In this article we take a look at the 25 best movies on Netflix now. Click to skip ahead and jump to 5 best movies on Netflix now.
Many of the millions and millions of people who binge watch their favorite movies and TV shows on Netflix may not know that there was a time when it was actually the first online DVD rental store in 1997, when they had less than a thousand titles and just 30 employees. This wasn't because of the existence of more titles that Netflix was unable to obtain; they had such an early head start that at the time, these were the only titles available on DVD, with VHS being the far more popular format at the time. However, Netflix opted to rent out DVDs as VHS was bulkier and far more difficult to transport.
While Netflix initially rented out DVDs for a fee per DVD ala Blockbuster (also its biggest competitor), it soon stopped this practice and introduced a monthly membership fee for which users could rent DVDs without any fear of late fees, due dates, shipping fees, handling fees and the myriad of additional charges often input by other rental stores at the time. In fact, Netflix was a loss-making company at the time, and Blockbuster offered to acquire it for $50 million, so they would have an online presence but Netflix wisely refused the deal. As the popularity of DVDs grew, so did the popularity of Netflix, leading to an IPO in 2002.
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However, it was actually in 2007, around a decade after Netflix had been established and it had delivered its 1 billionth DVD, that it started to move away from its core business of delivering DVDs and instead moved to online streaming, as it was only around this time that bandwidth levels met the criteria needed for streaming high quality movies. This, coupled with the matching service Netflix offered, which recommended titles most likely to be watched by that specific person, made it a big hit.
Netflix currently has over 167 million members, and is one of the most dominant companies in the entertainment industry on a global level. In fact, it is this global reach which has helped local niche shows from foreign countries to be popular across the world, with shows such as 'La Casa De Papel' or 'Money Heist', plucked from relative obscurity to become an international sensation. It has also changed the entertainment landscape; now, huge movies aren't always released in theaters, they can also be released on Netflix as shown by The Irishman in 2019, among many others. Netflix is paying top stars tens of millions of dollars to attract their services and release major movies directly on the streaming giant. In fact, it is now one of the biggest deciders of the highest earning actors and actresses in the world, especially since the pandemic hit.
Post pandemic, Netflix has been one of the few winners. In fact, many online sites have done well, with the increase in Amazon's share price increase Jeff Bezos's net worth by $60 billion in 2020 alone, more of which you can see in the top 20 richest people in the world. As people had to hunker down in their homes, and self isolate to prevent the virus from spreading and doing more damage than it already has, many turned to comfort television, which in turn led to Netflix userbase growing significantly as well. Netflix added 15.8 million subscribers in only its first quarter, when the lockdown hadn't even begun.
For our rankings to determine the 25 best movies on Netflix right now, we had options from over 4,000 titles. We of course discarded TV shows as they don't fall under our title, which made things easier but only slightly so. We then visited several websites including Vulture, Digital Trends and New York Times. We selected the fifty most common titles we found in these lists and then ranked them according to both their ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB. We gave 70% weighting to IMDB as it is rated by users rather than critics, because critics can often be out of touch with the users. Based on this, we were able to get a clear picture of the top movies that are available for viewing. Remember that this list is catered to the US and, based on geographical reasons, these titles may not be available in other countries. Further, this is based on the latest listing as the titles in the Netflix library can change month to month. If you want to look for movies on a specific niche, you can take a look at the 10 movies about amnesia on Netflix. So without further ado, let's take a look at the best movies to while away the lockdown, starting with number 25:
25. Two Popes
A biographical movie set in the Vatican City after the Vatican City leaks, the film is based on the life of Pope Benedict XVI, played by the legendary Anthony Hopkins, and his attempt to convince Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to not resign as an archbishop since he wants to end his own papacy. The screenplay and the performances were widely acclaimed, allowing it to score 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 7.6 on IMDB.
24. Frances Ha
Frances Ha was released in 2012, and is unique for the fact that it is a black and white film in a time where they are supposed to be bygone relics of an era past. The comedy film is based on a woman in New York, who doesn't have her own apartment, and is interested in dancing. The movie's amazing reception has been focused less on the story, and more on the incredible performance of the lead, Greta Gerwig. It has a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.5 on IMDB.
I was so happy this film made the list as it is one of my favorite movies. Starring Robert Downey Junior before he became a household name, and Jake Gyllenhaal after he was a household name, the film is based on the real serial killer called Zodiac, who taunted the police with clues and yet was still never apprehended. Even though the movie is quite long, the tension in it is real and featured amazing performances by the cast. It has a 7.7 rating on IMDB and 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.
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22. Dolemite Is My Name
A biographical film based on the life of Rudy Ray Moore, is Dolemite Is My Name, which had a limited release in theaters, before a proper release on Netflix itself. The movie starred Eddie Murphy who earned plaudits for his performance. The film has an amazing rating of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.3 on IMDB.
South Korea's nomination for the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film was only released in 2018 but has already made it to Neflix. It received universal acclaim not just for the acting and the story but for the sense of unease that should be present in any psychological thriller movie. It has a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has a score of 7.5 on IMDB.
A historical American drama released in 2017, the film is based on the novel with the same name, and is one of the few instances where the movie did justice to the book it was based on. Receiving multiple nominations in the Golden Globes and Academy Awards, Mudbound was really well received and has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.4 on IMDB.
19. Beasts Of No Nation
Another war drama makes our list, about a child soldier while his country takes part in a terrible war in Ghana. While released in 2015, it had a limited release on screens with a global release instead on Netflix. The movie has a rating of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.7 on IMDB.
18. Lady Bird
Greta Gerwig is not just an amazing actress as proved in an earlier entry, but a gifted director as well, though she's only done one movie which has been incredibly received. Of course, starring one of the most gifted actresses of our time in Saoirse Ronan must have made her task easier in this coming of age film, which has a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.4 on IMDB.
17. Being John Malkovich
A comedy movie based on being able to enter the head of John Malkovich, the movie starring Cameron Diaz, John Cusack and John Malkovich hit all the right notes, earning 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.7 on IMDB.
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16. I Lost My Body
A French adult animated movie, I Lost My Body is about a cut off hand reminiscing about life when it had an owner, and earned a rating of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.6 on IMDB.
15. Django Unchained
One of my favorite movies, Django Unchained saw Jamie Foxx, Christopher Waltz and Leonardo Di Caprio at their absolute best in this captivating movie about a slave who joins a bounty hunter to save his wife. It has an 87% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.4 on IMDB.
13. Jurassic Park
The 1993 movie became one of the biggest hits of the year and spawned an entire franchise about rebirthing dinosaurs at an abandoned island for the pleasure of human viewing. A 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.1 on IMDB ensure its legacy.
13. Million Dollar Baby
With the exact same rating as Jurassic Park on both platforms, we were unable to separate it with this movie starring Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank.
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A movie featuring Jake Gyllenhaal as a man who records violent events and sells them to the news, it was a successful thriller which earned 95% on Rotten Tomaties and 7.9 on IMDB.
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11. Marriage Story
A heartbreaking movie about an ending marriage with Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, the movie had a 95% rating on Rotten Tomaties and 8 on IMDB.
A semi autobiographical movie by director Alfonso Cauron, the movie is based in the Colonia Roma neighborhood in Mexico City, and garnered ten Academy Award nominations, a 96% Rotten Tomatoes rating and 7.7 on IMDB.
An animated Christmas adventure movie, Klaus has a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a worthy 8.2 on IMDB.
8. The Irishman
The Irishman saw the Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci starring in a gangster film, which earned a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.9 on IMDB.
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7. Athlete A
The sad look into the scandal hitting the US gymnastics, Athlete A is the only movie in our list of best Netflix movies right now to have a 100 rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.7 on IMDB.
6. Raiders of the Lost Ark
The 1985 film introduced Indiana Jones to the world and spawned a massive franchise, which has since earned nearly $2 billion. The original has a rating of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.4 on IMDB.