Note: This list will be updated monthly to include the best movies & what’s new on US Netflix.
Movie fans have never had it so good. Gone are the days of traveling to your local VHS/DVD shop to scour through the new releases, only to find that the film you wanted to see had already been checked out. We now live in a golden age where we have literally hundreds of movies ready to watch any time we like, thanks to the increasing popularity of Netflix.
There’s only one problem. With so many good movies to watch on Netflix, we’re now spoiled for choice. It’s frighteningly easy to spend longer looking for a good movie on Netflix than actually watching one, but don’t worry. That’s where we come in.
Here at Movie Pilot, we’ve dedicated hours of precious chill time to sifting through all the best new movies on Netflix so you don’t have to. Not only will we suggest exactly what to watch depending on which genre you’re looking for, we’ll also break down exactly why each of our recommendations should be pushed to the front of your play queue, including the very best of upcoming releases too.
So what are you waiting for? Sit back and open the popcorn as we guide you through the best movies on Netflix right now.
‘The Shining’ (1980)
A frustrated writer takes a winter job as a caretaker in a secluded hotel, bringing his wife and son with him, to be free from city distraction and write in peace. After learning that the previous caretaker was driven insane, madness quickly ensues for our protagonist too, because “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Why The Shining Is The Best Horror Movie On Netflix Right Now:
The Shining is widely considered to be one of the best horror movies ever made, let alone the best offered by Netflix. The fear effect of Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant adaptation of Stephen King’s novel will stay with you for days — as will Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Jack, which is undoubtably the defining role of his career.
‘The Babadook’ (2016)
A grieving widow struggles to keep her son’s behavior under control as disturbing events begin to occur in their home, each of which seem to revolve around a strange pop-up book called ‘Mister Babadook’.
Why The Babadook Is The Best Horror Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Out of nowhere, Jennifer Kent’s directorial debut became one of the most critically acclaimed horror films of the decade. The Babadook reminded us all that a genuinely emotive story and atmospheric tension are more effective than a thousand jump scares. Seems obvious when you think about it now.
In a deadly game of cat and mouse, deaf author Maddie Young is forced to fight for her life to fend off a psychotic killer in her remote retreat.
Why Hush Is The Best Horror Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Director Mike Flanagan developed the premise of Oculus and took it to the next level with Hush, crafting one of the most inventive home invasion movies ever committed to celluloid. Built almost entirely around the two central performances, Hush is a stark reminder of what a simple concept and inventive filmmaking can accomplish, scaring us more than a thousand lazy remakes ever could.
‘Jesus Camp’ (2006)
Jesus Camp takes an unbiased approach to the world of evangelical indoctrination, where children are trained to spread their religious views in annual summer camps.
Why Jesus Camp Is The Best Documentary On Netflix Right Now:
Few documentaries have depicted the power that religion holds over America in such a powerful way, exploring how families train their children from an early age to become the youngest foot soldiers of the Lord. Whatever your thoughts are on Christianity and the role that it plays in society, Jesus Camp will undoubtedly prove to be an eye-opener.
‘Audrie & Daisy’ (2016)
Audrie & Daisy is a documentary which follows two teenage girls who were sexually assaulted by young men they knew from their home towns.
Why Audrie & Daisy Is The Best Documentary On Netflix Right Now:
Receiving rave reviews at Sundance this year, Audrie & Daisy is far from an easy watch, depicting the fallout of American rape culture in a world of social media and unprecedented volumes of news coverage. However, like the very best documentaries, Audrie & Daisy is also an extremely important watch; one that provides valuable insight into the dangers of modern society and could help improve lives for the better.
In his latest hit documentary, director Morgan Spurlock investigates major rat infestations from around the world, delving into our relationship with this vermin across different cultures.
Why Rats Is The Best Documentary On Netflix Right Now:
Finally indulging his love of horror, Morgan Spurlock has successfully created the world’s first ‘horrormentary’, deliberately using the kind of shots and score typical of the genre to depict real life events in a chilling fashion. You won’t see anything more chilling or grotesquely funny this year.
‘Casting JonBenet’ (2017)
It’s been 20 years since the murder of young pageant queen JonBenet Ramsey, yet the case remains unsolved. Director Kitty Green sends out a casting call for young actresses to play the JonBenet, interviewing their parents on the intricacies of the mystery that still grips small town America.
Why Casting JonBenet Is The Best Documentary On Netflix Right Now:
Like all of the best documentaries, this Netflix original evolves into a multi-faceted study, tapping into universal themes such as crime, guilt and the horrific exploitation of children. The insights uncovered in Casting Jonbenet are far more disturbing than any fictional crime movie, making this a film that demands your attention from the get-go.
‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ (1961)
When a lonely writer chances upon an independent young socialite, sparks fly as the pair find love amidst high fashion and wild parties.
Why Breakfast at Tiffany’s Is The Best Romantic Comedy On Netflix Right Now:
Based on the Truman Capote’s iconic novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s remains one of the most influential films of all time, featuring a mind-blowing performance from Audrey Hepburn that demands to be seen, despite the film’s ocassional anachronisms.
Despite her difficult childhood and a troublesome heart condition, French sweetheart Amélie sets out to make a difference in the lives of those around her by committing a number of selfless good deeds.
Why Amélie Is The Best Romantic Comedy On Netflix Right Now:
The word ‘whimsical’ is thrown around with alarming regularity when describing indie or foreign romantic comedies. However, in the case of Amélie, no other word quite encapsulates the sheer charm and moonstruck aesthetic that Jean-Pierre Jeunet displays here, making international stars of him & Audrey Tautou in the process.
‘Something’s Gotta Give’ (2003)
Perennial bachelor Harry Sanborn is taken aback when he meets Erica Barry, a strong, independent woman whose age is double that of the women that he usually pursues. Despite their differences and their other romantic prospects, the two develop an unexpected bond that will give the pair a whole new lease on life.
Why Something’s Gotta Give Is The Best Romantic Comedy On Netflix Right Now:
Whether you like romantic comedies or not, it’s impossible to deny the chemistry between Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, two stalwarts of cinema whose combined work together in this film will make you laugh and cry in the best ways possible.
‘Dazed and Confused’ (1993)
Set on the last day of school, Dazed and Confused follows a group of Texas teenagers as they welcome summer with drugs, partying and a whole lot of freshmen hazing.
Why Dazed and Confused Is The Best Comedy Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Before Boyhood propelled Richard Linklater to new levels of success, the director’s indie classic Dazed and Confused was easily the highlight of his extensive filmography. This comedy is equal parts funny and melancholic, with a killer soundtrack that will make you pine for the summers you enjoyed as a teenager. Surprisingly, the cast also boasts one of the most impressive ensembles to ever appear on film, including early performances from Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck and Milla Jovovich. After the credits roll, look out for the film’s spiritual successor, Everybody Wants Some!, which was released earlier this year.
‘Hot Fuzz’ (2007)
When Sergeant Angel is transferred from London to the sleepy hamlet town of Sanford, it appears that the over-achieving cop will be driven out of his mind with boredom. That is, until a series of bizarre accidents hint at a dark conspiracy brewing beneath the town’s sleepy exterior.
Why Hot Fuzz Is The Best Comedy Movie On Netflix Right Now:
After making the first rom-zom-com with Shaun of the Dead, Edgar Wright arguably improved upon his breakout hit with Hot Fuzz. It’s a bitingly funny parody of action movies that somehow works as both a credible comedy and thrilling adrenalin rush all at once.
Sausage Party (2016)
Ever wonder what your favorite foods get up to after you close the fridge door? Seth Rogen and Kristen Wiig star in this raunchy tale of a sausage and his friends struggling to negotiate supermarket aisles, in a bid to survive the clutches of voracious humans.
Why Sausage Party Is The Best Comedy Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Few studio movies are as offensive as Sausage Party, but if you’re a fan of lowbrow humor and a never-ending stream of gags, this inventive spin on the Pixar formula will leave you hungry for more.
‘The Guest’ (2014)
After the Peterson family lose their son in combat, a soldier claiming to be his friend arrives at their door, leading to a series of accidental deaths that seem to be connected to his presence.
Why The Guest Is The Best Thriller Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Adam Wingard first made a name for himself with the seminal horror You’re Next, but the acclaimed genre director may have outdone himself with The Guest. Wingard treats us to an intelligent thriller that wears its ’80s influences proudly on its sleeve. As if that wasn’t enough to tempt you, The Guest also features a surprisingly tense performance from Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens, whose topless antics are worth the price of admission alone.
Lou Bloom will do whatever it takes to become a successful journalist, even if that means he must exploit the cut-throat business of L.A. crime journalism, creating his own dark footage in the process.
Why Nightcrawler Is The Best Thriller Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Few mainstream actors are making as interesting choices as Jake Gyllenhaal right now, so it’s a travesty that his eerie performance in Nightcrawler was overlooked by the Oscars committee. Nightcrawler may not be a comfortable movie to sit through, but it’ll crawl under your skin and stay with you longer than possibly any other film on Netflix.
French special forces soldier Matthias Schoenaerts struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder as he fights to protect his family from a Lebanese businessman who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.
Why Disorder Is The Best Thriller Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Flying under the radar on its initial release, Disorder is a well-crafted thriller that takes the slow-burn approach, escalating into a tense psychological climax thanks to talented performances from its two leads.
After the brutal rape and murder of his wife, Leonard (Guy Pearce) suffered a beating that destroyed his short-term memory. Obsessed with the notion of revenge, Leonard now uses polaroids and tattoos to hold on to the clues that he picks up along the way, all while navigating potential treachery from those who seem to help him.
Why Memento Is The Best Thriller Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Long before Inception or The Dark Knight, director Christopher Nolan adapted this short story written by his brother, Jonathan, announcing his talent to the world through stunning monochrome visuals and a fractured narrative that remains with the viewer like the tattoos on Leonard’s skin.
As the first openly gay man to be voted into American public office, Harvey Milk changed the lives of an entire generation — before tragedy inevitably struck.
Why ‘Milk’ is one of the best gay movies on Netflix:
Between Sean Penn’s uncanny performance as the titular lead and Dustin Lance Black’s meticulously detailed screenplay, Milk throws a searing light on gay life in ’70s America, educating us all about a pivotal moment in the history of LGBT rights that remains just as timely today as ever before.
‘Sex And Lucia’ (2001)
Lucía escapes to a remote Spanish island following the apparent suicide of her boyfriend, Lorenzo. However, she soon discovers more about Lorenzo than she would like after encountering Elena, one of his former lovers.
Why Sex And Lucia Is The Best Soft Porn Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Despite being more famous for its provocative love-making scenes, Sex And Lucia is actually a surprisingly intelligent and visually striking film that rightly won a number of Goya awards from its native Spain upon release.
Love follows the romantic entanglement between Murphy, an American film student, and Electra, his former French girlfriend, whose sexual experimentation takes a toll on their relationship.
Why Love Is The Best Soft Porn Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Director Gaspar Noe pushed boundaries with the release of Love, displaying real sex in eye-popping 3D while playing around with the conventions of linear storytelling.
‘Mind Game’ (2004)
When cartoon artist Nishi is accidentally caught in gunfire, his soul refuses to walk towards the light, leading to a madcap chase as the poor man’s spirit fights to remain on earth.
Why Mind Game Is The Best Anime Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Anime is often unconventional when compared to standard Hollywood fare, but Mind Game takes this to a whole new level. It blends mind-bending visuals with a truly unique story to make one of the most essential yet underrated animations released this millennium.
‘Pokémon the Movie: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages’ (2015)
While hanging out in a new city, Ash and his friends encounter a mythical Pokémon called Hoopa, whose ability to summon people and other Pokémon unwittingly causes chaos for the townsfolk.
Why Pokémon the Movie: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages Is The Best Anime Movie On Netflix Right Now:
The 18th film in the Pokémon series is notable for the sheer amount of legendary Pokémon that appear, guaranteeing that Hoopa and the Clash of Ages will be a huge hit with anyone who’s a fan of the games.
Filmed over the course of 12 years, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood follows the story of Mason through a number of insightful vignettes that chart his life through important milestones.
Why Boyhood Is The Best Sad Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Attempting a technical experiment of this scale could have been hugely problematic, but Linklater pulled off the impossible, creating a powerful portrait of the human condition that’s epic in scope, yet somehow remains intimate throughout. Worthy of every award bestowed upon it, Boyhood is a breathtaking accomplishment that holds poignant moments of relevance for each and every one of us.
‘Short Term 12’ (2013)
After struggling through the foster care system themselves, Grace and Mason work themselves ragged trying to help others in a home for at-risk teens, all while trying to navigate their own relationship between each other.
Why Short Term 12 Is The Best Sad Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Before Brie Larson found worldwide fame with her award-winning performance in Room, the young actress blew critics away with her starring role in this stunning indie drama. Larson’s not the only one who impresses though — what could have come across as a rather forced and weary story line unfolds organically into a heart wrenching tale thanks to the efforts of the entire cast. Also, keep your eyes peeled for a young Rami Malek who appears before he broke out as the main character in the TV show Mr Robot.
‘Million Dollar Baby’ (2004)
Veteran boxer trainer Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) develops a reluctant bond with his latest trainee, a woman called Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank), but things take an unexpected turn when tragedy befalls one of the central characters.
Why Million Dollar Baby Is The Best Sad Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Knockout performances elevate Million Dollar Baby from it’s potentially cliched trappings, creating a surprisingly affecting sports movie that’s both heartfelt and genuinely moving, regardless of whether you enjoy boxing or not.
Through a childish act of betrayal, three lives and a powerful love are torn apart, irrevocably damaged over the course of a lifetime.
Why Atonement Is The Best Romantic Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Joe Wright’s eye for framing lends this tragic love story a powerful grandeur that elevates career-best performances from James McAvoy and Keira Knightley in one of the most affecting films ever released. From the soul-destroying tunnel scene to the breathtaking tracking shot through Dunkirk, Atonement is a film that deserves total admiration, whether you’re a fan of romantic movies or not.
‘Captain America: Civil War’ (2016)
Political pressure divides the Avengers into two opposing teams. While Captain America and his allies believe superheroes should protect the earth without government interference, Team Iron Man argues that registration is a must, leading to all-out war between Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Why Captain America: Civil War Is The Best Action Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Marvel somehow achieved the impossible with the third installment of the Captain America trilogy. They crafted a film that addressed the flaws of Avengers: Age of Ultron while still continuing the legacy of Steve Rogers, complete with the best fight scenes ever depicted in a comic book movie and the debut of everyone’s favorite wallcrawler.
After defeating the King’s three most dangerous enemies, Jet Li’s unnamed fighter recounts each battle in vivid detail, piecing together a tale that’s actually far from what it seems.
Why Hero Is The Best Action Film On Netflix Right Now:
In the first installment of his critically acclaimed Wuxia trilogy, Chinese director Zhang Yimou provided Jet Li with the showcase he’s always deserved, setting his jaw-dropping martial arts against a background of vivid color and emotion, creating a genuine spectacle of jaw-dropping proportions.
‘V For Vendetta’ (2005)
Based on Alan Moore’s graphic novel, V For Vendetta centers on an alternative British future in which a corrupt, totalitarian government has taken total power of the state. V is a vigilante embodying the rebellion, and sparks a revolution alongside an unlikely ally.
Why V For Vendetta Is The Best Action Film On Netflix Right Now:
Director James McTeigue does an exquisite job of transforming Moore’s novel into a stylish and provocative drama, which invites the viewer to question global power and root for a bomb-throwing anarchist. And, even one decade on, V for Vendetta still stands as essential viewing for anyone looking for an alternative take on the current state of world politics.
‘Doctor Strange’ (2016) Arriving 05/30/17
Former surgeon Stephen Strange is taken under the wing of the Ancient One and trained in the mystic arts so that he can protect the Marvel Universe from evil.
Why Doctor Strange Is The Best Action Film On Netflix Right Now:
Doctor Strange is a superhero origin story with a difference, featuring mind-bending visuals and a winning performance from Benedict Cumberbatch that helps introduce magic to the MCU in a surprisingly grounded way.
‘Jurassic Park’ (1993) Leaving 05/01/17
Who could resist visiting a brand new theme park populated with real dinosaurs that have been resurrected through science? Things soon spiral out of control though when a tropical storm knocks out the island’s power supply, unleashing a multitude of prehistoric beasts on the patrons of Jurassic Park.
Why Jurassic Park Is The Best Action Film On Netflix Right Now:
If we have to explain to you why Jurassic Park is one of the most awe-inspiring blockbusters of all time, then you may need to reevaluate your life choices. Whether you haven’t seen Jurassic Park since childhood or just watched it yesterday, Steven Spielberg’s most enjoyable film will always be a must-see.
Can’t afford Netflix? Sell an organ. Remember: Life finds a way.
‘The Imitation Game’ (2014)
In this gripping fact-based biopic, Alan Turing leads a ragtag group of scholars and scientists to make the most important discovery of World War II. Unfortunately, not even his unprecedented genius can save him from personal tragedy.
Why The Imitation Game Is The Best Drama Movie On Netflix Right Now:
A prestige biopic about computer programming doesn’t exactly scream ‘riveting’, but Benedict Cumberbatch’s haunting portrayal of Turing grounds the period context of The Imitation Game, creating a fascinating character study that’s undeniably moving and infuriating in equal measure. The marketing teams who promote factual award-baiting films such as The Imitation Game often argue that their stories deserves to be heard by all, but in this case, Turing’s life really does deserve to be appreciated by wide an audience as possible.
‘Sing Street’ (2016)
14-year-old Conor forms a rock ‘n’ roll band with his friends in ’80s Dublin to win the affections of an aspiring model.
Why Sing Street Is The Best Drama Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Feel-good musicals are rarely as likeable as Sing Street, but John Carney has plenty of experience with the genre after already directing the award-winning hits Once and Begin Again. Despite helming these impressive films, Sing Street is arguably Carney’s best yet, combining a charismatic cast, memorable songs and a huge heart. Sing Street brilliantly transcends the usual trappings found within your typical coming of age dramas.
‘E.T. the Extra Terrestrial’ (1982)
When Elliott discovers a gentle extraterrestrial stranded on Earth, he befriends him and shuttles him back to the family home, where E.T. remains a secret to everyone bar Elliott’s siblings. However, when the creature falls ill, the U.S. government intervenes, and things take a turn for the heartbreaking.
Why E.T. the Extra Terrestrial Is The Best Kids Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Steven Spielberg’s E.T. is a magical feast for the eyes and promises to hold audiences — young and old alike — captive with spellbound wonder. Timeless, optimistic, hilarious and heartbreaking, this movie is arguably one of the best movies of all time, and certainly isn’t just for children.
‘The Jungle Book’ (2016)
Raised by wolves since birth, Mowgli is forced to leave his home when the fierce tiger Shere Khan threatens to hunt him down. Fortunately, the man-cub is resilient enough to venture out on his own, learning a number of valuable life lessons from the various animals who join him along the way.
Why The Jungle Book Is The Best Kids Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Remakes are rarely well-received at the best of times, but Jon Favreau’s take on the Disney classic arguably did the impossible and actually improved on the original thanks to a stunning voice cast and some of the most impressive CGI used to date. Let’s just hope magic strikes twice when Favreau takes on Disney’s iconic ’90s classic, The Lion King.
‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ (2016)
As the villainous Kai takes down each kung-fu master in turn, it’s up to Po to protect China by training a village of fun-loving pandas. In the midst of the action, Po also tries to reconnect with his long lost father.
Why Kung Fu Panda 3 Is The Best Kids Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Few animated sequels impress as much as Kung Fu Panda 3, Jack Black’s third instalment in the popular franchise. Like the films that came before it, Kung Fu Panda 3 is one of those rare movies that appeals to adults as much as children, throwing a mixture of important life lessons and surprisingly well-choreographed fight sequences into the mix.
Finding Dory (2016)
Ellen Degeneres steals the show once again as the eponymous Dory, reuniting the ever-forgetful fish with her loved ones in a heartfelt story that covers the expanse of the ocean.
Why Finding Dory Is The Best Kids Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Despite being snubbed at the Oscars, Finding Dory remains one of Pixar’s finest films in years, expanding the original story of Nemo with breathtaking visuals and the kind of heartwarming storytelling that we’ve come to expect from the animation powerhouse.
When rookie officer Judy Hopps first arrives in Zootopia, her wide-eyed enthusiasm for justice is mocked by her colleagues. However, it quickly becomes evident that only her and a untrustworthy fox can save the city from the peril that awaits.
Why Zootopia Is The Best Kids Movie On Netflix Right Now:
Moving away from its fairy tale comfort zone, Disney have crafted their most rounded film yet in Zootopia, combining genres such as noir mystery and buddy cop comedy into a hilarious tale that’s perfect for both adults and children alike. Pixar will need to up their game if Disney continue firing on all cylinders like this.