The movie selection on Netflix in recent months hasn't been all that strong. Fortunately, June 2023's list delivers five truly great movies, giving movie lovers who don't love reality TV or documentaries a reason to keep paying for Netflix.
This batch (which includes two May debuts) features an all-time sci-fi action classic, one of the best Bill Murray movies, two beloved comic book movies, a recent drama with Oscar buzz, a very good animated family film and a great drama.
You'll find some of these films on our list of the best movies on Netflix, if you're looking for more recommendations. This list is comprised of films with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 90% or above, which is essentially like saying the critical mass rated them with an A-, A or A+.
To Leslie (2022)
Everything was great for lotto winner Leslie (Andrea Riseborough) until she drank her money away. But as she re-enters the lives of families and friends, and tries to get her life on the right track, Leslie's not having an easy time with the straight and narrow.
Riseborough got tons of critical praise for her performance, and she's joined by a stellar cast including Allison Janney, Stephen Root, Marc Maron and Andre Royo. Unfortunately, word of mouth may turn some off to caring about To Leslie's critical praise, as there's suspicion that the folks behind the film paid celebrities for positive chatter online to try and win an Oscar.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Now that Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has hit theaters, this is a perfect time to revisit the best live-action Spider-Man movies ever. Spider-Man 2, the sequel that thrives now that it's established Peter (Tobey Maguire) as the webhead, is a must-rewatch, especially because of all of the connective tissue between Sony's Spider-Man movies.
This chapter of Spider-Man's saga is our overall favorite because of Alfred Molina's pitch-perfect performance as Otto Octavius, Parker's professor who becomes the maniacal Doctor Octopus. Director Sam Raimi hits all the right notes for this villain, with horror movie touches that may remind you of his Evil Dead classics.
Of course, Netflix couldn't bring Spider-Man 2 over without also adding the first Raimi/Maguire Spider-Man film. Here, you see Peter's humble yet profoundly haunting origins, as his powers segue him into trying to make money in pro wrestling, followed by his selfishness leading to tragedy.
But through the drama, a hero is born, and nerdy Parker gains a wildly manic villain to fight in Norman Osbourne (Willem Dafoe), who's quite a scientist himself. Dafoe fully embraces the camp of comic book movies here, and unleashes truly bewildering expressions. If you want more, check out our guide for how to watch Spider-Man movies online.
The war on drugs, especially in 2000, turned from an extremely black-and-white conversation to one with many shades of grey. Then, Steven Soderberg delivered Traffic, which showed how how deep the problems truly are.
Traffic interweaves three stories, starting with that of cop Javier Rodriguez (Benicio Del Toro) who is pulled into the world of Mexican politics to try and stop cartel hitmen. We also follow Robert Wakefield (Michael Douglas) a rising politician tapped by the President to fight the war on crime and Helena Ayala (Catherine Zeta-Jones) the wife of a drug dealer who didn't know what her husband was doing.
Each of these three storylines go down unexpected avenues, as each protagonist gets a deeper understanding of how flawed the system truly is.
Chicken Run (2000)
One of the best stop-motion animation films of all time (second arguably to Wes Anderson's The Fantastic Mr. Fox), Chicken Run is family fun that's also a subtle homage to post-war films where prisoners of war have to escape to survive.
Except this time, our heroes are a group of fowl who've been farmed for eggs at the Tweedy Farm in the England countryside in the county of Yorkshire. And they've just learned that their owners have more diabolical needs, having acquired a machine that turns chickens into chicken pies.
Filled with excellent banter, expressive and zany animation and a uniquely odd energy, Chicken Run is a gem you need to see if you've never watched it. And it also packs tons of laughs that kids may not get, and enjoy more upon rewatching.
Groundhog Day (1993)
Weatherman Phil (Bill Murray) met his true nemesis — a time loop — whilst covering Punxsutawney Phil, that groundhog that people think can predict seasonal weather patterns. Grumpy that he has to cover this nothing-burger of an event, Phil gets more upset when he wakes up and learns he has to live the day all over again. And again.
Applauded by reviewers for providing a pleasant and clever spin on a traditional morality tale, and for the performances of Murray and Andie MacDowell (who plays his producer, Rita). That said, Groundhog Day offers a strong ensemble cast including excellent character actors such as Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky and Brian Doyle-Murray.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
A ton of Arnold Shwarzenegger's movies just hit Netflix in time for his new Netflix Original series Fubar and his upcoming limited docuseries. And while most of them won't make our 90% Rotten Tomatoes cut-off, Terminator 2: Judgement Day does.
This epic action movie (one of James Cameron's finest films) sees the T-800 Terminator (Shwarzenegger) sent back in time to protect John Connor, who will play a key role in saving humanity's future. What do we have to be afraid of? Well, AI's taken over and its Skynet ruined humanity.
Beloved for its revolutionary (for their time) special effects, thrilling action and (currently) topical concept, Judgement Day is especially great for Robert Patrick's all-business T-1000 Terminator.