While Netflix remains far and away the most popular streaming subscription service out there, it's fair to say that their selection of movies isn't quite what it once was. Netflix is opting more and more to focus on their own original content, and while much of that content is good, it doesn't do much for those looking to take in a great movie that Netflix didn't produce.
Reduction in library size aside, Netflix still plays host to some truly great films, ranging all the way from relatively recent superhero adventures to bonafide Oscar-winning classic dramas. Here are the 25 best films on Netflix that you can watch right now.
NOTE: This list is updated regularly - to ensure availability of the movies listed. Also, the list isn't ranked from worst to best, so a lower number is not meant to denote higher quality. It's just a list of 25 great movies.
Last updated: February 3, 2019
Before the list proper, there are some notes to be made. First, Netflix offers a different selection in every country it services, and this list focuses solely on films available to U.S. subscribers. That said, those outside the U.S. are encouraged to still check their country's line-up, as some of these picks may also be available to them. Secondly, these 25 films are available to stream as of this writing. If and when included titles are removed from Netflix, this list will be updated with new selections.
25. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
A feature-film offshoot of the classic sketch comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus, 1975's Monty Python and the Holy Grail is regularly cited as one of the funniest comedies of all time, and is also one of the most influential movies in history. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is the film that launched a thousand memes, and anyone who watches it for the first time on Netflix is likely to come away in awe at how many common pop cultural references they now understand. For those who can't get enough, Monty Pyton's Flying Circus' full run is also available to stream.
24. The Truman Show
While it's now established that comedy icon Jim Carrey can also easily pull off good dramatic acting when called upon to do so, the first film to really open audiences' eyes to Carrey's then-untapped ability was 1998's The Truman Show, now on Netflix. Directed by Peter Weir and rated 94% on RT, The Truman Show in many ways predicted the rise of reality TV culture, featuring a lead character whose life had been unknowingly (to him) broadcast to the masses as entertainment.
23. Pulp Fiction
Director Quentin Tarantino's resume boasts many terrific films, but 1994's Pulp Fiction is still arguably his signature work, decades after it took pop culture by storm. Boasting a star-studded cast of acting greats - John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Tim Roth, Ving Rhames, and more - Pulp Fiction is one of the slickest, coolest crime thrillers to emerge from the 1990s. Chances are most reading this have seen it, but those who haven't owe it to themselves to give it a watch on Netflix.
22. Cape Fear
While the original 1962 version of Cape Fear is generally regarded as a classic, director Martin Scorsese's 1991 new to Netflix remake is often considered just as good, if not better. Robert De Niro stars as Max Cady, a convicted rapist recently released from prison. Instead of celebrating his newfound freedom, Max targets his old lawyer Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte), who purposefully hid evidence that may have gotten his client a less harsh sentence. Jessica Lange also stars as Sam's wife Leigh, with Juliette Lewis playing daughter Danielle. Both De Niro and Lewis earned Oscar nominations for their work. Original Cape Fear stars Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck also make cameos.
While it's sad that director Guillermo Del Toro and star Ron Perlman never got to finish their Hellboy trilogy, there's no reason not to go back and watch their original 2004 effort again on Netflix. Hellboy only did decently at the box office, but was critically acclaimed, and earned a big enough cult fanbase to receive 2008 sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army. The Hellboy franchise will soon be rebooted with David Harbour in the lead role and Neil Marshall behind the camera, but to many, Perlman will be always be Big Red.
One of the most respected crime thrillers of the 90s, Seven has style to spare, and was one of the films to first establish David Fincher as a director be reckoned with. Seven stars Brad Pitt as brash young detective David Mills, who partners up with soon to retire detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) in order to try and catch a serial killer who bases his murders on the seven deadly sins. Holding an 80% score on Rotten Tomatoes and hauling in over $300 million at the box office on a $33 million budget, Seven was both a critical and commercial smash, and deserves to be revisited on Netflix.
Related: 15 Best Serial Killer Movies
19. The Breakfast Club
When it comes to movies about teenagers - or movies set in high schools - there are few names with more weight than writer/director John Hughes. Arguably his greatest creation is 1985's The Breakfast Club, which truly kicked off the "brat pack" era, and is now on Netflix. The premise is simple, five students from different backgrounds are forced to coexist over the course of Saturday detention, and end up learning a lot about themselves and each other along the way. Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, and Anthony Michael Hall star.
18. The Dark Knight
One of the most successful superhero movies of all time - and arguably one of the greatest - director Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight has arrived on Netflix. The late Heath Ledger won an Oscar for his work as chaotic villain The Joker, but he's surrounded by an incredible cast, including Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and of course Christian Bale as Batman. The Dark Knight was a phenomenon back in 2008, but it holds up just as well today, and remains a triumph for Nolan and company.