Best New Movies on Netflix, Ranked for Filmmakers (Sept 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 Films of All Time on Netflix

Jurassic Park (1993)

Using Theme to Craft Character  •  Lessons From the Screenplay

Through a combination of robotics and CGI, the dinosaur effects in Jurassic Park hold up better than many special effects within the last 10 years. But the effects make up one small part of why Jurassic Park has held up so well all these decades later. From relevant themes to likable characters, there’s much that audiences can still learn from this film whether you’re interested in a career in film or not.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Jurassic Park remains one of the best films ever created. And you can see how it all began by reviewing StudioBinder’s Jurassic Park screenplay PDF.

New Netflix Original Movies

The Half of It (2020)

Bloopers  •  The Half of It

There are some films you watch and wonder why no one has ever made it before. The Half of It takes a cue from Cyrano de Bergerac when a friendless high school student writes love letters for a jock to the popular girl, whom she also has a crush on. It goes to show the true power in taking familiar premises and finding a way to tell them in a relevant way to modern audiences.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

The Half of It is a wonderful film everyone should watch immediately. Netflix proves it’s the place for the modern romantic comedy.

A Filmmaker’s Guide to Netflix Movies

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

What’s the Point of Doomed Romance?  •  Screened

There’s a lot of philosophy and science fiction present in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. However, those lofty ideas tend to take a backseat to focus on the primary relationship between Joel and Clementine. This is what makes the film work so well. Philosophy is nice, but it gets dry when you focus so much attention on it within a narrative. There’s much to dissect within this film, but the reason people keep coming back to it is due to the central relationship between two people trying to forget one another.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is Michel Gondry’s magnum opus. It’s a wonderful testament to how even the most painful parts of life are worth remembering.

Top Rated Movies on Netflix

Spotlight (2015)

How Spotlight Dramatizes Good Journalism  •  The Nerdwriter

On its surface, Spotlight shouldn’t be as engaging as it is. It’s largely devoid of conflict and instead follows the journalists as they gradually piece together pieces of the story concerning abuse in the Catholic church. In fact, many of the scenes that didn’t actually happen concern authority figures warning the journalists to stay away from this story (i.e. the scenes that add conflict). However, Spotlight appropriately shines a light on a story that needs to be remembered so that no one forgets the sins of the past.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Spotlight portrays journalists unlike any other film. They don’t break laws to get a story or resort to sensationalism. They do their job, and the film excels in showing the importance of journalism in the modern age.

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.

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.

Dark Netflix Movies

Nightcrawler (2014)

The Anti Feel-Good Movie  •  Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler is a unique story in that its protagonist, Lou Bloom, has no character arc. He’s an unethical person at the beginning and remains that way throughout the film. He doesn’t learn any lessons by seeing the dark sides of capitalism and consumer demand. Instead, he embodies the worst components of those ideas. He shows what kind of person you have to become the make it in the world, and the answer is a sociopath.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Nightcrawler is a compelling character study. Anyone interested in films about capitalism or antiheroes needs to add this to their must-watch list.

A Filmmaker’s Netflix Movies List

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

Behind the Scenes  •  Safety Not Guaranteed

Safety Not Guaranteed shows the evolution of the mumblecore movement. It takes characters typical in classic mumblecore films, namely slack-jawed losers with no direction in life, and puts them in a romantic comedy featuring a smidge of time travel. It’s a movie with modest ambitions but excels thanks to how charming it ends up being. 

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Safety Not Guaranteed shows filmmakers how you can do a lot with a little. You can have an “out there” premise as long as you ground it in relatable characters with goals that make sense.

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.

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.

Top 50 Netflix Movies

Frida (2002)

Salma Hayek Interview  •  Frida

Salma Hayek had to fight vigorously to get Frida made. She even sought out the administrator to the rights of Frida Kahlo’s works to secure paintings for the film. You can see that passion in every scene Hayek is in, making this a biopic that stands apart from many in its class.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Frida pays touching homage to its source material. It’s just as vivid, surreal, and imaginative as Kahlo’s works.

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.

Fun Netflix Movies

A Knight’s Tale (2001)

We Will Rock You  •  A Knight’s Tale

A Knight’s Tale is perhaps most noteworthy for its incorporation of classic rock despite being set in the 1300s. It’s a deliberate choice that ultimately works in the film’s favor. Amongst all of the knights and jousting and Chaucer, the soundtrack helps the movie carve out a unique identity among others in its genre. It’s subtle humor that pays off in a big way.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

A Knight’s Tale offers a different take on the classic knight in shining armor story. It’s also a great showcase for what a talented comedic actor Heath Leder was.

Classic ‘80s Movies to Watch on Netflix

The Karate Kid (1984)

Oral History of The Karate Kid  •  Rotten Tomatoes

Screenwriter Robert Mark actually got beat up by bullies and started practicing martial arts in order to protect himself. This served as the basis for what would ultimately become The Karate KidAn old tenet of screenwriting is to “write what you know.” Even something mundane like getting beat up by bullies, which plenty of people can relate to, can serve as the inspiration for one of the greatest sports movies ever made.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

If you grew up in the ‘80s, then The Karate Kid is essential viewing. It’s a great feel-good movie to pass onto your own children now.

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.

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.

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.

Must Watch Movies on Netflix for Sports Fans

Seabiscuit (2003)

Editing the Climax of Seabiscuit  •  Manhattan Edit Workshop

Seabiscuit has a classic sports movie formula. It centers on Seabiscuit, an overlooked and undersized race horse who goes on to great success. There are plenty of underdog sports movies, but Seabiscuit manages to be a step above by focusing on a sport not often seen in film. The racing sequences are truly wondrous to behold, and they surely paid a role in the film being nominated for seven Academy Awards.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Seabiscuit is a thrilling experience. Set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, the movie shows how one can rise above adversity to become successful.

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.

Great Movies on Netflix From the ‘90s

Donnie Brasco (1997)

Behind the Scenes  •  Donnie Brasco

There are numerous mafia movies out there. But what makes Donnie Brasco one of the best gangster movies of all time is how it divides time equally between the mob and the FBI. You get a more complete picture, and people on both sides appear as real people. Plus, the performances from Johnny Depp and Al Pacino are second-to-none and add real gravity to what could have been another forgettable mobster picture.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Johnny Depp proves he has real acting chops in Donnie Brasco. Al Pacino also stands out for how nuanced his performance is compared to some of his other roles around the same time period.

Best Horror Movies on Netflix

Poltergeist (1982)

Making Of  •  Poltergeist

There’s been a lot of commotion over the years about whether Tobe Hooper or Steven Spielberg did most of the directorial work on Poltergeist. But in recent years, cast members have come to the side of Hooper, insisting he was the one there every day setting up shots and blocking actors. As a director, it’s tough when so much rests on your shoulders and people try to take it away from you. But Poltergeist avoided the fate of so many other films and managed to be a huge success despite a struggle for creative control from various sources.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Poltergeist set the stage for so many other ghost stories to follow. Its influence can be felt in horror films to this day.

Latest Netflix Movies to Stream

Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

Storyboard to Screen  •  Fiddler on the Roof

Breaking the fourth wall is typically done for comedic effect. However, Fiddler on the Roof does it for a much different reason. During those moments, Tevye discusses important concepts to the Jewish community. It gives the audience time to reflect on the musical’s themes before we get back into another number.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

If you need another musical fix after watching Hamilton, then check out Fiddler on the Roof. The classic musical has been faithfully put to screen, and it’s a chance to view one of the older offerings available on Netflix.

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.

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.

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. 

Top Rated Netflix Movies for Kids

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 

The Voices of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs  •  Key Ingredients

Phil Lord and Chris Miller have made careers taking ideas that shouldn’t work and turning them into bonafide hits. From a reimagining of 21 Jump Street to a movie about LEGOs, a movie about raining food somehow fits perfectly within their filmography. They’re a prime example of how there’s no such thing as a bad idea. Just bad execution.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is a fantastic animated children’s film. It’s the kind of lighthearted project to turn on when you just need to unwind after a tough week.

What Movies Are on Netflix This Month?

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Why Sleepless in Seattle is the One Film You Should Watch This Week  •  The Guardian

Sleepless in Seattle is a classic romantic comedy for a reason. The chemistry between the two leads is undeniable. And you can feel that spark even though the two only meet at the very end of the film. It proves the true power of excellent writing and casting.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Sleepless in Seattle continues to be a must-watch on Valentine’s Day. It’s the kind of movie to watch when you want to feel all mushy on the inside.

Older Netflix Movies

The NeverEnding Story (1984)

We Finally Understand the Ending of The NeverEnding Story  •  Looper

Anyone interested in art direction needs to watch The NeverEnding Story. From the sets to the creatures, a lot of imagination went into every component. Sure, it may look quaint by today’s standards, but that almost works in the movie’s favor. It has a unique aesthetic, and you can’t confuse the film for anything else.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Relive your childhood by watching The NeverEnding Story on Netflix. While remakes have tried to get off the ground, perhaps it’s best if this one remains an ‘80s classic.

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.

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.

Good Netflix Movies for Film Directors

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

The Politics of 18th Century Dating  •  Pride and Prejudice

How do you adapt one of the most famous English works of all time? For screenwriter Deborah Moggach, it consisted of being fairly faithful to the source material. The structure and dialogue from the novel remains largely intact, but when you have one of the greatest romances ever written at your disposal, you don’t exactly need to reinvent the wheel.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Pride and Prejudice is recommended for more people than just high schoolers who don’t want to read the book. It’s a moving portrayal of love and courtship in the 18th century with a star-making performance from Keira Knightley.

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.

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.

Romantic Movies on Netflix

The Notebook (2004)

Behind the Scenes - Casting  •  The Notebook

Plenty of films like The Notebook have come out over the years. So why have none of them really had the same level of success? We think it really comes down to casting. The chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams is unparalleled. And the dynamic between those two is what has helped keep the film a cult classic.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

The story of a young couple from different backgrounds who are romantically drawn to one another is a tale as old as time. The Notebook remains a perfect date night movie watch.

Popular Movies on Netflix This Month

The Addams Family (1991)

28 Years Later: Rewind  •  The Addams Family

Before Barry Sonnenfeld was hired to direct, the job was offered to Tim Burton. It’s interesting to think of what Burton would have done with material that seems so clearly up his wheelhouse. But maybe it was for the best. Separated from Burton’s aesthetic, the titular family seem uniquely out of place in the relatively straightforward world around them, resulting in a classic kids’ film.

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Conclusion

The Addams Family is worth watching for its unique style of humor. But if you really want a good time, then make sure to watch Addams Family Values.

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.

Oscar-Winning Films on Netflix

The Queen (2006)

Deleted Scene  •  The Queen

Helen Mirren so perfectly encapsulated the essence of Queen Elizabeth that crew members actually began to sit up straight any time she walked past. Mirren’s performance is must-watch material for actors who want to hone their craft. Everything from Queen Elizabeth’s facial expression to her delivery is wonderfully recreated and shows just how much Mirren studied her subject so that she could fully embody this multi-dimensional character.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

The Queen is one of the best films to come out of the 2000s. The subject matter will captivate anyone who follows the Royal Family.

Classic Movies to Watch on Netflix

Stand and Deliver (1988)

30 Years Later  •  The Stand and Deliver Cast

Many films have tried to imitate what Stand and Deliver was able to accomplish. The story of a teacher reaching inner-city kids is well-worn territory at this point, but this film proves how with stirring speeches and an exceptional lead performance, your film can inspire.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Stand and Deliver does justice to its source material with much of what you see having actually happened in real life. It’s the kind of film that should still be viewed by high schoolers who need some extra motivation.

Superb Crime Movies on Netflix

The Town (2010)

"We're gonna hurt some people"  Scene •  The Town

A great deal of research went into studying Boston and its residents to make for more believable characters. In fact, many locals joined the production as extras. It goes to show the importance of remaining authentic down to every last detail. And you can break down everything you need in your script so that you don’t overlook a single detail.

BEST NETFLIX movies

Conclusion

The Town really shows Ben Affleck’s skills behind the camera. The narrative structure along with the action set pieces help the film stand apart from others in its genre.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Good Sci-Fi Netflix Films

Total Recall (1990)

Total Recall Explained  •  FilmComicsExplained

Total Recall is based on the Philip K. Dick short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale.” However, the film takes many liberties from the source material, becoming more “Hollywood” in the process. Fortunately, with Paul Verhoeven at the helm, the film manages to maintain a unique aesthetic and tone that makes it stand out from being just another generic sci-fi action film.

BEST NETFLIX movies

Conclusion

Total Recall is definitely a product of its time. However, movie buffs can still find offbeat moments to enjoy in this weird film that managed to win an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

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.

Netflix Films for Aspiring Film Directors

Killing Them Softly (2012)

Making Of  •  Killing Them Softly

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, many movies dealt with themes related to capitalism and greed. Killing Them Softly is a great example and turns the focus into the realm of small-time organized crime. The movie isn’t subtle with what it’s trying to say, but it’s entertaining and since it’s removed several years past 2008, it can turn a critical eye onto the events that transpired that year.

BEST NETFLIX movies

Conclusion

Killing Them Softly is a slow burn. But stick with it and you’ll get to enjoy darkly comic performances and visceral violence that demands your attention.

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.

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.

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.

Funniest Films on Netflix

Spaceballs (1987)

The Documentary  •  Spaceballs

There have been numerous Star Wars parodies over the years. But none quite reach the heights of Spaceballs. The reason for this can likely be attributed to the fact that it’s clear Spaceballs has a loving reverence for the original material, and it creates its own mythos. The jokes work whether or not you’ve seen Star Wars, but if you have, then you’ll appreciate this satirical work.

BEST NETFLIX MOVIES

Conclusion

Spaceballs is one of the all-time great comedies. It’s Mel Brooks at his finest and remains a great benchmark for anyone else wanting to parody a popular work.

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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