Do you enjoy gritty crime dramas, historical epics, and storytelling from a diverse perspective? Those are some of the focal points of STARZ, a premium cable network and standalone streaming service for some of the best TV shows and movies. In this STARZ Review, I’ll help help explain what is STARZ and if a STARZ subscription is worth it!
What is What is STARZ Channel?: The Basics
STARZ is both a premium cable network (similar to HBO or Showtime) and a standalone subscription service with on-demand content that you can access through the STARZ app. With a STARZ subscription, you get access to tons of movies and TV shows, including many originals.
While this review focuses on the STARZ streaming service, it's worth noting that there are three basic ways to get STARZ:
- With a cable or television provider as a premium channel add-on.
- As a premium add-on to streaming services like Amazon Prime Video channels, The Roku Channel, Hulu, Apple TV channels, Philo, Sling TV, and fuboTV.
- As a standalone streaming subscription service that you access through the STARZ app. No cable subscription or additional streaming service is required!
All of the same shows and movies that are on the STARZ cable channel are available to watch on-demand in the STARZ app. In fact, you can access new episodes of STARZ originals before they air live. New episodes are available at midnight the day they air. So instead of waiting till 7:00 or 8:00PM to watch a show, you could watch it at any point in the day through the STARZ app.
STARZ Shows and STARZ Movies: What's on STARZ?
The biggest draw for would-be STARZ subscribers is going to be the various STARZ original series. Unlike other streaming services that have focused on a wide range of content that appeals to lots of different people, STARZ has focused on some very specific genres.
The appeal of STARZ will largely depend on if these STARZ shows seem intriguing based on your personal interests. Let’s break down some of the major categories of STARZ original shows.
- The Power Universe: As the audience for the original Power show grew during its six-season run, it became the most-watched STARZ series ever. At one point, it reportedly averaged 10 million viewers an episode. The show was executive produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and was about a ruthless drug dealer who decides to leave the criminal world and become a nightclub owner.
- While the original Power series has concluded, multiple spin-offs exist in the Power Universe including Power Book II: Ghost, Power Book III: Raising Kanan, and Power Book IV: Force. Another spin-off, Power Book V: Influence, is on its way, too.
- BMF: also produced by 50 Cent, that follows the true story of the Black Mafia Family, an infamous drug and money laundering organization.
- Hightown: this show takes place in Cape Code and is about a lesbian woman suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction who becomes involved in a murder investigation after discovering a dead body.
- Crime documentaries: Confronting a Serial Killer follows journalist Jillian Lauren as she investigates serial killer Sam Little. Meanwhile, Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult examines the famous New York-based “sex cult.”
- Outlander: Like Power, this is another flagship show on STARZ, although with a much different premise. It is based on a series of novels and focuses on a WWII nurse in Scotland who time travels back to 1743 where she falls in love with a dashing Highland warrior. This show is currently in its sixth season and will be getting a separate prequel series as well.
- Historic Miniseries: The White Queen and its sequels The White Princess and The Spanish Princess tell the story of women involved in the struggle for the British throne in the 1400-1500s. Upcoming shows include Becoming Elizabeth about the early years of Queen Elizabeth I and The Serpant Queen, about Catherine de’ Medici.
- Genre-spanning epics: Spartacus ran for a few seasons and one miniseries and followed the famous historical gladiator who led an uprising against the Roman Republic. The Michael Bay-produced pirate adventure Black Sails lasted for four season and acted as a prequel to Treasure Island. Da Vinci’s Demons was a historic fantasy series about Leonardo da Vinci’s early life.
Other STARZ Shows Worth Noting
- Comedies: Run the World follows a group of Black women living in Harlem as they navigate their relationships and professional lives. Shining Vale is a horror comedy starring Courtney Cox about a dysfunctional family who move into a haunted house. Party Down is a cult favorite show about a group of caterers hoping to make it in Hollywood that will soon be getting a revival series. Ash vs. Evil Dead is a horror comedy that ran for three seasons and takes place in the same universe as Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead films.
- More Dramas: Heels follows the rivalry between two brothers that are professional wrestlers. The Girlfriend Experience is a Steven Soderbergh-produced anthology series based on his 2009 film about high-end escorts. The GLAAD Media Award and NAACP Image Award-nominated P-Valley follows the lives of employees at a nightclub in the Mississippi Delta.
There are a number of big-name Hollywood releases on STARZ, particularly from Sony Pictures. STARZ has the rights to stream Sony’s 2021 theatrical slate before any of the other streaming services (including the megahit Spider-Man: No Way Home). This deal shifts to Netflix for Sony’s 2022 films, though.
At the time of writing, some of the movies on STARZ include Spider-Man Homecoming, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Venom, Beauty Shop, Ray, the Saw series, and Iron Man 3. There’s also a dedicated section for Westerns. The titles available shift month-to-month.
The “Kids & Family” is rather limited. There are some popular family movies, though. These include Matilda, Disney’s live-action Cinderella, and The Land Before Time.
STARZ Price & STARZ Subscription
STARZ offers one membership tier that is charged on a monthly basis without any commitment. The normal price for STARZ is $8.99 per month. However, there are various promotions throughout the year which may include discounts or free trial periods.
At the time of writing, you can get a STARZ subscription for just $3/mo. for six months by clicking the button below!
The STARZ app is available on a wide range of devices including smartphones and tablets, streaming media players, game consoles, smart TVs, and computers. One omission would be Playstation game consoles, although you can get it on Xbox.
Performance on the app ran pretty smoothly when I tried it on my Apple TV and iPhone. One mild annoyance, however, was that the “STARZ” logo periodically appears in the corner of the screen while you are watching movies and shows. This isn’t something I’ve seen on other streaming apps. While it surprised me to see that, this was a pretty minor detail.
You can stream shows on up to four devices at a time, download shows and movies for offline play, and set up five profiles per STARZ account with an option for parental controls. Take note that 4K streaming is not available on STARZ, unfortunately.
Is STARZ Worth It?: Final Thoughts
STARZ is a streaming service with a decent lineup of movies, including some that are hard to find other places. The STARZ Originals are well-crafted and provide plenty of entertainment. If historical dramas and crime shows appeal to you, there’s going to be a lot to watch on STARZ.
Because the shows available skew towards specific genres, though, that gives STARZ more of a niche appeal. For most people, this will not be a replacement for Netflix, Hulu, or HBO Max. What it will be is a fantastic outlet to stream shows like Outlander or the Power Book series, if that’s your thing.
If any of the shows mentioned in this review sound intriguing, I’d encourage you to give STARZ a try by clicking the button below!
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