15 Best Classic Movies on Netflix 2021 - Top Old Movies Streaming Now

The 15 Best Classic Movies to Stream on Netflix

Looking for an oldie tonight? Netflix has you covered.

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What do you know, it's movie night again already. It's been a long week, you’re just finishing up your takeout, and then it’s back to Netflix you go, to scroll around for way too long before settling on anything. But this Friday is a Groundhog Day of every other Friday for the past year. At this point, you’ve already seen all the newest Netflix originals, the feel-goods, and the comedies the streamer has to offer.

So might we suggest a trusty classic? One of the many great films—from comedies to dramas and thrillers—that formed the foundation of modern cinema and has stood the test of time. The kind of film that might earn you some pub trivia points in the future, when pub trivia is safe again. And although Netflix’s offering of classics is small in number, it is mighty in cultural significance. Here are the best picks that are available to stream now.

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Searching For Bobby Fischer

This 1993 movie is based on a true story about a 7-year-old chess whiz. (Not to be confused with Netflix's The Queen’s Gambit). In this inspiring, sentimental story, young prodigy Josh Waitzkin (Max Pomeranc) must learn how to be the good kind of champion.

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Fiddler on the Roof

Based on Sholem Aleichem’s Yiddish tale, the 1971 movie-musical is an Oscar-winning adaptation of the Broadway musical. Set in the Pale of Settlement in the early 1900’s, the film follows Tevye (Topol), a poor Jewish milkman trying to marry off his daughters while the threat of pogroms loom large over their small village.

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Enter the Dragon

Directed by Robert Clouse, Enter the Dragon is a 1973 martial arts action film. In it, Bruce Lee plays a martial-arts expert on a mission to capture the gang member responsible for his sister’s death. It is Lee's final completed movie role before his untimely death at age 32.

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Mad Max

The first film in the Australian post-apocalyptic action franchise, the 1979 film follows Max, an officer who seeks violent revenge after his wife and son are murdered by a gang in a war-torn, famine-stricken society.

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Bonnie and Clyde

A 1967 dramatization of the infamous true story, lovers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow embark on an adventurous crime spree across the country, robbing banks and stealing cars, as things turn increasingly deadly.

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Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver is a deeply compelling 1976 psychological thriller directed by Martin Scorsese. Robert De Niro plays a disturbed, lonely War vet who suffers from insomnia, and so takes up taxi driving at night. As he becomes increasingly detached from reality, he becomes obsessed with saving the world, as well as a young prostitute (Jodie Foster).

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Cool Hand Luke

The 1967 classic starring Paul Newman and George Kennedy centers around Luke, a petty criminal who becomes a prisoner in a Florida prison camp and refuses to submit to the authorities and the system.

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Platoon

Set in Vietnam, Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone. It explores—with the help of a tremendous cast, including Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen, Keith David, Kevin Dillon, John C. McGinley, Forest Whitaker, and Johnny Depp—the faltering idealism and friction within American troops.

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A Clockwork Orange

Based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novel of the same name, Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 dystopian film depicts an England of the future, in which criminal Alex (Malcolm McDowell) undergoes behavior modification in order to earn his freedom from jail. Once he is back in society conditioned to loathe violence, his prior victims ensure that their prior roles are reversed. Kubrick’s dark, haunting adaptation earned him nominations for Best Picture and Best Director in 1972.

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What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? is part comedy, part tragedy. The film shows a dysfunctional family in small town Iowa. While Johnny Depp’s starring role might have pulled original fans in, it’s Leonardo DiCaprio’s turn as Depp’s younger brother that sells the film. (It also earned DiCaprio his first Oscar nomination.)

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Goodfellas

A mob movie masterpiece, Goodfellas focuses on 1970’s New York gangster Henry Hill as he climbs the ranks of organized crime. The genre defining classic stars Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, and Lorraine Bracco.

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Monty Python and the Holy Grail

The Authurian legend gets the parody treatment in this absurd—and endlessly quotable—1975 cult classic in which the Monty Python players star as the Knights of the Roundtable on the search for the legendary treasure.

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Life of Brian

Monty Python takes on Christ with this story of Brian of Nazareth, a man who was born on the same night as Jesus—just in the stable next door—and spends his entire life being mistaken for the messiah.

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She's Gotta Have It

Spike Lee's first feature film is an indie black-and-white comedy starring Tracy Camilla Johns as a young woman in Brooklyn who juggles three potential boyfriends.

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Howards End

This lush Merchant-Ivory 1992 adaptation of the classic E.M. Forster novel follows two families with opposing worldviews who are thrust together when their children become romantically attached.

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