Sometimes there's nothing better than getting dressed up and heading out for a night on the town with your partner or squad. Other nights, however, absolutely nothing beats staying home, snuggling up on the couch, and firing up your Netflix account. On those nights, the most taxing part of the whole night is deciding what to watch. Do you binge watch a TV show? Do you opt for a movie? The good news is, between those two, you can't really make the wrong choice, and here are 25 movies on Netflix worth staying in to watch to help make the decisions process a little less daunting.
There are movies available on Netflix that will fit any mood or frame of mind, from funny, to sappy, to exciting, to emotional. Want a moody period drama? You've got it. Prefer a sappy romance? Got that too. Want to laugh until your side hurts? Not a problem. Itching for a little suspense? Your wish is Netflix's command. Want to learn something? Check and check. Not only does Netflix have a stellar movie option for each and every mood, they have multiple offerings in each category. So next time you're cozying up at home don't stress over your Netflix movie selection. You can't go wrong with these.
Director Ava DuVernay's Netflix documentary — so named because of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which outlawed slavery and "involuntary servitude" except as a punishment for a crime — takes a look at incarceration in the United States and how it plays a role in essentially extending slavery into modern American life. It might be a jarring choice for a date night, but you'll be hooked.
This 2007 film is about a cartoonist at the San Francisco Chronicle who decided to investigate a slew of Northern California murders committed by the Zodiac Killer in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The cast is chock full of Hollywood heavy-hitters like Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, and Chloë Sevigny. You won't be able to stop watching.
The Big Short
Based on a true story, this movie tells the tale of four lower-level finance guys who were able to predict the coming housing bubble burst and financial crisis that resulted in the 2008 recession — and then decided to do their part to attempt to stand up to the big banks. If you haven't seen it yet, it should definitely make your must see list.
This movie stars Sean Penn as Harvey Milk, the LGBTQIA activist who fought to become California's first openly gay elected official. They also used archival footage to round out the story. You have to watch it if you haven't already.
This popular period drama is based on the novel by Ian McEwan. Thirteen-year-old Briony (played by Saoirse Ronan) accuses her older sister (played by Keira Knightley) Cecilia's lover, Robbie, of a serious crime after misinterpreting a private moment between Cecilia and Robbie that led her to believe he was capable of such an act.
Helen Mirren won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in the aftermath of the death of Diana, Princess of Wale (her son's ex-wife and the mother of her grandsons). Queen Elizabeth II faced criticism as she attempted to respond to the tragedy, attempting to balance grief with stability and composure.
The Place Beyond The Pines
According to SheKnows, Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling have this movie to thank for their relationship. In the movie, Gosling plays Luke, a motorcycle stuntman turned bank robber when he needs money to help support Mendes' character, Romina and their newborn. Bradley Cooper also stars as a small town police officer trying to move up within his department. Sometimes legacies can last even longer than you'd like.
First They Killed My Father
Angelina Jolie directed and co-wrote the screenplay for this heavy film about co-writer Loung Ung's childhood under the Khmer Rogue in Cambodia. If you don't know much about the regime, this film will be eye-opening, to say the least.
The African Queen
This World War I classic stars Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn as their characters travel by steamboat (the titular-named African Queen) out of a German colony in Africa. While traveling, the two decide to try to convert the steamboat into a vessel that can take out a more power German warship. It's an adventure that you don't want to miss.
If you haven't seen this film adaptation of the popular Broadway musical yet, cancel your plans because you have a movie you need to watch. The movie stars Renee Zellweger as Roxie Hart, who ends up on death row for killing the man with whom she's having an affair. The star-studded cast is sure to entertain from start to finish.
The Imitation Game
Benedict Cumberbatch starred in this World War II flick that's based on a true story. Cumberbatch played Alan Turing, a mathematician who worked to try to crack the most difficult and puzzling codes during the war. You'll be drawn in from the very beginning.
Bridget Jones's Diary
This movie, in case you haven't seen it already, is based on Helen Fielding's novel of the same name. It's a sort of Pride and Prejudice-style tale starring Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones, an unlucky in love journalist, Hugh Grant as smarmy womanizer Daniel Cleaver, and Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, a human rights attorney. It's the first in what's now a full trilogy — and two are on Netflix — so buckle up for a full night's worth of viewing.
This whimsical movie, based on the classic children's book of the same name, is about a small, down-on-her-luck orphan who makes friends with a giant (but a friendly one) who then takes her on an adventure to Giant Country. Together, the two set out to take on the not-so-friendly giants that are invading — and terrifying — the humans in the world.
This German film will require you to read subtitles (if you don't understand German), but it's well-worth it. It tells the story of Nelly, a young woman who spent part of World War II in a concentration camp because she is Jewish. She survived, but was injured during her time there, which led to disfigurements on her face. Her friend suspects that Nelly's non-Jewish husband was the one who turned her in. And Nelly is going to find out if that's true.
This documentary about fashion icon Iris Apfel gives you an inside look into what Apfel's life is like. Fashion documentaries are often fascinating — and Apfel herself is fascinating.
This film tells the true story about how reporters and editors at the Boston Globe discovered a child molestation scandal — and subsequent coverup — within the Catholic Church. A heavy subject to be sure, but you'll definitely be hooked.
This movie is a much darker take on Mean Girls, basically. One teen girl decides to plot with a rebellious teen to kill the popular kids in school to help her break away from the clique that's dragging her down.
Beauty And The Beast
If you haven't seen this live-action remake, you must remedy that immediately. Emma Watson was just about the perfect choice to play Belle. It's a nostalgic remake of the Disney favorite and is relatively family-friendly, depending on the age of your kids.
In this follow-up to Finding Nemo, Marlin's friend Dory takes center stage. If you — or your kids — loved the original, this new story with a generally familiar plot line is sure to please as well. It's a light-hearted choice perfect for those weeks when you just need something easy.
This movie takes place in 1980s Dublin and is all about a young boy who starts a band to impress a girl. If you like coming of age movies and, of course, the '80s, chances are you'll like this flick too.
Beasts Of No Nation
A serious film about a young boy named Agu who's forced to become a child soldier, Beasts of No Nation goes into detail about a life unlike the one that you likely grew up with. Now a soldier, Agu has to try to navigate the balance between being a kid and growing up too fast.
Young kids fall in love with one another and they run off into the wilds of New England to spend time together. A ragtag group of townspeople go off searching for them and it all shakes up the town a bit. This movie is basically a Wes Anderson summer camp on screen, so if that's your thing, you might like it.
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
This movie tells the true story of French Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who became completely paralyzed after a debilitating stroke (and subsequent coma) when he was only in his 40s. He soon learns how to communicate without speaking or moving and this movie is an adaptation of the memoir he wrote after his paralysis.
Barry, a loner with a short fuse, meets one real-life woman who starts to fall for him while he is being extorted by the owner of a phone-sex hotline, which he called to alleviate his loneliness. Though Barry isn't super-duper likable, you just might find yourself rooting for him by the end.
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