There are hundreds of good movies to watch on Netflix, but which ones should you see? We've sorted through some of the highest-rated films (based on their Rotten Tomatoes scores) to bring you a few dozen selections that are well worth your time.
There's a little something for everyone on our list, whether you're searching for domestic action flicks, foreign dramas, thoughtful documentaries or colorful kids' films.
Credit: Kerry Hayes
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.
The winner of the Oscar for best picture in 2015, Spotlight weaves a tale of journalistic integrity versus institutional power. Tom McCarthy directed Mark Ruffalo as Michael Rezendes, who is part of a team of journalists who want to investigate and expose a child abuse scandal within the Catholic Church. In a surprisingly candid and reflective statement, the Vatican praised the film as well.
Credit: Kerry Hayes
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 a Netflix exclusive, to boot.
Dope is a lot of things: a comedy, a drama, a coming-of-age story, a crime film. The movie's neat trick is that it pulls off every category pretty well. Rick Famuyiwa directed Shameik Moore as Malcolm Adekanbi, an ambitious high school senior. Malcolm just wants to get into college, but fate has other plans, when he gets involved in a drug deal gone awry.
Credit: Open Road Films
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. The film has already been showered with awards, praising its accuracy and quality.
Filmmaker Crystal Moselle discovered something interesting while walking through New York City one day: six teenage siblings all dressed in dark suits, ties and sunglasses. They had all been home-schooled in Manhattan and rarely allowed outside. Moselle eagerly befriended the brothers and sister, bonding through their mutual love of film, and decided to make a documentary about their experiences. It's sympathetic, but unsettling.
Credit: Magnolia Pictures
Maybe you're just in the mood for a good, old-fashioned sex comedy. Netflix doesn't judge. Neither will Patrick Brice, who directed The Overnight. Alex (Adam Scott) and Emily (Taylor Schilling) visit a neighboring couple after their children have a playdate, but the night gets increasingly steamy and bizarre after the kids go to bed. Admit it: We've all had nights like this.
Credit: The Orchard