The 25 Best Netflix Movies – February 2017
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 on set schedules or wait 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, here is what we think are the 25 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 an intense “docudrama” with personal accounts from both climbers.
2. St. Vincent
Grumpy retired guy gets involved with neighbors’ lives, with predictably heartwarming results. Yes, St. Vincent is retreading a well-worn formula, but it has Bill Murray so it’s going to be funny. It is easy watching and worth a chortle or two, which is why it’s in this list. Plus, in case you missed it, Bill Murray.
3. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
This is one of the best popular science fiction movies of all time, brought to you by Steven Spielberg at his very best. Long before convincing CGI (ET came out the same year as Tron, for reference), this movie got America to fall in love with an alien who looked like a cross between a worm and a dried pear. Break out some Reese’s Pieces and watch it again (or for the first time).
4. The Longest Day
Long before Saving Private Ryan recreated D-Day for modern audiences, The Longest Day reenacted the pivotal invasion of World War II for the audiences of 1962. John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Henry Fonda, and many other big names lend their powers to this 20th-century war epic.
5. Ip Man
In real life, Ip Man was the martial arts master who first taught Bruce Lee kung fu. In movieland, Ip Man was a Chinese hero who beat the Imperial Japanese army through sheer awesomeness. Historical accuracy is overrated–Ip Man is great fun. A lot of that is due to the star, Donnie Yen, who you might recognize from his role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
6. 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 the Allies win the war. This movie is amazing–just watch it.
7. Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey
Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is an oldie but goodie. This is the movie that brought “awesome” to everyday speech and propelled Keanu Reeves to the bigtime. The continuing adventures of two time-traveling high-school dropouts destined to save the world make for an awesome film even 25 years on.
8. The Secret of Kells
This movie makes the list almost entirely because of its amazing animation. It’s the story of a young Irish monk who wants to paint illuminated manuscripts, and it brings his adventure to life in beautiful, dazzling detail. This is a movie that simply has to be seen.
9. 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, was made by Tim Burton, and is based on a hit Broadway musical, maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise. One of the original revenge stories told with a gothic and musical flair. Another great watch.
Here’s a talking-animal movie that surprised just about everyone with how good it was. It’s the story of a pig who wants to be a sheepdog. His journey is funny and surprisingly touching–in a way that’s more mature than sappy.
Jaws was the movie that made millions scared of the water. Even though the special effects are obvious by modern standards, the storytelling is first class. This was the movie that invented the summer blockbuster, and with good reason.
12. The Invitation
The Invitation is something different. It’s hard to watch, hard to process, and tough to sit through, but 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–I know it did me!
Dope is a nice change of pace from the usual gang movie. It follows a young geek living in Inglewood 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.
14. The Blair Witch Project
A group of film students go into the woods and find themselves in the clutches of something sinister. The original “found footage” horror movie, The Blair Witch Project still manages to terrify better than its imitators.
15. The Shining
The Shining is one of Stephen King’s scariest books, and one of his best movie adaptations too. This movie is a great way to spend those winter days when the snow has you stuck at home–just don’t count on getting any sleep that night.
16. Blue is the Warmest Color
At almost 3 hours long, Blue is the Warmest Color isn’t an easy watch, 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.
17. Finding Vivian Maier
Finding Vivian Maier is about an amazing female photographer who haunted Chicago during the 1950s. This movie was funded by Kickstarter, and documents the fascinating life of an ordinary but reclusive woman.
18. Lucky Number Slevin
Assassins, crime lords, and mistaken identity fuel this funny, violent thriller. This surprising and smart movie also features what might be the coolest Bruce Willis and the evillest Morgan Freeman you’ll ever see.
19. 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. It’s a story of being completely out of your depth but saddling up anyway. A classic.
20. The Big Short
The Big Short is about the housing crash of 2007, and the actions of a select few that brought the economy down. The movie is sometimes angry, sometimes funny, and at all times worth watching.
21. The Princess Bride
There was never an excuse for not seeing this wonderful fantasy comedy, but now that it’s available to stream on Netflix watching this movie is literally mandatory. If you somehow missed this, get your friends together and find out why everyone loves André the Giant, what R.O.U.S. stands for, and what happens if you go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.
22. No Country for Old Men
No Country for Old Men is a modern Western classic, set in the 80’s. Hunter Josh Brolin finds a bag full of money, not knowing that it contains a tracking device. Along comes hit man played by Bond baddie Javier Bardem, trying to track the money down and leave as few witnesses as possible. It’s a dark Cohen Brothers masterpiece.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that the heroine is a talking rabbit–this movie has roots going back to noir detective classics like Chinatown and The Maltese Falcon. Sure, it’s a children’s movie, but it deals with surprisingly adult themes–and beside that, it’s just modern Disney at its best.
24. To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird is another timeless classic, ten years older than The Sting. Gregory Peck plays 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, To Kill a Mockingbird is sobering and thought-provoking even now.
25. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl started out as a shameless plug for a Disney attraction, but turned into brilliant 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.
If you’ve watched all the movies on this list, maybe it’s time to check out the best stuff on Amazon Prime.