Netflix offers a vast catalog of films and TV shows to watch on its streaming platform. There are a number of great TV shows and award-winning films that encapsulate the best of cinema, from around the world. We have taken the time to sift through it all and present you with the 50 best Netflix movies (in alphabetical order) to satisfy your cinematic cravings. Whether you are into mainstream or indie, action or horror, popular films or documentaries, we’ve got you covered.
1. 13 Assassins (2010)
A team of assassins are tasked to eliminate a ruthless terrorist, who is wreaking havoc against his own people. Set in 19-century Japan, the film features the best work of its director, Takashi Miike. It also offers some of the finest battle scenes ever filmed in the history of cinema.
2. Andhadhun (2018)
There isn’t a dull or wasted moment in this cleverly crafted, briskly-paced thriller. Veteran Sriram Raghavan knows how to keep his viewers engaged. And he does so without resorting to cheap contrivances and manipulation. A solid script brought alive brilliantly on screen, Andhadhun seals the deal with spectacular performances.
Recommended: 10 Best Hindi Movies Of 2018
3. A Serious Man (2009)
This is a black-comedy from Coen Brothers. It follows Michael Stuhlbarg in a wicked role as his character crumbles with abrupt events agitating his life. Perplexed and extremely curious, he tries to decode the cause of the incidents. The film is a humorous exploration of human suffering in this giant world.
4. Baahubali – Part 1, 2 (2015) (2017)
Rajamouli’s imaginative leaps diffuse perfect popcorn-entertainment. Baahubali films are awe-inspiring visual extravaganzas that have tabled South Indian cinema on top of the charts. (Read full review of Baahubali 2 by Sanjay Trehan)
5. Bird Box (2018)
Bird Box is, by far, the most successful Netflix original to date. This suspenseful, post-apocalyptic thriller follows Sandra Bullock in the role of a mother who embarks on a dangerous journey with her children. They must avoid coming face to face with an entity that takes the form of their worst fears.
6. Black Panther (2018)
The first blockbuster to be written, acted, and directed by black artists. Black Panther marks the beginning of black artists taking center stage in mainstream entertainers. Standing next to Richard Donner’s Superman, Sam Raimi’s Spiderman 2, and Chris Nolan’s Batman Begins, it not only subverts genre but also shatters numerous Marvel stereotypes – including fixing the villain problem. (Read full review by Mayank Nailwal)
7. Blue Valentine (2010)
This film is about a married couple, that shifts back and forth in time between their courtship to the dissolution of their marriage. From its joyful beginning to its sour ending, Blue Valentine examines the reasons why couples lose interest in their loved ones, once they get married. It’s a must watch for the deft execution of its subject. Along with gravely underrated performances from Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.
8. Boyhood (2014)
There is no substitute to Richard Linklater’s Boyhood as it is filmed in parts over the course of twelve years, with the same star cast. Only TV shows get to do this, however, on a regular basis. With Boyhood, it’s a different story altogether. The film is an unparalleled take on upbringing. It’s something that can never be replicated.
9. Coco (2017)
This animated musical from Pixar is a heartwarming tale about family and love. It’s one of the best animated films currently streaming on Netflix. Giving an authentic peek into Mexican culture, Coco is filled with vivid colors and enchanting music. It’s a smartly written script that is sure to make your heart melt and your eyes moist.
Recommended: 11 Best Animation Movies From 2017
10. Dangal (2016)
Even for a non-sports person, Dangal stays thoroughly captivating. It is the new gold standard for sports films in India, that features an outstanding performance from Aamir Khan. (Read full review by Mansi Dutta)
11. Doctor Strange (2016)
Doctor Strange is one of the best films in the Marvel canyon. Watch it for Benedict Cumberbatch, and the six-hundred VFX artists, who deserve a standing ovation for their fantastical work with the machines. (Read full review by Mayank Nailwal)
12. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Based on Gustav Hasford’s semi-autobiographical novel ‘The Short-Timers,’ Stanley Kubrick’s hard-hitting adaptation depicted the true consequences of a war. It is a daunting watch as it features shell-shocking themes of military brainwashing, or dehumanization.
Recommended: Hollywood’s Greatest Book-To-Film Adaptations
13. FYRE (2019)
FYRE is a slickly assembled documentary on the history of the Fyre Music Festival. The film covers everything from its creation through to its unraveling. The documentary is a solid reminder of how everything in life has a cost.
14. Gerald’s Game (2017)
Featuring one of the finest performances of Carla Gugino, the film is about a woman who accidentally kills her husband during a kinky game. Handcuffed to her bed with no hope of rescue, she begins hearing voices and seeing strange visions.
15. God’s Own Country (2017)
A beautiful tale of romance, the film depicts the story of a young farmer who numbs his frustrations through drinking and routine sex. However, things change when a Romanian migrant worker sets him on a new path. The film is very intimate featuring gorgeously shot locales of Yorkshire, and memorable performances from its leads.
16. Gone Baby Gone (2007)
When a four-year-old Amanda goes missing, her aunt hires detectives Angie and Patrick to trace her. This was the directorial debut of Ben Affleck. It is extremely well-helmed, embodying solid performances from Ben’s brother Casey, and Michelle Monaghan.
17. Her (2013)
Her is one of the highly original films that depicts weird aspirations of platonic love. Boasting a terrific performance from Joaquin Phoenix, it’s a sweet, sci-fi tale of modern relationships.
18. Hot Fuzz (2007)
Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz is his second film in his wicked Cornetto trilogy. A tremendously amusing take on buddy-cop genre, the film capitalizes on the terrific character interplay between Simon and Nick. Including a relevant social message, Hot Fuzz remains a classic with numerous meme worthy scenes.
19. Icarus (2017)
When a filmmaker sets out to uncover the truth about doping in sports, a chance meeting with a scientist transcends his story from a personal experiment into a geopolitical thriller. The distinctive execution of this film makes Icarus one of the best Netflix movies.
20. I, Daniel Blake (2016)
I can’t remember the last time a movie had me so effing pissed off, shaken up and in tears. Subjects about everyday people hold a great deal of attraction. It takes incredible courage to take on stories that are about struggles of ordinary people and yet crafted in an extraordinary engaging manner. For me, it’s one of the most underrated films of its times. (By Milind Dhaimade)
21. Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (2003-2004)
Quentin Tarantino’s two-part epic is a masterful blend of multiple genres. It’s about an assassin, who seeks revenge on her ex-boss who brutally attacked her when she was pregnant. Roughly four-hours long, Kill Bill shows its director at his best.
22. Madness in the Desert (2003)
This is the story of the making of Lagaan. Based on one of the most significant Indian films, it’s an account of the production assistant of the film, Satyajit Bhatkal.
23. Merku Thodarchi Malai (Western Ghats) (2018)
This film is a non-decorative study on the landless laborers of the South India. Its filmed using the natural light and looks stunning throughout. Instead of being loud and preachy, the film simply shows the landscape of the Men of the western ghats, in order to convey its message.
Recommended: 10 Best Tamil Films Of 2018, Ranked
24. Moon (2009)
This film is a must-watch for all Sam Rockwell fans. He plays an astronaut named Sam, who meets with a fatal accident, just when he was about to return home.
25. Mustang (2015)
French/Turkish filmmaker Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s poignant début Mustang, is about the socially mandated sexualization of women. The gorgeous visual design and pulsating performances offer an ultimate movie experience. (Read full review by Arun Kumar)
26. Nocturnal Animals (2016)
This is a stunning film noir that is very artfully composed and features uniformly excellent performances from its cast. The film is centered on Amy Adams’ character, who receives a manuscript of her ex-husband’s new novel. The manuscript compels her to confront several disturbing truths about her marital life.
27. Pink (2016)
A well-intentioned and well-made drama, Pink is one of the best Netflix movies Bollywood has to offer. It takes you by the scruff of the neck, immerses you into our reality and shakes you up in the process. Every character justifies the part – Tapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang, Angad Bedi, Piyush Mishra. And Amitabh Bachchan delivers yet another standout performance. (Read full review by Mansi Dutta)
28. Private Life (2018)
This film is centred on Richard and Rachel, a middle-aged married couple of writers, who are desperately trying to have a child. A brilliant take on relationships, the film explores how even long-lasting marriages have their ups and downs.
29. Raman Raghav (2016)
Raman Raghav 2.0 is a dystopian study of two amoral, beyond-the-pale characters who are beyond redemption. The film is plotted with the eye of a master and edited so tightly that it unfolds in an impossibly riveting manner. (Read full review by Sanjay Trehan)
30. Raw (2017)
French film-maker Julia Ducornau’s chilling body horror subverts genre conventions to impart a profound social subtext. Raw goes beyond the label of ‘cannibalistic horror’ to provide an unparalleled taboo-breaking female perspective.
31. Roma (2018)
This is the story of Mexico City in the 1970s, of Cuaron’s childhood and the maid that brought him up, and the sisterhood of two women, even with the attendant hierarchy of class, who realise that they are ultimately alone in this world. Roma is an absolute classic that will grow on you. Like vine and slow time. Initially I was unnerved by its tepid pace and ultra-realistic unfolding but once you get the design, you begin to appreciate the subtle and sublime touches that draw you in. At once mellow, at once intense, it feels like real life and is languorously and aesthetically shot. (By Sanjay Trehan)
32. Seven (1995)
A classic from David Fincher, Seven is a disturbing, often dark and largely gory thriller. It’s about two detectives who are tasked to understand a serial killer who begins murdering people according to the seven deadly sins.
33. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs delivers on all fronts. A lush charming film, it reinstates my faith in art and an industry that’s precariously teetering between the allure of a movie hall and the comfort of the drawing room. A timely triumph; wondrously shot Western which is not confined by the screen size of your Netflix device, one that captivates your imagination and extends like the horizons of the pristine west. (Read full review by Rajesh Ram)
34. The Departed (2006)
Martin Scorsese’s The Departed is an adaptation of a Hong Kong thriller (Internal Affairs). It’s about an undercover agent and an espionage agent, who try to counter-attack each other to save themselves from being exposed in front of the authorities. The film is very gripping with each scene fraught with tension.
35. The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
Hailee Steinfeld’s nuanced and genuine portrayal of an angst-ridden teen turns this high school comedy into a rousing gem. It’s a smart, bittersweet comedy that astutely captures the spirit of its subject.
36. The Endless (2018)
The Endless is a fascinatingly creepy micro-budget supernatural horror that makes up for its narrative flaws through assured direction, technological acumen, and eccentric energy. (Read full review by Arun Kumar)
37. The Godfather (1972)
This one needs no introduction. The sure-shot film to be present on all “Best Films of all time” listicles, The Godfather is a pinnacle of filmmaking that features A-grade direction, along with fantabulous storytelling.
38. The Hateful Eight (2015)
A bounty hunter and his captured fugitive are caught in the middle of a snowstorm. They seek refuge at a small lodge and encounter a twisted turn of events there. The Eighth film of Quentin Tarantino shows his sterling body of work. He gradually builds tension through character interplay and climaxes into a quintessential blood bath. (Read full review by Soven Trehan)
39. The Invitation (2015)
This is a very shocking thriller. It’s about a man, who when attends a dinner party, starts believing that his ex-wife and her new husband have sinister plans for the guests. It’s an effective slowburn thriller that completely avoids stereotypical reveals and exposition.
40. The Iron Giant (1999)
This was Brad Bird’s directorial debut and it remains one of the best animated films of all time. Encapsulating a brilliant script and unmatched vision, the film is a tale of friendship and about forging one’s own identity.
41. The Lunchbox (2013)
Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox is one of the rare Bollywood films to have won hearts both on its homeground and oversees. As an original piece of film-making, it depicts an unusual friendship that takes birth through a mistake made by Mumbai’s tiffin carrier service.
42. The Master (2012)
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, this film demands precise viewing. While you may think it’s a film about Scientology, it actually has a lot more to offer than being a film about a cult. Joaquin Phoenix takes the charge as a Sailor, who finds it hard to reconcile after World War II. However, when he comes across a religious movement known as The Cause, he finds solace in it.
43. The Ritual (2017)
The Ritual is a superbly executed and well-acted horror film. While it delivers on the usual tropes, it also offers insightful themes of guilt, redemption, and maturity.
44. The Shining (1980)
The Shining is one of the most cherished horror films of all time. Stanley Kubrick’s inventive storytelling accompanied with solid cinematography and an ominous score guarantee to scare the daylights out of you.
Recommended: 50 Greatest Horror Films Of All Time
45. Sila Samayangalil (Sometimes) (2018)
Priyadarshan’s Netflix release benefits from hearty characters and precise observation of the human condition. The storyline is pretty simple: seven frustrated strangers await their HIV test results and bribe the staff to get them early. Priyadarshan uses an aggravating atmosphere to reflect on the ultra-sensitive social environment. The strong cast includes Prakash Raj, Ashok Selvan, Sriya Reddy, MS Bhaskar, Shanmugarajan, and Anjali Rao. Unlike many Tamil films focused on giving a social message, Sila Samayangalil doesn’t over-dramatize the situation. The narrative has pacing issues. Overall though, it’s an engaging character-driven drama. (By Arun Kumar)
46. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
One of the best superhero films to come out recently, Taika Waititi’s film is an unmissable gem. Hilarious and action-packed, you will find Thor lose his hair, his hammer, his people, and most importantly – his solemnity.
Recommended: All Marvel Movies Ranked From Worst To Best
47. Triple Frontier (2019)
The film is about a group of ex-soldiers who plan to rob a drug baron in South America. Led by Ben Affleck and Oscar Isaac, the film works really well both as a thought-provoking drama and an action entertainer.
48. Udta Punjab (2016)
In an industry swarmed with lacklustre content, Abhishek Chaubey’s films shines with an edgy take on a bold, controversial subject. Drug abuse has plagued Punjab for years. The film brings to the fore its impact on the youth; the involvement or rather the facilitation of its use — from the powers that be to the law enforcement agencies. (Read full review by Mansi Dutta)
49. V for Vendetta (2005)
Set in a futuristic, totalitarian Britain, a freedom fighter known simply as V, uses terrorist tactics to fight the oppressive society. One of the many classics, V For Vendetta questions whether violent methods can fabricate a better world, or not. The film features the famous quote, “Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.”
Recommended: 12 Best Sites To Watch Latest Movies
50. Whiplash (2014)
Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash is a nearly flawless film that is electrifying from start to finish. It underlines how much an individual is willing to push himself in order to become one of the greats. The wonderful jazz music and outstanding performances from Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons make it one of the best Netflix movies out there.
This is it! These are the 50 best Netflix movies currently streaming. How many have you seen? And what do you think of them? If you have any suggestion, or you think a deserving film didn’t make the cut, tell us in the comments section.
By Mayank Nailwal