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Best movies streaming right now on Netflix – CBS News

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David Lee/Netflix

From new movies to classics worth re-watching, here are the most notable titles available to stream on Netflix right now.

See which award winners, iconic comedies and family-friendly flicks are available on the streaming platform in July 2021.

“The Mitchells vs. the Machines”

"The Mitchells vs. The Machines"
Netflix

A family on a road trip finds themselves in the middle of a robot apocalypse in this goofy family flick from Netflix.

According to /Film‘s Josh Spiegel: “It’s an unbeatable combination of humor and heart.”

“Casino Royale”

"Casino Royale"
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007 in this 2006 spy film, the first to star actor Daniel Craig as the MI6 operative.

“Craig gives us James Bond in the fascinating act of inventing himself,” wrote film reviewer Peter Travers of Rolling Stone. “This you do not want to miss.”

“The Departed”

"The Departed"
Warner Home Video

An undercover cop infiltrates an Irish gang in Boston in this Oscar-winning Martin Scorsese drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson.

The Hollywood Reporter‘s Kirk Honeycutt called it “a ferociously entertaining film.”

“Terminator 2: Judgment Day”

"Terminator 2: Judgment Day"
Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Arguably one of the strongest sci-fi sequels, “Terminator 2” reunites director James Cameron with stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton for an adrenaline-fueled action flick complete with iconic catchphrases and career-defining performances.

James Berardinelli (ReelViews) writes: “‘T2’ features bigger, bolder, more energetic action sequences than its predecessor.”

“Lady Bird”

"Lady Bird"
A24

Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age flick centers on Saoirse Ronan as an artistically inclined high school senior with a strained relationship with her mother.

“‘Lady Bird’ is that rare movie in which everything astonishes and leaves you charmed, breathless, and anxious for more,” wrote film critic Red Reed (Observer).

“Uncut Gems”

"Uncut Gems"
A24

Adam Sandler takes a dramatic turn as a fast-talking New York City jeweler in the film that earned him an Independent Spirit Award for best male lead.

According to The Wall Street Journal‘s Joe Morgenstern: “Mr. Sandler is flat-out sensational as Howard Ratner.”

“Marriage Story”

"Marriage Story"
Netflix

Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson both earned Oscar nominations for their portrayals of a stage director and an actress engaged in a bitter divorce.

Chicago Tribune‘s Michael Phillips described it as “beautiful, witty, sad and hopeful.”

“The Big Lebowski”

"The Big Lebowski"
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Jeff Bridges, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi star in this Coen brothers crime comedy. The 1998 cult classic has been preserved by the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress.

“The Big Lebowski” is “immensely inventive and entertaining,” according to Time Out.

“The Princess and the Frog”

"The Princess and the Frog"
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

An aspiring restaurant owner goes on a journey to help turn a frog prince back into a human in this animated film.

Amy Biancolli in the San Francisco Chronicle called the animated offering “sparkling and graceful.”

“American Factory”

"American Factory"
Netflix

The 2020 Academy Award-winner for best documentary feature, “American Factory” chronicles what happens when a Chinese billionaire opens a factory in an abandoned General Motors plant in Ohio.

“It’s a great, expansive, deeply humanist work,” Vulture‘s David Edelstein said of the first film produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company.

“Good Time”

"Good Time"
A24

Robert Pattinson tries to free his brother following a botched bank robbery in this crime thriller from “Uncut Gems” filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie.

The Globe and Mail‘s Brad Wheeler reviewed the film positively: “Tense, immersive and excellently assaulting, ‘Good Time’ is hella time.”

“The Karate Kid”

"The Karate Kid"
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

A martial arts master mentors a bullied teen in this memorable ’80s film that launched a franchise.

“‘The Karate Kid’ was one of the nice surprises of 1984 — an exciting, sweet-tempered, heart-warming story with one of the most interesting friendships in a long time,” according to Rogert Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times).

“Becoming”

"Becoming"
Netflix

This Netflix documentary provides an intimate look at the life of former first lady Michelle Obama as she embarks on a 34-city book tour.

“For every sobering note, ‘Becoming’ has a dozen uplifting moments,” wrote film reviewer Richard Roeper (Chicago Sun-Times).

“How to Train Your Dragon 2”

"How to Train Your Dragon 2"
Universal Pictures

This Golden Globe winner for Best Animated Feature Film is a family-friendly sequel worth streaming on Netflix.

“‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ is the rare sequel that improves upon its predecessor in nearly every single way imaginable,” according to Screen Rant‘s Ben Kendrick.

“I Am Not Your Negro”

"I Am Not Your Negro"
Amazon Studios

Writer and activist James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript “Remember This House” is brought to life in this Oscar-nominated 2016 documentary narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.

New Orleans Times-Picayune reviewer Mike Scott wrote: “The result is a film that is at once sobering and thoughtful — and, yes, uncomfortable, at times. But it’s a necessary uncomfortable.” 

“Springsteen on Broadway”

"Springsteen on Broadway"
Kevin Mazur

The Boss brings his solo acoustic performance from Broadway to your TV screen in this Netflix original special.

“The power of Springsteen’s show radiates from the screen, seizing the viewer with its sincerity,” according to Vanity Fair‘s Sonia Saraiya.

“My Best Friend’s Wedding”

"My Best Friend's Wedding"
Columbia TriStar Home Video

Julia Roberts wants to break up her best friend’s wedding when she realizes she loves him, in this ’90s rom-com with teeth.

“Julia Roberts is brighter and spunkier than usual, and Rupert Everett steals the show,” according to David Sterritt (The Christian Science Monitor). 

“Dolemite Is My Name”

"Dolemite Is My Name"
Netflix

Eddie Murphy’s portrayal of Rudy Ray Moore, a 1970s comic and blaxploitation pioneer, garnered well-earned praise from critics.

“This isn’t just a jokey comedy vehicle for Eddie Murphy,” wrote TV Guide‘s Jordan Hoffman. “This is truly one of the year’s best films.”

“Over the Moon”

"Over the Moon"
Netflix

A girl meets a mythical moon goddess in this whimsical animated adventure from Netflix.

Screen Rant‘s Molly Freeman dubbed it, “An explosion of wonder, color and magic.

“‘Over the Moon’ tells a beautifully sentimental story of family and love, with super catchy songs mixed in.”

“The Hateful Eight”

"The Hateful Eight"
Anchor Bay Entertainment

Quentin Tarantino’s blood-drenched Western about nefarious characters sheltering from a blizzard features a star-studded cast, including Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Reelviews movie critic James Berardinelli had high praise for the film: “This is a high-wire thriller, full of masterfully executed twists, captivating dialogue, and a wildly entertaining narrative that gallops along at a pace to make three hours evaporate in an instant. Best film of the year? Yes.”

“Superbad”

"Superbad"
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Two high-school seniors (Jonah Hill and Michael Cera) plan to party as hard as they can before graduation in this comedy written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

The New Yorker‘s David Denby called it “an uproarious and touching picture.”

“13th”

"13th"
Netflix

Ava DuVernay’s powerful Netflix documentary explores how the U.S. prison system is linked to institutionalized racism.

The Academy Award-nominated film features interviews with Angela Davis, Van Jones, Senator Cory Booker and other activists, historians and elected officials.

“’13th’ is a titanic statement by a major American voice. Viewing — right now — should be mandatory,” wrote Entertainment Weekly‘s Joe McGovern.

“The Social Network”

"The Social Network"
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

This Aaron Sorkin-penned drama depicts the birth of the social networking site Facebook. Jesse Eisenberg stars as Mark Zuckerberg.

NPR‘s Bob Mondello called it “terrific entertainment.”

“Monty Python and the Holy Grail”

"Monty Python and the Holy Grail"
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Philadelphia Daily News’ Gary Thompson described this memorable comedy as “surely one of the funniest movies ever made.”

And this isn’t the only Monty Python title available on Netflix.

Fans of the British comedy troupe can also find “Life of Brian,” their classic series “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” and more on the streaming platform.

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler”

"Lee Daniels' The Butler"
Anchor Bay Entertainment

Forest Whitaker plays a White House butler to eight U.S. presidents in this historical drama featuring an all-star cast, including Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Film critic Joe Neumaier (New York Daily News) called it “a singularly full-hearted and moving film.”

“Million Dollar Baby”

"Million Dollar Baby"
Warner Home Video

Hilary Swank earned the Academy Award for her performance as a boxer determined to go pro in this gritty sports drama. “Million Dollar Baby” also earned Oscars for best picture, best director (for Clint Eastwood), and best supporting actor (for Morgan Freeman).

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times said in his review of the film: “A masterpiece, pure and simple, deep and true… The best film of the year.”

“The Artist”

"The Artist"
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

An Academy Award winner for best picture, “The Artist” is a black-and-white love story set against the backdrop of Hollywood’s silent era.

“‘The Artist’ is a profound achievement,” wrote film reviewer Mick LaSalle (San Francisco Chronicle).

“The White Tiger”

"The White Tiger"
Netflix

Based on the New York Times bestseller, this film follows an Indian driver who climbs out of poverty.

The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern credits the film for having “rapier wit, casually dazzling dialogue, gorgeous cinematography (by Paolo Carnera ) and, at the center of it all, a sensational star turn by an actor, singer and songwriter named Adarsh Gourav.”

“Knock Down the House”

"Knock Down The House"
Netflix

This Sundance Film Festival award-winning political documentary follows the 2018 primary campaigns of four progressive Democrats, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The New York Times‘ Manohla Dargis called the film “exuberant.”

“A Sun”

"A Sun"
Netflix

A family reckons with the aftermath of their son’s incarceration in this award-winning drama .

Variety‘s Peter Debruge described this “Taiwanese stunner” as “wrenching and resonant a cinematic experience as can be found in any country this year.”

“She’s Gotta Have It”

"She's Gotta Have It"
MGM Home Entertainment

This award-winning film from Spike Lee is a story of a woman (Tracy Camilla Johns) and her three lovers.

Michael Wilmington (Los Angeles Times) said in his review of the film: “Spike Lee’s ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ is a joyfully idiosyncratic little jazz-burst of a film, full of sensuous melody, witty chops and hot licks.”

“Hugo”

"Hugo"
Paramount Home Entertainment

The entire family can watch this Martin Scorsese fantasy flick about an orphan living in the walls of a train station in 1930s Paris.

Empire‘s Kim Newman said of the film: “This is a great director’s greatest love story.”

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

"The Trial of the Chicago 7"
Niko Tavernise/Netflix

A star-studded cast brings this Aaron Sorkin drama, about a group of anti-Vietnam War protesters on trial, to life.

IGN‘s Zaki Hasan assessed the Oscar nominee as “timely and terrific.”

“Da 5 Bloods”

"Da 5 Bloods"
Netflix

Four Black veterans return to Vietnam to search for their fallen squad leader (played by the late Chadwick Boseman) and a hidden fortune in this Netflix original film from Spike Lee.

“‘Da 5 Bloods’ is Spike Lee at his mature best, made with his distinctive, passionate voice and kinetic artistry,” according to Caryn James (BBC).

“Roma”

"Roma"
The Criterion Collection

Alfonso Cuarón’s Academy Award-winner depicts the life of a Mexico City family’s maid in the 1970s.

The Washington Post‘s Ann Hornaday labeled it “a masterful drama.”

“Spotlight”

"Spotlight"
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

This Academy Award winner for Best Picture follows the team of investigative journalists who uncovered the massive child molestation scandal and cover-up within Boston’s Catholic Archdiocese.

“No need to bury the lede: ‘Spotlight’ is a masterpiece,” said USA Today film reviewer Brian Truitt.

“What Happened, Miss Simone?”

"What Happened, Miss Simone?"
Netflix

This Academy Award-nominated Netflix documentary spotlights never-before-heard recordings and rare archival footage of pioneering recording artist and Black icon Nina Simone.

Kenneth Turan (Los Angeles Times) described the film as an “impressive and deeply felt documentary.”

“My Fair Lady”

"My Fair Lady"
Warner Bros.

Audrey Hepburn transforms from a London flower girl to a high-society woman in this memorable musical.

Emma Cochrane (Empire Magazine) said of the film: “A wonderfully stylish and witty movie classic.”

“Mank”

"Mank"
Netflix

Gary Oldman leads this biographical drama about “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz. The film received 10 Academy Award nominations in 2020, winning two.

On ABC News, critic Peter Travers said it’s “gorgeous piece of cinema,” ranking it among the year’s best.

“There Will Be Blood”

"There Will Be Blood"
Paramount Home Entertainment

Daniel Day-Lewis is a ruthless oilman conning California landowners in this epic period drama from Paul Thomas Anderson.

“This is a dark, uncompromising film, thrillingly original and distinctive, with a visionary passion,” according to Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian).

“Pan’s Labyrinth”

"Pan's Labyrinth"
The Criterion Collection

A 10-year-old escapes into an eerie and captivating fantasy world in Guillermo del Toro’s remarkable drama. 

Rogert Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times) labeled it as “one of the greatest of all fantasy films.”

“Mudbound”

"Mudbound"
Steve Dietl

Two WWII veterans living in rural Mississippi combat racism and PTSD in this historical drama featuring Jason Mitchell, Garrett Hedlund, Carey Mulligan and Mary J. Blige.

“It is a sober, clear-eyed, and haunting work of art,” wrote Vox film critic Alissa Wilkinson.

“The Irishman”

"The Irishman"
Netflix

Martin Scorsese’s Netflix crime drama, about an aging hitman, reunites three stars of the genre: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.

“‘The Irishman’ is a great movie, easily one of the best of the year, one of the best of the great Martin Scorsese’s career,” according to Bill Goodykoontz (Arizona Republic).

“A Clockwork Orange”

"A Clockwork Orange"
Warner Home Video

This dystopian crime drama about a depraved gang leader has been preserved by the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.

Marjorie Baumgarten (The Austin Chronicle) labels it “a chilling classic.”

“First They Killed My Father”

"First They Killed My Father"
Netflix

A 5-year-old Cambodian girl fights to survive during the reign of the Khmer Rouge in this gripping drama directed by Angelina Jolie.

“It’s an artful, quietly affecting piece of filmmaking, more than worth the lessons learned,” wrote Entertainment Weekly‘s Leah Greenblatt.

“The Outlaw Josey Wales”

"The Outlaw Josey Wales"
Warner Home Video

A farmer is on the run after avenging his family’s murder in this Western from Clint Eastwood.

Empire‘s Ian Nathan calls the film “a truly great Western from Clint that is bleakly atmospheric and charming in turns.”

“A Secret Love”

"A Secret Love"
Netflix

This heartwarming Netflix documentary, which has a 100% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, depicts one couple’s love story and their experiences coming out.

Movie Nation‘s Roger Moore called it an “intimate, chaste romance.”

“Fruitvale Station”

"Fruitvale Station"
Anchor Bay Entertainment

Revisit Ryan Coogler’s feature directorial debut in this biographical drama centering around a fatal shooting of a young Black man played by Michael B. Jordan.

“‘Fruitvale Station’ is a confident, touching, and, finally, shattering directorial debut,” wrote The New Yorker film reviewer David Denby.

“The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson”

"The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson"
Netflix

This Netflix documentary investigates the mysterious death of trans icon Marsha P. Johnson, and features interviews with Johnson’s friends and fellow activists.

TheWrap‘s Claudia Puig wrote: “‘The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson’ works powerfully as a rallying cry for tolerance, love and understanding.”

“Enola Holmes”

"Enola Holmes"
Legendary

“Stranger Things” breakout star Millie Bobby Brown takes on the role of Sherlock Holmes’ mystery-solving teen sister in this Netflix original, which was one of the most-watched items on the streaming platform upon its release.

“‘Enola Holmes’ is an engaging, exciting mystery that the entire family will enjoy,” according to Film Threat reviewer Bobby LePire.

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"
David Lee/Netflix

Academy Award winner Viola Davis stars alongside the late Chadwick Boseman, in his final film role, in this powerful adaptation of the play by August Wilson.

“How fortunate that Boseman’s legacy should include this film, an homage to Black art that’s tough enough to confront the costs of making it,” wrote Peter Debruge (Variety).

“Captain Fantastic”

"Captain Fantastic"
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Viggo Mortensen plays a father whose family emerges from an isolated lifestyle in “Captain Fantastic.” 

Helen O’Hara of Empire described this film as “a fiercely original, pleasantly unpredictable character piece.”

“Klaus”

"Klaus"
Netflix

The streaming giant boasts several holiday originals, but this animated film with a 94% Rotten Tomatoes rating from critics is one that earns a spot on our list.

IGN‘s Matt Fowler said of the film: “Sergio Pablos’ ‘Klaus’ is a beautifully animated mix of old and new.”

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”

"The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"
Netflix

Joel and Ethan Coen’s Oscar-nominated Western anthology film features six vignettes that take place on the American frontier.

“It’s yet another piece of Coen Brothers’ gold that just makes me curious about what kind of magic they’re going to make next,” Lorry Kikta (Film Threat) wrote in his review.

Check out our guide to what movies are available to stream on other services as well.

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