Wondering what to watch next on Netflix? Here, we bring you a list of the best films on Netflix UK right now, ranging from action and adventure to thrillers and documentaries. There are so many good films on Netflix, but sometimes it can be too much choice and it’s really tricky to search through so we’ve sifted through the lot to come up with the ultimate list of movies that we think you’ll enjoy.
If you’re looking for TV shows to watch on Netflix UK, check out our best TV shows on Netflix article, and our list of what’s coming to Netflix on TV. Our tips on how to navigate Netflix will help too.
This list is updated every month, but movies are changing on Netflix every day. That might mean that one or two of these movies are no longer available to watch by the time you come to read this article, and some good new films may have emerged.
Let’s get down to business then. Here are the best movies to watch on Netflix in the UK right now.
Edgar Wright’s movies have always been driven in large part by their soundtracks, but perhaps none more so than Baby Driver, a sort of heist movie musical. Ansel Elgort is the titular Baby, a young getaway driver, but it’s the likes of Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx that steal the show – at least in the breaks between phenomenal chase scenes cut to match the musical beats.
From Dusk Till Dawn
Written by (and co-starring) Quentin Tarantino and directed by Robert Rodriguez, From Dusk Till Dawn was always going to be a bit nuts. There are vampire strippers, a penis pistol, and holy water guns, and that’s barely scratching the surface. The only part we can’t quite get our heads around is buying that Tarantino and George Clooney are brothers.
Setting aside the excellent Making a Murderer series, Netflix generally punches below its weight when it comes to documentaries. It may not look like it, but Pumping Iron is a notable exception, following a pre-fame Arnold Schwarzenegger as he trains for the 1975 Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe bodybuilding competitions. It’s a great look into a weird sport, and an amazingly candid insight into the actor before he learnt to manage his public image.
Beasts of No Nation
Netflix’s first original film may boast Idris Elba in its cast, but great as he is, he’s not the real star here. That honour belongs to Abraham Attah, the Ghanaian teenager who makes his acting debut here as a young boy dragged into service as a child soldier in a vicious civil war. Unsurprisingly it’s pretty troubling stuff, but it’s undeniably powerful and difficult to forget.
Under the Shadow
Set in Tehran during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, this Persian-language is that rarest of things: a horror movie that feels genuinely new. That’s in part thanks to the relatively novel monster (the shadowy Djinn), partly the setting, and partly the brilliant central performance from Narges Rashidi. It also manages the neat trick of being totally terrifying while shedding hardly a single drop of blood.
The Silence of the Lambs
This horror/thriller classic remains the best adaptation of the various Hannibal Lecter stories – no mean feat given how many films there have been, not to mention the operatically weird TV show. By contrast, Jonathan Demme’s movie feels almost understated – no mean feat for a film about a cannibal serial killer.
This slightly lesser known Stephen King adaptation sees a novelist caught in a car accident and left in the tender care of his biggest fan – who may have more serious ambitions than merely nursing him back to health. Unbearably tense and anchored by great performances from James Caan and Kathy Bates, this is a great reminder that King has never needed a killer clown to scare the life out of us.
Shaun of the Dead
What do you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse? You grab a nice cool pint and wait for it to blow over, of course. Shaun of the Dead seems to capture what ‘real’ and hopeless people would do in the event that one day they wake up and the world around them is falling to pieces. With some killer fight scenes, slapstick gore and quotes you’ll never forget, this is one not to miss.
This smart sci-fi film from director Alex Garland (of the also excellent Ex Machina) got a cinema release in the US, but went straight to Netflix here in the UK. Don’t take that as a bad sign though: it’s not that Annihilation is bad, but simply that studio Paramount worried its mix of trippy visuals, dark horror, and loose plot wouldn’t convert to big box office returns. This isn’t an easy watch, but trust us, it’s worth it.
Anima is something a little different: this 15-minute short is essentially an extended music video. However, it’s an extended music video starring Thom Yorke for three songs from his album Anima, and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Turn the volume up and settle in for a surreal, dystopian dance that would be the perfect warm-up for a meatier movie.
This early Stephen King adaptation is still held up as one of the best – and most traumatic – horror movies of all time. Brian De Palma expertly frames Carrie’s telekinetic powers through the lens of puberty, and Piper Laurie’s religious mother figure is one of the all-time great movie monsters, despite not having a single supernatural power of her own.
Monty Python’s Life of Brian
This Monty Python classic re-tells the story of Jesus of Nazareth from the perspective of Brian – who’s not the Messiah, just a very naughty boy. As silly as it is satirical, the film pokes fun at religious and historical figures alike in that special, surreal way that only the best of Monty Python ever could.
This sprawling story of, well, boyhood, was filmed across years as Richard Linklater revisited his cast at key points over a couple of decades in order to chart the changes in his fictional family’s life through the genuine physical changes of his cast. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette are unsurprisingly brilliant, but the film’s real winner is Ellar Coltrane, the central boy who fortunately grew up to be a great actor along the way.
The Cabin in the Woods
A young Chris Hemsworth stars in this ingenious horror comedy from the mind of Joss Whedon, which gleefully subverts every trope in the genre. Five teenagers go on a trip to an isolated cabin the woods, creepiness ensues, but nothing is at all as it seems. This is a love letter to the horror genre that will work best if you’ve seen the films it references, but is strong (and scary, and funny) enough to stand up in its own right.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
This classic Clint Eastwood western is the highlight of his series of collaborations with director Sergio Leone, a sprawling story that’s beautifully shot and propulsively acted. Worth watching even if you’re not normally a western fan – and when you’re done, go back and watch A Fisftul of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More, the preceding films in this (loose) trilogy.
Looking for a psychological thriller that will leave you questioning everyone around you? Gone Girl is disturbing, gripping, shocking and a whole lot more. Based on the bestselling Gillian Flynn novel, Gone Girl explores the mystery of the disappearance of Amy Elliott Dunne (Rosamund Pike), with her husband Nick (Ben Affleck) becoming the prime suspect for the crime.
Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened
This Netflix original documentary follows the horrendous production woes – and post-production arrests – that dogged Fyre Festival, here dubbed the greatest party that never happened. From co-founder Ja Rule to a pilot who taught himself on Microsoft Flight Simulator, this is a tour de force of incompetence.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
This Western anthology from the Coen Brothers tells six distinct, unconnected stories in the old West. Don’t look out for character connections – there aren’t any – but instead follow the ebb and flow of theme, as the directors explore mortality, kindness, and the futility of existence across these utterly distinct, utterly memorable tales.
This Scorsese classic is one of the all-time gangster greats, and is unlikely to lose the title any time soon. Robert DeNiro, Ray Liotta, and Joe Pesci lead a stunning cast in this drama that stands up there with The Godfather as a reflection on the intimate – but challenging – relationship between family and the mafia.
The Night Comes for Us
If you liked Indonesian martial arts epic The Raid but thought it could be just a little more violent, then The Night Comes for Us may be for you. The Raid’s star Iko Uwais returns – though in a supporting role this time around – and the martial arts action is just as impressive, but now backed up by enough gore to make The Evil Dead blush.