47 Best Netflix movies to watch now

Our list of the best Netflix movies just keeps growing. While Uncut Gems may have been removed from the streaming service, there’s another excellent Adam Sandler flick in its place, Hustle. Plus, we’ve added one of the most epic films in recent history – RRR – to this list, with the highly-anticipated Indian blockbuster finally available to watch at home.

Now, if that doesn’t float your boat, then there’s plenty more to choose from, like family-friendly movies Apollo 10½ and The Mitchells vs. The Machines, Oscar-nominated flicks – watch Tick, Tick…Boom! and The Power of the Dog, or perhaps a Scorsese instant-classic in The Irishman. There’s a lot to choose from, and all our choices for the best Netflix movies are available in both the US and UK right now, so it doesn’t matter where you’re based. We’re always updating this page too to make sure we include all of the latest releases on the streaming platform. And if you’re not after a new Netflix movie, then be sure to check out our lists on the best Netflix shows and best Netflix documentaries.

The best Netflix movies to watch right now



(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2022
Director: S. S. Rajamouli

There’s a reason RRR has been called one of the greatest action movies of all time. First released in cinemas, RRR has found a new life on Netflix, with Western audiences discovering this Indian epic. Directed by S. S. Rajamouli, the Telugu-language movie takes place in the 1920s and centers on two revolutionaries, Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) and Komaram Bheem (N. T. Rama Rao Jr.), in their explosive challenge of the British Raj. 

It’s lengthy at 182 minutes, but RRR doesn’t waste a second, cramming in everything from fiery bow and arrow battles and motorcycle chases to men fighting alongside bloodied tigers. If none of that tickles your fancy, firstly, what more do you want? Secondly, fear not, it also features a romantic subplot, a sweet bromance, and a couple of musical numbers, too. All of which culminates in making this one of the best Netflix movies you can watch right now.



(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2022
Director: Jeremiah Zagar

You don’t necessarily think of Adam Sandler when you picture the best Netflix movies. And yet, here Hustle stands as one of the best Netflix originals available to watch. And this one’s more uplifting than Uncut Gems (removed from this list after leaving the streaming service).

Hustle’s a sports drama that follows a former basketball recruiter, played by Sandler, who tries to revive his career by bringing a player from Spain, Juancho Hernangomez, a member of the real-life NBA team the Memphis Grizzlies, to play in the NBA. Queen Latifah, Ben Foster, and Robert Duvall, as well as several cameos from NBA players and coaches, appear in the movie. Prepare to get a bit weepy.

Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood

New Netflix movie Apollo 10 1/2

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2022
Director: Richard Linklater

Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood is the latest collaborative effort from the Oscar-nominated director Richard Linklater and actor Jack Black. The pair have worked together on numerous occasions, perhaps most famously on School of Rock, and their new movie is an equally joyful release, telling the story of a fourth-grader, Stanley, who’s sent to space after a pair of NASA scientists – played by Zachary Levi and Glen Powell – realize that they have accidentally built modules that are too small for an adult. 

Though about a youngster, Apollo 10½ is very much set in the past, the fictional events taking place in 1969, the year the very real Apollo 11 first took humans to the moon. Plus, the non-fantastical elements are deeply rooted in Linklater’s own past, with the film acting as partly autobiographical. Meanwhile, Black plays an older version of Stanley. The story’s not the only notable thing about Apollo 10½ – while the movie was shot in live-action, the whole thing is animated, the actors rotoscoped over, leading to some fantastically inventive sequences. 

The Hand of God

The Hand of God

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2021
Director: Paolo Sorrentino

Set in mid-’80s Naples, where the world’s greatest footballer, Diego Maradona, has sensationally signed to play for the city’s top-flight team, The Hand of God is a bittersweet coming-of-age tale, telling the story of a sensitive teenager and Sorrentino surrogate Fabietto (the up-and-coming Filippo Scotti). The title refers to the controversial goal scored by Maradona against England in the ’86 World Cup, but it’s also a nod to the twist of fate which shapes the protagonist’s future life. 

Within its loose, episodic structure, The Hand of God offers some brash laughs; there’s fun to be had spending time with Fabietto’s larger-than-life relatives, friends, neighbors, plus a diverting drop-in on an extras-casting session for a Fellini film. Not one to miss.

Tick, Tick… Boom!

Tick, Tick... Boom!

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2021
Director: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Hamilton whiz Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his directorial debut with Tick, Tick… Boom!, an energetic adaptation of a lesser-known work by Rent creator Jonathan Larson. The largely autobiographical story follows wannabe theatre composer Jon (Andrew Garfield) as his post-college dream collides with reality: working in a New York diner in 1990, he’s burdened with a desperate urge to stage his musical ambition before he turns 30. An effusive Garfield is superb in his first singing role, while Miranda directs with verve, avoiding the usual stage-to-screen pitfalls while nailing the varied musical numbers.

Dick Johnson Is Dead

Dick Johnson is Dead

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2020
Director: Kirsten Johnson

Dick Johnson Is Dead is one of those rare documentaries that’s so much more than just a documentary. The film focuses on Dick Johnson, a man still very much alive but will one day, like all of us, die. His daughter, Kirsten Johnson, is behind the camera and makes her father walk through various situations that could lead to his death. This is all about coming to terms with mortality and losing loved ones, and does so in a surprisingly upbeat-yet-melancholy way. You really won’t see anything else like it.

The Power of the Dog

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2021
Director: Jane Campion

Jane Campion’s first feature since 2009’s Bright Star is a subtle spin on sibling rivalry, repressed emotions and rural living. Based on Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel, its story dials back to 1920s Montana and into the world of the ranch-owning Burbank brothers, Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George (Jesse Plemons). The more bookish of the two, George manages the business while the rough-hewn Phil can more typically be found castrating cattle. 

When George meets and marries Rose (Kirsten Dunst), widowed mother to sensitive teen Pete (Kodi Smit-McPhee), it sends Phil into an apoplectic rage. Soon, he’s brutally haranguing Rose, who starts to self-medicate with booze, and ominously befriending Pete. But there’s more to this story than jealousy and rage, as Campion drops hints about hidden love from the past that might well be a dangerous thing in cowboy country. 

Beautifully filmed (with New Zealand doubling for the States), The Power Of The Dog is surely Campion’s most elegant movie since The Portrait Of A Lady or even The Piano. True, it has a tendency to meander and lands Last Night In Soho’s Thomasin McKenzie with an underwritten role. But at its heart is a brooding Cumberbatch, offering one of the shrewdest performances of his career. The Road’s Smit-McPhee also impresses, especially as his character grows more important in the film’s final, unexpected third.


Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson in Passing

(Image credit: AUM Group)

Year released: 2021
Director: Rebecca Hall

Passing was a hit on the film festival circuit – the period drama stars Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga as mixed-race childhood friends who reunite in adulthood and become obsessed with one another’s lives. Set in New York City in the ’20s, both women ‘pass’ as white, but choose to live on opposite sides of the color line. The directorial debut from actor Rebecca Hall, the movie is shot in black and white and based on the novel of the same name by Nella Larsen.

The Harder They Fall

Year released: 2021
Director: Jeymes Samuel

It’s estimated that a quarter of cowboys were Black, but you’d never know it from Hollywood westerns, which so whitewashed American history that Mel Brooks found provocative humor in having a Black man holding the reins in 1974’s Blazing Saddles. Like Mario Van Peebles’ 1993 oater Posse, The Harder They Fall by Jeymes Samuel (aka London singer/songwriter The Bullits) looks to change things up and have a blast doing it, with its starry Black cast trading shots in thrilling sequences of stylized violence set to quality music.

Many of the larger-than-life characters in The Harder They Fall are historical figures. But Samuel and his co-writer Boaz Yakin (Now You See Me, 2012’s Safe) aren’t past playing fast and loose with history themselves, albeit in less harmful ways. So what we have here is a fictional revenge tale that entangles lives that, in some cases, never did cross, as Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) – aka Deadwood Dick – reconvenes his old gang, including former flame Stagecoach Mary (Zazie Beetz), to take down fearsome outlaw Rufus Buck (Idris Elba). Only Buck has reteamed with his own posse – ‘Treacherous’ Trudy Smith (Regina King), Cherokee Bill (LaKeith Stanfield), and more. Also in the volatile mix is legendary US Marshal Bass Reeves (Delroy Lindo). An almighty gunfight is on the blood-rimmed horizon…


Bo Burnham in Inside

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2021
Director: Bo Burnham

Bo Burnham’s Inside isn’t your normal comedy special. Made and released during the Coronavirus pandemic, Inside is unlike anything else during the same period. It starts off laugh-out-loud funny, with some great songs about white women’s Instagram profiles and Facetiming with your parents. However, it soon looks inward, with Burnham addressing depression, turning 30, Jeff Bezos, and a growing discontent with the internet. We won’t spoil anything more, but the overall experience is a thought-provoking film that will have you rethinking your relationship with being inside for months on end…

Fear Street Trilogy

Best Netflix movies - Fear Street Part 1: 1994

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2021
Director: Leigh Janiak

A popcorn-friendly horror romp, Fear Street Part 1: 1994 is a colorful addition to Netflix’s catalog. Kiana Madeira leads the cast as Deena, a high schooler who lives in Shadyside (AKA “Shittyside”), a village afflicted by a severe case of serial killers. Every few years, a Shadysider goes on a murderous rampage, and Deena and her ex girlfriend, Alex, get caught in the mystery of why the village is seemingly cursed.

Fear Street will delight anyone wanting to sink into some ‘90s nostalgia or simply enjoy a Saturday night slasher. An R-Rated adaptation of R. L. Stine’s novels, it has been made with teenage sleepovers, squeamish first dates, and every other popcorn-friendly situation in mind. Not one to miss – and the two sequels are just as good as the first, so well worth watching, too.

Army of the Dead

Best Netflix movies - Dave Bautista in Army of the Dead

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2021
Director: Zack Snyder

Following Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Snyder is back with a heist movie with an undead twist. Army of the Dead follows a group of mercenaries sent into a zombie-ridden Las Vegas, where they need to nab a huge cash prize before the city gets nuked. The problem is, these aren’t your regular shambling living dead – they’re fast, strong, and organized… and there’s even a zombie tiger in the mix. 

The massive cast includes Dave Bautista, Omari Hardwick,  Ana de la Reguera, Ella Purnell, and Matthias Schweighöfer. There’s already a prequel movie and animated series in the works, too, so there’s plenty more to come if this two and a half hours of zombie slaying action just isn’t enough.

The Mitchells vs. The Machines

Best Netflix movies - The Mitchells vs the Machines

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2021
Directors: Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are credited as producers here, but as with Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, their fingerprints are all over this extremely enjoyable Netflix animation. As well as sharing a visual DNA with their madcap CG toon Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, The Mitchells Vs. The Machines is as irreverently funny as 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie. And, like Spider-Verse, it has a unique visual style that rewards close inspection.

It follows the titular family of four (plus pug), as teenage daughter Katie (Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson) prepares to leave home for film school. She’s content to fly, but dad Rick (Danny McBride) spies a chance to mend their ailing relationship by driving her, cross-country, to her dorm room, along with mum Linda (Maya Rudolph) and brother Aaron (voiced by Rianda).

The White Tiger

Best Netflix movies - The White Tiger

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2021
Director: Ramin Bahrani

A vibrant rags-to-riches tale set in metropolitan India it may be, but Ramin Bahrani’s darkly comic drama shares more in common with Parasite than it ever does with Slumdog Millionaire. Adapted from Aravind Adiga’s 2008 Booker-winning bestseller of the same name, The White Tiger stars Adarsh Gourav as lowly chauffeur Balram, whose eyes are opened to the metaphorical ‘chicken coop’ that keeps the have-nots in their place, while the wealthy thrive. The novel’s rich social commentary still resonates in this cinematic adaptation. This one easily earns a place among the best Netflix movies going.

Malcolm & Marie

Best Netflix movies - Zendaya and John David Washington in Malcolm & Marie

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2021
Director: Sam Levinson

John David Washington and Zendaya play the eponymous couple in this stylish black and white movie about a director and his partner whose relationship is tested on the night of Malcolm’s latest movie’s premiere. Director Sam Levinson is known for creating the HBO show Euphoria, in which Zendaya also stars, and when production on the series halted due to COVID-19, Zendaya and Levinson discussed making a feature together instead. 

The result is Malcolm & Marie, an intimate movie that you will either love or despise. One Total Film reviewer gave the movie five stars, another two stars. Whether you can or cannot stand this Netflix flick, there’s no denying Washington and Zendaya give superb performances. 

Pieces of a Woman

Best Netflix movies - Pieces of a Woman

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2020
Director: Kornél Mundruczó

You may recognize Vanessa Kirby from her brilliant turn as Princess Margaret on The Crown. In Pieces of a Woman, she’s equally brilliant, giving a stunning performance as a woman struggling with the trauma and grief of losing her newborn baby. 

The film co-stars Shia LaBeouf, and is directed by Kornél Mundruczó. Not one to be watched lightly, especially with an almost 30-minute long, one-take birth scene. Kirby, throughout, gives a stunning performance, which has earned her an Oscar nomination. And quite rightly.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom 

Best Netflix movies - Chadwick Boseman in his final film: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom on Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2020
Director: George C. Wolfe

Containing Chadwick Boseman’s final performance, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom stars Viola Davis as the eponymous Ma Rainey, a singer known as the “Mother of the Blues.” Set across the course of one afternoon in 1927, tensions rise as Ma Rainey challenges her manager and producer – while Boseman’s Levee, a trumpeter, has ambitious plans of his own. The film is adapted from the August Wilson play of the same name, and Denzel Washington produces. 

The film is swept along by its two potent central performances, Davis generating hefty diva-power with her proud, obstinate, blues-preaching Ma, determined not to be reduced to a ripped-off voice. Boseman’s wiry, angry Levee brings the film’s real charge, however, giving every rippling horn improv, fierce God-taunting rant, and soft-shoe shuffle the urgency of a man racing to make his mark with his art. The desperate, eloquent force of his performance gives this muscular film added punch and poignancy.


Best Netflix movies - Mank

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2020
Director: David Fincher

David Fincher’s long-awaited biographical drama about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, Mank, has been a long time coming. Fincher’s father Jack wrote the script for the movie back in the ’90s, but the project didn’t come to fruition until last year. It follows Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) as he writes Citizen Kane, as well as his relationships with newspaper tycoon WIlliam Randolph Hearst (Charles Dance) and Hearst’s mistress Marion Davies (Amanda Seyfried). 

Oldman and Seyfried are both excellent, careers highs that should be showered in awards glory. Plus, this is Fincher’s first movie since 2014’s Gone Girl – the director brings everything to Mank, edited to perfection and becoming one of Hollywood’s finest love-letters to itself.

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

Best Netflix movies - El Camino

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2019
Director: Vince Gilligan

“Only you can decide what’s best for you, Jesse.” Those words, said during the opening moments of El Camino, epitomize the character’s journey through Breaking Bad – the show-stopping series that charted the rise and fall of Walter White. El Camino continues Jesse’s journey beyond the finale, offering a sendoff for the beloved former meth cook.

El Camino could have fallen apart quite easily, yet Aaron Paul’s intense portrayal of a man suffering PTSD holds everything together. He perfectly slips back into Jesse’s shoes, making the time spent between the series ending and El Camino’s release fade away. Thanks to Paul’s gravitas, the movie feels like a satisfying closure for the character. El Camino, then, offers a final farewell to some of the greatest characters ever to appear on television screens. And Jesse, poor Jesse, finally gets the closing chapter he deserves. 

His House

Best Netflix movies - His House

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2020
Director: Remi Weekes

His House arrives is an excellent horror that’s best watched on Halloween, though can be enjoyed any time of the year. The story revolves around two immigrants who flee their war-torn country for a better life in England. However, they are given a new home that’s invaded by a certain… presence. 

This one’s a timely tale that’s anchored by two superb central performances by Wunmi Mosaku and Sope Dirisu. We’ll leave the rest for you to discover, but this is one haunted house horror you won’t want to miss.

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Netflix movies - The Trial of the Chicago 7

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2020
Director: Aaron Sorkin

In September 1969, seven members of the radical left were lumped together and charged with conspiracy and inciting to riot; the charges related to anti-Vietnam War and countercultural protests held in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. An eighth defendant, Bobby Seale (played here by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), was also bundled into this “all-star team” of revolutionaries by Richard Nixon’s Attorney General John Mitchell.

Aaron Sorkin could have directed this as a straightforward courtroom drama. However, thanks to a heavy-weight cast (Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt) this is as gripping as they come. Trial of the Chicago 7 makes for an emotionally tough watch – though an exhilarating one too, given the torque of Sorkin’s talk. What really resonates are the shocking parallels to the current political landscape, the death of George Floyd, and the ensuing protests that were met this summer with tear gas.

Enola Holmes

Best Netflix movies - Enola Holmes

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2020
Director: Harry Bradbeer

Meet the little sister of Sherlock and Mycroft; charming, witty, and in a whole lot of trouble. Join the rambunctious Enola Holmes as she journeys across London in an attempt to solve, not one, but two mysteries. Stranger Things actor Millie Bobby Brown is delightful as the eponymous heroine, and the fourth-wall-breaking movie is the perfect light-hearted escape for anyone stuck at home. 

The movie also unites Brown with another Netflix star, The Witcher‘s Henry Cavill, who offers a new take on Sherlock that rivals Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch’s versions, even though his screen time is minimal. It’s all surprisingly charming – and well worth a watch on Netflix.

The Devil All the Time

Best Netflix movies - Tom Holland in new Netflix movie The Devil All the Time

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2020
Director: Antonio Campos

It’s not hard to imagine the scorchingly hot cast of Netflix’s The Devil All The Time attracting, then traumatizing, an unsuspecting young audience. Part-time superheroes Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, and Sebastian Stan lead this stacked ensemble – yet director Antonio Campos’ (Afterschool, Simon Killer) adaptation of Donald Ray Pollock’s novel couldn’t be further removed from the breezy, mainstream comic-book fare. 

A sprawling Southern Gothic drama set in post-war Ohio, around the epicenter of a town called Knockemstiff, TDATT’s time-hopping story begins with Willard Russell (Skarsgård) returning from World War 2 and starting a family with Charlotte (Haley Bennett). This movie’s a harrowing experience – but a worthwhile one, if you can stomach it. Plus, once you’ve watched this one, be sure to read our ending explained piece with the director.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Best Netflix movies - I'm Thinking of Ending Things

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2020
Director: Charlie Kaufman

Based on Iain Reid’s acclaimed novel of the same name, Charlie Kaufman’s latest movie I’m Thinking of Ending Things follows a young woman (Jessie Buckley) who – despite having second thoughts about her current relationship – travels with her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to meet his parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis) on their secluded farm. However, this is no normal family visit: proceedings soon to sinister as the woman becomes self-reflective and they turn nasty.

From the creative mind of the man behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is a psychological thriller that will fry your nerves and leave you questioning what is real and what isn’t. Top tip: don’t believe everything you see… Certainly one of the best Netflix movies streaming right now.


Best Netflix movies - A still from Netflix's Atlantics

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2019
Director: Mati Diop

A spooky love story set in Senegal. A 17-year-old named Ada has fallen in love with a young construction worker, Souleiman, who one day disappears at sea and ides. Those who were missing on the boat return to their old neighborhood to haunt those left behind, with some hoping to wreak revenge for being underpaid. Souleiman, though, has other plans.

There’s something magical about Atlantics. A ghost story that’s not scary, but earnestly romantic and political comment on poor working and living conditions in Senegal. The cinematography is beautiful, and Mati Diop’s direction is superb. Critics have found it hard to categorize, and you can see why.

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Best Netflix movies - A still from Netflix's The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2017
Director: Noah Baumbach

Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller star in Noah Baumbach’s remarkable intergenerational comedy-drama about three siblings (Sandler, Stiller, and Elizabeth Marvel) trying to navigate life in the shadow of their father (Dustin Hoffman). As they contend with him, each other, and their families, they find their lives taking unexpected turns. 

If you’ve seen Baumbach’s previous movies, such as The Squid and the Whale or Greenberg, you’ll know what you’re getting here: a quirky comedy with emotional, dramatic elements, and some darn good performances too. He’s also co-written several of Wes Anderson’s movie scripts, including The Life Aquatic and Fantastic Mr. Fox. And yes, you better believe it, Adam Sandler can act, when he’s given a half-decent script (see Punch-Drunk Love for further proof). 


Best Netflix movies - A still from Netflix's Okja

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2017
Director: Bong Joon Ho

Bong Joon-ho directs a sci-fi adventure movie with overt references to the modern food industry. Starring Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, and a cast of insanely talented actors, Okja caused a lot of discussion and debate at the time of its release, especially around the ethics of meat production. It also showed that companies like Netflix could make a success – and a thumping one – of left-field creative choices, as long as they do it with confidence. And Bong Joon-ho and co have that in plentiful supply. 

Its bold and inventive storyline, great action, and eye-popping visuals make this a delightful movie. Also, who needs an excuse to watch anything with Tilda Swinton in it? Plus, its Bong Joon-ho… you know you’re in good hands when this Oscar-winning director’s on board.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Best Netflix movies - A still from Netflix's The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2018
Directors: Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

In one of Netflix’s largest coups, the streaming service produced a Coen brothers project. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – which was initially going to be a television show – consists of six short films, each detailing a story from the American West. Which makes this not one Coen movie, but technically Coen movies all wrapped up into one. And Coen movies are, as cinema aficionados know, quality (well, most of them). 

While you might not take a night to go watch a series of shorts at the cinema, firing it up at home and making yourself cozy on the sofa is easy. Also, if you get interrupted, tired, or otherwise distracted, each movie won’t last longer than an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, so you can divvy it up if needed. 

Da 5 Bloods

Best Netflix movies - A still from Netflix's Da 5 Bloods

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2020
Director: Spike Lee

Spike Lee has been reminding us that Black Lives Matter since the mid-’80s, but his cries have unsurprisingly taken on a renewed urgency in recent years: Chi-Raq and BlacKkKlansman are among his most potent works. Da 5 Bloods (opens in new tab) matches those films for righteous anger, telling the story of four US veterans (played by Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Norm Lewis) returning to Vietnam to locate and repatriate the remains of their squad leader (played by Chadwick Boseman). 

There’s also the little matter of finding a trunk of gold bullion they buried during the war – it was intended to pay locals for their help against the Viet Cong, but when it went down with a CIA plane, our heroes took it for themselves. This is a frequently fierce, fascinating picture. The world needs it right now.

Marriage Story

Best Netflix movies - A still from Netflix's Marriage Story

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2019
Director: Noah Baumbach

Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson play a couple looking to get a divorce. He’s a controlling theatre director; she’s an actress looking to break out into the movies. Together, they are a mess whose only real bind remains their son. 

Marriage Story (opens in new tab) really is a warts-and-all piece of filmmaking, with all the horrible details of divorce – having to look for lawyers, questioning who gets to keep the child, parents who seemingly go out of their way to worsen the situation – being portrayed on screen. That realness comes from director Noah Baumbach’s impeccable screenplay, which he wrote after completing his own divorce. Not one to watch if your relationship isn’t emotionally stable. 

The Irishman

Best Netflix movies - The Irishman

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2019
Director: Martin Scorsese

Scorsese’s adaptation of I Heard You Paint Houses – Charles Brandt’s book chronicling the life of mob underling Frank Sheeran – took its time getting here, and takes a fair amount of time to watch. Packed with a show-stopping cast, Robert DeNiro leads the show as the former truck driver who falls in with a Pennsylvania crime family led by Joe Pesci’s Russell Bufalino. 

The Irishman (opens in new tab) is a classic Scorsese pic that’s all the better for its three-and-a-half-hour runtime, which delves deep into a previously-unexplored territory: the loneliness of a lifelong crook. Alongside Al Pacino as Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa, Pesci and De Niro receive two of their meatiest parts to date. The movie’s CGI de-aging techniques will wow you.


Roma – one of the best Netflix movies to watch right now

Year released: 2018
Director: Alfonso Cuarón

All filmmakers put themselves in their work. It’s unavoidable. Alfonso Cuaron brings his past to the fore in his opus, Roma, using his upbringing on the Mexico City streets as inspiration. An entirely no-name cast makes this exhilarating movie shine, with a story that follows live-in housekeepers for a middle-class family. Set during the ’70s, Roma spins on ideas of class and culture and places them inside some of the most breathtaking shots you’ll likely ever watch on Netflix. 

After the likes of 2013’s Gravity – a complex space-set thriller hung together by cutting-edge CGI – Roma is a breath of fresh air. A simplistic dive that’s already being heralded as a masterpiece, and one of the best movies ever made, why wouldn’t you want to see that?

I Lost My Body

I Lost My Body – one of the best movies on Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2019
Director: Jérémy Clapin

A French animation about a severed hand trying to reconnect with its owner is a darkly funny adventure drama that’s packed with pathos. After escaping a Parisian hospital, the independent hand traverses the city – fending off oncoming traffic, erratic pigeons, and feral rats along the way – in an impossible quest to rejoin the body it once belonged to, that of clumsy loner Naoufel.

I Lost My Body is a study of scaled-down, ground-level danger, with great comedy found in the detail. It’s also a meditation on fractured identity, heightened by the hand’s poignant hope for reconciliation. Director/co-writer Jeremy Clapin sensitively combines melancholy with an ultimately life-affirming message.

Dolemite Is My Name

Best Netflix movies - A still from Netflix's Dolemite is My Name

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2019
Director: Craig Brewer

Eddie Murphy plays Rudy Ray Moore, the iconic actor who created the phenomenon that was Dolemite, a kung-fu fighting pimp who released comedy albums and movies. Dolemite Is My Name tells of Moore’s struggles to get famous, and then, even when being famous among the black community, the trials that he had to overcome to get his movie made.

Murphy has rarely been better than in Dolemite Is My Name. This is his movie, with the comic actor carrying every scene – and it’s a tragedy that he was not showered with gold at the Oscars. Wesley Snipes as director D’Urville Martin is also excellent.

Beasts of No Nation

Best Netflix movies - A still from Netflix's Beasts of No Nation

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2015
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga

One of Netflix’s very first productions was a bold proposition indeed; a war movie in a fictional African country, performed for long stretches in Twi (a dialect of the Akan language spoken in Ghana), about a child soldier groomed for violence by a simultaneously terrifying and magnetic commandant. Beasts of No Nation plays out in just as bleak a manner as the premise suggests, leaving the viewer morally conflicted and emotionally exhausted.

In a movie that’s equal parts thrilling and harrowing, Idris Elba delivers an absolute masterclass in his role as the commandant. You watch him groom a child for war and perform several war crimes, and yet, somehow, you still find yourself wanting to root for him. And no less of a revelation is the young Abraham Attah as Agu. It’s all directed, written, and shot by Cary Joji Fukunaga, who’s gone on to direct No Time to Die, and you can see why Bond’s producers liked him. 

Private Life

Best Netflix movies - A still from Netflix's Private Life

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2018
Director: Tamara Jenkins

Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn play a married couple who are desperately trying to have a baby. As time is running out for them, they try to go for various methods of assisted reproduction, but when college dropout Sadie suddenly enters their life, everything changes. It’s a mix of comedy and drama, with that typical sort of existentialism that only seems to exist in New York-set movies.

In many ways, Private Life’s a combination of your archetypal New York indie movie and your archetypal middle-aged conflict indie movie, but director Tamara Jenkins (2007’s The Savages) infuses it with her special brand of charm. Also, Giamatti is in vintage form with Hahn delivering a great performance, too. Like with so many of Netflix’s successes, the strength of this movie lies in the script’s understated authenticity rather than reliance on the sensational.


Best Netflix movies - A still from Netflix's Mudbound

(Image credit: Sundance)

Year released: 2017
Director: Dee Rees

Set in the post-WWII Southern US, Mudbound is a dramatic thriller about the racial tensions and cultural segregation that still thrived at that time, almost a century after the abolition of slavery. It follows a cast of characters both white and black, as they navigate the often volatile society of the South, while at the same time dealing with the traumatic aftermath of World War II. 

Mudbound is a war drama akin to a progressive rock song, adding layers and elements throughout, culminating in a true epic as all its strands converge dramatically. Aside from its cultural relevance today with increased racial tensions in recent years, it’s a damn good movie in its own right and marks both Jason Mitchell and Garrett Hedlund’s finest performances to date. This one’s a mammoth. 

The Other Side of the Wind

Best Netflix movies - A still from Netflix's The Other Side of the Wind

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2018
Director: Orson Welles

A previously-lost Orson Welles film, The Other Side of the Wind features Jake Hannaford, an elderly Hollywood director, hosting a screening for his new movie, also titled The Other Side of the Wind. The movie-within-a-movie spoofs both the Golden Age of Hollywood and the experimental cinema that punctured much of the late-1960s. The kicker, too, is that the audience is told straight away that this is Hannaford’s final day on Earth. Not a bad way to start a movie, that’s for sure.

Not only is this a piece of movie history (having previously remained incomplete after Welles’ death), The Other Side of the Wind is unmissable for several reasons besides that. It’s a fantastic pastiche of modern and classic cinema, and is Orson Welles giving something new to the medium he dedicated his life towards. It also comes coupled with a documentary, They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead, which is just as endlessly fascinating and re-watchable as the source material.

The Little Prince

Best Netflix movies - A still from Netflix's The Little Prince

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2015
Director: Mark Osborne

Netflix doesn’t only focus on mature-themed movies, even though the freedom from R-ratings gives it plenty of scope for swearing, violence, and sex. Here you’ll find a precious little animated movie based on a French novella from 1943, about a young lonely girl whose imagination is transported to another world through magical stories told by her eccentric neighbor. As she embarks on this journey, she discovers a world of wonder invisible to the naked eye, changing both her, him, and the girl’s mother in the process.

In an age where cynicism almost seems like a default emotion, be it in daily life, politics, or even cinema, The Little Prince is refreshingly heartfelt. It’s not a perfect movie in terms of pacing, but by golly is it pretty. It’s clean, wholesome fun for the family, and we can never have too much of that.

Gerald’s Game

Best Netflix movies - A still from Netflix's Gerald's Game

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2017
Director: Mike Flanagan

Directed by Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House (opens in new tab) and Doctor Sleep (opens in new tab)), Gerald’s Game is a thriller with a twist: the protagonist is handcuffed to a bed for almost the entire movie. Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood play a couple who rent a secluded cabin to spice up their marriage. Shortly after handcuffing Gugino’s Jessie to the bed as part of a sex game, Gerald suddenly dies. Tied to the very sturdy bed, and with no one else close enough to hear her cries for help, Jessie faces a fight to survive.

Claustrophobic thrillers like this can often be hit-and-miss, but this one’s in the former category. It’s led almost entirely by Gugino’s intense performance, with the ever-classy Greenwood pretty much the only other cast member. The quality of acting elevates a well-executed genre movie. 

High Flying Bird

Best Netflix movies - A still from Netflix's High Flying Birds

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2019
Director: Steven Soderbergh

In a lockout in a pro basketball league, a young and ambitious sports agent named Ray finds himself at the center of a pitched battle for power between the players and the owners. Representing a supremely skilled young player, he decides to fight what he sees as a system of suppressing the voice of predominantly black players by the teams’ owners, who are mostly white, in an escalating high-stakes game of ratings, money, and power. 

If you’re a sucker for a sports drama, you’ll love High Flying Bird. Like the movie correctly states, basketball is the sexiest sport on Earth, and there is some great action here peppered in among strong conversation scenes. It’s all directed by Steven Soderbergh, who has retired more times than Michael Jordan but just can’t stay away. Plus, it’s all shot on an iPhone.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Best Netflix movies - A still from Monty Python's Holy Grail

(Image credit: Python Pictures)

Non-Netflix original available in US/UK

Year released: 1975
Director: Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones

King Arthur (Graham Chapman) and his Knights of the Round Table ride off in search of the titular goblet. Well, it’d be more accurate to say that they pretend to ride on horses while their servants provide the coconut-based sound effects. The medieval setup makes way for some of Monty Python’s most memorable jokes; the Knights who say “ni”, the French soldiers who sling insults at Arthur and his knights, the entire “‘Tis but a scratch” sequence… There are loads.  

Not every comedy appeals to every palette. Some people like broader physical humor, others might prefer satire. When it comes to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it’s tough to imagine who wouldn’t enjoy it. It’s got everything. Slapstick shenanigans, fourth-wall-breaking, innuendo, deadpan delivery, and surrealism all play a part. Watching it today, you can spot styles and ideas pinched by later comedians, but no one does this mishmash of absurdity better than this bunch. After all, a great joke is only told the first time once.  


Best Netflix movies - A still from Netflix's Sheherazade

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2018
Director: Jean-Bernard Marlin

A 17-year-old offender, Zachary, gets out of jail in his home city of Marseilles and immediately gets back into cahoots with his old gang to continue his life of crime, which includes pimping out sex workers. One day, though, he meets Shéhérazade, a young sex worker. He falls for her, and gradually becomes increasingly involved with her, which causes all sorts of conflict as his life escalates out of control.

Yes, this movie navigates a well-trodden narrative path, but Shéhérazade more than earns your two free evening hours. There’s French grit, simmering tension, and echoes of other French dramas involving outcast youths involved in crime (La Haine springs to mind). Plus a gorgeous neon-tinged visual palette mixes with the squalor the characters find themselves desperately trying to escape, with a strong soundtrack and confident performances from the young cast. 


Best Netflix movies - A still from Netflix's 13th

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2016
Director: Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay turned heads with Selma, the director’s brilliant look at Martin Luther King’s march on Selma. Two years later, DuVernay returned with the documentary 13th, named after the Thirteen Amendment of the United States Constitution, banning slavery throughout the country. However, the filmmaker argues that slavery has taken on another form: the incarceration of freedmen into prisons.

What follows is one of Netflix’s most powerful documentaries, with 13th showing just how people of color have continued to suffer under unfair and unjust laws and policing. Duvernay’s unflinching look at the prison system – which highlights just how much some companies are making from keeping people locked up – was nominated for an Oscar, and rightly so.

The Old Guard

Best Netflix movies - A still from Netflix's The Old Guard

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2020
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood

The Old Guard (opens in new tab) sees Charlize Theron playing an eternal warrior who’s fed up with the world. Despite her best efforts, it just keeps getting worse. Plus, due to camera phones and modern technology, it’s getting harder and harder to hide her true nature from those who want to use it for nefarious purposes. Add to the mix a new immortal fighter, played by KiKi Layne, who has no idea of her true powers, and Theron’s Andy is in for one wild time. 

Netflix’s attempt at big-budget superhero action may not quite be Marvel’s standards, but it’s certainly a thrilling watch. Theron makes for a bad-ass warrior who anyone would follow into battle, while the ending leaves The Old Guard open for a sequel. IF you’re into comic-book action, then The Old Guard is for you.

I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore

Best Netflix movies - I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2017
Director: Macon Blair

From the producer of Green Room, and starring the criminally-underrated Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood – who has mastered the art of the offbeat outcast character in recent years (just watch Dirk Gently, Maniac, or Wilfred for proof) – you might assume I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore will a be a left-field movie. And you’d be correct. It follows the increasingly violent misadventures of Ruth and her martial-arts-obsessed neighbor Tony as they track down a burglar who stole Ruth’s grandmother’s silver spoon. 

Equally humorous and cynical, I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore is one of the best Netflix Original movies because it echoes many people’s disaffection with the world. It is an often-hilarious take on someone who decides to stand up against an increasingly self-centered society… albeit with surprisingly bloody results.

The Two Popes

Best Netflix movies - The Two Popes

(Image credit: Netflix)

Year released: 2019
Director: Fernando Meirelles

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, later Pope Francis, and Pope Benedict XVI have an interesting relationship. There were disagreements in the way the Church should be run, with Pope Benedict having more classical beliefs. And yet, Benedict also became the first Pope to renounce his position since 1415, with Pope Francis taking over. 

What happened? That’s the question this wholesome movie about faith attempts to answer, painting a pleasant portrait of two men at odds coming to an understanding. Even if you’re not religious, The Two Popes makes for a light watch that’s enhanced drastically by two incredible central performances: Jonathan Pryce as Pope Francis and Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict. They were both rightly nominated for Oscars.

Got a different streaming service? Then check out the best movies on Disney Plus and the best movies on Amazon Prime.

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