The 250 best Netflix movies to watch during lockdown, according to Rotten Tomatoes
Everyone in the country is stuck playing video games and watching streams right now, and you may be starting to despair of content to consume to ease the boredom. Well, how do 250 movies sound on Netflix? I have to get the most out of this subscription I guess.
Netflix isn’t generally known for its top-notch selection of movies, as many rights to the movies go to other services or stay on-demand where you have to pay for them individually. But they have a fair amount of films and are starting to make some good original films.
The problem with Netflix is that it doesn’t have a rating system for tell you what is good. You see a movie or a show, you have to search for a review or a rating somewhere on Google. This is where Rotten Tomatoes comes in.
RT has sorted the 250 best movies on Netflix right now by their Tomatometer score, in short, an average of what critics are saying. This is useful in deciding what to watch, as you know that at least X number of reviews thought it was good.
You can see the full list here, but I figured I’d at least go into the top 50 to see which gems emerge. I don’t know how RT breaks ties when it comes to movies with similar scores. Maybe the total number of reviews, but I’m not sure. But documentaries to blockbusters, here it is:
50. Undefeated (2012 – 96%) – The story of a downtown Memphis football team that had a murderous season in 2009.
49. The foreigner (1946 – 96%) – Directed by Orson Wells, it’s the story of a runaway Nazi war criminal posing as a professor.
48. Ménaché (2017 – 96%) – A look at the culture of ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jews.
47. The gaze of silence (2015 – 96%) – A poignant story about the Indonesian genocide.
46. Blue Ruin (2014 – 96%) – A classic American revenge story that won multiple awards at Cannes.
45. Atlantic (2019 – 96%) – An original Netflix supernatural romantic drama that was the first film directed by a black woman to go in competition at Cannes.
44. Groundhog Day (1993 – 96%) – The Bill Murray classic that may prove too close to home for those working from home with the same routine every day right now.
43 Goodfellas (1990 – 96%) – The surprisingly good gangster classic by Martin Scorsese.
42. The rosemary baby (1968 – 96%) – The classic horror movie starring Mia Farrow where a satanic cult wants to steal her baby.
41. The Irishman (2019 – 96%) – The original Netflix film Scorsese that was nominated for (and lost) a bunch of Oscars, but is still pretty good.
40. The edge of democracy (2019 – 97%) – A documentary on how a democratic nation can fall into autocracy.
39. The body remembers when the world opened up (2019 – 97%) – Quite a title. Two Native women meet over a brutal event that binds them together.
38. A little princess (1995 – 97%) – Before winning Oscars, Alfonso Cuaron adapted a magical realism novel about a little girl in a strict boarding school.
37. La Bamba (1987 – 97%) – Lou Diamond Philips plays Ritchie Valens, a rock icon of the 1950s.
36. To all the boys I’ve loved before (2018 – 97%) – Netflix’s new new era romance classic with a starring turn for Lana Condor. The rest is not so good.
35. In this corner of the world (2017 – 97%) – A wonderful animated film about what war does to humanity.
34. 13E (2016 – 97%) – A documentary by Ava DuVernay on America’s messy racial history.
33. Aquarius (2016 – 97%) – A festival film about a conflict between promoters and a tenant.
32. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2001 – 97%) – Ang Lee’s martial arts classic that holds up really well today.
31. Muddy (2017 – 97%) – A story about rural South America during World War II.
30. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975 – 97%) – If there’s ever been a time to watch this classic comedy, it’s now.
29. Dolemite is my name (2019 – 97%) – An incredible performance by Eddie Murphy in a Netflix original.
28. Hell or high seas (2016 – 97%) – An underrated western thriller starring Chris Pine and Ben Foster in theaters.
27. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018 – 97%) – One of the best animated or superhero movies of all time. Period.
26. The pastry chef (2018 – 98%) – A German film about a complicated love story and tragedy.
25. Homecoming (2019 – 98%) – A look at Beyonce’s historic performance at Coachella.
24. The land of God (2017 – 98%) – A quiet romance about a lone farmer who meets a man he falls in love with.
23. Don’t think twice (2016 – 98%) – A comedy about an improv troupe that is screened in a television show.
22. My zucchini life (2017 – 98%) – A lovely animated film with a surprisingly deep and sad story attached to it.
21. Once upon a time in the west (1968 – 98%) – An all-time great western from Sergio Leone.
20. moonlight (2016 – 98%) – The winner for best film about the life of a young man as we see him in three different phases of life.
19. Under the shadow (2016 – 99%) – A story about the Iran-Iraq war that works like a heart-wrenching thriller.
18. Jiro sushi dreams (2012 – 99%) – The classic documentary you should watch even if you don’t like sushi.
17. Featured (2014 – 99%) – An incredible UK prison movie starring Ben Mendelsohn before he exploded.
16. A separation (2011 – 99%) – The story of a relationship that dissolves long before having A Marriage Story.
15. Virgo (2014 – 100%) – A story of people who dedicate their lives to protecting the natural wonders of the Congo.
14. Young offenders (2016 – 100%) – A comedic road trip inspired by the true story of Ireland’s biggest cocaine seizure.
13. Democrats (2015 – 100%) – A documentary about the fractured government of Zimbabwe.
12. Anima (2019 – 100%) – A musical short film directed by PT Anderson and tagged by Thom Yorke, who also performs there.
11. Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus (2019 – 100%) – Wait what? I guess people really like Invader Zim.
10. Creep 2 (2017 – 100%) – A rare horror sequel that performs even better than the first.
9. Mercury 13 (2018 – 100%) – A documentary about how sexism held back female astronauts decades ago.
8. Kilo Deux Bravo (2015 – 100%) – The true story of a platoon that must eliminate a Taliban barrage.
7. In pursuit of the coral (2017 – 100%) – A look at coral reefs, a natural wonder.
6. Mr. Roosevelt (2017 – 100%) – A story about a woman and her cat that acts as a metaphor for an entire generation.
5. The strong island (2017 – 100%) – A tragedy represents racial injustice in America.
4. Paris is on fire (1991 – 100%) – A documentary on ’80s transgender culture and the Golden Age of the New York Drag Balls.
3. The square (2013 – 100%) – A documentary on the Egyptian revolution.
2. Howlers (2018 – 100%) – A story about a cult classic film directed by Singaporean women that was stolen by an American collaborator.
1. Bring down the house (2019 – 100%) – A documentary about women Democrats who won unlikely campaigns in the House.
Can you dispute some of the ratings here? I mean, sure, Knock Down the House is probably not the best movie on Netflix. And yes, like you, I haven’t heard a ton of it. But that’s what a list like this is for, to allow you to broaden your horizon to documentaries or foreign films or topics that you could normally engage with. Or I guess you can just watch Goodfellas for the eleventh time, that works too.
My personal picks based on what I’ve seen here are Into the Spider-Verse, Hell or High Water, The Irishman, Blue Ruin, and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. And there’s about 40 here that I haven’t seen, so I have some work to do. Again, you can see the 250 here.
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