaiman’s Sandman comic and later had their own limited series in 2022.

Here’s everything arriving on Netflix in April 2024.


Dark City (Apr 1)

Dark City was one of my first film obsessions. After Alex Proyas’ mysterious sci-fi film came to theatres, I was so enamored with its stylish visuals and dream-like storyline that I saw it multiple times. In Dark City, a group of mysterious strangers twist and rebuild the titular city every night, using its citizens as unknowing pawns in bizarre, nightmarish experiments — until one man wakes up to the truth.

Get Out (Apr 1)

Given his work with Keegan-Michael Key on the beloved sketch show Key & Peele, it would only make sense to expect Jordan Peele’s directorial debut to be a work of comedy. Instead, he delivered one of the most acclaimed horror films in recent memory. After a young Black man meets his white girlfriend’s upper-class family, he begins to notice strange behavior and soon finds himself caught up in a nefarious conspiracy. Get Out was a commercial and critical success, winning a “Best Original Screenplay” Oscar for Peele.

Heat (Apr 1)

When it was released in 1995, Heat was widely promoted as the first film in which Al Pacino and Robert De Niro appear on-screen together. And while that’s cool, that overlooked the fact that Heat is a scorching (npi) crime thriller about a gang of elite thieves (led by De Niro) and the police officers (led by Pacino) trying to stop them. Directed with panache by Michael Mann, the film oozes style and atmosphere, and features one of the best shootouts in movie history. In 2022, Mann announced that a sequel was in the works.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (Apr 1)

The Road Warrior is one of the prototypical post-apocalyptic films, featuring nomads trying to eke out a living in the blasted wastelands of the Australian outback. Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) is a lonely survivor who falls in with a group of settlers fighting over precious resources with a vicious gang, with the result being some of the greatest and most intense action scenes of all time.

The Raid: Redemption (Apr 1)

Gareth Evans’ The Raid caused a huge sensation amongst action cinema fans when it was released in 2011 thanks to brutal, non-stop action, which highlighted the Indonesian art of pencak silat. Iko Uwais stars as a rookie cop tasked with infiltrating an apartment building run by a local crime lord. But his mission will require him to use all of his fighting skills just to survive.

Robin Hood: Men in Tights (Apr 1)

It’s no Blazing Saddles or Spaceballs, but I have a certain fondness for Mel Brooks’ send-up of everyone’s favorite forest outlaw. Casting Cary Elwes as Robin Hood was a stroke of genius (and not just because he can speak with an English accent), and the rest of the cast — which includes Richard Lewis, Dave Chappelle, Dom DeLuise, and Patrick Stewart(!) — is game for the non-stop parade of sight gags and juvenile humor.

Here’s everything arriving on Tubi in April 2024.

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