John Wilson/Netflix
Millie Bobby Brown, Damsel

Spring TV Preview: The Season's 10 Most Anticipated Streaming Movies

Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Cena, and more star in spring's big releases

Don't let all those blooming flowers and baby animals distract you from what's really important this spring: spending time with your TV (or phone, laptop, or tablet). Our Spring TV Guide has all the info you need about what to watch over these months, but no guide would be complete without a list of the best movies to stream. Below, we list the biggest and most interesting films coming to Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Apple TV+, and more, spanning comedy, drama, documentary, and other genres. 

A note how this list was made: We focused mostly on straight-to-streaming titles (aside from the occasional film that appeared at film festivals) rather than theatrical releases coming to streaming, as those are announced sometimes just days before arriving on streaming services. 

Spring TV Preview: The Season's Most Anticipated Shows

The best movies to watch this spring

Spring Guide 2024

Click through for the latest on spring TV

Ricky Stanicky (March 7, Prime Video) 

Are you hoping for a 2010s-style comedy movie renaissance? If not, you'd best get ready, because Ricky Stanicky is about to storm the world stage. Zac EfronAndrew Santino, and Jermaine Fowler star as childhood best friends who, as children, invented an imaginary friend named Ricky Stanicky to use as a scapegoat for their bad behavior. They continue doing this well into adulthood and, after a series of mishaps, are forced ("forced") to hire a raunchy celebrity impersonator (John Cena) to play Ricky so they don't look like liars. This, as connoisseurs of the genre know, is a classic premise, in which a group of guys who created a problem that no one has ever had try to find a ridiculous way out of it rather than simply telling the truth. We're so back. -Allison Picurro [Trailer]

Damsel (March 8, Netflix)

Stranger ThingsMillie Bobby Brown stars in this fantasy film about a young woman whose dream wedding into a royal family becomes a nightmare when it turns out she's actually a sacrifice for a dragon as part of the kingdom's cruel tradition of murdering nice young ladies. Yikes. But instead of becoming a snack, she becomes a badass, fighting her way out of her subterranean prison to seek revenge on those who threw her down there. Who's in distress now, royal jerks? -Tim Surette [Trailer

Jake Gyllenhaal, Road House

Jake Gyllenhaal, Road House

Laura Radford/Prime Video

Road House (March 21, Prime Video)

Jake Gyllenhaal stars in this remake of the Patrick Swayze-starring '80s classic, playing a down-on-his-luck former UFC fighter who takes a job at a mysterious Florida roadhouse. Bradley Cooper took Gyllenhaal's Leonard Bernstein biopic away from him, so now we have this. Cool? -Allison Picurro [Trailer]

Freaknik: The Wildest Party Never Told (March 21, Hulu)

Relive Atlanta's most iconic street party with this new documentary. Freaknik: The Wildest Party Never Told tracks the rise and eventual fall of Freaknik, which started as a spring break cookout for Atlanta's historically Black colleges and universities in the 1980s and grew into a legendary annual festival before being shuttered in 1999. Executive produced by Luther "Uncle Luke" Campbell, Jermaine Dupri, and 21 Savage, the doc also features appearances from Lil Jon, CeeLo Green, and more as they share the stories behind the event and explore its complex legacy. -Kelly Connolly [Trailer]

Regina King and Lucas Hedges, Shirley

Regina King and Lucas Hedges, Shirley

Glen Wilson/Netflix

Shirley (March 22, Netflix)

Oscar winner Regina King dips her toe into history in this biopic of Shirley Chisholm, the United States' first Black female congresswoman — who, in 1972, continued to make history as the first African American to run for a major party's nomination for President of the United States, as well as the first woman to run for the Democratic Party's nomination. Brooklyn native Chisholm was an outspoken champion for female and minority rights, and despite the discrimination she experienced during her campaign, she scored 10% of the primary vote and became an inspirational figure. The film teams King up once again with writer/director John Ridley, who created ABC's American Crime, for which King won two Emmys in 2015 and 2016. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

Spermworld (March 29, FX)

Documentarian Lance Oppenheim (Some Kind of Heaven) adds his peculiar style to this New York Times-produced film about a unique subculture: the unregulated business of private sperm donation. Following a trio of donors as they meet with clients in "roadside motels, abandoned shopping malls, and suburban bathrooms," Spermworld delves into the idea of finding partnership from an impersonal place. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

Girls State

Girls State

Apple TV+

Girls State (April 5, Apple TV+)

The 2020 Sundance Film Festival Documentary Grand Jury winner Boys State took audiences inside Boys State, a summer leadership program for high schoolers that culminates in a convention where a mock government is set up, complete with candidates creating political parties and running for office. Things got weird! Now it's the girls' turn. This sorta-sequel follows high school girls in the sister program as they get a first-hand look at how government runs and learn what it takes to be a good politician versus what it takes to be a popular politician. Boys State exposed some universally scary truths about our system of elected officials, with the young men sacrificing their beliefs for power; will the girls follow suit? -Tim Surette

The Contestant (May 2, Hulu)

This documentary that made a splash at the film festivals late last year follows one of Japan's most popular celebrities... though he didn't know he was a celebrity at the time. Tomoaki Hamatsu was the sole star of Denpa Shonen: A Life in Prizes, which saw him live in a room, alone, with nothing (not even clothes) for more than a year, and the only way he was able to get supplies was to apply for prizes through magazine sweepstakes. The film includes interviews with Hamatsu and the show's producer Toshio Tsuchiya, shedding light on extreme reality television and the price paid by its participants. -Tim Surette

Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway, The Idea of You

Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway, The Idea of You

Prime Video

The Idea of You (May 2, Prime Video)

Ever go to a massive musical festival only to have the lead singer of the most popular band hit on you? Yeah, all the time, right? Well it also happens to Anne Hathaway in this adaptation of the 2017 Robinne Lee novel about a 40-year-old single mom (Hathaway) who begins a whirlwind romance with the 24-year-old frontman (boy of the moment Nicholas Galitzine) of a popular boy band. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

Unfrosted: The Pop-Tart Story (May 3, Netflix)

What is the deal with Pop-Tarts? Jerry Seinfeld co-wrote and directed this film, which seems like it amounts to a big budget version of History's excellent The Food That Built America, focusing on the competition between Kellogg's and Post to create a new breakfast product in the 1960s. (Spoiler: It was the Pop-Tart!) The cast includes Seinfeld, Melissa McCarthy, Jim Gaffigan, James Marsden (as Jack LaLanne!), Christian Slater, and more. -Tim Surette