The Best Transformers Movie Is Finding New Life On Streaming

By Britta DeVore | Updated

Bumblebee (2018)

Over the years, fans of the Transformers franchise have had more than their fair share of content to feast their eyes on. From television shows to video games to movies, the brand has gone far beyond just a toy line, successfully making itself a household name. Now, FlixPatrol reveals that the spinoff, Bumblebee, is currently holding down the #6 place on Paramount+ and, with many fans citing this as the best movie in the Transformers franchise, there’s never been a better time to check it out for yourself.

Bumblebee is in the #6 spot of the most streamed movies on Paramount+.

The year was 2018 and for over ten years, director Michael Bay had put out a whopping five Transformers flicks. Stepping in to take the reins was Travis Knight. Serving as the director of Bumblebee, Knight mad a great prequel flick focus on the titular Autobot.

Lending his voice to the titular bot was Dylan O’Brien with a live-action and vocal cast that featured Hailee Steinfield (Hawkeye), John Cena (Barbie), Angela Bassett (the Black Panther franchise), Justin Theroux (Parks and Recreation), and Pamela Adlon (King of the Hill).

The cast was rounded out by Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Love, Simon), John Ortiz (Fast & Furious), Jason Drucker (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul), and Peter Cullen (The Transformers animated series). Jumping from his animation roots, serving as a producer on titles including ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls, Bumblebee marked Travis Knight’s sophomore directorial feature and his first live-action project.

While he stepped away from his post as director, Michael Bay still attached his name to the rebooted Transformers project, serving as a producer.

Transporting audiences back to 1987, Bumblebee follows the Autobot as he’s on the run and hiding out in a junkyard along the Pacific Ocean in California. Along comes Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), a troubled 18-year-old girl searching for her life’s purpose.

John Cena in Bumblebee (2018)

When she stumbles upon the little yellow Volkswagen, she can’t help but refurbish it, but soon realizes that there’s more than meets the eye, unknowingly setting herself on the journey of a lifetime and on track to come face-to-face with a multitude of Transformers.

Released just in time for the holiday viewing spike, Bumblebee performed well at the global box office, bringing in $468 million against its budget of $102-135 production million. Despite the high sales numbers, the movie was the lowest-grossing film in the Transformers franchise.

In the eyes of critics, Bumblebee was a huge success, with the Transformers prequel drawing praise for its pulse-pounding action scenes, Knight’s directorial vision, the effects, and Steinfield’s performance. A refreshing restart on a franchise that had previously focused on a majority of male stars, Steinfield was a breath of fresh air, reinvigorating the fandom. 

Bumblebee tried to revive the Transformers franchise, and while critics and fans loved it, it made the least of any film in the series to that point.

While the vision, performances, and special effects may not have carried Bumblebee to the major award shows, the film was not without its award circuit mentions. The Transformers prequel found itself mentioned at events, including the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, the Teen Choice Awards, and the Saturn Awards.

Hailee Steinfeld in Bumblebee (2018)

On Rotten Tomatoes, Bumblebee crushes the rest of the competition, sitting at 91 percent with the next closest title, 2007’s Transformers, at 57 percent. 

Although it took a few years following the success of Bumblebee, the Transformers franchise recently continued at the beginning of the summer. Directed by Steven Caple Jr. (Creed II), Transformers: Rise of the Beasts acted as a sequel to Bumblebee.

Bumblebee is the highest-rated Transformers film on Rotten Tomatoes.

Set in 1994, the next chapter included live-action performances from Anthony Ramos (In The Heights) and Dominique Fishback (Swarm) with vocal performances from the likes of Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Pete Davidson (Saturday Night Live), Colman Domingo (Euphoria), Ron Perlman (Nightmare Alley), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once), and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez (Pose). 

With director Josh Cooley the next to sit in the director’s chair on a Transformers project with 2024’s Transformers One, now is the perfect time to jump back into the action of Bumblebee on Paramount+. Whether it’s your first time taking the beloved Transformers character for a spin or your tenth, there’s a good reason why the critics had such high regard for the title. Find out for yourself now.