20 Best Movies to Rent on iTunes for $1.99 or less

Updated January 2, 2022 • Staff

Netflix and other streaming platforms are great, but their content is very limited. If you want to go beyond that, you can always rent movies digitally. Renting is not as expensive as you think, and actually depending on your use, streaming might be more expensive.

Netflix's plans range from $9 to $16 per month, and while that doesn't seem like a lot think of it this way: that's $108 to $192 a year. Renting only the movies that you want to watch, when you want to watch them, is not only practical, it might save you a lot of money. Below is a list of the best movies to rent on iTunes for less than two dollars. Please note that these prices are for SD rental, and that while we try to be as accurate about these prices as we can, Apple might decide to charge a different price. These rental prices are for indicational purposes only.

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20.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)

Like a Wes Anderson movie, The Last Black Man in San Francisco takes artistic risks and nails every one of them. There are many quirky, aesthetically well-studied, and even funny aspects to this moving story.

Jimmie has been maintaining a typical San Francisco Victorian house, regularly painting the windows and watering the plants. One small problem: other people live there and they don’t want him around. It turns out this was once Jimmie’s family house, having been built by his grandfather in 1948, and he misses it deeply.

This story is based on writer Jimmie Fails’ life, as he tried to reclaim his family home in SF. However, it’s not a movie that limits itself to gentrification. It transcends that to being about the universal yearning to find a place to call home.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Danny Glover, Finn Wittrock, Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Mike Epps, Rob Morgan, Thora Birch, Tichina Arnold, Tonya Glanz
Director: Joe Talbot
Rating: R
Go to Itunes
19.

Locke (2013)

Tom Hardy channels (and transcends) his inner Colin Farrell with this film which takes place inside of a BMW SUV in its entirety. A mature drama that pays homage to anyone battling internal demons, Locke is an 85 minute road trip in which the viewer acts as the passenger. Intricately constructed with a series of intense phone calls and conversations, the film will reward you with an immersive experience with palpable anxiety that has moments that at times feel all too real.

Genre: Drama, Thriller
Actor: Alice Lowe, Andrew Scott, Ben Daniels, Bill Milner, Danny Webb, Lee Ross, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson, Silas Carson, Tom Hardy, Tom Holland
Director: Steven Knight
Rating: R
Go to Itunes
18.

Secondhand Lions (2003)

This forgotten gem is the perfect family movie. It stars Michael Caine and Robert Duvall as the two eccentric uncles of Walter, a shy city kid (played by Haley Joel Osment). When Walter moves in with his uncles in rural Texas, he first has a hard time adjusting to his new surroundings. However his routine is changed after he starts hearing local gossip about his uncles, and reminiscence spurs in all three an incredible eagerness for adventure. Secondhand Lions has gathered impressive cult following in the past few years, and rightfully so. Its fast-paced, entertaining yet substantial storyline shines a light on the amazing performances by the cast, and offers a surprising mix of funny, heartwarming and sad. Look out for the flashback scenes.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
Actor: Adam Ozturk, Adrian Pasdar, Christian Kane, Dameon Clarke, Deirdre O'Connell, Deirdre OConnell, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Eric Balfour, Eugene Osment, Haley Joel Osment, Jason Douglas, Jennifer Stone, Jo Harvey Allen, Joe Stevens, Josh Lucas, Kanin Howell, Kyra Sedgwick, Marc Musso, Michael Caine, Michael O'Neill, Mitchel Musso, Morgana Shaw, Nicky Katt, Rick Dial, Robert Duvall, Travis Willingham
Director: Tim McCanlies
Rating: PG
Go to Itunes
17.

Midsommar (2019)

You may have heard about this 2019 critic-favorite from clips like this one of a kid running to flee the movie theater during a screening. “little billy ran the f**k out the door”, the caption reads.

You will want to do the same. Recovering from losing her sister and her parents in a single incident, a young girl goes on a trip to Sweden to observe a ritual within a bizarre commune that occurs every 90 years. This cult’s idea of death and their traditions intersect with the girl’s grief to create unthinkable monstrosities.

Note: while some readers praise the movie for its depiction of anxiety, I highly recommend against watching Midsommar if you suffer from panic attacks.

Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Actor: Agnes Westerlund Rase, Anki Larsson, Anna Åström, Archie Madekwe, Austin R. Grant, Björn Andrésen, Ellora Torchia, Florence Pugh, Gunnel Fred, Henrik Norlen, Isabelle Grill, Jack Reynor, Julia Ragnarsson, Lars Väringer, Levente Puczkó-Smith, Liv Mjönes, Louise Peterhoff, Vilhelm Blomgren, Vilmos Kolba, Will Poulter, William Jackson Harper, Zsolt Bojári
Director: Ari Aster
Rating: R
Go to Itunes
16.

Stop Making Sense (1984)

Widely regarded as one of the finest concert movies of all time, Stop Making Sense depicts musical innovators The Talking Heads at the height of their game. Directed by Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia), and starring the eccentric and energetic David Byrne, the show is a marvel of perfectly executed choreography and mid-eighties musicality. Halfway through the set, one might think they've heard all of the hits, but they keep coming and coming. Before Beyonce was Queen, before Bieber was conceived, this film shows what is capable with a camera, a guitar, and some genius.

Genre: Documentary, Music
Actor: Alex Weir, Bernie Worrell, David Byrne, Lynn Mabry, Tina Weymouth
Director: Jonathan Demme
Rating: PG
Go to Itunes
15.

American Animals (2018)

This crazy heist movie is told in a very original way. Because it's based on a true story, the movie (with actors and a story) is sometimes interrupted by the people it's about. The opening scene even reads: "this movie is not based on a true story, it is a true story". Two friends decide to rob their local library from rare books worth millions. They're driven by money but also by wanting something different than their monotonous everyday lives in Kentucky. The need for a change is a big theme in this movie, but the story and the way it's told never cease to be breathtakingly thrilling. American Animals stars amazing actors like Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk), Evan Peters (Kick-Ass), and many more; but perhaps equally as notable is the director: Bart Layton, who is fresh from his amazing 2012 sleeper-hit The Imposter.

Genre: Crime, Documentary, Drama, Mystery
Actor: Al Mitchell, Ann Dowd, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Drew Starkey, Elijah Everett, Eric Borsuk, Evan Peters, Gary Basaraba, Gretchen Koerner, Jane McNeill, Jared Abrahamson, Karen Wheeling Reynolds, Lara Grice, Pamela Mitchell, Spencer Reinhard, Udo Kier, Warren Lipka, Wayne Duvall, Whitney Goin, William Cowboy Reed
Director: Bart Layton
Rating: R
Go to Itunes
14.

Three Kings (1999)

David O. Russel (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle) is one of those directors who the more you dig into his past, the more you are rewarded. I Heart Huckabees is a great example of this, as is The Fighter (both are must-watch if you haven't seen them). But it is Three Kings that truly presented him as someone who can give great substance to big-budget movies. It stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, and even director Spike Jonze (Her, Adaptation), in other words, a festival of talent at its peak. And it follows three soldiers who want use the end of the Gulf War as an opportunity to get rich. Their journey through a devastated and uncertain Iraq is a thrilling one, as Three Kings is action-packed. But the purpose of this movie lies somewhere between political satire around American interventionism and social criticism of the main characters. However, none of that stands in the way of this movie being an entertaining and exhilarating movie.

Genre: Action, Comedy, War
Actor: Ali Afshar, Alia Shawkat, Brian Bosworth, Cliff Curtis, David O. Russell, Doug Jones, George Clooney, Holt McCallany, Ice Cube, Jamie Kennedy, Jim Gaffigan, Jon Sklaroff, Judy Greer, Liz Stauber, Mark Wahlberg, Mykelti Williamson, Nora Dunn, Rick Shuster, SaÁ¯d Taghmaoui, Saïd Taghmaoui, Sayed Badreya, Spike Jonze
Director: David O. Russell
Rating: R
Go to Itunes
13.

Still Alice (2015)

Still Alice is a drama about a renowned linguistics professor (Julianne Moore) who slowly begins to lose words and find herself lost in familiar places, leading to an unexpected diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease. Alice’s husband (Alec Baldwin) and three grown children subsequently struggle to maintain balance as her condition deteriorates, even as she steadfastly strives to maintain her self-composure. Interestingly, Alice uses her professional skills in communication to employ innovative ways to maintain her language and memory as well as possible, despite her ongoing decline. It’s a melancholy yet wonderfully touching film that feels thoroughly honest and real every step of the way. Julianne Moore is superb throughout—a role that earned her a well-deserved Best Actress Oscar for her performance.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Alec Baldwin, Daniel Gerroll, Erin Darke, Hunter Parrish, Julianne Moore, Kate Bosworth, Kristen Stewart, Orlagh Cassidy, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Rosa Arredondo, Seth Gilliam, Shane McRae, Stephen Kunken, Victoria Cartagena, Zillah Glory
Director: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland
Rating: PG-13
Go to Itunes
12.

Rosie (2019)

This emotional and moving story is about a mother of four who is forced into homelessness in Dublin. With her husband working in a demanding restaurant job, Rosie is left to take care of the children while trying to find anything resembling accommodation. She starts by seeking the help of the city council, but every facility she calls is full or refuses to welcome them.

As a viewer, the heartbreaking reality of the situation sinks in quickly: Rosie and her husband are priced out and there are too many people in their condition. Their car doesn't fit them. But to her children, relatives, and school officials, Rosie keeps up appearances and doesn't compromise on her overwhelming child care tasks. 

Genre: Drama
Actor: Eva-Jane Gaffney, Lochlann O'Mearáin, Moe Dunford, Molly McCann, Natalia Kostrzewa, Pom Boyd, Sarah Greene
Director: Paddy Breathnach
Go to Itunes
11.

The Florida Project (2017)

Every once in a while there are movies that expand the definition of quality film-making. This is one of those movies.

Here is an incredible, yet delicate film that follows three children from poor families who are stuck living in subpar motels. Their lives and friendships are portrayed with honesty and precise aesthetics. It’s a story that at first seems as plot-free as life itself.

It succeeds in capturing an innocence that is usually reserved to a child’s imagination: a precarious living condition full of adventures and fun. It’s hard to describe it beyond that; it’s the kind of film that must be seen to be fully understood.

And it ends on a very high note.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Aiden Malik, Bria Vinaite, Brooklynn Prince, Caleb Landry Jones, Christopher Rivera, Jim R. Coleman, Josie Olivo, Karren Karagulian, Macon Blair, Sabina Friedman-Seitz, Shih-Ching Tsou, Valeria Cotto, Willem Dafoe
Director: Sean Baker
Rating: R
Go to Itunes

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