Good movies on Netflix that you really need to watch

Braveheart and Power of the Dog
Braveheart and Power of the Dog. Pic credit: Paramount/Netflix

If you’re looking for some really good movies to watch on Netflix but aren’t sure which ones to go for, then don’t worry because we have a simple list of some of the best movies you really need to watch, right here.

Netflix has thousands of movies on its streaming platform, and sometimes it can be a little overwhelming and downright confusing to locate a perfect film.

Many of us suffer from spending hours just trying to decide what film to dedicate our precious time to watch. How many of you have ended up going to bed without having selected anything? We feel your frustration.

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Well, hopefully, this list of outstanding movies will set you on the right track. In no particular order, here are 15 very entertaining watches.

Updated in January 2022: Every month, Netflix adds new movies and drops many others from the streaming service. As a result, many movies we add to the list might end up axed from the site, but the good news is that other great movies come along to take their place.

Every month, we will update this article by removing movies that are no longer available to watch while we add great movies to replace them.

Taxi Driver (1976)

Taxi Driver
Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver. Pic credit: Columbia

Martin Scorsese is one of the most respected voices of ’70s cinema and directed some of the best crime drama movies you will see on Netflix

One of these movies was the brilliant Taxi Driver in 1978, a film that picked up four Oscar nominations but was passed up for all four, including Best Director (Scorsese), Best Actor (Robert De Niro), and Best Supporting Actress (Jodie Foster).

The movie has De Niro starring as a Vietnam vet who takes an interest in a political intern (Sharon Stone) and a teenage prostitute (Foster) and is determined to protect them both at all costs.

The Power of the Dog (2021)

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog
Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog. Pic credit: Netflix

A Netflix original movie hit in 2021 that has a chance to win a lot of awards when the Oscars comes around. This movie is a western drama called The Power of the Dog.

Directed by Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog tells the story of two brothers who meet a young woman who is raising her son alone. The brothers are Benedict Cumberbatch’s older, cruel Phil and Jesse Plemons younger, kind-hearted George.

While Phil tries to break down Rose (Kirsten Dunst), George really cares about her. This all leads to Rose’s son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) coming into the picture to do what he can to save his mother.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Edward Furlong in Terminator 2
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Edward Furlong in Terminator 2. Pic credit: Tri-Star Pictures

After finding success with the sci-fi horror movie Terminator, James Cameron returned to the franchise and directed the sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

While the first movie was a survival horror movie with an unstoppable robot killer trying to murder a young woman to prevent her from having a baby. However, T2 arrived and showed a glimpse of the apocalypse that was coming.

It also moved the focus to more of a sci-fi setting, with the original killer robot now returning to protect the woman’s son and a new robot killer showing up to finish the job the first one couldn’t.

He movie remains one of the best action movies of the 1990s and holds up as the best in the franchise.

Braveheart (1995)

Mel Gibson in Braveheart
Mel Gibson in Braveheart. Pic credit: Paramount

Mel Gibson directed and starred in the historical epic Braveheart in 1995.

The movie told the story of William Wallace, the Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England.

The movie was a massive success, picking up 10 Oscar nominations and winning for Best Picture and Best Director, while Gibson also won Best Director at the Golden Globes.

Body of Lies (2008)

Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe in Body of Lies
Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe in Body of Lies. Pic credit: Warner Bros

Body of Lies came out in the 2000s, a decade full of action thrillers about terrorism.

With Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe as the leads, this movie stands out. Directed by Ridley Scott, this movie looks at the relationship between the United States and the Middle East.

The movie takes a different direction than something like the Bourne Identity, as the protagonist is a conventional agent, and not a rogue agent, but Scott makes the operations feel gritty and grounded.

The acting is all mostly top-notch, from DiCaprio and Crowe to Mark Strong.

Labyrinth (1986)

David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly in Labyrinth
David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly in Labyrinth. Tri-Star Pictures

Jim Henson directed the fantasy movie Labyrinth in 1986 and it has remained a beloved cult classic since that time.

The movie stars Jennifer Connelly as a teenage girl who is stuck babysitting her baby brother. When she wishes the Goblin King would take the baby out of her life, he does.

The girl then sets out in a labyrinth full of dangerous goblins to try to save her brother from David Bowie’s brilliant Goblin King.

A River Runs Through It (1992)

A River Runs Through It
A River Runs Through It. Pic credit: Columbia

Directed by Robert Redford, A River Runs Through It is a 1992 drama movie based on the novel by the same name.

The movie stars Brad Pitt and Craig Sheffer as the sons of a Presbyterian minister, played by Tom Skerritt.

They grew up, one rebellious and one studious, and the movie shows their lives from World War I through the Great Depression.

A River Runs Through It won an Oscar for Best Cinematography and this is the movie that showed a young Brad Pitt’s promise in Hollywood.

Moneyball (2011)

Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in Moneyball. Pic credit: Columbia Pictures

Brad Pitt starred as Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, the man who brought the idea of sabermetrics into Major League Baseball.

This is a true story that showed how a man who managed a team with a limited budget could build a contender by relying on computer stats over what the scouts see with their eyes.

The movie was a huge success for a sports movie, making $110 million worldwide and picking up six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Pitt, and Best Supporting Actor for Jonah Hill.

Dracula (1992)

Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker's Dracula
Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Pic credit: Columbia Pictures

Francis Ford Coppola created his own movie in the world of the classic Universal Monster Dracula. This was Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with Gary Oldman playing the role of the vampire.

While the cast was questionable in some areas, especially with a miscast Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker, the movie was a huge success.

Dracula brought a gothic atmosphere to the story and focused more on that than the actual horror. It ended up winning three Oscars, including one for Makeup and one for Costume Design.

Blade Runner (1982)

Harrison Ford on the Blade Runner poster
Harrison Ford on the Blade Runner poster. Pic credit: Warner Bros

The movie considered the seminal science fiction movie and one of the greatest in film history hit Netflix in September 2021.

Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is on the streaming giant, and it is the Final Cut, adding in what Scott created but the studio edited out in the original release.

Harrison Ford is Deckard, a Blade Runner whose job is to hunt down replicants – androids created to serve humanity. The replicants he is sent to take out are ones that have developed an advanced level of being and consider themselves living beings.

The one he hunts down in this movie is Roy Batty, played by Rutger Hauer, and the entire movie is the template for what smart sci-fi should look like.

Shutter Island (2010)

Shutter Island
Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo in Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island. Pic credit: Paramount

The Martin Scorsese horror-thriller Shutter Island hit Netflix in February 2021, based on the suspense novel by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River).

This movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo as two federal agents sent to Shutter Island, a mental prison, to investigate a patient that disappeared.

This is a movie where nothing is as it seems, and there are deep mysteries to unfold. It is also one of Scorsese’s rare journeys into the horror film genre.

There Will Be Blood (2007)

There Will Be Blood
Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood. Pic credit: Paramount Vantage

Paul Thomas Anderson has created some of the most breathtaking indie-style films of the last three decades, and There Will Be Blood might be his best.

Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Daniel Plainview, an oilman in this loose adaptation of Upton Sinclair’s Oil! Plainview is striking oil at the expense of towns that he leaves dead in his wake in the film.

He meets a young evangelist named Eli (Paul Dano), who tries to stand in his way. What results is a battle of wills where one man must fall.

The film, which can be compared to classic horror movies like Dracula, picked up eight Oscar nominations with Day-Lewis winning Best Actor.

The Irishman (2019)

A shot from The Irishman
Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro were just two of many big names to star in The Irishman. Pic credit: Netflix

And we’re back with Martin Scorcese for his 2019 gangster epic made especially for release on Netflix, The Irishman. This movie runs for a whopping 209 minutes, but it’s worth every second.

Loosely, very loosely, based on the true-life story of the antics of Frank Sheeran, aka The Irishman, a mafia errand boy who managed to get himself involved in the infamous murder/disappearance of Teamster union boss Frank Hoffa.

The movie used groundbreaking age-altering technology to be able to track the lives of the main characters for decades, without having to change actors.

It’s wonderful to see Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro back working together, and throw in Al Pacino as Frank Hoffa… What are you waiting for?

Roma (2018)

Scene from Roma
The movie Roma follows the fortunes and misfortunes of cleaner Cleo in Mexico City. Pic credit: Netflix

Alfonso Cuarón’s beautiful film is set in 1970s Mexico City and revolves around Cleo (played by Yalitza Aparicio), who is a cleaner for a middle-class family. She is no ordinary cleaner as she’s considered almost like a member of the family.

Her employers agree to take her in when she accidentally falls pregnant. The movie follows a year in the life of Cleo as she comes to terms with motherhood and deals with the other major upheavals in her environment.

It is a semi-autobiographical look at Cuarón’s childhood growing up in Mexico City. Roger Ebert described this movie as a “masterful achievement in filmmaking as an empathy machine, a way for us to spend time in a place, in an era, and with characters, we never would otherwise.”

The Oscars agreed with Ebert and gave it three awards.

Uncut Gems (2019)

A shot from Uncut Gems
Adam Sandler plays a New York jeweler in this gritty crime thriller. Pic credit: Netflix

Adam Sandler, as we all know, cut his teeth doing comedy, so it’s rather strange and even a little unsettling to see him starring in this very tense thriller. However, he puts in a fantastic performance.

Written and directed by Josh and Benny Safdie, the script tells the story of Howard Ratner (Sandler), a New York jeweler with a severe gambling problem. As he gets further into trouble, he resorts to doing whatever it takes to stay afloat.

This taut, anxiety-driven film, is one of the best movies of 2019.

Interesting fact, Sandler was nearly choked to death on the set by a couple of extras in a stunt that almost went very wrong indeed.

That’s it, folks, enjoy your Netflix viewing.

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