Happy April, Polygon readers. It’s fully spring out here, and you know what that means: The temperatures are warming up, the plants are getting greener, and there are a whole lot of great movies new to streaming platforms for you to watch at home.

It wouldn’t be spring without us mentioning Spring Breakers, Harmony Korine’s candy cane crime thriller, which is now streaming on HBO Max. But this month also sees the arrival of Spike Lee’s Inside Man and Christopher Nolan’s Inception on Netflix, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln on Hulu, and a whole slate of erotic thrillers on the Criterion Channel. How to Train Your Dragon and the Shrek movies also make their way to streaming platforms this month, as well as plenty more options for your viewing delight.

Let’s get into it!

New on Netflix

Inside Man

Denzel Washington and Clive Owen in Inside Man.

Image: Universal Pictures

Year: 2006
Genre: Crime thriller
Run time: 2h 9m
Director: Spike Lee
Cast: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster

A rare work-for-hire gig for director Spike Lee, 2006’s Inside Man is one of those have-cake-and-eat-it pleasures. It’s a slick, sinuous, puzzle-box thriller in which Clive Owen engineers a bank robbery that is never quite what it seems. Taking hostages, he locks wits with police detective Denzel Washington and high-flying fixer Jodie Foster, and the reversals, twists, and fake-outs topple happily from there. The cast is ludicrously overqualified: Willem Dafoe, Christopher Plummer, and Chiwetel Ejiofor all appear in smaller roles. And Lee doesn’t surrender his playful, needling edge just because he’s on popcorn duty. He builds a memorable, squabbling chorus of post-9/11 New York humanity around the edges of the film, while the plot cuts right into Wall Street’s rotten heart. —Oli Welsh

Inside Man is streaming on Netflix.

How to Train Your Dragon

hiccup nervously stands next to toothless, who looks kinda pissed off, in How to Train Your Dragon

Image: DreamWorks Animation

Year: 2010
Genre: Action/adventure
Run time: 1h 38m
Directors: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders
Cast: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

The entire How to Train Your Dragon trilogy is rock solid from front to back, but there is something particularly special about the first one. The epic fantasy series follows a group of Vikings, who, in the first movie, are locked in constant battle with dragons. Misfit Hiccup finds a wounded dragon and, instead of killing it, begins to train the spunky creature and bonds deeply with it. It’s a story of outcasts finding each other and proving generational prejudices wrong against all odds. The soundtrack is phenomenal, the story a perfect blend of funny and heartwarming, and the character designs are amazing — especially the dragons. DreamWorks could have made these creatures look the same as every other dragon out there, but they’re all so distinct and fun to see in action. Of course, Toothless is still the best boy of them all. —Petrana Radulovic

How to Train Your Dragon is streaming on Netflix.


Joseph Gordon-Levitt stands amongst incapacitated gentlemen in a hotel bedroom in Christopher Nolan’s 2010 film Inception. Truthfully, it looks like he just did some sick karate moves on some people. Badass.

Image: Warner Bros

Year: 2010
Genre: Sci-fi
Run time: 2h 28m
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elliot Page

Christopher Nolan’s unique take on the heist film genre isn’t just a savvy deconstruction of movies as a collaborative act of “dream making,” but a satisfying action movie spectacle. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Dom Cobb, a skilled thief who excels in an elaborate form of psychological corporate espionage known as extraction, the film follows Cobb and his team as they embark on their most perilous mission yet: surreptitiously incepting (i.e., implanting) an idea into the mind of the heir of a multinational conglomerate.

That’s easier said than done, as Cobb and company must contend with a cadre of deadly adversaries, including an invasive subconscious projection of Cobb’s wife, Mal (Marion Cotillard), as they navigate the multiple layers of an intricately detailed dreamscape. From Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s gravity-defying fight scene in a rotating hallway (with shades of Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding) and elaborate chase sequences to a Bond-esque firefight in an extravagant Japanese palace, Inception is a terrific, mind-twisting action thriller. —Toussaint Egan

Inception is streaming on Netflix.

The Bourne Legacy

Jeremy Renner, decked out in winter gear, holds a rifle in The Bourne Legacy

Image: Universal Pictures

Year: 2012
Genre: Spy thriller
Run time: 2h 15m
Director: Tony Gilroy
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton

John Wick: Chapter 4 is winning hearts and minds at multiplexes across the world, which has us thinking about other worthy fourth entries in major franchises. In the universe of action franchises, there aren’t many better examples than The Bourne Legacy.

Directed by Andor showrunner Tony Gilroy, who wrote the screenplays for the original Bourne trilogy and directed the incredible legal thriller Michael Clayton, The Bourne Legacy is a spinoff of the Matt Damon trilogy starring Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross, another agent caught in the vast conspiracy Bourne uncovers, in a tight thriller that stands as one of the better American spy movies in recent memory. —PV

The Bourne Legacy is streaming on Netflix.

New on Hulu


Karl Urban (Dredd) aims his pistol in Pete Travis’ Dredd (2012)

Image: Lionsgate

Year: 2012
Genre: Sci-fi
Run time: 1h 35m
Director: Pete Travis
Cast: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey

2012’s Dredd is not just one of the best non-Marvel or DC superhero movies of the 2010s, but one of the best movies based on a comic book, period. It’s unfortunate, then, that the film never quite got the praise and attention it so justly deserved when it was first released in theaters.

Written by screenwriter turned director Alex Garland (who may have played a larger role in the film’s creation beyond his credited role as a writer), Dredd stars Karl Urban as the gravel-tone, authoritarian lawman who acts as judge, jury, and executioner in the otherwise lawless coastal metropolis of Mega-City One. Assigned to train a new rookie Judge Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), Dredd finds himself inadvertently squaring off against a ruthless vice lord (Lena Headey) and her army of violent underlings within her fortified apartment megastructure. Bursting with explosive action, jaw-dropping slow-motion fight sequences, and Verhoevenian pitch-black gallows humor, Dredd is one hell of time you won’t soon forget. It’s nothing short of an injustice that it never got a sequel. —TE

Dredd is streaming on Hulu.


Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field attend a play together in Lincoln.

Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Year: 2012
Genre: Biopic
Run time: 2h 30m
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn

Lincoln is one of the great modern biopics (a low bar) and stands as one of Steven Spielberg’s best movies (a high bar!). A master filmmaker tackles one of America’s most famous figures at one of his most challenging moments, with a cast full of established luminaries and up-and-coming stars (Adam Driver and Jeremy Strong are both in this!). What’s not to like? —PV

Lincoln is streaming on Hulu.

Shrek and Shrek 2

Shrek holding hands with his wife Fiona in Shrek 2

Image: DreamWorks Animation

Year: 2001; 2004
Genre: Comedy
Run time: 1h 30m; 1h 33m
Directors: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson; Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, Conrad Vernon
Cast: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz

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 glamour 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

Shrek and Shrek 2 are streaming on Hulu.

New on Prime Video


The two men in Face/Off face off, pointing guns at each other.

Image: Paramount Pictures

Year: 1997
Genre: Action
Run time: 2h 18m
Director: John Woo
Cast: John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen

John Woo’s third Hollywood movie (following Hard Target and Broken Arrow) is the first of his American movies that really feels like a John Woo movie. Featuring huge gun fights, strained depictions of masculinity, and, of course, doves, Face/Off is a delightfully over-the-top ’90s action movie that thrives on Woo’s direction and the two leading performances.

John Travolta is FBI agent Sean Archer, whose son was killed by Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage), a terrorist who intended to kill the older Archer. In his quest for vengeance, Archer decides to undergo an experimental face transplant surgery, “becoming” Troy. Of course, Troy does the same in return, “becoming” Archer. The setup is a perfect stage for both actors to have fun in this playground, although Cage has joked that Travolta got the better end of the deal, spending most of the running time playing the much more eccentric of the two characters.

Fun fact: Face/Off writers Mike Werb and Michael Colleary had Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in mind when they wrote the script. I can see it, but I’m glad we got this version. —PV

Face/Off is streaming on Prime Video.


Tony Jaa as Tien in Ong-Bak.

Image: Magnolia Pictures

Year: 2003
Genre: Action
Run time: 1h 45m
Director: Prachya Pinkaew
Cast: Tony Jaa, Phetthai Vongkumlao, Pumwaree Yodkamol

The movie that made Tony Jaa into an international action star, Ong-Bak was his first hard-hitting (literally; these movies embrace full-contact action) collaboration with director Prachya Pinkaew. After gangsters from Bangkok deface a holy statue, villagers send Ting (Jaa), a skilled martial artist, to retrieve the statue’s stolen head from the big city. What starts as a culture-clash comedy of sorts quickly turns into a thrilling martial arts action movie, with incredible foot chases, hard-to-believe stunts (the plate glass window jump! IYKYK), and hard-hitting fight scenes. Two pieces of Ong-Bak trivia for you: Jaa, who had trained in Muay Thai as a child and wanted the movie to promote the martial art form around the world, performed Muay Thai demonstrations in the lead-up to the movie’s release, including at NBA halftime shows. And if you keep your eye out, you can see “graffiti” in the background of some shots nodding to Steven Spielberg and Luc Besson. —PV

Ong-Bak is available to stream on Prime Video.

New on HBO Max

Spring Breakers

Spring Breakers: Three girls in pink ski masks hold AK-47s

Image: A24

Year: 2012
Genre: Crime thriller
Run time: 1h 34m
Director: Harmony Korine
Cast: Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson

If you’re looking for something seasonally appropriate, turn to Harmony Korine’s indulgent-yet-critical look at the sprrrrrring breeeaaaak party life. Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine star as four coeds who dream of letting loose in Florida, but are low on funds. So naturally, they snort massive amounts of cocaine and rob a restaurant. The high of a lawbreaking act unlocks the young women’s worst instincts, and when they finally make it to the beach and hook up with Alien (James Franco), a rapper/arms dealer, dreamy, sunbaked hell breaks loose. Swinging to the sounds of a Skrillex soundtrack, the movie remains perfect as an at-home midnight movie experience. —Matt Patches

Spring Breakers is streaming on HBO Max.


Mya Taylor, left, and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, in Tangerine.

Image: Magnolia Pictures

Year: 2015
Genre: Dramedy
Run time: 1h 28m
Director: Sean Baker
Cast: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian

Filmed entirely with iPhone cameras, Sean Baker’s 2015 comedy-drama Tangerine follows Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor), two trans sex workers who set out to find Chester (James Ransone), Sin-Dee’s boyfriend/pimp, and get to the bottom of a salacious rumor that he cheated on her while she was serving a 28-day stint in prison. Set during Christmas Eve and filmed entirely on the streets of Los Angeles, Tangerine is a raw, uproariously surprising, touching, heartbreaking, and thoroughly engrossing experience that offers an affecting glimpse into the emotional trials and tribulations of sex work while constructing a portrait of Los Angeles in all its many-splendored chaos. —TE

Tangerine is streaming on HBO Max.

New on Criterion Channel

Mulholland Drive

Two women listen in on a phone call

Image: Universal Pictures

Year: 2001
Genre: Mystery
Run time: 2h 27m
Director: David Lynch
Cast: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux

In my humble opinion: There is no such thing as a “definitive” David Lynch movie. Each of the 10-or-so films Lynch has directed and produced since his 1977 feature debut Eraserhead is as idiosyncratic as the last, each twisting the director’s fascination for suburban idyllicism eroded by fugue-like horror in new and provocative ways. Still, if I were asked to suggest just one film to someone interested in understanding David Lynch as an artist, I’d be hard-pressed not to recommend Mulholland Drive first.

The 2001 neo-noir psychological thriller stars Naomi Watts as Betty Elms, a bright-eyed aspiring actress who encounters an amnesiac woman (Laura Harring) who has stumbled into Betty’s aunt’s apartment. Feeling compelled to help the woman recover her memory, Betty embarks on an odyssey through Hollywood to solve the mystery of this stranger’s amnesia that will inevitably circle back to unearthing an unsettling truth Betty herself has desperately tried to suppress. Mulholland Drive is a masterful confluence of noir filmmaking, Hollywood disillusionment, and captivating dream logic that will leave you unnerved and enthralled in equal measure. You’ll never think of cowboys, diner cafes, or the word “silencio” quite the same way ever again. —TE

Mulholland Drive is streaming on the Criterion Channel.


Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly hold coffee mugs and stand close to each other against a wallpaper backdrop in Bound.

Image: Gramercy Pictures

Year: 1996
Genre: Erotic crime thriller
Run time: 1h 49m
Directors: Lana and Lilly Wachowski
Cast: Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano

The Wachowskis’ directorial debut is this scintillating neo-noir thriller about two women who fall for each other and steal $2 million in mob money. Jennifer Tilly plays Violet, the high-femme girlfriend of mob money launderer Caesar (Joe Pantoliano). Gina Gershon is Corky, an ex-con who works as a maintenance person at the apartment building where Violet and Caesar live. When Corky and Violet catch each other’s eyes in the elevator, the seduction begins, as they become irresistibly drawn to one another and the possibility of a better life outside of their respective confined circumstances.

After many years and many outstanding movies, Bound may still be the high mark of the Wachowskis’ illustrious career. Tilly and Gershon are both terrific (and had a great time; you should read this excellent interview with them), and the movie is highly erotic, both in its sex scenes and in other moments (Corky working on the plumbing with her hands is deeply sensual, both for viewers and for an overwhelmed Violet). It’s an unforgettable romantic crime thriller, and among the sexiest American movies ever made. —PV

Bound is streaming on the Criterion Channel.

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