3 Peacock movies you need to stream this weekend (March 15-17)

A man and a woman talk in The Place Beyond the Pines.

With the 2024 Oscars now just a memory and college basketball about to go into overdrive with March Madness, this weekend feels a bit empty in terms of movie choices. Of course, you could see Kung Fu Panda 4 or Dune: Part Two in theaters again, or you can stay at home and see what’s streaming.

If you do, there’s a great selection awaiting you at an unlikely streamer. Peacock has a killer lineup, with the Oscar-winning Oppenheimer now streaming. But there are other movies, most neglected and woefully underrated, that are worth your time, too. One is an epic crime drama, another is a campy comedy from the ’90s, and the final recommended movie is a modern Western starring a former Batman.

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

A man and a woman sit at at table in The Place Beyond the Pines.

Long before I’m Just Ken and Barbie, Ryan Gosling mostly played it straight, starring in a series of dramas from 2006 to 2012 that cemented his status as one of the best young actors of his generation. One of those movies from that era that tends to get overlooked is The Place Beyond the Pines, a crime drama from director Derek Cianfrance with a supporting cast that includes Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper, Mahershala Ali, Rose Byrne, and Dane DeHaan.

The movie focuses on two men, Luke (Gosling) and Avery (Cooper), and how their paths cross once and change their lives forever. Luke is a motorcycle stuntman who resorts to robbing banks to provide for his out-of-wedlock son. Avery is a corrupt cop with dreams of going straight and becoming a politician. To say more would be spoiling the central appeal of The Place Beyond the Pines, which gradually unfolds into an intimate epic about fathers and sons. It’s a neglected movie that hopefully will get some attention now that Gosling is a superstar.

Death Becomes Her (1992)

A woman twists her neck at a piano in Death Becomes Her.

Who knew the director of Back to the Future had it in him to make a campy, pitch-black comedy about the quest for eternal youth in Hollywood? That’s just one of the many surprises in Robert Zemeckis’ Death Becomes Her, a 1992 comedy that received mixed reviews upon release, but is now recognized as a great, nasty comedy. Meryl Streep stars as the vain, washed-up Hollywood star Madeline Ashton, who is stuck in a lifeless marriage with a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon (Bruce Willis) and, perhaps worse, is looking her age. When a rival (Goldie Hawn) suddenly appears looking unnaturally youthful and fit, Streep does the only thing an aging, desperate actress can do: drink a fountain of youth potion to compete. The side effect, however, is that she can’t die, which is more problematic than you might think.

Streep, Hawn, and Willis have never been funnier, with Willis in particular getting a chance to shine as the nebbishy husband. Isabella Rossellini and Sydney Pollack pop up in small supporting roles, and underline the old axiom that “there are no small parts, just small actors.” The visual effects won an Academy Award in 1993, and while they have aged, they hold a cartoonish appeal that’s true for the entire movie.

3:10 to Yuma (2007)

Three men hold guns in 3:10 to Yuma.
20th Century Fox

Long before they teamed up for the excellent Ford v Ferrari, director James Mangold and lead star Christian Bale made 3:10 to Yuma, a remake of the 1957 Western of the same name that is in every way superior to the original.

It’s 1884 and a rancher named Dan Evans (Bale) has the bad luck of being robbed of his horses by Ben Wade (Russell Crowe). And although Ben spares Dan’s life, he’s left him desperate for money. When Ben is arrested, Dan accepts a significant payment to join the posse that is supposed to deliver their prisoner to the train referenced in the title of this movie. However, a lot of people want Ben dead before he can get there, and he won’t stop trying to get away.