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. Wind River (2017)
The howling, inhospitable Wyoming territories in winter are the site of this capable thriller about a U.S. Wildlife tracker (Jeremy Renner) who teams with an FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) to solve the mystery of a dead body left to freeze in the middle of nowhere.
2. Hell or High Water (2016)
If Wind River hit the right notes, writer Taylor Sheridan's Hell or High Water should be next up in your queue. The film follows two brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) who take to bank robberies in an effort to save their family ranch from foreclosure; Jeff Bridges is the drawling, laconic lawman on their tail.
3. Apollo 13 (1995)
Led by astronaut Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), the crew of the 1970 Apollo mission faced unimaginable peril when a technical malfunction threatened both the success of their space flight as well as their lives. This Ron Howard-directed dramatization manages to sustain tension thanks to expert staging and a strong supporting cast, including Kevin Bacon and Bill Paxton.
4. All the President's Men (1976)
Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman are dogged newspaper journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, teaming up to pursue the story of the decade: The Watergate scandal. Their investigation implicated President Richard Nixon in a cover-up and changed the course of history. The film adaptation of Woodward and Bernstein's book earned raves and four Academy Awards, though it lost the Best Picture race that year to Rocky.
5. The Wave (2016)
“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.
6. The Lobster (2015)
Colin Farrell stars in a black comedy that feels reminiscent of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's work: A slump-shouldered loner (Farrell) has just 45 days to find a life partner before he's turned into an animal. Can he make it work with Rachel Weisz, or is he doomed to a life on all fours? By turns absurd and provocative, The Lobster isn't a conventional date movie, but it might have more to say about relationships than a pile of Nicholas Sparks paperbacks.
7. Boyhood (2014)
Boyhood works as a kind of time travel movie, as director Richard Linklater spent 12 years filming the adolescence of a Texan (Ellar Coltrane) from age six to 18. This lengthy production process made it possible for Coltrane to portray the character at various stages, from coming to grips with his parents' divorce as a young child to his high school graduation. In lesser hands, it would be a gimmick. For Linklater, it's a chance to mediate on encroaching independence.
8. Locke (2013)
The camera rarely wavers from Tom Hardy in this existential thriller, which takes place entirely in Hardy's vehicle. A construction foreman trying to make sure an important job is executed well, Hardy's Ivan Locke grapples with some surprising news from a mistress and the demands of his family. It's a one-act, one-man play, with Hardy making the repeated act of conversing on his cell phone as tense and compelling as if he were driving with a bomb in the trunk.
9. Scarface (1983)
Al Pacino's career is full of legendary performances, but few equal his turn as cocaine kingpin Tony Montana in director Brian De Palma's gangster opera epic that was highly divisive upon its initial release. Lucille Ball was said to have hated it; Dustin Hoffman fell asleep at a screening.
10. 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.