Best Netflix movies to watch now
Can't decide what to watch on Netflix? The huge selection of movies available with just a few clicks can be overwhelming. The good news: We've scanned the new arrivals so you don't have to. From the French film "On My Way" to the (surprisingly well-done) Lifetime movie, "Lizzie Borden Took an Ax," here are our picks for the best films new to Netflix as of October 2014.
"Lizzie Borden Took An Ax"(Credit: Lifetime)
With Christina Ricci in the starring role as the 19th century spinster who may or may not have murdered her father and stepmother, the Lifetime Original Movie "Lizzie Borden Took An Ax" quite appropriately axes many assumptions -- including the one that Lifetime movies aren't worth watching.
"On My Way"(Credit: Cohen Media Group)
A handsome vehicle for Catherine Deneuve, who drives it with elegant sangfroid, "On My Way" is a French film (with English subtitles) that paints her as a former beauty queen, cast aside by her lover, who embarks on a journey of rediscovery.
"Annie Hall"(Credit: United Artists)
One of Woody Allen's best. Not only did this charming film win the 1978 Academy Award for best picture (rare for a romantic comedy), "Annie Hall" swept the Oscars that year, with Diane Keaton taking best actress and Allen winning best director and best screenplay.
"Kramer vs. Kramer"(Credit: AP)
Another big award-winner, Dustin Hoffman (left, with Justin Henry) and Meryl Streep both earned Oscars for their portrayal of a divorcing couple fighting over custody of their son in the emotionally intelligent drama, "Kramer vs. Kramer."
"Sleepless in Seattle"(Credit: AP / TriStar Pictures, Inc.)
Point blank, it's the romantic comedy/drama by which to judge all romantic comedies and dramas. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks have tangible chemistry, the child actors are undeniably adorable, and Rosie O'Donnell adds her own brand of charm as Ryan's best friend. "Sleepless in Seattle" is so magical, it'll have even the most hardened hearts believing in fate and happy endings.
"Annie"(Credit: Columbia Pictures)
Before the newest rendition (filmed on Long Island, with Quvenzhané Wallis in the starring role) comes out in December, watch the 1982 version of "Annie," with Albert Finney as billionaire businessman Daddy Warbucks and Aileen Quinn as the unflappable, mop-headed orphan who wins him over.
"My Father the Hero"(Credit: Buena Vista Pictures / Richard Foreman)
Nineties kids may remember this underrated comedy, one of Katherine Heigl's first films, a decade before "Grey's Anatomy." In "My Father the Hero," Gérard Depardieu stars as her father, who plays along as she pretends he's her much-older boyfriend to attract a young man's attention while they're on vacation. While the plot's incestuous undertones might be a turn-off to some, the jokes are actually pretty funny.
"Filth"(Credit: Magnolia Pictures)
James McAvoy stars as a detective looking for a promotion in "Filth," a crime dramedy based on the novel by Irvine Welsh.
"The Duchess"(Credit: AP / Paramount Vantage)
Keira Knightley is charming as ever as the title character of "The Duchess," a 2008 film about 18th-century It Girl Georgiana who's popular with everyone except her husband.
"A Single Man"(Credit: The Weinstein Company)
Colin Firth is a depressed professor living out a fateful, lonely day in California circa 1962 in "A Single Man," a drama directed by fashion designer Tom Ford.
"All is Lost"(Credit: Roadside Attractions / Daniel Daza)
Robert Redford stars (opposite no one else) in director J.C. Chandor's "All is Lost," a survivalist meditation about a man adrift at sea.
"Crocodile Dundee"(Credit: AP)
Paul Hogan stars in "Crocodile Dundee," a 1986 comedy about a crocodile hunter from the Australian Outback trying to adjust to life in New York City.
Robin Williams stars as Phillip Brainard, the quintessential absent-minded professor who is so wrapped up with his revolutionary new invention he's totally oblivious to the world around him in the 1997 comedy "Flubber."
"The Immigrant"(Credit: AP / Anne Joyce)
Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Renner star in the rich 1920s drama "The Immigrant," about a Polish woman forced into prostitution shortly after her arrival in New York City.
"The Birdcage"(Credit: Lorey Sebastian)
One of the best films to remember Robin Williams by: He's a gay man pretending to be straight (alongside partner Nathan Lane) in "The Birdcage," a 1996 adaptation of the French comedy "La Cage aux Folles."
"Star Trek Into Darkness"(Credit: MCT)
Directed by J.J. Abrams (the filmmaker behind the 2009 "Star Trek" reboot) with increased confidence and muscle, 2013's "Star Trek Into Darkness" is fast and fun, zipping along on all thrusters while everyone on the bridge settles comfortably into an agreeably lighthearted vibe (and into ever-slimmer outfits).
"World War Z"(Credit: AP)
Brad Pitt's battle vs. zombies is "culturally behind the curve, but this big-budget, globe-hopping flick still works as solid doomsday entertainment," Newsday film critic Rafer Guzmán said in his three-star review of the summer 2013's "World War Z." Bonus: Netflix offers a new, unrated cut.
"Pain & Gain"(Credit: Paramount Pictures)
Michael Bay's action-comedy won't be for everyone: "Pain & Gain" is a bloody and nasty-humored satire, based on the true story of three bodybuilding morons (Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Mackie and Dwayne Johnson) who stage a kidnapping that goes hideously awry. The big surprise here is Johnson, playing a hulking monster with the mind of a child. His comedic timing -- who knew he had any? -- is downright masterful.
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"(Credit: Prokino Fox)
Jean-Dominique Bauby was a well-dressed, womanizing and generally high-living editor of French Elle magazine until 1995, when, at the age of 43 he suffered a stroke that left him almost completely paralyzed. He had one remaining ability – blinking his left eyelid. In that way, he dictated a best-selling memoir that eventually became the dreamy, poignant 2007 "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," directed by Julian Schnabel. The terrific Mathieu Amalric (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”) plays Bauby. Also with Emmanuelle Seigner and Marie-Josée Croze.
"Don Jon"(Credit: AP)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt's debut as a writer-director (he also stars), "Don Jon" tells the story of a handsome young ladykiller whose new girlfriend (Scarlett Johansson) doesn't know he's addicted to pornography. It's crude, raw, insightful, sensitive and thoroughly unpredictable, especially when Julianne Moore shows up as a non-judgmental older woman.
"Amistad"(Credit: AP / Matt York)
Before he played the real-life kidnapping victim Solomon Northup in the Oscar-winning “12 Years a Slave,” Chiwitel Ejiofor played James Covey, a rare black man in England's Royal Navy, in Steven Spielberg's 1997 "Amistad," about a slave mutiny. Coincidentally, both films are inspired by events that took place in 1841. With Morgan Freeman, Nigel Hawthorne, Anthony Hopkins and Matthew McConaughey.
"The Ice Storm"(Credit: AP )
Ang Lee's 1997 drama "The Ice Storm," about suburban families in the enervated 1970s, will send a shiver of recognition down the spine of anyone who remembers the decade. Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver and Joan Allen play the adults; Christina Ricci, Tobey Maguire and Elijah Woods are the children. Based on Rick Moody's acclaimed novel.
It's about time Regan-era blockbuster "Dirty Dancing" entered the modern on-demand era! Jennifer Grey plays teenage Frances "Baby" Houseman, who falls in love with Catskills dance instructor Johnny Castle (an iconic Patrick Swayze). More than 25 years after its release, you'll still have the time of your life.
An animated movie about a little snail (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) who longs to be a race-car driver. That's counterintuitive, see, because snails are slow. Get it? Well, even if you're tired of these kiddie-film cliches, "Turbo" squeaks by with some sharp humor and an appealing cast of ethnically diverse characters. The voice cast includes Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena, Maya Rudolph, Luis Guzman and Samuel L. Jackson.
"Blue is the Warmest Color"(Credit: AP)
This French movie about a high-school girl (Adele Exarchopoulos) who discovers her lesbian sexuality with an older artist (Lea Seydoux) became a cause celebre for its graphic and rather vigorous sex scenes (one reportedly required 100 takes). Actually, it's the clothed moments in "Blue is the Warmest Color" that are most memorable. The two actresses, both phenomenal, create a convincing portrait of a tender, passionate, life-altering romance. In French with English subtitles.