The 10 Best Movies on Netflix Right Now
With most of their advertising and press coverage focused on their growing library of original films and series, it’s easy to forget that Netflix is still in the business of acquiring current and classic movies from distributors. If you feel a little overwhelmed by their menu options on that front, take a look at our picks for the 10 best movies on Netflix right now.
1. THE GODFATHER (1972)
Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of Mario Puzo's novel has been hailed as the best film ever made. It's certainly the best to feature horse decapitation as a major plot point. While Marlon Brando makes for an indelible Don Vito Corleone, Paramount apparently wanted Ernest Borgnine for the role: Brando was thought to be too unreliable. Coppola insisted, and Brando won an Academy Award for his performance.
2. INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009)
Quentin Tarantino’s revisionist take on World War II is pure fantasy, with a group of Allied mercenaries tasked with cutting down Hitler while a Jewish cinema owner plots her own revenge. Historical accuracy is not in play, but Tarantino’s rich dialogue and knack for staging almost unbearably intense scenes has never been better.
3. MEMENTO (2000)
Guy Pearce stars in Christopher Nolan’s earnest attempt to break every synapse you have: Pearce is a widower who is desperately trying to solve his wife’s murder. Unfortunately, he can’t remember anything that happened more than 10 minutes earlier. Unspooling in reverse, the viewer is essentially struck with the same affliction.
4. FULL METAL JACKET (1987)
The Vietnam War as seen through the lens of director Stanley Kubrick, Full Metal Jacket remains memorable thanks to an arresting opening sequence with Vincent D'Onofrio as an ill-equipped basic trainee; R. Lee Ermey's uncompromising drill sergeant character remains one of the most quotable (and profane) performances in military movie history.
5. QUIZ SHOW (1994)
Director Robert Redford takes a look back at the first reality TV craze: the 1950s quiz show phenomenon. Based on a true story, the brilliant but not-very-photogenic Herbert Stempel (John Turturro) is pushed out of the way for the slick Charles Van Doren (Ralph Fiennes), a contestant on the trivia show Twenty One, who kept advancing thanks to his wits—and some help from the show's producers.
6. DON’T THINK TWICE (2016)
A Los Angeles improv troupe (Keegan Michael-Key, Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia) is forced to confront their own insecurities when one is called up to a Saturday Night Live-esque sketch show. Alternately funny and heartbreaking, this independent film largely flew under the radar when it received a brief theatrical release in 2016. It's deserving of more attention.
7. SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950)
Time hasn't dulled the edge of this Billy Wilder classic about past-her-prime star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), who pulls a hapless screenwriter (William Holden) into her orbit.
8. OLDBOY (2003)
Josh Brolin had less success starring in Spike Lee's American remake of this Korean thriller: Stick with the original, a strange and compelling tale of a man (Choi Min-sik) locked in a room for 15 years without explanation. When he’s finally released, he pursues the identity of his captor and finds a motivation that he would have been much, much better off not knowing.
9. THE WAVE (2015)
“Norwegian disaster movie” might not be a genre you’ve considered, but this well-made thriller might change your opinion. A geologist (Kristoffer Joner) has only 10 minutes to try and evacuate a coastal town—and his own family—after he discovers a tsunami is due to hit with no warning.
10. NATIONAL TREASURE (2004)
There's something for everyone—history buffs, conspiracy theorists, and Nic Cage enthusiasts—in this adventure about a cryptologist (Cage) who discovers a treasure map on the back of the Declaration of Independence.