Best Movies on Netflix Right Now

For as many streaming services as there is currently are, Netflix remains possibly the premiere platform to watch movies and television shows. The first mainstream streaming service there was, it’s a platform that continues to boast some of the finest and most noteworthy movies you’ll find anywhere.

With a streaming catalog mixed between Netflix original movies and endless amounts of well-known movies like It, The Departed, and Titanic, there’s no shortage of potential viewing options when it comes to Netflix’s impressive lineup of movies.

Here are some of the movies you can currently find streaming on Netflix that we’d recommend checking out.

Crime: The Departed

Few names are as synonymous with the crime genre as well as Martin Scorsese. From the legendary filmmaker behind such gangster epics as Goodfellas, Casino, and Gangs of New York, comes this 2006 crime drama exploring loyalty and deception in Boston’s criminal underworld.

Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is an aspiring young police officer assigned to go undercover within the Irish Mob and spy on the activities of infamous gangster Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). Little does Costigan know that Costello has groomed his own informant, Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), to spy on the police.

To avoid being found out, Costigan and Sullivan enter an intense game of cat and mouse to find out the other’s identities first.

Containing an all-star ensemble that includes DiCaprio, Nicholson, Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, and Alec Baldwin, The Departed is a crime movie you’re not liable to forget seeing. Suspenseful and punctuated by plot twists left and right, it was one of the most acclaimed movies of 2006, winning the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.

Comedy: Monty Python’s Life of Brian

Save for Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, every Monty Python-related project is currently available to stream on Netflix, from specials like Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl to their seminal Monty Python’s Flying Circus. While we’d recommend checking any one of Python’s fantastic programs, we’d highly suggest visiting their 1979 film, Life of Brian, first and foremost.

Set in the ancient backdrop of Judea during the Roman occupation, the film (as you may have guessed) follows the life of Brian Cohen (Graham Chapman), an unremarkable young man who spends his entire life accidentally being mistaken for the Messiah.

Upon its release in 1979, Life of Brian won heaps of praise for its comedic elements, but significant controversy from the religious community, who accused the film of blasphemy (which the Python members have openly debated, believing they never directly mock any specific established religions).

Regardless, the movie has since become recognized as one of the greatest comedies of all time, as well as Monty Python’s crowning cinematic achievement (alongside their earlier, equally popular Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which, incidentally, is also streaming on Netflix).

Horror: It

One of the most profitable and critically acclaimed horror movies of the past decade, 2017’s It was a pop culture phenomenon when it first hit theaters. Taken from Stephen King’s bestselling novel of the same name, it’s a dark, grim, and frightening look at one of the Master of Horror’s most horrific creations.

Set in the small town of Derry, Maine in the late 1980s, It follows a group of teenage outcasts who find themselves hunted by a mysterious, shapeshifting creature (Bill Skarsgård) who feeds on children’s worst fears.

Divided into two parts (the second part is now on HBO Max), It was one of the best-received movies ever adapted from a Stephen King novel. Praise was heaped upon the performances of its principal cast, as well for its humor, nostalgic look at the 1980s, and genuinely terrifying scares.

Setting numerous box office records at the time of its release, It was been named one of the best movies of 2017, which — in a year that also saw the release of Get Out, The Shape of Water, Lady Bird, and Dunkirk — is definitely saying something.

Family: The Mitchells vs. the Machines

In addition to the literal dozens of past movies Netflix has added to its streaming service, the platform also boasts a healthy amount of original releases equally worthy of your time. One of the foremost among these is the utterly fantastic animated movie, The Mitchells vs. the Machines.

Embarking on a cross-country road trip to drop their only daughter (Abbi Jacobson) off at college in California, the Mitchell family finds themselves humanity’s unlikely last hope after a worldwide robot uprising threatens to usher in the apocalypse.

An unexpectedly entertaining movie that came pretty much out of nowhere, The Mitchells vs. the Machines was a wonderfully-crafted exploration of family, strengthened by great voice acting, action, and humor. The movie received acclaim for its comedy and relatable themes, as well as for its inclusion and representation of the LGBT+ community.

Documentary: The Tinder Swindler

One of the newest films currently making catching audience members’ attention is the Netflix-exclusive documentary, The Tinder Swindler.

An intense look at the often murky waters of anonymous dating apps, The Tinder Swindler tells the story of several woman who become involved with what they initially believe to be the man of their dreams — a charming, wealthy, international playboy who conned them out of millions of dollars.

Catfishing is probably among the greatest shared fears we all have in regards to online dating. The Tinder Swindler takes that fear and presents it to the extreme, showing how conmen can use the system to prey on unsuspecting women.

Netflix has numerous fantastic documentaries you can watch anytime, including several true crime documentaries on notorious serial killers like Ted Bundy or Richard Ramirez. However, The Tindler Swindler remains arguably one of the best new arrivals to land on Netflix. (Although be warned, it may be hard getting back on Tinder after you watch something like this — what Jaws did for the open ocean, The Tinder Swindler does for online dating).

Action/War: Da 5 Bloods

Famed director Spike Lee has been on a roll lately, crafting some of the finest movies of his career. After his return to form with 2018’s BlacKkKlansman, Lee set out to make a war from the perspective of Black troops who served in Vietnam — a perspective that has unfortunately not been explored as fully as other veterans’ points of view.

Set in the modern day, four Black veterans return to the Vietnamese countryside in an effort to locate the remains of their fallen comrade (Chadwick Boseman) and a stash of gold they left behind.

Similar to the positive reception that BlacKkKlansman met in 2018, Da 5 Bloods was nothing short of a major critical success for Lee. Critics were enthusiastic about the movie’s exploration of Black servicemen, Lee’s direction, and the performances of the cast involved (especially leading star Delroy Lindo and Chadwick Boseman).

It’s also worth noting that Da 5 Bloods was the final film release for Boseman, who tragically passed away two months after this movie was released on Netflix — giving you just one more reason to see it in honor of the late, great actor.

Romance: Titanic

There’s a reason Titanic remains one of the most celebrated romantic stories of all time: it’s just that good. A three-hour epic that follows the final passage of the RMS Titanic across the North Atlantic, it’s frequently hailed as one of director James Cameron’s best and most ambitious films of his career.

In 1912, the luxury ocean liner, the Titanic, undergoes its fateful voyage from Southampton to New York City. On board is an aristocratic young woman (Kate Winslet) pressed into a marriage with a man she doesn’t love (Billy Zane).

As the ship crosses the ocean and she anxiously prepares for her new life, she meets and falls in love with a young, lower-class artist (Leonardo DiCaprio) who teaches her there’s more to life than money alone.

One of the highest-grossing movies ever made (and the first movie to earn a billion dollars at the box office), Titanic was a massive critical and financial success, achieving practically every accolade in the book.

To this day, it’s still tied for receiving the most Academy Award nominations, as well as also holding the record for the most Oscar wins alongside Ben-Hur. It may be a lengthy watch, but it’s definitely worth it.

Thriller: Seven

Throughout his career, director David Fincher has proved to the world that he’s a master of suspense. With films like Gone Girl, Fight Club, and Seven under his belt, if ever there was a successor to Alfred Hitchcock, Fincher would most assuredly be at the top of the running for that elite title.

In a nameless city, a serial killer who uses Catholicism’s ‘Seven Deadly Sins‘ as inspiration for his kills leaves several people brutally murdered. Hot on his trail are a rookie police detective (Brad Pitt) and his older, more methodical partner (Morgan Freeman).

Famed for its notorious (and completely unexpected) twist ending — one of the most shocking climaxes of all time — Seven is a movie that helped launch Fincher’s career and established him as a talented young director to watch out for.

Complimented by amazing performances from Pitt and Freeman, it’s one of those most chilling psychological thrillers ever made.

New Release: The Sea Beast

One of the best new releases you’ll find on Netflix would be the animated family adventure film, The Sea Beast. Part period swashbuckler, part monster movie (more along the lines of How to Train Your Dragon than Frankenstein), it’s a romping, approachable movie that’s entertaining for all audience members, regardless of age.

Set in a fantasy world where sea monsters have terrorized the open oceans for centuries, a young girl (Zaris-Angel Hator) stows away on the ship of a famous monster hunter (Karl Urban) in the hopes of becoming the next great hunter herself.

From Chris Williams, the director of Moana and Big Hero 6, The Sea Beast was a touchingly warm adventure film full of heart, emotion, and depth. Positively met by critics upon its release in June of this year, it’s one of the most original and inventive family-friendly films you’ll find on Netflix right now.

Underrated: Fear Street

One of the most underrated Netflix exclusives came in the form of last year’s Fear Street series, a creative, modern horror trilogy with its installments released weekly on the platform. Based on RL Stine’s popular young adult horror series of the same name, the three movies that make up Fear Street are each set in a different timeline.

Part One of the series is set in 1994, following a group of teens facing an ancient curse cast upon their town by a witch, conjuring some of the town’s most fearsome serial killers; Part Two flashes back to 1978, where a previous victim of the witch’s curse shares the story of the massacre she survived at a local summer camp; and in Part Three, viewers see the true story behind the witch’s story in the first place, flashing back one final time to 1666.

Essentially a grown-up version of Goosebumps, Fear Street is a must-watch for fans of Stranger Things, full of nostalgic references to dozens of famous horror movies and slashers like Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th.

Each entry in the series has earned extremely positive reviews, with specific praise aimed at the films’ references, performances, and faithfulness to Stine’s original novels.

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Richard Chachowski is a freelance writer based in New Jersey. He loves reading, his dog Tootsie, and pretty much every movie to ever exist (especially Star Wars).