Quarantine countdown: Must-watch movies while stuck in your home


During your time in quarantine, it might become increasingly harder to occupy yourself with something to do as your choices are limited to the confines of your home. With your normal, habitual routine disturbed one must look for new outlets to pass the time, perhaps some form of entertainment to partake in. That is where we, the Pelham Examiner, come in. So crack open your Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney Plus, or other streaming service because we’re counting down the top must-watch movies during your time in quarantine.

Because of the variety of age groups that read this, we will be doing three separate lists for adults, teens, and children. However, feel free to check out any of the movies we list here, so long as you feel they are appropriate.


Grades K-3:

3. Frozen 2 (Disney Plus) 

Now you may be asking, didn’t “Frozen 2” just release in theatres? How could a big, blockbuster Disney movie be released on a streaming service so soon? Well, you’re in luck because the Walt Disney Company just announced they would be releasing “Frozen 2” on their streaming service, Disney Plus, on Sunday, March 15th. The sequel to the highest grossing Disney movie at the time of its release, the movie is sure to be a fun time for the whole family. It once again centers around the iconic princesses, Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell), and their friends Olaf (Josh Gad), Sven, and Kristoff (Jonathan Groff). However, Elsa becomes increasingly unsettled as she hears a voice calling out to her. This sparks a journey that will reveal Elsa, Anna, and Arendelle’s past, present, and future.

2. Despicable Me (Amazon Prime Video)

With a house full of booby traps and an adorable army of minion workers, evil villain Gru (Steve Carell) is ready to create a plan to steal the moon. However, three little orphans come to sell him girl scout cookies and from there his life is changed forever. “Despicable Me” is a story of how a cranky man and his evil ways change for cute little girls. Pixar’s Despicable Me 1, 2, and 3 should definitely be on your watch list!

1. Trolls (Amazon Prime Video, Hulu)

When the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy (Anna Kendrick) the joyous troll is forced to journey with grumpy and overly cautious Branch (Justin Timberlake) to find their friends and save their village. With lots of catchy songs by Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, and Gwen Stefani, Trolls is a colorful and truly family friendly movie.

Grades 3-6:

3. Jumanji Series (Amazon Prime Video)

“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and its newer sequel “Jumanji: the Next Level” are an adaptation of the original classic Jumanji. It is about a boy named Spencer (Alex Wolff), a total wimp who gets stuck in detention with a couple of other classmates, Bethany (Madison Iseman), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain) and Martha (Morgan Turner). Spencer reappears as a brawny adventurist (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), Bethany as a male, pudgy and middle-aged map expert (Jack Black), Fridge as a short zoologist (Kevin Hart) and Martha as a butt kicking woman warrior (Karen Gillian). 

2. Aladdin Live Action (Disney Plus)

“Aladdin” is another incredibly well known movie about an orphan who steals to make a living. He helps the princess Jasmine and they fall in love. Disney recently did a live action version of Aladdin which includes modern touches like hip hop. Starring Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Will Smith as Genie, and with many new songs such as “Speechless”, Aladdin live action is a must watch!

1. Harry Potter Film Series (Amazon Prime Video, $2.99 to rent)

The Harry Potter Film Series is an adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book series. Harry is a normal boy who has always had weird things happen to him, and finds out that he is a wizard on his 13th birthday. Starring Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, and Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, this is definitely a series to not leave out!


Please be advised: This list for teens consists of movies that are rated PG-13 to R. Please keep this in mind before viewing these movies. If a film is rated R in this section, we will explain why we still chose to include it on this list.

5. Knives Out (Amazon Prime Video)

“Knives Out” is a film recently released by Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman, the first of the two having recently written “The Last Jedi.” This movie is a modern murder mystery with a star-studded ensemble of characters including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more. The plot of the story consists of a large family visiting a relative’s home on his 85th birthday. However, the next day, he is found dead. A detective is hired to solve the case, but not all is what it appears to be. Featuring elements of lying, betrayal, and most of all mystery, “Knives Out” will have you hooked to the end.

4. Booksmart (Amazon Prime Video, Hulu)

“Booksmart” is rated R for “strong sexual content and language throughout, drug use and drinking – all involving teens”. We feel like this film is one of the most authentic representations of teenagers in recent years and therefore deserves to be on this list – but we realize this may not be everyone’s cup of tea. 

This film is a coming-of-age comedy that follows high school seniors and best friends Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) on the night before their graduation. The two have worked their tails off throughout high school in order to get into Ivy League schools, but quickly become disillusioned and annoyed when they realize their peers, who have partied throughout all of high school, have also gotten into Ivies. Coming to grips with what they have missed out on for four years, the girls decide to spend their last night as high schoolers doing as much chaotic mischief as they can — a wild adventure indeed.

3. To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (Netflix)

On the flipside of a film like “Booksmart” is this heartwarming movie. A Netflix original, this film is the sequel to 2018’s “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”. On its surface, the “To All the Boys” series appears to be just another American teen romance. But while it certainly fits that bill, it’s also a good representation of modern America. The star of the movie is Lana Condor, a breakout Asian-American actress who gained recognition and praise for her performance in “To All the Boys”. In short, the movie (and the series) is a charming, feel-good story that feels more relatable than most of its type.

2. Joker (Amazon Prime Video) 

Before delving into this film, a quick disclaimer. “Joker” is rated R and has elements of “strong bloody violence, disturbing behavior, language, and brief sexual images.” Essentially, this movie is not for the light-hearted. However, the film is such a masterpiece that it was deemed necessary to be on this list. 

This film tells the origin story of its titular character. Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is a failed comedian who is desperately trying to care for his mother, succeed in his job as a clown/comedian and deal with his disorder that causes uncontrollable laughter in uncomfortable situations. The movie follows his isolation and society’s bullying and disregard for him, ultimately leading to a descent into madness, transforming him into the Joker. 

For a more in-depth look at “Joker”, check out our full review of the film here

1. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (Disney Plus) 

This recommendation is slightly different from the preceding ones. It is not a standalone film, but rather a series of films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. These consist of a variety of films including, but not limited to, “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, “Spider-Man: Far From Home”, “Doctor Strange”, “Iron Man”, “The Avengers”, and much more. Although it is hard to encapsulate the plot of such a large franchise, believe me when I tell you the films are entertaining and addicting. Watching these comic-book heroes come to life is fun for kids, teens, and adults alike. 

Check out our full review of “Avengers: Endgame” here.


5. The Two Popes (Netflix)

This film, which stars Jonathan Pryce as future Pope Francis and Anthony Hopkins as his predecessor Pope Benedict, examines the relationship between the two men, who form an unlikely companionship despite their disagreements over religious policy. With only two major characters, the film plays up both Francis’s and Benedict’s eccentricities for dramatic (and sometimes comedic) effect. The film is buoyed by its witty writing, stellar acting from two veterans of film, and its overall ability to transform these two men from symbols of power and authority to more vulnerable, honest versions of themselves.

4. Little Women (Amazon Prime Video)

“Little Women”, based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, is the story of Jo March (Saoirse Ronan), her sisters Amy (Florence Pugh), Meg (Emma Watson), and Beth (Eliza Scanlen). The family is rounded out by with Aunt March (Meryl Streep), Father March (Bob Odenkirk), and Marmee March (Laura Dern). While close as children, the girls lead very different lives as adults, something that becomes apparent when the family is forced to reconvene quickly after Beth falls very ill. The story, however, is not one of a broken family (watch “Marriage Story” if that’s what you’re looking for); rather, it examines the dynamics of a tight-knit group of women with strikingly different personalities, who are all linked by one common bond: their childhood friend, Laurie (Timothee Chalamet). Laurie finds himself tangled up in awkward, often romantic situations with 3 of the March girls as the film progresses, but this storyline is secondary, as Jo’s development as a writer and woman are brought to the foreground. The film is directed by Greta Gerwig (of “Lady Bird” fame). Also, Meryl Streep. What more could you want?

For a more in-depth look at “Little Women”, check out our full review of the film here

3. The Irishman (Netflix)

Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci star in this film, in which hitman Frank Sheeran looks back on his life, including his time with the Bufalino crime family and eventually, Jimmy Hoffa, a Teamster. The film follows Sheeran from his origins as a truck driver in the 1950s through his work as a high-level hitman in the 1970s. However, the movie as a whole is shot from the perspective of a retired Sheeran, now living in a nursing home, filled with regret for his actions and his inability to make peace with his daughters, whom he alienated as a result of running around with the mob. The film is what audiences have come to expect from director Martin Scorsese: a stunning, personal account of what really goes on in the world of organized crime.

2. Parasite (Amazon Prime Video)

That’s right. This year’s surprise Oscar winner and the first foreign film to ever take home Best Picture is available now on Amazon Prime. “Parasite” is a dark satire that tells the story of the interactions between two families in South Korea, the lower-class Kims and the wealthy Parks. The Kims avariciously scheme to infiltrate the home and lives of the Parks by posing as qualified individuals from unrelated professions who recommend each other for jobs, framing the Park family’s longtime servants in the process – much like a parasite conquers its host, hence the film’s fitting title. Though it is a foreign film, the themes illustrated in “Parasite” are applicable to most any modern society.

1. Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood (Amazon Prime Video)

And finally is the critically acclaimed “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood.” Featuring Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton, Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth, and Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate, the film is loosely based on the murder of Sharon Tate by the Manson family. The event, occuring in the late 1960s, is an underlying factor in the story of struggling actor Rick Dalton and his stuntman Cliff Booth. The movie’s spectacular storyline and star-studded cast of characters elevate this to be one of Tarantino’s greatest films. 

For a more in-depth look at “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood”, check out our full review of the film here