There are a several ways to decide what the ‘best’ movies are. In the eyes of Netflix, the word ‘best’ probably translates to the ‘most watched’, ‘most reviewed’ or the ‘highest grossing’ films in their repertoire. For audiences, the ‘best’ films have thrilling stories, engaging plot twists, and relatable characters. This means movies become very popular for a certain amount of time and at some point, the buzz dies down and audiences’ attention turn towards more recent flicks. It’s a very changeable industry and so, the best films can be difficult to identify.
This list focuses on films across a range of genres that have been deemed by audiences to have high production value or interesting storylines. These films are considered to have unique storylines, excellent cinematography or a focus on important social issues.
So, in no particular order, here are the seven best movies on Netflix!
1) To All the Boys: Always and Forever (2021)
This romcom seems stereotypical at first, but it actually has a fresh perspective on teenage romance and proves that love can happen in the most bizarre circumstances. This final film of the To All the Boys trilogy has everything – humour, drama, romance, teen nostalgia and more. As college students, we can all relate to the uncertainty of choosing a college and moving away from home.
2) The King’s Speech (2010)
This gripping tale tells the story of a future king silenced by a stuttering condition that he must overcome in order to fulfil his royal duties. It’s based on a true story involving King George VI and his rise to the throne with a focus on the friendship he developed with his speech therapist, Lionel Logue. These men seem to be polar opposites, yet they manage to form an unexpected bond in their determination to beat the stammer. The acting is unparalleled and this film’s commentary on the strength of the human spirit is extremely inspirational.
3) Enola Holmes (2020)
In a more light-hearted take on the Sherlock fandom, Millie Bobby Brown embodies the character of Sherlock Holmes’ little sister, Enola. This film follows her adventures around Victorian London in a desperate quest to find her mother, stumbling upon other detective cases along the way. The characters’ wit and humour make this mystery story more entertaining and really puts a spin on the Sherlock franchise by creating a new female role model for aspiring detectives. She proves herself in a society where feminism is a pipe dream. She navigates ‘real life’ for the first time with some unexpected results, which college students can definitely relate to!
4) The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)
This is a profound recollection of a tense trial in Chicago 1968 concerning the riots incited as acts of protest against the Vietnam War. The film comments on the corruption of courtroom politics in this era and how it impacted the lives of the defendants. The well-written script and insightful characters make this a fantastic film for politically minded students. It’s certainly inspiring and proves students can change the world we live in.
5) The Martian (2015)
It just wouldn’t be right to leave a good sci-fi flick out of the list! The Martian is by far one of the best ones out there. The story is both elaborate and drawn-out with all its tense situations and witty humour. The narrative development is so unexpected but very intriguing. The soundtrack is a real blast from the past which includes 80s hits by Gloria Gaynor, ABBA, and Bowie. Even the song titles are ironic and align with the film’s plot – ‘I Will Survive’ and ‘Starman’ are definitely ironic songs for this flick!
6) Run (2021)
For everyone who loves a good psychological thriller, this film is the one for you. It’s ranked as one of the top ten films in Ireland on Netflix. Teenage Chloe is on the brink of leaving for college, only to come face-to-face with the one truly terrifying thing in the world – her overprotective mother. It might be predictable, but this film has been praised for the superb quality of acting by Sarah Paulson and its direction, cinematography and soundtrack are undeniably excellent.
7) Wonder (2017)
This is a heart-warming story about a little boy as he embarks on his toughest challenge yet – going to school with a facial defect. This film shows personal perspectives from different characters, making it unusual, but intriguing. It sheds a light on medical conditions in children and how they are handled in schools, as well as understanding how to adapt to life when you stand out just a little too much. A really profound film that inspires people and a great choice for a night-in!