Best Netflix movies: 41 amazing films to stream in September 2023

A screenshot of a promotional image of Maximus screaming in Gladiator, one of the best Netflix movies
Gladiator has fought its way back onto Netflix's movie library. (Image credit: Dreamworks)
Best Netflix movies: September 2023 update

Tom Power, senior entertainment reporter

In this month's bumper update, we've added Matilda The Musical, The Irishman, Gladiator, Memento, The Cloned Tyrone, and Watchmen. That takes this guide's film total to 41, which is a decent number of top-tier flicks to start working your way through.

What are the best Netflix movies? We're glad you asked. In this guide, we've rounded up 41 of the most successful and/or popular films that are available to stream right now on the world's best streaming service.

We don't mean to brag, but our list is pretty great, too. Our entertainment team has worked hard to sort the wheat from the chaff and settle on a definitive list of the best Netflix films around. That includes Netflix Originals and licensed flicks, all of which span the gamut of genres. No matter what type of movie you enjoy, then, there'll be something for you in this article. You can even use the navigation bar on the left of the screen to jump to your genre of choice as well.

If you're in the market for all of the new movies that have recently joined Netflix's film library, our new Netflix movies guide should be your first port of call. Otherwise, read on to get the lowdown on the best Netflix movies to watch in September.

Best action movies on Netflix

Extraction 1 and 2

Tyler Rake fights his way through a Georgia-based prison at night time in Extraction 2

Both Extraction films are available to stream on Netflix. (Image credit: Jasin Boland/Netflix)

For anyone looking for a non-stop thrill ride with some of the best action sequences we've seen in a long time, Netflix's in-house Extraction franchise is the one for you.

Marvel star Chris Hemsworth stars as Tyler Rake, a black ops mercenary with a tragic past. In each movie thus far, Rake is tasked with rescuing someone (or numerous individuals) from a seemingly impossibly situation, before leading them to safety as they try to escape any number of thugs, gang members, and other characters looking to kill Rake and those he's liberated.

Extraction 1 was a pretty good watch, in our view, and its sequel is slightly better thanks to its 21-minute-long, heart-pounding, intricately assembled, and dangerous one-shot sequence. Be sure to read our Extraction 2 review for more on why it's one of the best Netflix movies around, and then check out 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.

Fast 9

A promotional image for Fast 9, which shows the main cast leaning on some cars

Fast 9 took the high-octane action film to new heights, literally. (Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Fast 9 was a wildly ambitious entry in the Fast & Furious film series (find out how to watch the Fast movies while you're here). 

The Vin Diesel-led, petrolhead franchise hasn't been shy about ramping up the action with each passing flick, but Fast 9 took the series to new heights (literally) with its semi-space faring adventure, over-the-top car chases, and massive explosions aplenty. But hey, if people like watching that kind of thing, who are we to say it's too much?

Anyway, Fast 9's story is built on a simple (if you can call it that) premise: Diesel's Dominic Toretto and his motley crew are tasked with preventing a world-shattering event, which has been concocted by his younger brother Jakob (John Cena). It's preposterous and logic-defying, but still worth checking out, especially if you're a diehard Fast & Furious fan.

The Hunger Games

A screenshot of a poster starring the main cast members of The Hunger Games

All four Hunger Games movies are available on Netflix. (Image credit: Lionsgate)

Few film franchises have performed better at the box office than The Hunger Games. The dystopian sci-fi movie series, which is based on Suzanne Collins' award-winning novels of the same name, earned almost $3 billion globally between 2012 and 2015 – a monumental box office taking that's cemented its place in history.

Positioned as a young adult (YA) film series, The Hunger Games franchise tells a compelling and hopeful story about rebellion, the perils of reality TV and class/wealth divide, and the use of violence as a mechanism to make people suffer and to instigate change. It also helped that The Hunger Games' four movies are stuffed with thrilling and bloody set-pieces, plenty of drama, and an attractive cast comprising the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, and Natalie Dormer. 

All four movies are available on Netflix right now and, with prequel movie The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes arriving in November, there's never been a better time to stream them.


A bruised Hutch Mansel sits down at a table in Nobody

Nobody is a must-watch for fans of the John Wick movie series. (Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Are you a big fan of John Wick? You'll love Nobody if you are.

The 2021 R-rated action thriller, which stars Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul's Bob Odenkirk (both feature on our best Netflix shows list), comes from the mind of Derek Kolstad, who penned the first three John Wick movies. So, you know you're in for a good time with this one before you've even read its premise.

Comparisons between Nobody and John Wick are inevitable when you find out what the former is about, too. Odenkirk plays Hutch Mansell, a retired assassin who's thrust back into his former life when his family's life is put in danger when their home is robbed. A simple plot, sure, but you'll be enthralled by the creative action and familial themes at its core.

Interested in reading more about John Wick while you're here? Get the lowdown on that film series by reading our guide on how to watch the John Wick movies in order.

Best animated movies on Netflix

Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood

Still image of astronaut from Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood

Richard Linklater's coming-of-age space drama makes for mesmeric viewing. (Image credit: Netflix)

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

Pinocchio smiles as he looks out of a window in Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio

Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio is a superb stop-motion animated film. (Image credit: Netflix)

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

A screenshot from The Mitchells vs the Machines

The Mitchells vs the Machines is an epic animated film. (Image credit: Netflix)

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. 


Nimona stares into the camera with a mischievous grin on her face in her self-titled movie

Nimona joins the ranks of the greatest Netflix animated films of all-time. (Image credit: Netflix)

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 Brickleback attacks The Inevitable pirate ship in Netflix's The Sea Beast movie

The Sea Beast is a crowd-pleasing family-friendly film. (Image credit: Netflix)

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. 

Spirited Away

A screenshot from Studio Ghibli film Spirited Away

Spirited Away is one of many fantastic Studio Ghibli films on Netflix. (Image credit: GKIDS )

Studio Ghibli has an unbeatable selection of kid-friendly movies, and almost the entire archive is now on Netflix. Of the bunch, though, Spirited Away is arguably the most well-known (sorry, My Neighbor Totoro fans). It's about a girl whose parents are turned into pigs who then goes to work in a mystical bathhouse, is one highlight, but you could pick any of these and have a great viewing experience. 

If you're looking for more Ghibli films to stream, Netflix has a bunch of other flicks for you to peruse. Here's the complete list: Howl's Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo, Pom Poko, The Wind Rises, When Marnie Was There, From Up on Poppy Hill, Whisper of the Heart, Arriety, Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Only Yesterday, The Cat Returns, Castle in the Sky, Nausicaä, My Neighbors the Yamadas

They're all beautifully animated and most of them are deeply moving, with more thematic texture than you'd typically get from a movie targeted at kids.

Best children's movies on Netflix

Matilda: The Musical

Matilda and her friends look down from a roof top in Matilda the Musical

Matilda the Musical will have the whole family singing along to its soundtrack. (Image credit: Sony Pictures/Netflix)

Based on the hugely popular stage musical of the same name – which itself is based on Roald Dahl's beloved book – Matilda the Musical is a delightful sing-a-long comedy-drama that families will enjoy from start to finish.

Alisha Weir stars as the titular character who, after being neglected and mistreated by her parents, develops telekinetic abilities. With her newfound powers at hand, Matilda puts her abilities to good and humorous use, such as taking on the wicked Crunchem Hall School headmaster Miss Trunchbull.

Matilda the Musical is a wonderful adaptation of Dahl's iconic works. With standout performances from Weir and Thompson – the latter almost unrecognizable as Miss Trunchbull – too, it's one not to be missed.

Paddington 1 and 2

A screenshot of a hatless Paddington in his second film adaptation

Paddington is one of the most heart-warming family movies in recent memory. (Image credit: Paddington / Amazon)

We're just going to come out and say it: Paddington and its sequel – Paddington 2 – are some of the best family movies of all-time.

Don't argue with us. At first glance, everyone's favorite, marmalade sandwich-eating Peruvian bear didn't seem like he'd be the star of a truly terrific family-friendly film. As it turns out, though, Paddington (voiced with a deftness, warmth, and stacks of humor by Ben Whishaw) is a bonafide movie star – and his two CGI-cum-live-action movies prove it.

You'll laugh at both films' slapstick moments, you'll cry at its heart-wrenching (and heart-warming!) scenes, and shout "I didn't know they were in it!" at every big-name actor who turns up in the two Paddington movies. In short: go and watch these immediately.

Best comedy movies on Netflix

The Gentlemen

Matthew McConaughey's Mickey stares menacingly into the camera in The Gentlemen

The Gentlemen is a riotous comedy from director Guy Ritchie. (Image credit: Miramax)

Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen is, well, quintessentially Guy Ritchie – and that's a great thing. The British director's latest foul-mouthed crime caper follows an American marijuana kingpin's (Matthew McConaughey) efforts to sell off his narcotics empire. Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan, Colin Farrell, and Hugh Grant make up the movie's stellar supporting cast, with every character boasting their own brand of humor (and unique style of violence).

We previously reported on Netflix's ongoing negotiations to green-light a Gentlemen TV show, so there's never been a better time to get yourself acquainted with Mickey, Raymond, and the rest of this motley (though admittedly dysfunctional) crew.


Stanley Sugerman sits on a chair in Hustle

Hustle is an uplifting story about never letting go of your dreams. (Image credit: Netflix)

If you were a fan of 2019's Uncut Gems (also on this list), then listen up: Hustle, a surprisingly entertaining basketball drama, aims to deliver 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.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Nick Cage salutes Pedro Pascal's Javi as he arrives in Mallorca in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Nic Cage plays himself in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. (Image credit: Lionsgate)

As meta comedies go, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is up there with the best.

Beloved and eccentric actor Nic Cage stars as, well, Nic Cage, a fictionalized version of himself and a struggling actor who has been passed over for numerous movies. When Cage is offered $1 million to appear to be the guest of honor at a mysterious billionaire playboy's (The Last of Us' Pedro Pascal) birthday party, he reluctantly accepts. Little does Cage know, though, he's about to embark on a dangerous adventure that wouldn't look out of place in one of his own action movies.

With fantastic performances from Pascal and Cage – we never knew we wanted a buddy cop film starring the pair until now – as well as  a barnstorming plot that makes other action genre flicks look weak in comparison and dollops of humor, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is not to be missed. If nothing else, it'll turn you into a Cage super fan and make you want to watch all his other movies.

Best crime movies on Netflix

The Irishman

Frank Sheeran sits in a dark room in The Irishman

The Irishman is another very long crime drama from acclaimed director Martin Scorcese. (Image credit: 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. 

Uncut Gems

Howard Ratner shows off some Furby jewellery in Uncut Gems

Uncut Gems is arguably Adam Sandler's best movie. (Image credit: Netflix)

This sweaty-palmed thriller tells the frenetic tale of Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler), a jeweller and gambler who plans a gem sale that'll solve all his problems. Instead, Howard makes more and more ill-advised bets, and the walls begin to close in. 

Uncut Gems is a stressful but enthralling film with a really impressive performance from Sandler, not to mention a fantastic ensemble cast. It's a fascinating character study, as you watch Ratner begin to suffocate under the weight of his terrible decisions and inability to put anyone but himself first. A seriously underrated film.

Best drama movies on Netflix


Still image of Ana de Armas' Marilyn Monroe in Blonde

Blonde was as hard-hitting and divisive as expected. (Image credit: 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.


An official image of Ryan Gosling's unnamed character standing in front of his car for the Drive movie

2011's Drive is still one of Ryan Gosling's best performances. (Image credit: FilmDistrict)

Before he wowed us all with his unique take on Ken-ergy in 2023 megahit Barbie, Ryan Gosling made his name in numerous but no less terrific indie films, including this 2011 action drama.

Drive stars Gosling as, well 'The Driver', who moonlights as a getaway driver when he's not being a stunt performer during the day. One such well-paying job sees the unnamed protagonist hired by a debt-ridden gangster named Standard (Oscar Isaac). However, when the million-dollar heist goes awry, Gosling's character gets way in over his head as he tries to evade the authorities.

A hyper-stylized and gratuitously violent (but equally heartfelt) movie, Drive is peak arthouse action. Gosling regularly mesmerizes audiences in his films, but this may be one of his most stand-out performances ever.

The Hand of God

Filippo Scotti in The Hand of God

The Hand of God is a sports drama flick that's a pretty brutal watch. (Image credit: Netflix)

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 Luca Guadagnino's Call Me by Your Name, add this one to your watchlist. 

Little Women

Timothée Chalamet and Florence Pugh in Little Women

Yep, Chalamet and Pugh continue to feature on our best Netflix movies list. (Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Little Women chronicles the domestic lives of the March sisters – Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Pugh), and Beth (Eliza Scanlan) – as they navigate romance, family tragedy, and the pressures of adulthood in 19th century Massachusetts. 

Greta Gerwig directs this (seventh) film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's revered coming-of-age novel, which manages to stand out from its lesser-celebrated siblings thanks to a star-studded cast (Laura Dern, Timothée Chalamet, and Meryl Streep all feature), some poignant storytelling, and an exceptional score from Alexandre Desplat. You'll laugh, cry, and maybe even pick up reading again. 


A screenshot from Roma, which shows a family hugging on a beach

Roma was one of Netflix's first original films to make us sit up and take notice. (Image credit: Netflix)

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.

The Two Popes

An image of two popes walking together in the film The Two Popes

The Two Popes was an unexpected hit upon initial release. (Image credit: Netflix)

As soon as Pope Francis was elected head of the Catholic Church in 2013, people started asking when Jonathan Pryce – who shares a remarkable likeness with the Pontiff – might play him on screen. Netflix eventually made it come to pass, as City of God and The Constant Gardener director Fernando Meirelles took a peek through the keyholes of the Vatican. 

We’ll never know how accurate the portrayal of Francis's meetings with Benedict XVI – his more conservative predecessor (played by Anthony Hopkins) – really are, but The Two Popes is a brilliant odd couple drama, especially when the duo let their hair down to watch their teams face off in the 2014 World Cup final. 

The Wonder

Lib Wright looks back at the camera in The Wonder

It's Florence Pugh's world; we're just living in it. (Image credit: Netflix)

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

The Harry Potter collection

A screenshot of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley

All eight Harry Potter movies are available on Netflix UK. (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The incredibly popular Harry Potter films don't really need a formal introduction. For anyone who's been living in a cave for the last 15 years, though: they're based on J.K. Rowling's hugely successful fantasy book series, and tell the magical story of Harry Potter, a young wizard who attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Oh, and his increasingly dramatic and perilous conflict with Lord Voldemort, a dark wizard who wants to subjugate wizards and muggles (that's non-magic wielders) alike.

Given the franchise's worldwide fanbase, the Harry Potter films were extraordinarily successful during their theatrical run between 2001 and 2011. Cumulatively, the octet raked in $7.7 billion globally, made overnight stars of its young cast, and cemented Harry Potter as the cultural phenomenon of our times.

A TV series remake is currently in the works for Max, but we're unconvinced it'll capture the imagination, allure, and majesty of the films. Find out how to watch the Harry Potter movies in order, or read our Harry Potter movies ranked piece while you're here.


A screenshot of Mija with Okja in the latter's self-titled film

One of Bong Joon-Ho's first feature films, Okja is an absolute joy.

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


A still from the movie Gladiator in which Russell Crowe's character Maximus Decimus Meridius is in a sword fight with an adversary.

If you didn't enjoy Gladiator, there's something wrong with you. (Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Epics don't come much more epic than Gladiator. Ridley Scott's brutal tale of a Roman general-turned-gladiator scooped five Oscars at the 2001 Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best Actor for its star Russell Crowe) and, once you've sat through the journey that is its 155-minute runtime, it's easy to see why.

We placed Gladiator at a towering number four in our ranking of Ridley Scott movies (that's fourth out of a possible 27, by the way), and quite frankly, it's necessary viewing for any serious cinema lover and easily one of the best Netflix movies (albeit a licensed one). Altogether now: are you not entertained?!

The King

Timothee Chalamet's Prince Henry surveys the battlefield in The King

The King continued Timothée Chalamet's rise to super stardom. (Image credit: Netflix)

Another Netflix Original, The King stars Timothée Chalamet as Henry V, a young man forced to navigate 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.

Best horror movies on Netflix

Army of the Dead

A screenshot of a promotional image for Army of the Dead showing the main cast

Army of the Dead is one of Zack Snyder's best films. (Image credit: Netflix)

Army of the Dead was Zack Snyder’s first feature film after his 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.


A screenshot of the iconic poster for the Jaws movie, showing a giant shark underneath a surfer

Jaws is one of the greatest horror thrillers of all-time. (Image credit: Universal Pictures)

It's hard to believe that it's been nearly 50 years since Jaws horrified audiences worldwide.

Steven Spielberg's classic horror thriller, which sees a giant great white shark terrorize a summer resort town, may be a tad on the outdated side these days (well, from an animatronic perspective, anyway). But there's no denying that one of the multi award-winning director's seminal films has inspired countless horror films since, not least those set in the unsettling depths of the world's oceans.

From its tension-riddled plot, relatable characters, extraordinary technical achievement (again, for its time), masterful cinematography, and that iconic theme tune – all of which helped it to land numerous awards – Jaws is a must-see movie. Find out where it ranks on our best Steven Spielberg movies list.

Best mystery movies on Netflix

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Daniel Craig in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is one of the most-viewed movies in recent Netflix history. (Image credit: Netflix)

Knives Out wowed fans and critics alike in 2019, so sequels were understandably inevitable.

The first of those – Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – is another elaborate and highly entertaining whodunnit from director Rian Johnson. Buoyed by its excellent ensemble cast and a confidence carried over from its predecessor’s success, Glass Onion is even showier and bolder than Knives Out – though the film proved exceptionally divisive among fans of Benoit Blanc's debut outing upon release. Still, fans of the murder mystery genre, Daniel Craig, and Johnson will be silly to miss out watching one of the best Netflix movies.


Leonard Shelby holds a polaroid image up to the camera in Memento

Memento is still one of Christopher Nolan's finest works. (Image credit: Newmarket Films)

Christopher Nolan's second-ever feature film was a neo-noir brainteaser that left many film fans captivated by its mysterious story and brilliantly assembled non-linear narrative.

Memento stars Guy Pearce as Leonard Shelby, a former insurance investigator who suffers from anterograde amnesia, which results in short-term memory loss and the inability to build new memories.

Saying anything else would spoil Memento's thrillingly complex but highly satisfying plot. Trust us, go into this one blind (if you haven't had it spoiled for you in the 22 years since its release) and enjoy the ride. When you're done, see where it sits in our Christopher Nolan movies ranked article.

Best sci-fi movies on Netflix


A still image from Annihilation of its five women entering a forest through a force field

Annihilation is a surreal sci-fi film of the good kind. (Image credit: Netflix)

Ex Machina director Alex Garland helms this hypnotic adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer's novel of the same name, which follows a group of explorers – led by Natalie Portman's Lena – who enter 'The Shimmer', a mysterious, quarantined zone of mutating plants and animals. 

Sci-fi fans will find plenty of aliens to enjoy here, but Annihilation is also an ambitious psychological thriller that will leave you questioning the events of its final moments. Oscar Isaac also stars alongside Portman, which should be reason enough to give this one a go (that being said, the squeamish should look elsewhere). Stick this on your best Netflix movies watchlist ASAP.

They Cloned Tyrone

Yo-Yo, Slick, and Fontaine stand in a silver-colored elevator in They Cloned Tyrone on Netflix

They Cloned Tyrone is a slick, smart, and subversive sci-fi offering. (Image credit: Parrish Lewis/Netflix)

This genre-bending sci-fi flick launched on the same day as the cultural phenomenon known as Barbenheimer, so its viewing figures weren't all that impressive in the first couple of weeks post-release.

However, given time, people have realized They Cloned Tyrone is an absolutely brilliant movie. To discuss its plot at length is to spoil its biggest surprises, but here's a brief synopsis to give you a flavor of what to expect: "A series of eerie events thrusts an unlikely trio (Jamie Foxx, John Boyega, and Teyonah Parris) onto the trail of a nefarious government conspiracy in this pulpy mystery caper." 

We thoroughly enjoyed what it has to offer on multiple levels and our exclusive chat with John Boyega is well worth reading for a peak behind the curtain on its production. Once you're watched it, be sure to read our ending explainer on They Cloned Tyrone for Boyega's thoughts on its surprising ending.

Best superhero movies on Netflix

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

An official image of the main characters in Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on a Brooklyn street

Into the Spider-Verse is one of the best superhero movies ever made. (Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Spider-Man has had a number of great (and not so great) movie adaptations since 2002's Spider-Man. Few, though, can hold a candle to this 2019 film offering that changed the superhero and animation genres forever.

Into the Spider-Verse sees beloved superhero Miles Morales take a turn in the theatrical spotlight. In it, Miles is – yep, you guessed it – bitten by a radioactive spider, acquiring superhuman abilities in the process. Those will come in handy, too, as he looks to stop Kingpin from turning on his super collider machine and potentially destroying the multiverse as we know it. Oh, and they'll come in double-handy when Miles has to help a number of other Spider-People, including Peter B Parker and Spider-Gwen, return to their own realities when Kingpin's initial experiment goes awry.

It was a huge hit in late 2018, and its Across the Spider-Verse sequel drew even greater praise when it arrived in mid-2023. Both movies are funny, incredibly moving, gorgeous to look at, and tell a fascinating, original tale about the power of responsibility. Find out where they rank in our best Spider-Man movies list before reading up on how to watch the Spider-Man movies in order.


A promotional image for Zack Snyder's Watchmen movie

Watchmen is a fantastic superhero movie. (Image credit: Warner Bros)

Yep, another Zack Snyder film has made it onto our list. Four years before he directed DCEU movie Man of Steel, Snyder cut his teeth on another massive DC comic book property in Watchmen

Based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ legendary graphic novel, Watchmen is as faithful an adaptation as you're going to get. It retains the R-rated material that the comic series is renowned for, and felt so visceral that it really seemed like the source material had been brought to life – even if some of Snyder's choices felt a tad lacking.

The film’s altered ending was disappointing, given how accurate the rest of it was and Snyder has since said he’d change it if he could. Still, Watchmen is a great example of an adaptation with impressive ambition, even if it didn’t please everyone – Moore included.

Best thriller movies on Netflix

The Good Nurse

Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne in The Good Nurse

The Good Nurse shone a light on Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain's notable talents. (Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix put its penchant for true-crime storytelling to good use with The Good Nurse, which follows the murderous exploits of real-life serial killer Charlie Cullen (Eddie Redmayne). Jessica Chastain plays Cullen's co-worker, Amy Loughren, who would ultimately go on to expose the sadistic behaviour that led to the deaths of dozens of patients over a period of sixteen years. 

On the broad spectrum of Netflix movies, The Good Nurse is a lower-key affair than, say, Don't Look Up. However, its shocking story of gross criminal negligence is far more impactful than the big-budget drama of the streamer's recent blockbusters. Sure, it's far from an easy watch – but it'll stay with you long after its credits roll.


Kevin Costner's Jim Garrison stares right at the camera in JFK

JFK is a stellar political thriller. (Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Netflix has finally added JFK, one of the most accomplished legal thrillers of the 1990s, to its movie library. And we're glad they did as it's a brilliant watch.

The first of three films about American presidents from Platoon director Oliver Stone (the second and third were Nixon and W. in 1995 and 2008, respectively), this provocative courtroom drama examines the investigation into the assassination of John F. Kennedy by district attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner), who believed that there was a wider conspiracy to assassinate the US president beyond the involvement of Lee Harvey Oswald. It's over 30 years old now, but it's still as riveting today as it was in 1991.


Lou Bloom searches a vehicle at night in Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler sees Jake Gyllenhaal deliver a performance for the ages. (Image credit: Netflix)

Who doesn't love Jake Gyllenhaal? The Donnie Darko alumnus is a terrific actor who deserves more respect than he gets, and movies like Nightcrawler are proof of that.

Gyllenhaal plays Louis Bloom, a petty thief who begins masquerading as a freelance photojournalist to make some quick (and big) bucks selling graphic images to a local news station.

It might not sound appealing at first glance, but Nightcrawler is an unsettling, at-times creepy exploration of unethical journalism and consumer demand for grotesque material, especially where the biggest press outlets are concerned. Gyllenhaal is mesmerically dark as the film's lead character; a charming sociopathic tour-de-force who you'll love to hate throughout the movie's near two-hour runtime.

Best war movies on Netflix

All Quiet on the Western Front

A shellshocked soldier sits on the barren ground in All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front is not for the faint-hearted. (Image credit: Netflix)

It’s been a good few years since Dunkirk and 1917 reminded audiences of the horrors of war, but Netflix assumed that responsibility with shocking but beautifully-made WWI epic All Quiet on the Western Front.

Based on Erich Maria Remarque’s landmark novel of the same name (which was first adapted into a feature film in 1930), this German-language movie tells the story of a young German soldier (Felix Kammerer) whose naive expectations of fighting for his country are shattered by war’s harrowing reality. As you'd expect, All Quiet on the Western Front is brutal, vivid, and poignant – just don’t expect to reach its credits feeling particularly joyous.

Beasts of No Nation

A screenshot of a boy soldier from Beasts of No Nation

Beasts of No Nation is a hard-to-stomach war movie. (Image credit: Netflix)

We won't beat about the bush – Beasts of No Nation is a tough watch. No Time to Die's Cary Fukunaga directs this harrowing feature, which follows the journey of a young orphan (Abraham Attah) forced into becoming a child soldier by a fierce warlord (Idris Elba) during an unnamed African civil war. 

An adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala's novel of the same name, Beasts of No Nation is a masterfully-shot story documenting the human cost of conflict, and places the uncomfortable realities of war front and centre. This isn't one to watch with the kids, but sitting through its two-hour narrative is an enlightening, dare-we-say necessary movie experience.

For more Netflix coverage, read our best Netflix documentaries guide. Yet to subscribe to the streaming giant? Read our guide on how to sign up to Netflix, too, or whether you should cancel Netflix.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.

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