Netflix: 36 of the absolute best movies to watch
Netflix has a bulging library of movies and as , it becomes an exercise of sifting through the best of the bunch.
To cut time, you’ll find highlights of new content below, as well as CNET’s full list of best movie Originals on Netflix.
What’s new this week (Nov. 15 to 21)
A couple of major movies this week.
- American Pie: Reunion (2012) — Fourth movie in the comedy franchise, starring Jason Biggs and Eugene Levy.
- The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star (2021) — Netflix Original rom-com starring Vanessa Hudgens.
- Tick, Tick… Boom! (2021) — Musical drama from Lin-Manuel Miranda in his directorial debut. Stars Andrew Garfield as Jonathan Larson, the composer behind Rent.
The full list of best Netflix Original movies
At time of writing, these films all score at least 70 on Metacritic.
Vampires vs. the Bronx (2020)
Vampires vs. the Bronx is a unique comedy-horror in more ways than one. Set in the New York borough of the Bronx, it follows young Miguel Martinez, a big-hearted kid helping to raise money for his struggling local bodega before it’s forced to sell. But it’s not just new designer clothing stores threatening to move in: Creepy pale neck-chompers are eating up people and their properties. A commentary on gentrification with goofy charm, twists and thrills, Vampires vs. the Bronx is a fresh, entertaining spin on the genre.
His House (2020)
His House is a horror flick that hits close to home. Revealing its supernatural evils through a harrowing human story, it follows Bol and Rial, a refugee couple from Sudan, who struggle to adapt to their new life in an English town. Don’t expect straightforward jump scares — His House plays into the psychological specters of the past, adding even more corridors of torment. A heartrending, powerful piece.
One of the more successful Stephen King adaptations, this horror drama based on the novella 1922 is a slow-burn with a mesermizing performance at its core. Thomas Jane, who you’ll also know from Boogie Nights and 2004’s The Punisher, gives one of his career best performances as the ever proud Wilfred James, a farmer who makes the totally wise decision to murder his wife with the help of their teenage son. The consequences are harrowing on multiple levels (if you don’t like rats, you really won’t like them after this).
Gerald’s Game (2017)
If you liked The Haunting of Hill House, then check out Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of Stephen King novel Gerald’s Game. Carla Gugino is immense as Jessie, who goes on holiday with her husband at an isolated lake house in Alabama. Largely sticking to a bedroom setting, we see the couple’s troubles go from bad to worse, with Jessie ending up in the impossible situation of being handcuffed to the bed with no one to help her escape. Gerald’s Game leads to narratively and emotionally satisfying conclusions, with Flanagan’s melancholy-suffused horror that surges into quiet triumph for its haunted characters.
Tennis-playing buddies Michael (Mark Duplass) and Andy (Ray Romano) receive devastating news: Michael has terminal stomach cancer. Struggling to let go of his dying friend, Andy joins Michael’s road trip in search of medication to end things before they get too painful. Folding comedy into melancholy, Paddleton eases the touching friendship at its core into deftly-affecting places.
Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
Eddie Murphy returned from his acting break with a glorious performance as Rudy Ray Moore, a comedian who played a character called Dolemite in stand-up routines and blaxploitation films from the ’70s. Dolemite Is My Name follows Moore from his job at a record store to the big screen. Tracking Moore’s rise to fame and its bizarre and enthralling turns, Dolemite Is My Name does justice to both Moore’s and Murphy’s talents.
Private Life (2018)
Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn starring in a comedy-drama with something to say about modern marriage? Private Life…