Best Netflix movies to watch now (January 2017)
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 a Janis Joplin documentary to "Minions," here are our picks for the best films new to Netflix, plus a bunch that have been streaming for a while and are worth a watch.
"Barry"(Credit: Netflix / Linda Kallerus)
A key year in the youth of President Barack Obama is portrayed in this film drama: The Hawaii-raised student arrives at Columbia University in 1981, juggling his multicultural relatives, classmates and influences. With Devon Terrell, Ashley Judd, Jenna Elfman.
Director Ava DuVernay's new documentary (just seen at the New York Film Festival) considers our Constitution's 13th amendment in light of alleged "involuntary servitude" in today's sprawling prison industry.
"Saving Private Ryan"(Credit: DreamWorks Pictures / Paramount Pictures / David James)
One of the best war movies ever made. Director Steven Spielberg strikes the perfect balance between feel-good sentiment (Tom Hanks, center, plays an Army captain searching for a missing paratrooper) and the grisly nightmare of battle (the film's graphic depiction of the Normandy invasion is impossible to forget). The film has been criticized as old-fashioned, but that's partly the point.
"No Country For Old Men"(Credit: Miramax Films / Richard Foreman)
Directed by the Coen Brothers "No Country for Old Men" is a dark Western film based on a Cormac McCarthy novel. The film is a thrilling cat-and-mouse chase set in 1980 west Texas. Starring Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem.
Filmmaker Christopher Guest's latest lampoon tracks sports mascots at a national competition. With Parker Posey, Jane Lynch, Fred Willard, John Michael Higgins, Jennifer Coolidge, Bob Balaban.
"Sleepy Hollow"(Credit: Paramount Pictures)
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp team up yet again in this 1999 adaption of the Washington Irving story "Sleepy Hollow.'' The film also stars Christina Ricci and Miranda Richardson.
"The Wedding Planner"(Credit: BPI / Ron Batzdorff)
In the classic romantic comedy "The Wedding Planner," Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey fall each other. Meanwhile, Lopez's character struggles with balancing her career as a wedding planner and McConaughey's character struggles with another love interest.
"St. Vincent"(Credit: MCT / Atsushi Nishijima)
"St. Vincent" stars Bill Murray as a curmudgeonly war veteran and Melissa McCarthy as a single mother who leaves her 12-year-old son in his care.
"XOXO"(Credit: Netflix/Sara Swaty Roger)
America's biggest EDM festival attracts romantically adventurous 20somethings in this crazed new movie. With Sarah Hyland, Graham Phillips, Chris D'Elia, Ryan Hansen.
"The Little Prince"(Credit: Paramount)
"The Little Prince," an animated film about an old story, is about a little girl who learns the story of "The Little Prince" from her elderly neighbor and unlocks her creativity and imagination along the way. It features the voices of Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams and more.
"Deadfall"(Credit: photo: Jan Thijs Jan Thijs)
Eric Bana's Addison, who will do anything to survive a perilous trek through the Upper Michigan frozen tundra to reunite with sister Liza (Olivia Wilde) at the Canadian border following a failed casino heist. Also starring Charlie Hunnam, and Sissy Spacek.
"Blue is the Warmest Color"(Credit: AP)
This French movie is about a high-school girl (Adele Exarchopoulos) who discovers her lesbian sexuality with an older artist (Lea Seydoux). Available August 26, 2016.
Albert Brooks films(Credit: Shangri-La Entertainment / Lacey Terrell)
Seven films from the offbeat comic writer-director, including "Defending Your Life," "Lost in America" and "Modern Romance."
"The Giver"(Credit: The Weinstein Company / David Bloomer)
Jeff Bridges, left, plays The Giver in this film adaptation of Lois Lowry's Newberry-winning children's book about a boy (Brenton Thwaites, right) living in a conformist world. With Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgård, Jeff Bridges and Taylor Swift.
"The Fundamentals of Caring"(Credit: Netflix / Annette Brown)
Paul Rudd plays a divorce-dodging, grieving parent who leaves a (presumably) lucrative writing career for a $9-an-hour caregiver position. His first charge, Trevor (played by Craig Roberts) is an 18-year-old, wheelchair-bound shut-in with Duchenne muscular dystrophy - and a quick, dark sense of humor. When the two embark on a road trip to see the world's deepest pit, they find Selena Gomez - and the meaning of life - along the way.
"Janis: Little Girl Blue"(Credit: Getty Images / Evening Standard)
A documentary about Janis Joplin, the blues-rock hurricane who galvanized the late 1960s before her death at age 27. Directed by Amy Berg ("West of Memphis").
The minions from the "Despicable Me" movies are back, and it's all about them. Stuart, Kevin and Bob lead their yellow legion on a quest to find a master to serve, and end up recruited by villainess Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock).
"Special Correspondents"(Credit: Netflix / Kerry Hayes)
Ricky Gervais fans, prepare to feast. The British comedian wrote, directed and stars in this Netflix film that follows a radio journalist (Eric Bana) who pretends to report from a war frontline in South America -- only to be holed up in Manhattan.
"My Beautiful Broken Brain"(Credit: Netflix)
Eerie director David Lynch produced this documentary: A young woman's traumatic stroke twists everyday life into an alien world.
"Pee-wee’s Big Holiday"(Credit: Netflix / Glen Wilson)
Paul Reubens brings his Pee-wee Herman back in this new movie, which will also have a limited theatrical release.
"Dope"(Credit: AP / Rachel Morrison)
Growing up in The Bottoms, California, a geeky, 1990s hip-hop-loving Malcolm realizes life isn't always that easy as he's faced with gangsters, drugs and the normal happenings of the average high school senior. Produced by Forest Whitaker ("Lee Daniel's The Butler"), and executive produced by Pharrell Williams and co-executive produced by Sean Combs.
"Cruel Intentions"(Credit: BPI)
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair come together in this 1999 drama about wealthy stepsiblings Kathryn Merteuil (Gellar) and Sebastian Valmont (Phillipe) who make a bet with each other -- he has to sleep with Annette Hargrove (Witherspoon), who says she wants to remain a virgin until marriage, or she gets his vintage Jaguar.
"Atonement"(Credit: Focus Features / Laurie Sparham)
Based on Ian McEwan's British romance novel with the same title, this Oscar-winning movie follows the lives of young lovers Cecilia Tallis (Keira Knightley) and Robbie Turner (James McAvoy), who are torn apart by a lying Briony (Saoirse Ronan), Tallis' younger sister.
"I Love You Phillip Morris"(Credit: AP / Patti Perret)
A seemingly happily married cop, Steven Russell (Jim Carey) gets into a car accident, prompting him to re-evaluate his life. It didn't take long after that for Russell to realize he's actually gay. Post-accident, he also turns into a con artist who constantly finds himself in trouble with the law. Eventually, he ends up in the State Penitentiary where he meets the love of his life, Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor).
"Son of God"(Credit: 20th Century Fox)
"Son of God" is a follow-up to the History Channel's hit series "The Bible," focusing on the life of Jesus from his birth to his resurrection, played by Diogo Morgado.
Angelina Jolie takes on the LAPD in the 2008 drama "Changeling," directed by Clint Eastwood, with a first-rate performance by John Malkovich. Jolie plays a woman whose life becomes a Dante-esque nightmare in 1920s Los Angeles after she loses her son and police bring the wrong boy back.
"The Babadook"(Credit: TNS / Matt Nettheim)
"The Babadook" takes horror to a new level when a widow's young son begins having nightmares about a monster in their home. The boy's mother, played by Essie Davis ("The Matrix Revolutions"), soon realizes that perhaps her son isn't lying about the monster who came from within the pages of a children's book.
"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.
"Welcome to Me"(Credit: Suzanne Hanover)
In "Welcome to Me," Kristen Wiig plays a mentally unstable woman who uses her lottery winnings to launch a bizarre, self-obsessed television show. Highly offbeat and often funny, even if the payoff never quite arrives. The great cast includes James Marsden, Wes Bentley, Joan Cusack, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Linda Cardellini.
"A Single Man"(Credit: The Weinstein Company)
Colin Firth is a depressed professor living out a fateful, lonely day in circa 1962 California in "A Single Man," a drama directed by fashion designer Tom Ford.
"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.
"All Good Things"(Credit: Magnolia Pictures)
Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst star in this 2010 look at real estate heir Robert Durst's life -- and the deaths and mysteries surrounding him. The film is directed by Andrew Jarecki, who also directed the 2015 HBO documentary miniseries about Durst, "The Jinx."
"Django Unchained"(Credit: The Weinstein Co.)
A 2013 Oscar best picture nominee, Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" tells the story of a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) on a journey to rescue his wife. (Christoph Waltz won the Academy Award for his supporting role as a German bounty hunter.)
"Fruitvale Station"(Credit: Ron Koeberer)
A highly topical film, "Fruitvale Station" (2013) follows the true story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old San Francisco Bay Area resident who was fatally shot by a transit police officer in the Fruitvale train station on New Year's Day 2009. (Coming to Netflix on Tuesday, May 12.)
"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.
"Legally Blonde"(Credit: Tracy Bennett)
Just in time for the premiere of her new comedy, "Hot Pursuit," comes the Netflix release of Reese Witherspoon's 2001 hit, "Legally Blonde." Her turn as the purposeful but underestimated Elle Woods -- a Malibu Barbie-type who enrolls at Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend -- is a girl-power classic.
"Earth to Echo"(Credit: Relativity Media / Patrick Wymore)
"Earth to Echo" tells the story of four friends whose families must move from their Las Vegas suburb because of a highway construction project. The children receive encoded messages on their cell phones and soon discover an extraterrestrial stranded on Earth. The young cast includes Teo Halm, Brian "Astro" Bradley and Ella Wahlestedt.
"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 Interview"(Credit: Ed Araquel)
Take that, North Korea. Not only did James Franco and Seth Rogen's CIA comedy, "The Interview," make it to theaters on Christmas, it's already available for the streaming masses on Netflix.
"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.
"Good Will Hunting"(Credit: Miramax Films)
Robin Williams and Matt Damon both won Oscars for their emotionally affecting performances in 1997's "Good Will Hunting," one of those films everyone should watch at least once. Damon, who stars as a math genius working as a university janitor, was a little-known actor when he co-wrote the screenplay with buddy Ben Affleck, and the rest is history.
"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.
"Cake"(Credit: Cinelou Releasing)
Though the movie doesn't quite live up to the actress, Jennifer Aniston triumphs in her portrayal of woman suffering her own multiple catastrophes who becomes obsessed with the suicide of a friend in her therapy group.