Old netflix movies

Old netflix movies DEFAULT

Is Old on Netflix?

Film director M. Night Shyamalan has a large following when it comes to horror movie fans, and many Netflix subscribers are eager to know if his new film Old is available to terrify viewers on the streaming service.

Shyamalan has been known for some serious duds like The Happening, The Lady in the Water, The Last Airbender and After Earth. But there is no denying his hits, which include The Village, Split, The Sixth Sense, Signs, and hopefully the 2021 feature Old will be added to the list when it is all said and done.

The feature is inspired by the Swiss graphic novel titled Sandcastle by Frederik Peters and Pierre Oscar Levy. The story follows a happy family on a tropical holiday that are having a great time until some unseen force on the secluded beach is causing them to age rapidly, reducing the rest of their life to a single day.

The cast of Old consists of Rufus Sewell, Eliza Scanlen, Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Thomasin McKenzie, Alex Wolff, Aaron Pierre, Ken Leung, Embeth Davidtz, Emun Elliott and Kathleen Chalfant. Between the excellent cast, the prolific filmmaker and the riveting premise, there are undoubtedly a number of solid reasons to check out Old, and it’s no wonder many subscribers want to know if it’s one of the many stellar horror titles available to stream on Netflix.

Is Old available on Netflix?

There are many horror movies and thrilling motion pictures available on the streaming service. However, Old is not one of the many choices Netflix has within its vast library of content.

The streaming service does have many items on its roster that people interested in watching Shyamalan’s Old will definitely find very appealing. Things Heard & Seen, Army of the Dead and the Fear Street trilogy are just some of the exceptional horror flicks available on Netflix.

Where you can watch Old

Old is only available in theaters. Hopefully, when it does make its streaming debut, it will be on Netflix, but until official word is announced on its streaming home, the big screen is the only place to enjoy the latest from Shyamalan.

You can check out the trailer below:

Will you be watching Old in theaters this summer?

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Friday at last! It's been a long one, so tonight is a movie night. You’re just finishing up your takeout, and then it’s back to Netflix you go, to scroll around aimlessly for a solid half hour before settling on anything. You’ve already seen all the newest Netflix originals, the feel-goods, and the comedies the streamer has to offer. So now you're full, bored, and no closer to picking a film.

Might we suggest a trusty classic? One of the many great films—from comedies to dramas and thrillers—that formed the foundation of modern cinema and has stood the test of time. The kind of film that might earn you some pub trivia points in the future. Although Netflix’s offering of classics is small in number, it is mighty in cultural significance. Here are the best picks that are available to stream right now.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller invented playing hooky. Now on Netflix, this John Hughes classic is fun for the whole family.

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The Karate Kid

If you’re waiting impatiently for the next season of Cobra Kai along with the rest of us, may we recommend a (re-)watch of the original Karate Kid to tide you over. The film that's spawned this many remakes, sequels, and spinoffs speaks for itself as one of the greats.

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Jaws

Spielberg’s epic shark hunt is streaming on Netflix and ripe for a rewatch, as long as you’re not heading to the beach anytime soon. With John Williams' legendary score, this trip to Amity Island is not for the faint of heart, and let the family join in at your own risk.

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Rain Man

Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman star in the classic road trip drama Rain Man, which won Best Picture at the 1988 Oscars. Here, Charlie (Cruise) learns that he has an older brother, Raymond (Hoffman), when their father dies and leaves the bulk of his estate to the formerly mysterious relative. What starts as a story motivated by money becomes a film about family, love, and empathy.

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Dances With Wolves

If you’re looking for a classic Western, look no further. The 1990 epic features Kevin Costner (who also directed and produced the film) as Civil War soldier John J. Dunbar who befriends a band of Lakota people, and after developing an appreciation for their culture, decides to stick with them amid growing threats.

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My Fair Lady

The celebrated 1964 classic musical adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's play “Pygmalion” has landed on Netflix. My Fair Lady stars the ever charming Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle, the working class girl that phonetics professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) decides he will transform into a cultured lady.

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What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? is part hilarious comedy and part devastating tragedy. The film shows a dysfunctional family in small town Iowa. While Johnny Depp’s starring role might have pulled original watchers in, it’s Leonardo DiCaprio’s turn as the younger brother that sells the film. (It also earned DiCaprio his first Oscar nomination.)

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Monty Python and the Holy Grail

The Authurian legend gets the parody treatment in this absurd—and endlessly quotable—1975 cult classic in which the Monty Python players star as the Knights of the Roundtable on the search for the legendary treasure.

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Life of Brian

Monty Python (yes, more of them!) takes on Christ with this story of Brian of Nazareth, a man who was born on the same night as Jesus—just in the stable next door—and spends his entire life being mistaken for the messiah.

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Howards End

This lush Merchant-Ivory 1992 adaptation of the classic E.M. Forster novel follows two families with opposing worldviews who are thrust together when their children become romantically attached.

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Lauren KrancLauren Kranc is an editorial assistant at Esquire, where she covers pop culture and television, with entirely too narrow of an expertise on Netflix dating shows.

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The 24 best classic movies you can watch on Netflix right now

What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Howards End
Paramount Pictures/Sony Pictures Classics
  • There are countless classic films that many of us have always meant to watch, but have never got round to doing so.
  • Netflix has some of the best classic movies out there, from sci-fi masterpieces like "Blade Runner" to period dramas like "Howards End," and horror movies like "The Evil Dead."
  • These classic movies feature amazing actors, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," Sidney Poitier in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," Robert Redford in "The Natural," and plenty more.
  • Here are the 24 best ones available to watch on Netflix right now.
  • Insider has many movie and TV show lists to keep you occupied. You can read them all here.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Do you have a huge list of old movies you've never gotten round to watching and always tell yourself "I must watch that one day"?

Well, what better time to start ticking off titles from that list than now?

Netflix has some of the best classic movies from every era of film imaginable, including the 1960s with "The Dirty Dozen" and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," the 1970s with "The Wicker Man" and "Dirty Harry," the 1980s with "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Raging Bull," and the 1990s with "Goodfellas" and "The Shawshank Redemption."

Netflix's roster features movies from some of Hollywood's most iconic directors, including Sergio Leone, Martin Scorsese, and Roman Polanski, as well several Oscar-winning films and cult classics.

Here are the 24 best classic movies (listed alphabetically) you can watch on Netflix right now.

Note: Numerous Netflix titles drop off the service monthly, so the availability of titles below may change. 

'Blade Runner' (1982)

Blade Runner
Warner Bros.

If Netflix had just a few more Harrison Ford movies in their roster, Ford's classic films would merit their own article. "Blade Runner" is one of many, and this "final cut" of the movie is a treat.

'The Dirty Dozen' (1967)

The Dirty Dozen
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

While there has surprisingly been no official or direct remake of this war movie, it has gone on to inspire a whole host of (or at least parts of) other films.

David Ayer called "Suicide Squad" "'The Dirty Dozen' with superheroes," while Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" has more than a hint of "The Dirty Dozen" about it. Give this original classic a watch, and see why it's so revered amongst Hollywood directors.

'Dirty Harry' (1971)

Dirty Harry
Warner Bros.

Clint Eastwood starred in a series of "Dirty Harry" movies but, as is usually the case, the first one is the best. Featuring some of the catchiest one-liners and a pretty gruff Eastwood, this is worth a watch.

'Driving Miss Daisy' (1989)

Driving Miss Daisy
Warner Bros.

"Driving Miss Daisy" won four Oscars, including best actress for Jessica Tandy and best picture. It's probably one of those films that you forget is a best picture winner, but Morgan Freeman's Oscar-nominated performance makes this worth a go.

'The Evil Dead' (1981)

Evil Dead
New Line Cinema

Sam Raimi is now best known for his trilogy of Spider-Man movies starring Tobey Maguire, but he started off by making horrors with more than a touch of comedy like this now-cult classic "The Evil Dead."

'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' (1986)

Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Paramount Pictures

John Hughes' classic stars Matthew Broderick as a high schooler enacting every kid's dream: bunking school. This is light-hearted and infectious fun.

'Goodfellas' (1990)

Goodfellas
Warner Bros.

"The Irishman" was nominated for 10 Oscars (but didn't win any) and brought back Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Martin Scorsese to work together. The last time they did was on this near-perfect film — and Pesci won best supporting actor.

'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner' (1967)

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Columbia Pictures

This was a ground-breaking film for numeral reasons. While Sidney Poitier actually won his Oscar for "Lillies of the Field" three years prior to this, he could have easily won for this film, too, playing an African-American man having dinner at the prejudiced parents of his fiancé's house.

'Howards End' (1992)

Howards End
Sony Pictures Classics.

There has since been a television series adaptation of this E.M. Forster novel, but it's the Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins movie that remains the definitive version.

Directed by James Ivory (the man who won an Oscar for writing the "Call Me By Your Name" screenplay), Emma Thompson won best actress for her excellent performance.

'Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark' (1981) (and the three sequels in 1984, 1989, and 2008)

Indiana Jones
Paramount Pictures

While the fourth instalment of this series (2008's "The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull") may not be a classic, the original trilogy most certainly are. Beginning with one of the best ever opening sequences in cinema history in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," this pure movie magic from Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Harrison Ford.

'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' (1975)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
EMI Films/Cinema 5

The low budget of this film only serves to make everything funnier. They couldn't afford horses, so they just used coconuts instead and included that in the movie itself. Genius. This entire film is comedy gold.

'Monty Python's Life of Brian' (1979)

Life of Brian
Cinema International Corporation/Orion Pictures/Warner Bros

The same also goes for "Life of Brian," which plays on the life of Jesus Christ and religion in general and is one of the funniest couple of hours you'll ever have in front of a screen.

Sours: https://www.insider.com/best-classic-movies-you-can-watch-on-netflix-2020-3
Top 5 Comedy movies to watch when you're bored

There have been some pretty amazing films that have been released this past year, but sometimes you just want to go back and rewatch an old favorite. Whether it's the elaborate costumes of a period piece, or the one-liners of a movie you've memorized from start to finish, there are just some movies that everyone needs to see at least once. And you don't even have to leave the comfort of your own home.

Netflix has gained a reputation for its binge-worthy original series, but they also have a pretty impressive collection of movies as well. Whether you are craving some nostalgia for a childhood favorite, or you just want to brush up on your classic cinema knowledge, these are the scary movies, romantic comedies, and coming of age tales that have stood the test of time. So grab your popcorn (don't forget to sprinkle one of our favorite seasonings on top), and get ready for your nostalgia fix. From the 1940s up to 2000s, here are all of the best classic movies on Netflix that you can stream right now.

1The Stranger (1946)

Orson Welles directed and starred in the 1940s film about a notorious Nazi war criminal who is living under a false name in Connecticut. Newly married, his world is turned upside down when a war crimes commissioner comes to town.

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2The Graduate (1967)

If you haven't already started singing Simon & Garfunkel's best hits, allow us to introduce you to a not-so-typical romance story. After he graduates from college, Ben Braddock finds himself feeling lost ... and in an epic love triangle with an older woman and her daughter.

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3Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

This epic spaghetti Western features Claudia Cardinale, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, Charles Bronson, and a whole lot of action.

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4Dirty Harry (1971)

Inspector Harry Callahan, a.k.a Dirty Harry, refuses to play the rules, especially when it comes to hunting down a madman who is terrorizing San Francisco.

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5Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

For a goofy, good time, check out this movie about King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. There are as many jokes as there are twists and turns in the adventure, making it a go-to cult classic.

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6Taxi Driver (1976)

In Martin Scorsese's classic drama, a socially isolated young man loses his grip on reality in the gritty and crime-filled 1970's New York City. It may be more than 40 years old, but thanks to performances by Robert DeNiro, Jodie Foster, and Harvey Keitel, the film still feels just as shocking as when it was first released.

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7Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Can Indiana get to the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis? Harrison Ford's classic character finds plenty of adventure, enemies, and danger in the franchise's very first film.

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8Tootsie (1982)

Michael Dorsey, (Dustin Hoffman) who transforms himself into a woman to land the role of a soap opera star who ends up winning the hearts of everyone.

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9Purple Rain (1984)

In the semi-autobiographical film, Prince plays a musician who escapes his tumultuous home life by spending his days and nights at the First Avenue nightclub. It's considered one of the greatest musical films of all time.

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10She's Gotta Have It (1986)

Spike Lee's breakthrough film features a woman balancing the three men in her life. Different from typical tropes, all the men want her to commit — but she's having fun playing the field.

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11Paris Is Burning (1990)

This Sundance prize-winning documentary gives viewers an intimate look at Harlem drag balls. In addition to competition, it thoughtfully explores race, class, gender, and sexuality during the 1980s.

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12My Girl (1991)

Spend the summer with 11-year-old Vada Sultenfuss as she learns about love, loss, and everything else that comes with growing up.

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13Howards End (1992)

The Oscar nominations and awards were well-deserved for this film about three very different families who influence each other in a variety of ways.

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14What's Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993)

Earning Leonardo DiCaprio his first Oscar nomination, What's Eating Gilbert Grape? centers around Gilbert (Johnny Depp), who is torn between staying in his small town for his family, or moving forward with new possibilities.

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15Groundhog Day (1993)

This classic comedy finds a cynical news reporter (Bill Murray) waking up every morning repeating the same day over and over again as he tries to find a way to break the loop.

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16Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is convicted of double murder of his wife and her lover, although he swears he is innocent. Once he lands in jail, he befriends inmate Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman), and the bond the two form is unexpected and unbreakable.

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17Jerry Maguire (1996)

Jerry Maguire is left with one client and one co-worker after he decides to leave his high-powered job as a sports agent. We won't give it all away but we guarantee he will have you at hello.

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18National Treasure (2004)

This fun adventure film imagines a world where there are clues on important historical documents that lead to a treasure hidden years ago by American Freemasons.

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19Moonlight (2014)

Considered one of the best films of the 21st century, Moonlight follows Chiron through his youth, adolescence, and early adult life as he tries to find his place in the world.

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20Roma (2018)

A recent release that made such an impact on cinema, it's already become a classic. The film takes places in 1970s Mexico, and we see life through the eyes of Cleo, a housekeeper who lives with a middle class family. The black and white Oscar-winning film is filled with tragedy, drama, and love.

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Blake BakkilaAssociate EditorBlake is a former Associate Editor for GoodHousekeeping.com covering beauty, celebrity, holiday entertaining, and other lifestyle news.

Katie BourqueAs an Editorial Fellow for Good Housekeeping, Katie covers health, beauty, home, and pop culture.

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Movies old netflix

There are so many great new movies out, you need never be bored again. But the classics are classic for a reason—you're guaranteed to be moved, delighted, terrified, or all of the above with these much-loved films. Some classics are old school, black-and-white mainstays that have been delighting movie lovers for years. Some are nostalgic favorites from our childhoods and teen years—the kinds of movies that just light up your soul when you watch them and make the world seem like a better place again, even if it's just for 90 minutes. And some classics are more modern and fall into that "instant classic" category—the kind of movies that you don't even need to see a second time to be sure they're going to stick with you (and earn a place in pop culture) forever.

No matter what you're in the mood for, we have you covered. If you feel like catching up on a movie you've been meaning to watch, or just want a second look at a film you love a lot, there's something on this list for everybody. This list features a mix of genres and subject matter and spans the past 50-plus years, but each one is terrific for its own unique reasons. Even better: These are all streaming on Netflix right now.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

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Raise your hand if you identify more with Ferris' stressed-out friend Cameron these days (raises hand sheepishly). Ferris and his school-skipping friends are back on the streaming platform, which makes this pick perfect for when you're home sick, taking a day off, or just wishing you could skip out on commitments. If you grew up on this movie like I did, it's a blast from the past, but Ferris' commitment to self-care is a lesson we all need right now.

Monty Python's Life of Brian

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Life of Brian was really controversial at the time, and you can see why: Brian isn't Jesus, but he keeps being mistaken for the Messiah. Like a lot of Monty Python material, the satire's aimed at people in power, the mob mentality, and the temptation to attack other people for no reason (honestly, this feels so relevant right now it's depressing). Spoiler alert, this isn't exactly a feel-good movie, but it's funny all the way through: Ending on "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" mid-crucifixion is farcical brilliance.

School of Rock

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If you've never watched this feel-good film (or it's TV spinoff OR Broadway play), thank the TV gods that this gem made it to Netflix. Jack Black's Dewey is doofus and a loser, but he's also so sweetly enthusiastic about rock music that when he pretends to be a schoolteacher, commandeers a classroom, and teaches the kids to play rock music so they can compete in a competition, no one's even that mad at the end of the day. If that sounds like a crazy premise, it is, but with Mike White (White Lotus) writing and acting, it's juuuuust believable enough. You'll probably tear up during this movie, in the best way.

Jaws

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It made a whole generation of people afraid to go into the water. This classic movie combined thriller, mystery, and creature feature so effectively that it basically invented the modern blockbuster. These days, the special effects might look a bit silly, but you can still appreciate Steven Spielberg's talent for pacing and plot as three men face off against a great white. You probably remember exactly where you were when you watched this as a kid, which makes this the epitome of nostalgia watching.

She's Gotta Have It

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This Spike Lee breakout film is also an ode to Black women's sexual autonomy: Brooklyn artist Nola is juggling three men and perfectly content about her polyamorous situation (the men, on the other hand, are another story). If you like Lee, this will be right up your alley, but even if you don't, it's a remarkable and beautiful movie. There's a reason, 30 years later, it spawned a Netflix TV series.

Total Recall

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If you love '90s action movies, classic sci-fi stories come to life, and/or Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, then Total Recall is one to add to your queue right this second. The movie, based on a 1966 short story by sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick, takes place in a future where instead of actually taking a life-changing vacation, you can pay to have the memories of an adventure implanted in your brain. Predictably, this messing-with-people's-memories thing goes very, very badly. (Note: This is not to be confused with the 2012 remake, under any circumstances. Yeesh.)

Legally Blonde

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Put this in the "instant classic" category, but believe it or not this film is already two decades old. Elle Woods' boyfriend dumps her, she follows him to Harvard, and—surprise—she learns she's a total badass. Artists parody and pay homage to the film to this day (including greats like Ariana Grande), and it's not hard to see why. The messaging might be a bit twee and a bit dated—Elle does spend a good chunk of the movie pining after an objectively terrible guy—but the sweetness of her positivity and commitment will make you smile at the end anyways.

My Fair Lady

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I mean, speaking of dated, this is about a guy who makes over an impoverished woman on a whim, then treats her like crap before realizing (gasp) he's in love with her. The brilliance of the movie, though, is to make the leads closer in age and endearingly irritating in complementary ways. In addition to the song-and-dance aspect that's soothing every time you watch it, Audrey Hepburn is just so sweetly charming you could watch her dance all night.

Mystic Pizza

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If you're a Julia Roberts fan, you owe it to yourself to watch this early film about female friendship in a small town. Like Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants but at a pizza place, the women navigate romantic drama (relatable!) while figuring out what they want to do with their lives (very, very relatable). It's silly and lighthearted, but the fun of this classic film is that it makes you feel like you're reliving your high school years—only better.

Blade Runner

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It just does not get more classic than this moody, prescient sci-fi movie about a cop hunting down synthetic humans called replicants. This might not be the version you originally saw, if you're familiar with the film. There have been a bunch of versions of Blade Runner, but this is the only one where Ridley Scott had complete creative control. It's debatable whether this is the best one, per se, but it's a fascinating look at the source material (and a good watch before you take on Blade Runner 2049).

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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The second pick from the genius Monty Python team on this list, Holy Grail is the Holy Grail of comedy. The movie follows absurd versions of the Knights of the Roundtable on a sometimes nonsensical, often tangential quest for the magical cup that'll have you quoting it ad nauseam to friends and family. It's been making comedy fans laugh for generations now, so you owe yourself a watch if you haven't added it to your rotation of favorite films. And if you liked it—maybe it's time to watch again.

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12 Best Classic Movies on Netflix - Bingeworthy

The 50 Best Movies on Netflix Right Now

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The sheer volume of films on Netflix — and the site’s less than ideal interface — can make finding a genuinely great movie there a difficult task. To help, we’ve plucked out the 50 best films currently streaming on the service in the United States, updated regularly as titles come and go. And as a bonus, we link to more great movies on Netflix within many of our write-ups below. (Note: Streaming services sometimes remove titles or change starting dates without giving notice.)

Here are our lists of the best TV shows on Netflix, the best movies on Amazon Prime Video and the best of everything on Hulu and Disney Plus.

Image

‘Titanic’ (1997)

Few expected James Cameron’s dramatization (and fictionalization) of the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic to become a nearly unmatched commercial success (it was the top-grossing movie of all time for over a decade) and Academy Award winner (for best picture and best director, among others); most of its prerelease publicity concerned its over-budget and over-schedule production. But in retrospect, we should have known — it was the kind of something-for-everyone entertainment that recalled blockbusters of the past, deftly combining historical drama, wide-screen adventure and heartfelt romance. And it stars, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, provided the latter in spades, becoming one of the great onscreen pairings of the 1990s. Our critic called it “a huge, thrilling three-and-a-quarter-hour experience.” (DiCaprio also shines in “Shutter Island” and “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.”)

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‘Malcolm X’ (1992)

Denzel Washington turns in one of his finest, fiercest performances in this thrilling, powerful biopic from the director Spike Lee, who tells the story of the civil rights icon on an epic, “Lawrence of Arabia” scale. It’s a story of evolution, following Malcom X’s progression from petty thief to religious leader to international figure, refusing to reduce his theology and philosophy into easy catchphrases or simple explanations. Our critic called it “an ambitious, tough, seriously considered biographical film that, with honor, eludes easy characterization.”

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‘The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)’ (2017)

Everyone in the Meyerowitz family has an ax to grind, from the aging sculptor father worried about his legacy (Dustin Hoffman) to his current, perpetually inebriated wife (Emma Thompson) to his adult children (Elizabeth Marvel, Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller), who have spent their lives trying to please their father and are all screwed up because of it. The writer and director Noah Baumbach conveys their insecurities slyly, via their skittish interactions with their father and each other, and he masterfully makes their tribulations both wittily specific and richly universal. It’s a dryly funny and surprisingly moving serio-comic drama; our critic praised its “near-perfect balance between engagement and discomfort.” (Baumbach’s “Marriage Story”is also on Netflix.)

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‘Do the Right Thing’ (1989)

Spike Lee wrote, directed and co-starred in this drama of racial tensions on the rise during the hottest day of the summer. Lee sets his story on one block in Brooklyn, as a minor conflict in the neighborhood pizzeria escalates into a full-scale uprising, but it’s no mere polemic; he populates that block with richly drawn characters of all races, ages and backgrounds, filling the frame with such vibrancy and humor that when the violence begins, it’s like a kick in the gut. Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Samuel L. Jackson, Giancarlo Esposito, John Turturro and Rosie Perez are among the four-star cast, while Danny Aiello was nominated for an Oscar for his complex work as the pizzeria owner. Our critic called it, simply, “one terrific movie.”

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‘Jaws’ (1975)

Steven Spielberg had only a single feature and a handful of TV credits to his name when he was handed the task of adapting a pulpy best seller about a killer shark. The famously troubled production, which went weeks over schedule and millions over budget, forced the director to rely more on suspense and characterization than on special effects. The rest is cinema history. The scary moments are breathlessly executed, but our attachment to the three main characters (wonderfully brought to life by Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw) makes the stakes far higher than in the standard blockbuster.

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‘Bright Star’ (2009)

The young poet John Keats and the free-spirited woman with whom he shared something like a romance during his final years are the focus of this drama from the writer and director Jane Campion. As in her earlier film “The Piano,” Campion refuses to let the film’s period setting distance its story from a contemporary audience; she’s dealing with themes and ideas that are bigger than any particular time and place, and she keeps its characters and their conflicts universal and approachable. As a result, her film has more life and electricity than the typical drab literary biopic — it’s intelligent, involving and sexy. A.O. Scott praised its “wild vitality.”

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‘Mudbound’ (2017)

In this powerful adaptation by the director Dee Rees of the novel by Hillary Jordan, two families — one white and one Black — are connected by a plot of land in the Jim Crow South. Rees gracefully tells both stories (and the larger tale of postwar America) without veering into didacticism, and her ensemble cast brings every moment of text and subtext into sharp focus. Our critic called it a work of “disquieting, illuminating force.” (For more period drama, queue up “The Piano” and “Cold Mountain.”)

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‘Catch Me If You Can’ (2002)

Steven Spielberg reunited with Tom Hanks and joined forces with Leonardo DiCaprio to craft this breezy, snazzy, giddily enjoyable caper comedy that is based on a (possibly) true story. DiCaprio stars as Frank W. Abagnale Jr., an unflappable con artist who passed as a doctor, a lawyer and an airline pilot; Hanks is the buttoned-down F.B.I. agent who’s hot on his trail; and Christopher Walken nabbed an Oscar nomination for his atypically muted turn as Abagnale’s hustler dad. Our critic called it “a smart, funny caper” while praising its “strain of sly social satire.”
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‘The Edge of Seventeen’ (2016)

Nadine Franklin (Hailee Steinfeld) is a fairly typical teen — cynical, bitter, intelligent and smart-mouthed while also plagued by self-doubt, awkwardness and self-destructiveness. The first-time director Kelly Fremon Craig tells the story of how Nadine hits bottom (the high school version of it, anyway) and struggles mightily to bounce back with the help of a teacher who has the patience of a saint (Woody Harrelson), and a best friend (Haley Lu Richardson), who has made things … complicated. Steinfeld plays Nadine to the hilt, creating a portrait of teenage ennui and social anxiety that’s as recognizable as it is uproarious, resulting in what our critic called a “smart, achingly bittersweet comedy.” (To see a scholastic comedy for younger viewers, try “School of Rock.”)

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‘The Game’ (1997)

David Fincher followed up the smash success of his breakthrough feature “Seven” with this puzzle movie, which begins as yet another sleek, Michael Douglas-fronted valentine to yuppie extravagance before taking a hard turn into the province of jittery conspiracy thrillers. Douglas is spot on as Nicholas Van Orton, a grim investment banker whose ne’er-do-well brother (Sean Penn) gives him the birthday gift of a role-playing game that slowly, methodically strips away his money and power. Our critic wrote that Fincher shows “real finesse in playing to the paranoia of these times.” (Fincher’s brilliant “Zodiac” is also streaming on Netflix)

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‘Magnolia’ (1999)

Paul Thomas Anderson burst onto the scene with “Boogie Nights,” his blazing, energetic, Altman-esque tapestry of life in the seedier corners of the San Fernando Valley, circa 1977. His follow-up is in much the same style (and brings back much of the same cast), but with the filmmaker going for broke, creating a rich, lengthy (over three hours), mournful and often scathingly funny narrative of several interlocking lives over a single, extraordinary day. Operatic in its emotions and ambitions, this is Anderson’s messiest work, yet one of his very best. (Anderson’s “The Master” and “There Will Be Blood” are also streaming on Netflix.)

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‘Killing Them Softly’ (2012)

Brad Pitt teamed up again with Andrew Dominik, the writer and director of “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” for this “grisly little crime movie,” adapted from the novel “Cogan’s Trade.” Pitt and James Gandolfini (in one of his final roles) star as two contract killers sent by their mob bosses to take out a group of small-timers who robbed the wrong poker game. But “Softly” is neither a traditional gangster movie nor a Tarantino-style hit-man flick. Dominik sets the film during the 2008 financial crisis and presidential election, the better to situate his central thesis: that capitalism and organized crime aren’t as far apart as we might like to think.

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‘Silver Linings Playbook’ (2012)

Jennifer Lawrence won the Oscar for best actress for her spectacularly sassy and unapologetically haunted performance in David O. Russell’s (somewhat loose) adaptation of Matthew Quick’s novel. It’s a balancing act of seemingly contradictory tones and styles, slipping nimbly from serious mental-health drama to screwball comedy to romance thanks to the deceptive casualness of Russell’s approach and the skill of his cast — particularly Bradley Cooper as its unsteady protagonist and Robert De Niro and Jackie Weaver (all also Oscar nominees) as his parents. Our critic called it “exuberant” and “a delight.”

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‘My Fair Lady’ (1964)

George Cukor’s energetic adaptation of the Broadway musical (itself an adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion”) won an astonishing eight Academy Awards, including best picture, best director and best actor, and it remains one of the cornerstones of the movie musical genre. Audrey Hepburn shines as Eliza Doolittle, the lower-class Cockney flower girl who the phonetics professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) believes he can turn into a proper lady my merely refining her speech. Alan Jay Lerner’s intelligent script carefully navigates issues of sex and class while concocting a credible “opposites attract” chemistry between the leads. Our critic called it “a film that enchantingly conveys the rich endowments of the famous stage production in a fresh and flowing cinematic form.” (Fans of classic movie musicals should also check out “White Christmas.”)

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‘Million Dollar Baby’ (2004)

Clint Eastwood directs and stars in this modest Best Picture winner, and it’s a smooth fit for his classical style: It has the feel, texture and tone of a 1940s boxing movie, but with the modern twist of a crusty old-timer taking a “girl fighter” under his wing. But it’s not really a sports movie. It’s about the comfortable, lived-in, longtime friendship between Frankie (Eastwood) and Scrap (Morgan Freeman); the subtle respect Scrap pays to Maggie (Hilary Swank) and her tenacity; and the evolution of Frankie’s irritation toward Maggie into grudging respect and, eventually, love and sacrifice. A.O. Scott called it “a work of utter mastery that at the same time has nothing in particular to prove.” (Eastwood’s “The Outlaw Josey Wales” is also on Netflix.)

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‘Misha and the Wolves’ (2021)

Misha Defonesca told a horrifying story of kidnapping and survival in Nazi Germany, first to the members of her community and then in a memoir, until … well. Like “Three Identical Strangers” or “Dear Zachary,” Sam Hobkinson’s “absorbing” true-crime-adjacent documentary is a film that relies on the jaw-dropping turns of its narrative, so it’s better to go in knowing little or nothing about its story. But his construction is suspenseful without being overly deceptive, and the execution is stylish. It’s a compelling and peculiar account of the stories we tell to the world — and to ourselves.

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‘Mystic River’ (2003)

Sean Penn and Tim Robbins won Oscars for their work with Kevin Bacon as childhood friends whose paths sharply diverge after a horrifying trauma — and intersect again as the cycle of violence circles back. Clint Eastwood’s modest directorial style is ideal for this adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel; he approaches these chilling events with an everyday resignation, and his actors underplay appropriately. Our critic called it “a film that consists almost entirely of haunting scenes.” (Looking for more drama? Check out “A Single Man” and “Croupier.”)

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‘Middle of Nowhere’ (2012)

Ava DuVernay won the directing award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for this sensitive, thoughtful and moving drama. Our critic Manohla Dargis noted, “she wants you to look, really look, at her characters,” seeing past the clichés and assumptions of so many other movies, as she tells the story of Ruby (Emayatzy Corinealdi), a young nurse whose husband (Omari Hardwick) is in prison. Ruby dutifully visits, and keeps a candle burning at home, but when a kind bus driver (David Oyelowo) takes a shine to her, she begins to question her choices and allegiances. Corinealdi is a marvelous presence, playing the role with empathy and complexity, and the considerable charisma of Oyelowo — who would team up again with DuVernay for “Selma” — makes her dilemma all the more difficult. (Fans of this moving indie romance may also enjoy “Love Jones.”)

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‘High Flying Bird’ (2019)

The director Steven Soderbergh reunites with Andre Holland, his co-star from “The Knick,” for this rarest of beasts: a sports movie without any sports. The screenplay by Tarell Alvin McCraney is instead about the business of professional athletics, set during an NBA lockout in which a high-powered agent (Holland) attempts to use the shutdown to turn the entire league — and all of the presumptions and hierarchies of organized sports — upside down. McCraney’s script is rich with historical references and inside-basketball shout-outs; Soderbergh’s direction is reflexively nimble, using on-the-fly photography and interviews with real N.B.A. players to give the film a sense of documentary immediacy. A.O. Scott called it “an exhilarating and argumentative caper.”

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‘Zathura’ (2005)

The director Jon Favreau started his career making chatty indies like “Swingers” and is now the go-to guy for Marvel (“Iron Man”) and Disney (“The Lion King”). This “enchanted” 2005 family adventure was the bridge he built between those worlds. Based on a 2002 novel by the “Jumanji” author Chris Van Allsburg, it tells a similar story in which children are drawn into the world of a board game that is perhaps too immersive. The special effects are jaw-dropping, and the adventure elements are enthralling (particularly for young audiences), but Favreau’s background in small-scale, character-driven narratives shines through in the sweet and surprisingly moving conclusion. (This film is a sequel of sorts to the 1995 adventure “Jumanji,” also on Netflix.)

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‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ (2020)

The acclaimed stage director George C. Wolfe brings August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winner to the screen, quite faithfully — which is just fine, as a play this good requires little in the way of “opening up,” so rich are the characters and so loaded is the dialogue. The setting is a Chicago music studio in 1927, where the “Mother of the Blues” Ma Rainey (Viola Davis) and her band are meeting to record several of her hits, though that business is frequently disrupted by the tensions within the group over matters both personal and artistic. Davis is superb as Rainey, chewing up her lines and spitting them out with contempt at anyone who crosses her, and Chadwick Boseman, who died in 2020 and won a posthumous Golden Globe best actor award for his performance, is electrifying as the showy sideman, Levee, a boiling pot of charisma, flash and barely concealed rage. A.O. Scott calls the film “a powerful and pungent reminder of the necessity of art.”

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‘Midnight Run’ (1988)

Robert De Niro took his first big swing at comedy with this wildly entertaining mixture of action and laughs. He stars as Jack Walsh, a grouchy bail bondsman sent to collect a Mafia accountant (the late, great Charles Grodin) and take him across the country — with the mob, the feds and a rival bounty hunter in hot pursuit. It sounds like your typical ’80s action-comedy, but “Midnight Run” transcends those tropes thanks to its crackling dialogue, energetic direction (by Martin Brest, of “Beverly Hills Cop”) and winning leads, who, as our critic noted, “give the comedy their own very humane comic dimension.”

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‘His House’ (2020)

Genre filmmakers have spent the past three years trying (and mostly failing) to recreate the magic elixir of horror thrills and social commentary that made “Get Out” so special, but few have come as close as the British director Remi Weekes’s terrifying and thought-provoking Netflix thriller. He tells the story of two South Sudanese refugees seeking asylum in London, who are placed in public housing — a residence they are forbidden from leaving, which becomes a problem when things start going bump in the night. In a masterly fashion Weekes expands this simple haunted-house premise into a devastating examination of grief and desperation, but sacrifices no scares along the way, making “His House” a rare movie that prompts both tears and goose bumps.

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‘Loving’ (2016)

Mildred and Richard Loving never saw themselves as heroes: As far as the Virginia couple were concerned, they were merely two regular people who wanted to spend their lives together. So the writer-director Jeff Nichols (“Mud”) makes “Loving” a personal tale, trusting that the politics will be apparent. The Australian actor Joel Edgerton and the Ethiopian-Irish actress Ruth Negga are wholly convincing as these rural Southerners, creating a relationship so unstaged and lived-in that the emotional stakes are as important as the historical ramifications. Manohla Dargis raved, “There are few movies that speak to the American moment as movingly — and with as much idealism.”

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‘Fruitvale Station’ (2013)

Too many people only know Oscar Grant III because of the final moments of his life, in which he was shot to death by a Bay Area transit cop on a subway platform in the early hours of New Year’s Day, 2009 — a tragedy captured by the cameras of several passengers. But we too often reduce victims to their deaths, and this heartfelt drama seeks to restore Grant’s life to its full richness and complexity. Director Ryan Coogler’s “powerful and sensitive debut feature” focuses instead on Grant’s final day, and on the relationships he attempts to repair and cultivate, blissfully unaware of the fate that awaits him. It’s a wrenching, humanistic portrait of an average life, cut cruelly short by prejudice and circumstance. (Indie drama lovers may also enjoy “Residue.”)

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‘Blade Runner’ (1982)

This stylish and influential adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” melds the conventions of film noir, dystopian sci-fi and action-adventure with masterly care. Its portrait of Los Angeles circa 2019, both sleek and decaying, is especially striking; the neon-lit, rain-soaked cityscape is an ideal environment for Harrison Ford’s hard-boiled, futuristic gumshoe. And while it’s no mere sight-and-sound show — Dick’s thoughtful explorations of humanity, memory and empathy are retained — the director, Ridley Scott, does deliver the genre goods, including a final chase and shootout that still packs a wallop. (Netflix is currently streaming the 2007 “Final Cut.”)

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‘Dick Johnson Is Dead’ (2020)

“I’ve always wanted to be in the movies,” Dick Johnson tells his daughter Kirsten, and he’s in luck — she makes them, documentaries mostly, dealing with the biggest questions of life and death. So they turn his struggle with Alzheimer’s and looming mortality into a movie, a “resonant and, in moments, profound” one (per Manohla Dargis), combining staged fake deaths and heavenly reunions with difficult familial interactions. He’s an affable fellow, warm and constantly chuckling, and a good sport, cheerfully playing along with these intricate, macabre (and darkly funny) scenarios. But it’s really a film about a father and daughter, and their lifelong closeness gives the picture an intimacy and openness uncommon even in the best documentaries. It’s joyful, and melancholy and moving, all at once.

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‘The Old Guard’ (2020)

Gina Prince-Blythewood’s adaptation of Greg Rucka’s comic book series delivers the expected goods: The action beats are crisply executed, the mythology is clearly defined and the pieces are carefully placed for future installments. But that’s not what makes it special. Prince-Blythewood’s background is in character-driven drama (her credits include “Love and Basketball” and “Beyond the Lights”), and the film is driven by its relationships rather than its effects — and by a thoughtful attentiveness to the morality of its conflicts. A.O. Scott deemed it a “fresh take on the superhero genre,” and he’s right; though based on a comic book, it’s far from cartoonish. (For more action, queue up “Shadow” or “Cliffhanger.”)

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‘Da 5 Bloods’ (2020)

Spike Lee’s latest is a genre-hopping combination of war movie, protest film, political thriller, character drama and graduate-level history course in which four African-American Vietnam vets go back to the jungle to dig up the remains of a fallen compatriot — and, while they’re at it, a forgotten cache of stolen war gold. In other hands, it could’ve been a conventional back-to-Nam picture or “Rambo”-style action/adventure (and those elements, to be clear, are thrilling). But Lee goes deeper, packing the film with historical references and subtext, explicitly drawing lines from the civil rights struggle of the period to the protests of our moment. A.O. Scott called it a “long, anguished, funny, violent excursion into a hidden chamber of the nation’s heart of darkness.” (For more genre-infused drama, check out “Sleight.”)

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‘13TH’ (2016)

Ava DuVernay (“Selma”) directs this wide-ranging deep dive into mass incarceration, tracing the advent of America’s modern prison system — overcrowded and disproportionately populated by Black inmates — back to the 13th Amendment. It’s a giant topic to take on in 100 minutes, and DuVernay understandably has to do some skimming and slicing. But that necessity engenders its style: “13TH” tears through history with a palpable urgency that pairs nicely with its righteous fury. Our critic called it “powerful, infuriating and at times overwhelming.”

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‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ (2020)

Charlie Kaufman writes and directs this mind-bending adaptation of the Iain Reid novel, in which a nervous young woman (Jessie Buckley) accompanies her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) on a road trip to meet his parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis). Kaufman intersperses — and often interrupts — the de rigueur scenes of familial discomfort with surrealist imagery, nightmare logic, bizarre parallel stories and events shuffled out of time, bound together with his protagonist’s voice-over narration, a nonstop monologue of verbose uncertainty. A.O. Scott deemed it “Kaufman’s most assured and daring work so far as a director.” (“A Ghost Story” is another unusual mixture of surrealism, drama and pathos.)

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‘Lady Bird’ (2017)

Greta Gerwig made her solo feature directorial debut with this funny and piercing coming-of-age story, set in her hometown, Sacramento, Calif. Saoirse Ronan dazzles in the title role as a quietly rebellious high-school senior whose quests for love and popularity bring her long-simmering resentments toward her mother (Laurie Metcalf, magnificent) to a boil. Parent-child conflicts are nothing new in teen stories, but Gerwig’s perceptive screenplay slashes through the familiar types and tropes, daring to create characters that are complicated and flawed, yet deeply sympathetic. A.O. Scott praised the film’s “freshness and surprise.” (“Yes, God, Yes” is a similarly insightful look at the teenage years.)


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‘Rain Man’ (1988)

Dustin Hoffman won his second Oscar for his meticulously wrought performance as Raymond Babbitt, an autistic savant who meets his brother Charlie (Tom Cruise) for the first time after the death of their father. But “Rain Man” is not a heartfelt, tear-jerking family drama; it’s “a becomingly modest, decently thought-out, sometimes funny film” in which Charlie, a small-time hustler, has to drag his brother on a cross-country road trip to fight what he feels is an unfair inheritance. In retrospect, though Hoffman collected all the awards and accolades, this is Cruise’s film — he’s the character who changes between the beginning and the end — and it’s a marvelous performance, expertly revealing and exploring the psychological cracks in the gleaming golden-boy persona he spent the ’80s perfecting. (Netflix is also streaming the later Best Picture winners “Dances With Wolves” and “The Artist.”)

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‘Uncut Gems’ (2019)

Josh and Benny Safdie have all but singlehandedly kept the tradition of the grimy New York street movie alive in the 21st century, with films like “Heaven Knows What” and “Good Time” (also streaming on Netflix) explicitly recalling the sweaty desperation of ’70s Gotham cinema. Their latest is also their best, featuring a career-high performance from Adam Sandler as a diamond dealer and inveterate gambler whose eternal quest for one big score puts his livelihood — and his very life — on the line. Manohla Dargis called it a “rough and glittering thing of beauty.”

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‘No Direction Home: Bob Dylan’ (2005)

Martin Scorsese directs this exhilarating, informative and frequently funny chronicle of the early years of the folk singer, poet and provocateur born Robert Zimmerman but known to the world as Bob Dylan. Over its nearly four-hour running time, the film explores Dylan’s childhood, his immersion in the Greenwich Village folk scene, his groundbreaking “topical songs” and his still-controversial changeover to electrified rock music. But “No Direction Home” is more than your typical rock bio-doc (most of which are more like illustrated Wikipedia pages); thanks to Scorsese’s curiosity, Dylan’s candor, and David Tedeschi’s innovative editing, it becomes the story of an artist’s perpetual search for identity and truth. (Scorsese recently returned to the Dylan story with the playful Netflix original “Rolling Thunder Revue”; music doc fans will also love “What Happened, Miss Simone?”)

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‘Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution’ (2020)

“This camp changed the world,” we’re told, in the early moments of James LeBrecht and Nicole Newnham’s documentary, “and nobody knew about it.” The most refreshing and surprising element of this moving chronicle is that, title notwithstanding, the subject is not Camp Jened, the Catskills getaway that offered disabled kids and teens a “normal” summer camp experience. It’s about how that camp was the epicenter of a movement — a place where they could be themselves and live their lives didn’t have to be a utopian ideal, but a notion that they could carry out into the world, and use as a baseline for change. (Documentary fans should also seek out “Elena” and “F.T.A.”)

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‘The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson’ (2017)

The Oscar-nominated director David France (“How to Survive a Plague”) pays overdue tribute to Johnson, affectionately nicknamed the Mayor of Christopher Street, telling the story of her eventful life through interviews with friends and fascinating archival footage. And by framing her story as an investigation into her mysterious death 25 years before — an investigation led by Victoria Cruz, another transgender activist — France draws an explicit and affecting parallel to the violence against transgender women of color today. The result is both a powerful look at our past and a frightening snapshot of our present. (The vintage, and complementary, 1968 documentary “The Queen” is also streaming on Netflix.)

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‘Hugo’ (2011)

A film directed by the maker of such violence- and profanity-laden classics as “Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull,” and “Goodfellas” isn’t an obvious choice for family entertainment. But the source material for this 2011 charmer from Martin Scorsese centers on another of his obsessions: cinema history. The titular novel by Brian Selznick concerns a young orphan boy’s love of the then-nascent motion picture form, forged in the tiny cinemas of 1930s Paris. By exploring the boy’s unexpected bond with a bitter shopkeeper, Scorsese mixes heartfelt storytelling with film history. But it won’t bore the kids, thanks to the generous helpings of slapstick comedy, jaw-dropping effects and full-on movie magic. Manohla Dargis called it “serious, beautiful, wise to the absurdity of life and in the embrace of a piercing longing.” (For more high-spirited family fun, check out “Labyrinth,” “Rango” and “ParaNorman.”)

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‘The Florida Project’ (2017)

The director of “Tangerine,” Sean Baker, returns with another warm and funny portrait of life on the fringes, melding a cast of nonactors and newcomers with an Oscar-nominated Willem Dafoe as the manager of a cheap Orlando motel populated by confused tourists and barely-managing families. The script (by Baker and Chris Bergoch) captures, with startling verisimilitude, the anxieties of living paycheck-to-paycheck (particularly when the next paycheck’s very existence is uncertain) while also borrowing the devil-may-care playfulness of the children at the story’s center. Our critic called it “risky and revelatory.” (Fans of this risky drama may also enjoy “The Kindergarten Teacher.”)


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‘American Factory’ (2019)

Documentary filmmakers have long been fascinated by the logistics and complexities of manual labor, but Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s recent Oscar winner for best documentary feature views these issues through a decidedly 21st-century lens. Focusing on a closed GM plant in Dayton, Ohio, that’s taken over by a Chinese auto glass company, Bognar and Reichert thoughtfully, sensitively (and often humorously) explore how cultures — both corporate and general — clash. Manohla Dargis calls it “complex, stirring, timely and beautifully shaped, spanning continents as it surveys the past, present and possible future of American labor.” (Netflix’s documentaries “Icarus” and “Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang are also well worth your time.)

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‘The Irishman’ (2019)

Martin Scorsese reteams with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci for the first time since “Casino” (1995), itself a return to the organized crime territory of their earlier 1990 collaboration “Goodfellas” — and then adds Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa. A lazier filmmaker might merely have put them back together to play their greatest hits. Scorsese does something far trickier, and more poignant: He takes all the elements we expect in a Scorsese gangster movie with this cast, and then he strips it all down, turning this story of turf wars, union battles and power struggles into a chamber piece of quiet conversations and moral contemplation. A.O. Scott called it “long and dark: long like a novel by Dostoyevsky or Dreiser, dark like a painting by Rembrandt.” (“Once Upon a Time in America” and “American Me” are similarly ambitious crime epics.)

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‘Roma’ (2018)

This vivid, evocative memory play from Alfonso Cuarón is a story of two Mexican women in the early 1970s: Sofía (Marina de Tavira), a mother of four whose husband (and provider) is on his way out the door, and Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), the family’s nanny, maid and support system. The scenes are occasionally stressful, often heart-wrenching, and they unfailingly burst with life and emotion. Our critic called it “an expansive, emotional portrait of life buffeted by violent forces, and a masterpiece.” (For more character-driven drama, check out “The Two Popes.”)

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‘The Bling Ring’ (2013)

Sofia Coppola takes on conspicuous consumption, Millennial malaise, and upper-class entitlement in this darkly funny and stylishly thought-provoking true story (adapted from a Vanity Fair article by Nancy Joe Sales). Emma Watson leads a crew of young, attractive rich girls who spent years helping themselves to the homes (and spoils) of their famous neighbors, partying in Paris Hilton’s “nightclub room” and casually lifting Lindsay Lohan’s jewelry. Coppola refuses to condemn their crimes or apologize for them; it is, A.O. Scott wrote, “neither a cautionary tale of youth gone wrong nor a joke at the expense of kids these days.” (Coppola’s remake of “The Beguiled” is also on Netflix.)


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‘Private Life’ (2018)

Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti shine as two New York creative types whose attempts to start a family — by adoption, by fertilization, by whatever it takes — test the mettle of their relationships and sanity. The wise script by the director Tamara Jenkins is not only funny and truthful but also sharply tuned to their specific world: Few films have better captured the very public nature of marital trouble in New York, when every meltdown is interrupted by passers-by and lookie-loos. “Private Life,” which our critic called “piquant and perfect,” is a marvelous balancing act of sympathy and cynicism, both caring for its subjects and knowing them and their flaws well enough to wink and chuckle. (For more character-driven comedy/drama, add “Mystic Pizza,” “As Good As It Gets,” and “The Lovers” to your list.)

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‘My Happy Family’ (2017)

A 52-year-old Georgian woman shocks her family, and her entire community, when she decides to move out of the cramped apartment she shares with her husband, children and parents in order to begin a life of her own. “In this world, there are no families without problems,” she is told, and the conflicts of the script by Nana Ekvtimishvili (who also directed, with Simon Gross) are a sharp reminder that while the cultural specifics may vary, familial guilt and passive aggression are bound by no language. Manohla Dargis praised its “sardonically funny, touching key.” (For more critically acclaimed foreign drama, try “Happy as Lazzaro” or “On Body and Soul.”)

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‘Atlantics’ (2019)

Mati Diop’s Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix winner is set in Senegal, where a young woman named Ava (Mama Sané) loses the boy she loves to the sea, just days before her arranged marriage to another man. What begins as a story of love lost moves, with the ease and imagination of a particularly satisfying dream, into something far stranger, as Diop savvily works elements of genre cinema into the fabric of a story that wouldn’t seem to accommodate them. A.O. Scott called it “a suspenseful, sensual, exciting movie, and therefore a deeply haunting one as well.”

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‘Burning Cane’ (2019)

The brief running time of Phillip Youmans’s “haunting” debut feature is, in a way, an act of mercy; it is a story of such bleakness and melancholy, of so many lives in various states of distress and despair, that to dig in longer might be more than some viewers can bear. Yet “Burning Cane” is somehow not a depressing experience; its filmmaking is so exhilarating, its performances so electrifying, its sense of time and place so deeply felt that the picture crackles and vibrates like the old blues records that inspired Youmans, who wrote as well as directed the 2019 film. That he was a teenager at the time renders his work all the more stunning; it has the kind of richness and wisdom some filmmakers spend a lifetime accumulating.

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‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ (2006)

Guillermo Del Toro’s 2006 Oscar winner is many things: a lush period drama, a dark fairy tale, a special-effects showcase, a valentine to fantasy cinema, a harrowing fable of Fascism. Yet Del Toro’s filmmaking is so confident that the picture’s tone never wavers; he’s such a thrilling storyteller that we follow his protagonist (the marvelous Ivana Baquero) through every dark passageway and down every mysterious rabbit hole on her mystical journey through Franco-era Spain — and out of the clutches of her evil stepfather. It’s both scary and enchanting, terrifying and dazzling; “If this is magic realism,” writes A.O. Scott, “it is also the work of a real magician.” (Netflix is also streaming Del Toro’s luminous Gothic romance “Crimson Peak.”)

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‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ (1975)

The British comedy troupe Monty Python created its funniest, wildest and cult-friendliest feature-length comedy with this 1975 sendup of the legend of King Arthur — and of medieval literature in general, and of big-screen epics. Graham Chapman is Arthur, leading his Knights of the Round Table on a quest for the Grail, but the plot is merely a clothesline on which to hang blackout sketches and self-aware gags, and there are many. Our critic called it “a marvelously particular kind of lunatic endeavor.” (For more fun with Python, queue up “Life of Brian”; for more wild comedy, try “The Nutty Professor” and “Legally Blonde.”)

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‘Okja’ (2017)

A marvelously absurd, stingingly satirical and unexpectedly moving story of a girl and her genetically engineered super-pig, this Netflix original from the director Bong Joon Ho is the kind of movie that goes in so many wild directions at once — urban mayhem one moment, character drama the next — it leaves you breathlessly off-balance. Bong coaxes game and unpredictable performances from his gloriously unhinged cast, with particularly juicy turns by Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal. A.O. Scott raved, “Bong juggles delight and didacticism with exquisite grace.”

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Sours: https://www.nytimes.com/article/best-movies-netflix.html

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The 100 Best Movies on Netflix Right Now

Titanic. Photo: Paramount Pictures

This post is updated regularly to reflect the latest movies to leave and enter Netflix. *New additions are indicated by an asterisk.

With thousands of movies to choose from, and a navigation system and algorithm that don’t always make the right choice easy to find, it can be difficult to know what to watch on Netflix. That’s why we’re here, breaking down the 100 best movies on the service at this minute, with regular updates for titles that have been removed and when new ones are added. We’ve done the hard work, so now the only thing you have to do is sit back and, uh, watch all 100 movies. (And if you’re more of a TV person, check out the 50 best TV shows on Netflix.)

The kind of serious thriller that American audiences didn’t know what to do with when it came out, this 2010 Anton Corbijn film had a critical following but failed at the box office. Based on the book A Very Private Gentleman, it stars George Clooney as a contract killer in hiding who has to flee across Europe after his cover is blown. Tense and very smart.

The great Edward James Olmos produced, directed, and starred in this 1992 drama that became one of the actor’s most beloved films. It’s loosely based on the true story of the rise of the Mexican mafia in the California prison system with Olmos playing Montoya Santana, a rising gangster who ends up the leader of a powerful prison gang at Folsom State Prison.

Believe it or not, this is the last movie to win both the Oscar for Best Actor (Jack Nicholson) and Best Actress (Helen Hunt). James L. Brooks’ romantic comedy is a perfect example of a film that caught its cast at just the right moment, getting one of the last Nicholson performances that could be called charming and supporting it with great work from Hunt and Greg Kinnear. Some of it is a bit dated, but it catches just enough lightning in a bottle in terms of casting to justify another look.

Mati Diop’s directorial debut is a tender, mesmerizing study of life on the coast of Senegal, where men often venture out for more prosperous shores, leaving the women behind. It’s a delicate, beautiful film that plays like a romance, ghost story, and study of inequality all at the same time. See it before someone recommends it to you.

Joel and Ethan Coen’s Western anthology series was a part of Netflix’s brand-redefining 2018. Sure, Netflix still has a bunch of junk, but it also landed the latest from Alfonso Cuaron, the Coens, and even Orson Welles. This brilliant Western works as comedy, drama, and even a commentary on the Coens themselves. Don’t miss it.

Ridley Scott’s 1982 masterpiece was notoriously derided when it was released but would go on to change the cinematic landscape. Harrison Ford stars as Rick Deckard in the sci-fi noir, a film that changed the visual language of the genre and launched dozens of copycats. The original is still perfect, and this is the final cut edition of the film, the 2007 version that removes the voice-over, re-inserts the unicorn, and takes out the original happy ending.

Sofia Coppola directed this 2013 true story about a group of young people in Los Angeles who decided to start robbing celebrities. It’s an underrated dramedy about privilege and desire, filtered through the vibrant viewpoint of its filmmaker and talented young cast, including Emma Watson and Taissa Farmiga.

One of Steven Spielberg’s most underrated films stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abagnale, a legendary con man who became a millionaire through his crimes, and Tom Hanks as the FBI agent trying to track him. Charming and delightful, thanks to a great script by Jeff Nathanson, this is a movie that’s easy to watch again and again.

Is this the biggest horror movie of the 2010s? Not only did it make James Wan into a major director, but it spawned its own multiple title franchise with spin-offs like The Nun and Annabelle. Go back to the beginning and watch the first and arguably still best film in the series, a fantastic haunted house movie that revitalized the genre. And then follow it up with the excellent sequel, also on Netflix.

Guillermo Del Toro’s gothic horror film seemed to start building a cult following the instant it was released. Sure, mainstream audiences who came to the multiplex in October looking for a scary movie didn’t quite respond to it, but a reappreciation started quickly. After all, this is a gorgeous, unforgettable piece of craft, a reminder that Del Toro’s vision is unlike anyone else working together. Watch it again. It’s one of those movies everyone is going to claim they loved from the very beginning.

Barack and Michelle Obama executive produced one of 2020’s best documentaries in this Netflix exclusive that originally premiered at Sundance. It’s the story of Camp Jened, a summer camp in New York in the ‘70s that was described as a “loose, free-spirited camp designed for teens with disabilities.” This isn’t just a time capsule but a look at how support and community can change people’s lives forever.

Clive Owen broke through in this 1998 noir in which he’s so smooth that people immediately began suggesting he should be the next 007. Owen plays a writer who gets a job as a croupier — a fancy word for a dealer in a casino — and falls into the wrong scene. Smart and thrilling, it’s one of the more underrated movies of the late ‘90s, and a perfect vehicle for Owen’s charm.

Spike Lee’s first Original Netflix movie is one of the master filmmaker’s best works to date. The story of five men searching for gold in the jungle is more of a commentary on two wars that never ended – the Vietnam War and the struggle for civil rights.

It’s hard to believe there was a time when a historical drama like this could be such a phenomenon, but it shows you how much our times have changed in the three decades since its release. This movie made over $400 million worldwide on its way to seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Director. Known more now as the movie that stole deserving Oscars from GoodFellas, this is a better movie than its reputation.

Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar winner reimagines both the Old West and the Italian film series Django into something that only QT could make. It features one of Jamie Foxx’s best performances as the title character, a slave who escapes and teams up with a bounty hunter played by Christoph Waltz, who won an Oscar for his amazing work here.

Over 30 years after its release, Spike Lee’s 1989 masterpiece feels as urgent and current as the day it was released. After the unrest in 2020 and the issues of systemic racism that have continued to dominate conversations into 2021, many people have found themselves revisiting this classic and found that it has lost none of its power.

Leigh Janiak co-wrote and directed a trilogy of adaptations loosely based on the books by R.L. Stine. These great horror films tell the story of Shadyside, a small town cursed by a witch generations ago in a way that has led to waves of murders ever since. Smart, funny, and truly bloody, they first seem like mere homages to classic horror (and there are a ton of fun references for genre fans) but they also stand firmly on their own two feet.

One of the most popular comedies of its era turned its title character into a household name. The pitch is so beautifully simple: the most popular kid in high school takes the day off and gets into trouble in Chicago while driving his sister and principal insane. Great physical sequences mix with a hip ‘80s sensibility to create a classic comedy for the ages.

One of the best films of the 2010s is this heartbreaking character study from Sean Baker, a story of people on the edge of the Happiest Place on Earth as seen through the eyes of a child. It’s a beautiful movie with unforgettable performances and poetic realism throughout.

Long before he joined the MCU or played Creed, the great Michael B. Jordan starred in this true story of the death of Oscar Grant, a young man who was killed by a police officer of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system in 2009. Ryan Coogler’s debut, this is a powerful drama that examines issues of systemic violence in a way that still resonates.

One of David Fincher’s most divisive films has returned to Netflix. Michael Douglas stars in the story of an investment banker who is asked by his brother (Sean Penn) to participate in a game that’s incorporated into his everyday life. After he agrees, things get intense. Clever and incredibly well-made, it’s held up beautifully.

The Vulture choice for the Best Netflix Original Horror Movie has to be on this list too, right? Especially viewed in the wake of the phenomenon that was The Haunting of Hill House, this movie really works. It’s one of the best Stephen King adaptations on any platform, anchored by a phenomenal Carla Gugino performance.

It’s still hard to believe that Chadwick Boseman is gone. Take the chance now that this biopic is on Netflix to see one of his best performances as the late, great James Brown. The film around Boseman is a bit mediocre in traditional biopic ways, but Boseman throws his all into the role, as he always did, and gives Brown the tribute he deserves.

David Lowery’s experimental film is one of the most unusual movies you could watch on Netflix tonight. It stars Rooney Mara as a grieving widow after her husband, played by Casey Affleck, suddenly dies, but it becomes something much stranger and more ambitious when it becomes a decades-spanning look at a lost soul in a world filled with grief and trauma. It’s a beautiful movie about loss.

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Sure, Ridley Scott’s Best Picture winner is probably playing on cable somewhere right this minute, but now Netflix subscribers can watch one of their favorite movies whenever they want. It’s an old-fashioned action drama, anchored by one of Russell Crowe’s best performances and Scott’s unimpeachable craftsmanship.

If you loved Uncut Gems like most people (or even if you hated it, you monster), then you should check out the Safdie brothers’ previous venture, this crime drama starring Robert Pattinson. The actor plays a guy whose brother gets caught after a bank robbery and so he spends the rest of the night trying to get the money together to bust him out. Like Sandler, Pattinson has a nervous energy that fits the Safdie aesthetic perfectly. It’s stressful and exhilarating in equal measure.

Antoine Fuqua directs the American remake of a taut Danish thriller from 2018. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a cop who is being investigated while he moonlights as a 911 operator and the wildfires burn through California. In these already tense conditions, he gets a call from a woman who claims to be kidnapped. Can he save her with such limited information? Intense and captivating, it’s a reminder of how great Gyllenhaal can be with the right material.

Alice Wu wrote and directed a delightful coming-of-age dramedy that spins the norms. A loose retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac, it features a star-making performance from Leah Lewis as Ellie Chu, a girl who starts writing love letters for the awkward Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer). The object of his affection, Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire), turns out to be more than just a typical unrequited love. It’s a sweet and smart film.

Debate among yourselves if this should be on the movie or TV list, but it’s still basically the same venture that was released in theaters, only slightly reedited by Quentin Tarantino into episodes, so we say it’s a movie. And it’s an underrated one, overshadowed by the way it deals with race and gender when it was released. Just a few years later, it looks almost prescient about how divided the country would become, and it contains some of the best performances in Q.T.’s entire filmography.

Steven Soderbergh very rarely makes bad movies and he’s not about to start with Andre Holland and Zazie Beetz in his court. The two star in the first excellent Netflix movie of 2019, an analysis of the game on top of the game that makes the NBA work. The man who almost directed Moneyball crafts a razor-sharp, incredibly entertaining, and humane basketball/corporate-media/labor drama that will appeal to hoops fanatics and the sports-averse alike. And the entire thing was shot on an iPhone!

One of the best horror movies on Netflix, this Sundance darling is the tale of a pair of Sudanese refugees who flee to London only to discover ghosts have fled with them. It’s a harrowing, terrifying piece of work, elevated even further by its impressive commentary about how much people bring with them when they leave. Houses aren’t haunted; people are.

Any conversation about the best cinematic trilogies ever simply must include the DreamWorks films about Hiccup and his dragon Toothless. The original is still the undeniable masterpiece, but both sequels are nearly as good, including this 2014 story of how Hiccup reunites with his mother, voiced by Cate Blanchett. It’s a gorgeous, moving story of family and legacy.

Young film lovers may not know why Sir Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson are so beloved in the film community. This is a good place to start. Both are at the top of their game (Thompson won an Oscar, as did Ruth Prawer Jhabvala for her screenplay) in this gorgeous Merchant/Ivory adaptation of the E.M. Forster classic.

Netflix keeps cycling Martin Scorsese movies in and out of its collection, and one of the latest additions is this 2011 adaptation of Brian Selznick’s novel that was originally released in 3-D. Nominated for 11 Oscars (and winning five), this is one of Scorsese’s most acclaimed and beloved films, which should further put to rest any of those dumb insinuations that the legendary director only knows how to make mob movies. This is a whimsical, delightful film that you can watch with the entire family. It may not be in 3-D on Netflix, but you can still enjoy its endless visual glory.

Before he made Hemsworth your favorite Chris in Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi wrote and directed this adaptation of Barry Crump’s Wild Pork and Watercress. Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) has a new foster family, including a sweet foster mother. Sadly, he’s stuck with the surly husband when his new mom passes away, leading Ricky and Hec (Sam Neill) on an unforgettable adventure. Funny and truly heartwarming, this is a comedy that’s almost impossible to dislike.

The events in Minnesota and elsewhere in 2020 brought viewers back to this stunning 2016 documentary that works from an unfinished manuscript by the brilliant James Baldwin. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, it’s an exploration of racial issues in America that digs back through the civil rights leaders through Baldwin’s personal experiences and beyond. It’s a must-watch.

Charlie Kaufman wrote and directed one of the biggest and best Netflix movies of 2020, the story of a woman (Jessie Buckley) who travels with her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to meet his parents (David Thewlis & Toni Collette). Of course, being by the writer of Being John Malkovich, there’s a lot more to this than a simple description can convey. Trippy and deeply symbolic, it’s a Netflix movie that people are going to be talking about for years.

The great Wolfgang Petersen directed Clint Eastwood in one of his best films of the ‘90s, a blockbuster hit about a Secret Service agent who matches wits with a former CIA agent (played by John Malkovich) who is trying to assassinate the President of the United States. This tight thriller also stars Dylan McDermott, Gary Cole, and John Mahoney. It was such a hit that it landed three Oscar nominations, including the last one for Malkovich.

Bryan Fogel’s 2017 Sundance premiere was a surprising winner for the Oscar for Best Documentary the next year. It’s a look at one of the most shocking drug scandals in history, one that destroyed the Russian Olympic teams, and it plays like a thriller with the filmmakers there as every revelation comes to light.

Last year marked the tenth anniversary of one of Christopher Nolan’s best films, the story of a team of agents who can infiltrate dreams, led by Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s part heist movie, part Bond movie, and mostly something that only the director of The Prestige and Tenet could possibly make.

Sean Penn wrote and directed an adaptation of the non-fiction book of the same name by Jon Krakauer, which introduced the world to the story of Christopher McCandless. The young man, played in the film by Emile Hirsch, left everything behind, basically wandering into the Alaskan Wilderness, from which he never returned. It’s a lyrical drama with great performances.

Netflix’s most ambitious and expensive project to date is this 3.5-hour epic based on the life of Frank Sheeran, errand boy for the Mafia and friend of Jimmy Hoffa. Martin Scorsese directs living legends like Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci to some of the best work of their career. It is epic, elegiac, and unforgettable — a commentary on a violent life and, really, the filmmaker’s entire body of work.

The movie that ushered in the blockbuster era is often viewed more in terms of how it changed the industry than the fact that it’s, well, perfect. Seriously, you don’t need to change a single frame, line reading, or edit in Jaws, a film that works to raise tension from its very first scene. (The first two sequels are also on Netflix. Go elsewhere for the fourth movie, if you dare.)

Finally! After the massive success of Cobra Kai on Netflix, the streamer finally now also offers fans the original trilogy of films about the kid who learns karate from Mr. Miyagi. The 1984 original is still, by far, the best, starring Ralph Macchio and the great Pat Morita. Less successful are the 1986 and 1989 sequels, but no one would blame fans for wanting to watch the whole trilogy.

A man who likes to play God meets a boy who likes to play Satan in this twisted horror film from Yorgos Lanthimos, the daring director of The Lobster and The Favourite. Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman head the cast of a film that owes more to ‘70s psychological horror than slasher pics. It’s unforgettable.

Andrew Dominik reunited with Brad Pitt after their collaboration on The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford for this adaptation of George V. Higgins’ Cogan’s Trade. At the time, audiences wanted something a little more action-driven than this character study delivers, but it’s developed a loyal cult following since 2012 and contains one of the late great James Gandolfini’s best screen performances.

Greta Gerwig’s Oscar nominee is one of the most personal and striking coming-of-age films of the 2010s. Saoirse Ronan stars as a young Californian who longs for someplace cooler than her own hometown. It’s a heartfelt and very smart film, buoyed by great performances throughout, including Ronan, Tracy Letts, Timothee Chalamet, Lucas Hedges, Beanie Feldstein, and Laurie Metcalf, who was robbed of that Oscar.

Matthew Vaughn’s directorial debut is the film that really proved to people that Daniel Craig was smooth enough to be James Bond. Before he was 007, he was a character known only as XXXX in this story of a London criminal who is trying to get out of the drug business and having great difficulty doing so. This low-budget flick was a massive hit on the arthouse circuit because it’s clever and oh-so-stylish.

Also known as The Professional, this 1994 film was the breakthrough for Natalie Portman, who plays 12-year-old Mathilda, a girl taken in by a stoic hitman, played by Jean Reno. Luc Besson wrote and directed this taut thriller that also features a memorable over-the-top performance from the great Gary Oldman.

The brilliant Liz Garbus moved from her traditional form of documentary filmmaking to direct this 2020 thriller based on the book of the same name by Robert Kolker. Amy Ryan plays Mari Gilbert, the mother of a young sex worker who disappeared on Long Island, leading to the revelation that a serial killer has been prowling the location. It’s a unique true crime story in that it centers the victims and their relatives instead of the killer, who remains unidentified.

As far as our country still has to go, it’s worth considering how far it’s come at the same time. Take this true story of an interracial couple — played with beauty and grace by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga — who had to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court for their marriage to be legal. And that was in 1967. Jeff Nichols wrote and directed this nuanced, moving drama.

Chadwick Boseman is electric in his final film role in this adaptation of the beloved play by August Wilson. Viola Davis matches him beat for beat in this story of the recording of an album by the legendary Ma Rainey, but it’s knowing Boseman’s personal struggle, particularly in two emotional monologues, that makes this unforgettable.

Even people who have never seen this movie know the story of how Christian Bale nearly killed himself with weight loss to make it all the more harrowing. Bale stars as Trevor Reznik, an insomniac who spirals into complete madness. Brad Anderson is the best director you probably don’t know by name, and this is one of his best films, anchored by the complete commitment of its leading man.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1999 character study is one of the auteur’s best works, a study of the interconnectivity of modern life and the fallibility of human relationships. Coming not long after Boogie Nights, Magnolia really affirmed PTA’s status as one of America’s best filmmakers, and contains some of the career-best work of Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John C. Reilly, Jason Robards, Julianne Moore, Philip Baker Hall, and more.

The biopic is almost always a stale, by-the-numbers genre, but then you get movies like Spike Lee’s story of the life of Malcolm X that make the entire genre worthwhile. This movie is a powerful force of nature, driven by one of Denzel Washington’s career-best performances and Lee’s most ambitious filmmaking.

David Fincher returned in 2020 after a six-year hiatus from filmmaking and delivered one of his most ambitious works, an accounting of the controversy over who actually wrote Citizen Kane. Gary Oldman plays Herman Mankiewicz, the disgraced writer who was hired by Orson Welles, and, if one believes the movie, channeled his personal history with William Randolph Hearst into Kane. It’s a lavish production with incredible cinematography, costumes, and art direction.

Noah Baumbach returns to Netflix with his best film to date, the story of the dissolution of a marriage between a theatre director (Adam Driver) and his lead actress (Scarlett Johannson). The two leads also do the best work of their careers in a smart, moving piece of work about how divorce turns you into a person you never thought you’d become, and how you have to move on as that new person. It’s one of the best films of 2019.

This isn’t necessarily the best biopic on Netflix, but it has a timeliness and poignancy that its creators couldn’t have imagined when it was released in 2017. Not only is the fight for racial equality that Thurgood Marshall led still claiming victims, but one can’t really watch this in 2021 and not think about what was lost when Chadwick Boseman passed away.

One of P.T. Anderson’s best films, and one of the best films of the 2010s by anybody, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams. Originally seen as a dissection of the creation of Scientology, The Master is a lot more than that, breaking down leader/follower relationships, trauma, and doubt in ways that only one of our best filmmakers could. It’s a masterpiece.

The 2017 Noah Baumbach’s film didn’t premiere in theaters, instead going the Netflix route in 2017. Adam Sandler does arguably the best work of his career in this drama about how family can both connect and divide us, sometimes in the same moment. Sandler is joined by Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, and Emma Thompson in this must-see dramedy. Forget the Sandler Netflix Originals — watch this one instead.

Before they worked together on the stellar Selma, writer/director Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo made this phenomenal drama in 2012, the winner of the Directing Award for U.S. Dramatic Film that year. Emayatzy Corinealdi is excellent as a woman visiting a husband (Omari Hardwick) behind bars when she meets a new man who could end that chapter in her life.

Martin Brest directed one of the best ‘80s buddy comedies in this gem of a movie that paired Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin. The Oscar winner plays a bounty hunter assigned to bring back Grodin’s embezzling accountant, who stole money from the Chicago mob. Easier said than done. Grodin and De Niro have perfect comic chemistry.

Clint Eastwood directed the 2004 sports drama that gained such a critical and commercial following that it won the Oscar for Best Picture (along with Actress, Director, and Supporting Actor). Based on the short stories by F.X. Toole, it tells the tale of an amateur boxer named Maggie Fitzgerald, played by Hilary Swank, and the trainer who helps her go pro before unforgettable tragedy strikes.

Once set to be releases in theaters with the name Connected, Sony shipped this project off to Netflix, and the result is one of the most delightful animated films of 2021. Produced by Phil Lord & Chris Miller of The LEGO Movie fame, this wonderful film is like a hybrid of a family road comedy like Vacation and a robot apocalypse movie like T2: Judgment Day. With great voice work and vibrant visuals, it’s a Netflix original that people will be talking about all year.

Movies don’t get much funnier than the best offering from the Monty Python troupe, a comedy that spawned a quoting fandom that still roams the hills saying, “Not dead yet,” and, “I fart in your general direction.” It’s possible there’s a young generation yet to appreciate the comedic brilliance of the men of Monty Python. Start here and then move on to the sketches and other movies, some of which are also on Netflix.

Arguably Netflix’s first masterpiece, Dee Rees’s period drama is an epic portrait of racism, trauma, and injustice in the post-WWII South. You won’t find a better ensemble in a Netflix Original, anchored by Jason Mitchell, Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, and the amazing Dee Rees.

One of the most popular classic movie musicals of all time dropped on Netflix, a streaming service not exactly known for a deep catalog of movies from previous generations. This 1964 musical adapts the 1956 play of the same name, a riff on George Bernard Shaw’s classic Pygmalion. It features Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison at their most charismatic, and won eight Oscars, including Best Picture.

Movies don’t get much darker than this Tom Ford 2016 noir thriller with an incredible cast. The narrative folds in on itself in a way that makes explaining it here but trust that Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, and Michael Sheen know what they’re doing here.

Martin Scorsese directed this masterful documentary, one of the best music films ever made. It’s the story of the life of Bob Dylan, told over more than 200 minutes of interviews, archival footage, and analysis of Dylan’s impact on pop culture and even politics. Even if you don’t like Dylan, you’ll like this.

God bless Bong Joon-ho. The director of The Host, The Mother, and Snowpiercer — all of which you owe it to yourself to see — brought arguably his weirdest movie yet to Netflix in this sci-fi dramedy about a giant pig. Say what you will about the film’s flights of fancy — or Jake Gyllenhaal’s truly committed performance — there ain’t nothing else like it on Netflix.

No, not the Tarantino movie, but a film by a director who has influenced pretty much everything that QT ever directed, Sergio Leone. Once Upon a Time in America is the Spaghetti Western icon’s most epic film, a story of Jewish gangsters in New York City starring Robert De Niro and James Woods.

Clint Eastwood strengthened his own onscreen image with a Western that he directed back in 1976. He plays the title character, a Missouri farmer whose whole family is murdered during the Civil War, leading him to join a group of deadly Confederates, and becoming an outlaw after the end of the war. It’s classic Clint.

Arguably more fantasy than horror, Guillermo Del Toro’s masterpiece has just enough nightmare fuel to qualify, and that’s not even including the incredibly dark “real-world” themes with which GDT is playing here. Del Toro’s first Oscar winner blends the fantasy world of a girl named Ofelia and the abject cruelty of her stepfather, a Captain during the Spanish Civil War. Even in a movie that features a child-eating creature called the Pale Man, the real monster may be human.

We don’t deserve Laika. The geniuses at the best stop-motion animation studio in the world delivered the goods with films like Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings, but their best work remains this 2012 gem about a kid who can see ghosts. As Norman tries to end a centuries-old curse, this visually striking and ultimately moving work never falters once.

Some of Stephen Frears’s 2013 drama can be a bit trite, but then there’s the Oscar-nominated performance at the center from the great Judi Dench to ground it. She plays Philomena Lee in this true story of a decades-long search for a son she gave up for adoption. This emotional crowd-pleaser was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture.

Jane Campion directs Holly Hunter to her best performance in this 1993 film about a mute piano player and her daughter, played by Anna Paquin in a breakthrough performance. Set in 19th century New Zealand, Campion’s film was a massive hit when it was released, winning three Oscars — including trophies for both Hunter and Paquin. Note: Netflix is releasing Campion’s first film in 12 years, The Power of the Dog, in December.

Tamara Jenkins returned to filmmaking for the first time since The Savages with this personal portrait of the struggle faced by people going through fertility procedures. With an amazingly truthful performance by Kathryn Hahn, this is the kind of film that feels both delicately specific and universal to the struggle of so many couples.

Barry Levinson directs Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman in the story of a man who learns he has a brother who is an autistic savant after the death of his father. Both gentlemen are fantastic in a movie that’s arguably a little manipulative but should be watched (or rewatched) purely for the strength of its performances. The movie won four Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Hoffman.

Alfonso Cuaron’s deeply personal story of the domestic worker who really helped raise him is Netflix’s first nominee for Best Picture and a movie that has really altered the way the streaming service will be seen on the film landscape. It’s also a masterpiece, a heartbreaking, mesmerizing piece of filmmaking that really operates on Roger Ebert’s belief that great cinema is an “empathy machine,” a way to experience lives that you otherwise never would.

Look, it’s Thor and Baron Zemo! Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl play rivals in Ron Howard’s 2013 film about Formula 1 motor-racing, centering the famous rivalry between Brit James Hunt and Austrian Niki Lauda. The racing scenes are expertly made, but it’s Brühl’s performance here that’s the real reason to watch. It’s the best work of his notable career so far.

Richard Linklater directed Jack Black to the best comedy of his career in his 2003 movie about a guitarist who becomes a substitute teacher at a prep school and teaches the stuck-up kids there how to rock. It’s a smart, funny family comedy with a huge heart and one of Black’s most lovable performances.

Sometimes a director finds a cast at just the right time and that’s exactly what happened when David O. Russell tapped Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, and Jacki Weaver in this romantic dramedy. They’re all perfect, making this one of the more likable and easy-to-watch movies you could possibly bring up on Netflix.

Bong Joon-ho may have just won the Oscar for Parasite, but he had a hit before that with his 2013 sci-fi action flick starring Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, and John Hurt. It’s a brilliant allegory for society as a train has been divided into classes per car, and the peasants form a revolt. Visually striking and narratively ambitious, Snowpiercer is a film that only seems to grow in esteem with each passing year, especially now that Bong is a household name.

There aren’t a lot of great kids movies on Netflix, especially as so many family subscribers are moving over to Disney+, so we should take the chance to watch the best ones as much as possible. And maybe if you watch this very funny, clever Aardman movie over and over again, they’ll make more of them. The great silent comedy of Shaun the Sheep meets science fiction in this riff on E.T. that’s very sweet and very funny.

In 2010, Martin Scorsese released his adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s best novel, the story of a U.S. Marshal who investigates a missing patient at a legendary mental hospital. Scorsese is in full command of his skill as a craftsman in this riveting thriller that also co-stars Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, and Michelle Williams. It’s one of the most underrated films of the last decade.

Netflix added both of Tom Ford’s first two films in Nocturnal Animals and this excellent premiere, which features one of Colin Firth’s best performances. The Oscar winner (who was also nominated for this) plays George Falconer, a British professor living in Southern California in 1962. A study of sexual politics in the ‘60s, it’s a wonderful performance piece for Firth, Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult, and Matthew Goode.

This movie is a fascinating litmus test as to how people read cinema. Invite some friends over, put it on, and then discuss what Paul Verhoeven is going for with his story of interstellar killer aliens and, more importantly, the space force of beautiful people put together to stop them. Suggest that maybe there’s more going on than just sci-fi/action. Or just sit back and enjoy the ride provided by one of the most purely entertaining genre pics of its era.

Loosely based on a true story, TheStrangers is one of the best home invasion flicks of the modern era. It’s the terrifyingly relatable story of a couple, played by Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, who are attacked in their vacation home in the middle of the night. Made for almost nothing, The Strangers was a huge smash, tapping into something we all fear could happen when we hear a strange sound outside in the middle of the night.

Long before he tackled The Trial of the Chicago 7, Aaron Sorkin told at least part of the life story of Steve Jobs, the legendary co-founder of Apple, in this 2015 biopic. Michael Fassbender gives one of his best performances in the title role, but the ensemble really makes this piece, including Kate Winslet and Seth Rogen in two of the best performances of their respective careers.

The wonderfully talented Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead (The Endless, Spring) directed this 2019 sci-fi film that featured their biggest budget and most ambitious story to date. Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan star as paramedics who discover that a new street drug called Synchronic has some incredible powers, namely time travel. It’s a hard movie to describe, but something you need to see before your friend recommends it to you.

One of the best films of the ‘00s, Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Upton Sinclair’s Oil! won Daniel Day-Lewis his second Oscar as the unforgettable Daniel Plainview. As detailed and epic as great fiction, Anderson’s movie is one of the most acclaimed of its era, a film in which it’s hard to find a single flaw. Even if you think you’ve seen it enough, watch it again. You’ll find a new reason to admire it.

Remember when this was the biggest movie in the world? James Cameron’s epic became something of a punchline for people who want to make fun of melodrama, but Titanic is a truly great piece of epic filmmaking, leaning into the idea that a blockbuster should transport you in ways that no other medium can.

Paul Verhoeven directed this 1990 blockbuster that unleashed Arnold Schwarzenegger on a short story by Philip K. Dick called “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale.” Ah-nuld plays a construction worker who becomes involved in a crazy power struggle on Mars…or does he? Verhoeven’s blend of social commentary and undeniable craft with action have allowed this to hold up better than most thirty-year-old action movies.

Fernando Meirelles (City of God) directs this fascinating two-hander starring Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins as the last and current Popes. The majority of Anthony McCarten’s script is a conversation between the two in the days when Pope Benedict handed off papal duties to Pope Francis, using that context to examine modern faith and how it has to change in the new century. Hopkins is very good but the real draw here is arguably the best performance of Jonathan Pryce’s remarkable career.

Adam Sandler earned some of the best reviews of his career for this tense drama/thriller about a New York jeweler who has a little bit of a gambling problem. As he spirals the drain of life, he tries to sell a rare gem and make money on a Celtics playoff game. Vibrant and anxiety-inducing, it’s one of the best movies of 2019, and it’s already on Netflix.

This film just plays differently now given how much we all miss Robin Williams. The great actor stars in this 1998 fantasy drama that won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects in its rendering of what happens after we die. Watching Williams traverse the afterlife had emotional depth before his untimely death, but his absence makes it all the more poignant.

It’s hard to believe it’s been over a quarter-century since Johnny Depp starred with a young Leonardo DiCaprio in this truly beloved drama, a film that didn’t make a lot of money in theaters but has developed a following over the years. Whenever anyone asks about Depp or DiCaprio’s best performances on social media, this is a film that comes up in the conversation, in no small part because it earned a very young Leo his first Oscar nod.

Both versions of the Roald Dahl classic are on Netflix but take Gene Wilder over Johnny Depp every time. This movie is a beloved classic for a reason, carried effortlessly by Wilder’s charm and the Dahl’s unforgettable story. Everyone has seen this at some point in their life. It’s a rite of passage in childhood for a reason.

Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water) wrote and directed this 2017 mystery that premiered at that year’s Sundance Film Festival. Jeremy Renner stars opposite his MCU pal Elizabeth Olsen as the two investigate a murder on Indigenous territory in Wyoming. It doesn’t all work, but Sheridan has a strong sense of space and tension that keeps it moving.

David Fincher’s masterpiece is more about the impact of crime than crime itself. The fact that he made a sprawling epic about an unsolved murder is daring enough, but what’s most remarkable is how much the movie becomes less and less about figuring out the identity of the Zodiac Killer and more about the impact of obsession. It’s one of the best films of the ‘00s.

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The 100 Best Movies on Netflix Right NowSours: https://www.vulture.com/article/best-movies-on-netflix-right-now.html


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