The 25 best movies on Netflix (February 2018)

15. In Bruges (2008)

Region: UK

The movie: This superb tragi-comedy from Three Billboards director Martin McDonagh pairs Colin Farrell's first-time hitman with Brendan Gleeson's veteran assassin. Reeling from the aftermath of a job gone awry, the duo hide out in Belgium to wait for stuff to blow over. Then they do what any person would do in Bruges; they go sightseeing and ponder the meaning of life. After that point, the laughs come thick and fast.

Why it’s worth watching:  It's Farrell's finest role to date, as he struggles with the enormity of his actions. And if that insane dwarf fight is anything to go on, I have but one question: when will we see his Farrell’s next foray into comedy?

14. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Region: US

The movie: In the thirty years since Star Wars completely changed the face of Hollywood, no-one thought it could be bettered. Then along came episode 7, The Force Awakens. JJ Abrams’ soft reboot picks up decades after the Rebels victory over the Galactic Empire, switching out the main Skywalker cast for an ensemble of fresh faces to lead a new trilogy of flicks. Granted, it owes a great deal to A New Hope, from the plot to the character quests, but gosh darn, it’s so much fun you honestly won’t care.

Why it’s worth watching: Igniting a new trilogy within the main Star Wars saga is no easy task - especially with the entire world ready to dissect and analyse it. The Force Awakens succeeds thanks to its winning central trio of newbies played by Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac. You might miss Luke, Leia and Han’s youthful exploits... but not much.

Read more: 14 questions from Star Wars: The Force Awakens that The Last Jedi needs to answer

13. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)  

Region: UK

The movie: Ferris Bueller wants a day off, and this is it. After an Oscar-worthy performance convincing his parents he's sick and should stay home from school, Ferris then persuades his girlfriend and best friend to accompany him on what can only be described as the perfect day, complete with posh grub, art museums, singing in a float parade, and touring Chicago in a pristine Ferrari Spyder. What could go wrong?

Why it's worth watching: Almost every segment of this has been pastiched in one way or the other, from Family Guy to Deadpool. A seminal Hughes movie that's somehow defied dating despite its 80s roots, this sees Bueller smash down the fourth wall to talk directly to the audience. Oh, and both Janine and Mr. Rooney are two of the best supporting comedy characters you will ever see on screen.

12. Hellboy (2004)

Region: UK

The movie: Imagine if Buffy had, oh, I don't know inadvertently stolen a baby from the Hellmouth. I know, a lot of logistics to consider. But do it anyway: a red-faced babe with giant rocks for fists and a penchant for cigars. That's Hellboy. There's no way the stuff he gets up to would ever make it uncut onto TV though. He's a good guy, sure - who works to protect Earth from a whole host of beasties - but he's got a sailor's mouth and a huge bloomin' gun. And he's often fighting Nazis. 

Why it’s worth watching: This is the creme de la creme of genre action entertainment folks, from the pages of a cult comic transferred to the screen by Guillermo Del Toro. Hellboy’s also got horns growing out of his head and loves kittens. What more is there you need to know? 

11. The Prestige (2006)

Region: US

The movie: It's the turn of the 20th century and magic is all the rage, illusionists cropping up at every party showing off their seance skills. The Prestige is Christopher Nolan's take on those masters of trickery, a drama that stars Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman as rival magicians in Victorian London. Once friends, a stage trick that goes tragically awry turns them into bitter enemies. 

Why it's worth watching: The moody, grimy world of Victorian magic is brought rather beautifully to life, and you'll be enchanted by all the trickery that takes place. But the real sleight of hand comes with the movie's killer twist. It's Nolan who's the real magician here. 

10. Okja (2017)

(Image: © Netflix)

Region: Worldwide

The movie: A near-future sci-fi flick by Snowpiercer director Bong Joon-ho, this is exactly the type of Netflix Original the world needs: funny, weird, and utterly charming. Part environmental parable, part bleeding heart manifesto, the movie follows, Mija, a 10-year old whose best friend is a super-pig called Okja. When the lab that created her friend steal the swine away from her, Mija embarks on an adventure to retrieve Okja that takes her across the globe. Unlike the brutal, bleak landscape of Snowpiecer, Okja showcases Joon-Ho’s softer side. It’s still oddball and wacky, but packed with a ton of heart. 

Why it’s worth watching: One of Netflix’s first movies that manages to juggle different ideas without losing sight of the goal; a real genre-blending effort. Oh, and Tilda Swinton. Anything that involves Tilda Swinton is worth watching.

9. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

Region: UK 

The film: Hard to believe it, I know, but Anchorman 2 is an rare example where the sequel is every bit as enjoyable as the original. Stepping out of the 70s and slipping into the 80s, Ron Burgundy still trying to keep San Diego classy whilst coming to grips with 24 hour-news demands and a very ambitious wife...

Why it's worth watching: This all-star cast delivers quote after memorable quote. Also, Baxter's still in it. What else do you need?

8. It Follows (2015)

Region: UK, US  

The movie: There's been a resurgence in John Carpenter throwback movies recently, and It Follows certainly has more than a whiff of Johnny C about it. Maika Monroe stars as a teen who contracts a disease after sleeping with a guy. The kicker? The "disease" is actually a figure "it" which.... yep, you guessed it, "follows" you. Then kills you.

Why it's worth watching: With cinematography and editing that make you feel you're watching some remixed '70s slasher, it's got to be the score. Synth-heavy and pounding, it's like taking a trip back through time.  

7. Back to the Future (1985)

Region: UK

The film: Teen Marty McFly is accidentally sent back to 1955 when his good friend and scientist, Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown, is shot after stealing plutonium to power his new time machine. Stuck in the past and with no way to return, Marty needs to find the 1950s Doc, convince his friend that he's from the future, and get back to 1985… all while trying to avoid his mother, who's accidentally fallen in love with him instead of Marty's father. Whoops. 

Why it's worth watching: You've already seen it, surely? You know it's great. So grab a blanket, snuggle down, and revisit one of the greatest movies ever made. You know all the words anyway, right?

6. Rain Man (1988)

Region: UK

The film: Charlie Babbit is the epitome of 1980s greed; young, selfish, and entirely out for himself. But when his estranged father dies leaving Babbit just a car and a collection of rose bushes, Charlie discovers his father has left the rest of his fortune to an unnamed trustee... which turns out to be a brother Charlie knew nothing about. Taking both the car and his brother, Raymond, Charlie hits Vegas in an effort to use his brother's savant mathematical and memory skills to earn back the fortune his father denied him..

Why it's worth watching: Just wait 'til you find out why the movie's called Rain Man.