The best movies on Netflix UK
Netflix may be best known for Originals like House of Cards and Orange is The New Black, but the streaming service also has a varied selection of critically-acclaimed movies to choose from. You can even download them onto your smartphone or tablet to watch on the go. Here’s our pick of the best movies you should be streaming on Netflix UK right now.
Newcomer Miles Teller stars as a promising young jazz drummer who is pushed to the edge of his sanity by a sadistic music teacher at a prestigious New York music academy. The frenetic soundtrack and J.K. Simmons’ super-aggressive mentoring skills make it an exhausting but brilliant watch.
With the spinoff TV show in its third series, now is a good time to revisit the original film from the Coen Brothers. The darkly comic thriller stars Joel Coen’s wife Frances McDormand as a heavily pregnant police officer investigating a number of homicides in a snowy Minnesota town following a bungled kidnapping.
To Kill A Mockingbird
Based on Harper Lee’s seminal 1960 novel, this powerful film stars Gregory Peck as fair-minded lawyer Atticus Finch. In spite of local opinion, he takes on the case of a Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of rape by a white woman, in racially segregated Alabama in the 1930s. Essential viewing.
Searching for Sugar Man
This fascinating film won the 2013 Oscar for best documentary and chronicles two Cape Town music fans’ search for their musical idol Sixto Rodriguez, who was rumoured to have killed himself live onstage. Though the American singer-songwriter was never successful in his home country, his albums were huge in South Africa.
Heartwarming without ever being too schmaltzy, this classic 1996 comedy stars Bill Murray in one of his best roles. He plays a cynical Pennsylvania weatherman who finds himself doomed to keep repeating the same day over and over again after covering the local Groundhog Day ceremony.
The best collaboration between Mel Brooks and the late Gene Wilder, this hilarious horror is a pitch perfect parody of the Frankenstein films made by Universal in the 1930s. Wilder plays Frederick Frankenstein (it’s pronounced “Fronkensteen”) who unsuccessfully tries to distance himself from his mad scientist grandfather’s work before eventually following in his footsteps.
Things go badly wrong for a young punk band when they unwittingly book a last-minute gig at a remote neo-Nazi bar and witness something they shouldn’t have. This awesome low-budget thriller is wonderfully grisly, but definitely not one for the squeamish.
Basically, Clueless for goths, this supernatural thriller about a small coven of witches at an LA high school stars original Worst Witch Fairuza Balk and is a perfect antidote to the typically saccharine teen dramas of the 90s. The supernatural soundtrack is also on point.
Stanley Kubrick’s Cold War classic about an insane US Air Force general launching a nuclear attack against the Soviets is darkly hilarious. The whipsmart political satire sees Peter Sellers playing several roles to perfection, including that of the wheelchair-bound former Nazi Dr Strangelove.
Tom Hanks stars in the true story of Richard Phillips, a merchant mariner whose cargo ship was hijacked by Somali pirates, this survival thriller is mesmerising from start to finish. The final scene is a tough watch, with Hanks reminding us why he’s still one of the highest paid actors in the world.
Lucasfilm / Photofest
The late musician/actor and all-round creative genius David Bowie stars as the Goblin King in this Jim Henson ’80s classic about a girl who is forced to enter a fantastical maze to rescue her baby brother. Despite appearing in a preposterous wig and eye-wateringly tight trousers, Bowie steals the show. Obviously.
After being framed for the murder of a gang leader, The Warriors find themselves in a race against time to get back to the safety of their Coney Island lair, pursued by every other mob in the city. The gang uniforms in this violent 70s thriller may be hilariously dated but that’s just part of what makes it a cult classic.
Perfect for anyone who’s ever been in a band – and pretty much everyone else – this 2016 comedy drama set in 1980s Dublin follows a troubled teen who starts a band to impress the girl he likes. From the shoddy homemade pop videos to the American high school dance dream sequence, it’s got everything you need for a musical ’80s homage.
A strong inspiration for The Hunger Games, and many other films besides, this disturbingly violent thriller sees a group of Japanese high school students shipped off to an island and forced to fight to the death as part of the annual government-sanctioned Battle Royale game.
As in many of his films, Woody Allen plays a exaggerated version of himself, in this case neurotic comedian Alvy Singer, who falls in love with flighty Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) in this sharp Manhattan-based romantic comedy. If you’re only ever going to watch one Woody Allen film, this is the one to choose.
This documentary film tells the gripping story of the Soviet ice hockey team. As well as explaining how the squad became so dominant in the sport during the Cold War, it also tells the tale of those who defected to the US before the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Fascinating stuff.
In the Heat of the Night
Screen legend Sidney Poitier stars in this 1967 classic as a Philadelphia detective who travels to a small Mississippi town to investigate a murder. With sad predictability, he’s met with hostility and a racist police chief (Rod Steiger) with whom he must work to solve the crime.
Let the Right One In
Ignore the remake (Let Me In) and stick with the original Swedish horror film about a bullied boy who falls in love with a vampire girl in the Stockholm suburbs in the early 1980s. The macabre romance is bleak and bizarre but also strangely uplifting.
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
Based on John le Carré’s novel of the same name, this gripping Cold War thriller stars Richard Burton as British agent Alec Leamas who is determined to ‘come in from the cold’ and give up his life of espionage. To do that, he must complete one last mission to East Germany as a faux defector, in order to spread misinformation.
This Oscar-nominated documentary from director Ava DuVernay takes its title from the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S Constitution which abolished slavery in 1865. The thought-provoking film takes an uncomfortable look at the country’s subsequent history of racial inequality including the Jim Crow segregation laws and the demonisation and mass incarceration of minority communities.