Best Movies on Netflix (June 2020) - Featured

How often do you find yourself scrolling through Netflix for an hour trying to find something to watch? The next time that happens, put down the remote for a second and bring up this list.

We’ll be updating this guide to the best movies on Netflix monthly, so all of you aspiring filmmakers out there can keep up with what you need to watch next.

From horror to comedy and everything in between, it’s all gathered right here. We’ll rank each film based on its acting, filmmaking, writing, and overall entertainment value for people bored on Friday night.

Of all the top Netflix movies available to stream, who knows? One of them may well inspire your next project.

Best Netflix Original Movies

13th (2016)

Full Feature  •  13th

A great deal of social upheaval has taken place over the last year. And if you’re interested in learning more about the root of that unrest, just watch 13th from director Ava DuVernay. The film explores mass incarceration in the United States and how it disproportionately impacts Black Americans. It all can be traced back to the passage of the 13th Amendment, which most people learn in high school abolished slavery but actually just altered the definition. The 13th Amendment still allows for slavery except for punishment of a crime. It’s eye-opening, shocking, and will make you want to protest for a better tomorrow.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

13th is arguably the most essential documentary to watch in the 21st century. It shows just how much farther we have to go as a country to right the wrongs of the past.

Good Netflix Movies for Directors

Da 5 Bloods (2020)

The Revolutionary Art of Spike Lee’s New Film  •  Da 5 Bloods

Da 5 Bloods is Spike Lee’s newest joint about a group of veterans who return to Vietnam to find the remains of their deceased squadron leader as well as a treasure they buried all those years ago. The film shows how Lee is one of our greatest talents today as a director, particularly in the way he films the flashback sequences, which were done with 16 mm film, the stock that would have been available during the time of the Vietnam War. Undoubtedly, this will be remembered as one of Spike Lee’s best films.  

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Da 5 Bloods is particularly relevant to what’s going on in America right now. Aside from its timely themes, it also features a showstopping performance from Delroy Lindo.

Best Movies on Netflix for This Moment

LA 92 (2017)

A Dangerous Night in LA  •  National Geographic

It’s easy to think police brutality is a recent issue. However, this problem has existed for decades. We’re only just now more aware of it due to more people having cameras. But back in 1992, video footage of the LAPD assaulting Rodney King made waves and resulted in several nights of unrest on the streets of Los Angeles. But this documentary delves further into issues of unrest, also showing footage from the 1965 Watts Riots and the shooting of Latasha Harlins. Martin Luther King, Jr. said riots were the “language of the unheard,” and it’s time for people to finally sit up and listen.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

LA 92 shows that the recent demonstrations are nothing new. Black Americans have struggled for decades to get the establishment to listen and make actual reforms. Until that happens, the cycle will only continue.

Amazing New Movies on Netflix

Disclosure (2020)

The Origin of Trans Representation in Early Cinema  •  Disclosure

Disclosure provides fascinating insight into the transgender experience in modern America. And a big part of that experience involves seeing (often not-so-flattering) portrayals in the media. Featuring interviews with filmmakers like Lilly Wachowski and Susan Stryker, as well as actors, musicians, and producers, Disclosure sheds knowledge everyone needs to know and understand.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Disclosure is powerful. It recontextualizes movies and TV shows from the past to show how an entire group of people has often existed solely as the butt of the joke. And that group is ready to reclaim its place with dignity.

Must Watch Netflix Originals

Tigertail (2020)

Alan Yang Interview  •  Variety

Themes of family can be found in Alan Yang’s other Netflix work, Master of None. Tigertail is his feature-length debut as a director, and he’s carried those themes with him into this new film about an intergenerational family’s experiences with trying to attain the American Dream. It’s a quiet  yet fleshed-out look at what it means to be an immigrant with all of the characters getting a chance to shine.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

No doubt Tigertail will become an excellent calling card for Yang. It’s the kind of movie that will make you want to call your parents afterward and thank them for the sacrifices they made in raising you.

Netflix Original Movies

Atlantics (2019)

Mati Diop on Her Cinematic Inheritance  •  TIFF Originals

Atlantics is one of the most rewarding cinematic experiences of 2019. It almost feels as if the film created its own genre: Just when you think you know where its plot is headed, it changes direction on you.

That misdirection—that sense of gradual discovery with new narrative development—isn’t frustrating. It’s rewarding.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

Atlantics may not have received the recognition other Netflix originals have, but it deserves to be seen all the same. The film announces the arrival of emerging auteur in director Mati Diop, and it’ll get you excited to see what she does next.

Older Movies on Netflix

Malcolm X (1992)

Rodney King in Malcolm X  •  The Seventh Art

Malcolm X provides an excellent template for screenwriters on how to write a biography. It’s epic enough in scope to properly mythologize the man but also personal enough to where he feels human. Spike Lee and Denzel Washington is a collaboration made in movie heaven, and Malcolm X remains top tier on their respective filmographies.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Malcolm X is long at roughly three and a half hours, but you realize all that time is necessary to tell the story of the lead. Carve out some time in your evening to watch through it all the way.

Netflix Original Documentaries

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution 

Judith Heumann Interview  •  The Daily Show

Directors Nicole Newnham and James LeBrecht wanted to create an experience as though the viewer was being transported to Camp Jened while watching Crip Camp. They expected people to feel uncomfortable at first but slowly realize how joyous of a camp it is. An audience will get to witness a teen disability summer camp up close and personal, providing an enlightening look at the struggle the disabled community has had in the fight for civil rights.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Crip Camp is an eye-opening experience. It’s bound to be one of the most talked about documentaries of 2020, so don’t miss it.

Must Watch Movies on Netflix

She’s Gotta Have It (1986)

My Hardest Movie to Finance  •  She’s Gotta Have It

Da 5 Bloods may be Spike Lee’s latest effort, but filmmakers who want to see where it all began need to check out She’s Gotta Have It. His first film is one of his most revolutionary, particularly for how it portrays its Black female lead as such a ferociously sexual being. With a budget of $175,000 and a production schedule of 12 shooting days, Lee revolutionized American independent cinema.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

It’s fascinating to be able to watch Spike Lee’s growth as a filmmaker. See the film that started it all as you work through his more recent efforts like BlacKkKlansman and Da 5 Bloods.

New Netflix Movies

Uncut Gems (2019)

Uncut Gems’ Beautiful Chaos  •  The Royal Ocean Film Society

The Safdie Brothers have a unique way of casting their films. In their other excellent film, Good Time, Robert Pattinson plays a robber on the run, playing against time from how a lot of audiences viewed him. For Uncut GemsAdam Sandler is playing someone unlike any character he’s ever played. And in both cases, it absolutely works better than it ever should. If you end up liking the film, check out our Uncut Gems screenplay analysis to dive deeper into how the directors put anxiety on the page.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Uncut Gems has a kind of energy that’s hard to come by. It pulls you in and all you can do is go along with the ride at every wild twist and turn.

Top Netflix Movies Right Now

Taxi Driver (1976)

Making Of  •  Taxi Driver

Netflix isn’t particularly known for having a ton of older, classic movies. That’s why when a masterpiece like Taxi Driver gets on the service, you should watch it immediately. Before Martin Scorsese was directing Netflix originals, he made the film that would go on to define the 1970s. The story of a disaffected taxi driver who descends further into insanity is still sadly prescient in today’s world, and there’s a lot for film students to dissect from this film from a technical standpoint.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Taxi Driver is one of the all-time greats. And if you liked 2019’s Jokerthen you owe it to yourself to watch the movie that inspired much of it.

Must Watch Movies on Netflix

Frances Ha (2013)

Sarah Polley and Greta Gerwig on Frances Ha  •  VICE

Frances Ha is content to move at its own pace. While the film’s narrative may wander, you never really mind because Greta Gerwig is utterly charming as the titular character. Frances moves along trying to make something out of life, before discovering what she needs to do to actually have a life in the first place.

It’s one indie comedy that has grown better with age. As millennials like Frances get over and grow discontent with drifting through life, they may also need to make some concessions. Frances Ha is at times funny and others heartbreaking.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

Director Noah Baumbach and Gerwig made a great slice of life film. Frances Ha essential viewing for those also trying to figure out their place in life.

What Movies Are on Netflix?

The Master (2012)

How Scientology Works  •  The Nerdwriter

Out of all of PT Anderson’s films, The Master might be the most engrossing. That’s in part due to a trio of incredible performances from Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams.

While the film’s critique of cults of personality may have its sights set on Scientology, The Master is more broadly about humans’ need for belonging and stability. It’s PT Anderson’s masterpiece and about as perfect as a film can get.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Every film student should watch The Master at least once. Whether you want to learn more about acting, directing, or developing themes across a theme, The Master shows you how to do it all.

Amazingly-Directed Netflix Movies

There Will Be Blood (2007)

How PT Anderson Directs Dominance and Disgrace  •  Subscribe on Youtube

Adapting Upton Sinclair’s book Oil!  proved to be an arduous task. P.T. Anderson studied the oil industry as it was in the early 20th century and took several trips to Bakersfield, CA to learn more about oilmen of the time period. While the movie is based on the novel, Anderson created something all on its own, but the novel became more of a collaborator than a direct source. The result is one of the few films of the 21st century that can genuinely be called a masterpiece.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

There Will Be Blood is an essential film for all filmmakers. Whether you’re a screenwriter, actor, or director, every frame has something you can learn from.

Oscar-Nominated Movies on Netflix

Lady Bird (2017)

Greta Gerwig Writes What She Knows  •  Fandor

There’s a saying in screenwriting to write what you know. Gerwig exemplified that exquisitely well with Lady Bird, and she was quoted as saying, “Nothing in the movie literally happened in my life, but it has a core of truth that resonates with what I know.” It’s likely for this reason why the script was 350 pages long at one point. Fortunately, she cut the story of a girl wanting more than her small town life to a crisp 93 minutes that anyone who felt different in high school can relate to.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Coming-of-age stories don’t get much better than Lady Bird. No matter what clique you were in in high school, everyone can relate to at least one scene in this film.

Fantastic Netflix Originals

The Platform (2019)

The Platform: Is It Deep or Dumb?  •  Wisecrack

Many movies of late are obsessed with class warfare. From Parasite to Joker, many films explore the division between the upper and lower classes. The Platform follows in this tradition, serving as a political allegory. It takes place in a prison where food is lowered one level at a time until nothing is left for the prisoners at the bottom. Resources literally “trickle down,” so anyone who was a fan of Parasite will also find substance in this sci-fi flick.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

The Platform isn’t exactly subtle with the message it’s trying to get across. Fortunately, it’s packaged in an engaging thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat until the final moments.

Best Movies on Netflix From 2018

Burning (2018)

Burning Press Conference  •  Cannes

Referring to a movie as “slow” may seem like a bad thing (and in some cases it is). But Burning shows precisely how to do a slow burn (no pun intended) well. The characters are engaging, and it subverts your expectations at nearly every turn. It creeps up on you, and you remain at the edge of your seat until your patience is ultimately rewarded.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Burning is a fantastic thriller from the 2010s. It may take a while to get into it, but once you’re in, you’re hooked.

Top Netflix Movies Right Now

Molly’s Game (2018)

On-Set Interview With Molly Bloom  •  Molly’s Game

If there’s one thing you learn reading Aaron Sorkin’s screenplays is that he’s fascinated with larger-than-life individuals who have very real drawbacks. Molly’s Game sees The Social Network writer tackle the real life story of Molly Bloom, who had everything going for her but decided to run underground poker games with powerful individuals. It’s a fascinating story held together by Jessica Chastain’s powerhouse performance that deserved more recognition upon its release.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Molly’s Game shows Aaron Sorkin is still one of the best screenwriters working today. It’s his directorial debut, and it proves he has just as much of an eye for filmmaking as he has an ear for dialogue. 

Great Films Finally on Netflix

Zodiac (2007)

When Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction  •  Film Radar

Zodiac is one of David Fincher’s best films. He creates such a tense atmosphere. Every camera movement is precise, and it’s a nearly perfect thriller. The craftsmanship on display makes sense considering Fincher would sometimes need 70 takes of the same scene before getting it right. He may be a perfectionist, but when the final product is one of the best films of the 21st century, he earns some forgiveness.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Zodiac has a way of crawling under your skin. The lingering mystery of the Zodiac killer as presented in the film has a way of keeping you up at night.

Funniest Netflix Films

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)

References in Walk Hard  •  Fred Peterson

There’s perhaps no movie genre filled with cliches like the musician biopic. Even by 2007, audiences were familiar with the trope-ridden story structure, making it the perfect time for Walk Hard to come out. Watching it today, it’s amazing how little screenwriters for biopics have learned as you can see many of the tropes made fun of in this film still pop up.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is hilarious, especially if you’re familiar with film cliches. Plus, the songs are genuinely great, too.

The Essential Netflix Movies List

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Filming the Truck Chase Scene  •  Raiders of the Lost Ark

It’s no wonder why Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the best action movies of all time. It set the template for all other action films to follow from having an incredible opening sequence to casting a charismatic lead to carry the movie. Above all else, it’s just a ton of fun to watch that’s still enjoyable to this day.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Raiders of the Lost Ark should be on every filmmaker’s list of movies to watch before you die. There’s so much to learn from the framing to the structure of the prologue.

Classic Movies on Netflix

Back to the Future (1985)

Bonus Features  •  Back to the Future

Back to the Future is one of those essential films everyone needs to see at least once. There are just so many iconic lines and set pieces that to understand modern pop culture, you really need to see the film for yourself. It’s all the more interesting when you dive into the film’s backstory and how so much could have been different that would have affected the final product, such as Michael J. Fox not being the first actor chosen to play Marty McFly. Luckily, everything came together to deliver a classic.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Back to the Future is one of the all-time great movies. It’s plain fun, and whether you’re watching it for the first or hundredth time, you get something new out of it each time you see it.

Best Netflix Originals

I Lost My Body (2019)

A Conversation With Jeremy Claplin  •  Netflix

With such an unusual plot, a severed hand going on a quest to reunite with its body, this kind of story needs a similar inventive animation. The medium works remarkably well for this offbeat story, creating one of the most idiosyncratic works of 2019.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

There’s something exciting to I Lost My Body. It’s clear it comes from an exciting, innovative voice, and you can’t wait to see what the director does next.

Feel-Good Movies to Watch on Netflix

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

DP/30: Silver Linings Playbook  •  Oral History of Hollywood

David O. Russell claims he rewrote the script for Silver Linings Playbook at least 20 times over five years. The film is a tricky balancing act of humor, romance, and a genuine evaluation of mental illness. It took a while, but he finally pulled it off in a film that gives Jennifer Lawrence a chance to show off her amazing acting abilities.

BEST NETFLIX movies

Conclusion

The film is carried by its lead performances. It’s a great date night movie about messed-up people just trying to find their way in this world.

Netflix Movies With Female Leads

20th Century Women (2016)

Making Of  •  20th Century Women

The female characters in 20th Century Women are based off real women writer/director Mike Mills knew. From the women who raised him to his female friends, Mills dramatized real people to create more compelling characters in his 2016 film. It's those kinds of real touches that make all the characters stand out even more, and the movie excels in really trying to dig underneath these individuals’ skins.

BEST NETFLIX movies

Conclusion

20th Century Women is a delicate film. It shows how to make an impression through nuanced, exceptional performances.

Great Movies to Watch on Netflix

Django Unchained (2012)

A Making Of Documentary  •  Django Unchained

The genesis for Django Unchained is that Quentin Tarantino wanted to make a spaghetti western set against the backdrop of American slavery. The film is also part of Tarantino’s efforts to make historical revisionist films, the other two being Inglourious Basterds and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Essentially, it’s the kind of film only Tarantino could make, and thank goodness he did because it’s a blast all the way through.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Django Unchained has all the fixtures you would expect out of a Tarantino movie. The bloody violence and dark humor are enough to hold your interest.

Teen Netflix Movies

Clueless (1995)

How Clueless Helped Make Fashion Mainstream  •  HauteLeMode

There was a period in the 90s where studios were obsessed with adapting classic literature into movies about teenagers. 10 Things I Hate About You is Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Cruel Intentions is Dangerous Liaisons. And the ultimate 90s teen movie, Clueless, is based off Emma from Jane Austen. The film is a perfect time capsule of 90s fashion, slang, and sensibilities, so anyone who considers themselves a 90s kid definitely needs to watch it.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

The valley girl aesthetic came to life with Clueless. It’s light, easygoing faire that pulls you in and makes you wish for a simpler time.

New Movies on Netflix for 2020

The Disaster Artist (2017)

How The Disaster Artist Adapts the Book  •  Thomas Flight

The Room is an interesting film. It’s not good, which you can tell even from the screenplay, which we analyzed. And yet, it’s managed to earn a cult following, still playing in theaters around the country. The Disaster Artist gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at how this famously awful film came to be. The result is an Ed Woods-esque tale about how passion can sometimes compensate for a lack of talent.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

The Disaster Artist is a great movie for filmmakers to watch because you can probably relate to so much of what goes wrong behind the scenes. However, the real grace of the movie is its heart and how friendship prevails over everything else.

Amazing Movies to Watch on Netflix

The Social Network (2010)

Sorking, Structure and Collaboration  •  Lessons From the Screenplay

The Social Network is arguably the best movie of the 21st century so far. The “Facebook movie” just becomes more and more timely as the social network continues to make headlines and themes of isolation and friendship grow more prevalent in filmmaking. Even as technology continues to evolve, The Social Network will remain an exceptional piece of art for what it represented in the moment it was released and how it continued to evolve.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Even if you’ve already watched The Social Network, you should watch it again. You’ll continue finding intricacies to David Fincher’s filmmaking style to appreciate.

Dark Netflix Movies

Enemy (2014)

The Making Of Enemy  •  Baville

For something to be Kafkaesque, it has to be nightmarishly illogical or complex. Enemy ticks off all those boxes with gusto. The film follows a quiet man who discovers he has an exact doppelganger in the form of a complete stranger. While there are many ways to interpret the film, no matter how you slice it you’re left feeling the same way afterward: unsettled.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

For fans of Denis Villeneuve, who directed Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, it’s interesting to watch Enemy to see what ideas he would continue to explore throughout his filmography.

Biopics on Netflix

Trumbo (2015)

DGA Q&A  •  Trumbo

Dalton Trumbo was one of the most prominent figures during the official blacklisting in Hollywood in the 1940s and 50s. While his career was sidelined for a time, he worked tirelessly to ensure him and his compatriots could work in the industry once again. Trumbo is a great tribute to a man who did so much, the least of which was writing the screenplay for Spartacus

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Trumbo was overlooked when it first came out. You shouldn’t miss it now, especially if you’d like to learn more about the Hollywood blacklist.

Comic Book Movies on Netflix

V for Vendetta (2006)

Behind the Mask  •  V for Vendetta

Having come out a few years after 9/11, it makes sense why V for Vendetta, a movie about a man who wants to blow up a building for political purposes, didn’t exactly go over well with everyone. With some more distance, the film has some pertinent political themes for today’s climate. You just have to look past the irony of V’s mask becoming a commodified corporate product.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

V for Vendetta is a faithful adaptation of the graphic novel. Even if Alan Moore hasn’t watched it, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.

Great Horror Films on Netflix

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Making Of  •  Silence of the Lambs

Horror films tend to get overlooked around awards season. That’s why it’s so significant The Silence of the Lambs managed to win Best Picture, as well as a slew of other honors, at the Academy Awards. To this day, it’s still psychologically rich and deeply disturbing. It’s become such an influential film in the horror genre, and it’s a perfect showcase for how humans can be the most terrifying monsters of all.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

The Silence of the Lambs takes the best parts of the horror and thriller genre and combines them into a devilishly delightful caper, capped off with some terrific performances.

Popular Netflix Movies

Jerry Maguire (1996)

Bloopers  •  Jerry Maguire

How do you write an iconic movie line? Many films are lucky to get one, but Jerry Maguire has several from “Show me the money!” to “You had me at hello.” If you study the  best quotes from romantic films, then you’ll find most of them tend to be short and universal. An iconic line needs to be something practically anyone could say in casual conversation. Screenwriter Cameron Crowe seems to have understood that succinctly, and the many great quotes in the film are bolstered by an overall engaging story and likable characters.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Not many films have been able to tell a romantic story and a sports plot simultaneously. Jerry Maguire soars above the rest.

Top Rated Netflix Movies for 2020

Amy (2015)

In the Studio With Mark Ronson  •  Amy

Amy Winehouse had one of the most powerful voices in all of music. For a few short years, she dominated award shows and the radio. And just as soon as she arrived on the scene, she was gone. Amy examines the life and death of the famous singer complete with never-before-seen footage. It’s an amazing portrayal of what fame and personal demons can do to a person so talented and so well-respected.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Even if you’re not a fan of Amy Winehouse’s music, there’s something to be appreciated of a portrayal of a troubled soul who should still be around today.

Horror Films to Watch on Netflix

The Guest (2014)

Dan Stevens and Maika Monroe Interview  •  The Guest

Adam Wingard’s previous effort, You’re Next, subverted expectations, becoming one of the most gruesomely delightful, and underrated, horror films in recent memory. He followed it up with The Guestwhich also leaves you guessing as to what’s about to happen from one scene to the next. It’s best to go into the film knowing virtually nothing, so you can be completely struck with how insane the movie gets.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

The Guest is thoroughly engaging and a ton of fun. You just need to kick back and watch the madness unfold.

Animated Netflix Original Movies

The Willoughbys (2020)

Bringing the World of The Willoughbys to Life  •  Netflix

There’s a manic energy at play with The Willoughbys. While it’s clearly geared toward children, there’s something also for adults to enjoy, particularly if you enjoyed the work of Lemony Snicket growing up. It follows many of the same beats. A group of kids have guardians who want nothing to do with them and treat them poorly. While that may sound dark, the film comes to a heartwarming message about family that anyone could learn from.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

The Willoughbys is the kind of film you can watch with your kids and not feel like stabbing yourself.

Netflix Streaming Movies

American Honey (2016)

Sasha Lane Interview  •  American Honey

American Honey proves one thing: Shia LaBeouf is one hell of an actor. LaBeouf starred in a stint of popcorn films that rarely gave him much room to showcase his talent, but his range has been on full display for several years now, and that renaissance arguably began with American Honey.

American Honey is a different kind of coming-of-age film, set against a backdrop of partying and debauchery. It’s a challenging film for sure, but if you can make it through its nearly three-hour runtime, you’ll be rewarded.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

American Honey offers an earnest depiction of a carefree life and all that it entails, both good and bad.

Best Comedies on Netflix

The Death of Stalin (2018)

The Death of Stalin  •  History Buffs

Dramatizing the death of Stalin is one thing, but making a comical farce out of the event and the ensuing power struggle must have been a monumental task. The movie was banned in Russia, but anyone who wants to give it a chance will find a hilarious piece of art with timely parallels to our current political state. It’s a superb example of a dark comedy that balances out its varying tones with such expert precision.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

You don’t have to be a political scientist to enjoy The Death of Stalin. You just need an open mind and a willingness to laugh at humanity’s darkest corners.

Top Netflix Movies Right Now

The Florida Project (2017)

The Florida Project Should’ve Been Nominated  •  The Nerdwriter

Disney may not want anyone filming at their parks and resorts without their permission, but that didn’t stop Sean Baker from doing so. He used an iPhone 6S Plus and a minimal crew to film some scenes at the resort, and it’s truly intriguing to watch how they kept the aesthetic of the film during those portions. It’s not just a gimmick, either. The idea of Disney World ties into the themes of childhood and how children are uniquely qualified to create their own form of happiness.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

The Florida Project was overlooked upon its release, but it’s one of the best films of 2017. Don’t ignore it now that it’s on Netflix.

Popular Movies Right Now on Netflix

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

How Guillermo del Toro Deals With Trauma  •  Storytellers

You never know what others might think of your film. While Guillermo del Toro described Pan’s Labyrinth as a “profane” film, his peer Alejandro González Iñárritu said it’s a truly “Catholic” film. When you make something as beautiful as Pan’s Labyrinth, it only makes sense people will bring different ideologies into it. It remains del Toro’s best movie and one that will fill you with delight and horror, sometimes simultaneously.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Pan’s Labyrinth can satiate the needs of any viewer. Whether you want a spooky monster movie or a contemplation on the abandonment of childhood, this movie itches any scratch.

Gritty Netflix Films

Hostiles (2017)

Behind the Scenes  •  Hostiles

While the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there’s a different between a Neo Western and a revisionist Western. While a Neo Western typically takes place in the modern day, a revisionist Western often takes place in the past. But a revisionist Western doesn’t abide by the same values as Westerns of the past. The main characters are more morally questionable. And while it may be based on real people or real events, it may change certain aspects to fit more modern sensibilities. Hostiels fits into the revisionist category, taking us back to 1892 but with a more critical lens of the time period.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Hostiles tells the story of an Army cavalry officer tasked with escorting a Cheyenne war chief and his family back to Montana. For fans of classic Westerns, this update on typical Western archetypes and sensibilities is a must watch.

Classic Action Movies on Netflix

Air Force One (1997)

Hollywood vs. Reality  •  Air Force One

A good portion of Air Force One’s crew got to tour the real Air Force One for reference before making the film. While they had a good idea of what was feasible inside the plane, they still managed to take some liberties, such as including an escape pod when the real Air Force One has no such pod. However, those liberties can make for more exciting action set pieces. Consider the result is one of the most critically-acclaimed action films of the 90s, the filmmakers likely made the right call.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Air Force One is a pure Harrison Ford movie. He kicks all kinds of butt, and it’s the kind of movie to put on when you want an action-packed throwback.

Best Original Netflix Movies

Horse Girl (2020)

Alison Brie Explains Horse Girl  •  Variety

Jeff Baena dug comedy out of tragedy with his excellent Joshy. He returns to similar territory with Horse Girl, a film about a woman battling mental illness who soon finds herself struggling to distinguish dreams from reality. Alison Brie, who co-wrote the script, plays the lead role in a truly remarkable performance, no doubt inspired by something personal in her.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

Horse Girl is a strange, little film. However, if you give it a chance, you’ll find yourself sympathizing with Alison Brie’s well-developed lead character.

Satirical Netflix Films

Starship Troopers (1997)

Starship Troopers  •  Renegade Cut

Paul Verhoeven is a master of taking what could have been silly films and turning them into satirical works of art. RoboCop is the most obvious example, and while it was often misinterpreted upon its release, Starship Troopers has just as much insight to offer. The film’s comments on war and fascism and still pertinent to this day, which is probably why it’s been held in higher regard in recent years.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

For equal parts action and satire, play Starship Troopers when you want to watch something completely different from what’s out there. The acting may not always be on point, but there’s so much to enjoy you may not ever notice.

Awesome Netflix Movies

Good Time (2017)

Robert Pattinson on Good time  •  PeopleTV

The Safdie Brothers are experts at craftins highly tense, anxiety-ridden films. Uncut Gems brought that aesthetic into the mainstream, but it all started with 2017’s Good Time, which has similar frenetic editing and fast-paced plot to put you in the protagonist’s shoes. Once the film’s over, you’ll finally feel like you can breathe.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

If you’re a fan of Uncut Gems, then Good Time makes for an excellent companion piece. But be warned, it may test the limits of how much anxiety you can stomach.

What Movies Are on Netflix at the Moment?

Cargo (2018)

Martin Freeman Interview  •  Cargo

Making an original zombie movie these days seems like a herculean task. Practically every angle has been taken, but Cargo doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. The zombies themselves we may have seen before, but the film instead takes a more character-driven approach, focusing on a father trying to care for his infant. Cargo proves you don’t need to do anything crazy to make a great film. You just need a solid premise and a terrific leading performance.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Cargo is a necessity for zombie movie fans. It’s a much smarter film than a lot of other zombie properties out there.

Great Netflix Movies for Filmmakers

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

Killing of a Sacred Deer Cast and Crew Q&A  •  TIFF

What makes a good horror film? You may not think The Killing of a Sacred Deer is horror on its surface, but the way it churns the stomach is similar to what you would get watching any gore fest. You know these characters are heading for oblivion, and all you can do is watch as you recognize their lives are taking a dramatic turn for the worse at every corner.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Yorgos Lanthimos is one of the most interesting directors working today. The Favourite and The Lobster may have gotten more mainstream attention, but you shouldn’t ignore The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

Netflix Movie List

Coraline (2009)

Behind the Scenes  •  LAIKA

Coraline picked up the torch from The Nightmare Before Christmas and delivered an entertaining, albeit sometimes frightening, stop-motion animation film. It’s visually stunning, complemented by frames of utter beauty and significant terror.

You don’t need to have a kid to cue up Coraline on Netflix one night. The film has enough emotional weight to ring true with any audience. It’ll remind you of the horrors of childhood while also filling you with hope for the future.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

Coraline is a visually arresting film. Its beauty has universal resonance and its genuinely creepier moments will satisfy horror fans, too.

Best Sci-Fi on Netflix

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Steven Spielberg on E.T.  •  American Film Institute

Steven Spielberg’s parents’ divorce in 1960 would go on to influence the themes of many of his films. In fact, when he was a child, he developed an imaginary alien friend who could be the father he felt like he didn’t have anymore. Decades later, that friendly alien would become E.T. It just goes to show that you can write what you know while still reaching for the stars with imaginative plots.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is one of Spielberg’s most beloved films for a reason. It inspires you and shows you how magical movies can really be.

UP NEXT

Best Movies of the Decade

Just a few more Netflix binges and your inner film encyclopedia should be up to date (until it’s time to update it all over again). Then, after you’ve seen everything on this list, take your streaming adventures a step further by consulting our list of the best films of the 2010s.

Up Next: Best Movies of the Decade →
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