The 10 Best New Movies To Watch On Disney+ (Updated April 2022)

Disney+ continues to pad out its already large catalog of movies, with the last couple of months putting out a variety of projects from different genres. March’s mix of releases includes a premiere of Pixar’s latest project, as well as Steven Spielberg’s remake of a beloved classic.

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Updated on March 28th, 2022 by Guillermo Kurten: The content that’s been recently added to Disney+ and lined up to release throughout March will help pad out the vast catalog to keep families’ subscriptions. Another musical movie will be making its debut in the form of the Disney+ original Better Nate Than Ever, along with a timely new Earth Day original from Disneynature.


Better Nate Than Ever (2022)

Libby and Nate smiling together in a still of Better Nate Than Ever

Though Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning West Side Story remake has been the biggest musical release, a smaller scale yet fun new original will be released this week. Better Nate Than Ever is an adaptation directed by Tim Federle, author of the 2013 novel of the same name. The movie is billed as a coming-of-age story for 13-year-old Nate Foster, who wants to make it big on Broadway.

The teenager is having problems getting a part in a school play, though, and decides to run off to New York City with his best friend to try and prove his doubters wrong. Musicals are harder to come by nowadays, so fans of the genre will likely want to check out this charming new movie. Better Nate Than Ever has, so far, received a warm early social media reaction ahead of its April 1st release.

Turning Red (2022)

TURNING RED - meilin lee

Disney Pixar is widely known for its exceptional animated movies, and they’re set to release their next endeavor on March 11th. Turning Red is a coming-of-age family comedy about a young girl named Mei Lee who’s struggling with her identity as she approaches adolescence.

Her naturally excitable nature as a 13-year-old causes her to turn into a giant red panda, but Mei is also trying to remain the obedient daughter her overprotective mother has known her as. Turning Red has a promising cast, with the Golden Globe-winning Sandra Oh playing the role of Mei Lee’s mother, Ming.

Polar Bear (2022)

Still of the titular polar bear in the Disney+ original movie for the trailer

In capitalizing on the festivities of Earth Day on Friday, April 22nd, Disney+ is set to release a batch of original nature projects. There will be three productions set for release, comprised of a special, a TV series, and a movie. The latter of which is Polar Bearnarrated by Oscar Award-nominee Catherine Keener.

Relative under the Disneynature branding and film studio, the movie will follow a touching story of a new polar bear going through the memories of hereasing youth to prepare for raising her own cubs in an challenging world. Polar Bear will likely touch on the challenges posed to these animals by the change in climate limiting their environments, with the movie — and all other productions — releasing on April 22nd.

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011)

Caesar roaring defiantly with his ape supporters in tow

For those in the United Kingdom, the 2011 reboot movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes will be coming to Disney+. The Rupert Wyatt-directed movie was the first in a new trilogy, with the latter two being helmed by The Batman director/co-writer Matt Reeves.

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This first installment succeeded in kickstarting an exciting and more grounded take on the classic movie franchise, telling the origin story of the experimented chimpanzee Caesar in the lead-up to Earth’s social structure being overthrown. The cast includes James Franco and Andy Serkis in another exceptional motion-capture performance as Caesar. Rise of the Planet of the Apes arrives in the UK on Friday, April 29th.

West Side Story (2021)

Tony and Maria gazing at each other in a West Side Story still

It’s unfortunate for fans of musicals that the genre isn’t near the height of popularity it once was, but Steven Spielberg’s 2021 remake of West Side Story will be hitting Disney+ on March 2nd. The story centers around Tony and Maria; Two high-schoolers in love that are stuck between the street fights of two rival gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.

Spielberg’s interpretation of this beloved musical classic was critically praised for its acting (which earned Rachel Zegler a Golden Globe) and musical performances but ended up being a box office bomb. However, streaming services like Disney+ have managed to salvage other movies that underwhelmed critically or commercially by giving them a boost in viewership.

Driving Home 2 U (2022)

Olivia Rodrigo in the trailer for her Disney+ documentary

Singer Olivia Rodrigo was one of last year’s biggest musical sensations, releasing her breakout album Sour last May. The album garnered critical acclaim and is up for multiple Grammy Award nominations, and Rodrigo is set to release a documentary movie titled driving home 2 u (a SOUR film).

The documentary is set to recount her journey through writing and putting together the celebrated album as well as her coming-of-age story to reach this new point in her life. driving home 2 u (a SOUR film) was released on Disney+ on March 25th.

Free Guy (2021)

Ryan Reynolds as his NPC character in Free Guy and with his supporting cast behind him

Last year’s video-game-themed movie Free Guy was arguably one of the biggest theatrical surprises. Given the premise and what the early trailers showed, it didn’t seem like it would make a positive impact and likely be quickly forgotten. However, the Ryan Reynolds-led romp ended up becoming one of the best comedy movies of 2021 to many moviegoers.

Though the references and fan service could be unsurprisingly heavy-handed, Free Guy‘s brand of tongue-in-cheek self-awareness in its comedy made it a fun, casual watch. The movie is available to watch now on Disney+.

X-Men: First Class (2011)

Professor X and Magneto leading Mystique and the rest of the X-Men in First Class

Added at the beginning of January, then-Fox’s X-Men: First Class still holds up as one of the best live-action endeavors for the mutant heroes. The X-Men have always had a layer of tragedy in the comics, and First Class balances a great origin story with an emotionally impactful chronicling of the team’s first — and major — ideological rift.

Part of striking that perfect thematic blend was thanks to its exceptional cast, with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender offering two more iconic incarnations of Professor X and Magneto. While this series fizzled out once it got to Apocalypse, First Class is a welcome addition to Disney+’s Marvel legacy catalog along with its acclaimed direct sequel, Days of Future Past.

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Johnny Depp in the elaborate costume for the titular Edward Scissorhands

Tim Burton’s style of filmmaking is immediately recognizable in all of his movies, from aesthetics to their thematic approaches. Many of his movies revolve around an eccentric outcast of a protagonist, including some of the most commercially successful Batman movies, and Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands is one of Burton’s most stand-out characters.

The movie puts Depp in the role of an incomplete artificial humanoid who gets taken in by family, only for Edward to fall in love with their daughter Kim Boggs — played by the talented Winona Ryder. It was theatrically released in 1990 to a strong critical reception, with the heartfelt story, Depp’s expressive acting, and the blending of fantasy and romance being particularly praised.

Encanto (2021)

The wide cast of the family in Encanto

Originally released in theaters late last year, Disney’s Encanto brought back the animated musical-comedy for a vibrant multigenerational story about the Latin-American experience. More specifically, the movie is set in a rural town in Colombia, wrapped with an atmosphere of magical realism akin to author Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Encanto follows Mirabel Madrigal as she sets out to discover why her family is at risk of losing their magical abilities used to help their community. The movie’s emotional impact and exploration of themes emotional trauma were well-received from a narrative perspective, while its musical aspect and stunning art design were acclaimed on the visual front. All of these elements combined and made Encanto One of the greatest animated movies of 2021.

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