Unlike the early days of Netflix after its international launch when your choice of top films was relatively limited, these days the UK version of the streaming site has a wealth of quality. From Netflix Originals and Exclusives, to relatively recent domestic and international releases; the choice can be overwhelming.
According to New on Netflix, as of 10 July 2017, there are a staggering 4410 available films and TV shows currently listed on the UK site. It’s still some way short of the variety that the US version offers, with 5470 available titles, but it’s a significant improvement in both quantity and quality compared to its initial launch.
Therefore, I decided to compile this (very subjective) list of my top 100 films currently on Netflix. There are dozens upon dozens of classics, new and old, that I just couldn’t fit in for a variety of reasons, such as Fight Club, Cinema Paradiso, The Neon Demon, Jurassic World and Days of Heaven (didn’t break my top 100), as well as movies such as City of God, Layer Cake, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hunger and Sing Street (to my shame, I’ve never seen them).
Feel free to leave a comment in the box below if you think there are any others worthy of inclusion, or how differently your list would have looked.
100. Rogue (2007), Greg McLean
An Australian creature-feature about a mean ol’ crocodile that mercifully isn’t a spoof, tongue-in-cheek parody, or comedy. It’s man vs nature, from the director of the notoriously grim Wolf Creek.
99.The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008), Mark Herman
A little anecdote for you: Straight after watching this WW2 drama about a German boy who befriends a Jewish boy in a concentration camp, my mum threw the DVD in the bin because it was so emotionally traumatising. Nevertheless, it is an undeniably emotional and thought-provoking tragic drama.
98. Captain Phillips (2013), Paul Greengrass | Podcast Review
Starring Tom Hanks in the title role, based on a true story of a US ship hijacking by Somali pirates, Captain Phillips did extraordinarily well at the Failed Critics Awards in 2013 thanks to its good performances and suspenseful drama.
97. Kickboxer (1989), Mark DiSalle, David Worth
Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Muay Thai action movie is dumb, melodramatic, cheesy, full of montages and has its protagonist kick a tree to make him look hard. So straight into 97th on the list it goes!
96. Big Fish (2003), Tim Burton
A characterful fantasy yarn with a very strong visual design from Tim Burton about the importance of reconciling relationships with loved ones whilst you still have the chance.
95. Pain & Gain (2013), Michael Bay | Review
Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie star as three thick-as-bricks body builders in Bay’s surprisingly entertaining black crime-comedy, based on a real story.
94. Ant-Man (2015), Peyton Reed | Review
Marvel’s movie about its micro-sized superhero astonished a lot of people when it turned out to be a fun heist caper after a long, troubled production. Paul Rudd was perfectly cast as the master-thief. Bonus: the only film in this list to feature Thomas the Tank Engine.
93. Chappie (2014), Neil Blomkamp | Review
Johnny 5 meets RoboCop in South African director Neil “saviour of original sci-fi” Blomkamp’s rogue A.I. action feature. Make sure you check out Blomkamp’s exciting shorts via Oats Studios on YouTube to see what he’s been up to since.
92. The ‘Burbs (1989), Joe Dante
Remember when Tom Hanks used to do comedies? Good times. Few were as good as his turn in Dante’s comedy about paranoid neighbours and creepy goings on in small town America.
91. Kung Fu Panda (2008), Mark Osborne, John Stevenson | Review
DreamWorks’s ode to martial arts movies, married with a sweet tale about an adopted panda and misfit in society, Kung Fu Panda skadooshes its way into 91st.
90. Bad Grandpa (2013), Jeff Tremaine
A miserly old geezer (Johnny Knoxville) and his grandson (Jackson Nicoll) play practical jokes on a road trip across America in Tremaine’s reality-comedy and fourth instalment of the Jackass films.
89. The Butterfly Effect (2004), Eric Bress, J. Mackye Gruber
Solid sci-fi led by 2004’s heart-throb Ashton Kutcher, this time-travelling thriller attempts to explore whether it’s the things that we do that shape us, or if it’s the things that we regret.
88. Eastern Promises (2007), David Cronenberg
Ever wanted to see Viggo Mortensen as a Russian mobster have a naked knife-fight in a London sauna? Look no further than Cronenberg’s excellent, stylish and violent crime drama.
87. Cabin in the Woods (2012), Drew Goddard | Podcast Review
An original horror-comedy that homages other cabin in the woods stories throughout. Episodic, witty and more than a little bit post-modern.
86. Beasts of No Nation (2015), Cary Fukunaga | Podcast Review
The first ever Netflix Original movie briefly became their most viewed original content shortly after its release. A gritty drama featuring an entirely black cast led by Idris Elba and Abraham Attah in an African country on the brink of civil war.
85. Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010), Eli Craig
So many attempts at genre-spoofs end up being incredibly lame because their self deprecation comes from a particularly malicious indignation. Tucker and Dale comes from a love for the genre, and as such is bloody hilarious.
84. Step Brothers (2008), Adam McKay
If a quotable daft comedy where Will Ferrell tea-bags John C Reilly’s drum set doesn’t sound like your kind of film, then give this one a wide berth, because it is the most immature and one of the most funny movies on any region’s Netflix.
83. What We Do In The Shadows (2014), Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi
New Zealand’s finest both direct and star in this hilarious mockumentary about four vampire housemates who deal with the mundanity of everyday undead life in Wellington.
82. Shame (2011), Steve McQueen
A cold and inglorious look at the fragility of human will as Brandon (Michael Fassbender) repeatedly succumbs to his suffocating sex addiction. Powerful, emotive and completely unsexy.
81. Annie Hall (1977), Woody Allen
It’s hard not to see Woody Allen as a more self-aware version of Groucho Marx. Annie Hall even begins with a Groucho quote! But this comedy, in which a comedian (Allen) falls for the ditsy Annie Hall (Diane Keaton), is a funny observational unravelling of romantic relationships.
80. Blade II (2002), Guillermo del Toro
Comic-book movies tend to have more successful sequels than not compared to other sub-genres (X-Men 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Dark Knight) and Blade’s return is no different. Slicker, cooler and better in almost every way than the original.
79. I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore (2017), Macon Blair
The second Netflix Original on this list won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. After Ruth’s (Melanie Lynskey) personal belongings are stolen (including her meds) she enlists the help of the neighbourhood weirdo (Elijah Wood) to help find and retrieve them. It’s way better than its awful title suggests.
78. Manhattan (1979), Woody Allen
Set in New York, slightly bohemian, and follows a blossoming / deteriorating male and female romance, it’s the archetypal Allen film. Plenty of gags, sharp dialogue and evocative of a time and place.
77. The Wailing (2016), Na Hong-jin
More twists than a Walls Ice Cream factory, this gorgeous supernatural mystery thriller is just one of many great movies emerging from South Korea’s top quality production line.
76. Groundhog Day (1993), Harold Ramis
Superbly acted by Bill Murray, superbly directed by Harold Ramis, and superbly written by Danny Rubin. It’s a superb comedy that you could watch on repeat until the day you died.
75. Evil Dead (2013), Fede Alvarez
Horror remakes are frequently controversial subjects but this rendition of Sam Raimi’s cult classic was both creative, extremely gross and acts as an ode to the genre, not just the original upon which it is based. It’s a horror remake done right.
74. The Descent (2005), Neil Marshall
Atmospheric. Claustrophobic. Unnerving. If simply the idea of spelunking is enough to give you the heebie-jeebies, then you really need to see how much scarier it could possibly be.
73. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), John Hughes
How most people thought playing truant would go down when we were kids. In reality, it was going to whoever’s house was empty, playing on their Playstation, and watching dodgy videos. At least we’ll always have Ferris Bueller to vicariously live through.
72. A Man For All Seasons (1966), Fred Zinnemann
Did you watch and enjoy BBC’s Wolf Hall too? Then you might enjoy this brilliant, award winning, slow-burn period drama as Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) defies King Henry VIII (Robert Shaw), starring Orson Welles, John Hurt, Vanessa Redgrave and many, many others.
71. The Man From Nowhere (2010), Lee Jeong-Beom
South Korean star Bin Won plays a former special agent who must protect a young girl in this revenge thriller. Imagine John Wick doing Taken and Bob’s your uncle.
70. War Machine (2017), David Michôd | Podcast Review
Unfairly maligned in some quarters, Netflix’s satirical combat movie (sans any combat) stars Brad Pitt in his finest comedic turn for years as an eccentric army general in Iraq.
69. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), Matthew Vaughn | Review
With little over two months to go until the sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, hits UK theatres, now would be the optimum time to hit up Vaughn’s original nawty spy caper.
68. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016), Taika Waititi
A cranky New Zealander (Sam Neill) forms an unlikely bond with his foster kid (Julian Dennison) when the pair are accidentally embroiled in a man-hunt out in the bush. Gracefully combines big belly laughs with moments of poignancy.
67. Sicario (2015), Denis Villeneuve | Review
FBI meets The Cartel in arguably one of the best looking movies on this list, coupled with some great turns from Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Daniel Kaluuya et al.
66. Iron Man 3 (2013), Shane Black | Podcast Review
Shane Black is gonna Shane Black all over the Marvel Cinematic Universe; and what a delight it is. Deals with the emotional fallout of flying head-on into a gaping alien wormhole whilst carrying a nuke in brilliantly comedic, action-packed fashion.
65. Blue Velvet (1986), David Lynch
The dreamlike suburban town of Slumberton is home to Lynch’s violent, twisted, highly complex neo-noir. Welcome to the desert of the real, folks.
64. 127 Hours (2010), Danny Boyle
Boyle employs a non-linear narrative to make the true story of a mountain climber (James Franco), whose hand is trapped under a boulder in The Middle of Nowhere, absolutely gripping (if you’ll excuse the pun).
63. Das Boot (1981), Wolfgang Petersen
At a meagre 2hrs 29mins, Netflix have seen fit to add the theatrical cut of this German classic about a WW2 submarine, as opposed to the 3hr 28min Director’s Cut, or the 4hr 53min uncut miniseries…
62. Gandhi (1982), Richard Attenborough
…and yet Das Boot still isn’t as long as Attenborough’s historical biopic of the titular revolutionary pacifist, portrayed by Sir Ben Kingsley, which won EIGHT Oscars!
61. Let the Right One In (2008), Tomas Alfredson
A Scandi horror which managed to tone down the extremely graphic elements of the original novel it was adapted from to create an intoxicating, beautiful and dark love story.
60. The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Frank Darabont
The greatest film ever made… if you were to only pay attention to IMDb ratings, where it comfortably sits alongside The Godfather at the head of their Top 250 list.
59. Departures (2008), Yôjirô Takita
Daigo (Masahiro Motoki) is an unemployed cellist who moves back to his rural family home and becomes a ceremonial encoffiner, a culturally taboo job in Japan. It’s a powerful and emotional drama that won ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ at the Academy Awards.
58. Creed (2015), Ryan Coogler | Review
The mature Rocky re-tread should have earned Academy Awards for its stars Michael B Jordan and Sylvester Stallone. Nevertheless, it’s still the best Rocky sequel. Yes, even in spite of Rocky IV having robot butlers. It’s still better.
57. The Warriors (1979), Walter Hill
The armies of the night come out to play-e-ay in this fantastical depiction of New York gang warfare. Camp as Christmas and enormous fun, you’ll be compelled to tie a bandana around your head, paint your face and run around the streets with a baseball bat before the 90 minutes are up.
56. Fargo (1996), Joel and Ethan Coen
Oh ya, this small-town Minnesota mystery thriller from the Coen Brothers is one of their best. When it’s over, you can then move onto the first two seasons of the TV show on Netflix too, which I strongly advise.
55. Ip Man (2008), Wilson Yip
The first in a trilogy (all of which are on Netflix) of semi-biographical action-dramas about the legendary Chinese martial arts master, Yip Man (Donnie Yen), the first to make Wing Chun a respectable style of kung fu.
54. The Good, The Bad, The Weird (2008), Kim Jee-woon
Kim Jee-woon may be one of the best living filmmakers around, but only one of his features is available on Netflix. Fortunately it’s this bonkers Korean western-come-road trip, starring big hitters Song Kang-ho and Lee Byung-hun.
53. The Return of the Living Dead (1985), Dan O’Bannon
Based on a story by John Russo (who co-created Night of… with Romero and owns the rights to the “Living Dead” moniker), Return is goofier than its ’68 predecessor but no less entertaining. Gore-filled mayhem.
52. Fantastic Mr Fox (2009), Wes Anderson
A very loose adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s novel with Anderson’s unique style liberally applied. The charming stop motion animation perfectly suits the terrific voice work by George Clooney, Bill Murray, Meryl Streep and so on.
51. Johnny Guitar (1954), Nicholas Ray
Notorious screen diva Joan Crawford leads this classic Western. Not just revisionist of the genre, but of gender roles in the decade of post-war America. Oh, and there’s a bloke called Johnny in it. He plays guitar. He’s less important.
50. Philomena (2013), Stephen Frears | Podcast Review
Hacked Off‘s Steve Coogan writes and stars as the disgraced journalist Martin Sixsmith in this moving human interest story alongside Dame Judi Dench. Fascinating, appalling and honest.
49. The Babadook (2014), Jennifer Kent
This Australian psychological thriller doesn’t deliver scares in the traditional horror sense, but instead details the mental strain that grief imposes on the family unit. It still has a creepy ghost thing though, for those interested. Plus, Essie Davis is excellent.
48. Watchmen (2009), Zack Snyder
Adapting the “unadaptable” graphic novel was a tough task for pre-DCEU Snyder, but his divisive interpretation of Alan Moore’s magnum opus retains all of its key points, whilst his alterations to the final act make this epic deconstruction of the world of superheroes relevant to modern audiences.
47. The Wrestler (2008), Darren Aronofsky
A tragedy and a heart-warming drama all at the same time. Mickey Rourke’s performance as Randy “The Ram”, wrestling at weekends despite his ailing health, is outstanding and reason enough to watch.
46. The Breakfast Club (1985), John Hughes
Don’t you forget about this when you’re flicking through Netflix. Newly added, but this old classic about five dysfunctional kids in detention discovering their own unique qualities is fist-in-the-air good.
45. Commando (1985), Mark L. Lester
More than just the one-liner spouting, shoot-em-up, Arnie vehicle that it’s sometimes purported to be, Commando is an intelligent deconstruction of masculinity and the role of individualist American conservatism in 80’s society. But, it does also have awesome one-liners, shoot-em-ups, and Arnie hitting peak Schwarzenegger.
44. A Most Violent Year (2014), J.C. Chandor
Given its title, for a film about organised crime and New York City politics in 1981, it’s not actually that violent. Nevertheless, Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain knock it out of the park in this well crafted thriller.
43. The Dark Crystal (1982), Jim Henson, Frank Oz
Can’t wait for the Netflix Original prequel series that’s in development right now? Revisit this early-80’s classic. Unlike Labyrinth, which featured actual people, this Jim Henson fantasy story exclusively features puppets. And it’s wonderful. The Skeksis will freak out adults and children alike.
42. Under the Shadow (2016), Babak Anvari
A mother and daughter in a 1980’s eve-of-war Tehran experience spooky disturbances in their apartment complex. Winner of the “Outstanding Debut” at last year’s BAFTA Film Awards.
41. Legend of Drunken Master (1994), Liu Chia-Liang
Incredible stunts, quick witted dialogue and Jackie Chan doing his thing. Police Story, Shanghai Noon and Rush Hour may be some of his most widely seen movies, but this martial arts sequel is one of the Hong Kong star’s most underrated features.
40. Okja (2017), Bong Joon-ho | Review
The most recent film to feature on this top 100 countdown is Bong Joon-ho’s (mostly) English language Netflix Original about a girl and her giant pig friend, and is a stark warning against GM foods.
39. The Green Inferno (2016), Eli Roth | Podcast Review
This cannibal thriller took an age to be released in the UK, but its biting (!) satire of Roth’s despise of a perceived SJW-culture is a horrific, brutal and supremely entertaining genre-piece.
38. You’re Next (2013), Adam Wingard
Speaking of genre flicks that took an age to go on general release in the UK (or anywhere else for that matter), this home invasion movie is killer. Look out for a cameo from Ti West as a documentary maker.
37. Network (1976), Sidney Lumet
Up until recently, 12 Angry Men was on Netflix. Alas, you’ll just have to make do with Lumet’s satire of the television industry and its inherent corruptible greed in the scramble for ratings. Poor you…
36. Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Danny Boyle
The film that launched Dev Patel’s silver screen career takes place around a game of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ in India, but Jamal (Patel) is accused of cheating. It’s both violent and depressing at times, but ultimately it’s a celebration of the triumph of human compassion.
35. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), Guillermo del Toro
Mixing the fantasy escapism of fairy tales, with the grim reality of the Spanish Civil War and Franco’s regime, del Toro’s creation is a thing of beauty. Grim, upsetting, frightening beauty.
34. Rescue Dawn (2006), Werner Herzog
This powerful survivalist Vietnam war movie, two documentaries and a role as the fingerless villain in Jack Reacher are all that’s available from legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog’s catalogue on Netflix. But even when he’s not at his best, he’s still able to make films that others can only dream of.
33. Green Room (2016), Jeremy Saulnier | Review
Beer-fuelled, blood-soaked, pulsating punk rock suspense thriller. Saulnier improved on everything good about Blue Ruin and crafted this taut psychological (and physical) warfare drama that reunited Imogen Poots and Anton Yelchin as they square off against a skinhead white supremacist played brilliantly by Sir Patrick Stewart.
32. The Passion of the Christ (2004), Mel Gibson | Podcast Review
Ol’ sugar tits himself directs this bible-bloodbath recounting the final days of Jesus of Nazareth’s life on Earth. R-rated for a reason, with dialogue entirely spoken in Latin, Hebrew and Aramaic dialects.
31. From Beyond (1985), Stuart Gordon
A perverted Lovecraftian body-horror / sexploitation sci-fi starring genre icons Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton and Ken Foree. Blackly comic with a terrifying cosmic concept underpinning it.
30. Drive (2011), Nicolas Winding Refn
I’m not denying the quality of Baby Driver, but Refn’s neon-soaked thriller about a getaway driver got there first and is a lot better. Ryan Gosling practically confirms that he is the coolest man in Hollywood.
29. The Great Beauty (2013), Paolo Sorrentino
Sorrentino’s slow and ponderous Italian drama won ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ at the Oscars. Jep (Toni Servillo) is a retired writer/artist who wanders around Rome. That’s basically it. It’s amazing.
28. Battle Royale (2000), Kinji Fukasaku
A dystopian Japanese society decides the best way to deal with the unruly youth is to force school kids to fight to the death. Don’t let its surface level graphic violence obscure its intelligence for you.
27. Filth (2013), Jon S. Baird | Podcast Review
To describe it as a Scottish Bad Lieutenant doesn’t do Filth justice. James McAvoy gives a career best performance as the bipolar junkie cop on the verge of a psychological breakdown. Just don’t start it if “you cannae fucking finish it”.
26. Tale of Tales (2015), Matteo Garrone | Podcast Review
Inspired by 17th century Italian fairy tales, this is not a typical fantasy movie. Very dark intertwining stories that are equally hilarious and enthralling. And what a stellar cast to boot!
25.Creep (2014), Patrick Brice
A cast of just two (Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass) and made on a budget of peanuts, Creep is one of the creepiest found-footage thrillers on Netflix. It may not be as flashy as some of the big hitters preceding it on this list, but relatively it’s an incredibly impressive indie.
24. Nashville (1975), Robert Altman
Even though country music isn’t my bag, Nashville is the simple story (or stories) of celebrity, love, exploitation, triumph, humiliation, belonging, culture, family and of life. And music, of course.
23. Side Effects (2013), Steven Soderbergh
Soderbergh’s final theatrically released movie prior to his retirement – before he decided to do Logan Lucky, that is – is a Hitchcockian thriller with a slowly unravelling mystery. Well paced, atmospheric and just generally very Soderbergh.
22. Schindler’s List (1993), Steven Spielberg
An incredible story about an incredible man told in an incredibly affecting way. Clearly the film that the auteur Spielberg was destined to create. Passionate, moving and inspirational.
21. Hot Fuzz (2007), Edgar Wright
Not only does Hot Fuzz work as an homage to folk horrors, cult comedies and buddy cop films, but it stands on its own two feet as a great example of British cinema at its finest (and funniest).
20. Looper (2012), Rian Johnson | Podcast Review
A neo-noir with a time-travel kick. Director of The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson, gifts us one of the best modern original sci-fi movies. Ambitious, full of character and packed with great performances.
19. The Big Lebowski (1998), Joel and Ethan Coen
The Dude, aka His Dudeness, or Duder, or El Duderino, is one of the Coen’s most memorable creations. It might “only” be a simple crime comedy caper, but in my opinion, man, it’s incredible.
18. Anomalisa (2016), Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman
Stop motion drama about a man (David Thewlis) who lives in a world where every voice sounds like Tom Noonan’s, until he meets a woman (Jennifer Jason Leigh). The antithesis of a feel-good rom-com.
17. Labyrinth (1986), Jim Henson
Ello! Dance the magic dance with crotch-tight trousered David Bowie in Jim Henson’s most celebrated movie. Quirky comedy, incredible puppetry and designs, and inexhaustibly quotable. Now, come inside, meet the missus.
16. In the Heat of the Night (1967), Norman Jewison
Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) is a police officer stuck in a racist Southern town investigating a murder in this perfect example of how to tell a crime procedural with themes that sadly never stopped being relevant.
15. Serpico (1973), Sidney Lumet
Speaking of dramas featuring cops, Lumet’s biopic of NYPD whistle-blower Frank Serpico features one of the all time great performances from Al Pacino. The fact that the film as a whole is also phenomenal is just a bonus.
14. To Kill A Mockingbird (1962), Robert Mulligan
I dare you to watch Mulligan’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel about respected lawyer, Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck), in 1930’s Alabama, as he represents a black man accused of rape (Brock Peters), and not find the room getting a little bit dusty.
13. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), Stanley Kubrick
The greatest film director to have ever lived proves he could master any genre he turned his attention to, including comedy. Peter Sellers is on top form but it’s his role as the eponymous Strangelove that elevates this satirical black comedy about the cold war above any other of its era.
12. On the Waterfront (1954), Elia Kazan
Marlon Brando plays a former boxer who stands up to his corrupt docker union bosses. Every piece of the plot manoeuvres into place with inch-perfect precision thanks to Budd Schulberg’s screenplay.
11. Under The Skin (2013), Jonathan Glazer
Maybe the most divisive entry on this entire top 100 list. Some of us here at Failed Critics love Glazer’s cerebral sci-fi, others walked out of the cinema in absolute disgust. Narratively jittery, but a completely immersive experience. Love it or hate it, it’s hard to get it out of your head.
10. Ex Machina (2014), Alex Garland | Podcast Review
A moralistic promethean tale as old as tales, warning us about the dangers of playing God. Garland’s chilling philosophical exploration of the threat posed by our insatiable appetite for creating life, even if this form of artificial intelligence could potentially be our own downfall as a species, improves on every viewing.
9. Drunken Master (1978), Yuen Woo-ping
Arriving at a time when Bruce Lee’s legacy was still fresh in the memory, Jackie Chan introduced himself as the man to carry the beacon for Hong Kong cinema in this martial arts comedy classic that essentially forced people sit up and take notice of Chan’s adeptness at comic timing and masterful slapstick.
8. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Robert Rodriguez
Try as he might with Grindhouse ventures and Frank Miller adaptations, I’m resigned to the fact that Rodriguez will never better this kidnapping-come-vampire thriller, co-written by (and featuring) Quentin Tarantino. Some dodgy sequels and a TV series aside, From Dusk Till Dawn remains a masterpiece of mash-up genre movies.
7. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), George Roy Hill
The first of three Westerns in the top 10, beginning with this late-60’s classic. Two of the best actors to have graced the screen in Paul Newman and Robert Redford team up for this charming bromantic retelling of the legend of the wild west outlaws.
6. District 9 (2009), Neil Blomkamp
All three of Blomkamp’s feature-length sci-fi’s are on Netflix, but only Elysium misses out on our top 100. Sharlto Copley broke into the big time in this Apartheid allegory as Wikus, the government bureaucrat tasked with rehoming the refugee extraterrestrial alien population in Johannesburg, before things go terribly wrong.
5. The Nice Guys (2016), Shane Black | Review
Nobody does modern noir buddy-comedies quite like Shane Black. Once the highest paid screenwriter in America, Black ably shifted to director. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe have great on screen chemistry as they unravel this 70’s L.A. murder-mystery plot.
4. Bone Tomahawk (2016), S. Craig Zahler
It’s probably fairer to describe last year’s spectacularly gruesome Bone Tomahawk as a The Hills Have Eyes-esque horror before you think of it as a Western. Nevertheless, Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox and Richard Jenkins traverse the savage wilderness to retrieve Lili Simmons who has been abducted by a cannibal tribe in this gory, stomach-churning, incredibly well written horror.
3. Django Unchained (2012), Quentin Tarantino | Podcast Review
It’s taken a while for Tarantino to feature on this list, but when he does, he goes straight into the top 10 twice already. His episodic sprawling epic pays homage to spaghetti Westerns in a way that only he could. It’s Tarantino through-and-through.
2. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014), Alejandro González Iñárritu | Review
We may have been raving about Michael Keaton’s turn as super-villain The Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming on the website and podcast recently, but let’s be honest, he’ll never be a better bird-hero-thing than in this incredibly ambitious comedy-drama, edited to look like its two-hour runtime is just one long take.
1. Pulp Fiction (1994), Quentin Tarantino
Tarantino’s magnum opus. Samuel L Jackson’s magnum opus. John Travolta’s magnum opus. Uma Thurman’s magnum opus. You get where I’m going with this. Tarantino’s post-modern crime-thriller, heaving with references to hundreds of other films, has never been bettered. If you’ve not seen it before, put it straight to the top of your watchlist. Or, better yet, close this tab, open Netflix, and watch it right now.