Special Report

Best Movies to Watch on Netflix Before October Is Over

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With fall in full swing, it’s the perfect time to curl up on the couch and stream some great movies. From heart-wrenching dramas to pulse-pounding thrillers, with some lighter fare along the way, Netflix has an expansive lineup of new releases and classics that are worth watching this October. (The platform produces its own films as well as curating others. Here’s a list of the 25 best original Netflix movies.)

To determine the best movies to stream on Netflix this October, 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 October 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 October, comes from the streaming guide Reelgood. Directorial credits are from IMDb.

Leading the pack of must-see films is Christopher Nolan’s critical and commercial success “The Dark Night.” This action thriller, which is the second installment of Nolan’s Batman trilogy, features stunning visuals and a star-studded cast including Christian Bale and Heath Ledger.

Those looking for a gripping drama should check out “Missing” about a young woman using online tools to find her missing mother. For a fun family watch, on the other hand, tune into the animated adventure “Paddington,” named for a lovable bear that goes to London searching for a home.  

The list continues with cinematic brilliance like “The Big Short,” Adam McKay’s eye-opening exposé of the 2008 financial crisis, and Denis Villeneuve’s mind-bending sci-fi drama “Arrival.” Luc Besson’s iconic hitman story, “Léon: The Professional,” offers a thrilling and emotionally charged experience.

Aaron Sorkin’s courtroom drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and its Oscar-worthy performances brilliantly captures a pivotal moment in American history. And for fans of romance, Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me by Your Name” delicately unfolds a tale of love and self-discovery. (For love stories of a lighter kind, check out our list of the 50 best rom-coms of the past 50 years.)

25. Wind River (2017)
> IMDb user rating: 7.7/10 (223,961 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 90% (29,613 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 87% (253 reviews)
> Directed by: Taylor Sheridan

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

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

22. The Big Short (2015)
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (436,070 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 88% (69,316 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 89% (330 reviews)
> Directed by: Adam McKay

 

21. Arrival (2016)
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (633,887 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 82% (83,786 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (434 reviews)
> Directed by: Denis Villeneuve

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

14. Swades (2004)
> IMDb user rating: 8.2/10 (94,368 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 91% (8,946 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 86% (7 reviews)
> Directed by: Ashutosh Gowariker

13. Captain Phillips (2013)
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (465,186 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (152,646 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93% (279 reviews)
> Directed by: Paul Greengrass

12. The Imitation Game (2014)
> IMDb user rating: 8.0/10 (774,531 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 91% (104,116 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 89% (285 reviews)
> Directed by: Morten Tyldum

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

10. Batman Begins (2005)
> IMDb user rating: 8.2/10 (1,360,431 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (1,115,836 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 84% (288 reviews)
> Directed by: Christopher Nolan

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

8. American Beauty (1999)
> IMDb user rating: 8.3/10 (1,104,561 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 93% (660,797 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 87% (190 reviews)
> Directed by: Sam Mendes

7. Groundhog Day (1993)
> IMDb user rating: 8.0/10 (595,765 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 88% (416,991 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 96% (84 reviews)
> Directed by: Harold Ramis

6. Stand by Me (1986)
> IMDb user rating: 8.1/10 (380,190 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (270,467 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 91% (57 reviews)
> Directed by: Rob Reiner

5. RRR (2022)
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (154,757 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (909 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 95% (100 reviews)
> Directed by: S.S. Rajamouli

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

3. Klaus (2019)
> IMDb user rating: 8.2/10 (119,752 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 96% (2,481 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (70 reviews)
> Directed by: Sergio Pablos

2. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
> IMDb user rating: 8.6/10 (1,292,307 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 95% (993,591 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (143 reviews)
> Directed by: Steven Spielberg

1. The Dark Knight (2008)
> IMDb user rating: 9.0/10 (2,419,864 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (1,831,566 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (345 reviews)
> Directed by: Christopher Nolan

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