The best movies on Netflix Australia

There’s never been a better time to chill out on the couch and put on a great movie. People are ditching traditional free-to-air TV and cinema, instead staying at home both to save a buck and avoid the hassle of having to go out. This has given rise to subscription video on-demand (SVOD) services such as Netflix. But we all have horrific stories about searching for hours for something to watch on Netflix, and just because you’re strapped for time doesn’t mean you should be stuck watching something you hate. So where should you begin? Check out the top 20 movies on Netflix with this Canstar Blue article. Prefer to start a new series instead? See our list of the best Netflix shows.

Top 20 Movies on Netflix

In no particular order, here are some of the best movies currently streaming on Netflix:

The Lighthouse

If you’re after something that’s a little bit different, The Lighthouse may be the film for you. Starring Willem Dafoe alongside Robert Pattinson as two lighthouse operators in a bleak environment. Pattinson plays newcomer Ephraim who struggles with the increasingly difficult tasks that Thomas (Dafoe) gives him on a daily basis, as well as struggles with the eerie nature of the island where they’re stationed. It’s a bit of a wild ride, with the movie all in black and white, but worth it if you don’t mind having no idea about what’s happening.

Beckett

John David Washington seemingly cannot do any wrong, with another blockbuster movie coming to Netflix. Beckett follows Beckett, an American tourist who is visiting Greece with his girlfriend, before the threat of political unrest cuts short their holiday. However, Beckett ends up in a car accident, which kills his girlfriend (or so he thinks), and when he awakens, he is hunted down by a man and a woman claiming to be police officers. He tries to evade the two killers and make his way to the US Embassy for safety, with his path blocked at every turn.

Vivo

One for the whole family, Vivo is an animated film that follows Andres and his kinkajou Vivo on an adventure from Cuba to Florida. Andres and Vivo are street performers, before Andres receives a letter from an old friend asking him to come to Florida. However, Andres passes away in his sleep before he can leave, with Vivo honouring Andres’ commitment, and travels to Florida with Andres’ daughter and niece. What follows is enough musical numbers to give Disney and Pixar a run for their money, with plenty of good vibes along the way.

Fear Street

Based on another set of books from Goosebumps creator R.L. Stine, Fear Street has been reimagined and split into three movie-sized pieces, each set to give you a few frights. Following strange happenings in the town of Shadyside, the Fear Street trilogy is split into Part One: 1994, Part Two: 1978 and Part Three: 1666, with a new part released weekly on Netflix in the month of July. And Part One is a doozy, featuring the undead, witches and teenage romance – the ultimate combo.

Inside Man

Spike Lee is criminally underappreciated, which is funnily enough, because that’s what his movie Inside Man is all about. Inside Man is a bank heist movie like you’ve never seen before. The plot jumps back and forth in time, leaving you a tad frazzled as the heist master narrates his every move. The result? You have all the clues but no idea how the bank heist happened. Inside Man is a fast moving, exhilarating puzzle with dazzling performances by the giants of early 2000 cinema, Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster and Chiwetel Ejiofor. And just like the plot moving back and forth, Netflix likes to go back and forth with this title appearing and disappearing from its library, so watch it before it disappears again.

Sign up to BINGE

Watched everything on Netflix? Why not try BINGE? Prices start at $10 per month for a basic package and go up to $18 per month. Check out the plan inclusions in the below table. This table includes links to a referral partner.

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min. cost $10 over one month

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BINGE Standard Plan

  • Stream over 10,000+ hours of shows and movies
  • Watch on 2 screens at the same time
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min. cost $14 over one month

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  • Stream over 10,000+ hours of shows and movies
  • Watch on 4 screens at the same time
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min. cost $18 over one month

4No. of Screens /same time viewing $18
Advertised Cost/year
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Army of the Dead

What makes a heist more high-stakes than zombies? Not much. That’s what director Zack Synder reckons, who is no stranger to zombie films, with his debut the 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake. The Army of the Dead sees Las Vegas turned into a zombie-filled wasteland, with a group of mercenaries assigned to retrieve $200 million from a casino vault before the city is destroyed by nuclear warhead, with plenty of backstabbing, zombie-biting action to be had.

The Woman in the Window

Like Amy Adams? Like thrillers? Like Amy Adams looking through windows? Do we have the movie for you! The Woman in the Window follows Dr. Anna Fox (Adams), an agoraphobic psychologist who struggles to leave the safety of her home for fear of the outside world. But when she witnesses a murder from her window, she must make a decision to leave the safety of her home to find the killer.

Super Me

Ever had a really good dream but woke up too soon? Then settle in and let someone else live out your dreams with Super Me. Sang Yu (played by Talu Wang), is a struggling writer who suffers from insomnia, which causes him to have a chance encounter with a demon. But, when he wakes up, Sang realises he now has a superpower – to grab anything he wants from a dream, and bring it back with him to his real life. But as it usually does, the dream starts to wear out, and Sang’s life begins to change, and potentially not for the better.

And Tomorrow the Entire World

Another foreign entrant on the list, And Tomorrow the Entire World follows Luisa, an idealist who wants to change Germany for the better through peaceful protests. But when she meets Alfa, her views start to change, becoming more violent and dangerous, starting her down a dark path. An ode to the current state of the world, the movie begs the question as to whether violence is best met with peace, or with more violence?

Sign up to Disney+ Australia

Want something different? Why note check out Disney+? There are two plan options to choose from – a monthly subscription at $11.99 per month, or prepay for a year at $119.99 and save on the monthly cost. Both plans include the same features, with unlimited downloads and the ability to stream on up to four screens at the same time. This table includes links to a referral partner.

Brand Subscription Type No. of Screens/same time viewing Advertised Cost^^/month or year
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Disney+ Monthly Subscription

  • Stream the Disney+ library, including Disney+ Originals, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic & Star
  • Watch on 4 screens at the same time
  • Add up to 7 profiles
  • Unlimited downloads of shows and movies on up to 10 devices

min. cost $11.99 over one month

4No. of Screens /same time viewing $11.99
Advertised Cost/month
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Disney+ Yearly Subscription

  • Stream the Disney+ library, including Disney+ Originals, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic & Star
  • Watch on 4 screens at the same time
  • Add up to 7 profiles
  • Unlimited downloads of shows and movies on up to 10 devices
  • Prepay for a yearly subscription and save on the monthly cost

min. cost $119.99 over one year

4No. of Screens /same time viewing $119.99
Advertised Cost/year
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Coven of Sisters

If you’re after a history lesson with a sinister undertone, then Coven of Sisters might be the next flick on your ‘to-watch’ list. Set in the 1600s at a time where witches (or the thought of witches) was beginning to take flight, Coven of Sisters is set in Spain, and follows a judge who travels the countryside to persecute those charged with witchcraft. However, a group of women form a plan to escape burning at the stake, and attempt to lure their inquisitor into the sacred witches’ Sabbath. The film won five Goyas – Spain’s film awards – and has an ending that will leave you spellbound.

Pieces of a Woman

This surprise-hit movie will have you reaching for the tissues within the first three-and-a-half-minutes. Pieces of a Woman tells a true story of filmmakers Kata Wéber and Kornél Mundruczó’s experience of losing a child and the emotional fallout that comes with trauma. Starring Vanessa Kirby (The Crown) and Shia LeBeouf, Pieces of a Woman follows a young couple on the verge of parenthood whose worlds are broken after their baby is pronounced dead during their home birth. The traumatic event results in the downward spiral of Kirby’s character as she grapples with grief, her relationship with her partner, and the role her midwife played.

Death to 2020

If you feel like having a laugh at the year-that-not-be-named, then Death to 2020 is for you. From Black Mirror creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones, the British mockumentary unleashes on the year 2020 through a combination of archival real footage from the year and fictitious characters. The cast includes the likes of Samuel L. Jackson as a reporter for the New Yorkerly News, Hugh Grant as a historian, Lisa Kudrow as a “non-official conservative spokesperson” and Kumail Nanjiani as CEO tech billionaire Bark Multiverse. Hey, if you can’t laugh — you’ll cry.

Rebecca

If you loved Armie Hammer in Call Me By Your Name or Lily James in Mamma Mia! then you’ll be pleased to hear that the two of them have teamed up for the Netflix Original remake of the iconic 1938 gothic novel, Rebecca. James stars as a young, naïve and unnamed woman who, after a whirlwind romance in Monte Carlo, agrees to marry wealthy widower Maxim de Winter. She moves into his famous estate in England, where she finds herself trapped in the shadow of the former Mrs de Winter, Rebecca, whose mysterious death haunts the manor. Above all that, she also has to deal with the cruel Mrs. Danvers (Kristin Scott Thomas) who was obsessed with Rebecca and refuses to accept that there is a new lady of the house.

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Aaron Sorkin’s new Netflix production is one of his best — and he’s done a lot (The Social Network, The West Wing, just to name a few). The fourth film adaptation of one of the most publicised and well-known court trials, Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 is based on the true story of, yep, you guessed it, the trial of the Chicago 7. The 2020 American legal drama follows a group of activists on trial in 1969 for various charges relating to the riots that followed demonstrations at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, Illinois. The film also boasts an impressive ensemble, including Eddie Redmayne, Joseph Gordon-levitt, Mark Rylance, Jeremy Strong, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and best of all, Sacha Baron Cohen. With whispers of Oscar nods already circulating, this is one not to miss.

Top End Wedding

There’s nothing better than a movie celebrating the beautiful country of Australia, and there’s not many movies that do it better than Top End Wedding, the rom-com from director Wayne Blair (The Sapphires). Set in the Northern Territory, the story follows Adelaide couple Lauren (Miranda Tapsell, The Sapphires, Love Child) and Ned (Gwilym Lee, Bohemian Rhapsody) as they plan to wed in Lauren’s hometown in the Territory. When the couple return home however, they discover that Lauren’s mother has pulled a runner, sparking a search hunt to bring her home before the wedding.

Call Me By Your Name

This coming-of-age romance was a low-budget Italian film based on the novel by André Aciman, released in 2017 and starring relatively unknown actors at the time, Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet. Flash forward a few months after its release, the movie has won an Oscar, is hailed as groundbreaking LGBTQI+ cinema and has made stars of its leads. Fans of the now-cult film have been thrilled to hear it’s making its way to Netflix, and for those who haven’t seen it, now’s your chance. Set in the summer of 1983, the film follows the love story of 17-year-old Elio (Chalemet), who is spending his holiday at his family’s Italian villa, along with Oliver (Hammer), who is working for Elio’s father as a research assistant. Directed by Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name will make you cry, fall in love with Timothée Chalamet, and make you want to pick up and move to Italy.

The Half of It

We already know Netflix is the King of rom coms. And we love a mushy romance (usually with Noah Centino as the lead) as much as the next person, but we’re pretty damn excited about The Half of It — a rom com celebrating diversity and friendship with a twist. Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis) is a shy, lonely, Chinese-American straight-A student living in the small town of Squahamish. Strapped for cash, she agrees to help the school jock Paul (Daniel Diemer) woo over his crush by writing notes for her. The only trouble? Ellie just so happens to a crush on the same girl. The Half of It will pull on your heartstrings, especially after Ellie and Paul strike up an adorable friendship. We are here for it all.

BlacKkKlansman

A film directed by the iconic Spike Lee with Jordan Peele – the mastermind behind recent hits Get Out and Us – on the production credit was always going to be unreal, and BlacKkKlansman does not disappoint. Loosely based on actual events, the film follows Ron Stallworth’s infiltration of the local Klu Klux Klan chapter as he attempts to expose the individuals beneath the white hoods. As the first African-American detective in the Colorado Springs police department, Stallworth sends his Jewish co-worker to the gatherings in his place.

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All the Bright Places

Based on the bestselling YA novel of the same name by Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places tells the story of two people – a popular girl and an outcast ‘freak’ – who accidentally form a powerful bond as fate leads them to helping each other deal with grief and mental illness. Elle Fanning stars as leading lady Violet Markey, who is dealing with survivor’s guilt, and Justice Smith as Theodore Finch who is struggling with an undiagnosed mental illness and can’t stop thinking about death. Directed by Brett Haley, All the Bright Places is about two people, unsuspectingly falling in love while they unsuspectedly save each other.

Uncut Gems

This is Adam Sandler like you’ve never seen him before. Uncut Gems follows Howard Ratner (Sandler), a gambling addict and gemstone dealer who runs a jewelry store in New York’s Diamond District. His gambling addiction has left him with debt up to his eyeballs and a broken marriage – but after discovering a rare uncut rock of Ethiopian gems, he thinks he’s finally found the solution to all his problems. With an interest from Boston Celtic’s Kevin Garnett (who plays himself in the movie), Ratner is feeling confident and makes a chaotic and high-stake bet in the NBA playoffs, with disastrous consequences. Adam Sandler himself said this movie was snubbed at the Oscars this year – and to be honest, he’s not wrong – Uncut Gems will have you on the edge of your seat for its entirety. He also promised he would come back and make a movie “so bad on purpose just to make you all pay” if the movie didn’t win. So… Grown Ups 3?

What movie should I watch on Netflix?

While this list is incredibly subjective, we hope it gives you some idea as to what to watch next time you fire up Netflix. If you’ve got a spare weekend or three, these movies are well worth a look into. And if you’re really strapped for ideas, check out our guides below for some genre-specific options:

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