With a seemingly unlimited library of films at your fingertips, combing through the full Netflix catalog can feel like a full-time job. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, take a look at our picks for the 50 best movies currently streaming on the service.
1. Gran Turismo (2023)
David Harbour and Orlando Bloom co-star in this true sports tale of a race car driver recruited thanks to his aptitude in the Gran Turismo video game.
2. Leave the World Behind (2023)
Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot) wrote and directed this apocalyptic thriller about a couple (Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke) who find their Airbnb weekend in a remote part of New York interrupted by the owner (Mahershala Ali), who claims that strange events are unfolding in urban areas. Fans of The Twilight Zone and Black Mirror will feel right at home.
3. Holy Spider (2022)
This wrenching film, which is based on true events, stars Zar Amir Ebrahimi as a journalist out to expose an Iranian serial killer targeting prostitutes—a crime spree that some believe to be a holy crusade.
4. The House (2022)
A single home is the site of three stories in this strange yet compelling stop-motion animated feature.
5. Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (2022)
Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson co-directed this version of Pinocchio—one of three adaptations of the story released in 2022, and the one most frequently praised as the best since Disney’s animated 1940 feature.
6. The Woman King (2022)
Viola Davis stars in this tale inspired by true events of a warrior who leads an all-women’s army in 1820s West Africa.
7. All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
This sobering look at life in the German trenches during World War I is based on the 1929 novel by Erich Maria Remarque. The 1930 film adaptation won two Academy Awards for Best Director (Lewis Milestone) and Outstanding Production, the precursor to Best Picture.
8. RRR (2022)
In pre-independent India, a police officer (Ram Charan) and a freedom fighter (Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao Jr.) form an unlikely friendship when both become involved in the case of a young girl’s kidnapping—though for wildly different reasons. RRR, which is one of the highest-grossing movies in India, throws the kitchen sink at viewers, from man vs. tiger face-offs to set pieces worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster.
9. Troll (2022)
A formidable monster of Norwegian lore terrorizes a small town, leaving a paleontologist and her estranged father to find a way to vanquish it.
10. The Wonder (2022)
Florence Pugh stars in this atmospheric drama about the true story of a nurse in 1860s Ireland who investigates a woman claiming to be thriving despite a prolonged fast.
11. The Power of the Dog (2021)
Benedict Cumberbatch headlines this slow-burn of a Western about a rancher who disapproves of his brother’s new wife—a distaste that threatens to undermine everything he and his sibling have worked for. Jane Campion, who co-wrote and directed the movie, made Oscar history by becoming the first woman to become twice-nominated for a Best Director Academy Award; in March 2022, she became the third woman ever to take home the award (following The Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow and Nomadland's Chloe Zhao).
12. Passing (2021)
Golden Globe-nominated actor Rebecca Hall co-wrote and directed this acclaimed feature about two Black women (Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga) in 1920s New York City who explore their racial identities when they discover they can “pass” as white.
13. I Care a Lot (2021)
Rosamund Pike and Peter Dinklage co-star in this razor-sharp black comedy about a grifter (Pike) who fleeces the elderly. Complications arise when she picks the relative of a mob boss (Dinklage) as a target. Director and writer J Blakeson said Quentin Tarantino’s adaptation of Jackie Brown (1997) and its heroine Pam Grier were major inspirations for the movie.
14. Moxie (2021)
Amy Poehler co-stars in this dramedy about a teen (Hadley Robinson) who expresses herself—and voices her anger at gender imbalances—in an anonymous zine she circulates around her school.
15. Worth (2021)
Michael Keaton stars in this intense drama about an attorney responsible for the legal and emotional burden of placing a monetary value on the lives lost during the September 11 attacks.
16. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)
The minds behind 2019’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse have another winningly irreverent animated film on tap. The slightly dysfunctional Mitchell family has to contend with technology gone awry. To save the human race, they’ll have to interrupt their vacation. The movie was such a critical hit that Netflix decided to offer it as a limited theatrical release six months after it began streaming.
17. The Harder They Fall (2021)
18. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)
Aaron Sorkin wrote and directed this look back at the true story of the Chicago Seven—the group of anti-Vietnam protestors, including Abbie Hoffman, who were arrested at the 1968 Democratic National Convention and charged with conspiracy and inciting riots. While there is some dramatic license taken, Hoffman and Jerry Rubin really did wear judicial robes into the courtroom one day.
19. Synchronic (2020)
A new designer drug hitting the streets changes the lives of two EMT workers (Jamie Dornan and Anthony Mackie), who have the misfortune of running across it in this surprising thriller.
20. Uncut Gems (2019)
Adam Sandler is Howard Ratner, a gambling addict who sees opportunity in every game and in every customer who walks into his Diamond District jewelry store. When star NBA player Kevin Garnett insists on taking a rare opal out on loan and giving his championship ring as collateral, Howard can’t resist the urge to use it as fuel for his vice. Directed by brothers Josh and Benny Safdie, the film has been called among the best of Sandler’s career.
21. The Irishman (2019)
Martin Scorsese’s long-in-the-making epic brings together three of the mob genre’s heaviest hitters in Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci. But the story of Frank Sheeran (De Niro), who alleged he befriended and then betrayed union leader Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino), isn’t your typical organized crime movie. It takes its time to examine the toll of a criminal life, from the alienation of Sheeran’s family to the fate that awaits old men no longer capable of resolving their problems with violence. The de-aging effects aren’t always convincing, but Scorsese’s ability to weave a captivating gangster tale remains timeless.
22. Marriage Story (2019)
Director Noah Baumbach drew rave reviews for this deeply emotional drama about a couple (Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson) whose uncoupling takes a heavy emotional and psychological toll on their family. Baumbach has said that his own divorce (from Jennifer Jason Leigh) did not directly inspire the movie, though it’s also not completely far off from it, either. “This movie is not autobiographical,” he said. “It’s personal, and there’s a true distinction in that.”
23. High Flying Bird (2019)
Steven Soderbergh directs this amiable and offbeat comedy-drama about a basketball pro and his agent (André Holland) who decide to upend the status quo during an NBA lockout and start up their own league.
24. Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
Eddie Murphy ended a brief sabbatical from acting following a mixed reception to 2016’s Mr. Church with this winning biopic about Rudy Ray Moore, a flailing comedian who finds success when he reinvents himself as Dolemite, a wisecracking pimp. When the character takes off, Moore produces a big-screen feature with a crew of inept collaborators.
25. The Highwaymen (2019)
Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson team up for this fact-based action drama about the Texas Rangers assigned to capture notorious outlaws Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker.
26. The Informer (2019)
Joel Kinnaman is an FBI agent who finds his undercover work doesn’t end in prison. Rosamund Pike and Clive Owen co-star.
27. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
Fans of the Coen brothers get a trail mix of stories in this anthology set in the Old West. A gunslinger (Tim Blake Nelson) proves to be a little too arrogant when it comes to his skills; an armless and legless man (Harry Melling) who recites Shakespeare for awed onlookers begins to grow suspicious of his caretaker’s motives; a dog causes unexpected grief while following a wagon train. Knitted together, the six stories are probably the closest we’ll get to the serialized Coen television series that this feature was once rumored to be.
28. Roma (2018)
Alfonso Cuarón’s tribute to his upbringing in 1970s Mexico City tells the story of a housekeeper (Yalitza Aparicio) watching over the children of her employers after their father runs off with his mistress. Cuarón’s film is a living photograph, an intensely personal story that holds no major surprises aside from the sheer craft it took to make it a reality.
29. Lady Bird (2017)
Greta Gerwig (Barbie) received acclaim—and two Oscar nominations—for her directorial debut about a young woman (Saoirse Ronan) who struggles with family commitments and a desire to head to college across the country.
30. Small Crimes (2017)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) stars in this lean thriller about an ex-cop recently released from prison who finds that his past isn’t quite done with him.
31. Okja (2017)
Bong Joon-ho (Parasite) directs this fable poking at consumer culture: a beast on the run from an evil corporation attempts to hide with the help of his human friend Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun). Jake Gyllenhaal and Tilda Swinton co-star.
32. La La Land (2016)
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone star as two aspiring entertainers who find Los Angeles alternately fulfilling and heartbreaking.
33. The Nice Guys (2016)
Ryan Gosling (again) and Russell Crowe co-star in this buddy comedy from Shane Black, who helped pioneer the genre with 1987’s Lethal Weapon. PI Gosling and enforcer Crowe team up to find a missing girl in the seedy underbelly of 1970s Los Angeles.
34. The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)
Paul Rudd and Craig Roberts star in this amiable road trip comedy about a man who takes a job as a caregiver for a teen with muscular dystrophy.
35. Carol (2015)
Cate Blanchett stars in this character study of a woman who explores her sexuality in a highly conservative 1950s America.
36. Paddington (2014)
This charming adaptation of the popular ursine launched a franchise. Colin Firth was originally cast as the voice of Paddington before he mutually parted ways with the production; Ben Whishaw replaced him.
37. The Imitation Game (2014)
38. Whiplash (2014)
Miles Teller plays a student who gets a lesson in life and jazz from a tyrannical music teacher (J.K. Simmons) in this debut feature from Damien Chazelle, who would go on to make La La Land. Chazelle actually shot an 18-minute short film with Simmons to help raise money to fund the full feature.
39. Big Eyes (2014)
Tim Burton directs this true story of artist Margaret Keane (Amy Adams), who finds herself at odds with husband Walter (Christoph Waltz) after he begins taking credit for her work.
40. Prisoners (2013)
Hugh Jackman plays the father of two kidnapped girls who suspects a man (Paul Dano) is behind their disappearance and takes matters into his own hands. Director Denis Villenueve went on to make 2021’s Dune.
41. Frances Ha (2012)
Greta Gerwig is an aspiring dancer with troubles of the indie movie variety. Gerwig co-wrote the script with (her now-husband) Noah Baumbach, who also directed.
42. Black Swan (2010)
Natalie Portman stars in director Darren Aronofsky's haunting tale of a ballerina who strives to be the best, no matter the emotional (or physical) cost. Portman's face was digitally placed on dance double Sarah Lane for the most demanding dance sequences.
43. The Squid and the Whale (2005)
Noah Baumbach wrote and directed this quiet and partly autobiographical tale of two boys (Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline) coping with their parents’ (Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney) divorce in 1980s Brooklyn.
44. L.A. Confidential (1997)
This ’50s-set crime fable, based on the James Ellroy novel, stars Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce as cops out to expose corruption within their department.
45. Heat (1995)
Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are on opposite sides of the law in this ’90s action classic from Michael Mann. The director originally explored the idea in a TV movie, L.A. Takedown.
46. Legends of the Fall (1994)
Brad Pitt scored an early hit with this period epic about a family of Montana ranchers who navigate sibling rivalries, love, and World War I.
47. In the Line of Fire (1993)
Clint Eastwood delivers a career-best thriller in this exciting tale of a Secret Service agent who failed to prevent John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. Thirty years later, he’s up against another killer (John Malkovich) who has his sights set on the current commander-in-chief. At one point, studio executives were hoping to rewrite the lead for Tom Cruise, which would have removed the JFK connection by making the character much younger; fortunately, cooler heads prevailed.
48. The Addams Family (1991)
Raul Julia and Angelica Huston star in this adaptation of the popular Charles Addams cartoons (and subsequent television series) about a macabre family who find normal very peculiar. Anthony Hopkins turned down the role of Uncle Fester, which went to Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future).
49. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Eddie Murphy helped define the ’80s action-comedy genre with this tale of Detroit cop Axel Foley navigating a posh Beverly Hills to find his friend's killer. A fourth film, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F., is due out on Netflix in summer 2024.
50. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
The Monty Python team delivers their best-known work, a silly and sharply satirical feature that uses the King Arthur legend as a springboard for sequences that feature brave-but-armless knights and highly aggressive rabbits. Though it opened to mixed reviews, it has since become a perennial entry in lists of the best comedies ever made.
A version of this story ran in 2019; it has been updated for 2024.