Tom Power, senior entertainment reporter
In our September 2023 update, we've removed If Beale Street Could Talk and The Other Boleyn Girl as they're no longer available. However, we've added a raft of new movies in their place in the form of The Dark Knight, They Cloned Tyrone, Jaws, The Woman King, Don't Worry Darling, and The Harder They Fall.
Hello and welcome to our best Netflix movies article. In this guide, we've compiled a list of the 39 best films to stream right now on the world's best streaming service.
Netflix's film library is packed to the rafters with fantastic and terrible flicks, so it can be hard to determine what's worth your time. Luckily for you, our entertainment team has put in the time and effort to pick out some of the greatest movies on the platform. We've categorized those choices by genre, too. If you want to jump ahead to the type of film you regularly enjoy watching, you can use the navigation bar on the left of this page to do so.
Looking for all of the new movies to launch on the service recently instead? Our new Netflix movies guide should be your go-to source. Should you want a more comprehensive rundown of what's on offer, though, read on to learn more about the best Netflix movies around.
Best action movies on Netflix
Army of the Dead
Army of the Dead was Zack Snyder’s first feature following his increasingly acrimonious split with Warner Bros, and it’s everything that his DC Extended Universe (DCEU) superhero movies weren’t: bright, colorful, action-packed, funny, and topical, even if its 45-minute introduction is a little self-indulgent.
Dave Bautista leads a strong cast as Scott Ward, a former zombie-stomping war hero who’s approached with an intriguing proposal by casino owner Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada). The assignment? Enter a zombie infested Las Vegas, break into Tanaka’s casino vault, escape with his $200 million assets, and Ward and his group will receive $50 million to split between them as a reward.
Yes, the movie is as chaotic as that plot makes it sound. And, with a sequel film and TV spin-off on the way, Army of the Dead is a must-watch for fans of gratuitous blood and gore.
Extraction 1 and 2
Looking for an unrelenting thrill ride that's stuffed with some of the best action sequences we've seen in a long time? Netflix Original film series Extraction is the one for you.
Marvel star Chris Hemsworth stars as Tyler Rake, a black ops merc-for-hire with a complex backstory. In each movie, Rake is hired to rescue someone (or numerous individuals) from a seemingly impossible situation. Once he's acquired the package, he tries to lead them to safety as numerous thugs, gang members, and other characters attempt to kill Rake and those he's liberated.
Extraction 1 was a pretty good watch and its sequel is, in our opinion, even better thanks to its 21-minute-long, heart-pounding, intricately assembled, and dangerous one-shot sequence. Make sure you check out our Extraction 2 review for more on why it's one of the best Netflix movies around, and then read our exclusive chats with director Sam Hargrave about why the film's one shot sequence took four grueling months to shoot and how he had Marvel to thank for that unexpected cameo.
Best animated movies on Netflix
Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood
If you’re keen to mix up your movie-watching diet, films don't come much more unconventional than Netflix’s Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood. Boyhood director Richard Linklater returns to filmmaking duties with this animated feature, which tells the story of the 1969 moon landing from multiple perspectives.
The movie shares the visual style of Linklater’s previous animation, 2006's A Scanner Darkly, and features the voice talents of The Super Mario Bros. Movie's Jack Black, Shazam! Fury of the Gods' Zachary Levi, and Top Gun: Maverick star Glen Powell. Despite its needlessly lengthy title, Apollo 10 1/2 is a genuinely unique take on one of history’s most iconic moments, and serves as yet more proof of Netflix's willingness to invest in boundary-pushing storytelling.
Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio
Who says Netflix has lost its taste for originality? With Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, the streamer breathes new life into Carlo Collodi's beloved 1883 fairytale about a wooden puppet who longs to become a real boy.
Shot entirely using stop-motion (in a manner akin to Netflix series The House), del Toro’s darker adaptation is set in 1930s Italy during Mussolini’s fascist regime and features a star-studded voice cast that includes Ewan McGregor, David Bradley, Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz and Cate Blanchett. Indisputably one of the best Netflix movies in years.
The Mitchells vs The Machines
Originally intended for a theatrical release, Netflix bought this animated movie from Sony and producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller – best known as the minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, and also part of the team behind Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. It's exactly as charming and funny as those movies, too.
Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson) is an aspiring filmmaker who's about to head to college – until her dad, conscious that they've been drifting apart, cancels her plane ticket and insists on a family roadtrip. Halfway through this fraught journey, an AI takes revenge on its billionaire creator and the world is suddenly under duress from smart robots.
A lot of Spider-Verse's visual touches cross over into this film, with 2D annotations and drawings on the already-pretty 3D visuals. Most of all, it's nice to see Netflix backing a family movie that's not just full of talking dogs and other hackneyed nonsense so often seen in CG kids' fare.
Based on ND Stevenson's 2015 graphic novel of the same name, Nimona is a delightfully fun, action-packed, funny, and heartfelt flick that's also unapologetically queer.
Star Wars alumnus Riz Ahmed voices Ballister Blackheart, a futuristic knight who's framed for a crime he didn't commit. The only witness who can save him from a lengthy jail term is Nimona (The Peipheral's Chloe Grace Moretz), a shapeshifter who Blackheart is sworn to seek out and destroy. Cue a wild buddy cop-style adventure that teaches kids to have an open mind about people who are different to them in more ways than one.
Nimona has been lauded for its LGBTQ+ representation, subversive storytelling, and gorgeous visuals among many other positives. A truly worth entry in our best Netflix movies guide.
The Sea Beast
The Sea Beast proved Disney doesn’t have a monopoly on layered, child-friendly storytelling upon its arrival in July 2022.
Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Chris Williams (Moana, Big Hero Six), the movie follows Jacob Holland (voiced by The Boys’ Karl Urban), a celebrated sea monster hunter whose life is upended when a young girl, Maisie Brumble (newcomer Zaris-Angel Hator), stows away on his ship.
Charming, action-packed, and beautifully-rendered, The Sea Beast was praised by audiences and critics alike upon release, and serves as further proof that Netflix should think twice about scaling back its animation department. If it still is, that is.
Best comedy movies on Netflix
If you were a fan of 2019's Uncut Gems, listen up: Hustle, a surprisingly entertaining basketball drama, delivers more Adam Sandler-sized surprises.
After discovering a once-in-a-lifetime player with a rocky past abroad, Stanley Sugerman (Sandler), a down-on-his-luck Philadelphia 76ers scout, takes it upon himself to bring the young phenom to the States without his team's approval. Against the odds, the pair must work to prove that they both deserve to make it big in the NBA.
That synopsis might sound like standard sports drama fare, but Hustle earned unexpectedly glowing reviews ahead of its muted release. Trust us: this is no Jack and Jill.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Monty Python and the Holy Grail did more for the satire and parody subgenres than many other comedies have done in the last 50 years.
A witty and biting take on the legend of King Arthur, Monty Python and the Holy Grail stars the titular and legendary British comedy outfit as King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable, who embark on a hilarity-infested quest to seek the Holy Grail.
If you're a fan of Monty Python, you'll likely have seen this one countless times over. First-time viewers, though, will cackle and guffaw their way through the film's rivetingly silly scenarios. The Black Knight scene, Knights of the Roundtable dance number, deadly Rabbit of Caerbannog sequence, and Knights Who Say "Ni!" moment are just four instantaneously classic moments waiting to be viewed. Just don't blame us if you end up endlessly quoting this flick long after the credits have rolled.
(NB: Monty Python's Life of Brian and Monty Python's Flying Circus are also available to stream).
The Nice Guys
Buddy comedies don't come much better than The Nice Guys. Director Shane Black's still underappreciated action comedy stars Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe as a private eye and a tough enforcer, who team up to determine the whereabouts of a girl-in-hiding (Margaret Qualley) in 1970s Los Angeles.
Reminiscent of Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights in both its setting and black humor, the movie is fast-paced, suitably adult, and a perfect example of how to elicit chemistry between two big-time leads. Gosling, in particular, is hilarious.
Are you a big fan of Family Guy and American Dad!? Ted, the debut feature film from Seth MacFarlane, the adult comedy series' creator, will be one you shouldn't miss out on.
Mark Wahlberg stars as John, a 35-year-old manchild who shares every aspect of his life with Ted (voiced by MacFarlane), his childhood stuffed bear that came to life one night when John wished for him to do so. The pair are inseparable and enjoy a hedonistic lifestyle, but soon find themselves at odds when John's girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) gives him an ultimatum: grow up and enjoy their lives together without Ted in tow, or forever be associated as the single guy who lives with his anthropomorphic toy.
A raunchy and hilarious flick, albeit one with a somewhat generic plot, Ted is a film that you'll either love or hate. With Wahlberg, MacFarlane, and Kunis all on top form, it's one we can't help but recommend.
Best crime movies on Netflix
This threateningly long Scorsese pic attracted attention for the extensive effects work used to de-age its old stars, and it's a creative decision that's sometimes distracting. But there's no denying the appeal of seeing Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino in the same movie together for likely the last time, and this life-spanning, mostly rewarding crime epic is a suitable tribute to their collective talents.
The Irishman follows Frank Sheeran (De Niro) as he recounts his long association with the Bufalino crime family and infamous union leader Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). It's a languid film – and not a patch on Goodfellas – but absolutely among the best Netflix movies the streaming service has financed to date.
Few filmmakers can hold a candle to Quentin Tarantino – and it's movies like Reservoir Dogs that showcase why. Tarantino's feature film debut is a masterclass in telling an engrossing, hyperviolent, and image-rich story; one complete with an all-star cast comprising – but not limited to – Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Chris Penn at the top of their game.
A neo-noir crime flick, Reservoir Dogs tells the tale of a group of diamond thieves whose latest jewelry heist goes awry, thus setting in motion events where each team member becomes increasingly paranoid about the other (there's a police informant in their ranks, after all) as they systematically return to their hideout to lay low.
A stone-cold classic that set the stage of instantly recognizable Tarantino motifs – pop culture references, tons of swearing, extreme violence, and visually arresting scenes (that opening diner scene and climactic showdown are beautifully shot) – Reservoir Dogs is more than deserving of its place on our best Netflix movies list. See where it placed on our best Quentin Tarantino movies list.
Best drama movies on Netflix
The first thing to say about Blonde is that it isn't a Marilyn Monroe biopic – not in the traditional sense of the genre, anyway. Instead, Andrew Dominik's controversial Netflix production plays more like a psychological horror movie in which Monroe (an exceptional Ana de Armas) is the troubled protagonist.
Blonde loosely chronicles the rapid rise to fame (and equally uncompromising demise) of the 1950s icon, but the film is also a hallucinatory thriller – shot mostly in black and white – about a young star haunted by her troubled past and swallowed up by the industry around her. Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, Xavier Samuel and Julianne Nicholson star alongside Armas in this divisive conversation-starter.
Call Me By Your Name
2017 was a stellar year for cinema, but it was Luca Guadagnino's Call Me by Your Name that perhaps left the greatest impression on audiences. An adaptation of André Aciman's 2007 novel of the same name, the movie follows Timothée Chalamet's Elio, a precocious teenager who develops feelings for his father's temporary research assistant Oliver (Armie Hammer) in 1980s Italy.
Praised for being an honest exploration of young love and a launchpad for Chalamet's burgeoning career, Guadagnino's film is one of the most beautifully-shot in recent memory, and a reminder that quiet and careful cinema can still triumph among today's superhero-heavy releases.
The Hand of God
The Hand of God marks the movie-making return of beloved Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, and tells the semi-autobiographical tale of a young man (Filippo Scotti, standing in for a teenage Sorrentino) grappling with the pressures of growing up in 1980s Naples.
As well as referring to the infamous goal scored by Argentine footballer (and Napoli legend) Diego Maradona at the 1986 World Cup, the film's title alludes to a tragic and life-affirming event that forces its protagonist to grow up quicker than he'd otherwise like. To say more risks spoiling The Hand of God's most tender moments, though the movie's beautiful locations, hypnotic camerawork, and larger-than-life characters ensure it ranks among Sorrentino's best work. If you're a fan of Call Me by Your Name, add this one to your watchlist.
Shortly after Licorice Pizza – director Paul Thomas Anderson's most recent flick – hit last year's awards circuit, Netflix added his previous film Phantom Thread to its library. This one tells the story of a dressmaker (Daniel Day-Lewis) in 1950s London who falls for a young waitress (Vicky Krieps).
That might sound like a potentially boring narrative, but Phantom Thread is actually masterfully-shot. It's also a poignant exploration of what it means to be an artist, combining Oscar-winning costume design with a stunning soundtrack (from Radiohead and frequent Anderson collaborator Johnny Greenwood) to rank among its director's finest work. One of the best Netflix movies, this certainly is.
Few sports drama moviess have been as influential as 1976's Rocky. The boxing movie, which turned Sylvester Stallone into an overnight star, is unrivalled in its exploration of class divide, underdog spirit, and iconic music (who here hasn't worked out to Eye of the Tiger or the Rocky theme tune?). It'll come as no surprise, then, to see it take a spot on our best Netflix movies list.
Stallone plays rookie boxer Rocky Balboa, a Philadelphia-dwelling individual who's given a once-in-a-life-time shot at becoming the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world by current incumbent Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers).
Simple thought it might be in its premise, there's a lot more working under the hood in Rocky than meets the eye. An emotionally and thematically deep flick, it's little wonder it managed to stun the world (typical of a Rocky film, eh?) to scoop Best Picture at the 1977 Oscars. Read our guide on how to watch the Rocky movies in order to find out more about the series.
An astonishing ode to motherhood in all forms, Roma is the most personal film to date from visionary director Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Gravity).
On paper, it's is not the easiest sell – a subtitled black and white film about a live-in housekeeper spoken almost entirely in Spanish and the indigenous Mixtec language. But Cuarón's 2018 critical hit is nonetheless riveting from a cinematic standpoint. More a series of vignettes than a traditional three-act story, it examines the life of a Mexico City family in the early 1970s during a time of great social upheaval.
Rush is a biographical sports movie about the heated rivalry between Formula 1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. The pair are played here brilliantly by Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl respectively in one of Ron Howard's best movies in recent memory.
The film portrays their rivalry as lucky playboy vs hotheaded strategist, and while it might exaggerate real-life events somewhat, it's a riveting movie. Along with documentary Senna and dad-friendly flick Ford Vs Ferrari, Rush is one of the best Netflix movies about racing.
Florence Pugh (Black Widow, A Good Person) proved her generational talent yet again in Netflix's unsettling drama-cum-horror The Wonder.
Set in the Irish Midlands in 1862, the movie stars Pugh as an English nurse called to observe a young girl (Kíla Lord Cassidy) who remains miraculously alive and well despite not having eaten for four months. Ciarán Hinds, Niamh Algar, and Toby Jones also star in Sebastián Lelio’s period mystery.
As period dramas go, The Wonder is an absorbing and fantastic flick that confirms Pugh's ability to embody every role she plays.
Best fantasy movies on Netflix
Everyone has a favorite Robin Williams film. As one of the world's most beloved actors, you can take your pick of multiple movies, including from Mrs. Doubtfire, Flubber, Good Will Hunting, and Robots.
Few of this flicks are as universally adored, though, as Jumanji. In it, Williams portrays the aged-up version of Alan Parrish, a child who's sucked (and subsequently trapped) in the titular supernatural board game, in the late '60s. When two new kids on the block – Judy and Peter Shepherd (Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce) – discover the same table top game nearly 30 decades later, they accidentally rescue Alan from his fantastical prison. However, they also let a bunch of jungle-based dangers loose on the small US town of Brantford, and have to clean up their mess with Alan's help.
Critics weren't thrilled with Jumanji upon its initial 1995 launch but, thanks to Williams' undeniable star power, it was the 10th highest-grossing movie of the year. Numerous TV and movie sequels have followed since, but this Williams-starring flick will always be the best entry in the franchise.
If you've enjoyed Bong Joon Ho's Oscar Best Picture winner Parasite, you might want to check out his previous movie, Okja, which is still one of the best Netflix movies on the platform.
It tells the bizarre tale of a young girl Mija and her best pal, an enormous creature called Okja, whose friendship comes under threat when a nasty CEO (Tilda Swinton) has evil plans for the titular animal. It's a refreshing movie with a nice angle of animal activism – a very different proposition to Parasite, for sure, but one that also demonstrates the director's ability to blend genres.
Best history movies on Netflix
Another Netflix Original, The King stars Timothée Chalamet as Henry V, a young man forced to navigate the worlds of politics, war and treachery after unexpectedly becoming king of England in the 15th century.
This one contains all the fanfare you'd expect from a modern medieval movie, and boasts an excellent cast including Robert Pattinson, Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris. For a reported budget of just $20 million (although you wouldn't know it), director David Michôd managed to produce one of the most engaging and visually stunning historical dramas around. Stick it on your watch list.
The Woman King
Set in the 1820s, this Viola Davis-fronted historical epic tells the tale of General Nanisca (Davis) and the wider Adojie tribe, the all-female warrior unit that protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey across a 200-year period.
Starring a number of other terrific Black actors including Lashana Lynch, John Boyega, Thuso Mbedu, and Sheila Stim, The Woman King is a weighty, crowd-pleasing spectacle that many have likened to Braveheart in its action, tonality, and themes surrounding defiance in the face of invading forces. A splashy popcorn flick, sure, but one filled with substance, as well as deeper societal and historical subject matter.
Best musical movies on Netflix
La La Land
Damien Chazelle's La La Land is a magical movie. An ode to old Hollywood and hopeless romantics everywhere, it follows two headstrong Angelenos, Seb (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone), who are forced to reckon with their own – and each other's – dreams of making it big in the City of Angels.
One of the most well-received musicals of modern times, La La Land picked up rave reviews almost across the board upon release in 2016, as well as countless awards for its performances, writing, and directing (although it infamously missed out on the Oscar for Best Picture). Put simply, La La Land is a must-see for film fans, and indisputably one of the best Netflix movies.