We’re all familiar with the standard aesthetics of fall: amber-hued leaves, pumpkins, school bells, scarves, more pumpkins. But I’d argue that fall is really more of a feeling—something you recognize deep within your bones. Especially when it comes to the best fall movies you tend to want to rewatch every year, sometimes it’s hard to describe just what makes them feel so much like autumn.

Featured image by Teal Thomsen.

Image by Kristen Kilpatrick

For example, why is Gilmore Girls, a show that takes place in every season (and not just in the revival, which was literally broken out by season), so heavily associated specifically with fall? It just feels like it, that’s why. According to my Spotify landing page today, fall is “Taylor Swift” season. The music streaming service doesn’t elaborate any further, but it doesn’t have to—we’re all nodding along as we fire up “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)” for the umpteenth time.

If fall is a feeling, then the following movies have it in spades—some more explicitly than others. Ahead, discover 50 of the best movies to stream this fall, from Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, and beyond.

The Best Fall Movies on HBO Max

Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

A cozy, quintessential sleepover movie of my tweens, this buoyant indie comedy about a British teenager who loves her highly traditional Indian parents—but also David Beckham—remains just as relevant today as it was 20 years ago (its writer and director, Gurinder Chadha, is a woman of color).

Available on: HBO Max

The Corpse Bride (2005)

The visuals are stunning, the music is fantastic, and the plot is compelling enough to tie all those top-tier Tim Burton hallmarks together.

Available on: HBO Max

Donnie Darko (2001)

At some point, every teenager makes their way to Donnie Darko. And despite the fever dream-style of filming and a hard-to-follow plot (something about parallel universes and the apocalypse?), it sticks with you, like all rites of passage do. I still have no idea what Donnie Darko is actually about, but I know that I have fond memories of watching Jake Gyllenhaal skulk about in that skeleton suit. 

Available on: HBO Max

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Can you really make a list of fall-centric films without including the award-winning movie that launched Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s careers? Set in the golden-hued, academic-focused world of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and featuring Robin Williams as a compassionate therapist, the movie is perfect for a bit of catharsis on your couch.

Available on: HBO Max

The Goonies (1985)

The first—but certainly not the last—Steven Spielberg joint on this list, The Goonies is a summer blockbuster through and through, but has all the fun-house energy of an autumnal state fair.

Available on: HBO Max

It (2017)

I love a good Stephen King novel, and I like a handful of the film adaptations that sprang from them, but It is my personal favorite. It’s satisfyingly scary, but the psychological component of the story is what keeps me coming back fall after fall. And though the action takes place almost exclusively during the summer, the moodiness of Derry, Maine feels distinctly autumnal.

Available on: HBO Max

Late Autumn (1960)

If you’ve been searching for a sign to finally watch Japanese film director Yasujiro Ozu’s mid-century masterpiece about family love (and gentle matchmaking), consider it found.

Available on: HBO Max

Little Women (1994)

I adore the Greta Gerwig Little Women, which I would argue is the most autumnal of any Louisa May Alcott adaption, but as a woman of a certain age, the 1994 version, directed by Gillian Armstrong and starring Winona Ryder as Jo, is a pure rush of nostalgia. I want to wrap a pashmina around my shoulders just thinking about it.

Available on: HBO Max

Mona Lisa Smile (2003)

Fueled by female star power (particularly Julia Roberts, who earned a record-breaking paycheck for playing the lead), the story may be a bit predictable at times, but the soundtrack (with its perfectly 2003 mix of Barbabra Streisand, Tori Amos, and Mandy Moore) always warrants a revisit.

Available on: HBO Max

Mystic Pizza (1988)

Listen, a movie doesn’t get adapted into a stage musical with a score by Melissa Etheridge more than 20 years after its release (and more than 10 years after that exact scenario happened on 30 Rock) if the romantic comedy foundation isn’t genuinely solid.   

Available on: HBO Max

Paddington 2 (2018)

Is Paddington 2 better than Citizen Cane? The credentials may still be up for debate, but I say, emphatically, yes. Its pristine Rotten Tomatoes score is my personal excuse to watch the beloved anthropomorphic bear film anytime I want (with or without any children present), but Paddington in the fall? That’s an unbeatable pair.

Available on: HBO Max

Practical Magic (1998)

Once dubbed “the Thelma and Louise of witch movies,” Practical Magic centers on the sisterly bond between Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. There is a romance of course, with sweeping moments and plenty of witchy magic, but it’s the chemistry between the two actresses—and the film’s endearingly chaotic plot—that has earned the movie its cult-loved status.

Available on: HBO Max

Soul Food (1997)

Set around Sunday family dinners in Chicago, the ’90s classic features as much warmth and comfort as its title suggests. Plus, Nia Long wears an absolutely killer beany/sweater combo.

Available on: HBO Max

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Nora Ephron’s classic romcom thrives on the chemistry of Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, but the golden brown setting certainly doesn’t hurt. Between the leaf-strewn streets of Manhattan and Ryan’s expertly layered outerwear, you can practically feel the crisp air.

Available on: HBO Max

Image by Justin Hooper

The Best Fall Movies on Netflix

Any and All Twilight Films (2008 – 2012)

Though the millennials were coming of age when Stephenie Meyer released her saga about a glittering vampire man-boy who insists on repeating senior year forever, it’s Generation Z who has picked up the mantel of keeping the glorious weirdness of Twilight alive and relevant. See: Olivia Rodrigo’s purse, this Twitter account, and the rise of the Twilightcore aesthetic. 

Available on: Netflix

Age of Adaline (2015)

This strange little anomaly of a film is having a Netflix resurgence and honestly, I get it. A standout in the Blake Lively oeuvre (despite its criminally low Rotten Tomatoes score), the film takes an earnest approach to its bizarre plot (a lightening storm renders the titular Adaline 29 for eternity), offering a warm film that cares about its characters—and lets Lively be a clotheshorse for the ages. Suspend that disbelief, don’t worry too much about plot, and hunker down for some Adaline time.

Available on: Netflix

The Half of It (2020)

Netflix’s teen comedy take on Cyrano de Bergerac may not get as much fanfare as the To All the Boys trilogy, but the queer coming-of-age story is just as worthy of your weekend afternoon.

Available on: Netflix

Yes, God, Yes (2019)

The directorial debut of Karen Maine (whose next work, Rosaline, debuts this fall on Hulu), the story about a Catholic high schooler in the early ’00s discovering her sexuality became an instant indie darling when it premiered at SXSW. Bonus: it has a succinct 1-hour and 18-minute run time.

Available on: Netflix

Image by Michelle Nash

The Best Fall Movies on Disney Plus

Coco (2017)

Truly a top-tier Pixar creation, Coco has helped me, an adult woman in her 30s, handle the idea of death. But beyond its poignant storytelling and absolute banger of a lullaby in “Remember Me,” the movie’s visual template of glittering marigolds is animated autumnal charm in its purest form.

Available on: Disney Plus

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Honestly, the entirety of Tim Burton’s filmography feels appropriate to watch in the fall. But Edward Scissorhands, with its fairytale feel and gothic influences, just may be the director’s most touching story.

Available on: Disney Plus

Hocus Pocus (1993)

For many, the first whiff of pumpkin spice is just an excuse to fire up the timeless tale of the Sanderson sisters. The nostalgia is so strong that a sequel is arriving 29 years after the original.

Available on: Disney Plus

Remember the Titans (2000)

In what’s probably apparent at this point, there aren’t a lot of football movies on this list. (My apologies to the Rudy stans.) But even I can’t resist the sports-fueled melodrama and groovy ’70s soundtrack of Remember the Titans.  

Available on: Disney Plus

Image by Kristen Kilpatrick

The Best Fall Movies on Hulu

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The low-budget horror essentially launched the found footage genre, and though it’s often replicated, the magic and mystery of The Blair Witch Project, which existed in a time well before Reddit forums (though they would have eaten it up), will likely never be reproduced again.  

Available on: Hulu

Ghostbusters, 1984

Many of our suggestions for the best fall movies are set in Manhattan (the city really is magical in the fall), but this is the only movie that features Bill Murray waging war against the supernatural in the New York Public Library.

Available on: Hulu

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

No self-respecting movie-loving millennial hasn’t at one point had an obsession with Wes Anderson’s quirky family drama, or at the very least Margot Tenenbaum’s refined signature style

Available on: Hulu

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

The moment The Cranberries’ “Dreams” kicks in and Meg Ryan begins waxing poetic about the magic of Manhattan in the fall, there’s an instant feeling of warmth. It’s hard to resist the quick-witted charm of a Norah Ephron movie, but add some smart turtlenecks, endless twinkle lights, and auburn caviar (a garnish!), and our favorite AOL-centric movie becomes simply undeniable.

Available on: Hulu

Image by Molly Winters

The Best Fall Movies on Amazon Prime

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Given the internet ubiquity of quotes and gifs mined from this movie, it’s hard to believe the modern classic premiered in 2006. For even more mind-bending realizations, observe this photo of a 39-year-old Anne Hathaway looking remarkably like the 23-year-old Andy Sachs at New York Fashion Week in 2022.

The Devil Wears Prada is an early-aughts time capsule for hustle culture and the girl boss era, but it’s also a movie about coats. Lots and lots of great fall coats that are as timeless as Meryl Streep’s cerulean speech.

Available on: Amazon Prime

Election, 1999

The high school classic about an ambitious student (Reese Witherspoon) and a well-meaning teacher (Matthew Boderick) only seems to get sharper with age. The determined Tracy Flick has remained a relevant pop culture figure for a reason. We give it 10 bouquets of newly sharpened pencils.

Available on: Amazon Prime

Jennifer’s Body (2009)

A key part of my personality is that I was a Jennifer’s Body fan before it became a cult classic. Diablo Cody’s bold follow-up to Juno may not have been what was marketed, but Karyn Kusama’s hyper-stylized world, the cutting teen girl commentary, and Cody’s unique witticisms have endured long past this bummer of an AV Club review.

Available on: Amazon Prime

Legally Blonde (2001)

With its sparkling aesthetic and bright pink ensembles, Legally Blonde might not initially register as a fall movie, but when Elle finally finds herself amid the autumn foliage at Harvard, it’s instant coziness.

Available on: Amazon Prime

Love Story (1970)

Often considered one of the most romantic movies ever made, the aptly named ’70s classic tells the story of an unlikely pair who meets in Cambridge, Massachusetts—practically the geographic equivalent of fall. You’ll feel all your feelings, and marvel at a majestic set of brows that were truly ahead of their time.

Available onAmazon Prime

Pieces of April (2003)

A Thanksgiving movie through and through, this low-budget indie has earned a cult fanbase over the years, partly perhaps due to the intimacy of the pressure cooker kitchen drama, but almost certainly because of the surprising (and iconic) bluntness of Katie Holmes’ bangs.

Available on: Amazon Prime

Image courtesy of Liana Levi

The Best Fall Movies on Paramount Plus

Planes Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Every Thanksgiving, I’m reminded of how wistful and sweet this road trip buddy comedy really is. But the emphasis remains on the comedy between Steve Martin and the late, great John Candy, whose charming dancing-while-driving-while-smoking sequence to the “Mess Around” is, as one Redditor put it, “so simple, yet so amazing.”

Available on: Paramount Plus

Image by Michelle Nash

The Best Fall Movies on Peacock

Any and All Harry Potter Movies (2001 – 2011)

The pumpkin count is off the charts in this widely known epic about a boy wizard. Literally every installment (bar from the final film, which takes place closer to winter) kicks off at the start of fall, where the back-to-school rush looks different, but feels just as comforting.

Available on: Peacock

Image by Michelle Nash

The Best Fall Movies on Fubo

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019)

If anyone in our nation’s history could truly personify fall, it would have to Fred Rogers, a man synonymous with a zip-up cardigan. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’s inspired casting of America’s Dad, AKA Tom Hanks, as the beloved television host is just the cherry on top.

Pro fall movie tip: follow the movie with a showing of the documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” for a good cry.

Available on: Fubo

Clue (1985)

With a killer (pun intended) comedic ensemble, a gothic mansion setting, and a slew of dark secrets, the cult classic immediately draws you in. The fashion is lush, the hidden doors are plentiful, and the balance of spooky and silly is spot on. The competition isn’t exactly fierce, but Clue is absolutely the best movie based on a children’s board game.

Available on: Fubu

Hereditary (2018)

Ari Aster’s Hereditary haunts long after the closing credits. Not just for the horror, but for the portrait of grief and what it can do to a family. Plus, the Toni Collete “I am your mother” speech will forever live on.

Available on: Fubu

Lady Bird (2017)

A coming-of-age story and a mother-daughter drama rolled into one, Lady Bird offers all the nostalgia of a great fall movie along with a story that’s just plain great.   

Available on: Fubu

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

If it’s a moody, atmospheric vibe you’re going for, you can’t do much better than Tim Burton’s visually stunning take on Ichabod’s Crane investigation into the town of Sleepy Hollow, which was meticulously constructed for the film to create an immersive, beautifully creepy world.  

Available on: Fubu

Image by Michelle Nash

The Best Fall Movies Worth Renting

Dead Poets Society (1989)

As much a must-watch as it is extremely rewatchable, this Oscar-winning, Robin Williams classic is a poignant fall movie for the ages.

Rent for $3.99

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

An early entry into the Stephen Spielberg oeuvre is filled with all the warmth, community, and suburban charm that would go on to become hallmarks for the beloved American director.

Rent for $3.99

The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

I know this list has its fair share of coming-of-age dramedies, but I promise this well-written, beautifully acted installment into the genre does it better than most.

Rent for $3.99

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

The film’s comfortable moodiness and plucky soundtrack buoy the plot’s sci-fi nature, making Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind feel lived-in and warm, despite its frigid New York settings.

Rent for $3.99

Get Out (2017)

I truly have no idea what season Get Out is set in (although Allison Brie does wear a lot of turtlenecks and high-collared jackets), but fall feels like the right time to revisit Jordan Peele’s instant horror classic.

Rent for $3.99

Harold and Maude (1971)

Though not a commercial success when it was first released, Hal Ashby’s idiosyncratic dark comedy about a death-obsessed young man and his eccentric 80-year-old girlfriend (you can see how it might have been a tough sell) went on to earn its due credit, giving more film lovers an opportunity to hear Cat Stevens’ incredible original soundtrack and witness Maude and Harold’s magnificent, ’70s coats.

Rent for $3.99

Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

Featuring not one but two Thanksgivings, this award-winning dramedy tells the intertwining stories of three Manhattan sisters over the course of two years. The cast is stellar, the writing is fantastic, and it’s one of the few Woody Allen movies to have a somewhat happy ending.

Rent for $3.99

Knives Out (2019)

Anything that evokes an Agatha Christie novel instantly feels fall-adjacent. Plus, now is a great time to catch up before Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

Rent for $3.99

Lost in Translation (2003)

Like most Sofia Coppola movies, Lost in Translation is a vibe more than anything else. And though there’s never a specific season mentioned in this Academy Award-winning tale about the intimacy of human connection, there is an array of enviable coats, scarves, and jackets that certainly made it feel like fall in Tokyo.

Rent for $3.99

Rushmore (1998)

Set at a Houston boarding school, Wes Anderson’s coming-of-age dramedy features the director’s signature rich color palette, a bookish backdrop, and plenty of smart blazers.

Rent for $3.99

The Others (2001)

This Nicole Kidman deep cut is what I like to call “spooky scary.” Alejandro Amenábar’s gothic thriller about a mother and her two children dealing with the increasingly supernatural in a post-World War II country house is wonderfully atmospheric and haunting, with a twist that—even if you know it’s coming—somehow always satisfies.

Rent for $3.99

What movies are you watching this fall? Share your recommendations in the comments!

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