The 35 Best Movies on Netflix to Watch Right Now

Every night, millions of Netflix subscribers around the world ask the same question: "What do we want to watch?" The king of streaming services does not make that an easy answer. With well over six thousand titles available at any one time, and new titles being added daily, there's always something for everyone. With multiple Netflix categories available to browse, the choices can be dizzying at times, and most viewers may miss some fantastic films and classic movies that are available on the service right now.

With Netflix's shift to producing more original content, and competing studio-owned streaming services making their marquee titles exclusive to their platforms, many of the greatest films ever made are no longer available on Netflix. That doesn't mean there aren't fantastic films on the streamer to enjoy; on the contrary, there are plenty of classic films, Oscar winners, and crowd-leasing blockbusters available to watch right now. We've ranked a few of the best films currently available on Netflix below. We've included selections from most genres, as well as some hidden gems and Netflix Original films.

Updated on Mar. 25th, 2024, by Soniya Hinduja: This article has been updated with additional content to keep the discussion fresh and relevant with even more information and new entries.

35 Maestro (2023)

Maestro

Maestro

R

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4.5 /5

 

Release Date

December 20, 2023

Director

Bradley Cooper

Cast

Maya Hawke , Bradley Cooper , Carey Mulligan , Matt Bomer , Sarah Silverman

Main Genre

Biography

Runtime

2hr 9min

Writers

Bradley Cooper , Josh Singer

 

Read Our Review

 

Directed by and starring Bradley Cooper from a screenplay he co-wrote with Josh Singer, Maestro chronicles the life of late conductor Leonard Bernstein. Told in a series of flashbacks as he’s interviewed at the age of 70, the movie follows him as a 25-year-old assistant conductor trying to make it big. From his esteemed work with the New York Philharmonic to the complicated 25-year marriage he shared with Felicia Montealegre, as well as a passionate love affair with a younger man, the movie explores his career’s trajectory as well as how his music exudes emotion and experience.

 

An Outstanding Biopic

 

Much like what he did in A Star Is Born, Cooper dives deep into Bernstein and brings him to life with sheer authenticity. From his electrifying presence on screen to his tender private moments, he appreciates a legend and his complex psyche. Carey Mulligan is equally mesmerizing as Felicia, providing the perfect support as she overcomes obstacles and finds a voice of her own. Through Cooper’s direction and a gloriously resonant score, Maestro emerges as an unconventional biopic.

34 Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once

R

Action

Adventure

Comedy

Fantasy

Sci-Fi

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Release Date

March 25, 2022

Director

Dan Kwan , Daniel Scheinert

Cast

Jenny Slate , Michelle Yeoh , Jamie Lee Curtis , Stephanie Hsu

Writers

Dan Kwan , Daniel Scheinert

 

Read Our Review

 

An Oscar-winning movie that juxtaposes a range of genres like science-fiction, comedy, action, and fantasy, Everything Everywhere All at Once is an insanely terrific adventure. It centers around Evelyn, an aging Chinese immigrant who runs a laundromat with her husband, Waymond. In between the IRS audits and trying to understand her teenage daughter, Joy, Evelyn finds herself swept up in an epic game of wits where she alone can save the world by exploring the multiverse and the bizarre elements it holds.

 

Delivers Action and Absurdist Joy

 

The Daniels’ absurdist martial arts epic packs poignant and thought-provoking allegories about family, life’s randomness, existentialism, depression, and generational trauma. While one would expect such a diversely-themed movie to be heavy, Everything Everywhere All at Once balances the emotion and the laughter with skill. Unpacking the multiverse is perhaps the most pivotal sequence; it made the sci-fi gem more precious and inspirational. Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, and Jamie Lee Curtis lift the narrative to greater heights with their award-winning performances.

33 Oldboy (2003)

Oldboy (2003)

Oldboy (2003)

R

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Release Date

November 21, 2003

Director

Park Chan-wook

Cast

Choi Min-sik , Yoo Ji-tae , Kang Hye-jeong , Kim Byeong-Ok

Main Genre

Action

Runtime

2hr

Writers

Garon Tsuchiya , Nobuaki Minegishi , Park Chan-wook

 

Oldboy is the second installment in Park Chan-wook's The Vengeance Trilogy. It follows advertising executive Oh Dae-Su being mysteriously kidnapped and imprisoned for no reason for fifteen years. With no explanation, he is suddenly released. Dae-Su is driven by revenge and the desperate need to find the truth. When his search leads to bizarre discoveries and violent encounters, he realizes there are people who know more about his past than he does himself.

 

Unveils a Mystery at a Harrowing Pace

 

A loose adaptation of the Japanese manga of the same name, Oldboy is a vengeful thriller that wraps a meticulous and haunting mystery in its narrative. The careful pace allows the viewers to properly indulge in the protagonist’s psychological turmoil. Brought to life in brilliant fashion by Choi Min-sik, the main character is both violent and complex, furious and reserved. According to Roger Ebert, the movie is a “powerful film not because of what it depicts, but because of the depths of the human heart which it strips bare.”

32 Joker (2019)

joker

Joker (2019)

R

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Release Date

October 2, 2019

Director

Todd Phillips

Cast

Joaquin Phoenix , Robert De Niro , Zazie Beetz , Frances Conroy , Brett Cullen , Shea Whigham

Main Genre

Superhero

Runtime

122

Writers

Todd Phillips , Scott Silver

 

The year is 1981 and Gotham City is undergoing a period of recession. Arthur Fleck, a party clown and stand-up comedian seeks to find his own voice and establish himself as a comic success in a city that provides little support to its working-class citizens. But when society abandons him and calls him a freak, he turns to small accidental violence. Eventually gaining a new sense of purpose amidst all the chaos, Arthur transforms into a criminal mastermind known only as Joker.

 

A Tragic Portrait of an Iconic Villain

 

Todd Phillips’ iconic villain origin story grossed over $1 billion at the box office and became one of the first R-rated movies to ever do so. If that alone isn’t impressive, the gritty character study plays out so well that it takes the viewers and plunges them deep into one man’s psychological unraveling in a way that feels both eerie and resonant. Joaquin Phoenix completely disappears into the role of Arthur; his emotional and physical commitment to the role is brilliant beyond words. A crowd-pleaser and a hit among critics, Joker radicalized the industry as well as the superhero genre.

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31 Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook

R

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Release Date

September 8, 2012

Director

David O. Russell

Cast

Jennifer Lawrence , Robert De Niro , Bradley Cooper , Julia Stiles , Chris Tucker , Shea Whigham

Main Genre

Comedy

Runtime

122

Writers

Matthew Quick , David O. Russell

 

An incredible romantic comedy, Silver Linings Playbook tells the story of a former teacher named Pat Solitano who got into a fight with his ex-wife’s lover and was sent to a mental institution to recover. Now having moved back with his parents, he tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more emotionally challenging for Pat after he meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with issues of her own who convinces him to participate in a dancing competition with him. As the two spend more time together, Pat finds the courage to face his demons.

 

Crafts a One-of-a-Kind Romance

 

Starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence (who won her first Academy Award for Best Actress in Leading Role for her quirky and sentimental performance), the movie is a funny, remarkable, and poignant tale of finding love and belonging in the most unlikely places. Director David O. Russell has a genuine and careful gaze, through which he explores themes of mental health, anger, and past traumas with compassion. Cooper and Lawrence’s dynamic energy carries the narrative, but it is the film’s balance between cynicism and warmth that truly resonates with the audience.

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30 Whiplash (2014)

whiplash

Whiplash

R

Where to Watch

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Release Date

October 10, 2014

Director

Damien Chazelle

Cast

Miles Teller , J.K. Simmons , Paul Reiser , Melissa Benoist , Austin Stowell , Nate Lang

Main Genre

Drama

Runtime

105

Writers

Damien Chazelle

 

A movie that’s perfect at blending drama and music — as well as building tension throughout — Whiplash follows Andrew (Miles Teller), a first-year jazz student who is determined to become a top drummer one day. When he enrolls in a music conservatory led by the ruthless Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), Andrew pushes himself emotionally and mentally toward perfection. Meanwhile, Fletcher uses aggressive and ferocious methods, which brings him into direct conflict with Andrew’s obsession.

 

A Triumph of Tension

 

The sheer amount of emotion, pressure, and explosive tension director Damien Chazelle manages to capture in the film’s 107-minute runtime is incredible. J.K. Simmons delivers a phenomenal performance as Fletcher and Miles Teller matches his intensity as Andrew, a young man willing to face any challenge and brutality. Whiplash is driven by a killer soundtrack, unbearable suspense, and the ambition to be perfect. The movie scored three Oscars for its sound mixing and brilliant editing, with Simmons taking one for Best Supporting Actor.

29 Insidious (2011)

Insidious

Insidious

PG-13

Where to Watch

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Release Date

September 13, 2010

Director

James Wan

Cast

Patrick Wilson , Rose Byrne , Ty Simpkins , Andrew Astor , Lin Shaye , Leigh Whannell

Main Genre

Horror

Runtime

102

Writers

Leigh Whannell

 

In Insidious, we follow the Lambert family – Josh and Renai, their two sons, Dalton and Foster, and little Cali – moving into a new home, when their son mysteriously falls into a deep coma. Three months later, he still hasn’t recovered, so they bring him back home. Dalton experiences increasingly abnormal things and a strange entity begins showing up around the house. Director James Wan plays with the haunted house trope well, turning Insidious into an amazing thriller.

 

An All-Time Great Horror Flick

 

The Insidious franchise packs a lot of influence from foreign language horror movies to make the Americanized boogeyman villain more unsettling and terrifying than ever. The clever scares paired with emotional gravity help anchor its ingeniously creepy vibe. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne give their best, while Lin Shaye brings comedic relief amid the atmosphere of dread. Critically praised for its ability to create suspense, Insidious is a movie you’d want to watch with the lights on.

28 May December (2023)

May December poster

May December

R

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5 /5

 

Release Date

December 1, 2023

Director

Todd Haynes

Cast

Natalie Portman , Charles Melton , Julianne Moore , Andrea Frankle

Main Genre

Drama

Runtime

1hr 57min

Writers

Samy Burch , Alex Mechanik

 

Read Our Review

 

Directed by Todd Haynes, who is known for dissecting the dysfunction in society through his meticulously crafted stories, May December takes you to 20 years after a tabloid romance that got people talking in the small town of Savannah, Georgia. Natalie Portman plays a well-known actress who wants to understand and research the life of Gracie Atherton-Yoo, a woman who was caught having sex with a 7th-grader, went to prison for it, and got out and started a family with him.

 

A Difficult But Powerful Watch

 

May December is a careful examination of one person’s stunted emotions, another’s obliviousness, and the third’s subtle manipulative personality. Portman embodies her character with elegance. While Haynes’ former collaborator Julianne Moore is absolutely stunning as Gracie, it is Charles Melton who takes our breath away with his raw and jarring portrayal of a man who never had the chance to be a boy.

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27 It Follows (2014)

it follows

It Follows

R

Where to Watch

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Release Date

February 4, 2015

Director

David Robert Mitchell

Cast

Bailey Spry , Carollette Phillips , Loren Bass , Keir Gilchrist , Maika Monroe , Lili Sepe

Main Genre

Horror

Runtime

100

Writers

David Robert Mitchell

 

It Follows is arguably one of the scariest horror movies ever made. While the reasons for it are varied, let's take a look at the plot first. Jay Height is a university student who has an innocent sexual encounter with her new boyfriend one night only to be haunted by a fear of being stalked by something only she can see soon after. Jay has become the victim of a curse that is passed on by sexual contact and cannot be escaped from or killed.

 

A Chilling and Targeted Story

 

Director David Robert Mitchell is a genius for crafting his creepy modern-horror classic. The way he adds a sense of dread and makes sure every surrounding atmosphere is hypnotic enough for the viewers to lose themselves in the film is incredible. The allegory is subtle, but the tension is relentless. Moreover, it also explores teen angst and sexuality with genuine scares.

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26 No Hard Feelings (2023)

No Hard Feelings

No Hard Feelings

Where to Watch

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Release Date

June 23, 2023

Director

Gene Stupnitsky

Cast

Jennifer Lawrence , Ebon Moss-Bachrach , Natalie Morales , Matthew Broderick , Laura Benanti , Jordan Mendoza

Main Genre

Comedy

Writers

Gene Stupnitsky , John Phillips

 

Read Our Review

 

Maddie is a young woman on the verge of losing the house she grew up in because of piling debts. Desperate to make some money, she agrees to the proposal of a wealthy couple, who want Maddie to date their 19-year-old socially awkward son and bring him out of his shell. In exchange, she’d win a Buick Regal. But things get out of hand when Percy, the son, begins to catch feelings for Maddie, and she has a change of heart herself.

 

An Oddly Effective Comedy

 

Jennifer Lawrence has this habit of making a comeback and showcasing her immense talent and charm in one unusual film after the other. No Hard Feelings allows her to shine as the messy beauty she is. Director Gene Stupnitsky fashions a narrative that is relevant, funny, and memorable. The humor hits home, and the use of certain cliches is well-thought-out, making the film a classic in the sex comedy genre.

25 You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah (2023)

You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah

You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah

PG-13

Release Date

August 25, 2023

Director

Sammi Cohen

Cast

Idina Menzel , Jackie Sandler , Adam Sandler , Samantha Lorraine , Dylan Hoffman

Main Genre

Comedy

Runtime

1hr 43min

Writers

Alison Peck , Fiona Rosenbloom

 

Chalking out the streak of below-average Netflix Originals, You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah is a coming-of-age comedy that features the entire Adam Sandler clan having infectious fun. The movie follows Stacy Sanders, who has a fallout with her BFF over a boy, ruining both of their bat mitzvahs. As events progress, Stacy's conscience is put to the test.

 

A Painfully and Hilariously Accurate Portrait of Teenagehood

 

The fever dream of being in middle school, battling for social invites, embarrassing yourself, and making and losing friends in the process hasn’t been more precise and relatable before. Filled with a truckload of drama, a catchy soundtrack, and a fun ensemble, You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah cushions some amusing messages that are sure to resonate.

24

23 A Man Called Otto (2022)

A Man Called Otto

A Man Called Otto

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Release Date

January 13, 2023

Director

Marc Forster

Cast

Tom Hanks , Rachel Keller , Kailey Hyman , Manuel Garcia-Rulfo , Cameron Britton

Main Genre

Drama

Writers

Fredrik Backman , David Magee

 

Read Our Review

 

This recent comedy drama adapts a best-selling novel and tells the story of a widower, Otto, who is so lonely and devastated by the loss of his wife that he decides to take some serious measures to change that. For better or worse, his plans are cut short when a new joyous and free-spirited family starts living next door to his Stockholm apartment. Finding friendship and a renewed purpose in Marisol, the pregnant woman, Otto slowly begins to let his guard down and allow the good things to melt his sorrow away.

 

Hanks at his Heart-Warming Best

 

Director Marc Forster has repeatedly showcased a vision for poignant storytelling with films like Finding Neverland and even expanded his range to action thrillers like Quantum of Solace and World War Z. A Man Called Otto is certainly a crowd-pleaser. With Tom Hanks playing the cranky old man, there’s a fine balance of empathy and humor to affirm that life is made of two aspects, and they’re both equally important.

22 The Nice Guys (2016)

the nice guys

The Nice Guys

R

Where to Watch

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Release Date

May 15, 2016

Director

Shane Black

Cast

Russell Crowe , Ryan Gosling , Angourie Rice , Matthew Bomer , Margaret Qualley , Yaya DaCosta

Main Genre

Crime

Runtime

116

Writers

Shane Black , Anthony Bagarozzi

 

Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe play two bumbling rival private eyes in this hilarious action romp birthed from the mind of writer-director Shane Black. Set against the vibrant backdrop of 1970s Los Angeles, the movie follows a mysterious girl named Amelia who hires Jackson Healy to keep relentless detective Holland March off her scent. Their rivalry turns into a reluctant bromance, making this sharp and engaging neo-noir film more entertaining than you might expect

 

A Criminally Underrated Buddy Cop Movie

 

Usually, the buddy cop or mystery genre has a standard start and end, but The Nice Guys brings thrills and laughs to the same setting and makes it rich and unforgettable. Parried with the 70s nostalgia, the slick action, and the straightforward story, it is pretty hard for the flick to not be entertaining from start to finish. Moreover, as a clever thriller, the movie maintains its pacing and tone by never having a dull moment and making sure the leads are as likable as they are involved.

21 They Cloned Tyrone (2023)

They Cloned Tyrone

They Cloned Tyrone

R

Where to Watch

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Release Date

July 21, 2023

Director

Juel Taylor

Cast

Jamie Foxx , John Boyega , Teyonah Parris , Kiefer Sutherland , David Alan Grier

Main Genre

Action

Runtime

2hr 2min

Writers

Tony Rettenmaier , Juel Taylor

 

Read Our Review

 

Set in a flashy suburban neighborhood called the Glen, the movie follows John Boyega’s Fontaine, a drug dealer living with his isolated mother and grieving the death of his younger brother. Clashing with him is Jamie Foxx’s Slick Charles, who shows up to his door as a customer first, but soon becomes the very reason for Fontaine’s worst nightmares. Embroiled in a massive government cloning conspiracy, Fontaine, Slick, and Yo-Yo unpack the truth about how the Black community is becoming the subject of elaborate experiments in an underground lab.

 

A Fresh Twist on The Truman Show

 

John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, and Jamie Foxx star in this satirical masterpiece that takes loose inspiration from The Truman Show. Yet it emerges as a film that is truly distinguished and powerful. Writer-director Juel Taylor maintains interesting color grading throughout the movie to completely immerse you into the mystery, so props to the overall cinematography. With multidimensional characters and zippy back-and-forth dialogue, They Cloned Tyrone portrays Black culture in all its glory, keeping you guessing at every turn.

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20 The Imitation Game (2014)

the imitation game

The Imitation Game

PG-13

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Release Date

November 14, 2014

Director

Morten Tyldum

Cast

Benedict Cumberbatch , Keira Knightley , Mark Strong , Charles Dance , Matthew Goode , Allen Leech

Main Genre

Biography

Runtime

113

Writers

Graham Moore

 

Honoring a hero who changed the course of history when the world was witnessing the horrors of World War II, The Imitation Game tells the true story of Alan Turing, an introverted mathematics genius who manned the efforts to crack the Nazi Enigma code. Set in wartime England, the movie sees Turing teaming up with the cryptographers to build a machine that would decipher the code. Not only did they succeed in breaking the code, but in doing so, they also turned the tide of World War II.

 

Turing's Story Is Inspiring Yet Devastating

 

Benedict Cumberbatch plays the brilliant but tormented mathematician with unimaginable grace, bringing together outsiders like himself to achieve the impossible. Morten Tyldum’s sublime direction and clear storytelling are truly phenomenal as he balances the touching and tense moments with perfection. Whether it is the fast-paced research that brings Turing his acclaim, or the events following the revelation, every scene holds power and grace like no other.

19 Don’t Look Up (2021)

Don't Look Up

Don't Look Up

R

Where to Watch

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Release Date

December 24, 2021

Director

Adam McKay

Cast

Leonardo DiCaprio , Jennifer Lawrence , Timothee Chalamet , Jonah Hill , Cate Blanchett , Gina Gershon

Main Genre

Comedy

Runtime

2hr 18min

Writers

Adam McKay , David Sirota

 

Read Our Review

 

Don’t Look Up is an absurd and satirical movie directed by Adam McKay. It takes a biting look at modern media and politics through the eyes of its two protagonists, Kate Dibiasky and Dr. Randall Mindy, who are two low-level astronomers trying to warn the world about a massive comet. It is about to enter the Earth’s orbit and may have a high chance of colliding with the surface and destroying everything. However, even the world’s smartest people and the media refuse to take these two scientists seriously.

 

A Premise Both Absurd and Realistic

 

There's never a more pressing time to address the climate crisis, so Don't Look Up remains unfortunately relevant no matter how much time passes. The movie has a dry comedic tone, but it offers a fresh perspective on humanity and how we live in a society that does not care about self-destruction and is deaf to all warnings. Throughout the movie, you watch Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio's characters screaming at the world to listen to them, and their reactions are a source of constant introspection.

18 Dolemite Is My Name (2018)

Dolemite Is My Name!

Dolemite Is My Name!

R

Release Date

October 4, 2019

Director

Craig Brewer

Cast

Eddie Murphy , Kodi Smit-McPhee , Wesley Snipes , Keegan Michael Key , Chris Rock , Craig Robinson

Main Genre

Biography

Runtime

118

Writers

Scott Alexander , Larry Karaszewski

 

An uplifting biographical drama starring the one and only Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name is set in the 1970s. It tells the story of Rudy Ray Moore, a struggling comedy singer who forges an outrageous character, a foul-mouthed man named Dolemite. Moore was a hustler working at a record store in Hollywood and, like every person trying to “make it,” his arsenal had nothing but unwavering will and an outlandish persona. He gathers a few others like him and decides to make an underground album, the success of which grants him Blaxploitation fame.

 

Stranger than Fiction and Larger than Life

 

Certain Eddie Murphy movies define his career, and then some movies become one with the actor himself. Dolemite Is My Name falls in the second category. The reason for this is that Murphy fills his character with both passion and insults and morphs into the titular character. As Dolemite, Murphy could topple mountains. The remaining cast members, Da'Vine Joy Randolph as Lady Reed and Wesley Snipes as D'Urville Martin also helped fill spirit and joy into the film.

17 Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022)

Puss in Boots

Puss in Boots

PG

Where to Watch

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Release Date

October 28, 2011

Director

Chris Miller

Cast

Antonio Banderas , Salma Hayek Pinault , Zach Galifianakis , Billy Bob Thornton , Amy Sedaris , Constance Marie

Main Genre

Animation

Runtime

90

Writers

Charles Perrault , Brian Lynch , David H. Steinberg , Tom Wheeler , Jon Zack

 

Read Our Review

 

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish follows the hilarious animated adventures of the titular hero who finds that his ridiculous escapades might be affecting his life as a cat because he’s spent eight of them, and he’s on his last one. With nothing to gain and a lot to lose, Puss is determined to find the mythical Last Wish and restore all of his lives with the help of an unlikely companion. But along the way, Puss will have to mend old relationships with Kitty Softpaws, save the world from the evil antics of Big Jack Horner, outwit Goldilocks and the Bears, as well as escape the claws of the devilish Wolf.

 

A Surprisingly Charming Romp

 

Who is your favorite fearless hero? Well, ours is Puss in Boots. This spin-off to an incredible Shrek movie may have come 11 years too late, but who are we to complain? The movie was delightful and still managed to stand out in a year filled with blockbusters because of its stunning animation, emotional character arcs, and of course, the swashbuckling action.

16 Bullet Train (2022)

Bullet Train

Bullet Train

R

Release Date

August 5, 2022

Director

David Leitch

Cast

Brad Pitt , Joey King , Aaron Taylor-Johnson , Brian Tyree Henry , Andrew Koji , Hiroyuki Sanada , Michael Shannon , Sandra Bullock , Bad Bunny

Main Genre

Action

 

Read Our Review

 

Ladybug (Brad Pitt), once a professional assassin, has retired and is enjoying his life with newfound spiritual enlightenment, but after hearing about a straightforward mission of snatching a briefcase in a moving train, he gets back in the game. However, there’s always a catch to good-sounding deals, and Ladybug is now up against five other vicious assassins who have their purposes.

 

Delightful Popcorn Entertainment

 

Bullet Train perfectly fits that category of "sit back, relax, and enjoy the show." After finishing it, it's hard to believe that the movie is two hours long, as it keeps you hooked within the first 10 minutes and gets outrageously entertaining with its terrific blend of humor, action, likable characters, and not to mention celebrity cameos. But more than anything, it is the claustrophobic setting of the movie that truly captures your attention and keeps you glued to your seat.

 

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