For this list, all feature films are fair game. Here there are classic dramas and comedies; powerful small-budget fare you've probably never heard of; kids' movies; lots of scary horror, pulse-pounding action flicks and thrillers; illuminating documentaries—there's a lot of sexy stuff, guilty pleasures, some foreign-language offerings, and so much more. We've included Netflix original films, and the movies they've acquired.
This list is regularly updated as films come and go from Netflix's library.
These are the best movies on Netflix right now to stream and binge-watch.
Best Movies on Netflix to watch right now
1. 42 (2013)
It took decades for Jackie Robinson‘s inspiring life story to finally arrive on the big screen. In the 1990s, Spike Lee developed a project with Denzel Washington in talks to star as the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball. This eventually fell through, as did a project Robert Redford was attached to in the early 2000s. Ultimately, Oscar-winning writer/director Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential, Mystic River) made the biopic starring Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, the sports exec who signed him. Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson, was involved in making the film, and she was quite pleased with the finished product.
2. 8 Mile (2002)
Remember that time Barbra Streisand presented Eminem with an Academy Award for Best Original Song? Granted, the actor wasn't at the ceremony, but all the same, it's hard to forget an awards show moment like that.
Yes, director Curtis Hanson's gritty biopic is a textbook musical in its way. It's also a gripping and emotional portrait of a struggling artist. The rock-solid supporting cast includes Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer and the late Brittany Murphy. White-knuckle "Lose Yourself" still has the power to raise the pulse.
3. Above the Rim (1994)
None other than Tupac Shakur starred alongside Duane Martin, Bernie Mac and Marlon Wayans in Booty Call helmer Jeff Pollack's directorial debut, about a high-school sports star torn between thug life and a potentially bright future. Shot on location in Harlem, this is Shakur's final theatrical film released in his lifetime, and it clearly shows his talent and promise as an actor.
4. Alex Strangelove (2018)
All at once joyous, raunchy and disarmingly poignant, this Netflix original movie stars Daniel Doheny as Alex Truelove, a deeply closeted high school senior who loves his girlfriend Claire (Madeline Weinstein), but is overwhelmed with confusion when he falls for a handsome, comfortably out boy named Elliot (Antonio Marziale).
5. Argo (2012)
Crackling and smart, Ben Affleck‘s follow-up to brilliant thrillers Gone Baby Gone and The Town is about real-life CIA operative Tony Mendez and the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. Winner of three Oscars including Best Picture. Affleck was notably snubbed for Best Director.
6. Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Co-writers Ali Wong and Randall Park star in this charming rom-com about childhood friends reunited years after a disastrous fling. A loose and nimble Keanu Reeves, playing himself, can’t help but steal every scene he’s in.
7. Apocalypse Now Redux (2001)
Francis Ford Coppola‘s hyper-ambitious Vietnam War epic with a boat ride into hell (loosely based on Joseph Conrad‘s Heart of Darkness) surpasses even Platoon and Full Metal Jacket as the greatest film ever made on the subject. One of Hollywood history’s most infamously troubled, nightmarishly chaotic productions resulted in an untouchable classic that goes against the grain, and never leaves the psyche.
8. Before I Wake (2016)
Horror master Mike Flanagan (binge the incredible Midnight Mass on Netflix if you're a fan of the genre) directs Thomas Jane, Kate Bosworth and Jacob Tremblay in this supernatural thriller about an adopted boy with a deathly imagination.
9. Berlin Syndrome (2017)
So abundant we might as well make them their own genre, movies about kidnapped females generally go one of two ways: It’s either all about the suspense, figuring out how and if she will get out—or there’s the nastier route, the low road, when some movies focus on a woman’s torture and humiliation, turning it into a spectacle.
Though Australian director Cate Shortland‘s adaptation of Melanie Joosten‘s novel, about a tourist imprisoned by a handsome teacher after a passionate one-night-stand, is a thriller (quite heart-pounding at times), and much of the woman’s mistreatment is extremely hard to watch, this highly absorbing psychological drama stands out because it’s all about the characters and what’s going on in their heads.
Aussie-born Teresa Palmer of Hacksaw Ridge fame delivers a ripper of a performance as a victim suffering in stages not unlike the stages of grieving. German Max Riemelt (Sense8) keeps up every step of the way as her chilling and multifaceted captor, but this is Palmer’s film, and it gave the dynamite actress long-relegated to playing love-interest side characters a serious calling-card in Hollywood.
10. Big Fish (2003)
Big Fish is one of Tim Burton's biggest wins, nothing short of fully enchanting. In tall-tale flashback, Ewan McGregor plays a younger version of Albert Finney's braggadocious Edward Bloom, recounting his version of his past to son Will (Billy Crudup) on his deathbed. Alison Lohman, Helena Bonham Carter, Jessica Lange and Danny DeVito co-star in the crowd-pleasing fantastical dramedy from Daniel Wallace's 1998 book.
11. Bird Box (2018)
Sandra Bullock stars in Bird Box as expectant mother Malorie, who’s forced to become a survivalist when supernatural forces decimate the world’s population. One look at these creatures—who we never see—causes your eyes to glaze over and moisten, then you go insane and commit suicide, by whatever means is handy. After surviving a chaotic early set piece of carnage and destruction on a massive scale, Malorie and her unborn child make it to a house where several strangers who’ve also evaded the outbreak have found shelter. Bird Box broke Netflix records and remains one of the streaming giant's biggest hits ever.
12. Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1982)
Ridley Scott‘s deliberately paced neo-noir received a chilly reception when it was released in 1982, originally presented in a weird, off-putting cut the studio meddled with. Once the streamlined director’s cut arrived a decade later, observers couldn’t deny the film’s greatness. Blade Runner is likely the 2oth century’s most visual influential picture (itself heavily influenced by Fritz Lang's silent expressionist masterpiece Metropolis).
13. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
No follow-up could match Ridley Scott's 1982 original, but Denis Villeneuve's sequel is mostly a triumphant success. The Arrival helmer was the perfect choice to pick this story up after 35 years, and he respects his audience enough not to hand-hold as the dense plot satisfyingly builds upon its themes. Blade Runner 2049 is a worthy sequel to one of cinema's mythic wildcards.
Scott's film is probably the most visually influential film of the last half-century, and Blade Runner 2049 fittingly is one of the best-looking studio releases of the past decade at least. Cinematographer Roger Deakins won his first Oscar at long last.
14. The Boys in the Band (2020)
Helmed by award-winning Broadway director Joe Mantello, Ryan Murphy's co-produced adaptation of Mart Crowley's iconic play stars an all-star cast of out gay actors including Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer and Zachary Quinto. It's set on a gathering of gay friends in 1968 NYC.
15. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019)
The feature filmmaking debut of Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor is about the inspiring true story of William Kamkwamba (based on his memoir), a Malawian who ingeniously built a windmill to save his village from famine. Official British entry for Best International Feature at the 92nd Academy Awards.
16. Cam (2018)
Directed by Daniel Goldhaber, this Netflix original is about an adult webcam performer who discovers a sinister presence has taken her place on the internet. Cam has some truly frightening moments, and it examines the subject matter of sex work with appropriate care and thought. Most notably, it showcases a head-turning lead performance by The Handmaid‘s Tale‘s Madeline Brewer, often playing multiple entities on-screen at the same time. Thanks to a perceptive script by real-life former cam girl Isa Mazzei, Cam is often an examination of fractured identity, something that’s definitely not limited to the world of adult entertainment. Cam stumbles a bit at the ending, but it’s full of provocative ideas, and Brewer just floors you.
17. Casino Royale (2006)
Casino Royale was the first Bond film written after 9/11, and audiences needed the Bond movies to evolve considerably. Casino Royale rose to the occasion, hitting it out of the park farther than anyone could have anticipated. This is a stunning action picture with the weight of romantic tragedy. How often does that happen?
18. Catch Me If You Can (2002)
An unqualified win across the respective filmographies of Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Leonardo DiCaprio, Catch Me If You Can is the stylish, funny and touching sort-of biopic based on the (largely refuted and disproven) autobiography of con man Frank Abagnale Jr., and the FBI agent who tracks him. It's a game of cat and mouse at first, then it gets better when it becomes more of a father-son story. Wisely timed for a holiday season 2002 release, Catch Me If You Can appealed to a wide, multigenerational audience like relatively few films can.
19. The Christmas Chronicles (2018)
In this Netflix original, Kurt Russell is an uncommonly cool, handsome and wise-talking Santa Claus, who helps a brother and sister (Judah Lewis and Darby Camp) rediscover the magic of Christmas after the loss of their father. The Christmas Chronicles was directed by Clay Kaytis (The Angry Birds Movie), and produced by Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone). The big draw here is Russell’s performance, and he does not disappoint. This isn’t really like any Santa you’ve seen before. Two years later, Russell's longtime real-life partner Goldie Hawn took a break from retirement for a turn as Mrs. Claus in the highly-rated sequel, also on Netflix.
20. Clueless (1995)
Did you think we’d forget to include one of the best high-school movies of all time? As if! Amy Heckerling‘s observant, delightful take on Jane Austen‘s Emma made Alicia Silverstone a superstar, and launched the career of Paul Rudd. The future Ant-Man also starred in the less-fondly remembered Halloween 6 the same year. A smash hit upon release, Clueless is now rightfully regarded as one of the best American comedies ever made.
21. Collateral (2004)
Michael Mann has made multiple crime classics, arguably none better than his streamlined, character-rich masterpiece Collateral. This is also a career-high point for Tom Cruise, who plays a sociopathic hitman who entangles a mild-mannered cabbie (Jamie Foxx, Oscar-nominated for this the same year he won for Ray) in an L.A. killing spree. Co-starring Jada Pinkett Smith, Collateral is equal parts armrest-gripping excitement and meaty, uncomfortable philosophy. Soaked in neon on digital video (years before it was the norm), Collateral is also the best, most truthful movie ever made about nighttime in Los Angeles.
22. The Conjuring 2 (2016)
Before Annabelle and The Nun, there was James Wan’s hair-raising, superbly acted thriller about a witch who terrorizes a Rhode Island family in 1971. By summer 2013, horror had earned a bad rap. The torture films like Saw had dominated for a decade, and if there ever even was a point to those it had long fizzled out. The Conjuring was marketed as “based on the true case files of” Ed and Lorraine Warren, prominent paranormal investigators, played here by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. This box office behemoth brought back the classy, high-production-values terror of thrillers like The Exorcist and Poltergeist. Its success spawned the first highly successful cinematic universe outside of the MCU. The first sequel achieved a similar level of success, and a third Conjuring followed in 2021.
23. Constantine (2005)
Oh, how time can change public opinion. Eight years before helming The Hunger Games high point Catching Fire, Francis Lawrence brought vibrant life to this superhero horror film, starring Keanu Reeves as DC Comics' chain-smoking, morally conflicted occult detective. Co-starring Rachel Weisz, Tilda Swinton and Djimon Hounsou, Constantine delivered a respectable $230 million at the box office, but critics were unkind—and kinda missed the point. Years before superhero films became the most fashionable genre around, this horror hybrid was its own beast.
24. Contagion (2011)
In 2011, Warner Bros. released Steven Soderbergh‘s ensemble thriller Contagion to solid reviews and a healthy $135 million worldwide gross. Not much has been said about it since—until it surged in popularity in early 2020. That’s because Contagion has proven eerily prophetic, and much of what happened in the film happened in the midst of the international coronavirus health crisis.
25. The Departed (2006)
After decades of nominations—and an unofficial consensus that if anyone is our greatest living director, it's him—Martin Scorsese finally won a Best Director Academy Award for this brutal and sprawling Boston-set epic about rival spies crossing law enforcement and the mob. The Departed won a total of four Oscars including Best Picture.
26. Dunkirk (2017)
What makes Dunkirk truly unique and unprecedented as a war film is its scope. One criticism some have is that we never really get to know the characters all that well. Some great contemporary World War II films like Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Hacksaw Ridge (2016) have excelled emotionally by narrowing their focus to see war through the eyes of a few lead characters, but that’s not what director Christopher Nolan is going for here. More than any war film in history, the overwhelming yet concise (108 minutes) Dunkirk shows a contemporary audience how hundreds, thousands, millions of people worked together as a community for victory during our darkest hour; and that is quite powerful.
27. El Camino: A Breaking a Bad Movie (2019)
One of the greatest television shows in history recently got a worthy coda, when three-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul returned as interminably suffering drug kingpin Jesse Pinkman in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. The highly anticipated follow-up to Vince Gilligan‘s crime saga Breaking Bad is a Netflix original.
On one hand, there's undeniably fan service at play here. Also, this is fan service from masters of the medium. It's hard to imagine any Breaking Bad fans not being satisfied with this suspenseful, raw, even darkly hilarious follow-up. Paul is, of course, a million shades of riveting.
28. Extraction (2020)
One of the most popular Netflix movies ever stars Chris Hemsworth as a notorious mercenary tasked with rescuing the kidnapped son of an international crime lord. Extraction has received mostly positive reviews, and debuted on Netflix to massive viewership.
29. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)
Terrific performances from Zac Efron, Lily Collins and especially Kaya Scodelario bring pathos to Joe Berlinger's hit Netflix original about serial killer Ted Bundy. The picture proved a bona fide hit for Netflix, with mostly positive reviews to boot.
30-32. Fear Street Trilogy (2021)
A Netflix original event based on the more gruesome, not family-friendly work of R.L. Stine, Fear Street Part 1 1994 aims to reinvent and subvert the slasher genre á la Scream. It’s now streaming on Netflix. The trilogy continued with superior Part 2 1978, and Part 3 1666 wrapped things up.
33. Flight (2012)
A titanic turn by Denzel Washington and gripping, ambitious direction from Robert Zemeckis drive this viscerally affecting dramatic thriller. Washington plays Whip Whitaker, an alcoholic airline pilot who's investigated following a near-disaster in the sky. The ending of Flight ties things up in too neat of a bow. It would have been more effective to cut immediately after Whip starts telling the truth, in court. Other than that, this is a virtually perfect piece of work, and a must-see.
34. Gerald’s Game (2017)
A career-high performance from the always-good Carla Gugino is front-and-center in Mike Flanagan’s Netflix original, a Stephen King adaptation about a woman who ends up handcuffed to a bed in the middle of nowhere when her husband drops dead. This is pure, high-concept psychological terror, not spooky, but gripping—and the ick factor is high.
35. Get On Up (2014)
The legacy of Chadwick Boseman lives on in Tate Taylor‘s acclaimed James Brown biopic. The late actor embodies The Godfather of Soul, in one of his best-known roles. Thanks to uniformly electrifying performances (the supporting cast includes Nelsan Ellis, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, Get On Up is head and shoulders above most biopics, transcending the standard trappings.
36. The Gift (2015)
Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall and Joel Edgerton (who wrote, directed and co-produced the film) star in a superior, ominous thriller about a hotshot executive facing crisis when the past comes back to haunt him. The Gift was a modest box-office success, and received universal critical acclaim.
37. The Guilty (2021)
Shot during lockdown in 11 days, Antoine Fuqua's remake of the acclaimed 2018 thriller of the same name stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a 911 dispatcher faced with a distressing call. Co-starring Riley Keough, Ethan Hawke, Paul Dano, Peter Sarsgaard and Bill Burr.
38. The Hateful Eight (2015)
There was something undeniably transporting and nostalgic about the limited-engagement 70mm Roadshow presentation of The Hateful Eight over the 2015 holidays. Not many people saw that, though; The Hateful Eight was overshadowed by Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the box office, and was box-office disappointment, if not an outright flop.
Handsomely crafted, impressively acted but emotionally hollow, The Hateful Eight is ultimately a nihilistic chamber drama about a handful of uniformly awful people in a 19th-century Wyoming cabin gradually double-crossing and killing each other. That’s about it.
The best part: The atmospheric, often downright catchy score earned legendary film composer Ennio Morricone his first Academy Award. At the time, he was the oldest-ever recipient of a competitive Oscar.
Also airing exclusively on Netflix is a special serialized extended edition of the film.
39. Home (2015)
Based on 2007 children's book The True Meaning of Smekday, Dreamworks and Fox's animated feature is a space-set adventure starring the voice talents of Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jim Parsons and Jennifer Lopez. Directed by Tim Johnson (Antz).
40. The Hunt for Red October (1990)
The first Tom Clancy adaptation to hit the big screen is still the best. This is the big-screen debut of Jack Ryan, and Sean Connery plays a rogue Soviet submarine captain who abandons orders and defects to the United States. It’s up to Ryan to bridge communications on the high seas to prevent an all-out nuclear war. A patient, highly technical thriller that’s never less than gripping, The Hunt for Red October is easily the picture that best represents Clancy’s strengths and appeal as a creator.
41. The Hurt Locker (2009)
Director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal’s nerve-shredding, highly acclaimed war thriller stars Jeremy Renner as an explosives expert, in an uncompromising look at the Iraq War and its psychological impact on veterans. Competing against ex-husband James Cameron and Avatar, Bigelow became the first woman ever to win the Academy Award for Best Director. This is also the first film directed by a woman to win Best Picture.
42. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
The bond of human and animal is explored with heart-tugging effectiveness in DreamWorks’ saga of Vikings, dragon fighting—and a boy and his beloved pet. Quality control has been truly remarkable over the series’ run. They’re all first-rate family entertainment.
43. Hush (2016)
A Netflix original film, Hush is a surprisingly suspenseful and effective slasher about a deaf author (Kate Siegel) who is terrorized by a masked home intruder (John Gallagher Jr.). Hush owes a great deal to John Carpenter‘s Halloween--so many of the best horror films these days do--and maybe even more to the 1967 Audrey Hepburn-starrer Wait Until Dark, but Mike Flanagan‘s taut direction and knack for suspense are enough to make Hush stand on its own. It’s a nail-biting thriller that really delivers what you’re hoping for in a movie like this.
Following well-received mirror-themed horror flick Oculus and the way-better-than-anyone-expected Ouija: Origin of Evil, Flanagan gained attention as a force in popular horror.
44. Hustle (2022)
Adam Sandler has once again struck gold for Netflix—in fact, this is his best Netflix movie ever. In We the Animals director Jeremiah Zagar's sports film, Sandler plays NBA talent scout Stan Sugerman, who's risking his reputation and career for a Spanish recruit (real-life Utah Jazz player Juancho Hernangómez) he believes in. With a quiet determination and subtle, deeper humor than you might expect, Sandler plays maybe his most sympathetic character ever, a 180 from his (lamentably Oscar-snubbed) titanic turn as the angel of death in Uncut Gems.
Sandler really is in top form here, and though he's MVP of this instant sports classic, the supporting cast including Queen Latifah, Ben Foster, Robert Duvall and countless real-life sports stars, is uniformly excellent. Hustle doesn't exactly transcend the inspiring sports pic genre, but it delivers everything you want from it with a crackling urgency. This is indeed a crowd-pleasing slam dunk for Netflix and one of the streamer's biggest stars.
45. The Irishman (2019)
Martin Scorsese‘s long-gestating crime epic, centered on Jimmy Hoffa, is an extraordinary achievement in rich, slow-burn character development. It’s on Netflix, but the best way to see it is one sitting, on the biggest screen possible. Front-and-center are titanic turns by Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and (stepping out of retirement for a moment) Joe Pesci. Also front-and-center are the picture’s much-discussed de-aging visual effects. At times they’re pretty seamless. Also, they’re often distracting, even off-putting. Make no mistake: we’re still in the Uncanny Valley.
46. I Am Jonas (2018)
Some stunning eye candy (those cheekbones on star Félix Maritaud!) punctuates this powerful, acclaimed coming-of-age drama. Young gay love is part of the plot, so is devastating tragedy. Like the bodies on display, this plot is a beauty, told in non-linear fashion with some suspense and surprise. To ruin it would be a disservice. Just stream it already.
47. The Ice Road (2021)
Released late in the boom of Liam Neeson's formidable, leggy career comeback post-Taken, thoroughly implausible but fun The Ice Road stars the action favorite as an ice driver spearheading a rescue mission over frozen water. This Netflix hit is a modernized take on The Wages of Fear (famously adapted as Sorcerer in 1977).
48-49. Insidious (2010) and Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)
Three years before The Conjuring earned critical raves and made all of the money, director James Wan had a relatively more low-key success with Insidious, a ghost story about a young married couple who venture into an astral dimension to rescue their son. The Insidious series is a textbook example of how uniquely profitable horror movies can be. The four films in the franchise (Insidious, Insidious: Chapter 2, Insidious: Chapter 3 and Insidious: The Last Key) have grossed a total of $539 million worldwide on a combined budget of $26.5 million.
50. It Follows (2015)
A cold-blooded nightmare that could inspire an adult to sleep with a nightlight, David Robert Mitchell‘s supernatural thriller about a shapeshifting killer passed around like a curse exudes a blistering, downright oppressive atmosphere of menace. Mitchell throws you off balance from the very beginning in ways you might not even notice: this film is set in no discernible time period, or even a particular season, and certain details in the production design and in character’s actions just don’t make any sense. This is not unlike the method Stanley Kubrick used to make us uneasy throughout The Shining.
There is a quietness, a stillness in It Follows that you won’t find anywhere in contemporary horror hits like Annabelle or It, which rely heavily on loud banging noises and jump scares to shake an audience. As artful as it is frightening, It Follows is patient, rewarding perceptive viewers with a uniquely, richly disturbing experience.
Right now, we are living in a golden age of horror. It Follows is an essential part of that discussion.
51. The King (2019)
Timothée Chalamet and Robert Pattinson star in David Michôd's epic historical war drama based on Shakespeare's Henriad. It failed to leave a mark during awards season, but fans of brutal period epics should be diverted enough.
52. Legend (2015)
Tom Hardy stars alongside Tom Hardy in the true story of the Kray twins. Taron Egerton plays a small supporting role (this is just before his star exploded and he became one of the most popular actors on the planet).
53. Les Misérables (2012)
Seven years before the infamy of Cats, Tom Hooper (fresh off the Oscar-sweeping success of The King's Speech) helmed this star-studded big-screen take on one of the longest-running musicals in history. Anne Hathaway won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, and performed the signature number "I Dreamed a Dream" in one take.
54. Let Me In (2010)
Nobody asked for a remake of the Swedish masterwork about a lonely boy who befriends a vampire—many fans and critics were even highly opposed to the idea—and then Matt Reeves‘s American spin turned out to be brilliant in its own right: exciting, well-acted and touching. Reeves’s latest project? The Batman starring Robert Pattinson. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.
55. The Lost Daughter (2021)
Maggie Gyllenhaal‘s debut as writer/director is a top-shelf psychological drama based on Elena Ferrante‘s novel. Olivia Colman is—as always—dynamite, playing a woman who becomes obsessed with another woman and her daughter while on holiday. Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson and Peter Sarsgaard round out a stellar cast.
56. Love & Basketball (2000)
The reputation of Gina Prince Bythewood's brilliant romance has only grown over time. Love & Basketball explores complex themes with humor and passion in a story about childhood friends fall in love while aspiring to be professional athletes. Starring Omar Epps, Sanaa Lathan, Dennis Haysbert and Alfre Woodard.
57. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020)
The most electrifying, fully realized cinematic take on an August Wilson play to date, George C. Wolfe‘s 1927 Chicago-set drama depicts a fateful recording session of the “Mother of Blues” and her band. The powerhouse performances from Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman are among the year’s very best, making the picture’s fleeting stagey limitations mostly go unnoticed. The incomparable actors drive home Wilson’s enduring themes of race, religion, exploitation and the reality of the American Dream. Boseman is Oscar’s frontrunner for Best Actor. As ambitious, haunted trumpeter Levee, his work here has the weight of nothing less than great tragedy.
58. Marriage Story (2019)
Noah Baumbach‘s emotional juggernaut showcases career-best work from Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson. The rare kind of picture that can make you guffaw hysterically and ugly-cry within the same scene, this epic divorce saga is an instant classic. Laura Dern won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her portrayal of an L.A. power-lawyer who wears pants so tight you can see bone, then fake-apologizes for looking like a slob. Perfect. Brilliant. Nailed it.
Related: The Best Family Movies on Netflix
59. Miss Americana (2020)
Lana Wilson's Taylor Swift documentary is an undeniably illuminating and highly entertaining look at—let's face it—the biggest name in the music industry right now. Miss Americana covers Swift's formative years, early successes, the notable rough patch pre-Reputation, and her staggering comeback. Even if you're not a Swiftie already, this is a captivating, somewhat candid music doc with some downright thrilling bits of the artist freestyling in the studio.
60. Monster (2003)
A completely unrecognizable Charlize Theron won an Academy Award for playing serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Wonder Woman helmer Patty Jenkins' bruising, brilliant biopic. Christina Ricci stars in the film Roger Ebert named the very best picture of 2003.
61. A Monster Calls (2016)
Based on the atmospheric children's book of the same name, J.A. Bayona's visually breathtaking, highly emotional low fantasy centers on a boy facing the unthinkable: the inevitable death of his terminally ill mother (Felicity Jones). Sigourney Weaver co-stars in an inventive, highly emotional picture that made Bayona one of the most sought-after directors in Hollywood.
62. Monster House (2006)
Kids and parents looking for a creepy thrill will find a lot to love in this motion-capture CGI comic thriller. In the spirit of the best Goosebumpsstories, Monster House is a superior haunted-house story for two big reasons: it takes its horror elements seriously (it’s genuinely scary, but stays within PG bounds), and the child protagonists are believable, smart and relatable.
63. Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)
Classic comedy troupe Monty Python‘s crowning achievement, this edgy and ambitious British satire has lost none of its bite 40 years later. In many circles, it’s considered a strong contender for best British comedy movie of all time.
The religious subject matter has made Life of Brian hugely controversial since it was released, with many markets (including several in the United Kingdom) outright banning it back in the day. The UK’s Channel Four named this the greatest of all comedy films from around the world in a 2006 poll.
64. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Another high-water mark for Monty Python is this endlessly quotable, micro-budgeted lampooning of King Arthur's quest for the Holy Grail.
In 2011, Tom Bergeron and Cynthia McFadden hosted Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time. This was a collaboration between People and ABC News to give film fans a chance to vote for their all-time favorites. Monty Python and the Holy Grail was named the second-best comedy ever, behind Airplane!.
Note: Netflix is currently streaming several Monty Python specials, and episodes of Flying Circus. These are full of iconic zany moments, and they've held up really well.
65. Mudbound (2017)
Based on the novel by Hillary Jordan, Mudbound stars Jason Mitchell and Garrett Hedlund as World War II veterans who return to their families in rural Mississippi and struggle with civilian life. Powerful depictions of racism and PTSD transcend the period setting; Mudbound is a movie for now. One of the year's finest ensemble casts includes Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke and an astonishing turn by an unrecognizable Mary J. Blige.
Dee Rees‘ sprawling, masterful drama deserved a wider theatrical release and benefits from a big screen (Rachel Morrison became the first Oscar-nominated female cinematographer for capturing the harsh beauty of the region), but the good news is you can watch Mudbound right now on Netflix.
66. Murder Mystery (2019) ... and other Adam Sandler comedies
It would be remiss not to mention the undisputed king of Netflix comedies. Sandler’s movies are often panned by critics (save for the occasional outlier like Uncut Gems and Hustle), but given the string of recent hits, it looks like his star is shining brighter than ever.
Co-starring Jennifer Aniston, Sandler’s recent Netflix venture, Murder Mystery, reportedly had the then-biggest opening weekend in Netflix’s history, surpassing previous record holder Bird Box.
67. The Net (1995)
Sandra Bullock (just as her career was catching fire in a major way, post-Speed) stars in Irwin Winkler‘s fun if dated conspiracy thriller about a freelance computer programmer who becomes entangled in a far-reaching, deadly plot of stolen identity and other cyber crimes.
68. Nightcrawler (2014)
Gyllenhaal is frightening and unrecognizable (lamentably overlooked by the Academy) in Dan Gilroy‘s neo-noir, as a stringer who sells video of grisly events in nighttime Los Angeles to local news outlets. Co-starring Rene Russo and Bill Paxton, with a brilliant supporting turn from Riz Ahmed, Nightcrawler was a hit with audiences and critics following a clever online marketing campaign.
69. The Nightingale (2019)
Jennifer Kent‘s thunderous follow-up to The Babadookstars Aisling Franciosias an imprisoned, abused Irish convict who sets out into the wilderness of 1825 Australia seeking vengeance. To be clear: The Nightingale is not a revenge fantasy; it’s a moral, humane exploration of themes that aren’t restricted to any particular time and place. It’s not easy viewing—it’s as much a series of events you experience as it is a movie you watch—but storytelling this clear-eyed and urgent doesn’t come around all that often, and demands to be seen. Kent does not make compromises in telling challenging, impactful stories. She’s one of the most exciting filmmaking talents around right now.
70. Nocturnal Animals (2016)
As brutal as it is sad—and it’s both—Tom Ford‘s second feature twists the blade in the corpse of a toxic, failed relationship. Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Golden Globe winner for his work here) and Michael Shannon (Oscar nominee for his work here) are uniformly sensational in dark, sumptuously realized parallel storylines (about half of the film is a fictional book within the narrative). Gobsmacking visually and disturbing thematically, Nocturnal Animals is something like a masterpiece.
71. The Old Guard (2020)
Greg Rucka adapted his own comic book for the screen, and Gina Prince-Bythewood directed this well-reviewed shoot-em-up. The ever-impressive and screen-commanding Charlize Theron stars alongside KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts and Chiwetel Ejiofor as an immortal mercenary out for vengeance.
Related: Best Comedies on Netflix
72. Olympus Has Fallen (2013)
Gerard Butler stars in Training Day director Antoine Fuqua's red-blooded guy movie about a terrorist attack on the White House. Earning a respectable $170 million and mixed-to-positive reviews, this was overall the better-received film with the same plot in the same year (Roland Emmerich's White House Down was mostly a dud).
Paul King's live-action family comedy based on the beloved Michael Bond character was a huge critical and commercial success. Ben Whishaw voices the anthropomorphic bear who migrates to London, where he is adopted by the Brown family. Co-starring Nicole Kidman, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters, Paddington spawned a sequel, and was nominated for Best British Film at the BAFTAs.
73. Paddington (2014)
Paul King's live-action family comedy based on the beloved Michael Bond character was a huge critical and commercial success. Ben Whishaw voices the anthropomorphic bear who migrates to London, where he is adopted by the Brown family. Co-starring Nicole Kidman, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters, Paddington spawned a sequel, and was nominated for Best British Film at the BAFTAs.
74. Phantom Thread (2017)
Workaholism is an anomaly among addictions. Because work is associated with so many good things and rewards, it's an addiction that commonly gets a pass. But workaholism is not the same thing as working hard. The bottom line: it's an all-consuming, unhealthy coping mechanism that can ruin lives. Paul Thomas Anderson's Oscar winning period piece Phantom Thread is, unequivocally, the best, richest movie about workaholism of all time. This is a bizarre, brilliant film whose triumphs are layered. That's one of them. Daniel Day-Lewis stars as a grief-stricken, toxic fashion designer who meets his match in a beautiful waitress (Vicky Krieps).
75. Pieces of a Woman (2020)
Previously best known as an action star, Vanessa Kirby received rapturous reviews, Venice’s Volpi Cup and an Oscar nod for an astonishingly physical portrayal of a woman reeling with grief in KornélMundruczó‘s harrowing drama. The film peters out at some point, but the masterful opening stretches sear the mind; it’s certainly worth the [uncomfortable] watch.
76. The Power of the Dog (2021)
Jane Campion's brutal Western starring Benedict Cumberbatch as a sadistic rancher who instigates a war of intimidation on his brother's new wife and young son. C0-starring Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smit-McPhee.
77. The Prom (2020)
Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, James Corden, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Rannells, Kerry Washington and Jo Ellen Pellman star in Ryan Murphy's splashy adaptation of Matthew Sklar's 2018. The story follows four former Broadway stars who travel to the small conservative town of Edgewater to assist a lesbian teen banned from bringing her girlfriend to the prom. Corden's performance has received considerable backlash, but most audiences and critics agree this is frothy fun that will put a smile on your face.
Related: The Best Action Movies on Netflix
78. Raw (2017)
Julia Ducournau‘s cannibal drama and is so graphic and intense it made grown men faint at the TIFF, requiring an ambulance. Horror can always be read as metaphor, and this wickedly clever allegory uses bloody violence and shocking imagery to punctuate a story about a young veterinary student (Garance Marillier) becoming her own person, denying the patriarchy and giving in to her innermost desires. You will likely either love or hate Raw; it’s virtually impossible to have a mixed reaction to a film this confrontational. Ducournau exhibits a mastery over her craft– running a mere 98 minutes, Raw is at once punchy and lean, robust and muscular. Though it may not be to everyone’s taste (pun intended), Raw is the work of a visionary, one of 2017’s most unshakeable and singular cinematic efforts.
79. Red Notice (2021)
Netflix's biggest movie ever received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics, but continues to direct massive traffic for the streamer. Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot star in the comic actioner about an Interpol agent pursuing the world's most wanted art thief.
80. Roma (2018)
Alfonso Cuarón‘s most personal film to date, a sprawling autobiographical saga set in 1970s Mexico City, is in many ways the year’s most stunning technical achievement. Yalitza Aparicio is stunning as domestic worker Cleo, but none of the other characters in the film are nearly as compelling as she is. Though it isn’t as deeply moving as some of 2018's very best dramas, the ingenuity and skill on display in Roma make it a must-see for anyone who loves this medium.
Related: Best Patriotic Movies of All Time
81. RRR (2022)
The Rs stand for rise, roar, revolt—and international audiences have certainly risen and roared in response to this crossover hit of South Indian cinema, now streaming on Netflix. An epic buddy action musical that’s sort-of about real-life Indian revolutionaries and their struggle with the Raj, RRR is funny, bloody, and kinetic, with a touching bromance between stars N.T. Rama Roa Jr. and Ram Charan. The VFX are outlandish but remarkably detailed and eye-popping. The film is genuinely spectacular for 187 minutes.
Related: The Best Action Movies on Netflix
82. Seven (1995)
Often stylized as Se7en, David Fincher‘s harrowing police procedural stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as detectives who partner on a case of brutal ritualistic killings. From the handcrafted opening titles to the heart-stopping final moments (don’t let anyone spoil the ending for you), Seven is really unsettling and creepy stuff. Handle with care.
Seven earned about 10 times its budget at the worldwide box office, and was nominated for a Best Film Editing Oscar, but lost to Apollo 13.
83. The Shack (2017)
Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer star in a faith-based drama based on the 2007 novel about a grief-stricken man’s encounter with the divine. The Shack received mixed-to-negative critical notices, but was a substantial box-office success. Co-written by Destin Cretton, who went on to direct Shang-Chi.
84. Skyfall (2012)
This is not how it's supposed to work. Conventional wisdom tells us a movie franchise surely won't be better--much less more intimate—than ever, a full half-century into its run. But that's what happened with Bond in Skyfall.
In 2012, James Bond steps into our modern world, where enemies aren't as easy to see, and the fight is in the shadows. Skyfall is frightening, fun, deeply funny at times, and touching. This is an entertainment that's confident, sophisticated and wise enough to know that hearing Judi Dench recite Tennyson in a courtroom can be just as stirring as watching James rip open a train car with a Caterpillar digger. Sam Mendes's direction is crystalline; he knows he has us in the palm of his hand every step of the way.
85. The Sleepover (2020)
Malin Akerman and Joe Manganiello star in this family-friendly Netflix original, about tween siblings who discover their seemingly normal mom is actually a badass in the witness protection program. The action-comedy was directed by Trish She, screenplay by Sarah Rothschild. The Sleepover was a bona fide hit for Netflix, one of the top programs on the service since its release.
86. Soul Surfer (2011)
AnnaSophia Robb, Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid, Kevin Sorbo and Carrie Underwood star in the inspiring true story of surfer Bethany Hamilton and her recovery from a horrific shark attack. Sean McNamara's film is based on Hamilton's autobiography Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family and Fighting to Get Back on the Board.
87. Spider-Man (2002)
Sam Raimi's original blockbuster is more than just wonderful entertainment with great characters and inspired, spirited storytelling; it's just the movie we needed in the spring of 2002. Following the devastation of 9/11, America was in need of bold optimism and a cinematic hero to look up to. Prior to the release of Spider-Man, no film in history had ever come close to a $100 million North American opening weekend. When Raimi's film opened to $114.8 million, it sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry and executives scrambled to green-light as many superhero films as they could.
Spider-Man holds up quite well two decades later, thanks to great performances and a character-driven script by David Koepp (Jurassic Park). One of the biggest reasons for this trilogy's record-setting box office success is the romance between Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) and Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). You'd be hard-pressed to find a sweeter, more relatable love story in most Oscar-winning dramas. If anything, the film works best when Spidey is out of costume.
88. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Most great films start with a great screenplay. Alvin Sargent, the two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter of World War II drama Julia (1977) and Robert Redford's Ordinary People (1980) might have seemed an unusual choice at the time to pen a Spidey screenplay, but the result is a focused, self-contained and downright exhilarating narrative. At its heart, Spider-Man 2 is all about identity and making the tough choices in life. The Oscar-winning special effects still look great today, and in an age when you can do virtually anything with CGI, these visuals have distinction and can fill you with wonder. The sinister, slithering and possessive tentacles of Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) have more personality than any character in the DC Extended Universe before things started looking up with Wonder Woman.
Superhero films frequently end with a prolonged battle sequence of some kind; it's pretty much just something we expect at this point. The climax of Spider-Man 2 is actually something of a subdued affair, and it's a stronger film for that. It's all about these people and the decisions they make. Don't let the spandex fool you; this is high drama. If the 2002 Raimi film was the point when Hollywood realized this genre could be a box office goldmine, Spider-Man 2 is when we officially had proof that a superhero movie could be a work of art.
Related: All Spider-Man Movies, Ranked
89. Steve Jobs (2015)
Flawed but a huge improvement over 2013's Jobs, Danny Boyle's drama stars Oscar-nominated Michael Fassbender as the Apple giant. Kate Winslet is riveting as ever in a supporting role.
90. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow star in Anthony Minghella's technically exquisite, darkly compelling adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel about a disturbed man hellbent on making a playboy's lifestyle his own by whatever means necessary. Nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Law).
91. Taxi Driver (1976)
Written by Paul Schrader and directed by Martin Scorsese, this iconic psychological thriller is widely considered to be one of the best movies ever made. Robert De Niro plays a lonely, haunted Vietnam veteran who descends into violent madness.
Co-starring Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel and Cybill Shepherd, Taxi Driver has accumulated countless accolades over the decades, among them: it’s a part of the National Film Registry, Sight & Sound named it the 31st greatest movie ever, and it was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture.
You talkin’ to me?
92-94. To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018) and sequels
Based on Jenny Han‘s 2014 novel of the same name, Susan Johnson‘s teen romance, a Netflix original, captivated home audiences and critics alike. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before boasts a 94 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Lana Condor, Noah Centineo and John Corbett star.
The follow-ups To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You and To All the Boys: Always and Forever are now streaming, too.
95. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)
Oscar-winning The Social Network and West Wing scribe Aaron Sorkin wrote and directed this uncommonly entertaining legal drama, drawing parallels between 1968 and today. Strong performances from an ensemble cast including Yahya Abdul Mateen II, Michael Keaton, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and more benefit a film that earned serious Oscar attention.
96. The Two Popes (2019)
Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins received boundless praise for their turns in a dramedy based on the real-life friendship of Pope Benedict XVI and future Pope Francis.
97. Uncharted (2022)
Where to begin with Uncharted? Why on the continental surface of Earth were critics so harsh to it? Based on the long-running, critically acclaimed adventure game series about strong-willed everyman explorer Nathan Drake, the box-office hit boasts magnetic, funny and physical performances from Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, who are in a league of their own when it comes to this kind of thing.
There is only one Harrison Ford, and it's unlikely any adventure film will ever measure up to prime Indy. Uncharted is content to be a slick, silly and self-aware homage, and its pleasurable escapism connected with audiences. As was the case with Spider-Man: No Way Home (released within weeks of Uncharted, cementing Holland as maybe the biggest box-office name in the world right now), Holland's face is more compelling than any visual effect. This is a true star.
98. Under the Shadow (2016)
An exquisitely crafted and thoroughly unnerving chiller, writer/director Babak Anvari‘s feature debut blurs the line between supernatural terror and the horrors of the real world like few films you’ll ever see. Set in 1980s Tehran during The War of the Cities—the backdrop of Anvari’s own fear-ridden childhood—the firm stars Narges Rashidi as medical student Shideh who is barred from her studies because of her involvement in revolutionary politics. When her husband departs for the front, Shideh is tasked with protecting their young daughter Dorsa (Avin Manshadi) as the fighting and bombings escalate around them. It doesn’t look like things can get any bleaker, and that’s when Shideh and Dorsa are haunted by an evil genie.
The performances are powerful, and the filmmaking here is impeccable, evoking a war-torn Iran that is almost suffocating to watch. Anvari grew up in a culture where VCR’s and VHS tapes were illegal, and his debut is made with the kind of passion for film that you can’t put a price tag on. The supernatural scares really work, but they’re never quite as frightening as Shideh’s reality, which seems to be Anvari’s point. Esteemed British film critic Mark Kermode named this small-scale powerhouse the best film of 2016, and it is not to be missed.
99. We Can Be Heroes (2020)
Spy Kids helmer Robert Rodriguez wrote and directed this Netflix original family-friendly superhero movie, a follow-up to The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D. The picture received a mostly warm reception from critics, and broke all kinds of viewership records for Netflix. A sequel has been announced.
100. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
We’ll have what she’s having. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan star in this modern classic about friends who test their theory that friends can’t have sex with each other, over several years. Written by Nora Ephron and directed by Rob Reiner, When Harry Met Sally was named the 23rd best American comedy ever by the American Film Institute; it’s the most loved romantic movie of its era. It all ends with an oft-quoted declaration of love moments before the clock strikes twelve.
101. White Christmas (1954)
Legendary director Michael Curtiz helmed several of the most noteworthy films of Hollywood’s Golden Age, including The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Casablanca (1942), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Mildred Pierce (1945) and this essential Christmas musical, the highest-grossing film of 1954. A successful stage adaptation premiered in San Fransisco in 2004 and has been touring internationally ever since. Filmed in vivid Technicolor, White Christmas was the first movie ever released in VistaVision, a widescreen process using twice the surface area of standard 35mm film.
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