We’ve all been there. Mindlessly surfing the Netflix app for a movie to catch on a quiet night in. Netflix and chill or brave the madness of traffic and crowds? That’s an easy one. Netflix and chill. But now comes wading through the Netflix movie catalog hunting for the best movies on netflix.
And it’s quite the catalog of movies. Do you start wandering through the endless list of suggestions? Do you really want to watch a mindless B-movie? Nah, you really don’t. Trust me; it takes a particular kind of boredom to sit through a cheesy action flick.
What we all need is a list of good movies on Netflix. Something for everyone, whether it’s to impress a girlfriend/boyfriend on your inner cinephile. Or, you’re stuck in the house for the night and need something solid before your constant indecision has you falling asleep on the couch.
Or propped up in bed with your glasses on, earbuds in and an iPad in your lap… Yeah, it happens. Thankfully, Alex saves me from myself though I’m sure I’m destroying my neck doing this. That’s a true bro.
Here’s our list (updated monthly) of movies on Netflix.
Best Movies on Netflix
This isn’t in any order, so don’t shoot off an angry email telling me I have horrible taste. It’s what’s on Netflix right now.
Throughout the countless MCU movies, the standalone Thor movies have been on the weaker side. Taika Waititi has turned that notion on its head with the absolutely brilliant Thor: Ragnarok. The director also plays one of the better characters, Korg, in the movie. His dry humor and delivery are an absolute treat as he starts a new revolution. Chris Hemsworth turn as Thor feels like he has settled into the role. Having it as a buddy comedy with the Hulk is great, and I don’t think Tom Hiddleston has turned in a bad performance as Loki.
The question going forward is will we see Korg and Valkyrie in the untitled Avengers 4 in 2019.
Need more MCU in your life? You can’t go wrong with a rewatch of Black Panther. In a slate of nearly two dozen films in the universe, Black Panther is a standout. First introduced in Captain America: Civil War, Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther quickly became a fan favorite, though you know he’s grown weary of the Wakanda Forever salute.
Marvel Studios pulled off quite a coup tapping Ryan Coogler to helm the film. You’ll recognize the name from Creed and Fruitvale Station. He manages to inject themes of isolationism and visually stunning set pieces into a fantastic comic book movie. The film also gave us perhaps the best MCU villain in Michael B. Jordan’s turn as Killmonger. Here’s hoping when the Avengers undo the snap, the time travel also resurrects Marvel’s best villain to date.
Documentary lovers need to add 13th to our must-watch list. Equal parts enlightening and infuriating, it’s Ava DuVernay’s follow-up to her acclaimed Selma documentary. It shines the light on how the passage of the 13th Amendment led to the mass incarceration of minorities.
The documentary doesn’t just focus on cultural racism which results in the widespread incarceration of minorities. It’s money too. Locking people up is good business with the proliferation of private prisons.
13th will piss you off and hopefully spur you into action. No, don’t tweet a hashtag. Become involved in politics. Yeah, everyone hates politics except everything is political. Better to become engaged or you might wake up one day with zero rights left.
Something for the kids and those of us who are kids at heart. Shrek fits that role perfectly thanks to the voice acting of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz. It’s hilarious and another animation stunner from Pixar. This movie hit theaters in 2001. The animation and the jokes hold up today.
The ultimate classic. We are on the fifth movie now, but none of them can eclipse the original. Who doesn’t remember being a kid and wanting a stuffed raptor? Yeah, I was one of those kids. The movie delighted all ages as we could step into a world where dinosaurs were roaming a theme park. With Samuel L. Jackson as a chief programmer. He said it right. Hold onto your butts.
Jurassic Park also pushes Jeff Goldblum’s character to new heights. While he played Ian Malcolm, it’s safe to assume he’s been playing himself since.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Yes, it’s a controversial pick. While a lot of the criticism comes from a subset of nutcases with YouTube channels, I’m not a fan of the movie. Parts were out of place. And then my biggest gripe is the movie is second in a trilogy. Remember everything about Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Snoke? Who is Rey? The resistance? Yeah, forget all of that because it doesn’t matter. But here’s a shot of Luke milking and animal and drinking it. That was necessary for character development?
Here’s where I’m optimistic on Rian Johnson and Star Wars. The Last Jedi would be fine as an individual film. Not as movie #2 in a trilogy. While a polarizing opinion, I’m genuinely excited to see Rian get away from the Skywalker arc and tell his own Star Wars story in a new trilogy.
While not as entertaining as recent MCU films, it’s undoubtedly a must watch before Infinity Wars and the next Avengers film. Infinity War left no doubt Dr. Strange will be pivotal in reversing the Thanos snap. Overall it’s a fun film and seeing Benedict Cumberbatch’s dry humor is always a plus.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
A sequel is always at the mercy of the original. We do know Disney/Marvel made a fortune off Baby Groot. It’s a solid film that progresses the story. Having a living planet, Ego was always going to be tough, but Kurt Russell turns in a good performance. Our favorite cast of characters is back, and Rocket is always plotting.
The Bourne Ultimatum
Before John Wick came along and redefined the action genre, it was the Bourne trilogy and then everything else. Matt Damon’s turn as Jason Bourne holds up to this day as one of the best action trilogies on the big screen. As long as you discount films four and five, the series was better with each new entry culminating with the Bourne Ultimatum.
Thought it gave us action ‘shaky cam,’ you can’t deny the awesome scene of Matt Damon beating the hell out of someone with a book.
That scene never gets old.
The 2015 winner for Best Picture, Spotlight tells the story of the Boston Globe reporters investigation into the rampant sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. What’s striking about the film is that it walks the balance of never relishing in putting down the church, nor does turn away from exposing the horrific crimes by those in positions of power. In today’s media landscape where it’s who screams the loudest, Spotlight shows the incredible work being done by journalists across the country.
Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids
Concert documentary? It’s better than you might imagine and shows just how far Justin Timberlake has come from his ‘NSYNC days. Directed by Jonathan Demme, it captures the final two performances of Timberlake’s 20/20 tour. They should turn Demme loose on all concert documentaries. The way the camera brings you into the concerts is excellent as his focus on the other singers and dancers who were part of the 20/20 tour.
While only his second film, Se7en firmly established David Fincher as one of the best in cinema. Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt both shine as detectives hunting for a serial killer who based killing on the Seven Deadly Sins. It’s dark and doesn’t shy away from the bleakest elements of humanity, making it one of the better movies on screen.
Yeah, I’m a fan of documentaries. Cartel Land was up for Best Documentary Feature at this year’s Academy Awards, so it should make any list. It documents the battles against the Mexican drug cartels by two vigilante groups: a rebel group in the Mexican state of Michoacán and the Arizona Border Recon. Corruption doesn’t just exist inside the Mexican government; the two vigilante groups fall prey to similar power struggles and corruption. The documentary is so intense at times; you almost think you’re watching a fictional drug war. Instead, it’s daily life.
Beasts of No Nation
Netflix’s first foray into original films was unfortunately glossed over. Cary Joji Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation documents a young boy from an unnamed African country who becomes a child soldier. Not exactly a feel-good story, but the film is breathtaking with both Abraham Attah and Idris Elba turning in stellar performances. Now Netflix has original films landing every month, but don’t sleep on its first.
A Best Film Oscar Nominee, LA Confidential embraces the noir style in 1950s LA. Guy Pearce teams with Russell Crowe investigating a mob murder. Everything you’d expect in a period piece is there, the glitz of Hollywood, the scandals, and rampant police corruption.
Daniel-Day Lewis. Honestly, that’s all that needs to be said. When he picks a role, you are guaranteed an actor at the top of his profession. His turn as Lincoln is complex as the man himself. It tells the story of Lincoln’s efforts to pass the 13th amendment. Lincoln is a man who wants to do right by himself and the country but understands he doesn’t have all the right answers. It’s not the typical political piece rushing through the process. Steven Spielberg’s passion project turns into a masterful film on one of our finest Presidents.
Burn After Reading
The Coen Brothers. What’s not to love? Their follow up to the Best Director and Best Picture-winning No Country for Old Men is the absurd comedy Burn After Reading. No one ever said it had to make sense and if you give it a couple of watches, it gets better each time. Talk about range to go from No Country for Old Men to the absurdity starring George Clooney, Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, and J.K. Simmons.
Wrapping the best movies on Netflix
Did I leave some off? Definitely. Sound off below in the comments on your favorite good movies gracing the Netflix catalog, and I’ll add to the ever-growing list. And watch these while you can. You never know when the expiration date hits on pieces of Netflix’s content catalog.