The best movies on Stan for June 2020

Australia's own streaming service Stan has a massive selection of movies to binge so we've picked out the best of the lot.

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So Biff hopes to be a film buff? Excellent! Anybody wanting to get up to speed with the best films ever put to celluloid can get an epic leg-up in no time at all, thanks to Stan's streaming service. Be sure to check back with this article soon as we'll periodically update it as the Stanscape changes...

1. High Life


Year: 2018

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, André Benjamin


High Life revolves around a young man and his baby daughter, the last survivors of a damned and dangerous mission to the outer reaches of the solar system. As the mystery of what happened on the ship unravels, father and daughter must rely only on each other to survive.

An eerie (and erotic) space thriller, High Life is strange, arresting and visually stunning. Both disturbing and compelling, it will give you plenty to think about.

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1. The Kindergarten Teacher


Year: 2018

Cast: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gael García Bernal, Ato Blankson-Wood


Maggie Gyllenhaal is mesmersing in The Kindergarten Teacher, a powerful movie about a teacher who becomes obsessed with one of her students, whom she believes to be a child prodigy. So much so that she goes to unreasonable lengths to protect his talent.

The Kindergarten Teacher is a slow-burn, but it reward your patience, and then some. This isn't the kind of flick you watch while scrolling on your phone – it demands your undivided attention, broaching themes that will resonate long after the end credits roll.

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3. Girlhood


Year: 2014

Cast: Karidja Touré, Assa Sylla, Lindsay Karamoh


Girlhood follows young Marieme, who has few real prospects so she joins an all-girl gang, reinventing herself and gaining a sense of self confidence in the process. However, she soon finds that this new life featuring foolish choices doesn't make her any happier.

The movie, set in the lower class suburbs of France, takes viewers on a memorable emotional journey. Powerfully acted and benefiting from a sharp script, Girlhood is an exploration of adolescence, with all its ups and downs. It makes for captivating viewing.

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4. The Guard


Year: 2011

Cast: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Mark Strong


A bloody and hilarious comedy-thriller, The Guard revolves around a no-nonsense FBI agent who has to deal with an irreverent Irish cop when he travels to a small town to investigate a drug trafficking case. It's fun, foul-mouthed and severely underrated.

Brendan Gleeson is a marvel and the dialogue in The Guard is clever and sharp. Plus, the action is not too shabby either. Trusts us, this is not your run-of-the-mill drug cartel action flick. It will definitely surprise you.

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5. Revolutionary Road


Year: 2008

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates


Adapted from the classic 1961 novel by Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road follows a young couple whose once perfect relationship steadily deteriorates into a cycle of petty jealousy and bickering. Despite vowing to be different, April and Frank turn into a typical suburban couple as time goes by, with unsatisfied passions and abandoned dreams. Until April decides to do something about it.

Revolutionary Road is moving and powerful. We’re also happy to report that the chemistry between Leo and Kate perfectly stands the test of time. If you’re in the mood for a heartbreaking flick that will make you feel all the feels, you can’t do wrong with this one.

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6. The Machinist


Year: 2004

Cast: Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, John Sharian


A brilliant psychological thriller, The Machinist follows a factory worker struggling with insomnia. Trevor hasn’t shut his eyes in months and the lack of sleep has already started to wear down on his brain and his body. Soon, he starts to hear strange sounds and see people that apparently aren’t there. What’s real? What isn’t? When you can get the sweet release sleep brings, everything will mess with your head.

The Machinist made waves due to Christian Bale’s incredible psychical transformation - he lost more than 28 kilograms for the role. More than that, however, he delivers a harrowing performance, one that will stay with you long after the end credits role. As for the story itself, it’s a ride worth taking.

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7. Holding the Man


Year: 2015

Cast: Ryan Corr, Craig Stott, Sarah Snook


Holding the Man is a touching drama adapted from Timothy Conigrave's 1995 memoir of the same name. The plot follows Tim and John, who fell in love and embarked on a forbidden high school romance that was to last a lifetime, conquering countless prejudices as the years went by.

The movie delivers a beautiful love story spanning 15 years and portrays a turbulent time for queer Australia. More than that, it boasts some amazing performances and doesn’t shy away from keeping things honest, which makes it even more powerful.

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8. Love & Friendship


Year: 2016

Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny, Xavier Samuel, Emma Greenwell


A period drama based on Jane Austen's epistolary novel Lady Susan, Love & Friendship centers on young widow Lady Susan Vernon, who visits the estate of her in-laws to wait out the colourful rumours about her dalliances circulating through polite society. Whilst she’s there, she decides to secure a husband for herself and a future for her eligible but reluctant daughter, Frederica. Matters get more complicated when she attracts the attention of not one suitor, but three.

Love & Friendship is a wonderful adaptation of Austen’s work. It’s smart, funny, and offers a nuanced performance from Beckinsale. If you’re looking for delicious dialogue that will make you chuckle, you’re in the right place.

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9. True History of the Kelly Gang


Year: 2019

Cast: George MacKay, Essie Davis, Russell Crowe


Based on Peter Carey's novel and directed by Justin Kurzel, True History of the Kelly Gang tells the story of the legendary bushranger, from his young years to his later encounters with the law as he and his gang attempt to evade authorities during the 1870s.

The movie is gritty and immersive, offering a subjective take on the life of the iconic Ned Kelly. How is a legend born? What events go on to have a lasting impact and shape beliefs? Tune in to find out.

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10. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen


Year: 2011

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas, Amr Waked


A charming British rom-com, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen revolves around a fisheries scientist who receives an unusual request: a businesswoman wants his help in fulfilling a wealthy sheik's request to bring sport fishing to Yemen. Reluctant at first, the scientist accepts, to surprising consequences.

Don’t be fooled by the title - this movie is anything but boring. Salmon Fishing In The Yemen is refreshing and quirky, funny and sharply written. Based on the novel of the same name, the movie is a treat for those looking to spend a relaxing evening watching a feel-good comedy.

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11. Mission: Impossible


Year: 1996

Cast: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Béart


Stan added a bunch of titles from the Mission: Impossible franchise to its library, including the one that started it all. The movie follows spy Ethan Hunt as he fights to uncover the mole who framed him for the murders of his entire Impossible Missions Force (IMF) team.

Brimming with action-packed sequences and special effects, this spy thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat thanks to its many twists and turns. To this day, it remains an ambitious and entertaining flick, with Tom Cruise offering a memorable performance.

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12. The Hurt Locker


Year: 2008

Cast: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Christian Camargo, Ralph Fiennes


Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker follows an Iraq War Explosive Ordnance Disposal team who are targeted by insurgents. The movie doesn’t shy away from showing their psychological reactions to the stress of combat, which is intolerable to some and addictive to others.

Often described as a ‘near-perfect movie,’ The Hurt Locker earned universal acclaim and won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll be in for a memorable, intense, and devastating experience.

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13. Steven Universe: The Movie


Year: 2019

Cast: Zach Callison, Michaela Dietz, Deedee Magno Hall, Estelle Swaray


As you might have already guessed, Steven Universe: The Movie is based on Steven Universe, the animated TV series. The action takes place two years after the show’s fifth season finale and follows the Crystal Gems as they attempt to save all organic life on Earth.

But what you might not know is that you don’t have to be particularly familiar with the series to enjoy this delightful flick. As much as the film is a celebration of the show and animation in general, it’s also a great introduction for newbies to the wonderful world of Steven Universe. If you need a little pick-me-up, this movie does the trick. And we can bet it will convince you to binge (or re-watch) the entire series immediately after.

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14. Mad Max: Fury Road


Year: 2015

Cast: Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley


This iconic post-apocalyptic film, the fourth outing in the Mad Max series, follows the warrior Imperator Furiosa, who forges an alliance with loner Max Rockatansky. Fortified in the massive armored truck the War Rig, they try to outrun a ruthless warlord and his henchmen in a high-speed chase that will prove deadly.

If you’re into stunning action flicks with substance, you’ve probably already seen this one. Still, one viewing isn’t enough to grasp the movie’s ambitious scope, so repeat streams are in order. Mad Max: Fury Road is gorgeous, exhilarating, and brilliant. You’ve been warned.

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15. Ready Player One


Year: 2019

Cast: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg


Based on the book of the same name by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One takes place in 2045, when the real world is ridiculously depressing. As a result, most of humanity finds solace by escaping in the virtual reality software OASIS. It all escalades when a hidden game within the program promises the winner full ownership of OASIS, leading a teenager to race a large company to the finish line.

Smart and captivating, the movie, directed by Steven Spielberg, is a bonafide thrill ride brimming with ‘80s nostalgia and memorable characters. Ready, set, go.

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16. Jirga


Year: 2019

Cast: Sam Smith, Basheer Safi, Muhammad Shah Majroh


This acclaimed Australian drama follows a former soldier who is set on finding the family of a civilian he accidentally killed during the war. As a result, he returns to Afghanistan to finally face his demons.

The film was shot in one of the most dangerous regions in the world, Kandahar Province. A tale of forgiveness and compassion, Jirga is powerful, beautifully written, and deeply moving. So much so that you’ll keep thinking about the flick long after the end credits roll.

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17. Logan Lucky


Year: 2017

Cast: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Riley Keough


Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Logan Lucky follows Jimmy Logan, who teams up with his one-armed brother Clyde and sister Mellie to pull off a robbery during a popular NASCAR race. Things get even more complicated as the crew has to dodge a relentless FBI agent.

Wildly entertaining, the movie grabs you from the very first scene. Logan Lucky is funny and fast-paced, tremendously benefiting from its talented cast. The plot may be complex, but the laughs come easily.

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18. The Death of Stalin


Year: 2018

Cast: Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Paddy Considine, Rupert Friend


When Stalin dies in 1953, a frantic power struggle ensues. Who will take his place as the next Soviet leader? Among the contenders we have Georgy Malenkov, Nikita Khrushchev, and Lavrenti Beria, each ready to back-stab their way to the top. But in the meantime, who exactly is running the government?

A devastatingly funny satire, The Death of Stalin benefits from a tight script and an A+ cast. Also, the movie was banned in Russia, which should make you that much more eager to give it a stream.

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19. Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool


Year: 2017

Cast: Annette Bening, Jamie Bell, Vanessa Redgrave, Julie Walters


Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is a biopic that follows Hollywood actress Gloria Grahame, who finds romance and happiness with a younger man. Unfortunately, her life changes forever when she is diagnosed with breast cancer in the 1970s.

A romantic drama, the movie offers a brilliant performance from Annette Bening, who shines in the main role. Additionally, it paints a hopeful picture of what it’s like to age, love, and overcome any obstacles that come your way as you do it. We advise you keep some tissues close by, they might come in handy.

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20. A Simple Favor


Year: 2018

Cast: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding


A Simple Favor is a black comedy that revolves around a small town mommy vlogger who tries to figure out the truth behind the mysterious and sudden disappearance of her glamorous best friend.

Featuring two explosive performances from Kendrick and Lively, the movie is full of twists and deceptions, making it much more entertaining than the basic premise suggests. You’ll laugh, you’ll gasp, you’ll roll your eyes repeatedly. Even better, the movie never takes itself too seriously, but still manages to land some shocking developments that will delight suspense fans. Buckle up, you’ll be on the edge of your seat 5 minutes in.

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21. Loving Vincent


Year: 2017

Cast: Robert Gulaczyk, Jochum ten Haaf (voice), Douglas Booth, Jerome Flynn, Saoirse Ronan


The world’s first fully painted feature film, Loving Vincent is all about the life of Vincent van Gogh, exploring his unusual death and the circumstances that led to it.

The movie is beautiful, with gorgeous animation and dazzling visuals. From a narrative standpoint, Loving Vincent is a pretty by-the-numbers tale, but it’s interesting nonetheless - especially if you view it as an emotional and larger-than-life tribute. To put it simply, the movie is a unique and memorable experience, so you should definitely give it a stream.

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22. Goldfinger


Year: 1964

Cast: Sean Connery, Gert Fröbe, Honor Blackman


James Bond fans, rejoice! The entire collection of Bond flicks is available to stream on Stan, including this memorable 1964 entry in the series. The movie sees Bond, played by Sean Connery, investigating gold smuggling by magnate Auric Goldfinger. Eventually, the spy uncovers Goldfinger's plans to contaminate the US Bullion Depository at Fort Knox and needs to make sure he’ll find a way to stop the villain from moving forward with his nefarious plans.

Goldfinger is phenomenal, featuring some exciting action sequences and a whole bunch of quotes that would later become a quintessential part of the Bond universe. If you’re a fan of spy thrillers, you shouldn’t miss this one.

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23. The Terminator


Year: 1984

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield


Alright, look, the special effects aren't going to blow your mind, but The Terminator is still an edge-of-your seat ride, even 30 years later. It's such a solid thriller concept: a nigh unstoppable, human-mimicking cyborg hunting down a defenceless young woman. It feels no pain, it cannot be reasoned or bargained with and it can ruin a fully-armed police precinct quicker than a free doughnuts promotion. The only thing standing between this assassin and the mother of humanity's future saviour? Kyle Reese, a resourceful but completely under-equipped (and pants-less) future soldier who's a fish-out-of-water in 1984.

This was the first offering from writer/director James Cameron and, quite frankly, it's a brilliant start to what became a brilliant career. Tightly directed, impeccably paced and bearing a thought-provoking tale of AI gone rogue, The Terminator is great cinema. No doubt it will be viewed as a “WTF were they thinking?” comedy by the machines that overthrow us in the next 10 to 20 years...

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24. Wake in Fright


Year: 1971

Cast: Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond, Chips Rafferty, Sylvia Kay, Jack Thompson


Prepare to be disturbed by the ultimate Aussie nightmare, cobber, because Wake in Fright is an unflinching look into the dark heart of the outback. The uncompromising story centres on outsider John Grant, a civilised-to-the-point-of-snobbishness schoolteacher who becomes a five-day castaway out Woop Woop, in a mining town called Bundanyabba. In no time at all, Grant falls in step with the dead-eyed locals and tumbles down a rabbit hole of ritualistic boozing, high-stakes gambling, brutality toward nature and toxic masculinity.

Don't let the release date prevent you from viewing. This is a seminal piece of Australian film-making; a disquieting classic that deserved the remastering it received. Watching the devolution of an idealistic soul into the animal side of his own nature is just as powerful now as it was 40-odd years ago. It's a bloody pearler, mate.

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25. Good Will Hunting


Year: 1971

Cast: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgard, John Mighton


Not only was this the vehicle that put a young writer/actor Matt Damon on the map, it was arguably the greatest performance that the late Robin Williams ever put to film. The titular Will Hunting is an undiscovered, world-class maths genius who's anything but good, thanks to a South Boston upbringing and a childhood fraught with foster homes and domestic violence. When his latest outburst gets him arrested, an MIT professor offers to keep him out of the clink in return for regular study sessions and weekly psych evaluations from a third-party shrink. The latter quickly becomes sport for the cocky kid, who proceeds to tear the head doctors to shreds.

Enter Sean Maguire (Williams), a fellow Southie expat who knows a thing or two about defence mechanisms and even more about book smarts and brashness versus lived experiences and the best and worst moments of love. Expect powerful performances in this emotionally rich drama.

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26. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


Year: 1966

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef


I'm tellin' ya, pardner, they don't make westerns like this anymore. During the American Civil War, a mysterious gunslinger and a Mexican outlaw form an uneasy partnership. The plan: the gunhand turns in the bandit for the reward money, then uses his expert marksmanship to rescue him from hanging just as the trapdoor opens. When things become complicated and the noose-shoot goes awry, the foundations for a blood feud are laid. The only thing preventing a murder is that both men need to team up against a sadistic rival bounty hunter, who's also on the trail of treasure buried in the desert.

The film's runtime is considerable, but Sergio Leone's scope and vision stand the test of time. The lovely griminess of a true spaghetti western is so much more preferable to the squeaky clean Hollywood westerns of the same era. Pull out your remote trigger on this without delay.

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