The best movies leaving Netflix, Hulu, and more in April 2024

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May is fast approaching, and with it comes a fresh new slate of exciting movies and TV to watch. As we while away the last days of April, let’s take stock of the best movies on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Prime, and more that are leaving services this month.

This month’s best movies leaving streaming are a collection of classic and contemporary favorites. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1946 fantasy-romance A Matter of Life and Death, our editor’s pick for April, stars David Niven in a career-best performance as a British aviator who miraculously cheats death and finds love all at the same time. Damien Chazelle’s brilliant psychological drama Whiplash starring J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller also makes this month’s list, as does Robert Altman’s 1973 classic The Long Goodbye.

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Here are the best movies you should watch before they leave streaming this April.


Editor’s pick

A Matter of Life and Death

Image: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Cast: David Niven, Roger Livesey, Raymond Massey
Leaving Criterion Channel: April 30

Even if you’ve never seen Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1946 fantasy before, you’ve no doubt come across a cartoon or TV series or movie inspired by it. From Tom & Jerry and the Looney Tunes to Pixar’s Soul and more, A Matter of Life and Death is well known for introducing a visual trope that remains popular to this day: an escalator extending into the clouds of the afterlife. Originating from the film’s climactic finale, the image is a pure distillation of the film’s sense of fantastical humor and thematic gravity.

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Set in the waning days of World War II, the film stars David Niven as Peter Carter, a Royal Air Force pilot whose plane is minutes away from crashing into the English Channel. Anticipating his demise, Peter hails June, an American radio operator, who he promptly falls in love with. Despite all odds, he manages to survive the crash and meets June again, hoping to court her. Unfortunately, his survival defies the laws of the afterlife, resulting in a visit from an angel who commands Peter to accept his death and leave Earth behind. A Matter of Life and Death is a brilliantly rendered drama of a man defying his own death in a bid for love, a plea for humanity in the face of dispassionate bureaucracy, and a visually gorgeous film to boot. —Toussaint Egan


Movies to watch on Netflix

Whiplash

Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) sits at a drumstand across from his bandleader Fletcher (JK Simmons) in Whiplash.

Image: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Director: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser
Leaving Netflix: April 30

Whiplash is a deceptively simple movie about a drummer in a college conservatory and his abusive mentor, but it has so much more going on under the surface. It’s about the monumental gap between being good at something and being great at it, about the cost of obsession, and whether or not excellence means sacrificing everything else in your life. All that wrapped up in a tight drama with terrific performances by Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, who won an Oscar for his role. —Austen Goslin

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Movies to watch on Hulu

Pacific Rim

A wide-shot of a gigantic mecha being repaired by a team of maintenance workers staring in astonishment.

Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi
Leaving Hulu: April 30

Few movies know how to have fun like Pacific Rim. If Guillermo del Toro’s sci-fi blockbuster wanted to stop at just having giant mechs fight giant monsters, it would still be an instant-classic addition to the kaiju genre, but instead, the Pan’s Labyrinth director goes all-in on the silliness with a script full of lines about canceling the apocalypse and “Are you funnin’ me, son?” It’s over-the-top and riveting in just the right mixture. If there were any justice in the world, del Toro would make a new addition to the Pacific Rim franchise every five years, but some ideas are far better than this world deserves, so we’re stuck with a lackluster sequel and a Netflix anime instead. —AG

Movies to watch on Prime Video

The Long Goodbye

Elliott Gould as Philip Marlowe in The Long Goodbye

Photo: MGM Home Entertainment

Director: Robert Altman
Cast: Elliott Gould, Nina van Pallandt, Sterling Hayden
Leaving Netflix: April 30

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The Long Goodbye is a floppy, loose, hilarious neo-noir that’s as much about the vibes as it is the mystery. It’s also one of the most entertaining movies ever made. The story follows Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler’s hard-boiled private eye with a knack for sarcasm, solving cases, and sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong. But when he gets roped into tracking down a famous author who’s recently disappeared, he stumbles onto a web of lies that’s nearly too thick to cut through. Aside from Elliott Gould giving one of the best performances of the ’70s as Marlowe, The Long Goodbye also features what might be the most inventive music of John Williams’ legendary career, which is made up of a dozen variations on the single song he wrote for the movie. —AG



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