Skip to main content

The 50 best movies on Netflix right now (May 2022)

Movie night is easy with a Netflix subscription. The streaming service has a massive library filled with new and classic films, as well as plenty of exclusive, original — and in many cases, award-winning — movies only available to subscribers. And with new movies coming to Netflix all the time, the library is constantly changing and growing, too. In order to help you choose just the right film, we even look through the collection every week and update this list of the best movies on Netflix right now.

Looking for something else? We’ve also rounded up the best shows on Netflix, the best movies on Hulu, the best movies on Amazon Prime, and the best movies on Disney+. Watching from abroad? Use a Netflix VPN to access your country’s catalog from anywhere in the world. Want to watch on the go? We can show you how to download movies on Netflix.

The Babysitter (2017)

The Babysitter
6.4/10
85m
Genre Comedy, Horror
Stars Judah Lewis, Jimmy Warden, Frederick Keeve
Directed by McG
Cole (Judah Lewis) loves his babysitter, Bee (Samara Weaving). She’s fun, good-looking, and worships the dark lord of all dark lords. Behind Bee’s charming smile is a sinister satanist with a thirst for blood. As members of a creepy cult begin their descent over Cole’s life, it’s up to the preteen to outsmart their efforts before he becomes Bee’s next victim. A Netflix original film, The Babysitter doesn’t surprise in many ways but follows the genre formula to a T, and we love the dedication. It’s campy, edgy, and a joyride through and through.

Roma (2018)

Roma
96 %
7.7/10
135m
Genre Drama
Stars Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma opens quietly, the camera staring, motionless, at a tile floor as the credits play; eventually, water pours over the floor as the sound of a mop spills in from just offscreen. It’s a boldly mundane opening, fitting for a film about an ordinary woman. Roma follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a maid working in the household of a wealthy doctor, Antonio (Fernando Grediaga), and his wife, Sofia (Marina de Tavira). Cleo cleans the house, tends to the children, and keeps the household running as Antonio and Sofia’s marriage strains. Cleo is the type of character typically relegated to the background of stories like this, but Cuaron makes her the focus, depicting her daily labor and struggles with a surprise pregnancy and unreliable lover. It’s a beautiful Netflix film, delicately composed and shot in stark black and white.

Space Sweepers (2021)

Space Sweepers
64 %
6.5/10
136m
Genre Drama, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Stars Song Joong-ki, Kim Tae-ri, Yoo Hae-jin
Directed by Jo Sung-hee
Widely regarded as Korea’s first blockbuster space adventure, Space Sweepers is set in the year 2092 and follows the colorful crew of The Victory, a salvage ship that retrieves debris from space and sells it to the megacorporation that owns humanity’s last hope for survival, an orbiting space station high above the toxic surface of Earth. When the crew encounters a young girl in their latest salvage haul, it kicks off a wild adventure that pits them against powerful forces intent on steering mankind’s future. Filled with gorgeous visual-effects sequences, fascinating characters, and plenty of comedy — and a memorable robot named Bubs — the film is a fast-paced, fun throwback to classic space adventures with some wonderfully modern twists.

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf (2021)

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf
67 %
7.2/10
83m
Genre Animation, Action, Fantasy
Stars Theo James, Mary McDonnell, Lara Pulver
Directed by Han Kwang-il
A prequel to the live-action The Witcher series, Nightmare of the Wolf follows a brash monster hunter whose investigation leads to a pivotal moment in the timeline of the show’s dark fantasy world. The film is animated by the same studio responsible for hit shows The Legend of KorraVoltron: Legendary Defender, and Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, so it’s no surprise how beautiful it looks, but unlike those kid-friendly series, Nightmare of the Wolf is a brutal, bloody adventure aimed at the same audience as The Witcher. Theo James, Lara Pulver, and Graham McTavish are among the notable actors lending their voices to the film’s cast. Read our The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf review for more spoiler-free reasons to watch.

The Midnight Sky (2020)

The Midnight Sky
58 %
5.6/10
118m
Genre Science Fiction, Drama
Stars George Clooney, Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo
Directed by George Clooney
George Clooney directs and stars in this cataclysmic sci-fi thriller, an adaptation of the 2016 Lily-Brooks Dalton novel Good Morning, Midnight. After a powerful radiation event eradicates a majority of the earth’s population, scientist Augustine Lofthouse (Clooney) attempts to make contact with any returning spacecraft to warn the travelers of Earth’s decimation. When he eventually makes brief, interrupted contact with the homebound crew of a Jupiter rover, he decides to set off on a journey across the North Pole along with a young survivor named Iris (Caoilinn Springall) in order to find a stronger antenna to reach the incoming Jupiter crew.

Red Notice (2021)

Red Notice
37 %
6.4/10
118m
Genre Action, Comedy, Crime, Thriller
Stars Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber
Dwayne Johnson plays an Interpol agent whose latest mission has him teaming up with a notorious art thief, played by Ryan Reynolds, in order to catch an even more notorious art thief, played by Gal Gadot. Given the three actors involved, that’s probably enough to make this a must-see movie, so the abundance of action, comedy, and witty banter is just icing on the cake.

Operation Mincemeat (2022) new

Operation Mincemeat
59 %
6.9/10
128m
Genre War, History, Drama
Stars Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald
Directed by John Madden

Oscar-winning filmmaker John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) directs this war drama that chronicles the secret World War II project regarded by many military historians as one of the greatest acts of wartime deception in modern history. The film explores how a small group of British intelligence agents tricked the Nazis into believing Allied forces were planning to invade Greece in order to draw the German army away from their intended — and most obvious — invasion point in Sicily. To do so, they would have to pull off a complicated feat of espionage and counter-intelligence involving a corpse, a batch of fabricated letters, and plenty of luck.

Finding 'Ohana (2021)

Finding 'Ohana
69 %
6.1/10
123m
Genre Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family
Stars Kea Peahu, Alex Aiono, Lindsay Watson
Directed by Jude Weng
Uprooted from her Brooklyn life, Pilialoha “Pili” Kawena (Kea Peahu) and her family travel to Oahu to care for her ailing grandfather. Initially disappointed by the lack of big-city buzz and activity, they discover a pirate journal that alludes to an ancient treasure buried somewhere on the island. As Pili and her older brother begin their quest for the trove, their journey takes them on a Hawaiian odyssey that connects them with their ancient island heritage. A loving family drama, Finding ‘Ohana is like The Goonies set amid the breathtaking beauty of Hawaii.

Passing (2021)

Passing
85 %
6.7/10
98m
Genre Drama
Stars Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, André Holland
Directed by Rebecca Hall
The title of this black-and-white drama, based on Nella Larsen’s celebrated 1929 novel of the same name, is a reference to the ability of some light-skinned African Americans to be perceived as white. The critically acclaimed film follows a pair of former childhood friends — portrayed by Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga — whose unexpected reunion brings tension into both of their lives as they navigate the segregated environment of 1920s New York City. André Holland and Alexander Skarsgård play supporting roles in the film, which is beautifully shot and surprisingly subtle given its powerful themes.

Ravenous (2017)

Ravenous
5.8/10
103m
Genre Horror, Drama, Science Fiction
Stars Marc-André Grondin, Monia Chokri, Charlotte St-Martin
Directed by Robin Aubert
Ravenous (originally titled Les Affamés) begins after a mysterious plague has annihilated much of Quebec, turning its victims into shrieking, flesh-eating monsters. The story follows various survivors who eventually band together to fight back the horde, but despite the familiar plot, this isn’t a typical zombie movie; it is a deliberately paced, eerily beautiful horror movie. The protagonist is a man named Bonin (Marc-Andre Grondin) who wanders the countryside, finding other survivors and slaying zombies. As the group grows, the film gives each character proper development, so they feel fully fleshed out, unlike the stock survivors of many a zombie film. While the film has its gory moments, Ravenous frequently employs an atmosphere of dread built through uncanny imagery, such as when the zombies congregate before a shrine made of furniture.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
91 %
8.2/10
91m
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Stars Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle
Directed by Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Widely regarded as one of the funniest movies ever made, this parody of Arthurian legend was written and performed by the famous Monty Python comedy troupe and directed by troupe members Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. The film chronicles various elements of King Arthur’s quest to find the Holy Grail and those of his fellow Knights of the Round Table as they encounter one ridiculous scenario after another in pursuit of the relic. If you’ve ever wondered about the airspeed of a swallow, the best ways to determine whether someone is a witch, or how a fuzzy bunny could be the most terrifying creature in the world, well … you might not get all the answers in this film, but you’ll definitely find plenty of laughs.

Enola Holmes (2020)

Enola Holmes
68 %
6.6/10
123m
Genre Mystery, Crime, Adventure
Stars Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin
Directed by Harry Bradbeer
So, you thought Sherlock Holmes was played out? Well, you thought wrong because you didn’t know he had a little sister. Millie Bobby Brown shines as the title character in this action-packed, fun-filled twist on the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories. When her mother turns up mysteriously missing, teenage Enola Holmes hits the trail to find her — something her more famous brother is simply too preoccupied to do. As she sniffs out clues, Enola discovers she might just have as much as, or even more of, a knack for this sleuthing thing than her brother, slowly uncovering a dangerous conspiracy that threatens to rattle the English aristocracy.

Bubble (2022) new

Bubble
7.9/10
101m
Genre Animation, Adventure, Science Fiction
Stars Jun Shison, Riria, Mamoru Miyano
Directed by Tetsuro Araki
This animated feature from Attack on Titan director Tetsuro Araki is set in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo where a mysterious event has affected the laws of gravity, leaving strange bubbles and urban debris floating throughout the city. Skilled racers compete in parkour-like competitions for food and supplies, and when one gifted young man encounters a strange girl while exploring the epicenter of the gravity-twisting “bubble event,” their relationship changes the lives of everyone around them. A gorgeous spectacle of sights and sounds, Bubble begs to be seen on a high-end entertainment system, delivering remarkably detailed scenes of the characters traversing the city and a powerful score that accentuates its most thrilling — and quietest — moments.

Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)

Ouija: Origin of Evil
65 %
6.2/10
99m
Genre Horror, Thriller
Stars Elizabeth Reaser, Lulu Wilson, Annalise Basso
Directed by Mike Flanagan
Before he was one of horror’s hottest filmmakers Mike Flanagan co-wrote and directed this prequel film in the Ouija franchise. It’s not common for a prequel to be better than the original, but Origin of Evil was the rare exception, showcasing Flanagan’s talents and paving the way for the great projects that followed, including the critically acclaimed Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass. Set in 1965, this film follows a single mother and her daughters’ horrifying ordeal after they attempt to add a new dimension to their séance business but accidentally bring a very real supernatural threat into their home.

Metal Lords (2022)

Metal Lords
r 97m
Genre Comedy, Drama, Music
Stars Jaeden Martell, Isis Hainsworth, Adrian Greensmith
Directed by Peter Sollett
Jaeden Martell and Adrian Greensmith play a pair of teenage friends who decide to form a heavy metal band and enter their high school’s Battle of the Bands competition. What they don’t expect, however, is to have their friendship tested and to learn about a lot more than music when they recruit a shy cellist to join them. Along with being a fun, funny coming-of-age film, Metal Lords features one of the most intense soundtracks of any recent film, thanks to the involvement of Rage Against The Machine‘s Tom Morello as music supervisor. As if that wasn’t enough to make this one stand out, the script was penned by Game of Thrones co-creator D.B. Weiss as one of his first Netflix-exclusive projects.

Ip Man (2008)

Ip Man
59 %
8/10
106m
Genre Drama, Action, History
Stars Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Lynn Hung
Directed by Wilson Yip
This award-winning 2008 biographical film about Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man took a while to find its way to US audiences, but not before breaking all kinds of box office records and earning heaps of praise for star Donnie Yen and choreographer Sammo Hung. Set during the 1930s and ’40s in the city of Foshan, the film chronicles Ip Man’s experiences during the second Sino-Japanese War, when a Japanese general challenged local men to duels to prove his army’s superiority. The first installment of what would become a four-film franchise, Ip Man offers a fascinating look at the life of the man who would go on to train Bruce Lee years later.

The Hateful Eight (2015)

The Hateful Eight
68 %
7.8/10
188m
Genre Drama, Mystery, Western
Stars Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
The year is 1877. When a blizzard rips through the mountain passes of Wyoming, a band of weary stagecoach travelers decides to hole up at Minnie’s Haberdashery. The pilgrims include bounty hunters John Ruth and Major Marquis Warren (Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson, respectively); Ruth’s bounty, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), on her way to the noose; a Confederate loudmouth (Walton Goggins); and their stagecoach driver (James Parks). No one trusts the others, an issue only exacerbated when Minnie’s turns out to be occupied by several other stormbound folks. When personalities begin to clash, the eight occupants start picking sides and losing their minds. Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film features a stellar cast, impressive visuals, and plenty of the filmmaker’s signature dialogue.

Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks (2019)

Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks
6.7/10
108m
Genre Documentary
Stars Sammo Hung, Cheng Pei-Pei, Scott Adkins
Directed by Serge Ou
You don’t have to be a kung fu film fan to enjoy this documentary on the wild, fascinating history of the genre, but you probably will be by the time it’s over. Featuring plenty of archival footage and interviews with a long list of legends from behind the camera and in front of it, this film charts the origins and evolutions of kung fu films and the filmmakers and stars that made it one of the most popular — and influential — film genres in both the U.S. and abroad. Kung fu cinema has shaped countless film genres, as well as popular music and even cultural movements over the years, and this documentary does a wonderful job of diving into how and why it has such a profound, global reach.

Nightcrawler (2014)

Nightcrawler
76 %
7.8/10
118m
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller
Stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed
Directed by Dan Gilroy
Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a driven young man who is desperate to find work in the high-octane world of Los Angeles crime journalism. After discovering a group of freelance camera crews that film crashes, fires, murder, and other mayhem around the city, Lou muscles his way into this world, which is known as nightcrawling. Now, every police siren equals a possible cash windfall, and Lou begins to see victims as another payday. Aided by veteran newswoman Nina (Rene Russo), Lou thrives in the blood sport of local TV news, eventually becoming the star of his own story.

Apocalypse Now Redux (1979)

Apocalypse Now Redux
94 %
8.5/10
147m
Genre Drama, War
Stars Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now casts Martin Sheen as an Army captain sent deep into the jungles of Cambodia to find and assassinate a renegade colonel amassing his own personal army and a cult-like following during the height of the Vietnam War. Marlon Brando delivers a truly iconic performance as the terrifying Colonel Walter Kurtz, whose ideology and brutality have made him a god to those around him, both feared and worshipped. The Redux version of the film has been re-edited to include almost an hour of additional footage cut from the 1979 theatrical release.

The Social Dilemma (2020)

The Social Dilemma
78 %
7.6/10
pg-13 94m
Genre Documentary, Drama
Stars Skyler Gisondo, Kara Hayward, Vincent Kartheiser
Directed by Jeff Orlowski
Director Jeff Orlowski’s The Social Dilemma is an eye-opening docudrama that puts big tech like Google, Facebook, and Instagram under the microscope. Various talking heads (many ex-employees of big tech) weigh in on social media’s harmful implications — from algorithmic data mining to mental health detriments. The more one watches Orlowski’s film, the more questions one begins asking about their own social media exposure. The Social Dilemma doesn’t stray from its intent, leaving us with all kinds of things to think about (particularly our own social media accounts) once the credits roll.

Mank (2020)

Mank
79 %
6.8/10
r 132m
Genre Drama, History
Stars Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins
Directed by David Fincher
In this photographic gem of a Hollywood retrospective, director David Fincher delivers a finely layered drama about the writing of a Golden Age masterpiece. The writer in question is Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman). The film he’s writing, commissioned by Orson Welles (Tom Burke), is Citizen KaneMank‘s narrative shifts back and forth from the 1930s to the 1940s, chronicling the turbulent life of its title character throughout his development of the screenplay. Mank was written by the late Jack Fincher, the director’s father, and features amazing performances from its rich ensemble cast. It’s a great watch for cinephiles and casual viewers alike, with a dazzling and authentic take on La La Land’s heyday.

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Blade Runner 2049
81 %
8/10
r 164m
Genre Science Fiction, Drama
Stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Denis Villeneuve returned to the world of Blade Runner for this sequel released 35 years after the original 1982 film that had Harrison Ford hunting hidden androids in a neon-drenched, cyberpunk metropolis. The sequel casts Ryan Gosling as an agent tasked with continuing to track down androids living among us, but when he unearths a dangerous secret, he ends up on the trail of Ford’s Rick Deckard, the same agent involved in a conspiracy 30 years earlier.

The Paper Tigers (2020)

The Paper Tigers
67 %
6.3/10
pg-13 108m
Genre Action, Comedy
Stars Alain Uy, Ron Yuan, Mykel Shannon Jenkins
Directed by Quoc Bao Tran
When the mentor of the once-feared martial artists known as “The Three Tigers” is murdered, the trio must reunite to avenge their former teacher. The only problem? They’re now middle-aged men with families, jobs, and responsibilities outside of martial arts drama. This lighthearted action-comedy throws all the right punches with its story of friendship and kung fu, plus the challenges of getting old.

Fear Street: 1994 (2021)

Fear Street: 1994
67 %
6.2/10
r 107m
Genre Mystery, Horror
Stars Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr.
Directed by Leigh Janiak
This retro slasher feature based on R.L. Stine’s book series of the same name follows a group of teenagers in fictional Shadyside, Ohio, who find themselves terrorized by a supernatural killer with a link to the town’s dark history. Dripping with ’90s nostalgia and plenty of blood, the movie is the first installment of a trilogy that explores Shadyside’s deadly reputation as the murder capital of the country, with each chapter unfolding in a different era. Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Julia Rehwald, and Fred Hechinger star in the terrifying tale.

Sorry to Bother You (2018)

Sorry to Bother You
80 %
6.9/10
r 112m
Genre Fantasy, Science Fiction, Comedy
Stars Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler
Directed by Boots Riley
Set in an alternate version of Oakland, California, Sorry to Bother You casts LaKeith Stanfield (Get OutThe Harder They Fall) as a Black telemarketer who discovers that using his “white voice” propels him up the corporate ladder, only to find that every inch of upward mobility comes at a high moral price. A fascinating, unpredictable takedown of corporate culture and viral celebrity, the 2018 surreal comedy served as the directorial debut of hip-hop musician Boots Riley, and earned a long list of awards and high praise from critics en route to becoming one of the year’s most under-the-radar gems. Tessa Thompson, Terry Crews, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Danny Glover, Steven Yeun, and Armie Hammer so-star in the film, which delivers plenty of unexpected surprises along with its potent message.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

A Nightmare on Elm Street
76 %
7.5/10
r 91m
Genre Horror
Stars Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, John Saxon
Directed by Wes Craven
The film that spawned one of horror’s most iconic franchises and helped save a studio, filmmaker Wes Craven’s 1984 story of a monstrous serial killer who hunts teenagers in their dreams delivers plenty of scares for a movie that’s nearly four decades old. In the role that made him a legend, Robert Englund plays the terrifying, razor-gloved, sweater-wearing Freddy Krueger, who stalks the subconscious minds of a sleepy town’s high school students whenever they fall asleep. Sure, the sequels fell off a bit with each installment and reboot, but the original movie still packs a punch due to Englund’s performance and some innovative, ahead-of-their-time effects.

The Lost Boys (1987)

The Lost Boys
63 %
7.2/10
r 97m
Genre Horror, Comedy
Stars Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Dianne Wiest
Directed by Joel Schumacher
Joel Schumacher assembled some of the era’s hottest rising stars for his 1987 vampire thriller that follows a pair of siblings whose recent move to a small California town is complicated by a gang of teenage blood-suckers terrorizing the region. Decades later, the humor and scares hold up surprisingly well in The Lost Boys, and so do many of the film’s themes. Come for the slick horror tale, but stay for ’80s-era Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Kiefer Sutherland, and an oiled-up guy playing the saxophone.

Over the Moon (2020)

Over the Moon
60 %
6.4/10
pg 100m
Genre Animation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Stars Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Ken Jeong
Directed by Glen Keane
Fei Fei (Cathy Ang), grieving the loss of her mother, clings to a legend about a moon goddess named Chang’e. Much to the dismay of her father and his new family, the girl aims to prove that the goddess does indeed exist. To do so, she begins work on a rocket that will take her to the moon to prove Chang’e’s existence. Filled with heart and mesmerizing animation, the Oscar-nominated Over the Moon often looks and feels like your standard Disney epic, but the familiar structure and dazzling music are enough to keep everyone glued to the screen.

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

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
50 %
6.5/10
pg-13 123m
Genre Comedy, Music
Stars Rachel McAdams, Will Ferrell, Pierce Brosnan
Directed by David Dobkin
Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams play a pair of Icelandic musicians with dreams of stardom in this 2020 comedy. Widely ridiculed but persistent in their pop-music aspirations, Lars Erickssong (Ferrell) and Sigrit Ericksdóttir (McAdams) find themselves thrust into the spotlight when an unexpected series of events gives them the chance to represent their country at the famous Eurovision Song Contest, where they must prove themselves up to the task. A musical underdog story featuring a host of real-world Eurovision winners in cameo roles, The Story of Fire Saga is silly fun that warms the heart and is almost certain to bring a smile to your face.

ParaNorman (2012)

ParaNorman
72 %
7/10
pg 90m
Genre Family, Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Stars Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Jodelle Ferland
Directed by Sam Fell, Chris Butler
A young boy who can communicate with ghosts finds himself at the center of a 300-year-old curse in this stop-motion animated film that was nominated for an Academy Award. Kodi Smit-McPhee leads the cast of voice actors in ParaNorman, which is notable for being the first full-length, stop-motion film to use 3D-printed faces to animate its characters. It’s also a funny — and occasionally a little creepy — film that kids and adults alike will enjoy for its heartwarming story about embracing the differences that make each of us unique and learning to listen to others when it matters most.

Warrior (2011)

Warrior
71 %
8.2/10
pg-13 140m
Genre Drama, Action
Stars Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Jennifer Morrison
Directed by Gavin O'Connor
Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy portray estranged brothers whose long-simmering grudges come to the surface when they find themselves competing in the same mixed martial arts tournament. Edgerton plays high-school teacher Brendan Riordan, who enters the tournament to pay off his family’s medical bills, while Hardy plays Tommy Riordan, a Marine who can’t bring himself to stop fighting. Looming large over the brothers’ impending showdown is their father, a recovering alcoholic portrayed by Nick Nolte, whose childhood treatment of his sons has led to the rift between them. A tense, heart-wrenching drama featuring impressive fight sequences and equally hard-hitting emotional beats, Warrior earned Nolte an Oscar nomination for his performance.

Misha and the Wolves (2021)

Misha and the Wolves
63 %
6.7/10
pg-13 90m
Genre Documentary
Stars Misha Defonseca
Directed by Sam Hobkinson
Move over, Tiger King, Netflix has another wild documentary you need to see to believe. The film chronicles the far-reaching investigation that took place after the publication of Misha Defonseca’s widely circulated 1997 memoir Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years, in which the author describes her experiences as a young Holocaust survivor who was raised by wolves while searching Europe for her parents. It’s best not knowing any of the twists and turns the story takes ahead of time, so just sit back and let this true, stranger-than-fiction story unfold. You won’t be disappointed.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

Hunt for the Wilderpeople
81 %
7.8/10
pg-13 101m
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Stars Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rima Te Wiata
Directed by Taika Waititi
Based on Barry Crump’s novel Wild Pork and Watercress, Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople stars Sam Neill and Julian Dennison as an unlikely foster father/foster child duo. After his adoption by the Faulkner family, Ricky (Dennison) attempts to settle into his new family, but tragic events scare the boy into the dense New Zealand wilderness. Hec (Neill), Ricky’s foster parent, tracks the boy down but suffers a debilitating injury in the process. Bonding over their pasts and hoping for a freer future, the pair decide to hide away in the brush together. But with a national manhunt underway to find the man and boy, how long can their odyssey truly last? Hunt for the Wilderpeople lives and breathes through Neill and Dennison’s onscreen chemistry, an acting partnership only deepened by Waititi’s rich and emotive script.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020)

I'm Thinking of Ending Things
78 %
6.6/10
r 135m
Genre Drama, Mystery
Stars Jesse Plemons, Jessie Buckley, Toni Collette
Directed by Charlie Kaufman
Writer-director Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Synecdoche, New York) is at his most delightfully weird in this Netflix original movie. This time- and the perspective-bending story follows a young, nameless woman on a road trip to her new boyfriend’s parents’ house in the middle of a blizzard. When she gets there, she finds the parents (Toni Collette, David Thewlis) are extremely weird, and the house seems to exist in some kind of surreal alternate reality where time and character morph with abandon. Alternatively strange and hilarious, and constantly thought-provoking, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is powered by strong writing and outstanding performances from all the actors involved.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
67 %
7.8/10
g 100m
Genre Family, Fantasy, Comedy
Stars Gene Wilder, Peter Ostrum, Jack Albertson
Directed by Mel Stuart
Gene Wilder was at his wacky best in this beloved adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which follows a young boy’s adventure through a candy-filled wonderland when he wins the opportunity to visit the eccentric, reclusive chocolatier Willy Wonka (Wilder). Infinitely quotable and filled with iconic — and occasionally terrifying — moments, director Mel Stuart’s film is a silly, psychedelic fantasy tale that still holds up more than 50 years after it first hit screens.

Taxi Driver (1976)

Taxi Driver
94 %
8.3/10
r 114m
Genre Crime, Drama
Stars Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks
Directed by Martin Scorsese
An existential odyssey by seedy New York moonlight, Taxi Driver follows Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), an unmoored Vietnam vet who takes a job as a cab driver. Reeling from the war, Travis becomes enraged by the world around him. From the pimps of child sex workers to the rhetoric of political movers and shakers, Travis’ inner rage begins to boil over, propelling the character from a quiet observer into a darkened vigilante. Directed by Martin Scorsese from a script by Paul Schrader, Taxi Driver helped to pour the template for gritty ’70s realism, serving as inspiration for such modern-day films as Joker and Nightcrawler.

Stand by Me (1986)

Stand by Me
75 %
8.1/10
r 89m
Genre Crime, Drama
Stars Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman
Directed by Rob Reiner
Rob Reiner helmed this critically acclaimed adaptation of Stephen King’s novella The Body, which follows four young friends who embark on a hike through the Oregon wilderness in 1959 in the hopes of finding a dead body of a lost boy and claiming the reward. The film features an all-star cast of actors who went on to become household names, with Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O’Connell portraying the childhood friends and Kiefer Sutherland playing the leader of a local teenage gang. A powerful, funny, and occasionally heart-wrenching coming-of-age story, Stand by Me was nominated for an Academy Award for its screenplay and a pair of Golden Globe Awards as the year’s best film and for Reiner’s directing.

The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)

The Mitchells vs. the Machines
81 %
7.7/10
pg 114m
Genre Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Science Fiction, Action
Stars Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph
Directed by Michael Rianda
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the duo that gave us The Lego Movie and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, return for this animated feature about a dysfunctional family that ends up becoming humanity’s last and best hope against a robot uprising. Mike Rianda (Gravity Falls) makes his directorial debut with the film, which also features an impressive voice cast that includes Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Eric Andre, Olivia Colman, Fred Armisen, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Blake Griffin, and Conan O’Brien, among other familiar names (and voices). An early favorite for the year’s best animated feature, The Mitchells vs. The Machines became a surprise hit for Netflix.

The Summit of the Gods (2021) new

The Summit of the Gods
78 %
7.5/10
pg 95m
Genre Animation, Adventure, Mystery
Stars Éric Herson-Macarel, Damien Boisseau, Elisabeth Ventura
Directed by Patrick Imbert
This gorgeously animated, French-language film from director Patrick Imbert chronicles a Japanese photojournalist’s quest for the truth regarding a mysterious mountain climber and his connection to one of the first teams to attempt to climb Mt. Everest. A Cannes Film Festival darling praised for its beautiful visual achievement and compelling story, The Summit of the Gods is the rare adaptation of a Japanese manga series that does right by its source material — which was also based on a 1998 novel by Baku Yumemakura. Fascinating and emotional, the film makes it tough not to be pulled along on the characters’ epic journey.

Fast Color (2019) new

Fast Color
64 %
6/10
pg-13 102m
Genre Thriller, Science Fiction
Stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Saniyya Sidney, Lorraine Toussaint
Directed by Julia Hart
Three generations of African-American women with supernatural powers find themselves reunited and on the run across the Midwest in this critically praised 2018 drama directed by Julia Hart. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Lorraine Toussaint, and Saniyya Sidney portray the three women pursued by scientists looking to study their powerful abilities in a story about family, grief, and forgiveness unlike any other superhero story in recent years.

The Power of the Dog (2021) new

The Power of the Dog
89 %
6.9/10
r 127m
Genre Western, Drama, Romance
Stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons
Directed by Jane Campion
Written and directed by Jane Campion (The Piano), this critically acclaimed western drama casts Benedict Cumberbatch as a charismatic, domineering rancher who torments his brother’s new wife and her son when they move into the family home. Jesse Plemons portrays the aforementioned brother, with Kirsten Dunst playing the new wife and Kodi Smit-McPhee as her son. Campion’s celebrated film carefully uncovers the resentment, jealousy, and frustrations lurking beneath the surface of each of the film’s characters, setting them up for a dramatic collision you won’t see coming.

The White Tiger (2021)

The White Tiger
76 %
7.1/10
r 125m
Genre Drama
Stars Adarsh Gourav, Rajkummar Rao, Priyanka Chopra
Directed by Ramin Bahrani
Based on Aravind Adiga’s 2008 novel of the same name, The White Tiger follows the rags-to-riches story of Balram Halwai (Adarsh Gourav), an impoverished Indian villager that, through hard work (and a little manipulation), pushes himself into a much-lauded driver position for Ashok (Rajkummar Rao) and Pinky (Priyanka Chopra Jonas), two highly influential business magnates. Coming to love his position, a tragic misstep places Balram in the crosshairs of Ashok’s family. Unwilling to serve as a scapegoat, Balram chooses to fight back against the corrupt forces at play. A gripping class-drama akin to Parasite mates with JokerThe White Tiger is one of the greatest dramas you can stream today.

tick, tick...BOOM! (2021) new

tick, tick...BOOM!
74 %
7.5/10
pg-13 121m
Genre Drama, Music
Stars Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesús
Directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Andrew Garfield stars as Rent playwright Jonathon Larson in this semi-autobiographical film directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The musical drama chronicles Larson’s struggles to bring the rock musical he’s been working on for years to the stage while navigating love, friendships, and both personal and professional pressure in New York City.

Da 5 Bloods (2020)

Da 5 Bloods
82 %
6.5/10
r 156m
Genre War, Drama
Stars Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters
Directed by Spike Lee
This 2020 war drama marked a celebrated return to form for director, producer, and co-writer Spike Lee, and earned a long list of honors and awards for both Lee and the magnificent performances of the film’s talented cast. The story follows a group of Vietnam War veterans who return to the jungle hoping to find the remains of their dead squad leader and a hidden treasure they left behind during the war. Delroy Lindo leads a cast that also includes Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Jean Reno, and the late, great Chadwick Boseman.

The Harder They Fall (2021) new

The Harder They Fall
71 %
5.7/10
r 139m
Genre Western
Stars Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Regina King
Directed by Jeymes Samuel
This neo-Western adventure brings together some of Hollywood’s hottest African-American actors for a stylized spin on the genre filled with epic action, great music, and memorable performances. Lovecraft Country and Loki actor Jonathan Majors plays Nat Love, a man looking to avenge the murder of his parents by the ruthless outlaw Rufus Buck, played by Idris Elba. Zazie Beetz, Regina King, Delroy Lindo, Lakeith Stanfield, and Edi Gathegi join Majors and Elba in the film’s impressive ensemble. Read our The Harder They Fall review for more spoiler-free reasons to watch.

It Follows (2015) new

It Follows
83 %
6.8/10
r 101m
Genre Horror, Mystery
Stars Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto
Directed by David Robert Mitchell
This 2014 horror film was praised for its fresh, frightening tale about a teenager who discovers she’s been given a sexually transmitted curse that passes from one partner to the next and kills its current host if it’s not passed on. Stylish and tense, the film casts Maika Monroe as a teenage girl forced to contend with the curse stalking her wherever she goes.

Yes, God, Yes (2020) new

Yes, God, Yes
71 %
6.1/10
r 78m
Genre Comedy
Stars Natalia Dyer, Alisha Boe, Francesca Reale
Directed by Karen Maine
Stranger Things alum Natalia Dyer stars in writer-director Karen Maine’s Yes, God, Yes, a coming-of-age take on religious repression and burgeoning sexuality. Alice (Dyer) and her friend Laura (Francesca Reale) decide to attend their Catholic school’s annual Kirkos retreat. On their pilgrimage, Alice inadvertently enters into a promiscuous AOL chat when she tries to look up a particular sex act. This puts into place a daisy chain of rumors among Alice’s peers, with Alice’s genuine innocence and curiosity put uncomfortably in the middle. Based on her 2017 short film of the same name, Maine’s Yes, God, Yes is a nuanced and mature story of one teenager trying to wade her way through the stigma of sex, featuring a powerful lead performance from Dyer.

I Care a Lot (2020)

I Care a Lot
66 %
6.3/10
r 118m
Genre Drama, Comedy, Thriller
Stars Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage
Directed by J Blakeson
Rosamund Pike portrays a diabolical con artist who poses as the legal guardian for elderly people in order to seize their assets in this dark, satirical thriller. Her highly profitable scam takes a dangerous turn when her latest victim turns out to be the mother of a powerful mob boss, leading to a deadly battle of wills between Pike’s character and a ruthless criminal kingpin played by Peter Dinklage. Eiza González and Dianne Wiest play supporting roles in the film, which earned praise from critics and led to Pike taking home a Golden Globe Award for her performance.

Untold: Crime and Penalties (2021)

Untold: Crime and Penalties
7.4/10
tv-ma
Genre Documentary, Sports
Cast Jimmy Galante, AJ Galante
What happens when a waste-removal tycoon with mob ties decides to buy a minor league hockey team and make his teenage son the general manager and president? That question was answered when Jimmy Galante brought the Danbury Trashers to his Connecticut hometown in 2004 and had his 17-year-old son, A.J., run the UHL expansion team for two wild, brawl-filled seasons — a run that eventually led to a massive FBI bust that sent the elder Galante to prison and forced the team to disband. Part Slapshot, part The Sopranos (Galante was rumored to be the real-world inspiration for Tony Soprano, after all), the outrageous story of the Trashers is almost too crazy to believe, but the documentary is packed with interviews and archival footage — including ESPN broadcasts from the Trashers’ brief run — that hammers home how real this crazy sports saga was.

Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Always Be My Maybe
64 %
6.8/10
pg-13 102m
Genre Comedy, Romance
Stars Ali Wong, Randall Park, Keanu Reeves
Directed by Nahnatchka Khan
Childhood friends Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park) cross paths as adults, years after a teenage fling, and soon find themselves navigating life and love while maintaining two very different career paths and social circles. She’s a celebrity chef who hangs out with Keanu Reeves and he installs air conditioners. Can they ever find common ground? You probably know the answer to that already, but watching how they get there is where the fun lies — particularly when it comes to Reeves’ memorable performance.

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from: