UPDATE: Mark Wahlberg's new Netflix Original buddy-action film Spenser Confidential has been added to our list of top trending movies on Netflix – find out why you should watch it below.
If you're new to Netflix and want to find the best movies to watch, or you're tired of browsing the app for 30 minutes before finding something to watch, you've come to the right place. With thousands of movies at your disposal, it's easy to get stuck in binge-watching mode, but finding the honest-to-goodness best films can be a bit of a hassle.
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Top trending movies on Netflix Australia 2019
In an effort to determine the best of the best, we've put together a list of the greatest possible films you can watch – curated by TechRadar editors and backed up with ratings from IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes – so that you don't have to sift through the muck. We'll keep this best-of list up to date with the latest movies that are must-watch, so you waste zero screen time searching.
Below, you'll also find a hand-selected list of the top trending newly added movies on Netflix Australia at the moment. Here's what we think you should be watching this month. Alternatively, you could also skip directly to your chosen genre via the drop down menu above!
1. Uncut Gems
Featuring Adam Sandler's best performance since Punch-Drunk Love, Uncut Gems sees the comedian go darker than ever before. This gritty thriller sees a New York jeweller get in way over his head with a number or gangsters, bookies and loan sharks as he attempts to pull off an enormously risky bet on the NBA finals. With a blaring and chaotic soundtrack that perfectly matches the chaos that's unfolding on-screen, Uncut Gems is designed to keep you stressed out for its entire run time. One of the most anxiety-inducing films you'll ever see, Uncut Gems is one of the few Netflix films that absolutely will not let you 'chill'.
2. Spenser Confidential
Mark Wahlberg stars in his first Netflix Original film with Spenser Confidential, an old-school buddy action film which pairs the actor with Winston Duke (Us, Black Panther). Directed by Peter Berg (Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day), the film follows an ex-cop named Spenser (Wahlberg) who gets out of prison and is wrangled into training up-and-coming MMA fighter, Hawk (Duke). Though he planned on turning his life around, Spenser once again finds himself in a whole mess of trouble when some of his old colleagues turn up dead. Eager to find those responsible, Spenser convinces Hawk to help him track down the killers. An action film with its tongue planted firmly in cheek, Spenser Confidential is the kind of flick that may not land on anyone's 'favourite movies' list, but should at least offer an entertaining escape for a couple of hours.
Watch Spenser Confidential on Netflix right now
3. Horse Girl
There are two (main) ways of looking at Sarah (Alison Brie), the lead character of Netflix's mind-bending new film Horse Girl: she either suffers from severe delusions related to inherited mental illness, or everything she believes is happening to her is actually true. While it's easy to lean towards the former, the film's screenplay, co-written by Brie and her director Jeff Baena, was written to be open to interpretation – the pair clearly seems to delight in throwing the audience off at every turn. It's helped in large part by a truly fantastic and deeply-committed performance from Brie, who is able to sell both versions of the film simultaneously.
4. The Irishman
A front-runner for the 2020 Academy Awards, Netflix's original film The Irishman may very well be the most ambitious picture of director Martin Scorsese's celebrated career. In order to tell the story of real-life hitman Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) and his interactions with Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) and mobster Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) over multiple decades, Scorsese employed a team of VFX artists to de-age his cast. More than just another gangster movie, the funereal latter portion of The Irishman indicates an older director and cast pondering their own mortality through the story's doomed characters. If you're put off by the film's length, don't be – The Irishman's three-and-a-half hour runtime practically flies by, and you're likely to be glued to the screen the entire time. It is what it is.
5. Dolemite Is My Name
For years, aspiring entertainer Rudy Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy) struggled to break into show business, mostly due to the fact that he wasn't particularly good at anything. Taking inspiration from a local homeless person's hilariously filthy rhymes, Rudy takes on the persona of a foul-mouthed pimp named Dolemite, immediately becoming an underground sensation across black America. Of course, it's not enough to break into the Billboard charts with his raunchy comedy albums – Rudy's got bigger dreams, such as starring in his very own Dolemite movie! Now, Rudy and his crew gang – portrayed in the film by the likes of Keegan-Michael Key, Wesley Snipes, Omar Epps, Craig Robinson and more – set out to make a film for the people, one which has pimps, drug pushers, blood, boobs and an all-girl karate army! Based on a true story, Dolemite is My Name is a true underdog story about making your own dreams into a reality, even if you don't have any real talent to speak of! If you love movies like Ed Wood, you'll love Dolemite Is My Name.
6. Marriage Story
A heartbreaking (and surprisingly funny) film that details a messy divorce from both sides, Marriage Story feels like writer/director Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale) publicly working through the emotional minefield of his own relationship breakdown as a means of therapy. Featuring a razor-sharp script that feels painfully real, the film is backed by career-best performances from Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, who somehow leave us rooting for both sides and hoping that both parties just find happiness.
7. 6 Underground
True to the film's marketing and Ryan Reynolds' amusing promotion across social media, 6 Underground is the most Michael Bay movie that Michael Bay has ever made. Depending on your taste, this is either the best or worst thing you can imagine. Fans will be treated to the director's most outrageously over-the-top action set-pieces since Bad Boys 2. Right from the film's incredible opening car chase, Bay seems committed to presenting immense destruction and a wanton disregard for human life, making 6 Underground the director's most violent and reprehensible film to date (which is great if you have a particularly twisted sense of humour). Thankfully, 6 Underground has a lot of heart, too, with Ryan Reynolds' billionaire character assembling a team of untraceable agents in order to forcefully stabilise regions of the world that are governed by murderous dictators. Whether you like Bay's films or not, it cannot be denied that the man knows how to stage a spectacular action sequence, and 6 Underground has many.
8. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Some people will say that Breaking Bad, which had about as perfect an ending as a groundbreaking TV show can have, didn't need a follow-up. Sure, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie isn't strictly necessary, but we'll gladly spend more time with these characters. In this Netflix Original event from series creator Vince Gilligan, we catch up again with Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), who's now on the run following the events of the violent series finale. Yes, you will see a number of familiar faces in El Camino, which essentially plays out like an especially cinematic double episode. In our opinion, El Camino is a fantastic bookend to one of the greatest series of all time, and fans should be more than grateful for the opportunity to revisit this world.
9. I Am Mother
A smart, slow-burn science fiction film that favours suspense over explosions, I Am Mother is more akin to the likes of Ex Machina and Moon than it is The Terminator or I, Robot. The mother in question is in fact a robot (voiced by Rose Byrne) who has been raising and preparing a young girl (Clara Rugaard) within a scientific facility since birth, with no contact with the outside world, for reasons unknown. Though the girl, referred to only as 'daughter', loves her 'mother', the arrival of an outsider (Hilary Swank) turns her world upside down with a startling revelation, forcing the girl to question her allegiance to the machine that raised her and its motives. Featuring a story that will keep you guessing, and an incredibly-convincing practical robot suit devised by Weta and performed by Luke Hawker, I Am Mother is a must-watch for sci-fi fans.
10. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
Netflix's highly-anticipated new film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is finally here, and while it doesn't quite live up to the hype it generated from its showing at Sundance, it does feature an absolutely magnetic performance from Zac Efron, who plays the depraved serial killer Ted Bundy. Told from the perspective of Bundy's former girlfriend Liz (Lily Collins), Extremely Wicked attempts to explain how any rational human could have fallen for the horrific murderer's innocence claims. Leaning heavily into Bundy's reported eloquence and charm, the film occasionally makes the killer of over 30 young women seem like an underdog, which may rub some the wrong way. Of course, that approach does serve the film's ultimate goal, which is to provide the viewer with an understanding of how someone as evil as Bundy could emotionally infiltrate a person's life to such a degree.
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