Best Movies on Netflix Right Now

For as many streaming services as there is currently are, Netflix remains possibly the premiere platform to watch movies and television shows. The first mainstream streaming service there was, it’s a platform that continues to boast some of the finest and most noteworthy movies you’ll find anywhere.

With a streaming catalog mixed between Netflix original movies and endless amounts of well-known movies like It, The Departed, and Titanic, there’s no shortage of potential viewing options when it comes to Netflix’s impressive lineup of movies.

Here are some of the movies you can currently find streaming on Netflix that we’d recommend checking out.

Updated: August 4

Drama: Flight

If you’re pressed for something to watch, turning on a movie that stars Denzel is never a bad idea. In this 2012 acting tour de force, Washington plays Whip Whitaker, an airline pilot with a dangerously rampant drug and alcohol addiction.

After he miraculously lands a malfunctioning plane crowded with passengers, Whitaker is hailed as a hero — even as he faces an investigation that probes into his personal life, threatening to uncover his addictive habits.

Washington has a long list of fantastic movies he’s appeared in throughout his career, Flight just being one such example of this. It’s a taut, suspenseful, and dramatic character study, one rooted heavily in addiction and the taxing effect it has on addicts and their loved ones. And as per usual, Denzel completely hits it out of the park.

Thriller: Eyes Wide Shut

Stanley Kubrick remains one of the most acclaimed and celebrated directors of all time — his name almost permanently tied to the word “genius” by film scholars and hardcore movie buffs alike.

In what would be the final film of the auteur’s career before his death in 1999, a jealous husband (Tom Cruise) embarks on a nighttime odyssey through the streets of New York after his wife (Nicole Kidman) reveals that she had briefly contemplated having an affair.

Kubrick has always been able to do a lot with a little, Eyes Wide Shut being a great illustration of this unique characteristic. Minimalist in terms of plot and story, you move through the movie with a mounting sense of dread and unease, the movie inhabiting this strange, surreal, nightmarish dream space where you’re never entirely sure of what exactly you’re seeing or even what’s going to happen next.

Comedy: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

A 1980s comedy classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off may just be the crowning achievement of ‘80s icon John Hughes (the man responsible for so many seminal movies of that era, like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles).

Taking a day off from school, a precocious high schooler (Matthew Broderick) takes a trip to Chicago with his best friend (Alan Ruck) and girlfriend (Mia Sara), spending the day taking in the city and getting into all kinds of zany adventures.

It’s a simple, straightforward, feel-good movie that advocates for living in the moment and enjoying life any way you can. (As Ferris himself tells us, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”)

It’s a lighthearted movie that’s impossible not to enjoy.

Sci-Fi: Men in Black

Buddy cop movies are a dime a dozen, with most tending to fall back on the same basic formula and plotlines again and again. But a buddy cop movie with aliens? Now that’s an innovative approach to the tried and true genre.

In Men in Black, a New York police officer (Will Smith) is recruited into the Men in Black — a top-secret organization that monitors alien life on Earth and wards hostile alien threats from beyond the stars.

Co-starring a habitually surly Tommy Lee Jones, Men in Black is a unique, fun, and original sci-fi comedy film that’s as funny as it is engaging.

Complimented by a tight script, memorable creature design, and practical effects that have aged phenomenally well, it’s a science fiction movie that’s almost destined to be a cult classic in the future.

Crime: The Town

A first-rate crime thriller from director, co-writer, and star Ben Affleck, The Town shows just how strong a filmmaker Affleck can be in most cases (his award-winning films Argo and Gone Baby Gone being clear evidence of this fact).

In Affleck’s second feature-length film, a skilled group of bank robbers in Boston plan one last heist together. Things soon get complicated, however, when one of the crew (Affleck) begins dating a former hostage (Rebecca Hall), prompting heated clashes within the gang.

A gripping look at friendship and love and its juxtaposition with the often merciless criminal underworld, The Town is a fantastic modern take on the heist genre.

With great performances from its lead cast (including a hotheaded Jeremy Renner and a determined FBI agent played Jon Hamm), it’s one of the most entertaining crime movie you’ll find on Netflix right now.

Family-Friendly: Space Jam

After retiring from the NBA and trying to start a career in professional baseball, Michael Jordan finds himself pulled back into the game after being approached by the cast of Looney Tunes — whose freedom is at stake in a fateful basketball game against a band of alien invaders.

Viewers can debate till the cows come home whether Space Jam is a fundamentally good movie or whether it’s one of those movies where people are blinded by nostalgia, not looking at the actual quality and flaws of the film itself.

However, there’s no denying that younger audience members are sure to love it, and that Space Jam is almost certainly better than its more recent sequel, the universally panned Space Jam: A New Legacy.

Superhero: Spider-Man 2

With the proliferation of superhero movies in pop culture nowadays, it can be hard to think back to the genre’s humble beginnings, such as the early X-Men movies or the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy that forever revolutionized the genre back in the early 2000s.

As Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) tries to balance his life as Peter Parker with his career as the webhead, a new threat to New York emerges in the form of Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina), Peter’s former mentor turned unstable, multi-limbed supervillain.

Often called one of the greatest sequels ever made, Spider-Man 2 will almost certainly go down in history as one of the best superhero films of all time.

It raised the stakes of the original Spider-Man, elevating it tenfold, delivering a movie that was thrilling, exciting, and continued to push the boundaries of the superhero film forward.

New Release: Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99

Everyone knows the original 1969 Woodstock — a music festival featuring the likes of Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, and Jimi Hendrix. Decidedly less well-known is the 1999 attempt to emulate the famed music festival with Woodstock ‘99.

In this brand-new Netflix documentary, Trainwreck traces the history of the 1999 festival as it descended from advocation to love, peace, and appreciation of music (as had been the case for the original Woodstock) to sheer pandemonium.

Divided into three episodes — each one looking at a separate day at the three-day festival — Trainwreck looks into the price gouging of ticket and food vendors to the numerous instances of violence and sexual assault that took place at Woodstock ‘99.

It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s a fascinating and disturbing look at one of the most chaotic concerts to ever take place in the US.

Documentary: My Octopus Teacher

The winner of the 2020 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, My Octopus Teacher is a heartwarming depiction of friendship among the most unlikely of individuals.

In 2010, documentary filmmaker Craig Foster begins chronicling his free diving exploration into a kelp forest off the coast of South Africa.

Over the course of one year, Foster develops a one-of-a-kind bond with an inquisitive young octopus, who invites Foster to explore her undersea world, forming a close and unexpected relationship with the filmmaker along the way.

For fans of nature documentaries, My Octopus Teacher is a must-watch. Emotionally stirring and intelligently made, it’s a fascinating look at one of the most miraculous and eccentric creatures to ever populate the ocean floor.

Underrated: RRR

One of the most ambitious movies made in India in the past few years, RRR is also the most expensive Indian film to date. Seeing the finished film, however, it’s clear that such a financial gamble paid off for the filmmakers, with RRR being an incredibly well-done, expertly shot film that rivals the likes of any finished film to come out of Hollywood.

An epic action drama based on India’s attempts to win independence from Great Britain, RRR follows real-life Indian revolutionaries, Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) and Komaram Bheem (N. T. Rama Rao Jr.) shortly before their battles against the British in the 1920s.

The events of the film may be dramatized for entertainment purposes, but RRR is stll nothing less than an enthralling, action-packed glimpse into one of the most important decades in Indian and British history.

It’s an amazing, highly underrated film that should be watched and enjoyed by all.

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Richard Chachowski is a freelance writer based in New Jersey. He loves reading, his dog Tootsie, and pretty much every movie to ever exist (especially Star Wars).