The 20 Best Classic Movies on Netflix

Movies Lists Netflix
Share Tweet Submit Pin
The 20 Best Classic Movies on Netflix

Netflix’s library of classic movies (films released more than 25 years ago, by our definition) is not nearly as deep as it once was, before the streaming service shifted its focus to newer content, particularly original series. But there are some timeless treasures from the 1960s through the first half of the 1990s if you want to watch a bit of movie-making history. For a broader selection, visit our list of the 100 Best Movies on Netflix.

Here are the 20 Best Classic Movies Streaming on Netflix:

1. Do the Right Thing

do-the-right-thing.jpg Year: 1989
Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn, John Turturro, Samuel L. Jackson
Rating: R

Watch on Netflix

Do The Right Thing, Spike Lee’s brutally direct masterpiece about America’s fraught race relations, compacted within a block of Bed-Stuy during the hottest day of a 1989 summer, might be hypnotically entrenched in late ’80s aesthetic and style, but its tragic breakdown of racial conflict is timeless. Like a master manipulator of tone and tension, Lee meticulously turns up the heat until the inevitable explosion tears apart the society with which Lee’s spent the course of the movie making us fall in love. Tragedy expands tenfold. Powered by amazing performances from a great ensemble cast—from established heavy hitters like Ossie Davis, Danny Aeillo and Ruby Dee, to then-newcomers Martin Lawrence, Samuel L. Jackson and John Turturro—and Ernest Dickerson’s scorching cinematography, Do The Right Thing is one of those rare achievements that manages to be equal parts hilarious and devastating. It’s certainly one of a handful of quintessential American films. —Oktay Ege Kozak


2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

netflix poster monty grail.jpg Year: 1975
Directors: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Connie Booth
Genre: Comedy
Rating: PG

Watch on Netflix

It sucks that some of the shine has been taken off Holy Grail by its own overwhelming ubiquity. Nowadays, when we hear a “flesh wound,” a “ni!” or a “huge tracts of land,” our first thoughts are often of having full scenes repeated to us by clueless, obsessive nerds. Or, in my case, of repeating full scenes to people as a clueless, obsessive nerd. But, if you try and distance yourself from the over-saturation factor, and revisit the film after a few years, you’ll find new jokes that feel as fresh and hysterical as the ones we all know. Holy Grail is, indeed, the most densely packed comedy in the Python canon. There are so many jokes in this movie, and it’s surprising how easily we forget that, considering its reputation. If you’re truly and irreversibly burnt out from this movie, watch it again with commentary, and discover the second level of appreciation that comes from the inventiveness with which it was made. It certainly doesn’t look like a $400,000 movie, and it’s delightful to discover which of the gags (like the coconut halves) were born from a need for low-budget workarounds. The first-time co-direction from onscreen performer Terry Jones (who only sporadically directed after Python broke up) and lone American Terry Gilliam (who prolifically bent Python’s cinematic style into his own unique brand of nightmarish fantasy) moves with a surreal efficiency. —Graham Techler


3. She’s Gotta Have It

shes gotta have it poster.jpg Year: 1986
Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Tracy Camila Johns, Spike Lee, John Canada Terrell, Tommy Redmond Hicks
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rating: R

Watch on Netflix

An explosively frank feature debut that immediately announced Lee’s brave, fresh new voice in American cinema, She’s Gotta Have It, shot like a documentary, is a levelheaded exploration of a young black woman named Nola (Tracy Camilla Johns) trying to decide between her three male lovers, while also flirting with her apparent bisexuality, in order to, first and foremost, figure out what makes her happy. What’s refreshing about the film is that Lee always brings up the possibility that “none of the above” is a perfectly viable answer for both Nola and for single women—a game changer in 1986. The DIY indie grainy black-and-white cinematography boosts the film’s in-your-face realism. —Oktay Ege Kozak


4. Apocalypse Now Redux

apocalypse-now-movie-poster.jpg Year: 1979
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Laurence Fishburne
Rating: R
Runtime: 206 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Let’s invoke Truffaut, because his spirit feels as relevant to a discussion of Francis Ford Coppola’s baleful adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness as to a discussion of a war film like Paths of Glory, and to considering war films in general. Maybe, if we take Truffaut at his word, Apocalypse Now (and its remastered version with 49 more minutes of footage that’s streaming on Netflix) can’t help but endorse war merely through the act of recreating it as art. Maybe that doesn’t stop the film from conveying Coppola’s driving theses: War turns men into monsters, leads them on a descent into a primal, lawless state of mind, and war is itself hell, an ominous phrase now made into cliché by dint of gross overuse between 1979 and today. If the film innately sanctions war by depiction, it does not sanction war’s impact on the humanity of its participants. In fact, Apocalypse Now remains one of the most profound illustrations of the corrosive effect nation-sanctioned violence has on a person’s spirit and psyche. It’s cute that in 40 years later we’re OK with quoting this movie in gratingly awful AT&T commercials, or repurposing its period backdrop for the sake of making King Kong happen for contemporary audiences for a second time, but there’s nothing cute, or even all that quotable, about it. Apocalypse Now sears, sickens and scars, branding itself in our memories as only the grimmest displays of human depravity truly can. —Andy Crump


5. The Other Side of the Wind

other-side-of-wind-movie-poster.jpg Year: 2018
Director: Orson Welles
Stars: John Huston, Peter Bogdanovich, Robert Random, Susan Strasberg, Oja Kodar
Genre: Drama
Rating: R

Watch on Netflix

As gaudy and inexplicable as its title, The Other Side of the Wind nonetheless sings with the force of its movement whistling past its constraints. The wind blows: Orson Welles channels it through his studio-inflicted/self-inflicted torpor, in that process finding an organic melody—or rather, jazz. The making-of documentary They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead, released by Netflix to go with this film—the streaming giant’s finest moment—shows Welles, enormous and half-baked, describing what he calls “divine accidents.” These accidents were responsible for some of his oeuvre’s best details (wherein God resides), like the breaking of the egg in Touch of Evil; they were something he aimed to chase after (like chasing the wind) with this, his final project, released several decades after its shooting as Netflix opened their coffers to open the coffin in which the raw footage was locked. His former partners on the shoot, Peter Bogdanovich and Frank Marshall, make good on their old oath to their master to complete the film for him, and in finding the spirit of the thing, deliver us a masterpiece we barely deserve. A divine accident. John Huston plays John Huston as Jake Hannaford who is also Orson Welles, trying to finish The Other Side of the Wind much like Welles tried to finish The Other Side of the Wind, over the course of years with no real budget and by the seats-of-everyone’s-pants. In contrast, the film’s scenario is set up over the course of one evening and night, Hannaford surrounded by “disciples” and peers who are invited to a party to screen some of the footage of what the director hopes will be his greatest masterpiece, in what Welles hoped would be his. The film within the film is a riff on art film, with perhaps the strongest winks at Michelangelo Antonioni and Zabriskie Point. Life imitates art: Hannaford’s house is just around the rock corner from the one Zabriskie blew to bits. Aptly, that house is the setting for most of the film about Hannaford, in theory constructed from found footage from the cineaste paparazzi. The density is dizzying, the intellect fierce. In terms of Welles’ filmography, it’s like the last act of Citizen Kane felt up by Touch of Evil, then stripped and gutted by the meta-punk of F for Fake. No art exists in a vacuum, but The Other Side of the Wind, more than most, bleeds its own context. It is about Orson Welles, showing himself. Killing himself. —Chad Betz


6. Blade Runner

blade-runner-poster-inset.jpg Year: 1982
Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos
Genre: Sci-Fi
Rating: R

Watch on Netflix

Just as The Road Warrior set the look and tone for countless post-apocalyptic cinema-scapes to follow, so too did the world of Ridley Scott’s dingy, wet and overcrowded Blade Runner set the standard for the depiction of pre-apocalyptic dystopias. But he also had Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer and a cast of actors who all bring this Philip K. Dick-inspired tale of a replicant-retiring policeman to gritty, believable life. Beneath the film’s impressive set design and inspired performances lies a compelling meditation on the lurking loneliness of the human (and, perhaps, inhuman) condition that continues to resonate (and trigger new creations, like Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049) to this day. —Michael Burgin


7. House Party

house_party_poster2.jpg Year: 1990
Director: Reginald Hudlin
Stars: Kid ‘n Play, Full Force, Robin Harris, Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, A.J. Johnson
Genre: Comedy
Rating: R

Watch on Netflix

Originally meant as a vehicle for DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, this high school romp follows two best friends (hip-hop duo Kid ’n Play) as they get ready to throw an epic house party. Featuring a cast filled with up-and-coming actors and hip-hop stars, the audience gets to see if, between his no-nonsense father (the late Robin Harris) and his dimwitted bullies (Full Force), Kid can survive the night. Between Hudlin’s keen direction and a hip-hop drenched soundtrack, the film is filled with infectious energy and originality that captures the life of Black American teens in the late 1980s and early 1990s. —Adreon Patterson


8. The Piano

the-piano.jpg Year: 1993
Director: Jane Campion
Genre: Drama
Stars: Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill
Rating: R

Watch on Netflix

Without ever saying a word, Holly Hunter still has one of the great performances of the early ‘90s. The Piano also introduced the rest of the world to New Zealand’s Jane Campion, creator of Top of the Lake, and to actress Anna Paquin (True Blood). Set in 1850s New Zealand, the film tells of a mute, young mother trapped in arranged marriage and the farmworker (Harvey Keitel) who falls for her.—Josh Jackson


9. Total Recall

total-recall-1990.jpg Year: 1990
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone
Genre: Science-Fiction, Action, Thriller
Rating: R

Watch on Netflix

Very loosely based on the Philip K. Dick short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” (and aren’t all PKD adaptations “very loose”?), Total Recall functions as a construct for Paul Verhoeven to take a high-concept premise about memory implants and lost identity and motivational uncertainty and turn it into an Arnold Schwarzenegger schlock-fest. It should be bad, but it’s not; it should be, at best, cheesy fun—but it’s even more than that. Unlike many of it’s sci-fi action peers, Total Recall never runs out of steam or ideas; it starts with the memory implant stuff, but on the back end gives us a vividly imagined Mars society with an oppressed mutant population (which is, like, the best special make-up effects portfolio ever) and a secret alien reactor that’s a MacGuffin but also a deus ex machina. The plot’s a mess but so is Arnold. It all works. Total Recall’s $60 million production budget was absolutely huge for its time, but unlike similar Hollywood ventures that put money towards glitz (like the 2012 remake, so slick it slips right out of one’s head), Verhoeven uses the loot to give us more dust, more grit, more decrepit sets, more twisted prosthetics and maximum Arnold. Verhoeven, in fact, uses Arnold as much as he uses anything else in the budget to tell this darkly exuberant story, from the contorted confusion of the set-up right on through to the eye-popping finale. It results in a sci-fi screed written in the form of a hundred Ahh-nuld faces, absurd and unforgettable. For as many times as Dick has been adapted, this is perhaps the one time the go-for-broke energy and imagination of his work has made it into the cinema (Blade Runner is something else entirely). Total Recall may have little in common with the actual content of the story it blows up, but it knows the vibe. And PKD vibes are the best kind. —Chad Betz


210. Monty Python’s Life of Brian

life of brian poster.jpg Year: 1979
Director: Terry Jones
Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin
Genre: Comedy
Rating: R

Watch on Netflix

Pretty much made on George Harrison’s dime and considered, even if apocryphally, by the legendary comedy troupe to be their best film (probably because it’s the closest they’ve come to a three-act narrative with obvious “thematic concerns”), Life of Brian got banned by a lot of countries at the butt-end of the ’70s. As a Christ story, the telling of how squealy mama’s boy Brian (Graham Chapman) mistakenly finds himself as one of many messiah figures rising in Judea under the shadow of Roman occupation (around 33 AD, on a Saturday afternoon-ish), Monty Python’s follow-up to Holy Grail may be the most political film of its ilk. As such, the British group stripped all romanticism and nobility from the story’s bones, lampooning everything from radical revolutionaries to religious institutions to government bureaucracy while never stooping to pick on the figure of Jesus or his empathetic teachings. Of course, Life of Brian isn’t the first film about Jesus (or: Jesus adjacent) to focus on the human side of the so-called savior—Martin Scorsese’s take popularly did so less than a decade later—but it feels like the first to leverage human weakness against the absurdity of the Divine’s expectations. Steeped in satire fixing on everything from Spartacus to Franco Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth, and buttressed by as many iconic lines as there are crucifixes holding up the film’s frames (as Brian’s equally squealy mother hollers to the swarming masses, “He’s not the messiah. He’s a very naughty boy!”), the film explores Jesus’s life by obsessing over the context around it. Maybe a “virgin birth” was really just called that to cover up a Roman centurion’s sexual crimes. Maybe coincidence (and also class struggle) is reality’s only guiding force. Maybe the standard of what makes a miracle should be a little higher. And maybe the one true through line of history is that stupid people will always follow stupid people, whistling all the way to our meaningless, futile deaths. —Dom Sinacola


11. The Outlaw Josey Wales

outlaw-josey-wales-poster.jpg Year: 1976
Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Chief Dan George, Sandra Locke, Bill McKinney, John Vernon
Genre: Western
Rating: PG
Runtime: 135 minutes

Watch on Netflix

If you’re in the mood for a superb classic western—looking for a satisfying combo of the morbid whimsy found in Leone’s work and the wholesome, adventure-heavy John Ford style—then The Outlaw Josey Wales should deliver on this compromise. Eastwood sensed the popularity of the traditional western was on its way out when Josey Wales went into production, so he composed a fitting Swan Song for the genre. It’s a messy proposition, but what we get is an epic genre exercise that seldom loses our attention, mostly due to the intense narrative focus Eastwood carried over from his work with Don Siegel. Eastwood is predictably badass in the title role, but the MVP of the picture is his no-nonsense sidekick played by the illustrious Chief Dan George. (For more of George’s natural charisma, check out Little Big Man.) —Oktay Ege Kozak


12. Rain Man

rain-man.jpg Year: 1988
Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino
Genre: Drama
Rating: R

Watch on Netflix

In this Oscar-winning Best Picture, Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) embarks on a road trip with his newly discovered brother, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman). It’s not an intentional happy-go-lucky jaunt, though—Charlie is simply trying to get more of his recently deceased father’s $3 million estate, most of which he left to the autistic Raymond. Charlie gets to learn more about his brother and his mental tics like having to stop everything in order to watch Jeopardy! and buying underwear strictly from Kmart. Hoffman is undeniably good, and his performance as a savant earned him a Best Actor in a Leading Role award. But Cruise’s portrayal of a high-strung professional who transforms into a caring brother is also a treasure. The tender moments are just as important as the comical—and the blend of laughter and tears are skillfully spread out in this 1988 classic. —Shawn Christ


13. The Guns of Navarone

guns-navarone.jpg Year:1961
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn
Genre: War, Action
Rating: TV-14
Runtime: 156 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Depending on who you ask, The Guns of Navarone is a work of pure artifice, historical fiction that’s all fiction and no history. True, its source work, Alistair MacLean’s 1957 novel of the same name, was inspired by the Battle of Leros during World War II, but J. Lee Thompson’s film feels like its own beast, beholden to neither MacLean’s novel nor the war itself. Guess what? That’s fine. The Guns of Navarone is a stunner, no matter where it draws the pieces of its “men on a mission” plot from. Not incidentally, it’s also the first (one of, anyway) of many such movies to emerge during the 1960s, a niche in the war movie genre that multiplied over the course of the next twenty year following its release. You may cite the film’s cast, which starts with Gregory Peck, continues with Anthony Quinn, and fills out with Anthony Quayle and David Niven (among many others), as well as its character development, as the two key ingredients to its success; you may instead single out the action scenes, each as fluid and thrilling and as varied as the others; or you may choose to cheer for Thompson himself, whose second-to-none pacing keeps the film on rails without ever flagging or dragging or otherwise growing repetitive. Whatever. The truth is that you can’t take one of these elements away without affecting the others, and ultimately, that signifies The Guns of Navarone’s excellence as a harmonized piece of top-drawer action filmmaking. —Andy Crump


14. Stripes

stripes netflix.jpg Year: 1981
Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Warren Oates, P.J. Soles, Sean Young, John Candy, John Larroquette, Judge Reinhold
Genre: Comedy
Rating: R
Runtime: 105 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Stripes might not be as beloved as Ghostbusters or Groundhog Day, but John Winger, the sarcastic, irreverent cabdriver who joins the army after his life falls apart, should be Bill Murray’s defining role. (Or, at least, early Murray, before he became a respectable actor.) Sure, Murray had already developed his voice at Second City and on Saturday Night Live, and premiered it on the big screen with Meatballs, but Stripes put Murray’s anti-authoritarianism up against the most authoritarian institution in America, allowing him to reach new heights of smarmy disrespect. And it’s not afraid to make him look like an asshole without trying hard to rehab him, something that can’t be said about Ghostbusters or Groundhog Day. Stripes has problems as a movie—it drags on too long, the last third is overblown and unrealistic, and the way it treats women was uncomfortable back then and would be downright unacceptable today—but between Murray, Harold Ramis, John Candy, Judge Reinhold, John Larroquette, and a fantastic straight man performance by Peckinpah tough guy Warren Oates as the drill sergeant, it might be, laugh for laugh, the funniest movie on this list.—Garrett Martin


15. Howard’s End

howards-end.jpg Year: 1993
Director: Jane Campion
Stars: Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, Anna Paquin
Genre: Drama
Rating: R

Watch on Netflix

James Ivory’s 1992 classic Howards End, starring Anthony Hopkins, Vanessa Redgrave, Helena Bonham Carter and an Academy Award-winning Emma Thompson, returns to theaters this weekend in a beautifully restored print. It’s tempting to call the film, which was nominated for nine Oscars and won three, the pinnacle of the Merchant-Ivory films catalog, but the more you dig, the harder it is to choose from the 50 years of excellent work. How do you ignore The Remains of the Day, possibly Hopkins’ best role of all? Or the lush romanticism of A Room with a View? Or a brilliant young Daniel Day-Lewis in Maurice. E.M. Forster’s novel Howard’s End has so much plot in it that in the hands of a lesser filmmaker, or lesser screenwriter, might have ended up feeling like all plot, but no character. But in Ivory’s Howards End, every one of the characters lives and breathes so much we get to know them intimately. —Michael Dunaway


16. Midnight Run

midnight_run_poster.jpg Year: 1988
Director: Martin Brest
Stars: Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto, Dennis Farina, John Ashton
Genre: Comedy
Rating: R
Runtime: 122 minutes

Watch on Netflix

The ’80s created the textbook action/comedy formula, and director Martin Brest was smack dab in the middle of it. His Beverly Hills Cop was originally written as a straight action movie, until Eddie Murphy was cast in the lead role. Instead of keeping the overall self-serious tone of the film and just inserting some out-of-place comedy set pieces into the narrative, Murphy and Brest infused a lighthearted tone across the entire project, while keeping the basic requirements of an action structure in place. Midnight Run, Brest’s follow-up to Beverly Hills Cop, perfects this fusion. None of the action sequences take themselves too seriously, and none of comedy comes across as mugging, desperate to extract easy chuckles. The premise and structure are very simple and fairly predictable: It’s a traditional road movie wherein a grizzled bounty hunter (Robert DeNiro) has to transport a mob accountant (Charles Grodin) across the country, with the mob and the police squarely on their tail. What makes Midnight Run still feel fresh after 30 years is Brest’s aforementioned handle on tone, and the terrific chemistry between DeNiro and Grodin, so on point it’s surprising they weren’t reunited for other similar flicks after this. Usually the rough masculine bounty hunter would be the wild card against the accountant’s stuffy straight man, yet DeNiro and Grodin find refreshing ways of tinkering with that formula, with DeNiro’s character eventually coming across as a regular good guy who was dealt more than a few bad hands, and Grodin as a lovable but sometimes infuriating weirdo. —Oktay Ege Kozak


17. Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack

mobile-suit-gundam-chars-counterattack-poster.jpg Year: 1988
Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino
Stars: Toru Furuya, Shuichi Ikeda, Hirotaka Suzuoki, Maria Kawamura, Nozomu Sasaki, Koichi Yamadera
Genre: Anime, Sci-Fi, Action
Rating: TV-14
Runtime: 119 minutes

Watch on Netflix

The first Gundam theatrical film and final chapter in the original saga begun in 1979 with the “Universal Century Timeline” of the Mobile Suit Gundam TV series, Char’s Counterattack has the weight of three seasons of TV behind it. Yoshiyuki Tomino, creator of the Gundam series, directed and wrote the film, adapting it faithfully from his novel, Hi-Streamer. Widely considered the best film in the Gundam franchise, Char’s Counterattack is most successful at wrapping up the 14-year rivalry between the “hero” of the Earth Federation, Amuro Ray, and the leader of Neo-Zeon, Char Aznable. The story involves a classic Gundam dilemma: Char’s Neo-Zeon force attempts to drop an asteroid filled with nuclear weapons onto Earth, which would free the colonies from the yoke of oppression by their rivals, the Earth Federation, and kill everyone on Earth in the process. As with all of the best Gundam tales, Tomino approaches the story from a hard sci-fi point of view, clearly laying out the science behind things like giant mobile suits and “newtypes” (humans that have evolved to acquire psychic abilities). Tomino carefully lays out the reasoning behind Char and Amuro’s passions and hatreds, not allowing the viewer to choose a clear side. Gundam series have always been willing to take on discussions about the horrors of war and how mankind, for all its advancements, never seems to be able to free itself from humanity’s baser instincts. Char’s Counterattack attempts this as well, yet it’s mostly concerned with wrapping up the rivalry between Amuro and Char—and on that note, it succeeds wildly. Featuring gorgeous, tense fight sequences set in space, an excellent soundtrack by Shigeaki Saegusa, and some of the most lauded Gundam designs in the history of the franchise, the film is inarguably one of the high points of the Gundam Universe. One downside: If you don’t have the investment of spending hundreds of episodes of television with these characters, the plot can be confusing, and Char/Amuro’s ending will likely not resonate as strongly. Regardless, Char’s Counterattack remains a key moment in the Gundam universe, one still worth checking out almost 30 years later. Hail Zeon!—Jason DeMarco


18. Leon: The Professional

leon-the-professional-poster.jpg Year: 1994
Director: Luc Besson
Stars: Natalie Portman, Jean Reno, Gary Oldman
Rating: R
Runtime: 110 minutes

Watch on Netflix

It’s tough to construct a screenplay around a child who contains a distinct character arc and expect the performance of the actor cast in the role to pull that off. Since films are usually shot out of order, it’s a bit much to expect a child actor to be completely in tune with where their character is emotionally in relation to the big picture. That’s why, apart from Christian Bale in Empire of the Sun, the only other example that comes to mind where such an arc was pulled off so effectively, is Natalie Portman’s breakthrough performance as Mathilda, the hitwoman-in-training in Luc Besson’s action classic/creepy underage romance, Leon. When we meet young Mathilda, she acts tough, cigarette in hand, but Portman still taps into her childhood charm. After her little brother is murdered courtesy of bad cop Gary Oldman’s glorious scene chewery, Mathilda’s soul hardens and a rude awakening into the violent world her previously frail soul inhabits is put on full display. As she learns the tricks of the hitman trade from the introverted Leon (Jean Reno), her arc into becoming a kind of monster no child should have to face is complete. Yet this cynical relationship somehow blossoms into a profound love between Leon and Mathilda. That’s a lot of layers to ask from a child actor, and Portman comes out of the gate swinging. —Oktay Ege Kozak


19. My Fair Ladymy-fair.jpg

Year: 1964
Director: George Cukor
Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway, Gladys Cooper, Wilfrid Hyde-White
Genre: Musical
Rating: G
Runtime: 173 minutes

Watch on Netflix

We love the opulent, two-story library in which Audrey Hepburn learned to lose that pesky Cockney accent, modeled after the Château de Groussay library in France. All the singing just makes it that much better. Directed by the legendary George Cukor and shot by 17-time Oscar nominated (and two-time winner) Harry Stradling, the recently restored 1964 musical based on George Bernard Shaw’s 1913 play is a marvel to behold (and to hear). —Staff


20. Bram Stoker’s Dracula

bram-stokers-dracula-poster.jpg Year: 1992
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Gary Oldman, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins
Rating: R
Runtime: 128 minutes

Watch on Netflix

Based on the 1897 Gothic horror classic, Francis Ford Coppola’s unabashedly over-the-top adaptation is at times as chuckle-worthy as it is impressive. The period detail and production design is sumptuous, and the traditional, non-CGI special effects—a deliberate nod by Coppola to the novel’s turn-of-the-century origins, which coincided with early filmmaking—are the stuff of lavish spectacle. Be it Gary Oldman (relishing the role, and some masterful makeup) as the soulful but ruthless bloodsucker, Winona Ryder as his long-lost love, or Anthony Hopkins as the equally storied Dr. Van Helsing, nothing about the film or its performances is subtle—and that’s before we get to Keanu Reeves. Try as he might as the British lawyer fiancé to Ryder’s Mina, Reeves can’t help but flail onscreen, a Ted out of water among an ensemble that also includes Richard E. Grant, Cary Elwes and a marvelous Tom Waits as R.M. Renfield. When Coppola’s overwrought romantic vision works, it’s intoxicating. When it doesn’t, it’s an operatic circle jerk, albeit a still riveting one. —Amanda Schurr