The 29 best films on Netflix for whatever mood you’re in this weekend
Thelma & Louise (1991) Who: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, and an extremely handsome Brad Pitt in his breakout role What: This is not your usual girls road trip, it’s a feminist tale of friendship, challenging chauvinism and escaping a life you’re unhappy with. Strap yourself in, this is one thrilling tale that will have you fantasising about your own drive through the dessert… and a young Brad Pitt wouldn’t go amiss either. The Best Bit: The iconic Ford Thunderbird car and that empowering ending.
Back To The Future (1985) Who: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover What: Teenager Marty McFly is transported 30 years in the past to 1955 in a time-travelling DeLorean with the help of his inventor friend Doc, but ends up stuck in the past trying to get back to the future. There he encounters his parents, and faces the challenge of fixing their romance. The Best Bit: Marty McFly’s guitar solo. You know the one.
Pulp Fiction (1994) Who: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis What: The interwoven lives of LA criminals told in non-chronological order makes for a surprisingly entertaining juxtaposition of violent drama and unforgettable dance scenes. Tarantino’s cult classic will keep you guessing with its twists and turns as you try to piece together all of the narratives, and leave you curiously guessing forevermore – just what is in that briefcase? The Best Bit: The number of iconic quotes you’ll come out with thanks to that Oscar-winning screenplay.
Chef (2014) Who: Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, and Robert Downey Jr What: A feel-good, family-appropriate comedy for people who LOVE food. What starts as an innocent head chef defiantly pursuing innovation in the kitchen results in a viral moment, the rediscovery of Cuban cuisine’s wonders and a food truck journey you’ll be exceedingly jealous of. The Best Bit: The amazing soundrack that comes with it has everything from brass band covers to Latin beats you just can’t stay still to.
Taxi Driver (1976) Who: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel What: Travis Bickle, an unstable Vietnam veteran slowly descends into insanity in this dark psychological thriller set in a downtrodden New York. This American landmark of a Scorsese film will grip you completely, and leave you wondering why anyone would ever get a mohawk… The Best Bit: The monologue in the mirror as he preps for his great act.
Dallas Buyer’s Club (2013) Who: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner What: A biographical film telling the story of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, following the tale of Ron Woodruff as he starts a business importing illegal, unapproved drugs into Texas and the personal relationships he forms along the way. The Best Bit: Stunning performances in an enlightening film which tells an important story.
The Breakfast Club (1985) Who: Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy. What: An unlikely gang of Saturday detention attendees discover that they might be from different cliques, but they all have their own teenage dramas to contend with in this iconic John Hughes high school classic. You’ll laugh, cry and roll your eyes at the ironic take on a teen comedy-drama. The Best Bit: That fist-pumping earring exchange and the cult personality costumes that make a great group Halloween costume!
Watchmen (2009) Who: Malin Akerman,
Malin Åkerman, Matthew Goode, Billy Crudup, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley, What: A complex, dark and satirical take on a superhero film (based on the limited comics by Alan Moore and David Gibbons) dumps us in an alternative history set during the Cold War where superheroes come out of retirement to unearth and challenge some disturbing activity. It’s pretty violent, surprisingly funny and will keep you guessing the villain right until the last minute. The Best Bit: The mind-blowing visuals. And, of course, Malin Akerman’s kick-ass moves as a female hero dominating the screen and taking what she wants.
Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009) Who: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace What: A Swedish dark crime thriller-come-noir, where a disgruntled and disgraced reporter is asked to try his hand at helping a wealthy man uncover what happened to his niece when she disappeared 40 years ago. He’s joined by a mysterious and brilliant female investigator (who, by the way, rides a very impressive motorbike), the likes of which you’ve never encountered before. The Best Bit: That iconic pixie cut and dark, murderous woman styling to awaken the inner goth in all of us.
Good Will Hunting (1997) Who: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård, Minnie Driver What: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote and starred in this charming drama about an undiscovered math genius janitor who, after a violent encounter, has to confront his demons with his patient therapist. The Best Bit: When Will Hunting faces the first problem on a math board.
The Road (2009) Who: Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Duvall, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce What: In a post-apocalyptic world (adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s novel) we see the intense relationship between a father and son as they struggle to eat and survive, steadily learning more about the world’s descent and resulting problems as they head desperately to the beach in search of warmth. It’s pretty powerful (see: harrowing), but you’re unlikely to cry until it’s over and you realise the misery of it all. CHEERY. The Best Bit: The beautiful relationship between father and son, despite never knowing their names – they could be any of us.
The Fundamentals of Caring (2016) Who: Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts, Selena Gomez What: A down, out and divorced writer played by Paul Rudd escapes his misery and unemployment by becoming a full-time support carer to Trevor, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Sarcastic dark humour, that’s slightly dry but perfectly timed to never make you fully uncomfortable, it’s an ultimately uplifting story about the bizarre relationship formed between the two men when Trevor’s mum is at work. The Best Bit: The surprising connection built between a random assortment of lost people on a great road trip.
Fargo Who: Frances McDormand William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare What: Small-town North Dakota has never experienced such a situation. This celebrated Coen brother film sees the brilliant Frances McDormand plays a pregnant Police Chief in Minnesota. The Best Bit: Marge Gunderson. Everything she says, everything she does. She’ll have you wishing you were a better and happier person.
Ghostbusters (1984) Who: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis What: Hilarious activities of a group of parapsychologists who start up a comedic group of ghost-catching services that quickly catches on in New York. Great outfits, great humour and supernatural crises. Who you gonna call? The Best Bit: That theme tune.
Jumanji (1995) Who: Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, David Alan Grier, Bonnie Hunt, Jonathan Hyde, Bebe Neuwirth What: Based on the novel, this is a fantasy adventure about two teens who accidentally release a boy-man who gets trapped in a board game. Destruction ensues as more parts of the boardgame come to life in reality and have to be returned to the jungle. The Best Bit: The “special-effects” are now so date they’re funny, meaning you can get through that spider scene with a bit more composure.
Okja Who: Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Ahn Seo-hyun, Byun Hee-bong, Steven Yeun What: An emotional tale of a GM future, where a prize-winning super pig raised by a young girl in Korea is taken by a large American conglomeration but a team of fearless bandits come to her aid. You’ll maybe cry. You’ll maybe go vegetarian. The Best Bit: Jake Gylenhaal as the villain’s humurous sidekick we all love to hate.
Matilda (1996) Who: Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, Liccy Dah What: A fantasy all children dream of, Roald Dahl’s creation comes to life in this tale of a young, incredibly smart girl who loves to read, but who is very different from her family. Sent to a new school, she meets a loving teacher and a terrifying headmistress, then discovers she has been blessed with a little more power than she thought… The Best Bit: That little nose wiggle.
When Harry Met Sally (1989) Who: Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby What: Can men and women ever just be friends? After bumping into each other multiple times, estranged aquaintances Harry and Sally realise they have a lot more in common than they first anticipated and become close friends, but vow it’s nothing more. The Best Bit: Probably Sally’s timeless style after all these years – we still adore those curls.
Carrie (1976) Who: Sissy Spacek, John Travolta, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, William Katt, Nancy Allen, Betty Buckley What: Stephen King’s horror tale comes to life when a quirky young bullied girl experiences the wrath of nasty teenagers, a peculiar mother, and puberty complications you weren’t quite expecting. The Best Bit: The infamous ending. Long live Carrie White.
La La Land (2016) Who: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend and Rosemarie DeWitt What: The dreams of young LA hopefuls who cross each others’ paths are lost, found and delayed in this romantic musical comedy where a handsome jazz fanatic and an aspiring actress fall in love. The Best Bit: The beautiful hilltop dance scene with that LA view.
About Time (2013) Who: Rachel McAdams, Domhnall Gleeson, Bill Nighy, Tom Hollander, Margot Robbie What: The cutest, heartfelt romantic comedy tale of a young man who discovers he has the chance to go back in time to change his past and give him a brighter future. All he wants to use it for? To find love. Sincere, charming, a bit tear-inducing but a whole lot reaffirming. The Best Bit: That rain-blessed wedding and its accompanying soundtrack.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) Who: Leonardo Decaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Jean Dujardin What: Based on the real-life tale of Jordan Belfort, Wall Street mogul who founds his own stockbroking venture but soon finds himself making more money than he can dream of thanks to the enticing plans of Mark Hanna (McConaughey) and gets carried away with the wild lifestyle that comes with his money and fame. The Best Bit: Margot Robbie’s signature heel move.
Big Fish (2013) Who: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, Alison Lohman, Robert Guillaume, Marion Cotillard, Steve Buscemi, Danny DeVito What: On his death bed, Edward Bloom tells his estranged son Will the tall tales of his past that the pair fell out over. A star-studded cast portray the wild excitements of Edward’s eclectic life, in an uplifting tale about imagination. The Best Bit: The final story.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018) Who: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, John Corbett What: When Lara Jean Covey’s secret, hidden, innocent love letters to five boys she’s had crushes on somehow find their way to the intended recipients chaos inevitably ensues – not least because one of them is her sister’s ex-boyfriend. A tale of teen shyness, bravery and navigating romance when the complications of high school become even more overwhelming than usual. The Best Bit: EVERYTHING. ABOUT. PETER.
Scarface (1983) Who: Al Pacino What: The masterpiece of a remake of a 1932 Miami-based crime film centered around the intoxicating and determined Tony Montana, a Cuban refugee and ex-convict who is tasked with the murder of drug dealer Frank Lopez in exchange for his freedom. An wealth of firearms. An abundance of action. It’s better than you’ll ever anticipate. The Best Bit: Every impassioned, quotable phrase Tony comes out with.
Identity (2003) Who: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Alfred Molina, Clea DuVall, Rebecca De Mornay What: A complex psychological thriller where the circumstances of the quintessential horror film pieces fit together in an intelligent and terrifying way, inspired by an Agatha Christie tale. A little gore is worth the clever rewards given by the twists and turns of this modern tale. The Best Bit: That creepy moment where a group of endangered characters all realise the common ground they share.
My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) Who: Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz, Rupert Everett What: When food critic Jules is told her oldest friend Michael is having a whirlwind marriage to the rich, bouncy and beautiful Kimmy, she instantly realises she’s in love with him. She’ll do pretty much anything to stop the wedding in her 48-hour time window, assisted by her fabulously flamboyant agent George. The Best Bit: A little singsong around the dinner table. You’ll want to stand up and join in.
I know What You Did Last Summer (1997) Who: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Freddie Prinze Jr., Johnny Galecki, Bridgette Wilson What: The ultimate teen slasher sees a group of four friends get their comeuppance for the dark secrets of – you guessed it – last summer. The Best Bit: The jarring moment when Julie screams in the street.
The Grand Budapest Hotel Who: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Tony Revolori What: Wes Anderson’s glorious masterpiece will delight you with it’s talented ensemble cast, as a charming concierge is framed for a rich woman’s death after she bequeaths him an extremely valuable painting and the employees of the hotel rush to his aid to prove his innocence. The Best Bit: Each character’s elegant quirk.