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

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

May 4, 2024

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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.

11. Long Time Running (2017)

best

8.6

Country

Canada

Director

Female director, Jennifer Baichwal

Actors

Bobby Baker, Gord Downie, Gord Sinclair, Jennifer Baichwal

Moods

Depressing, Emotional, Intense

The Tragically Hip was a deeply beloved band from Ontario that peaked in the 90s with hits like Grace, Too or Nautical Disaster.

The Hip, as their fans refer to them, had just finished recording their latest album in 2015 when the lead singer was diagnosed with a fatal disease.

This movie is about them deciding to go on one last tour to say goodbye to their fans and country. Mostly, it’s about the singer, Gord Downie, and how his personality and love for the music shined through his illness.

Picture someone who is giving an immaculate performance despite being a few weeks away from death, and a packed stadium of people singing along in tears – this is this movie.

It’s truly an incredible story of human ambition, empathy, and the bond that music can create between an artist and a whole nation.

12. The Hate U Give (2018)

best

8.5

Country

United States of America

Director

George Tillman Jr.

Actors

Abby Glover, Al Mitchell, Algee Smith, Amandla Stenberg

Moods

Challenging, Discussion-sparking, Emotional

Such a good movie. The start is reminiscent of great, funny coming-of-age stories. However, a violent event quickly takes place and The Hate U Give becomes a powerful comment on police brutality in America, institutional oppression, and what it’s like to be from a marginalized community but try to find your place in the world. But at the end, it’s a ‘movie’ movie, directed by George Tillman Jr. who made the Barbershop movies and Men of Honor (with De Niro).

13. Never Look Away (2018)

8.4

Country

Germany, Italy

Director

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Actors

Andreas Nickl, Anton Rubtsov, Bastian Trost, Ben Becker

Moods

Depressing, Discussion-sparking, Dramatic

It’s impossible to describe this incredible movie as one thing or the other. It’s an epic three-hour saga that takes you through the Nazi era, the communist era, the rise of capitalism, and the East and West German divide. But more than its historic value, it’s a coming-of-age story, one that is based on the experiences of famed German artist Gerhard Richter. It’s also a romance, following his experiences finding love and being hit with loss (in no particular order). If you liked the director’s other work, the Oscar-winning The Lives of Others, you’re sure to love this too.

14. The Florida Project (2017)

best

8.3

Country

United Kingdom, United States of America

Director

Sean Baker

Actors

Aiden Malik, Andrew Romano, Bria Vinaite, Brooklynn Prince

Moods

Heart-warming, Touching

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.

15. Still Alice (2015)

best

8.2

Country

France, UK, United Kingdom

Director

Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland

Actors

Alec Baldwin, Daniel Gerroll, Eha Urbsalu, Erin Darke

Moods

Challenging, Character-driven, Well-acted

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.

16. Rosie (2019)

best

8.2

Country

Ireland

Director

Paddy Breathnach

Actors

Clare Monnelly, Eva-Jane Gaffney, Johanna O'Brien, Killian Coyle

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. 

17. Three Kings (1999)

best

8.1

Country

United States of America

Director

David O. Russell

Actors

Ali Afshar, Alia Shawkat, Brian Bosworth, Cliff Curtis

Moods

A-list actors, Action-packed, Thrilling

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.

18. American Animals (2018)

best

8.0

Country

India, UK, United Kingdom

Director

Bart Layton

Actors

Al Mitchell, Ann Dowd, Barry Keoghan, Ben McIntire

Moods

Gripping, Suspenseful, Thrilling

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.

19. Stop Making Sense (1984)

7.9

Country

United States of America

Director

Jonathan Demme

Actors

Alex Weir, Bernie Worrell, Chris Frantz, David Byrne

Moods

Easy, Inspiring, Sunday

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.

20. Midsommar (2019)

7.8

Country

Sweden, United States of America

Director

Ari Aster

Actors

Agnes Westerlund Rase, Anders Back, Anders Beckman, Anki Larsson

Moods

Challenging, Depressing, Thrilling

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.

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