Netflix has been something of a cultural phenomenon. Forget Facebook, forget Twitter, Netflix has changed everything. We are no longer tied to cable TV or satellite contracts, no longer have to watch boring shows because of set schedules or wait for three months before a movie hits the DVD store. Now we can have what we want, when we want, how we want.
With that in mind, we have put together what we think are the 20 best Netflix Instant movies you can watch right now. There will definitely be something here you’ll want to see!
In no particular order:
1. Touching the Void
Initially, a movie about rock climbing doesn’t sound all that great but Touching the Void is definitely worth a watch. All goes well with the two climbers until one breaks his leg on the way down. This is a ‘docudrama’ with personal accounts from both climbers. It is better than it sounds too.
2. St. Vincent
Yes St. Vincent is retreading a well-worn formula but it has Bill Murray so it’s going to be funny. Retired grumpy guy gets involved with neighbors lives with predictable results. It is easy watching and worth a chortle or two which is why it’s in this list. Plus, Bill Murray.
3. Saving Private Ryan
Saving Private Ryan is the best war film of all time bar none. It tells the story of group of soldiers tasked with finding the long surviving brother of four siblings killed during the D-Day landings. Well shot, well scripted and well worth watching.
4. In Bruges
In Bruges is a darkly humorous movie about two hit men who have to hide in a motel while the heat dies down. Starring Colin Farrell, this is a movie worthy of Tarantino in terms of turning an ordinary situation into something interesting. The interplay between characters is worth the watch alone.
5. The Imitation Game
The Imitation Game is Benedict Cumberbatch in one of his most compelling roles yet as wartime genius Alan Turing. Turing designed Colossus, the machine that broke the Enigma code and helped us win the war. This movie is amazing, just watch it.
6. Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey
Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is an oldie but goodie. The movie that brought ‘awesome’ to everyday speech and paved the way for Keanu Reeves to hit the bigtime. Two high school dropouts discover a time machine and use it to ace their history test. Awesome film even 25 years on.
7. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a surprising hit but given that it stars Johnny Depp and Alan Rickman and was made by Tim Burton, it shouldn’t be a surprise. One of the original revenge stories told with a gothic and musical flair. Another great watch.
Jaws was the movie that made millions scared of the water. Even though the special effects are obvious by modern standards, the storytelling is still first class. This was the movie that launched the summer blockbuster season and with good reason.
9. The Invitation
The Invitation is something different. It’s hard to watch, hard to process and tough to sit through. Yet it is so worth it. It deals with loss, heartache, wonder and mystery. It’s a thriller that will keep most of you guessing until the final reveal. It know it did me!
Dope is a nice change from the usual gang movie. It deals with a young guy who is a geek living in Inglewood. It follows his story as he tries to climb out of the world he was born into while trying not to get shot. It’s a mild satire that takes a new look at our culture.
Gladiator uses just about every cliché there is but does it with a style and panache that is easy to forgive. A Roman general is betrayed by the new emperor and swears revenge. Some great set piece battles and epic scenery helps overcome massive historical inaccuracies in what is a fine watch.
12. Blue is the Warmest Color
Blue is the Warmest Color isn’t an easy watch at almost 3 hours long but it is a journey. A journey of two lovers as they grow together and then apart. This is one of the few longer movies that won’t have you fidgeting in your chair halfway through and is well worth the investment in time.
13. Finding Vivian Maier
Finding Vivian Maier is about an amazing female photographer who used to haunt Chicago during the 1950s. This movie was funded by Kickstarter and shows a life of being an ordinary but reclusive woman in a fascinating city and documenting it all on film.
14. Beverly Hills Cop
Back when Eddie Murphy was funny, Beverly Hills Cop was the coolest movie around. Slick, well written and amusing, this is one of the all-time greats. A story of being completely out of your depth but saddling up anyway. A classic.
15. The Big Short
The Big Short is all about the crash of 2007 and the actions of a select few that helped bring it down. The movie is sometimes angry, sometimes funny and at all times, worth watching.
16. Erin Brockovich
Erin Brockovich was not only Julia Roberts at her very best it also showed the world that a woman with enough determination can get things done. Based on a true story of injustice, this movie is still inspirational even 16 years after release.
17. No Country for Old Men
No Country for Old Men is a modern Western classic. Set in the 1980s, hunter Josh Brolin finds a bag full of money not knowing that it contains a tracker. Along comes hit man played by Bond baddie Javier Bardem trying to find it. It’s a Cohen Brothers masterpiece.
18. The Sting
The Sting is 43 years old and still going strong. Robert Redford and Paul Newman star in one of the original and best, caper movies. Based in Chicago, the two play the long con on fellow conman Doyle Lonnegan. This movie won 7 Academy Awards. Watch it and you see why.
19. To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird is another timeless classic that is ten years older than The Sting. Gregory Peck is a lawyer who defends an innocent black man accused of raping a white woman. A fairly accurate portrayal of small town America of the time. Sobering and thought-provoking even now.
20. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl is a shameless plug for a Disney attraction but works so well as family entertainment purely because of Johnny Depp. The now famous Captain Jack Sparrow carries the entire movie while Orlando Bloom does his best to keep up.