Weekend View Queue: 'Shawshank,' 'Harry Potter,' and More to Stream

We're celebrating World Book Day by giving you some awesome streaming picks based on great books.

By Jesse Conner

Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins in "The Shawshank Redemption."

© Columbia/courtesy Everett Collection

Netflix Picks:
  • The Shawshank Redemption

    © Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

    As many movie fans know, this pick is a timeless classic about a banker who is sentenced to life in the Shawshank State Penitentiary. What some may not know is that this film is actually based on a 1982 Stephen King novella titled "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption." Thie film is a story of hope and perserverence no matter what circumstances you've been given, and it's an apt choice nowadays.

    The Shawshank Redemption

    Drama / 1994 / R

    Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for the murders of his wife and her lover and is sentenced to a tough prison. However, only Andy knows he didn't commit the crimes. While there, he forms a friendship with Red (Morgan Freeman), experiences brutality of prison life, adapts, helps the warden, etc., all in 19 years.

  • Room

    © A24/courtesy Everett Collection

    Our next pick is of a similar nature about a woman who is abducted, taken advantage of, and held captive for 7 years. The new mother and her now 5-year-old son might have a chance at escaping this "room" which until now her son has believed to be the entire world as he's known nothing else. It's a very emotional film, it's a great one and it's based on the book "Room" written by Emma Donoghue (she also wrote the movie).

    Room

    Drama / 2015 / R

    Held captive for years in an enclosed space, a woman (Brie Larson) and her young son (Jacob Tremblay) finally gain their freedom, allowing the boy to experience the outside world for the first time.

Hulu Picks:
  • Wonder

    © Lionsgate/courtesy Everett Collection

    A different type of hardship is having the whole world to explore, but not feeling like you're able to fit in. That's the exact kind of burden this film covers as it follows a boy with Treacher Collins syndrome who has had 27 surgeries and as a result displays severe scars and disfigurements on his face. It's based on a book by the same name, "Wonder," written by R.J. Palacio.

    Wonder

    Drama / 2017 / PG

    Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie Pullman becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade. As his family, his new classmates, and the larger community all struggle to discover their compassion and acceptance, Auggie's extraordinary journey will unite them and prove you can't blend in when you were born to stand out.

  • True Grit

    © Paramount Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

    This film adaptation of Charles Portis' 1968 "True Grit" is the story of a 14 year-old farm girl who hires a drunk, wildcard officer to hunt down a notorious outlaw that has murdered her father. It features an all-star cast, and there was also a previous film adaptation in 1969 that had a noteworthy cast as well. If you're looking for a gritty western film, then this is the pick for you.

    True Grit

    Drama / 2010 / PG-13

    After an outlaw named Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) murders her father, feisty 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) hires Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), a boozy, trigger-happy lawman, to help her find Chaney and avenge her father. The bickering duo are not alone in their quest, for a Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf (Matt Damon) is also tracking Chaney for reasons of his own. Together the unlikely trio ventures into hostile territory to dispense some Old West justice.

Amazon Prime Video (included with Prime):
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    © Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection

    You've probably been wondering, "Where is my Harry Potter pick?" Don't worry, we wouldn't leave something this iconic off our list. Though you should just have a binge-a-thon and watch all 7 of these films, we found you the pick that you don't have to pay for if you have Amazon Prime. J. K. Rowling's 2003 novel obviously came first, but both the book and the film are something that everyone should experience.

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    Fantasy / 2007 / PG-13

    Now in his fifth year at Hogwarts, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) learns that many in the wizarding community do not know the truth of his encounter with Lord Voldemort. Cornelius Fudge, minister of Magic, appoints his toady, Dolores Umbridge, as Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, for he fears that professor Dumbledore will take his job. But her teaching is deficient and her methods, cruel, so Harry prepares a group of students to defend the school against a rising tide of evil.

  • To Kill a Mockingbird

    © Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

    The final pick on our list is probably more well-known as a book (from English class), but the film -- told through the eyes of young Scout about her father Atticus Finch's defense of a black man wrongly accused of rape - is just as memorable and effective. Set in the deep south, this story of stereotypes and racism still rings true today, and its message of empathy and compassion and justice is an important reminder, maybe even more so as we're all self-reflecting in our spaces.

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    Drama / 1962

    Scout Finch (Mary Badham), 6,and her older brother, Jem (Phillip Alford), live in sleepy Maycomb, Ala., spending much of their time with their friend Dill (John Megna) and spying on their reclusive and mysterious neighbor, Boo Radley (Robert Duvall). When Atticus (Gregory Peck), their widowed father and a respected lawyer, defends a black man named Tom Robinson (Brock Peters) against fabricated rape charges, the trial and tangent events expose the children to evils of racism and stereotyping.

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