The 50 Best Movies on Netflix Right Now (October 2021) | Digital Trends

The 50 best movies on Netflix right now

Want a great new movie to watch? Netflix has what you’re looking for. The streaming service’s library has something for everyone, whether you’re in the mood for an award-winning drama, a cult classic, or an under-appreciated gem. You’ll also find plenty of original films you won’t find anywhere else. A library that large can make it tough to choose just one film, though, so we’ve put together this list of the best movies available on Netflix right now.

Looking for something else? We’ve also rounded up the best shows on Netflix, the best movies on Hulu, the best movies on Amazon Prime, and the best movies on Disney+. Watching from abroad? Use a Netflix VPN to access your country’s catalog from anywhere in the world. 

Hush (2016)

Genre Horror, Thriller
Stars Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr., Samantha Sloyan
Directed by Mike Flanagan
r 82m
A deaf, mute novelist living deep in the woods wants nothing more than to finish her new book, but a mysterious killer has other plans for her in this thriller from Midnight Mass and Oculus filmmaker Mike Flanagan. Actress Kate Siegel, who plays prominent roles in nearly all of Flanagan’s projects, portrays horror novelist Maddie Young, pushed to her limits by a murderer who thinks her inability to speak or hear will make her easy prey. Tense, thrilling, and filled with clever use of sound and minimal dialogue, Hush offered an early hint of the great things to come from one of horror’s most talented filmmakers.

Total Recall (1990)

Total Recall
Genre Sci-Fi, Action
Stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, Rachel Ticotin, Michael Ironside
Directed by Paul Verhoeven
r 109m
Acclaimed filmmaker Paul Verhoeven directed this 1990 adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale and filled it with his trademark blend of over-the-top violence, sex, and dark social satire. One of the most expensive films ever made at the time of its release, Total Recall cast Arnold Schwarzenegger as a construction worker in humanity’s far-flung future who suddenly finds himself at the heart of an interplanetary conspiracy that may or may not even be real. Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, Rachel Ticotin, and Michael Ironside play supporting roles in this brutal — and occasionally brutally funny — adventure that brings Schwarzenegger’s character from Earth to Mars in pursuit of the truth about himself and his past. Along with being a critical and commercial success when it was released, the film also won a Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects at the Academy Awards.

Space Sweepers (2021)

Space Sweepers
Genre Sci-Fi, Adventure, Comedy
Directed by Jo Sung-hee
Cast Song Joong-ki, Kim Tae-ri, Jin Seon-kyu, Yoo Hae-jin
Widely regarded as Korea’s first blockbuster space adventure, Space Sweepers is set in the year 2092 and follows the colorful crew of The Victory, a salvage ship that retrieves debris from space and sells it to the megacorporation that owns humanity’s last hope for survival, an orbiting space station high above the toxic surface of Earth. When the crew encounters a young girl in their latest salvage haul, it kicks off a wild adventure that pits them against powerful forces intent on steering mankind’s future. Filled with gorgeous visual-effects sequences, fascinating characters, and plenty of comedy — and a memorable robot named Bubs — the film is a fast-paced, fun throwback to classic space adventures with some wonderfully modern twists.

Stardust (2007)

Genre Adventure, Fantasy, Romance, Family
Stars Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Michelle Pfeiffer
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
pg-13 128m
Claire Danes and Charlie Cox star in this fantasy film based on Neil Gaiman’s 1999 novel of the same name. The film follows Tristan (Cox), a young man on a quest to retrieve a fallen star for his beloved, only to discover that the star has taken the shape of a peculiar, beautiful woman named Yvaine (Danes). Their adventure together has them cross paths with a colorful collection of allies and enemies, including a sinister witch played by Michelle Pfeiffer, a ruthless prince played by Mark Strong, and a pirate captain played by Robert De Niro who is more than he appears.

Yes, God, Yes (2020) new

Yes, God, Yes
Genre Comedy
Stars Natalia Dyer, Alisha Boe, Francesca Reale
Directed by Karen Maine
r 78m
Stranger Things alum Natalia Dyer stars in writer-director Karen Maine’s Yes, God, Yes, a coming-of-age take on religious repression and burgeoning sexuality. Alice (Dyer) and her friend Laura (Francesca Reale) decide to attend their Catholic school’s annual Kirkos retreat. On their pilgrimage, Alice inadvertently enters into a promiscuous AOL chat when she tries to look up a particular sex act. This puts into place a daisy chain of rumors among Alice’s peers, with Alice’s genuine innocence and curiosity put uncomfortably in the middle. Based on her 2017 short film of the same name, Maine’s Yes, God, Yes is a nuanced and mature story of one teenager trying to wade her way through the stigma of sex, featuring a powerful lead performance from Dyer.

The Social Dilemma (2020)

The Social Dilemma
Genre Documentary, Drama
Stars Tristan Harris
Directed by Jeff Orlowski
pg-13 94m
Director Jeff Orlowski’s The Social Dilemma is an eye-opening docudrama that puts big tech like Google, Facebook, and Instagram under the microscope. Various talking heads (many ex-employees of big tech) weigh in on social media’s harmful implications — from algorithmic data mining to mental health detriments. The more one watches Orlowski’s film, the more questions one begins asking about their own social media exposure. The Social Dilemma doesn’t stray from its intent, leaving us with all kinds of things to think about (particularly our own social media accounts) once the credits roll.

Malcolm X (1992)

Malcolm X
Genre Biography, Drama, History
Stars Denzel Washington
Directed by Spike Lee
pg-13 201m
Denzel Washington portrays African American activist and community leader Malcolm X in this biographical film co-written and directed by Spike Lee, and offers up one of the actor’s most brilliant performances to date. Lee’s film covers a wide span of Malcolm X’s life, from his early years and troubled childhood, his experiences as a criminal and prisoner, and on through his conversion to Islam and his shifting perspectives on both the Nation of Islam and white nationalism in the years leading up to his 1965 assassination. The screenplay is inspired by Alex Haley’s groundbreaking 1965 book, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which he collaborated on with Malcolm X before his murder. Angela Bassett, Albert Hall, Al Freeman Jr., and Delroy Lindo play supporting roles in the film, which offers a powerful peek at a pivotal time in American history and one of the period’s most influential figures.

Zodiac (2007)

Genre Crime, Drama, Mystery
Stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr.
Directed by David Fincher
r 157m
David Fincher directed this thriller that chronicles the manhunt surrounding the infamous Zodiac Killer, who terrorized San Francisco during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The film is based on the book of the same name by Robert Graysmith, whose own investigation of the murderer while working as a political cartoonist for the San Francisco Chronicle turned into an obsession and led him down some increasingly dark — and possibly deadly — paths. Jake Gyllenhaal portrays Graysmith, and is joined in the cast by Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr., as well as Chloë Sevigny, Brian Cox, and other acclaimed actors in supporting roles. Praised for its writing and innovative filmmaking techniques, Zodiac was named one of the best films of the 21st century in a BBC critics’ poll.

The Hateful Eight (2015)

The Hateful Eight
Genre Western, Crime, Drama
Stars Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
r 168m
The year is 1877. When a blizzard rips through the mountain passes of Wyoming, a band of weary stagecoach travelers decides to hole up at Minnie’s Haberdashery. The pilgrims include bounty hunters John Ruth and Major Marquis Warren (Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson, respectively); Ruth’s bounty, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), on her way to the noose; a Confederate loudmouth (Walton Goggins); and their stagecoach driver (James Parks). No one trusts the others, an issue only exacerbated when Minnie’s turns out to be occupied by several other stormbound folks. When personalities begin to clash, the eight occupants start picking sides and losing their minds. Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film features a stellar cast, impressive visuals, and plenty of iconic Tarantino dialogue.

Labyrinth (1986)

Genre Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Stars David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly
Directed by Jim Henson
pg 101m
Jim Henson directed this dark, musical fantasy that famously cast David Bowie as the spandex-clad Goblin King, Jareth, whose efforts to steal away human children are challenged by a teenage girl who accidentally wished for her infant sibling to disappear. In one of her earliest roles, Jennifer Connelly portrays 16-year-old Sarah, who must navigate a massive maze in a dangerous, magical world filled with strange creatures in order to rescue her brother. Another great example of the brilliant work of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, which brought many of the magical world’s inhabitants to life, Labyrinth remains a touchstone film for generations of fantasy fans.

House Party (1990)

House Party
Genre Comedy, Music, Romance
Stars Christopher Reid, Christopher Martin
Directed by Reginald Hudlin
r 100m
The spirit of the ’90s is alive and well in this musical, R-rated comedy starring Christopher “Kid” Reid and Christopher “Play” Martin — better known as iconic hip hop duo Kid ‘n Play — which was written and directed by Reginald Hudlin and featured a long list of Black actors and musicians both well-established and early in their careers. The film follows Kid (Reid) as he attempts to sneak out of the office and evade his father, school bullies, racist police officers, and all manner of other threats in order to attend the party of the year at his best friend Play’s house. Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, and a long list of other future stars play key roles in the film (along with cameos from George Clinton and other musicians), which was based on a student film Hudlin created while attending Harvard University. The film was so popular that it inspired multiple sequels, but none of the follow-ups quite matched the joy of the original, which turned Kid ‘n Play into bona fide big-screen actors in addition to their musical achievements.

Army of the Dead (2021)

Army of the Dead
Genre Action, Horror
Stars Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, Ana de la Reguera, Matthias Schweighöfer
Directed by Zack Snyder
r 148m
Nearly two decades after Zack Snyder first tackled the zombie genre with his Dawn of the Dead remake, the Justice League filmmaker returns with yet another adventure set amid legions of the undead. This time around, Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) portrays a former war hero recruited to lead a mission deep into Las Vegas — now a walled-off city infested with flesh-hungry zombies. The ensemble cast is filled out with a host of familiar faces, including Garret Dillahunt, Tig Notaro, Theo Rossi, Ella Purnell, and Omari Hardwick, among others.

Jaws (1975)

Genre Adventure, Thriller
Stars Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw
Directed by Steven Spielberg
pg 124m
Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking 1975 thriller made generations of movie audiences afraid to go in the water with its tale of a man-eating great white shark that terrorizes tourists and residents around a New England resort town. The film casts Roy Scheider as the local police chief who recruits a marine biologist played by Richard Dreyfuss and a salty sea captain played by Robert Shaw to hunt down the killer shark. Not only does the film feature groundbreaking practical effects that still hold up more four decades later, John Williams’ brilliantly simple score for the film remains one of the most iconic — and simple — pieces of movie music to this day. There’s a reason Jaws was one of the first big summer blockbusters, and despite a series of lackluster sequels and spinoffs in the years that followed, it remains as captivating and terrifying today as it was years ago.

Stargate (1994)

Genre Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Stars Kurt Russell, James Spader, Jaye Davidson
Directed by Roland Emmerich
pg-13 116m
Kurt Russell and James Spader star in this clever, entertaining sci-fi adventure as a pair of explorers tasked with venturing through a mysterious portal discovered in Egyptian ruins. Russell plays Colonel Jack O’Neil, while James Spader portrays the scientist whose theories regarding alien intervention in ancient Egypt just might prove true after all. Although the film failed to win over critics, it did earn a loyal fan following that supported not one but multiple spinoff series that spanned multiple seasons and expanded the Stargate universe exponentially.

Misha and the Wolves (2021)

Misha and the Wolves
Genre Documentary
Directed by Sam Hobkinson
pg-13 90m
Move over, Tiger King, Netflix has another wild documentary you need to see to believe. The film chronicles the far-reaching investigation that took place after the publication of Misha Defonseca’s widely circulated 1997 memoir Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years, in which the author describes her experiences as a young Holocaust survivor who was raised by wolves while searching Europe for her parents. It’s best not knowing any of the twists and turns the story takes ahead of time, so just sit back and let this true, stranger-than-fiction story unfold. You won’t be disappointed.

I Care a Lot (2020)

I Care a Lot
Genre Drama, Comedy, Thriller
Stars Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage
Directed by J Blakeson
r 118m
Rosamund Pike portrays a diabolical con artist who poses as the legal guardian for elderly people in order to seize their assets in this dark, satirical thriller. Her highly profitable scam takes a dangerous turn when her latest victim turns out to be the mother of a powerful mob boss, leading to a deadly battle of wills between Pike’s character and a ruthless criminal kingpin played by Peter Dinklage. Eiza González and Dianne Wiest play supporting roles in the film, which earned praise from critics and led to Pike taking home a Golden Globe Award for her performance.

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf (2021)

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf
Genre Action, Fantasy
Directed by Kwang-Il Han
Cast Theo James, Lara Pulver, Graham McTavish
A prequel to the live-action The Witcher series, Nightmare of the Wolf follows a brash monster hunter whose investigation leads to a pivotal moment in the timeline of the show’s dark fantasy world. The film is animated by the same studio responsible for hit shows The Legend of KorraVoltron: Legendary Defender, and Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, so it’s no surprise how beautiful it looks, but unlike those kid-friendly series, Nightmare of the Wolf is a brutal, bloody adventure aimed at the same audience as The Witcher. Theo James, Lara Pulver, and Graham McTavish are among the notable actors lending their voices to the film’s cast.

Untold: Crime and Penalties (2021)

Untold: Crime and Penalties
Genre Documentary, Sports
Directed by Chapman Way, Maclain Way
Cast Jimmy Galante, AJ Galante
What happens when a waste-removal tycoon with mob ties decides to buy a minor league hockey team and make his teenage son the general manager and president? That question was answered when Jimmy Galante brought the Danbury Trashers to his Connecticut hometown in 2004 and had his 17-year-old son, A.J., run the UHL expansion team for two wild, brawl-filled seasons — a run that eventually led to a massive FBI bust that sent the elder Galante to prison and forced the team to disband. Part Slapshot, part The Sopranos (Galante was rumored to be the real-world inspiration for Tony Soprano, after all), the outrageous story of the Trashers is almost too crazy to believe, but the documentary is packed with interviews and archival footage — including ESPN broadcasts from the Trashers’ brief run — that hammers home how real this crazy sports saga was.

Good Time (2017)

Good Time
Genre Adventure, Action, Sci-Fi, Mystery, Thriller
Stars Robert Pattinson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Benny Safdie
Directed by Josh & Benny Safdie
r 101m
Josh and Ben Safdie, the writer/director duo behind 2019’s Uncut Gems, have a penchant for producing electric crime thrillers — a calling first realized with their 2017 film, Good Time. Our story follows Connie (Robert Pattinson) and Nick (Ben Safdie), two brothers who attempt to rob a New York City bank together. When their plan goes awry and Nick is arrested, Connie will do whatever it takes to free his brother before the authorities come crashing down on him, too. Good Time is a ceaseless NYC thrill ride with a firm foot on the gas, never once letting up on the adrenaline and chaos.

Mank (2020)

Genre Drama, Biography, History
Stars Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins
Directed by David Fincher
r 131m
In this photographic gem of a Hollywood retrospective, director David Fincher delivers a finely layered drama about the writing of a Golden Age masterpiece. The writer in question is Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman). The film he’s writing, commissioned by Orson Welles (Tom Burke), is Citizen KaneMank‘s narrative shifts back and forth from the 1930s to the 1940s, chronicling the turbulent life of its title character throughout his development of the screenplay. Mank was written by the late Jack Fincher, the director’s father, and features amazing performances from its rich ensemble cast. It’s a great watch for cinephiles and casual viewers alike and a dazzling and authentic take on La La Land’s heyday.

Ravenous (2017)

Genre Horror
Directed by Robin Aubert
Cast Marc-Andre Grondin, Monia Chokri
Ravenous (originally titled Les Affamés) begins after a mysterious plague has annihilated much of Quebec, turning its victims into shrieking, flesh-eating monsters. The story follows various survivors who eventually band together to fight back the horde, but despite the familiar plot, this isn’t a typical zombie movie; it is a deliberately paced, eerily beautiful horror movie. The protagonist is a man named Bonin (Marc-Andre Grondin), who wanders the countryside, finding other survivors and slaying zombies. As the group grows, the film gives each character proper development, so they feel fully fleshed out, unlike the stock survivors of many a zombie film. While the film has its gory moments, Ravenous frequently employs an atmosphere of dread built through uncanny imagery, such as when the zombies congregate before a shrine made of furniture.

Django Unchained (2012)

Django Unchained
Genre Western, Drama, Action
Stars Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
r 165m
In Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, the barrage of spaghetti-western bullets is never-ending. When Django (Jamie Foxx) is rescued from enslavement by the mysterious Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), the unlikely duo forms a partnership. Django agrees to help Schultz track down bounties. In return, Schultz will help Django locate his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). After some winter bounty hunts, Django and Schultz track Broomhilda to the plantation of a notorious slaver named Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). He’s a charismatic host, but cunning like no other, and it’s not long before Candie and his cohorts begin sniffing out Django’s true intentions. Big, bold, and bloody, Django Unchained is Tarantino’s second collaboration with actor Christoph Waltz and the first with the late composer, Ennio Morricone.

The Beguiled (2017)

The Beguiled
Genre Drama, Thriller
Stars Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning
Directed by Sofia Coppola
r 94m
The tension just keeps getting higher in this Civil War-era drama from filmmaker Sofia Coppola, based on Thomas P. Cullinan’s novel of the same name. Colin Farrell portrays a Union soldier who’s forced to take refuge in a Southern boarding school for women, only to have his presence there upset the institution’s delicate balance of power. Sexual tension and dark secrets flame the fires of drama, pitting the women against each other while a terrible war rages outside the school’s doors.

The Old Guard (2020)

The Old Guard
Genre Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Stars Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood
r 125m
Netflix goes superhero in this action-packed flick about a secret organization of immortals that has protected the Earth from extinction for centuries. But when they are set up on an emergency mission, their powers are mistakenly exposed to the world. Now they must work together to ensure none of the various powerful competing interests can control them for personal or monetary gain.

Do the Right Thing (1989)

Do the Right Thing
Genre Comedy, Drama
Stars Spike Lee, Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn, John Turturro
Directed by Spike Lee
r 120m
Often found on lists of the greatest movies ever made, Spike Lee’s 1989 drama unfolds during one of the hottest days of the year in a Brooklyn neighborhood where racial tension has reached a boiling point. An Italian-American pizzeria owned by Sal (Danny Aiello) becomes the focal point for drama in the film, which has Lee’s character delivering pizzas throughout the neighborhood while navigating the complicated relationships around every corner. The film earned a pair of Academy Award nominations and remains a critically acclaimed work of cinema decades after it first hit theaters.

There Will Be Blood (2007)

There Will Be Blood
Genre Drama
Stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Kevin J. O' Connor
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
r 158m
Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood is a grim character study of one Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), a burgeoning oil tycoon in early 20th-century California. Daniel is the type of man who would sell his soul to make a buck, which makes the arrival of Paul Sunday (Paul Dano) all the more serendipitous. The boy claims there is oil on his family’s property, and he’ll tell Daniel where it is for cash. The pair transact, and Daniel journeys to the town of Little Boston with his son H.W. (Dillon Freasier) to try and purchase the Sunday Ranch for drilling. What’s waiting for Daniel is a dastardly foe and his family’s cursed land. Or is Plainview the curse himself? There Will Be Blood is a two-hour-plus descent into a hell of business meets faith, featuring an Oscar-winning lead performance from Daniel Day-Lewis.

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Nocturnal Animals
Genre Mystery, Drama, Crime, Thriller
Stars Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhall, Michael Shannon
Directed by Tom Ford
r 116m
In Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, Amy Adams is Susan Morrow, a successful Los Angeles art gallery owner. One morning, Susan receives a manuscript for her ex-husband Edward’s (Jake Gyllenhall) latest novel, entitled Nocturnal Animals, along with an invitation to meet for dinner. As Susan begins paging through the manuscript, a macabre tale of backcountry crime unfolds onscreen. Seamlessly combining three narrative threads (present-day, Edward’s novel, and Susan and Edward’s past), Nocturnal Animals lives in a bizarre and uncompromising world where fiction informs the real, and vice versa. Led by amazing performances from its key cast, this is one you don’t want to pass on.

Enola Holmes (2020)

Enola Holmes
Genre Action, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Stars Millie Bobby Brown, Helena Bonham Carter, Henry Cavill
Directed by Harry Bradbeer
pg-13 92m
So, you thought Sherlock Holmes was played out? Well, you thought wrong because you didn’t know he had a little sister. Millie Bobby Brown shines as the title character in this action-packed, fun-filled twist on the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories. When her mother turns up mysteriously missing, teenage Enola Holmes hits the trail to find her — something her more famous brother is simply too preoccupied to do. As she sniffs out clues, Enola discovers she might just have as much as, or even more of, a knack for this sleuthing thing than her brother, slowly uncovering a dangerous conspiracy that threatens to rattle the English aristocracy.

A Ghost Story (2017)

A Ghost Story
Genre Drama, Romance, Fantasy
Stars Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Will Oldham
Directed by David Lowery
r 92m
In the wake of a fatal car crash, C (Casey Affleck) returns to the earth as a white-sheeted phantom. After a spiritual pilgrimage back to the suburban ranch he shared with M (Rooney Mara), C’s spirit begins to haunt the home. Time seeps away as minutes, months, and years pass. M grieves, new families come and go, but the house (and the ghost) remain. Director David Lowery shot the project in relative secrecy, using the same VFX crew that lent their talents to Lowery’s Disney-financed remake of Pete’s Dragon. A cinematic experience like no other, A Ghost Story explores love, life, and loss in ways seldom seen onscreen.

Bad Trip (2021)

Bad Trip
Genre Comedy
Stars Eric André, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish
Directed by Kitao Sakurai
r 84m
Eric André and Lil Rel Howery headline this hidden-camera prank film that has them playing two friends, Chris and Bud, who embark on an ill-fated road trip so Chris can tell his high school sweetheart he loves her. As they stumble from one ridiculous scenario to another, they’re pursued by Bud’s convict sister (Tiffany Haddish), whose car they stole for the trip. Raunchy, shocking, and relentlessly funny, the film blends scripted scenes with wild hidden-camera pranks and its duo’s signature comedy for a film that’s all about the journey, not the destination.

The Devil All the Time (2020)

The Devil All the Time
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller
Stars Robert Pattinson, Tom Holland, Sebastian Stan, Bill Skarsgård
Directed by Antonio Campos
r 138m
Written and directed by Antonio Campos, The Devil All the Time is American Gothic at its most perverse. Set in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia after World War II, the story follows Arvin Russell (Tom Holland), a young man who is determined to protect his loved ones against the corruption and violence that plagues his town. From complete strangers to the most powerful institutions in the area, brutality is pervasive as everyone seeks desperately to assert their own small bits of power in a broken — but recovering — world. Things aren’t getting better for everyone, however, and The Devil All the Time takes its time exploring the generational trauma and cold truths that inhabit this sinister town.
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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Genre Comedy, Drama, Musical
Stars Liam Neeson, James Franco, Tim Blake Nelson
Directed by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
r 133m
What’s better than a new Western from the Coen brothers? How about six? The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a sextet of short films, all set in the Wild West. They follow different characters through wild plots that explore the themes of human depravity and cosmic justice (or injustice) that recur so often in the Coens’ works. The stories and protagonists vary wildly. The eponymous sequence follows Buster Scruggs (Tim Blake Nelson), a sharpshooting, guitar-slinging cowboy roaming the West and singing of his adventures. In another, a lonely prospector (Tom Waits) digs for his fortune. The stories in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs fall on the surreal end of the Coen spectrum — they’re somewhat comical, occasionally brutal folk tales that don’t always leave the viewer feeling they’ve learned a lesson. Here’s our list of the best comedies on Netflix to browse if you’re looking for more in this genre.

Vivo (2021)

Genre Animation, Musical, Family
Stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ynairaly Simo, Zoe Saldana, Juan de Marcos González, Gloria Estefan
Directed by Kirk DeMicco
pg 98m
The first musical animated feature from Sony Pictures Animation, Vivo follows a musically gifted kinkajou — a long-tailed, raccoon-like mammal usually found in tropical regions — as he embarks on a journey from Havana, Cuba, to Miami, Florida, in order to bring a message of love to his guardian’s former partner. Hamilton and In the Heights mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda created the songs for the film and voices Vivo the kinkajou, with Ynairaly Simo voicing Gabi Hernández, the young girl who helps Vivo on his quest. A long list of popular Cuban musicians and performers — including Gloria Estefan — fill out the film’s cast and contribute to a musical score rooted in the region’s history and culture.

Fear Street Part One: 1994 (2021)

Fear Street Part One: 1994
Genre Horror
Stars Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Julia Rehwald, Fred Hechinger
Directed by Leigh Janiak
r 105m
This retro slasher feature based on R.L. Stine’s book series of the same name follows a group of teenagers in fictional Shadyside, Ohio, who find themselves terrorized by a supernatural killer with a link to the town’s dark history. Dripping with ’90s nostalgia and plenty of blood, the movie is the first installment of a trilogy that explores Shadyside’s deadly reputation as the murder capital of the country, with each chapter unfolding in a different era. Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Julia Rehwald, and Fred Hechinger star in the terrifying tale.

Midnight Run (1988)

Midnight Run
Genre Action, Comedy
Stars Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin
Directed by Martin Brest
r 122m
Robert De Niro plays a bounty hunter tasked with bringing in a shifty accountant portrayed by Charles Grodin in this classic comedy directed by Beverly Hills Cop filmmaker Martin Brest. Dubbed “the Casablanca of buddy comedies” by Rolling Stone, the film was a surprise hit based on the memorable chemistry between De Niro and Grodin, whose characters must deal with one setback after another on their cross-country journey, as well as corrupt cops, overzealous FBI agents, mafia hitmen, and a host of other threats. Nominated as one of the year’s best films at the 46th Golden Globe Awards, Midnight Run remains a truly underappreciated gem of ’80s cinema featuring two actors who bring the best out of each other’s performances.

Over the Moon (2020)

Over the Moon
Genre Adventure, Musical, Fantasy, Comedy, Kids And Family, Animation
Stars John Cho, Sandra Oh, Ken Jeong
Directed by Glen Keane
pg 100m
Fei Fei (Cathy Ang), grieving the loss of her mother, clings to a legend about a moon goddess named Chang’e. Much to the dismay of her father and his new family, the girl aims to prove that the goddess does indeed exist. To do so, she begins work on a rocket that will take her to the moon to prove Chang’e’s existence. Filled with heart and mesmerizing animation, Over the Moon often looks and feels like your standard Disney epic, but the familiar structure and dazzling music are enough to keep everyone glued to the screen.

Fruitvale Station (2013)

Fruitvale Station
Genre Drama
Stars Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Kevin Durand, Chad Michael Murray
Directed by Ryan Coogler
r 85m
Before he was one of Marvel Studios’ most celebrated filmmakers, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler wrote and directed this 2013 biographical film that cast Michael B. Jordan as Oscar Grant, who was murdered by police officer Johannes Mehserle in 2009 while traveling on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system in Oakland, California. The film chronicles the events of Grant’s day leading up to his fatal encounter with BART officers that was caught on video and ignited months of protests that — after similar incidents were recorded in the years that followed — would eventually coalesce into the Black Lives Matter movement for racial justice. A powerful, personal film that puts a face on one of the many victims of deadly police misconduct in recent years, Fruitvale Station launched Coogler’s career and earned a long list of awards for both its director and star while bringing wider attention to Grant’s story.

His House (2020)

His House
Genre Mystery, Thriller, Horror
Stars Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù, Wunmi Mosaku, Matt Smith
Directed by Remi Weekes
r 93m
After suffering a major tragedy on their pilgrimage from South Sudan to the U.K., Bol (Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku), married refugees fleeing their war-ravaged country, are placed in a decrepit tenement home. As Bol does his best to acclimate to a new life of racial discrepancy, a series of horrific ghouls make themselves known to the grieving man. Blending a socio-political immigration story with a haunted house story, His House bends both sub-genres in a way we’ve never seen pulled off before. An exciting and unsettling directorial debut from Remi Weekes, His House should definitely fill your screen this weekend.

The White Tiger (2021)

The White Tiger
Genre Drama
Stars Adarsh Gourav, Rajkummar Rao, Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Directed by Ramin Bahrani
r 126m
Based on Aravind Adiga’s 2008 novel of the same name, The White Tiger follows the rags-to-riches story of Balram Halwai (Adarsh Gourav), an impoverished Indian villager that, through hard work (and a little manipulation), pushes himself into a much-lauded driver position for Ashok (Rajkummar Rao) and Pinky (Priyanka Chopra Jonas), two highly influential business magnates. Coming to love his position, a tragic misstep places Balram in the crosshairs of Ashok’s family. Unwilling to serve as a scapegoat, Balram chooses to fight back against the corrupt forces at play. A gripping class-drama akin to Parasite mates with JokerThe White Tiger is one of the greatest dramas you can stream today.

Finding ‘Ohana (2021)

Finding ‘Ohana
Genre Action, Adventure, Comedy
Stars Kea Peahu, Alex Aiono, Lindsay Watson
Directed by Jude Weng
pg 123m
Uprooted from her Brooklyn life, Pilialoha “Pili” Kawena (Kea Peahu) and her family travel to Oahu to care for her ailing grandfather. Initially disappointed by the lack of big-city buzz and activity, they discover a pirate journal that alludes to an ancient treasure buried somewhere on the island. As Pili and her older brother begin their quest for the trove, their journey takes them on a Hawaiian odyssey that connects them with their ancient island heritage. A loving family drama, Finding ‘Ohana is The Goonies meets visually breathtaking Hawaii.

Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Always Be My Maybe
Genre Comedy, Romance
Stars Ali Wong, Randall Park, Keanu Reeves
Directed by Nahnatchka Khan
pg-13 102m
Childhood friends Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park) cross paths as adults, years after a teenage fling, and soon find themselves navigating life and love while maintaining two very different career paths and social circles. She’s a celebrity chef who hangs out with Keanu Reeves and he installs air conditioners. Can they ever find common ground? You probably know the answer to that already, but watching how they get there is where the fun lies — particularly when it comes to Reeves’ memorable performance.

Moonlight (2016)

Genre Drama, Romance
Stars Mahershala Ali, Ashton Sanders, Alex R. Little
Directed by Barry Jenkins
r 111m
2016’s Best Picture winner established Mahershala Ali as a tour de force actor and introduced the world to the brilliant Ashton Sanders. Moonlight attempts to convey the Black experience through three defining chapters of one man’s life. Chiron (Sanders) grows up in Miami, surrounded by a community that is full of love and support despite the crack epidemic that is ravaging it. As Chiron is pulled from his biological family by drug abuse and misunderstanding, he’s guided into manhood by Juan (Ali), a man who recognizes the struggles Chiron will face as a gay Black man. Juan tries to help Chiron find peace with his identity.

The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)

The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Genre Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi
Stars Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Mike Rianda
Directed by Mike Rianda
pg 114m
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the duo that gave us The Lego Movie and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, return for this animated feature about a dysfunctional family that ends up becoming humanity’s last, best hope against a robot uprising. Mike Rianda (Gravity Falls) makes his directorial debut with the film, which also features an impressive voice cast that includes Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Eric Andre, Olivia Colman, Fred Armisen, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Blake Griffin, and Conan O’Brien, among other familiar names (and voices). An early favorite for the year’s best animated feature — and one of the best movies of the year — The Mitchells vs. The Machines has quickly become a surprise hit for Netflix.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

The Trial of the Chicago 7
Genre Drama, History
Stars Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baren Cohen, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Directed by Aaron Sorkin
r 130m
Hollywood stalwart Aaron Sorkin rises to the occasion once more with his blistering interpretation of the 1969 Democratic National Convention trials, where seven Vietnam protestors were charged with crimes well beyond their intent. As peaceful demonstrations turn caustic, prejudice bleeds into testimony and eyewitness accounts of what took place the day of the riots. Featuring performances from Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baren Cohen, Alex Sharp, and John Caroll Lynch, Sorkin’s big-budget historical drama takes liberties here and there, but the result is a spellbinding examination of American history.

My Octopus Teacher (2020)

My Octopus Teacher
Genre Documentary
Stars Craig Foster
Directed by Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed
g 85m
The Academy Award winner in the Best Documentary Feature category at the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony, My Octopus Teacher chronicles the year filmmaker Craig Foster spent free-diving off the South African coast and forging a relationship with a wild octopus he discovered there. In following the octopus’s life and experiences, Foster learns lessons about his own life and relationship to the world around him and his family.

Shadow (2018)

Genre Drama
Directed by Zhang Yimou
Cast Deng Chao, Sun Li, Ryan Cheng
Legendary Chinese director Zhang Yimou followed up his misbegotten The Great Wall with 2018’s Shadow, a beautiful return to form. The film begins when Commander Ziyu (Deng Chao) is defeated in a duel with enemy commander Yang Cang (Hu Jun), losing an important city in the process. This infuriates Ziyu’s king, who demotes Ziyu to commoner status and tries desperately to reclaim the city. Unbeknownst to the king, the actual Ziyu is on the verge of death after the duel, replaced by a body double who must now train to beat Yang Cang. Shadow is a historical epic of grand scope, heavy on intrigue and stylish combat sequences accented by a stark color palette.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Genre Comedy
Stars Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin
Directed by Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
pg 90m
Widely regarded as one of the funniest movies ever made, this parody of Arthurian legend was written and performed by the famous Monty Python comedy troupe and directed by troupe members Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. The film chronicles various elements of King Arthur’s quest to find the Holy Grail and those of his fellow Knights of the Round Table as they encounter one ridiculous scenario after another in pursuit of the relic. If you’ve ever wondered about the airspeed of a swallow, the best ways to determine whether someone is a witch, or how a fuzzy bunny could be the most terrifying creature in the world, well … you might not get all the answers in this film, but you’ll definitely find plenty of laughs.

If Anything Happens I Love You (2020)

If Anything Happens I Love You
Genre Drama, Animation
Directed by Michael Govier, Will McCormack
pg 12m
From writer/director duo Michael Govier and Will McCormack, If Anything Happens explores a world of profound grief in a beautifully illustrated and meditative manner. Navigating the emotional aftermath of one family’s tragic loss, the short animation begins in a dark and near-unforgiving place, but through the power of love and the will to move forward, the film progresses into a place of love, forgiveness, and hope. Not the easiest watch in this roundup, but worthy of attention for its emotional bravery and stellar composition.

Uncut Gems (2019)

Uncut Gems
Genre Drama
Stars Adam Sandler, LaKeith Stanfield, Kevin Garnett
Directed by Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie
r 135m
Uncut Gems is not for the faint-hearted. The Safdie Brothers’ drama about a gambling-addicted jeweler is a relentlessly intense, high-stress ride through the world of high-stakes gambling. Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler) is a charismatic New York City jeweler who is always on the lookout for the next big score. When NBA All-Star Kevin Garnett takes an interest in Howard’s most recent high-value acquisition, believing it brings him luck, Sandler makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime. Unfortunately, not everyone in his life is willing to wait for that windfall. Howard has to perform a precarious balancing act between business, family, debt collectors, and more to get the payoff.

Roma (2018)

Genre Drama
Stars Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
r 148m
Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma opens quietly, the camera staring, motionless, at a tile floor as the credits play; eventually, water pours over the floor, as the sound of a mop spills in from just offscreen. It’s a boldly mundane opening, fitting for a film about an ordinary woman. Roma follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a maid working in the household of a wealthy doctor, Antonio (Fernando Grediaga) and his wife, Sofia (Marina de Tavira). Cleo cleans the house, tends to the children, and keeps the household running as Antonio and Sofia’s marriage strains. Cleo is the type of character typically relegated to the background of stories like this, but Cuaron makes her the focus, depicting her daily labor and struggles with a surprise pregnancy and unreliable lover. It’s a beautiful Netflix film, delicately composed and shot in stark black and white.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2017)

Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Genre Adventure, Comedy
Stars Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rima Te Wiata
Directed by Taika Waititi
pg-13 101m
Based on Barry Crump’s novel Wild Pork and Watercress, Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople stars Sam Neill and Julian Dennison as an unlikely foster-father/foster-child duo. After his adoption by the Faulkner family, Ricky (Dennison) attempts to settle into his new family, but tragic events scare the boy into the dense New Zealand wilderness. Hec (Neill), Ricky’s foster-parent, tracks the boy down but suffers a debilitating injury in the process. Bonding over their pasts and hope for a freer future, the pair decide to hide away in the brush together. But with a national manhunt underway to find the man and boy, how long can their odyssey truly last? Hunt for the Wilderpeople lives and breathes through Neill and Dennison’s onscreen chemistry, an acting partnership only deepened by Waititi’s rich and emotive script.

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