The 50 Best Movies on Netflix Right Now (June 2021)


Netflix adds a long list of new and classic films to its library each month, so there’s always something for everyone in the streaming service’s movie vault. From hilarious comedies and fascinating documentaries to tense thrillers and heartwarming romantic dramas, you have a good chance of finding just the right film for your mood. In order to make the decision easier, we’ve searched through the entire library to put together this list of the best movies available on Netflix right now.
Looking for something else? We’ve also rounded up the best shows on Netflix, the best movies on Hulu, the best movies on Amazon Prime, and the best movies on Disney+.

The Big Lebowski (1998)
Jeff Bridges plays the slacker hero Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski in this quirky dark comedy from the acclaimed sibling duo Joel and Ethan Coen. After his favorite rug is ruined by home invaders, Lebowski’s efforts to procure a new floor covering that ties the room together end up dragging him into a criminal scheme involving porn, eccentric art collectors, and a group of annoying nihilists. And yet, through it all, The Dude abides. John Goodman and Steve Buscemi play supporting roles in this weird, wonderful adventure crammed full of memorable cameos.
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, David Huddleston, John TurturroDirector: Joel Coen, Ethan CoenRating: RRuntime: 117 minutes
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Finding ‘Ohana (2021)
Uprooted from her Brooklyn life, Pilialoha “Pili” Kawena (Kea Peahu) and her family travel to Oahu to care for her ailing grandfather. Initially disappointed by the lack of big-city buzz and activity, they discover a pirate journal that alludes to an ancient treasure buried somewhere on the island. As Pili and her older brother begin their quest for the trove, their journey takes them on a Hawaiian odyssey that connects them with their ancient island heritage. A loving family drama, Finding ‘Ohana is The Goonies meets visually breathtaking Hawaii.
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%Genre: Adventure, Action, ComedyStars: Kea Peahu, Alex Aiono, Lindsay WatsonDirector: Jude WengRating: PGRuntime: 123 minutes
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Bad Trip (2021)
Eric André and Lil Rel Howery headline this hidden-camera prank film that has them playing two friends, Chris and Bud, who embark on an ill-fated road trip so Chris can tell his high school sweetheart he loves her. As they stumble from one ridiculous scenario to another, they’re pursued by Bud’s convict sister (Tiffany Haddish), whose car they stole for the trip. Raunchy, shocking, and relentlessly funny, the film blends scripted scenes with wild hidden-camera pranks and its duo’s signature comedy for a film that’s all about the journey, not the destination.
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%Genre: ComedyStars: Eric André, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany HaddishDirector: Kitao SakuraiRating: RRuntime: 84 minutes
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Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Childhood friends Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park) cross paths as adults, years after a teenage fling, and soon find themselves navigating life and love while maintaining two very different career paths and social circles. She’s a celebrity chef who hangs out with Keanu Reeves and he installs air conditioners. Can they ever find common ground? You probably know the answer to that already, but watching how they get there is where the fun lies — particularly when it comes to Reeves’ memorable performance.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%Stars: Ali Wong, Randall Park, Keanu ReevesDirector: Nahnatchka KhanRating: PG-13Runtime: 102 minutes
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Stardust (2007)
Claire Danes and Charlie Cox star in this fantasy film based on Neil Gaiman’s 1999 novel of the same name. The film follows Tristan (Cox), a young man on a quest to retrieve a fallen star for his beloved, only to discover that the star has taken the shape of a peculiar, beautiful woman named Yvaine (Danes). Their adventure together has them cross paths with a colorful collection of allies and enemies, including a sinister witch played by Michelle Pfeiffer, a ruthless prince played by Mark Strong, and a pirate captain played by Robert DeNiro who is more than he appears.
Rotten Tomatoes: 76%Stars: Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Robert De Niro, Michelle PfeifferDirector: Matthew VaughnRating: PG-13Runtime: 128 minutes
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Space Sweepers (2021)
Widely regarded as Korea’s first blockbuster space adventure, Space Sweepers is set in the year 2092 and follows the colorful crew of The Victory, a salvage ship that retrieves debris from space and sells it to the megacorporation that owns humanity’s last hope for survival, an orbiting space station high above the toxic surface of Earth. When the crew encounters a young girl in their latest salvage haul, it kicks off a wild adventure that pits them against powerful forces intent on steering mankind’s future. Filled with gorgeous visual-effects sequences, fascinating characters, and plenty of comedy — and a memorable robot named Bubs — the film is a fast-paced, fun throwback to classic space adventures with some wonderfully modern twists.
Rotten Tomatoes: 59%Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure, ComedyStars: Song Joong-ki, Kim Tae-ri, Jin Seon-kyu, Yoo Hae-jinDirector: Jo Sung-heeRating: TV-MARuntime: 136 minutes
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Moonlight (2016)
2016’s Best Picture winner established Mahershala Ali as a tour de force actor and introduced the world to the brilliant Ashton Sanders. Moonlight attempts to convey the Black experience through three defining chapters of one man’s life. Chiron (Sanders) grows up in Miami, surrounded by a community that is full of love and support despite the crack epidemic that is ravaging it. As Chiron is pulled from his biological family by drug abuse and misunderstanding, he’s guided into manhood by Juan (Ali), a man who recognizes the struggles Chiron will face as a gay Black man. Juan tries to help Chiron find peace with his identity.
Rotten Tomatoes: 98%Genre: Drama, RomanceStars: Mahershala Ali, Ashton Sanders, Alex R. LittleDirector: Barry JenkinsRating: RRuntime: 111 minutes
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Army of the Dead (2021)
Nearly two decades after Zack Snyder first tackled the zombie genre with his Dawn of the Dead remake, the Justice League filmmaker returns with yet another adventure set amid legions of the undead. This time around, Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) portrays a former war hero recruited to lead a mission deep into Las Vegas — now a walled-off city infested with flesh-hungry zombies. The ensemble cast is filled out with a host of familiar faces, including Garret Dillahunt, Tig Notaro, Theo Rossi, Ella Purnell, and Omari Hardwick, among others.
Rotten Tomatoes: 76%Genre: Action, HorrorStars: Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, Ana de la Reguera, Matthias SchweighöferDirector: Zack SnyderRating: RRuntime:  148 minutes
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Sleight (2016)
In this tense drama from director and co-writer J.D. Dillar, a brilliant young street magician in Los Angeles finds himself in over his head when he gets entangled with a violent drug supplier and must use every trick he knows to save himself and his sister. A surprise hit, Sleight won over audiences at the Sundance Film Festival with its unexpected twist on conventional thrillers, as well as star Jacob Latimore’s compelling performance.
Rotten Tomatoes: 78%Genre: Drama, ThrillerStars: Jacob Latimore, Seychelle GabrielDirector: J.D. DillardRating: RRuntime:  90 minutes
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The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the duo that gave us The Lego Movie and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, return for this animated feature about a dysfunctional family that ends up becoming humanity’s last, best hope against a robot uprising. Mike Rianda (Gravity Falls) makes his directorial debut with the film, which also features an impressive voice cast that includes Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Eric Andre, Olivia Colman, Fred Armisen, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Blake Griffin, and Conan O’Brien, among other familiar names (and voices). An early favorite for the year’s best animated feature — and one of the best movies of the year — The Mitchells vs. The Machines has quickly become a surprise hit for Netflix.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%Genre: Comedy, Family, Sci-FiStars: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Mike RiandaDirector: Mike RiandaRating: PGRuntime: 114 minutes
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Stargate (1994)
Kurt Russell and James Spader star in this clever, entertaining sci-fi adventure as a pair of explorers tasked with venturing through a mysterious portal discovered in Egyptian ruins. Russell plays Colonel Jack O’Neil, while James Spader portrays the scientist whose theories regarding alien intervention in ancient Egypt just might prove true after all. Although the film failed to win over critics, it did earn a loyal fan following that supported not one but multiple spinoff series that spanned multiple seasons and expanded the Stargate universe exponentially.
Rotten Tomatoes: 53%Stars: Kurt Russell, James Spader, Jaye DavidsonDirector: Roland EmmerichRating: PG-13Runtime: 116 minutes
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The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)
Hollywood stalwart Aaron Sorkin rises to the occasion once more with his blistering interpretation of the 1969 Democratic National Convention trials, where seven Vietnam protestors were charged with crimes well beyond their intent. As peaceful demonstrations turn caustic, prejudice bleeds into testimony and eyewitness accounts of what took place the day of the riots. Featuring performances from Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baren Cohen, Alex Sharp, and John Caroll Lynch, Sorkin’s big-budget historical drama takes liberties here and there, but the result is a spellbinding examination of American history.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%Genre: Drama, HistoryStars: Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baren Cohen, Yahya Abdul-Mateen IIDirector: Aaron SorkinRating: RRuntime: 130 minutes
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Back to the Future (1985)
Robert Zemeckis directed and co-wrote this sci-fi adventure that’s widely regarded as one of the greatest movies of the 1980s — and in some circles, one of the best movies of all time. The film casts Michael J. Fox as teenager Marty McFly, who finds himself sent back in time from 1985 to 1955 after an accident involving a time-traveling DeLorean. Marty must find a way home with some help from the younger version of his eccentric scientist friend, Emmett “Doc” Brown (Christopher Lloyd) while avoiding any mishaps that could alter his own timeline — a situation that causes plenty of trouble when he encounters his own, teenage parents. The highest-grossing film of 1985 worldwide, Back to the Future went on to spawn multiple sequels, spinoffs, and tie-in projects over the years that followed.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%Genre: Sci-Fi, ComedyStars:  Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. WilsonDirector: Robert ZemeckisRating: PGRuntime: 116 minutes
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The Social Dilemma (2020)
Director Jeff Orlowski’s The Social Dilemma is an eye-opening docudrama that puts big tech like Google, Facebook, and Instagram under the microscope. Various talking heads (many ex-employees of big tech) weigh in on social media’s harmful implications — from algorithmic data mining to mental health detriments. The more one watches Orlowski’s film, the more questions one begins asking about their own social media exposure. The Social Dilemma doesn’t stray from its intent, leaving us with all kinds of things to think about (particularly our own social media accounts) once the credits roll.
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%Genre: Documentary, DramaStars: Tristan HarrisDirector: Jeff OrlowskiRating: PG-13Runtime: 94 minutes
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Stowaway (2021)
After the three-person crew of a manned mission to Mars discovers a fourth, accidental occupant of their ship, a crisis occurs when a related equipment failure leaves only enough oxygen to support the original crew. That’s the heart-wrenching premise of this sci-fi drama that Netflix won the right to distribute in the U.S. after a bidding war. The moral quandary posed by the film is supported by a small but impressive cast, with Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, and Toni Collette portraying the ship’s crew and Shamier Anderson portraying the engineer who wakes up inside the ship shortly after takeoff.
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%Genre: Drama, Sci-FiStars:  Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, Shamier Anderson, Toni Collette.Director: Joe PennaRating: TV-MARuntime: 116 minutes
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My Octopus Teacher (2020)
The Academy Award winner in the Best Documentary Feature category at the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony, My Octopus Teacher chronicles the year filmmaker Craig Foster spent free-diving off the South African coast and forging a relationship with a wild octopus he discovered there. In following the octopus’s life and experiences, Foster learns lessons about his own life and relationship to the world around him and his family.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%Genre: DocumentaryStars: Craig FosterDirector: Pippa Ehrlich, James ReedRating: GRuntime: 85 minutes
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The Departed (2006)
Celebrated filmmaker Martin Scorsese adapted Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s 2002 film Infernal Affairs for this film about a pair of men on very different sides of the law, each living a dangerous undercover life. Matt Damon plays a mole planted in the Massachusetts State Police by mob boss Francis “Frank” Costello (Jack Nicholson), while Leonardo DiCaprio portrays a police officer tasked with infiltrating Costello’s inner circle. When they each become aware of the other’s existence, it begins a desperate race to uncover their counterpart’s identity while protecting their own. The tense drama won four Academy Awards and is widely regarded as one of Scorsese’s best films.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%Genre: DramaStars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack NicholsonDirector: Martin ScorseseRating: RRuntime: 152 minutes
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His House (2020)
After suffering a major tragedy on their pilgrimage from South Sudan to the U.K., Bol (Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku), married refugees fleeing their war-ravaged country, are placed in a decrepit tenement home. As Bol does his best to acclimate to a new life of racial discrepancy, a series of horrific ghouls make themselves known to the grieving man. Blending a socio-political immigration story with a haunted house story, His House bends both sub-genres in a way we’ve never seen pulled off before. An exciting and unsettling directorial debut from Remi Weekes, His House should definitely fill your screen this weekend.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%Genre: Mystery, Thriller, HorrorStars: Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù, Wunmi Mosaku, Matt SmithDirector: Remi WeekesRating: RRuntime: 93 minutes
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Shadow (2018)
Legendary Chinese director Zhang Yimou followed up his misbegotten The Great Wall with 2018’s Shadow, a beautiful return to form. The film begins when Commander Ziyu (Deng Chao) is defeated in a duel with enemy commander Yang Cang (Hu Jun), losing an important city in the process. This infuriates Ziyu’s king, who demotes Ziyu to commoner status and tries desperately to reclaim the city. Unbeknownst to the king, the actual Ziyu is on the verge of death after the duel, replaced by a body double who must now train to beat Yang Cang. Shadow is a historical epic of grand scope, heavy on intrigue and stylish combat sequences accented by a stark color palette.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%Genre: DramaStars: Deng Chao, Sun Li, Ryan ChengDirector: Zhang YimouRating: TV-MARuntime: 116 minutes
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The Hateful Eight (2015)
The year is 1877. When a blizzard rips through the mountain passes of Wyoming, a band of weary stagecoach travelers decides to hole up at Minnie’s Haberdashery. The pilgrims include bounty hunters John Ruth and Major Marquis Warren (Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson, respectively); Ruth’s bounty, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), on her way to the noose; a Confederate loudmouth (Walton Goggins); and their stagecoach driver (James Parks). No one trusts the others, an issue only exacerbated when Minnie’s turns out to be occupied by several other stormbound folks. When personalities begin to clash, the eight occupants start picking sides and losing their minds. Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film features a stellar cast, impressive visuals, and plenty of iconic Tarantino dialogue.
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%Genre: WesternStars: Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton GogginsDirector: Quentin TarantinoRating: RRuntime: 168 minutes
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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
What’s better than a new Western from the Coen brothers? How about six? The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a sextet of short films, all set in the Wild West. They follow different characters through wild plots that explore the themes of human depravity and cosmic justice (or injustice) that recur so often in the Coens’ works. The stories and protagonists vary wildly. The eponymous sequence follows Buster Scruggs (Tim Blake Nelson), a sharpshooting, guitar-slinging cowboy roaming the West and singing of his adventures. In another, a lonely prospector (Tom Waits) digs for his fortune. The stories in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs fall on the surreal end of the Coen spectrum — they’re somewhat comical, occasionally brutal folk tales that don’t always leave the viewer feeling they’ve learned a lesson. Here’s our list of the best comedies on Netflix to browse if you’re looking for more in this genre.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%Genre: Comedy-dramaStars: Liam Neeson, James Franco, Tim Blake NelsonDirector: Ethan Coen, Joel CoenRating: TV-MARuntime: 133 minutes
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Total Recall (1990)
Acclaimed filmmaker Paul Verhoeven directed this 1990 adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale and filled it with his trademark blend of over-the-top violence, sex, and dark social satire. One of the most expensive films ever made at the time of its release, Total Recall cast Arnold Schwarzenegger as a construction worker in humanity’s far-flung future who suddenly finds himself at the heart of an interplanetary conspiracy that may or may not even be real. Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, Rachel Ticotin, and Michael Ironside play supporting roles in this brutal — and occasionally brutally funny — adventure that brings Schwarzenegger’s character from Earth to Mars in pursuit of the truth about himself and his past. Along with being a critical and commercial success when it was released, the film also won a Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects at the Academy Awards.
Rotten Tomatoes: 82%Genre: Sci-Fi, ActionStars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, Rachel Ticotin, Michael IronsideDirector: Paul VerhoevenRating: RRuntime: 109 minutes
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Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Widely regarded as one of the funniest movies ever made, this parody of Arthurian legend was written and performed by the famous Monty Python comedy troupe and directed by troupe members Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. The film chronicles various elements of King Arthur’s quest to find the Holy Grail and those of his fellow Knights of the Round Table as they encounter one ridiculous scenario after another in pursuit of the relic. If you’ve ever wondered about the airspeed of a swallow, the best ways to determine whether someone is a witch, or how a fuzzy bunny could be the most terrifying creature in the world, well … you might not get all the answers in this film, but you’ll definitely find plenty of laughs.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%Genre: ComedyStars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael PalinDirector: Terry Gilliam, Terry JonesRating: PGRuntime: 90 minutes
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Loving (2016)
Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, and inspired by the 2012 HBO documentary The Loving Story, Loving depicts the trials and tribulations of Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Loving (Ruth Negga), an interracial couple who wanted nothing more than to be wed. But after traveling from Virginia to Washington D.C., to get married, the couple is tracked down by their hometown authorities and charged with violating Virginia’s segregation laws. For their prison sentences to be thrown out, the couple must agree to vacate Virginia and not return for 25 years. But the couple doesn’t want to give up on their love. Ruth writes to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, which sets into motion one of the most vital Supreme Court cases in civil rights history.
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%Genre: Biography, Drama, HistoryStars: Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Nick KrollDirector: Jeff NicholsRating: PG-13Runtime: 123 minutes
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Legally Blonde (2001)
Reese Witherspoon stars in this 2001 comedy about a sorority girl who attempts to win back her boyfriend by enrolling in Harvard Law School and ends up battling bias and misogyny en route to becoming a successful lawyer. The film is based on Amanda Brown’s 2001 novel of the same name, and much like its eternally self-confident protagonist, the film might seem easy to dismiss on the surface but actually delivers its message with a surprising amount of nuance and self-aware wit. Both Witherspoon and the film itself received Golden Globe Award nominations, and the movie went on to spawn not just a pair of sequels but also a hit Broadway musical.
Rotten Tomatoes: 70%Genre: ComedyStars: Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma BlairDirector: Robert LuketicRating: PG-13Runtime: 96 minutes
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If Anything Happens I Love You (2020)
From writer/director duo Michael Govier and Will McCormack, If Anything Happens explores a world of profound grief in a beautifully illustrated and meditative manner. Navigating the emotional aftermath of one family’s tragic loss, the short animation begins in a dark and near-unforgiving place, but through the power of love and the will to move forward, the film progresses into a place of love, forgiveness, and hope. Not the easiest watch in this roundup, but worthy of attention for its emotional bravery and stellar composition.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%Genre: Drama, AnimationStars: N/ADirector: Michael Govier, Will McCormackRating: RRuntime: 12 minutes
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Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Based on Donn Pearce’s novel of the same name, Cool Hand Luke stars Paul Newman as the titular war veteran, Luke Jackson, a man sentenced to a chain gang after a night of drunken revelries. Testing the waters with the hot-headed authorities in charge of the prison detail, Luke quickly rises to prominence as an inspirational figure among his jail peers. But as the hot-headed vet grows ever-more comfortable with his pedestal prominence, events transpire that test his resilience and resolve. Cool Hand Luke would go on to inspire countless prison dramas over the years, thanks in part to the film’s rich acting ensemble and Gordon’s precise directing.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%Genre: DramaStars: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, J.D. CannonDirector: Stuart RosenbergRating: PGRuntime: 126 minutes
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Mank (2020)
In this photographic gem of a Hollywood retrospective, director David Fincher delivers a finely layered drama about the writing of a Golden Age masterpiece. The writer in question is Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman). The film he’s writing, commissioned by Orson Welles (Tom Burke), is Citizen Kane. Mank‘s narrative shifts back and forth from the 1930s to the 1940s, chronicling the turbulent life of its title character throughout his development of the screenplay. Mank was written by the late Jack Fincher, the director’s father, and features amazing performances from its rich ensemble cast. It’s a great watch for cinephiles and casual viewers alike and a dazzling and authentic take on La La Land’s heyday.
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%Genre: Drama, Biography, HistoryStars: Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily CollinsDirector: David FincherRating: RRuntime: 131 minutes
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Uncut Gems (2019)
Uncut Gems is not for the faint-hearted. The Safdie Brothers’ drama about a gambling-addicted jeweler is a relentlessly intense, high-stress ride through the world of high-stakes gambling. Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler) is a charismatic New York City jeweler who is always on the lookout for the next big score. When NBA All-Star Kevin Garnett takes an interest in Howard’s most recent high-value acquisition, believing it brings him luck, Sandler makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime. Unfortunately, not everyone in his life is willing to wait for that windfall. Howard has to perform a precarious balancing act between business, family, debt collectors, and more to get the payoff.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%Genre: DramaStars: Adam Sandler, LaKeith Stanfield, Kevin GarnettDirector: Josh Safdie, Benny SafdieRating: RRuntime: 135 minutes
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Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Pan’s Labyrinth is a breathtakingly beautiful and heart-wrenchingly tragic film. Winner of three Academy Awards (on six nominations), Pan‘s Labyrinth launched director Guillermo del Toro onto the American awards show radar and introduced audiences to the blend of sci-fi, horror, and surrealistic elements that characterize his style. Set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, the film follows an imaginative young girl who also may just be a princess of an underground kingdom. Cast aside by her cruel, militaristic stepfather and isolated from her mother, Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) entertains herself on the grounds of their home in the Spanish countryside. When she stumbles upon a stone labyrinth presided over by a suspicious faun named Pan (Doug Jones), she is asked to complete three life-threatening tasks to prove she is the mythical princess, returned to reclaim her kingdom. Ofelia’s journey is expertly foiled by a guerrilla resistance to the rule of fascist Francisco Franco and the crumbling fragility of her newly formed family.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%Genre: Drama, fantasyStars: Ivana Baquero, Sergi LópezDirector: Guillermo del ToroRating: RRuntime: 115 minutes
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I Care a Lot (2020)
Rosamund Pike portrays a diabolical con artist who poses as the legal guardian for elderly people in order to seize their assets in this dark, satirical thriller. Her highly profitable scam takes a dangerous turn when her latest victim turns out to be the mother of a powerful mob boss, leading to a deadly battle of wills between Pike’s character and a ruthless criminal kingpin played by Peter Dinklage. Eiza González and Dianne Wiest play supporting roles in the film, which earned praise from critics and led to Pike taking home a Golden Globe Award for her performance.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%Genre: Drama, Comedy, ThrillerStars: Rosamund Pike, Peter DinklageDirector: J BlakesonRating: RRuntime: 118 minutes
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Roma (2018)
Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma opens quietly, the camera staring, motionless, at a tile floor as the credits play; eventually, water pours over the floor, as the sound of a mop spills in from just offscreen. It’s a boldly mundane opening, fitting for a film about an ordinary woman. Roma follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a maid working in the household of a wealthy doctor, Antonio (Fernando Grediaga) and his wife, Sofia (Marina de Tavira). Cleo cleans the house, tends to the children, and keeps the household running as Antonio and Sofia’s marriage strains. Cleo is the type of character typically relegated to the background of stories like this, but Cuaron makes her the focus, depicting her daily labor and struggles with a surprise pregnancy and unreliable lover. It’s a beautiful Netflix film, delicately composed and shot in stark black and white.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%Genre: DramaStars: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de TaviraDirector: Alfonso CuarónRating: RRuntime: 148 minutes
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The White Tiger (2021)
Based on Aravind Adiga’s 2008 novel of the same name, The White Tiger follows the rags-to-riches story of Balram Halwai (Adarsh Gourav), an impoverished Indian villager that, through hard work (and a little manipulation), pushes himself into a much-lauded driver position for Ashok (Rajkummar Rao) and Pinky (Priyanka Chopra Jonas), two highly influential business magnates. Coming to love his position, a tragic misstep places Balram in the crosshairs of Ashok’s family. Unwilling to serve as a scapegoat, Balram chooses to fight back against the corrupt forces at play. A gripping class-drama akin to Parasite mates with Joker, The White Tiger is one of the greatest dramas you can stream today.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%Genre: DramaStars: Adarsh Gourav, Rajkummar Rao, Priyanka Chopra JonasDirector: Ramin BahraniRating: RRuntime: 126 minutes
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The Disaster Artist (2017)
James Franco directs, produces, and stars in The Disaster Artist, an adaptation of Greg Sestero (portrayed in the film by Dave Franco) and Tom Bissell’s non-fiction book of the same name. Both the novel and film are a chronicle of Sestero’s rollercoaster friendship with infamous cult film legend Tommy Wiseau (Franco), an enigmatic actor with Hollywood dreams and plenty of money to pursue them — although no one can figure out why he’s so rich. After being turned down for role after role, Tommy decides to write, direct, and star in his own film called The Room, a bizarre and disjointed melodrama that he also casts Greg in. As the film runs into continued troubles and delays (mostly because of Tommy’s inabilities as a filmmaker), tensions rise between Greg and Tommy, along with the rest of the cast and crew. Whether you’ve seen The Room or not, The Disaster Artist is a mesmerizing examination of one of the strangest film productions of all time.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%Genre: Comedy, DramaStars: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison BrieDirector: James FrancoRating: RRuntime: 103 minutes
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The Prom (2020)
Based on the 2018 Broadway musical of the same name, The Prom stars Meryl Streep and James Corden as Dee Dee Allen and Barry Glickman, two down-on-their-luck Broadway actors looking to put their great talents to use. It just so happens that in a small Indiana town, a student named Emma Nolan (Jo Ellen Pellman) needs theatrical support after coming out of the closet. In doing so, her traditionalist school responds by canceling her prom. Through the power of song and dance, an ensemble of amazing performers band together to fight for Emma and the equality of love. A jazz-hands spectacle, The Prom isn’t a perfect film, but it’s a more-than-delightful adaptation of an emotionally poignant musical that both newcomers and Broadway junkies alike can appreciate.
Rotten Tomatoes: 59%Genre: Comedy, Musical, LGBTQStars: Meryl Streep, James Corden, Kerry WashingtonDirector: Ryan MurphyRating: PG-13Runtime: 131 minutes
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Over the Moon (2020)
Fei Fei (Cathy Ang), grieving the loss of her mother, clings to a legend about a moon goddess named Chang’e. Much to the dismay of her father and his new family, the girl aims to prove that the goddess does indeed exist. To do so, she begins work on a rocket that will take her to the moon to prove Chang’e’s existence. Filled with heart and mesmerizing animation, Over the Moon often looks and feels like your standard Disney epic, but the familiar structure and dazzling music are enough to keep everyone glued to the screen.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%Genre: Adventure, Musical, Fantasy, Comedy, Kids And Family, AnimationStars: John Cho, Sandra Oh, Ken JeongDirector: Glen KeaneRating: PGRuntime: 100 minutes
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Into the Wild (2007)
An adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s 1996 novel, Into the Wild stars Emile Hirsch in the true story of Christopher McCandless, an Emory University graduate with a promising career right at his fingertips. Instead of choosing wealth and security, Chris ditches his possessions, credit cards, and essential documents in favor of a life of trekking through the Alaskan wilderness. One with nature, McCandless is tested by the elements, cross-country travel, and other hardships, while learning more about himself and what it takes to survive as a lone wolf in the harshest of American terrain. Praised for Hirsch’s emotional performance as McCandless and director Sean Penn’s loving biographical drama, Into the Wild is one you don’t want to miss.
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%Genre: Adventure, Biography, DramaStars: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William HurtDirector: Sean PennRating: RRuntime: 147 minutes
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Superbad (2007)
It’s the end of the school year, and best friends Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are gearing up for college. When Jules (Emma Stone) invites Seth to a house party, he promises to bring booze, even though he’s underage. Becca (Martha MacIsaac), Evan’s love interest, is going to the same party, and Evan promises her a bottle of vodka. What follows is a wild nighttime odyssey between the lifelong best friends, featuring vehicle injuries, police interference, and an impromptu house party (that isn’t Jules’s). A riotous comedy with some brilliant writing, Superbad made a splash when it was first released and continues to satiate to this day.
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%Genre: ComedyStars: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Bill HaderDirector: Greg MottolaRating: RRuntime: 113 minutes
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Casino Royale (2006)
Arriving four years after Pierce Brosnan’s final Bond portrayal in Die Another Day, Casino Royale sees Daniel Craig helming the 007 title. Securing his license to kill after successfully assassinating two Embassy traitors, Bond is placed on the trail of the elusive Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), a high-stakes terrorist financier. When Le Chiffre puts together a poker game at the titular Casino Royale in Montenegro, the Secret Service instructs Bond to bet against the villainous gambler. Lauded as an action-packed breath of fresh air for the decades-old franchise, Casino Royale delivers one explosive set-piece after the other, sequences only furthered by the mighty onscreen talents, particularly Craig and Mikkelsen.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Action, AdventureStars: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads MikkelsenDirector: Martin CampbellRating: PG-13Runtime: 144 minutes
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A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Adapted from the Anthony Burgess novel of the same name, Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange is a severely visceral interpretation. Starring Malcolm McDowell as the charmingly violent Alex, we see a day in the life of the rebellious youth. Patrolling the dystopic streets of England with his thugs, the gang commit crime after horrible crime together … until Alex gets caught. Imprisoned for two years, Alex agrees to undergo experimental aversion therapy, a psychological reformatting that causes the boy to recoil at the sights of sex and violence, as well as the music of Beethoven, compositions once inspirational to Alex. Hailed as one of Kubrick’s most essential films, A Clockwork Orange may be too intense for some viewers, but it’s a masterfully shot parable of one’s man madness and its rearrangement.
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%Genre: Sci-Fi, DramaStars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael BatesDirector: Stanley KubrickRating: RRuntime: 137 minutes
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The Babysitter (2017)
Cole (Judah Lewis) loves his babysitter, Bee (Samara Weaving). She’s fun, good-looking, and worships the dark lord of all dark lords. Behind Bee’s charming smile is a sinister satanist with a thirst for blood. As members of a creepy cult begin their descent over Cole’s life, it’s up to the preteen to outsmart their efforts before he becomes Bee’s next victim. A Netflix original film, The Babysitter doesn’t surprise in many ways but follows the genre formula to a tee, and we love the dedication. It’s campy, edgy, and a joyride through and through.
Rotten Tomatoes: 72%Genre: Horror, ComedyStars: Bella Thorne, Judah Lewis, Samara WeavingDirector: McGRating: TV-MARuntime: 85 minutes
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A Ghost Story (2017)
In the wake of a fatal car crash, C (Casey Affleck) returns to the earth as a white-sheeted phantom. After a spiritual pilgrimage back to the suburban ranch he shared with M (Rooney Mara), C’s spirit begins to haunt the home. Time seeps away as minutes, months, and years pass. M grieves, new families come and go, but the house (and the ghost) remain. Director David Lowery shot the project in relative secrecy, using the same VFX crew that lent their talents to Lowery’s Disney-financed remake of Pete’s Dragon. A cinematic experience like no other, A Ghost Story explores love, life, and loss in ways seldom seen onscreen.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%Genre: Drama, Romance, FantasyStars: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Will OldhamDirector: David LoweryRating: RRuntime: 90 minutes
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The Florida Project (2017)
Just miles away from “the happiest place on earth” is a wonderland far from a dream come true. But seen through Moonee’s (Brooklynn Prince) eyes, the Magic Castle Inn and Suites is a home filled with family, friends, and unrequited love. Sean Baker’s The Florida Project looks past the palm trees and theme parks of Orlando for a series of impoverished day-in-the-life vignettes. Featuring powerful performances across the board, the film paints an emotional but authentic picture of life on the fringe, as seen through the eyes of an adventurous and inquisitive child.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%Genre: Adventure, Action, Sci-Fi, Mystery, ThrillerStars: Willem Dafoe, Brooklynn Prince, Valeria CottoDirector: Sean BakerRating: RRuntime: 111 minutes
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Good Time (2017)
Josh and Ben Safdie, the writer/director duo behind 2019’s Uncut Gems (also in this roundup), have a penchant for producing electric crime thrillers — a calling first realized with their 2017 film, Good Time. Our story follows Connie (Robert Pattinson) and Nick (Ben Safdie), two brothers who attempt to rob a New York city bank together. When their plan goes awry and Nick is arrested, Connie will do whatever it takes to free his brother before the authorities come crashing down on him, too. Good Time is a ceaseless NYC thrill ride with a firm foot on the gas, never once letting up on the adrenaline and chaos.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%Genre: Adventure, Action, Sci-Fi, Mystery, ThrillerStars: Robert Pattinson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Benny SafdieDirector: Josh & Benny SafdieRating: RRuntime: 101 minutes
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Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2017)
Based on Barry Crump’s novel Wild Pork and Watercress, Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople stars Sam Neill and Julian Dennison as an unlikely foster-father/foster-child duo. After his adoption by the Faulkner family, Ricky (Dennison) attempts to settle into his new family, but tragic events scare the boy into the dense New Zealand wilderness. Hec (Neill), Ricky’s foster-parent, tracks the boy down but suffers a debilitating injury in the process. Bonding over their pasts and hope for a freer future, the pair decide to hide away in the brush together. But with a national manhunt underway to find the man and boy, how long can their odyssey truly last? Hunt for the Wilderpeople lives and breathes through Neill and Dennison’s onscreen chemistry, an acting partnership only deepened by Waititi’s rich and emotive script.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%Genre: Adventure, ComedyStars: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rima Te WiataDirector: Taika WaititiRating: PG-13Runtime: 101 minutes
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Spotlight (2015)
An ensemble tour-de-force and a riveting true story are at the heart of Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight. In 2001, Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) urges the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team to relaunch the team’s 30-year-old investigation of Friar John Geoghan, a priest accused of child molestation. When the Spotlight crew gets back to work, they begin unearthing a ring of corruption and cover-ups within the Boston Archdiocese. Winning Oscars for Best Picture and Best Writing, Spotlight sheds a light on the sordid events, but with sincere authenticity and respect for the journalists that did the horrific digging.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%Genre: Drama, Biography, CrimeStars: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdamsDirector: Tom McCarthyRating: RRuntime: 128 minutes
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Carol (2015)
Based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel The Price of Salt, Carol stars Cate Blanchett as the titular Carol Aird, a wealthy Manhattan woman, and Rooney Mara as Therese Belivet, an aspiring photographer and department store worker. Stars collide during the 1952 Christmas season when Carol pays a visit to Frankenberg’s, where Therese helps her with a holiday transaction for Carol’s daughter. Carol accidentally leaves her gloves behind, offering a romantically infatuated Therese a way to get in touch with the esteemed socialite. What follows is a lurid tale of love, sexual identity, and the reality of gayness in a highly taboo era. Todd Haynes’ towering film is a lush performance piece, with Blanchett and Mara at the height of their powers.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%Genre: Drama, RomanceStars: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah PaulsonDirector: Todd HaynesRating: RRuntime: 118 minutes
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Yes, God, Yes (2020)
Stranger Things alum Natalia Dyer stars in writer-director Karen Maine’s Yes, God, Yes, a coming-of-age take on religious repression and burgeoning sexuality. Alice (Dyer) and her friend Laura (Francesca Reale) decide to attend their Catholic school’s annual Kirkos retreat. On their pilgrimage, Alice inadvertently enters into a promiscuous AOL chat when she tries to look up a particular sex act. This puts into place a daisy chain of rumors among Alice’s peers, with Alice’s genuine innocence and curiosity put uncomfortably in the middle. Based on her 2017 short film of the same name, Maine’s Yes, God, Yes is a nuanced and mature story of one teenager trying to wade her way through the stigma of sex, featuring a powerful lead performance from Dyer.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%Genre: ComedyStars: Natalia Dyer, Alisha Boe, Francesca RealeDirector: Karen MaineRating: RRuntime: 78 minutes
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There Will Be Blood (2007)
Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood is a grim character study of one Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), a burgeoning oil tycoon in early 20th-century California. Daniel is the type of man who would sell his soul to make a buck, which makes the arrival of Paul Sunday (Paul Dano) all the more serendipitous. The boy claims there is oil on his family’s property, and he’ll tell Daniel where it is for cash. The pair transact, and Daniel journeys to the town of Little Boston with his son H.W. (Dillon Freasier) to try and purchase the Sunday Ranch for drilling. What’s waiting for Daniel is a dastardly foe and his family’s cursed land. Or is Plainview the curse himself? There Will Be Blood is a two-hour-plus descent into a hell of business meets faith, featuring an Oscar-winning lead performance from Daniel Day-Lewis.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%Genre: DramaStars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Kevin J. O’ ConnorDirector: Paul Thomas AndersonRating: RRuntime: 158 minutes
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Enola Holmes (2020)
So, you thought Sherlock Holmes was played out? Well, you thought wrong, because you didn’t know he had a little sister. Millie Bobby Brown shines as the title character in this action-packed, fun-filled twist on the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories. When her mother turns up mysteriously missing, teenage Enola Holmes hits the trail to find her — something her more famous brother is simply too preoccupied to do. As she sniffs out clues, Enola discovers she might just have as much as, or even more of, a knack for this sleuthing thing than her brother, slowly uncovering a dangerous conspiracy that threatens to rattle the English aristocracy.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%Genre: Action, Drama, Mystery, ThrillerStars: Millie Bobby Brown, Helena Bonham Carter, Henry CavillDirector: Harry BradbeerRating: NRRuntime: 92 minutes
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Nightcrawler (2014)
Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a driven young man who is desperate to find work in the high-octane world of Los Angeles crime journalism. After discovering a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder, and other mayhem around the city, Lou muscles his way into this world, known as nightcrawling. Now, every police siren equals a possible cash windfall, and Lou begins to see victims as another payday. Aided by veteran newswoman Nina (Rene Russo), Lou thrives in the blood-sport of local TV news, eventually becoming the star of his own story.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%Genre: Mystery, DramaStars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz AhmedDirector: Dan GilroyRating: RRuntime: 117 minutes
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