Netflix: The Best Movies to Watch Right Now – MovieWeb

Netflix is constantly building their vast library, and while they have tons of masterpieces, these are some of their best movies.
The streaming giant Netflix is constantly amassing an impressive and cutting-edge collection of some of Hollywood’s finest cinematic creations. The platform consistently adds, recycles, and removes a plethora of adored pictures, which is why viewers have to act quickly in order to catch their favorite flicks before a new batch arrives. Regardless of the mood you're in or genre you’re searching for, Netflix has a little of something for everyone. From the best war movies to the most offbeat funny movies, Netflix has it all.
With sequels to adored staples receiving the reboot and sequel treatment, audiences can hop on to Netflix and find the originals in order to get ready for the upcoming flicks. Tom Cruise is returning to his famous role as Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the sequel to 1986’s Top Gun with the upcoming Top Gun:Maverick. Cinema darling Timothée Chalamet will take on the revered role of Willy Wonka in the reboot of the Roald Dahl classic, Wonka. Even the Shrek franchise continues, with the upcoming sequel to Puss in Boots. With so much exciting content preparing to hit theaters, moviegoers should check out the originals that inspired it all. These are the best movies to watch right now on Netflix, with a bit of a focus on catching up with original films.
The film that helped skyrocket leading men Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer to superstardom, the 1986 action drama Top Gun follows the students at the United States Navy’s elite fighter weapons school as they compete to be the top of the class. Cruise famously stars as daredevil pilot and Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, who battles it out against fellow student and rival-turned-wingman “Iceman” (Kilmer) for the prestigious Top Gun Trophy. A sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, will make its worldwide premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, with Cruise and Kilmer reprising their roles from the first film.
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The beloved 2001 animated comedy Shrek features a fantastic voice acting cast including Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz, and centers on the titular ogre who is angered when his swamp is overrun by fairytale creatures that have been banished by the evil and corrupt Lord Farquaad. He makes a deal with the short-but-ruthless leader in order to get his land back, and must go on a journey with the fast-talking Donkey to rescue the lovely Princess Fiona, whom Farquaad wishes to marry. Not only did the success of Shrek help establish Dreamworks Animation as a prime competitor to Pixar in feature film computer animation, but it also led to lucrative follow-up sequels and spin-offs, including the upcoming Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.
Widely regarded as one of the scariest and most important horror movies of all time, the 1973 supernatural horror classic The Exorcist follows the demonic possession of a young girl and depicts her mother’s attempts to rescue her through an exorcism conducted by a pair of Catholic priests. The terrifying picture is based on the William Peter Blatty novel, and features Linda Blair as the demonically disturbed Regan MacNeil, who delivers an iconic and nightmare-inducing performance that would garner critical acclaim.
Moviegoers flocked to see The Exorcist, with many standing in rain, snow and freezing temperatures to do so; crowds gathered out of theaters and some even rioted in order to gain admittance. Reports of strong audience reactions were widespread, with countless viewers fainting and being nauseous. Some theaters were said to have provided Exorcist barf bags” and had ambulances on call during viewings of the shockingly chilling flick.
Silver screen legend Audrey Hepburn brilliantly portrays a poor Cockney flower-seller in the esteemed 1964 musical drama My Fair Lady, and depicts the down-on-her-luck Eliza Doolittle as she accepts a wager from snotty phonetics professor Henry Higgins that he can make her presentable in high society.
Despite headlining the musical, Hepburn’s vocals were actually dubbed by ghost singer Marni Nixon (who also sang for Natalie Wood in West Side Story), much to the chagrin of the renowned actress, who had won an Oscar for singing in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Vocal performances aside, My Fair Lady further established Hepburn as a beloved cinema star and went on to win an impressive eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The dazzling musical remains a staple for fans of the adored Hollywood star as well as the genre itself.
Comedy genius Gene Wilder stars as the titular character in the adaptation of the Roald Dahl children’s novel for the 1971 musical fantasy Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, which tells the story of a poor child named Charlie Bucket who, after finding a Golden Ticket in a chocolate bar, gets swept away to visit Wonka’s famous chocolate factory along with four other lucky children. Things, of course, don't go as they'd imagined.
The sensational picture introduced the hit song “The Candy Man,” and for his exciting and memorable entrance, Wilder came up with the idea of Wonka walking with a limp and cane before doing a flashy somersault to great applause; the comedian said, “From that time on, no one will know if I’m lying or telling the truth.” The spectacular fantasy actually remained in relative obscurity until the ‘80s, where it gained a cult following from television airings and home video sales.lovers of the theater. A remake entitled Wonka starring Timothée Chalamet is set for a theatrical release next year.
Widely described as one of the most distinguished actors of his generation, prominent method actor Daniel Day-Lewis won an Oscar for his role in the 2007 epid period drama There Will Be Blood, in which he portrays a silver miner turned oilman on a ruthless crusade for wealth during Southern California’s oil boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
To embody the role of the money-hungry Daniel Plainview, Day-Lewis studied recordings from the time period to perfect his character’s voice, including the 1948 John Huston Western The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which served as inspiration for director Paul Thomas Anderson. The esteemed actor also read letters from laborers and studied photographs of the time period, while also reading up on oil tycoon Edward Doheny. There Will Be Blood has been regarded as a cinematic masterpiece of the 21st century.
James McTeigue’s 2005 dystopian political action film V for Vendetta is based on the 1988 DC Vertigo Comics and takes place in a future where a fascist totalitarian regime has overpowered the UK. A mysterious masked freedom fighter and anarchist known simply as V attempts to ignite a revolution through detailed terrorist acts, and is aided by the young Evey Hammond.
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The thrilling picture features the talents of Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman and Stephen Rea, and has been viewed by many political groups as a symbol of oppression by the government. Co-creator of the comic David Lloyd is pleased by the cultural impact of V for Vendetta, having said, “The Guy Fawkes mask has now become a common brand and a convenient placard to use in protest against tyranny — and I’m happy with people using it, it seems quite unique, an icon of popular culture being used this way.”
Based on the bestselling novel by famed author Anne Rice, 1994’s gothic horror flick Interview with the Vampire has an impressive A-list cast including Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater, and Kirsten Dunst. The film focuses on vampires Lestat (Cruise) and Louis (Pitt), as the latter tells his arduous life story to a San Francisco reporter in a present-day interview. Rice was infamously not keen on Cruise’s initial casting, saying he was “no more my vampire Lestat than Edward G. Robinson is Rhett Butler,” and that him nabbing the role was “so bizarre; it’s almost impossible to imagine how it’s going to work.”
After seeing the completed film, the author changed her tune and raved about Cruise’s performance as the antihero, and admitted she was wrong. A stand-alone sequel, Queen of the Damned, was released in 2002 and a television adaptation is currently in the works at AMC.
The acclaimed Francis Ford Coppola directed the 1979 cinematic masterpiece Apocalypse Now, which follows a river journey from South Vietnam into Cambodia undertaken by Captain Benjamin L. Willard (portrayed by the terrific Martin Sheen), who is tasked with assassinating a renegade Special Forces Colonel (the superb Marlon Brando). In 2001, the accomplished director released an extended version of the classic with an added 49 minutes of material that had previously been removed from the original’s theatrical release. The Oscar winning drama was honored with the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and is widely considered to be one of the greatest movies ever made.
One of the comedy world’s most hallowed and appreciated pictures of all time, the 1975 British juggernaut Monty Python and the Holy Grail was written and performed by the Monty Python comedy group and is an original story that parodies the legend of King Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail.
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The hilarious and surprisingly low-budget film is full of surreal and silly obstacles King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table must face, such as a Wizard named Tim the Enchanter and a barrage of killer rabbits. Despite contemporary reviews being mixed at the time of its release, Monty Python and the Holy Grail’s reputation has since grown, with the cult classic being praised as one of the greatest comedies ever created.
Innovative mastermind Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight films make up one of cinema’s most lucrative and renowned trilogies ever crafted, and was launched in 2005 with the smash hit Batman Begins. Acting chameleon Christian Bale dons the famous batsuit for the adaptation, which follows the caped crusader as he comes to terms with the death of his parents and trains to protect Gotham City from Ra’s al Ghul and the Scarecrow’s violent chaos.
Batman Begins was a critical and commercial hit, grossing over $370 million at the box office and garnering Oscar nominations. The Los Angeles Times praised the picture and Bale, writing, “With Christian Bale in the title role, this is a film noir Batman, a brooding, disturbing piece of work that starts slowly but ends up crafting a world that just might haunt your dreams.” In 2022, director Matt Reeves teamed up with the gifted Robert Pattinson to create a reboot of the superhero franchise with the box office milestoneThe Batman.
Based on one of “The King of Horror” Stephen King’s more dramatic stories, the 1994 drama The Shawshank Redemption stars Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman as two inmates sentenced to life in prison in Shawshank State Penitentiary. The pair develops a bond over two decades, and the film depicts how they get caught up in a money-laundering operation by the cruel prison warden.
The powerhouse performances of Robbins and Freeman earned praise from critics, as did filmmaker Frank Darabont’s story and direction; The New York Times raved about the picture, writing, “Without a single riot scene or horrific effect, it tells a slow, gentle story of camaraderie and growth, with an ending that abruptly finds poetic justice in what has come before.” The Shawshank Redemption was nominated for seven Academy Awards, the most for a Stephen King adaptation.

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