The 19 Best Netflix Movies You Need To Watch Right Now (January 2020)
Grab a bowl of popcorn and maybe a few tissues to watch these amazing Netflix movies streaming now
Netflix is a great place to watch movies and TV shows online. However, sometimes the sheer volume of the content offered by Netflix is so vast that picking out a single movie to watch can be quite a task. To narrow down the search field we have picked up the 10 best movies on Netflix that you can stream right now. These Netflix movies vary from cult classics to Hollywood blockbusters. So take a pick from our list of the top movies on Netflix and enjoy.
19 Best Movies On Netflix Right Now
1. The Irishman (2019)
Martin Scorsese brings the band back together with the dream team of Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. The two teamed up with Martin Scorsese for 1995’s Casino and the 1990 cult classic Goodfellas. However, the star ensemble doesn’t end there as Scorsese also added legendary actor Al Pacino into the mix as Jimmy Hoffa. This is the longest film by Martin Scorsese with a runtime of 209 minutes.
The Irishman is the story of Frank Sheeran (De Niro). Frank is a truck driver who becomes a hitman involved with mobster Russell Bufalino (Pesci) and his crime family, including his time working for the powerful Teamster Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino).
The movie released on Netflix on 27 November. It was boycotted by a number of cinema chains due to Netflix’s refusal to wait for the traditional 90-day window of exclusivity before getting it to the platform. However, Martin Scorsese has defended his decision to accept Netflix’s financial backing, saying: “Having the backing of a company that says that you will have no interference, you can make the picture as you want – the trade-off being: it streams, with theatrical distribution prior to that. I figure that’s a chance we take on this particular project.”
Netflix recently announced that The Irishman has been watched by over 26m accounts in its first seven days on the streaming service.
If you are a Scorsese fan, you can find his other movies like The Departed and Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore streaming on Netflix.
2. Zodiac (2007)
Zodiac is a mystery thriller by David Fincher that released in 2007 and is currently streaming on Netflix. It is based on the 1986 Robert Graysmith book, Zodiac. The film boasts of a talented star cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo.
Zodiac is based on real-life events that revolve around the manhunt for the Zodiac Killer. Zodiac was a serial killer in the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Zodiac case is still one of the most infamous unsolved crimes in the US. The film details the manhunt for the killer and one man’s insistence on breaking the case. However, this film doesn’t have the righteous finish associated with true crime films as the Zodiac was never caught.
3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
With The Rise of Skywalker coming out this month, maybe you want to revisit the previous installment of the Star Wars saga. Netflix also has the other Star Wars movies if you want to revisit the saga once more. For newcomers to the Star Wars fandom, here are some of the best orders to watch the Star Wars saga in.
Coming back to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the film might have the fandom divided but no one can deny the powerhouse performances delivered by Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, and John Boyega. However, it is the returning Mark Hamill who breathes life into the movie as a broken and bitter man.
4. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
After visiting the sci-fi section, take a ride into the Old West with this selection from the vast expanse of Netflix movies. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a six-part Western anthology film. It tells a series of tales about the American frontier.
The Coen brothers put together every cinematic trope, conventions, and clichés at their disposal to unveil a new side of the Wild West. It exposes the relentless cruelty, violence, recklessness, and abuse of unchecked power that prevailed in the Wild West. It is a film determined to break the aura of heroism surrounding the Westen legends.
The film won the Best Screenplay Award at the Venice Film Festival in 2018. It received a limited theatrical run on November 9, 2018. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs was released on Netflix on November 16.
5. Jackie Brown (1997)
Jackie Brown is Quentin Tarantino’s third film after Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Pulp Fiction (1994). This 1997 crime film has a supporting cast of Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Bridget Fonda, Michael Keaton, and Robert De Niro. The film features Pam Grier and Robert Forster in title roles. It is an adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s 1992 novel Rum Punch.
This Netflix presentation will check all the viewer expectations of Quentin Tarantino’s movies. It has the nostalgic aesthetics reminiscent of Pulp Fiction complete with quotable dialogues. Jackie Brown resulted in Academy Award nominations Pam Grier and Samuel L. Jackson.
6. Rachel Getting Married (2008)
The film is poignantly beautiful, dealing with themes of dependency and recovery. Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt) is getting married and her younger sister Kym (Anne Hathway) is furloughed from rehab to come home for the big event.
Anne Hathway delivers a fragile but captivating performance as the self-loathing, narcissistic Kym. At moments Rachel Gets Married spirals into being a very sad movie but its spirit of exuberance keeps it from falling down that pit.
If you’re in the mood for some family drama, pick this hidden gemstone from the Netflix collection of movies. Be sure to keep the tissues handy!
7. The Matrix (1999)
Go back to where it all started with the original Matrix. The Matrix franchise has now spawned into video games, magazines, comics, and direct-to-video movies but head over to Netflix if you want to see the origin of The Matrix. It stars Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano.
The Matrix was a futuristic cyberpunk movie that blew the audience away when it was released. It depicted a dystopian future where everyone is trapped inside a simulated reality called the Matrix. The Matrix was created by intelligent machines to distract humans as they used their bodies as an energy source. Keanu Reeves plays computer programmer Thomas Anderson. Thomas has a hacker alias Neo. He uncovers the truth, being drawn into a rebellion against the machines. He is accompanied by other people who have been freed from the Matrix.
The Matrix first released in the United States on March 31, 1999. The movie has won four Academy Awards.
Pick out this classic sci-fi from the selection of Netflix movies to revisit Neo at his best.
8. Moonlight (2016)
The 2017 Academy Award winner for best picture, Moonlight presents three stages in the life of the main character, a young, gay African-American man. We get to experience his youth, adolescence, and early adult life. Moonlight explores the difficulties he faces with his sexuality and identity. It also explores the physical and emotional abuse he goes through.
Moonlight is a hauntingly human film that treats topics like poverty, race, and homosexuality with raw honesty.
9. Trainspotting (1996)
Trainspotting is a 1996 movie based on the Irvine Welsh novel by the same name. The film is directed by famed director Danny Boyle and stars Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, and Kelly Macdonald.
The story centers around a Scottish miscreant Renton who is a drug addict. He tries to mend his ways by moving to London and starting a new life. However, his circumstances and friends pull him back into the same cycle.
10. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Steven Spielberg’s 1981 classic Raiders of the Lost Ark has long achieved the status of a pop-culture legend. Raiders of the Lost Ark is a honest-to-god movie full of cliffhangers and fistfights with iconic heroes and dastardly villains. The story revolves around Indiana Jones who sets out in search of a highly coveted biblical artifact called the Ark of the Covenant. The Nazis make as formidable opposition for Indiana Jones in his search.
Pop in this old-time classic from Netflix movies if you are in the mood for a Steven Spielberg take on a James Bond movie.
11. Marriage Story
Marriage Story is at once heartbreaking and uplifting. The story revolves around the divorce of a successful theater director and his actress wife. Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson bring the melancholic story of falling out of love and separating to life with their impassioned performances. However, the best part of Marriage Story is that it doesn’t kick one person into the corner while glorifying the other as per norm. In contrast, no matter where your sympathies lie in regards to the characters, the is an empathy within the storytelling that refuses to let audiences dislike either side.
Marriage Story is not just a tale of two people but the world they have built together. In divorcing each other, they also have to bring down that world piece by piece. Whether it is custody of their child or the bonds between the in-laws, Marriage Story makes it perfectly clear that divorce is never just between two people. It is not just one the best Netflix movies of 2019 but the best film of Noah Baumbach’s career.
12. Bonnie and Clyde
“This here’s Miss Bonnie Parker. I’m Clyde Barrow. We rob banks.” Based on the real-life American criminal couple Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow, the movie delivers powerful performances from Beatty and Faye Dunaway. This mix of action, romance, danger, and sexuality is a must watch and is one of the best films, not just Netflix films, to come along.
The Bonnie and Clyde actors recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Bonnie and Clyde by presenting the Best Picture category at the 89th Academy Awards.
13. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail is an all-time comedy that has gone on to become a cult classic. The film is the definition of irreverence as it takes on the legend of King Arthur. Monty Python sets off with the Knights of the Round Table going off in search of the holy grail on foot. The script is the culmination of the efforts of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin while they also take on the majority of on-screen roles. Gilliam and Jones also served as co-directors for this hilarious presentation.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron delivers an intensely personal story in Roma. The film recreates Alfonso’s childhood through the perspective of Cleo, a domestic worker. This semi-autobiographical take on Cuaron’s upbringing stars Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira. It chronicles the downward spiral of a middle-class family living in 1970s Mexico City. While heartbreaking, Roma has its moments of uplifting hope to break the melancholy. Grab a box of tissues as you settle down to watch this 2018 Netflix movie.
15. Hell or High Water
David Mackenzie delivers a powerful yet melancholic film in Hell or High Water. The story circles around two brothers, Toby (Pine) and Tanner (Foster) Howard. They resort to robbing banks as they can’t afford their ranch mortgage payments anymore. However, things go south when the police get on their trail. While the film isn’t a nihilistic spiral, it isn’t given to being unrealistically optimistic either. It doesn’t lure the audience in with false hope. Viewers know from the first shot that this is not a happily ever after.
The film was released in 2016 in the United States on August 12. Hell or High Water received high critical acclaim, grossing $37 million. It was selected as one of the ten Movies of the Year by The American Film Institute. In addition, the film was also nominated for four Oscar nominations at the 89th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Bridges), Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing.
16. The Squid and the Whale
The spiritual predecessor of Marriage Story, The Squid and the Whale is another emotional rendition by writer-director Noah Baumbach. It tells the tale of a family as it is torn apart by divorce. Jesse Eisenberg is impressive in his portrayal of the 16-year-old Walt while Laura Linney is perfectly cast as the passive-aggressive dissatisfied mother. In addition, Jeff Daniels, Owen Kline, William Baldwin, and Anna Paquin all breath life into their characters with their unique brand of personalities.
The movie is roughly inspired by Baumbach’s own teenage years and the personal touch of the film is blatantly visible. Watch The Squid and the Whale and see Baumbach’s journey as he pours his personal experiences in his stories for all to see. It is a perfect Netflix movie to tug at those heartstrings and experience the heartbreak of divorce.
17. A Single Man
A Single Man is the poignant story of George, a college professor, who is distraught with the death of his boyfriend. A year to his boyfriend’s death, George is a lonely tortured man who contemplates taking his own life. Fashion Designer Tom Ford made his directorial debut with this aesthetically gorgeous masterpiece.
While the movie is a stand out on its own, Colin Firth takes the movie to a whole new level with his intense portrayal as a man hunted by his past. A Single Man is a 2009 American drama film based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood.
Colin Firth was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of George Falconer, a depressed gay British university professor living in Southern California in 1962.
18. The Witch
The Witch is a must-watch for the horror movie enthusiasts. It diverts from the troupe of the horror movie genre and instead delivers a movie that is spine shiveringly scary. In addition, it doesn’t rely on jump scares or boorish looking ghosts to scare its viewers. It’s a smart movie with a story that deviates from the ‘teenagers-in-jungle’ route horror movie so often take. In contrast, The Witch has the clash of the old religion and modern feminism put together brilliantly by Robert Eggers.
It follows a family that has been banished to the woods of New England by its community. After that, the family runs afoul of the frightening evil sources permeating the place. If you want to experience a Netflix horror film that doesn’t rely on cheap thrills and favors a slow burn instead. Watch this Netflix offering for a horror film that focuses on its content quality rather than just swinging it in favor of flash and bang.
19. Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction is considered one of the most influential American movies of the 1990s and now it’s available on Netflix. It’s hard to pin down this brilliant Quentin Tarantino presentation with its outrageously violent telling of three crime stories. The story is told in a non-linear format mimicking the styles of Citizen Kane or Rashomon. However, viewers will be wrong to stereotype this movie as an action-gore flick. It offers comedic gold in the discussions between Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta who portray two hitmen. In addition, the dance sequence with Uma Thurman and Travolta was an instant classic. The film is also supported by strong performances by Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Christopher Walken, Eric Stoltz, and Ving Rhames.
Pulp Fiction was a major critical and commercial success. It was nominated for seven awards at the 67th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won Best Original Screenplay.
Head over to Netflix to check out this Tarantino masterpiece that went down in movie history as one of the iconic movies of its time.