By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published May 25, 2024 at 8:46 AM

Staying at home? Sure, you could try to convince yourself that you're going to spend that time getting around to those cleaning projects you've been putting off or learning a new skill, but let's be honest: The reality is you're going to sit on the couch, snack away and stream something hopefully good. I'm not judging; I'm doing the same thing as we speak.

So, to help make your nights in go as outstanding as possible, here's a list of 100 good movies – from awesome action flicks to cool choices for children to stellar sports stories and Will Ferrell singing to honor the great country of Iceland – you can currently find on Netflix. Go and stream away – you can get around to that to-do list tomorrow. Or the day after that. Or maybe next week.

Action movies

"21 Bridges": One of Chadwick Boseman's final big screen performances is also one of his most underrated, playing a detective who shuts down the city to find out who killed two police officers. What results is a taut, old-school cop thriller that's definitely worth crossing.

"Baby Driver": Edgar Wright is one of our most kinetic and original directors – and for evidence, check out his take on the car chase/heist genre, blending catchy music and tense crime thrills into a toe-tapping and exciting summer actioner about a young wheelman getting in over his head working as a getaway driver for robbers around town.

"Catching Fire": All of the "Hunger Games" movies have popped back up on the Big Red Streaming Monolith – including the best of the bunch, the smartly exhilarating second installment in which new series director Francis Lawrence has a tripod unlike the first movie and in which gets to tell a full contained story unlike the bifurcated "Mockingjay" films. 

"The Commuter": Perhaps the best of his old-man actioners (not including "The Grey," which is a masterpiece), "The Commuter" stars Liam Neeson as a train commuter who finds himself stuck in an Alfred Hitchcock-esque thriller – if Alfred Hitchcock made a movie in which his star smashed a henchman's head with a guitar.

"The Harder They Fall": Super stylish and slick, this all-Black Netflix Original Western is a good wild ride following outlaw leader Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) as he seeks out revenge against the sadistic gang leader Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) who murdered his family. It's lot of old classic genre fun mixed with new style and verve. 

"Kill Bill: Vol. 1": Quentin Tarantino's super-stylish (and even more super-violent) martial arts pastiche stars Uma Thurman as a revenge-seeking former assassin left for dead, Lucy Liu as her main lethal rival – no, not Bill; he's saved for part two, also available on Netflix – and geysers upon geysers of spraying, spurting and splattering blood. So it's a musical! 

"The Night Comes For Us": Do you like violent action movies? No, I mean VIOLENT action movies – violent enough that even the guy from the "Saw" films would be like, "Please, have you no decency?" Well, if you're a fan of stuff like "The Raid" movies, you'll love this viciously brutal actioner starring martial arts superstars Iwo Uwais and Joe Taslim – directed by Timo Tjahjanto, who'll helm the upcoming "Train to Busan" remake, so get pumped for that!

"Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse": With great power comes great responsibility ... and apparently great sequels, as "Across the Spider-Verse" manages to follow up its terrific and groundbreaking 2018 original with even more eye-popping visuals, even more thrilling animated action, even more compelling and original takes on a story seemingly well-told at this point, and – yes – even more Spider-People.

"Time to Hunt": Part heist movie, part futuristic dystopian sci-fi, part action thriller, part "Terminator" and all tensely entertaining, it's definitely time to check out this Korean Netflix original hidden gem, following a group of down-on-their-luck young adults who rob the wrong place. 

"White House Down": "Olympic Has Fallen" got all the attention (and box office) when these two dueling movies came out in 2013 – but Roland Emmerich's version is the better, more bombastic, more ridiculous and more entertaining one, following Channing Tatum and President Jamie Foxx as they attempt to survive a terrorist siege on the White House.

"The Woman King": The Academy may have overlooked this rousing period action melodrama – but you shouldn't make the same mistake. With its fierce action, compelling historical story and terrific performances (from Viola Davis, of course, but also Thuso Mbedu and Lashana Lynch), director Gina Prince-Bythewood's latest is a quality old-school blockbuste for a new time.


"Animal House": One of the most iconic comedies ever made, "Animal House" is on Netflix for another semester of hijinks and bad behavior. Fat, drunk and stupid may be no way to go through life ... but it's a great way to make a very funny movie that lives on for decades upon decades. And now, for a toga party!

"Bad Trip": Cheap hidden camera comedy makes a welcome return with this bite-sized blast tracing the misadventures of Eric Andre and Lil Rel Howery as they travel across the country and get into all sorts of inappropriate and awkward trouble. It's bawdy – but "Bad Trip" also packs a surprisingly big heart, showing people oddly at their best when confronted with the worst. It's easily the most strangely sweet film involving a prolonged sexual encounter with a gorilla. 

"Dolemite Is My Name": Watch this jubilant tribute to the movies – and this wild yet heartwarming tribute to an under-appreciated mad genius movie-making mind in Rudy Ray Moore (an awards-worthy Eddie Murphy), who brought the blaxploitation character Dolemite to overlooked audiences across the country.

"Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga": Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams star in this Netflix Original about a duo of goofy Swedes attempting to take the globe by storm with their charmingly kitschy pop music in this toe-tapping and charming comedy. And seriously, Hollywood, cast Rachel McAdams in every comedy from here on out.

"Frances Ha": Love the wit and wisdom of writer-director Noah Baumbach's movies ("Marriage Story," "Squid and the Whale") but struggling with the brutal honesty and barbed vinegar? Try out this delightful coming-of-age story starring Greta Gerwig as a young woman trying to figure out her life. It's delightful – and also features the most accurate scene involving a tax refund ever.

"Girls Trip": One of the last smash hit theatrical comedies in recent memory comes to Netflix now as Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish in her breakout role go on a trip to New Orleans that goes hilariously off the rails. You will never look at a grapefruit the same way again. Or a zipline. 

"Happy Gilmore": Even if you're not an Adam Sandler fan, you'll enjoy taking a hack at his blockbuster goof-filled golf comedy filled with iconic characters, insanely quotable lines and one truly iconic fight scene with Bob Barker. This movie is your home – ARE YOU TOO GOOD FOR YOUR HOME!?

"Hubie Halloween": Listen, I'm just as shocked to see this Adam Sandler holiday comedy here as you are – but here's something horrifying: It's actually quite funny and charming! Sandler's character is on the right side of annoying, there are more comedic hits than misses, and there's an odd goofy innocent sweetness to the film. Maybe it was just low expectations and pandemic brain, but "Hubie Halloween" is worth scaring up for spooky season.

"Hunt for the Wilderpeople": A fan of Taika Waititi's "Thor Ragnarok" and "Jojo Rabbit"? Then don't miss this wildly charming wildlife tale about a young rebel who runs off into the New Zealand woods and befriends a gruff loner played by Dr. Grant himself, Sam Neill.

"Jackass 4.5": Their pain is your pleasure in this bonus compilation of comedic bits, behind-the-scenes interviews and even more body-pounding pranks from their latest batch of big-screen hijinks. There's something oddly endearing and comforting about this friendly crew's profoundly uncomfortable shenanigans – VERY odd but also very entertaining. Also: Don't watch while eating.

"Monty Python and the Holy Grail": You've almost certainly quoted this comedy classic in the last few days – but have you actually watched this medieval lark recently? Remedy that; you'll certainly have the time.

"The Other Guys": Aim for the bushes and jump for this very funny buddy cop comedy starring Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock. It'll happily remind of you of the days when writer-director Adam McKay made goofy comedies like this instead of condescending political Oscar bait like "Vice" or "Don't Look Up"!

"Pineapple Express": Seth Rogen and James Franco team up for this dark stoner comedy about two reluctant buddies – a process server and his dopey drug dealer – who have to hide out together after the former accidentally witnesses a high-profile murder. Bring snacks – preferably Fruit Roll-Ups.

"The Prom": This star-studded musical brings together Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, James Corden, Andrew Rannells and more as egotistical Broadway stars who invade a small Indiana town in the hopes of helping a gay teen go to prom (and giving themselves some much needed good publicity). It's relentlessly big, bright, colorful and sweet – aka much better than real prom.


"The Battered Bastards of Baseball": It may have been minor league baseball, but the Portland Mavericks of the '70s – owned and created by Kurt Russell's dad – were major league fun in this sports documentary about these oddball outlaws who were juuuuuust a bit outside the norm. 

"Coded Bias": "Black Mirror" not freaky enough for you? Watch this riveting documentary about the future of facial recognition software, its hidden biases and the tech heroes fighting against them. It's so effective, you might just chuck your laptop in the bin right after watching it. 

"Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution": Learn about the history of the long hard fight for equal rights for Americans with disabilities – and the '70s New York State summer camp where several of its leaders met one another and grew in their strength and confidence in this powerful and educational Oscar-nominated 2020 documentary. 

"Fantastic Fungi": How interesting can mushrooms be? Pretty darn interesting, as it turns out! At least that's the case with this documentary, which uses gorgeous and mesmerizing nature footage and Oscar winner Brie Larson's voiceover to tell the story of fungi's incredible abilities both in the wild and in the hands of science. 

"Icarus": This Oscar-winning Netflix Original documentary starts as a look into the Olympics doping scandal – but ends up taking its director deep into the dangerous world of Russian politics that definitely isn't just a game. 

"Misha and the Wolves": A wild twisty ride of a documentary, "Misha and the Wolves" tells the story of a Holocaust survivor who, as a child on the run from Nazis, befriended a pack of wolves in a forest to stay alive. It's a story so incredible it must be true – but as the story becomes a global sensation decades later, many start to wonder if that's exactly the case. A fascinating and compelling story about stories and what people – the tellers and the listetners – use them for. 

"The Pez Outlaw": There are a lot of true crime documentaries out there – but there's only one involving Pez dispensers. Indeed, this charming true-story caper tracks the story of a Pez lover who smuggles in rare collectible dispensers – and, in the process, makes some high-up enemies who aren't so sugary sweet. It's a snappy and warm winner – so much so Milwaukee Film selected it as its 2022 festival's opening night pick.

"Procession": One of the best documentaries – and films, period – of 2021, this Netflix Original follows six men using art therapy to come to terms with the sexual abuse they survived from Catholic priests. Some of them are surreal, some are simple, but all are bracingly raw, incredibly cathartic and moving as the men find friends and potentially a way forward. 

"The Tinder Swindler": A modern cautionary "Catfish" tale for the world of dating apps, this propulsive, tense and twisty true-crime doc follows several women as they fall for a handsome and wealthy man over Tinder ... only to discover that he's nothing as he seems. 

"Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King": Sure, I get it: There's been a lot of true-crime scammer docs and miniseries out there. (See above!) But this one is one of the better options, telling the strange saga of an up-and-coming crypto star who mysterious disappears and dies ... with millions in purloined internet money. A fascinating saga that also dives into the dark corners of internet obsession. 

"Won't You Be My Neighbor": Looking for a nice movie to watch? How about a documentary about the world's nicest man! That's what you'll find with "Won't You Be My Neighbor," a gentle and thoughtful tour through the life of Fred Rogers, the mellow man who made childhood adventurous and taught essential life lessons for generations, as well as the legacy he left behind.


"A Single Man": In a just world, Colin Firth would've won his Best Actor Oscar for this stellar drama (directed by fashion icon Tom Ford) about a gay man in the '60s shook by the recent death of his boyfriend.

"A Walk Among the Tombstones": Liam Neeson's last decade or so of movies hasn't been great – but amongst all the B-level action movies and "Taken" rip-offs, there's this tense, grim detective story about a broken man (Neeson) trying to solve the murder of a drug dealer's wife. Written and directed by crime movie expert Scott Frank ("Logan," "Out of Sight"), it's a gritty and terse little gem among the Netflix maw. 

"Amadeus": If you're gonna make a movie about one of the most iconic musical geniuses of all time, you better bring it – and "Amadeus" does exactly that, a gothic musical epic about the orchestral rivalry between Mozart and Salieri as well as the personal demons that haunted and fueled his timeless arrangements. If you've never seen this massive Oscar-winning portrait, give it a go – as it's earned its legendary legacy.

"Athena": A marvel of craft and direction, this intense 2022 indie gem follows several brothers on multiple sides of an escalating urban war between police and citizens – mostly captured in mesmerizing, city-sprawling one-shots that could impress even the most skeptical long-take truther. 

"Beasts of No Nation": One of Netflix's first big original films is also still one of its best, as Cary Joji Fukunaga's intense and mesmerizing drama follows a young child soldier as he atttempts to survive both physically and mentally getting dragged first-hand through a brutal civil war in his country. Not a fun watch but it is a memorably vivid one. 

"Boyz n the Hood": Back in 1991, the late great John Singleton set the record for the youngest Best Director nominee at 24 years old with this star-studded inner-city drama about several young black men living in Crenshaw and thinking about their futures while trying to survive day to day amongst the area's gangs.

"Da 5 Bloods": Spike Lee takes on Vietnam in his pained and passionate follow-up to the Oscar-winning "BlacKkKlansman," following four veterans (headlined by an award-worthy Delroy Lindo) as they return to the country they fought across to recover their fallen comrade – and recover a trunk of gold bars that they vowed to return for back in the day.

"Dark Waters": Unfortunately it was overlooked come awards season in 2019, but "Dark Waters" is low-key one of the best movies of the past several years, ominously telling the story of a lawyer attempting to bring a case against chemical giant DuPont for contaminating a small West Virginia town. On the surface, it looks like director Todd Haynes is just taking a paycheck job here, but he directs the heck out of this well-done, well-told courtroom drama.

"The Edge of Seventeen": Judging by the box office, you probably missed this excellent coming-of-age dramedy about Nadine, a high schooler (Hailee Steinfeld of "True Grit") coping with being unpopular and losing her only friend when she catches her dating Nadine's jock brother. You should amend that, as it's one of the best movies of 2016, hilarious and with a lot of heart.

"Emily the Criminal": Aubrey Plaza's terrific 2022, headlined by "The White Locus" season two, wouldn't be complete however without this tense crackerjack hidden gem about a desperate gig economy worker who falls in with some scam artists and gets in too deep. A smart and searingly intense indie treat that'll make you want to see more from everyone involved.

"Everything Everywhere All At Once": What genre to put this recent Oscar winner? Is it an action movie? It's got terrifically inventive action sequences, as a mother (Michelle Yeoh) discovers the multiverse and a sinister force trying to implode them all. Is it a drama? After all, I cry every time thanks to its beautiful mother-daughter relationship. You could call it a comedy, too, with all of its crazy, surreal universe-hopping hijinks. (It's DEFINITELY the first Best Picture winner with an extended sex toy fight sequence.) No matter what genre you call it, though, "EEAAO" is a modern original masterpiece, filled with energy and emotion. (And hot dog fingers.)

"Glass Onion": This star-studded murder mystery sequel might actually be a cut above "Knives Out," having a hoot roasting a bunch of rich "disruptors" – played by Edward Norton, Dave Bautista, Kathryn Hahn, Kate Hudson and more – while Daniel Craig's detective extraordinaire Benoit Blanc gets to the bottom of the twisty mystery on their fancy private island. With this, Rian Johnson's mystery franchise truly claims its title as the Agatha Christie of the 21st century.

"Glengarry Glen Ross": Looking for an acting masterclass? Stop in to the office of "Glengarry Glen Ross," featuring Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris and more delivering some of their finest performances as desperate real estate salesmen, feasting on David Mamet's dynamite screenplay. But be warned: This movie's only for closers. 

"Holy Spider": "Zodiac" unfortunately isn't on Netflix anymore – but this 2022 intense Iranian serial killer drama, similarly based on a true story of a murderer stalking the streets and killing sex workers in plain sight, is the next best thing. A close contender for the Oscars' Best International Film category, it's terrifically performed, chillingly crafted and startling in its portrayal of how deadly misogyny can infect a society.

"I Lost My Body": Animated movies don't come much stranger – but also much better – than this Oscar-nominated hand-drawn bittersweet and bizarre beauty about a sentient severed hand crawling its way back across the city to its rightful owner.

"Inside Man": Spike Lee's made some of the most incisive American movies about race, America and society in the medium's history ... but he also can make a simply damn entertaining Hollywood heist movie in the case of this twisty 2006 masterpiece, following two detectives (Denzel Washington and Chiwetel Ejiofor) trying to negotiate a Downtown NYC bank robbery gone wrong. Or exactly right? Full of charismatic performances, surprising turns, thrilling filmmaking, lived-in NYC texture and a smart screenplay with a little more on its mind than thieving money, steal some time to watch "Inside Man."

"The Irishman": Listen, you've finally got a lot of time on your hands. So now there's no excuse for not checking out Martin Scorsese's excellent gangster epic. It's a gripping gut punch of a movie, immaculately performed, but it's also not without its entertainment value. (Give me EVERY Al Pacino line-reading, please.) It's a powerful (seemingly) final statement from Scorsese. 

"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom": The late great Chadwick Boseman left us far too soon, but at least he left behind this final monumental, vibrant and volatile performance as hot-shot trumpet player Levee in Netflix's August Wilson play adaptation about a Black blues band and their testy singing star (an also terrific Viola Davis) battling through a heated – literally and emotionally – day of recording. 

"Marriage Story": One of the best movies of last year is at your fingertips thanks to Netflix with this biting drama about a husband and wife (Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, never better) trying to survive a cross-country divorce.

"May December": Starring Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman and a revelatory Charles Melton, this tense and thorny Todd Haynes drama – following an actress as she embeds herself in the lives of a Mary Kay Letourneau-esque couple for research into a role – is terrific and smart about its web of exploitation. Very much deserved more than just the one screenplay Oscar nomination it received – but who would've guessed actors and Hollywood types wouldn't dig a movie about actors and Hollywoods digging into people's lives for exploitative, empty reasons!?

"Minari": One of the forgotten great movies of 2020 and 2021 (did you remember this movie won an Oscar? Of course you don't!), "Minari" is a small but lovely family drama about an immigrant family attempting to make a life for themselves deep in the heart of Arkansas. It's a tender, sweet, modest and thoughtful movie ... so naturally the director's now making "Twisters." 

"Miss Juneteenth": Juneteenth may be a month away, but you can still celebrate early with the thoughtful family drama "Miss Juneteenth," about a single mom (Nicole Beharie, TV's "Sleepy Hollow") who pressures her daughter into following in her beauty queen footsteps and competing – and hopefully winning – the annual Miss Juneteenth pageant. Her daughter, however, has other ambitions. 

"Passing": Much more personal and psychological, complex and complicated, than the Social Issue Film it may appear to be on the surface, Rebecca Hall's directorial debut is a gorgeous black-and-white film about the gray areas between two intertwined Black women in the 1920s: one (a stellar Ruth Negga) passing as a white woman, the other (an equally magnetic Tessa Thompson) finding her life rattled by this new arrival. 

"Phantom Thread": If this Oscar-winning romantic drama is Daniel Day-Lewis' final bow, what a note to end on: a sumptuously crafted (those clothes! that score!) picture about a tempestuous fashion designer and his muse (Vicky Krieps, who should've become a star immediately after this) trickily finding how they fit into their relationship and their lives. Don't pass this unique portrait up (but maybe pass up eating any mushroom dishes on the night). 

"The Power of the Dog": A front runner for the upcoming Academy Awards, Jane Campion's return to the big screen tells the story of a rough and tough rancher (an almost surely Oscar-nominated Benedict Cumberbatch) and the brutal impact he has on those around him, including his quiet brother (Jesse Plemons), his weighed-down wife (Kirsten Dunst) and her awkward son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) in this beautifully captured Western about masculinity and loneliness, blending equal parts tenderness and slow-burning tension. 

"Roma": Alfonso Cuaron's Oscar-winning character study is a gorgeous black-and-white slow burn, following a maid as her life changes along with the rich family she works for. It's mesmerizing work.

"Sing Street": The guy behind the delightful lo-fi musical "Once" is back at it, delivering another tuneful treat with this 2016 coming-of-age music dramedy about a young Dublin boy in the '80s who decides to create a band. Just try not to get the film's hit single "Drive It Like You Stole It" stuck in your head afterwards.

"The Squid and the Whale": If you enjoyed "Marriage Story" – OK, maybe "enjoyed" is a strange word to use – be sure to check out writer-director Noah Baumbach's breakout indie hit "The Squid and the Whale," which tells the story of a bitter divorce instead from the viewpoint of a teenager caught in the crossfire.

"Tick, Tick ... Boom!": Lin-Manuel Miranda sure had a busy 2021 ("In the Heights," "Vivo," "Encanto") with this biopic musical about "Rent" creator Jonathan Larson perhaps serving as the best of the bunch thanks to a marvelous lead performance from Andrew Garfield, a bunch of catchy tunes courtesy of the late great Larson and some charmingly enthusiastic theater kid energy. 

"Tully": Charlize Theron stars in this thoughtful and sharply written (by Oscar-winner Diablo Cody!) dramedy about an exasperated mother who finds relief in the form of a new nanny, played by rising star Mackenzie Davis. Just do yourself a favor and turn the movie off with about 15 minutes left to go.  

"Uncorked": Barbecue and wine make a perfect comfort food pairing on a plate – and on your screen with this heart-and-soulwarming family drama about a young man trying to decide between taking over his parents' (scene-stealers Courtney B. Vance and Niecy Nash) beloved neighborhood barbecue shop and pursuing his own dream of becoming a sommelier. Watch it with plenty of food, drink and Kleenex on standby. 

For kids

"Jumanji": I'll be honest: This movie basically ruined my childhood, horrifying little Matt with kids vanishing into dust, giant spiders, vicious hunters and all sorts of nightmare-inducing jungle creatures. Decades later, as an adult, the original "Jumanji" now plays as an energetic, funny and creative adventure that only causes one night of lost sleep as opposed to a month's worth. 

"Marcel the Shell with Shoes On": I don't know who decided that we needed a movie of the viral YouTube talking shell from practically a decade ago – but I'm glad they did, because this indie stop-motion delight is somehow one of the best movies of 2022, following the little charming shell as it attempts to learn more about the giant world around them. You won't believe a tiny shell wearing shoes can make you cry. 

"The Mitchells vs. the Machines": Yet another outstandingly funny, energetic and smart project courtesy of producers Lord and Miller (the guys behind "21 Jump Street" and "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"), this giddily animated adventure follows a family road trip that goes slightly off the rails when they accidentally find themselves in the middle of the robot apocalypse. 

"Paddington": A movie as warm and cuddly as the famed teddy bear it's based upon, "Paddington" follows a polite little bear as it tries to navigate the world of British society with his adopted family's help. The sequel is somehow even better, but the original charmer is still as sweet and comforting as some marmalade. 

"Pinocchio": No, not the terrible Disney live-action remake. Instead watch Guillermo del Toro's mesmerizing, emotional, dark and delightful stop-motion take on the iconic tale, following an energetic young wooden doll's dream of being a real boy amongst the backdrop of a world at war. 

"Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon": I watched this animated kids charmer when it came out near the beginning of the pandemic, and for 80 lovely, witty and wonderful minutes, I forgot the world was imploding. So I guess what I'm saying is that I highly recommend "Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon," a movie about a nice but mischievous sheep trying to help a little lost alien get home. I want to hug this movie.

"Shrek": Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me ... and somebody once told me that this iconic 2001 animated spoof of classic fairy tales is now on Netflix (along with a few of its sequels). Revisit the swamp and have a laugh – or a few dozen.

"Storks": Where do babies come from? If your kid needs an answer, try popping on this manically entertaining animated movie about a bunch of business-minded storks who've given up their days of delivering babies – until one shows up unexpectedly and there's only one doofy stork up for the task. A silly sugar rush of an animated adventure, "Storks" is a wild winged ride.  

"The Willoughbys": The concept – four siblings concoct a scheme to kill their uncaring bougie parents – may not the most exciting one for parents, but this Netflix Original is both somehow charming and macabre, gorgeously animated with jokes delivered at blazing speed and a sour-yet-sweet story about sticking together as an unconventional family.


"A Nightmare on Elm Street": Just try to go to bed after watching Wes Craven's iconic '80s sleep-deprived slasher about teens hunted in their dreams by the sharp-tongued and even sharper-fingered Freddy Krueger. Just be sure you watch the original version, not the remake – which is also on Netflix but is a nightmare of a different, dispiriting variety. 

"The Babadook": For a seriously spine-chilling fright – via a top hat-wearing demonic storybook shadow monster – bop on "The Babadook," a terrific Australian indie horror movie about a single mother whose task of raising her ornery young son gets even more difficult when a creepy dark figure starts popping up around the house. 

"The Gift": A couple's move to a new home gets an unwelcome housewarming gift: a visit from an old former school friend of the husband who seems to have some old gripes to bring into their new house. A creepy thriller of manners – with an A-grade casting pick in Jason Bateman as the husband.

"His House": Quietly one of the best movies of the past year, "His House" is both an incredibly powerful and twisty story about immigrant refugees trying to start a new life in England after the terrors of their journey as well as just a really, really impressively crafted and super scary horror movie about something that's living in their new apartment's walls. Get director Remi Weekes a new movie now please!

"Insidious": The latest sequel is also available on Netflix – but feel free to astral project yourself away from "The Red Door" and stick with haunting James Wan's original movie. Years later, it's still an outstanding take on the haunted house flick that satisfyingly rekindled the old-school "bumps in the night" scary movie – complete with one of the best jump scares of the 21st century. 

"It Follows": Another modern horror gem, this terrifying thriller follows a teenager and her friends as they're haunted by a slowly walking, shape-shifting horror that isn't zombies. Moody and menacing, "It Follows" will get under your skin. 

"Missing": An amateur detective thriller following a teen girl trying to discover what happened to her vanished mother, all entirely set on her computers and cellular devices, "Missing" is a techno thrill as both a unique cinematic conceptual experience and a digital whodunnit.

"Ouija: Origin of Evil": There's no reason why the sequel to a very bad horror movie based on the silly party game should've been tolerable, much less good. But that's the power of director Mike Flanagan, the guy behind the "Midnight Mass" and "The Haunting of Hill House," who gives this premise a thoughtful story, some interesting characters and – of course – a bunch of nightmare-inducingly scares. 

"The Platform": If you've been enjoying the cruel economic games of the Korean import "Squid Game," you'll want to dig into this bluntly brutal dark Spanish allegorical thriller about a man trapped in a strange vertical prison where a platform of food makes its way down level to level – with the lowest level stuck with the scraps. 

"Under the Shadow": If you're a fan of the latest wave of eerie indie horror films, you owe it to yourself to check out this grounded but ghoulish Iranian horror hidden gem about a mother, already having a stressful night taking care of her daughter alone during war, starting to believe there's an angry spirit in their apartment as well. 

"X": For those looking for an X-tremely good time with a horror movie, check out Ti West's throwback slasher about a porn crew (including the likes of Jenna Ortega, Kid Cudi and Brittany Snow) who show up at a desolate farm house for a shoot and find a lot more than a passable shooting location. It's both just as scuzzy and seedily entertaining as you'd want it to be, while also a little smarter with a little more on its mind than expected. 


"Footloose": You been workin' so hard and punching your card – eight hours for what?! Well, take a break with this energetic and youthful dance movie icon from the '80s about Kevin Bacon bringing dance back to a small town where it's been banned. Yes, it's corny – but the odds of you getting through without tapping your toes and moving your feet are near zero.

"How to Be Single": Dakota Johnson may not have had a great time making "Madame Web" – but she seemed to have much more fun with this recent rom-com, filled with glowing New York City cinematography, entertaining performances and a smarter-than-standard take on the genre, less about falling in love with someone and more about falling in love with yourself.

"Something's Gotta Give": While we wait for Netflix to finally give Nancy Meyers the money for a new movie, check out the adult rom-com queen's best movie: "Something's Gotta Give," starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton at both their movie star bests as a mismatched pair of older singles who slowly yet surely fall in love – in some of the most beautiful and clean-looking kitchens imaginable, of course. 

"To All the Boys I've Loved Before": The rom-com isn't dead yet thanks to Netflix – and thanks to this charming teenage romance about a high schooler whose secret letters to her crushes get sent to them. The sequel, while not as fun, is worthwhile too. Hopefully the final chapter, "To All the Boys: Always and Forever, Lara Jean," keeps things cute.


"Looper": Before he ventured into a galaxy far, far away, writer-director Rian Johnson created a brilliantly grounded future on our own planet, blending time travel and other sci-fi ideas in a thrilling story about a hitman (Joseph Gordon Levitt) who discovers his next target is himself from the future (Bruce Willis, putting in a rare effort).

"The Matrix": One of the most iconic science fiction movies of all time, the Wachowskis' trip into a sci-fi dystopia that we're all living in without knowing it is still a thrill for the brain and the eyes more than two decades later. The sequels are also now on Netflix too, so feel free to dive into those as well – speaking of which ...

"The Matrix Reloaded": It may not be as good as the original, but neither is 99.99% of movies from the past 30 years. "Reloaded" may be denser, more convoluted and end with the infamous TV room speech from hell – but it also has the freeway chase, which is still one of the great action sequences of the 21st century, and a bunch of other awesome action sequences and mind-boggling sci-fi concepts. It's not perfect, but it's worth plugging into again.

"Okja": Need another Bong hit after "Parasite" knocked your socks off? Luckily, Netflix has your back with his 2017 adventure "Okja," another undefinable feature about a young girl trying to protect an adorable giant pig from a factory wanting to turn it into meat.

"Starship Troopers": Paul Verhoeven's action-packed war satire about a bunch of young future fascists (including Neil Patrick Harris) battling space bugs. Would you like to know more?

"The Wandering Earth": As far as concepts go, this Chinese blockbuster (truly, it made more money overseas than "Toy Story 4" and "The Rise of Skywalker" in 2019) has one of the more delightfully strange ones: The sun is dying so the globe plugs rocket boosters across the planet and slowly shifts the Earth to a new solar system. With a plan that normal, who could expect that things might go wrong!?

Sports movies

"Hustle": Adam Sandler keeps his late career renaissance going with this inspirational sports drama about a sports scout trying to make it to the Sixers coaching staff – and a stellar but raw Spanish center (real-life hooper Juancho Hernangomez) might get him there. Filled with an all-star game level of NBA cameos – including the Bucks' own Khris Middleton – and solid sports montages, "Hustle" is worth hustling to see. As long as you have a decent stomach for Philadelphia sports success. 

"Moneyball": Baseball may be in its offseason, but you can still watch one of the low-key best baseball movies ever made – one that's THAT good despite barely ever taking the field, instead following Brad Pitt's Billy Beane behind-the-scenes at the Oakland A's as his statistical revolution changes the game forever. It's a compelling underdog story with a snappy script (from screenwriting champs Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin), but what really makes "Moneyball" special is how well it captures the highs and lows, small victories and devastating heartbreaks, defeat and hope.

"Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby": Yes, NASCAR is a sport – and yes, "Talladega Nights" is a sports movie! A hilarious one at that starring Will Ferrell as an egomaniac NASCAR champ who loses his poll position in the sport (and what little mind he had to start with) when a wily Frenchman takes the track by storm. And if you don't like this movie, don't tell me about it! DON'T YOU PUT THAT EVIL ON ME, RICKY BOBBY!

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.