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.
Movies to Watch on Netflix
The Dark Knight (2008)
To this day, The Dark Knight remains the pinnacle of superhero films. It works within the confines of the Batman mythos to deliver an insanely satisfying crime story, and star Heath Ledger delivers a Joker performance to end all Joker performances.For better and worse, The Dark Knight influenced a decade of superhero movies. While other superhero films tend to fade from memory shortly after their post-credits scenes roll, The Dark Knight demands revisitation. Each rewatch of the film reveals previously unnoticed details and deepens one’s appreciation for such a layered work of art.
List of the Top Netflix Movies
The Evil Dead (1981)
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.
Netflix Streaming Movies
American Honey (2016)
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 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 in the end.
Netflix Original Movies
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.
Original Netflix Movies
Klaus is a strange little film. Though it’s less than a year old, its gorgeous animation and unexpected take on the story of Santa Claus make it feel like it’s been a part of Christmas programming for years.It’s also the kind of film that reminds of Netflix’s important role in the modern distribution landscape. It’s hard to imagine Klaus getting a wide theatrical release, so it’s reassuring that its accessibility via streaming will allow generations of kids to experience its charms.
Top Rated Movies on Netflix
End of Watch (2012)
The found footage subgenre is typically associated with horror movies, but End of Watch applied some of its stylistic techniques to the buddy cop movie. While there are action and thrills by the handful, this film is first and foremost a bromance and an awesome one at that.There are memes out there that suggest men have cried at the finale of End of Watch, and, well... they’re not lying. Cop movies set in Los Angeles have been done to death, but in 2012, End of Watch breathed new life into that formula to deliver something truly special.
Best Movies on Netflix now
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.
Cool Netflix Movies
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
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.
Popular Movies on Netflix
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 to Watch on Netflix
Dirty Harry (1971)
Dirty Harry was insanely influential in the 1970s: The film paved the way for how the action genre would evolve during the era. And it all started with a bad cop out to do anything to bring the bad guy to justice.How Dirty Harry reflects the time in which it was made is a subject of near-endless debate. Is the film a satire of vigilante justice, or a call to action that sincerely celebrates “the power of one”? Regardless of how you interpret its ideology, Dirty Harry is never boring and will leave you pondering over its message for a long while.
Great Movies on Netflix
Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1982)
Blade Runner is required viewing for any science-fiction fan. With director Ridley Scott’s Final Cut now on Netflix, you can see the film the way it was intended to be seen, with an ending that greatly improves upon the theatrical version.Blade Runner exceeds on so many fronts. As you take in the film’s weighty ideas about the human condition and its fascinating approach to world-building, you’ll be reminded of just how many other sci-fi features it’s influenced.
Must Watch Movies on Netflix
Frances Ha (2013)
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.
Top Rated Netflix Movies
The Other Guys (2010)
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.
Must Watch Movies on Netflix
Steve Jobs (2015)
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 Right Now
The Bling Ring (2013)
Moneyball is based on true events, and follows the creation of sabermetrics and the Oakland Athletics as they compete with teams that have larger budgets for acquiring players and “buying playoff spots”.
Good Movies to Watch on Netflix
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
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 uncanny 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 New Movies on Netflix
Taylor Swift: Miss Americana (2020)
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.
Netflix Movie List
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.
What Movies Are on Netflix?
The Master (2012)
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.
Good Movies on Netflix
If you haven’t already seen Inception, then you’ve likely been confused by the debate that’s surrounded it over the past decade. Director Christopher Nolan’s film follows a band of thieves who set out to implant an idea within a wealthy business owner’s mind. It’s discombobulating. It’s sneaky. It’s brilliant. And it remains one of Nolan’s very best films.Don’t let the people who bemoan how confusing Inception is stop you from seeing it. The film’s plot is actually more straightforward than it would have you believe.
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.