Wondering what to watch next on Netflix? Here, we bring you a list of the best films on Netflix UK right now, ranging from action and adventure to thrillers and documentaries. There are so many good films on Netflix, but sometimes it can be too much choice and it's really tricky to search through so we've sifted through the lot to come up with the ultimate list of movies that we think you'll enjoy.
This list is updated every month, but movies are changing on Netflix every day. That might mean that one or two of these movies are no longer available to watch by the time you come to read this article, and some good new films may have emerged. Let us know in the comments section below if your favourite movie is available on Netflix but not included here and we'll endeavour to add it very soon.
Let's get down to business then. Here are the best movies to watch on Netflix in the UK right now.
Bram Stoker's Dracula
It would probably be fair to say that Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 take on the Dracula mythos isn't the finest film that the world's most famous vampire has ever appeared in, but damn if it isn't one of the most stylish. This is worth watching for every single one of Dracula's outlandish looks alone, not to mention Gary Oldman's scenery chewing performance. Just do yourself a favour and fast forward through most of the Keanu Reeves scenes.
Not many films climax with a five-minute sex scene between two stop motion-animated puppets, and even fewer could make that sex scene one of the most genuine and human in years, but then Anomalisa isn’t just any film. Charlie Kaufman’s latest may explore the mundanity of the ordinary, but it is anything but.
The Coen Brothers’ classic black comedy recently inspired an anthology TV show of the same name (also on Netflix, as it happens), and it remains one of their best. The plot - a desperate car salesman hires two criminals to kidnap and ransom his own wife - is great, but it’s the none-more-quaint Minnesota setting that makes Fargo utterly unique.
There are plenty of Woody Allen films on Netflix right now, but Annie Hall is almost certainly his best - and makes a brilliant introduction to his work if you’re new to it. It’s a wall-to-wall barrage of jokes, from high-brow philosophical references to low-brow slapstick and sex jokes, but behind it all there’s some genuine insight into modern relationships.
From Dusk Till Dawn
Written by (and co-starring) Quentin Tarantino and directed by Robert Rodriguez, From Dusk Till Dawn was always going to be a bit nuts. There are vampire strippers, a penis pistol, and holy water guns, and that’s barely scratching the surface. The only part we can’t quite get our heads around is buying that Tarantino and George Clooney are brothers.
Setting aside the excellent Making a Murderer series, Netflix generally punches below its weight when it comes to documentaries. It may not look like it, but Pumping Iron is a notable exception, following a pre-fame Arnold Schwarzenegger as he trains for the 1975 Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe bodybuilding competitions. It’s a great look into a weird sport, and an amazingly candid insight into the actor before he learnt to manage his public image.
Beasts of No Nation
Netflix’s first original film may boast Idris Elba in its cast, but great as he is, he’s not the real star here. That honour belongs to Abraham Attah, the Ghanaian teenager who makes his acting debut here as a young boy dragged into service as a child soldier in a vicious civil war. Unsurprisingly it’s pretty troubling stuff, but it’s undeniably powerful and difficult to forget.
The Shawshank Redemption
Regularly hailed as the best film of all time, Shawshank has become one of those films that you just have to see at some point in your life, even if you feel like you’ve already had most of the plot ruined by other people’s constant references to it. It’s smart, it’s touching, and it has the archetypal wise-old-Morgan-Freeman character. What more could you want?
Under the Shadow
Set in Tehran during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, this Persian-language is that rarest of things: a horror movie that feels genuinely new. That's in part thanks to the relatively novel monster (the shadowy Djinn), partly the setting, and partly the brilliant central performance from Narges Rashidi. It also manages the neat trick of being totally terrifying while shedding hardly a single drop of blood.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
If your only association with New Zealand and the cinema is The Lord of the Rings, you need to watch Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Taika Waititi's weird coming-of-age film in the New Zealand bush (ahem) is as endearing as it is unique. Julian Dennison is unforgettable as the foul-mouther wannabe rapper child who gets thrown into the foster care of Sam Neill's outdoorsman, in the finest double act we can remember.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Hands down the best action film of the last decade, Fury Road is a nitro-powered kick up the arse for an aged franchise that surely no-one thought would ever be so good again. Original director George Miller returned at the age of 67 (!) to shoot this relentless desert chase movie, a labour of love packed with practical effects, gnarly body horror, and cars upon cars upon cars. We really can't praise it enough.
Shaun of the Dead was an infectious, loving tribute to decades of zombie and horror flicks, and the same team (and then some) returned a few years later for Hot Fuzz, which does much the same for action. Massive, over-the-top, silly fights in a sleepy English village, all held together by a deep (and genuine) affection for the likes of Bad Boys 2 and Point Break.
Follow-ups Elysium and Chappie may have disappointed, but District 9 is a great reminder that Neill Blomkamp was once one of the most promising directors in the world. This South African sci-fi makes the most of a modest budget to tell a startling, compelling apartheid allegory, with aliens as the downtrodden 'other'. It's smart, grimy, and upsetting throughout - and still one of the best directorial debuts in years.
This pitch black comedy follows two Irish hitmen laying low in Bruges, Belgium - and none too happy about it. Colin Farrell proves once and for all that he's a lot more than just a pretty face, Brendan Gleeson perfects his withering glare, and it somehow continually finds the funny side of the darkest parts of human nature.
The best horror films tend to have a knack for finding the scary side of the most innocent aspects of our life. That's the approach The Babadook does, turning a kids' picture book character into the creepiest movie monster around. Most importantly, this is the sort of smart horror that's driven by character, and never leaves you quite certain that the monster wasn't in your head all along...
This one comes with a bit of a content warning, as it deals with rape and assault in a way that just about any viewer will find challenging to watch. Still, it's worth it if you can - Isabelle Huppert turns in an astonishing performance in this film, which subverts expectations and somehow finds the black humour in some very unpleasant stuff.
The Breakfast Club
The teen movie to end all teen movies, this '80s classic questions the cliques and in-groups that make up the high school experience, along the way asking we all can't just get along. Witty, fun, and ultimately very sweet, this also has an absolutely unbeatable soundtrack. If you haven't seen it, you owe it to yourself. And if you have seen it, you know just how great it is already.
La La Land
This almost-Best Picture winner may not have taken home Best Picture but that doesn't mean it isn't fantastic. A modern musical with an eye firmly towards the past, La La Land may be driven largely by nostalgia, but it's also refreshingly modern in its attitudes to romance and love - right up to the bittersweet ending.
If you liked La La Land, you might want to check out director Damien Chazelle's previous effort, the incomparable Whiplash. Set in a prestigious New York music school, it's probably the only film that's turned a music teacher into something close to a horror monster. JK Simmons is a nightmare as the demanding band leader who brings his students to breaking point in the pursuit of perfection, all building to the finest closing act of any film in recent memory.
Netflix has plenty of the standard Marvel movies, including some of the best. They're great, but after a while they do start to blend together a bit - which is where Deadpool comes in. Ryan Reynolds' irreverent antihero is rude, crude, and frequently nude in this low(er) superhero movie that skewers the rest of the genre perfectly.