May is just a hair’s breadth away, which means there’s a swath of movies to stream before they’re shuffled off of your favorite streaming service at the end of the month. Still deciding what to knock off your to-watch list this week? Don’t worry; we’ve pulled together our list of the best movies to stream by the end of April.
From neo-noir thrillers like Mulholland Drive and romantic comedies like Moonstruck to cerebral sci-fi films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and classic action movies like Bloodsport and The Rock, there’s plenty of great entertainment to choose from.
Here are the 13 best movies you need to watch before they leave streaming at the end of April.
If martial arts movies are celebrations of bodies in motion, there are few better examples than the Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle Bloodsport. Van Damme plays U.S. Army Captain Frank Dux, a skilled martial artist who is invited to an underground fighting tournament in Hong Kong. When he is not given permission by his superiors to attend, Dux simply goes anyway, resulting in 1) two army investigators (including Forest Whitaker) pursuing him to Hong Kong; 2) Dux falling for a journalist (Leah Ayres) investigating the tournament; and 3) Dux fighting a lot of dudes.
Purportedly based on the apocryphal accomplishments of the real Frank Dux, Bloodsport is instead best viewed as an effective display of Van Damme’s charisma, screen-fighting ability, and good looks, and for the incredible performance of all-time action baddie Bolo Yeung as the villainous Chong Li. Be prepared for many, many impressive instances of JCVD doing the splits. —Pete Volk
Bloodsport leaves HBO Max on April 30.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
When you think of actors who exude the unearthly sex appeal and monstrous inclination one would expect from the iconic Count Dracula, Gary Oldman isn’t exactly the first name that would leap to most folks’ minds. That’s what makes his performance in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 horror fantasy so remarkable, as Oldman’s out-of-character portrayal of the sullen blood-sucking libertine opposite Keanu Reeves’ performance as the heroic Jonathan Harker makes for one of the most memorable incarnations of the Count to ever be put on screen.
Combined with the film’s gorgeous practical set designs, elaborate costumes courtesy of designer Eiko Ishioka, and some notable supporting performances by Anthony Hopkins and Tom Waits, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is one of the most unique films in Coppola’s highly celebrated body of work. —Toussaint Egan
Bram Stoker’s Dracula leaves Netflix on May 1.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Written by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, I’m Thinking of Ending Things), Michel Gondry’s quirky sci-fi romantic drama Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind stars Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet as a dysfunctional couple who arrange to have all memories of each other erased following a messy breakup. Despite this, the pair inadvertently meet each other again, blissfully unaware of their shared past.
When they’re confronted with this revelation, they are forced to face not only the question of what they mean to one another, but also whether it is better to love and know heartache or never to have never known such a love in the first place. With a beautiful score composed by Jon Brion, Eternal Sunshine is a whimsical, surreal, and moving ode to the persistence of love in the absence of memory and presence of grief. —TE
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind leaves Peacock on May 1.
Imitation of Life
Douglas Sirk’s 1959 drama Imitation of Life follows the story of Lora (Lana Turner), an aspiring actor and single mother, her Black live-in housekeeper Annie (Juanita Moore), and their young daughters Susie and Sarah. As Lora struggles to build her career, Annie finds herself heartbroken by the relationship with her daughter, who struggles with her identity and wants to pass for white. Told over the span of a decade, Sirk’s final film is a poignant and devastating portrait of love and parenthood at the intersection of race, class, and gender and a stirring work of cinematic storytelling. —TE
Imitation of Life leaves Criterion Channel on April 30.
The joy is in the smaller moments in Moonstruck. A mother cooks an egg-in-a-hole for her daughter. An older couple trades barbs with each other before the conversation shifts on a dime to expressions of eternal love. An elderly man basks in the moonlight with his five adorable dogs.
A widow (Cher) is convinced her ill-fated first marriage was doomed by bad luck after a hasty engagement and wedding. When a suitor (Danny Aiello) proposes, she accepts, but ends up falling for his estranged brother (Nicolas Cage) instead.
With warm sets that feel lived-in, loving depictions of food (the egg-in-a-hole has since been colloquially dubbed “Moonstruck Eggs”) and romance, hilarious family conversations (“Old man, you give another plate of my food to those dogs, I’m going to kick you till you’re dead!”), and complementary lead performances by an assured Cher and an intense Cage, Moonstruck is a touching, uproarious romantic comedy about superstition, love, and family. —PV
Moonstruck leaves HBO Max on April 30.
David Lynch’s haunting LA masterpiece blends genres, mediums (it was initially intended as a TV show), dreams and nightmares, and even people for a perfect stew of unsettlement. Naomi Watts plays a woman who has recently moved to Los Angeles with dreams of becoming an actress; she meets an amnesiac (Laura Harring) and attempts to help her uncover the mystery behind her memory loss. One of Lynch’s finest movies and an unforgettable cinematic dream, Mulholland Drive will twist and swerve its way through your mind just like the famous street it’s named after. —PV
Mulholland Drive leaves Criterion Channel on April 30.
A silly cape comedy about a group of minor superheroes who have to save the day when a Superman stand-in (Greg Kinnear) goes missing, Mystery Men is a surprisingly sharp critique of the intersection of capitalism and superhero culture that is also not above a few fart gags. With a hilarious ensemble cast that includes Ben Stiller, Wes Studi, William H. Macy, and many, many more, the acclaimed commercial director’s one and only feature film is an absolute riot. —PV
Mystery Men leaves Peacock on May 1.
Shrek and Shrek 2
There is no denying the sheer impact the Shrek series has had on 21st-century pop culture. The first movie was an oddball, a deeply cynical and totally obvious fuck you to the Disney empire that DreamWorks didn’t even really have faith in, and yet it played a major role in shifting the tone in Western animation into edgy comedies. And hey, it’s actually deeply funny! The original feels like a very directed jab at Disney, but the second movie, which chooses the glamor and glitz of Hollywood as its target and thus doesn’t seem as … personal, really shines.
Also, no one needs an excuse to watch the “I Need a Hero” scene. —Petrana Radulovic
A classic Michael Bay flick and a classic ’90s action movie, The Rock stars Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, and Ed Harris at their respective over-the-top bests in an Alcatraz-set action thriller. When a group of rogue Marines led by a charismatic general (Harris) steals chemical weapons and takes control of the iconic prison island, the FBI sends its top chemical weapons expert (Cage) and a former MI6 agent (Connery) in to save the day. Like many Bay movies, hidden under the big explosions and tough-guy machismo is a moving story about forgotten people: in this case, Harris’ mostly sympathetic cause to get money for his soldiers and the families for men who died on secret missions the government won’t recognize. Of course, his sympathetic cause is undercut by his extreme methods, but that’s par for the course for this kind of flick. —PV
The Rock leaves Amazon Prime Video on April 30.
Ben Affleck’s 2010 American crime thriller The Town follows the story of a crew of bank robbers living in Charlestown, Boston. Following a successful heist, things become complicated for the group’s leader, Doug (Affleck), when he finds himself falling in love with Claire (Rebecca Hall), the assistant manager of the bank, who they had taken hostage and left unscathed. As Doug attempts to reconcile his feelings for Claire with his obligations to his partners, FBI Special Agent Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm) is relentless in his mission to bring Doug and his crew to justice.
With a host of fantastic performances, fierce gunfights, a captivating climax, and a sobering denouement, The Town is yet another stunning accomplishment in Affleck’s career as a director. —TE
The Town leaves Netflix on May 1.
Bruce Willis stars in Terry Gilliam’s 1995 sci-fi film 12 Monkeys as James Cole, a prisoner of the state in the year 2035, who is sent back in time to prevent a human-made virus from devastating humanity. Accidentally transported several years before the virus’s arrival, James is deemed insane by Dr. Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe) and incarcerated at a mental asylum. Escaping the facility, James must uncover the identity of the leader behind the mysterious anarcho-environmentalist group the Army of the Twelve Monkeys before it dooms the planet. Inspired by Chris Marker’s La Jetée and the subject of an infamous lawsuit between Universal Pictures and architect Lebbeus Woods, 12 Monkeys is a thrilling apocalyptic drama with a gut-punch of an ending that will leave audiences reeling. —TE
12 Monkeys leaves Peacock on May 1.