30 Top Classic Movies on Netflix This Week

A fresh release is not inherently flawed. However, there are moments when you just want to watch classic movies on Netflix that have been loved by many generations and is guaranteed to not let you down. 

For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of vintage films starring some of the most well-known actors in Hollywood. 

Learn about the history of movies, or just relax knowing that you’re going to see a classic film. 

The Top Classic Movies on Netflix

For the remainder of our list of the greatest classic films currently available on Netflix, keep reading. A movie doesn’t have to be new to be entertaining.

1. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Quentin Tarantino, whose films mostly take place in the present, underwent a slight direction shift with Inglourious Basterds.

Since Basterds, he has only made period pieces for his films; however, this shift in direction did not lessen his instantly recognizable style or his interest in stories of revenge.

This two-and-a-half-hour epic features plenty of Tarantino’s signature dialogue along with a few masterfully crafted set pieces, showcasing the writer/director at the pinnacle of his craft.

2. Belfast (2021)

This could be the ideal time to rewatch Belfast, one of the biggest hits from the 2022 awards season, with the BAFTA Film Awards and the Oscars drawing near.

Kenneth Branagh is the director of this semi-autobiographical film, which tells the story of a young boy growing up in Northern Ireland at the start of the Troubles. The all-star cast includes Judi Dench, Colin Morgan, Ciarán Hinds, and Caitriona Balfe.

It is a beautiful, mostly black-and-white film that is both a love letter to cinema and a poignant, insightful historical drama. It’s a moving experience because you can feel Branagh’s connection to this story throughout.

3. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019)

This is a fantastic opportunity to rewatch Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt’s previous film together, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood since it has been reported that Brad Pitt will feature in the director’s last picture, The Movie Critic.

The film, which starred Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate and paired two of the biggest movie stars in the world—Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio—was noteworthy for depicting an alternate history of the real-life final days of the movie star.

Even though there isn’t much of a plot, it’s fun to spend time in this world with these characters because Tarantino’s passion for the era shines through on screen.

4. The Favourite (2018)

With a strong following among reviewers, viewers, and award organizations, Poor Things is a strong contender for Best Picture at the 2019 Oscars.

It should come as no surprise given that Emma Stone and director Yorgos Lanthimos last worked together to create the multiple-award-winning movie The Favourite in 2018.

Besides Stone, Olivia Colman portrayed Queen Anne in early 18th-century Great Britain in a role that ultimately led to an Oscar.

5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

Now is the ideal moment to revisit the most recent trilogy of prequel films, the best of which are currently streaming on Netflix, as the newest installment in the Planet of the Apes series, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, is set to release later this year.

One of the best blockbusters of the twenty-first century, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes skillfully blends motion capture with a gripping narrative that centers on strong characters and serves as a seamless transition between the first and third movies.

The human ensemble, which includes Gary, is excellent besides Serkis, who excels in the lead role and gives the ape leader a great deal of empathy. 

6. Dune (2021)

Although the release of Dune: Part Two was postponed from its original 2023 release date to 2024, this simply allows fans more time to catch up with the first film, especially since it has now been added to Netflix’s collection.

Based on the same-titled 1965 novel, Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic showcases him at what may be his most cinematic work to date, creating breathtaking imagined landscapes that leave audiences in awe.

The film tells the story of Paul Atreides, who is thrown into a war on the desert planet Arrakis, and stars a who’s who of extraordinary acting talent, including Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya.

7. Heat (1995)

Famously starring in The Godfather Part II together, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino were never on screen together until the infamous diner scene in Michael Mann’s crime epic.

In the movie, De Niro plays veteran criminal Neil McCauley, who is getting ready to pull off his final heist before calling it quits on his criminal career. Pacino, on the other hand, plays the troubled LA police officer who is determined to bring him down.

The psychology of both men is explored for an intense, three hours, setting up one of the most memorable shootouts in movie history.

8. Jaws (1975)

Jaws is one of the few movies that can genuinely be said to have altered the course of filmmaking; this is not an overstatement.

The movie went on to have enormous success, becoming recognized as the first blockbuster ever and launching the career of a young Steven Spielberg, despite going through a notoriously disastrous production process.

Even after almost 50 years, it is still regarded as a classic and a gripping example of creating tension by keeping the terrifying shark hidden for as long as feasible.

9. Spencer (2021)

Now is as good a time as any to check out this alternative royal drama from Chilean director Pablo Larrain (with a script by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight), especially with the release of The Crown’s final season on Netflix.

Described as a “fable from a true story,” Kristen Stewart plays Princess Diana in the film, which follows her as she experiences a crisis of faith while spending Christmas 1991 at the Sandringham Estate.

It’s a melodrama with a dreamy tone and surrealistic moments; it feels very different from the more formal The Crown. However, it provides an intriguing look into Diana’s thoughts during a difficult period, and it looks stunning the entire time.

10. Parasite (2019)

Few moviegoers voiced objections when Parasite was revealed as the first Best Picture winner not to be in the English language at the 2020 Oscars.

With some outstanding performances from its cast, Bong Joon-ho’s masterwork works equally well as a biting class satire, a flawless black comedy, and a suspenseful Hitchcockian thriller.

The movie chronicles what happens when four working-class family members subtly apply for jobs at the opulent home of a wealthier family, leading to a suspenseful confrontation in the closing moments of the film.

11. Good Will Hunting (1997)

Even though Matt Damon and Ben Affleck co-wrote this movie when they were still in their mid-20s, it’s an incredible accomplishment that earned them an Oscar for Best Screenplay.

The movie centers on Will Hunting (Damon), an MIT janitor who is troubled but intensely intelligent. When Will Hunting experiences an emotional breakdown and faces possible jail time, he seeks the assistance of psychiatrist Dr. Sean Maguire (Robin Williams).

The late singer-songwriter Elliott Smith wrote songs for the film’s brilliantly melancholic soundtrack, which features several heartfelt, tender scenes.

12. Get Out (2017)

It’s hard to believe that this was Jordan Peele’s first feature film as director; it established him as one of the most important voices in cinema history and earned him numerous accolades, including an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

It follows Black photographer Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) as he spends a weekend with the family of his wealthy white girlfriend Rose (Alison Williams). It is a psychological horror movie with a healthy dose of social satire.

He almost instantly senses that something is off when he gets there, and it soon becomes apparent that the family’s outward show of kindness is a front for a very dark secret.

13. Chicago (2002)

In 2002, Rob Marshall’s Oscar-winning rendition of the beloved Kander & Ebb stage musical became the biggest box office success ever, earning the title of highest-grossing live-action musical until Mamma Mia broke it six years later.

It centers on Roxie, an aspiring vaudevillian who kills her paramour, and Velma, a notorious nightclub singer who kills her husband and sister after discovering them in bed together. Both women are represented by sleazy but successful attorney Billy Flynn.

This is an enthralling show that was excellent value for its Best Picture victory, featuring amazing performances from Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, and John C. Reilly, among others, and a fantastic assortment of standout musical numbers.

14. Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street, one of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio’s most popular previous films together, is now more relevant than ever. This year, their most recent collaboration, Killers of the Flower Moon, won praise from critics.

DiCaprio plays former stockbroker Jordan Belfort in the 2013 biographical film. Belfort entered a plea deal in 1999 to admit fraud and other related offenses. The Titanic actor received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for his portrayal, which is electrifying.

In the meantime, the movie is noteworthy for showcasing Jonah Hill’s dramatic abilities and introducing Margot Robbie to a large audience. 

15. Submarine (2010)

Based on the Joe Dunthorne novel, this 2010 comedy was directed by Richard Ayoade and executive-produced by Ben Stiller. Craig Roberts, Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine, and Gemma Chan are among the film’s impressive cast members.

The film is a masterfully written a comedy about coming of age that follows awkward Oliver Tate as he navigates his first adolescent relationship and attempts to keep his parents’ marriage intact.

Not only does Roberts’s thunderous performance help the comedy land spectacularly, but it also has a unique visual aesthetic and an earworm-filled soundtrack by Alex Turner, the frontman of Arctic Monkeys.

16. Groundhog Day (1993)

Groundhog Day is the kind of movie you can watch again and again. It has one of Bill Murray’s best comedic performances and a clever plot device that has become as well known as the movie itself.

Murray plays Phil Connors, a misanthropic weather reporter who is furious to be covering the celebration of the same name in the Pennsylvanian town of Punxsutawney. 

Unable to leave because of bad weather, Phil becomes even more terrified when he wakes up the same morning repeatedly, stuck in a loop where there doesn’t seem to be a way out.

17. Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)

Among the greatest comedic groups of all time, Monty Python is still going strong with their 1979 comedy The Life of Brian. 

The movie, which caused controversy among religious groups when it first came out, centers on a young man named Brian (Graham Chapman) who was born near Jesus and is frequently mistaken for the Messiah.

A huge variety of delights are interspersed throughout, including an iconic rendition of the original song Always Look on the Bright Side of Life and a cameo by Spike Milligan. The usual blend of absurdist humor, juvenile japes, and biting satire is present.

18. Memento (2000)

Although his extremely low-budget film Following had already created some buzz, it was this movie that truly established Christopher Nolan as a major player in the cinema world.

It narrates the tale of an amnesiac insurance investigator who is frantically trying to piece together clues from notes and tattoos he has left to himself, based on a short story by his brother Jonathan.

The film’s intriguing non-chronological structure is now legendary, though it may also guarantee that the exhilarating experience of cracking the puzzle on the first viewing will never quite compare.

19. The Talented Mr Ripley (1999)

Anthony Minghella’s captivating adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s thriller novel stars Matt Damon and Jude Law, who may be at their best. 

The two play affluent heir Dickie Greenleaf and skilled conman Tom Ripley, respectively. The former becomes obsessed with the latter after stumbling into his glitzy Italian life, leading to several dramatic events.

Despite the sociopathic tendencies of its main character, the film maintains an emotional core and is consistently suspenseful and captivating.

20. My Neighbour Totoro (1988)

Netflix offers access to nearly the entire Studio Ghibli library, providing viewers with an enormous selection of fantastic animated films to savor, such as Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Whisper of the Heart.

It centers on two girls who, while their mother is ill, move to the country with their father. There, they experience many magical meetings with other strange creatures and the friendly monster of the title.

The film is a must-watch because of its stunning animation and its ability to convey a sense of wonder and youthfulness despite the story’s relative simplicity.

21. Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)

Even when Wes Anderson dabbles in stop motion animation, as in this charming adaptation of Roald Dahl, his style remains unquestionably one of the most distinctive in contemporary film.

With a cast that includes many A-list actors, including George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, and Willem Dafoe, it has the kind of deadpan line deliveries and quirky jokes you’d expect from an Anderson film.

Of course, it’s also exquisitely designed, with audiences finding plenty to swoon over just the perfectly symmetrical, intricate sets.

22. RRR (2022)

RRR, the most recent feature film from renowned Telegu director S. S. Rajamouli, captured the attention of audiences worldwide upon its release and went on to become a huge international hit.

It’s easy to understand why the film struck such a chord because, in its epic three hours, it contains a plethora of masterfully choreographed dance sequences and action sequences, one of which is set to the Oscar-winning song Naatu Naatu.

Intensely set against the brutal British Raj, RRR is a gripping revenge story. In the film, real-life revolutionaries Komaram Bheem and Alluri Sitarama Raju follow a charming fictional friendship as they work to free their country from British rule.

23. All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

It was surprising to learn that Edward Berger’s adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s beloved novel had received an astounding 14 nominations for Best Film BAFTA in 2022.

However, the majority of viewers soon realized why the movie was receiving such praise: it’s a tremendous technical accomplishment chock-full of stunning action scenes and top-notch acting.

The film follows idealistic German soldier Paul Bäumer as he learns about the horrors of war, making a few changes from its well-known source text but remaining unwavering in its anti-war stance.

24. Knives Out (2019) and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)

The British film See How They Run and the popular TV show Only Murders in the Building have both contributed to the comedy murder-mystery’s recent surge in popularity.

But Rian Johnson, whose two highly acclaimed Knives Out mysteries are both available on Netflix and whose third is anticipated to arrive at some point in the future, may have done it better than anyone else.

In the movies, Daniel Craig plays the heavily accented sleuth Benoit Blanc, who sets out to solve two highly enigmatic cases: the first concerns the death of a well-known crime writer in a cozy mansion, and the second concerns an even more mysterious death on a private island that belonged to tech billionaire Miles Bron.

25. Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022)

Among the numerous fresh interpretations of the story of the wooden boy that have been released in recent years is Guillermo Del Toro’s first venture into stop-motion animation, which he co-directed with Mark Gustafson.

It cleverly adapts Carlo Collodi’s beloved story to Italy under Benito Mussolini, and it’s also by far the best of the lot.

Naturally, many of the plot points are well known: after Geppetto creates a lifelike puppet, the two become entangled in adventures with a talking cricket.

26. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

Among the best movies of the past ten years, Celine Sciamma’s period romantic drama is undoubtedly the best; it took home a major award at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and debuted to overwhelmingly positive reviews.

It centers on the romance that blossoms between an unwilling bride-to-be and the painter hired to paint her portrait, and it is set in late eighteenth-century France.

In their leading parts, Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel shine, and Sciamma masterfully directs the picture, which is often nuanced and perceptive.

27. The Harry Potter series

The eight Harry Potter movies were finally available on Netflix in 2022, after a lengthy absence from the major streaming services. This allowed fans to relive the fantastical adventures of Harry, Ron, and Hermione in Hogwarts and beyond.

The film launched the careers of lead actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint and several of the best actors Britain had to offer, including Robbie Coltrane, Michael Gambon, and Alan Rickman, who brought well-known characters to life.

Although a new TV version of the books is presently in development at Max, these films, which were released between 2001 and 2011, will be difficult to top.

28. Prisoners (2013)

Though his recent work has primarily focused on science fiction, Denis Villeneuve is still a skilled thriller writer, as evidenced by this 2013 production.

Villeneuve’s first English-language film features an all-star cast that includes Paul Dano, Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Viola Davis, all of whom give captivating performances.

Keller Dover, played by Jackman, is a man whose daughter is kidnapped along with the daughter of his neighbor. 

29. In the Loop (2009)

The Thick of Armando Iannucci’s Westminster satire It should come as no surprise that this feature-length spin-off, which stars many of the same actors in different roles, is such a hilarious 90-minute film since it is one of the best British sitcoms of the twenty-first century.

Tom Hollander portrays Simon Foster, the Secretary of State for International Development, as the ensemble’s leader.

However, Peter Capaldi, as the scariest and most swear-filled comic creation of recent years, steals the show once again as spin doctor Malcolm Tucker.

30. Paddington 2 (2017)

The world over found the first Paddington movie to be incredibly endearing, but this follow-up took things a step further and produced what is likely one of the greatest family movies ever produced. 

The Peruvian bear, who is still residing with the Brown family, is shown in the film starting off on a quest to find his aunt the ideal present for her 100th birthday.

However, there is a plot twist that involves Hugh Grant, who steals the show in his role as narcissistic thespian Phoenix Buchanan, who wants Paddington’s favorite gift for himself.

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