4 Best Movies to Watch by Beck Bennett

Staff & contributors

Animated in every sense of the word, The Mitchells vs. the Machines is a fun and lively watch for anyone of any age. On the surface, it’s about a tech company’s AI going haywire as it turns against humans and takes over the world (an obvious and much-deserved dig at Big Tech). It also immediately stands out as an energetic and inventive film bursting with love for the animation genre.

But at its core, it's about family and learning to love them even and especially when the going gets tough. Teenager Katie and her father Rick are at that precarious moment in their relationship where everything they do seems to annoy the other, while Katie's mother Linda tries and fails and tries again to keep the peace. The Mitchells are filled with love, but they’re not quite sure how to express it to each other, and it's both funny and relatable how it takes a literal apocalypse for them to realize that. This is a family story elevated by dynamic animation and a bizarro storyline. Expect it to go off the rails in the best possible way.

Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Drama

Actor: Abbi Jacobson, Adam Wylie, Alex Hirsch, Alison Rich, Andrew Morgado, Ashley Peldon, Beck Bennett, Blake Griffin, Caitlin McKenna, Charlyne Yi, Chrissy Teigen, Conan O'Brien, Danny McBride, Doug Nicholas, Elle Mills, Eric André, Fred Armisen, Greg Levitan, Grey DeLisle, Griffin McElroy, Illya Owens, Jay Pharoah, Jeff Rowe, Jim Pirri, John Legend, Juan Pacheco, Justin Shenkarow, Lex Lang, Lisa Wilhoit, Madeleine McGraw, Maya Rudolph, Melissa Sturm, Michael Rianda, Michelle Ruff, Mike Rianda, Natalia del Riego, Natalie Canizares, Olivia Colman, Sasheer Zamata, Shane Sweet, Todd Hansen, Will Allegra, Zeno Robinson

Director: Jeff Rowe, Michael Rianda, Mike Rianda

Rating: PG

After being held captive his whole life, a man sets out to finish the only show he's ever seen. Thoughtfully written with a creative cast; it is not a film you would expect to laugh at and enjoy so thoroughly with such an unconventionally dark premise. However, it is a hilarious, wholesome, and loving film that will leave your heart feeling warm.

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Actor: Alexa Demie, Andy Samberg, Angella Joy, Beck Bennett, Chance Crimin, Chris Provost, Claire Danes, Gerry Garcia, Greg Kinnear, James Anthony Green, Jane Adams, John Forker, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Joseph Paul Branca, Kami Christiansen, Kate Lyn Sheil, Kim Fischer, Kyle Mooney, Marilyn Miller, Mark Hamill, Matt Walsh, Michaela Watkins, Nick Rutherford, Nikolas Mikkelsen, Ryan Simpkins, Teresa Duran-Norvick, Tim Heidecker, Yvonne D Bennett

Director: Dave McCary

Rating: PG-13

Unfrosted is the kind of bonkers treat filled with movie references, physical gags, and too-many-to-count stars that’s easy to sink your teeth into and enjoy for what it is—in the beginning, that is. It’s helped by snappy visuals and a colorfully accurate rendering of the ‘60s too. But then it wears you down with the same jokes and flimsy story, until eventually, you can’t help but ask: are you really dedicating an hour and a half of your life to watching *check notes* a Pop Tart get made? The filmmakers don’t make it any deeper than that sounds, sadly, even though there’s more drama and flavor involved in the real-life competition between Post and Kellogs. I’m not saying Unfrosted is a bad film—to be honest, I laughed out loud in many parts—just that you won’t be able to get over how overbudgeted and ultimately hollow it is.

Genre: Comedy, History

Actor: Adrian Martinez, Alex Edelman, Ali Wentworth, Amy Schumer, Andy Daly, Aparna Nancherla, Bailey Sheetz, Beck Bennett, Bill Burr, Bill J. Stevens, Bobby Moynihan, Catherine Last, Cedric the Entertainer, Cedric Yarbrough, Chris Rickett, Christian Slater, Dan Levy, Darrell Hammond, Dean Norris, Drew Tarver, Earthquake, Eleanor Sweeney, Felix Solis, Fred Armisen, George Wallace, Gregory Burke, Hugh Grant, Isaac Bae, Jack McBrayer, Jack Murillo, James Marsden, Jaxy Boyd, Jeff Lewis, Jerry Seinfeld, Jessica Seinfeld, Jim Gaffigan, John Forest, John Slattery, Jon Hamm, Ken Narasaki, Kue Lawrence, Kyle Dunnigan, Kyle Mooney, Lauren Peters, Maria Bakalova, Mark Kwak, Max Greenfield, Melissa McCarthy, Mikey Day, Nelson Franklin, Patrick Warburton, Peter Dinklage, Rachael Harris, Ronny Chieng, Sarah Burns, Sarah Cooper, Sasheer Zamata, Sebastian Maniscalco, Shane Carpenter, Spike Feresten, Susan Elle, Tad Griffith, Thomas Lennon, Thomas Silcott, Tony Hale, Will Allan, Winter Bassett

Director: Jerry Seinfeld

Rating: PG-13

, 2023

After Nimona's long journey to the big screen (involving the shutdown of animation studio Blue Sky, and Disney's resistance to LGTBQ+ themes), the fact that the movie has been completed and allowed to tell its story at all is something to be celebrated. The film itself is pretty standard fare for American children's animation, with a script that spends far too much time on quips, and visuals that don't take advantage of the movie's science-fantasy world. But if you can get beyond its more ordinary aspects, Nimona becomes a surprisingly thorough metaphor of Otherness and queerness—best represented in the title character's shapeshifting abilities, and how people fear and become violent with her before even trying to understand her. It's a film that's sadly become more relevant than ever now, addressing how prejudice is something that's taught and passed down, packaged in an easy, entertaining manner for younger audiences.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Science Fiction

Actor: Beck Bennett, Chloë Grace Moretz, Cindy Slattery, Eugene Lee Yang, Frances Conroy, Indya Moore, Jarrett Bruno, Julio Torres, Karen Ryan, Lorraine Toussaint, Matthew J. Munn, ND Stevenson, Nick Bruno, Riz Ahmed, RuPaul, Sarah Sherman, Tim Nordquist, Troy Quane

Director: Nick Bruno, Troy Quane

Rating: PG