With the increased availability of streaming content, consumers have become more selective than ever in how they build their media libraries on Blu-ray and DVD. At the same time, it seems as if more movies and television series are being produced than ever before. In a sea of appealing content, how can you possibly choose which items to add to your personal library? This list explores ten of the best Blu-ray and DVD offerings, covering everything from addictive TV dramas to feature films. If you are looking to add to your media library, these choices are sure to deliver quality programming that you will want to revisit time and again.
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The latest installment in the Star Wars franchise has been breaking records ever since it opened in theaters. With J.J. Abrams at the helm, The Force Awakens has something for die-hard Star Wars fans as well as franchise newcomers. This action-packed film features Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill in their original roles, while also introducing viewers to a new generation of inter-galactic players on both sides of The Force. While you wait for Episode VIII, enjoy The Force Awakens and spin your own theories about how these new characters are connected to each other and to the franchise’s history.
2. Game of Thrones, Season 5
HBO’s fantasy hit Game of Thrones is the cinematic reimagining of George R.R. Martin’s beloved books. This TV drama has delighted in breaking unofficial genre boundaries in the most compelling—and often terrifying—ways ever since the first season. Season 5 is widely regarded as one of the series’ strongest, and you can watch the Houses Stark, Targaryen, and Lannister jockey for the power and the Iron Throne. This suspenseful series is a unique combination of fantasy, drama, and action, and Season 5 will make an excellent addition to your library.
3. The Peanuts Movie
If you grew up watching Linus and Lucy, The Peanuts Movie is a delightful return to form for all of your favorite Peanuts characters. The Collector’s Edition features a number of fun extras, including Snoopy Snippets and even Snoopy’s Playlist. A heartwarming family adventure, The Peanuts Movie is perfect for any audience, and the soundtrack—featuring Meghan Trainor’s hit “Better When I’m Dancin’”—will get you up off the couch as you dance along with Charlie Brown and the rest of his crew.
4. The Good Dinosaur
Another hit from Disney/Pixar, The Good Dinosaur imagines a world where dinosaurs never went extinct. With a charming connection between dinosaurs and one audacious human boy, this film tells a story of courage in the way that only Disney and Pixar can. In addition to other extras, the Blu-ray features a bonus theatrical short and a number of animation challenges.
For everyone who enjoys a superhero movie, Deadpool has changed the game. With Ryan Reynolds as the title character, this refreshing take on the superhero genre is a blend of impressive action sequences and pure comedic gold. Whether you’re a fan of Marvel Comics or simply a fan of Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool brings the action and the laughs in equal measure, ensuring that you never think of superheroes the same way again.
6. Spectre 007
No film library is complete without at least one James Bond film. In what is likely Daniel Craig’s final appearance as the famous superspy, Spectre 007 offers all of the thrills that we have come to expect from MI6. With Ralph Fiennes and Christoph Waltz rounding out the all-star cast, Spectre 007 provides all of the eye candy that made the franchise so popular in the first place. This installment travels to Mexico, London, and Italy in pursuit of a shadowy criminal network that James Bond was born to infiltrate.
7. The Big Short
The collapse of the nation’s largest banks is not a topic that generally smacks of comedy, but The Big Short manages to deliver a biting takedown of the 2008 financial collapse while maintaining a uniquely comic flavor. The star-filled cast includes Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, and Steve Carell, and the film is truly an example of a robust ensemble cast. A Best Picture nominee, The Big Short won the Academy Award in 2016 for Best Adapted Screenplay, and it is sure to become a modern classic.
In this era of reboots and sequels, Creed stands out as an exemplar of how best to reboot a beloved franchise. Following the story of Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis, Creed re-imagines the Rocky franchise for a contemporary audience while remaining loyal to Sylvester Stallone’s iconic Rocky Balboa. Starring Michael B. Jordan as Adonis, Creed won both critical and popular acclaim following its release, and it is the perfect way to introduce a new generation to one of cinema’s greatest sports franchises.
9. Star Wars Trilogy, Episodes IV-VI
The recent release of The Force Awakens has awakened in Star Wars fans a nostalgia for the original George Lucas trilogy. Available as a set on Blu-ray, Episodes IV-VI follow the saga of Luke and Leia Skywalker, Han Solo, and the galactic battle between good and evil. A truly modern epic, Star Wars is a science fiction favorite that delights fans of all ages. The original trilogy has become a cult classic and a standard in film history—you will never regret adding these three films to your shelf.
10. The Martian
This Matt Damon-Ridley Scott blockbuster follows the plight of an astronaut stranded on Mars, where he is left to fend for himself in the barren landscape while awaiting a rescue mission from his colleagues on Earth. Unlike any other space travel film, The Martian manages to deliver dense scientific material with a light touch, and Matt Damon is eminently likable as a self-described “Space Pirate.” This fresh take on interplanetary relations opens up a range of new possibilities for the genre, and no matter how many times you watch it, you will find yourself biting your nails as you await the main character’s fate.
With an apparently endless selection of titles on Blu-ray and DVD, it can feel impossible to begin assembling a personal library. This list offers something for everyone and every mood. Simply press “Play,” and immerse yourself in a new world on this planet or in the most distant reaches of the galaxy.