Search icon


09th Jan 2017

15 goddamn brilliant movies available on Netflix right now

There has never been a better time to have a Netflix account.

Rich Cooper

1. Sicario

Photo: Lionsgate

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 94%

Synopsis: An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by a government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico. – IMDb

When it first came out, Sicario was ribbed for having the slightly stupid-sounding tagline “In Mexico, Sicario means hitman.” When people actually saw the movie, they found a dark and tense thriller with outstanding performances from Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro.

2. The Big Short

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 88%

Synopsis: Four denizens in the world of high-finance predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s, and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight. IMDb

The recent financial crisis was a confusing mess, so let Steve Carrell, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale break it down for you in this funny, smart and revealing comedy about the most boring thing on earth: mortgages.

3. Whiplash

Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 94%

Synopsis: A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realise a student’s potential. IMDb

J. K. Simmons won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his terrifying performance as Terence Fletcher, a ruthless and dominating jazz instructor. This is an electrifying film which ends with the most intense drum solo you’ll ever see – genuinely edge-of-your-seat stuff.

4. The Gift

Photo: STX Entertainment

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 93%

Synopsis: A young married couple’s lives are thrown into a harrowing tailspin when an acquaintance from the husband’s past brings mysterious gifts and a horrifying secret to light after more than 20 years.IMDb

Do you like creepy psychological thrillers? Do you like films about couples who seem like they have the perfect life but underneath lies a dark and twisted past? Do you like twists, turns and the unexpected? Then you will hate The Gift. No, no, you’ll actually really like it. That was just a bonus twist.

5. Fight Club

Photo: 20th Century Fox

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 79%

Synopsis: An insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker, forming an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more.IMDb

Fight Club is one of those movies that you’re just expected to have seen, but if you never got round to it, now’s your chance. It’s one of the great films about masculinity, society and what it really means to live in a world where everything is bullshit.

6. Airplane!

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 97%

Synopsis: A man afraid to fly must ensure that a plane lands safely after the pilots become sick.IMDb

You can basically just ignore the plot of Airplane!, because it doesn’t matter in the slightest. This film is a constant one-two of gags; you have never seen a movie stuffed with as many jokes as Airplane!. It’s the best part of 40 years old, but the jokes still stand up today, and whatever you do, don’t call him Shirley.

7. Battle Royale

Photo: Toei Company

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 87%

Synopsis: In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary “Battle Royale” act. IMDb

As you can imagine, Battle Royale carries just the teensiest bit of controversy with it. Forcing children into a gruesome fight to the death is a horrifying prospect, but the movie is more than an unfettered gorefest and intelligently deals with the issues of adolescence, albeit in extreme circumstances.

8. Serpico

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 90%

Synopsis: The true story about an honest New York cop who blew the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him.IMDb

Who doesn’t love a bit of Al Pacino shouting? Well, here he is at the top of his shouting game, not quite full-blown Heat Pacino, nor as restrained as Godfather Pacino. So many Pacinos, so little time.

9. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 81%

Synopsis: A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the principal thinks of that.IMDb

No matter how shitty you’re feeling, you can’t help but smile all the way through Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It’s a stone-cold ’80s teen comedy classic about being free and living life to the fullest. As Ferris himself says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

10. The Shawkshank Redemption

Photo: Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 91%

Synopsis: Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.IMDb

OK, you’ve already seen The Shawkshank Redemption, but you don’t need an excuse to watch one of the most uplifting films of all time again. If you haven’t seen The Shawkshank Redemption, just… quietly… go and watch it now. It’s exactly as brilliant as you’ve heard it is.

11. Requiem for a Dream

Photo: Artisan Entertainment

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 78%

Synopsis: The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions run deep.IMDb

A word of warning before watching Requiem for a Dream: it will be a while before you feel okay once the movie’s over. Intense is not the word. It’s difficult to articulate the way this film makes you feel, but just make sure you set aside a few hours to silently sit in the foetal position when you’re done watching.

12. Sing Street

Photo: Lionsgate

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 96%

Synopsis: A boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s escapes his strained family life by starting a band to impress the mysterious girl he likes.IMDb

The feel-good movie of 2016, without question. A heart-warming story of teenage infatuation with some of the catchiest original songs you’ll ever hear in a movie; it’ll make you wish your high school band was anywhere near as good as the kids in Sing Street.

13. The Ides of March

Photo: Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 84%

Synopsis: An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.IMDb

The acting talent in this political drama is quite staggering: George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood, Paul Giamatti – and they’re all at the top of their game. Definitely worth a watch after the political rollercoaster of 2016.

14. We Need to Talk About Kevin

Photo: Oscilloscope Laboratories

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 76%

Synopsis: Kevin’s mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly vicious things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.IMDb

You are really better off not knowing much about We Need to Talk About Kevin. You may have heard about that thing that happens, but that thing is not the most shocking part of this film. It’s as close to a horror film that you can get without actually being horror.

15. Pan’s Labyrinth

Photo: Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 95%

Synopsis: In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world. IMDb

Pan’s Labyrinth is a fairytale about the horror of war and the place a young girl goes to escape it. It’s bursting with the darkly twisted imagination of director Guillermo del Toro, who has managed to create worlds and creatures that you’ll never forget.