What’s Best on Netflix?

Trying to find the best movie to watch on Netflix can be a daunting challenge. We’ve all been there. You’ve decided you’re going to watch something. You have the entirety of Netflix at your disposal, including even a pared-down list of films you’ve already bookmarked to watch at a future date. But then there’s the choice. You’ve gotta find something that fits your mood, or something you and your friend/significant other/couch companion can agree on. You spend hours browsing, and by the time you stumble on something you think maybe is the one, it’s too late, you’re too tired, and indecision has won out.

Never fear, though, because we here at Collider have a guide to help you find the perfect Netflix movies available in the U.S. We’ve thumbed through the library and assembled a list of some of the best films currently available for streaming, from classics to hidden gems to new releases and beyond. This list of the best movies on Netflix is updated weekly with all-new choices, so be sure to return the next time you’re looking for something great to watch.

The Social Network

 

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Image via Columbia Pictures

Director: David Fincher

Writer: Aaron Sorkin

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Rooney Mara, and Rashida Jones

The Social Network is a masterpiece. It also happens to be one of the most rewatchable movies ever made. Rarely has a director and screenwriter pairing been so better matched, with David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin elevating each other’s best instincts and dampening each other’s worst. This cool, incisive drama is far more than a “Facebook” movie, as it uses the dramatic “origin story” of Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg to tell a much larger story about what happens when the people running the world’s largest companies are barely out of college. There’s an almost mythic quality to the rise and fall of Zuckerberg here—the “was it worth it in the end?” philosophical questions. But this movie also just absolutely slaps/rules/slays so hard. The Oscar-winning score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is an all-timer, the performances are phenomenal, the script is perfect, and the direction is absolutely masterful. Watch this movie! – Adam Chitwood

 

Can’t Hardly Wait

 

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Image via Columbia Pictures

Directors/Writers: Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont

Cast: Ethan Embry, Lauren Ambrose, Seth Green, Peter Facinelli, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Charlie Korsmo, and Jenna Elfman

If you like your comedy with a hefty dose of nostalgia, the 1998 film Can’t Hardly Wait will do the trick. This is your standard 90s teen comedy, but there’s a certain charm to it that remains kinda timeless. Set on graduation day at a high school, it follows the stories of various teens tying up loose ends at a party before they head off to college. Ethan Embry is The Shy Guy who just wants to profess his love to his crush (Jennifer Love Hewitt), former childhood BFFs Lauren Ambrose and Seth Green get locked in a bathroom together and are no longer able to continue acting like strangers, and Charlie Korsmo gets absolutely wasted and sings “Paradise City.” And the soundtrack? Iconic. – Adam Chitwood

 

The Florida Project

 

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image via A24

Director: Sean Baker

Writers: Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch

Cast: Brooklynn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Willem Dafoe, and Caleb Landry Jones

The Florida Project is brilliant and human and it will absolutely break your heart. The film follows a six-year-old girl named Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) who lives in a motel in Kissimmee, Florida, just around the corner from DisneyWorld. In Moonee’s eyes, her days are filled with adventure as she makes the best out of living week-to-week in a motel with her single mother. But through the eyes of Bobby (Willem Dafoe), the motel’s manager, we see the abject poverty surrounding its tenants, and the loops they continue getting stuck in without any promise of upward mobility. Like Boyhood this story feels at once individualistic and universal, and Sean Baker’s docudrama-like filmmaking makes the events feel all too real. This is an essential watch. – Adam Chitwood

 

Goldeneye

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Image via MGM and EON

Director: Martin Campbell

Writers: Jeffrey Caine and Bruce Feirstein

Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Isabella Scorupco, Famke Janssen, Judi Dench, and Joe Don Baker

One of the best James Bond films ever made came with a pretty significant retooling of the franchise, to begin with. I’m talking about 1995’s GoldenEye, which was the first Bond movie to star Pierce Brosnan and found director Martin Campbell tackling a story that wrestles with the relevance of a spy like James Bond in a post-Cold War world. But on top of that fascinating thematic resonance, GoldenEye is also just a thrilling action movie full-stop. From the sexually charged fight with Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) to James Bond driving a freaking tank, this movie is a high-octane blast. – Adam Chitwood

The Gift

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Image via STX Entertainment

Director/Writer: Joel Edgerton

Cast: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, and Joel Edgerton

If you’re looking for a great psychological thriller with a twist, plus one of Jason Bateman’s best performances, check out The Gift. Written and directed by Joel Edgerton, the film follows a married couple (Bateman and Rebecca Hall) who move to Los Angeles and are confronted by a man from Bateman’s character’s past, played by Edgerton. This man begins delivering strange gifts to their house and starts showing up unannounced, but there’s much more happening here beneath the surface. This is an excellent contained thriller with some top-notch performances that will keep you on the edge of your seat. – Adam Chitwood

 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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Image via Summit Entertainment

Director/Writer: Stephen Chbosky

Cast: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Mae Whitman, Kate Walsh, Dylan McDermott, Joan Cusack, and Paul Rudd

The Perks of Being a Wallflower—both the movie and the book—should be required consumption for every teen. Writer/director Stephen Chbosky adapts his own coming-of-age novel with this 2012 feature film about a teenager named Charlie (Logan Lerman) who struggles with depression and anxiety through his first year of high school, eventually finding companionship and support through a lovely group of new friends. I know this sounds like a million other “teen” movies out there, but trust me, this one is the goods. It doesn’t talk down to its characters, nor does it offer some adult’s version of what a “teen” is like. It feels absolutely true to life, and you’ll no doubt find plenty to connect to within. And maybe you’ll even find it cathartic too. Don’t sleep on this underrated gem. – Adam Chitwood

Minority Report

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Image via DreamWorks

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writers: Scott Frank and Jon Cohen

Cast: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, and Max von Sydow

Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest directors who’s ever lived, but he’s also one of few directors who has kept churning out masterworks for every decade of his career. The early 2000s marked a period of striking creative endeavors for Spielberg, with 2002’s sci-fi mystery thriller Minority Report standing out as one of his absolute best that’s still somehow underrated. Tom Cruise stars as the captain of the Washington D.C. police department’s PreCrime unit, which uses three “precogs”—or a trio of humans in a vat of goo—who predict crime before it happens. The veracity of this precognition is thrown into whack when Cruise’s character is fingered for a future murder. He goes on the run to try and prove his innocence, all the while haunted by the loss of his son. It’s a thrilling, visually stunning sci-fi entry that also got a lot right when it came to predicting the future. – Adam Chitwood

 

Molly’s Game

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Image via STXfilms

Director/Writer: Aaron Sorkin

Cast: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Chris O’Dowd, and Bill Camp

If you’re in the mood for a great poker movie with a crackerjack script, look no further than Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut Molly’s Game. Based on a true story, the film stars Jessica Chastain as a woman who became the target of an FBI investigation after the underground poker empire that she runs for Hollywood celebrities is exposed. While the script isn’t quite as tight as some of Sorkin’s other stuff, this movie is incredibly entertaining and Chastain gives a hell of a performance. – Adam Chitwood

 

The Shawshank Redemption

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Image via Columbia Pictures

Director/Writer: Frank Darabont

Cast: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Gil Bellows, William Sadler, Clancy Brown, James Whitmore

The populist pick for the best movie of all time, The Shawshank Redemption is one of those films that never seems to get old. Filmmaker Frank Darabont’s adaptation of a Stephen King short story takes place in the mid-20th century and revolves around a man (Tim Robbins) serving two consecutive life sentences in prison for murdering his wife. The story chronicles his journey at Shawshank, which is colored by the friends (and enemies) he makes while the audience is left to guess whether he actually committed the crime or not. It’s an expertly told drama packed with memorable performances and a terrific score by Thomas Newman. There’s a reason so many people choose The Shawshank Redemption as their favorite film ever made. – Adam Chitwood

 

Goodfellas

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Image via Warner Bros.

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writers: Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese

Cast: Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Lorraine Bracco, Joe Pesci, and Paul Sorvino

Any director would be happy to make one masterpiece in his or her career, but filmmaker Martin Scorsese has several. Surely Goodfellas is towards the top of the heap, as the director’s 1990 mob drama still stands today as a stone-cold classic. The film tells the true rise and fall story of mob associate Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), tracking his life of crime from childhood up through the 1980s. It’s an epic saga told with vigor—this thing moves, and it’s all thanks to Scorsese’s kinetic camerawork and editing style. The soundtrack is killer, the performances are incredible (Joe Pesci!), and it’s a film that’s been mimicked countless times since. But there’s no touching the original. – Adam Chitwood

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