Every week, I update a running list of the latest movies and shows to drop on major streaming services. And without a doubt, Netflix
Truth is: you can’t. But hopefully I can help. I scoured through Netflix’s movie database and tried to pick out the best options. So from Oscar-winning dramas to hilarious comedies to spine-tingling thrillers, here are the 50 best movies I have found on Netflix.
Note: This is a running list I will continually update. So movies will be added and disappear from this list based on Netflix’s lineup changes.
Los Angeles denizen Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) survives by scavenging and petty theft. He stumbles into a new career as a cameraman and — armed with a camcorder and police scanner — begins nocturnal forays across the city in search of shocking and grisly crimes. When he catches the eye of a shopworn news director (Rene Russo) who welcomes the chance to raise her station’s ratings, Louis goes to increasingly greater lengths to catch the “money shot.”
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The Lost Daughter (2021)
A college professor confronts her unsettling past after meeting a woman and her young daughter while on vacation in Italy. Her obsession with the woman and her daughter prompts memories of her early motherhood.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Hotshot television anchorman Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) welcomes upstart reporter Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) into the male-dominated world of 1970s broadcast news — that is, until the talented female journalist begins to outshine Burgundy on air. Soon he grows jealous, begins a bitter feud with Veronica and eventually makes a vulgar slip on live TV that ruins his career. However, when an outrageous story breaks at the San Diego Zoo, Ron may get a chance to redeem himself.
A sensitive and soulful man earns a living by writing personal letters for other people. Left heartbroken after his marriage ends, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) becomes fascinated with a new operating system which reportedly develops into an intuitive and unique entity in its own right. He starts the program and meets “Samantha” (Scarlett Johansson), whose bright voice reveals a sensitive, playful personality. Though “friends” initially, the relationship soon deepens into love.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) takes his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Surrounded by the brutal realties of war, while searching for Ryan, each man embarks upon a personal journey and discovers their own strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honor, decency and courage.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Struggling musician Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) is better-known as the boyfriend of TV star Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). After she unceremoniously dumps him, he feels lost and alone but makes a last-ditch bid to get over it by going to Hawaii. However, she and her new boyfriend (Russell Brand) are there in the same hotel.
Mission: Impossible (1996)
When U.S. government operative Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his mentor, Jim Phelps (Jon Voight), go on a covert assignment that takes a disastrous turn, Jim is killed, and Ethan becomes the prime murder suspect. Now a fugitive, Hunt recruits brilliant hacker Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and maverick pilot Franz Krieger (Jean Reno) to help him sneak into a heavily guarded CIA building to retrieve a confidential computer file that will prove his innocence.
It Follows (2015)
After carefree teenager Jay (Maika Monroe) sleeps with her new boyfriend, Hugh (Jake Weary), for the first time, she learns that she is the latest recipient of a fatal curse that is passed from victim to victim via sexual intercourse. Death, Jay learns, will creep inexorably toward her as either a friend or a stranger. Jay’s friends don’t believe her seemingly paranoid ravings, until they too begin to see the phantom assassins and band together to help her flee or defend herself.
Leon: The Professional (1994)
Mathilda (Natalie Portman) is only 12 years old, but is already familiar with the dark side of life: her abusive father stores drugs for corrupt police officers, and her mother neglects her. Léon (Jean Reno), who lives down the hall, tends to his houseplants and works as a hired hitman for mobster Tony (Danny Aiello). When her family is murdered by crooked DEA agent Stansfield (Gary Oldman), Mathilda joins forces with a reluctant Léon to learn his deadly trade and avenge her family’s deaths.
Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)
Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is living the American dream. He has a good job, a beautiful house, great children and a beautiful wife, named Emily (Julianne Moore). Cal’s seemingly perfect life unravels, however, when he learns that Emily has been unfaithful and wants a divorce. Over 40 and suddenly single, Cal is adrift in the fickle world of dating. Enter, Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling), a self-styled player who takes Cal under his wing and teaches him how to be a hit with the ladies.
The Hurt Locker (2008)
Following the death of their well-respected Staff Sergeant in Iraq, Sergeant JT Stanborn and Specialist Owen Eldridge find their Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit saddled with a very different team leader. Staff Sergeant William James is an inveterate risk-taker who seems to thrive on war, but there’s no denying his gift for defusing bombs.
Marriage Story (2019)
A stage director and his actor wife struggle through a gruelling, coast-to-coast divorce that pushes them to their personal and creative extremes.
Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Imbecilic best friends Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) stumble across a suitcase full of money left behind in Harry’s car by Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly), who was on her way to the airport. The pair decide to go to Aspen, Colo., to return the money, unaware that it is connected to a kidnapping. As Harry and Lloyd — who has fallen in love with Mary — are pursued across the country by hired killers and police, they find both their friendship and their brains tested.
In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, defies major league baseball’s notorious color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) to the team. The heroic act puts both Rickey and Robinson in the firing line of the public, the press and other players. Facing open racism from all sides, Robinson demonstrates true courage and admirable restraint by not reacting in kind and lets his undeniable talent silence the critics for him.
Apocalypse Now (1979)
In Vietnam in 1970, Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) takes a perilous and increasingly hallucinatory journey upriver to find and terminate Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), a once-promising officer who has reportedly gone completely mad. In the company of a Navy patrol boat filled with street-smart kids, a surfing-obsessed Air Cavalry officer (Robert Duvall), and a crazed freelance photographer (Dennis Hopper), Willard travels further and further into the heart of darkness.
Steel Magnolias (1989)
M’Lynn (Sally Field) is the mother of bride-to-be Shelby Eatenton (Julia Roberts), and as friend Truvy Jones (Dolly Parton) fixes the women’s hair for the ceremony, they welcome a helping hand from aspiring beautician Annelle Dupuy Desoto (Daryl Hannah). Diabetic Shelby has a health scare, which is averted but doesn’t bode well for her hopes of having children. Time passes, and the women and their friends encounter tragedy and good fortune, growing stronger and closer in the process.
Mariachi (Antonio Banderas) plunges headfirst into the dark border underworld when he follows a trail of blood to the last of the infamous Mexican drug lords, Bucho (Joaquim de Almeida), for an action-packed, bullet-riddled showdown. With the help of his best friend (Steve Buscemi) and a beautiful bookstore owner (Salma Hayek), the Mariachi tracks Bucho, takes on his army of desperados, and leaves a trail of blood of his own.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) is a screenwriter and aspiring novelist. Vacationing in Paris with his fiancee (Rachel McAdams), he has taken to touring the city alone. On one such late-night excursion, Gil encounters a group of strange — yet familiar — revelers, who sweep him along, apparently back in time, for a night with some of the Jazz Age’s icons of art and literature. The more time Gil spends with these cultural heroes of the past, the more dissatisfied he becomes with the present.
Four Brothers (2005)
When an inner-city Detroit foster mother (Fionnula Flanagan) is murdered in a botched holdup, four of her now-grown adopted children suspect it was no random killing. Rising musician Jack (Garrett Hedlund), former-Marine Angel (Tyrese Gibson), hotheaded hockey player Bobby (Mark Wahlberg) and settled-down husband and father Jeremiah (André Benjamin) go on the hunt for neighborhood criminal kingpin Victor Sweet (Chiwetel Ejiofor) while being trailed themselves by the local beat cops.
The Beguiled (2017)
Cpl. John McBurney is an injured Union soldier who finds himself on the run as a deserter during the Civil War. He seeks refuge at an all-female Southern boarding school where the teachers and students seem more than willing to help. Soon, sexual tensions lead to dangerous rivalries as the women tend to his wounded leg while offering him comfort and companionship.
The Green Inferno (2013)
New York college student Justine (Lorenza Izzo), a lawyer’s daughter, meets a student activist named Alejandro (Ariel Levy) when he goes on a hunger strike on behalf of underpaid janitors. Smitten, Justine agrees to help Alejandro undertake his next project: to save the Amazon
Pieces of a Woman (2020)
A heartbreaking home birth leaves a woman grappling with the profound emotional fallout, isolated from her partner and family by a chasm of grief.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Stanley Kubrick’s take on the Vietnam War follows smart-aleck Private Davis (Matthew Modine), quickly christened “Joker” by his foul-mouthed drill sergeant (R. Lee Ermey), and pudgy Private Lawrence (Vincent D’Onofrio), nicknamed “Gomer Pyle,” as they endure the rigors of basic training. Though Pyle takes a frightening detour, Joker graduates to the Marine Corps and is sent to Vietnam as a journalist, covering — and eventually participating in — the bloody Battle of Hué.
The Butler (2013)
After leaving the South as a young man and finding employment at an elite hotel in Washington, D.C., Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he is hired as a butler at the White House. Over the course of three decades, Cecil has a front-row seat to history and the inner workings of the Oval Office. However, his commitment to his “First Family” leads to tension at home, alienating his wife (Oprah Winfrey) and causing conflict with his anti-establishment son.
Marlo is a New York suburbanite who’s about to give birth to her third child. Her husband, Ron, is loving and works hard, but remains clueless about the demands that motherhood puts on his wife. When the baby is born, Marlo’s wealthy brother hires a nighttime nanny named Tully to help his sister handle the workload. Hesitant at first, Marlo soon learns to appreciate all that Tully does — forming a special bond with her new, lifesaving friend.
A father brings up his baby girl as a single dad after the unexpected death of his wife who died a day after their daughter’s birth.
Senior Year (2022)
After a cheerleading stunt gone wrong landed her in a 20-year coma. Now she’s 37, newly awake and ready to live out her high school dream: becoming prom queen.
The Woman in the Window (2021)
Agoraphobic Dr. Anna Fox witnesses something she shouldn’t while keeping tabs on the Russell family, the seemingly picture perfect clan that lives across the way.
She’s Gotta Have It (1986)
Beautiful Nola Darling (Tracy Camilla Johns) can’t decide what kind of man she wants to date, so she decides to date three at the same time. The first is Greer Childs (John Canada Terrell), a rich, handsome narcissist. Then there’s Jamie Overstreet (Tommy Redmond Hicks), a stable, overprotective alpha male. Finally, there’s Mars Blackmon (Spike Lee), a timid geek with a heart of gold. Unfortunately, while each suitor has his virtues, Darling just can’t seem to make up her mind.
Happy Gilmore (1996)
All Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) has ever wanted is to be a professional hockey player. But he soon discovers he may actually have a talent for playing an entirely different sport: golf. When his grandmother (Frances Bay) learns she is about to lose her home, Happy joins a golf tournament to try and win enough money to buy it for her. With his powerful driving skills and foulmouthed attitude, Happy becomes an unlikely golf hero — much to the chagrin of the well-mannered golf professionals.
After hearing that her boyfriend/pimp cheated on her while she was in jail, a transgender sex worker and her best friend set out to find him and teach him and his new lover a lesson.
The Gentlemen (2020)
Mickey Pearson is an American expatriate who became rich by building a highly profitable marijuana empire in London. When word gets out that he’s looking to cash out of the business, it soon triggers an array of plots and schemes — including bribery and blackmail — from shady characters who want to steal his domain.
The Lovebirds (2020)
On the brink of breaking up, a couple gets unintentionally embroiled in a bizarre murder mystery. As they get closer to clearing their names and solving the case, they need to figure out how they, and their relationship, can survive the night.
Double Team (1997)
A CIA agent is interned for failing a mission to kill an international terrorist. Escaping from his island exile, he teams up with a flamboyant arms dealer and sets out to find the terrorist and rescue the agent’s wife and son.
After a down-on-his-luck basketball scout discovers an extraordinary player abroad, he brings the phenom back without his team’s approval.
A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018)
The brilliant and troubled writer Doug Kenney co-founds National Lampoon magazine in the 1970s and changes the face of the American comedy scene forever.
The Adam Project (2022)
After accidentally crash-landing in 2022, time-traveling fighter pilot Adam Reed teams up with his 12-year-old self for a mission to save the future.
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
In 1977, college graduates Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) share a contentious car ride from Chicago to New York, during which they argue about whether men and women can ever truly be strictly platonic friends. Ten years later, Harry and Sally meet again at a bookstore, and in the company of their respective best friends, Jess (Bruno Kirby) and Marie (Carrie Fisher), attempt to stay friends without sex becoming an issue between them.
After a deadly earthquake destroys his home in Peruvian rainforest, a young bear (Ben Whishaw) makes his way to England in search of a new home. The bear, dubbed “Paddington” for the london train station, finds shelter with the family of Henry (Hugh Bonneville) and Mary Brown (Sally Hawkins). Although Paddington’s amazement at urban living soon endears him to the Browns, someone else has her eye on him: Taxidermist Millicent Clyde (Nicole Kidman) has designs on the rare bear and his hide.
Stand By Me (1986)
After learning that a stranger has been accidentally killed near their rural homes, four Oregon boys decide to go see the body. On the way, Gordie Lachance (Wil Wheaton), Vern Tessio (Jerry O’Connell), Chris Chambers (River Phoenix) and Teddy Duchamp (Corey Feldman) encounter a mean junk man and a marsh full of leeches, as they also learn more about one another and their very different home lives. Just a lark at first, the boys’ adventure evolves into a defining event in their lives.
Taxi Driver (1976)
Suffering from insomnia, disturbed loner Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) takes a job as a New York City cabbie, haunting the streets nightly, growing increasingly detached from reality as he dreams of cleaning up the filthy city. When Travis meets pretty campaign worker Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), he becomes obsessed with the idea of saving the world, first plotting to assassinate a presidential candidate, then directing his attentions toward rescuing 12-year-old prostitute Iris (Jodie Foster).
Don’t Look Up (2021)
Two low-level astronomers must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet Earth.
Sorry to Bother You (2018)
In an alternate reality of present-day Oakland, Calif., telemarketer Cassius Green finds himself in a macabre universe after he discovers a magical key that leads to material glory. As Green’s career begins to take off, his friends and co-workers organize a protest against corporate oppression. Cassius soon falls under the spell of Steve Lift, a cocaine-snorting CEO who offers him a salary beyond his wildest dreams.
Django Unchained (2012)
Two years before the Civil War, Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave, finds himself accompanying an unorthodox German bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) on a mission to capture the vicious Brittle brothers. Their mission successful, Schultz frees Django, and together they hunt the South’s most-wanted criminals. Their travels take them to the infamous plantation of shady Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), where Django’s long-lost wife (Kerry Washington) is still a slave.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
A comedic send-up of the grim circumstances of the Middle Ages as told through the story of King Arthur and framed by a modern-day murder investigation. When the mythical king of the Britons leads his knights on a quest for the Holy Grail, they face a wide array of horrors, including a persistent Black Knight, a three-headed giant, a cadre of shrubbery-challenged knights, the perilous Castle Anthrax, a killer rabbit, a house of virgins, and a handful of rude Frenchmen.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
In Wes Craven’s classic slasher film, several Midwestern teenagers fall prey to Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a disfigured midnight mangler who preys on the teenagers in their dreams — which, in turn, kills them in reality. After investigating the phenomenon, Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) begins to suspect that a dark secret kept by her and her friends’ parents may be the key to unraveling the mystery, but can Nancy and her boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp) solve the puzzle before it’s too late?
Michael Clayton (2007)
Problem fixer Michael Clayton is brought in to clean up the mess after one of his law firm’s top litigators suffers a breakdown while representing a corrupt chemical corporation in a multi-billion dollar legal suit. Under pressure to appease the firm’s clients, Clayton finds himself torn between his desire to do the right thing and a pressing need to pay off spiralling personal debts.
Jackass: The Movie (2002)
In this comedic documentary, Johnny Knoxville heads a crew of stuntmen, skateboarders and all-around lunatics as they prank, embarrass and torture each other in the name of fun. The antics range from childlike — the boys don panda suits for a romp through Tokyo — to grotesque and life-threatening. A golf cart demolition derby turns downright dangerous. Live gators nearly chomp maniac Steve-O. Filmmaker Spike Jonze and Knoxville, in heavy makeup, test the public’s patience for the elderly.
Starship Troopers (1997)
In the distant future, the Earth is at war with a race of giant alien insects. Little is known about the Bugs except that they are intent on the eradication of all human life. But there was a time before the war… A Mobile Infantry travels to distant alien planets to take the war to the Bugs. They are a ruthless enemy with only one mission: Survival of their species no matter what the cost…
You’ve Got Mail (1998)
Struggling boutique bookseller Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) hates Joe Fox (Tom Hanks), the owner of a corporate Foxbooks chain store that just moved in across the street. When they meet online, however, they begin an intense and anonymous Internet romance, oblivious of each other’s true identity. Eventually Joe learns that the enchanting woman he’s involved with is actually his business rival. He must now struggle to reconcile his real-life dislike for her with the cyber love he’s come to feel.