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 Goodfellas, Nightcrawler, and Crazy, Stupid, Love, 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 11

Comedy: The Nice Guys

Buddy cop movies are a sadly bygone genre of film that we don’t see enough of anymore. Every once in a while, though, a new entry to the genre will come along and delight audiences the same way classic buddy cop movies like Lethal Weapon, 48 Hrs., and Beverly Hills Cop had in previous decades.

Set in sunny ‘70s Los Angeles, an underground enforcer (Russell Crowe) teams up with an eccentric private detective (Ryan Gosling) to investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl (Margaret Qualley).

A comedy crime film that stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling isn’t something anybody knew they needed, but it’s a movie that brilliantly capitalizes on its promising casting and period setting.

It’s fun, funny, and filled with plot twists galore, offering a hearty tip of the hat to the noir and buddy cop genres.

Thriller: Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhall may not be as universally praised an actor as Leonardo DiCaprio or Brad Pitt, but that definitely doesn’t mean that he doesn’t go all out in any one of his ridiculously intense performances, such as his starring role in Nightcrawler.

Lou Bloom (Gyllenhall) is a desperate young man looking for work in Los Angeles. Chancing upon the profession of freelance crime journalist, Bloom sets out to make a killing in the industry, crossing numerous moral and ethical boundaries in his pursuit of fame and fortune.

A masterfully-made neo-noir crime thriller, Nightcrawler might go down as the best performance in Gyllenhall’s career to date. Stalking through the streets of a night-lit LA like a hungry coyote with his trusty video camera, he’s nothing short of terrifying to watch.

Crime: Goodfellas

If you’re ever in the mood for a great crime movie, type in Martin Scorsese on your Netflix search bar and you’re bound to come up with any number of fantastic viewing options. However, few Scorsese get any better than Goodfellas, commonly cited as Scorsese’s magnum opus.

Based on the life and criminal career of Henry Hill (played here by the late great Ray Liotta), Goodfellas traces Hill’s time in the Italian mob and the immediate effect it has on his wife (Lorraine Bracco) and family.

Containing chilling performances from regular Scorsese collaborators like Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, Goodfellas expertly portrays both the glamorous and unglamorous sides of the criminal underworld. There’s the expensive cars, the luxurious houses, the easy prison sentences — as well as the paranoia, the addiction, and the constant threat of mortal danger these criminals face in their daily lives.

It’s a full-bodied work and arguably one of the finest gangster movies ever made.

Mystery/Western: The Hateful Eight

For the past few decades, Quentin Tarantino has taken on a variety of distinct genres and added his own Tarantino-style twist to them. He’s done WW2 espionage films, kung fu action movies, grindhouse horror films, and, more recently, delivered two excellent Westerns with Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight.

During a blustery winter storm sometime after the Civil War, a bounty hunter (Kurt Russell) transporting a dangerous fugitive (Jennifer Jason Leigh) decides to hunker down at a remote cabin filled with several enigmatic characters.

With Tarantino’s usual penchant for sharp writing, distinct characters, and tense situations, The Hateful Eight feels like a Spaghetti Western written by Agatha Christie. What’s more, in addition to the theatrical cut of the movie, Netflix offers an extended miniseries version of the show viewers can check out as well.

Horror: Crimson Peak

Few directors can explore the horror genre as fully and effectively as Guillermo del Toro. A modern master of horror on par with Alfred Hitchcock himself, del Toro has broken down several horror subgenres over the years, with his 2015 film, Crimson Peak, analyzing the Victorian ghost story.

In the early 20th century, a young woman (Mia Wasikowska) is swept away by her new husband (Tom Hiddlestone) to his magnificent English countryside manor. While there, she comes into conflict with her husband’s mysterious sister (Jessica Chastain) and several ghosts urging her to leave while she still can.

A classical ghost story told in a similar manner to Dickens or Algernon Blackwood, Crimson Peak is a skillful entry in del Toro’s already impressive filmography. Suspenseful and foreboding throughout, it might not have the same recognition as The Conjuring or Insidious — although it absolutely should.

Romance: Crazy, Stupid, Love

Steve Carell is one of those rare actors able to expertly switch between comedy and drama. Making his name with such childish characters as The Office’s Michael Scott, Carell redefined his career with more dramatic roles as well, such as his praised performances in Foxcatcher, Little Miss Sunshine, and The Big Short.

A film that illustrates Carell’s range in comedy and drama, Crazy, Stupid, Love follows a couple (Carell and Julianne Moore) who have agreed to separate. Heartbroken and unable to even speak to women, the husband soon meets a young Lothario (Ryan Gosling) who councils him on how to begin dating again.

A rom-com with plenty of heart and emotion, Crazy, Stupid, Love is a great movie that interweaves several connected storylines together, each of which are romantic in nature.

Sci-Fi: Blade Runner

One of the greatest sci-fi movies ever made, few movies have been as influential as the original Blade Runner. A revolutionary entry to the field of science fiction, it’s an incredible story that pretty much created the cyberpunk genre, combining sci-fi with noir into one seamless film.

In a grim near future, Earth has begun to heavily rely on sophisticated androids (known as “replicants”) as an effective source of labor. After four state-of-the-art replicants escape into the world, professional replicant-hunter Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is tasked to find them.

Like all the best sci-fi movies, Blade Runner is a cautionary look at mankind’s addiction to technology and the dehumanizing effect it has on all of us. It’s a nightmarish view of a dystopian future, touching upon the dangers of artificial intelligence and over-reliance on technology.

Action: The Guns of Navarone

A classic action war film from the 1960s, The Guns of Navarone feels very much like a spiritual precursor to everything from Where Eagles Dare to Inglourious Basterds.

Based on the acclaimed novel of the same name, The Guns of Navarone traces the efforts of an Allied commando team tasked with infilitrating a Nazi-occupied island and sabotaging two massive long-range artillery pieces.

An epic war movie that doubles on the action and espionage elements of the genre, The Guns of Navarone is a must-watch for fans of World War II films or even those who enjoy a great spy flick. After all, it’s no accident it’s still fondly regarded today as one of the best action adventure movies ever put to the screen.

New Release: Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie

One of the most recent movies to drop on Netflix, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie is an animated continuation of the fondly-received Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series that aired on Nickelodeon in 2020.

In a near-future where Earth has been dominated by the alien warlord, the Krang, the older Turtles send back their trusted student Casey Jones (Haley Joel Osmont) back in time to contact their younger selves.

A fitting cinematic spin-off of the earlier TV series, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie is one of those family-friendly movies perfect for younger and older audience members. Balanced by great humor and impressive visuals, it’s a fun, lighthearted film that will satisfy fans of the TMNT and those unfamiliar with the series as well.

Underrated: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Based on the popular children’s horror series by Alvin Schwartz, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is perhaps one of the best non-R-rated horror movies of the past decade.

Set on Halloween night in 1968, a group of teenage friends in a small Pennsylvania town happen across an old book containing several horror stories. As they read from the text, they discover that many of the stories’ premises are somehow coming true.

With its focus on a teenage cast and its overall faithfulness to its source material, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark feels like a darker version of Goosebumps or Are You Afraid of the Dark? Rated PG-13, it can definitely prove frightening for some viewers, but can still be an enjoyable, spooky experience for most.

 

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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).