Best Movies on Netflix - May 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.

Oscar-Nominated Movies on Netflix

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Must Watch Movies on Netflix

Steve Jobs (2015)

Behind the Scenes  •  Steve Jobs

Biopics are a dime a dozen. When one steps out of its typical conventions and does something truly unique, it’s worth celebrating. For my money, Steve Jobs is an innovative example of the biopic that’s worthy of the Apple founder it depicts.

Steve Jobs doesn’t pull any punches in its portrayal of the megalomaniacal magnate. Yes, the film ultimately celebrates the man and his complicated legacy, but it portrays him as a human being prone to folly and hubris. Jobs alienated the people he worked with, but here, that drama makes for an engaging watch.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

Steve Jobs has all the trademarks of your standard Aaron Sorkin script. It may be overly verbose, but most of the time it paints a nuanced portrait of a conflicted genius.

Best Movies on Netflix Right Now

The Bling Ring (2013)

Interview With Sofia Coppola  •  The Bling Ring

The Bling Ring is perhaps the most fun film director Sofia Coppola has made. Coppola uses her emotionally detached central characters to deliver a slick critique of celebrity worship and culture.

For the best possible viewing experience, pair The Bling Ring with Spring Breakers for a double feature. Both films boldly examine vapid youngsters’ search for meaning in celebrity. And after watching, you may never want to see an episode of Entertainment Tonight ever again.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

Some stretches of The Bling Ring miss their intended marks. Still, it’s a thoroughly entertaining watch.

Good Movies to Watch on Netflix

Sweeney Todd (2007)

Designs for a Demon Barber  •  Behind the Scenes

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is one of Tim Burton’s best films. The macabre subject matter of this musical is brilliantly filmed and its surreal qualities are ideally suited to the director’s sensibility.

Burton blends musical performance and horror tropes splendidly. Instead of adopting the style of other musicals, Burton takes creative license wherever possible to align Sweeney Todd’s source material with his own singular vision.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

Sweeney Todd can be gruesome. But anyone who’s a fan of Stephen Sondheim will enjoy seeing his beloved musical come to life.

Best New Movies on Netflix

Taylor Swift: Miss Americana (2020)

All the Details  •  Shared News

The great thing about Taylor Swift’s documentary is that you don’t have to be a die-hard Swiftie to enjoy it. That’s because it focuses less on the pop star’s rise to fame than on her complicated relationship with fame and her struggle to form some kind of political identity.

Taylor Swift: Miss Americana is a fascinating look at the disposability of women in the pop music industry, where self-reinvention is constantly required for a star to avoid being replaced by the next bright shiny object. The film may not convert you into a Taylor Swift fan, but you’ll at least gain an appreciation of what she and many other women in her business have to endure.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

Taylor Swift: Miss Americana doesn’t offer an in-depth look into Swift’s psyche. But it does paint an intriguing portrait of a female pop star and the plight of women who live their lives in the public eye.

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.

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.

Top Rated Netflix Movies

The Other Guys (2010)

Bloopers & Gag Reel  •  The Other Guys

Hot Fuzz may be one of the best action parodies ever made, but when you want a bit more Americanized slapstick, you opt for The Other Guys. Director Adam McKay’s film has some terrific jokes and seriously impressive action set pieces.

While The Other Guys can feel at times like an overly long comedy sketch, stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are enjoyable to watch together and have plenty of buddy cop chemistry to burn.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

When you want a good laugh, put on The Other Guys. While it may not be top-tier McKay/Ferrell comedy, it gets the job done and is bound to bust you up more than once.

List of Best Netflix Original Movies

Love Wedding Repeat (2020)

Interview With Olivia Munn and Sam Clafin  •  Netflix

The romantic comedy is alive and well on Netflix. The platform has made a name for itself as a home where original comedies can thrive, which is great because then we get Love Wedding Repeat. It’s a wedding-gone-wrong picture but with an intriguing fantasy twist. What makes the story work so well is that even when you think everything will go according to plan, it still manages to squeeze out conflict and have you wondering how everything will shake out.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Out of all of Netflix’s originals, Love Wedding Repeat is more than worth a watch. It’s a sweet film with plenty of laughs, so watch it when you have some friends over.

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.

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.

Best Movies on Netflix now

Tremors (1990)

The Making of Tremors  •  Behind the Scenes

You didn’t expect to find Tremors on this list, did you? When you want plain good B-movie fun on a Friday night, Tremors is where it’s at. The film pokes fun at the tropes of creature features without ever tipping over into self-parody. And not only does it establish a serious set of rules—it actually follows them.

All of this results in one of the best monster movies of the 1990s. And if you like what you see, you’ll be happy to learn it has a plethora of sequels, each one more insane than the last.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Don’t sleep on Tremors. You can watch the entire franchise on Netflix right now.

Great Netflix Streaming Movies

American Factory (2019)

A Short Conversation With the Obamas  •  Netflix

Documentaries are interesting to create. You may set out with one idea in mind but change the film’s focus halfway through production. The filmmakers behind American Factory had that happen as they decided during the editing process to focus on the experiences of average workers at an Ohio plant during a takeover from a Chinese business. The decision was a good one. The film would go on to win Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

American Factory provides an excellent portrait of modern globalization. It provides crucial information for everyone with a job.

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 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.

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.

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 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.

Hilarious Netflix Movies

The Naked Gun (1988)

Leslie Nielsen: Giving Into the Silly  •  Ministry of Cinema

It’s hard to find a good parody movie these days. So many give into “reference” jokes where you just mention a pop culture thing and expect it to give a laugh. The reason films like The Naked Gun work well is that they stand up as their own movies. They have plots and characters you like, and they just happen to poke fun at other movies. But at their core, you can also sense a respect for the genre. The filmmakers obviously love police movies, and you can see that love on display, which is something you can’t say for something like Disaster Movie, Epic Movie, or any other “Insert Word Here” Movie.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

The Naked Gun can still make audiences laugh themselves silly. It’s highly rewatchable and serves as an excellent template for any screenwriters who want to write parody.

Drama Movies to Watch on Netflix

Philadelphia (1993)

Tom Hanks Interview  •  Philadelphia

Philadelphia is noteworthy for being one of the first major Hollywood productions to focus on homosexuality and HIV/AIDS. It tapped into the zeitgeist and delivered a story people may not have wanted to have but needed to listen to.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

Even today, Philadelphia’s message rings true. It also features a pair of powerhouse performances from Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, making it valuable to watch for directors and actors alike.

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.

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.

Best Netflix Original Movies of All Time

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond (2017)

What’s the Story  •  Jim & Andy

There have been plenty of incredible film performances over the years. What makes Jim Carrey’s turn as Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon so worthy of a documentary? Well, the doc dives far deeper than you likely imagine into how we all basically perform in our day-to-day lives.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

Actors have much to gain from watching Jim & Andy. It’s so much more than an exploration into a single event of method acting. It’s a reflection on being an artist.

Good Movies on Netflix for Sci-Fi Fans

The Wandering Earth (2019)

Behind the Scenes  •  The Wandering Earth

The Wandering Earth has a pretty outlandish concept about the world’s nations physically moving the planet to avoid being consumed by the Sun turning into a red giant. However, the filmmakers still consulted scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences to help ground the film. Even if you don’t plan on obeying all the laws of nature, it still helps to have some kind of baseline to work off of.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

The Wandering Earth is one of the most audacious films to come out of China in history. It’s bold, brash, and silly, but that’s what makes it so insanely watchable.

Best Movies on Netflix Right Now for You

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Filming Locations  •  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre featured mostly unknown actors at the time. Combined with documentary-style camerawork, it gave the entire production a rawer, more realistic feel. It made the violence seem like it was happening right in front of you. This movie changed the horror game forever.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is still frightening to this day. The violence is palpable, and if you look beyond the gore, you’ll find some pertinent themes that make this one horror movie with some extra bite.

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.

Top 10 Netflix Movies Right Now

Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

10 Biggest Mistakes in Kung Fu Hustle You Missed  •  Movie Mistakes & More

A great amount of wire work went into creating the stunts in Kung Fu Hustle. Thanks to a first-class VFX team, you can’t even notice, and the final product is a film with a Looney Tunes-esque zaniness that’s a ton of fun to watch.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

Kung Fu Hustle plays like a cartoon in real life. The action is a wonder to behold, so you’ll just want to kick back and enjoy.

Best Movies on Netflix in 2018

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

Unscripted Moments  •  To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

There’s one thing To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before does incredibly well where other rom-coms fall short. The lead, Lara Jean, never changes who she is as a person. Instead, she discovers new aspects of herself while remaining ultimately the same person. There’s growth, but there’s also a message about how you don’t have to change who you are to find love. It’s a great message for teens, and it makes this a refreshingly unique rom-com.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a romantic comedy for everyone. Even if this genre isn’t normally your scene, it’s still a worthwhile watch.

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.

Comedic Netflix Movies List

Groundhog Day (1993)

Groundhog Day  •  The New York Times

Groundhog Day has found a surprising audience with Buddhists. Many Buddhists view the ideas of self-improvement and a form of reincarnation positively, showing that there are numerous ways for a film to be interpreted. It’s for this reason the film remains a beloved classic for so many to revisit annually.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

Groundhog Day is a comedy classic for a reason. It’ll make you laugh and think about life, and you don’t have to wait until next Groundhog Day to watch it.

List of Top Rated Netflix Movies

Road to Perdition (2002)

Catholicism & Heaven  •  Road to Perdition  •  Renegade Cut

Before Sam Mendes directed a pair of James Bond films and the Oscar-winning 1917, he directed Road to Perdition, an exciting film that looks at how children process family. It’s precisely this idea that attracted Mendes to the project in addition to the fact there were no moral absolutes. Practically everyone in the film is compromised in some way, and the audience is left to deal with it all in the murky grays.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Road to Perdition is worth seeing thanks to Tom Hanks’ performance alone. It’s a much different kind of character than we’re used to him playing, and he absolutely owns it.

Netflix Movies Based on a True Story

The Runaways (2010)

Scene Comparisons  •  The Runaways

Director Floria Sigismondi wanted to do something different than your average biopic when it came to adapting the story of the 1970s band The RunawaysShe focused more on making it a coming-of-age story where you had these young girls growing up in a rock ‘n’ roll environment and doing things teenagers, especially teenage girls, shouldn’t have been doing at the time. It’s a unique template and one that prevents The Runaways from feeling like just another biopic.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Fans of Joan Jett will definitely want to give this a watch. Even if you’re unfamiliar with their music, the movie is still electrifying thanks to its lead performances.

Terry Gilliam Interview  •  Empire Magazine

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is noteworthy for being the last film the late Heath Ledger starred in. (Ledger passed away before the crew finished filming, so director Terry Gilliam had to bring on Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell to finish his parts.) Considering all that went on behind the scenes, it’s impressive to see how all these moving parts mostly came together.

Though slightly disjointed, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is visually stunning. Discovering this overlooked gem is a great way to pay tribute to one of the finest actors of the 2000s.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus may leave you scratching your head, but the film will at least give you one more ride with the incredible Heath Ledger.

Horror Netflix Movies List

Murder Party (2007)

Making Of Documentary  •  Murder Party

The Lab of Madness consists of Jeremy Saulnier, Christopher Sharp, and Macon Blair who shot films together back in the 1980s. After they had plenty of experience under their belts, they shot their first feature Murder Party even with no budget in place. The minimal budget aesthetic adds to the gonzo nature of the film, and while it’s not recommended for those with weak stomachs, avid horror fans will find a new gem.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

Murder Party is really only for major horror enthusiasts. But it’s a nice little gem that doesn’t get a ton of recognition even though it should.

Fantastic Netflix Original Movies

The Two Popes (2019)

Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict  •  Netflix

They say the best VFX in film are those you don’t notice. The Two Popes takes place in many sensitive locations, and the crew couldn’t film absolutely everywhere around Rome. Therefore, there are many shots that were accomplished through green screens and CGI. It’s an impressive feat specifically because you don’t even realize you’re looking at a fake location. You’re just carried by the magnitude of the story and a pair of superb performances.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

The Two Popes features two brilliant actors in top form. The movie skirts around some serious issues regarding religion, but it remains a visually-striking, engaging story nonetheless.

Action Netflix Movie List

Sin City (2005)

Sin City on a Low Budget  •  Filmmaking Tutorial

Sin City is noteworthy because three directors ultimately shared credit: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller, and Quentin Tarantino. Their kinetic directorial styles combined with a fierce devotion to filming the sources material as closely as possible led to a thriller roller coaster ride that’s just as pretty to look at today as it did in 2005.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

Sin City has style in abundance. However, it very much feels like an action movie from the mid-2000s, both in a good and bad way.

Good Animated Netflix Movies

9 (2009)

Making Of  •  9

9 shows just how far you can go with an inventive artistic style. It clearly wants to follow in the footsteps of Coraline by being a darker, stop motion animated kids’ film, and it largely succeeds in being a visual spectacle. If even one kid is encouraged to pursue a career in animation due to seeing 9, which is entirely possible, then that makes it a worthy addition to stop motion canon.  

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

9 is a triumph in animation. It may not have as good a story as the animation deserves, but it’s visually arresting enough to hold your attention.

Popular Movies on Netflix

Horns (2014)

Daniel Radcliffe Talks Horns  •  Interview

You have to give credit to Horns for really shooting for the moon. Daniel Radcliffe stars as a man wanted for the murder of his girlfriend. He inexplicably grows horns, which compels him to admit to his greatest sins and submit to his basest impulses.

Horns’ bizarre premise gives Radcliffe free reign to ramp up the insanity of his performance. Part mystery, part romance, Horns truly breaks the mold of every subgenre to which it belongs, and is well worth the watch.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

Horns’ greatest flaw is that it bites off more than it can chew. However, as a meditation on morality, the film is fairly engrossing and it might even spark a spirited debate between you and your friends.

The Best New Movies on Netflix

Freaks (2019)

Behind the Scenes  •  Freaks

Tropes are generally seen as a bad thing. But while you can always kind of guess where Freaks is going, it finds subtle, interesting ways to surprise you. The performances and direction make what could have been a trite story feel original and new. It’s a tense sci-fi thriller that wasn’t widely seen but will hopefully gain a following on Netflix.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

Freaks is great watching for anyone looking for sci-fi thrills. The fact they were able to make such an engaging film on such a low budget is all the more impressive.

The Ultimate Netflix Movies List

Haywire (2012)

Channing Tatum Interview  •  Haywire

For six hours a day for six weeks, Gina Carano went through an intensive tactical training course. She also learned about the art of surveillance and counter-surveillance to prepare, including being tracked by a GPS system installed in her car. It’s an incredible amount of preparation, and the action scenes in the finished product really speak for themselves, making for a kinetic cinematic viewing experience.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

What Haywire lacks in plot, it makes up for in pure kinetic energy. The fight scenes are a highlight and great to watch when you need some inspiration for your own fight scene choreography.

Popular Movies on Netflix in 2020

Ip Man (2010)

Ip Man vs. 10 Black Belts  •  Ip Man

Many people may not realize that Ip Man is based on a true story. The real Ip Man was a master of Wing Chun, and from that story came an amazing franchise with stunning fight choreography. Donnie Yen kills it in the title role, and when you watch the first one, you’ll immediately want to binge the rest, which also happen to be on Netflix.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

Watch Ip Man for the stunning visuals and fight scenes. Then read up on the real history of the real teacher of Bruce Lee.

Relevant Netflix Movies to Watch

Outbreak (1995)

The Motaba Virus  •  Outbreak

If there was ever a relevant Netflix movie to watch in 2020, it would be the 1995 contagion movie Outbreak. It’s a film about an airborne virus that gradually spreads around the country. It may not put your fears to rest, but it shows how some movies can remain pertinent in extremely frightening ways.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

Outbreak may not be the best movie about epidemics around. But if you’re stuck at home for an extended period of time for one reason or another, it may make for an interesting watch.

List of the Top Netflix Movies

The Evil Dead (1981)

The Making of Evil Dead  •  The Gore the Merrier

The 1980s spawned plenty of classic horror films, but none have aged quite as well as Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead. Its sequels may have darted in more comedic directions, but the original remains a masterclass in blending pitch black humor with full-blown horror.

The premise is simple: A group of friends escape to a cabin in the woods and come face to face with demonic spirits. But The Evil Dead unfolds at a kinetic pace that’s rarely been matched, with each shot meticulously composed and carefully placed. It’s a rollercoaster ride of terror, and one that’s still scarier than most horror movies being released today.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

The Evil Dead is called a horror classic for a reason. Plus, its sequels are far better than most follow-ups in horror franchise could ever hope to be.

Old-School Movies on Netflix

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

Animatronics  •  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Jim Henson’s Creature Shop designed the costumes for the titular turtles. There may not be a whole lot to talk about with this movie in terms of plot or character, but those costumes sure are cool. They’ve held up remarkably well, and they give the movie an extra layer of cheesy, 80s greatness.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

You don’t go into a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie expecting the height of cinema. However, for a fun movie that makes you feel like a kid again, there’s something to be gained out of this hokey gem.

UP NEXT

20 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: 20 Best Movies of the Decade →
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