The Best Feel-Good Movies On Netflix Right Now

Netflix has a host of blockbuster action flicks, prestige dramas, and gut bustlingly funny comedies for you to enjoy, but sometimes, you just want some comfort food in movie form. That’s where these films come in. Funny, savory, a bit sweet — okay, now we’re getting hungry — these classic and modern movies range from teenaged comedies to inspiring true stories to intergalactic buddy cop dramas, but they all have one thing in common: they’re always a fun watch.

Paramount Pictures

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Run Time: 103 min | IMDb: 7.8/10

You can’t think of classic ’80s teen comedies and not include Matthew Broderick’s rebellious school comedy in those musings. Broderick brought Ferris Bueller, a smart-mouthed kid with a flair for the dramatic, to life in this beloved movie that also stars Alan Ruck and Jennifer Grey. Bueller goes to extreme lengths to skip school with his best friend and girlfriend, leading them on an adventure that includes a musical parade in the city and a brush with the law. Being bad never looked so fun.

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Edge of Seventeen (2016)

Run Time: 104 min | IMDb: 7.4/10

Hailee Steinfeld stars in this teenage dramedy about a socially-awkward high school student whose world comes crashing down around her when her best friend begins hooking up with her older, more popular brother. Steinfeld’s Nadine is the cringeworthy loner that so many John Hughes films were built around, but her life becomes even more unbearable when she loses her best friend to her brother and accidentally sexts her crush. What makes this film stand out from the other teenage soap operas currently housed on Netflix is the addition of Woody Harrelson as Nadine’s sarcastic, apathetic teacher, who gives her the worst kind of advice, and Steinfeld’s acting, a perfect blend of comedic intuitiveness and reserved emotion.

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Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018)

Run Time: 117 min | IMDb: 8.5/10

The good news? You no longer have to wonder what all the hype is about when it comes to this Oscar-winning animated comedy. The story follows a young kid named Miles, who becomes the web-slinging hero of his reality, only to cross paths with other iterations of Spider-Man across different dimensions who help him defeat a threat posed to all realities. Mahershala Ali, John Mulaney, and Jake Johnson make up the film’s talented voice cast, but it’s the striking visuals and daring story-telling technique that really serve the film well.

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Warner Bros.

Free Willy (1993)

Run Time: 112 min | IMDb: 5.9/10

We blame this film for making us believe that having a killer whale for a best friend was actually possible. How many children hung around crumbling marine theme parks hoping to bond with a 12,000 lb orca before eventually staging a jailbreak and freeing it back into the wild? Just us? Fine. But this film, about a troubled young boy who finds purpose and friendship with a massive marine animal, will always be a fun watch, no matter how old you get.

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Miracle (2004)

Run Time: 135 min | IMDb: 7.5/10

Everyone knows the story of the 1980 United States men’s hockey team that takes down the Soviet Union during the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. That might be the thing that makes Miracle such a delightful movie: Despite the fact that everyone knows how it ends, it’s still a captivating film, one that keeps you on the edge of your seat by telling the story behind the team that won gold. This is the case even though you know that when the clock hits zero against the Soviets, you’re going to hear Al Michaels give arguably the most famous call in sports history: “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”

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The Orchard

Carrie Pilby (2016)

Run Time: 98 min | IMDb: 6.6/10

Bel Powley stars in this quirky coming-of-age drama about a brilliant young woman struggling to connect with the world around her. Carrie Pilby is smart — like went to Harvard at age 14 smart — but she’s a hermit who would rather read books than interact with the people in her life. Her therapist (Nathan Lane) gives her a list of goals to achieve over the course of a year in the hopes it’ll push her out of her comfort zone. It’s a sweet, no-frills, very funny look at the value of human relationships.

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Men In Black (1997)

Run Time: 98 min | IMDb: 7.3/10

We should all hail the casting genius who threw Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones together in this sci-fi action flick about a police officer who joins a secret government organization in charge of monitoring extraterrestrial activity on Earth. That’s because the two bros — Smith, the wise-cracking rookie, and Jones, the seasoned veteran — have an almost otherworldly kind of chemistry on screen. Watching them bicker like an old married couple is almost more fun than witnessing them take down alien monsters intent upon subjugating our planet.

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Focus Features

Theory of Everything (2014)

Run Time: 123 min | IMDb: 7.7/10

Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones star in this biographical drama about the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife, Jane. The two met at university with Hawking just beginning work on his theory of back holes before he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, which severely limited his motion and ability to speak. Despite the setback, Jane married Stephen, taking care of him and helping him achieve some his greatest feats. The film gives a much-needed look at the woman behind the man, the toll the disease took on their relationship, and the strength of Hawking to persevere in spite of it all.

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Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Releasing

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Run Time: 117 min | IMDb: 8/10

Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith share the screen in this Oscar-nominated tearjerker about a struggling salesman trying to provide for his family. Smith plays Chris Gardner, a man at the end of his rope who’s looking to make a fresh start in a new career. When Gardner’s ex splits, leaving him to take care of their young son, we watch as he attempts to create a better life for them both despite the setbacks and roadblocks put in his path. It’s heavy, emotional work that Smith does here. It’s also some of his best.

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Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Run Time: 101 min | IMDb: 6.8/10

Ali Wong and Randall Park star in this rom-com from Netflix that follows two childhood sweethearts who’ve spent the last 15 years apart and try to reconnect when one moves back home. Wong plays a successful chef opening a new restaurant in San Francisco while Park plays her former best friend still living at home and working for his dad. Both have some growing up to do, but the film eschews classic romcom tropes for bits that are funnier and more poignant than your average lighthearted fare.