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The best Netflix original movies right now

The cast of Irish Wish.
Netflix

Aside from an Academy Award for Best Original Short, Netflix‘s dreams of Oscar gold again came up short at this year’s ceremony. But Netflix has something that any of the major studios would kill for: a library of original movies that constantly gets several new titles each and every month of the year. That’s because Netflix spends a lot of money to keep these originals coming in order to keep subscribers happy.

Between Spaceman and Damsel, this month’s batch of Netflix originals has been very strong. Surprisingly, the most popular movie on Netflix right now is Irish Wish, an original rom-com that’s headlined by Lindsay Lohan. And that’s just the beginning of the best Netflix original movies right now.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, try our other lists of the best Netflix original series, the best Hulu original series, the best Amazon Prime original movies, and the best Amazon Prime original series.

Irish Wish (2024) [New]

Irish Wish
Irish Wish
  • Metacritic: 47%

  • IMDb: 5.5/10

  • Rated: PG

  • Duration: 94m

  • Genre: Romance, Comedy, Fantasy

  • Stars: Lindsay Lohan, Ed Speleers, Alexander Vlahos

  • Directed by: Janeen Damian

For Lindsay Lohan, the career comeback remains a work in progress. But perhaps having a hit Netflix movie can help move that along. In Irish Wish, Lohan plays Maddie Kelly, a book editor who has fallen for one of her authors, Paul Kennedy (Alexander Vlahos). But before Maddie can work up the courage to confess her feelings, he falls head over heels for her best friend, Emma Taylor (Elizabeth Tan).

During a trip to Ireland for Paul and Emma’s wedding, Maddie makes a wish and suddenly finds herself in Emma’s shoes as the bride-to-be. The problem is that Maddie doesn’t know Paul very well even in this new timeline, and she has more chemistry with an English photographer, James Thomas (Ed Speleers), whom she met briefly before making her life-altering wish.

Watch on Netflix

Damsel (2024) [New]

Damsel
Damsel
  • Metacritic: 46%

  • IMDb: 7.8/10

  • Rated: PG-13

  • Duration: 110m

  • Genre: Fantasy, Action, Adventure

  • Stars: Millie Bobby Brown, Nick Robinson, Robin Wright

  • Directed by: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

Fairytale weddings are supposed to go off without a hitch at the end of the story. But Damsel shakes things up for Princess Elodie (Millie Bobby Brown). After living a sheltered life with her father, Lord Bayford (Ray Winstone), and her stepmother, Lady Bayford (Angela Bassett), Elodie isn’t initially up for marrying Prince Henry (Nick Robinson). But for the sake of her people, Elodie gives Henry a chance and finds common ground before their union.

What Elodie doesn’t know is that Henry’s family has a centuries-old debt to a dragon, and his mother, Queen Isabelle (Robin Wright), only proposed the wedding to use Elodie as a suitable sacrifice for the creature. Now, Elodie has to take up a sword and fight for her life. And in the process, she’ll also have to create a new ending for herself.

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Spaceman (2024) [New]

Spaceman
Spaceman
  • Metacritic: 56%

  • IMDb: 5.8/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 108m

  • Genre: Science Fiction, Drama

  • Stars: Adam Sandler, Paul Dano, Carey Mulligan

  • Directed by: Johan Renck

How far away do you have to go to run away from your problems? Not even outer space is far enough for Jakub Procházka (Adam Sandler) in Spaceman. As an astronaut, it’s Jakub’s job to explore the great unknown, even if his loneliness and heartbreak are eating him up inside. He’s also desperate to hear from his wife, Lenka Procházka (Carey Mulligan), whom he doesn’t realize wants to leave him.

Jakub’s story takes a turn when he meets Hanuš (Paul Dano), a telepathic alien spider who wants to learn more about humanity. Jakub’s memories are a window to another world for Hanuš, but neither the man nor the alien will like what Hanuš sees there.

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The Kitchen (2023)

The Kitchen
The Kitchen
  • Metacritic: 67%

  • IMDb: 4.8/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 108m

  • Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller, Drama, Adventure, Comedy

  • Stars: Kane Robinson, Jedaiah Bannerman, BACKROAD GEE

  • Directed by: Daniel Kaluuya, Kibwe Tavares

Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya co-wrote The Kitchen with Joe Murtagh, and he also co-directed it with Kibwe Tavares. However, Kaluuya doesn’t take a leading role in this dystopian drama. Instead, Kane Robinson headlines the movie as Izi, a man who is living in the Kitchen, one of the last remnants of social housing in London.

Izi is eager to escape from that life and find something better for himself, at least until he meets a young boy named Benji (Jedaiah Bannerman). Suddenly, Izi has a reason to stay and build a fatherly bond with Benji, who badly needs that in his life. But when it comes time to choose between staying with Benji or escaping the Kitchen, not even Izi knows which way he’ll turn.

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Players (2024)

Players
Players
  • Metacritic: 51%

  • IMDb: 5.6/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 105m

  • Genre: Romance, Comedy

  • Stars: Gina Rodriguez, Damon Wayans Jr., Tom Ellis

  • Directed by: Trish Sie

Mack (Gina Rodriguez) thinks she’s figured out the dating world in Players, and she’s not interested in simply going through a series of traditional romances to find happiness. Instead, Mack knows how to seduce almost anyone she wants for short-term hookups, and she’s so good at it that she’s been able to help her friends – Adam (Damon Wayans Jr.), Sam (Augustus Prew), and Little (Joel Courtney) – do the same.

But this wouldn’t be a rom-com if there wasn’t an actual chance for romance. That’s where Nick (Lucifer‘s Tom Ellis) comes in. Unlike her previous suitors, Nick really speaks to Mack on a deeper level and she decides that she wants a long-term romance with him. However, Mack soon discovers that her pickup artist tactics won’t help her win Nick’s heart. She needs to do that on her own.

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Orion and the Dark (2024)

Orion and the Dark
Orion and the Dark
  • Metacritic: 75%

  • Duration: 91m

  • Genre: Family, Comedy, Animation, Fantasy

  • Stars: Jacob Tremblay, Paul Walter Hauser, Angela Bassett

  • Directed by: Sean Charmatz

Some kids have to settle for an imaginary friend to cure their loneliness. Orion (Jacob Tremblay) has something even better: The living embodiment of Dark (Paul Walter Hauser). DreamWorks Animation’s Orion and the Dark tells the story of how Orion meets the Dark after a lifetime of being afraid of just about everything, especially the dark.

When Dark gets tired of hearing Orion railing against him, he introduces himself and takes the young boy on a whirlwind adventure that’s designed to help him conquer his fears. Dark has only the best of intentions, but it’s ultimately Orion who has to actually find a way to deal with the phobias that have held him back.

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Society of the Snow (2023)

Society of the Snow
Society of the Snow
  • Metacritic: 71%

  • IMDb: 8.0/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 144m

  • Genre: Drama, History

  • Stars: Enzo Vogrincic, Agustín Pardella, Matías Recalt

  • Directed by: J. A. Bayona

There are plenty of movies about survivors overcoming the odds in a heartwarming way. Society of the Snow is not one of those films. Director J. A. Bayona (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) dramatizes the story of the 1972 Uruguayan plane crash that has become famous (and infamous) for the lengths that the people on board had to go to in order to pull through.

If you don’t already know the details about what happened, it’s better to remain in the dark about who makes it out alive, and what they had to do. Regardless, this is a thrilling film that could potentially snag Best Foreign Film if it lands an Oscar nomination.

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Lift (2024)

Lift
Lift
  • Metacritic: 40%

  • IMDb: 5.4/10

  • Rated: PG-13

  • Duration: 106m

  • Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime

  • Stars: Kevin Hart, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sam Worthington

  • Directed by: F. Gary Gray

There aren’t many movies that start with a heist that involves NFTs, so Lift may be a bit dated on arrival. Cyrus (Kevin Hart) leads a crew that includes Denton (Vincent D’Onofrio), Camila (Úrsula Corberó), Mi-Sun (Kim Yoon-ji), Magnus (Billy Magnussen), and Luke (Viveik Kalra). They stage the kidnapping of NFT artist N8 (Jacob Batalon) to drive up the price of his work.

However, Cyrus’ ex-lover, Abby (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), is an Interpol agent who is wise to his tricks. Once Abby realizes what Cyrus has done, she uses it to blackmail him and his team to take on an even more daring heist. And in order to rob a terrorist named Jorgenson (Jean Reno), Cyrus and his team will have to pull off their plan while Jorgenson’s plane is still in the air.

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Good Grief (2023)

Good Grief
Good Grief
  • Metacritic: 58%

  • IMDb: 6.4/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 101m

  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

  • Stars: Dan Levy, Ruth Negga, Himesh Patel

  • Directed by: Dan Levy

Schitt’s Creek co-creator Daniel Levy makes his directorial debut with Good Grief, a film that he wrote and stars in as well. Levy portrays Marc, a man who is deeply in love with his husband, Oliver (Luke Evans), before Oliver dies in a tragic accident at Christmastime. To cheer up their friend, Thomas (Himesh Patel) and Sophie (Ruth Negga) accompany Marc on a trip to Paris.

What Marc doesn’t tell Thomas and Sophie is that he’s discovered evidence that Oliver was unfaithful to him, and his lingering anger over that betrayal is keeping him from getting past his grief. Even a new man in his life, Theo (Arnaud Valois), may not be able to help Marc let go of his pain.

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Maestro (2023)

Maestro
Maestro
  • Metacritic: 78%

  • IMDb: 7.3/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 129m

  • Genre: Drama, Romance, Music

  • Stars: Carey Mulligan, Bradley Cooper, Matt Bomer

  • Directed by: Bradley Cooper

Maestro may be Netflix’s best hope for Oscar gold this year. Bradley Cooper directed, wrote, and stars in the film as the famous composer Leonard Bernstein, with Carey Mulligan as Leonard’s wife, Felicia Montealegre. The movie spans Leonard’s decades-long relationship and eventual marriage to Felicia, for whom he left his relationship with David Oppenheim (Matt Bomer).

Despite having children with Felicia, including Jamie Bernstein (Maya Hawke), Leonard continuously seeks out affairs with other men, which pushes his bond with Felicia to its breaking point. To keep the love of his life, Leonard needs to prove himself to her one last time.

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Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire (2023)

Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire
Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire
  • Metacritic: 32%

  • IMDb: 6.3/10

  • Rated: PG-13

  • Duration: 134m

  • Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy

  • Stars: Sofia Boutella, Djimon Hounsou, Charlie Hunnam

  • Directed by: Zack Snyder

Rebel Moon is basically Zack Snyder’s Star Wars, and he couldn’t even keep it contained to a single movie. On the upside, that means Netflix is investing in two big-budget sci-fi films for 2023 and 2024. The first film, Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire, follows Kora (Sofia Boutella), a former member of the Imperium who is seeking a chance to reinvent herself on Veldt, a world far out of the reach of Motherworld’s intergalactic empire.

Or so Kora thought. When the Imperium arrives on Veldt with plans to bring it under Motherworld’s control, Kora rebels. And she also seeks out warriors like Titus (Djimon Hounsou), Kai (Charlie Hunnam), Gunnar (Michiel Huisman), Tarak (Staz Nair), and Nemesis (Doona Bae), who are willing to lay down their lives to keep Veldt free.

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Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget (2023)

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget
Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget
  • Metacritic: 62%

  • IMDb: 7.4/10

  • Rated: PG

  • Duration: 97m

  • Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family

  • Stars: Thandiwe Newton, Zachary Levi, Bella Ramsey

  • Directed by: Sam Fell

Despite a 23-year gap between films and a largely new voice cast, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget seamlessly picks up after the original animated classic. Rocky (Zachary Levi) and Ginger (Thandiwe Newton) now have a daughter, Molly (The Last of Us’ Bella Ramsey), and the rest of the chickens are enjoying their freedom on a secluded island.

However, Ginger is correct to be suspicious about a nearby construction site, because their former owner, Mrs. Tweedy (Miranda Richardson), is looking for revenge. Meanwhile, Molly proves to be far too rebellious to remain in the sanctuary, which forces Ginger, Rocky, and their friends to undertake a risky trip to the outside world, where they will have to break into the new Funland Farms to save their child and secure their future.

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Leave the World Behind (2023)

Leave the World Behind
Leave the World Behind
  • Metacritic: 67%

  • IMDb: 6.5/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 141m

  • Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller, Science Fiction

  • Stars: Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke

  • Directed by: Sam Esmail

It’s anything but a wonderful apocalypse in Leave the World Behind, Sam Esmail’s adaptation of Rumaan Alam’s novel. Julia Roberts stars as Amanda Sandford, the wife of Clay (Ethan Hawke), and the mother of their two children: Rose (Farrah Mackenzie) and Archie Sandford (Charlie Evans).

After experiencing a series of unexplained events at their vacation rental house, Amanda and Clay are alarmed by the sudden arrival of the home’s owner, G.H. Scott (Mahershala Ali), and his daughter, Ruth (Myha’la). G.H. claims there is a blackout in the city, but the crisis is much deeper than that. And if this is the apocalypse and the end of everything they’ve known, can the two families truly trust each other?

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Rustin (2023)

Rustin
Rustin
  • Metacritic: 68%

  • IMDb: 6.6/10

  • Rated: PG-13

  • Duration: 108m

  • Genre: Drama, History

  • Stars: Colman Domingo, Chris Rock, Glynn Turman

  • Directed by: George C. Wolfe

Fear the Walking Dead and Euphoria standout Colman Domingo is winning a lot of praise for his performance as the title character in Rustin. So don’t be too shocked if a Best Actor Oscar nomination comes out of that. As for the film itself, it chronicles the life of Bayard Rustin, a civil rights activist who should be more of a household name like his contemporaries, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Aml Ameen).

So why isn’t Rustin more widely known for helping to organize the pivotal 1963 March on Washington? Because Rustin was gay, and his contributions to the movement were downplayed. But this film may go a long way toward changing that.

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The Killer (2023)

The Killer
The Killer
  • Metacritic: 73%

  • IMDb: 6.8/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 118m

  • Genre: Crime, Thriller

  • Stars: Michael Fassbender, Tilda Swinton, Charles Parnell

  • Directed by: David Fincher

Michael Fassbender’s title character in The Killer certainly has a lot to say in his inner monologue, but he never shares his name with the audience. The Killer seems like a consummate professional as an assassin right up until he completely botches a hit early in the film even after meticulously preparing for it.

Failure is not an option in this world, because now the killer is the target of his own organization. There’s a price on his head, and The Expert (Tilda Swinton) and The Brute (Sala Baker) are both out to collect. But not if The Killer finds them first.

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Pain Hustlers (2023)

Pain Hustlers
Pain Hustlers
  • Metacritic: 44%

  • IMDb: 6.5/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 122m

  • Genre: Drama, Crime

  • Stars: Emily Blunt, Chris Evans, Catherine O'Hara

  • Directed by: David Yates

Emily Blunt’s Liza Drake is a struggling single mother in David Yates’ Pain Hustlers. Because Liza has to take care of her daughter, Phoebe (Chloe Coleman), she proves to be receptive to an offer from Pete Brenner (Chris Evans) to join a pharmaceutical startup led by Dr. Neel (Andy Garcia).

Liza is given the task of getting local doctors to recommend and prescribe the company’s signature drug. This turns out to be something that Phoebe has a talent for. But there’s a darker side to this hustle that threatens to pull Liza into a criminal conspiracy that may destroy everything she loves.

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NYAD (2023)

NYAD
NYAD
  • Metacritic: 64%

  • IMDb: 7.1/10

  • Rated: PG-13

  • Duration: 121m

  • Genre: Drama, History

  • Stars: Annette Bening, Jodie Foster, Rhys Ifans

  • Directed by: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin

There aren’t a lot of movies about long-distance swimmers, but Diana Nyad is one of a kind. Nyad is a biopic that casts Annette Bening as the title character who is facing an existential crisis in her 60s. Nyad’s best days as a swimmer are behind her, and she has to live with the regret that she was never able to finish her attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida.

That’s why Nyad goes to her friend, Bonnie Stoll (Jodie Foster), to help her make a daring new attempt to swim that treacherous stretch of water without a shark cage getting in her way. However, not even Nyad herself realizes just how grueling and challenging the swim will be once she’s in the ocean.

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Reptile (2023)

Reptile
Reptile
  • Metacritic: 52%

  • IMDb: 7.2/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 136m

  • Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

  • Stars: Benicio del Toro, Justin Timberlake, Alicia Silverstone

  • Directed by: Grant Singer

A simple murder case is anything but routine in the new thriller Reptile. Someone has brutally murdered Summer Elswick (Matilda Lutz), and suspicion falls on her boyfriend, Will Grady (Justin Timberlake); her ex-husband, Sam Gifford (Karl Glusman); and a third man, Eli Phillips (Michael Pitt).

Detective Tom Nichols (Benicio del Toro) is in charge of the investigation, and he trusts his wife, Judy (Alicia Silverstone), with details about the case because she notices things that he doesn’t. Unfortunately for Tom, the closer he looks at Summer’s murder, the more he sees the connections to his own life and to a larger conspiracy.

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Fair Play (2023)

Fair Play
Fair Play
  • Metacritic: 74%

  • IMDb: 6.5/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 113m

  • Genre: Thriller, Drama

  • Stars: Phoebe Dynevor, Alden Ehrenreich, Eddie Marsan

  • Directed by: Chloe Domont

Hedge fund co-workers Luke (Alden Ehrenreich) and Emily (Phoebe Dynevor) share a lot in Netflix’s erotic thriller, Fair Play. They both have a passion for the business, and each other, even though their relationship is strictly forbidden by their company. Regardless, their relationship goes smoothly, especially when Luke believes he’s getting a coveted promotion.

When the job goes to Emily instead, her relationship with Luke starts to go very badly. Luke’s jealousy and paranoia poison every aspect of his bond with Emily, to the point where they can no longer trust each other. And if they aren’t careful, the fallout may also crush their career ambitions.

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Spy Kids: Armageddon (2023)

Spy Kids: Armageddon
Spy Kids: Armageddon
  • Rated: PG

  • Duration: 90m

  • Genre: Family, Adventure, Action, Fantasy

  • Stars: Gina Rodriguez, Zachary Levi, Connor Esterson

  • Directed by: Robert Rodriguez

The Spy Kids franchise is getting a reboot of sorts in Spy Kids: Armageddon, with Robert Rodriguez once again in the director’s chair. In this sequel, the focus shifts to the Tango-Torrez family, which is the union of the world’s two greatest secret agents: Nora (Gina Rodriguez) and Terrence (Zachary Levi). That leaves their children, Patty (Everly Carganilla) and Tony (Connor Esterson), with a lot to live up to.

But when Patty and Tony are tricked into helping Rey “The King” Kingston (Billy Magnussen) take over the world’s technology, it falls upon them to rectify their mistake by joining the family business and saving the world.

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Love at First Sight (2023)

Love at First Sight
Love at First Sight
  • Metacritic: 55%

  • IMDb: 6.9/10

  • Rated: PG-13

  • Duration: 91m

  • Genre: Romance, Drama

  • Stars: Haley Lu Richardson, Ben Hardy, Rob Delaney

  • Directed by: Vanessa Caswill

Hadley Sullivan (Haley Lu Richardson) and Oliver Jones (Ben Hardy) experience instant affection in Love At First Sight. But just because there’s love doesn’t necessarily mean that romance will follow. Hadley and Oliver meet each other while waiting for a flight to London, and they bond during the long overseas trip. But at the airport, they part without closure.

As Hadley and Oliver deal with their respective family drama, they realize that they want to give love a chance if they can reunite with each other. Yet some things are better left to fate.

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You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah (2023)

You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah
You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah
  • Metacritic: 71%

  • IMDb: 6.0/10

  • Rated: PG-13

  • Duration: 103m

  • Genre: Comedy

  • Stars: Idina Menzel, Jackie Sandler, Adam Sandler

  • Directed by: Sammi Cohen

You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah is the story of the friendship turned rivalry between two young Jewish girls, Stacy Friedman (Sunny Sandler) and Lydia Rodriguez Katz (Samantha Lorraine). These inseparable BFFs both have their eyes on Andy Goldfarb (Dylan Hoffman), and that leads to some serious ruptures in their previously steadfast bond.

Adam Sandler produced the film and co-stars as Stacy’s father, Danny Friedman, with Idina Menzel as his wife, Bree Friedman. Danny and Bree have a lot of conflicts with Stacy over her pending Bat Mitzvah, but they also have the emotional experience to help their daughter find a way forward without sacrificing her friendships.

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Heart of Stone (2023)

Heart of Stone
Heart of Stone
  • Metacritic: 45%

  • IMDb: 5.7/10

  • Rated: PG-13

  • Duration: 125m

  • Genre: Thriller, Action

  • Stars: Gal Gadot, Jamie Dornan, Alia Bhatt

  • Directed by: Tom Harper

Even without superpowers, Gal Gadot is a real wonder woman in Netflix’s action thriller Heart of Stone. She’s even got a secret identity as Rachel Stone, an unassuming tech for MI6 on a team with Parker (Jamie Dornan), Bailey (Paul Ready), and Yang (Jing Lusi). But Rachel’s true allegiance lies with The Charter, a secretive peacekeeping organization that has codenamed her Nine of Hearts.

After jeopardizing her cover to save her team, Rachel is thrust into a situation that forces her to question her loyalties when a threat emerges that has global implications. And even the people closest to Rachel can’t be trusted.

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The Monkey King (2023)

The Monkey King
The Monkey King
  • Metacritic: 59%

  • IMDb: 6.0/10

  • Rated: PG

  • Duration: 92m

  • Genre: Animation, Fantasy, Adventure, Family, Comedy

  • Stars: Jimmy O. Yang, Bowen Yang, Jolie Hoang-Rappaport

  • Directed by: Anthony Stacchi

The legend of the Monkey King has been explored several times in adaptations of the Chinese novel, Journey To the West. And now, Netflix’s The Monkey King reimagines the tale as an animated epic. Jimmy O. Yang headlines the film as the Monkey King, an actual monkey whose quest for acceptance leads him to act recklessly and risk the lives of his tribe.

After stealing a weapon from Dragon King (Fire Island‘s Bowen Yang) to battle a demon, Monkey King takes on a young girl named Lin (Jolie Hoang-Rappaport) as his assistant. But the Dragon King’s revenge is already in motion and Monkey King can’t escape the consequences of his own actions forever.

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Love, Sex and 30 Candles (2023)

Love, Sex and 30 Candles
Love, Sex and 30 Candles
  • IMDb: 4.6/10

  • Duration: 106m

  • Genre: Drama, Romance

  • Stars: Amogelang Chidi, Bahumi Madisakwane, Gabisile Tshabalala

  • Directed by: Stephina Zwane

You’ll find that some things are universal in Netflix’s South African drama, Love, Sex & 30 Candles. Linda (Candice Modiselle), Sade (Gabisile Tshabalala), Notwazi (Bahumi Madisakwane), and Dikeledi (Amogelang Chidi) are best friends who are all turning 30 over the course of a year. And within those 12 months, their friendship will be tested as never before while they deal with heartache and attempt to hold on to their relationships.

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Nimona (2023)

Nimona
Nimona
  • Metacritic: 75%

  • IMDb: 7.6/10

  • Rated: PG

  • Duration: 101m

  • Genre: Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

  • Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz, Riz Ahmed, Eugene Lee Yang

  • Directed by: Troy Quane, Nick Bruno

Chloë Grace Moretz provides the voice of the title character in Netflix’s Nimona, and she’s definitely no Disney princess. Quite the opposite in fact. Nimona is more of a mischievous shapeshifter who has taken it upon herself to help a would-be knight, Ballister Boldheart (Riz Ahmed), clear his name for the assassination of the queen.

Calling Ballister “Boldheart” is a real bit of nominative determinism, especially when he’s already defying norms by loving another man. But when Nimona’s secrets come to light, Ballister must decide whether to be a “hero” or a friend.

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Bird Box Barcelona (2023)

Bird Box Barcelona
Bird Box Barcelona
  • Metacritic: 45%

  • IMDb: 5.3/10

  • Duration: 124m

  • Genre: Thriller, Drama, Science Fiction, Horror

  • Stars: Mario Casas, Georgina Campbell, Diego Calva

  • Directed by: Àlex Pastor, David Pastor

While Bird Box Barcelona initially presents itself as simply a Spanish spinoff of the original Bird Box, it goes in some much darker directions. That’s because Sebastián (Mario Casas) is one of the few who can see the ethereal beings who are driving humanity to suicide. Sebastián believes that the creatures are divine and that it’s his destiny to make other people give into their influence.

When Sebastián joins a new group of survivors, including Claire (Georgina Campbell), and a young girl named Sofia (Naila Schuberth), he fulfills his duties until he finally has a reason to question whether his religious zealotry is truly the right course of action.

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The Out-Laws (2023)

The Out-Laws
The Out-Laws
  • Metacritic: 36%

  • IMDb: 5.4/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 95m

  • Genre: Romance, Action, Comedy

  • Stars: Adam DeVine, Nina Dobrev, Pierce Brosnan

  • Directed by: Tyler Spindel

In The Out-Laws, Owen (Adam DeVine) finally meets soon-to-be father and mother-in-law, Billy (Pierce Brosnan) and Lilly McDermott (Ellen Barkin), during the run-up to his wedding to Parker (Nina Dobrev).

Owen was excited to welcome Billy and Lilly into their lives, or at least he was until he realized that they are the notorious Ghost Bandits. And Owen knows this because they robbed his bank almost as soon as they rolled into town. But when her parents’ double life puts Parker in jeopardy, Owen is going to have to embrace his inner outlaw as well.

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The Perfect Find (2023)

The Perfect Find
The Perfect Find
  • Metacritic: 57%

  • IMDb: 5.2/10

  • Duration: 99m

  • Genre: Romance, Comedy

  • Stars: Gabrielle Union, Keith Powers, Gina Torres

  • Directed by: Numa Perrier

The Perfect Find is not entirely unlike the classic romantic comedy How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Both films feature 40-year-old Black women who reinvigorate their lives when they find new romance with much younger lovers. But in this film, Jenna (Gabrielle Union) carries the weight of her personal failures with her, especially in the aftermath of her breakup with Brian (DB Woodside). She even has to ask her frenemy, Darcy (Gina Torres), for a job.

That’s why it may have been a bad idea for Jenna to romance Darcy’s son, Eric (Keith Powers), who also happens to be her new co-worker. Jenna didn’t originally know that Darcy was Eric’s mother, and she doesn’t let that stop her from pursuing a relationship with him regardless of the consequences.

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Extraction 2 (2023)

Extraction 2
Extraction 2
  • Metacritic: 57%

  • IMDb: 7.2/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 123m

  • Genre: Action, Thriller

  • Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Golshifteh Farahani, Adam Bessa

  • Directed by: Sam Hargrave

Thor: Love and Thunder‘s Chris Hemsworth has rediscovered his calling as an action star in Netflix’s Extraction franchise, and he reprises his role as Tyler Rake in Extraction 2. After narrowly surviving the events of the first film, Tyler and his team take on a righteous mission to rescue his ex-sister-in-law, Ketevan (Tinatin Dalakishvili), and her children from her abusive husband, Davit (Tornike Bziava).

Since Davit is a drug lord who is holding his own family hostage, Tyler and his team don’t hold back. Unfortunately for them, Davit’s older brother, Zurab (Tornike Gogrichiani), is now eager to get his revenge on Tyler, and he’ll go to great lengths to do so.

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Luckiest Girl Alive (2022)

Luckiest Girl Alive
Luckiest Girl Alive
  • Metacritic: 54%

  • IMDb: 6.4/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 113m

  • Genre: Drama, Thriller, Mystery

  • Stars: Mila Kunis, Chiara Aurelia, Finn Wittrock

  • Directed by: Mike Barker

Mila Kunis’ Tiffani “Ani” Fanelli is the titular Luckiest Girl Alive, but only because no one knows the secrets that she’s been carrying for years. When she went to high school, Ani was one of the survivors of a deadly shooting. And one of the reasons why Ani is so haunted is that she knew the shooters, and she also knew why they made their plans.

In the present, Ani goes out of her way to avoid one of the other survivors, Dean Barton (Alex Barone), while preparing for her wedding with Luke Harrison (Finn Wittrock). However, Ani can’t run from her past forever. And her secrets will be revealed.

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Lou (2022)

Lou
Lou
  • Metacritic: 51%

  • IMDb: 6.1/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 107m

  • Genre: Action, Thriller

  • Stars: Allison Janney, Jurnee Smollett, Logan Marshall-Green

  • Directed by: Anna Foerster

Who is Lou? In the movie that shares her name, Lou Adell (Allison Janney) is simply the landlady for a young mother, Hannah Dawson (Jurnee Smollett), and her daughter, Vee (Ridley Asha Bateman). At least that’s what Lou wants everyone to believe. It’s a deception that she has learned to live with.

But when Vee is kidnapped by her biological father, Philip (Logan Marshall-Green), Lou springs into action and displays fighting skills that go far beyond the ordinary. Lou also has a personal connection to this drama, and she won’t stop until Vee is back home where she belongs.

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Take Care of Maya (2023)

Take Care of Maya
Take Care of Maya
  • IMDb: 8.3/10

  • Duration: 103m

  • Genre: Documentary

  • Directed by: Henry Roosevelt

There’s a new documentary climbing the movie charts on Netflix called Take Care of Maya. But fair warning: This film may make you very angry when you learn what Maya Kowalski and her family went through when she suffered from rare and baffling medical symptoms. When Maya’s parents, Beata and Jack, pushed for better care and more transparency from Maya’s doctors, they found themselves accused of abusing their daughter.

That pits Beata and Jack against the medical establishment, and even against each other before a tragic turn of events changes everything. The story’s final chapter hasn’t been written yet, but Take Care of Maya is a cautionary tale that parents should watch no matter how painful it gets.

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The Mother (2023)

The Mother
The Mother
  • Metacritic: 45%

  • IMDb: 5.5/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 115m

  • Genre: Action, Thriller

  • Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Joseph Fiennes, Omari Hardwick

  • Directed by: Niki Caro

What if the Terminator was a woman? That’s not quite the premise of The Mother, but Jennifer Lopez’s titular assassin is just about as unstoppable as a killer machine from the future. The only thing that could give this woman pause is her teenage daughter, Zoe (Lucy Paez), whom she gave up years before in the hope that she could grow up safely.

The Mother’s plans are upended when her enemies discover Zoe’s identity and kidnap her. That’s why the mother pulls out all of the stops to save Zoe, and then starts training Zoe so she can protect herself as well.

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A Tourist's Guide to Love (2023)

A Tourist's Guide to Love
A Tourist's Guide to Love
  • Metacritic: 49%

  • IMDb: 5.7/10

  • Rated: PG

  • Duration: 96m

  • Genre: Romance, Comedy, Adventure

  • Stars: Rachael Leigh Cook, Scott Ly, Missi Pyle

  • Directed by: Steven K. Tsuchida

Rachael Leigh Cook headlines the romantic comedy A Tourist’s Guide To Love as a woman named Amanda Riley, who finds herself at a crossroads in her life. After her longtime boyfriend, John (Ben Feldman), puts their relationship on pause, Amanda is sent on a covert work trip to Vietnam, where she befriends a local tour guide, Sinh Thach (Scott Ly). Sinh and Amanda discover that they have a lot of chemistry together, especially when he encourages her to be more spontaneous, but when John unexpectedly joins Amanda on her trip, she is forced to choose between the two men in her life.

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Chupa (2023)

Chupa
Chupa
  • Metacritic: 48%

  • IMDb: 5.5/10

  • Rated: PG

  • Duration: 98m

  • Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Family

  • Stars: Demián Bichir, Evan Whitten, Christian Slater

  • Directed by: Jonás Cuarón

Director Jonás Cuarón’s Chupa has a lot in common with Stephen Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Both films are about a young boy who befriends a creature of unknown origin. In this case, it’s a chupacabra cub that is found by Alex (Evan Whitten), a 13-year-old who is visiting his family in Mexico after the death of his father.

Finding Chupa gives Alex a new sense of purpose as he attempts to care for the cub. But an unscrupulous scientist, Richard Quinn (Christian Slater), will do anything to capture Chupa and prove his theories about the mythical chupacabras. So it falls on Alex to keep Chupa safe.

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AKA (2023)

AKA
AKA
  • IMDb: 6.7/10

  • Duration: 122m

  • Genre: Thriller, Action, Crime

  • Stars: Alban Lenoir, Éric Cantona, Thibault de Montalembert

  • Directed by: Morgan S. Dalibert

Brush up on your French or turn on the subtitles for AKA, an old-school action flick that may remind you of Man on Fire. Alban Lenoir co-wrote the film and stars as Adam Franco, an undercover French operative who infiltrates the crime organization of Victor Pastore (Eric Cantona).

Adam’s fighting prowess earns him a place as the bodyguard for Victor’s stepson, Jonathan (Noe Chabbat). Against his better judgment, Adam actually grows to care about Jonathan and bonds with him. And when Jonathan’s life is in danger, Adam puts his own life on the line to protect him, no matter what the cost.

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Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (2022)

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio
Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio
  • Metacritic: 79%

  • IMDb: 7.6/10

  • Rated: PG

  • Duration: 117m

  • Genre: Animation, Fantasy, Drama, Music

  • Stars: Gregory Mann, Ewan McGregor, David Bradley

  • Directed by: Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson

Guillermo del Toro is no stranger to the world of the fantastical, which made the director a more-than-natural fit for a reimagining of Pinocchio. With Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, the director goes all-in with stop motion animation for a story takes place in Italy during World War II. In a fit of despair, Geppetto (voiced by David Bradley) cuts down a tree grown in memory of his son who died in World War I, and uses the lumber to create a puppet he calls Pinocchio (Gregory Mann).

Soon after, the Wood Sprite brings Pinocchio to life and tasks Sebastian J. Cricket (Ewan McGregor) with being his guiding conscience. What follows is a story about discovering who you really are in a world full of near-infinite possibilities, both big and small.

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The Highwaymen (2019)

The Highwaymen
The Highwaymen
  • Metacritic: 58%

  • IMDb: 6.9/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 133m

  • Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

  • Stars: Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kathy Bates

  • Directed by: John Lee Hancock

Directed by John Lee Hancock, The Highwaymen stars Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as Frank Hamer and Maney Gault, a 1930s detective duo hell-bent on taking down two of America’s most notorious outlaws: Bonnie (Emily Brobst) and Clyde (Edward Bossert). When the criminals bust a band of cohorts out of a Texas prison, the governor calls upon a retired Hamer to bring down the malcontents once and for all. Initially hesitant to get involved, he changes his mind after a horrifying Missouri shootout involving the fugitives.

After recruiting his old partner, Gault, the two men go to work delivering justice where justice is needed most. A rich character study that gets into the heads of the Texas lawmen who wanted nothing more than to put two terrible people behind bars, The Highwaymen is a thrill from start to finish.

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Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018)

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
  • Rated: PG-13

  • Duration: 105m

  • Genre: Adventure, Drama

  • Stars: Rohan Chand, Christian Bale, Andy Serkis

  • Directed by: Andy Serkis

Directed by the king of CGI motion-capture, Andy Serkis, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle does its best to stray from Disney’s interpretations of the classic Rudyard Kipling text. While a handful of the core story elements remain untouched, Serkis does opt for a more down-to-earth approach to Mowgli’s (Rohan Chand) coming-of-age tale.

Reared by wolves, Mowgli forges his way through the hierarchical animal kingdom of India, learning crucial lessons from his bear friend, Baloo (voiced and performed by Serkis), and a panther named Bagheera (Christian Bale). While Serkis’ vision tends to ebb and flow, it’s a rooted and ragged reimagining of the Kipling prose that mostly sticks the landing.

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Sand Castle (2017)

Sand Castle
Sand Castle
  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 113m

  • Genre: War, Action, Drama

  • Stars: Logan Marshall-Green, Nicholas Hoult, Henry Cavill

  • Directed by: Fernando Coimbra

From director Fernando Coimbra and writer Chris Roessner, Netflix’s 2017 film Sand Castle stars Nicholas Hoult as Pvt. Matt Ocre, a soldier in the Iraq War. Based on true events, the story follows a team of recruits tasked with traveling to a rural Iraqi village in order to restore a water pumping station. But en route and amid the operation, Ocre will witness the many casualties of warfare, and how losses both big and small affect the civilians, his comrades, and himself.

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Roma (2018)

Roma
Roma
  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 135m

  • Genre: Drama

  • Stars: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey

  • Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón

Roma is writer-director Alfonso Cuarón’s homage to his childhood, heritage, and the many places and things that would inspire and invigorate one of the most renowned international auteurs of our time. Part autobiography, part narrative-fiction, the film follows the life and times of Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a nanny and servant to an upper-middle-class Mexican family.

When the patriarch Antonio (Fernando Grediaga) runs off with his mistress, Cleo is invited by Sofia (Marina de Tavira), the mother of the household, to take a vacation with her and her four children. But after discovering she’s pregnant, civil strife in 1970s Mexico City threatens everything for Cleo and those she cares for most. A brilliant piece of cinema that was nominated for 10 Oscars, Roma is not one to be missed.

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Calibre (2018)

Calibre
Calibre
  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 101m

  • Genre: Thriller, Drama

  • Stars: Jack Lowden, Martin McCann, Tony Curran

  • Directed by: Matt Palmer

Written and directed by Matt Palmer, Calibre stars Jack Lowden and Martin McCann as lifelong friends Marcus and Vaughn. When the former takes the latter on a hunting trip to the Scottish Highlands, a horrific accident leads to an act of homicide that the two men were completely unprepared for. Forced to contend with their fight-or-flight actions, what began as a simple getaway for some fraternal fun soon devolves into an all-out struggle of life and death. A tense nail-biter of a thriller, Palmer’s assured direction and the film’s incredible performances make this a chilling tale for the ages.

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The Pale Blue Eye (2022)

The Pale Blue Eye
The Pale Blue Eye
  • Duration: 130m

  • Genre: Mystery, Crime, Horror

  • Stars: Christian Bale, Harry Melling, Lucy Boynton

  • Directed by: Scott Cooper

Christian Bale reunites with Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace and Hostiles) for the mystery thriller, The Pale Blue Eye. In 1830, retired detective Augustus Landor (Bale) is summoned to West Point, New York, to investigate a death at the U.S. Military Academy. Landor learns that the heart was removed from the body, and the marks on the deceased cadet’s neck imply a murder took place. Searching for answers, Landor receives help from Edgar Allen Poe (Harry Melling), a young military cadet who wants to solve the case. It’s the same Poe who will eventually become the legendary author of acclaimed works such as The Raven and The Fall of the House of Usher. The gothic mystery is full of twists and turns that will keep the audience guessing through the last frame.

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Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
  • Duration: 140m

  • Genre: Comedy, Crime, Mystery

  • Stars: Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe

  • Directed by: Rian Johnson

In the Knives Out sequel Glass Onion, Tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) invites his closest friends – Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.), Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), and Duke Cody (Dave Bautista) – to his mansion on a private island in Greece to take part in a murder mystery weekend. Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) and Bron’s former partner, Cassandra “Andi” Brand (Janelle Monáe), also receive invites to Bron’s mansion, The Glass Onion. Although Bron stages a fake murder for the game, a real crime occurs, much to the shock of the guests. With Blanc on the scene, it’s up to the world’s greatest detective to solve another case.

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Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical (2022)

Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical
Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical
  • Duration: 117m

  • Genre: Family, Comedy, Fantasy

  • Stars: Alisha Weir, Emma Thompson, Lashana Lynch

  • Directed by: Matthew Warchus

Based on the 1988 novel by Roald DahlMatilda the Musical is an adaptation of the 201o stage musical of the same name. Matilda Wormwood (Alisha Weir) is a sweet and loving child who loves to read and use her imagination. Unfortunately, her parents, Mr. Wormwood (Stephen Graham) and Mrs. Wormwood (Andrea Riseborough), continuously neglect Matlida. They send her to Crunchem Hall School, where she develops a special relationship with her teacher, Miss Jennifer Honey (Lashana Lynch). While Miss Honey takes a liking to Matilda, Miss Agatha Trunchbull (Emma Thompson), the cruel headmistress of Crunchem Hall School, punishes Matilda at every turn. Eventually, Matilda develops telekinesis abilities and uses them to fend off her parents and Miss Trunchbull.

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White Noise (2022)

White Noise
White Noise
  • Duration: 136m

  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction

  • Stars: Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Don Cheadle

  • Directed by: Noah Baumbach

What would you do to survive an air contamination accident? That is the premise for Noah Baumbach’s White Noise. Based on the 1985 novel by Don DeLillo, the film stars Adam Driver stars as Jack Gladney, a professor of Hitler studies at The-College-on-the-Hill. Jack is married to his fourth wife, Babette (Greta Gerwig), and they have a blended family of four children. The Gladney family is upended after a train accident releases chemical waste, which forms a black cloud over the region. The accident is known as “The Airborne Toxic Event,” and the contamination forces the Gladney family to move. White Noise depicts the resulting struggles of everyday life and intertwines themes of death, childhood, and consumer culture into the story.

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Troll (2022)

Troll
Troll
  • Duration: 104m

  • Genre: Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Thriller

  • Stars: Ine Marie Wilmann, Kim S. Falck-Jørgensen, Mads Sjøgård Pettersen

  • Directed by: Roar Uthaug

A sudden explosion in the Norwegian mountains awakens a giant troll, and the monster begins to wreak havoc on the surrounding townspeople. The Norwegian government brings in paleontologist Nora Tidemann (Ine Marie Wilman) to figure out how to stop the troll. Troll is a classic monster-versus-military film that channels inspiration from creatures like Godzilla and King Kong.

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The Wonder (2022)

The Wonder
The Wonder
  • Metacritic: 71%

  • IMDb: 6.7/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 109m

  • Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Drama

  • Stars: Florence Pugh, Kíla Lord Cassidy, Tom Burke

  • Directed by: Sebastián Lelio

Emma Donoghue co-wrote the script for The Wonder, which is based on her own novel of the same name. Rising star Florence Pugh headlines this period drama as Elizabeth “Lib” Wright, an English woman who is hired to go to a remote Irish village and determine if a young girl, Anna O’Donnell (Kíla Lord Cassidy), has truly survived for four months without eating anything. If the claim is true, it might be a miracle. But the locals clearly have little tolerance or trust for Lib. The only person who connects with her is a reporter, William Byrne (Tom Burke). Yet the real story is something that neither Lib nor William suspects.

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The Good Nurse (2022)

The Good Nurse
The Good Nurse
  • Metacritic: 65%

  • IMDb: 6.8/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 121m

  • Genre: Drama, Crime, Mystery

  • Stars: Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne, Noah Emmerich

  • Directed by: Tobias Lindholm

Based on a real story, The Good Nurse follows Amy Loughren (Jessica Chastain), a working single mother whose career as a nurse could be jeopardized if her employers knew that she suffers from cardiomyopathy. Her new colleague, Charles Cullen (Eddie Redmayne), helps Amy hide her secret, and they become good friends. That’s why Amy doesn’t initially believe detectives Danny Baldwin (Nnamdi Asomugha) and Tim Braun (Noah Emmerich) when they tell her that Charles may be connected to several suspicious deaths. Unfortunately for Amy, the more she looks into it, the more she suspects that her friend is a serial killer.

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All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

All Quiet on the Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Metacritic: 76%

  • IMDb: 7.9/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 147m

  • Genre: War, Drama, Action

  • Stars: Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch, Aaron Hilmer

  • Directed by: Edward Berger

Some war movies glorify the battlefield and tales of wartime heroism. All Quiet on the Western Front is not one of those movies. It’s more like a horror story, and the monster is humanity itself. In the waning days of World War I, teenagers Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer), Albert Kropp (Aaron Hilmer), and Ludwig Behm (Adrian Grünewald) enthusiastically join the German army in the misguided belief that they will become heroes. However, their romantic notions of war are soon shattered as senseless death and destruction unfold on the battlefield and break them one by one.

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Wendell & Wild (2022)

Wendell & Wild
Wendell & Wild
  • Metacritic: 69%

  • IMDb: 6.5/10

  • Rated: PG-13

  • Duration: 107m

  • Genre: Animation, Comedy, Fantasy, Adventure

  • Stars: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Angela Bassett

  • Directed by: Henry Selick

The Nightmare Before Christmas director Henry Selick teamed up with Jordan Peele for the new stop-motion animated horror comedy, Wendell & Wild. Key & Peele co-stars Keegan-Michael Key and Peele reunite as demon brothers Wendell and Wild, both of whom lament their lot for life in Hell. The brothers have grand ambitions of creating a theme park for the dead. To do that, they need the help of a teenage girl, Katherine “Kat” Koniqua Elliot (Lyric Ross). However, Kat extracts a high price for her assistance, which may be more than Wendell and Wild can deliver.

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Day Shift (2022)

Day Shift
Day Shift
  • Metacritic: 52%

  • IMDb: 6.1/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 113m

  • Genre: Action, Fantasy, Horror

  • Stars: Jamie Foxx, Dave Franco, Natasha Liu Bordizzo

  • Directed by: J.J. Perry

The safest time to hunt vampires is probably during the day, but Bud Jablonski (Jamie Foxx) isn’t happy to be stuck in that slot in Netflix’s horror-comedy Day Shift. Using his cover as a pool cleaner, Bud secretly breaks into houses and kills vampires before harvesting their fangs. But when Bud’s ex-wife, Jocelyn (Meagan Good), threatens to move to Florida with their daughter, Paige (Zion Broadnax), Bud is forced to rejoin the Vampire Hunter’s Guild. The guild assigns Seth (Dave Franco) to watch Bud for any rule violations, but he comes to sympathize with Bud’s troubles. Meanwhile, a vampire named Audrey San Fernando (Karla Souza) is hunting them both down as a precursor for her grand plans to subjugate humanity.

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Persuasion (2022)

Persuasion
Persuasion
  • Metacritic: 42%

  • IMDb: 5.6/10

  • Rated: PG

  • Duration: 107m

  • Genre: Romance, Drama, Comedy

  • Stars: Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis, Henry Golding

  • Directed by: Carrie Cracknell

Critics are not happy with director Carrie Cracknell’s modernization of Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion, especially with the way that the leading lady, Anne Elliot (Dakota Johnson), breaks the fourth wall and addresses the audience at various points. But if you’re willing to go with it, this is a fun take on Austen’s final book. When Anne was young, she was briefly engaged to Frederick Wentworth (Cosmo Jarvis). However, her family persuaded Anne that his social status made him a poor match, and she broke it off with him. Years later, the fortunes of Anne’s family are in decline while Frederick is a wealthy captain who still has feelings for her. But he may have competition for Anne’s heart in the form of the dashing William Elliot (Henry Golding).

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The Gray Man (2022)

The Gray Man
The Gray Man
  • Metacritic: 49%

  • IMDb: 6.6/10

  • Rated: PG-13

  • Duration: 128m

  • Genre: Action, Thriller

  • Stars: Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas

  • Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

The Russo brothers and the screenwriters of the last two Avengers films reunited for The Gray Man, which is quite possibly the most expensive movie in Netflix history. Ryan Gosling headlines the film as the titular Gray Man, who is better known by his codename Sierra Six. While on a mission for the CIA, Six comes into possession of damning information that could destroy the organization. When Six refuses to hand over the info, the CIA reinstates a psychopath named Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans) to take out Six no matter the cost. While CIA agent Dani Miranda (Ana de Armas) sides with Six, they face overwhelming odds as Lloyd closes in on them.

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The Sea Beast (2022)

The Sea Beast
The Sea Beast
  • Metacritic: 75%

  • IMDb: 7.1/10

  • Rated: PG

  • Duration: 119m

  • Genre: Animation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy

  • Stars: Karl Urban, Zaris-Angel Hator, Jared Harris

  • Directed by: Chris Williams

The Sea Beast may be the most Disney-like animated movie that Netflix has ever made, and the House of Mouse would probably love to have this lavish and beautiful film in its library. In a world where the oceans are ruled by monsters, Captain Jacob Holland (Karl Urban) and his crew are renowned for their sea beast hunting skills. That’s why an orphan girl named Maisie Brumble (Zaris-Angel Hator) idolizes Jacob and stows away on his ship to join his crew. Although Jacob is focused on hunting the great beast known as the Red Bluster, Maisie’s overpowering enthusiasm and knowledge earns her a place in his heart.

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Tick, Tick... BOOM! (2021)

Tick, Tick... BOOM!
Tick, Tick... BOOM!
  • Metacritic: 74%

  • IMDb: 7.5/10

  • Rated: PG-13

  • Duration: 120m

  • Genre: Drama

  • Stars: Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesús

  • Directed by: Lin-Manuel Miranda

A cinematic adaptation of the autobiographical Jonathan Larson play of the same name, Netflix’s Tick, Tick… Boom! finds musical maestro Lin-Manuel Miranda in the director’s chair, with Andrew Garfield starring as Jon, a theater composer on the cusp of what could be his big break. In the days leading up to a performance of the musical that may finally put Jon on the map, encroaching stresses from family, friends, and the panicked NYC zeitgeist of the early ’90s threaten to get in the way of Jon’s dreamed-of artistic success. A big, bold homage to Larson’s source material and a beautiful musical drama in its own right, Tick, Tick… Boom! is a panorama of show-stopping emotions that simply can’t be missed.

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The Lost Daughter (2021)

The Lost Daughter
The Lost Daughter
  • Metacritic: 86%

  • IMDb: 6.7/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 122m

  • Genre: Drama

  • Stars: Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Jessie Buckley

  • Directed by: Maggie Gyllenhaal

The feature directorial debut of Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter stars Olivia Colman as Leda, a vacationing college professor who becomes obsessed with the inner dynamics of a neighboring family. After an encounter with Nina (Dakota Johnson), the young mother of a 3-year-old daughter named Elena, the lives of both women become intertwined. This unfolds a caustic trip down memory lane as Leda is forced to reckon with her own actions as a once-young mother of two. An adaptation of the Elena Ferrante novel of the same name, the beating heart of Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter is Colman, who delivers a stirring yet rooted performance as the emotionally challenged protagonist on a trip to Greece she’ll never forget.

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Hustle (2022)

Hustle
Hustle
  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 117m

  • Genre: Drama, Comedy

  • Stars: Adam Sandler, Robert Duvall, Ben Foster

  • Directed by: Jeremiah Zagar

Adam Sandler continues his newest serious turn in the sports drama Hustle about Stanley Sugarman, a washed-up basketball scout who discovers a street ball phenom in Spain, Bo Cruz (NBA player Juancho Hernangomez), who Stanley believes has a real shot to make it to the NBA. Stanley makes it his mission to train Bo to adapt to the professional game, hitching a ride on the player’s coattails for a chance to get back to the NBA himself.

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Spiderhead (2022)

Spiderhead
Spiderhead
  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 107m

  • Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller

  • Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, Jurnee Smollett

  • Directed by: Joseph Kosinski

Based on George Saunders’ short story Escape From Spiderhead, the sci-fi thriller Spiderhead takes place in a state-of-the-art penitentiary run by visionary Steve Abnesti (Chris Hemsworth). In the prison, inmates all wear a surgically attached device that administers mind-altering drugs in exchange for commuted sentences. The place doesn’t look anything like a prison, as inmates are allowed to wander at will, as long as they take a drug to mediate all of their problems. But when two subjects form a connection, their path to redemption becomes more complicated.

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Operation Mincemeat (2022)

Operation Mincemeat
Operation Mincemeat
  • Metacritic: 59%

  • IMDb: 6.9/10

  • Rated: PG-13

  • Duration: 128m

  • Genre: War, History, Drama

  • Stars: Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen, Johnny Flynn

  • Directed by: John Madden

Operation Mincemeat takes place in 1943 when the Allied powers plan an all-out assault on Sicily to weaken Hitler’s grip on Europe. But there’s a problem. Namely, it seems impossible to mount an invasion without exposing the force to potential annihilation. So intelligence officers Ewen Montagu (Colin Firth) and Charles Cholmondeley (Matthew Macfadyen) dream up an inspired, daring, and improbable disinformation campaign all centered around a single dead man.

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The Adam Project (2022)

The Adam Project
The Adam Project
  • Metacritic: 55%

  • IMDb: 6.7/10

  • Rated: PG-13

  • Duration: 106m

  • Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure, Comedy

  • Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Garner

  • Directed by: Shawn Levy

Ryan Reynolds stars as an awry time-traveling fighter pilot in the action/adventure original The Adam Project. After accidentally crash-landing in 2022, the pilot finds his 12-year-old self and enlists himself on a crucial mission to save the future.

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Don't Look Up (2021)

Don't Look Up
Don't Look Up
  • Metacritic: 49%

  • IMDb: 7.3/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 143m

  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction

  • Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep

  • Directed by: Adam McKay

Critics and audiences disagreed on Don’t Look Up, an apocalyptic satire that aims to parable the climate crisis. (Of course, having come out during a pandemic, it’s remarkably parabolic of that too.) Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio lead a star-studded cast as astronomers who discover a comet on a collision course with Earth. Unfortunately, the President (Meryl Streep) and her sycophant Chief of Staff son (Jonah Hill) aren’t too keen on the world ending during her presidency. So, they drag the astronomers through the media and discredit them, setting up a game in which the astronomers must do everything they can to finally get the world to just look up.

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The Power of the Dog (2021)

The Power of the Dog
The Power of the Dog
  • Metacritic: 88%

  • IMDb: 7.0/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 127m

  • Genre: Drama, Western

  • Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons

  • Directed by: Jane Campion

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the beguiling rancher Phil Burbank in this dramatic, simmering Western. The year is 1925 and Phil’s a cowboy’s cowboy, running one of Montana’s most profitable ranches with his brother George (Jesse Plemons). When the two men meet the widowed proprietress of a local inn, Rose (Kirsten Dunst), Phil mocks her to tears while George becomes smitten. When George returns to make Rose his wife and bring her back to the ranch, it drives a stake between the two brothers, especially given Phil’s odd cruelty and attention to Rose’s son.

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The Harder They Fall (2021)

The Harder They Fall
The Harder They Fall
  • Metacritic: 68%

  • IMDb: 6.2/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 139m

  • Genre: Western

  • Stars: Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Regina King

  • Directed by: Jeymes Samuel

Jeymes Samuel gives this fresh Western with a predominantly Black cast a ton of energy and passion. Outlaw Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) discovers that his nemesis since childhood, Rufus Buck (Idris Elba), has been freed from prison. Nat rounds up his gang and goes hunting for Buck and the crew that liberated him. It’s an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object.

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Passing (2021)

Passing
Passing
  • Metacritic: 83%

  • IMDb: 6.8/10

  • Duration: 99m

  • Genre: Drama

  • Stars: Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, André Holland

  • Directed by: Rebecca Hall

Would it surprise you to learn that the novel, Passing, is almost 100 years old now? Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut takes Nella Larsen’s story and keeps the original setting. Hall even shot the film in black and white as a stylistic choice. The story follows two Black women, Irene Redfield (Tessa Thompson) and Clare Kendry (Ruth Negga), both of whom can “pass” as white. Yet only Clare chooses to do so, by marrying a wealthy white man, John Bellew (Alexander Skarsgård). Meanwhile, Irene embraces her Black identity and marries Dr. Brian Redford (André Holland). Yet when Clare and Irene re-enter each other’s lives after years apart, the choices they’ve made may come back to haunt them.

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Army of Thieves (2021)

Army of Thieves
Army of Thieves
  • Metacritic: 49%

  • IMDb: 6.4/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 127m

  • Genre: Action, Thriller, Comedy

  • Stars: Matthias Schweighöfer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ruby O. Fee

  • Directed by: Matthias Schweighöfer

It’s pretty rare for a prequel to come out the same year as the movie it leads into. But Netflix tends to rewrite the rules as we know them. Army of Thieves is a prequel to Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, but the zombies are secondary in this film. Instead, this is the origin story of Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer), an expert safecracker who was once an unassuming bank teller named Sebastian Schlencht-Wöhnert. In the early days of the zombie apocalypse, the enimagic Gwendoline Starr (Nathalie Emmanuel) convinces Sebastian to embrace his inner thief and put together a team to rob a billionaire.

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Digital Trends streaming roundup

Nightbooks (2021)

Nightbooks
Nightbooks
  • Metacritic: 65%

  • IMDb: 5.8/10

  • Rated: PG

  • Duration: 103m

  • Genre: Fantasy, Family, Horror

  • Stars: Winslow Fegley, Lidya Jewett, Krysten Ritter

  • Directed by: David Yarovesky

A fantasy/horror adventure for the whole family, Nightbooks follows young Alex (Winslow Fegley), who loves writing scary stories. This particular passion marks him as an outcast at school, leading Alex to swear off writing ever again. But when an evil witch (Krysten Ritter) captures him inside a magical New York City apartment, she demands he tell her a new scary story every single night if he wants to live. Inside, he meets another prisoner, Yasmin (Lidya Jewett), who has learned how to survive her imprisonment with the witch. Together, they’ll work to write not just more stories, but their own destinies.

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Fear Street Trilogy (2021)

Fear Street Trilogy
Fear Street Trilogy
  • IMDb: 6.2/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 107m

  • Genre: Horror, Mystery

  • Stars: Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd, Maya Hawke, Kiana Madeira

  • Directed by: Leigh Janiak

Netflix has long been a content pioneer, and it’s getting experimental once again with R.L. Stine’s Fear Street trilogy. With three films, released throughout the first month of July, the trilogy spans 300 years, with Fear Street Part One: 1994 premiering July 2. Fear Street Part 2: 1978 debuts July 9, and Fear Street Part Three: 1666 debuts July 16. The epic tale follows a group of teenagers who take on an evil force that has plagued their town for centuries after a series of brutal slayings.

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Moxie (2021)

Moxie
Moxie
  • Metacritic: 54%

  • IMDb: 6.7/10

  • Duration: 111m

  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music

  • Stars: Amy Poehler, Hadley Robinson, Lauren Tsai, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Nico Hiraga, Sydney Park, Josephine Langford

  • Directed by: Amy Poehler

Comedy legend Amy Poehler directed Moxie and co-stars as Lisa, the mother of the main character, Vivian (Hadley Robinson). After witnessing a mean jock, Mitchell (Patrick Schwarzenegger), harassing a new student, Lucy (Alycia Pascual-Peña), at school, Vivian is inspired by her mother’s example. Vivian creates Moxie, a “‘zine” that gives her fellow students a voice to push back against mistreatment. However, Vivian’s new endeavor drives a wedge between her and her best friend, Claudia (Lauren Tsai). It also complicates Vivian’s potential romance with Seth (Nico Hiraga).

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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020)

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
  • Metacritic: 87%

  • IMDb: 6.9/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 94m

  • Genre: Drama, Music

  • Stars: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman

  • Directed by: George C. Wolfe

The film adaptation of one of the legendary August Wilson’s most beloved plays, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom gives the audience a little extra to chew on and some truly breathtaking musical performances. A group of musicians awaits Ma Rainey, the “Mother of the Blues,” in a steamy Chicago recording studio in the 1920s. Late to the session, Ma (Viola Davis) storms straight into a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music as the ambitious cornet player Levee (Chadwick Boseman) watches, takes notes, and spurs the other musicians into a story exchange that will change all of their lives.

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I Care a Lot (2020)

I Care a Lot
I Care a Lot
  • Metacritic: 66%

  • IMDb: 6.3/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 119m

  • Genre: Comedy, Crime, Thriller

  • Stars: Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Eiza González

  • Directed by: J Blakeson

One of the more unusual gangster movies you’ll see, I Care a Lot revolves around the strange, nefarious world of court-appointed guardians for the elderly. Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike) is the most professional and ruthless in the business. Marla and her business partner, Fran (Eiza González), operate a well-oiled machine of seizing the assets of elderly wards and bilking them out of their money through completely legal — if extremely unethical — methods. But when she targets Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest), a wealthy retiree with no living heirs or family, she may have bitten off more than she can chew. Jennifer, it just so happens, harbors her own dark secrets and has close connections to a supremely volatile gangster (Peter Dinklage) who is fully ready to play extralegal hardball.

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Mank (2020)

Mank
Mank
  • IMDb: 6.9/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 132m

  • Genre: Drama, History

  • Stars: Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins

  • Directed by: David Fincher

Directed by David Fincher from a script written by his late father, Jack Fincher, Mank takes you back to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Specifically, it brings you into the world of Herman J. Mankiewicz — known not so affectionately as “Mank” — as he races to finish his magnum opus, Citizen Kane. His worldview and perspective of Hollywood are increasingly scathing and fueled by drink as he becomes jaded by the industry he’s working so hard to prop up.

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The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

The Trial of the Chicago 7
The Trial of the Chicago 7
  • Metacritic: 76%

  • IMDb: 7.8/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 130m

  • Genre: History, Drama

  • Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

  • Directed by: Aaron Sorkin

In 1968, protests broke out at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and local and federal law enforcement responded with extreme violence. In 1969, seven people were further charged by the federal government with conspiracy and more anti-American activities and put on a highly publicized trial that served as a referendum on Cold War patriotism and the social unrest of the ’60s. Aaron Sorkin wrote and directed this high-energy legal drama with his traditional panache frenetic pacing.

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To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018)

To All the Boys I've Loved Before
To All the Boys I've Loved Before
  • Metacritic: 64%

  • IMDb: 7.1/10

  • Rated: PG-13

  • Duration: 100m

  • Genre: Comedy, Romance

  • Stars: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish

  • Directed by: Susan Johnson

Netflix forays into teen romance in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and the slightly-less-beloved sequel To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You. Lana Condor stars as teenaged Lara Jean, a quiet outsider at her high school, who has a habit of writing love letters to all of her crushes. Of course, she’d never dream of sending them. But when they’re mysteriously leaked to the entire school, it turns out her crushes may actually be interested. As all that romance begins to spiral out of control, the letters wreak havoc on her life, inspiring more love than she can handle.

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Enola Holmes (2020)

Enola Holmes
Enola Holmes
  • Metacritic: 68%

  • IMDb: 6.6/10

  • Rated: PG-13

  • Duration: 123m

  • Genre: Mystery, Crime, Adventure

  • Stars: Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin

  • Directed by: Harry Bradbeer

Everybody knows Sherlock Holmes, but did you know his significantly younger sister, Enola? Turns out, he doesn’t know her very well either. But when their mother suddenly goes missing and Sherlock takes only a tepid interest, Enola (Millie Bobby Brown) proves she’s got just as much sleuthing ability as her famous brother as she takes off for London to uncover the mystery. Along the way, she helps a runaway lord, unwittingly stumbling into a sprawling conspiracy impacting the highest levels of government.

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The Old Guard (2020)

The Old Guard
The Old Guard
  • Metacritic: 70%

  • IMDb: 6.7/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 125m

  • Genre: Action, Fantasy

  • Stars: Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts

  • Directed by: Gina Prince-Bythewood

Before Project Power, Netflix dove into superheroes with The Old Guard, about a covert group of tight-knit, immortal mercenaries who have fought to protect the mortal world for centuries. Led by Andy (Charlize Theron), the team is recruited to take on an emergency mission where their abilities are suddenly exposed to the world. Now, Andy and her team must eliminate the threat of those who seek to replicate or monetize their power. Based on Greg Rucka’s acclaimed graphic novel, The Old Guard is gritter and more grounded than your standard superhero movie, without sacrificing any of the action.

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The Two Popes (2019)

The Two Popes
The Two Popes
  • Metacritic: 75%

  • IMDb: 7.6/10

  • Rated: PG-13

  • Duration: 125m

  • Genre: Drama, Comedy, History

  • Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce, Juan Minujín

  • Directed by: Fernando Meirelles

One of three Netflix originals nominated for multiple awards at the 2019 Oscars, The Two Popes is nevertheless something of the black sheep in terms of media coverage between Marriage Story and The Irishman. It makes sense because The Two Popes isn’t exactly pop cinema. Rather, it’s primarily two legendary actors at the pinnacle of their craft depicting an oft-overlooked tradition that is centuries old. Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce portray the conservative Pope Benedict XVI and the liberal incoming Pope Francis as they discuss the future of the Catholic Church. Director Fernando Meirelles brilliantly captures the real tension between these two men while providing air for Hopkins and Pryce (who were both Oscar-nominated for these roles) to build a relationship that ultimately feels sustainable and hopeful.

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Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Always Be My Maybe
Always Be My Maybe
  • Metacritic: 64%

  • IMDb: 6.8/10

  • Rated: PG-13

  • Duration: 101m

  • Genre: Romance, Comedy

  • Stars: Ali Wong, Randall Park, James Saito

  • Directed by: Nahnatchka Khan

Netflix has been making rom-coms for as long as it’s been making original content, but it didn’t strike gold until Always Be My Maybe. Starring Ali Wong and Randall Park (with hilarious support from Keanu Reeves and Daniel Dae Kim), the film explores the evolution of friendship across a lifetime. Marcus (Park) and Sasha (Wong) are lifelong friends who have never been romantic. Marcus, however, has been in love with Sasha for many years and when she’s finally single, he musters up the courage to ask her out. Naturally, she met someone the night before. Missed connections and what-ifs characterize this feel-good romp about the boundaries of love and friendship.

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The King (2019)

The King
The King
  • Metacritic: 62%

  • IMDb: 7.3/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 140m

  • Genre: Drama, History, War

  • Stars: Timothée Chalamet, Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris

  • Directed by: David Michôd

David Michod’s prestige drama, The King, depicts Hal, the Prince of Wales (Timothee Chalamet) as he is reluctantly hoisted to the English throne. Having chosen to live among the people, Hal has no interest in assuming the throne but, after the death of his tyrannical father, King Henry IV, Hal is nonetheless crowned and forced to embrace the life he tried to escape. Of course, this being 16th-century England, there are murky, dangerous waters of war and politics to navigate. An adaptation of the Henriad plays, this visually-profound film is dripping with intrigue and action, keeping you on the edge of your seat throughout.

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The Irishman (2019)

The Irishman
The Irishman
  • Metacritic: 94%

  • IMDb: 7.8/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 209m

  • Genre: Crime, Drama, History

  • Stars: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci

  • Directed by: Martin Scorsese

It may take a few sittings to get through the entirety of The Irishman given the length, but it’s worth the investment. Unlike some Netflix films, this one also made a theatrical run, a clear gambit to earn recognition from the Academy during awards season. Given the people involved, however, you’d have to be mad not to go for awards recognition. Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Joe Pesci — all de-aged using bleeding-edge CGI — this film is like an acting class on steroids. De Niro plays Frank Sheeran, a truck driver in Philadelphia who gets involved with the mob only to work his way up to becoming legendary gangster Jimmy Hoffa’s (Pacino) right-hand man. Part gangster epic, part historical expose on the influence of the Teamsters union and the mob on American politics, The Irishman is yet another extraordinary bullet on Scorsese’s resume.

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Beasts of No Nation (2015)

Beasts of No Nation
Beasts of No Nation
  • Metacritic: 79%

  • IMDb: 7.7/10

  • Rated: R

  • Duration: 137m

  • Genre: Drama, War

  • Stars: Abraham Attah, Idris Elba, Emmanuel Nii Adom Quaye

  • Directed by: Cary Joji Fukunaga

Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) wrote, co-produced, and directed this drama based on the 2005 novel of the same name by Uzodinma Iweala. The film follows Agu (Abraham Attah), a young West African boy who finds himself unwillingly conscripted into an army of children under the fist of a ruthless Commandant (Idris Elba). Beasts pulls no punches, depicting horrific scenes of violence unflinchingly, and does an incredible job making us empathize with Agu — even as he and his contemporaries are murdering their own countrymen in cold blood. Elba conveys a sense of quiet intensity, channeling religious fanaticism and calm determination in equal measure for a masterful performance (one which earned him a SAG award), and Fukunaga’s sharply contrasting direction effectively mirror’s Agu’s descent into militaristic hedonism. Beasts qualifies as Netflix’s first big feature hit, forecasting many more to come.

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Okja (2017)

Okja
Okja
  • Metacritic: 75%

  • IMDb: 7.3/10

  • Rated: TV-MA

  • Genre: Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction, Action

  • Cast: Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Seo-hyun Ahn, Jake Gyllenhaal, Devon Bostick, Lily Collins, Steven Yuen

Kid-focused pet movies are a dime a dozen, but Okja offers a little more in the way of grown-up themes; in fact, we wouldn’t recommend it for small children at all. In the face of overpopulation and dwindling resource pools, the Mirando corporation — led by neurotic CEO Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) — develops a “super pig,” sending these huge hippo-like creatures to farmers across the world for a 10-year maturation process, at the end of which a Best Pig will be named. One of these pigs, Okja, is sent to the South Korean countryside, where young Mija (the excellent Ahn Seo-hyun) has grown up alongside it. When the ten years are up, Mirando arrives to collect Okja, and Mija takes off with the animal. On the way to New York, Mija encounters a varied, colorful cast of characters including a crazy Steve Irwin-type (Jake Gyllenhaal) and some odd animal rights activists (Paul Dano, Steven Yeung). The film is at times both horrifying and heartwarming, underscoring the serious chops of director Bong Joon-ho (The Host).

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