Ally Burnie
30 Best Movies on Netflix Australia | Man of Many
Who are we to tell you what the best movies on Netflix are? No, we’re not actors or directors, but we’re pretty dang nifty with research. After hours spent reviewing, watching and deconstructing the vast array of films on the streaming platform, we dived into the upper echelon. We took into account reviews from critics, fan sentiments through platforms like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB have also factored into our list, as well as the cultural impact on the film industry. Every movie has a rating of at least 6.5 out of 10 on IMDB, so trust us, this is a top-notch list of good movies on Netflix, mmkay?
How We Choose This List
If you are struggling to find good movies on Netflix, you might have to narrow your search. There are a host of great titles to be found, amid some less than amazing releases, in order to help make sense of the situation, we’ve culled them down to the very best. Focusing on a few main categories, we’re unpacking the best movies on Netflix Australia, detailing the good from the bad, the classic from the originals and the action-packed from the snore-inducing.
Best Movies on Netflix Australia
Kicking off with a list of new Netflix movies Australia has to enjoy, we’re looking at the titles released in the last 12 months. These films may have premiered on the streaming service or gone straight to the platform after a brief stint in cinemas. To keep up to date on everything coming to Netflix this month, check out our guide.
New Movies on Netflix
With an all-star cast like this, there’s no wonder this is one of the best movies on Netflix right now. When the CIA’s most skilled operative (Ryan Gosling) accidentally uncovers dark agency secrets, a psychopathic former colleague (Chris Evans) puts a massive bounty on his head, which as you can imagine, sets off a global manhunt by international assassins. Fun, right? While not all of the reviews have been positive, The Gray Man is a bit of a light-hearted action-adventure that perfectly fills in your time. Gosling’s performance is stilted, but Evans is a master as the unhinged assassin hellbent on revenge. Nothing outstanding, but this Netflix film is still worth a shot.
1. The Gray Man (2022)
Best for: New Netflix Movies
2. Hustle (2022)
A comedy and disaster film rolled into one, Don’t Look Up has a killer all-star cast. Two low-level astronomers (DiCaprio and Lawrence) embark on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet Earth. And, with Meryl Streep as the President who’s truly indifferent to this cosmic catastrophe, you can imagine how much chaos (and anger) will ensue. We really love the casting of Meryl, and while Leo and Timothee Chalamet are criminally underutilized, Cate Blanchett comes out of nowhere and absolutely steals the show as Brie Evantree. Absolutely amazing.
3. Don’t Look Up (2021)
If Western is your jam, The Power of the Dog – directed by Oscar-winning New Zealander Jane Campion – is definitely one of the best movies on Netflix for you. Charming rancher Phil Burbank (Cumberbatch) inspires both fear and awe in those around him. But everything changes when his brother (Plemons) brings home a new wife (Dunst) and her son. Phil’s on a mission to torment his brother’s new family… until the possibility of love catches him unaware.
4. The Power of the Dog (2021)
Another sci-fi instalment from Netflix, The Adam Project is a bit of light-hearted fun that banks on everyone’s favourite Ryan Reynolds. Sure, it’s not going to change your life, but we definitely found this movie to be more than capable of keeping us entertained on a Saturday night. Starring alongside Reynolds, you’ll find Zoe Saldana and Mark Ruffalo, with Free Guy’s Shawn Levy once again handling directing duties. In terms of plot, The Adam Project is a bit all over the place – fighter pilot Adam Reed travels through time to team u with his 12-year-old self in a quest to save the future. Does it make sense? Not always, buts it’s still pretty fun.
5. The Adam Project (2021)
The first directorial effort from Hollywood A-lister Maggie Gyllenhaal is a seriously impressive run and undoubtedly one of the best films on Netflix Australia. The Lost Daughter sees Oscar-winner Olivia Colman as a college professor who is forced to reconsider her unsettling past after meeting a woman and young daughter while on holiday in Italy. Slowly admiration turns to obsession and her life begins to unravel before our very eyes. While The Lost Daughter is a deeply tense film that tackles some tough issues, it’s entirely engrossing as a plot device. I really found myself lost in the characters and Colman brings a certain level of empathy to an otherwise highly-strung character. Honestly, with a complex plot that isn’t always easy to watch, Colman and co-star Dakota Johnson’s ability to carry the story speaks to their immense onscreen talent.
6. The Lost Daughter (2021)
One of the more recent additions to Netflix Australia, Munich: The Edge of War is a massive winner for any history buffs and drama hounds. The film arrives via director Christian Schwochow and screenwriter Ben Power, telling a crazy story against one of humanity’s darkest backdrops. In the fall of 1938, as Hitler prepares to invade Czechoslovakia, trouble is brewing across the globe, leading a British civil servant and a German diplomat, former classmates, travel to Munich to discuss peace. While not a war film in the general sense, Munich: The Edge of War is more of an exploration of power and the quest to do more. Harrowing at times and loaded with great performances, particularly from icon Jeremy Irons, this is one net Netflix Australian film to put on your list.
7. Munich: The Edge of War (2021)
Based on the autobiographical musical by playwright Jonathan Larson, Tick, Tick…BOOM! is a wild ride through an incredible life. An outstanding performance from Andrew Garfield in the lead role steals the show, as the enigmatic New York City composer worried he has made the wrong career choice. Beyond just great music and acting, the film takes a unique approach to storytelling, with a mixture of unusual conventions adding in to make sense of a nonsensical world. Directed by Hamilton’sLin-Manuel Miranda, there’s a lot going on here and we loved it all.
8. Tick, Tick… BOOM! (2021)
Idris Elba and Jay-Z pull together a new-age Western set to hip-hop? What’s not to love? The Harder They Fall sees Jonathan Majors play outlaw Nat Love, who discovers that his enemy Rufus Buck, played by Idris Elba is being released from prison. In an old-school revenge story, Love rounds up his gang to track Rufus down, but his adversary has his own friends in hand. The film isn’t exactly groundbreaking and at times it gets a little messy, however, it’s worth watching it for Regina King’s ‘Treacherous’ Trudy Smith alone.
9. The Harder They Fall (2021)
Who doesn’t love a bit of drama? Whether you’re curled up on the couch living vicariously through the investment bros of The Big Short or you’re just looking to tune out with the definitely not calm Marriage Story, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of our favourite drama movies on Netflix, but for more options, check out our more in-depth guide.
Best Netflix Movies – Drama
Best for: Drama
10. The Prestige (2006)
With Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker, how could this movie not live up to the hype (as much as I loved 2008 Joker Heath Ledger)? Joker follows the back-story of how he became the iconic villain that he is. Starting as a mentally troubled stand-up comedian, Joker sees Phoenix give the ultimate performance as he embarks on a downward spiral that leads to the creation of the modern-day Joker. If you’re going to watch the upcoming sequel, which is set to add Lady Gaga to the mix, you better get reacquainted with this gem.
11. Joker (2019)
In this comedy-drama biography that’s based on the book of the same name, a group of investors (Bale, Carell & Gosling) bet against the US mortgage market. The movie takes a look at the US housing bubble disaster that led to the financial crisis of 2007-2008. It’s insightful, it’s funny and above all else, it’s truly one of the best things to watch on Netflix Australia – like, today. Especially when you consider we’re more or less at the forefront of a crypto collapse right now.
12. The Big Short (2015)
A masterpiece of modern cinema, David Fincher’s psychological thriller Se7en isn’t just one of the best movies on Netflix Australia, it’s one of the best movies ever made. Period. Starring Morgan Freeman as a bitter investigator paired with a young and brash Brad Pitt, the film sees the odd couple attempt to track down an insatiable serial killer who murders his victims according to the seven deadly sins. An unplugged performance from Kevin Spacey as the unhinged killer is absolutely perfect, creating a sense of terror with every carefully chosen word. We’ve watched Se7en a million times by now and it’s still a shocking and horrific exploration of modern horror and crime. A real ‘out-of-the-box’ title.
13. Se7en (1995)
Another epic performance from Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems looks at the incredible and dark world of New York’s Diamond District. A drama, crime and thriller in one, if you like a fast-paced movie that’ll have you on the edge of your couch, this Netflix movie is for you. If you’ve ever watched a Safdie brothers film then you would know what you’re in for, however, for the uninitiated, it’s going to leave you exhausted. For the full two hours, there is no let-up, just constant tension and intrigue, driven by Sandler’s sympathetic loser character. At times it’s tough to watch, but you can’t say Uncut Gems isn’t engrossing.
14. Uncut Gems (2019)
If you don’t want to sob, maybe don’t watch Marriage Story. Or maybe do, crying is good for you, you know. Directed, produced and written by Noah Baumbach, this movie follows the story of a couple’s intense divorce by really getting into the nitty-gritty details of what led to the demise of the relationship. While it might touch on some marriage cliches, cliches are what they are for a reason and whether you’ve ever been married or not, you’ll likely find yourself relating to the turmoil and heartache displayed so beautifully by Driver and Johansson.
15. Marriage Story (2019)
This Oscar-nominated biopic starring the formidable Leonardo DiCaprio is based on the true story of wall street man Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government. It’s gritty, a little bit sexy and definitely one of the best movies on Netflix for a weekend night in. Also, let’s not forget Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie‘s outstanding performances. Great gear all-round.
16. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Dallas, 1995: Electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) sneaks his way around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he himself is diagnosed with the disease. McConaughey was praised to buggery for his role in this biopic and Woodroof’s final years battling AIDS. He truly committed to the role, and if the end doesn’t have you weeping, I don’t know what to tell you. Dallas Buyers Club definitely put McConaughey on the map as an actor, showing he can do more than just stripping (Magic Mike).
17. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Action-packed flicks are the order of the day on Netflix Australia. With a host of titles that somehow all seem to feature The Rock, the streamer has put a lot of time and effort into creating a catalogue of hits that pull no punches. Here are the best ones we’ve found, but if you’re looking to broader your horizons, why not check out our guide to the best action movies of all time?
Best Action Movies on Netflix
Gal Gadot, Ryan Reynolds and Dwayne Johnson are pure magic in this action-thriller combo. If you think you can pick the plot twists of a movie, this one will definitely leave you scratching your head and shouting “NO WAY!” at the TV. The movie follows the FBI’s top profiler John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) in pursuit of ‘The Bishop’ (Gadot), where he’s forced to partner with art thief Nolan Booth (Reynolds) in order to catch the world’s most wanted art thief (Bishop). It’s not gonna win any Oscars, but it’s definitely a good time!
18. Red Notice (2021)
Best for: Action Movies on Netflix
19. Good Time (2017)
What do you get when you throw Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Val Kilmer into the same film? Movie magic is the answer. A 1995 crime saga to rival all crime sagas, Heat follows a group of high-end professional thieves who quickly start feeling the heat from the LAPD when they leave a rookie clue at the scene of their latest crime. The crime genre on Netflix Australia doesn’t get much better than this!
20. Heat (1995)
If you haven’t seen Dune director Denis Villeneuve’s 2013 film Prisoners, you’re in for a seriously good time. Starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, the unassuming hit focuses on the abduction of two young girls in Pennsylvania and the subsequent search for their captor. It’s a brutal revenge story that twists and turns at every point. Unbelievable performances from both Jackman and Gyllenhaal make this piece of cinema un-missable, having us question just who was behind the crime until the very end. One of my favourite flicks to ever hit Netflix by a long way.
21. Prisoners (2013)
Another Denis Villeneuve epic, Sicario is a tough watch at times, due to its brooding and dark storyline. Benicio del Toro and Emily Blunt star in this convoluted tale of corruption, cartels and drug gangs. Sicario follows a principled FBI agent who is enlisted by a government task force to bring down the leader of a prominent Mexican drug cartel. The elusive drug lord proves to be just a small cog in a larger plan, which winds up seeing a deeper scheme unravel beyond anything we were prepared for. This film is an absolute roller-coaster full of twists and turns you won’t see coming.
22. Sicario (2015)
Who doesn’t love a bit of Tom Cruise action? Fresh off the smash hit Top Gun: Maverick, it’s time to revisit one of his more ambitious releases in Edge of Tomorrow, a gripping movie that carefully blends time travel and science-fiction. Cruise stars as Major William Cage, an army mercenary who attempts to save the earth and the human race from an alien species again and again, as he has entered a time loop.
23. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
It’s hard not to hear Hans Zimmer’s eponymous Gladiator theme song in your head when you think about this epic action film directed by the legendary Ridley Scott. Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix truly cemented themselves as Hollywood royalty in this incredibly powerful movie which sees a former Roman General rise through the ranks and free himself from slavery by becoming the ultimate gladiator.
24. Gladiator (2000)
We love a good sci-fi flick just as much as the next guy, but not all of them are created equal. Our favourite sci-fi movies on Netflix are a mixed bag of aliens, outer space, time travel and host more incredible offerings. Here’s what we’re watching now, but for more, check out our full guide to the best sci-fi movies on Netflix Australia.
Best Sci-Fi on Netflix Australia
Best for: Action & Sci-Fi
25. Arrival (2016)
This sci-fi movie is a timely exploration of the current climate crisis in a bold new way. Dark and twisted, Snowpiercer depicts a climate-change experiment gone wrong, where only a few humans remain alive after its disastrous effects. The post-apocalyptic world sees a new class system come into being, making us think about ideas surrounding climate and the looming end of the world.
26. Snowpiercer (2013)
This A24 sci-fi film follows a programmer testing whether his latest creation; the female android Ava, can imitate real human consciousness. All three main performances are excellent and the direction is top-notch too, making Ex Machina a modern-day Frankenstein story about man’s ambition to play god going too far. I really loved the way that the film broaches some of the more confusing and challenging theories, never dumbing things down, but making you, as an audience member, question the morality of the characters. It’s a little strange, but Ex Machina is awesome in every sense of the word and Oscar Isaac‘s performance is excellent.
27. Ex Machina (2014)
Love a dark comedy? Before The Banshees of Inisherin hits screen, check out In Bruges on Netflix. Shackled with guilt after a job gone wrong, hitman Ray (Farrell) and his partner Ken (Gleeson) await orders from their ruthless boss in Bruges, Belgium (Fiennes). If you also happen to love travel, what’s cool about this movie is it gives us a glimpse inside the breathtakingly beautiful city of Bruges, without being a kind of travelogue. Comedy, travel… In Bruges ties it all together very nicely.
28. In Bruges (2008)
Will Ferrell is at his best in The Other Guys, an intensely quotable and entertaining comedy about two mismatched NYC detectives who take the opportunity to head up the city’s police department. Of course, things don’t go quite as planned and hilarity ensues – a killer storyline that’s only made better with the excellent chemistry of Ferrell and overly-tense Mark Wahlberg. I’m a peacock, you gotta let me fly!
29. The Other Guys (2010)
Best for: Comedy
30. Knives Out (2019)
From director Guy Ritchie we have The Gentleman, which throws comedy, crime and action into one epic movie that’s just shy of two hours. The storyline follows American ex-pat Michael Pearson (McConaughey) as he tries to sell off his highly profitable marijuana empire in London. Naturally, bribery, blackmail and chaos ensue as those around him try to steal his empire out from underneath him.
31. The Gentlemen (2019)
If you’re not quite aboard the Netflix movie train or looking for something a little different in the movies and TV show scene, why not check out our articles on some of the other great options from across the platform?
Alternatives to Best Movies on Netflix
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