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The 14 best fantasy movies you can stream right now, from 'Harry Potter' to 'The Shape of Water'
These are the best fantasy films currently streaming on Peacock, Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and more.
If you're looking to escape, you're in luck. The Shape of Water — which dominated at the 2018 Oscars, racking up the most nominations and wins that year and taking home several top prizes — has arrived on Hulu this March. Over at Peacock, The Legend of Hercules has just battled its way on to the streamer. They join a host of fantasy films already on streaming services, from The Lord of the Rings trilogy on Netflix to the Harry Potter films (streaming on Peacock).
The J.R.R. Tolkien-inspired Rings franchise accounts for more than nine hours of streaming time alone, perfect for taking up your time once Academy Awards-madness has passed. But there's plenty more escapism to be had. So sit back and get reacquainted with classic titles like The NeverEnding Story, or catch up on newbies you may have missed like The School for Good and Evil. Get out of your own head and take a trip into imaginary arenas with these great fantasy movies streaming now.
RELATED: 'The Lord of the Rings' is making a comeback - 5 more fantasy franchises that also deserve a revival
The Shape of Water (2017)
A love story between a human woman and a fish-like man? Director Guillermo del Toro somehow not only pulled this off with The Shape of Water, but he and the film went on to win Best Director and Best Picture awards at the Oscars, not to mention a host of other accolades.
The romantic fantasy flick focuses on Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a mute woman who works as a custodian at a government lab in Baltimore, where an amphibious creature (Doug Jones) from a South American river is being held captive.
She forms a bond with him, and then, um, falls in love, helping him escape and keeping him in her bathtub until she can free him into the ocean. And yes, there is a very strange sex scene. Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Octavia Spencer also star.
The Shape of Water is now streaming on Hulu.
The Legend of Hercules (2014)
Sure, The Legend of Hercules may not have done very well at the box office or have been a hit with critics, but how do you not love a story about a demigod with a sword that shoots lightning? Expect lots of gladiator action, horses, and sword fighting.
The action-fantasy film stars Kellan Lutz as Hercules, Gaia Weiss as Hebe, Scott Adkins as King Amphitryon, Roxanne McKee as Queen Alcmene, and more.
The Legend of Hercules is now streaming on Peacock.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
All three films in the Lord of the Rings trilogy are currently on Netflix, including the second one, The Two Towers. This installment picks up with Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) heading to Mordor to destroy the Ring. Along the way, they find out that Gollum (Andy Serkis) has been following them, and decide to use him as their guide.
The sequel also checks in on Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) as they catch up with a resurrected Gandalf (Ian McKellen).
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is now streaming on Netflix.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
If you've only got time to rewatch one film in the Harry Potter franchise, it may as well be Order of the Phoenix. After all, though it was the longest installment of the book series, it's the second-shortest of the eight Potter films, clocking in at 2 hours and 18 minutes.
This installment sees the unbearable Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) as a new teacher at Hogwarts as she torments the young wizards — especially Harry (Daniel Radcliffe). Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) distances himself from Harry, though we don't find out why until later. And, worst of all, Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) is back — if only Harry can get anybody to believe him.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is now streaming on Peacock.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
The eight-film Harry Potter film series ended with this action-packed installment that sees Harry in a final showdown with Lord Voldemort. It all ends with an epic battle at Hogwarts in which Harry and best pals Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), and nearly every other ally they've ever had, face off against Voldemort and his evil army of Death Eaters.
It's also the installment where we learn Professor Snape's (Alan Rickman) true loyalty, and the rest of what Dumbledore was cooking up behind the scenes before he died. It's an emotional journey with some tough losses on the side of Dumbledore's Army and the Order of the Phoenix, but it's worth hanging in there.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is now streaming on Peacock.
King Kong (2005)
Peter Jackson’s remake of the 1933 classic is every bit as heartbreaking as the original, taking a massive, fictional gorilla out of his home on Skull Island and keeping him captive in New York, where he’s forced to be the spectacle in a Broadway show.
Naomi Watts stars as Ann Darrow, the actress who Kong becomes enamored with after their encounter on Skull Island. Andy Serkis stands in as Kong during motion capture; Adrien Brody plays Jack, Ann’s love interest and the screenwriter of the film she’s working on; and Jack Black portrays Carl, the film director who captures Kong.
King Kong is now streaming on Prime Video.
Neverland is brought to life in Hook by an all-star cast that includes Robin Williams as Peter Pan, Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, and Julia Roberts as Tinker Bell. Directed by Steven Spielberg, it's set after the events of the novel, Peter and Wendy.
We catch up with Peter Pan as an adult with three kids. He's a workaholic attorney who doesn't remember his past until Captain Hook resurfaces and takes his children to Neverland. During the adventure, Pan unlocks the memories of his childhood.
Hook is now streaming on HBO Max.
13 Going on 30 (2004)
Be careful what you wish for. Jenna Rink, the main character in 13 Going on 30, finds this out the hard way. In the year 1987, an awkward 13-year-old girl played by Christa B. Allen is having some trouble with her classmates and is desperate to fit in. With things not working out, she wishes she was no longer in her teen years, and instead, to be "grown up."
Her dream comes true and she wakes up in 2004 as a now-30-year-old played by Jennifer Garner. While it's fun to play adult for a while — having a powerful job, romantic interests, and being able to stay out late and party on a school night — the excitement eventually wears off when things haven't ended up exactly how she'd hoped. Mark Ruffalo stars as the adult version of her love interest, Matt.
13 Going on 30 is now streaming on Prime Video.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Widely regarded as not just the best film in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but one of the best films ever made, The Return of the King won all 11 Academy Awards it was nominated for, including Best Picture, and Best Director for Peter Jackson.
As the final film in the trilogy based on J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings novels, this one sees Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) continue on their journey taking the One Ring to Mordor to destroy it, but Gollum has other things in mind. Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler, and Cate Blanchett also star.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is now streaming on Prime Video.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
When you’re done rewatching The Lord of the Rings films, why not dive into the prequel flicks? The Hobbit trilogy, again directed by Peter Jackson, can be found on HBO Max. An extended version of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies just dropped on the streamer, giving you some extra time with this final installment of the trilogy.
J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters are brought to life by an all-star cast including Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, and more.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is now streaming on HBO Max.
The School for Good and Evil (2022)
A school to train wannabe fairy tale heroes and villains? Sign us up! Of course, things aren't exactly as they seem, and the evil side of the School for Good and Evil spices things up for two best friends who are attending. Sophia Anne Caruso (who played Lydia in the Broadway musical version of Beetlejuice) stars as Sophie, who was really hoping to be placed in the School for Good, but gets into the School for Evil. Her BFF Agatha (Sofia Wylie), who doesn't want to be in the school at all, gets placed on the Good side.
There's plenty of tension, along with magic, mystery, and murder. Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Yeoh, Patti LuPone, Cate Blanchett, Kerry Washington, and Charlize Theron are among the other cast members.
The School for Good and Evil is now streaming on Netflix.
Liar Liar (1997)
In Liar Liar, Jim Carrey stars as lawyer Fletcher Reede, whose nonstop tall tales make him a great defense attorney, but a terrible dad and ex-husband. When he fails to show up at his young son's birthday and gives a bogus reason for missing it, Max (Justin Cooper) wishes that for one day, his father couldn't tell a lie.
The wish comes true and we see Fletcher bumble his way through awkward elevator and courtroom encounters, blurting out the truth in instances where fibbing would have made his life much easier. Chaos ensues until we find out if he's able to make things right. Maura Tierney, Cary Elwes, Anne Haney, and Jennifer Tilly also star.
Liar Liar is now streaming on Prime Video.
The NeverEnding Story (1984)
Whether you were an '80s kid who grew up on this classic — or first realized it existed after Dustin and Suzie sang the movie's theme song on Season 3 of Stranger Things — The NeverEnding Story never gets old. Based on the 1979 novel of the same name, it follows Bastian (Barret Oliver), a young boy who runs into a bookstore after being chased by bullies and takes a book called The Neverending Story, reading it in his school's attic.
He gets wrapped up in Fantasia, the fantasy world in the book, and its characters, including a young warrior named Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) and a Luck Dragon called Falkor. Fantasia is being wiped out by a force called The Nothing, and Atreyu, despite his best efforts, is unable to stop it. Bastian soon realizes he's the only one who can save Fantasia and the characters he's come to love — if only he uses his imagination.
The NeverEnding Story is now streaming on Prime Video.
Teen Wolf (1985)
The premise is exactly what the title implies. Teen Wolf follows Scott Howard, a high school basketball player who finds out he has a family curse that makes him turn into a werewolf, which he only just discovered after sprouting some excess hair and growing fangs. Michael J. Fox stars as the title character, while James Hampton plays his dad, who's also a werewolf.
Being set in high school and all, there's of course a romantic twist, with two different love interests competing for Scott's attention. A financial hit, the movie led to an animated series in 1986, a 1987 sequel starring Jason Bateman in the lead role, and an MTV series of the same name that ran from 2011 to 2017 (which just got a movie of its own).
Both Teen Wolf and its sequel, Teen Wolf Too, are now streaming on HBO Max.
Looking for even more fantastic options? Peacock has all sorts of great sci-fi and fantasy films streaming right now!