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The best movies on Netflix (July 2024): the best Netflix films

The best Netflix movies right now - fantastic movies to stream.

The best movies on Netflix (July 2024): the best Netflix films

Make use of it getting dark early while you can. There are few better excuses for staying in and watching a movie on Netflix than the cold and dark.

We're here to avoid that irritating rifling through Netflix's seemingly endless virtual shelves with a list of our favourite Netflix films.

UPDATE: It has not been the strongest month for new Netflix movie releases, but we have found one new entry for our hall of fame. It's Hit Man, the latest film from Richard Linklater. Glen Powell stars as someone who poses as a hitman in order to help the police force. But it all goes a bit off-the-rails when he falls for a woman who wants to hire him. Hit Man is based on a real-life story, as unlikely as that sounds, and is a zippy and funny watch.

Below you'll find 46 of the top reasons to stay subscribed to Netflix.

We have tried to offer a mix of genres and styles — we're here for a good time as well as some Oscar-bait. However, if you think we've missed out something that definitely deserves a spot on the best Netflix movies hall of fame, drop us a suggestion at the bottom of this article.

Additional reporting: Becca Caddy

NOTE: The following Netflix movies are available in the UK. We have added other regions where we can.

The best movies on Netflix right now

The best movies on Netflix right now

1. Monty Python’s Life of Brian

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You can take your pick of Python movies as both The Holy Grail and The Meaning of Life are also on Netflix but, for us, The Life of Brian is Monty Python’s absurdist masterpiece. The movie caused controversy when first released but that doesn’t really come through now, given the likes of the South Park crew pushing this even further. But what remains is a fantastically funny movie that shows Python in its prime. Lovely stuff.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

2. 12 Years A Slave

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Some movies aren't meant to be enjoyed, but experienced. This is one of these movies. Whatever brutality besets those on the screen, just remember that these events happened in real life. 12 Years A Slave is an astonishing piece of work by director Steve McQueen. It holds a mirror up to a part of US (and British) history that should not be forgotten - watch this movie and we assure you that you won't forget it anytime soon.

More ways to watch: DVD | Blu-ray | HD Digital download

UK only

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The best movies on Netflix right now

3. Spirited Away

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Perhaps the greatest animation ever made (it's certainly the best thing by Studio Ghibli), Spirited Away is a masterclass of emotions. Filled with the supernatural and the wonderful you have some to expect from anime, the movie focuses on Chihiro, a 10-year-old girl who is unhappy about moving house. It turns out, though, her new home is near something called The Land of Spirits. Beautiful stuff.

More ways to watch: DVD | Blu-ray

UK only

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The best movies on Netflix right now

4. The Trial of the Chicago 7

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The Trial of the Chicago 7 is Aaron Sorkin on top form. He writes and directs this true story about the uprising at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. There’s an all-star cast that bolsters the movie but the real star is the dialogue.

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The Dig is fantastic old-school filmmaking. Based on a true story, it tells the tale of one of the most important archeological finds in the UK of all time and the person person whose land in Sutton Hoo is at the centre of it all Edith May Pretty. Carey Mulligan is superb as Pretty (although it does mean that her age is somewhat skewed as a result) and Ralph Fiennes is great as the archeologist hired for the dig.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

6. The Irishman

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"I hear you paint houses?" That line sets the scene for The Irishman, an epic 3.5 hour movie that is everything you want from a Martin Scorsese / Robert DeNiro link-up. This is a film about Frank Sheeran, a hitman and his ties to the mob. It spans decades and while the de-aging doesn't always work, this is a movie that demands to be watched on the biggest screen possible - slightly ironic, given many of you will be giving it a spin on your smartphones first.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

7. Uncut Gems

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One of the most stressful movies you will ever watch, Uncut Gems should come with an anxiety warning. But it is worth it as this is one of the best movies of the year, and some of the best work Adam Sandler has done. The plot is slight: a jeweller tries to pull off something that will make him a whole lot of money - unless it goes wrong and then everything is at stake.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

8. Don't Look Up

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Adam Mckay's satire on environmentalism doesn't hit as hard as it should - boy, we would have loved to have seen someone like Armando Iannucci tackle this one - but there is a lot to like about Don't Look Up. A team of scientists have found that a comet is hurtling to earth and will almost definitely hit the planet. The problem is that the government doesn't want to believe the facts, the general public don't want to believe the facts and everyone is told (literally) 'don't look up'. The all-star cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, are ace and well worth the watch.

UK/US

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The best movies on Netflix right now

9. My Neighbour Totoro

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Studio Ghibli classic My Neighbour Totoro is now on Netflix - and will be one of the first of many new Ghibli movies coming to the streaming platform soon. This 1988 animated movie written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki tells the story of two girls (Satsuki and Mei) who befriend wood spirits.

More ways to watch: DVD | Blu-ray

UK only

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The best movies on Netflix right now

10. Dolemite Is My Name

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It's great to see Eddie Murphy back to his best in this biopic of Rudy Ray Moore, a comedian in the 70s who hits the big time with his rude, crude alter ego - a pimp named Dolemite. Moore made a big-screen version of Dolemite, dipping his toes into the blacksploitation movement at the time but he's also seen as one of the forefathers of rap. This movie brilliantly shows off all of this and more.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

11. The Mitchells Vs The Machines

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From the geniuses behind Gravity Falls, The Mitchells Vs The Machines is a fun, frantic look at what technology is doing to the world and how if you stick together as a family things might well be okay. A great mix of animation and some stellar voice acting makes this one a must watch.

UK/US

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The best movies on Netflix right now

12. The Adam Project

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Not all Netflix original movies work but we have a soft spot for The Adam Project, an old-school family sci-fi movie that gives its own unique twist to time travel. Ryan Reynolds is a fighter pilot who travels back in time to help save the world with his 12 year old self and late father.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

13. News of the World

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No, it isn't about the rise and fall of the British newspaper but News of the Worldis swooping drama focused on a civil war vet that goes from town to town reading the news to people. Along the way he picks up an abandoned girl and tries to get her back to her relatives. Both Tom Hanks and newcomer Helena Zengel are superb, as is director Paul Greengrass' adept eye.

UK only

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The best movies on Netflix right now

14. Marriage Story

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Marriage Story is a devastating but poignant look at a marriage slowly breaking up and the effects it can have when there is a child in the picture. This is Noah Baumbach’s latest, and best, drama and is loosely based on the filmmaker’s own divorce experience. It stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson and is a must watch (but bring some tissues).

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The best movies on Netflix right now

15. All Quiet on the Western Front

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The latest adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s anti-war novel from 1928 is both a technical spectacle and a substantive and serious examination of war — which seems not less prescient now than when it was written. It’s a harrowing indictment of nationalism. All Quiet on the Western Front was directed by Edward Berger, largely known for his work in TV, including episodes of the first series of The Terror (2018).

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Adam Sandler you infuriate us. One minute you are releasing some comedy crap where he has clearly phoned it in. The next minute he is making low-key masterpieces like Hustle. This tale of a down-and-out basketball scout who thinks he has found the next NBA sensation is just brilliant filmmaking - and Sandler is superb in the role.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

17. The Gray Man

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This one needs no introduction. The Gray Man is the most expensive Netflix movie ever made and stars Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans as warring hitmen who are trying to outdo each other after secrets from the CIA are unleashed. It's bombastic and pretty brainless in places but this one is far more fun than the critics make it out to be.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

18. Edge of Tomorrow

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Cage is an army marketing man who finds himself shipped off to the front lines of an alien war. And, unsurprisingly, he is promptly killed. However, he wakes up hours before he's deployed to fight. Edge of Tomorrow is Groundhog Day meets alien-packed action sci-fi. It's an absolute blast, and one of Tome Cruise's best action roles of his career.

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Alfonso Cuarón directed and wrote this fantastic fable about a housekeeper of a middle class family in Mexico City. The movie, shot in stark black and white won Cuarón another Oscar, which is utterly impressive given the non actors who appear in the film. The movie is a semi autobiographical and has more heart in its two hour run time than most of the movies you can watch on Netflix right now.

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RRR is a 3-hour fantasy that is like nothing you have seen before. Packed with very impressive CGI, it's an exhaustive look at 1920's India and two revolutionaries who fight against the British Empire. With fight scenes as epic as any Marvel movie (with an inventiveness that goes beyond), RRR is a jaw-dropping spectacle that needs to be seen. It's worth noting that Netflix has the Hindi version of the movie, which was originally shot in Telugu.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

21. Tick...Tick...Boom!

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An emotional rollercoaster, Tick...Tick...Boom! is the true story of Rent creator Jonathan Larson and his struggle to get a play made that audiences love, all while trying to figure out his own life. It's beautifully told by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Andrew Garfield is utterly mesmerising in the main role. There won't be a dry eye in the house after this one ends.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

22. The White Tiger

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This adaptation of the exceptional novel by Aravind Adiga which won the Man Booker Prize in 2008. The White Tiger centres on Balram Halwai, a village boy who rises from his caste but hides some pretty dark secrets while he does it. As book adaptations go, this is faithful to the text and is a great watch.

UK/US

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The best movies on Netflix right now

23. The Lost Daughter

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You could watch The Lost Daughter with 10 people and all of you will come out with a different interpretation of what happened - as is the brilliance of the movie. Directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal (her debut), it focuses on Olivia Coleman, a college professor who goes on holiday and starts to see similarities in her relationship with her daughter (in the past) with what is happening with another woman in the present. The film isn't afraid to show that unequivocal love doesn't always happen between parents and their children.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

24. Army of the Dead

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God it's brainless, man it's an hour too long, but Army of the Dead is also a fun movie that see Zak Snyder creating an amazing world where the dead have taken over Las Vegas and a group of mercs are flown in to raid a vault of all of its money. Even if you just watch the credit sequence on this one, it's well worth your time.

UK/US

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If you like your sci-fi epic and immersive, you should not miss Dune. It's a twisting tale of a struggle for control over a planet called Arrakis, where a psychedelic drug called spice blows naturally across the dunes of its deserts. This is only the first part of the tale, but serves as an epic adventure in its own right.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

26. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

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This is the film current Spider-Man actor Tom Holland says is the best Spider-Man movie, and he's not even in it. Into the Spider-Verse was praised for its ambitious, mind-bending animation. But it's also just a great and full-hearted story with more of a human bent than most superhero films manage. Different Spider-Man-adjacent heroes from other dimensions have to team up to take on a threat, including, err, Spider-Ham.

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Get Out felt like it ushered in a new era of horror movies, one with a specific sense of social consciousness. It's the first of Jordan Peele's trio of original horror flicks, followed up by Us and Nope. A young black man heads to visit his girlfriend's parents, but something seems off when he realises the house workers are all black folks who seem like they've been transported from the 1950s.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

28. The Sea Beast

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Proving that Netflix can match Disney for animation, The Sea Beast is an epic fantasy based on a time when sea monsters were the norm and brave sea-faring folk would go to war with them. Directed by Chris Williams who has brought us some brilliant Disney movies, including Big Hero 6, this is a family adventure movie that everyone will love

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The best movies on Netflix right now

29. The Killer

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David Fincher is back with another critical smash. The Killer sees a hitman, played by Michael Fassbender, hunt down the people who attacked his partner after a job went wrong. It’s stylish as heck and, as ever, Fassbender is supremely watchable.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

30. Top Gun: Maverick

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Making a sequel to a classic movie with the same actor more than 35 years later shouldn’t work. But it does with Top Gun: Maverick. Is it the Tom Cruise factor? Perhaps, because it’s director Joseph Kosinski’s best film to date. He made Oblivion and Tron: Legacy in the past. Top Gun: Maverick has exceptional action, a real sense of drama and, shock horror, even some believable emotion.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

31. Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio

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Don’t mistake this for Robert Zemeckis’s Pinocchio, also released in 2022. This one is from the mind behind The Shape of Water and Pan’s Labyrinth, Guillermo Del Toro. Stop-motion master director Mark Gustafson co-directs, bringing the actual Pinocchio puppet to life with charm and physicality. War looms over this take on the old tale more than in most Pinocchio adaptations, and it may not be for the youngest of kids. But it’s still a true family hit.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

32. Past Lives

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Director/writer of Past Lives Celine Song's Hollywood entrance has been remarkable. Just a few years ago, she was creating experimental theatre within video game The Sims 4. Now she has an Oscar-nominated movie under her belt. It's a melancholy tale of lost love, partly inspired by her own past. Nora and Hae Sung are reunited after 20 years, forced to wonder what could have been.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

33. Society of the Snow

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A survival movie by J. A. Bayona, director of The Impossible and The Orphanage. It’s a dramatisation of a real story. In 1972, Urugyan air force flight 571 came down over the Andes. Players from a Uruguay rugby team were among the survivors of the crash, but to truly survive this ordeal, greater tests were ahead. It’s a horrific story well-handled in this Spansh language thriller.

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Richard Linklater's Hit Man sees Glen Powell play a fake hitman. He's a professor who poses as a hitman in order to help the police. But he ends up falling for one of his would-be hitman clients. Adria Arjona plays a woman looking to get her husband bumped off. The strange bit - this film is roughly based on a true story. It's sharp and funny.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

35. Pieces of a Woman

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Pieces of a Woman has a central performance by Vanessa Kirby that's nothing short of Oscar worthy. But, be warned, it's not for the faint hearted as she goes through a traumatic pregnancy that's show in a heart-wrenching 23-minute sequence. The rest of the film shows the aftermath of what happens and is a devastating but compelling watch.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

36. Triangle of Sadness

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A bunch of rich people head out into the sea on a luxury yacht. But all their pomp and power is overturned when they run into a storm and all their money isn’t worth so much. Triangle of Sadness is a blunt and outrageous satire from Ruben Östlund, director of 2014’s Force Majeure.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

37. Brian and Charles

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Brian is a man living out in the middle of nowhere in isolation, so he decides to make a robot to keep him company, Charles. The well-spoken robot learns about the world in this rockumentary style films that’s about as charming and quirky as films come. David Earl stars, and wrote the film alongside Chris Hayward, who voices Charles.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

38. Godzilla Minus One

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There have been more than 30 Godzilla films, collating those made in the west and Japan. But 2023's Godzilla Minus One is in contention for the title of the best of the lot, alongside the original. It's a much more human film than those of the Monsterverse, feeling grounded in both its location and society. It's set in the late 1940s and follows a retired Kamikaze pilot who is one of the first people to witness Godzilla in person.

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This charming animated family film packs a strong message of inclusion and acceptance, through an LGBTQ+ theme. However, it's also just an engaging and charming watch. Riz Ahmned voices Ballister Boldheart, a knight accused of a crime he didn't commit. Teenage Nimona enters the scene to attempt to prove his innocence, played by Chloë Grace Moretz.

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If you wish there were more new Studio Ghibli films, don’t miss Suzume. It’s a coming of age tale by Makoto Shinkai, known best for 2016’s Your Name. This is a beautiful film in which our 17-year-old hero Suzume must avert catastrophe when mysterious portals start opening across Japan, causing chaos.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

41. The Favourite

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Olivia Colman plays Queen Anne in The Favourite, a black comedy that is anything but your average period pic. It’s a Yorgos Lanthimos flick, in which a young scullery maid played by Emma Stone makes her way into Queen Anne’s bedchamber. The Favourite is entertaining, unsettling and hugely memorable.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

42. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

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Sadly this is the final film of Chadwick Boseman, who died of cancer in 2020. But what a film it is, based on the play of the same name by August Wilson. Based on the life of Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), an under-appreciated but hugely influential blues singer. The movie is set, mostly. in the confines of a recording studio but its themes of race and racism echo what was happening in 20s America at the time.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

43. Talk to Me

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A group of teens use a creepy hand to communicate with the dead. It sounds like the stuff of a standard low-rent horror movie. But Talk to Me is something else, an unusually grounded and weighty-feeling film with some stand-out performances and writing. It comes from the Philippou brothers, who have been making short films on YouTube for a decade.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

44. I’m Thinking of Ending Things

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Charlie Kaufman movies are always unconventional and brilliant and I’m Thinking of Ending Things is of no exception. The movie is conventional enough in its plot - a woman (Jessie Buckley) spends time with her boyfriend’s family after the weather turns bad. But what ensues is an exploration of the mind and all the complications that come with this.

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A thrill ride through 30s Hollywood, Mank is David Fincher at his finest, offering up a love letter to the movies and using every inventive trick to make you think that you are in that period. At its heart, the movie is about a bed-ridden, rather obstinate, Herman Mankiewicz, the writer of Citizen Kane. Throughout we see the Hollywood system at work, shot with a deft eye that homages the 30s brilliantly. Fincher here is actually directing his late father's script. He doesn't just do it justice, but has created a classic in the process.

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The best movies on Netflix right now

46. Da 5 Bloods

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Spike Lee's latest joint is one of his best movies. Delroy Lindo heads up a fantastic cast, in a film which sees four black army veterans return to Vietnam to find the remains of their squad leader (played by Chadwick Boseman). Shot in differing aspect ratios, with numerous flashbacks, the movie tackles black discontent, both in the Vietnam war and now. Given what's happening in the world at the moment, there is no better time to watch this movie.

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