50 best movies to watch on Netflix right now

There are some award-winning, genre-changing, thought-provoking movies streaming right now on Netflix. Here's our pick of the very best

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Stuck inside thanks to the pandemic and looking for some great movie distraction? Streaming giant Netflix has thousands of films to enjoy (there are even secret codes to help you explore the different genres) – from new releases to comedies and dramas, historical tales to action thrillers, children’s favourites to Oscar-winning pictures.


But you’re overwhelmed by the sheer volume, unable to stop the never-ending, fruitless scroll through options without any idea of which film to choose. Well, don’t despair – we’ve whittled down the mammoth list for your viewing pleasure, from the pretty low-commitment Trainwreck to the rather more heavy-going The Irishman, and everything in between.

What’s more, we’re updating this page regularly, so if there’s not something you fancy today there may be next week, or the week after. We’re keeping our eyes peeled for you.

If you’re after even more great movies to watch, you can sign up to Disney+ with a seven-day free trial, and indulge in so many films you won’t want to leave the house for months.

Discover exhilarating action with Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on NOW TV (sponsored link)

Last updated 1st June 2020

The Two Popes (2019)

Here’s a mouthwatering prospect: two veteran British thesps in a barnstorming, virtual two-hander based on a play by screenwriter Anthony McCarten.

Anthony Hopkins plays doubt-ridden, conservative Pope Benedict XVI as a wounded bear during his meeting with his reluctant and progressive successor Cardinal Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) – later Pope Francis – at the former’s Italian retreat in 2013… The film was nominated for two Oscars.

Watch on Netflix

Read our full The Two Popes review

Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Randall Park and Ali Wong in Always Be My Maybe (Netflix)
Randall Park and Ali Wong in Always Be My Maybe (Netflix)
Ed Araquel / Netflix

Named after a Mariah Carey song, this Netflix romcom deserves a watch just for its dynamite soundtrack alone, featuring as it does D’Angelo, David Bowie and Lizzo, among others.

The film centres on two estranged childhood friends (played by Randall Park and Ali Wong, who also wrote the movie), who reunite 16 years after they lost their virginity to one another. Watch out for a brilliant and shocking cameo from none other than John Wick himself, Keanu Reeves.

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Every song featured in Netflix romcom Always Be My Maybe

The Irishman (2019)

Al Pacino in The Irishman (Netflix)
Al Pacino in The Irishman (Netflix)

A passion project long in the making, Netflix’s The Irishman sees director Martin Scorsese reunited with Robert De Niro for their ninth collaboration. The gangster biopic centres on Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (De Niro), who recalls his involvement in the disappearance of his longtime friend Jimmy Hoffa (played by Al Pacino). The film was constantly in the news up to its release; from its CGI de-aging used on De Niro, Pacino and Joe Pesci, to the sheer unwieldy length of this epic (it’s a whopping 3 hours 30 minutes, so you’ll need plenty of popcorn).

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The Irishman review: Scorsese’s film is a meditative, remorseful gangster epic

Uncut Gems (2020)

Adam Sandler Uncut Gems screenshot from trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTfJp2Ts9X8
Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems (Netflix)

We should probably start by warning you you’re in for a tense and stressful two hours if you choose to watch Uncut Gems in one sitting. The Safdie brothers’ film takes funnyman Adam Sandler and turns him into a New York City jeweller risking everything to banish his debts and escape the collectors after him. Sandler is unrecognisable, but that’s no bad thing. We’d go as far as to say he was robbed this award season. 

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Marriage Story (2019)

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

On the face of it, Marriage Story shouldn’t be as an enjoyable watch as it is, given that it’s about a relationship falling apart and all the emotions that come with that. Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver play the couple who decide to get divorced in this award-winning masterpiece from writer/director Noah Baumbach and put in some of the best performances of their career, which really deserved more award attention than they got.

It will make you laugh. It will make you smile. And if you are married, it will make you pray that you never get divorced…

Watch on Netflix

Read our full Marriage Story review

Roma (2018)

Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf as Pepe, Carlos Peralta Jacobson as Paco, and Daniela Demesa as Sofi in Roma, written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Image by Alfonso Cuarón.
Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf as Pepe, Carlos Peralta Jacobson as Paco, and Daniela Demesa as Sofi in Roma, written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Netflix)

Winner of three Oscars, Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón’s semi-autobiographical film about a maid working for an upper-middle class family in Mexico City in the 1970s is visually stunning, deeply moving and well worth your time. The director, known for Gravity and Children of Men, brings this beautiful story to life as we follow housekeeper Cleo as she, and her family, face societal and political issues. Largely touted as one of the best films of 2018 – and applauded by critics globally – it also scooped two Golden Globes, for best director and best foreign language film. Unmissable.

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Read our full Roma review

Extraction (2020)

Chris Hemsworth in Extraction (Netflix)
Chris Hemsworth in Extraction (Netflix)

Netflix’s recently released action movie has proved so popular that a second instalment is already in the works. From first-time feature director Sam Hargrave, with Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Antony Russo serving as executive producers (and Joe also having written the script), Extraction stars Thor’s Chris Hemsworth and tells the story of black-market mercenary Tyler Rake, who is sent to Bangladesh to rescue the kidnapped son of a drug lord. It’s tense, well paced, a solid star vehicle for Hemsworth and contains just the right amount of genuinely exciting action to keep most viewers firmly glued to their seats.

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Read our full Extraction review

Okja (2017)

Prepare to cry if you watch this heartwarming tale from Bong Joon-Ho (if he sounds familiar, that’s because he recently dominated award season with his latest film Parasite).

Okja is a slightly odd story following a girl and her best friend, a huge, weird animal called Okja. Soon the pair find themselves battling the CEO (Tilda Swinton) of a huge company who wants to take Okja away. There’s a clear agenda underlying the story, animal activism is a strain throughout, and the film doesn’t shy away from that. Joon-Ho’s wonderfully refreshing odd style blends with slight preachy notes, but it comes together to give you a beautiful film.

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Read our full Okja review

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)

Tim Blake Nelson in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Netflix)
Tim Blake Nelson in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Netflix)

This was meant to be six individual episodes for a Netflix TV series, but when you get movie legends the Coen brothers you kinda have to see where they take you. The result is this, an elegant anthology of frontier tales that affectionately celebrates the Western in inimitable style. Although the opening comic yarn starring Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Syriana) as a singing prairie hero in a white Stetson gives the film its potentially misleading title, it’s hardly typical of what follows, but then again nothing is…

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Read our full The Ballad of Buster Scruggs review

Beasts of No Nation (2015)

Idris Elba is best known for star-making turns as a drug dealer in US TV series The Wire and as troubled cop John Luther in the acclaimed BBC drama, but this role is altogether more sinister. He plays a commander of child soldiers in West Africa for this extraordinary Netflix film from the director of the first season of HBO’s True Detective. Based on the highly acclaimed novel by Nigerian author Uzodinma Iweala, the movie brings to life the gripping tale of Agu, a child soldier torn from his family to fight in the civil war of an African country.

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Read our full Beasts on No Nation review

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Annihilation (2018)

Gina Rodriguez, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson and Tuva Novotnyin Annihilation from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.
The cast of Annihilation (Netflix)

Controversial and divisive, Annihilation had a rocky start in life. After struggling to find a distributor, Netflix picked up the international rights to Ex_Machina director Alex Garland’s film. The sci-fi/horror film is based on book series The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer and follows a group of scientists as they head into Area X, a quarantined area of the planet, where a lot of weird things have started happening. They have no idea what they’ll find, and they’re not all being honest as to why they’re going. Natalie Portman stars and puts in a convincing performance when everything around her is, well, beyond comprehension. 

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Read our full Annihilation review

Primal Fear (1996)

Hotshot lawyer Richard Gere chases fame as much as justice in this enjoyably involving courtroom drama from director Gregory Hoblit, based on William Diehl’s bestselling novel. But when Gere takes on the high-profile case of a bewildered altar boy (an Oscar-nominated Edward Norton) accused of murdering an archbishop, his cut-and-dried life begins to unravel…

It’s tense and exciting, with a jaw-dropping ending (we’ll say no more).

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Read our full Primal Fear review

Ex_Machina (2014)


In the directorial debut of screenwriter Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 Days Later…), computer programmer Domhnall Gleeson goes through the looking-glass when he wins a competition to spend a week residing with the reclusive creator of the world’s top search engine (Oscar Isaac). Gleeson’s purpose once there is to perform a variation of the Turing test on an advanced AI (a strikingly sensitive Alicia Vikander) to determine whether it has consciousness. Things don’t go to plan…

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Read our full Ex_Machina review

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

A sweet, precisely executed romcom, which serves as an homage to the best films of the genre from the 1980s and 90s. Lana Condor stars as Laura Jean Covey, a Korean-American high-schooler whose world is turned upside-down when a box of private love letters that she penned to her crushes is distributed to its intended recipients. Based on the YA trilogy by Jenny Han, it became one of Netflix’s most successful original films in 2018. Watch out for a break-out performance from mini Mark Ruffalo, Noah Centineo (as Peter Kavinsky).

Once you’ve watched this, the long-awaited sequel PS I Love You is waiting for your attention, and there’s a third and final instalment on the way.

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Trainwreck (2015)

Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in Trainwreck
Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in Trainwreck (key art)

This wildly funny film, from director Judd Apatow, is the screenwriting debut of spunky stand-up and sketch show favourite Amy Schumer, who also stars. A journalist (Schumer) lives her life by her father’s maxim that monogamy never works, and has spent her adult life enjoying freedom from commitment. When she is sent to interview a doctor, an attraction develops between them, and she begins to wonder if there might be something to be said for a stable relationship…

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Read our full Trainwreck review

Wonder Woman (2017)

Seventy-five years after her first comic-book appearance, Wonder Woman is finally the star of her own feature and it doesn’t disappoint. Gal Gadot reprises her role from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, while Patty Jenkins (Monster) directs an origin story that sees the warrior princess drawn into the First World War after rescuing Chris Pine’s crash-landed pilot. DC may not have quite fared as well at the cinemas as Marvel, but Wonder Woman marked a change in fortune and tone for the comic book giant. Mixing drama with comedy, a strong female lead in Gadot and tangible chemistry with Pine’s Steve Trevor, Wonder Woman is an easy family watch. 

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Read our full Wonder Woman review

Mudbound (2017)

A scene from Netflix movie Mudbound (Netflix, JG)

Director and screenwriter Dee Rees gathered together a potent cast, including British star Carey Mulligan, singer/actress Mary J Blige and rising Hollywood heavyweight Jason Mitchell, to tell the story of two families in 1940s rural America – one black, one white – who struggle to live and work together in post-Second World War America. The movie created a lot of buzz at the time of release and was nominated for four Oscars, including best supporting actress for Blige. A moving and powerful watch.

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Read our full Mudbound review

Inception (2010)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception

Here’s another mind-bending movie from Memento Christopher Nolan, but it has the capacity to make your brain hurt, so you’ll need to remove all distractions. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a talented thief uses hi-tech devices to enter other people’s dreams so he can steal their secrets. An industrialist hires him to perform a far more challenging job – to implant an idea into a corporate heir’s mind, so he will think it is his own. However, the mission is compromised by the thief’s own troubled psyche…

Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine and Cillian Murphy also feature in the all-star cast.

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Read our full Inception review

El Camino: a Breaking Bad Movie (2019)

Aaron Paul in El Camino: a Breaking Bad Movie (Netflix)
Aaron Paul in El Camino: a Breaking Bad Movie (Netflix)

Can a movie ever live up to the hype of one of the greatest TV shows of all time? Aaron Paul leads this satisfying spin-off film from beloved crime series Breaking Bad, as we finally find out what happened to Walter White’s partner-in-crime Jesse Pinkman after his escape from captivity in the series finale. And you might just recognise some of the old faces that crop up…

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Read our full El Camino: a Breaking Bad Movie review

Vertigo (1958)

Named the finest film ever made by the great and good of the British film industry, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo is a thriller (what else would you expect from Hitch?) that involves deception, betrayal, apparent suicide, murder and a retired cop, James Stewart, suffering from vertigo and guilt. Tom Helmore asks Stewart to follow his wife, Kim Novak (who gives her greatest performance in a demanding dual role), who is behaving oddly. Surveillance leads to romance, a suicide and the opening of a whole new mystery…

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Read our full Vertigo review

The Revenant (2015)

An astonishing piece of film-making from director Alejandro González Iñárritu. Leonardo Di Caprio finally won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as a frontiersman leading a hunting party through the wilderness in the 1800s. There’s a horrific bear attack in this no-holds barred weather-beaten look at what life was like at the time. It can be quite bleak and grim at times, but it’s undeniably a classic. Tom Hardy fans might want to take a look, too.

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Read our full The Revenant review

Why is The Revenant such a gruelling watch? A body language expert reveals all…

The Martian (2015)

Matt Damon in The Martian
Matt Damon in The Martian

Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in this sci-fi thriller. A manned mission to Mars is abruptly abandoned and one crew member (Damon) is left for dead. But he survives and discovers it will take many years to get home but he only has enough resources for one month…

At times, The Martian can be really breathless and it will leave you racing towards the end to see if our plucky hero can make it home. And director Ridley Scott brings vivid life to the drama.

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Read our full The Martian review

When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

Can a man and a woman ever be just friends? That is the age-old question at the heart of this much-loved 80s romantic comedy. And even if you’ve never watched, you’ll surely be familiar with Meg Ryan’s star turn in the diner, a scene that that has been spoofed a thousand times over. Billy Crystal was the perfect choice to star opposite Ryan, while Rob Reiner directs Nora Ephron’s Oscar-nominated screenplay. Guaranteed to give you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside…

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Read our full When Harry Met Sally… review

Fighting with My Family (2019)

Florence Pugh in Fighting with My Family
Florence Pugh in Fighting with My Family

This feel-good charmer following the true journey of superstar wrestler Paige (Florence Pugh) from her humble beginnings in Norwich to becoming the youngest ever Divas Champion is an unqualified smackdown success. Written/directed by Stephen Merchant and executive produced by Dwayne Johnson, it’s an unapologetic soap opera in spandex…

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Read our full Fighting with My Family review

Superbad (2007)

Fan of American Pie? Superbad stands out from the standard teen-movie crowd with its slacker dialogue, universally funny performances and an unexpected sweetness in the friendship between the sex-crazed Seth (Jonah Hill) and the slightly more diffident Eric (Michael Cena). For those with a high tolerance for exuberant crudity, belly laughs are guaranteed…

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The 13th (2016)

The 13th (Netflix, JG)
The 13th (Netflix)

The title of this potent film refers to the 13th Amendment: “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.” “Punishment for crime” is the key qualifier here, as Ava DuVernay’s (When They See Us) documentary explores the injustices at the heart of America’s penal system. 13th secured Netflix its first BAFTA.

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Read our full The 13th review

American Psycho (2000)

In 1991, Bret Easton Ellis’s novel American Psycho shocked those that read it. Wall Street broker Patrick Bateman’s cool attitude to his day job and night-time pursuits left people shaken up. The murderous character was brought to life in 2000 in the film of the same name. Co-scripted by Mary Harron and Guinevere Turner, the film is perhaps a less shocking take on the tale, but no less gripping. Christian Bale goes all out to flesh out killer Bateman, capturing that crazy-eyed sociopath perfectly. Those eggshell business cards, though…

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Read our full American Psycho review

La La Land (2106)

La La Land
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in La La Land

If ever there was a film to banish the blues, it’s La La Land. Writer/director Damien Chazelle’s toe-tapping follow-up to the Oscar-winning Whiplash sees him trade the abusive relationship between a hot-headed mentor and an aspiring drummer for the high and low notes of a love affair, played out against the backdrop of Tinseltown itself. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling play antagonists-turned-lovers Mia and Sebastian – she’s a barista and jobbing actress; he’s a pianist eager to open a jazz club – with them both suffering countless setbacks as they strive to make it big. It may not have won the best picture Oscar – but it is guaranteed to make your heart soar.

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Read our full La La Land review

Atlantics (2019)

This much acclaimed Senegalese film is the first feature from writer/director Mati Diop and went down a storm when it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, taking home the Grand Prix award. A supernatural love story, it concerns Ada, a 17-year-old in love with a construction worker who suddenly goes missing at sea. But then a miracle reunites them…

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Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and based on a true story, Dallas Buyers Club is a rare drama that shows HIV-positive characters as heroes rather than victims or martyrs. Matthew McConaughey’s painful transformation into AIDS sufferer and illegal meds dealer Ron Woodruff won him the best actor Oscar in 2014. Jared Leto’s performance is arguably even more tortuously engrossing, and bagged him the best supporting Academy Award.

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Read our full Dallas Buyers Club review

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Often regarded as one of the best movies of all time, this Oscar-winner from 1969 has at its heart two incredible performances from Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman. It’s a tragic, character driven story that tells of an unlikely friendship between two hustlers – Joe Buck (Voight) an optimistic new arrival in New York City who works as a prostitute, and “Ratso” Rizzo (Hoffman) an jaded and cynical con-man who is suffering from poor health.

The film was released during something of a turning point in film history – when classical American cinema was making way of for the New Hollywood cinema which came to dominate the 70’s – and remains the only X-rated film ever to win Best Picture.

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Read our full Midnight Cowboy review

The Great Hack (2019)

David Carroll (Associate Professor Parsons School of Design), The Great Hack (Netflix)
David Carroll (Associate Professor, Parsons School of Design), The Great Hack (Netflix)

Data is now the world’s most valuable commodity. In this terrifying documentary, New York design school professor David Carroll is a man on a quest to acquire his own data. His journey takes him to London and Cambridge Analytica – the consultancy closed down in 2018 after a scandal involving unsuspecting Facebook users having their data harvested and then used for political gain. Think twice about clicking away your personal details…

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Read our full The Great Hack review

Letters for Juliet (2010)

New arrival to Netflix in May. Vanessa Redgrave, Amanda Seyfried and Gael Garcia Bernal occupy the starring roles in this romcom, in which a writer on holiday in Italy discovers a 50-year-old letter from a woman describing her regret at rejecting a man she was in love with. She is moved to reply, prompting the writer to turn up in person with her grandson in tow, and together they set out in search of her lost love to put things right. In these times of restricted movement, worth tuning in for the beautiful Italian setting alone.

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Read our full Letters to Juliet review

A Quiet Place (2018)

John Krasinski in A Quiet Place
John Krasinski in A Quiet Place

Part heartfelt Spielbergian family drama, part quirky Carpenter-esque creature feature, writer/director/star John Krasinski’s sensational shocker A Quiet Place was an instant sci-fi horror classic. A Quiet Place II may have been delayed thanks to coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the original starring Emily Blunt and Krasinski while we wait.

Regarded as one of the best horror movies in recent times, it became a smash hit when first released. In a post-apocalyptic very near future, blind insectoid monsters with super-sensitive hearing have wiped out most of humanity. A family has to survive along with a few survivors, whispering and using sign language to communicate as creatures chase them down solely on the noises they make. Expect tense situations, and a few heart-stopping moments in this must-see movie.

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Read our full A Quiet Place review

12 Years a Slave (2013)

A free black man living in pre-Civil War New York is abducted and sold into slavery. He spends the next 12 years struggling to survive and maintain his dignity in the face of brutal treatment, while clinging to a desperate hope that he can return to his family. This Oscar-winning historical drama based on Solomon Northup’s autobiographical book, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt, is not an easy watch, but gets five stars from us.

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Read our full 12 Years a Slave review

Waterworld (1995)

Kevin Costner, and Jeanne Tripplehorn in Waterworld
Kevin Costner, Tina Majorino and Jeanne Tripplehorn in Waterworld

Stories of behind-the-scenes arguments and bonkers budgets suggested that this futuristic adventure would be something of a damp squib, but what emerged was a hugely enjoyable sci-fi tale with an eco message that is more pertinent than ever. Kevin Costner stars as a loner who has adapted to a new (very wet) world where the polar ice caps have melted and dry land is prized.

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Read our full Waterworld review

Groundhog Day (1993)

An apt film for the times we’re living in… Director Harold Ramis joins forces once more with his fellow Ghostbuster Bill Murray to deliver one of the best comedies from the 1990s. Murray plays an obnoxious TV weatherman reporting on a small town’s annual festival who finds himself trapped in a day he will remember for the rest of his life because, unless he can find some answers, it will be the rest of his life.

So good, you’ll want to watch it again. And again. And again (sorry).

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Read our full Groundhog Day review

The Breakfast Club (1985)

Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall in The Breakfast Club
Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall in The Breakfast Club

The John Hughes teen movie classic has finally made its way to Netflix, allowing a whole new generation to be introduced to the gang of Sherman High School misfits stuck together in detention who gradually learn they have more in common than they realised.

Starring Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy and Paul Gleason, this is an absolute must-watch if you haven’t seen it already – and if you have, well, there’s no time like the present to be reminded that we’re all “a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal”.

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Read our full The Breakfast Club review

Spotlight (2015)

This extraordinary story from writer/director Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent) – which centres on a group of journalists in Boston investigating children being molested within the Catholic church – is brought vividly to life in a riveting, serious-minded drama that sticks mindfully to the facts. Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams star.

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Read our full Spotlight review

Monos (2019)

This unusual war film was named one of the best of last year by a host of critics. It stars Julianne Nicholson and Moisés Arias and tells the story of a group of commandos who are tasked with guarding a captured American engineer in an unnamed country in Latin America. The film won notable praise for its lyrical and often surreal style and for the uniformly tremendous appearances from its cast – as the group of guerillas are plunged further and further into a downward spiral.

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Read our full Monos review

Reservoir Dogs (1991)

The film that first introduced the world to Quentin Tarantino remains as electrifying as it did upon release in 1992. Starring many famous faces who would go on to become Tarantino regulars – including Michael Madsen, Tim Roth and Harvey Keitel, as well as Steve Buscemi in sparkling form – this 99-minute movie is fully deserving of its stellar reputation, with a cracking soundtrack to boot.

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Read our full Reservoir Dogs review

I Am Mother (2019)

Hilary Swank in I Am Mother (Netflix)
Hilary Swank in I Am Mother (Netflix)

The majority of this dark, twisty sci-fi thriller takes place in a high-tech bunker (so you’ll feel right at home if you’re spending a lot of time indoors at the moment). Inside, an artificially intelligent robot named Mother (voiced by Rose Byrne) is raising a young woman known as Daughter (Clara Rugaard). The rest of mankind is extinct, and Mother insists that nothing can survive on the outside. However, everything changes when a mystery woman (Hilary Swank) bangs on the door…

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Read our full I Am Mother review

The Post (2017)

In the mood for something a little more challenging? Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks star in this brisk, decent telling of the leaking of the so-called Pentagon Papers in 1971, the nickname for a secret US Department of Defense report covering United States-Vietnam relations from 1945-1967. Steven Spielberg’s latest slice of liberal history was made in admitted haste to meet awards-season deadlines and retrospectively hymns good old-fashioned print journalism from the perspective of the compromised “fake news” age.

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Read our full The Post review

Funny Girl (1968)

A recent arrival on Netflix, Barbra Streisand stars in this beloved musical biopic of 1920s singer and comedienne Fanny Brice, who rose from poor beginnings in New York’s slums to become an overnight star and the toast of Broadway. By all accounts, Streisand ran the show on set – in his autobiography, Charlton Heston recalls asking director William Wyler if he had any problems with Barbra Streisand on Funny Girl. “Nah, not really,” said Wyler, “considering it’s the first film she ever directed.” But her performance bagged her a joint best actress Oscar (shared with The Lion in Winter’s Katharine Hepburn), and the film earned seven more nominations. A marvellous musical comedy, not to be missed.

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Read our full Funny Girl review

Dunkirk (2017)


A director at the top of his game, Christopher Nolan takes on British wartime history with this tour-de-force treatment of the miracle of Dunkirk. This utterly immersive epic plunges the viewer into a three-pronged story that unfolds on land, sea and air with the life-and-death ordeals. Starring Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance and Harry Styles, proving there’s more to the former One Direction singer than his vocals. What really makes Dunkirk stand out is it’s all immersive approach taking you from quiet moments to sweeping set pieces back to intense emotional interactions.

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Dunkirk review: “a glorious, breathtaking triumph from director Christopher Nolan”

Darkest Hour (2017)

Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour (Netflix)

A near-perfect companion piece to Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, Joe Wright’s account of the lead-up to the 1940 evacuation not only fills in some of the political background of that now infamous wartime debacle but also reclaims Winston Churchill (played to perfection by Gary Oldman) from the dusty pages of history books.

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Darkest Hour review: “Oldman is never less than sensational”

Mean Streets (1973)

Harvey Keitel in Mean Streets
Harvey Keitel in Mean Streets

Mean Streets is classic gangster fare, and was director Martin Scorsese’s breakthrough film. Drawing on his upbringing in New York’s Little Italy, the semi-autobiographical story concerns two friends – Charlie (Harvey Keitel), the older of the two and a debt-collector for the Mob, and tearaway hoodlum Johnny Boy (Robert De Niro), who’s in hock to loan sharks and a drain on Charlie’s patience and reputation.

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Read our full Mean Streets review

Prisoners (2013)

Hugh Jackman isn’t playing Mr Nice Guy any more, but then he is pushed to the limit in this deeply haunting thriller. He stars as the father of a kidnapped daughter, while Jake Gyllenhaal is the cop who, in his eyes, fails to put away the chief suspect: a young man with learning difficulties, played by Paul Dano. Jackman takes it upon himself to do his own questioning, and his tactics are heavy-handed to say the least…

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Read our full Prisoners review

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

This multi-Oscar-winning classic, adapted from Thomas Harris’s bestseller, was responsible for giving cinematic serial killers a better image, thanks to Anthony Hopkins’s enthralling portrayal of Hannibal Lecter. So what if Lecter was an incarcerated cannibal? Jodie Foster plays fledgeling FBI agent Clarice Starling, who is drawn into a disturbingly close relationship with Lecter as she hunts for serial killer “Buffalo Bill”. Best washed down with a nice chianti…

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Read our full The Silence of the Lambs review

The Terminator (1984)

Go right back to where it all started, with Arnold Schwarzenegger in his first outing as the violent cyborg who is time-warped from the future to alter the nuclear war-torn course of history (he’ll be back later, of course). Linda Hamilton shines as the bewildered waitress who will unwittingly become the saviour of the human race. Unmissable action flick from the master James Cameron.

Watch on Netflix

Read our full The Terminator review


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