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The best cult movies on Netflix: stream these now

This is what to watch on Netflix, if you want a cool fix.

The best cult movies on Netflix: stream these now
16 February 2022

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 the best cult movies on Netflix.

UPDATED:We completely redone our best Netflix cult movies list for 2022. In it you will find some old-school oddities, a number of new movies destined to be cult classics and some popular films that have cult written all over them.

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.

Please note: all of these movies are currently available on the UK version of Netflix - please check your region for availability.

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. 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

5. 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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Best cult movies on Netflix

7. Kung Fu Hustle

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With this and Shaolin Soccer, Stephen Chow cemented himself as one of the best directors to come out of Hong Kong in years. Kung Fu Hustle is like one big operatic dance, about an inspiring gangster who's not quite ready to take on the real gangs that are terrorising his town. After this movie, Chow went on to direct the highest grossing Chinese movie of all time, all still with his cult sensibilities in tact.

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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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British director Ken Russell runs rampant with Tommy, a movie musical based on The Who's rock opera. It's a stunning movie that feels like a trip, packed with inventive set pieces and wild imagination this is strange, curious movie that is unlike any other.

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Best cult movies on Netflix

10. The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

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Yorgos Lanthimos is one of the most intriguing filmmakers working in Hollywood right now. While he's now firmly A-list, thanks to The Favourite, here is in in much weirder territory, with a horror movie that will completely unsettle you.

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Best cult movies on Netflix

11. I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore

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Anytime we see a movie with Macon Blair's name attached we will watch it. The indie auteur is a master of left-field moviemaking, whether he is behind the camera or in front of it. I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore is his directorial debut and it's an assured revenge thriller about a nursing assistant (Yellowjackets' Melanie Lynskey) who goes on the hunt for the person who robbed her house.

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One of the very best anime ever made, Akira is a mesmerising movie that revels in cyberpunk and the economic and social issues of Japan at the time it was made. Set in a Tokyo of the future, Akira is about a military experiment gone wrong, one which turns a biker into the ultimate psychic weapon. Despite being made in the 80s, this is still one movie that feels utterly fresh.

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The latest Dune is a near masterpiece on how to adapt a sprawling piece of work. This version, by the legend that is David Lynch, is not. What it is, though, is a curio - what happens when an idiosyncratic filmmaker is given a big budget and told to run wild. It's far from perfect, but a movie that has earned itself cult status as a result.

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Best cult movies on Netflix

14. Crazy Love (Love Is a Dog from Hell)

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If you are looking for the oddest odd film on Netflix, then this is it - so much so, we're surprised it is on the service. Crazy Love (Love Is a Dog from Hell) is a movie based on a number of stories of Charles Bukowski and that means that the film is as booze- and sex-soaked as it can be. This is one of the weirdest coming-of-age stories we've seen, but one that has been critically lauded from the likes of Madonna and Francis-Ford Coppola.

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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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