Best Netflix movies in January 2023

(L to R) Daniel Craig as Detective Benoit Blanc and Janelle Monáe as Andi in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
(Image credit: John Wilson/NETFLIX)

Netflix may not house your favorite iconic TV show anymore, but the best Netflix movies help ease the pain. And it keeps adding top choices, which you can learn about in our new on Netflix roundup. 

Yes, while Netflix's own movies have a wildly erratic ratio of good to bad, the service is sticking to its original model of bringing in movies it hasn't made. The former, though, often appear in our list of new movies and shows to watch this weekend). The next big new movie to watch on Netflix stars Jonah Hill and Eddie Murphy.

This is why we keep looking through what's been added to Netflix to see what to add here, because Netflix is still one of the best streaming services because stays true to its core competency of offering high-quality films that it didn't make. (You can also check out Netflix's secret codes that can unlock new categories for you). 

Looking to the future, the big list of new Netflix movies for 2023 is stacked with stars. Also, a Netflix Gears of War movie is coming, and we bet that will dominate the Netflix Top 10 chart.

Our list of the best Netflix movies have something for everyone, no matter their taste. Maybe you want to catch a laugh-out-loud comedy, a serious drama, action thriller or provocative documentary. Just know that Netflix with ads is terrible for movies, much worse than TV shows. And if you run out of titles, try the best movies on Amazon Prime Video or the best Hulu movies next.

Some of our top picks include the beloved Spider-Man 2 and Aaron Sorkin's legal drama The Trial of the Chicago 7. This list used to have the excellent Call Me By Your Name, It and Casino Royale, but they just left.

You'll also want to check out guide to the best Netflix shows for more ways to make the most of your Netflix account.

The best movies on Netflix to stream now

Emily the Criminal (2022)

Aubrey Plaza as Emily Benetto in EMILY THE CRIMINAL (2022)

(Image credit: Album / Alamy Stock Photo)

Student debt is a weight that many carry for decades, and that issue, plus other financial stress and a light criminal record mean Emily Benetto (Plaza) can barely live a normal life. Desperate to break free from her situation, Emily finds employment in the underground economy of "dummy shoppers" who buy goods with stolen credit cards. Plaza has been decorated with critical acclaim for this performance that shows she's more than just a sarcastic character actor on your favorite sitcom.

Genre: Crime drama
Rotten Tomatoes score:
94%
Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Theo Rossi, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Jonathan Avigdori
Director: John Patton Ford
Watch now (opens in new tab)

All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

Felix Kammerer in All Quiet on the Western Front

(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix's 2022 version of All Quiet on The Western Front does the improbable: it actually earns a space alongside the 1930 original film.  For those unfamiliar, the movie tracks 17-year-old Paul Bäumer (Kammerer), who is compelled to enlist to serve in the Imperial German Army for the First World War. He enters the battlefield with a mind filled with propaganda, but soon realizes his dreams of being an iconic hero reached too far. A tough and emotionally-gripping movie that will have you as uncomfortable and compelled to keep watching. It's one of the 9 best Oscar movies to stream online with 90% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes.

Genre: War
Rotten Tomatoes score:
91%
Stars: Daniel Brühl, Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch, Aaron Hilmer
Director: Edward Berger
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)

Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

(Image credit: Netflix)

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery may not be streaming on Netflix this minute, but having paid to see it in theaters, I can give it a strong recommendation. In fact, I think you should see this film on Netflix, rather than spend time and money to see Benoit Blanc's latest mystery in theaters. This sequel finds the southern sleuth on a private island in Greece where a wealthy tech mogul is pretending to get killed to set up a murder mystery for his friends, a group of influencers who call themselves disruptors. Funny, engaging and serpentine in its mystery, Glass Onion is the latest piece of proof that director Rian Johnson can do no wrong.

Genre: Comedic noir
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Stars: Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Dave Bautista, Janelle Monae, Kate Hudson, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr.
Director: Rian Johnson
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Minority Report (2002) 

A still showing Tom Cruise in the movie Minority Report.

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox/Dreamworks)

Paul Anderson (Cruise) is the head of a Precrime unit of policing that uses a trio of psychics to predict when crimes will be committed, and who will commit them. And, of course, Anderson's accused of a murder he has no idea how he could commit, since he doesn't even know the victim yet.

This Philip K. Dick's story this film was based on had been sitting there, waiting for the technology to be ready for the pitch-perfect adaptation. And in 2002, Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg pulled the trigger at the perfect time, creating a movie that would be referenced forever. 

Genre: Sci-fi action thriller
Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%
Stars: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Max von Sydow, Peter Stormare
Director: Steven Spielberg
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Descendant (2022)

Clotilda descendants and community activists stand in a room in Descendant

(Image credit: Participant/Courtesy of Netflix)

Netflix's documentaries are mostly known for the true crime stories, and while Descendant is technically one of those, it's far from the cold case stories that chart on the streaming service. One of the best Netflix movies in years, this film tells the untold story of the Clotilda, the last known ship to smuggle stolen Africans to America — through the descendants of its captive passengers. Currently, they live in a region known as Africatown (found near Mobile, Alabama), and this film shows their fight to keep their communal story from being forgotten. Hidden after the Clotilda was burned and sunk to destroy evidence of this all even happening, the stories out of Africatown are as important as any Netflix has told.

Genre: Documentary
Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%
Director: Margaret Brown
Watch now (opens in new tab)

The Aviator (2004) 

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator, one of the best movies on Netflix

(Image credit: AJ Pics / Alamy Stock Photo)

Aviation magnate Howard Hughes' manic energy was captured perfectly by Leonardo DiCaprio in one of the many performances that assured the star's place in film. Here, he plays a magnate on the path from eccentric tycoon to unhinged recluse, giving him ample history to chew on. But for DiCaprio's performance, you can almost boil it all down to how he delivers the line "way of the future," as he sinks further into madness. Cate Blanchett also impressed with her take on Katharine Hepburn, and the movie all flows together — well enough, at least — in spite of its 2-hour, 46-minute runtime. 

Genre: Drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsdale, John C. Reilly, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law
Director:
Martin Scorsese
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

(L to R) Quentin Tarantino as Mr. Brown, Steve Buscemi as Mr. Pink and Harvey Keitel as Mr. White in Reservoir Dogs, one of the best movies on Netflix

(Image credit: TCD/Prod.DB / Alamy Stock Photo)

Which filmmakers come out of the gate with a debut movie as strong as Reservoir Dogs? Well, get back to me when the list is longer than Quentin Tarantino, who co-stars as Mr. Brown, one of a series of color-coded thieves who almost pulled off an amazing heist. And back at their base, it's time to figure out which of these bad men snitched and turned informant. A perfectly-told whodunnit filled with scene-stealing performances from the entire cast, and the mother of all needle-drops, Reservoir Dogs is easily one of the best movies on Netflix right now.

Genre: Crime drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%
Stars: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi
Director:
Quentin Tarantino
Watch now

The Tinder Swindler (2022)

Cecilie Fjellhøy photographed at The Black Book, Soho, London for The Tinder Swindler

(Image credit: Joshua Wilks/Netflix)

The last few years or so have seen rise to the era of scammer documentaries and shows based on con artists-turned-celebrities. One of Netflix's most successful documentaries on the topic is The Tinder Swindler, which opened eyes about how wild the art of catfishing can get. While some lie on Tinder to lure someone into the bedroom, Simon Leviev swiped right to trick people into giving him millions of dollars in help he supposedly needed. At just under two hours, this smartly-paced documentary is a cinematic page-turner, and may be the best version of its genre to date.

Genre: Documentary
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Brokeback Mountain (2005) 

(L to R) Heath Ledger as Ennis Del Mar and Jake Gyllenhaal as Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain, one of the best movies on Netflix

(Image credit: Maximum Film / Alamy Stock Photo)

If you know the phrase "I wish I could quit you," and you don't know where it came from, it's time to fix that deficiency in your pop culture encyclopedia. In 1963, Ennis Del Mar (Ledger) and Jack Twist (Gyllenhaal) find themselves as sheep-herders in Wyoming, a profession that gave them a lot of free time on their hands. In those nights, the two stumble into a romantic bond that threatens their safety and their lives. Brokeback Mountain follows the two over the course of 20 years, and director Ang Lee's film never wavers in how it tells their troubled story with caring and respectful touches.

Genre: Romantic drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%
Stars: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway
Director:
Ang Lee
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)

(L to R) Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers stand next to each other in a hall in Scott Pilgrim vs the World

(Image credit: Universal)

Scott Pilgrim (Cera) may be facing off with evil exes, but he's not exactly the "good guy" yet. Dealing with a breakup that broke him, Scott's found himself both dating a high schooler (Wong) and wooing the girl of his actual dreams, Ramona Flowers (Winstead). Beloved for its 8-bit aesthetic and phenomenal soundtrack, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is also a very good move about a guy who need to mature quickly, to save the girl he believes he cares about. Filled with possibly the best "where are they now?" cast (Kieran Culkin before Succession, Chris Evans before Captain America, Anna Kendrick before Pitch Perfect, Brie Larson before Captain Marvel and Aubrey Plaza just as Parks and Recreation was hitting it big), Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a must-see. 

Genre: Action/romantic comedy
Rotten Tomatoes score: 82%
Stars: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ellen Wong, Kieran Culkin, Anna Kendrick
Director:
Edgar Wright
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Bullet Train (2022)

Brad Pitt as Ladybug in Bullet Train

(Image credit: Scott Garfield)

The action-packed and spy-filled world of John Wick has had an impressive influence throughout the movie world these days, and Bullet Train is one of the latest examples. Here, hitman Ladybug (Pitt) is trying to just get on and off a high-speed train to Tokyo, and pilfer a briefcase in the process. Unfortunately, said train is filled with other hitmen, including one (Bad Bunny) who blames Ladybug for ruining his wedding and a pair of brothers (Taylor-Johnson and Henry) who are here to protect said briefcase and steal every scene they're in. Dripping with cool and featuring three excellent cameos, Bullet Train is "what if John Wick, but slapstick?"

Genre: Action comedy
Rotten Tomatoes score: 54%
Stars: Brad Pitt, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Hiroyuki Sanada
Director:
David Leitch
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Raw (2016)

Garance Marillier and the cast of Raw, one of the best movies on Netflix

(Image credit: Focus World)

If you know the name Julia Ducournau, you'll know that Raw (her most-critically-acclaimed movie, if we're going by Rotten Tomatoes scores) is unsettling. The film follows prospective veterinarian Justine, as she pursues her goals in at a veterinary school. Unfortunately, her strict vegetarianism doesn't sit well with her peers, who goad her into trying meat. Even worse: she learns she doesn't hate the taste of raw animal meat. Thrilling (and slightly funny at times), Raw will make parents think twice before sending their kids to any veterinary schools in France.

Genre: Horror
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Stars:
Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella, Laurent Lucas, Joana Preiss
Director:
Julia Ducornau
Watch Now (opens in new tab)

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider-man on the train top in Spider-Man 2

(Image credit: Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures/Marvel Enterprises)

Arguably the best Spider-Man movie — and one of the best Netflix sci-fi movies currently streaming on the service — Spider-Man 2 is loved because it does everything right. Alfred Molina is a top-notch Dr. Otto Octavius, the film does well by Peter Parker's internal conflict and his drama with Mary Jane Watson. Also, Doc Ock's arms are as menacing as their battle atop a subway car is memorable. The spirit of New York, the sixth-man of the Spider-Men movies, if you will, comes through strong with the scene with Spider-Man's body is hoisted high, and his identity is protected. We'd have put Spider-Man 1 in this spot, but it tries to cram too much into too little time.

Genre: Action, comic book
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Stars: Tobey Macguire, Kirsten Dunst, Alfred Molina, James Franco.
Director: Sam Raimi
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Leave No Trace (2018)

(L to R) Thomasin Mackenzie as Tom and Ben Foster as Will sit against a graffiti'd wall in Leave No Trace

(Image credit: Bleecker Street Media)

Will (Foster) and Tom (McKenzie) live a very different lifestyle, surviving out in the forest of Portland, Oregon. The father-daughter duo are on their own out there because of the fact that Will is still dealing with his post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in the Iraq War. But once they're found, and pulled back into civilization, 13-year-old Tom starts to question if Will's way is right for her. Leave No Trace is an exquisite film that slipped under the radar for many, making it a perfect Netflix watch.

Genre: Drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%
Stars: Ben Foster, Thomasin McKenzie
Director: Debra Granik
Watch now (opens in new tab)

RRR (2022)

N.T. Rama Rao Jr. as Komaram Bheem and Ram Charan as Alluri Sitarama Raju in RRR, one of the best movies on Netflix

(Image credit: DVV Entertainment via Twitter)

You know you're in for a wild ride when a director describes his own film as being about "imaginary friendship between two superheroes." And that's exactly how S.S. Rajamouli described his amazing epic film RRR, which focuses on two Indian folk heroes working together to fight British Colonialists in the 1920's. It all starts when an evil colonialist steals a girl after tricking her family into a "sale" they didn't know was happening. RRR, which feels part Fast & Furious and part Step Brothers, is a joyous epic film that we bet the MCU will be copying in upcoming Marvel movies for years to come.

Genre: Drama/Action
Rotten Tomatoes score:
89%
Stars: N.T. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, Ajay Devgan, Alia Bhatt, Shriya Saran
Director: S.S. Rajamouli
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood (2022)

Milo Coy as Stan in Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood

(Image credit: Netflix)

Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood is one of those great family-friendly movies that also just a great movie in general. And when you see its animation style and take note of all the emotion conveyed, you won't be surprised to hear that this is a Richard Linklater (Waking Life, A Scanner Darkly, Slacker) joint. And this time, he's brought his lens and charm to the summer of 1969, as the first moon landing captivated the world. Oh, and it's narrated by Jack Black. 

Genre: Adventure/coming of age
Rotten Tomatoes score:
92%
Stars: Jack Black, Bill Wise, Lee Eddy, Milo Coy,
Director: Richard Linklater
Watch now (opens in new tab)

The Power of the Dog (2021)

Benedict Cumberbatch stars in The Power of the Dog, one of the best netflix movies

(Image credit: NETFLIX)

An adaptation of Thomas Savage's novel of the same name, The Power of The Dog is another film that Netflix can use to say "we're not all Adam Sandler comedies and big action movies." An intense western set in 1925 Montana, the film is focused on two ranch-owning brothers: Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George (Jesse Plemons). George marries Rose (Kirsten Dunst) who has sent her son Peter (Kodi Smith-McPhee) to college to study medicine. 

Unfortunately, Phil's the mean-spirited and cruel type, and he loves to be meant to Rose and Peter. Stellar performances from the whole cast are heightened by the film's gorgeous beauty and a phenomenal score from Johny Greenwood (whose also composed for The Phantom Thread, among others). It's one of Netflix's latest Oscar-nominated movies.

Genre: Western/Drama
Rotten Tomatoes score:
96%
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee
Director: Jane Campion
Watch now (opens in new tab)

The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)

The Mitchell family, in a careening car with their dog on the hood in The Mitchells vs. The Machines, one of the Best family movies on Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Mitchells vs. The Machines is one of our picks for the best family movies on Netflix, and it's good enough for a slot in our main list. Not only does this animated movie about a family during a robot uprising offer a great cast that parents and kids will both love (including Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph and Olivia Colman), but it looks amazing too.

And that's only what we expect from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the team behind the amazing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. And that's the kind of movie that set a great standard for what an animated movie should be. Throughout, you've got a good story, with the Mitchells trying to reconnect for one last time before daughter Katie goes off to film school.

Genre: Animated comedy/adventure
Rotten Tomatoes score:
97%
Stars: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Eric Andre and Olivia Colman
Director: Mike Rianda
Watch now (opens in new tab)

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

A courthouse scene in Trial of the Chicago 7 one of best movies on Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Writer/director Aaron Sorkin brings his signature rapid-fire, sharp and witty dialogue to this story of the 1969 trial of seven people charged by the federal government with conspiracy and more, arising from the protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The star-studded cast is more than up to the task of delivering Sorkin's words. 

Genre: Historical drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%
Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Strong
Director: Aaron Sorkin
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Sorry to Bother You (2018)

LaKeith Stanfield in Sorry to Bother You

(Image credit: Annapurna Pictures)

While you might spend a moment thinking that telemarketer Cassius "Cash" Green (Stanfield) lives in our own reality, soon enough everything goes so sideways that you might just say "we're not in Oakland anymore, Toto." This dark comedy sees Green unlock a whole world of potential once he uses a "white voice" (which is voiced by David Cross) on the phone with customers. A surreal and bizarre film, Sorry to Bother You is one of the best movies on Netflix because it's the kind of movie we should be happy exists, even if it's not everyone's cup of tea. Yes, we're being intentionally vague with this description, as to spoil the story of WorryFree's labor would take out half of the experience.

Genre: Dark comedy/fantasy
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Stars: LaKeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler
Director: Boots Riley
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Da 5 Bloods (2020)

The cast of Da 5 Bloods, one of best movies on Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Spike Lee's newest joint wasn't intended to be so timely, but then again, the director has always been ahead of his time in speaking to the truths that underpin our society. The story follows four African-American Vietnam veterans who reunite in Ho Chi Minh to retrieve the remains of their fallen squad leader Stormin' Norman (the late Chadwick Boseman). All of them — Eddie (Norm Lewis) Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), Otis (Clarke Peters) and Paul (Delroy Lindo) — are struggling with personal issues as well as memories of their time in Vietnam.

Genre: War drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
Stars: Delroy Lindo, Chadwick Boseman, Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr.
Director: Spike Lee
Watch now (opens in new tab)

The Old Guard (2020)

Charlize Theron and the cast of The Old Guard one of the best Netflix movies

(Image credit: Netflix)

Just when we thought summer would pass by without a blockbuster movie, we get a thrilling, action-packed treat in The Old Guard. Four immortal warriors, led by the ancient and badass Andy (Charlize Theron), have been helping humanity for centuries. When their secret is exposed to a ruthless CEO, Andy and new recruit Nile (KiKi Layne) team up to prevent him from using them as money-making lab rats. The movie puts a fresh spin on the superhero saga — more philosophical, thoughtful and emotional than most entries in the genre. And more progressive, with a deeply romantic same-sex pairing. All of that has us clamoring for The Old Guard 2. Get with the undying program, Netflix!

Genre: Action and fantasy
Rotten Tomatoes score: 82%
Stars: Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Marwan Kenzari, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)

Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga best Netflix movies

(Image credit: Netflix)

If you're in the mood for a deeply silly but also truly heartwarming comedy, Eurovision is a great choice. It fits right in with the other movies in Will Ferrell's ouvre, like Blades of Glory and Anchorman. He plays Lars, an Icelandic man-child who's obsessed with the Eurovision Song Contest (which is a real thing!). Along for the ride is his childhood friend Sigrit (Rachel McAdams). When they finally get the chance to compete, will Lars' single-minded focus on winning ruin his relationship with Sigrit? Also, we've got all the details on how to watch Eurovision 2022 online.

Genre: Comedy and musical
Rotten Tomatoes score: 64%
Stars: Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Dan Stevens, Pierce Brosnan
Director: David Dobkin
Watch now (opens in new tab)

13th (2016)

Michelle Alexander in 13th, one of the best Netflix movies

(Image credit: Netflix)

A Netflix original, 13th, directed by Ava DuVernay, is an in-depth look at the prison system. She examines the intersection of racism and mass incarceration in the United States. The film is named for the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited slavery and freed the slaves. Public figures like Angela Davis, Van Jones and Cory Booker make captivating appearances.

Genre: Documentary
Rotten Tomatoes score:
97%
Stars: Angela Davis, Cory Booker, Henry Louis Gates
Director: Ava DuVernay
Watch now (opens in new tab)

The Lovebirds (2020)

Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani in The Lovebirds, one of the Best Netflix movies

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Lovebirds got mixed reviews, as you can see from the low Rotten Tomatoes score, but we found it to be a funny, delightful romp showcasing two of our favorite actors. Issa Rae (Insecure) and Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley, The Big Sick) combine their comedic talents, playing a couple who are on the verge of breaking up when they get unintentionally embroiled in a murder mystery. The plot definitely defies logic, but honestly, who cares? Watching the two leads bicker, freak out, get kicked by a horse and dress up in ridiculous outfits is  worth it.

Genre: Romantic comedy
Rotten Tomatoes score:
66%
Stars: Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae
Director: Michael Showalter
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Mudbound (2017)

Rob Morgan as Hap Jackson and Jason Mitchell as Ronsel Jackson in Mudbound, one of the best netflix movies

(Image credit: Netflix)

Black soldiers have fought alongside white soldiers for America in many wars, but come home only to find they have to fight for their lives in a different way. That's the message of Dee Rees' powerful drama, set after World War II. White soldier Jamie McAllen (Garrett Hedlund) and black soldier Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell) return to their small Mississippi town. Jamie's brother owns a struggling farm, where Ronsel's parents work as tenants. The two former soldiers begin to build a friendship, but the racist attitudes of Jamie's family and the community lead to a devastating confrontation.

Genre: Historical drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
Stars: Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Mary J. Blige
Director: Dee Rees
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Tigertail (2020)

Tzi Ma and Christine Ko in Tigertail, one of the best Netflix movies

(Image credit: Netflix)

A delicate, elegant love story that spans continents and decades, Tigertail comes from writer/director Alan Yang, an Emmy winner and co-creator of Master of None. Pin-Jui is a poor young man from Huwei ("tiger tail") who falls for a wealthy girl, Yuan Lee, but ends up losing touch with her. Pin-Jui jumps on an opportunity to go to America, but years of grueling work leave him a shell of himself and unable to connect with his daughter. When a chance to revisit the past comes along, he takes it, hoping to change his life into the one he always wanted.

Genre: Drama
Rotten Tomatoes score:
79%
Stars: Hong-Chi Lee, Tzi Ma, Christine Ko
Director: Alan Yang
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Dolemite Is My Name (2019)

Eddie Murphy in Dolemite Is My Name, one of the best Netflix movies

(Image credit: François Duhamel/Netflix)

A strong example of a veteran actor who's "still got it," Dolemite Is My Name stars Eddie Murphy as Rudy Ray Moore, the comedian who became the iconic blaxploitation character Dolemite. But while Murphy owns the film outright, we get another actor coming out from the shadows to wow us, with Wesley Snipes stealing scenes as D'Urville Martin, the director who Moore clashes with. But while the film is stocked to the brim with great actors (including Keegan-Michael Key, Craig Robinson and Tituss Burgess), this is still Murphy's film. This is one of the best movies on Netflix overall.

Genre: Dramatic comedy
Rotten Tomatoes score:
97%
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Da'Vine Joy Randolph
Director: Craig Brewer
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Marriage Story (2019)

Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in A Marriage Story, one of the best Netflix movies

(Image credit: Wilson Webb/Netflix)

Director/writer Noah Baumbach is continuing to improve as he matures, as evidenced by his latest feature: Marriage Story, released both in theaters and on Netflix. While Baumbach has fared well in fractured family tales before, this film stands out for deftly telling both sides of the chaotic divorce at its core. Of course, that would mean little without strong acting, and the leading performances of Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver make the emotional trauma real for all watching. In short: watch to understand the meme of the film's stars arguing, keep watching to engage with one of the best Netflix movies.

Genre: Romantic drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
Stars: Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern
Director: Noah Baumbach
Watch now (opens in new tab)

The Irishman (2019)

Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in The Irishman, one of the best movies on Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Forget all of the Scorsese vs comic book movies debate, the only drama you need to know about in this conversation is how good the famed director's latest film, The Irishman, is. One of the best movies on Netflix is long enough to be broken into 4 digestible 'episodes' (opens in new tab) that are about 52 minutes each. And this crime thriller utilizes each and every moment to build suspenseful situations for Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino, with the latter portraying Jimmy Hoffa, a good friend of De Niro's character.

Genre: Crime drama
Rotten Tomatoes score:
97%
Stars: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino
Director: Martin Scorsese
Watch now (opens in new tab)

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in El Camino, one of the best Netflix movies

(Image credit: Ben Rothstein / Netflix)

Breaking Bad fans have had it good. First, they got a prequel in the series Better Call Saul. Then, they got a sequel in this one-off movie, which follows Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) after the events of the Breaking Bad series finale. Last we saw Jesse, he was driving off after being held captive. But breaking free is just the first step in a fraught journey for Jesse, who has to figure out how to leave his life behind and start over. Does this movie need to exist? No, but it's deeply satisfying to hang out with Jesse again and to see so many Breaking Bad cameos. 

Genre: Crime/Drama
Rotten Tomatoes score:
91%
Stars: Aaron Paul, Jesse Plemons, Bryan Cranston
Director: Vince Gilligan
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Roma (2018)

The characters of Roma, one of the best Netflix movies, on the beach

(Image credit: Netflix)

This beautifully-shot black-and-white film gives director Alfonso Cuarón a chance to show a slice of his past. Taking place in Mexico City in the early 1970s, Roma focuses on an indigenous woman who serves a white family, as they all fight to survive calamity after calamity. From betrayals to natural disasters, Roma throws the kitchen sink at this family, and then tacks on the Corpus Christi Massacre of 1971. Emotionally harrowing, this Academy Award-nominated film (and one of the best dramas on Netflix) demands you watch with tissues or some other coping mechanism.

Genre: Drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%
Stars: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira
Director: Alfonso Cuaron
Watch now (opens in new tab)

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)

Fionn Whitehead, Will Poulter and Asim Chaudhry in Black Mirror Bandersnatch, one of the best Netflix movies

(Image credit: Netflix)

Those video games you love don't make themselves, as you seen in Bandersnatch, which highlights the hazards of overworked employees. Since this is a Black Mirror film, though, everything goes crazy as the audience is given the ability to direct the protagonist's actions, turning the movie into a choose-your-own-adventure experience. The many forking twists of the film mean that its advertised 90 minute run time can stretch to 150 minutes, if you find all of its endings and story points.

Genre: Interactive sci-fi drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 72%
Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Will Poulter, Craig Parkinson
Director: David Slade
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To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018)

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor in To All the Boys I've Loved Before, one of the best Netflix movies

(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix may be single-handedly reviving the romantic comedy genre, thanks to charming and winning films like To All the Boys I've Loved Before. Yes, it's a teen flick, but the story and performances appeal to adults, too, making it one of the best romantic comedies on Netflix. Lana Condor stars as Lara Jean Covey, a high school girl whose previously non-existent love life spirals out of control  when the letters she wrote to her crushes are mailed out. When popular jock Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) receives one, he hatches a plan with Lara Jean to solve their respective romantic problems by pretending to be a couple. But in true rom-com fashion, they start to catch feelings for each other.  — Kelly Woo

Genre: Young adult romance drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
Stars: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo
Director: Susan Johnson
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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)

Tim Blake Nelson in Ballad of Buster Scruggs, one of the best Netflix Movies

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Coen Brothers do it again, with a sumptuous short story slab of Western storytelling. Starring a whole host of A-list actors, and James Franco, the anthology has been nominated for three Academy awards and is a movie that wriggles through both comedy and blood-speckled violence seamlessly. Yes, it’s a satire on Westerns, and yes there’s plenty of Coen-esque characters involved, but beneath the pastiche this is a love letter that tips a cowboy hat to the movies of old.— Marc Chacksfield

Genre: Western drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%
Stars: Tim Blake Nelson, James Franco, Liam Neeson, Zoe Kazan
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
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Beasts of No Nation (2015)

Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation, one of the Best Netflix movies

(Image credit: Netflix)

Cary Joji Fukunaga directed Beasts of No Nation: a wartime drama based on the 2005 novel by Uzodinma Iweala. In a fictional African country, a war breaks out, which separates the young Agu (Abraham Attah) from his family. Now, he must navigate the war-torn country, evading hostile militia forces and coming face-to-face with senseless violence. This one's not just one of the best movies on Netflix but an original to boot.

Genre: War drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
Stars: Idris Elba, Abraham Attah
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
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What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)

Nina Simone in What Happened Miss Simone? One of the best netflix movies

(Image credit: Netflix)

Nina Simone was a celebrated singer who did as much for the world of music as she did for the perception of black singers in the United States. Liz Garbus directed this documentary about Simone's life, working with Lisa Simone Kelly, Nina's daughter, as the executive producer. in addition to being on our best Netflix movies list, the film has already been showered with awards, praising its accuracy and quality.

Genre: Music documentary
Rotten Tomatoes score: 89%
Stars: Nina Simone
Director: Liz Garbus
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How to access blocked movies on Netflix

Wherever you are in the world, Netflix offers a huge range of top-quality movies like the ones we’ve listed above. However, due to something called geo-blocking, you may find that your favorite flick isn’t available. This is especially noticeable if you’ve traveled abroad – a film you had your eye on back at home may well now not be available.

The easiest way around this is to use a Netflix VPN. By using a VPN to change your virtual location, you can trick Netflix into showing you that country’s catalog of movies. Perfect if you’re in need of a blockbuster to fill your vacation downtime, or even if you fancy globetrotting from the comfort of your sofa.

Next: Also check out the 7 best new Netflix movies that are 90% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes.

Kelly Woo
Senior Writer

Kelly is a senior writer covering streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.