TV & Movies

15 Of The Best Movies On Netflix NZ Right Now

By Jessica Best
15th Nov 2019

Scene from Earthquake Bird, Best movies on Netflix

Buttering up the popcorn and firing up Netflix has got to be our favourite thing ever. If you’re anything like us we know you don’t relish in spending hours scrolling for something half decent to kick back to.

Here are all the best movies to watch on Netflix right now.

Earthquake Bird

A psychologically unsettling and atmospheric thriller set in 1989 Tokyo from director Wash Westmoreland (Colette, Still Alice), Earthquake Bird follows Lucy Fly (Alicia Vikander), an enigmatic ex-pat haunted by a painful past, who enters into an intense relationship with Teiji (Naoki Kobayashi), a handsome yet similarly troubled local photographer. Lucy’s imperturbable exterior begins to crack when a naive newcomer, Lily Bridges (Riley Keough), becomes entangled in their lives and ends up missing – suspected dead. Watch it (or at least try to) right here.

Dolemite Is My Name

We really didn't realise how much we missed Eddie Murphy until we watched this one. Stung by a string of showbiz failures, floundering comedian Rudy Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy) has an epiphany that turns him into a word-of-mouth sensation: step onstage as someone else. Borrowing from the street mythology of 1970s Los Angeles, Moore assumes the persona of Dolemite, a pimp with a cane and an arsenal of obscene fables. However, his ambitions exceed selling bootleg records deemed too racy for mainstream radio stations to play. Moore convinces a social justice-minded dramatist (Keegan-Michael Key) to write his alter ego a film, incorporating kung fu, car chases, and Lady Reed (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), an ex-backup singer who becomes his unexpected comedic foil. Despite clashing with his pretentious director, D’Urville Martin (Wesley Snipes), and countless production hurdles at their studio in the dilapidated Dunbar Hotel, Moore’s Dolemite becomes a runaway box office smash and a defining movie of the Blaxploitation era. 

Billy Elliot

Get ready to take it all the back to 1980s north England. Billy Elliot is 11 years old, loves to dance and dreams of being a professional dancer. But against the backdrop of Country Durham, the ’84 coal miner’s strike and a solid wall prejudice against male ballet dancers, his big dream seems pretty far-fetched. If you haven’t already watched this one, it’s a classic so you’ll want to make time to stat.

Eli

This movie follows the story of a young boy (Charlie Shotwell) plagued with an unknown, debilitating illness that requires him to live completely sealed off from the outside world. After exhausting every option, his parents (Kelly Reilly and Max Martini) put their trust – and his life – in the hands of an experimental doctor (Lili Taylor). As Eli undergoes the tremendously intense process that could potentially cure him, he begins to be haunted by experiences that make him question who he can trust and what is lurking around him.

In The Tall Grass

When siblings Becky and Cal hear the cries of a young boy lost within a field of tall grass, they venture in to rescue him, only to become ensnared themselves by a sinister force that quickly disorients and separates them. Cut off from the world and unable to escape the field’s tightening grip, they soon discover that the only thing worse than getting lost is being found. In The Tall Grass is based on the novella by Stephen King and Joe Hill so needless to say, if you're a horror fan, watch it in all its scary glory here.

In The Shadow Of The Moon

In 1988, Philadelphia police officer Thomas Lockhart (Boyd Holbrook), hungry to become a detective, begins tracking a serial killer who mysteriously resurfaces every nine years. But when the killer's crimes begin to defy all scientific explanation, Locke's obsession with finding the truth threatens to destroy his career, his family, and possibly his sanity. Watch In The Shadow Of The Moon here.

Between Two Ferns: The Movie

Zack Galifianakis’ satirically harsh talk show Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis has been given a glorious Netflix spin-off and there’s not much you can’t love about it. The movie follows Zach and his crew who take a road trip to complete a series of high-profile celebrity interviews to “restore his reputation”. Directed by Scott Aukerman, and produced by Funny Or Die’s Mike Farah and Caitlin Daley and Galifianakis, this gem is absolute on-screen gold.

Dirty Dancing

In case you missed it, your movie nostalgia is in full bloom on Netflix. As one of the best feel-good movies around, you’ll want to hit play on this gem for all the on-screen magic between Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey that’s guaranteed to give you all the feels. Telling the story of a young girl who heads to holiday camp with her family, “Baby” falls hard for the camp’s dance instructor Johnny Castle. Head here to watch Dirty Dancing now.

IT

Stephen King knows how to craft a good horror story, so it’s no surprise that IT contains all the twists, turns, and jump out of your seat moments you could wish for. Centred around Pennywise, a shapeshifting, child-terrorizing clown, the film follows seven children in a small town who must confront their own demons to survive. One of the most popular horror films of 2017, this one certainly won’t make that clown phobia any better, but It sure will satisfy your need for some old school chills and thrills. Check IT out here.

Mother!

Mother! was one of the biggest psychological horrors to come out of 2017 and good news, you can now watch this allegorical film on Netflix. We won’t spoil the actual plot of the movie for this (beware, it’s pretty hectic) but the overarching metaphor for this one is pretty symbolic. Directed by Darren Aronofsky, the movie alludes to the destruction of the world with Jennifer Lawrence resembling Mother Earth, Javier Bardem as God, Ed Harris as Adam and Michelle Pfeiffer as Eve. Head here to watch it.

The Red Sea Diving Resort

Inspired by remarkable true life rescue missions, The Red Sea Diving Resort is the incredible story of a group of international agents and brave Ethiopians who in the early 80s used a deserted holiday retreat in Sudan as a front to smuggle thousands of refugees to Israel. The undercover team carrying out this mission is led by the charismatic Ari Levinson (Chris Evans) and courageous local Kabede Bimro (Michael Kenneth Williams). The prestigious cast also includes Haley Bennett, Alessandro Nivola, Michiel Huisman, Chris Chalk, Greg Kinnear and Ben Kingsley. Head here to watch it.

I Am Mother

It’s been dubbed as one of the best films to come out of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, so good in fact that Netflix jumped on the sci-fi thriller and nabbed the distribution rights stat. I Am Mother is the creation of Australian director Grant Sputore, and follows a teenage girl (played by Clara Rugaard) who is one of the first of an entirely new generation of humans to be raised by Mother (Rose Byrne). The twist? Mother is a robot designed to repopulate the earth after the extinction of humanity.  With the surface no longer inhabitable, Mother has raised the girl in total isolation underground. Starring Hilary Swank, this one is well and truly one of the biggest Netflix drops of the year and lands on June 7.

Someone Great

If you need a break from the seemingly dark world of Netflix right now, Someone Great is your fix for laughs, the reality of relationships and amazing close friends. Extremely relatable, this hilarious film stars Gina Rodrigues as Jenny, an aspiring music journalist who has just landed her dream job across the country. Things fall through with her boyfriend of nine years which naturally means her two best friends rally together to give her a mammoth send off and hit one last adventure around the city for old times sake. Head here to watch it.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile

If you worked your way through the Ted Bundy tapes and loved it, then sit tight. Starring Zac Efron, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile is the official movie that chronicles the crimes of serial killer Ted Bundy. This time around, the story is from the perspective of Bundy's girlfriend Liz (Lily Collins) who refused to believe the truth about him for years. This one drops May 3.

Homecoming

Homecoming presents an intimate look at Beyonce's historic 2018 Coachella performance that paid homage to America's historically black colleges and universities. This film, created by Beyonce, traces the emotional road from creative to cultural concept and is well worth a watch this weekend.

Check out everything else that's trending in the world of entertainment right here.

Image credit: Netflix

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