100 Movies on Netflix Right Now
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.)
Ava DuVernay’s documentary is named after the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which ended slavery. Her brilliant nonfiction work outlines the way that slavery has simply been reshaped and reformed into other societal elements, particularly imbalanced prison sentences and enforcement of laws that more directly impact minorities. It’s a searing, powerful piece of work.
Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar winner is one of the best films of the 2010s, a powerful examination of the impact of one couple’s separation on those around them, including their daughter and a caregiver hired by the man to watch over his father. It’s the first Iranian film to win the Oscar for Foreign Language Film, and a great introduction to that country’s excellent film industry.
About a Boy
Containing possibly Hugh Grant’s best performance, this delicate adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel tells the story of a grown man who learns how to behave in life through his friendship with a young boy. With great performances by Nicholas Hoult and Toni Collette, along with a script nominated for an Oscar, this is a movie that young viewers may not have caught up with yet but shouldn’t miss.
Across the Universe
Love it or hate it, you really need to see Julie Taymor’s romantic drama inspired by the music of the Beatles. There aren’t many big-screen musicals out there quite like this trippy, dreamy flick starring Jim Sturgess and Westworld’s Evan Rachel Wood, and Taymor’s theatrical background gives the whole film a larger-than-life magical quality, especially if you’re a fan of Paul, John, George, and Ringo.
All the President’s Men
Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford star in this retelling of the chain of events that led to the downfall of President Richard Nixon through the vantage point of the journalists who broke the story. More of an ode to the importance of journalism than anything else, this movie cast reporters in a light that made them feel like pioneers of justice. Think of the number of people who enrolled in journalism school because of it. And you have to love the tagline: “The most devastating detective story of this century.”
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Andrea Arnold’s 2016 teen epic about a runaway (Sasha Lane) who finds herself a part of a crew of young people bouncing their way across the country — including Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough — is the best movie on Netflix that you probably haven’t seen. With propulsive energy, an amazing soundtrack, and beautiful cinematography of the heart of America, this is a fascinating movie that deserves a look.
The Oscar-winning documentary about Amy Winehouse not only details the rise and early death of its subject but confronts viewers with the way that tabloid culture impacts celebrities who may be prone to addiction. Winehouse was a generational talent, but this is a must-watch not only for chronicling her ability but also asking who let her down, depriving the music world of that talent today.
The public opinion of Woody Allen has certainly changed over the years, but this 1977 romantic comedy remains one of the most essential American films of its era, winning Oscars for Best Picture, Actress, Director, and Screenplay.
*A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Steven Spielberg’s completion of a project conceived by Stanley Kubrick divided audiences when it was released, but most people have now come around to recognize it as a genre masterpiece. Haley Joel Osment stars as a David, an artificial boy who longs to be real, in a film that now feels ahead of its time in its representation of impactful climate change and the role that technology plays in our lives. If you haven’t seen it in the nearly two decades since it was released, you should revisit.
As Good As It Gets
Very few films have won Oscars for both Best Actor and Best Actress. In fact, this romantic comedy, for which stars Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt both took home the big trophies, is the last time it happened. It’s a great example of a film that plays perfectly to the strengths of both of its stars.
Netflix is clearly prepping subscribers for Martin Scorcese’s upcoming Netflix-exclusive film The Irishman by including several of his most beloved films (see: The Departed, also on this list). This one has slid a bit under the history’s radar, not being talked about as much as it should. It’s a technical marvel for the plane-crash scene alone and includes one of Scorsese’s best ensembles, including his old pal Leo alongside Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, and Jude Law, just to name a few.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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.
With the one-two punch of Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, it sure looked like the saga of Bruce Wayne was going to be exiled from filmdom for at least a generation or two. Then Christopher Nolan came along and redefined the way superhero films were made. His landmark trilogy started here with a spin on the origin story that didn’t treat viewers like children.
Take advantage of this opportunity before Disney+ guts all the Marvel and Disney movie options from every streaming service on the planet. The first MCU movie to win an Oscar is one of the best superhero movies of all time, and a movie that holds up incredibly well on repeat viewing. This isn’t just an action movie, it’s a cultural event — something that redefined and reshaped the superhero genre for the rest of time.
Bonnie and Clyde
Forget the bland Netflix Original The Highwaymen and go back to Arthur Penn’s 1967 masterpiece that helped define the legend of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. One of the most important films of its generation, this telling of one of crime’s most infamous duos stars Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. It was landmark in its violence in 1967 and it’s still powerful five decades later.
Filmed in pieces over a 12-year span, Boyhood is one of the most ambitious films of the ‘10s, and one of the few films to notch an almost-impossible 100 on Metacritic. When people start listing the essential films of the decade in a few months, this will be on it. Make sure you’ve seen it.
The best foreign-language film of 2018 is already on Netflix, hopefully indicating a deeper commitment by the company to present the best of international cinema to American audiences. Lee Chang-dong adapts a novella by Haruki Murakami into a riveting dissection of class and gender in modern Korea. Steven Yeun is mesmerizing as the mysterious Ben, someone who our protagonist starts to think might be a killer. Don’t miss this one.
Maybe you’ve seen FX’s amazing Fosse/Verdon and it made you intrigued about Fosse’s Oscar-winning masterpiece, a movie that an amazing eight Academy Awards, including Best Actress (Liza Minnelli), Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey), and Best Director (Bob Fosse) — but actually holds the title of most awards without a win for Best Picture (it lost to a little movie called The Godfather). Proof that musicals don’t always have to be flashy, crowdpleasing affairs, Cabaret is an ambitious piece of work and the new show allows a deeper reading of it and how it reflected Fosse’s life. Take the chance to do so.
One of the most quotable comedies of all time makes its way to Netflix to encourage young subscribers to watch movies made before 1990. This one definitely has some funny dialogue and one-liners, but it’s also a phenomenal example of how far casting can go to make a classic comedy. Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Ted Knight, and Rodney Dangerfield weren’t just hysterical here, they were all perfectly cast to play off their comedy reputations. Most of all, it’s still damn funny.
Todd Haynes’s heartrending romance is one of the most lusciously beautiful films of the ‘10s, anchored by a pair of perfect performances from Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Whether or not you are drawn to the doomed love affair at its center, this is a gorgeous film on a technical level. Watch it in HD and turn up that perfect score.
Stephen King has arguably never been bigger than he is in 2019 with films like Pet Sematary and It: Chapter Two, and a new book in the Fall. Use this Brian De Palma masterpiece to flash back to a time when King wasn’t yet a household name. Sissy Spacek gives one of her best performances as the title character, a bullied girl who discovers that she’s not your ordinary teenager. This is still one of the best King adaptations of all time.
*Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Star power doesn’t get much more blinding than Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Neman in this classic 1958 adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tennessee Williams play. Believe it or not, there was a time when adult dramas like this could be popular enough to end the year as one of the ten highest-grossing films. Yes, the source is great, but the success of this was all about Newman and Taylor, perfectly cast as an alcoholic former athlete trying to find a bit of lost glory and a wife who is increasingly coming to hate him. It was nominated for six Oscars, including Picture, Director, and for both of its timeless stars.
It’s amazing that a studio ever gave a movie this unabashedly bizarre a huge budget but that’s what happened for the Wachowskis’ 2012 adaptation of David Mitchell’s masterful book. When it was released, the film barely made a dent at the box office domestically and polarized critics, but it has built a loyal following over the years since. Don’t be surprised if it shows up on a few “best of the decade” lists. People who love this movie, really love this movie. See if you’re one of them.
There aren’t a lot of Oscar-winning animated movies on Netflix. Sure, there are hours of options in the kids’ section of Netflix, but most of it is mindless garbage. So if you’re tired of letting your little ones watch nonsense, sit them down in front of one of the best animated movies of the last few years. This is a delicate, sweet, heartfelt movie about love and ancestry that would also be on a list of surefire tearjerkers now on Netflix.
The most notable horror franchise of the ‘10s (if you include massive spin-offs like Annabelle and The Nun) started here with the story of Ed and Lorraine Warren and a very haunted house. James Wan’s brilliant use of space and a great ensemble would really change the horror genre in ways reflected all across movies today.
We don’t deserve Laika. The company behind Kubo and the Two Strings and ParaNorman has never made a bad movie, but this is the only one on Netflix as of right now, a beautifully refined adaptation of a Neil Gaiman book. Lyrical, scary, and unforgettable, this is stop-motion animation for the whole family.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Ang Lee’s martial arts epic was an absolute phenomenon when it came out, domestically grossing more than any foreign language film in history on its way to ten Academy Award nominations. It’s held up marvelously, a cinematic explosion of color and passion for filmmaking. If you haven’t seen it since it took the world by storm, it’s time for a rewatch.
The Dark Crystal
An entire generation was scarred by this 1982 Jim Henson and Frank Oz vision, a world that is being revived for a Netflix series on August 30th, 2019. If you haven’t seen The Dark Crystal since it scarred you as a child, it’s time to revisit the land of Gelflings and Skeksis. In an era in which it feels like so much filmmaking aimed at children is safe and produced for mass enjoyment, this kind of creative, fascinating family entertainment feels even rarer than ever. It’s daring in terms of its visuals and pure in its storytelling. It’s not just a great family movie. It’s a great movie, period.
The Dark Knight
Maybe you’ve heard of it? Probably one of the most popular films on streaming, Christopher Nolan’s 2008 blockbuster redefined not just the superhero movie but the blockbuster altogether. Winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, The Dark Knight redefined critical acceptance of an oft-maligned genre, and movies haven’t really been the same since it premiered. It’s arguably the most influential film of its era.
Some of the elements of this American classic have been diluted through parody in the years since its release but don’t let that dissuade those of you who haven’t seen it. Burt Reynolds does arguably his best film work as one of four men assaulted and traumatized by mountain men in a film that truly went places that major movies hadn’t done before. It’s a powerful, harrowing piece of work.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Julian Schnabel’s heartbreaking drama tells the true story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, a magazine editor who suffered a stroke that was so debilitating that he could only move his left eye. He then wrote an entire book about being locked in his own body, using only eye movement on a screen to form the words. It’s a beautiful, poetic piece of work about the triumph of the human spirit.
East of Eden
Look, another classic! Elia Kazan’s 1955 adaptation of the John Steinbeck classic stars James Dean in a performance for which he was posthumously nominated for an Oscar. The Dean legend may center more on his persona from Rebel Without a Cause, but his work here displays the range that we never got to see fulfilled.
Alex Garland’s sci-fi masterpiece already feels like a classic. Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, and Oscar Isaac star in an examination of the future of artificial intelligence, what it means to be a human being, and how often men seek to control that which they create. It’s a movie that gets better every time you see it.
David O. Russell’s dramatization of the true story of boxer Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) won Oscars for both of its supporting players — Melissa Leo and a transformed Christian Bale. It’s got some beats that already make it feel older than just 2010 but the great cast holds it together.
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Remember when romantic comedies weren’t basically the exclusive territory of Netflix Original movies? It’s hard to believe now, but Mike Newell’s Four Weddings and a Funeral was a legitimate phenomenon, grossing more than any U.K.-produced film in history at the time of its release and earning an Oscar nomination for Best Picture! Why was it such a hit? A lot of the success of great rom-coms comes down to casting, and Newell got Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell at their most absolutely charming.
Before there was Lady Bird, there was Frances Ha, another semi-autobiographical comedy starring and co-written by Greta Gerwig. The delightful actress plays a woman dealing with a quarter-life crisis in NYC in one of Noah Baumbach’s best films.
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.
Good Night, and Good Luck
Long before we had to deal with the concept of Fake News and attacks on journalists, George Clooney directed what is basically a tribute to one of the news industry’s most important figures: Edward R. Murrow. Clooney’s best directorial work earned him an Oscar nomination, along with a nod for star David Straithairn, a great performer never better than he is here as a man caught up in Joseph McCarthy’s Red Scare and a changing industry.