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Tom Cruise balances a CD in his mouth while hanging from the ceiling in Mission: Impossible Image: Paramount Pictures

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The best movies to watch on Paramount Plus

The best of one of the most expansive streaming collections

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In the expansive world of streaming services, there are loads of different options when it comes to what to watch. In our continued quest to refine your potential movie picks to only the best possible choices, it is time to turn our attention to Paramount Plus.

Paramount Plus has something many of its streaming rivals do not: a deep back catalog from one of the most storied production companies in the history of Hollywood, boasting classics from just about every era of American movie making.

We’ve pulled our favorites from their extensive selection of movies, with a mix of all-time classics and new gems from a variety of eras. Take a stroll through a history of great movies.

The Mission: Impossible movies

henry cavill, tom cruise, and rebecca ferguson wear nice outfits and walk in a white room in mission impossible fallout Image: Paramount Pictures

Arguably the most consistent modern blockbuster franchise, the Tom Cruise-led Mission: Impossible series started with a bang, with the first entry directed by the legendary Brian de Palma. That first movie was instantly iconic, with unforgettable scenes still etched permanently into the memory of our popular culture (who can ever forget the scene where Cruise’s Ethan Hunt hangs from a ceiling and has to catch his own sweat to prevent an alarm going off?).

The series has continued strong from there, bringing in John Woo for the unfairly maligned second entry, and returning back to form in the two most recent entries, Rogue Nation and Fallout, both directed by Christopher McQuarrie (who previously worked with Cruise on Jack Reacher). The first six entries are currently available to Paramount Plus subscribers. —Pete Volk

Night of the Living Dead

Duane Jones as Ben brandishes a torch at some ghouls at a gas station in Night of the Living Dead Image: Continental Distributing

The starting point for the modern zombie film in the United States, George A. Romero wrote, directed, photographed, and edited this masterpiece on a shoestring budget, which only adds to the eerie atmosphere and grounded terror. A group of survivors hide out in an abandoned house in western Pennsylvania at the start of a zombie apocalypse. Led by the level-headed Ben (Duane Jones), the group not only has to deal with the conflict of zombies trying to break in, but internal conflicts stemming from disagreements on how to handle their precarious predicament.

Night of the Living Dead is the first example of Romero’s typical blend of jaw-dropping, stomach-churning practical effects and astute social commentary. Fun fact: This movie came out a month before the MPAA film rating system, which meant a heaping amount of controversy when children were allowed to see it in theaters. And another fun fact: Night of the Living Dead was never copyrighted because of an error by the original theatrical distributor (who accidentally deleted the copyright notice from the official copy of the movie), leaving it in the public domain. —PV

The Kid

Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan sit with their arms crossed at a dinner table in The Kid Image: Charles Chaplin Productions

Charlie Chaplin’s first feature film as a director was a massive hit, making his co-star Jackie Coogan (later known as Uncle Fester in The Addams Family) one of the first child stars in Hollywood.

In the movie, Chaplin’s character The Tramp finds an abandoned child and cares for him as a variety of bad luck and poor circumstances threaten to get in their way. Filled with Chaplin’s trademark combination of uproarious slapstick gigs (at one point Coogan’s Kid gets into a scuffle with another child, evolving into a sequence straight out of a boxing movie, with Chaplin as his ring man), and a deep, pervasive sense of the trials and tribulations of humanity, it’s one of the best movies from one of the best filmmakers to ever grace our planet. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll love it. —PV

The Ring

Sadako Yamamura crawling through a portal in a television Image: Dreamworks Pictures

Gore Verbinski’s American remake of Hideo Nakata 1998 supernatural horror classic The Ring was a runaway pop culture phenomenon when it first released in 2002, introducing Western audiences to the wonderful world of J-horror cinema and going on to be parodied in everything from Scary Movie 3 to Family Guy. Naomi Watts stars as Rachel Keller, a journalist who goes undercover to uncover the strange connection between the unexplainable deaths of her niece and three friends and a mysterious videotape they watched one week prior. But when Rachel views the tape herself, she finds herself caught in a race against time to solve the mystery and put to rest the vengeful spirit now fixated on claiming the lives of her and all else who watch it. —TE

Book Club

Diane Keaton reads Fifty Shades of Grey, delightfully, in Book Club. Image: Paramount

From our list of the best comedies on streaming:

This delightful and raunchy romantic comedy stars Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen as a group of best friends who have been a part of a long-standing book club. Each of them, though successful in their careers, are dealing with crises of life or love. When one of them picks Fifty Shades of Grey as the next book they’ll all read together, it opens the group up in a lovely story of personal acceptance and self-realization, no matter what stage of life you find yourself in.

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