45 best Netflix movies in September 2023

JENNIFER LAWRENCE as Rosalyn Rosenfeld in American Hustle
(Image credit: Album / Alamy Stock Photo)

Netflix may not house your favorite iconic TV show anymore, but the best Netflix movies help ease the pain — even if the excellent Leave No Trace just left Netflix, some of the best action movies ever have replaced it. All because Netflix keeps adding top choices, which you can learn about in our new on Netflix roundup. 

And while Netflix's own movies have a wildly erratic ratio of good to bad (it fields enough to still be one of the best streaming services), the service is sticking to its original model of bringing in movies it hasn't made. And if you're looking for the newest things to stream, check out our column on the new movies and shows to watch this weekend.

The best movies on Netflix to stream now

Heat (1995) — Editor's choice

Al Pacino as Lieutenant Vincent Hanna sits at a diner in in Heat

(Image credit: RGR Collection / Alamy Stock Photo)

One of the absolute best movies ever, and still on Netflix (we keep expecting it to leave), Heat showed up on the streaming service out of nowhere.

Michael Mann's film tracks a pack of criminals and the cops who are hot on their tails. Neil (Robert De Niro) is a high-stakes thief who steals from armed vehicles and banks, and he lives a solitary life that allows him to go and do as he pleases. Meanwhile, LAPD's Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) is obsessed with stopping Neil's guys, possibly as a way to stop thinking about his drama at home.

Yes, this movie is long, but every minute matters. Still quite influential, as Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight pays homage, Heat is a requisite for most film-lovers. Especially for its classic diner conversation scene.

Genre: Crime drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%
Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd
Director: Michael Mann
Watch now


The Squid and the Whale (2005) 

Jeff Daniels as Bernard Berkman and Laura Linney as Joan Berkman in The Squid and the Whale

(Image credit: AJ Pics / Alamy Stock Photo)

Noah Baumbach, the indie director who was also half of the writing team that just blessed us with Barbie, made his name with movies like The Squid and The Whale. Here, we see a family on the verge of collapse. Frustrated father Bernard (Jeff Daniels) can't get his books published anymore, while wife Joan (Laura Linney) has been unfaithful and successful. 

All of this finds its way to their sons (Owen Kline and Jesse Eisenberg), who have a very hard time adjusting to everything. A fantastic small story that gets all of its emotional beats perfect, The Squid and the Whale is still a great watch.

Genre: Family drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
Stars: Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Jesse Eisenberg, Owen Kline
Watch now

Inside Man (2006)

(L to R) Willem Dafoe and Denzel Washington in Inside Man, a new movie on Prime Video in February 2023

(Image credit: Maximum Film / Alamy Stock Photo)

While NYPD detective Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington) feels like he's in the face-off of his life with a super-smart criminal (Clive Owen) trying to rob a bank, there's more than that going on in Inside Man. And it all begins to unfurl when Madeleine White (Jodie Foster), a "fixer" throws her hat into the proverbial ring.

Critics compared Inside Man to other instant classics such as The Usual Suspects. It also features a Spike Lee signature: New York as a character. Maybe I'm biased because I'm a New York native, but Lee's always captured the city well, so if you want a gripping and surprising thriller, get onto Inside Man.

Genre: Crime thriller
Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%
Stars: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Willem Dafoe, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Director: Spike Lee
Watch now

Léon: The Professional (1994)

Natalie Portman as Mathilda in Leon: The Professional

(Image credit: StudiocanalUK via YouTube)

Léon (Jean Reno) is a killer for hire, living a quiet and modest life in NYC. His young neighbor Mathilda (Natalie Portman), is barely surviving as a crooked DEA agent (Gary Oldman) tightens the screws on her abusive father. So, Mathilda manages to get Léon's help — to learn how to protect herself and take care of scum.

Yes, that is a far-fetched premise, with a child asking a hitman for help. That said, the performances make it all work, as Portman is emotive, Reno is understated and Oldman is manic.

Genre: Action
Rotten Tomatoes score: 74%
Stars: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello
Director: Luc Besson
Watch now

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 best Oscar movies to stream online with 90% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes.

Genre: War
Rotten Tomatoes score:
Stars: Daniel Brühl, Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch, Aaron Hilmer
Director: Edward Berger
Watch now

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Armie Hammer as Oliver and Timothee Chalamet as Elio are seated at a table in Call me by your name, one of the best movies on Netflix

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Classic)

The most-recent return to Netflix's library on this list, Call Me by Your Name is an emotionally intense film. 17-year-old Elio (Chalamet) and his family go on vacation to their gorgeous villa in Lombardy, Italy, where he meets Oliver (Hammer), an intelligent and handsome 24-year-old man who's working as Elio's father's intern. 

The two don't quite get along at first, but little moments reveal that Elio cares about Oliver much more than he'd care to realize. As they form a secret romantic connection, Elio's age and lack of romantic experience show when things get rocky. A stellar and fragile performance from Chalamet, whose heartbreak is gripping, makes Call Me by Your Name one of the best movies on Netflix.

Genre: Romance/Drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
Stars: Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg, James Ivory, Esther Garrel
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Watch now

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

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:
Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Theo Rossi, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Jonathan Avigdori
Director: John Patton Ford
Watch now

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' 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:
Stars: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino
Director: Martin Scorsese
Watch now

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:
Stars: Aaron Paul, Jesse Plemons, Bryan Cranston
Director: Vince Gilligan
Watch now

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:
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee
Director: Jane Campion
Watch now

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

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

Titanic (1997)

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson and Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater in Titanic (1997)

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

If you're the rare person who's still never seen Titanic, it's time to carve out time for a classic romantic epic. Rose (Kate Winslet) is set to marry an off-putting man (Billy Zane) for money, but she runs afoul of Jack (Leonardo Dicaprio), an artist with ambition. Oh, and the three are just a few of the many passengers on the titular doomed ocean-liner.

Convincing special effects that were revolutionary for their time met commanding performances from young stars on the rise. How could it not become one of the biggest films of all time?

Genre: Romance
Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane
Director: James Cameron
Watch now

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
Watch now

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:
Stars: Hong-Chi Lee, Tzi Ma, Christine Ko
Director: Alan Yang
Watch now

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
Watch now

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
Quentin Tarantino
Watch now

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

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


They Cloned Tyrone (2023)

(L to R) Jamie Foxx, Teyonah Parris and John Boyega in a car in They Clone Tyrone, a new Netflix movie coming on July 21, 2023

(Image credit: Netflix)

Fontaine (John Boyega) sells drugs, Slick Charles (Jamie Foxx) is a pimp and Yo-Yo (Teyonah Parris) is a sex worker. And while this trio may come off as caricaturish in a bad way if you only read that above sentence and watched They Cloned Tyrone's trailer expecting the worst, Netflix's managed to release a gem of a movie.

And it all starts with a big twist that you might have ruined for you (as it was for me) when you read a review. Instead, just take my word that Netflix's created a stellar modern Blaxploitation movie that deals with government surveillance. And its trio of leads all deliver to make it a must-see. 

Genre: Sci-fi comedy thriller
Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%
Stars: John Boyega, Jamie Foxx, Teyonah Parris, Kiefer Sutherland, David Alan Grier
Directors: Juel Taylor
Watch now

Missing (2023)

(L, R) Storm Reid as June Allen and Megan Suri as Veena in Missing

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

June (Storm Reid) was going to have the weekend most teen dream of. The plan was simple, throw a rager of a house party while her mother Grace (Nia Long) was on vacation with her new boyfriend Kevin (Ken Leung). The only problem? Mom didn't come home.

Missing, told through the screens and cameras of everyone tied to Grace's disappearance, is an inventive mystery. And in a very 2023 twist, June hires Javier (Joaquim de Almeida), a gig economy worker in Colombia to help track her mother down.

Filled with the twists and turns, Missing will leave you hanging on every click and yelp.

Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Rotten Tomatoes score: 87%
Stars: Storm Reid, Joaquim de Almeida, Ken Leung, Nia Long, Daniel Henney, Amy Landecker, Megan Suri, Tim Griffin
Directors: Will Merrick, Nicholas D. Johnson
Watch now


This Is the End (2013)

(L to R as themselves) James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel and Danny McBride cowering in This Is The End

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

This apocalyptic comedy starts off harmlessly, as (playing themselves) successful Hollywood actor Seth Rogen gets a visit from his less-successful F&G co-star Jay Baruchel. And while their cannabis-enabled munchies create fun moments, things truly kick off when they go to James Franco's houseparty — which gets the rug pulled out from under it when hell opens up from below.

Hilarious because it's a meeting of the comedy minds who endlessly riff on each other, This Is the End is better than you might expect. Not only do they play off of public perceptions of themselves, but folks like Michael Cera get to create oddball personas that will confuse and delight. And it all builds to a fantastic ending, complete with an excellent musical number and cameo.

Genre: Comedy
Rotten Tomatoes score: 83%
Stars: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson
Directors: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Watch now

Easy A (2010)

Emma Stone in Easy A

(Image credit: Screen Gems)

Olive (Stone) is a good kid at a very gossipy high school. And while she plays by the rules, she has friends and neat, understanding parents (Tucci and Clarkson), Olive makes the big mistake of a tiny white lie made nearby a classmate (Amanda Bynes) who talks too much. And that's how the entire school thought Olive had the rowdiest weekend this side of Magic Mike. 

Easy A is a winner thanks to an excellent ensemble cast, most of whom you'll recognize below. Church and Kudrow play some of Olive's teachers who are just as flustered as she becomes, while Malcolm McDowell shows up as the principal. Charming and affable, and ultimately rewatchable, Easy A is one of the best Netflix movies — and one of the first pieces of proof that Stone was a true lead.

Genre: Comedy
Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%
Stars: Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes, Dan Byrd, Patricia Clarkson, Stanley Tucci, Thomas Haden Church, Malcolm McDowell, Lisa Kudrow
Director: Will Gluck
Watch now

American Hustle (2013)

(L to R) JENNIFER LAWRENCE as Rosalyn Rosenfeld holding a hand up to AMY ADAMS as Sydney Prosser in a bathroom in American Hustle

(Image credit: Entertainment Pictures / Alamy Stock Photo)

One of director David O. Russell's last great movies, American Hustle  is a slightly-farcical ensemble comedy about crooks, cops and dirty politicians. Christian Bale and Amy Adams star as the conniving Irving and Sydney, grifters ahead of their time.

But American Hustle is actually based on a real FBI sting operation from the 1970's, which saw New Jersey mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) brought down by his own corruption. Here, an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) manages to turn Irv and Sydney into informants, and work with him to bring Polito down. In the background, Irvin's wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) is a threat to all plots involved, as Lawrence steals every scene she can.

Genre: Comedic crime drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
Stars: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, Louis C.K., Michael Peña, Alessandro Nivola
Watch now

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

Magic Mike XXL (2015)

(L to R) Matt Bomer (as Ken) and Channing Tatum (as Magic Mike) in Magic Mike XXL

(Image credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo)

When we recommend Magic Mike XXL as one of the best movies on Netflix, we say so while acknowledging this is not a big prestige film. But you're not always in the mood for The Irishman. Sometimes, you want a tale of a group of dudes on the road to a stripping competition, and how friendship keeps everything from falling apart.

Yes, for those who ducked out after the original Magic Mike was a bit too dour, this XXL-sized sequel puts fun first and foremost on the schedule. And it's a total success, especially the gas station dance number.

Genre: Bromantic comedy
Rotten Tomatoes score: 65%
Stars: Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manangiello, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez
Director: Gregory Jacobs
Watch now

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?

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

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:
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Da'Vine Joy Randolph
Director: Craig Brewer
Watch now

If you want to browse more of our favorite funny films and shows, we've listed even more of the best comedies on Netflix to keep the laughs coming.


Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Arnold Schwarzenegger (as the T-800 Terminator) in Terminator 2: Judgement Day

(Image credit: CBS Photo Archive / Getty)

Netflix, if you didn't notice, recently became Arnie county as Shwarzenegger's movies arrived in the same window as his new Netflix Original series Fubar and his limited docuseries.

We'll skip all of those, though, and cut right to the one of the best movies Netflix offers. In Terminator 2: Judgement Day, the T-800 Terminator (Shwarzenegger) is
on a mission for good, to — say it with me — protect John Connor. 

The kid has a noble role in humanity's future: stopping the AI-based Skynet disaster from ruining our lives. All they need to do is survive Robert Patrick's terrifyingly focused T-1000 Terminator.

Genre: Action
Rotten Tomatoes score:
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick
Director: James Cameron
Watch now

Spider-Man 2 (2004) 

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

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

We absolutely love Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, but since it's not home yet, the next best thing (other than rewatching Into the Spider-Verse) is to go revisit the best live-action Spider-flick. 

In Spider-Man 2, Peter (Tobey Maguire) starts off at  a new low: he's not even talking to MJ (Kirsten Dunst), his Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) is about to be evicted and his best friend Harry (James Franco) is also estranged, following the death of his father. 

And so Peter does what he always does — throws himself into his work as Spider-Man, and his pursuits in science. Wouldn't you know it, but the two collide as Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) and Parker become friends, before an experiment goes wrong and the former becomes the bewildering Doctor Octopus.

Genre: Comic book adventure
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Stars: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Alfred Molina, Rosemary Harris
Sam Raimi
Watch now

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:
Stars: N.T. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, Ajay Devgan, Alia Bhatt, Shriya Saran
Director: S.S. Rajamouli
Watch now

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
David Leitch
Watch now

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

If you want to browse more of our favorite action movies, we've listed even more of the best action movies on Netflix to keep you entertained.

Science fiction

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
Watch now

For more of our favorite sci-fi movies, we've listed even more of the best sci-fi movies on Netflix so you can delve into wilder adventures.


Victim/Suspect (2023)

(L to R) Karla Cardenas, Gabe Bermeo, Dyanie Bermeo, and Rae deLeon seated at a table in in Victim/Suspect

(Image credit: Netflix)

While much of Netflix's documentaries look back at famous true crime stories of note, Victim/Suspect takes on a more important topic. Journalist Rae deLeon is investigating how rape cases are prosecuted by police officers, and how the accusers can be turned into the accused by the criminal justice system.

Both a damning indictment of the police and proof of the value of investigative journalism, Victim/Suspect is proof that Netflix is still giving a platform for important stories.

Genre: Documentary
Rotten Tomatoes score:
Stars: Rae deLeon, Amanda Pike
Director: Nancy Schwartzman
Watch now

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:
Stars: Angela Davis, Cory Booker, Henry Louis Gates
Director: Ava DuVernay
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 score: 97%
Watch now

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

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
Watch now

For more of our favorite documentaries on the big red streaming machine, check out our guide to the best Netflix documentaries so you can delve into wilder adventures.


Dawn of the Dead (2004)

(L, R) Sarah Polley as Ana and Ving Rhames as Sergeant Kenneth Hall in Dawn of the Dead (2004)

(Image credit: Universal / AJ Pics / Alamy Stock Photo)

One of the pivotal movies in the rebirth of the undead in cinema, Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead went for the throat with a simple premise. An outbreak is threatening humanity, and a group of suburban folks who don't know or trust each other barricade themselves in a mall. 

Great banter and dread mix with compelling action to make this Dawn of the Dead worthy of its title. And, yes, that's a pre-Modern Family Ty Burrell as the smug and slimy Steve.

Genre: Zombie horror
Rotten Tomatoes score: 76%
Cast: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, Ty Burrell, Michael Kelly
Director: Zack Snyder
Watch now

For more of our favorite scary movies, check out our guide to the best horror movies on Netflix so you can keep the screams going.

Family movies

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:
Stars: Jack Black, Bill Wise, Lee Eddy, Milo Coy,
Director: Richard Linklater
Watch now

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:
Stars: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Eric Andre and Olivia Colman
Director: Mike Rianda
Watch now

If you want to browse more of our favorite animated films, we've listed even more of the best family movies on Netflix for your next movie night.


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:
Stars: Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae
Director: Michael Showalter
Watch now

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
Watch now

How we pick the best Netflix movies

Deciding what movies make this list, and which don't is a two step process that usually repeats itself. We watch as many Netflix movies as we can, and then we debate the quality of them.

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. And as for the immediate future: Netflix’s password sharing crackdown isn't even here in the U.S., but its first mistake led to even more confusion.

And if you run out of titles, try the best movies on Amazon Prime Video, the best Hulu movies and the best Peacock movies next.

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

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.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.