TV & Movies

20 Of The Best Movies On Netflix NZ Right Now

By Morgan Reardon
16th Apr 2021

the members of N.W.A, dressed in black, walk down a hallway.

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.

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. 

Why Did You Kill Me?

This incredible documentary will give you chills. It follows the true story of 24-year-old Crystal Theobald, a mum-of-two who was shot and killed while driving in California in 2006—at the time of the shooting, her mother, Belinda Lane was in the car behind her, watching the tragedy unfold. While the police suspected Crystal was an innocent victim, caught up in a gang-related revenge attack, her mum Belinda turned detective, creating a fake account on MySpace in an effort to track down the violent people responsible. But what she uncovers will send shockwaves through multiple families and put many lives—including her own—at risk.  

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. 

Thunder Force

In a world where supervillains are commonplace, Emily Stanton (Octavia Spencer) has created a formula that will give a regular human super strength. But when her estranged childhood bestie Lydia (Melissa McCarthy) turns up at her work and accidentally injects herself with the formula—a new superhero is born. The duo, both in their 40s, challenge the norm of what a superhero really is, using their new found powers (Emily can make herself invisible) to fight crime in the city. But they might have met their match when they come up against The King (Bobby Canavale) a truly evil creature. Shout out has to go to Jason Bateman for his hilarious turn as The Crab in this LOL-worthy flick

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 assasins 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.

Booksmart

Directed by Olivia Wilde, Booksmart is absolutely one of the best movies on Netflix right now. It goes like this: On the eve of their graduation best mates Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) are struck with the devastating realisation that they’ve spent their entire high school existence studying for college instead of having fun and making memories. In fact, their whole peer group have ostracised them as pretentious do-gooders. Determined to change their opinion and finish school on a high, they endeavour to let loose and make up for lost time—cramming four years’ worth of parties, drinking, adventure and romance into one night. 

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. 

A Week Away

If you’re into heartwarming musical rom coms then this Netflix Original is for you. A Week Away centres around troubled teen Will Hawkins (Kevin Quinn) who has a big choice to make—go to juvenile detention or attend a Christian summer camp… he chooses the latter. While at camp, and with the help of his music, new friends and love interest Avery (who just happens to be the camp director’s daughter), he learns the healing powers of kindness, forgiveness, and that faith can be found in the most unlikely of places.

Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal

An examination that goes beyond the celebrity-driven headlines and dives into the methods used by Rick Singer, the man at the center of the shocking 2019 college admissions scandal, to persuade his wealthy clients to cheat an educational system already designed to benefit the privileged. Using an innovative combination of interviews and narrative recreations of the FBI’s wiretapped conversations between Singer and his clients, Operation Varsity Blues offers a rare glimpse into the enigmatic figure behind a scheme that exposed the lengths wealthy families would go to for admission into elite colleges, and angered a nation already grappling with the effects of widespread inequality. 

Rocketman

Rocketman follows the life of one of the world’s greatest showmen, Elton John, from his early days performing rock music at empty pubs to the moment his world changed—when he met music manager John Reid and was catapulted to a world of fame and chaos. The biographical musical film stars Taron Egerton as Elton John (for which he nabbed a Golden Globe), as well as Jamie Bell as Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden as John Reid, and Bryce Dallas Howard as Sheila Eileen, John's mother. Whether you’re an Elton John fan or not, pop this one to the top of your must-see list immediately.

Holding The Man

Set in Australia in the 1970s, this thought-provoking flick was adapted from Timothy Conigrave's 1995 memoir of the same name. It tells the story of Timothy (Ryan Corr) and John (Craig Stott), two teenage boys who fall in love with each other while attending an all-boys high school in Melbourne. Battling to stay together despite shocking discrimination, then seperation, tempation and loss, Holding The Man chronicles their incredible 15-year romance. It packs an all-star Aussie cast including the likes of Guy Pearce, Anthony LaPaglia, Sarah Snook and Kerry Fox. 

Paper Lives

This Turkish drama is one you’ll want to clear your weekend for. Set in an impoverished, old neighbourhood in Istanbul, Mehmet is a local legend who runs the solid waste warehouse. He’s got a rep for helping anyone and everyone in need, especially homeless children and teenagers since he was once without a home when he was young too. One day Mehmet meets an eight-year-old boy who suddenly appears in his best mate Gonzales' waste sack. Mehmet suddenly has the urge to reunite the boy with his parents however, he doesn't realise how attached he'll become. It’s a brutal but necessary watch.

Moxie

Directed by Amy Poehler this teen flick has all the hallmarks of a modern Mean Girls. It follows Vivian, a shy 16-year-old, who prefers to keep her head down and fly under the radar. But when the arrival of a new student forces her to examine the unchecked behaviour of her fellow students at her high school, Vivian realises she’s fed up. Inspired by her mother’s (Amy Poehler) rebellious past, Vivian anonymously publishes an underground zine called Moxie to expose bias and wrongdoing in her school, and unexpectedly sparks a movement, reaching across the divide of cliques and clubs as they learn to navigate the highs and lows of high school together. 

Sentinelle

Sentinelle is an epic French thriller that will have your pulse racing. It centres around Klara (Olga Kurylenko), a highly trained French soldier who relocates to Nice after a traumatising combat mission in Syria with her mother and sister. As she tries to rebuild her life, she’s dealt another devastating blow when her sister is attacked during a night out. Determined to track down the attackers, Klara calls on all of her training and lethal skills to avenge her sister’s near-death. This kick ass female-lead flick is a must watch. 

Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell

In the wake of the Notorious B.I.G.’s landmark induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and ahead of what would have been his 50th birthday, Biggie: I Got A Story To Tell offers a fresh look at one of the greatest, most influential rappers of all time by those who knew him best. Made in collaboration with Biggie’s estate, this doco is an intimate rendering of a man whose rapid ascent and tragic end has been at the centre of rap lore for more than twenty years. Produced by P Diddy, this intimate flick features rare footage filmed and new interviews with his closest friends and family, revealing a side of Christopher Wallace that the world never knew.

Blue Story

This incredible flick is absolutely one of the best movies on Netflix right now and needs to go to the top of your must-watch list. This British crime drama was written, directed, and narrated by Rapman (Andrew Onwubolu) through the medium of rap—and is based on true events. It follows best mates Marco and Timmy who live in different neighbourhoods in south London but attend the same high school. Once inseparable, the duo turn rivals and side with different, deadly gangs, when Marco is attacked by one of Timmy’s “friends”. The rapping Greek chorus is like nothing we have ever seen before. 

Pele

This documentary feature tells the story of iconic footballer Pelé, his quest for perfection and the mythical status he attained. As well as unprecedented interview access to Pelé, the flick includes incredible archive footage and interviews with legendary former team-mates including Zagallo, Jairzinho and Rivellino. The story looks back at the extraordinary 12-year period in which Pelé, the only man to win three World Cup titles, went from young superstar in 1958 to national hero in 1970; a radical yet turbulent era in Brazil’s history. 

Red 2

If high action thrillers are your jam then you’ll want to pop on Red 2 stat! The sequel can be watched as a stand alone flick so don’t stress if you haven’t seen the OG. In Red 2, Ex-CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) and his crew return for another high-stakes mission—this time around scouring the globe for a stolen nuclear device that has been smuggled into Russia. While the storyline itself might not be worthy of an Oscar, the all-star cast makes it totally worth the watch. We’re talking the likes of John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Anthony Hopkins and Mary-Louise Parker. 

Yesterday

This British comedy, complete with an epic soundtrack, makes for the perfect easy watch. Yesterday follows Jack (Himesh Patel), a struggling musician who dreams of making it big but in reality spends his nights singing in dingy pubs to a handful of drunks. But when awakes from a freak accident, Jack finds the world has changed—no one remembers The Beatles and their incredible music. When Jack starts singing their songs, he becomes an overnight success, touring with Ed Sheeran and gaining a wacky agent (Kate McKinnon). But when a random stranger threatens to reveal he’s a fake, Jack must decide if his new-found fame and fortune are really what it’s cracked up to be. 

 

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

Image credit: Netflix 

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