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 the 10 best movies on Netflix right now.
1. 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 Tuturro) 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. MEMENTO (2000)
Guy Pearce stars in Christopher Nolan’s earnest attempt to break every synapse you have: Pearce is a widower who tries desperately 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.
5. 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.
6. NIGHTCRAWLER (2014)
A gaunt Jake Gyllenhaal stalks the Los Angeles streets searching for a story that will help his career as a news videographer take off. When he doesn’t find what he needs, he becomes less of an observer and more of an orchestrator. It's a great thriller, and an even better indoctrination of an inability of our ever-present cameras to turn away from a scene.
7. SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950)
Time hasn't dulled the edge of this Billy Wilder classic about a past-prime star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), who pulls a hapless screenwriter (William Holden) into her orbit.
8. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007)
If there’s one thing crime fiction can teach us, it’s that if you find a bag of money near a pile of dead bodies it's best to leave it alone. It’s a lesson ignored by Josh Brolin, who takes off with a satchel full of dough and winds up in the crosshairs of Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), who stalks the frame like a horror movie villain. The movie won four Oscars, including one for Bardem (as Best Supporting Actor), Best Movie, and Best Adapted Screenplay for the Coen brothers.
9. OLDBOY (2003)
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.
10. ZODIAC (2007)
David Fincher did himself few favors in choosing to revisit the serial killer genre and inviting comparisons to 1995’s Se7en. Viewers who can free themselves of those expectations will find a meticulous take on the infamous Zodiac Killer murders of the 1960s, with great performances from Robert Downey Jr. as a newsman burdened by booze and Mark Ruffalo as a cop burdened by an inability to corner a psychopath that has the entire city of San Francisco under his thumb.