The 50 finest motion pictures on Netflix proper now

Movie night is easy with a Netflix subscription, thanks to the enormous collection of new and classic films available on the popular streaming service. Whether you’re in the mood for a tense thriller, a raunchy comedy, an exciting adventure, or a thought-provoking documentary, there’s something for everyone in the Netflix library. In order to make your decision even easier, we’ve searched through the entire collection and put together a list of the best movies available on Netflix right now.
Looking for something else? We’ve also rounded up the best shows on Netflix, the best movies on Hulu, the best movies on Amazon Prime, and the best movies on Disney+.

Misha and the Wolves (2021)
Move over, Tiger King, Netflix has another wild documentary you need to see to believe. The film chronicles the far-reaching investigation that took place after the publication of Misha Defonseca’s widely circulated 1997 memoir Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years, in which the author describes her experiences as a young Holocaust survivor who was raised by wolves while searching Europe for her parents. It’s best not knowing any of the twists and turns the story takes ahead of time, so just sit back and let this true, stranger-than-fiction story unfold. You won’t be disappointed.
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%Genre: DocumentaryStars: N/ADirector: Sam HobkinsonRating: PG-13Runtime: 90 minutes
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A Ghost Story (2017)
In the wake of a fatal car crash, C (Casey Affleck) returns to the earth as a white-sheeted phantom. After a spiritual pilgrimage back to the suburban ranch he shared with M (Rooney Mara), C’s spirit begins to haunt the home. Time seeps away as minutes, months, and years pass. M grieves, new families come and go, but the house (and the ghost) remain. Director David Lowery shot the project in relative secrecy, using the same VFX crew that lent their talents to Lowery’s Disney-financed remake of Pete’s Dragon. A cinematic experience like no other, A Ghost Story explores love, life, and loss in ways seldom seen onscreen.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%Genre: Drama, Romance, FantasyStars: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Will OldhamDirector: David LoweryRating: RRuntime: 90 minutes
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Bad Trip (2021)
Eric André and Lil Rel Howery headline this hidden-camera prank film that has them playing two friends, Chris and Bud, who embark on an ill-fated road trip so Chris can tell his high school sweetheart he loves her. As they stumble from one ridiculous scenario to another, they’re pursued by Bud’s convict sister (Tiffany Haddish), whose car they stole for the trip. Raunchy, shocking, and relentlessly funny, the film blends scripted scenes with wild hidden-camera pranks and its duo’s signature comedy for a film that’s all about the journey, not the destination.
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%Genre: ComedyStars: Eric André, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany HaddishDirector: Kitao SakuraiRating: RRuntime: 84 minutes
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The Devil All the Time (2020)
Written and directed by Antonio Campos, The Devil All the Time is American Gothic at its most perverse. Set in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia after World War II, the story follows Arvin Russell (Tom Holland), a young man who is determined to protect his loved ones against the corruption and violence that plagues his town. From complete strangers to the most powerful institutions in the area, brutality is pervasive as everyone seeks desperately to assert their own small bits of power in a broken — but recovering — world. Things aren’t getting better for everyone, however, and The Devil All the Time takes its time exploring the generational trauma and cold truths that inhabit this sinister town.
Rotten Tomatoes: 65%Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, ThrillerStars: Robert Pattinson, Tom Holland, Sebastian StanDirector: Antonio CamposRating: RRuntime: 138 minutes
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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
What’s better than a new Western from the Coen brothers? How about six? The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a sextet of short films, all set in the Wild West. They follow different characters through wild plots that explore the themes of human depravity and cosmic justice (or injustice) that recur so often in the Coens’ works. The stories and protagonists vary wildly. The eponymous sequence follows Buster Scruggs (Tim Blake Nelson), a sharpshooting, guitar-slinging cowboy roaming the West and singing of his adventures. In another, a lonely prospector (Tom Waits) digs for his fortune. The stories in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs fall on the surreal end of the Coen spectrum — they’re somewhat comical, occasionally brutal folk tales that don’t always leave the viewer feeling they’ve learned a lesson. Here’s our list of the best comedies on Netflix to browse if you’re looking for more in this genre.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%Genre: Comedy-dramaStars: Liam Neeson, James Franco, Tim Blake NelsonDirector: Ethan Coen, Joel CoenRating: TV-MARuntime: 133 minutes
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Stowaway (2021)
After the three-person crew of a manned mission to Mars discovers a fourth, accidental occupant of their ship, a crisis occurs when a related equipment failure leaves only enough oxygen to support the original crew. That’s the heart-wrenching premise of this sci-fi drama that Netflix won the right to distribute in the U.S. after a bidding war. The moral quandary posed by the film is supported by a small but impressive cast, with Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, and Toni Collette portraying the ship’s crew and Shamier Anderson portraying the engineer who wakes up inside the ship shortly after takeoff.
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%Genre: Drama, Sci-FiStars: Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, Shamier Anderson, Toni ColletteDirector: Joe PennaRating: TV-MARuntime: 116 minutes
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Vivo (2021)
The first musical animated feature from Sony Pictures Animation, Vivo follows a musically gifted kinkajou — a long-tailed, raccoon-like mammal usually found in tropical regions — as he embarks on a journey from Havana, Cuba, to Miami, Florida, in order to bring a message of love to his guardian’s former partner. Hamilton and In the Heights mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda created the songs for the film and voices Vivo the kinkajou, with Ynairaly Simo voicing Gabi Hernández, the young girl who helps Vivo on his quest. A long list of popular Cuban musicians and performers — including Gloria Estefan — fill out the film’s cast and contribute to a musical score rooted in the region’s history and culture.
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%Genre: Musical, FamilyStars: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ynairaly Simo, Zoe Saldana, Juan de Marcos González, Gloria EstefanDirector: Kirk DeMiccoRating: PGRuntime: 98 minutes
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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Widely considered one of the best films of celebrated filmmaker John Hughes, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off casts Matthew Broderick as the movie’s titular teenage slacker, whose decision to skip school one day kicks off an adventure with his best friend and girlfriend that could either be the best day of their lives or the worst. Alan Ruck and Mia Sara deliver wonderful performances as the pair swept away in Ferris’ plans, but it’s Broderick who steals the show as the fourth-wall-breaking hero of the story. While the film served as Hughes’ love letter to Chicago, it was Broderick’s portrayal of Ferris that made the character one of Hollywood’s most iconic teenage rebels of ’80s cinema.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%Genre: ComedyStars: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia SaraDirector: John HughesRating: PG-13Runtime: 108 minutes
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Ravenous (2017)
Ravenous (originally titled Les Affamés) begins after a mysterious plague has annihilated much of Quebec, turning its victims into shrieking, flesh-eating monsters. The story follows various survivors who eventually band together to fight back the horde, but despite the familiar plot, this isn’t a typical zombie movie; it is a deliberately paced, eerily beautiful horror movie. The protagonist is a man named Bonin (Marc-Andre Grondin), who wanders the countryside, finding other survivors and slaying zombies. As the group grows, the film gives each character proper development, so they feel fully fleshed out, unlike the stock survivors of many a zombie film. While the film has its gory moments, Ravenous frequently employs an atmosphere of dread built through uncanny imagery, such as when the zombies congregate before a shrine made of furniture.
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%Genre: HorrorStars: Marc-Andre Grondin, Monia ChokriDirector: Robin AubertRating: TV-MARuntime: 103 minutes
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Django Unchained (2012)
In Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, the barrage of spaghetti-western bullets is never-ending. When Django (Jamie Foxx) is rescued from enslavement by the mysterious Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), the unlikely duo forms a partnership. Django agrees to help Schultz track down bounties. In return, Schultz will help Django locate his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). After some winter bounty hunts, Django and Schultz track Broomhilda to the plantation of a notorious slaver named Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). He’s a charismatic host, but cunning like no other, and it’s not long before Candie and his cohorts begin sniffing out Django’s true intentions. Big, bold, and bloody, Django Unchained is Tarantino’s second collaboration with actor Christoph Waltz and the first with the late composer, Ennio Morricone.
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%Genre: Western, Drama, ActionStars: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprioDirector: Quentin TarantinoRating: RRuntime: 165 minutes
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The Beguiled (2017)
The tension just keeps getting higher in this Civil War-era drama from filmmaker Sofia Coppola, based on Thomas P. Cullinan’s novel of the same name. Colin Farrell portrays a Union soldier who’s forced to take refuge in a Southern boarding school for women, only to have his presence there upset the institution’s delicate balance of power. Sexual tension and dark secrets flame the fires of drama, pitting the women against each other while a terrible war rages outside the school’s doors.
Rotten Tomatoes: 79%Genre: Drama, ThrillerStars: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle FanningDirector: Sofia CoppolaRating: RRuntime: 94 minutes
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The Old Guard (2020)
Netflix goes superhero in this action-packed flick about a secret organization of immortals that has protected the Earth from extinction for centuries. But when they are set up on an emergency mission, their powers are mistakenly exposed to the world. Now they must work together to ensure none of the various powerful competing interests can control them for personal or monetary gain.
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%Genre: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & FantasyStars: Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Chiwetel EjioforDirector: Gina Prince-BythewoodRating: RRuntime: 125 minutes
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Midnight Special (2016)
Jeff Nichols’ Midnight Special is a brilliant love letter to sci-fi chase films like Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind and John Carpenter’s Starman. The film follows Roy (Michael Shannon), Lucas (Joel Edgerton), and Roy’s son Alton (Jaeden Martell), a trio on the run from the FBI and religious extremists. Why? It turns out that Alton has otherworldly abilities. Glowing blue eyes, literal earthquakes, and satellite explosions are just a few of his tricks. Roadbound by night, it’s up to Roy and Lucas to get the boy to a predetermined latitude-longitude destination in Florida, coordinates spoken in tongues by Alton that the zealots have deciphered as scripture. In essence, Alton is their messiah, and he’s missing. Gripping from start to finish and featuring one of Sam Shepard’s last performances as the prolific cult leader, Midnight Special is a perfect weekend watch.
Rotten Tomatoes: 84%Genre: Sci-Fi, Mystery, ThrillerStars: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten DunstDirector: Jeff NicholsRating: PG-13Runtime: 121 minutes
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I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020)
Writer-director Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Synecdoche, New York) is at his most delightfully weird in this Netflix original movie. This time- and the perspective-bending story follows a young, nameless woman on a road trip to her new boyfriend’s parents’ house in the middle of a blizzard. When she gets there, she finds the parents (Toni Collette, David Thewlis) are extremely weird, and the house seems to exist in some kind of surreal alternate reality where time and character morph with abandon. Alternatively strange and hilarious, and constantly thought-provoking, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is powered by strong writing and outstanding performances from all the actors involved.
Rotten Tomatoes: 82%Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery & SuspenseStars: Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons, Toni Collette, David ThewlisDirector: Charlie KaufmanRating: RRuntime: 134 minutes
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Fear Street Part One: 1994 (2021)
This retro slasher feature based on R.L. Stine’s book series of the same name follows a group of teenagers in fictional Shadyside, Ohio, who find themselves terrorized by a supernatural killer with a link to the town’s dark history. Dripping with ’90s nostalgia and plenty of blood, the movie is the first installment of a trilogy that explores Shadyside’s deadly reputation as the murder capital of the country, with each chapter unfolding in a different era. Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Julia Rehwald, and Fred Hechinger star in the terrifying tale.
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%Genre: HorrorStars: Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Julia Rehwald, Fred HechingerDirector: Leigh JaniakRating: RRuntime: 105 minutes
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Gunpowder Milkshake (2021)
Karen Gillan plays a lethal assassin who finds herself on the run after she refuses to kill a young girl in this fast-paced, beautifully choreographed thriller. While fleeing the mysterious organization out to end her contract, Gillan finds an unexpected ally in the mother she thought she lost (played by Game of Thrones actress Lena Headey) and a trio of brutally effective hitwomen (Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh, Carla Gugino). With nonstop action and an impressive ensemble of leading ladies, the film gives new meaning to smashing the patriarchy.
Rotten Tomatoes: 69%Genre: Action, ThrillerStars: Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh, Carla Gugino, Chloe ColemanDirector: Navot PapushadoRating: RRuntime: 114 minutes
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The Karate Kid (1984)
Before Cobra Kai was all the rage, there was The Karate Kid, the film that made actor Ralph Macchio an unlikely martial arts icon and allowed Pat Morita to deliver one of Hollywood’s most inspirational performances of the era. The film casts Macchio as a bullied California teenager who finds an unexpected ally and mentor in the quiet Okinawan handyman at his family’s new apartment. Not only did the film earn Morita an Academy Award nomination for his performance, but it spawned three sequels, a 2010 remake, an animated series, and the aforementioned Cobra Kai revival series, which brought back many of the original franchise’s stars.
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%Genre: Drama, ActionStars: Ralph Macchio, Pat MoritaDirector: John G. AvildsenRating: PGRuntime: 126 minutes
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Wildling (2018)
Life has never been normal for Anna (Bel Powley). Confined to an attic bedroom, her adolescence is spent on empty days of staring out the window, longing for the wilderness. Cared for by a man she refers to as “Daddy” (Brad Dourif), he warns Anna that lurking in the world outside her bedroom is a terrifying creature called the Wildling. Traumatic events unfold, and a teenage Anna awakens in a hospital. When Ellen Cooper (Liv Tyler), the local sheriff, agrees to take Anna in, the dark mythos of the Wildling starts spreading. Is Anna losing her mind, or is something evil truly afoot in the woods? Director Fritz Böhm delivers a gripping yet morose fairytale about the coming-of-age process, a time where we lose touch with our mind and body when we need them most.
Rotten Tomatoes: 70%Genre: Fantasy, Mystery and Thriller, HorrorStars: Liv Tyler, Brad Dourif, Bel PowleyDirector: Fritz BöhmRating: RRuntime: 93 minutes
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I Care a Lot (2020)
Rosamund Pike portrays a diabolical con artist who poses as the legal guardian for elderly people in order to seize their assets in this dark, satirical thriller. Her highly profitable scam takes a dangerous turn when her latest victim turns out to be the mother of a powerful mob boss, leading to a deadly battle of wills between Pike’s character and a ruthless criminal kingpin played by Peter Dinklage. Eiza González and Dianne Wiest play supporting roles in the film, which earned praise from critics and led to Pike taking home a Golden Globe Award for her performance.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%Genre: Drama, Comedy, ThrillerStars: Rosamund Pike, Peter DinklageDirector: J BlakesonRating: RRuntime: 118 minutes
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Midnight Run (1988)
Robert De Niro plays a bounty hunter tasked with bringing in a shifty accountant portrayed by Charles Grodin in this classic comedy directed by Beverly Hills Cop filmmaker Martin Brest. Dubbed “the Casablanca of buddy comedies” by Rolling Stone, the film was a surprise hit based on the memorable chemistry between De Niro and Grodin, whose characters must deal with one setback after another on their cross-country journey, as well as corrupt cops, overzealous FBI agents, mafia hitmen, and a host of other threats. Nominated as one of the year’s best films at the 46th Golden Globe Awards, Midnight Run remains a truly underappreciated gem of ’80s cinema featuring two actors who bring the best out of each other’s performances.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%Genre: Action, ComedyStars: Robert De Niro, Charles GrodinDirector: Martin BrestRating: RRuntime: 122 minutes
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The Impossible (2012)
On Christmas vacation in Thailand, the Bennett family, consisting of Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor), Lucas (Tom Holland), Thomas (Samuel Joslin), and Simon (Oaklee Pendergast), are thrust right in the middle of the catastrophic 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The onslaught ravages the resort and separates the family. Maria and Simon awaken together, with Maria having sustained serious injuries. Henry, Thomas, and Simon have also survived but must wade through the chaos and literal ruins of the tsunami to try to find Maria and Simon. Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, from a script by Sergio G. Sánchez, The Impossible features bold performances from its main ensemble, incredible set pieces, and a powerful true story at its core.
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%Genre: DramaStars: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom HollandDirector: Juan Antonio BayonaRating: PG-13Runtime: 114 minutes
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Over the Moon (2020)
Fei Fei (Cathy Ang), grieving the loss of her mother, clings to a legend about a moon goddess named Chang’e. Much to the dismay of her father and his new family, the girl aims to prove that the goddess does indeed exist. To do so, she begins work on a rocket that will take her to the moon to prove Chang’e’s existence. Filled with heart and mesmerizing animation, Over the Moon often looks and feels like your standard Disney epic, but the familiar structure and dazzling music are enough to keep everyone glued to the screen.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%Genre: Adventure, Musical, Fantasy, Comedy, Kids And Family, AnimationStars: John Cho, Sandra Oh, Ken JeongDirector: Glen KeaneRating: PGRuntime: 100 minutes
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Fruitvale Station (2013)
Before he was one of Marvel Studios’ most celebrated filmmakers, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler wrote and directed this 2013 biographical film that cast Michael B. Jordan as Oscar Grant, who was murdered by police officer Johannes Mehserle in 2009 while traveling on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system in Oakland, California. The film chronicles the events of Grant’s day leading up to his fatal encounter with BART officers that was caught on video and ignited months of protests that — after similar incidents were recorded in the years that followed — would eventually coalesce into the Black Lives Matter movement for racial justice. A powerful, personal film that puts a face on one of the many victims of deadly police misconduct in recent years, Fruitvale Station launched Coogler’s career and earned a long list of awards for both its director and star while bringing wider attention to Grant’s story.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%Genre: DramaStars: Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Kevin Durand, Chad Michael MurrayDirector: Ryan CooglerRating: RRuntime: 85 minutes
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The Dig (2021)
Edith Pretty (Carey Mulligan), a widowed landowner, decides to tackle the Sutton Hoo burial mounds on her sprawling Suffolk estate. To do so, she hires amateur archaeologist Basil Brown (Ralph Fiennes) to tackle the job. As he and his crew begin the work, they unearth profound treasures that spark a national call to arms for prominent British historians. As a hierarchy of high-class excavators steamrolls Edith’s private operation, Edith argues for Brown’s position as the higher-ups try and force him out. A brilliant ensemble cast and picturesque cinematography make The Dig one of the best new historical dramas on Netflix.
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%Genre: DramaStars: Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes, Lily James, Ben ChaplinDirector: Simon StoneRating: RRuntime: 112 minutes
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Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Adapted from Matthew Quick’s 2008 novel of the same name, David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook is an ensemble tour de force with a stripped-down Bradley Cooper as its lead. When Patrick Solitano Jr. (Bradley Cooper) is released from eight months of intensive psychiatric care, he moves back in with his parents, Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) and Dolores (Jacki Weaver). Intent on getting his wife back, Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a widowed woman with an unspecified disorder of her own. As she and Pat begin to bond, Tiffany asks Pat to enter a dance competition with her, a move that Pat is convinced will get him his wife back. A romantic comedy turned on its head and injected with emotional realism, Silver Linings Playbook explores love, family, and psychosis in ways that other filmmakers would never dare to.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%Genre: Drama, Romance, ComedyStars: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De NiroDirector: David O. RussellRating: RRuntime: 121 minutes
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His House (2020)
After suffering a major tragedy on their pilgrimage from South Sudan to the U.K., Bol (Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku), married refugees fleeing their war-ravaged country, are placed in a decrepit tenement home. As Bol does his best to acclimate to a new life of racial discrepancy, a series of horrific ghouls make themselves known to the grieving man. Blending a socio-political immigration story with a haunted house story, His House bends both sub-genres in a way we’ve never seen pulled off before. An exciting and unsettling directorial debut from Remi Weekes, His House should definitely fill your screen this weekend.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%Genre: Mystery, Thriller, HorrorStars: Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù, Wunmi Mosaku, Matt SmithDirector: Remi WeekesRating: RRuntime: 93 minutes
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Stand by Me (1986)
Rob Reiner helmed this critically acclaimed adaptation of Stephen King’s novella The Body, which follows four young friends who embark on a hike through the Oregon wilderness in 1959 in the hopes of finding a dead body of a lost boy and claiming the reward. The film features an all-star cast of actors who went on to become household names, with Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O’Connell portraying the childhood friends and Kiefer Sutherland playing the leader of a local teenage gang. A powerful, funny, and occasionally heart-wrenching coming-of-age story, Stand by Me was nominated for an Academy Award for its screenplay and a pair of Golden Globe Awards as the year’s best film and for Reiner’s directing.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%Stars: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer SutherlandDirector: Rob ReinerRating: RRuntime: 89 minutes
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The White Tiger (2021)
Based on Aravind Adiga’s 2008 novel of the same name, The White Tiger follows the rags-to-riches story of Balram Halwai (Adarsh Gourav), an impoverished Indian villager that, through hard work (and a little manipulation), pushes himself into a much-lauded driver position for Ashok (Rajkummar Rao) and Pinky (Priyanka Chopra Jonas), two highly influential business magnates. Coming to love his position, a tragic misstep places Balram in the crosshairs of Ashok’s family. Unwilling to serve as a scapegoat, Balram chooses to fight back against the corrupt forces at play. A gripping class-drama akin to Parasite mates with Joker, The White Tiger is one of the greatest dramas you can stream today.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%Genre: DramaStars: Adarsh Gourav, Rajkummar Rao, Priyanka Chopra JonasDirector: Ramin BahraniRating: RRuntime: 126 minutes
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Finding ‘Ohana (2021)
Uprooted from her Brooklyn life, Pilialoha “Pili” Kawena (Kea Peahu) and her family travel to Oahu to care for her ailing grandfather. Initially disappointed by the lack of big-city buzz and activity, they discover a pirate journal that alludes to an ancient treasure buried somewhere on the island. As Pili and her older brother begin their quest for the trove, their journey takes them on a Hawaiian odyssey that connects them with their ancient island heritage. A loving family drama, Finding ‘Ohana is The Goonies meets visually breathtaking Hawaii.
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%Genre: Adventure, Action, ComedyStars: Kea Peahu, Alex Aiono, Lindsay WatsonDirector: Jude WengRating: PGRuntime: 123 minutes
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Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Childhood friends Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park) cross paths as adults, years after a teenage fling, and soon find themselves navigating life and love while maintaining two very different career paths and social circles. She’s a celebrity chef who hangs out with Keanu Reeves and he installs air conditioners. Can they ever find common ground? You probably know the answer to that already, but watching how they get there is where the fun lies — particularly when it comes to Reeves’ memorable performance.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%Stars: Ali Wong, Randall Park, Keanu ReevesDirector: Nahnatchka KhanRating: PG-13Runtime: 102 minutes
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Space Sweepers (2021)
Widely regarded as Korea’s first blockbuster space adventure, Space Sweepers is set in the year 2092 and follows the colorful crew of The Victory, a salvage ship that retrieves debris from space and sells it to the megacorporation that owns humanity’s last hope for survival, an orbiting space station high above the toxic surface of Earth. When the crew encounters a young girl in their latest salvage haul, it kicks off a wild adventure that pits them against powerful forces intent on steering mankind’s future. Filled with gorgeous visual-effects sequences, fascinating characters, and plenty of comedy — and a memorable robot named Bubs — the film is a fast-paced, fun throwback to classic space adventures with some wonderfully modern twists.
Rotten Tomatoes: 59%Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure, ComedyStars: Song Joong-ki, Kim Tae-ri, Jin Seon-kyu, Yoo Hae-jinDirector: Jo Sung-heeRating: TV-MARuntime: 136 minutes
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Moonlight (2016)
2016’s Best Picture winner established Mahershala Ali as a tour de force actor and introduced the world to the brilliant Ashton Sanders. Moonlight attempts to convey the Black experience through three defining chapters of one man’s life. Chiron (Sanders) grows up in Miami, surrounded by a community that is full of love and support despite the crack epidemic that is ravaging it. As Chiron is pulled from his biological family by drug abuse and misunderstanding, he’s guided into manhood by Juan (Ali), a man who recognizes the struggles Chiron will face as a gay Black man. Juan tries to help Chiron find peace with his identity.
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%Genre: Drama, RomanceStars: Mahershala Ali, Ashton Sanders, Alex R. LittleDirector: Barry JenkinsRating: RRuntime: 111 minutes
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Sleight (2016)
In this tense drama from director and co-writer J.D. Dillar, a brilliant young street magician in Los Angeles finds himself in over his head when he gets entangled with a violent drug supplier and must use every trick he knows to save himself and his sister. A surprise hit, Sleight won over audiences at the Sundance Film Festival with its unexpected twist on conventional thrillers, as well as star Jacob Latimore’s compelling performance.
Rotten Tomatoes: 78%Genre: Drama, ThrillerStars: Jacob Latimore, Seychelle GabrielDirector: J.D. DillardRating: RRuntime:  90 minutes
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The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the duo that gave us The Lego Movie and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, return for this animated feature about a dysfunctional family that ends up becoming humanity’s last, best hope against a robot uprising. Mike Rianda (Gravity Falls) makes his directorial debut with the film, which also features an impressive voice cast that includes Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Eric Andre, Olivia Colman, Fred Armisen, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Blake Griffin, and Conan O’Brien, among other familiar names (and voices). An early favorite for the year’s best animated feature — and one of the best movies of the year — The Mitchells vs. The Machines has quickly become a surprise hit for Netflix.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%Genre: Comedy, Family, Sci-FiStars: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Mike RiandaDirector: Mike RiandaRating: PGRuntime: 114 minutes
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The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)
Hollywood stalwart Aaron Sorkin rises to the occasion once more with his blistering interpretation of the 1969 Democratic National Convention trials, where seven Vietnam protestors were charged with crimes well beyond their intent. As peaceful demonstrations turn caustic, prejudice bleeds into testimony and eyewitness accounts of what took place the day of the riots. Featuring performances from Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baren Cohen, Alex Sharp, and John Caroll Lynch, Sorkin’s big-budget historical drama takes liberties here and there, but the result is a spellbinding examination of American history.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%Genre: Drama, HistoryStars: Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baren Cohen, Yahya Abdul-Mateen IIDirector: Aaron SorkinRating: RRuntime: 130 minutes
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The Social Dilemma (2020)
Director Jeff Orlowski’s The Social Dilemma is an eye-opening docudrama that puts big tech like Google, Facebook, and Instagram under the microscope. Various talking heads (many ex-employees of big tech) weigh in on social media’s harmful implications — from algorithmic data mining to mental health detriments. The more one watches Orlowski’s film, the more questions one begins asking about their own social media exposure. The Social Dilemma doesn’t stray from its intent, leaving us with all kinds of things to think about (particularly our own social media accounts) once the credits roll.
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%Genre: Documentary, DramaStars: Tristan HarrisDirector: Jeff OrlowskiRating: PG-13Runtime: 94 minutes
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My Octopus Teacher (2020)
The Academy Award winner in the Best Documentary Feature category at the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony, My Octopus Teacher chronicles the year filmmaker Craig Foster spent free-diving off the South African coast and forging a relationship with a wild octopus he discovered there. In following the octopus’s life and experiences, Foster learns lessons about his own life and relationship to the world around him and his family.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%Genre: DocumentaryStars: Craig FosterDirector: Pippa Ehrlich, James ReedRating: GRuntime: 85 minutes
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Shadow (2018)
Legendary Chinese director Zhang Yimou followed up his misbegotten The Great Wall with 2018’s Shadow, a beautiful return to form. The film begins when Commander Ziyu (Deng Chao) is defeated in a duel with enemy commander Yang Cang (Hu Jun), losing an important city in the process. This infuriates Ziyu’s king, who demotes Ziyu to commoner status and tries desperately to reclaim the city. Unbeknownst to the king, the actual Ziyu is on the verge of death after the duel, replaced by a body double who must now train to beat Yang Cang. Shadow is a historical epic of grand scope, heavy on intrigue and stylish combat sequences accented by a stark color palette.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%Genre: DramaStars: Deng Chao, Sun Li, Ryan ChengDirector: Zhang YimouRating: TV-MARuntime: 116 minutes
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Total Recall (1990)
Acclaimed filmmaker Paul Verhoeven directed this 1990 adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale and filled it with his trademark blend of over-the-top violence, sex, and dark social satire. One of the most expensive films ever made at the time of its release, Total Recall cast Arnold Schwarzenegger as a construction worker in humanity’s far-flung future who suddenly finds himself at the heart of an interplanetary conspiracy that may or may not even be real. Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, Rachel Ticotin, and Michael Ironside play supporting roles in this brutal — and occasionally brutally funny — adventure that brings Schwarzenegger’s character from Earth to Mars in pursuit of the truth about himself and his past. Along with being a critical and commercial success when it was released, the film also won a Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects at the Academy Awards.
Rotten Tomatoes: 82%Genre: Sci-Fi, ActionStars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, Rachel Ticotin, Michael IronsideDirector: Paul VerhoevenRating: RRuntime: 109 minutes
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Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Widely regarded as one of the funniest movies ever made, this parody of Arthurian legend was written and performed by the famous Monty Python comedy troupe and directed by troupe members Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. The film chronicles various elements of King Arthur’s quest to find the Holy Grail and those of his fellow Knights of the Round Table as they encounter one ridiculous scenario after another in pursuit of the relic. If you’ve ever wondered about the airspeed of a swallow, the best ways to determine whether someone is a witch, or how a fuzzy bunny could be the most terrifying creature in the world, well … you might not get all the answers in this film, but you’ll definitely find plenty of laughs.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%Genre: ComedyStars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael PalinDirector: Terry Gilliam, Terry JonesRating: PGRuntime: 90 minutes
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Loving (2016)
Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, and inspired by the 2012 HBO documentary The Loving Story, Loving depicts the trials and tribulations of Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Loving (Ruth Negga), an interracial couple who wanted nothing more than to be wed. But after traveling from Virginia to Washington D.C., to get married, the couple is tracked down by their hometown authorities and charged with violating Virginia’s segregation laws. For their prison sentences to be thrown out, the couple must agree to vacate Virginia and not return for 25 years. But the couple doesn’t want to give up on their love. Ruth writes to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, which sets into motion one of the most vital Supreme Court cases in civil rights history.
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%Genre: Biography, Drama, HistoryStars: Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Nick KrollDirector: Jeff NicholsRating: PG-13Runtime: 123 minutes
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If Anything Happens I Love You (2020)
From writer/director duo Michael Govier and Will McCormack, If Anything Happens explores a world of profound grief in a beautifully illustrated and meditative manner. Navigating the emotional aftermath of one family’s tragic loss, the short animation begins in a dark and near-unforgiving place, but through the power of love and the will to move forward, the film progresses into a place of love, forgiveness, and hope. Not the easiest watch in this roundup, but worthy of attention for its emotional bravery and stellar composition.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%Genre: Drama, AnimationStars: N/ADirector: Michael Govier, Will McCormackRating: RRuntime: 12 minutes
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Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Based on Donn Pearce’s novel of the same name, Cool Hand Luke stars Paul Newman as the titular war veteran, Luke Jackson, a man sentenced to a chain gang after a night of drunken revelries. Testing the waters with the hot-headed authorities in charge of the prison detail, Luke quickly rises to prominence as an inspirational figure among his jail peers. But as the hot-headed vet grows ever-more comfortable with his pedestal prominence, events transpire that test his resilience and resolve. Cool Hand Luke would go on to inspire countless prison dramas over the years, thanks in part to the film’s rich acting ensemble and Gordon’s precise directing.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%Genre: DramaStars: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, J.D. CannonDirector: Stuart RosenbergRating: PGRuntime: 126 minutes
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Uncut Gems (2019)
Uncut Gems is not for the faint-hearted. The Safdie Brothers’ drama about a gambling-addicted jeweler is a relentlessly intense, high-stress ride through the world of high-stakes gambling. Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler) is a charismatic New York City jeweler who is always on the lookout for the next big score. When NBA All-Star Kevin Garnett takes an interest in Howard’s most recent high-value acquisition, believing it brings him luck, Sandler makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime. Unfortunately, not everyone in his life is willing to wait for that windfall. Howard has to perform a precarious balancing act between business, family, debt collectors, and more to get the payoff.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%Genre: DramaStars: Adam Sandler, LaKeith Stanfield, Kevin GarnettDirector: Josh Safdie, Benny SafdieRating: RRuntime: 135 minutes
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Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Pan’s Labyrinth is a breathtakingly beautiful and heart-wrenchingly tragic film. Winner of three Academy Awards (on six nominations), Pan‘s Labyrinth launched director Guillermo del Toro onto the American awards show radar and introduced audiences to the blend of sci-fi, horror, and surrealistic elements that characterize his style. Set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, the film follows an imaginative young girl who also may just be a princess of an underground kingdom. Cast aside by her cruel, militaristic stepfather and isolated from her mother, Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) entertains herself on the grounds of their home in the Spanish countryside. When she stumbles upon a stone labyrinth presided over by a suspicious faun named Pan (Doug Jones), she is asked to complete three life-threatening tasks to prove she is the mythical princess, returned to reclaim her kingdom. Ofelia’s journey is expertly foiled by a guerrilla resistance to the rule of fascist Francisco Franco and the crumbling fragility of her newly formed family.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%Genre: Drama, fantasyStars: Ivana Baquero, Sergi LópezDirector: Guillermo del ToroRating: RRuntime: 115 minutes
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Roma (2018)
Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma opens quietly, the camera staring, motionless, at a tile floor as the credits play; eventually, water pours over the floor, as the sound of a mop spills in from just offscreen. It’s a boldly mundane opening, fitting for a film about an ordinary woman. Roma follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a maid working in the household of a wealthy doctor, Antonio (Fernando Grediaga) and his wife, Sofia (Marina de Tavira). Cleo cleans the house, tends to the children, and keeps the household running as Antonio and Sofia’s marriage strains. Cleo is the type of character typically relegated to the background of stories like this, but Cuaron makes her the focus, depicting her daily labor and struggles with a surprise pregnancy and unreliable lover. It’s a beautiful Netflix film, delicately composed and shot in stark black and white.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%Genre: DramaStars: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de TaviraDirector: Alfonso CuarónRating: RRuntime: 148 minutes
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The Disaster Artist (2017)
James Franco directs, produces, and stars in The Disaster Artist, an adaptation of Greg Sestero (portrayed in the film by Dave Franco) and Tom Bissell’s non-fiction book of the same name. Both the novel and film are a chronicle of Sestero’s rollercoaster friendship with infamous cult film legend Tommy Wiseau (Franco), an enigmatic actor with Hollywood dreams and plenty of money to pursue them — although no one can figure out why he’s so rich. After being turned down for role after role, Tommy decides to write, direct, and star in his own film called The Room, a bizarre and disjointed melodrama that he also casts Greg in. As the film runs into continued troubles and delays (mostly because of Tommy’s inabilities as a filmmaker), tensions rise between Greg and Tommy, along with the rest of the cast and crew. Whether you’ve seen The Room or not, The Disaster Artist is a mesmerizing examination of one of the strangest film productions of all time.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%Genre: Comedy, DramaStars: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison BrieDirector: James FrancoRating: RRuntime: 103 minutes
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The Babysitter (2017)
Cole (Judah Lewis) loves his babysitter, Bee (Samara Weaving). She’s fun, good-looking, and worships the dark lord of all dark lords. Behind Bee’s charming smile is a sinister satanist with a thirst for blood. As members of a creepy cult begin their descent over Cole’s life, it’s up to the preteen to outsmart their efforts before he becomes Bee’s next victim. A Netflix original film, The Babysitter doesn’t surprise in many ways but follows the genre formula to a tee, and we love the dedication. It’s campy, edgy, and a joyride through and through.
Rotten Tomatoes: 72%Genre: Horror, ComedyStars: Bella Thorne, Judah Lewis, Samara WeavingDirector: McGRating: TV-MARuntime: 85 minutes
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The Florida Project (2017)
Just miles away from “the happiest place on earth” is a wonderland far from a dream come true. But seen through Moonee’s (Brooklynn Prince) eyes, the Magic Castle Inn and Suites is a home filled with family, friends, and unrequited love. Sean Baker’s The Florida Project looks past the palm trees and theme parks of Orlando for a series of impoverished day-in-the-life vignettes. Featuring powerful performances across the board, the film paints an emotional but authentic picture of life on the fringe, as seen through the eyes of an adventurous and inquisitive child.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%Genre: Adventure, Action, Sci-Fi, Mystery, ThrillerStars: Willem Dafoe, Brooklynn Prince, Valeria CottoDirector: Sean BakerRating: RRuntime: 111 minutes
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Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2017)
Based on Barry Crump’s novel Wild Pork and Watercress, Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople stars Sam Neill and Julian Dennison as an unlikely foster-father/foster-child duo. After his adoption by the Faulkner family, Ricky (Dennison) attempts to settle into his new family, but tragic events scare the boy into the dense New Zealand wilderness. Hec (Neill), Ricky’s foster-parent, tracks the boy down but suffers a debilitating injury in the process. Bonding over their pasts and hope for a freer future, the pair decide to hide away in the brush together. But with a national manhunt underway to find the man and boy, how long can their odyssey truly last? Hunt for the Wilderpeople lives and breathes through Neill and Dennison’s onscreen chemistry, an acting partnership only deepened by Waititi’s rich and emotive script.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%Genre: Adventure, ComedyStars: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rima Te WiataDirector: Taika WaititiRating: PG-13Runtime: 101 minutes
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Yes, God, Yes (2020)
Stranger Things alum Natalia Dyer stars in writer-director Karen Maine’s Yes, God, Yes, a coming-of-age take on religious repression and burgeoning sexuality. Alice (Dyer) and her friend Laura (Francesca Reale) decide to attend their Catholic school’s annual Kirkos retreat. On their pilgrimage, Alice inadvertently enters into a promiscuous AOL chat when she tries to look up a particular sex act. This puts into place a daisy chain of rumors among Alice’s peers, with Alice’s genuine innocence and curiosity put uncomfortably in the middle. Based on her 2017 short film of the same name, Maine’s Yes, God, Yes is a nuanced and mature story of one teenager trying to wade her way through the stigma of sex, featuring a powerful lead performance from Dyer.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%Genre: ComedyStars: Natalia Dyer, Alisha Boe, Francesca RealeDirector: Karen MaineRating: RRuntime: 78 minutes
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