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Get to Know the 'Stranger Things' Cast

The young cast of 'Stranger Things' is already making their mark beyond the sci-fi Netflix drama. Discover their best movies and TV shows, ranked by Metascore.

Hedy Phillips
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'Stranger Things' Season 4

Netflix

As one of Netflix's most popular shows, Stranger Things has garnered a lot of praise for the story, the cast, and the special effects. This sci-fi show, which debuted in 2016 and will air the first part of its fourth season starting May 27, 2022, takes viewers to sleepy Hawkins, Ind., where a pre-teen boy disappears and then reappears changed from his time in the Upside Down, a young girl who spent her childhood being experimented on is discovered, a mysterious force overtakes the town, and life generally goes out of whack — and that's just in the first season. Starring Winona Ryder and David Harbour as the adult supervision, Stranger Things most heavily focuses on the younger cast, who are tasked with saving their town from such evil supernatural forces as demogorgons and demons.

And this young cast have become stars because of the show. Stranger Things fans have already gotten to know Millie Bobby Brown, Natalia Dyer, Priah Ferguson, Maya Hawke, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Sadie Sink, Noah Schnapp, and Finn Wolfhard well from their time in Hawkins, and certainly playing in a genre world allows them to stress a lot of acting muscles. But these 1980s-set teens are not the only roles they should be known for.

If you have already re-watched the first three seasons of Stranger Things in preparation for the fourth season, now's the time to brush up on the young cast members' résumés in full.

Here, Metacritic highlights their best film and TV projects, ranked by Metascore.


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Millie Bobby Brown

Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Millie Bobby Brown

Brown stars as Eleven in Stranger Things, a young girl who was part of an experiment but escaped. She's taken under the wing of the affable Hopper (Harbour), who settles into the role of her dad. The protagonist of the show bonds with the other Hawkins kids who are around her age — even becoming a true teenager by getting a boyfriend in Season 3. It's a lot to balance while also fighting demogorgons and trying to avoid the Upside Down, but she has to do it because she's the only one of them with supernatural abilities.

Brown started acting at a young age and already has a number of roles under her belt. Alongside her guest-starring roles in popular shows including Modern Family and Grey's Anatomy, Brown has also been in a handful of movies and even music videos.

Modern Family

Metascore: 87
Best for: Fans of sitcoms
Where to watch: 

, fuboTV, Google Play, , iTunes, ,
Seasons: 11

The 11-season sitcom told in a mockumentary style follows three nuclear families who are all related to each other. Jay (Ed O'Neill) is the patriarch, and his adult children Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Claire (Julie Bowen) have families of their own. As the seasons go on, the show covers life's biggest twists and turns, including growing up, growing old, adoption, marriage, loss, heartbreak, new babies, and more. Brown appears in the sixth season episode titled "Closet? You'll Love It!" as Lizzie, whose bike gets taken by Jay's step-son Manny (Rico Rodriguez).


Enola Holmes

Metascore: 68
Best for: Sherlock Holmes fans
Where to watch: Netflix
Runtime: 123 minutes

Brown plays the titular character in this Netflix Original, and she just so happens to be Sherlock Holmes' (Henry Cavill) little sister. Since this is her story, she's the problem solver and mystery master who wants to figure out what happened to the Holmes matriarch who has gone missing. Although Sherlock is usually the one to solve mysteries like this, Enola has reached the point in her teenage life where she wants to be the hero. Whether she is ready is something she will have to prove over the course of the movie.


Grey's Anatomy

Metascore: 64
Best for: Fans of shows about hospital drama
Where to watch: 

, fuboTV, Google Play, , iTunes, Netflix
Seasons: 18 (so far)

The doctors at Seattle Grace (and eventually Grey Sloan Memorial) experience everything together. With Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) at the center of the team, the doctors grow from interns to residents, running the show at the hospital. They fall in love, they lose patients, and for some of them, they experience extreme tragedy that will change them forever. Every day at the hospital, though, is a beautiful day to save lives. Brown has a two-episode arc in Season 11 as a young girl named Ruby who has to get her mother medical help on a vacation. 


Godzilla vs. Kong

Metascore: 59
Best for: Fans of monster movies
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 113 minutes

It's a meeting of the monsters in Godzilla vs. Kong. In the 2021 high-octane action movie, the two well-known beasts come head to head in a match of good vs. evil and right vs. wrong. Where the once isolated creatures were living separate lives, they find themselves in each others' paths and those around them end up caught in this battle between them. Brown stars as Madison, a young woman coming into her own and advocating for Godzilla in this monster mess. 


Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

Metascore: 59
Best for: Fantasy fans
Where to watch:

, , Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Seasons: 1

In this short-lived spin-off of Once Upon a Time, Brown has a two-episode guest-star arc as Young Alice, a version of the protagonist played in the present-day part of the story by Sophie Lowe. The story is based on Alice in Wonderland, in which the eponymous character visits a far off land with a smiling cat and a queen of hearts, but here in the real world, no one wants to take her seriously. Believing she is unhinged, doctors want to erase all the silly thoughts from her head so she can live in reality, but that's the last thing Alice truly wants for herself. 


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Natalia Dyer

Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Natalia Dyer

Dyer plays Nancy Wheeler in Stranger Things, Mike's (Wolfhard) older sister who sometimes thinks he and his friends are annoying but is also there for them when she's needed. Though she once considered herself Steve Harrington's (Keery) better half, she soon moves on to the more elusive Jonathan Byers (Heaton) instead.

Despite being so early in her career, Dyer has starred in a collection of films, showing a real penchant for the coming-of-age storyline. She's staying plenty busy, too, with more projects on the horizon alongside working on Stranger Things


I Believe in Unicorns

Metascore: 73
Best for: Fans of indie movies
Where to watch:

, iTunes, TubiVudu
Runtime: 80 minutes

Davina (Dyer) is just a teen looking for her big, great love in this 2014 film. She thinks she finds it in Sterling (Peter Vack), her own Prince Charming. Davina soon learns, though, that love isn't easy, and there's a dark side to Sterling. In this coming-of-age movie, Davina comes into her own as she compartmentalizes the pieces of her life and flits away into a fantasy land when the real world comes down around her. 


Yes, God, Yes

Metascore: 71
Best for: Fans of sexy comedy
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix, Vudu
Runtime: 78 minutes

Teenager Alice (Dyer) has been having some very tempting sexual thoughts, which is absolutely not OK by her family and school's religious standards. While at a retreat, Alice leans into her sexuality even more — despite being told that all of these thoughts and feelings are wrong. All she cares about is figuring out how to use her cell phone's vibrating power more strategically and maybe hooking up with the hot counselor. 


Velvet Buzzsaw

Metascore: 61
Best for: Thrill seekers
Where to watch: Netflix
Runtime: 113 minutes

It seems to make sense for Josephina (Zawe Ashton) to snatch a bunch of artwork from an artist who lived above her but dies unexpectedly in this 2019 film from Dan Gilroy. But as she begins to give the paintings to art critic Morf (Jake Gyllenhaal) and gallery owner Rhodora (Rene Russo), they begin to cause surreal occurrences. More specifically, Morf sees visions in the artwork, which harms some patrons. Dyer appears in the film as Coco, Rhodora's assistant.


Things Heard & Seen

Metascore: 49
Best for: Fans of family drama with a haunting twist
Where to watch: Netflix
Runtime: 119 minutes

Based on the novel by Elizabeth Brundage, Things Heard & Seen finds married couple Catherine (Amanda Seyfried) and George (James Norton) relocating from the city out to the country when he takes a new job at the local school. It doesn't take long, though, for Catherine to be suspicious of the home, the locals, and everything else she's uncovering about her new place of residence. George isn't adding any solace to the equation, especially when he starts sleeping with the young Willis (Dyer) behind Catherine's back. 


Blue Like Jazz

Metascore: 48
Best for: Fans of indie comedies with heart
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 107 minutes

Teenager Don (Marshall Allman) has spent his life with religion right in front of his face. Growing up in the Bible Belt and having everything surrounding you be a direct path to God has started to wear on him, though. He escapes the only world he's ever known to head to the Pacific Northwest for a fresh start that's a little more adventurous and full of new beginnings. As one of Dyer's first roles, she plays the supporting role of Grace in this 2012 film.


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Priah Ferguson

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Priah Ferguson

Ferguson may have started in a small, supporting role in Stranger Things, but she made a big impact right away and was promoted to a series regular only one season later. As Erica, Lucas' (McLaughlin) younger sister, she gets in the way a lot of the time — but she comes in clutch when she's needed. 

Ferguson is still an up-and-comer, but she's already had supporting roles in a few high-profile projects, including Atlanta and The Oath. She's got more roles on the horizon, so her star will no doubt continue to rise.


Atlanta

Metascore: 93
Best for: Those who like their comedy with a healthy dose of social commentary
Where to watch: 

, fuboTV, Google Play, , iTunes,
Seasons: 3 (so far)

Created by and starring Donald Glover, Atlanta takes you down to the city in the South where music reigns supreme. Glover's Earn is in the middle of the rap scene as a manager and a music fan, working with his cousin Alfred, a.k.a. Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry). The show also stars LaKeith Stanfield and Zazie Beetz as members of the core cast, but it often (especially in Season 3) expands its lens even broader to offer commentary on the experience of young Black boys put in the foster care system, child stars who are thrust into the spotlight too young and too often, fans who are also blackmailers, and so much more. The show also never fails to comment on social issues such as stereotypes, crime, and racism across continents. Ferguson appears in the second episode of the first season, titled "Streets on Lock," as a young girl named Asia. 


The Oath

Metascore: 58
Best for: Fans of dark comedy that hit a little too close to home
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunesVudu
Runtime: 93 minutes

What feels like it should be an alternate universe is real life in 2018's The Oath. Citizens are told they have to sign an oath declaring their loyalty to the president of the country — and Chris (Ike Barinholtz) and Kai (Tiffany Haddish) are absolutely not on board with it. Now they have to figure out how to not just avoid signing this absurd oath, but also how to keep their loved ones safe and away from this deal as well. Ferguson has a supporting role as Hardy in this comedic venture.


Daytime Divas

Metascore: 53
Best for: Fans of fictionalized takes on daytime talk shows
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , iTunes, Vudu
Seasons: 1

If you've ever wondered what it could be like behind the scenes of a daytime talk show full of big personalities, Daytime Divas is for you. In this one-season fictionalized story of a daytime talk show called "The Lunch Hour," the women certainly don't love each other but mostly pull it together while on air. They can't resist a little bit (or a lot) of drama from time to time, though. The 2017 drama stars Vanessa Williams, but Ferguson pops up in the finale.


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Maya Hawke

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Maya Hawke

Hawke didn't join the Stranger Things family until the third season, but her character Robin quickly became a fan favorite. The teen works at the ice cream shop with Steve (Keery), keeping him in line, helping with adventures, and generally making him a better person. The two are just friends, though, as she comes out to him at the end of that third season, a secret which he promises her he will keep.

As the daughter of actors Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, the younger Hawke was poised for Hollywood from birth. In the few years of her career so far, she's dug into big projects, working with Quentin Tarantino film, and she also dabbles in music. 


The Good Lord Bird

Metascore: 84
Best for: Fans of dark comedy
Where to watch:

, fuboTVGoogle Play, iTunes, ShowtimeVudu
Seasons: 1

Based on the novel by James McBride, The Good Lord Bird is the story of legendary abolitionist John Brown (Ethan Hawke) and a free slave nicknamed "Onion" (Joshua Caleb Johnson). Told through Onion's eyes after he has a chance encounter with John and then joins him on a journey to help other slaves, the show takes viewers through a tour of history, but with comedic tinges. Along the way they encounter everyone from Harriet Tubman (Zainab Jah) to Frederick Douglass (Daveed Diggs). Maya Hawke guest-stars as John's daughter Annie, who makes a special connection with Onion.


Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood

Metascore: 83
Best for: Tarantino fans
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 161 minutes

In this Tarantino-helmed film, Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a fading actor who doesn't have a whole lot going for him these days. He spends most of his time with his stunt double and best friend Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), trying to keep his career afloat. Cliff veers off into his own thing, though, when he starts spending time with Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and her whole crew, including Hawke as a flower child follower of Charles Manson (Damon Herriman). Yes, that Charles Manson. This movie comes with a bit of wish fulfillment in the way it rewrites history. 


Fear Street Part One: 1994

Metascore: 67
Best for: Fans of nostalgic horror
Where to watch: Netflix
Runtime: 107 minutes

In the beginning of this three-part Netflix franchise, teenagers in Shadyside want to get to the bottom of why their town seems to be cursed. It all starts when a local teen named Heather (Hawke) is murdered at the mall, leading some of the kids to learn more about the town's dark history and try to figure out if there's a way they can change it.


Little Women

Metascore: 64
Best for: Literature fans
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes,
Seasons: 1

Louisa May Alcott's popular book has been adapted a few times, and in this iteration (a 2017 BBC miniseries that came to PBS the following year), Hawke plays Jo March alongside Willa Fitzgerald as Meg, Annes Elwy as Beth, and Kathryn Newton as Amy. As the story goes, the titular young women have to navigate their lives with each other, their family, and their friends as they come of age amid the American Civil War.


Italian Studies

Metascore: 59
Best for: Fans of mysterious dramas
Where to watch: 

Google Play, , iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 81 minutes

Writer Alina Reynolds (Vanessa Kirby) suddenly realizes she has no idea who she is, where she is, or where she should go in this 2021 movie. And those problems are literal, as she has lost her memory. After wandering the streets of New York trying to find answers, she bumps into a few people who seem to know her and who begin the process of helping her puzzle her life out and maybe get her memories back. It's through all these people, including Erin (Hawke), that Alina's life starts to come back together.


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Charlie Heaton

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Charlie Heaton

Heaton's Jonathan, older brother to Will (Schnapp) and son of Joyce (Ryder), is a bit of a loner when Stranger Things starts. He doesn't have a lot of friends at school, choosing to spend his time taking photos and keeping to himself. But even though his little brother can be a pain, Jonathan is at the ready to step in to fight a demogorgon or rescue the kids from whatever manner of evil they come across. In doing so, he connects with Dyer's Nancy and comes into his own so that when his family moves to California at the end of Season 3, he is able to make at least one new friend.

British actor Heaton is in the early stages of his career but has already stepped into powerful roles in projects like As You Are and No Future, both festival darlings. 


The Souvenir: Part II

Metascore: 89
Best for: Fans of tear-jerkers
Where to watch: 

Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 107 minutes

A24's The Souvenir: Part II is the touching, 2021 sequel to Joanna Hogg's 2019 drama. It features the aftermath of Anthony's (Tom Burke) death in which Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) chooses to memorialize him by making a film, but her emotions are tough to deal with. Though she has a group of people around her helping with the film and holding her up in life (including Heaton's Jim), Julie is still struggling to stand strong.


As You Are

Metascore: 67
Best for: Fans of tragic love stories
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 110 minutes

For a long time, it's just been Jack (Owen Campbell) and his mom, Karen (Mary Stuart Masterson) in this 2016 film. But then she meets Tom (Scott Cohen), and he moves in, bringing along his teenage son Mark (Heaton). Jack and Mark bond over being social pariahs, glad they at least have each other now. When deeper feelings start to form between the boys, though, Tom loses it, unwilling to accept that his son isn't what he wants him to be.


No Future

Metascore: 65
Best for: Fans of forbidden love stories
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, TubiVudu
Runtime: 89 minutes

When Will's (Heaton) old friend Chris (Jefferson White) overdoses and dies in this 2021 independent drama, Will reaches out to Chris' mother Claire (Catherine Keener) to offer solace, condolences, and a little bit of peace. The grieving mother clings to her son's friend, and in a flurry of emotions that they're both experiencing, their relationship quickly moves from platonic to something more.  


Marrowbone

Metascore: 63
Best for: Those looking for a tense thriller
Where to watch:

, fuboTVGoogle Play, Hulu, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 110 minutes

The Marrowbone kids — Jack (George MacKay), Jane (Mia Goth), Billy (Heaton), and Sam (Matthew Stagg) — are on their own on their secluded property in this 2017 bilingual drama that is set. inthe late 1960s. No one other than them knows that their mother has died, and they have to keep that secret so they're not split up. But while they're dealing with that dilemma, they're also forced to contend with an ominous spirit that seems to be inhabiting their house.


Soulmates

Metascore: 62
Best for: Sci-fi fans
Where to watch:

, AMC+fuboTVGoogle Play, iTunes, Vudu
Seasons: 1

What would you do if you had the ability to take a test that would tell you who your soulmate is? That's the center of the story in Soulmates, a 2020 anthology series where each episode focuses on a different love story and making the decision of tempting fate. Heaton stars as Kurt alongside Malin Akerman in the fifth episode, which follows characters in a cult.


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Joe Keery

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Joe Keery

As Steve Harrington in Stranger Things, Keery has become a character you love to hate and hate to love. In the beginning, he was quite obnoxious, but over the course of the series, he's grown into a character you can't help but root for — especially when he learns so much from Robin. He's also the unofficial babysitter of the younger kids in the story, which causes quite a lot of comedic relief. 

Keery's career definitely took off thanks to Stranger Things, leading to roles alongside top talent including Taraji P. Henson, Ryan Reynolds, and Jessica Chastain. Plus, there's more to come from this actor, who has already signed on to new projects even though there's still another season of Stranger Things to come.


Empire (2015)

Metascore: 72
Best for: Music fans
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, , iTunes,
Seasons: 6

Lucius Lyon (Terrence Howard) is a high-powered figure in hip-hop in this broadcast musical drama from Lee Daniels and Danny Strong. As the CEO of Empire Entertainment, he's on top of the world. That is, until he's told his life is about to be cut short. It's up to Lucius to decide who will be his successor, but his family has more drama than you can imagine (especially once — spoiler alert — it turns out he's not as terminal as everyone was led to believe. The show mixes a lot of earworm original tunes with relationship melodrama within the family as the mother of his children (Cookie, played by Henson) gets out of prison after doing time for him, their middle son Jamal (Jussie Smollett) very publicly comes out as gay, their older son Andre (Trai Byers) grapples with mental illness, and their youngest son (Bryshere "Yazz" Gray) struggles to put some substance behind his flashy image. Keery guest-stars in the first season episode titled "Who I Am" as Tony Trichter III, a kid with generational wealth who wants to try to be a performer.


Molly's Game

Metascore: 71
Best for: Fans of true crime
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix,
Runtime: 140 minutes

Aaron Sorkin's directorial debut follows Molly Bloom (Chastain), a beautiful, former top-notch athlete who has a penchant for gambling. (The story is based on the real Bloom's memoir.) Molly sets up a high-stakes poker ring that's highly lucrative and highly illegal. Everyone who's anyone comes to her to play, including actors, politicians, and the richest people imaginable (even trust fund kids like Keery's Cole). Although what she is doing is not law-abiding, she does operate with an important code of ethics, which causes problems in her new line of work.


After Everything

Metascore: 67
Best for: Fans of tragic love stories
Where to watch:

, , iTunes
Runtime: 95 minutes

When Elliot (Jeremy Allen White) finds out he has cancer in this 2018 feature film, he thinks the best way to share the news is to tell a stranger about it first. And then he meets Mia (Maika Monroe). Even though everything is screaming at them to not get involved, they can't help but fall in love. Mia is by Elliot's side as his cancer progresses, keeping his spirits up and showing him as much love as she can. But, they're surrounded by people who have their doubts but also show support, including Keery's Chris.


Free Guy

Metascore: 62
Best for: Fans of video games
Where to watch:

, , Google Play, , iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 115 minutes

Reynolds stars as Guy, a bank teller whose life is the same every single day until it's not in this 2021 movie about life inside a video game. Although he is supposed to be a non-playable character, he finds he actually does have the ability to alter things if he tries, which sets up an everyman hero's journey. Meanwhile, in the so-called real world, those who are responsible for the code that created him are former partners (Jodie Comer's Millie and Keery's Keys) who are no longer working together but have to reunite to help Guy save his world.


Slice

Metascore: 61
Best for: Fans of horror comedy
Where to watch:

, fuboTVGoogle Play, iTunes, ShowtimeVudu
Runtime: 83 minutes

When a bunch of pizza delivery guys start getting murdered in a sleepy town. in this 2018 film, people want to know why. Of course. That includes Astrid (Atlanta's Beetz), who steps in to bravely take care of the pizzas; Jackson (Keery), who is chasing the story; and the pizza shop's manager Jack (Paul Scheer), who really wants to know why his restaurant has become a hellmouth of death.


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Gaten Matarazzo

Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Gaten Matarazzo

Matarazzo plays the lovable Dustin on Stranger Things. Though he's initially self-conscious of his lisp, he gets his teeth fixed, which gives him a whole new lease on life. He starts to fall for Max (Sink) when she shows up, but ends up dating his Camp Know Where sweetheart in instead.

Matarazzo's career kicked off on Broadway, but since then he has appeared in a number of television series, had a spot in a Katy Perry music video, and hosted and produced a prank show for Netflix. 


Waffles and Mochi

Metascore: 82
Best for: Michelle Obama fans
Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 1 (so far)

In Obama's show Waffles and Mochi, the former first lady teams up with the titular puppets, as well as some special celebrities, to share food stories and nutrition tips with young viewers. She takes viewers all over the place through the lens of food to open young eyes to so many things they may not know. Along the way, she meets Matarazzo's Casey the Electrician in the ninth episode, which is about mushrooms.


The Blacklist

Metascore: 74
Best for: Fans of crime shows
Where to watch:

, fuboTV, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix,
Seasons: 9 (so far)

Raymond "Red" Reddington (James Spader) is a high-profile criminal who reluctantly agrees to work with the FBI to track down everyone on their titular "blacklist," which consists of the most dangerous criminals in the world. He has special insight into the way they think considering he was able to exist as a fugitive for decades. However, he only wants to work with profile Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), to whom he has deep, personal ties that take a while to be revealed. The show follows a mythology that includes a family mystery for her, but it also delivers standalone, episode-specific cases, such as one Matarazzo's character of Finn is involved in in the second season episode titled "The Kenyon Family."


The Angry Birds Movie 2

Metascore: 60
Best for: Fans of animated movies with a bit of nostalgia
Where to watch:

, fuboTV, Google PlayiTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 97 minutes

The birds and the pigs are back at it in this 2019 animated sequel to the 2016 Angry Birds Movie. However, this time they're putting up a united front in an effort to go up against a common enemy: an even angrier group of birds. Red (Jason Sudeikis), Chuck (Josh Gad), Bomb (Danny McBride), Bubba (Matarazzo), and more put their best feet forward to take down the enemy from the inside.


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Caleb McLaughlin

Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Caleb McLaughlin

McLaughlin plays Lucas — best friend to Will, Mike, and Dustin. Though in the beginning he is hesitant of Eleven — and who wouldn't be? — he eventually comes around and welcomes her into their circle. And as the cool kid of the group, it's no surprise that Lucas also finds a love interest in Max (Sink) and eventually gets pulled to the popular kids' crowd of high school athletics, challenging his ability to still make time for his long-time friends.

McLaughlin has appeared in some of the most well-known TV shows, including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, along with movies starring some of Hollywood's biggest names, such as Idris Elba. But he does more than act: McLaughlin is also a musician who has released a handful of songs, including his latest track "Soul Travel."  


High Flying Bird

Metascore: 78
Best for: Fans of sports movies with heart
Where to watch: Netflix
Runtime: 90 minutes

The NBA is in a full lockout and Ray Burke (André Holland), an agent who's already been struggling to stay afloat in the industry, is now tasked with taking rookies and putting them on the map without a league to play in in this 2019 film. Not willing to fail, Ray dreams up an idea that will allow the basketball players to get on the court and make money while bringing the game to the fans who love it and miss it. It comes to life at a community day, where Ray and his players meet a bunch of kids, including Darius (McLaughlin), who simply love the game.


Ultra City Smiths

Metascore: 78
Best for: Fans of political satires and stop-motion animation
Where to watch:

, AMC+, fuboTV, Google Play, iTunes,
Seasons: 1 (so far)

In this dark, stop-motion animated show from 2021, you go deep into the fictional, titular Ultra City to try to solve the mystery of how a local politician disappeared. As the detectives start uncovering suspects in the crime, they're faced with the fact that they somehow all have the same last name and that there is a lot of corruption in the city, including a gang that wears Richard Nixon masks. The show sends up noir crime thrillers. McLaughlin voices the character of Trevor, who gets involved in some of the darkness of the city. 


The New Edition Story

Metascore: 76
Best for: Music fans
Where to watch:


Seasons: 1

Over the course of three episodes, this 2017 miniseries takes music fans back to the beginning of the group New Edition in a dramatized retelling of their story. McLaughlin stars as a young Ricky Bell, who is convinced by a young Bobby Brown (Tyler Marcel Williams) to start a music group together. Their origin story, like so many, hits a number of bumps along the way to stardom, and if you know what became of New Edition in real life, you know exactly where this miniseries heads over the course of the episodes.


Blue Bloods

Metascore: 70
Best for: Fans of shows about cops in New York City
Where to watch:

, fuboTVGoogle Play, , iTunes, , Pluto TVVudu
Seasons: 12 (so far)

Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) is the head of New York City's police department, and at home he's also the patriarch of a large, tight-knit family where many members followed in his professional footsteps. The Reagan clan will do just about anything to protect each other, and they're intimately familiar with some of the dangers of living in New York. Throughout the show, they protect their city and each other from all kinds of crime. McLaughlin appears as Tone Lane, who becomes a teenage deputy in the fifth season episode titled "For the Community," which deals in deportation and gang activity.


Concrete Cowboy

Metascore: 67
Best for: Fans of father-son relationships
Where to watch: Netflix
Runtime: 111 minutes

Teenager Cole (McLaughlin) may not have thought he'd find a community of Black cowboys in Philadelphia, but that's exactly what he walks into when he's sent there to live with his estranged father (Elba). Being with his dad is the last place he wants to be, and Cole doesn't hesitate to make that clear. But when his tense relationship with his dad comes to a head, the two can work to repair their broken relationship and try to find a love for each other once again in this 2020 Netflix film.


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Sadie Sink

Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Sadie Sink

Sink may not have been with the Stranger Things gang since the beginning, but her character of Max settled in nicely in Season 2. She's Billy's (Dacre Montgomery) younger step-sister, a bit of a tomboy, and sometimes a bit of a solitary figure. But she and Eleven eventually start connecting on some girly things, and she also connects with Lucas romantically. Unfortunately, heartbreak is part of her journey, as well, as Billy meets his demise in Season 3, which has her grieving when she has to go up against Season 4's villain Vecna.

Though she hasn't been acting for very long yet, Sink has already made an impact with her work. Not only has she been in popular shows including The AmericansBlue Bloods and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, as well as a Netflix horror film trilogy, but she also turned heads when she starred in Taylor Swift's All Too Well: The Short Film in 2021 alongside Dylan O'Brien.


The Americans

Metascore: 89
Best for: Fans of period dramas
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes,
Seasons: 6

Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Phillip (Matthew Rhys) may look like your everyday married couple, but they're not at all in this Emmy-winning 1980s-set drama: They're Soviet KGB spies undercover in the United States who have two kids who gradually grow closer to the family business as well. As time passes in this six-season series, their relationship and country loyalty is tested as they have to get close to others in order to carry out missions. Sink appears in the first season episode titled "Mutually Assured Destruction" as Lana, the daughter of a weapons dealer with whom the Jennings get involved.


Blue Bloods

Metascore: 70
Best for: Fans of cop shows mixed with family drama
Where to watch: 

fuboTVGoogle PlayiTunesPluto TVVudu
Seasons: 12 (so far)

At the heart of Blue Bloods is the Reagan family. Frank is New York City's police commissioner, and his kids all work in either the "law" or the "order" side of enforcement. Over the course of a dozen seasons thus far, the family goes through their own trauma and drama alongside the crimes being committed in the most-populated city in the United States. The Reagans are pushed to their limits over love, lies, betrayal, and the love of their work time and time again. Sink appears in the fourth season episode titled "Insult to Injury" as Daisy Carpenter, a schoolgirl who encounters the Reagans on a museum field trip.


Chuck

Metascore: 68
Best for: Fans of Rocky Balboa
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 98 minutes

Don't confuse this 2017 movie with the spy comedy series of the same title. In this, Liev Schreiber plays the real-life Chuck Wepner, who is the heavyweight boxer on whom Rocky Balboa is based. Chuck shows you what can happen when you have a sudden burst of fame that ends up fizzling out. After performing better in a match against Muhammed Ali than is expected, he is treated like a hero, but fostering his budding fame, including managing a crippling addiction, takes precedence over spending time with his family, including his daughter Kimberly (Sink). 


Fear Street Part Three: 1666

Metascore: 68
Best for: R.L. Stine fans
Where to watch: Netflix
Runtime: 114 minutes

In this third and final installment of Stine's Fear Street trilogy on Netflix that sees a group of teenagers trying to get to the bottom of why their town is cursed, the action takes place over multiple time periods, with the newest one actually being the oldest era: the 1600s. That part of the story explores a witch hunt that changes the course of their history, but as it is the final chapter of a longer story, it ties together loose ends from all of the previous timelines, which is where Sink's Ziggy comes in: Sink plays the young version of this final girl character, with her scenes set in the late 1970s.


Fear Street Part One: 1994

Metascore: 67
Best for: Fans of supernatural horror
Where to watch: Netflix
Runtime: 107 minutes

Fear Street Part One: 1994 is where Stine's story all begins. A group of teens in present-day 1994, led by Deena (Kiana Madeira) want to get to the bottom of why their town of Shadyside seems to be so plagued by misfortune, unlike the neighboring town of Sunnyvale. Along with her friends, Deena starts digging into the town's haunted history to see if she can find the truth about the witch everyone thinks caused all this. Sink first begins her performance as Ziggy, though she's uncredited, in this film.


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Noah Schnapp

Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Noah Schnapp

Schnapp plays Will in Stranger Things, who has a rough go of it to start, getting stuck in the Upside Down and everything. He returns, but he is never quite the same, first experiencing physical changes from his connection to the underworld and later feeling like his friends moved on without him. Things continue down that path as his friends start pairing up, and moving thousands of miles to California can't help either. But he's an important part of the team no matter what.

Schnapp has starred alongside some of the Hollywood greats already in his career, including Tom Hanks, Anjelica Huston, and Adam Sandler. He's already taken on some impactful roles and has only been acting for a handful of years.


Bridge of Spies

Metascore: 81
Best for: Fans of historical thrillers
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 141 minutes

Based on real events, Bridge of Spies is the story of how insurance lawyer James Donovan (Hanks) goes from a seemingly normal life to being asked to assist the CIA with an incredibly tense mission. After a pilot is captured in the Cold War, the government is hoping James can use his excellent law skills to negotiate the pilot's release in this period piece that was released in 2015. His family, including a son played by Schnapp, is wary of him taking on such a job, but his desire to help his country propels him forward.


The Peanuts Movie

Metascore: 6
Best for: Charlie Brown fanatics
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 88 minutes

Charles M. Schulz's characters are brought to life in a new way in 2015's The Peanuts Movie. Charlie Brown himself is voiced by Schnapp in this story of the down-on-his-luck kid who just wants better for himself. Tired of always being a bit of a screw-up, Charlie is ready for something different. It's time to live up to his full potential, and he does just that in this inspiring cartoon fit for the whole family.


Abe

Metascore: 62
Best for: People who understand the power of food
Where to watch:

, Google PlayiTunes, TubiVudu
Runtime: 85 minutes

Abe (Schnapp) knows two things for certain: He loves to cook and his family can't seem to get along. One of his biggest hopes is to unite his conflicting family, and he thinks he can do it with the power of food. In an effort to appease both his Palestinian family members and his Israeli family members, Abe starts creating dishes that will appeal to both — but it's going to take more than just a simple meal to get everyone to finally be civil.


Hubie Halloween

Metascore: 53
Best for: Fans of the aforementioned Sandler's comedy
Where to watch: Netflix
Runtime: 102 minutes

Hubie (Sandler) may be a huge fan of Halloween in his hometown of Salem, Mass. in this 2020 Netflix film, but that doesn't mean the people in his town are a huge fan of his. In fact, Hubie is a bit of an outcast and the butt of most jokes. He has a chance to prove his worth, though, when he tries to save the town from certain tragedy — and perhaps impress his crush Violet (Modern Family's Bowen) and her foster son Tommy (Schnapp). Naturally, like any Sandler comedy, it's absurd and definitely memorable. 


Waiting For Anya

Metascore: 38
Best for: Fans of heart-wrenching historical fiction
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, , TubiVudu
Runtime: 109 minutes

This 2020 drama is set in Europe during World War II when Jewish families were being ripped apart. When a father and his daughter are separated, he makes it his mission to find her again. Along the way, Jo (Schnapp) and Horcada (Huston) step in to not just help reunite families, but also move Jewish children across the border from France to Spain and to hopefully find safety away from the Nazis who are hunting them.


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Finn Wolfhard

Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Finn Wolfhard

Wolfhard plays Mike Wheeler, who is part of the central friend group, but best friends with Will. He is also Nancy's younger brother and eventually Eleven's boyfriend. He's always along for the ride when the group has to go up against all manner of evil.

The Canadian actor has been in a number of short projects, including several music videos, and has even stepped in to direct a few of his own projects. He has has several supporting roles across TV projects, but he got his a big-screen break by starring in the most recent adaptation of Stephen King's It.


It

Metascore: 69
Best for: King fans
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 135 minutes

It's Maine in the 1980s, and Pennywise the clown (Bill Skarsgård) is about to wreak havoc on the sleepy town of Derry yet again. It's up to a group of ragtag kids called The Losers Club to come together, face their fears, and try to defeat this awful evil. What they don't know from the start, though, is that standing up to Pennywise means looking inward at their own demons at the same time. Wolfhard stars as Richie, a loud-mouthed kid Loses Club member with a lot to say in this 2017 first part of a two-part horror franchise adapted from King's 100-plus page novel of the same title.

The 100

Metascore: 64
Best for: Fans of apocalyptic stories
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix,
Seasons: 7

Based on the book series by Kass Morgan, this sci-fi coming-of-age drama follows the titular 100 kids who are put on a ship and sent back down to Earth to see if it is habitable. Decades earlier, a thermonuclear apocalypse supposedly wiped out whatever was left on Earth, but those with means were able to get themselves into space to live on ships. Now, they are running out of everything and need to find a planet on which to land. They use those deemed juvenile delinquents in their test run, but the kids survive the flight unharmed and find that Earth welcomes them. Although, it quickly turns out that there are still some people living on Earth, and they are not quite welcoming. Wolfhard guest-stars in the second season episode titled "Many Happy Returns" as Zoran, a young boy Jaha (Isaiah Washington) encounters when he crash-lands in a desert, after following the kids (one of whom is his son) down to Earth.


Duncanville

Metascore: 64
Best for: Fans of Amy Poehler's sense of humor
Where to watch: 

, fuboTV, Google Play, , iTunes,
Seasons: 3 (so far)

In this Poehler-created animated series, Duncan (voiced by Poehler) is your average teenager who would rather be living an above-average life. He wants the cool stuff that comes with growing up, but he's definitely not there yet — and his parents don't let him forget it. He's a little bit trapped in his mundanity but he and his family keep things pretty interesting for the most part. Wolfhard voices Jeremy in the Season 2 premiere, a character Duncan's sister tries to impress on vacation.


Supernatural

Metascore: 60
Best for: Fans of shows full of monsters, ghouls, and all manner of demons 
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix, Vudu
Seasons: 15

Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) are brothers who have devoted their lives to demon hunting after losing their mom to a supernatural force. Over the course of 15 seasons of the show, the Winchesters go up against every monstrous being imaginable — including vampires, ghouls, leviathans, demons, corrupt angels, and even God (Rob Benedict). Wolfhard appears in Episode 5 of Season 11, titled "Thin Lizzie," as a young boy named Jordie who loses his family to the latest monster of the week.


It: Chapter Two

Metascore: 58
Best for: Stephen King fans
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 169 minutes

It's 27 years after the last time Pennywise showed up in Derry in this 2019 sequel to It, and The Losers Club has all grown up. The clown is no less terrifying and murderous, though, and he's set his sights on a new group of innocents. Despite growing up and leaving town, The Losers Club can't sit idly by and allow Pennywise to keep killing — so they return to try to take him down once and for all. Wolfhard's Richie has grown up and is portrayed by Bill Hader in the present-day story, but Wolfhard still appears in flashbacks.