Last Updated: April 13th
The Netflix name has meant many things during the company’s relatively short existence: a source for DVDs by mail, a pioneer of online streaming, a network responsible for some of the best shows not on TV, as the first half of the phrase that ends “and chill.” It’s never quite evolved, however, into what some have hoped it would, as the source for must see movies, new and old. When it comes to good films, Netflix’s streaming service isn’t close to being what it was at its height as a DVD-by-mail service: a place to watch anything from anywhere and any time. Looking for something new and indie? Netflix probably has you covered. Looking for something beyond that description? The service is hit or miss.
Which isn’t to say there aren’t great films on the streaming service right now. There are. Narrowing them down to just 30 of the best Netflix films wasn’t easy. Nonetheless, here’s a ranked list of the best movies on Netflix streaming no film lover should miss, all of them just a simple click away.
30. The Place Beyond The Pines (2012)
Ryan Gosling reteams with his Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance for an episodic, multi-generational story of crime and consequences in upstate New York. Some sections work better than others, but the cast is terrific throughout and Cianfrance directs with a deep feel for the setting.
29. Moana (2016)
Moana suffered a bit by being released the same year as Disney’s Oscar-winning Zootopia (which is also a fine film, and also available on Netflix). But it more than stands on its own, thanks to its thoughtful coming-of-age story rooted in South Pacific folklore, a fun performance from Dwayne Johnson, and its earworm-y songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Opetaia. (“Consider the coconut…” Just try not finishing that line once you’ve seen the movie.)