Best Movies on Netflix Trending Right Now

The Best extensive guide is updated weekly with all-new picks.

Trying to find the best movie to watch on Netflix can be a daunting challenge. We’ve all been there. You’ve decided you’re going to watch something. You have the entirety of Netflix at your disposal, including even a pared down list of films you’ve already bookmarked to watch at a future date. But then there’s the choosing. You’ve gotta find something that fits your mood, or something you and your friend/significant other/couch companion can agree on. You spend hours browsing, and by the time you stumble on something you think maybe is the one, it’s too late, you’re too tired, and indecision has won out.

Never fear, though, because we here at Collider have a guide to help you find the perfect Netflix movies available in the U.S. We’ve thumbed through the library and assembled a list of some of the best films currently available for streaming, from classics to hidden gems to new releases and beyond. This list of the best movies on Netflix is updated weekly with all-new choices, so be sure to return the next time you’re looking for something great to watch.

Django Unchained

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Image via TWC

Director/Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson, Walton Goggins, and James Remar

Quentin Tarantino’s most financially successful film to date remains his 2012 Western epic Django Unchained, which is set in 1858 and tells the story of a freed slave’s (Jamie Foxx) quest to save his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from the clutches of a ruthless plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) – all with the help of a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz). Django Unchained is tremendously unsettling in terms of providing an unflinching glimpse at the lives of slaves in America (and the cruelty inflicting upon them), but it also has that Tarantino touch that makes it wildly entertaining – a combination that may strike some as odd or in poor taste. However you fall, DiCaprio’s menacing performance is undeniably among his very best, Foxx’s arc is particularly impressive, and it’s hard to argue with Waltz’s Oscar win for his supporting turn. – Adam Chitwood

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

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Image via Universal

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Melissa Mathison

Cast: Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, C. Thomas Howell, and Robert MacNaughton

It’s easy to forget just how good E.T. is. Obviously it’s one of Spielberg’s classics, but there’s an inclination to just assume E.T.‘s greatness without considering just how incredible this movie really is—it’s a downright masterpiece. It’s not enough for Spielberg to simply tell a story about an alien. He had done that already with Close Encounters of the Third Kind. No, this is a deeply personal work for the filmmaker, and one that’s just as much the story of a family torn apart by divorce as it is the tale of friendship between a lonely boy and a homesick alien. These plot devices go hand-in-hand, one informing the other, and it’s a testament to Spielberg’s genius that they blend so perfectly together. This is a movie filled with wonder, imagination, and adventure, but it’s also a considerably dark film that doesn’t shy away from the realities of a broken family. It’s that mix of pure movie magic and a grounded emotionality that make this a quintessential Spielberg film. If you need a reminder that Spielberg is one of the best there’s ever been, or simply want to watch a masterpiece, give E.T. a spin.  – Adam Chitwood

Jurassic Park

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Image via Universal

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writers: Michael Crichton and David Koepp

Cast: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, B.D. Wong, Samuel L. Jackson, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards, and Wayne Knight

If you haven’t seen Jurassic Park, A. What’s your deal? and B. You are in for a treat. Simply put, this is one of Steven Spielberg’s masterpieces. It’s a story of man’s hubris gone wrong—a tale as old as time, but with dinosaurs. Spielberg’s handle on tone and tension here is masterful, as the film opens by previewing the terror to come before settling the audience into the comfort and wonder of Jurassic Park. Then all hell breaks loose, Laura Dern is a badass, and Jeff Goldblum is unforgettably strange. It’s one of those great films that’s not only perfect, it’s highly rewatchable. So whether it’s your first time or your 50th, you’re guaranteed to enjoy it. – Adam Chitwood

Easy A

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Image via Screen Gems

Director: Will Gluck

Writer: Bert V. Royal

Cast: Emma Stone, Dan Byrd, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes, Thomas Hayden Church, Lisa Kudrow, Cam Gigandet, Patricia Clarkson, and Stanley Tucci

If you’re looking for a teen romcom with wit and charm to spare, 2010’s Easy A is an excellent choice. The story is partially inspired by The Scarlet Letter as Emma Stone plays a charismatic high schooler named Olive who, on a whim, pretends to hook up with a classmate to help hide the fact that he’s gay. This leads to many other classmates coming to her asking her to lie about hooking up in exchange for gifts, leading to a sullied reputation that she embraces a la The Scarlet Letter. Stone is already a movie star in this early film from her career, and the film is surprisingly smart and engaging at every turn. It also features Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as two of the best movie parents in cinematic history. – Adam Chitwood

Carol

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Image via The Weinstein Company

Director: Todd Haynes

Writer: Phyllis Nagy

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Jake Lacy, and Kyle Chandler

Carol is a sumptuous, sensual love story told with elegance and grace. Based on the book The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, the film takes place in 1952 Manhattan, where an aspiring photographer (Rooney Mara) crosses paths with a glamorous married woman (Cate Blanchett), the titular Carol. The film explores homosexuality in the mid-20th century, as Carol has a couple decades more experience as a closeted lesbian than this young woman. The two strike up a relationship that is fraught with fear, lust, and true love, and director Todd Haynes captures it all in a way that never feels exploitative. Cinematographer Ed Lachman shoots the film to look like an old photograph or a half-forgotten memory, and before you know it you’ve been swept off your feet. – Adam Chitwood

ParaNorman

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Image via Focus Features

Directors: Sam Fell and Chris Butler

Writer: Chris Butler

Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Casey Affleck, Anna Kendrick, John Goodman, Alex Borstein, Leslie Man, Jeff Garlin, Elaine Stritch, and Tucker Albrizzi

If you’re looking for a fun family movie that’s also genuinely spooky and has a surprising message, I urge you to check out ParaNorman. The stop-motion animated film hails from LAIKA, the same studio behind Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings, and it’s absolutely one of their best films. It revolves around a young kid named Norman who has the ability to see and speak with the dead, which comes in handy when his small Massachusetts town is overrun by terrifying ghosts. The story draws heavily from iconic 80s movies like The Goonies and E.T. but never feels derivative, and actually carries with it a surprising and emotional message about bullying and anger, and the complexity of emotions that kids can sometimes feel. It’s also just a ton of fun. – Adam Chitwood

Moneyball

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Image via Sony Pictures

Director: Bennett Miller

Writers: Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin

Cast: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Pratt, and Robin Wright

Brad Pitt gives one of the best performances of his career in the 2011 sports drama Moneyball, which went through a fraught development period (Steven Soderbergh was fired from directing three days before shooting was supposed to begin) but came out pretty spectacular on the other end. Based on a true story, Pitt plays Bill Beane, a former baseball player and current general manager of the Oakland Athletics who takes a gamble on using statistics instead of scouts to build his team. Jonah Hill earned an Oscar nomination for his dramatic turn as sabermetrics guru Peter Brand, while Philip Seymour Hoffman is unsurprisingly a scene-stealer as the team’s manager who opposes this abnormal method. Bennett Miller directs the film with a quiet introspection as Beane looks back on his how own past has shaped his best and worst tendencies, and the film works well as a parallel to Pitt’s transition from “Hollywood hunk” to thoughtful performer. As a bonus, the screenplay gets a crackerjack boost from Aaron Sorkin, whose scenes stick out in the best way. – Adam Chitwood

Enola Holmes

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Photo by Alex Bailey/Legendary

Director: Harry Bradbeer

Writer: Jack Thorne

Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Louis Partridge, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin, and Helena Bonham Carter

Enola Holmes is one of the best and most charming Netflix original movies released thus far. Based on the book series of the same name by Nancy Springer, the period mystery follows Millie Bobby Brown’s titular character, who is the youngest Holmes sibling and has been raised nearly in solitude by her single mother. But when she awakes one day to find her mother is missing, she takes matters into her own hands and sneaks into London to solve the case. The film is tremendously fun as Enola fearlessly follows leads and hunts for clues, but it’s also a surprisingly touching mother-daughter story with legitimately feminist themes. The script actually takes time to consider what it means to be a woman in a man’s world in a way that’s organic (and important) to the story at hand. It’s one of Brown’s best performances, but Henry Cavill is also a delight as Sherlock Holmes himself. Once the movie ends you’ll be begging for Netflix to make many more sequels. – Adam Chitwood

Mank

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Image via Netflix

Director: David Fincher

Writer: Jack Fincher

Cast: Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Arliss Howard, Tom Pelphrey, Tuppence Middleton, Charles Dance, and Tom Burke

Acclaimed filmmaker David Fincher’s first Netflix movie is catnip for cinephiles, as it charts the true-history behind the inspiration and writing of the screenplay for Citizen Kane. The film follows Hollywood screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) through his trials and tribulations as a charming and in-demand script doctor, but also a few years later as he develops and writes the first draft of what would become Citizen KaneMank chronicles the true-life inspirations for the characters and story of Kane, with Oldman delivering a towering performance as a beleaguered man who sees a shot at greatness and takes it. The execution is tremendous, as Fincher crafts a lush black-and-white feature that’s made to look (and sound) like it was released in 1941. Amanda Seyfried shines as actress Marion Davies and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross deliver a lush throwback score that underlines the entire affair. – Adam Chitwood

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

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Image via The Orchard

Director/Writer: Taika Waititi

Cast: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rhys Darby, Rima Te Wiata, and Rachel House

Before Taika Waititi made one of the best MCU movies to date, and before he won an Oscar for Jojo Rabbit, he made a delightful New Zealand adventure movie in which a grumpy Sam Neill is forced to team up with a foul-mouthed child when the two are the target of a manhunt throughout the New Zealand bush. It’s based on an existing book, but in tone and execution Hunt for the Wilderpeople oftentimes feels like an adaptation of a Roald Dahl book we never knew about. It’s delightful and whimsical and a little terrifying, with Waititi’s playful anarchy filling the whole thing out for good measure. This movie is guaranteed to put you in a good mood.

Fargo

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Image via Gramercy Pictures

Director: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Writers: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Cast: Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, John Carroll Lynch.

The Coen Brothers are two of the best filmmakers in history, and their darkly comic 1996 crime thriller Fargo is among their multiple masterpieces. Constantly engaging and surprising at every turn, the film is anchored by a stellar performance from Frances McDormand as mild mannered heroine Marge Gunderson. Like any good Coen Brothers film, it’s chock-full of unforgettable characters, but the duo also do some of their best visual work here with more than a few iconic shots populating the film. It’s a mystery, it’s a drama, it’s a comedy—Fargo is a Coen Brothers film through and through. – Adam Chitwood

Lady Bird

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Image via A24 and Merie Wallace

Director/Writer: Greta Gerwig

Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Odeya Rush

I’m so glad Lady Bird exists and that it functions as an announcement that Greta Gerwig is not only a major talent, but also a talent that can go beyond herself. My fear going into Lady Bird was that the movie would be too autobiographical and Gerwig would have unintentionally created a parody of her mumblecore roles. Instead, she provided a film that was personal and specific. It’s a movie that relishes its lived-in relationships while never being exclusionary.

On my first viewing, I found the movie to be a very good example of the coming-of-age dramedy. Upon a repeat viewing, I see it as one of the best examples the genre has to offer. Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf are both amazing as they relish both the highs and lows of their mother-daughter relationship, and watching Lady Bird’s rocky senior year of high school, complete with all the honest missteps a teenager makes, turns Gerwig’s debut into an unforgettable feature. – Matt Goldberg

A Knight’s Tale

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Image via Sony Pictures Releasing

Writer/Director: Brian Helgeland

Cast: Heath Ledger, Paul Bettany, Rufus Sewell, Shannyn Sossamon, Laura Fraser, Alan Tudyk, Mark Addy, Berenice Bejo, James Purefoy

A Knight’s Tale is one of those purely joyful movies that goes down smooth no matter what mood you’re in. Heath Ledger is at the height of his heartthrob phase, unleashing that megawatt charm with, frankly, reckless abandon and showcasing the commanding screen presence that would make him an awards favorite before his untimely death. And he’s surrounded by an ace ensemble, with Paul BettanyAlan TudykLaura Fraser, and Mark Addy keeping up the comedy while Ledger smacks down the swoons. Writer/director Brian Helgeland reimagines the classic underdog sports tale in the realm of lords, ladies, and jousting knights, positively pumping up the jam with an anachronistic soundtrack full of bops and bangers, from Queen to David Bowie to Heart. If you forgot how good this soundtrack is, do yourself a favor and add it to your playlist asap, but the music doesn’t just objectively own, it further brightens up the spirits of this jovial peak-summer feel-good film, and ramps up the energy of the action scenes. In short, A Knight’s Tale will, in fact, rock you. — Haleigh Foutch

The Back to the Future Trilogy

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Image via Universal Pictures

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Writers: Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale

Cast: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, and Thomas F. Wilson

Surely one of the most rewatchable movie trilogies of all time, Back to the Future is pure entertainment. The production of the first film was famously difficult, with the recasting of the role of Marty McFly forcing the crew to reshoot much of the film. But in the end, the imagination of Robert Zemeckis shined through, as Back to the Future offers up one of the best time travel movies ever made. This film absolutely soars, mixing nostalgia for the 1950s with a tremendous tinge of sci-fi. The first sequel, Part II, offers a terrific wish-fulfillment view of the future before going back to the 50s in eye-popping fashion, and Part III travels to the Old West to give the franchise the sendoff it deserves. All three are well worth watching pretty much whenever you want to feel joy. – Adam Chitwood

13th

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Image via Netflix

Director: Ava DuVernay

Writers: Spencer Averick and Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay follows up her acclaimed film Selma with a searing documentary that looks at the mass incarceration of minorities following the passage of the 13th amendment. As the documentary points out, it’s not just ingrained cultural racism that results in the widespread incarceration of African-Americans and other minorities.  There’s a financial incentive as well, and it’s good business to lock people up.  13th systematically goes through the decades following the passage of the 13th amendment to show how black people were targeted by the media, by the government, and by businesses to create a new form of slavery.  It is a movie that will infuriate you, depress you, and hopefully spur you to action against a system that done egregious harm to our fellow citizens.  – Matt Goldberg

Her

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Image via Warner Bros.

Director/Writer: Spike Jonze

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, and Chris Pratt

Filmmaker Spike Jonze’s 2013 film Her garnered a few snickers when the premise was revealed: A story of a man who falls in love with his operating system. But when folks got a look at the film, they weren’t laughing. Her is one of the best films of the decade—a deeply felt, gorgeous, heartbreaking story of love, loneliness, and what it means to be a human on the planet Earth. Joaquin Phoenix delivers a phenomenal lead performance, and Scarlett Johansson is magnificent in the voice role of Samantha. The cinematography by Hoye van Hoytema is warm and inviting, the score by Arcade Fire is immensely moving. This is a film that’s pretty much perfect from top to bottom, and by the end you my find yourself in a puddle of tears over just how darn beautiful the whole thing is. Do yourself a favor and give Her a shot. – Adam Chitwoodhttps://355ecb84100da7416d72c33190dc87ef.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

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Image via Sony

Directors: Bob Perischetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Writers: Phil Lord, Rodney Rothman

Cast: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Zoe Kravitz, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Nicolas Cage, Kathryn Hahn, Liev Schreiber

“Anyone can wear the mask.” That’s the theme of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Versewhich makes it not just one of the most inspiring superhero movies ever made, but also one of the most important. While the film’s protagonist is Miles Morales, a mixed race high school student living in New York City who gets bit by a spider and gains superpowers, the movie expands the world into a “multi-verse” as various Spider-People from other dimensions come into Miles’ life. Spider-Gwen, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir all have different backgrounds and motivations, but they all rose above adversity to become the hero their world needed. The crux of the film is the relationship between Miles, who’s not yet ready to lead, and an alternate universe Peter Parker, who’s going through a mid-life crisis and reluctantly mentors the young, new Spidey. It’s an endearing, hilarious, and touching the relationship, and the film is packed with themes of friendship, heroism, and family that make it a tremendously positive viewing experience for youngsters. – Adam Chitwood

Midnight Special

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Image via Warner Bros.

Director/Writer: Jeff Nichols

Cast: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Sam Shepard, and Jaeden Martell

If you’re into grounded, indie sci-fi movies you’ll want to check out Midnight Special. This underrated 2016 film takes place in Texas and follows a father (Michael Shannon) who is forced to go on the run with his son (Jaeden Martell) when it turns out his son has special powers. Chased down by both the government and a cult, the bond between father and son is tested in various ways. Adam Driver plays an NSA communications analyst who has his own vested interest in the boy, and while this sounds like the plot of a superhero movie, Nichols approaches the material in an extremely realistic and grounded manner. It’s a Sundance movie with stunning performances and minimalist visual effects, putting a heavy focus on character over plot twists or giant set pieces. And Shannon gives a deeply soulful turn as the boy’s father. – Adam Chitwoodhttps://355ecb84100da7416d72c33190dc87ef.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Wildlife

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Image via IFC Films

Director: Paul Dano

Writers: Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan

Cast: Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ed Oxenbould, and Bill Camp

The 2018 directorial debut of actor Paul Dano is a handsomely crafted and emotionally overwhelming chronicle of a marriage falling apart, all seen through the eyes of the couple’s young boy. Based on the book of the same name by Richard FordWildlife takes place in 1960 and follows a couple (Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal) and their teenage son as they move to Montana. Shortly after arriving, the father loses his job and is forced to take the only work he can – going off and fighting wildfires, leaving his wife and son behind to fend for themselves. Mulligan gives a quietly devastating performance as a single mother doing her best, and Gyllenhaal brings a seething intensity to the role of a man trying to hide his shame. Dano directs the whole thing with the care and confidence of a veteran auteur (his handle on shot composition is truly stunning), and the screenplay by Dano and Kazan is assured and poetic. This is a deeply emotional and mature family drama that proves Dano is the real-deal behind the camera, and it’s also lowkey one of the best films of the last few years. – Adam Chitwood

Pride and Prejudice

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Image via Focus Features

Director: Joe Wright

Writer: Deborah Moggach

Cast: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland, Tom Hollander, Rosamund Pike, Jena Malone, and Judi Dench

The classic Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice has been adapted many, many, many times, but it’s entirely possible that Joe Wright’s 2005 film is the best ever. Keira Knightley leads the film as Elizabeth Bennet, a headstrong young woman who strikes up a hot-and-cold relationship with the enigmatic Mr. Darcy (played by Succession’s Matthew Macfadyen). The cinematography and production design are absolutely lush, and Dario Marianelli’s score is beautiful and vibrant, but it’s Wright’s actors that really make this thing soar and the chemistry between Knightley and Macfadyen is absolutely tremendous. – Adam Chitwood

How to Train Your Dragon 2

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Image via DreamWorks Animation

Director/Writer: Dean DeBlois

Cast: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, Djimon Hounsou, and Kit Harington

The best film in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy is also the most emotional one. The 2014 sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2 takes place five years after the events of the first film and finds Hiccup coming into contact with his long-lost mother (played by Cate Blanchett) and battling a madman (Djimon Hounsou) who wants to take over the world. Compassion and empathy are prominent themes in this “kids movie” that may or may not leave parents in puddles of tears by its end. It’s a testament to Dean DeBlois’s filmmaking skills (with an assist by cinematographer Roger Deakins) that this movie is as great as it is, and as a bonus you get a truly wonderful score by composer John Powell. – Adam Chitwoodhttps://collider.com/iFramedAdTemplate/2677/unknown/

Nightcrawler

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Image via Open Road Films

Director/Writer: Dan Gilroy

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Riz Ahmed, Rene Russo, and Bill Paxton

An utterly dark yet compelling thriller in the vein of Taxi Driver, the 2014 film Nightcrawler features one of Jake Gyllenhaal’s best performances ever. He plays an odd and hungrily ambitious freelance photographer named Lou who goes to grotesque lengths to capture exclusive footage of grisly crime scenes in Los Angeles. Riz Ahmed is heartbreaking as Lou’s assistant and Rene Russo gives an Oscar-worthy performance as the morning news director at a local station. If you’re into dark thrillers with standout performances, give this one a watch. – Adam Chitwood

Spotlight

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Image via Open Road Films

Director: Tom McCarthy

Writers: Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy

Cast: Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Brian d’Arcy James, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, Billy Crudup, and John Slattery

Winner of the Best Picture Oscar for 2015, Spotlight is a tremendous achievement and a magnificent example of the tightrope walk many filmmakers must do when tackling touchy or controversial subject matter. In chronicling the Boston Globe’s investigation into systemic sexual abuse in the Catholic church, Spotlight never relishes in putting down the church itself, nor does it shy away from the horrible crimes perpetrated (and facilitated) by those in power. It’s an incredibly engaging and compelling story of good people trying to do a good thing, and all the challenges that come with standing up to a massive superpower. Moreover, the ensemble in this thing is one of the best in recent memory. Whether you’re a Best Picture completionist or not, Spotlight is well worth your time. – Adam Chitwood

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

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Image via Netflix

Director: David Dobkin

Writers: Will Ferrell and Andrew Steele

Cast: Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens, and Demi Lovato

If you think Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is just another “dumb Will Ferrell comedy,” think again. One of 2020’s most pleasant surprises, this musical comedy is surprisingly sweet and genuinely emotional – don’t be surprised if you find yourself welling up with tears by the end. The story follows a pair of lifelong friends and musicians from Iceland who are unexpectedly thrust into the Eurovision Song Contest, which tests their talents and their relationship to one another. Ferrell is hilarious as always, but it’s Rachel McAdams who steals the show here and proves yet again she’s one of the best comedic talents working right now. Oh and the songs? They’re spectacular. – Adam Chitwood

Da 5 Bloods

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Photo by David Lee/Netflix © 2020

Director: Spike Lee

Writers: Spike Lee, Kevin Wilmott, Danny Bilson, and Paul De Meo

Cast: Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Norm Lewis, Jonathan Majors, and Chadwick Boseman

For his follow-up film after winning the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for BlacKkKlansman, legendary filmmaker Spike Lee decided to tackle the Vietnam War with Da 5 BloodsThe story is fairly straightforward, but the film is anything but. It follows four Vietnam War veterans who travel back to Vietnam to find the remains of their fallen squad leader—as well as a pile of gold they left behind. But they soon find that the wounds they carry run deep, and Lee uses the film to examine issues of family, race, and American Exceptionalism in striking, graphic ways. It’s absolutely thrilling and Delroy Lindo gives a genuinely Oscar-worthy lead performance. – Adam Chitwoodhttps://collider.com/iFramedAdTemplate/2677/unknown/

Being John Malkovich

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Image via USA Films

Director: Spike Jonze

Writer: Charlie Kaufman

Cast: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, and John Malkovich

Being John Malkovich is certainly one of the weirdest movies ever made, but I can guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it. From the mind of Charlie Kaufman, the film stars John Cusack as an unemployed puppeteer who finds work as a file clerk at an office building, where he discovers a door that lets anyone who enters control the mind of actor John Malkovich for a short period of time. The story snowballs from there and concerns love, ego, and power, and everyone involved gives an absolutely terrific performance. – Adam Chitwood

The Town

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Image via Warner Bros.

Director: Ben Affleck

Writers: Ben Affleck, Peter Craig, and Aaron Stockard

Cast: Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Casey Affleck, Chris Cooper, Pete Postlethwaite, and Blake Lively

Ben Affleck famously turned his career around with his 2007 directorial debut Gone Baby Gone, but he proved he wasn’t a one-trick pony with his excellent 2010 crime thriller The Town. The film follows four lifelong Boston friends who rob a bank, only for everything to nosedive from there. But Affleck injects a deep humanity into all of the characters that makes this a surprisingly empathetic saga, which also boasts a swell performance from Affleck (and of course Jeremy Renner, who was nominated for an Oscar for his work). And on a base level, this is just a really compelling and effective thriller. Those set pieces! – Adam Chitwood

Stardust

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Image via Paramount Pictures

Director:Matthew Vaughn

Writers: Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman

Cast: Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Michelle Pfieffer, Sienna Miller, Robert De Niro, Ian McKellan, Ben Barnes, Henry Cavill, Peter O’Toole, Rupert Everett, Mark Strong, Ricky Gervais

Based on Neil Gaiman’s novella of the same name, Stardust is a whimsical, magical adventure through a magical land where stars crash to earth in human form, space pirates navigate the air, and the ghosts of the monarchy are entertained by fratricide. Long before he was Daredevil Charlie Cox charmed as Tristan Thorn, a young man who journeys to a magical land to capture a fallen star (Claire Danes) and finds adventure and romance lying beyond the wall he was told to never cross. Stardust is playful and fun to boot, with a vibrant performance from Michelle Pfieffer as a badass witch on the quest for immortality. All in all, Stardust has everything you want from a fantasy adventure, from wild imagination to sweeping romance to Robert De Niro as a space pirate. — Haleigh Foutch


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