The best movies like The School for Good and Evil to watch next

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The School of Good and Evil quietly topped Netflix’s top 10 in October. And while the reviews are all over the place, director Paul Feig’s take on the much-loved fantasy series seems to be hitting the intended audience – primarily, anyone in need of an alternative to Harry Potter as the Fantastic Beasts films try to figure themselves out. That’s life.

With Charlize Theron, Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Yeoh, Kerry Washington and a handful of up-and-coming actors, The School of Good and Evil strikes that magic point between good, good and evil. It’s not too dark, not too sugar coated, and there’s a school of sorcery where sorcery is commonplace. But where can fans of the film fall for the same spell that isn’t just Harry Potter 1-8?

If you’re looking for more fantasy movies with a twist, blockbuster YA-adjacent entertainment, or just low-key wizardry, here are movies like The School of Good and Evil that fit the bill, suggested by Polygon’s movie recommendation team.


Ella, enchanted

Image: Miramax Films

The Anne Hathaway-directed 2004 adaptation of the children’s classic tells the story of Ella, who is cursed at birth to follow any order another gives her, and who journeys to find the fairy godmother who could undo fate. Ella, enchanted reinvents the fairy godmother trope into something both wacky and sinister, and the world is full of magic, from witches to elves to talking books. Really, the film has it all: action, adventure, romance, multiple dance numbers, evil stepsisters, and a Heidi Klum cameo. More importantly, it is the story of a young woman who learns to live for herself. —Nicole Clark

Ella, enchanted is available for rent on Amazon, Apple, google playand Vudu.

Halloween Town

Kimberly J. Brown and Debbie Reynolds at Halloweentown.

Image: Walt Disney Television

In this absolutely gripping 1998 Disney Channel Original movie, a young girl and her siblings learn they’re descended from a long line of witches and are transported to Halloweentown, an alternate dimension where supernatural creatures of all the planes of existence live together in harmony. . There are ghosts and ghouls, witches and wizards, goblins and werewolves, a cunning skeleton driving a taxi, a giant jack-o-lantern in the town square, flying broomsticks, a mayor resembling to Willy Wonka pulling a lollipop from his ear – should I continue?

The first film is honestly the highlight of the Halloweentown franchise, as everything after the sequel goes downhill. Of course, you wouldn’t necessarily expect a 1998 Disney Channel Original Movie to age well, but Halloween Town manages to stand the test of time. Debbie Reynolds is wonderful as the children’s grandmother, Aggie, as is Kimberly J. Brown as the precocious apprentice witch Marnie. If you’re looking for a fun holiday-themed movie with quirky characters, colorful settings, and creepy-but-not-too-scary thrills, Halloween Town is a safe bet. —Toussaint Egan

Halloween Town is streaming on Disney+.

The child who wanted to be king

Brown moppet-headed kid Alex staring at sword hilt with Scottish green hills behind him in The Kid Who Would Be King

Photo: 20th Century Studios

Joe Cornish fans Attack the block didn’t show up for its long-awaited follow-up, which was dropped by 20th Century Fox shortly before the Disney acquisition went into effect. But anyone looking for the authentic revival of 80s adventure movies like The Goonies should return to find this understated gem, which finds a 12-year-old boy inheriting Excalibur and leading an army of his buddies into battle against Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson). Cornish knows that to entertain the whole family, a movie needs to be thrilling, gritty, and a little spooky. The child who wanted to be king grant the wish. —Matte patches

The child who wanted to be king is streaming on Disney+.

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki flies her broom over the sea in the animated film Kiki's Delivery Service.

Image: Studio Ghibli/GKIDS

Studio Ghibli’s fourth feature film follows brave protagonist, Kiki, on a rite of passage journey for young witches. When she arrives in town, she finds a home by starting airline service for a bakery. The film weaves sorcery into the fabric of metropolitan life, taking fantasy themes and making them feel like a slice of life. The lovable cast of characters and wholesome story make this a great watch for all ages, but it also has a mature core. In Kiki’s pursuit for a place in the world, Hayao Miyazaki beautifully captures that lonely middle ground between childhood and growing into independence. —Nicole Clark

Kiki’s Delivery Service is streaming on HBO Max.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

A teenage boy with red hair and black gloves, a little brunette with curly hair in a sailor outfit, an invisible boy dressed in a newspaper outfit, two terrifying masked kids all dressed in white and a blonde in her twenties dressed in a blue dress stand in front of an opening to a cave in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Photo: 20th Century Studios

Tim Burton’s Last Great Movie Could Be sleepy hollow in 1999, as a blockbuster launched by an aging visual artist going full throttle, no, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is not prominent. But in an age of seamless superhero movies, it jumps out. Adapted from Ransom Riggs’ popular fantasy novel of the same name, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is essentially X-Men for goths, following a group of superhuman children all taming their abilities under the watchful eye of the shapeshifting headmistress (Eva Green). While the film mostly drifts from set to set, Burton goes to town with special effects, gruesome design, and even a bit of stop-motion to bring the world of quirky Peculiars and evil monsters to life. He even presents Samuel L. Jackson as a demon with white hair and fangs, and lets him go. TO. Town. There are plenty of goodies in this fantastic game, although not everything gels. (We didn’t get a sequel for a reason.) —deputy

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is streaming on Disney+.

Mirror Mirror

Snow White (Lily Collins) walks up the stairs to the throne room in a lavish blue dress with white trim and a giant orange bow on her back as people in equally colorful costumes cheer her on

Photo: Relativity Media

This confectionery version of Snow White was completely overshadowed by 2012’s other Reimagining Cinderella, Kristen Stewart’s action-packed vehicle Snow White and the Hunter (which stinks by the way). With Lily Collins (Emily in Paris) as a blonde princess and Julia Roberts as an evil queen, Mirror Mirror is all about storybook fantasy, as interpreted by visual extremist Tarsem. There’s whackadoo physical comedy courtesy of the midgets (deservedly performed by a cast of little people), there’s Bollywood-style musical sequences, and there’s lavish costumes courtesy of the legendary Eiko Ishioka, who was nominated for an Oscar for this brilliant but forgotten film-eye. There were few successors to The princess to be married done after The princess to be marriedbut with a light approach, Mirror Mirror is one of them – but no one ever talks about it. —deputy

Mirror Mirror is streaming on Starz and free with a library card on Houpla.

practical magic

Gillian (Nicole Kidman) and Sally (Sandra Bullock) cast a spell on a man lying on a table in Practical Magic.

Picture: Warner Home Video

This haunting fantasy romantic comedy directed by An American werewolf in London‘s Griffin Dunne stars Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock as two sisters trying to undo a family curse with the help of Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest. Sally (Bullock) and Gillian Owens (Kidman) are part of a family of witches, which includes their aunts (played by Channing and Wiest), who raised them after their mother’s death. It sounds like a dream (minus the dead mother), really, but Sally and Gillian struggle to come to terms with their abilities, and the old family’s curse: any man an Owens woman loves dies an untimely death. (If that’s not enough, a witch actually put a curse on the production.)

practical magic it’s a bit like a thirty year old The job, with its love spells, budding covens, dark humor and twists. But there’s also compelling family drama at its heart: Bullock and Kidman are a true fire-and-water combination, but still believable as sisters. And Wiest and Channing are the fairy godmothers – uh, witches – of our dreams. —Danette Chávez

practical magic is streaming on Hulu.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Balthazar (Nicolas Cage) casts a spell while defending Horvath (Alfred Molina) in The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Image: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

In this reimagining of a Disney Fancy in short, Jay Baruchel and Nicolas Cage battle the forces of evil and clumsy adolescence in a bubbly concoction of action-fantasy. Directed by Jon Turteltaub of the National Treasure franchise, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice follows a wizard named Balthazar (Cage) and his reluctant apprentice, Dave (Baruchel), who would rather play with his Tesla coils and romanticize his childhood crush, Becky (Teresa Palmer), than wage war on a group of other occult beings. But when things get dark (it’s a pun you’ll appreciate more if you follow our recommendation), Dave steps into the “old man’s shoes” that are part of his magical new uniform.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is as sweet as it is eerie, thanks to Cage’s surprisingly restrained performance — he was the driving force behind the film, so it could easily have gone off the rails — and Baruchel’s earnestness. It allows Alfred Molina to present himself as the main adversary in a film that balances wonder and sanity much better than its initial critical reception would suggest. —Danette Chávez

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is streaming on Disney+.

sky high

Kurt Russell in his superhero costume holds a young Michael Angarano by the shoulders in Sky High

Image: Buena Vista Pictures

In many ways, it’s the superhero equivalent of The School of Good and Evil. A superhero comedy about a high school for teenage superheroes, sky high developed a bit of a cult following for its corny fun times and lighthearted parody of the superhero genre (just before the genre exploded into the global blockbuster mainstay it is today). It stars Kurt Russell! There’s Mary Elizabeth Winstead, before she got famous! And it’s one of the only live-action projects that does stretch powers well. —Pete Volk

sky high is streaming on Disney+.

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