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43 best movies to watch on Netflix this week

James King has the top picks for Netflix films this week!

James King

James King is back with his latest Netflix recommendations, featuring films old and new for movie fans of all ages. From latest original releases to hit blockbusters landing on the streaming service, check out the best of the best for October here...

READ: 29 brand new shows to get excited about this autumn

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

Category: True Story

An all-star cast including Eddie Redmayne, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Sacha Baron Cohen and Michael Keaton lead this brand new Netflix drama about anti-war protesters wrongfully arrested in 1968. Yes, the subject is serious but the story is told with real pizazz and sparkle, capturing an era of American turmoil with an energy that makes for a riveting history lesson. 

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This true story looks at anti-war protesters wrongfully arrested in 1968

Ready Player One (2018)

Category: Sci-fi

The maestro Steven Spielberg returns to his sci-fi roots with this eye-popping tale of an orphaned teenager (Tye Sheridan) competing to win a mind-boggling virtual reality game. It might be set in 2045 but Ready Player One is also full of nods to retro movies, meaning this is as much fun for adults as it is kids. Plus there’s Ben Mendelsohn - Hollywood’s go-to evil genius - as (you’ve guessed it) an evil genius. 

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Steven Spielberg returns to his sci-fi roots with Ready Player One

Rocks (2020)

Category: Teen

Perhaps the coolest film to come out of the UK this year, Rocks tells the story of a teenage Londoner who’s left by her mum to look after her little brother. So yes, expect some heartbreaking moments but it’s also such a vibrant and funny movie about sisterhood, resilience and that energy and attitude you have as a teenager. Non-trained actors give it a wonderfully casual feel too. New to Netflix.

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WATCH: Rocks has received rave critical reviews

Inheritance (2020)

Category: Thriller

Enjoyed ‘Emily in Paris’ on Netflix? Well here’s its star Lily Collins in something very different: an enjoyably dark and daft thriller about a young woman left the key to a secret bunker in her father’s will. And inside is not what you might expect. Co-starring Simon Pegg and Chace Crawford. 

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Emily in Paris star Lily Collins plays a young woman left the key to a secret bunker

The Girl in the Spider’s Web (2018)

Category: Thriller

Claire Foy stars in this latest incarnation of the bestselling Stieg Larsson series and proves a worthy successor to Noomi Rapace and Rooney Mara as heroic hacker Lisbeth Salander. This time around the plot concerns a dangerous security program that Lisbeth’s hired to destroy but really it’s Foy’s menacing glare and the bleak beauty of the snowy Swedish setting that keeps you gripped as much as the story. 

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Claire Foy plays the iconic heroine Lisbeth Salander

The Boys in the Band (2020)

Category: Drama

Fresh from its recent run on Broadway, super-producer Ryan Murphy - aka Mr Netflix - gives this classic play a movie makeover, featuring all the show’s original stars. Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer and a brilliant Zachary Quinto feature as gay friends preparing for a party one night in late 60s Manhattan, upset by the arrival of an old college roommate. Prepare for fireworks. 

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Zachary Quinto stars in the new film

Corpse Bride (2005)

Category: Family

Tim Burton’s deliciously dark animation about a groom-to-be dragged into the underworld makes a welcome appearance on Netflix just in time for October’s spooky season. Burton regulars Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter provide the lead voices with Richard E Grant, Joanna Lumley and Paul Whitehouse offering typically eccentric support. Watch it while carving your pumpkin. 

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Need something spooky for Halloween?

Dr Suess’s The Grinch (2018)

Category: Family

The evergreen tale of Whoville’s local Christmas-hater gets another reboot, this time with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the title character - and clearly loving every second. Made by the same team as Despicable Me, this is gloriously odd fun that also boasts a surprisingly cool contemporary soundtrack. 

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Benedict voices The Grinch 

Enola Holmes (2020)

Category: Brand new

Netflix reboots the Sherlock Holmes legend with this teen spin on the iconic detective, now focusing on his headstrong younger sister Enola (played by Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown). Sam Claflin, Helena Bonham-Carter and Henry Cavill bump up the star quota but it’s an impressively fresh and fun lead turn from Brown that will surely lead to sequels. 

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WATCH: Seriously good films coming out this October

The Devil All the Time (2020)

Category: Brand new

Fresh to Netflix and featuring an all-star cast, THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME is a brooding drama about family and faith set mainly on 1950s Ohio. In truth it might have worked better as a mini-series but stars such as Tom Holland, Riley Keough and Robert Pattinson keep things enjoyably moody - as well as a scene-stealing turn from former Hogwarts star Harry ‘Dudley Dursley’ Melling as a crazed preacher. 

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The much-anticipated film is now available to watch

Overlord (2018)

Category: Horror

Mixing Second World War realism with a fantasy storyline about mutants, Overlord is a blast. Okay, American soldiers didn’t really discover secret Nazi experiments to create a race of zombies back in 1944 but put your cynicism to one side for a couple of hours and you’ll love the thrills and tension of this comic-book style romp. 

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Fancy a WWII film with zombies?

Halloween (2018)

Category: Horror

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Pitched as a direct sequel to the seventies original (although it’s actually the eleventh film in the franchise!), this latest tale of creepy bad guy Michael Myers hits Netflix with original star Jamie Lee Curtis back in the driving seat. Does it still work? Absolutely. There’s enough here to keep both old fans and newcomers happily hiding behind their cushions. 

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Michael Myers is back

Slaughterhouse Rulez (2018)

Category: Comedy

Horror fanboys Simon Pegg and Nick Frost lead this creepy comedy about some decidedly messy downsides to fracking on the grounds of a posh boarding school. Its humour might be squarely teen-focused but quality co-stars Michael Sheen and Margot Robbie lift this Britflick - new to Netflix - above the average. 

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Slaughterhouse Rulez is most definitely worth the watch

Easy A (2010)

Category: Teen

It’s the 10th anniversary of Emma Stone’s breakthrough hit, a high-school comedy where she plays a 17-old whose little white lies give her a bad reputation. It’s big on laughs but there’s a message too: even the most innocent of mistakes can get out of hand if you let them. Featuring Lisa Kudrow, Stanley Tucci and Penn Badgley.  

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Emma Stone plays Olive Pendergast in the hit film

Juliet, Naked (2018)

Category: Rom-com

Based on the bestseller by Nick Hornby, here’s a charm-filled romantic comedy that tells the story of Annie (Rose Byrne) and her romance with ageing rockstar Tucker (Ethan Hawke). The problem? Annie’s music-loving ex Duncan (Chris O’Dowd) is a Tucker superfan. Awkward... and very funny. 

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We can't wait to give this one a watch

Hitch (2005)

Category: Rom-com

Happy Birthday to Will Smith, fifty-two years young on the 25th September. Of course there’s a handful of Big Willy movies to choose from on Netflix but you can’t beat this smash-hit rom-com co-starring Kevin James. The former Fresh Prince stars as ‘date doctor’ Alex Hitchens, determinedly single until he meets gossip columnist Sara (Eva Mendes), and their chemistry is off the scale. 

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Eva Mendes stars opposite Will Smith in the hit film

Love Guaranteed (2020)

Category: Rom-com

Following on from hits such as Isn't It Romantic? and Love Wedding Repeat, Netflix now feels like the natural home for romantic comedy and its latest, Love Guaranteed, doesn't disappoint. Why? Because it knows all the clichés we love and celebrates them.

MORE: Lily James wows fans in new official trailer for Netflix's Rebecca

Rachael Leigh Cook and Damon Wayans Jr star as a chalk-and-cheese lawyer and client, heading to court to sue a dating website for false promises. And though they struggle with each other at first, you know just where this is heading. 

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New rom-com Love Guaranteed won't disappoint

Boss Baby: Get That Baby (2020)

Category: Family

Don't expect this latest short spin-off from the blockbuster animation to make a lot of sense but it is a lot of fun. Why? This time the story is interactive, allowing viewers to touch their screens and decide which direction the action takes as we’re all invited to progress up the ladder at Baby Corp. Alec Baldwin might no longer be voicing Boss Baby himself but listen out for Jumanji star Rhys Darby as hilariously dopey villain Happy Sedengry. 

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The second instalment of Boss Baby is here

Pets United (2020)

Category: Family

British voice talent including Natalie Dormer and Eddie Marsan lift this likeable animation about a group of animals battling evil robots that’s currently doing big business on Netflix. Ideal to keep the little ones happy. 

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Natalie Dormer and Eddie Marsan voice this fun new film

Watchmen (2009)

Category: Superhero

The TV series of the same name has just won big at the Emmys but this movie version of the cult comic book is worth a look too. Set in an alternate 1985, a group of washed-up superheroes investigate a murder of one of their own, igniting global political consequences along the way.

MORE: Get top recommendations for Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and more!

Audiences eleven years ago might have been underwhelmed but this dark and disturbing adventure has only got better with age. Malin Åkerman and Billy Crudup star. 

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The TV show adaptation is also worth checking out!

Deadpool (2016)

Category: Superhero

Think you know superhero movies? Think again. As fast-talking Wade Wilson, better known as Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds mixes X-Men action with Inbetweeners humour - and the results are magic. Littered with in-jokes and eye-popping visuals, Deadpool is the comic book film for people who don’t like comic book films. 

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Deadpool is the perfect action-comedy film

Jurassic Park (1993)

Category: Classic

The next movie in the dino-franchise, Jurassic Park: Dominion, might now be delayed until summer 2022 but if you’re hungry for some prehistoric chaos, fear not: Netflix has all the movies in the series, including the classic original from director Steven Spielberg plus the new animated series Camp Cretaceous. 

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Netflix has all the movies in the series, so what are you waiting for?

The Addams Family (1991)

Category: Classic

Angelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd and Christina Ricci give unforgettable performances in this landmark kids’ film from the nineties, new to Netflix. The Addams clan have been rebooted more recently as an animation but there’s a cheekier, more macabre humour here - as well as an MC Hammer theme tune! - that’s delicious. Perfect for Halloween. 

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Need a Halloween classic to watch?

Room (2015)

Category: Award-winner

Captain Marvel star Brie Larson won an Oscar for her portrayal of a kidnap victim Joy in this unforgettable adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s book. It's no mean feat to make a film where so much of the story takes place in a confined space but Larson and co-star Jacob Tremblay (as her five year old son Jack) are electrifying to watch. 

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Brie Larson won an Oscar for her performance in Room

Dolly Parton: Here I Am (2019)

Category: Documentary

The Queen of Country looks back on her half a century of stardom in this enlightening documentary. The archive footage is wonderful, the interviewees - including Jane Fonda and Kylie Minogue - insightful and Dolly, of course, radiates joy. No wonder we will always love her. 

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See Dolly in her amazing documentary

David Attenborough: A Life on our Planet (2020)

Category: Documentary

The beloved broadcaster and naturalist brings this new documentary to Netflix that reflects on humanity’s impact on the planet. It’s tough but ultimately optimistic and all told in his inimitable style. When Sir David talks, we listen. 

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Sir David is back with yet another incredible documentary

RBG (2018)

Category: Documentary

Celebrate the life and work of the recently passed Ruth Bader Ginsburg - a groundbreaking lawmaker in the US - with this gripping documentary that highlights her early struggles, subsequent success and current status as an iconic figure in the fight for women’s rights. She may have only stood a shade over five feet tall but when it comes to social reform, ‘The Notorious RBG’ was a giant. 

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This documentary celebrates the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Rising Phoenix (2020)

Category: Documentary

Get ready to have goosebumps on your goosebumps as this new Netflix documentary charts the story of the Paralympic Games from its humble origins in the aftermath of the 2nd World War to the global even it became during London 2012. World athletic icons such as Johnnie Peacock and Bebe Vio tell their jaw-dropping stories of dedication and focus for a film that’s heartbreaking at times, but ultimately uplifting.

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Rising Phoenix will leave you stunned and inspired

The Social Dilemma (2020)

Category: Documentary

This eye-popping new documentary from Netflix about our social media use isn’t a comfortable watch but it is compelling. The biggest shock? Watching former employees of big tech companies reveal the secrets of how they keep us addicted to our screens. Scary stuff. 

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This will have you switching off your phone

Get On Up (2016)

Category: True story

Before he was T'Challa, aka Black Panther, the late Chadwick Boseman caught Hollywood's eye in this biopic of legendary soul man James Brown. It's not easy to portray one of the most energetic - and eccentric - entertainers in history but like Brown, Boseman also had charisma to spare. It's a performance that should have been an award winner. 

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The late, great Chadwick Boseman in Get On Up

MORE: Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan pays heartbreaking tribute to Chadwick Boseman

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Category: Action

Enjoyed Netflix’s megahit Enola Holmes, starring Millie Bobbie Brown? Why not get another fix of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous sleuth with this impressively flashy reimagining starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law, directed by Guy Ritchie. Still great fun. 

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Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr star in this brilliant action film

John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum (2019)

Category: Action

Keanu Reeves might be currently in comedy mode on the big screen (in the most excellent Bill & Ted Face the Music) but only last year he was at his most menacing in this latest John Wick sequel. The visuals are breathtaking and the addition of Halle Berry to the plot is a masterstroke, but it’s the jaw-dropping martial arts that still make the John Wick franchise a must-see. As Keanu himself would say, “Whoa!”

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Keanu might be currently in comedy mode

First Man (2018)

Category: True story

This critical favourite about astronaut Neil Armstrong lands on Netflix with plenty to recommend it. Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy give beautifully understated turns as Armstrong and his wife Janet while the moon landing sequence itself is a thing of eerie wonder. Don’t expect high-octane action though. This is way more intimate. 

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Ryan Gosling goes to space in this hit film

The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)

Category: Drama

The renaissance of Shia LaBoeuf continues in this moving, often hilarious, tale of a young wrestling fan with Down’s Syndrome (Zack Gottsagen) who escapes from his care home and befriends a fisherman (LaBoeuf) who's also on the run. Think Huckleberry Finn with a modern twist. You won't see a more charming film this year.

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Dakota Johnson and Shia LaBoeuf

Prisoners (2013)

Category: Thriller

October birthday boy Hugh Jackman - 52 this month - plays against type in this brooding drama about a father looking to track down his daughter’s kidnapper. Prisoners was a critical favourite when it was released and it’s easy to see why. Hugh has never been as broken and raw as he is here whilst co-star Jake Gyllenhaal, as the police detective on the case, gives one of his most subtle turns.  

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Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal star in this thriller

The Da Vinci Code (2006)

Category: Thriller

Critics weren’t kind when this blockbuster adaptation of Dan Brown’s bestseller first arrived but nearly fifteen years later - and just dropped on Netflix - it’s time for a reappraisal. Tom Hanks felt an odd choice to play symbols boffin Robert Langdon but now seems a lot less grating, especially after two sequels. And while the story is nonsense, it’s all told with such zip and relish that it’s hard not to be at least a little bit gripped. 

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Tom Hanks plays Robert Langdon

A Simple Favour

Category: Thriller

The impossibly glamorous Blake Lively stretches her comedy muscles in this cheeky thriller about chalk-and-cheese mums caught up in a murder investigation. The plot might unravel a little as the film goes on but the movie’s chic styling and warped chemistry between Lively and co-star Anna Kendrick is a joy. 

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This charming and hilarious thriller is well worth checking out

State of Play (2009)

Category: Thriller

Originally a gritty BBC mini-series starring James McAvoy and Kelly McDonald, this Hollywood remake brings in movie heavyweights Ben Affleck, Russell Crowe and Helen Mirren to its story of high-level corruption and investigative journalism - and loses none of its power. In today’s political climate it’s no wonder this is finding new fans on Netflix, where it’s currently a Top 10 hit. 

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Check out this top ten trending hit 

The Handmaiden (2016)

Category: Foreign language

This ravishing - and thrilling - romance is new to Netflix after winning a host of plaudits on its cinema release a few years back. You might recognise the story from Sarah Waters' bestselling novel Fingersmith, already adapted into a BBC mini-series back in 2002. But by switching the action from Victorian London to early 20th century Korea, there’s a whole new mood. Doomed love and dark twists have never looked so beautiful.

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The Handmaiden is a visual masterpiece

Book Club (2019)

Category: Comedy

Hollywood veterans Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda and Mary Steenburgen breeze through this cheeky rom-com about four friends having their eyes opened by Fifty Shades of Grey. The jokes aren’t exactly subtle but with legends like this, it’s easy to be forgiving.

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Check out this charming comedy

White Chicks (2004)

Category: Comedy

A hit all over again on Netflix, the Wayans Brothers cult comedy about black FBI agents going undercover as white socialites might come from the era of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie but it’s still funny (if not exactly subtle).

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White Chicks is now available on Netflix

Marlon and Shawn Wayans star with enjoyably ditzy support from Busy Philipps and Jamie King. Plus there’s a hilarious running joke about Vanessa Carlton’s soppy early noughties hit ‘A Thousand Miles’ that’ll having you reaching for Spotify. 

Bad Neighbours (2014)

Category: Comedy

October birthday boy Zac Efron - not just a movie star but also a TV presenter thanks to his hit Netflix show ‘Down to Earth’ - shows off his comedic muscles (and his actual ones) in this hilariously NSFW teen comedy classic. Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne co-star. 

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Seth and Rose play new parents who wind up living next door to a Frat house

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