The 65 Best Movies on Netflix Right Now (January 2022) part 1-Collider.com

BEST MOVIES ON NETFLIX

Our handy, extensive guide is updated weekly with all-new picks.

Trying to find the best movie to watch on Netflix can be a daunting challenge. We’ve all been there. You’ve decided you’re going to watch something. You have the entirety of Netflix at your disposal, including even a pared-down list of films you’ve already bookmarked to watch at a future date. But then there’s the choosing. You’ve gotta find something that fits your mood, or something you and your friend/significant other/couch companion can agree on. You spend hours browsing, and by the time you stumble on something you think maybe is the one, it’s too late, you’re too tired, and indecision has won out.

Never fear, though, because we here at Collider have a guide to help you find the perfect Netflix movies available in the U.S. We’ve thumbed through the library and assembled a list of some of the best films currently available for streaming, from classics to hidden gems to new releases and beyond. This list of the best movies on Netflix is updated weekly with all-new choices, so be sure to return the next time you’re looking for something great to watch.

The Power of the Dog (2021)

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Director/Writer: Jane Campion

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee

Charismatic rancher Phil Burbank inspires fear and awe in those around him. When his brother brings home a new wife and her son, Phil torments them until he finds himself exposed to the possibility of love.

The Power of the Dog is a slow, sly movie that reveals itself to you in subtle, measured glimpses at tenderness that are otherwise caked in grit, cruelty and crudity. Set in 1920s Montana, Jane Campion’s awards contender stars Benedict Cumberbatch, giving one of his best performances yet as Phil Burbank; a gruff and bitter cowboy who takes an immediate disliking to his brother’s (Jesse Plemmons) new wife, Rose (Kirsten Dunst). In turn, her son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) takes a disliking to him, determined to protect his mother, setting the stage for fascinating, subtle power plays and dynamic shifts as the contentious new family attempts to settle in together. As with all Campion films, you can expect exquisite shots and stunning glimpses into small moments of human vulnerability, but The Power of the Dog is also a challenging, often caustic film about tracing the ripples of toxicity. It certainly isn’t your average Neo-western, so don’t go in expecting standoffs our shootouts, but even without those flashy calling cards, The Power of the Dog makes a striking impact that seems to land all in one final blow. – Haleigh Foutch

Watch The Power of the Dog on Netflix

Closer (2004)

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Director: Mike Nichols

Writer: Patrick Marber

Cast: Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen

Directed by the great Mike Nichols with a script by original playwright Patrick Marber, the 2004 romantic drama Closer is both a tender and talky character piece about four desperately lonely people falling in and out of love with each other, and constantly searching for moments of truth in their litany of lies. As the lovers, exes, and enemies in question Julia RobertsJude LawNatalie PortmanClive Owen make for a remarkable ensemble, each as radiant as their characters are repugnant, fully capable of tackling the dialogue-forward demands of Marber’s script and translating its moments of melodramatic flourish into believable and searing vulnerability. Having Nichols behind the camera only enhances the human element amidst the soapy treachery and toxicity, and the fact that Closer feels so emotionally cinematic while retaining so much of its stageplay syntax only further proves what a uniquely empathetic filmmaker he was, and a master of his craft at that. – Haleigh Foutch

Watch Closer on Netflix

Minority Report (2002)

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Director: Steven Spielberg

Writers: Scott Frank and Jon Cohen

Cast: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, and Max von Sydow

There’s no shortage of excellent sci-fi films on Steven Spielberg’s resume – or excellent films in general, for that matter – but for my money, Minority Report is one of his very best. And his most prophetic, as the fairly terrifying surveillance-centric documentary All Light Everywhere reaffirms. Of course, that was on purpose. In creating his exceptional Philip K. Dick adaptation, Spielberg assembled a group of the world’s foremost futurists and scientists to predict what lies ahead, and unfortunately for use, they were fairly on the mark. But it also made for one of the great contemporary sci-fi films, and while there’s much to ponder in the accuracy of Minority Report’s predictions, none of that heaviness translates to the film itself, which is a firecracker of action-packed sci-fi intrigue from start to finish. – Haleigh Foutch

Watch Minority Report on Netflix

Tick, Tick… Boom! (2021)

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Director: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Writers: Jonathan Larson and Steven Levenson

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesús, Joshua Henry, Judith Light, Vanessa Hudgens

Hamilton and In the Heights creator Lin-Manuel Miranda directs the long-awaited film adaptation of RENT creator Johnathan Larson’s Tick, Tick… Boom! The result is an excellent movie musical that’s every bit a love letter to theater itself as much as it is to Larson and his tragic tale of short-lived genius. Which is perhaps what makes Miranda such an exceptional fit for the material in his filmmaking debut, and not just because his every-damned-award-winning musical Hamilton is all about capturing the beauty and tragedy of short-lived genius: the Broadway polymath has also been vocal about how Tick, Tick… Boom! influenced and inspired him as a creator, and he even starred in a production of the show several years ago. Equally at home is Andrew Garfield as Larson himself, showcasing a hell of a singing voice and yet another outstanding performance that will lift you up, rake you through the anxiety of excellence, before absolutely breaking your heart. It’s a beautiful film based on a beautiful piece of writing, and whether you’re a fan of Garfield’s, Miranda’s, Larson’s, or just the theater dahling, it’s a moving testament to those who openly embrace ambition, earnestly love performance, and believe that both give them the power to change lives. – Haleigh Foutch

Watch Tick, Tick… Boom! on Netflix

21 Jump Street (2012)

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Directors: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

Writer: Michael Bacall

Cast: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle, Ice Cube, Ellie Kemper, Jake Johnson

Hamilton and In the Heights creator Lin-Manuel Miranda directs the long-awaited film adaptation of RENT creator Johnathan Larson’s Tick, Tick… Boom! The result is an excellent movie musical that’s every bit a love letter to theater itself as much as it is to Larson and his tragic tale of short-lived genius. Which is perhaps what makes Miranda such an exceptional fit for the material in his filmmaking debut, and not just because his every-damned-award-winning musical Hamilton is all about capturing the beauty and tragedy of short-lived genius: the Broadway polymath has also been vocal about how Tick, Tick… Boom! influenced and inspired him as a creator, and he even starred in a production of the show several years ago. Equally at home is Andrew Garfield as Larson himself, showcasing a hell of a singing voice and yet another outstanding performance that will lift you up, rake you through the anxiety of excellence, before absolutely breaking your heart. It’s a beautiful film based on a beautiful piece of writing, and whether you’re a fan of Garfield’s, Miranda’s, Larson’s, or just the theater dahling, it’s a moving testament to those who openly embrace ambition, earnestly love performance, and believe that both give them the power to change lives. – Haleigh Foutch

Watch 21 Jump Street on Netflix

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

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Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Writer: James V. Hart

Cast: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Richard E. Grant, Cary Elwes, Sadie Frost, Billy Campbell, Tom Waits, Monica Bellucci

Among the most stunning, sumptuous, heck – downright decadent – horror romances ever put on film, Francis Ford Coppola’s take on Dracula is both one of the most faithful to Bram Stoker’s text and one of the most imaginative in its adaptation. Gary Oldman stars as the title blood-sucker, a fearsome warrior turned seductive living dead who sets his sights on Winona Ryder’s Mina, believing her to be the reincarnation of his long-lost love. It’s a technical marvel of a movie, from the striking costumes to the luxurious sets and finely-crafted miniatures Coppola used to bring such a sense of scale and otherworldliness. And it also happens to based on one of the most enduring, enchanting horror stories of all time. – Haleigh Foutch

Watch Bram Stoker’s Dracula on Netflix

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

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Director: Guy Ritchie

Writers: Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram

Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Jude Law, Eric Bana

Arthurian legend gets a full Guy Ritchie makeover in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and it’s some of the most delightful nonsense in recent memory. Charlie Hunnam stars as the reimagined Once and Future King; all snark, swagger, brawling with the boys, the rest of the Ritchie signatures. Reinventing the legendary ruler as a London – nay, Londinium – street kid who discovers a world of magic and begins his journey to the throne, Legend of the Sword never takes itself too seriously and relishes in the kinetic street fights, heightened melodrama of royal affairs, and the world of wild creatures in equal measure. And Daniel Pemberton’s score freaking rips – almost five years later and it’s still on my regular Spotify rotation. There are plenty of dark and dense Arthurian adaptations out there, but if you’re looking for one that lets loose and enjoys the most heightened, fantastical parts of the saga, Legend of the Sword is a blast, and as a longtime defender, I’m thrilled the film is finally having a moment on streaming. – Haleigh Foutch

Watch King Arthur: Legend of the Sword on Netflix

Mars Attacks! (1996)

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Director: Tim Burton

Writer: Jonathan Gems

Cast: Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Natalie Portman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Danny DeVito, Martin Short, Jack Black

A strikingly nihilistic, extremely goofy, and underneath it all, very clever and wickedly enjoyable sci-fi spectacle, Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks! might be the last time the filmmaker did something really, truly weird. And it’s a hoot! A self-righteous cabal of US leaders find themselves up against the universe’s shittiest most bellicose little aliens and everything that ensues is pure pandemonium. Equal parts a send-up of vintage B-movie sci-fi and real-world politics, Mars Attacks! Is as funny as it is mean-spirited, and it’s a movie folks just hated when it first came out. But don’t buy into the bad hype on this one, because it rips, and while cultural sensibilities might not have matched up with the film’s outrageous, campy satire at the time (see also: Starship Troopers), modern audiences might find themselves more ready to laugh along as the bumbling fools in charge to Burton’s chaotic intergalactic creatures of carnage. – Haleigh Foutch

Watch Mars Attacks! on Netflix

Hairspray (2007)

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Director: Adam Shankman

Writer: Leslie Dixon

Cast: Nikki Blonsky, Zac Efron, John Travolta, Michelle Pfieffer, Christopher Walken, James Marsden, Amanda Bynes, Queen Latifah, Brittan Snow, Elijah Kelley, Allison Janney

Inspired by John Waters’ 1988 film of the same name, Adam Shankman’s film adaptation of the Broadway musical Hairspray is a full-on fun time that knows just how to make the best of its cast’s many, many talents. Set in 1962 Baltimore, during the age of integration, the film stars Nikki Blonsky (who made her film acting debut on the film and walked away with a Golden Globe nomination) as Tracy Turnblad, who lands a spot on the Corny Collins Show and learns some tough but sweet life lessons along the way. Blonsky is a force of good energy, and Christopher Walken and John Travolta are impeccably, improbably matched as her loving parents. The ensemble is fabulous across the board, including an oh-so-swoon-worthy Zac Efron as her paramour Link Larkin, and Adam Shankman directs the hell out of the musical numbers, making Hairspray a wall-to-wall blast to watch that will undoubtedly have you tapping your toes. — Haleigh Foutch

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