Last Updated: November 15th
The Netflix name has meant many things, including the best shows not on TV. And while there are some glaring omissions in their selection of good movies, there’s still plenty to peruse. Narrowing them down to just 50 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.
Related: The Best Shows On Netflix Right Now
1. Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Run Time: 115 min | IMDb: 8.5/10
The Indiana Jones franchise has been housed on Amazon Prime for a while now, but it’s finally making its way to Netflix with the streaming platform hosting all four feature films. Of course, nothing beats the original, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and as far as travel and adventure go, this movie has everything you could possibly want. A hero with a love for archeology and whips? Check. An adventure to recover a stolen artifact with destructive powers? Check check. Harrison Ford beating up Nazis while uttering sarcastic one-liners and with a twinkle in his eye? Did movies even exist before this?
2. Schindler’s List (1993)
Run Time: 195 min | IMDb: 8.9/10
In 1993, Steven Spielberg released two movies: The highly entertaining Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List, an adaptation of Thomas Keneally’s fact-based novel Schindler’s Ark, which tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a Nazi officer who actively works to save Jews from concentrations camps. The former again confirmed his reputation as the premier creator of crowd-pleasing Hollywood spectacles. The latter helped cement his status as a director whose artistry extended far beyond the ability to craft blockbusters. Liam Neeson stars as Schindler, and the film’s at once a depiction of his awakening conscience and an unsparing depiction of the Holocaust. Spielberg brings all his filmmaking power to bear on the film, which he was inspired to make in part by the rise of Holocaust deniers and a resurgence of interest in fascism at the time. Where some historical films feel stuck in their time, Schindler’s List remains an urgent act of remembrance that will remain timely as long as power and prejudice combine to make the world unsafe.
3. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Run Time: 154 min | IMDb: 8.9/10
Possibly the most famous of Quentin Tarantino’s masterpieces, Pulp Fiction stars John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, and Uma Thurman spitting out punchy dialogue, pop culture references, and committing some pretty violent crimes along the way. Tarantino’s love of non-linear storytelling is on full display here with three separate plots, all entwined in some way, take shape over the course of the film. Travolta plays Vincent, a hitman for a mob boss who, along with his partner Jules (Jackson), survives a couple of shootouts in the film as the two contemplate their life of crime, escort mob wives across town, help fix boxing matches, and dispose of dead bodies.
4. The Matrix (1999)
Run Time: 136 min | IMDb: 8.7/10
The Wachowskis created one of the greatest sci-fi films in cinematic history with their mind-bending Matrix trilogy, but the original is hard to top. Keanu Reeves plays Neo, a young man unplugged from the matrix — a kind of alternate reality that keeps humans docile, so machines can harvest their life energy. He teams up with a band of rebels fighting the machines (Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus and Carrie-Ann Moss as Trinity) and faces off against a henchman named Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving). The real draw of this trilogy, besides its inventive storyline, is the CGI display. The movie also sports some of the most imaginative fight sequences you’ll ever see on the big screen.
5. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018)
Run Time: 117 min | IMDb: 8.5/10
The Oscar-winning animated film is making its way to Netflix this summer, which means if you didn’t get a chance to see it in theaters, you no longer have to wonder what all the hype is about. 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 serves the film well.
6. The Departed (2006)
Run Time: 151 min | IMDb: 8.5/10
Leonard DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, and Alec Baldwin star in this crime thriller from Martin Scorsese about an undercover cop and a mole in the police department who attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in Boston. DiCaprio plays the good guy (or as close as) with Billy, a disturbed officer playing the part of a criminal to get close to Nicholson’s kingpin, Frank. Damon plays the rat, Sullivan, who serves as a police officer on the force, but really works for Frank. The two unknowingly thwart each other at every turn, playing a thrilling game of cat and mouse before their secrets eventually come out.
7. Rain Man (1988)
Run Time: 173 min | IMDb: 8/10
Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise star in this drama about a playboy conman and his autistic savant brother. Cruise plays Charlie, the rich kid who discovers his dad left him nothing following his death. When he meets Ray, the brother he never knew he had (Hoffman), the two embark on a cross-country road trip to save Charlie’s car import business and rediscover their connection. Cruise is his usual charming self, but Hoffman gives a brilliant turn as a misunderstood genius with quirks that make him endearing, even if they contribute to his otherness and isolation from his family.
8. Roma (2014)
Run Time: 135 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
Oscar-winning writer/director Alfonso Cuaron delivers what may be his most personal film to date. The stunningly-shot black-and-white film is an ode to Cuaron’s childhood and a love letter to the women who raised him. Following the journey of a domestic worker in Mexico City named Cleo, the movie interweaves tales of personal tragedy and triumph amidst a backdrop of political upheaval and unrest.
9. American Psycho (2000)
Run Time: 101 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Christian Bale stars in this horror thriller from director Mary Harron that focuses on a wealthy New York businessman with bloody habits. Bale plays Patrick Bateman, an investment banker seemingly dissatisfied with his life of excess and envious of his successful colleagues. To cope, he entertains psychotic fantasies that see him hacking prostitutes up with chainsaws and torturing his co-workers. It’s an edge-of-your-seat gore fest that leaves you questioning any sense of reality you may have in the end.
10. Mystic River (2003)
Run Time: 138 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, and Tim Robbins star in this heartbreaking drama about a group of high school friends whose lives are shattered following a terrible family tragedy. The men have reunited after years apart after the daughter of one, Jimmy (Penn) is murdered and another member of the group, Dave (Robbins) is suspected of the killing. Sean (Bacon) is a detective investigating the case as the story takes unpredictable, often frustrating twists and turns before revealing the truth of what happened.
11. American History X (1998)
Run Time: 119 | IMDb: 8.5/10
Edward Norton stars in this politically-charged drama about a reformed neo-nazi skinhead hoping to prevent his brother from following in his footsteps. Norton plays Derek, a man who’s anger over his father’s death fuels him to start up a violent racist gang and recruit his brother, Danny, to film their exploits. When Derek goes to prison for killing a man, he changes his ways, enduring violence at the hands of his Aryan brothers while befriending a Black inmate who he works with. Once Derek is free, he goes against his former friends and mentor to get his brother out of the life, a decision that puts his life and his family at risk. It’s a tough watch, one that feels even more relevant now than it did in the ’90s, but Norton is fantastic in it.
12. Ex Machina (2014)
Run Time: 108 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
Alex Garland’s sci-fi thriller breathed new life into the tired A.I. trope when it landed in theaters a few years ago. The film focuses on a naïve young programmer (Domhnall Gleeson), who’s selected amongst a pool of applicants to evaluate a new A.I. life form. The poor kid is whisked away to a remote villa to spend time with the eerily-human-looking robot, Ava (Alicia Vikander), and her eccentric, often cruel creator Nathan (Oscar Isaac), a genius with an ego to match his talent. The film takes some twists you don’t expect, and Isaac gives cinema one of its greatest dance sequences, in case you needed more reason to watch.
13. Black Panther (2018)
Run Time: 134 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Ryan Coogler’s superhero flick revolutionized the Marvel Universe when it landed earlier this year, so it’s only right that we’re given the option to watch it over and over again. The film gives us a fully-realized, otherworldly Wakanda as it follows the trials and tribulations of a newly-minted king, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman). While trying to govern his people and embrace is Black Panther alter-ego, he’s also got to fight off a would-be usurper in Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger, who may just be the best villain the franchise has ever seen.
14. Trainspotting (1996)
Run Time: 93 min | IMDb: 8.1/10
Danny Boyle’s black comedy crime film has become a cult classic and made it on plenty “best movies” lists over the years. Ewan McGregor plays Mark Renton, an unemployed heroin addict, who shares a flat with his equally unimpressive friends, Spud, Sick Boy, Franco, and Tommy. The group parties together constantly, doing drugs, getting into fights, and committing petty crimes before Renton attempts to get clean only to return home to make a drug deal that could set him up with a clean slate. It’s darkly comedic, with some ridiculous twists thrown in, but the core of the story is surprisingly emotional.
15. Room (2015)
Run Time: 118 min | IMDb: 8.2/10
Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay star in this gripping drama about a mother and son held hostage for nearly a decade. The film, based off a work of fiction, pulls elements from real life trauma cases as it follows a woman named Joy (Larson) and her son Jack (Tremblay) who exists in a singular room, cut off from the outside world. The two plot an escape, are eventually rescued and must cope with the effects of their harrowing ordeal while adjusting to life outside of the room. Larson is deserving of every award she won for this thing, and her chemistry with Tremblay will have you grabbing for the tissues throughout the film.
16. Inglorious Basterds (2009)
Run Time: 153 min | IMDb: 8.3/10
Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Christoph Waltz, and Eli Roth star in Quentin Tarantino’s imaginative World War II drama about a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers with a plan to assassinate Hitler. The film flip-flops between Pitt’s Southern-accented Lt. Aldo Raine’s mission to scalp Nazis and blow-up an exclusive event for SS officers in Paris and French actress Melanie Laurent, who plays a theater-owner with a devious plan of her own. It’s full of mesmerizing performances and Tarantino’s unique brand of humor — oh, and a lot of Nazi killing.
17. Lincoln (2012)
Run Time: 150 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Any historical drama with Daniel Day-Lewis starring is going to be worth a watch but Lincoln is Day-Lewis at his best. The actor’s eerily-accurate portrayal of one of the most famous presidents in the history of the United States is powerful and moving, even though everyone already knows the story of Lincoln’s terms in office and his eventual, tragic ending. The film touches on the Civil War, the fight for racial equality, the need to end slavery, and the president’s personal investment in the cause. Lincoln is a master-class in acting and an enthralling history lesson all in one.
18. Boyhood (2014)
Run Time: 165 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
A lot of films can claim to be one of a kind but few can back up that claim like Richard Linklatter’s Boyhood. Shot between 2002 and 2013, it follows the progress of Mason (Ellar Coltrane), a Texas kid being raised by a single mother (Patricia Arquette) and occasionally visited by his absent father (Ethan Hawke). With a few exceptions, the episodic film is short on big dramatic moments, letting a lot of major milestones play out offscreen. Instead it mostly just checks in on Ethan each year, watching as time passes, Ethan’s relationships shift, and the title starts to lose its meaning as adulthood looms. It’s a remarkable, deeply moving film made all the more amazing by how effortless Linklater makes it seem as if we were just being given the privilege of watching a life take shape.
19. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
Run Time: 99 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
The early aughts action-comedy borrows elements from famous Kung Fu films of the ’70s and pairs them with a completely ridiculous plot and some impressive cartoon-style fight sequences to produce a wholly original flick that we guarantee you’ll marvel at. The film follows the exploits of two friends, Sing and Bone, who impersonate gang members in the hopes of joining a gang themselves and inadvertently strike up a gang war that nearly destroys the slums of the city. Of course, the real draw here is the absurdist, over-the-top comedy that takes place during some of the film’s biggest action sequences. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, but only if you check your brain at the door.
20. Jackie Brown (1997)
Run Time: 154 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
After earning acclaim with Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino made his subtlest feature with Jackie Brown, an Elmore Leonard adaptation that the director still makes very much his own. After middle-aged stewardess Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) is picked up by the FBI, she’s pulled between her arms-dealing boss (Samuel L. Jackson), the feds that are after him, and saving her own skin. With an all-star ensemble that includes Robert De Niro and Robert Forster (who earned an Oscar nomination), Jackie Brown is a throwback to the blaxploitation genre, which started in the ’70s, of which Grier was a big part of. It’s a tense, sexy, and desperate story with a wonderful soundtrack to boot.
21. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Run Time: 120min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning martial arts flick defied the odds to become one of the most influential films in the genre, crossing multicultural barriers and introducing audiences to some great talents in the international acting world. The film follows the story of Li Mu Bai, an accomplished Wudang swordsman who retires his legendary weapon only to be pulled back into a battle with his arch-nemesis, a woman who killed his master years earlier and seeks to claim his sword for her own. There’s more happening plot-wise — Bai has a love interest in another skilled warrior, Yu Shu Lien, and they’re both forced to face off against a Wudang prodigy that’s been studying under their enemy — but the real draw here is the perfectly-mapped-out fight sequences, which include just enough special effect to be awe-inducing, but not too much to distract from the beautiful choreography that Lee puts on display.
22. Her (2013)
Run Time: 126 min | IMDb: 8/10
Spike Jonze imagines a world in which Artificial Intelligence can become something more than just a personal assistant program. Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore Twombly, a depressed introvert going through a divorce who starts up a relationship with an OS named Samantha. Things get serious before Theodore begins to realize that romance with an A.I. is more complicated than he thought. What follows is a thoughtful exploration of love, relationships, and the ways human beings find connection in a plugged-in world.
23. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Run Time: 149 min | IMDb: 8.5/10
We’re in the end game now. The Russo brothers return to direct the first of this two-part wrap-up. Josh Brolin plays the ultimate villain, a purple meat-head named Thanos, who’s insistent upon solving the Universe’s over-population problem. The film does a good job of giving fans some long-awaited pairings — Thor meets the Guardians of the Galaxy crew while Tony Stark and Doctor Strange square off — and it manages to fit its enormous, A-list cast into an over two-hour flick that never feels like it’s running too long.
24. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Run Time: 118 | IMDb: 7.7/10
Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro star as a pair of bros on a drug-laden road trip to Las Vegas that may have served as a kind of precursor for those Hangover flicks. Depp is a journalist on his way to the city of sin to cover some kind of racing event. Del Toro is a friend along for the ride. The two experiment with acid, LSD, cocaine, and slew of other psychoactive drugs as they destroy hotel rooms, gamble, and try to buy an orangutan. Yeah, it’s as weird as it sounds.
25. Moonlight (2016)
Run Time: 111 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight will always be remembered for winning the Academy Award for Best Picture after a mix-up that initially named La La Land as the winner. But that’s just an asterisk attached to a momentous coming-of-age story set over three eras in a young man’s life as he grows up in Miami, grappling with the sexuality he feels will make him even more of an outcast while searching for guidance that his drug-addicted mother (Naomie Harris) can’t provide. The film is both lyrical and moving and won justifiable acclaim for its talented cast, including a Best Supporting Actor award for Mahershala Ali as a sympathetic drug dealer.
26. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Run Time: 130 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Before Black Panther became one of the highest grossing films in the Marvel Universe, Chris Hemsworth’s hammer-loving hero gave the superhero franchise a much-needed dose of humor and fun with Thor: Ragnarok. Directed by Taika Waititi, the film follows the Asgardian warrior as he tries to save his home from the brutal reign of his long-lost sister Hela (a wickedly good Cate Blanchett) and fight his way out of off-planet gladiator pits with the help of the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and a Valkyrie played by Tessa Thompson.
27. The King’s Speech (2010)
Run Time: 118 min | IMDb: 8/10
Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter star in this British period flick that follows the impromptu and unexpected ascension of King George VI. Firth plays the king in question, a man thrust into a leadership role while trying to overcome a career-impeding stutter and break free from the shadow of his older brother. Rush plays an Australian speech therapist tasked with helping the king overcome his stutter, and his unorthodox methods cause a stir among the royal household. Firth is terrific as always and watching both him and Rush bounce off each other makes up the best this film has to offer.
28. Taxi Driver (1976)
Run Time: 114 min | IMDb: 8.3/10
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, and Cybill Shepherd star in this Martin Scorsese crime thriller about a veteran with mental health issues who works a night job, driving a taxi around New York City. De Niro plays Travis Bickle, a Vietnam war vet who moonlights as a cap driver to cope with his insomnia. During a long shift, he contemplates assassinating a politician to help out the woman he’s fallen in love with (Shepherd) and killing a pimp after befriending an underage prostitute (Foster). It’s a wild ride, full of darkly comedic moments, and an even more harrowing looks at the consequences of war.
29. Coco (2017)
Run Time: 105 min | IMDb: 8.5/10
Disney continued its trend of spotlighting underserved communities and lesser-known cultures with Coco, a Pixar project that follows a young boy learning the importance of family during a traditional Mexican celebration, “Dia de Los Muertos.” The Day of the Dead is probably a holiday you’ve heard of before, but the film adds a rich history and vibrancy to a time held sacred by so many. Miguel has dreams of becoming a singer but when he finds himself amongst the dead, he must rely on his courage and his ancestors to help him return to the living. Bring your tissues for this one.
30. Panic Room (2002)
Run Time: 112 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart play a mother-daughter duo stuck in a terrifying situation in this dramatic thriller. Foster’s Meg Altman is a recently divorced mother to a diabetic young daughter named Sarah (Stewart). The two move into a new home following the family split but have the most horrific of housewarmings when three men break into their home looking for a hidden fortune, forcing them to lock themselves inside the home’s panic room.
31. Y Tu Mama También (2002)
Run Time: 106 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
After a stint in Hollywood, Alfonso Cuarón returned to Mexico for this story of two privileged high school boys (Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal) who road trip with an older woman (Maribel Verdú) in search of an unspoiled stretch of beach. In the process, they discover freedom like they’d never imagined — and maybe more freedom than they can handle. Cuarón’s stylish film plays out against the backdrop of Mexican political upheaval and plays with notions of upturning the established order on scales both large and small, all the while suggesting that no paradise lasts forever.
32. Mudbound (2017)
Run Time: 134 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Netflix spent much of 2017 trying to establish itself as an alternative to movie theaters as a place to find quality new films. The results were mostly strong, and none stronger than Mudbound, Dee Rees’ story of two families — one white and one black — sharing the same Mississippi land in the years before and after World War II. Rees combines stunning images, compelling storytelling, and the work of a fine cast (that includes Jason Mitchell, Carey Mulligan, Garett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, and Mary J. Blige) to unspool a complex tale about the forces the connect black and white Americans and the slow-to-die injustices that keep them apart.
33. Carrie (1976)
Run Time: 98 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Sissy Spacek’s blood-drenched teen horror flick made high school seem even more terrifying when it landed in theaters in the late ‘70s. The film follows a young girl suffering under the abuse of her religiously-devout mother and being bullied by the more popular kids at school. She has some embarrassing moments — getting her period during swim class — and some tension-filled fights with her mother that begin to unleash her supernatural abilities. Good ol’ mom thinks they’re powers given by the Devil himself, but Carrie decides to use them to exact her vengeance, and it’s as gruesome as you’d hope.
34. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Run Time: 117 min | IMDb: 8.0/10
Matthew McConaughey’s Dallas Buyer Club is a searing look at how the world failed the LGBTQ community during the devastating AIDS crisis. McConaughey stars as Ron Woodruff, a man diagnosed with the disease in the 80s during a time when the illness was still misunderstood and highly stigmatized. Woodruff went against the FDA and the law to smuggle in drugs to help those suffering from the disease, establishing a “Dallas Buyers Club” and fighting in court to the right to aid those in need. The story is all the more powerful because it’s true and McConaughey delivers one of the best performances of his career as Woodruff, a man who changes his entire outlook on life after being dealt a tragic blow.
35. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
Run Time: 152 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
There’s always going to be backlash when a studio decides to revive a beloved franchise and take it in a new direction but The Last Jedi continues to anger space fanboys everywhere and honestly, we’re not sure what their gripe is. Rian Johnson gave us a masterclass in how to take something old and make it new again with his interpretation, injecting a bit of fun and fantasy into the age-old story. Mindblowing Jedi fights, Force connections, Porg, and Artic Foxes, the movie has something for everyone and it challenges both old and new characters alike with interesting arcs and climactic moments. Plus, did we mention Porgs?
36. Blue Is The Warmest Color (2013)
Run Time: 179 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
When this French coming-of-age drama premiere in 2013 it sparked plenty of controversies. The film centers on a blooming romance between a naïve teenager named Adele and her free-spirited lover, Emma. Praised for painting an honest portrait of a lesbian romance on screen while also scrutinized for its sometimes graphic sexual content, the film marked a turning point in how the LGBTQ community was represented on film and gave people a heartbreaking look at a young woman discovering herself and her sexual identity in an unforgiving world.
37. District 9 (2009)
Run Time: 112 min | IMDb: 7.9/10
Neill Blomkamp’s inventive sci-fi alternate reality utilizes the found-footage style of filmmaking to thrilling effect in District 9. After an alien spaceship parks itself over parts of South Africa, the world’s governments decide to put the sick occupants found onboard in an internment camp called District 9. Years later, having used up all their resources and suffered through secret experiments, the aliens are outcast by society, seen as lawbreakers and scum by society. When a company is contracted to relocate the aliens to a new camp, one of its members is infected with alien DNA, setting off a string of events that end up touching on heavier themes of xenophobia, segregation, and the state of humanity as a whole.
38. Rocky (1981)
Run Time: 120 min | IMDb: 8.1/10
One of the greatest sports films of all time, Rocky helped put Sylvester Stallone on the map. Stallone plays a small-time boxer from Philly looking to break out of his working-class background and be a contender. When he gets the rare opportunity to fight in a heavy-weight match against an infamous Russian opponent, Rocky trains harder than ever before, battling against his class, his background, and his self-doubt to go the distance.
39. Frances Ha (2012)
Run Time: 86 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Before Greta Gerwig was directed Oscar-nominated coming-of-age dramas, she was writing and starring in this black-and-white dramedy about a young woman also trying to find her way in the professional dance world of New York City. Gerwig is magnetic in the titular role of Frances, a dancer dissatisfied with her career prospects and forced to contemplate a move to Tribeca on the whim of her best friend and roommate. That trek across Manhattan serves as a jumping off point for Frances, who travels home, then to France, before settling in Washington Heights on her journey to self-discovery.
40. Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Run Time: 118 min | IMDb: 7.1/10
Look, it’s hard to keep track of the Marvel Universe timeline so we’re not going to explain where Ant-Man and the Wasp fits into the grander scheme of this blockbuster monopoly. The only thing you really need to know about this action flick, which sees Paul Rudd returning to play the shrinking superhero and Evangeline Lily playing his partner in fighting crime, is that it’s a hell of a fun watch. Rudd returns to the character more seasoned in the superhero verse and thus, more comfortable with his leading man status, but he benefits greatly from a team-up with Lily and a well-written script.
41. Layer Cake (2004)
Run Time: 105 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
Daniel Craig and Sienna Miller star in this fast-paced crime drama from Matthew Vaughn. Craig plays a London-based drug dealer known simply as XXXX. His plans to retire from crime are interrupted when he’s given two impossible tasks by his boss: to recover a kidnapped woman and to sell some dirty pills stolen from a Serbian war lord. XXXX must navigate betrayals and criminal hierarchies to keep himself and his crew alive.
42. Winter’s Bone (2010)
Run Time: 100 min | IMDb: 7.2/10
A film noir set in the Ozarks of Missouri, Winter’s Bone was the breakthrough role for Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Ree Dolly, a 17-year-old who looks after her family since her father disappeared. With the looming threat of losing her home, Ree goes in search of her missing father, drawing her into a world of distrust and violence. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and though it didn’t take any Oscars home, it did win the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.
43. The Hateful Eight (2015)
Run Time: 167 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
It seems almost perverse to think about watching The Hateful Eight at home, given how big a deal Quentin Tarantino made of its 70mm format at the time of its release. And while it looks great on the big screen it’s not like that’s an option right now. And, in some ways, the film feels just at home on the small screen, since it’s at heart a chamber mystery that brings together a collection of unsavory characters (Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, and Jennifer Jason Leigh among them) as mystery and murder unfold in their ranks.
44. Green Room (2015)
Run Time: 95 min | IMDb: 7/10
When a punk rock group accidentally witnesses the aftermath of a murder, they are forced to fight for their lives by the owner of a Nazi bar (Patrick Stewart) and his team. It’s an extremely brutal and violent story, much like the first two features from director Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin and Murder Party), but this one is made even tenser by its claustrophobic cat-and-cornered-mouse nature. Once the impending danger kicks in, it doesn’t let up until the very end, driven heavily by Stewart playing against type as a harsh, unforgiving, calculating character.
45. Gangs of New York (2002)
Run Time: 167 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonard DiCaprio, and Cameron Diaz star in Martin Scorsese’s historical epic that re-imagines the birth of New York City. DiCaprio plays Amsterdam, an Irish immigrant who returns to the Five Points years following his father’s murder, looking for revenge. To get it, he infiltrates Bill the Butcher’s (Lewis) gang, a group of proud natives tired of the influx of foreigners in their city. Diaz plays a prostitute who forms a relationship with Amsterdam as he befriends Bill, then struggles to follow-through with his plan to kill the man who murdered his father and lead the Five Points in a rebellion against the city’s elite.
46. Heathers (1988)
Run Time: 103 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
At the tail end of a decade of teen films dominated by John Hughes movies came Heathers, which turned Hughes’ observations of high school cliques into black comedy. There’s no Saturday-morning detention long enough to bring peace to the warring factions of Westerburg High, so outsider JD (Christian Slater) decides to expose the underlying hypocrisy with the help of Veronica (Winona Ryder) — but without telling her there will be a corpse or two involved. Though much-imitated, Daniel Waters’ screenplay remains a model of dark wit. It’s still the take-no-prisoners high-school comedy all others want to be.
47. The Fighter (2010)
Run Time: 116 min | IMDb: 7.8/10
Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg star in this boxing drama about a dysfunctional family plagued by trauma. Wahlberg plays Micky, an up-and-coming fighter, a guy struggling to free himself from the shadow of his older brother, a former boxer named Dicky (Bale). Dicky was talented in the ring but fell victim to drug abuse. Amy Adams also stars in this thing, marking just one of many collaborations between her, Bale, and director David O. Russell, but the real draw here is Bale who once again transforms himself for a challenging role that pays off.
48. Burning (2018)
Run Time: 148 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Walking Dead alum Steven Yeun stars this psychological thriller from South Korean filmmaker Lee Chang-dong. Yeun plays Ben, a rich millennial with a mysterious job who connects with a woman named Shin Hae-mi on a trip to Africa. The two journey back home together where Ben meets Shin’s friend/lover Lee Jong-su. The three hang-out regularly, with Lee growing more jealous of Ben’s wealth and privilege while he’s forced to manage his father’s farm when his dad goes to prison. But it’s when Shin disappears, and Lee suspects Ben’s involvement, that things really go off the rails.
49. Hell or High Water (2016)
Run Time: 102 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Chris Pine, Ben Foster, and Jeff Bridges star in this neo-Western crime thriller about a pair of brothers who go on a bank-robbing spree to save their family’s ranch. Pine plays Toby, a down-on-his-luck father struggling to live right under mountains of inherited debt while Foster plays Tanner, his ex-con brother who has a wild streak that often endangers the two men on their jobs. Bridges is the aging sheriff tasked with bringing them to justice but his job is made harder by the locals, who have no love for the bank chain the boys are stealing from. It’s a gritty, unapologetic tale of a forgotten America brought to life by some brilliant performances and an impressive script from Taylor Sheridan.
50. Doubt (2008)
Run Time: 104 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
John Patrick Shanley’s Oscar-nominated drama is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the film’s casting sheet. Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams star in this mystery about a priest’s questionable relationship with one of his Catholic school students and the nun determined to get to the truth. Hoffman plays Father Flynn while Streep plays the strict Sister Aloysius Beauvier, the parish school principal who suspects him of wrongdoing. The story lulls at times, but Streep is magnetic on-screen and lively enough to keep the audience interested.
Recent Changes Through November 2019:
Removed: Little Women, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Groundhog Day, The Sixth Sense
Added: The Matrix, American History X, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, District 9