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Good movies to watch on Netflix: the best cult films

This is what to watch on Netflix.

Good movies to watch on Netflix: the best cult films
08 March 2021

Netflix isn’t just the name of a popular streaming service. It’s entered the vernacular as a byword for relaxing in front of the TV with a glossy box set or a blockbuster movie from yesteryear. Yes, there are lots of prime time viewing on the service, but our best cult movies of Netflix list showcases movies beneath the fold - these are all good movies to watch on Netflix.

UPDATED:We have added ta number of new films to our 'good movies to watch on Netflix' list. Dredd, Anna And The Apocalypse and Colossal are all cult movies that didn't quite set the box office alight but are well worth a watch now that they are on Netflix.

What tends to fall in between the cracks (often courtesy of the service’s less than helpful browsing experience) is all those films that might not have raked in millions or filled column inches over the years, but which still have something special going for them.

We’re talking about films that have built up a cult following, or have simply been forgotten over the years.

Here, then, are 15 top cult classic films that are available to stream right now on Netflix. Watch them now before they get lost in the scramble to ‘Netflix and chill’.

Which of these is your favourite? Upvote to send them to the top of the chart.Next, find out about the best horror films on Netflix

Best cult movies on Netflix

If all you know Robert Pattinson from is the Twilight series and the recent news that he’s set to don the Batman cowl, we urge you to check out Good Time. The handsome young English actor is almost unrecognisable as a desperate low-level criminal scrambling from one poor decision to the next. The whole film has a unique nervous energy to it, backed by a suitably skittish score from Oneohtrix Point Never. But it all hangs on Pattinson’s pitiable, reprehensible Connie Nikas.

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Best cult movies on Netflix

2. Nightcrawler

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Jake Gyllenhaal stars in this brilliantly dark take-down of the modern news media. He plays Louis Bloom, a troublingly ambitious video journalist who starts selling crime footage to a local LA TV network. Riz Ahmed plays the hapless sidekick who is slowly dragged into Bloom’s increasingly amoral world. As the lines between fact and fiction start to blur and these recorders of the news start to make it, things take a turn for the grim.

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Best cult movies on Netflix

3. Prisoners

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Before he did a marvelous job with the Blade Runner sequel and started to piece together Frank Herbert’s epic novel collection Dune, Denis Villeneuve made this cult classic that’s a lesson on suspense. The stars and the acting are A List, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman on board but the story of a missing girl is anything but mainstream. Masterful stuff.

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Best cult movies on Netflix

4. Infernal Affairs

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Ignore the groan-inducing title - Infernal Affairs is a serious piece of filmmaking that combines tense crime thriller, police drama and thrilling action elements. Andrew Lau’s 2002 Hong Kong classic tells the parallel stories of a police office and his opposing triad number, who both go undercover in one another’s organisations. If that premise sounds at all familiar, it’s because Martin Scorsese remade the film as The Departed four years later. For our money, the original’s better.

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Best cult movies on Netflix

5. Annihilation

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Devs may have cemented Alex Garland as the king of sci-fi but you can see the blueprint for the who in his previous work Ex Machina (which is also on Netflix) and Annihilation. The latter was a Netflix exclusive (when it was frowned upon to go straight to Netflix) and is a brutal, beautiful look at monsters and environmental concerns. The cast is sublime, with Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez and Tessa Thompson all starring. But it is its almost wordless, Kubrickian ending that will stay in your brain the most - even if it is all confusing as hell.

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Best cult movies on Netflix

6. Blue Ruin

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Jeremy Saulnier is one of the most underrated directors around. His movie Green Room is more well known and is a blistering, violent tale of revenge. But another blistering, violent tale of revenge is Blue Ruin - where Macon Blair’s Dwight heads back to his hometown to exact some revenge. It’s a slow, intense film, but one that rewards the viewer with a nice dollop of tension.

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Best cult movies on Netflix

7. Would You Rather

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Would You Rather is a delicious horror movie and one that’s criminally underseen. Much like the recent Ready or Not, this is about rich people playing deadly games with the poor - in this instance, it’s a bloody and horrific game of Would You Rather. It’s an inventive and surprisingly funny chiller but don’t watch if you are squeamish about eyes!

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Best cult movies on Netflix

8. Sorry To Bother You

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Don't be fooled thinking this is a typical Hollywood movie, what Boots Riley has created is a nightmarish, Gilliam-esque parable about race and climbing the corporate ladder. It starts of steady and, like all good cult movies, transports you to somewhere you never thought you would end up.

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Best cult movies on Netflix

9. Under The Shadow

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This is one of the best horror movies of recent years. Writer/Director Babak Anvari sets the movie in wartorn 80s Tehran and focuses on a mother and daughter who are spooked by ghostly goings-on in their small apartment. It relies heavily on atmosphere for most of its scares, which means that your heart will be in your mouth for most of it. While the movie is a grim analogy of the horrors of war, it is also punctuated by some beautiful and sweet moments between the mother and daughter, gracefully played by Narges Rashidi and Avin Manshadi.

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Creep is a no-budget horror movie that was made by one of the kings of mumblecore, Mark Duplass, alongside director Patrick Brice. Duplass is a mysterious client who asks a documentary filmmaker (played by Brice) to film videos of him for his unborn son Buddy. What ensues is a, well, creepy horror where nothing is as it seems, with the whole thing pieced together from found footage. Its sequel is equally as good.

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Another movie that didn't quite get the justice it deserved on first release, Dredd is a fun, frantic one-location movie that doesn't go into back story or anything like that - it just ratchets up the tension and the violence. Karl Urban is perfect as Dredd, full of the growl and menace needed for the part

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A big monster is attacking Seoul, South Korea and it turns out that the reason for the destruction might well be a jobless party girl who is heading back to her hometown after failing to make it in New York. As plots go, this is one of the most fun and Anne Hathaway does a great job in this quirky high-concept comedy

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Best cult movies on Netflix

13. Babylon

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Backed by a fantastic reggae soundtrack, Babylon is one of the best movies about London. Released in 1980 it is a burst of politics and racial tension, fantastically acted and a film that has lost none of its controversy some 40 years on.

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14. Anna And The Apocalypse

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A movie that needs to be seen by more people Anna And The Apocalypse is the Christmas zombie musical comedy you never knew you needed. Set in Scotland and filled with blood and belting tunes, this is High School Musical with splattered brains. Great stuff.

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Best cult movies on Netflix

15. The Call

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The Call is a new, Netflix-made thriller and it's an absolute blast. This Korean serial killer saga is a time travelling twisty tale that goes way beyond where you expect it, too. The plot is great: a phone in a house is reconnected and it soon becomes apparent that the women on the other end lived in the house som 20 years ago.

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