The weekend is here once more and for many of us that means a movie night is imminent.


Fortunately, Netflix has a large library of titles to choose from including recent Oscar contenders Maestro and Past Lives and several previous Best Picture winners and nominees such as Parasite, 12 Years a Slave and Top Gun: Maverick.

Meanwhile, fans of Dune: Part Two – and let's face it, that's a lot of people right now – can catch the first part of Paul Atreides's journey on Arrakis in Netflix's library as well as director Denis Villeneuve's earlier film Arrival.

And if you can't get enough of Andrew Scott in miniseries Ripley, you may wish to try out the earlier adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel, which starred Matt Damon in the title role.

Read on for our latest picks of the best films on the streaming service below – updated weekly – or head over to our guides to the best series on Netflix and best comedies on Netflix.

More like this

Alternatively, check out our helpful list of Netflix secret codes which help you unlock hidden movies and TV shows.

Updated: 11th April 2024

Best movies to watch on Netflix right now

The Talented Mr Ripley (1999)

The Talented Mr Ripley
Matt Damon in The Talented Mr Ripley. Miramax

Matt Damon and Jude Law have arguably never been better than they were in this mesmerising adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's thriller novel from director Anthony Minghella. The pair respectively play expert conman Tom Ripley and wealthy heir Dickie Greenleaf, with the former growing obsessed with the latter after inserting himself into his glamorous life in Italy – with all sorts of dramatic consequences.

Damon and Law are joined by a stellar supporting cast including terrific performances from Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett and Phillip Seymour Hoffmann, while the beauty of the Italian landscape is shot superbly to create an enticing atmosphere that viewers can't help but get caught up in. Consistently suspenseful and enthralling, it's also a film that manages to have an emotional centre despite the sociopathic tendencies of its main character.

Arrival (2016)

Amy Adams as Louise Banks in Arrival
Amy Adams as Louise Banks in Arrival Paramount Pictures

Any Dune fans wanting more thought-provoking science fiction from Denis Villeneuve need look no further than Arrival. This 2016 film sees a mysterious extraterrestrial species land on Earth, with linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) tasked with finding a way of communicating with them.

Don't go in expecting explosions and action sequences – Arrival is a quieter take on alien encounters than we typically see from Hollywood. Nevertheless, it remains thoroughly compelling throughout with knockout performances from Adams as well as co-stars Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker.

If you were impressed by the visuals in Dune, you'll be pleased to hear that this offering is also a feast for the eyes, with Villeneuve conjuring up some mesmerising imagery as Banks seeks a connection with her mysterious new acquaintances. Brace yourself for a surprisingly moving finale!

The Matrix Resurrections (2021)

Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss return in The Matrix Resurrections
Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss return in The Matrix Resurrections Warner Bros

This one is an acquired taste, for sure. However, if news of a fifth film in The Matrix franchise has piqued your curiosity, you may want to see exactly how Lana Wachowski ended things in her recent solo directing gig.

The Matrix Resurrections picks up with Neo and Trinity seemingly back in their old, artificial lives, unaware of exactly who they are or how important they once were to each other. The film proceeds to veer off in some strange directions, including a meta narrative that some have interpreted as a scathing critique of the modern Hollywood studio system.

Some of it works, some of it doesn't – in the latter camp is replacing Laurence Fishburne with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, which feels odd opposite the returning Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne-Moss. But like any project from the Wachowskis, it's certainly interesting. You'll have an opinion on it and, if you're a fan of the original films, you might even find something to love.

Widows (2018)

The cast of Widows
Widows (2018) Twentieth Century Fox

Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen will release his latest film Blitz at some point in 2024, so now's a good time to catch up with some of his earlier efforts. One of those films is Widows, his 2018 thriller which was inspired by the '80s British TV show of the same name, but with the action transposed to contemporary Chicago.

Among the film's many virtues is the all star cast, which includes top-notch performances from the likes of Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, Daniel Kaluuya and Colin Farrell – while Viola Davis is on especially electric form.

The film's twisty and suspenseful plot – which tells of an audacious robbery attempt by the widows of three career criminals – packs in plenty of social commentary while, as usual with McQueen, there is also a lot of visual flair on display.

Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

Tom Cruise stars in Top Gun: Maverick
Tom Cruise stars in Top Gun: Maverick. SEAC

If you've seen this action sequel starring Tom Cruise already, then you'll know why it did such gangbusters at the box office when it was first released, and why it was nominated for six Oscars. It a sequel which is far superior to its predecessor, which is thrill-ride throughout but also manages to retain its heart.

Cruise is his usual magnetic self as he reprises his role as Maverick, who has to teach a group of younger Top Gun graduates to pull off a daring but vital mission, including Goose's son, played by Miles Teller.

It's a film which manages to rid you of any cynicism you may have had going in, and simply fill you with awe as you watch the stunts being pulled off and the action sequences being accomplished.

Room (2015)

Brie Larson as Ma and Jacob Tremblay as Jack in Room, sat together on the floor
Brie Larson as Ma and Jacob Tremblay as Jack in Room.

Brie Larson and a young Jacob Tremblay star in this hugely moving adaptation of Emma Donoghue's novel of the same name. It tells the harrowing yet hopeful story of a woman taken hostage and held captive in a man's basement, who later manages to escape alongside her young son.

It's the type of story which could easily be bleak and tough to watch, and while there are scenes that fit that bill, for the most part its an uplifting story, told with sensitivity and a necessary, light sprinkling of humour, while never failing to acknowledge the horror of what the characters are going through.

Larson rightly won Best Actress at the Oscars for her performance, while Tremblay marked himself out as a young performer to watch.

Ford v Ferrari (2019)

Matt Damon in Le Mans '66
Matt Damon in Le Mans '66. Fox

Originally titled Le Mans '66 for its UK release, this Oscar-nominated motor racing drama from James Mangold is an energetic crowd pleaser featuring a starring turn from Christian Bale – who steals the show as the eccentric and somewhat obnoxious driver Ken Miles.

The film sees Ken team up with Matt Damon's designer Carroll Shelby as they try to build a car worthy of winning the famously challenging 24 Hours of Le Mans race, under the watchful eye of Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts).

The tussle for control between the by-the-book methods of the corporate suits and the more maverick sensibilities of the motorsport diehards makes for a gripping and entertaining viewing experience, and the film has a playful swagger to it which majes the two-and-a-half-hour runtime zip by. Meanwhile the thrilling climax at Le Mans makes for exhilarating viewing.

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Punch Drunk Love
Punch Drunk Love.

Alongside his outstanding performance in Uncut Gems, Adam Sandler's turn in this excellent Paul Thomas Anderson romantic drama must surely rank as the comedian's finest hour. He plays Barry Egan, a frustrated, lonely and easily agitated bachelor who unexpectedly finds love while also dealing with a blackmail threat from the owner of a phone-sex line.

The film has an offbeat, absurdist humour to it, and there are excellent supporting performances from Emily Watson as Barry's love interest Lena and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as his chief intimidator, while Anderson also makes great use of the song He Needs Me – first heard in Robert Altman's live action Popeye film from 1980.

Far less epic and sprawling than many of the filmmakers other works such as Magnolia and There Will Be Blood, it nonetheless ranks as another triumph for the director – a truly original and often very funny look at mental health and falling in love.

Gone Girl (2014)

Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne in Gone Girl, stood by a missing poster featuring Amy Elliot Dunne, as played by Rosamund Pike
Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne in Gone Girl. 20th Century Fox

David Fincher's most recent film The Killer was slightly more divisive than some of his past works, but one of his most acclaimed films, both critically and with audiences, is available to stream on Netflix now.

That is Gone Girl, the 2014 adaptation of Gillian Flynn's thriller novel, which stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in a twisted story of love gone wrong. It's a perfectly pitched adaptation and thriller, keeping you on the edge of your seat throughout, genuinely blindsiding you at points, and featuring some truly memorable, disturbing sequences.

It also features terrific performances from the whole cast, but none is better than Rosamund Pike, who completely owns the role of Amy in ways which would be too spoilerific to mention here, in case anyone out there still has yet to catch up with the film. If you count yourself amongst them, now's your chance – head to Netflix and find out exactly what we're talking about.

Snatch (2000)

The cast of Snatch stood in a line and looking into the camera against a white background
Snatch. Sony/Columbia Pictures

Guy Ritchie has been on a big journey as a filmmaker, starting off in gritty yet somewhat comic British crime films, going through a period of IP filmmaking with the likes of Sherlock Holmes and Aladdin, before returning to his roots. Now, with his original Netflix series The Gentlemen having just been released, it's the perfect time to revisit one of his earliest and most beloved film efforts.

Snatch, which stars Brad Pitt, Vinnie Jones, Benicio del Toro and Jason Statham, follows a group of characters operating in the London criminal underworld, with plotlines involving the search for a stolen diamond and a boxing promoter's run in with a ruthless gangster.

Like many of Ritchie's films it may be somewhat divisive with viewers, but it has style to spare, some uproarious comic moments and some brilliant action which proves why Ritchie has become the household name that he is today.

Past Lives (2023)

Greta Lee as Nora and Teo Yoo as Hae Sung in Past Lives smiling together
Greta Lee as Nora and Teo Yoo as Hae Sung in Past Lives. StudioCanal

The idea of past lives and lost love are the two major themes that form the backbone of this film, which rightfully garnered a lot of praise and five star reviews when it debuted last year. Now available to watch on Netflix, the film follows Nora (Greta Lee) and Hae Sung (Teo Yoo) who start off as childhood friends with a deep connection but when Nora's family emigrates to America, they lose touch.

Years later, they reconnect on Facebook and find that their feelings for one another haven't been lost but are actually even stronger despite the many differences in their lives now. Things come to an eventual head in the movie when Hae Sung finally comes to New York to visit Nora who is married to Arthur (John Magaro) but his arrival signals more than just a reunion.

Often poetic and deeply thoughtful, Past Lives interrogates the ideas surrounding fate and destiny against a backdrop of changing identities, making for a film you'll be left thinking about long after watching.

Belfast (2021)

Jude Hill plays Buddy
Jude Hill stars as Buddy in Belfast. Rob Youngson / Focus Features

With The BAFTA Film Awards fast approaching, and the Oscars not far behind, now could be a perfect time to revisit one of the biggest hits from the 2022 awards season, Belfast.

Directed by Kenneth Branagh and featuring an all-star cast including Caitríona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds and Colin Morgan, the film is semi-autobiographical, and tells the story of a young boy growing up in Northern Ireland at the beginning of The Troubles.

While being a moving and illuminating period piece, it is also a love letter to cinema, and is gorgeously shot in mostly black and white. You can feel Branagh's own personal connection with this story through and through, making it a stirring experience.

Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio star in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio star in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood. Columbia Pictures

With news being reported that Brad Pitt is set to star in Quentin Tarantino's final film, The Movie Critic, now's a great chance to revisit their last collaboration, Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood.

The film was notable for teaming up two of the world's biggest movie stars, Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, while also starring Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate, and telling an alternate history version of what, in real life, were the film star's final days.

Tarantino's love for the period exudes from the screen and is truly infectious – while there's little in the way of plot here, it's a joy simply to hang out in this world with these characters. Meanwhile, the finale is one of the goriest, but also funniest and most cathartic climaxes Tarantino has ever put on screen.

The Favourite (2018)

Emma Stone sat down in 18th century dress in The Favourite
Emma Stone in The Favourite. 20th Century Fox

Poor Things has proved to be hugely popular with critics, audiences and awards bodies, and is currently in contention to win Best Picture at the Oscars. It's perhaps no surprise – the last time that director Yorgos Lanthimos and star Emma Stone collaborated was in 2018, which produced multi-award-winning film The Favourite.

Alongside Stone, that film starred Olivia Colman in what turned out to be an Oscar-winning performance, starring as Queen Anne in early 18th-century Great Britain. The film told a historical story but did so with Lanthimos's trademark wit, style and personal flavour, which may be divisive for some, but means that none of his films are ever boring.

In actuality, it's one of Lanthimos's most accessible films to date, and while it may not be the faint of heart or those looking for a traditional period piece, it is a pitch black comedy which is well worth your time.

Dune (2021)

Josh Brolin and Oscar Isaac in Dune (2021)
Josh Brolin and Oscar Isaac in Dune (2021). Warner Bros

Dune: Part Two may have been delayed from its intended 2023 release into 2024, but that just gives viewers more time to catch up with the original – especially now it has been added to Netflix's library.

The sci-fi epic, based on the 1965 novel of the same name, sees director Denis Villeneuve at perhaps his most cinematic yet, producing incredible, gorgeous imagined landscapes to provoke awe in viewers, while still managing time for some epic action sequences, wonderful character development and deeply textured world-building.

The film features a who's-who of incredible acting talent, from Timothée Chalamet to Oscar Isaac, Zendaya to Rebecca Ferguson, and tells the story of Paul Atreides, who is thrust into a war on the desert planet Arrakis. This is sci-fi at its most epic – no wonder it won six Oscars back in 2022.

Maestro (2023)

Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro wearing a suit, conducting an orchestra
Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro. Netflix

Bradley Cooper announced himself as a major new directorial voice with his Oscar-nominated remake of A Star Is Born five years ago, and his second feature Maestro proves that was no fluke. Focusing on one of the most iconic American musicians of the 20th century in Leonard Bernstein (played by Cooper himself), the film shines a light on his sometimes volatile relationship with wife Felicia Montealegre (Carey Mulligan).

Filmed in both black and white and colour, it is a consistently gorgeous film to look at and also includes a brilliant soundtrack full of some of Bernstein's finest work. Meanwhile, the performances are superb – with both Cooper and Mulligan correctly emerging as possible frontrunners for major awards attention.

The film runs the full gamut of emotions and there are several standout scenes: from a joyous dance sequence during a rehearsal for On the Town and a breathtaking six-minute scene of Bernstein conducting Gustav Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony, to a blistering argument between Bernstein and Montealegre at their New York apartment and several heartbreaking moments when the latter falls ill. It's well worth a watch.

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget (2023)

Mrs Tweedy in Chicken Run 2 looking sly
Mrs Tweedy in Chicken Run 2. Netflix/YouTube

More than twenty years after the first film became an instant claymation classic, Ginger, Rocky and the rest of the flock return in this joyous sequel, where we find them on a utopian island paradise following their audacious escape from the evil Mrs Tweedy.

But when Ginger (voiced by Thandiwe Newton) and Rocky (Zachary Levi) discover that their intrepid daughter Molly (Bella Ramsey) has set off on her own adventure, old enemies rear their heads and only an expertly orchestrated heist can avert a calamity.

The increased scale compared to the original offers director Sam Fell plenty of opportunities to showcase a number of highly innovative and intricately designed set pieces. And, as ever with Aardman, there's also a terrific assortment of verbal and visual gags to delight audiences, while the film crucially retains the handcrafted, eccentric charm that has become synonymous with the studio.

Spencer (2021)

Kristen Stewart as Diana in Spencer.
Kristen Stewart as Diana in Spencer.

With the final season of The Crown having recently arrived on Netflix, now is as good as time as any to check out this alternative royal drama from Chilean director Pablo Larrain (with a script by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight).

Billed as a "fable from a true story", the film sees Kristen Stewart put in an incredible performance as Princess Diana, following her as she has an existential crisis while staying at the Sandringham Estate over Christmas 1991.

A melodrama with a dreamlike tone and moments of surrealism, it's markedly different in feel from the more straight-laced The Crown, but it offers a fascinating interpretation of Diana's mindset during a troubling time – and it also looks beautiful throughout.

Parasite (2019)

A woman on a staircase looking shocked
Parasite. SEAC

When Parasite was announced as the first non-English-language Best Picture winner at the 2020 Oscars, few film fans had any complaints. Bong Joon-ho's masterpiece functions equally well as a suspenseful Hitchcockian thriller, a pitch-perfect black comedy and a biting class satire – complete with some extraordinary performances from its cast.

The film follows events after four members of a working-class family sneakily take it in turns to find work at the plush home of a more well-to-do family, before their elaborate ploy eventually leads to a nail-biting showdown in the latter stages. Tense, intelligent and extremely entertaining, it's unquestionably one of the finest films of the 21st century.

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Good Will Hunting
Good Will Hunting Miramax

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were only in their mid-20s when they co-wrote this film, but it's a remarkable achievement that deservedly won them a Best Screenplay Oscar. The film follows Will Hunting (Damon), a troubled but fiercely intelligent janitor at MIT who seeks help from psychiatrist Dr Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) when he suffers an emotional crisis and risks a jail sentence.

It's a tender, heartfelt drama with several standout scenes and a brilliantly melancholic soundtrack consisting of songs by the late singer-songwriter Elliott Smith, while the performances from Damon, Minnie Driver, and especially the Oscar-winning Robin Williams are uniformly superb. A real crowd-pleaser.

Get Out (2017)

Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out
Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out Blumhouse Productions

It's difficult to believe that this film was Jordan Peele's directorial debut – instantly marking him out as one of the most influential cinematic voices of his generation and justifiably winning him all sorts of acclaim, including an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. A psychological horror film with a generous dose of social satire, it follows Black photographer Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) as he spends a weekend with the family of his wealthy white girlfriend Rose (Alison Williams).

When he arrives, he almost immediately has the uneasy feeling that something isn't quite right, and it gradually becomes clear that the family's veneer of kindness is shielding a seriously sinister secret. Kaluuya's superb central performance, Peele's incredibly sharp script, and a host of well-chosen film influences combine to make Get Out an irresistible experience – at once top-quality entertainment and intelligent food for thought.

Chicago (2002)

Catherine Zeta Jones as Velma Kelly in Chicago
Catherine Zeta Jones as Velma Kelly in Chicago SEAC

Rob Marshall's Oscar-winning adaptation of the classic Kander & Ebb stage musical was a huge hit in 2002 – at the time becoming the highest-grossing live-action musical ever (a record that was broken by Mamma Mia! six years later). It follows Velma, an infamous nightclub singer who kills her husband and sister after finding them in bed together, and Roxie, an aspiring Vaudevillian who murders her paramour, as they are both defended by sleazy but successful lawyer Billy Flynn.

Complete with tremendous performances from Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, and John C Reilly among others, and a superb assortment of standout musical numbers – All That Jazz and Cell Block Tango are just two of the highlights – this is an irresistibly entertaining spectacle that was good value for its Best Picture triumph.

Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street
The Wolf of Wall Street. Paramount

Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio's latest collaboration, Killers of the Flower Moon, received critical acclaim this year, meaning there's never been a better time to revisit one of their most successful previous works together - The Wolf of Wall Street.

In the 2013 biographical film, DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a former stockbroker who pleaded guilty to fraud and related crimes in 1999. The Titanic star is electric in the role, which earned him a nomination for Best Actor at the Oscars.

Meanwhile, the film is notable for showing us the dramatic talents of Jonah Hill, and introducing many filmgoers to Margot Robbie. It's a thrill-ride of a film, which more than earns its length and seeps viewers in its own excesses, before masterfully pulling the rug from under them and showcasing the horror beneath.

Submarine (2010)

Craig Roberts as Oliver Tate and Yasmin Paige as Jordana Bevan in Submarine
Craig Roberts as Oliver Tate and Yasmin Paige as Jordana Bevan in Submarine. Channel 4 Television Corporation/UK Film Council/Warp/StudioCanal

This 2010 comedy, based on the book by Joe Dunthorne, comes from director Richard Ayoade and Executive Producer Ben Stiller, and features a stellar cast including Craig Roberts, Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine and Gemma Chan.

The film is a perfectly crafted coming-of-age comedy, following the awkward Oliver Tate as he tries to keep his parents' marriage together, while also dealing with his first teenage relationship. Not only does the comedy land spectacularly, in large part thanks to an uproarious performance by Roberts, but it also has its own distinct visual style and a ear-worm filled soundtrack from Artic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner.

Ayoade's next film, The Double, might not have managed to recapture the spark, but this first film set a marker down for the actor as a filmmaker, one he will hopefully pick up on again someday.

Talk to Me (2023)

Mia in Talk to Me with a person leaning behind her
Sophie Wilde as Mia in Talk to Me. Umbrella Entertainment

You know you're always in for an interesting ride with an A24 horror film, but this year's Talk To Me proved to be a real unexpected thrill ride. The supernatural horror comes from YouTubers turned directors Danny and Michael Philippou, and follows Mia, a young woman who gets involved with a group of friends who have found a mystical ceramic hand, which can grant spirits access to your body.

It's an already chilling premise which is only heightened by extremely successful execution. Some of the sequences are so terror inducing and stressful that you'll need a long lie down afterwards, but for those looking for some properly thrilling horror then look no further.

Sophie Wilde is hugely impressive in the central role, while the supporting cast all do stellar work. The film's thematic storytelling also hits home come the end, as it explores topics around grief and addiction more successfully than many a drama.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (2023)

Benedict Cumberbatch as Henry Sugar in The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar wearing a red outfit and meditating against a backdrop showing a temple and a jungle
Benedict Cumberbatch as Henry Sugar in The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. Netflix

Having previously turned Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox into a delightful stop-motion animated feature, Wes Anderson has returned to the iconic children's author's oeuvre with this adaptation of one of his lesser-known tales – The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.

At just 41 minutes long, it's a brief but hugely enjoyable experience, full of all the intricate design and wit we've come to expect from the director's work.

It tells the story of the titular socialite (Benedict Cumberbatch) after he chances upon a book that contains information about a guru named Imdad Khan who could reportedly see without using his eyes – something that gives Henry inspiration to become an accomplished card cheat.

Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, Richard Ayoade, Ben Kingsley, and Rupert Friend all star, and those same cast members can also be seen in three other short Dahl adaptations by Anderson that have landed on Netflix alongside this one.

Nimona (2023)

Two characters from Nimona chatting
Nimona. Netflix

This animated adventure started its life at Blue Sky Studios only to be shelved following Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox in 2021, eventually being picked up by Netflix for release in 2023. And it's a good job it was rescued: it's a rollicking, inventive, and amusing fairytale that deftly touches on LGBTQ+ themes, with some impressive voice performances from the likes of Chloë Grace Moretz and Riz Ahmed.

The film tells the story of Knight Ballister Boldheart (Ahmed) who has to turn to the titular shape-shifting teen (Moretz) for help when he is falsely accused of murdering the Queen. Nimona is the only person willing to help him prove his innocence, but things are somewhat confused by the fact she is also the monster he has sworn to kill. Cue an enjoyable adventure that features all sorts of havoc and makes for top-tier entertainment for the whole family.

Evil Dead Rise (2023)

Evil Dead Rise
Evil Dead Rise. StudioCanal

The fifth entry in the Evil Dead film franchise – following Sam Raimi's beloved original trilogy and Fedé Alvarez's more divisive 2013 reboot – takes the action away from the traditional cabin in the woods setting and into a high-rise apartment block in LA, which lends the film a fresh feel while still delivering many of the things fans love about the series, including no shortage of Deadite-driven mayhem and some rather nasty bursts of violence.

In the absence of franchise stalwart Bruce Campbell, the film also introduces us to a new family, who prove to be a likeable bunch of characters, with some great performances from the likes of Lily Sullivan and Alyssa Sutherland – the latter of whom is the first to be preyed upon by the demonic parasites. There are buckets of blood, chainsaws, and an ending that could well set up another entry in the franchise. If it's anything like this one, it will be very welcome.

Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)

Fantastic Mr Fox
Fantastic Mr Fox 20th Century Fox

Wes Anderson’s aesthetic is without any doubt one of the most distinctive in modern cinema – even when he’s dabbling in the world of stop motion animation, such as in the case of this delightful Roald Dahl adaptation.

Full of the kind of deadpan line deliveries and quirky jokes you’d expect in an Anderson picture, it boasts a typically star-studded cast, with George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray and Willem Dafoe among the many A-listers to lend their voices to the film’s menagerie of woodland creatures. And of course, it’s gorgeously designed – with the impeccably detailed, symmetrical sets on their own enough to provide audiences with plenty to purr over.

RRR (2022)

RRR on Netflix
RRR Netflix

The latest work from legendary Telegu filmmaker S. S. Rajamouli, RRR became a major international hit upon its release – enrapturing viewers all around the globe. It’s not difficult to see why it resonated so much – across its epic three-hour running time the film packs in all manner of superbly executed action scenes (sometimes involving CGI animals) and splendidly choreographed dance scenes, including one to Oscar-winning song Naatu Naatu.

Set against the backdrop of the brutal British Raj, RRR is a thrilling tale of revenge. The film chronicles a charming fictional friendship between real-life revolutionaries Komaram Bheem (NT Rama Rao Jr) and Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) as they seek to rid the nation of British rule.

All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

All Quiet on the Western Front.
All Quiet on the Western Front. Netflix

When the Film BAFTA nominees for 2022 were announced, it came as something of a shock that Edward Berger’s adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque's classic novel had scored an incredible 14 nods. But most of those who watched the film quickly understood the acclaim – it’s an immense technical achievement filled with visual action and first-rate performances.

The film makes a few changes from its famous source text but remains unflinching in its anti-war stance, following idealistic German soldier Paul Bäumer as he discovers the horrors of war. Those horrors are made all the more stark when put against the comparatively luxurious conditions enjoyed by those negotiating to reach an armistice – a plot strand that was absent from Remarque's novel.

Knives Out (2019) and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)

Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc in Glass Onion
Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc in Glass Onion Netflix

The comedy murder-mystery has been enjoying something of a moment in recent years – thanks to everything from British flick See How They Run to hit TV series Only Murders in the Building. But arguably no one has done it better than Rian Johnson, whose two star-studded Knives Out mysteries are both available on Netflix, with a third expected to follow at some point in the future.

The films see Daniel Craig’s heavily accented sleuth Benoit Blanc attempt to unravel a couple of very mysterious cases – first the death of a revered crime writer in a cosy mansion, then an even more puzzling death on a private island owned by tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton). Craig is on terrific form throughout, and both films are as humorous as they are exciting, each packed with intriguing twists that keeps the audience guessing until the end.

Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio (2022)

Pinocchio Netflix

Guillermo Del Toro’s first foray into stop-motion animation – alongside co-director Mark Gustafson – is one of many new takes on the tale of the wooden boy to have been released in recent years. It also happens to be by some margin the best of the bunch, ingeniously transposing Carlo Collodi’s classic tale to Benito Mussolini’s Italy.

Many of the story beats are, of course, familiar: Geppetto makes a puppet that comes to life, with the pair then getting tangled up in adventures alongside a talking cricket. But, this new version also laces its narrative with profound meditations on grief, death, religion, and authoritarianism, adding up to a truly beautiful and visually sumptuous piece of work.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

Adele Haenel as Heloise and Noemie Merlant as Marianne in Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Adele Haenel as Heloise and Noemie Merlant as Marianne in Portrait of a Lady on Fire Lilies Films / Hold Up Films & Production / Arte France/Curzon Artificial Eye

French filmmaker Celine Sciamma has made some of the best films of the last decade – and this period romantic drama arguably ranks as the finest of the lot, winning a major prize at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, where it opened to glowing reviews. Set in France in the late 18th century, it follows the romance that develops between a reluctant bride-to-be and the artist hired to paint her portrait.

Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel are luminous in the lead roles, and the whole film is superbly put together by Sciamma, whose direction is frequently subtle and intelligent. Certain scenes will linger long in the memory, none more so than the heartbreaking final shot.

The Harry Potter series

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Warner Bros

After long having been absent from major streaming platforms, all eight Harry Potter flicks arrived on Netflix in 2022, giving fans the chance to once again relive the magical adventures of Harry, Ron and Hermione in Hogwarts and beyond.

In addition to kickstarting the careers of leads Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, the film also featured many of the finest thespians Britain had to offer, with Robbie Coltrane, Michael Gambon and Alan Rickman among the stars to bring beloved characters to the screen. A new TV adaptation of the books is currently in the works at Max, but these films – released between 2001 and 2011 – will take some beating.

In the Loop (2009)

Peter Capaldi and Chris Addison in In The Loop
Peter Capaldi and Chris Addison in In The Loop BBC

Armando Iannucci's Westminster satire The Thick of It is one of the best British sitcoms of the 21st century, so it’s no surprise that this feature-length spin-off – which features many of the same actors playing different characters – makes for such a hilarious 90-minute flick.

Tom Hollander leads the ensemble as Simon Foster, the Secretary of State for International Development who finds himself embroiled in political games on both sides of the Atlantic, but it's Peter Capaldi who once again steals the show as spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker – the scariest and sweariest comic creation of recent years.

Paddington 2 (2017)

Hugh Grant in Paddington 2
Hugh Grant in Paddington 2 StudioCanal

The first Paddington film in 2014 had already proved irresistibly charming to audiences across the world – but this sequel took things up a notch to deliver arguably one of the best family films ever made. The film picks up with the Peruvian bear – still living with the Brown family – as he embarks on a journey to get the perfect gift for his Aunt’s 100th birthday.

Only there’s a spanner in the works – and that spanner comes in the shape of a scene-stealing Hugh Grant, who stars as narcissistic thespian Phoenix Buchanan, who would like Paddington’s preferred gift all for himself. What follows is a delightful, rip-roaring adventure that was deservedly heaped with praise. We’re still waiting for a planned third instalment, but for the time being this one is always ripe for a revisit.

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Inglourious Basterds
Inglourious Basterds Universal

Inglourious Basterds marked something of a change in direction for Quentin Tarantino – who until that point had largely made films set in contemporary times. All of his films since Basterds have been period pieces – not that this change in approach led to any watering down of his instantly recognisable style or his fascination with revenge narratives.

Starring Brad Pitt as a lieutenant leading a troop of vengeful Jewish-American soldiers, and an Oscar-winning Christoph Waltz as the chilling Nazi villain Hans Landa, this film is electric throughout – from the unbearably tense opening scene to the immensely cathartic conclusion. Complete with plenty of Tarantino's trademark dialogue and a handful of perfectly constructed set pieces, this two-and-a-half-hour epic is the writer/director at the very top of his game.

Marriage Story (2019)

Marriage Story Netflix
Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in Marriage Story Netflix

Writer/director Noah Baumbach has teamed up with Adam Driver on a number of occasions, but this divorce drama is arguably the peak of their collaboration. The film earned six nominations at the 92nd Academy Awards – winning one – and proved every bit as popular with audiences as it did with critics.

Based in part on Baumbach’s own divorce, Driver and Scarlett Johansson star as a director and actor couple whose marriage has reached its end, but things only get more bitter when lawyers are called in to begin divorce proceedings. By turns funny and tear-jerking, this film is a real winner – worth it for a scene that sees Driver singing Stephen Sondheim’s Being Alive alone.

The Irishman (2019)

The Irishman
The Irishman Netflix

There was a time a few years ago when Netflix was gladly giving a number of acclaimed big-name auteurs big budgets and free rein to make their passion projects, and the greatest result of that era was Martin Scorsese’s superb gangster epic.

Of course, the great director has famously dabbled in the gangster genre many times before, but what marks The Irishman out from the likes of Goodfellas and Casino is the more sombre, elegiac tone. The film follows Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran (Robert De Niro), as he recalls his involvement in the disappearance of his longtime friend Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), whilst also reflecting on a number of relationships, including that with his daughter, Peggy (Anna Paquin).

13th (2016)

Angela Davis in 13th
Angela Davis in 13th Netflix

The title of Ava DuVernay’s searing documentary refers to the 13th Amendment in the US Constitution, which declares: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.”

The film goes on to draw parallels between slavery and the major flaws in America’s modern-day criminal judgment system, examining the prison-industrial complex and the ways in which the system disproportionately affects Black Americans and other minority communities. The film won huge acclaim on release and secured Netflix its first BAFTA – while it found an audience again following the murder of George Floyd in 2020.

Uncut Gems (2020)

Adam Sandler stars in Uncut Gems
Adam Sandler stars in Uncut Gems Netflix

Most of the Adam Sandler films you’ll find on Netflix are of rather dubious quality, but every so often the actor picks a project that shows just how good he can be – and there’s never been a better example of that than Uncut Gems. This unbearably tense, blackly comic offering from the Safdie Brothers was a huge critical hit when it debuted in 2020, with many feeling that Sandler was unfortunate not to nab an Oscar nomination.

He stars as a New York City jeweller with a gambling problem, who must risk everything to banish his debts and escape the collectors after him – whilst also balancing his role as a father, a crumbling marriage with his soon-to-be-ex-wife (Idina Menzel) and an affair with an employee (Julia Fox).

Heat (1995)

Robert DeNiro in Heat
Robert DeNiro in Heat Warner Bros

Hollywood icons Robert De Niro and Al Pacino famously both starred in The Godfather Part II, but it wasn’t until the infamous diner scene in Michael Mann’s crime epic that the pair finally shared the screen.

The film sees De Niro take on the role of seasoned criminal Neil McCauley – who is preparing for his last heist before waving goodbye to a life of crime – while Pacino plays the troubled LA cop desperate to take him down. Across a gripping, gruelling three hours, the psychology of both men is examined, leading up to one of the most memorable shootouts in cinema history.

Groundhog Day (1993)

Bill Murray in Groundhog Day
Bill Murray in Groundhog Day Sony Pictures Television

The kind of film you can watch over and over again, Groundhog Day features one of Bill Murray’s finest comedic performances and an ingenious plot device that is now as famous as the film itself.

Murray stars as misanthropic weather reporter Phil Connors who is extremely disgruntled to be covering the titular celebration in the Pennsylvanian town of Punxsutawney. Unable to leave due to adverse weather conditions, Phil is further alarmed when he repeatedly wakes up on the same morning – forced to relive the same day on repeat with seemingly no way to end the loop. Often imitated but never bettered, Groundhog Day remains the gold standard when it comes to time-loop narratives, with both Murray and co-star Andie MacDowell in fine form. It’s a doozy!

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia
Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia Columbia Pictures

Netflix’s library is not quite so well stocked when it comes to films made before the 1990s, but one bonafide classic of British cinema available on the streamer is David Lean’s epic Lawrence of Arabia.

The film, which unfolds over more than three hours, is based on the life of archaeologist and army officer T. E. Lawrence, and specifically his experiences in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War – including his involvement in the Arab National Counsel. It won seven Oscars and is regarded as one of the finest ever film achievements, remembered for its visual style, storytelling, themes, and performances from the likes of Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif.

Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)

Monty Python's Life of Brian
Monty Python's Life of Brian FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images

Monty Python remain one of the most influential comedy acts of all time, and their 1979 film The Life of Brian ranks up there with their very best work. Controversial with religious groups upon its initial release, the film follows a young man named Brian (Graham Chapman) who was born in close proximity to Jesus – and is often confused for the Messiah.

There’s the usual blend of absurdist humour, juvenile japes and biting satire, with a huge variety of delights sprinkled throughout – from a cameo by Spike Milligan to the iconic rendition of the original song Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. All in all, it’s a consistently hilarious film that rightly stands as a landmark in British comedy.

12 Years a Slave (2013)

Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave
Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave E1 Entertainment

Steve McQueen’s astonishing Oscar-winning drama tells the true story of Solomon Northup – a free Black man living in 1800s New York who was captured and sold into slavery in the Deep South. Brutal scenes of suffering ensure it can be a tough watch, but it’s directed with sensitivity and grace by McQueen and makes for a truly powerful piece of filmmaking.

The performances from the cast are also uniformly exceptional – Chiwetel Ejiofor is a magnetic force in the lead role, while the supporting turns from the likes of Michael Fassbender and Oscar-winning Lupita Nyong’o are equally impressive.

Memento (2000)

Memento Twentieth Century Fox

Christopher Nolan had already made waves with the ultra-low budget Following, but this was the film that really announced him as a cinematic force to be reckoned with. Based on a short story by his brother Jonathan, it tells the story of an amnesiac insurance investigator desperately attempting to piece together clues from tattoos and notes he has left to himself.

The film's fascinating non-chronological structure has become the stuff of legend – although perhaps ensures that no rewatch will ever quite live up to the thrilling experience of solving the puzzle the first time around. But complete with neo-noir trappings, a mood of distinct unease, and an impressive turn from Guy Pearce in the lead role, this is a terrific piece of cinema.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Two spider-men swinging in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

The second instalment in the Spider-Verse saga arrived in cinemas to rave reviews in 2023, but this first entry in the series is perhaps even better. The film follows Miles Morales after he is bitten by a radioactive spider and becomes the titular superhero – only for his life to become even more complicated when he finds himself fighting alongside alternate versions of himself in a bid to save the multiverse.

The film’s hugely inventive approach to animation – blending a range of different styles, and superbly adopting a comic book aesthetic – has already proved hugely influential. But as well as being impressive from a technical point of view, it also serves as an inspiring story about who gets to be a hero.

My Neighbour Totoro (1988)

My Neighbour Totoro
My Neighbour Totoro Studio Ghibli

Pretty much the whole Studio Ghibli oeuvre is available to stream on Netflix, giving subscribers a huge range of wonderful animated flicks to enjoy including Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Whisper of the Heart. And there can be no doubt that this delightfully charming little film – just their third feature – is one of the greatest.

It follows two girls who move with their father to the countryside while their mother is ill, where they find themselves having a number of magical encounters with the titular friendly monster and other surreal beings. The story itself is fairly minimalist, but the gorgeous animation and the way the film captures a youthful sense of wonderment make it a must-watch.

Jaws (1975)

Crowds run out of the water in a scene from the film 'Jaws', 1975
Jaws Universal/Getty Images

Few films can be said to have truly changed the face of cinema – but Jaws is one for whom that statement is by no means an exaggeration. After being subject to a famously disastrous production process, the film went on to achieve monumental success, becoming known as the first-ever blockbuster and launching the career of a young Steven Spielberg in the process.

Almost 50 years on, it very much endures as a classic – still a thrilling example of building suspense by withholding the terrifying shark for as long as possible. The character work is also tremendous – with Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss all bringing great heft to their roles – and John Williams’s iconic score is one for the ages.

Little Women (2019)

Little Women
Little Women Sony Pictures Releasing

Greta Gerwig has emerged as one of the most vital cinematic voices of her generation – a status only further bolstered by the recent groundbreaking success of Barbie. Her Oscar-nominated adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved coming-of-age novel is perhaps her richest work to date, innovatively reworking the structure of the classic text to bring fresh insights to a tale adapted many times before.

It helps that the performances are exceptional across the board. Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh were both nominated for Oscars for their roles as Jo and Amy March respectively, while Emma Watson, Eliza Scanlen, Timotheé Chalamet, Meryl Streep, Laura Dern, James Norton and Bob Odenkirk are among the others to produce fine work.

Streaming services we think you might like...

Looking for something else to watch? Check out our best series on Netflix, best Netflix comedies and best Netflix horror movies.

Want to see what's on the other streaming sites? Take a look at our best Disney Plus shows guide or best Disney Plus movies.

Slow broadband letting you down? Up your streaming game with the best broadband deals.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10 – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.