If you’re new to Netflix and want to find the best movies to watch, or you’re tired of browsing Netflix’s catalog day after day and coming up empty, you’ve come to the right place. With thousands of movies at your disposal, it’s easy to get stuck in binge-watching mode, but finding the honest-to-goodness best films can be a bit of hassle.
In an effort to determine the best of the best, we’ve put together a list of the greatest possible films you can watch – curated by TechRadar editors and backed up with ratings from IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes – so that you don’t have to sift through the muck. We’ll keep this best-of list up to date with the latest movies that are must-watch, so you waste zero screen time searching.
Are TV shows more your scene? Here are the best TV shows on Netflix!
Blackfish, the controversial nature documentary that follows a misunderstood and often violent killer whale in captivity at SeaWorld, made a huge splash when it was released in 2013. Its story has moved audiences to take action in a way that few other films have ever done, going so far as forcing lawmakers’ hands to introduce legislation that will demand that SeaWorld release killer whales back into the wild. It’s an emotional ride through the highs and lows of the aquatic entertainment industry, one that reveals the real consequences of keeping animals where they don’t belong.
IMDB Rating: 8.1, Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
2. Pulp Fiction
There’s no shortage of prolific Tarantino films on Netflix (see: Django Unchained, Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2, Inglorious Basterds and Reservoir Dogs), but Pulp Fiction stands one bullet-riddled head and shoulder above the rest. Tackling questions of morality and social issues like racism and socioeconomic class, the film remains one of John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman’s greatest works. Considering these people have been in half a dozen other flicks found in countless “greatest films of all-time” lists, it’s really saying something.
IMDB Rating: 8.9, Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
3. American Beauty
At this point in your relationship with the streaming service, you’ve probably already watched a vast majority of Netflix’s top TV shows – including the absolutely incredible House of Cards. If you’ve watched the political drama and haven’t had enough of Kevin Spacey’s cunning apathetic character, check out American Beauty where a man finds a new lease on life right before he gets shot. All life is like a plastic bag floating in the breeze, right?
IMDB Rating: 8.4, Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
4. Good Will Hunting
No one can ever take Robin Williams’s place in cinema. His ability to ad lib scenes and bring a palpable depth and realism to his roles is irreplaceable. Couple this with an endearing performance by Matt Damon and one of the most pivotal, transformative scenes in all of film, and you have a recipe for a classic that will live on forever. If you haven’t seen Good Will Hunting yet, it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault…
IMDB Rating: 8.3, Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Taken out of context, Braveheart is the story of a man born in the wrong place, at the wrong time and then forced to do something nobody else wanted to do, only to be – well, just watch it. In context, it’s one of the best Mel Gibson films of all-time, winning five Academy Awards in 1996 for its gripping, insanely dark narrative and excellent performances. Whether it’s your first time watching the men of Scotland stand up for their freedom or the tenth time, Braveheart is easily worth one of your Saturday movie nights.
IMDB Rating: 8.4, Rotten Tomatoes: 78%