On the search for a good movie? Here, we bring you a list of the best films on Netflix UK right now, ranging from action and adventure to thrillers and documentaries. There are so many good films on Netflix, but sometimes it can be too much choice and it’s really tricky to search through, so we’ve sifted through the lot to come up with the ultimate list of movies that we think you’ll enjoy.
If you’re looking for TV shows to watch on Netflix UK, check out our best TV shows on Netflix article, and our list of what’s coming to Netflix this month. Our tips on how to navigate Netflix will help too.
This list is updated every month, but movies are changing on Netflix every day. That might mean that one or two of these movies are no longer available to watch by the time you come to read this article, and some good new films may have emerged.
Let’s get down to business then. Here are the best movies to watch on Netflix in the UK right now.
From Dusk Till Dawn
Written by (and co-starring) Quentin Tarantino and directed by Robert Rodriguez, From Dusk Till Dawn was always going to be a bit nuts. There are vampire strippers, a penis pistol, and holy water guns, and that’s barely scratching the surface. The only part we can’t quite get our heads around is buying that Tarantino and George Clooney are brothers.
There’s a whole ton of Studio Ghibli films out now on Netflix, and one of the most beloved is Spirited Away – having received numerous accolades, including sixteenth place on the ‘best films of the 21st century’ list. The film follows young Chihiro, who must save her parents from being turned into beasts forever.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
You may be sceptical, seeing Colin Firth in the shoes of a James Bond-esque character, but don’t let that put you off. Kingsman has a mix of kickass fight sequences, a heartfelt commentary on the British class system, and dollops of laugh-out-loud humour throughout. Matthew Vaughn carves a niche in the action genre with this flick, and though the plot does ask you to suspend your disbelief quite a lot, you’ll still be along for the ride.
Beasts of No Nation
Netflix’s first original film may boast Idris Elba in its cast, but great as he is, he’s not the real star here. That honour belongs to Abraham Attah, the Ghanaian teenager who makes his acting debut here as a young boy dragged into service as a child soldier in a vicious civil war. Unsurprisingly it’s pretty troubling stuff, but it’s undeniably powerful and difficult to forget.
Under the Shadow
Set in Tehran during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, this Persian-language is that rarest of things: a horror movie that feels genuinely new. That’s in part thanks to the relatively novel monster (the shadowy Djinn), partly the setting, and partly the brilliant central performance from Narges Rashidi. It also manages the neat trick of being totally terrifying while shedding hardly a single drop of blood.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
This film is like marmite, and whether you enjoy it will all depend on if you’re a Eurovision nut or not. Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams play an Icelandic singing duo who dream of making their Eurovision win a reality. With cameos from actual contestants of the competition, to commentary from Graham Norton and catchy songs, its the euro trash we’ve always wanted.
Strap yourselves in for an emotional grilling with Marriage Story, as over the course of a few hours we see the gradual process of a divorce unfold, turning more toxic and ugly over time. It shows the complexity of how a relationship breaks down, and how the legal elements of separation conflict with the emotions of the couple. It’s not the easiest watch, but it’s certainly enlightening, and rather heartbreaking.
Kindergarten Cop is Arnie in his peak, with just the right balance of action, comedy and heartfelt moments. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays police officer John Kimble who gets more than he bargained for when he has to go undercover as a kindergarten teacher to catch a notorious drug lord whilst keeping one of the children safe.
This smart sci-fi film from director Alex Garland (of the also excellent Ex Machina) got a cinema release in the US, but went straight to Netflix here in the UK. Don’t take that as a bad sign though: it’s not that Annihilation is bad, but simply that studio Paramount worried its mix of trippy visuals, dark horror, and loose plot wouldn’t convert to big box office returns. This isn’t an easy watch, but trust us, it’s worth it.
Anima is something a little different: this 15-minute short is essentially an extended music video. However, it’s an extended music video starring Thom Yorke for three songs from his album Anima, and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Turn the volume up and settle in for a surreal, dystopian dance that would be the perfect warm-up for a meatier movie.
The Big Short
The initial description of The Big Short is slightly off-putting – as it’s a film about the 2008 economic crash that was triggered by the housing market bubble. But trust us, it’ll leave you mind blown – especially when you’re aware that all of the plot points are based on true events. Combining Adam McKay distinct film making style, a stellar cast lineup with Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt and whole host of celebrity guests, this is an Oscar winner not to be missed.
Monty Python’s Life of Brian
This Monty Python classic re-tells the story of Jesus of Nazareth from the perspective of Brian – who’s not the Messiah, just a very naughty boy. As silly as it is satirical, the film pokes fun at religious and historical figures alike in that special, surreal way that only the best of Monty Python ever could.
This sprawling story of, well, boyhood, was filmed across years as Richard Linklater revisited his cast at key points over a couple of decades in order to chart the changes in his fictional family’s life through the genuine physical changes of his cast. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette are unsurprisingly brilliant, but the film’s real winner is Ellar Coltrane, the central boy who fortunately grew up to be a great actor along the way.
The Cabin in the Woods
A young Chris Hemsworth stars in this ingenious horror comedy from the mind of Joss Whedon, which gleefully subverts every trope in the genre. Five teenagers go on a trip to an isolated cabin the woods, creepiness ensues, but nothing is at all as it seems. This is a love letter to the horror genre that will work best if you’ve seen the films it references, but is strong (and scary, and funny) enough to stand up in its own right.
The Breakfast Club
What makes The Breakfast Club so interesting is that it’s just 97 minutes worth of character exploration. Five high school students – each from a different clique – are put together in a room for an all-day detention. Over the day, they confront each other about their differences, and explore how they stereotype one another in society. Plus, as it’s an eighties classic you also get a big dance break and makeover scene, which is always fun.
Looking for a psychological thriller that will leave you questioning everyone around you? Gone Girl is disturbing, gripping, shocking and a whole lot more. Based on the bestselling Gillian Flynn novel, Gone Girl explores the mystery of the disappearance of Amy Elliott Dunne (Rosamund Pike), with her husband Nick (Ben Affleck) becoming the prime suspect for the crime.
Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened
This Netflix original documentary follows the horrendous production woes – and post-production arrests – that dogged Fyre Festival, here dubbed the greatest party that never happened. From co-founder Ja Rule to a pilot who taught himself on Microsoft Flight Simulator, this is a tour de force of incompetence.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
This Western anthology from the Coen Brothers tells six distinct, unconnected stories in the old West. Don’t look out for character connections – there aren’t any – but instead follow the ebb and flow of theme, as the directors explore mortality, kindness, and the futility of existence across these utterly distinct, utterly memorable tales.
Dumplin’ brings a new spin to the traditional all-American beauty pageant – showcasing how we should be celebrating all bodies of various shapes and sizes, rather than the ‘ideal look’ that has been perpetuated for so long. Add that in with Jennifer Anniston and a Dolly Parton soundtrack, and you’ve got the perfect film for a cozy night in.
The Night Comes for Us
If you liked Indonesian martial arts epic The Raid but thought it could be just a little more violent, then The Night Comes for Us may be for you. The Raid’s star Iko Uwais returns – though in a supporting role this time around – and the martial arts action is just as impressive, but now backed up by enough gore to make The Evil Dead blush.
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