TV & Movies

25 Of The Best Movies On Netflix NZ Right Now

By Morgan Reardon
23rd Jul 2021

A still from The Last Letter To Your Lover of the main couple embracing in the rain.

Buttering up the popcorn and firing up a good Netflix movie has got to be our favourite thing ever.

But how often do you find yourself endlessly scrolling, looking for something half decent to kick back to?

Well, scroll no more friends, here are all the best movies to watch on Netflix NZ right now.

The Last Letter From Your Lover

Adapted from JoJo Moyes best selling book of the same name (she also brought us tearjerker Me Before You) The Last Letter From Your Lover follows Ellie Haworth (Felicity Jones), a journalist who discovers a trove of secret love letters from 1965 and becomes determined to solve the mystery of the forbidden affair at their center. As she uncovers the story behind Jennifer Stirling (Shailene Woodley), the wife of a wealthy industrialist, and Anthony O’Hare the journalist assigned to cover him, a love story of Ellie’s own begins to unfold with the assistance of an earnest and endearing archivist who helps her track down more letters. 

The Farewell 

Under the guise of a wedding, Billi (Awkwafina) returns home to China to say goodbye to her grandmother, Nai Nai, who only has a few weeks to live. To Billi’s shock, the family decides to keep Nai Nai’s diagnosis a secret from the elderly matriarch. The comedy-drama is an autobiographical exploration of moral ambiguities, cultural differences, and the difficult but powerful bond created by a family crisis—making it one of the best movies on Netflix right now.

Fear Street Trilogy 

If you were a fan of Goosebumps growing up then you’ll want to check out this epic three-part movie adaptation. Based on R.L. Stine’s best-selling horror series, the Fear Street trilogy follows Shadyside’s sinister history through a nightmare 300 years in the making. Fear Street Part 1: 1994 follows a group of teens who discover the terrifying events that have haunted their town for generations may all be connected. Fear Street Part 2: 1978, takes place at Camp Nightwing where another Shadysider is possessed with the urge to kill. In the final instalment, Fear Street Part 3: 1666, the origins of Sarah Fier’s curse are finally revealed as history comes full circle on a night that changes the lives of Shadysiders forever.

I am All Girls

This South African thriller will grab you right in the guts. It follows Jodie, a relentless detective that will stop at nothing to take down a child-trafficking ring. But when a serial killer appears on the scene, hell-bent on taking out the sick leaders linked to the ring, Jodie must come to terms with the fact that she has more in common with a murderer than she ever thought was possible. This movie will have you on the edge of your seat. 

The Water Man

Gunner (Lonnie Chavis) sets out on a quest to save his ill mother (Rosario Dawson) by searching for a mythic figure who possesses the secret to immortality, the Water Man. After enlisting the help of a mysterious local girl, Jo, they journey together into the remote Wild Horse forest—but the deeper they venture, the stranger and more dangerous the forest becomes. Their only hope for rescue is Gunner’s father (David Oyelowo), who will stop at nothing to find them and in the process will discover who his son really is.

Audible 

Audible is a cinematic and immersive coming of age doco following Maryland School for the Deaf high school athlete Amaree McKenstry and his close friends as they face the pressures of senior year and grappling with the realities of venturing off into the hearing world. Amaree and his teammates take out their frustrations on the football field as they battle to protect an unprecedented winning streak while coming to terms with the tragic loss of a close friend. This is a story about kids who stand up to adversity. They face conflict but approach the future with hope—shouting to the world that they exist and they matter.

Good On Paper

Illiza Shlesinger is here to perk you up in a hilarious comedy that is absolutely worthy of your time this week. In Good On Paper, Shlesinger plays Andrea Singer, a stand-up comedian who has always put her career first. While dating came easy, love wasn't a priority… until she met Dennis. Now, Dennis is a quirky nerd with a disarming charm who coaxes her into letting her guard down. Her best friend Margot isn’t convinced he’s all he seems and she urges Andrea to embark on a wild goose chase to uncover who Dennis really is.

Fatherhood

Warning: you will need tissues for this one. In this heartwarming, funny and emotional flick, Kevin Hart stars as a newly widowed dad, who after the sudden and unexpected death of his wife, must take on one of the toughest jobs in the world: fatherhood. Going on a rollercoaster of emotions, he’ll deal with doubts, fears, heartache and dirty nappies as he sets out to raise his daughter on his own. Oh and did we mention this one was inspired by a true story? Bring on the tears as you prepare to see funnyman Kevin Hart like never before. 

Last Christmas

Sure it’s not the festive season but in our opinion, it’s always a good time to watch a Christmas flick and this one is a must-see. Based on the 1984 song of the same name, and inspired by the music of George Michael, this romantic comedy stars Game Of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke as Katarina, a jaded, semi-alcoholic Christmas store worker who forms a relationship with a mysterious man called Tom (Crazy Rich Asian’s Henry Golding) and begins to fall for him. With a new perspective on life, Katarina starts to believe that Christmas miracles might really exist. 

Awake

Brace yourself, dystopian thriller Awake is a truly terrifying and wild ride. The plot goes like this: After a sudden global event wipes out all electronics and takes away humankind’s ability to sleep, chaos quickly begins to consume the world. Only Jill (Jane The Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez), an ex-soldier with a troubled past, may hold the key to a cure in the form of her own daughter. The question is, can Jill safely deliver her daughter and save the world before she herself loses her mind?

Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey

Based on a terrifying true story, Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey, will shock you to your core. It follows 17-year-old Lisa McVey who is abducted by a notorious serial killer when leaving her late-night shift at a doughnut shop in Florida. After being subjected to a horrific 26 hours, she uses reverse psychology to get her kidnapper to set her free. But when she returns home she faces another battle—convincing her family and the police that she was actually kidnapped. 
 

Breaking Boundaries: The Science Of Our Planet

Narrated by Sir David Attenborough this film lays out the science that underpins the narrative of both of these influential programmes. Breaking Boundaries follows the scientific journey of world-renowned scientist Professor Johan Rockström. It tells the story of the most important scientific discovery of our time—that humanity has pushed Earth beyond the boundaries that have kept Earth stable for 10,000 years, since the dawn of civilisation. The 75-minute film takes the audience on a journey of discovery of planetary thresholds we must not exceed, not just for the stability of our planet, but for the future of humanity. It offers up the solutions we can and must put in place now if we are to protect Earth’s life support systems.

Changeling 

Directed, produced, and scored by Clint Eastwood, this crime thriller is a must-watch. Set in LA in the 1920s, Changeling follows single mum Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) whose life is turned upside down when she returns home one day to find her nine-year-old son Walter is missing. Five months later, the LAPD find a young boy fitting Christine’s son's description and reunite them. But when Christine insists this isn’t her son, the police think she’s crazy and confine her to a psychiatric ward. Whilst there Christine meets other women, who share a similar story to hers and together they fight for freedom and justice for themselves and their missing children. The wildest part? The script for this flick was based on real-life events!

Army Of The Dead

From Zack Snyder (Man Of Steel, 300) comes this action-packed, gritty thriller. It follows army veteran Scott Ward (played by former wrestler Dave Bautista) who is approached by a businessman and offered $50 million to find and retrieve a hidden fortune (to the tune of $200 million) below the Las Vegas strip. The only problem? There’s been a zombie outbreak and nowhere is safe. Not one to turn down a deal, Scott gathers a group of mercenaries to take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted.

The Woman In The Window

The Woman In The Window by A.J Finn is undoubtedly one of the best crime books we’ve ever read, so we’re seriously stoked the movie adaptation has finally dropped on Netflix after initially being delayed by COVID. The plot goes like this: Anna Fox (Amy Adams) is an agoraphobic child psychologist who finds herself keeping tabs on the picture-perfect family across the street through the windows of her New York City brownstone. Her life is turned upside down when she inadvertently witnesses a brutal crime. Soon enough shocking secrets are revealed and nothing and no one is what they seem in this suspenseful psychological thriller starring Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, Brian Tyree Henry and Julianne Moore.

Monster

Monster tells the story of Steve Harmon (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.) a seventeen-year-old honour student whose world comes crashing down around him when he is charged with felony murder. The film follows his dramatic journey from a smart, likeable film student from Harlem attending an elite high school through a complex legal battle that could leave him spending the rest of his life in prison. As well as boasting an all-star cast—Jennifer Hudson, John David Washington and A$AP Rocky—the flick is executive produced by John Legend and Nas.

Stowaway

Brace yourself, this sci-fi thriller will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Stowaway follows a three-person crew on a mission to Mars who face an impossible choice when an unplanned passenger jeopardises the lives of everyone on board—i.e. they don’t have enough oxygen for all of them to survive the trip. The compact cast of just four actors is seriously stellar including, Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, David Kim, Shamier Anderson and Toni Collette. 

Love And Monsters

Seven years after he survived the monster apocalypse, lovably hapless Joel (Dylan O'Brien) leaves his underground bunker behind on a quest to reunite with his former high school sweetheart Aimee (Game Of Thrones’ Jessica Henwick), after reconnecting over the radio. The only problem? Aimee is living 80 miles away at a coastal colony surrounded by giant monsters. How far will Joel go for true love? Watch it here

Things Heard & Seen

Based on the acclaimed novel, All Things Cease to Appear, by Elizabeth Brundage this Netflix newbie will straight up terrify you. It follows Catherine (Amanda Seyfried), an artist, and her husband George (James Norton) who move from their Manhattan digs to a sprawling old house in the picturesque Hudson Valley. But behind closed doors, cracks begin to appear in not only Catherine and George’s relationship but the house itself. Throw in creepy neighbours who drop hints about a grisly murder from the past and supernatural happenings and you’ve got yourself a seriously scary movie. We recommend watching this horror flick with the lights on. 

August: Osage County

With an all-star cast of Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Ewan McGregor, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch and Juliette Lewis, popping August: Osage County to the top of your must-watch list is really a no-brainer. The film is based on Tracy Lett’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name and tells the story of three estranged sisters, who return to their dysfunctional family home when their father Sam suddenly disappears after their mum (Streep) is diagnosed with cancer. Expect tears, heartbreak and a whole lot of family secrets to come to the surface in this moving flick. 

Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton is based on the true story of ground-breaking hip hop group N.W.A. It follows their origins, growing up on the tough streets of Compton, California, navigating their way around gang culture and systemic racism from the police force, all the while coming together to create music that would change the music scene forever. All members of the group were involved in the production of the flick, with Ice Cube and Dr. Dre serving as producers, as well as Eazy-E's widow, Tomica Woods-Wright. Ice Cube is even played by his real-life son, O'Shea Jackson Jr so you know it’s legit as can be. 

Concrete Cowboy

This moving drama is one of the best movies on Netflix, period! Based on the novel Ghetto Cowboy by Greg Neri, the flick follows Cole (Stranger Things’ Caleb McLaughlin), a troubled 15-year-old who is sent to live with estranged father Harp (Idris Elba) in Philadelphia for the summer. While he finds kinship in a tight-knit group Black cowboys—yep right in the middle of a city—he struggles with the lure of gang life. Boasting an all-star cast including the like of Jharrel Jerome, Byron Bowers, and Clifford "Method Man" Smith, you’ll want to keep the tissues close for this one. 

Night In Paradise

Night In Paradise is an action-packed thriller that goes much deeper than the genre typically allows. It follows Park Tae-goo, a wronged mobster who escapes to Jeju Island, after a brutal tragedy has left him with a deadly target on his back. Whilst on the island he befriends Jae-yeon, a mysterious woman who slowly reveals she too has her own demons to contend with. Together they form a deep and true connection that is threatened by all the carnage Park Tae-goo has left in his past. When deadly assassins come knocking, all hell breaks loose. Prepare for some truly epic fight scenes. 

I Met A Girl

This independent Aussie flick will tug at your heartstrings. It follows Devon (Brenton Thwaites), an aspiring musician who lives with schizophrenia. His life completely changes when he meets Lucy, a mysterious dream girl who just “gets” him like nobody else. But when he tries to introduce her to his family, she doesn’t show, with those closest to him believing Devon has simply made her up. Travelling across the country (the stunning Aussie backdrop is a sight to behold) Devon goes on a mission to find Lucy, navigating the blurred lines of fact and fiction.

The Daughter

This moving Aussie drama, adapted from Henrik Ibsen's 1884 play, The Wild Duck, is a must-watch. It centres around Christian, a recovering alcoholic, who returns home to Australia from the US for his father's (Geoffry Rush) wedding to his much younger housekeeper. When Christian reconnects with his estranged mates and family, he soon uncovers a devastating secret that could destroy both his own family and that of his childhood friend Oliver (Ewen Leslie). The all-star cast also includes Miranda Otto, Anna Torv and Sam Neil. 

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

Image credit: Netflix 

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