Special Report

Best Movies On Netflix Right Now, According to Data

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In addition to offering classic gangster films and adventure motion pictures, Netflix regularly features first-rate movies that it has produced itself, many of which have won honors at the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, and elsewhere, and have both scored highly with the critics and drawn enthusiastic audiences. These add to the richness of the platform’s monthly programming.

To determine the best movies to stream on Netflix this August, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of early August 2023, weighting all ratings equally. We considered only movies with at least 5,000 audience votes on either IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes, and ruled out documentaries. Data on streaming availability, also current as of early August, comes from the streaming guide Reelgood. Directorial credits are from IMDb.

Martin Scorsese places two films on the list, and there are representatives of other noted directors including Quentin Tarantino, J.J. Abrams, Aaron Sorkin, Sofia Coppola, and Ron Howard.

Viewers’ thirst for American mob movies can be slaked with the acclaimed flicks “Donnie Brasco,” “The Irishman,” “Reservoir Dogs,” and “The Departed.” (These are the best movies about the Mafia.)

Click here to read about the best movies on Netflix right now, according to data

The institution of marriage is examined in two films, “Private Life” and “Marriage Story,” and were two of the 28 films on our list that received at least a 90% Freshness score among Rotten Tomatoes critics. 

Among the older films on the Netflix schedule are four from the 1970s: “Alien” and “The Jerk” from 1979, “Rocky” (1976), and “American Graffiti” (1973).

To determine the best movies to stream on Netflix this August, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of early August 2023, weighting all ratings equally. We considered only movies with at least 5,000 audience votes on either IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes, and ruled out documentaries. Data on streaming availability, also current as of early August, comes from the streaming guide Reelgood. Directorial credits are from IMDb.

20. Pride & Prejudice (2005)
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (273,291 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (459,634 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 86% (182 reviews)
> Directed by: Joe Wright

This film adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” is a romantic drama based on the classic novel of the same name by Jane Austen. The film stars Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet and Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy. Set in early 19th-century England, the story follows the lives and romantic entanglements of the Bennet family, particularly focusing on the spirited and independent Elizabeth and her complex relationship with the wealthy and seemingly aloof Mr. Darcy.

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19. Donnie Brasco (1997)
> IMDb user rating: 7.7/10 (311,956 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (204,292 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 88% (56 reviews)
> Directed by: Mike Newell

“Donnie Brasco” is a crime drama starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp, based on the real-life undercover FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone. Under the alias Donnie Brasco, he infiltrated the Bonanno crime family in New York City in the 1970s. The film explores Brasco’s struggle between his duty and friendship with Mafia hitman Lefty Ruggiero. A commercial success, the film grossed $124.9 million and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

18. Mudbound (2017)
> IMDb user rating: 7.4/10 (46,035 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 84% (5,906 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 97% (200 reviews)
> Directed by: Dee Rees

“Mudbound” is a historical drama based on the 2008 novel by Hillary Jordan. It features an ensemble cast that includes Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, and Mary J. Blige, and follows two World War II veterans dealing with racism and PTSD in Mississippi. The film was critically acclaimed for its screenplay, direction, and performances, earning four Academy Award nominations, including Best Supporting Actress for Blige and Best Original Song.

17. I Lost My Body (2019)
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (29,388 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 83% (633 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 96% (83 reviews)
> Directed by: Jérémy Clapin

This animated fantasy drama follows a severed hand traversing Paris to reunite with its body, named Naoufel. The movie explores Naoufel’s life, aspirations, tragic past, and his infatuation with a woman named Gabrielle. The movie was awarded the Nespresso Grand Prize, the first animated film with such an honor. It also got an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature.

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16. Léon: The Professional (1994)
> IMDb user rating: 8.5/10 (1,081,769 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 95% (274,510 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 74% (65 reviews)
> Directed by: Luc Besson

Léon: The Professional,” an action-thriller, is Natalie Portman’s film debut. The film centers on Léon (Jean Reno), a professional hitman, who takes in Mathilda Lando (Portman), a 12-year-old girl, after a corrupt DEA agent (Gary Oldman) kills her family. She becomes his protégée.

15. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)
> IMDb user rating: 7.7/10 (179,508 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 90% (2,455 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 89% (331 reviews)
> Directed by: Aaron Sorkin

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” is a historical legal drama penned as well as helmed by Aaron Sorkin. The film depicts the trial of seven Vietnam War protesters accused of inciting riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. It stars an ensemble cast, including Sacha Baron Cohen and Eddie Redmayne. Initially intended for a theatrical release, it was sold to Netflix due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film received six Oscar nominations and won for Best Screenplay at the Golden Globe Awards.

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14. Lost in Translation (2003)
> IMDb user rating: 7.7/10 (432,805 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 85% (337,639 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 95% (232 reviews)
> Directed by: Sofia Coppola

“Lost in Translation” is about the ambiguous relationship between Bob Harris (Bill Murray), a fading movie star, and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), a recent college graduate, both in Tokyo for different reasons. In exploring themes of alienation and disconnection, it focuses on the unlikely friendship between Bob and Charlotte, who are both experiencing personal crises. The film defies mainstream narrative conventions, offering a unique take on romance. It received critical acclaim, winning Coppola a Best Original Screenplay Oscar.

13. Marriage Story (2019)
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (272,813 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 85% (184 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (391 reviews)
> Directed by: Noah Baumbach

“Marriage Story” is a critically acclaimed drama, starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as a couple going through a divorce that turns very bitter when lawyers get involved. The film chronicles their coast-to-coast separation, with supporting roles by Laura Dern, Alan Alda, and others. It’s a Netflix production that premiered at the 76th Venice International Film Festival. The film was celebrated for its screenplay, direction, and performances, earning six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

12. Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
> IMDb user rating: 7.2/10 (61,771 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 91% (113 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 97% (232 reviews)
> Directed by: Craig Brewer

“This biographical comedy features Eddie Murphy as real-life actor and comedian Rudy Ray Moore and Dolemite, the character he created for his stand-up routine and blaxploitation films. Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, it was released on Netflix and received positive reviews, especially for Murphy’s performance. It was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actor at the 77th Golden Globe Awards.

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11. Rush (2013)
> IMDb user rating: 8.1/10 (482,996 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 88% (79,330 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 89% (235 reviews)
> Directed by: Ron Howard

“Rush” is a biographical sports film, focusing on the intense rivalry between James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brüh), two of the era’s best Formula One racers, in the 1970s. The story captures their fierce competition, personal struggles, and passion for racing. Critics praised the film for its performances, Howard’s direction, and the racing sequences.

10. The Irishman (2019)
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (392,363 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 86% (1,057 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 95% (453 reviews)
> Directed by: Martin Scorsese

“The Irishman” is a gangster film based on the book “I Heard You Paint Houses.” The 3.5-hour long movie chronicles the life of Frank Sheeran, a truck driver turned hitman, played by Robert De Niro. The cast also includes Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. The movie explores Sheeran’s involvement with mobster Russell Bufalino (Pesci) and Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). The film received widespread critical acclaim, with 10 Oscar nominations.

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9. Call Me by Your Name (2017)
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (236,339 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 86% (16,258 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (363 reviews)
> Directed by: Luca Guadagnino

“Call Me by Your Name” is a coming-of-age romantic drama based on André Aciman’s novel. The film finishes Guadagnino’s “Desire” trilogy. Set in 1983 in Italy, it traces the romance between a 17-year-old boy and his father’s graduate-student assistant. It received critical acclaim and numerous accolades including an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. It is considered one of the best films of the 21st century.

8. The Imitation Game (2014)
> IMDb user rating: 8/10 (774,531 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 91% (104,116 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 89% (285 reviews)
> Directed by: Morten Tyldum

“The Imitation Game” is a biographical thriller, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, a cryptanalyst who decrypts German intelligence for Britain during WWII. The story, based on Turing’s life as detailed in the biography “Alan Turing: The Enigma,” explores Turing’s work at Bletchley Park and his creation of a machine to decipher Enigma messages. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing more than $233 million globally. It won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

7. Beasts of No Nation (2015)
> IMDb user rating: 7.7/10 (77,493 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 92% (8,145 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 92% (143 reviews)
> Directed by: Cary Joji Fukunaga

“Beasts of No Nation” is a war drama that tells the harrowing story of a young boy who becomes a child soldier amidst a brutal civil war in his country. The film, shot in Ghana, stars Idris Elba and Abraham Attah. It is based on Uzodinma Iweala’s novel of the same name. The film was recognized at the Venice International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, and was released on Netflix.

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6. Heat (1995)
> IMDb user rating: 8.2/10 (606,225 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (222,169 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 87% (84 reviews)
> Directed by: Michael Mann

The crime thriller “Heat” brings together screen legends Al Pacino and Robert De Niro as rivals on opposite sides of the law. Pacino plays Los Angeles homicide detective Vincent Hanna pursuing master thief Neil McCauley (De Niro) and his crew after a deadly armored car heist. The elliptical plot follows the tense cat-and-mouse game between cop and criminal, culminating in a now-iconic shootout in the streets of L.A. With an all-star cast and acclaimed cinematography, “Heat” is considered one of the greatest crime dramas of the 1990s.

5. Star Trek (2009)
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (589,910 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 91% (747,981 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (354 reviews)
> Directed by: J.J. Abrams

This “Star Trek” is the 11th film in the franchise, rebooting the original series with new actors. The film follows James T. Kirk, the son of Admiral James T. Kirk, and Spock (not Spock Prime, though he makes an appearance) aboard the USS Enterprise as they tackle a Romulan threat to the United Federation of Planets. The film was critically acclaimed and grossed over $385.7 million worldwide. It also won an Oscar for makeup.

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4. Dangal (2016)
> IMDb user rating: 8.3/10 (193,082 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (2,333 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 88% (17 reviews)
> Directed by: Nitesh Tiwari

“Dangal” is a biographical sports drama produced by Disney India. The film follows a father, an amateur wrestler. He trains his daughters who eventually become India’s first world-class female wrestlers. Critically acclaimed for its honest depiction, the film won multiple awards and set box office records, becoming the highest-grossing Indian film and one of the highest-grossing sports films.

3. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
> IMDb user rating: 8.3/10 (958,136 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (446,711 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 92% (71 reviews)
> Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

“Reservoir Dogs” is a cult classic of independent film. The neo-noir crime movie features Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, and Steve Buscemi, among others, as diamond thieves whose heist goes awry. Tarantino’s signature elements like violent scenes, pop culture references, and nonlinear storytelling are all present. Despite initial controversy, the film was well-received.

2. The Departed (2006)
> IMDb user rating: 8.5/10 (1,241,061 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (738,191 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 90% (283 reviews)
> Directed by: Martin Scorsese

“The Departed” is a remake of “Infernal Affairs,” a Hong Kong action thriller but also a movie about the real-life Boston Winter Hill Gang. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, and Matt Damon, the film centers on a mob boss planting a spy in the police and an undercover cop infiltrating the mob. A high-stakes game of identity discovery ensues. The film was critically acclaimed, winning four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director.

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1. Alien (1979)
> IMDb user rating: 8.4/10 (823,459 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (460,436 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 98% (126 reviews)
> Directed by: Ridley Scott

“Alien” follows the crew of the space tug Nostromo, which encounter a deadly extraterrestrial on an uncharted planetoid. The film was well received, winning several awards including an Oscar for Best Visual Effects. Today, it is considered one of the greatest and most influential films in its genre. The film spawned a media franchise and launched Weaver’s acting career.

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