50 best movies to watch on Netflix right now

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

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Da 5 Bloods on Netflix by Spike Lee

Nothing beats a great movie, whether it’s an action-packed thriller on a Friday night or a feel-good romcom on a dreary Sunday afternoon. That’s why streaming giant Netflix and its catalogue of feature-length flicks proves so handy – there’s always something to watch when you’re in the mood for a good film.

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Although cinemas are finally reopening, movie-goers may not flock to the pictures in droves while social distancing measures are still in place and will likely continue to rely on services such as Netflix for the majority of their entertainment needs.

With that in mind, we’ve gathered our top film picks from the streamer to stop you from spending most of your time choosing something to watch. From psychological dramas and hilarious comedies to Hollywood classics and superhero adventures, there’s something here for everyone.

Recent additions include Spike Lee’s war drama Da 5 Bloods and Chris Hemsworth in action movie Extraction, while older hits such as La La Land and The Disaster Artist are still available for you to enjoy.

And if you’re looking for something a bit shorter to watch, why not check out our handy list of the best TV series on Netflix.

So here it is, our list of the best films available on Netflix – stop scrolling and start streaming!

Last updated 4th August 2020

Da 5 Bloods (2020)

The latest Spike Lee picture seems to have flown under the radar somewhat, but that’s a crying shame as it truly is a superb and timely watch.

Da 5 Bloods follows a group of Vietnam war veterans as they return to the country in the present day, searching for the remains of their fallen commander and the treasure he left behind. It’s an emotional journey that will see them confront their traumatic memories of the brutal conflict and the men it turned them into, while also exploring broader themes about the experiences of black people in the United States.

Delroy Lindo (The Good Fight), Clarke Peters (The Wire), Norm Lewis (Scandal), Isiah Whitlock Jr (BlacKkKlansman) and Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) play the original Bloods, with Jonathan Majors representing the next generation. It’s a fantastic ensemble cast that provide strong performances across the board, some of which could well be recognised during this year’s awards season – so get ahead of the curve and watch Da 5 Bloods now.

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The Twilight Saga (2008-2012)

twilight
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in Twilight

Netflix recently added all five films from the franchise – Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn: Part One and Breaking Dawn Part Two – based on Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling fantasy novel series to its service.

Meyer claims that the idea for the Twilight quartet came to her in a dream about a human girl and a vampire boy whose love was forbidden. They became flesh as Washington-state high-schooler Bella Swan (immortalised here by Kristen Stewart) and more-than-a-century-old (but forever trapped in the body of a 17-year-old) hunk Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). And their on-off relationship lies at the heart of a saga whose books have sold well over 100 million copies – the majority to “young adults” (as publishers respectfully categorise hormonal teens) – which in turn became a hugely successful film series.

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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.

Watch on Netflix

Read our full Extraction review

The Irishman (2019)

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

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

13th (2016)

13th
13th, Netflix

Following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests across the world, Netflix recently made racial inequality documentary 13th free to watch to non-Netflix subscribers, which has seen a 4,000% increase in streams.

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 13th 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

BlacKkKlansman (2018)

A recent addition to Netflix, Spike Lee here is in raging and righteous form as he relays the extraordinary story of Ron Stallworth, the black police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in 1972 with the assistance of Jewish cop Flip Zimmerman. As playful as it is political, the vibe is authentic, the period detail tasty, yet BlacKkKlansman burns with contemporary anger and concludes on an impossibly affecting, painfully relevant note.

Winners of the best adapted screenplay gongs at both the Oscars and the Baftas in 2019.

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Read our full BlacKkKlansman review

The Imitation Game (2014)

Mathematician Alan Turing possessed one of the greatest minds of his generation, and one that helped win the Second World War. Benedict Cumberbatch gives an Oscar-nominated turn as the genius whose heroic efforts at Bletchley Park were shrouded in secrecy, and whose homosexuality eventually deprived him of the liberty he fought for. New to Netflix this month.

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Read our full The Imitation Game review

Uncut Gems (2020)

Adam Sandler stars in Uncut Gems

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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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.
Roma is written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón

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

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

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor in To All The Boys I've Loved Before
Noah Centineo and Lana Condor in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (Netflix)

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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The Green Mile (1999)

Tom Hanks in The Green Mile
Tom Hanks in The Green Mile
Warner Bros

In this hard-hitting 1930s crime drama, Tom Hanks plays death row officer Paul Edgecomb, who forms an unlikely friendship with condemned black prisoner John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), sentenced to death for murdering two little girls.

Adapted from Stephen King’s 1996 novel, The Green Mile is an emotionally powerful look at capital punishment with a supernatural twist and an absorbing effort from director Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption).

The drama is a must-watch and with the late Michael Clarke Duncan’s heartbreaking performance as misunderstood and gentle Coffey, it’s impossible to leave the film without shedding a tear.

Watch now on Netflix

Read our full The Green Mile review

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible: Fallout

While the seventh Tom Cruise Mission Impossible movie may be delayed due to COVID-19, in the meantime we can reminisce with Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, as they (mostly Cruise) defy the laws of gravity as they attempt to save a mission that’s gone wrong – and prevent a nuclear disaster – in 2018 instalment Mission: Impossible Fallout.

The film, which also co-stars Rebecca Ferguson and Superman actor Henry Cavill, includes Cruise’s real-life death-defying jump from one building to another in London – which saw the actor break his ankle.

Watch now on Netflix

Read our full Mission: Impossible – Fallout 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

Mamma Mia! (2008) and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)

Admittedly, it helps to be an Abba fan watching these movies, but you’d have to have a heart of stone to fail to be touched by the heartwarming, feel-good messages. And the starry cast sing to varying degrees of success, which is  all part of the fun.

Meryl Streep plays ageing rock chick-turned-hotel owner Donna, whose daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is about to get married on the Greek island where they live. But the wedding is thrown into chaos when three of Donna’s ex-lovers (Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård) turn up. Each has a case for being Sophie’s father, but only one stakes a claim on Donna’s heart.

The original film was followed up ten years later by Here We Go Again!, which was recently added to Netflix. It follows a familiar fairy-tale formula, but it’s a musical worth taking a chance on….

Watch on Netflix

Read our full Mamma Mia! review

Read our full Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again 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

Streaming services we think you might like…

Always Be My Maybe (2019)

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 Disaster Artist (2017)

This bromantic comedy takes an affectionate and eccentric look at the making of Tommy Wiseau’s cult catastrophe The Room, a film so staggeringly terrible it became a phenomenon. Directed by and starring James Franco as the ostentatious enigma Wiseau, it co-stars Franco’s brother Dave as Greg Sestero, a fledgling actor whom Wiseau whisks off to Los Angeles after the pair meet at acting class. Based on Sestero’s memoir, The Disaster Artist is sympathetic to Wiseau and frank about his demons. An often hysterical laugh-fest.

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Read our full The Disaster Artist review

Hereditary (2018)

Toni Collette in Hereditary

Few horror movies in recent times have petrified audiences quite as much as Ari Aster’s feature debut, which boasts an exceptional turn from Toni Collette in the lead role and some of the most memorable – and terrifying scenes – of all time.

The film is at once an exploration of grief, a discussion of the legacy of family and just a good old-fashioned horror movie, with a masterful command of mood and atmosphere. It draws on classics of the genre including Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist and The Shining – and just a year later Aster would prove that he was by no means a one-hit wonder, writing and directing an arguably even greater horror movie in Midsommar.

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Read our full Hereditary review

Annihilation (2018)

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

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

Spy (2015)

Melissa McCarthy stars in Spy (2015), directed by Paul Feig
Melissa McCarthy stars in Spy (2015), directed by Paul Feig

While it would be fair to say that Melissa McCarthy comedies are rather hit and miss, with noticeably more misses in recent years, Spy stands out as one of her rousing success stories. She teams up with Bridesmaids director Paul Feig for this story about a desk-bound CIA employee who is thrust into dangerous fieldwork when her partner is killed and many more active agents are put at risk. What follows is a truly hilarious take on a Mission: Impossible-style action flick, with McCarthy on top form as well as Jason Statham in a brilliantly utilised supporting role.

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Read our full Spy review

Mudbound (2017)

Dee Rees and Mary J Blige in Mudbound (Netflix, JG)
Dee Rees and Mary J Blige in Mudbound (Netflix, JG)

Director and screenwriter Dee Rees gathered together a potent cast, including singer/actress Mary J Blige, British star Carey Mulligan 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 exploration of bitter race relations.

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Read our full Mudbound review

Groundhog Day (1993)

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 bethe 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 Two Popes (2019)

Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce in The Two Popes (Netflix)
Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce in The Two Popes (Netflix)

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.

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Read our full The Two Popes review

No Country for Old Men (2007)

There’s a lot of money being chased in this masterful, multi-faceted thriller from the Coen brothers, but it’s not really what’s at stake. When hunter Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) makes off with a case full of cash linked to a drugs deal gone bad, it’s not the police he has to worry about. Psychopathic killer Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) leaves a trail of bodies in his wake in pursuit of the money – and the man who stole it. World-weary sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is on the case, trying to get to Llewelyn before the genuinely terrifying Chigurh does…

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Read our full No Country for Old Men review

The Martian (2015)

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

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

American Psycho (2000)

American Psycho

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 movie 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

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

La La Land (2016)

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in 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

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.

Watch on Netflix

Read our full The Revenant review

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

The Great Hack (2019)

THE GREAT HACK (2019), David Carroll (Associate Professor Parsons School of Design)
The Great Hack (2019) features David Carroll (Associate Professor, Parsons School of Design)

Data is now the world’s most valuable commodity. In this unnerving 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

It (2017)

The Goonies meets Stand by Me in Andy Muschietti’s creepy, crafty coming-of-age horror movie, “a gripping and glowing Stephen King adaptation”. Based on the book of the same name, the movie slightly changes its approach. Kids begin to vanish in small-town Derry prompting a group of outcast schoolchildren to tackle their own fears as an evil stalks them down. Don’t expect a comfortable end (IT Chapter Two was released last year and picked up the story 30 years on). Featuring Stranger Things’s Finn Wolfhard, this is a slower-paced horror that focuses more on your own fears than gore. Great set-up, perhaps not as great pay-off, but definitely one of the best King movie adaptations for the big screen. If you weren’t scared of clowns before, Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise will definitely change your mind. Get ready to hear those nerves snapping! 

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Read our full It review

Amelie (2001)

Few foreign language films have captured the attention of mainstream cinemagoers in the UK to the extent of Amelie, French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2001 movie about a young waitress who is caught in a dream world but decides to spend her time spreading happiness to others despite struggling to find any for herself. In doing so, Amelie finds that her journey also leads to romantic developments in her own life. 

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Read our full Amelie review

Inception (2010)

inception
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

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 picture won notable praise for its lyrical and often surreal style and for the uniformly tremendous appearances from its cast – as the group of guerrillas are plunged further and further into a downward spiral.

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Read our full Monos 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

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

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.

Watch on Netflix

Read our full Reservoir Dogs review

Wild at Heart (1990)

Wild At Heart - Nicolas Cage & Laura Dern

This film is every bit as crazy as you’d expect from a collaboration between David Lynch and Nicolas Cage: a recently released convict and his girlfriend Lula (Laura Dern) rush through the Deep South as they are pursued by a range of villains set upon them by Lula’s disapproving mother.

All of Lynch’s usual quirks are present in much force. The film is packed with eccentric characters, unusual visuals and a hypnotic soundtrack as well as all sorts of bizarre and unexplained detours. An impressive ensemble cast includes a slew of Lynch favourites, including Harry Dean Stanton, Isabella Rossellini, Grace Zabriskie and Jack Nance, while Willem Dafoe makes a memorable appearance as a crazed villain.

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Read our full Wild at Heart review

The Truman Show (1998)

Jimmy-Carrey-2

There’s little question about it: this funny, thought-provoking genre-defying classic is perhaps Jim Carrey’s finest performance of the 1990s (sorry, Ace Ventura). However, that’s largely due to the film’s intriguing set-up: Carrey plays Truman Burbank, a seemingly everyday man who slowly learns his life is the subject of a live 24-hour reality show. And don’t worry: that’s not a major spoiler. It’s just the basic synopsis of the film, with the real surprise coming in what Carrey’s character does with the newfound knowledge.

Complete with stunning visuals, sharp dialogue and ahead-of-its-time satire on the reality TV industry, The Truman show represents a much-watch for film buffs and philosophers alike.

Watch on Netflix

Read our full The Truman Show review

What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)

A Netflix Original, this biographical documentary film charts the volatile life and fluctuating fortunes of jazz legend Nina Simone, featuring interviews with family and friends, diary entries and previously unseen footage. It’s a wholly satisfying portrait of a formidable talent and was unsurprisingly nominated for an Academy Award – a must for fans of the genre.

Watch on Netflix

Read our full What Happened, Miss Simone? review

Hot Fuzz (2007)

The middle entry in Edgar Wright’s beloved Cornetto Trilogy, and arguably the best, this endlessly quotable buddy-cop movie stars Simon Pegg as Nicholas Angel, a big city policeman (nay, officer) who is forced to move to the country and soon discovers that when it comes to crime fighting there is no such thing as a quiet village. The film boasts a stellar cast and is absolutely packed with references, including many call backs to classic action films, expertly mixing humour with action and intrigue to create one of the best British films in recent history. Watch it, it’s for the greater good.

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Read our full Hot Fuzz review

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

This classic Coen Brother films follows a trio of escaped prisoners played by George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson as they make a trek across America for some hidden loot – complete with all sorts of colourful characters and obstacles to overcome. The narrative takes its inspiration from Homer’s Odyssey and the script is packed with great jokes and humorous moments a plenty.

There’s also a killer soundtrack packed with hits as sung by the fictional The Soggy Bottom Boys.

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Read our full O Brother, Where Art Thou? 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 that came to dominate the 1970s – and remains the only X-rated film ever to win the best picture statuette.

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Read our full Midnight Cowboy review

Ghost (1990)

The late and much-missed Patrick Swayze plays a murdered banker trying to warn girlfriend Demi Moore she’s in mortal danger via an Oscar-winning psychic Whoopi Goldberg. The special effects are a real treat, the love-beyond-the-grave theme is very touching and the ending is a wonderful piece of schmaltz. Who says sweetness and light are, er, dead?

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Read our full Ghost review

My Neighbour Totoro – and more Ghibli films

Studio Ghibli, My Neighbour Totoro
Studio Ghibli, My Neighbour Totoro

If you’re stuck at home and looking for something to watch with the kids – or simply by yourself – then Netflix’s range of Studio Ghibli movies are just the ticket. Arguably more pleasing to adults than some of the Disney offerings (yes, it’s possible sometimes), there are some many great stories to choose from. My Neighbour Totoro follows two girls and spirits in the forest near their home. If you’re looking for your next Studio Ghibli film there’s Spirited Away, which is probably more well known, Castle in the Sky, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Only Yesterday.

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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.