The clock is ticking, and those movies that you’ve been saving on your Netflix watch list may be going away very soon. That’s the price of embracing the streaming revolution. The films you love won’t always be there as Netflix updates its library on a month-to-month basis.
Thankfully, you still have time to catch some of those flicks before they head off into the vault or jump to some other streaming platform. Netflix has revealed which movies will be leaving at the end of the month, and we’ve narrowed the list down to the 10 best. These terrific movies are waiting for you until the 31st. All you have to do is make the time for yourself.
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District 9 (2009)
The best sci-fi stories have something to say about the world we live in. That’s why Neill Blomkamp’s feature film directorial debut, District 9, won over fans and critics just over a decade ago. Blomkamp envisioned an alternate world where alien “prawns” were stranded on Earth and forced to live in squalor in South Africa. Wikus van de Merwe (Sharlto Copley) couldn’t care less about the aliens, until he began transforming into one of them. Against his will, Wikus’ eyes are opened to the brutality and racism that the prawns live with every day. It’s a powerful allegory, and one of the primary reasons why District 9 is so unforgettable.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Stars: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, David James
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Runtime: 112 minutes
The Firm (1993)
John Grisham’s legal thrillers ruled the ‘90s, and The Firm was one of his best. The inevitable movie may have also furthered the trend of Tom Cruise dramatically running on screen, a tradition that continues to this day. Cruise stars in The Firm as Mitch McDeere, a young lawyer who is personally recruited to join the law firm Bendini, Lambert & Locke. Mitch is seduced by the money and power that comes with his new position. Unfortunately, Mitch soon discovers that the firm’s perks come with a heavy price. And if Mitch wants to make it out alive, he’ll have to sacrifice everything he’s gained and more.
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman
Director: Sydney Pollack
Runtime: 154 minutes
The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)
If you’re looking for an unconventional zombie flick for Halloween, then The Girl with All the Gifts is the movie for you. The adaptation of the novel takes place in a typical zombie apocalypse. But the key change is that children of the infected are human/zombie hybrids who still retain their cognitive abilities, as well as their insatiable hunger for human flesh. Melanie (Sennia Nanua) is the titular girl, and her body may hold the key to finding a cure for the zombie plague. Helen Justineau (Gemma Arterton) and Caroline Caldwell (Glenn Close) are scientists who find themselves on the run with Melanie and a handful of soldiers as their sheltered existence comes to an end. But hope is still alive, even if there’s a lot of pain and suffering along the way.
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Stars: Sennia Nanua, Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close
Director: Colm McCarthy
Runtime: 86 minutes
The Interview (2014)
Kim Jong-un must die! At least, that’s the premise of The Interview. The real Kim Jong-un was less than amused, and critics were somewhat divided by the actual film. Regardless, Randall Park is absolutely hilarious as the movie’s Kim Jong-un. But Park is also scary when “dear leader” shows off his dark side. James Franco stars as a TV host named Dave Skylark, with Seth Rogen as his producer, Aaron Rapaport. After discovering that Kim Jong-un is a fan of Skylark’s show, the CIA recruits the duo to assassinate the dictator in North Korea on the pretense of an internationally televised interview. However, Skylark actually comes to enjoy spending time with Kim, who claims to be misunderstood. But the film gets even more darkly amusing when Skylark and Rapaport realize that their options are rapidly disappearing.
Rotten Tomatoes: 52%
Stars: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Randall Park
Director: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Runtime: 112 minutes
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)
The Naked Gun is a deeply silly movie that never lets up its relentless comedic pace. The sight gags and hilarious dialogue go by so quickly that it takes several viewings to fully enjoy the film’s perks. Leslie Nielsen is also the ultimate straight man as Lt. Frank Drebin. His life is a farce, but Nielsen never winks at the audience, nor does he break character. As far as Frank is concerned, this is simply the world in which he lives. Fortunately for Frank, that also means he can seduce the lovely Jane Spencer (Priscilla Presley) while trying to prevent her boss, Vincent Ludwig (Ricardo Montalbán), from assassinating the Queen of England during a baseball game. Trust us when we say that it only gets more ridiculous from there.
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, Ricardo Montalbán
Director: David Zucker
Runtime: 85 minutes
The NeverEnding Story (1984)
Despite the promise of the title, The NeverEnding Story will only take up about 90 minutes of your time. But within that time frame is a beautifully crafted dual story about a bullied young boy named Bastian (Barret Oliver) and the child warrior known as Atreyu (Noah Hathaway). As Bastian reads the story of Atreyu’s quest to save Fantasia from the horror of the Nothing, elements from the fantasy story seemingly creep into Bastian’s reality. But it’s just a book, isn’t it? Fair warning, there are parts of this movie that may scare younger viewers, especially when Atreyu reaches the Swamps of Sadness. But if you and your children can make it past those scenes, this is a timeless classic for families.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Stars: Noah Hathaway, Barret Oliver, Tami Stronach
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Runtime: 94 minutes
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Having an old friend for dinner? Then perhaps The Silence of the Lambs will pair nicely with “some fava beans and a nice chianti.” This horrific thriller cleaned up at the Oscars, winning best picture as well as best actress and best actor for Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, respectively. Foster plays Clarice Starling, a young FBI agent on the trail of a serial killer called Buffalo Bill. As Bill’s reign of terror expands, Clarice is forced to turn to Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins), a brilliant psychiatrist … who just happens to be a dangerous serial killer with a taste for his fellow man. Lecter’s mind games with Clarice push her into dark territory and force her to confront the ghosts of her own past. This is actually the second movie to feature Hannibal Lecter, but Hopkins’ performance was so instantly iconic that it eventually spawned a franchise.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn
Director: Jonathan Demme
Runtime: 118 minutes
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
There’s something magical about Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan sharing top billing in a romantic comedy. Sleepless in Seattle was their second pairing together, and it’s got a charm all of its own even though they spend most of the movie apart. Hanks plays Sam Baldwin, a widower with an 8-year-old son, Jonah (Ross Malinger). When Jonah shares his father’s story on a radio show, it captures the attention of Annie Reed (Meg Ryan). Although Annie lives hundreds of miles away, she finds herself drawn to Sam and his son. She’s also a bit unhappy with her current love life, and circumstances slowly bring Annie and Sam together even when they don’t realize it.
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Stars: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Bill Pullman
Director: Nora Ephron
Runtime: 105 minutes
Sleepy Hollow (1998)
Ichabod Crane is an odd choice for a hero, given his manipulative and even cowardly portrayal in Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. But in Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod (Johnny Depp) is a brilliant New York police detective at the turn of the century who is called in to investigate a series of grisly murders. Much to Ichabod’s amazement, the Headless Horseman isn’t a myth. However, there’s more to the Horseman’s rampage that meets the eye. And the conspiracy within Sleepy Hollow centers around Katrina Van Tassel (Christina Ricci), a young woman who captures Ichabod’s heart. If you’re looking for another Halloween treat, put this film on your watch list!
Rotten Tomatoes: 69%
Stars: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson
Director: Tim Burton
Runtime: 106 minutes
“Spaceballs?! … Oh [bleep], there goes the planet.”
Mel Brooks is a comedic genius, and Spaceballs gave him a chance to play with the familiar tropes of a galaxy far, far away. Star Wars isn’t the only sci-fi franchise that gets mercilessly mocked in this film, but it does get the lion’s share of the jokes. In particular, Rick Moranis hilariously portrays Dark Helmet as a vindictive Darth Vader-like nerd who has a habit of humiliating himself. Brooks even gets to play a Yoda-like guru, Yogurt, who recognizes that the true power of a movie is “merchandising, merchandising!” We’re still waiting on our Spaceballs: The Flamethrower, dang it! But in the meantime, this is one of the greatest sci-fi spoofs that’s ever been made.
Rotten Tomatoes: 56%
Stars: Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis
Director: Mel Brooks
Runtime: 97 minutes
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