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Best movies on Netflix: 20 films you have to stop what you’re doing and watch right now

If you’re new to Netflix and want to find the best movies to watch, or you’re tired of browsing Netflix’s catalog day after day and coming up empty, you’ve come to the right place. With thousands of movies at your disposal, it’s easy to get stuck in binge-watching mode, but finding the honest-to-goodness best films can be a bit of hassle.

In an effort to determine the best of the best, we’ve put together a list of the greatest possible films you can watch – curated by TechRadar editors and backed up with ratings from IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes – so that you don’t have to sift through the muck. We’ll keep this best-of list up to date with the latest movies that are must-watch, so you waste zero screen time searching.

Are TV shows more your scene? Here are the best TV shows on Netflix!

1. Blackfish

Best movies on Netflix

Blackfish, the controversial nature documentary that follows a misunderstood and often violent killer whale in captivity at SeaWorld, made a huge splash when it was released in 2013. Its story has moved audiences to take action in a way that few other films have ever done, going so far as forcing lawmakers’ hands to introduce legislation that will demand that SeaWorld release killer whales back into the wild. It’s an emotional ride through the highs and lows of the aquatic entertainment industry, one that reveals the real consequences of keeping animals where they don’t belong.

IMDB Rating: 8.1, Rotten Tomatoes: 98%

2. Inglorious Basterds

Best movies on Netflix

Prolific Tarantino films come and go on Netflix all the time (see: Django Unchained, Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2, Inglorious Basterds and Reservoir Dogs), but Inglorious Basterds, the current Tarantino film, is definitely high up on our list. Like Django, Kill Bill and well, I guess every other Tarantino film, this one comes with a caveat – if you’re looking for a family movie, look somewhere else. 

IMDB Rating: 8.3, Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

3. The Imitation Game

Best Movies on Netflix

There are plenty of great war films on Netflix (including Full Metal Jacket, coming up later on this list. But if you’re looking for a different side of the battle, the one fought with minds and willpower rather than guns and grenades, watch The Imitation Game. Cumberbatch’s Alan Turing and Keira Knightley’s Joan Clarke are an interesting on-screen duo, and the race to beat the Nazi war machine adds palpable tension without ever showing a drop of blood.

IMDB Rating: 8.1, Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

4. Memento

Best movies on Netflix

How do you solve a crime that was committed years ago if you can’t remember what happened yesterday? It seems impossible, right? Maybe. Memento is one of the greatest crime films ever made because it never wraps everything up in a tight bow. At the end, you’re left with more questions than answers and while that sounds like a frustrating experience, it’s more memorable and thought provoking than anything you could expect.

IMDB Rating: 8.5, Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

5. Titanic

Best movies on Netflix

Near, far, wherever you are, I believe that the heart does go on! Ahem, sorry. Titanic is a classic of cinema, and probably the best thing James Cameron has ever done. (Well, it’s between that and Avatar…) Anyways, Titanic is the story of the eponymous sinking of the famous ship and two star-crossed unfortunate lovers who happened to be on board at the time. Plus some … uh, painting.

IMDB Rating: 7.7, Rotten Tomatoes: 88%

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