Photo via Moonrise Kingdom

We guarantee you’ll find something to add to your Netflix queue.

We know the feeling: You’re tired after work and all you want to do is relax and watch a good movie on Netflix. But you have no idea where to start or even what you’re in the mood for. That’s why we’ve curated guides for the best movies on Netflix for nearly every genre we could think of: horror, comedy, indie flicks, rom-coms, serial killers, anime, kids movies, nature documentaries, movies based on true stories, standup specials, TV shows, thrillers, 4k movies and TV shows,

We’ve combined the blurbs from some of those lists and written quite a few more to create this ultimate guide to what to watch on Netflix. We’ll be updating this list monthly, so you can rest assured that if you see something you like here, you can quickly add it to your queue.

The 101 best movies on Netflix

1) Boyhood

best movies on netflix: Boyhood Screengrab via Boyhood/Netflix

There’s not a lot to say about Boyhood that hasn’t already been said. It’s a masterpiece, an experience unlike any other, and one of the best movies of the century so far. Champion of the understated, director Richard Linklater casually follows the life of Mason (Ellar Coltrane) from childhood to college, checking in with his actors as they aged over a 12-year shooting process. In the Linklater way, eschewing grand, life-changing moments in favor of the everyday business of just living, the film becomes extraordinary in its ordinariness. This is one person’s story, and the beauty in it is that the narrative never focuses on anything other than that person becoming himself—which is, of course, both one of the most ordinary and the most beautiful things anyone can ever achieve. To say that Boyhood works only as an experiment would be shortsighted. It works as a complete and profound work of art on its own, too. —Chris Ostendorf

2) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Best Moves on Netflix: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Screengrab via Netflix

This film will resonate with anyone who’s wished they could just erase an ex from their memory, which sort of erases the “romantic comedy” part of it. Still, director Michel Gondry’s 2004 film is affecting more than a decade later for its portrayal of the gray depths of a breakup and balances the more depressing moments with surreal dream sequences and visually stunning flashes that show the beginnings of a relationship. —Audra Schroeder

3) E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

what to watch on Netflix: ET Screengrab via Netflix

Deciding whether to watch E.T. or not is one of the easier Netflix choices you can make. You see it and you click play, right? For most adults that reaction is automatic, and now is as good a time as any to bring the next generation into the fold. Steven Spielberg’s classic holds up astonishingly well, and the idea of bonding with a stranger and helping others is always timely. E.T. is the kind of movie that will endure for as long as watching movies is a thing, and almost 40 years after its release, the joy you get in sharing the movie with the next generation nearly exceeds the pleasure you get from watching it. Almost. -Eddie Strait

4) Chasing Amy

Best movies on Netflix: Chasing Amy Screengrab via Movieclips/YouTube (Fair Use)

Chasing Amy is so much better than every other movie Kevin Smith has ever made that it must have been the result of accidentally getting hit by lightning. A never-better Ben Affleck (yes, even better than in Gone Girl) plays Holden, a comic book artist who develops an attraction to fellow illustrator Amy (Joey Lauren Adams). There’s just one little problem. She’s a lesbian.

Smith’s film has a lot on its mind—from the blurred boundaries between friendships to the mutability of sexuality—but at its core it acknowledges a simple truth: Love is hell. Salon’s Charles Taylor wrote that it depicts romance as a kind of “emotional anarchy”—one that nearly ends in an ill-advised threesome between Amy, Holden, and Banky (Jason Lee), who is struggling to come to terms with his sexuality. But it’s not without its hard-earned rewards. The film’s bittersweet finale is one of the most powerful and honest I’ve ever seen on film. —Nico Lang 

5) Blazing Saddles

best movies on netflix: Blazing Saddles Photo via Rolling Stone

It’s often said that Mel Brooks’ searing 1974 satire couldn’t get made today. But would you really want it to be? Part of the charm of Blazing Saddles is that it feels at once dated and timeless. It’s both a product of 1974 and an enduring send-up of the way race is portrayed in cinema. With the help of talent including stars Gene Wilder and Cleavon Little, writer Richard Pryor, and many, many more, Mel Brooks crafted his masterpiece with this bawdy, ludicrous, razor-sharp critique of the American western. —C.O.

6) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

best movies on netflix: Ferris Bueller's Day Off Photo via Netflix

Between fan theories, Super Bowl commercials, and a 30th anniversary party courtesy of the city of Chicago, in over three decades Ferris Bueller has yet to take a day off from being a pop culture fixation. Ferris’s pure, joyous narcissism contrasted with Cameron’s hangdog self-consciousness creates a cinematic equilibrium that is boundlessly relatable. For most of us, Ferris is who we’d like to be but Cameron is who we are. It doesn’t matter whether you identify with Ferris, Cameron, or even Jeanie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off continues to be John Hughes’ most accessible masterpiece.Michelle Jaworksi

7) Jurassic Park

Best movies on Netflix: Screenshot via Vidsplode/YouTube

Jurassic Park may not be Spielberg’s best film, but is it possibly his most Spielberg film? One could look at offerings like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws (which just left Netflix,) or E.T. (still available for the moment,) as other potential encapsulations of what he does best, but I would argue that Jurassic Park is where he reached the zenith of populist craftsmanship he’s known and loved for. No one else could make a giant blockbuster about dinosaurs both so thrilling and so human (a fact made sadly evident by 2015’s disappointing Jurassic World). As soon as that John Williams’ score swells and you get the first glimpse of that  Brachiosaurus, you’ll remember all over again why Spielberg remains America’s favorite director. —C.O.

8) The Graduate

best movies on Netflix: The Graduate Photo via Wikipedia

Aside from its propulsion of the MILF concept into the modern zeitgeist, The Graduate sports one of cinema’s greatest tragic romances. In its third act, The Graduate really throws you for a loop: The last leg of the film is a testament to the Grand Gesture, as Dustin Hoffman drives his red sports coupe across the country to stop the wedding of his former lover’s daughter, and to proclaim his love to her. But it’s not that simple, either. —Jam Kotenko

9) Good Will Hunting

best movies on netflix: Good Will Hunting Photo via Miramax Films

“It’s not your fault.” Ouch, right? Even if you’re tired of looking at the smug face of Matt Damon’s Will Hunting, even if the obnoxious mass of Boston accents has started to get to you, even if the movie’s general earnestness drives you crazy, by the time Good Will Hunting arrives at that one scene, even the hardest and most cynical hearts will also start to melt. Among Good Will Hunting’s considerable powers are Gus Van Sant’s deft but subtle direction and Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s Oscar-winning script. But it’s Robin Williams’ crushing performance, for which he also received the Academy award, that makes the movie worth revisiting. The late Williams showed he could tone his more over-the-top antics way down in this, his most acclaimed role. The result is breathtaking and the one element of the movie most likely to make you shed a tear or two (or many.) —C.O.

10) The Shining

best movies on youtube: The Shining Photo via Warner Bros

Stephen King’s award-winning novel differs quite a bit from Stanley Kubrick’s vision of it in film, but both are horror tales that will stick with you long after they’re over. Kubrick’s take is considered a visionary masterpiece to this day, loaded with incredible performances. A young Jack Nicholson is a standout as Jack Torrance, an alcoholic writer fighting for sanity in a deserted hotel with his family in the dead of winter. —Colette Bennett

11) Spotlight

Best movies on Netflix: Spotlight Screengrab via Movieclips Coming Soon/YouTube

Spotlight is a drama of the old-school model, bringing into comparison gems such as All the President’s Men. It follows the Boston Globe‘s Spotlight team as it exposes the numerous cases of child abuse and molestation by clergymen covered up by the Catholic church in Boston. The Boston Globe went on to win a Pulitzer Prize for their efforts, and the scandal ran so deep that the Archbishop of Boston was forced to step down. If you care about journalism, it’s a must-watch. —Clara Wang

12) Sunset Boulevard

Best movies on Netflix: Sunset Boulevard Screengrab via Paramount Movies/YouTube

Sunset Boulevard is both a swan song to the age of silent films and a love story. Silent film star Norma (Gloria Swanson) is wasting away in the era of talkies. She spends her days screening her old movies and being waited on by her former husband Max Von Mayerling (Erich von Stronheim), who was once the greatest silent film director of his time and is now just Norma’s butler. When Joe, a failed screenwriter (William Holden) half her age stumbles into Norma’s life, she begins to fall in love and offers him a job. The sordid sequence of events that follow turn Sunset Boulevard into a fascinating and bleak tale of lost stardom and the perils of unconditional love. —Amrita Khalid

13) Boogie Nights

Best movies on Netflix: Boogie Nights Screengrab via Movieclips Trailer Vault/YouTube (Fair Use)

Several Paul Thomas Anderson films from this century (There Will Be Blood, The Master) are so routinely referred to as masterpieces that one can almost forget he had a career before the year 2000. But not only was Anderson as a much a product of the ‘90s indie explosion as fellow auteurs like Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson, he debatably made the best film out of all of them with 1997’s Boogie Nights.

Only his second film, Boogie Nights is a sprawling, multifaceted depiction of the porn industry in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. The rise and fall (and sort of rise?) of Dirk Diggler proved to be a coming-out moment for star Mark Wahlberg too, not to mention a brief redemption for Oscar-nominated supporting actor Burt Reynolds, working alongside many of Anderson’s usual players, who all give career highlight performances. The music, the setting, the acting, the story, Boogie Nights is an American story unlike any other. Saying it’s “that movie about porn” isn’t entirely inaccurate, but it doesn’t do the film justice either. —C.O.

14) Finding Dory

best pixar movies: finding dory Disney Pixar

If Pixar has lost a little bit of speed on its fastball post-Toy Story 3, Finding Dory is a wily veteran learning how to get by with the offspeed stuff. Dory (voiced by an ever-enthusiastic Ellen Degeneres) goes on her own adventure after getting lost. Dory leans on humor more than its predecessor, aided by great vocal performances from Ed O’Neill, Idris Elba, Kaitlin Olson, and a slew of stars that would make Dreamworks envious. But it doesn’t lack for emotion either, as we expect from the best of Pixar. At its heart, Dory is a story about coping mental illness, and it does right by the material. —E.S.

15) Amélie

Best movies on Netflix: Amelie Screengrab via Miramax/YouTube (Fair Use)

Jean-Pierre Jeunet 2001 film made Audrey Tautou a star, and it’s easy to see why. As the title character, she finds joy in bringing joy to others, quietly pulling strings around Paris to brighten the lives of strangers. She’s not a matchmaker; Amélie’s goal is something bigger. But then she stumbles upon Nino, a man with a similar goal. —A.S.

16) Blue Is the Warmest Color

Best movies on Netflix: Blue is the Warmest Color Screengrab via Movieclips/YouTube (Fair Use)

Steeped in controversy upon its release (and for good reason,) Blue Is the Warmest Color is nevertheless a nearly unparalleled achievement in 21st-century filmmaking. Discussions about male gaze and directorial ethics are sure to follow many people’s viewing, but we also don’t get many epic, three-hour lesbian love stories. There are elements of Blue Is the Warmest Color that still feel essential, if for no other reason than that we need more of what the film gets right, even while needing less of what it gets wrong. And of course, there are the performances from lead actresses Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos, who rightfully became the first actors ever to be awarded the Palme d’Or when the film premiered at Cannes. Playing the two halves of young couple Emma and Adèle, Blue Is the Warmest Color’s leading ladies are both so good, it’s not just that they have created an indelible cinematic love story—it’s as if they’ve reinvented the cinematic love story itself. —C.O.

17) Animal House

Best movies on Netflix: Animal House Screengrab via Movieclips/YouTube (Fair Use)

Is its depiction of frat life less endearing in 2017? Yup. Have a million John Belushi posters and shirts diminished the movie’s legacy? Definitely. Is Animal House, in general, a bit of a relic of its time? Probably. But the biggest question yet: Is the film still funny, to which the answer remains a resounding yes. From John Landis, Harold Ramis, and the other early geniuses of the National Lampoon, this 1978 send-up of college culture set the template for a thousand imitators to follow. Most of them aren’t nearly as good. This is the type of movie so specifically famous, you’ll recognize certain scenes (“To-ga! To-ga!) even if you’ve never seen in all the way through. —C.O.

18) Beasts of No Nation

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Netflix’s first foray into prestige cinema, at least in terms of narrative filmmaking, was this child soldier drama from 2015. Upon its release, Beasts of No Nation immediately declared that in addition to giving you daily doses of ‘90s nostalgia, the streaming giant was committed to socially engaged stories too. Directed by True Detective’s Cary Joji Fukunaga and starring Idris Elba in what should’ve been an Oscar-nominated performance, this is an intense watch but also a rewarding one. If nothing else, it’ll make you aware of how few depictions of Africa we really see onscreen, and how much that needs to be corrected. —C.O.

19) Babe

Best movies on Netflix: Babe Screengrab via Movieclips/YouTube (Fair Use)

Nominated for Best Picture and co-written by Mad Max’s George Miller (who went on to direct the movie’s sequel, Babe: Pig in the City,) people forget too often that Babe is more than the cute pig movie. It’s also a poignant, deeply moving, and occasionally harrowing story about finding compassion in unexpected places and the unlikely triumph of a group of underdogs (and one under-pig.)  Even today, it’s still hard not to tear up when Farmer Hoggett tells Babe, “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.” —C.O.

20) Moonrise Kingdom

Best movies on Netflix: Moonrise Kingdom Screengrab via Movieclips Trailers/YouTube

If you’ve ever seen a Wes Anderson movie before, you know what to expect here. It’s quirky, it’s got snappy dialog, the images are rendered with painterly precision. But what separates Moonrise Kingdom from his other work is its depiction of childhood. Leads Sam and Suzy are not precocious or pandering, and their relationship is nuanced and honest, despite the usual Andersony quirks. Just as he humanized high schoolers in Rushmore, Anderson again proves he has more respect for young people than most Hollywood filmmakers here. -C.O.

21) No Country For Old Men

Best Movies on Netflix: No Country for Old Men Screengrab via Movieclips Trailer Vault/YouTube

We meet killer Anton Chigurh within the first two minutes of No Country For Old Men, the Coen brothers’ adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s 2005 novel. The first murder we witness sets off a domino effect across West Texas, as dirty money, small-town law enforcement, and a dead-eyed killer engage in a deadly dance. -A.S.

22) Once Upon a Time in the West

Best movies on Netflix: Once Upon a Time in the West Screengrab via Danios12345/YouTube

Sometimes, if you want an artistic, cinematic interpretation of how the West was won, you need to watch a movie that was shot in Spain by an Italian director. That director, of course, is the famous Sergio Leone. He did his research, extensively, on the railroad game during the era of the Wild West for Once Upon a Time (and also on the Civil War for the film proceeding it, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), which means that, aside from the dramatic gun duels (and the dramatic, well… everything), the film doubles as both a beautiful slice of Americana art and a history lesson. Yes, the film is an Italian production, but it nails the soul and legend of the Western frontier better than any American production ever has. -J.K.

23) Pulp Fiction

Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 film leaves you with more questions than answers, but it defined an era through pop-culture pastiche. Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Bruce Willis, and Uma Thurman all have star turns in the film, which is full of F-bombs and imminently quotable lines. —A.S.

24) Mulholland Drive

David Lynch’s 2001 film is about Hollywood dreams, but it also exists in its own dream space, bringing us under covers and through doors into an alternate reality. Mulholland Drive was supposed to be a continuation of Twin Peaks, and it took a long road to becoming a feature. But the hallmarks of the series are there: the blonde (Naomi Watts) and brunette Rita (Laura Harring) dynamic, ominous figures, and subconscious imagery. Billy Ray Cyrus makes a cameo, and it features a scene that will make you never want to go near a dumpster again. —A.S.

25) Forrest Gump

Best movies on Netflix: Forrest Gump Screengrab via Paramount Movies/YouTube (Fair Use)

The quotable lines, the history, the Tom Hanks of it all, Forrest Gump gets pretty sentimental. The movie gets pretty dark in some moments too, but was there ever a film so emotionally manipulative? Ultimately, you’re either the kind of person that gives into Gump’s sentimentality wholesale, or you’re the kind who prefers to avoid it altogether. And if you are in the former category, you have to admit that there are few films that provide such an effective mix of tragic, comic, joyful, inspirational, and yes, sad moments as Forrest Gump. When a movie can manipulate your emotions this effectively, does it matter if you realize they’re being manipulated? I think not. —C.O.

26) Hot Fuzz

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Edgar Wright fans might debate which entry in the Cornetto trilogy was his best. The fan favorite remains the slacker zombie spoof Shaun of the Dead, but I vastly prefer Hot Fuzz, Wright’s second entry in the saga starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. A deft send-up of Michael Bay movies and buddy-cop flicks, Hot Fuzz is at its best when it gets downright weird in its inspired third act. The British comedians—who, this time around, play mismatched police officers—go Rambo on a stuffy British village that may or may not be a front for a cult. —N.L.

27) The Road

This is a bleak, devastating film, with no real sweet spot. If that appeals to you, then The Roadadapted from Cormac McCarthy’s novel of the same nameis a solid look at humanity in upheaval. Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee play a father and son traversing a terrifying, no-rules dystopia after an unnamed event has devastated the country. Director John Hillcoat set the tone with 2005’s The Proposition. –A.S.

28) Titanic

James Cameron’s 1997 epic, which fully lives up to its name, is about half typical Cameron action thriller, and half melodrama that’s so corny, Douglas Sirk himself would think twice before touching it. Each part is equally effective. As young Kate and Leo fall in love only to have it float away (pun intended) as quickly as it came, all set to the sounds of James Horner and Céline Dion. You’ll remember when you first fell in love with Titanic, too. Of course, it might not be as grand watching it from your computer screen, but it’s still just as sad. —C.O.

29) Braveheart

Best movies on Netflix: Braveheart Screengrab via Ηρώων Γη/YouTube (Fair Use)

Mel Gibson’s flowing locks alone are enough reason to watch this war epic that scooped Gibson five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. Loosely based on real-life Scottish warrior William Wallace, Braveheart tells the story of Wallace rallying the Scottish in an insurrection against the British. He ends up dying on the rack in one of the most famous death scenes in cinema (and in history). —Clara Wang

30) The Jungle Book

As a director, Jon Favreau specializes in making broadly appealing movies. Ever since Elf he’s primarily made blockbusters, both original (Cowboys & Aliens) and based on someone else’s IP (Iron Man). Working in the later category, his live-action retelling proved to be much more than a cash grab. The visual effects are incredible, and it’s worth seeing the movie just to soak in the stunning imagery. Add in some noteworthy voice work (Idris Elba stands out in a sea of great vocal performances) and a strong debut for child actor Neel Sethi as Mowgli, and the result is one of 2016 most successful crowd-pleasers. -E.S.

31) Metropolis

Metropolis, a silent German film, is essential viewing for science-fiction fans. The futuristic utopia that Freder, the son of the city’s master, lives in is heavenly until he learns about the workers who operate the machines vital to the city’s existence and strives to help them. -M.J.

32) Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal might not be the best living actor, but he is certainly the hardest working. Since 2011’s Source Code, it would be difficult to find someone with a more diverse array of challenging roles—from the explosive boxing drama Southpaw (for which Gyllenhaal famously hulked up) to more sinuous work in Prisoners and Nightcrawler. In the latter, the 35-year-old actor particularly gets under the skin as Louis Bloom, a self-taught cameraman determined to make it in the news entertainment business. Louis gets a job working as a stringer for a producer, Nina (Rene Russo), working the graveyard shift of the lowest-rated network in Los Angeles. Bloom is willing to do anything to get the story, and desperate for ratings, Nina doesn’t realize the monster she’s creating to get it. Directed by Dan Gilroy (The Bourne Legacy), Nightcrawler is a satire of our news media culture so spot-on you may need to shower after. -N.L.

33) Sing Street

Sing Street is simply a lovely movie. From Once director John Carney, this story of a teenager who starts a band to impress the girl who’s too cool for him is archetypal in premise but sublime in execution. Music and relationships are center stage in all of Carney’s films, and Sing Street is no exception. Every one of the original songs is great, but the sequence that features “Drive It Like You Stole It” was one of the best scenes in any movie from the past year. No disrespect to La La Land, but Sing Street should have easily taken one of its slots in the original song category. All the performances are great too, but Jack Reynor as our her Conor’s stoner brother Brendan is is particularly brimming with charm. —C.O.

34) Exit Through the Gift Shop

Best movies on Netflix: Exit Through the Gift Shop Screengrab via ENTRTNMNT/YouTube (Fair Use)

Is it an elaborate prank or a piece of high-performance art? Is it an inviting work of genius, or is it subtly poking fun at everyone who views it? These questions apply to both Exit Through the Gift Shop as a work of art and to the art world the film depicts. Directed by the ever-enigmatic Banksy, this documentary begins as a co-exploration of the street art movement, and the French shopkeeper who sought to capture it, Thierry Guetta (a.k.a. Mr. Brainwash). But when Banksy decides halfway through the movie that Thierry might not be, so to speak, the ideal candidate to make the definitive movie on this movement, Exit Through the Gift Shop’s narrative takes an unexpected turn. The film eventually becomes a meditation on the idea of authenticity in an art culture that is increasingly commercialized. If that sounds too esoteric for you, don’t worry, Exit Through the Gift Shop is also riotously funny and at times utterly unbelievable. —C.O.

35) Chaplin

Best movies on Netflix: Chaplin Screengrab via Axaygiri Goswami/YouTube (Fair Use)

Best known for his role as Dr. John Hammond in the Jurassic Park franchise, Richard Attenborough was also a notable director of biopics. His most famous film is probably the 1982 epic, Gandhi (for which he won a Best Director Oscar), but film nerds may also be interested in checking out 1992’s Chaplin. Although Attenborough’s portrait is hagiographic in a way his real life subject didn’t deserve, the movie is still an interesting watch for anyone who’s ever been curious about the titular silent film star.

Above all else, though, the main reason to check out Chaplin is Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role. For anyone who’s become unable to see Downey as anything other than Iron Man, Chaplin is a reminder of the considerable range possessed by this unique performer. Like the man he’s playing in Chaplin, Downey is a one-of-a-kind talent, and Attenborough’s film, which he received an Oscar nomination for, is an early indication of the superstar Downey was waiting to become. —C.O.

36) Frances Ha

Best movies on Netflix: Frances Ha Screengrab via Movieclips Trailers/YouTube (Fair Use)

Noah Baumbach is having an incredibly prolific late career—churning out Greenberg, The Squid and the Whale, Mistress America, Margot at the Wedding, and While We’re Young in an amazing decade-long stretch. During that span, he also made Frances Ha, a riff on Annie Hall as seen through the lens of Godard, Truffaut, and the masters of the French New Wave. Instead of watching a couple slowly drift apart, Baumbach tracks the dissolution of a best friendship between Frances (Greta Gerwig, in her star-making role) and Sophie (Mickey Sumner). It’s not only a lovely Woody Allen homage but one of cinema’s best portraits of millennial disaffection to date. —N.L.

37) Memento

Christopher Nolan’s crafty 2000 thriller is an early indication of future brilliance. It’s also refreshingly small compared to the blockbusters he would go on to make later in his career. Told backwards, Memento stars Guy Pearce as Leonard, a man with anterograde amnesia, a condition that erases short-term memory. Upon first viewing, the structure and the twist ending are enough to blow you away. But Memento is worth coming back to for its performances and philosophical themes. If you can’t remember the things you do, how do you know who you really are? —C.O.

38) The Babadook

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In Jennifer Kent’s 2014 film, the mother is supposed to be the protector, but she might be the monster, too. This tangled duality pushes The Babadook, a film that takes the idea of a bogeyman and draws a thick black line to the depths of our subconscious. Essie Davis is wonderful as Amelia, a single mother who’s slogging through life with her troubled, high-strung son. Their relationship starts to shift after a creature in a children’s pop-up book starts appearing outside the pages and becomes a terrifying metaphor for grief and depression. It joins a handful of recent horror films (The Witch, It Follows, Ex Machina) in which women aren’t just prey or victims. -A.S.

39) 10 Things I Hate About You

Ah, this 1999 film gave us the perfect combination of Shakespearean angst and late ‘90s pop. Julia Stiles’ Kat became a style and attitude template for many disaffected teens, and Heath Ledger’s Patrick offered a more complex look at the “bad boy.” Supporting work from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larry Miller, and Allison Janney anchored this adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew. —A.S.

40) Magic Mike

When this Steven Soderbergh film debuted in 2012, who knew it would reach midnight-movie levels of (feminist) fandom? Channing Tatum drew from real-life experience to shape the titular stripper, and the film explores sexuality, identity, and commerce from a different angle. Plus: abs! —A.S.

41) The Day the Earth Stood Still

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It’s tough to avoid the parallels this cold war era sci-fi pic has to the world today,. Originally released in 1951 The Day the Earth Stood Still tells the story of an alien sent to our world to investigate humans and hopefully prompt us into laying down our arms in service of the common good—or else. The premise is unsubtle, simple even. But the message, that total destruction of our enemies also means total destruction of ourselves, never stops being relevant. Like all great science fiction, The Day the Earth Stood Still holds up a mirror, and it finds us wanting. —C.O.

42) Short Term 12

As Grace (Brie Larson), a counselor at a group home for teens, says early on in Short Term 12: “You have to be an asshole before you can be their friend.” The film spends much of its time exploring the inner lives of these kids as well as the counselors. The Newsroom’s John Gallagher Jr. plays Grace’s boyfriend and co-worker, and their relationship provides some emotional resonance. Keith Stanfield (Atlanta) is a standout as Marcus, a young man about to turn 18 and leave the home. All these lives collide, and unexpected friendships form from shared pain. —A.S.

43) Superbad

A lot has changed in the almost 10 years since Superbad first entered the pantheon of great teen comedies. Some of the more overt bro humor might not play as well today, but the movie doesn’t get enough credit for how sweet it is t0o. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s debut as Hollywood power writers is essentially a meditation on their own friendship. Obnoxious and hilarious, Superbad ultimately works because Jonah Hill and Michael Cera’s portrayals of the fictionalized Seth and Evan feel rooted in a very real bond. Plus, you know, McLovin. —C.O.

44) Silver Streak

After Gene Wilder’s death in 2016, his roles in Young Frankenstein and Willy Wonka were rightfully elevated in pieces about this life and work. But this 1976 action-comedy with Richard Pryor is worth a visit. Some of the racial themes and language will seem very outdated now, the physical comedy is absurd, and the plot kind of disappears, but the chemistry between Pryor and Wilder is what you’re really there for. —A.S.

45) Fruitvale Station

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Given the country we live in, any drama about the shooting of an unarmed black man by a law enforcement officers is sure to stir up emotions. This one, based on the 2008 killing of Bay Area citizen Oscar Grant, is no different from any other—except it is. Like all stories of police violence against the black community, Fruitvale Station’s details are unique while also fitting into a larger pattern. What makes the film work is that director Ryan Coogler (who was just 26 when Fruitvale Station debuted at Sundance) chooses to focus on the last few hours of Oscar Grant’s life, rather than just the moments surrounding his death. In that way, the movie becomes equal parts celebration and indictment. Fruitvale Station was a monumental debut on Coogler’s part, as well as a turning point for star Michael B. Jordan (who had previously appeared on such TV shows as The Wire, Friday Night Lights, and Parenthood).  Fruitvale Station is still a devastating breakout. —C.O.

46) Adventureland

Best movies on Netflix: Adventureland Screengrab via Movieclips/YouTube (Fair Use)Before American Ultra, another quirky rom-com, Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg starred together in this throwback to 1987. Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Wiig, and Bill Hader also star in this film about a gang of kids stuck working at an amusement park, directed by Superbad’s Greg Mottola. —A.S.

47) To Catch a Thief

Hitchcock’s compelling tale of high-profile robberies among wealthy Americans in the French Riviera is the director at its best. To Catch a Thief star screen legends Cary Grant and Grace Kelly playing opposite each other—another reason this absorbing heist movie shouldn’t be missed. Grant plays a reformed jewel thief who must prove his innocence after a series of cat burglaries occur on the French Riviera. Kelly plays half of a high-rolling mother-daughter duo vacationing in the Riviera. Once the two decide to join forces, it’s nearly impossible to tear your eyes off the screen. —A.K.

48) Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

It truly is a shame that Rick Moranis stepped away from acting. His screen presence is so warm and welcoming that it’s hard to think of an actor better suited for family films. Luckily, we have a solid stable of Moranis’ work to share with the next generation. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids has such a silly premise that it’s nearly impervious to aging (more so than the effects at least). Like it’s leading man, it’s a film that endears itself to the audience. This one isn’t in regular rotation anywhere, so it’s a good Netflix watch to take advantage of while you still can. —Eddit Strait

49) Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the kind of documentary that was meant to be on Netflix. Though it was well-received upon theatrical release, it often takes the accessibility of streaming services for stories with such specified subject matter to reach a wider audience. Sushi master Jiro and his relationship with son Yoshikazu (parodied on IFC’s Documentary Now) make for a fascinating portrait of the pursuit to do one thing really well. Caution to sushi fans, though: Your mouth will be watering through much of the 1:20 runtime. -C.O.

50) Life Itself

Steve James is debatably the most important documentary filmmaker of the last quarter century, with acclaimed works like Hoop Dreams, Stevie, and The Interrupters under his belt to show for it. But while all his films are personal in nature, James’ 2014 portrait of fellow Chicagoan Roger Ebert feels especially close to home. Ebert had championed his work for years by the time James decided to do a film on America’s most famous film critic. But the result is no mere hagiography, pulling pieces from Ebert’s own memoir to create a warts-and-all portrait that is made all the more affecting by scenes in which James visits him during the last few months of his life. The overall achievement proves to be both a moving tribute to a unique American voice and a touching meditation on mortality itself. —C.O.

51) Hush

Hush is an hourlong cuticle-ripper. The 2016 film centers on Maddie (Kate Siegel, who co-wrote the screenplay), a deaf and mute author who lives in a secluded cabin in the woods. And there’s a killer on the loose, wearing a creepy white mask. This premise might sound awfully well-tread, but Hush upends the typical home-invasion thriller by letting us see the threat (The Newsroom’s John Gallagher Jr.) unmasked, forcing the tension to build as Maddie finds different ways to thwart his murderous advances. By immersing us in Maddie’s silent world, the tension is even more palpable, and the fact that she’s a writer of fiction allows the film to expand in some inventive directions, even as her fate remains unsure. —A.S.

52) Little Men

Little Men is the third film in director Ira Sachs’ loose trilogy examining modern urban life. Though his previous two efforts (Keep the Lights On and Love Is Strange) both revolved around gay couples, albeit in very different circumstances, Little Men centers around the friendship of two young teenage boys and how a squabble between their parents threatens to pull them apart. It may not feel quite as of the moment as Sachs’ last few movies, but Little Men still has a lot to say about contemporary New York, specifically how the city’s changing real estate market is pushing people out left and right. Yet Little Men’s more important truths are timeless: friendship is hard but worth it, people come in and out of your life, and you may change for the better even if you don’t get what you really want. —C.O.

53) Queen of Earth

Alex Ross Perry does not make movies about people you would like to spend time with. His breakout feature, Listen Up Philip, is about a narcissistic writer (Jason Schwartzman) who spends the entire film alienating everyone. It’s a good film, acidic in its insights about human behavior, and his follow-up is even better. New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane called Queen of Earth a film for “anyone who thinks that there are too many warm hugs in Strindberg,” but that overestimates the movie’s tenderness. No one in Queen of Earth has even heard of a hug. Like Gena Rowlands before her, Elisabeth Moss plays Catherine, a woman on the edge of collapse. She used to work for her father, a famous artist, but he has passed away. During a retreat at a lake house, her relationship with her best friend, Virginia (Katherine Waterston), rapidly unravels as Catherine’s sanity slips away. Moss’s performance is as spellbinding as the movie. —N.L.

54) Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

This is probably the last great film Johnny Depp and Tim Burton made, together or separately, before descending into parodies of themselves. Depp isn’t a natural singer, but his raspy voice makes for a good Sweeney. Ditto for Helena Bonham Carter, who steals the show as Mrs. Lovett, a role she was born to play. 2007 was a great year for film, but Burton’s excellent Sondheim adaptation is too often left out of the conversation. At the very least, Sweeney Todd deserves to be recognized as one of the best on-screen musicals of the last several decades. —C.O.  

55) The Emperor’s New Groove

Best movies on Netflix: The Emperor's New Groove Screengrab via Nichole Ray/YouTube (Fair Use)

I’m not being facetious when I say this is my favorite David Spade performance. His brand of bone-dry sarcasm normally grates (for me at least), but this time he makes Emperor Kuzco believably entitled but doesn’t take it so far that you just hate the character. Spade is a worthy yin to John Goodman’s yang as a gentle giant Pacha. The story follows a familiar arc: Kuzco has to learn to be kind and let go of his selfishness, and Pacha is the poor man who has to teach Kuzco how to deal with people. It’s simple, it’s effective, and it’s hilarious. —E.S.

56) 13th

Best movies on Netflix: 13th Screengrab via Netflix US & Canada/YouTube (Fair Use)

Although not as formally inventive as I Am Not Your Negro, nor as narratively ambitious as O.J.: Made in America, 13th is the third in a trifecta of great Oscar-nominated documentaries about race in America we got in 2016. From Selma director Ava DuVernay, this film builds off of works such as Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow to explore mass incarceration in the U.S. and eventually ask the difficult question: What if slavery in this country never ended, just transformed? Bound to become an instructional text in liberal schools all over, the biggest criticism one can level against 13th is that at an hour and 40 minutes, there might not be enough of it. —C.O.

57) Tangerine

So many movies are given infinite resources and still manage to feel so minuscule that they might as well not even exist. Sean Baker’s Tangerine, however, is a testament to how much filmmakers can achieve with very little. Shot on an iPhone, the movie cost relative pennies to make, but Tangerine is a hypnotic, extraordinary film about the friendship between two sex workers. That bond is tested over the course of a very long day, and the plot’s simplicity masks its power. After finding out her boyfriend isn’t faithful, Sin-Dee (Kiki Rodriguez) goes off on a quest to locate his mistress. Meanwhile, Alexandra (Mya Taylor) prepares for a performance at a local club. Filmed on a stretch of Santa Monica known as a nexus of prostitution in the city, Tangerine captures the feel of Los Angeles better than any film I’ve ever seen. It’s simultaneously stylish, low-key, and groundbreaking in its authentic depiction of life on the streets. —N.L.

58) To Kill a Mockingbird

Although there are elements of To Kill a Mockingbird that feel dated today, the book and the film’s core principles continue to ring true. Perhaps it’s hard not to look at Atticus Finch differently in light of the 2015’s controversial Go Set a Watchman. Perhaps the text has lost some of its relevance as more black artists have gotten the chance to shape their own narratives over the years. Nevertheless, the film adaptation of Harper Lee’s classic tale of Boo Radley, Scout, and Atticus Finch still tugs at heartstrings all these years later. Gregory Peck’s portrayal of Atticus, in particular, remains an archetype for cinematic “good guy.”  —C.O.

59) The Thin Blue Line

Like Blackfish, another socially conscious documentary from the same time period, The Thin Blue Line is a work of social activism (and like Jiro Dreams of Sushi, it was parodied on IFC’s Documentary Now). But what makes The Thin Blue Line a singularly important piece of filmmaking is that it actually saved a man’s life—Randall Adams, who was was wrongly sentenced to death in 1976 for the murder of a Dallas police officer. Errol Morris is widely considered to be one of the greatest documentarians of all time, but even among his impressive filmography, there’s nothing quite as politically significant as this exploration of gross misuse of power. —C.O.

60) The Double

Best movies on Netflix: The Double Screengrab via Movieclips Trailers/YouTube (Fair Use)

There’s a myriad of influences on display in Richard Ayoade’s The Double. David Lynch, Wes Anderson, Terry Gilliam: It’s all there. And still, Ayoade manages to create something that feels all its own. Choosing to adapt Dostoevsky for your sophomore feature is no easy task, but Ayoade steps up and then some. Starring Jesse Eisenberg as a hapless government worker whose life gets better and then much, much worse when his exact look-alike shows up, this dark comedy is an absurdist fever dream that heralds Ayoade’s arrival as a major talent to watch. —C.O.

61) I Am Love

Where do you even start with I Am Love? There’s director Luca Guadagnino’s luscious visual palette, obviously. There’s Tilda Swinton doing classic Tilda Swinton (right before the chameleonic actor became a household name). But most importantly, there’s the overwhelming sense that camp has never been taken so seriously as it was in this 2010 Italian stunner. Receiving a much-deserved Oscar nod for best costume design, everything about this movie is gorgeously over the top. Like the very clothes she lives her life in, the story of Swinton’s Emma Recchi, who experiences love and loss amidst Italy’s upper crust, is fabulous, gorgeous, sumptuous, and completely unsubtle. But it also never blinks, and it’s that blind commitment to its own self-importance that makes I Am Love such a unique watch. —C.O.

62) A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Best movies on Netflix: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night Screengrab via VICE/YouTube (Fair Use)

Shot in stunning black-and-white, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a revision on the vampire story, set in an Iranian town called Bad City. The girl, played by Sheila Vand, floats through the streets at night, sometimes on a skateboard. She has her carefully chosen targets, but the film doesn’t linger on blood-splattered scenes. Instead, it focuses on those souls lingering in Bad City—and the humanity left within them. —A.S.   

63) The Third Man

Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles frequently worked together throughout their careers, but none of their collaborations is quite like this post-war noir from 1949. Cotten plays a novelist investigating the death of a friend (played by Welles) in Vienna. But the details surrounding that friend’s death only become more mysterious the deeper he looks. Directed by Carol Reed and written by Graham Greene, The Third Man is especially enjoyable for Welles, whose probably better here than in any other movie he didn’t helm himself. —C.O.

64) The Trip

Most of us, at some point in our lives, have taken a long trip with a close friend. During the course of said trip, you probably had some laughs, saw some sights, ate some food, and occasionally, got on each other’s nerves. That’s is what makes Michael Winterbottom’s 2010 comedy, The Trip, and its 2014 sequel, The Trip to Italy such delights. (Both are on Netflix.) Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play fictionalized versions of themselves, and their dynamic is jokey and light-hearted yet competitive. As Coogan and Brydon make their way first around the English countryside, and then around Italy’s, they spend a lot of time looking at their own lives, and attempting to tackle the big questions. It’s also fascinating how from movie to movie, one man will be up, and the other down, and then it’ll shift, as real life is also apt to do when it comes to close friendships. However, these movies are never more at ease than when they are simply letting the two men riff in their own language, as close friends do. You’ll want to go on more adventures with Coogan and Brydon, and fortunately, since a Trip to Spain is on the way, you’ll soon be able to. —C.O.

65) The Usual Suspects

If you’ve never seen this film and have managed to avoid spoilers about the ending, congrats. Still, 20 years later, this whodunnit remains an expertly constructed exploration of truth, fiction, and unreliable narrators, even without that infamous twist. Kevin Spacey plays a much different character than in House of Cards, but they’re both fantastic manipulators. —A.S.

66) Victoria

Shot entirely in one take, Victoria, sort of like Boyhood, could be accused of being a gimmick movie. But when the so-called “gimmick” is executed this effectively and thrillingly, who cares? Taking place over a single night in Berlin, the film follows the titular Victoria (Laia Costa) as she falls in love, commits a crime, loses everything, and then gains it back. German filmmaker Sebastian Schipper crams a lot into two hours and 18 minutes, but one of the best things about Victoria is that it still pauses to take the occasional breath. These quiet moments are what makes the film so impressive and help it transcend whatever gimmicky expectations audiences might have. —C.O.

67) The Imitation Game

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the British mathematician who cracked Germany’s Enigma code during World War II. Turing’s team (filled out by Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode) offers strong support to Turing’s dogged pursuit, and the film gives us a historical sketch of the time and political climateand how one’s sexuality could be used against them. —A.S.

68) Y Tu Mamá También

Back in the days when video stores were still a thing, I rented Y Tu Mamá También on a recommendation from a friend, not knowing what it was about. Given that it had “Mama” in the title, I figured that meant it was family-friendly and invited my mother to watch it with me. (Cut me some slack; I was 14 and really, really dumb.)

If you’re familiar with the plot of Y Tu Mamá También, you’re aware that decision was a big mistake: The 2001 Mexican-set drama is about a steamy love triangle between Tenoch (Diego Luna); his best friend, Julio (Gael Garcia Bernal); and his cousin’s wife, Luisa (Maribel Verdú), who is dying of cancer. She accepts an invitation with them to go on a road trip to see a secret beach known as “Heaven’s Mouth,” and their journey quickly turns into a tangled mess of erotic fantasy.

The funny thing is that both my mother and I ended up adoring it—although for very different reasons. She liked how boisterous Alfonso Cuarón’s Oscar-nominated screenplay was (loaded with playful, scatological banter between carmates), and I enjoyed the film’s sexual politics, with the movie set against a time of governmental and social upheaval. This is a time in Mexican society when Tenoch and Julio’s gay male friends have boyfriends, which makes the pair’s own erotic encounter all the more dangerous.

Fifteen years after its release, Y Tu Mamá También remains a one-movie sexual revolution. Watch it with someone nice and stay inside with a bottle of wine. —N.L.

69) What Happened, Miss Simone?

Did you know her real name was Eunice Kathleen Waymon? “Nina Simone” was a stage name because she didn’t want her mother knowing she was performing in saloons at the start of her career. And this Netflix-produced documentary opens with her less-than-humble start in 1930s North Carolina and progresses through her journey across the country to become one of the all-time greats. With archived footage and priceless family photos, Simone’s identity as a black political activist during the civil rights era and her struggles with mental illness are brought front and center. (Her alluring, timeless performances? Plenty of that too.) —Nia Wesley

70) In the Loop

Just because the reality of American politics now rivals most political satire in terms of absurdity doesn’t make In the Loop any less sharp or any less brutally funny. Spunoff from director Armando Iannucci’s BBC series The Thick of It—as well as a spiritual predecessor to his HBO creation, Veep—this 2009 Oscar-nominee for best original screenplay depicts a transcontinental struggle between Great Britain and America to prevent an impending war. Starring familiar faces such as Doctor Who’s Peter Capaldi and Veep’s Anna Chlumsky, In the Loop is the kind of gem of a movie that hides in plain sight. It’s only gotten more incisive in the years since its release, and you’ll have no idea how you lived without Malcolm Tucker’s wonderfully artful swearing once it enters your life. —C.O.

71) Amadeus

Best movies on Netflix: Amadeus Screengrab via Movieclips Trailer Vault (Fair Use)

Milos Forman’s Oscar-winning drama about the rivalry between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the jealous Antonio Salieri is often forgotten when discussing the best films of the 1980s. It shouldn’t be. Forman’s adaptation of Peter Shaffer’s play may look initially like your typical, stuffy Oscar bait, but its story of creativity pitted against convention is timeless. -C.O.

72) Under the Shadow

In 1980s Tehran, during the War of the Cities, a mother and daughter stay huddled up in their apartment as their city is bombarded by missiles. The historical horror and PTSD-inducing sights of rockets cracking roofs should be terrifying enough, but then an evil spirit takes interest in the little girl and things go from bad to worse. Directed by Iranian-born Babak Anvari, Under the Shadow deals with the social issues of a woman’s place in a fundamentalist Muslim society as much as it does demonic forces. –John-Michael Bond

73) V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta’s politics are not subtle, but subtlety isn’t all that effective when you’re aiming for revolution. An underrated classic from the Wachowski siblings, V for Vendetta’s impact has reached farther than most would’ve expected, even showing up in imagery from the Arab Spring. Over 10 years later, its message regarding the fight against tyranny sadly feels more relevant than ever, which makes the film as necessary as ever, too. —C.O.

74) The Overnight

There should be more movies about sexual fluidity. But in the meantime, we’ve got The Overnight, a sly little Sundance gem from 2015 by up-and-comer Patrick Brice. Aided by a terrific cast (Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman, and Judith Godrèche), Brice has made the rare comedy about sex that is smart but not preachy. The story centers on two married couples who meet up one night and let their inhibitions run wild. At just under 80 minutes, it’s a total breeze. Smart, funny, and underseen, skip this one if you don’t like sexual humor, but add it to your My List immediately if you do. —C.O.

75) Fantasia

Best movies on Netflix: Fantasia Screengrab via cupcakes pwn!/YouTube (Fair Use)

You ever watched Fantasia? You ever watched Fantasia… on weed? The 1940 Disney classic has no doubt induced many drug-fueled viewings, but 75 years later, it remains an experimental melding of orchestra and animation, and in the internet age, it’s become a crucial text for conspiracy theorists and Disney fans alike. What other movie can you say that about? —A.S.

76) A Single Man

Best movies on Netflix: A Single Man Screengrab via Movieclips Trailer Vault/YouTube (Fair Use)

Fashion designer Tom Ford’s directorial debut takes a completely different tone than Christopher Isherwood’s landmark 1964 novella. Isherwood’s writing is impassioned and angry, enraged at the state of gay life in pre-Stonewall America, whereas Ford’s film is mournful and melancholic. Often referred to as a feature-length perfume commercial, the rapturously beautiful A Single Man unfolds like an undulating plume of cigarette smoke. But there’s a lot underneath Ford’s impossibly perfect surfaces: Colin Firth (in an Oscar-nominated role) plays George Falconer, a college professor who finds himself adrift after the recent death of his partner (Matthew Goode). During his period of mourning, George becomes drawn to a student (a breakout Nicholas Hoult). The film retains Isherwood’s somber ending, but rather than downbeat, Ford’s eye for poetry imbues A Single Man with a tentative hope. —N.L.

77) Pariah

It’s a little sad that Pariah is best known for a drunken shout out: When accepting the Golden Globe for The Iron Lady in 2012, Meryl Streep slurred the name of Adepero Oduye, the film’s lead. But inebriated or not, Meryl knows what’s up. Directed by Dee Rees, making her debut, Pariah offers a fresh take on the coming-out story. Giving a star-is-born performance, Oduye plays Alike, a black teenager experiencing her queer coming of age on the streets of Brooklyn, New York. As she soon discovers, figuring out who you are isn’t without difficulty: The girl she likes (Aasha Davis) views their relationship as nothing more than “youthful experimentation.” Meanwhile, her parents force her to choose between her sexuality and her family. For Rees, the little-seen film was the beginning of a promising career: She directed HBO’s Emmy-winning Bessie in 2015 and helmed the network’s Stonewall drama, When We Rise. —N.L.

78) Drinking Buddies

Best movies on Netflix: Drinking Buddies Screengrab via hollywoodstreams/YouTube (Fair Use)

The two leads, Luke (Jake Johnson) and Kate (Olivia Wilde), are coworkers at a microbrewery; it’s obvious that they’d probably date each other if they weren’t already dating other people. When Kate suddenly becomes single, it brings their relationship halfway closer to a reality, and you can probably guess where things go from there.

But your guess would probably be wrong. This is a Joe Swanberg movie, heavily rooted in the mumblecore genre, which means it’s going to see your expectations and gleefully choose to ignore them. Without spoiling too much, this isn’t so much a romance film as it is a film about boundaries—and about how that common adage that you should date your best friend is perhaps oversimplifying things a tad. —J.K.

79) Beginners

Best movies on Netflix: Beginners Screengrab via hollywoodstreams/YouTube (Fair Use)

The second directorial feature from Mike Mills (Thumbsucker) was a personal one. After Mills’ mother passed away, his elderly father came out of the closet. In the film, the patriarch, Hal, is played by Christopher Plummer (Venus), while the ever-ageless Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting) is the befuddled son. Mills’ film has a bad habit of giving into indie quirk, such as in a romantic subplot involving Inglourious Basterds’ Melanie Laurent (the director is the partner of Miranda July, after all). But there’s a reason Plummer won a long-overdue Oscar in 2012: Plummer gives a performance of boundless warmth and humanity. To see the octogenarian Hal fall for a younger man (E.R.’s Goran Visnjic) is a reminder of how far we’ve come in the era of marriage equality. Love didn’t just win; it made Hal possible. —N.L.

80) Fish Tank

Best movies on Netflix: Fish Tank Screengrab via arakizeLHF/YouTube (Fair Use)

Before taking on poverty-stricken swaths of the U.S. with last year’s Cannes favorite American Honey, Academy Award-winner Andrea Arnold directed this searing portrait of lower-class England. It features a devastatingly raw performance from newcomer Katie Jarvis, as well as a pre-fame Michael Fassbender playing her mother’s lothario boyfriend. The scenes between Jarvis and Fassbender simmer, but like all Arnold’s work, Fish Tank is especially effective as a nuanced portrait of a specific time and place. —C.O.

81) Pee-wee’s Big Adventure

Netflix released a companion piece to this classic film in 2016—Pee-wee’s Big Holiday—but you’ve got to go back to the source. The 1985 Tim Burton film was the first to showcase the comedic talents of Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens) on the big screen, post-Pee-wee’s Playhouse. It gave us Large Marge, the breakfast machine, and a film both kids and adults could hold near and dear. —A.S.

82) Heathers

Best movies on Netflix: Heathers Screengrab via ObscureTrailers/YouTube (Fair Use)

This isn’t a rom-com in the traditional sense, thanks to the line “fuck me gently with a chainsaw,” among other things. But the relationship between Winona Ryder’s and Christian Slater’s characters is one of the more complex to emerge from the ‘80s high school genre. Veronica (Ryder), one of the four popular “Heathers,” finds a mirror in JD (Slater), an outcast who inadvertently hatches a plan that kills one of the Heathers. Their relationship doesn’t have a meet-cute; it’s more about what love (or lust) makes you blind to. —A.S.

83) Phoenix

Phoenix follows disfigured Holocaust survivor Nelly, who returns home with a brand new face to live in a country she no longer recognizes. This may sound heavy, but the film is also quietly pulpy, wearing cinematic influences like Vertigo on its sleeve. As Nelly becomes entangled with the man she used to love, and who may have betrayed her, the movie weaves a tight web, which eventually collapses in a devastating final scene. It may be the best foreign noir in years. —C.O.

84) Blackfish

Best movies on Netflix: Blackfish Screengrab via Movieclips Trailers/YouTube (Fair Use)

There are many documentaries that advocate for social change, but few have been as effective as Blackfish. Helping to put an end to SeaWorld’s inhumane whale shows, this film called attention to egregious animal rights violations that had been going on right in front of us for years. It’s telling that when Tilikum, one of the orcas at the center of Blackfish, passed away in early 2017, there was a renewed sense of interest on his behalf—and on behalf of policing SeaWorld. —C.O.

85) August: Osage County

Best movies on Netflix: August Osage County Screengrab via Movieclips Trailers/YouTube (Fair Use)

Critical consensus on the adaptation of this Pulitzer Prize-winning family drama from playwright Tracey Letts found it wanting in comparison to the original stage version. But despite the watering down the text suffers, the movie version of August: Osage County still has more genuine bite and sadness than half the melodramatic Oscar contenders that arrive year after year. That’s thanks in no small part to the film’s performances. Julie Roberts and Meryl Streep, both nominated for Oscars, are especially noteworthy in their respective roles. As she often does, Streep goes big as matriarch Violet Weston, occasionally teetering over the top. She’s saved from going into camp territory by Letts’ brilliant dialog. The real star here, however, is Roberts, who’s better than she has been in years as Barbara Weston, the secret glue holding her messy family together. —C.O.

86) Force Majeure

Best movies on Netflix: Force Majeure Screengrab via Magnolia Pictures & Magnet Releasing/YouTube (Fair Use)

In the aftermath of an avalanche, a wife accuses her husband of trying to save himself over his own family as the audience gets a raw and sometimes uncomfortable look at a marriage on the brink of falling apart. It’s a gripping character drama, and there’s even a familiar face in Game of Thrones’s Kristofer Hivju. —M.J.

87) Wet Hot American Summer

Netflix turned this into an original series in 2015, offering a look at the first day at Camp Firewood, but there’s something about the original film that can’t be beat. It might be because so many of its stars (Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks) weren’t yet famous in 2001, which gives the film about counselors on the last day of camp in 1981 a special feel. It was pretty much panned by critics when it was released, but more than a decade later, it’s become a cult classic for its tangential, absurdist bits (like when the counselors go into town and get hooked on drugs) and timeless characters (like Christopher Meloni’s Gene, a chef who talks to cans and fondles sweaters). —A.S.

 88) We Are the Best! 

There’s nothing quite like a simple story well told. While We Are the Best! doesn’t feel revolutionary at first, this straightforward account of three young girls’ attempt to form a punk band in 1980s Stockholm resonates the more you think about it. From Together director Lukas Moodysson, this 2013 film captures the raptures of first friendships, crushes, and musical obsessions in a way that feels so real, it’s no surprise that it’s based on his wife Coco Moodysson own autobiographical graphic novel. Perhaps that’s why We Are the Best! doesn’t sensationalize or trivialize the experiences of young women the way Hollywood and cinema at large tends to. Although the movie is charming and a lot of fun (similar to this 2016’s Sing Street), it’s also quietly transgressive. And what’s more punk than that? —C.O.

89) Iris

A movie about fashion icon Iris Apfel should be as fabulous as her extraordinary life. On that front, Albert Maysles’ film is a smashing success. The legendary filmmaker has a way with larger-than-life subjects. With his late brother, David, Maysles directed Grey Gardens, the acclaimed documentary about a pair of faded socialites living in a condemned house in the Hamptons. In the film’s most famous scene, Little Edie Beale models her “revolutionary costume for the day,” a bathing suit with a makeshift headwrap and an American flag. Like Edie, Iris was a one-woman trailblazer, someone who refused to be defined by convention. The force-of-nature is a lively presence on screen, but Iris has a quiet poignancy to it, as the aging icon deals with the daily realities of growing old. Iris is so dazzlingly pleasurable that you might not realize how touching this love letter to oddballs everywhere truly is. —N.L.

90) Little Sister 

It’s strange that Little Sister’s examination of Bush-era politics should feel so distant; the country has changed a lot in just under 10 years, and what once felt like national crises almost feel quanit in comparison today. Yet Little Sister’s greatest triumphs are interpersonal, not political. It’s a film about relationships, about how people deal with loss and trauma, about how people change while also somehow staying the same. This 2016 indie dramedy from Zach Clark was too little seen at the box office. Perhaps the premise, revolving around a goth nun who returns home after her Iraq war hero brother is disfigured in combat, was simply to kitschy for some people. But Little Sister is more than quirk or weirdness; it’s a lovely little character piece that is well-acted and smartly written, proving that Clark is a talent to watch. Plus, “goth nun”… come on, you’re kind of interested now, right? —C.O.

91) Medicine for Melancholy

Getting ready for this year’s Oscars? Perhaps you’ve already seen La La Land director Damien Chazelle’s breakthrough feature, 2009’s Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench. But have you seen the first film from Moonlight director, Barry Jenkins, 2008’s Medicine for Melancholy? Well if you’re team Moonlight, help cheer them on by catching this gem on Netflix now. Featuring The Daily Show’s Wyatt Cenac in a story about being black in San Francisco amidst an era of gentrification, this early indication of Jenkins’ considerable talent resonates just as much today as it did almost 10 years ago. —C.O.

92) We Were Here

There’s been an embarrassment of great documentaries on the ’80s AIDS crisis in recent years, the most well-known being David French’s great How to Survive a Plague. The year before Plague was released, David Weissman and Bill Weber directed We Were Here, an equally important look at queer life during an era where being gay was looked at as a death sentence. What’s refreshing about We Were Here is that shows a community coming together for hope and healing. Weissman and Weber interview psychologist Ed Wolf, activist Paul Boneberg, and others who worked to fight the disease, which had infected 50 percent of gay men by the mid-’80s, including Guy Clark, a dancer who lived in San Francisco’s famed Castro district during the epidemic. He brought flowers to the funerals of those who passed away from HIV. The uplifting We Were Here is a stirring reminder of the power and beauty of solidarity. —N.L.

93) The Guest

Best movies on Netflix: The Guest Screengrab via Movieclips Trailers/YouTube (Fair Use)

Adam Wingard sure knows how to open a film. In 2014’s The Guest, the title card is used as one of the film’s first moments of dread. It’s not long before we open the door to a man named David (Dan Stevens, playing the polar opposite of his Downton Abbey character), who slowly infiltrates the home of a dead soldier’s family and gains their trust, until daughter Anna (It Follows’ Maika Monroe) starts pulling at threads. There’s also a really great chase scene involving a haunted house, and at times the action gets so ridiculous it borders on dark comedy, but that’s Wingard’s style (see You’re Next). Bonus: It has a really great soundtrack, including a couple songs from Stranger Things composers Survive. —A.S.

94) Tig 

2014 was a breakout year for Tig Notaro. During a performance at New York City’s Town Hall, the lesbian comic came out as a breast cancer survivor. In a career-making set, Notaro performed shirtless, baring her double mastectomy for the world to see. After the act generated massive buzz (and applause from those who lauded her fearlessness), she would do it again—this time on her HBO standup special, Boyish Girl Interrupted. The acclaimed Netflix documentary Tig examines the comedian’s life during her treatment and in recovery—as she and her partner attempt to have their first child. Kristina Goolsby and Ashley York’s film is both as candid and disarmingly intimate as you would expect a film about Notaro to be. The documentary is a testament to human resilience—about finding the courage to go on after enormous hardship. —N.L.

95) Zootopia

Movies that are equally entertaining for kids and adults are an increasingly rare breed, so when one does come along it looks like a mirage in the Netflix listings. Fear not, Zootopia is the real deal. It’s the story of a bright-eyed rabbit (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) who fights off Disney-levels of discrimination to achieve her dream of being a cop. She forms an unlikely alliance with a con man fox (the almost too perfectly cast Jason Bateman) to expose a massive conspiracy. Zootopia is a rock-solid buddy cop comedy, but what really separates it is the social commentary running through the narrative. Sometimes the film bites off a little more than it can chew, but that occasionally happens with ambitious movies and should be embraced here. -E.S.

 96) Meek’s Cutoff

Meek’s Cutoff is infuriating but imposing, and no matter what reaction you have to it, it’s likely to be a strong one. But it’s movies that elicit a strong reaction that are also the most worth watching. This western from Kelly Reichardt, one of the most important voices in American indie film, is an unshakeable piece of commentary on the history of America and an incomparable piece of modern filmmaking. Meek’s Cutoff is a must-watch for cinephiles who haven’t found the time yet. —C.O.

97) Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Travel back, if you will, to the distant past of 2003. Johnny Depp was not only semi-tolerable, his Captain Jack Sparrow was a revelation, yet to become a grating parody of itself. Orlando Bloom was a movie star, Keira Knightley was an up and comer, and no one knew whether a film based on a theme park ride would work. Moreover, said film had not yet spawned a parade of annoying sequels. Today, it’s hard to say what’s most impressive about the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie—that it still holds up so well, or that it even worked in the first place. —C.O.

98) The Blair Witch Project

Best movies on Netflix: The Blair Witch Project Screengrab via Movieclips/YouTube (Fair Use)

The Blair Witch Project has been copied more than maybe any movie in modern horror, right up to a sequel which came out in 2016. This makes it hard to remember that when it first arrived in 1999, no one had ever seen anything like it. Not only did Blair Witch basically invent the found footage movie, its shoestring budget paved the way for the next few decades’ revolution in indie horror. Today, the scares may feel more familiar, but the overall effect is as impressive as ever. —C.O.

99) The Invitation 

If you missed 2016’s twisty The Invitation, you’re not alone. But you’re also in for a treat. Karyn Kusama’s thriller about a group of friends at a dinner party is simplistic in premise but precise in execution. It’s a movie so intimate, so perfectly claustrophobic, you’ll feel, almost like the characters in the movie, trapped by a kind of relentless dread while watching it. As the plot unfurls and the party stretches on, secrets and ulterior motives are revealed, all the way up to a breathtaking climax. Intense as the experience is, you may immediately want to watch it again, if not because it’s great then at least to make sure you got everything. —C.O.

100) How to Survive a Plague

Best movies on Netflix: How To Survive a Plague Screengrab via Screen Time/YouTube (Fair Use)

How to Survive a Plague reflects the terrible struggle gay activists went through just to get noticed while their community was dying in record numbers. Depicting infighting among activist groups, ignorance, and apathy on the part of the political and medical establishment, and the onslaught of a disease no one knew anything about yet, How to Survive a Plague is a necessary reminder of a time when HIV meant an almost certain death sentence. As Larry Kramer reminds us in the film, this was no regular epidemic, it was a “FUCKING PLAGUE!” —C.O.

101) This Is Spinal Tap

This Is Spinal Tap may not be the first mockumentary, but it’s debatably the best. Writer/star Christopher Guest would later go on to perfect the format in classics like Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman, but this 1984 classic, directed by Rob Reiner, is hard to beat for sheer hilarity. Chronicling the trials and tribulations of a fictional rock band, Spinal Tap has given us some of the best moments in the history of comedy (“these go to eleven.”) Also consider that without Spinal Tap, there would be no The Office, Modern Family, Parks and Recreation, and so many other shows and movies we all know and love.  

2014 was a breakout year for Tig Notaro. During a performance at New York City’s Town Hall, the lesbian comic came out as a breast cancer survivor. In a career-making set, Notaro performed shirtless, baring her double mastectomy for the world to see. After the act generated massive buzz (and applause from those who lauded her fearlessness), she would do it again—this time on her HBO standup special, Boyish Girl Interrupted. The acclaimed Netflix documentary Tig examines the comedian’s life during her treatment and in recovery—as she and her partner attempt to have their first child. Kristina Goolsby and Ashley York’s film is both as candid and disarmingly intimate as you would expect a film about Notaro to be. The documentary is a testament to human resilience—about finding the courage to go on after enormous hardship. —N.L.

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