7 best new Netflix movies that are 90% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes

Netflix logo on a TV screen next to a vase of flowers
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Netflix's movie selection sees more turnover than Spinal Tap's drummers (and you can see what's changing in our roundup of what's new on Netflix for the week of October 24). So, while we have no trouble updating our list of the best movies on Netflix, we also understand that finding actually-great movies on Netflix is no small order. Especially when the prominently promoted Top 10 Movies on Netflix list is often filled with ... flicks we'll politely call "less-than-great."

And so we documented the best Netflix movies with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 95% and up. That said, we made that list in early August.

And as Netflix keeps up with the HBO Maxes and Hulus out there, we thought it was time to look at the most recent additions. Lo and behold, we found seven fantastic films with stellar Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab) scores that Netflix added in the last few months alone!

Want more recs? We've also pulled the best Netflix shows rated 90% and up, the best Apple TV Plus shows rated 90% and up and the best Hulu movies with 90% and up. This time, we're setting the bar at 95%.

So, let's dive into what we love about seven of the best recently added movies on Netflix.

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

James Baldwin's novel If Beale Street Could Talk came to life on the big screen in fantastic form, giving a new audience a chance to meet Clementine "Tish" Rivers (KiKi Layne) and Alonzo "Fonny" Hunt (Stephan James). Friends who become lovers in the 1970's, the pair live a downtrodden life for the crime of being Black, which hurts their ability to find an apartment, and sees Fonny the target of abuse from New York Police Department officers on multiple occasions, the second landing him in jail for a crime he could not have committed. Warmly told with a charisma and passion, If Beale Street Could Talk is the Netflix movie you should watch before it even has a chance to leave.

We start this list with If Beale Street Could Talk, for good reason: it's criminally overlooked. The Academy Awards are, especially today, known for overlooking Black excellence. So, if the lack of a best picture nomination for If Beale Street Could Talk is your reason for missing it? It's time to hit play.

Genre: Period-piece romance/drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%
Stream it on Netflix (opens in new tab)

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

A picturesque summer in Italy will change 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) forever. While the teen just thinks he's going there to relax and luxuriate while his dad (Michael Stuhlbarg) works on academic things, his father's intern Oliver (Armie Hammer) awakens something in the teen. Elio wouldn't believe it if you told him at first, though, as he doesn't take kindly to a small, seemingly meaningless, touch from their guest. Soon, Chalamet is tasked with an emotionally strong performance, as Elio discovers a romantic interest in Olivier, something the two keep secret. Then, when it all falls apart, Elio's heartbreak will have you feeling like a teen again.

Genre: Romance/Drama
Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%
Watch it on Netflix (opens in new tab)

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider-Man 2 is a perfect comic book movie because it's the perfect sequel. Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) didn't end Spider-Man with a whole lot, other than guilt and super-powers. Now, he's struggling in a shoddy apartment, and feels emotionally conflicted about everything — especially since Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) is about to marry a charming astronaut. Oh and his best friend Harry (James Franco) is going off the deep end.

Enter Alfred Molina's Dr. Otto Octavius (yes, that's his real name), the mentor that Peter needed. Unfortunately, science goes wrong (as it often does), and Otto becomes the eight-armed villain Doctor Octopus. But before he can get there, Molina charms every whole room he steps foot in, and gives Peter some motivation. That said, the best work here is likely done by Rosemary Harris as Aunt May, whose motivational speech to Peter is one of the most well-earned emotional story beats in any superhero movie.

Genre: Action, comic book
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Watch it on Netflix (opens in new tab)

Men in Black (1997)

Even when you tackle the galaxy's most mischievous and diabolical aliens, there is little force as strong as Will Smith's charisma. And he's only part of why Men In Black is endlessly rewatchable. Here, he plays Agent J, the new guy in the agency of intergalactic agents. But for as confident as he is, J keeps proving he doesn't know anything as he truly needs the help of Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), who doesn't like to explain things up front. Buoyed by fantastic special effects (at least for its time, that head-regrowing bit was great) and a tight and funny script, Men In Black was so good it got two sequels (that I'd rather not talk about).

Genre: Sci-fi/comedy
Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
Stream it on Netflix (opens in new tab)

The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

The Bridges of Madison County (based on Robert James Waller's 1992 novel of the same title) hides passion under the most boring title ever, much like the secrets kept by Francesca Johnson (Meryl Streep). In this winning romance film about a short but passionate affair, Francesca's husband and two children are out of town when when photojournalist Robert Kincaid (Clint Eastwood) visits to photograph Madison County's historic covered bridges. The two meet and develop something special together. 

While the source material was seen as a bit heavy-handed, Eastwood (who directs) delivered a deliberately paced film that gives this relationship time to breathe. And it's all framed through flashbacks seen when Francesca's children discover her personal effects.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%
Genre: Romance
Stream it on Netflix (opens in new tab)

Risky Business (1983)

Before Euphoria, parents had a different reason to avoid leaving their kids at home for the weekend. And his name is Joel Goodsen (Tom Cruise). While Joel's built up a lot of good trust by being a responsible kid when his parents are around, their departure allows him to go a little too wild. After he starts things off light by dancing around in his briefs (as we've all seen parodied countless times) and relaxing with his buddy Miles (Curtis Armstrong), he decides to hire a prostitute. The only problem, it seems is that Lana (Rebecca De Mornay) is far more expensive than he expected. Then, we get shades of the soon-to-be-released Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), when he damages his father's Porsche. One of the ultimate 1980's comedies, Joel is juggling nervous parents on the line as he's raising funds to put out all the fires he's started.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
Genre: Comedy
Stream it on Netflix (opens in new tab)

National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)

Back before Chevy Chase wasn't expected to show up in the Community movie after alienating everyone, he was Clark Griswold, everyone's favorite dad who's just trying to survive a family vacation. Along the way, he'll be tempted by the unnamed lady in the red Ferrari (Christie Brinkley), and deal with all sorts of unfortunate and hilarious moments as he tries to be a dad. All to go to Disney World stand-in Wally World.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Genre: Comedy
Stream it on Netflix (opens in new tab)

Next: The 5 ways James Gunn can save the DC Universe

Henry T. Casey
Senior Editor

Henry is a senior 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.