When it’s time to sit back and relax with a movie, it's a common frustration to find that the film in mind doesn't happen to be available to stream on Netflix. But not being able to find one film doesn't have to mean turning off the TV for the night (heaven forbid!). Instead, rely on reviews and ratings to find some movies that are guaranteed (almost) to be good. Netflix has changed their own rating system, but thankfully, there are plenty of other sites happy to create their own... like IMDB, which was used here to find some of the highest rated movies available to stream on Netflix.
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If anyone ever tries to claim that animated movies are less worthwhile than live-action, ignore them, and go watch Coco on Netflix. This Pixar 3D computer-animated film was among the most loved movies to come out in 2017. It takes us on a journey with Miguel into the Land of the Dead to find his great grandfather and return home. It’s beautifully scored, has a star-studded cast, and of course, is just generally heart-warming and enjoyable. Critics didn’t hold back their praise just because this is a kid’s movie, and neither did IMDb users, who gave it an 8.4
Though not the first to come to mind, the 2016 Dangal captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. A Disney production, the Hindi-language film was based on the real-life story of the Phogat family, amateur wrestlers who aspire to be the first world-class female wrestlers from India. Critically, the film received praise for being raw and honest. Its writing and performances are particularly notable, and it won a variety of awards including sweeping the Filmfare Awards. Not to mention, it was a huge success commercially and broke Box Office records for Indian Films. On IMDb, it scored a very solid 8.5.
8 Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War may just be the biggest thing to happen in cinema in a very long time. Marvel managed to bring together characters across half a dozen franchises, tell a coherent story, and somehow not implode in on itself. It was truly an accomplishment.
That accomplishment translated directly into dollar signs, becoming the highest-grossing movie of 2018. Quite simply, people love this movie, with the die-hard fans seeing it twice – at least. It’s one of those awesome cinematic experiences that people love to watch over and over again. Unsurprisingly, it’s also garnered a high rating, with an 8.5 on IMDb.
7 Raiders of the Lost Ark
This list wouldn’t be complete without an action classic like Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark. It’s the brainchild of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, so the fanfare was bound to be massive. The iconic archeologist first swung into our lives in this film, which featured him searching for the Ark of the Covenant and punching Nazis in the face. It remains one of the best adventure movies ever made, even when put up against today’s FX. It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t love Raiders of the Lost Ark, it’s a pretty reliable crowd pleaser. IMDb has given it 8.5.
6 The Departed
If a crime thriller is more up your alley, look no further. As one of the biggest names in that genre, it’s hardly a surprise that a Martin Scorsese film makes the top-rated list. The Departed centers around the Irish Mob in Boston, and the characters are loosely based on FBI agent John Conolly and Whitney Bulger. Its star-studded cast and excellent directing have earned it a solid place as one of the best crime thrillers of all time. It won four Academy Awards in 2007, including Scorsese’s first win after six previous nominations. On IMDb, it has a rating of 8.5.
5 The Pianist
Biopics have a certain reputation, they come out right before Oscar season, win a bunch of awards, and usually don’t hold a place in the audience’s heart by the next year. The Pianist is different. The film is based on the memoir of composer and Holocaust survivor, Wladyslaw Szpilman. The beautiful true story is a window into the horrific events of the Holocaust. After being nominated for awards around the globes, including the Academy Awards, BAFTA, and Cesars, it was named in BBC’s 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century. IMDb agrees, giving it an 8.5 rating.
Se7en is the cream of the crop when it comes to thrillers. It’s disturbing and pessimistic, but boy does it have style. The film follows David Mills and William Somerset, two detectives who are tracking a serial killer who appears to be inspired by the seven deadly sins from the bible. The constant rain and washed out color palette give it a constant sense of hopelessness and the climactic scene is one of the absolute best. Although not a huge success award-wise, it’s remained one of the top thrillers of all time and is still beloved by many fans. That love has earned it an 8.6.
3 Pulp Fiction
We’ve already hit on a Scorsese film, so it’s only fitting we also get a Tarantino film in here too. Pulp Fiction is one of his most beloved and is one heck of a journey to go on. This would normally be the part where we talk about the plot, but to be honest, does anyone really know what that actually is?
That’s okay because you don’t need to be able to recite the plot of Pulp Fiction in order to love it. Plenty of people do, largely because of the witty humor and unconventional storytelling style. It’s continued to be touted as a masterpiece and is hugely influential to cinema today. On IMDb, it has a rating of 8.9.
2 Schindler’s List
One more Holocaust movie, because sometimes important things are hard. You most certainly know the story behind Schindler’s List. Oskar Schindler was a German businessman who saved the lives of thousands of Jewish refugees by employing them in his factories. Steve Spielberg tells Schindler’s story in an impeccably beautiful black and white film that many call one of the greatest films ever made. The film garnered seven Oscars and is nearly universally beloved and acclaimed. It truly is a rare movie. IMDb holds to that standard, with a score of 8.9.
1 The Dark Knight
The number one spot on our list is yet another superhero movie. The Dark Knight was a turning point for those superhero movies, giving credence to them simply as good works of cinema. Christopher Nolan’s dark interpretation of the iconic Batman series is etched into the collective conscious these days. If you ask most people who their favorite Joker is, Heath Ledger’s performance will probably come up more times than any other. In fact, one of the things that sets The Dark Knight apart is that it feels like Ledger’s Joker is the true star of the film. It’s a modern superhero movie that hit all the right notes with audiences, earning it praise and box office success. He even posthumously won the Academy Award for best supporting actor. On IMDb, it broke the 9.0 rating and becomes the highest rated movie on Netflix.