Halloween is fast approaching, and what better way to get into the spirit than some nail-biting thrills? If you’re a Netflix subscriber looking for a heart-pumping experience you can indulge in from your living room couch, you’re in luck. Combining narrative strains from multiple Hollywood genres, from dramas to horror films, thrillers can deliver the goods in a myriad of ways. Whatever strain is your go-to, we guarantee Netflix is hosting that sub-genre. For the fans of great capers, slow-burners, and mesmerizers, we’ve compiled this roundup of the best thriller movies you can watch on Netflix right now, all the way up to Halloween-time.

We’ve also rounded up the best thrillers on Amazon Prime Video and the best thrillers on Hulu if Netflix doesn’t have what you’re looking for.

thrillers, streaming, netflix, movies and tv, best netflix movies

The Guilty (2021)

LAPD officer Joe Baylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) is working the night shift for 9-1-1 dispatch. Awaiting a court hearing for an initially-unknown incident that occurred months before, Joe receives a call from a woman claiming to be kidnapped. As Joe does everything in his power to help his abducted caller, it soon becomes clear that this singular call may have more to do with Joe and his past than he’s aware of. A fist-clenching thriller, one led by an extremely captivating lead performance from Gyllenhaal, The Guilty may not be as great as the original 2018 Danish film, but the talent onscreen and close-quarters cinematography is undeniably gripping.

Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, Riley Keough
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Rating: R
Runtime: 91 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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Level 16 (2018)

In a dystopian school for young women, educators prepare their incumbents for adopted life outside the walls of the institution. Vivien (Katie Douglas) and Sophia (Celina Martin) are two friends living on level 16 of the facility — the final stage before release. But as their termination date draws near, it becomes clear to the girls that the militant establishment they’ve spent their entire lives in may have untimely plans for those residing in its cells. A mesmerizing blend of genre elements, with touches of Suspiria and The Stepford Wives sprinkled here and there, Level 16 is a sci-fi shocker that will keep you guessing, eventually unfurling into third-act chaos and madness.

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Stars: Katie Douglas, Celina Martin, Sara Canning
Director: Danishka Esterhazy
Rating: TV-14
Runtime: 102 minutes

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In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)

Our story begins in 1988. Thomas Lockhart (Boyd Holbrook) is faced with a macabre investigation in Philadelphia — one where several victims all hemorrhage to death at the same time, with puncture wounds located on each of their heads. Following leads that inevitably result in an even deeper mystery, Lockhart’s investigation goes dormant until a series of copycat killings resurfaces nine years later. A great blend of mystery-meets-sci-fi, In the Shadow of the Moon may not land with all viewers, but as a made-for-Netflix caper, it’s an arresting genre-dive you won’t want to miss.

Rotten Tomatoes: 58%
Stars: Boyd Holbrook, Gabrille Graham, Michael C. Hal
Director: Danishka Esterhazy
Rating: TV-14
Runtime: 115 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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State of Play (2009)

Based on the British miniseries of the same name, State of Play stars Russell Crowe as veteran journalist Cal McAffrey. When the mistress of esteemed congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) turns up dead, Cal is tasked with investigating the murder. As he dives further into the case, Cal begins connecting the dots from the death of Collins’ assistant and lover to a far bigger web of political conspiracies and cover-ups. Powered by its main ensemble of performers, State of Play is a sophisticated journalism film that’ll keep your eyes glued to your TV screen for its entire two-hour-plus runtime.

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Stars: Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 127 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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Nocturnal Animals (2016)

When art curator Susan Morrow receives the manuscript for her ex-husband’s latest novel entitled Nocturnal Animals, she begins reading the book. As Susan unpacks the novel, we watch the prose unfold onscreen. In the text, a teacher (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his family have a horrific run-in with a pack of miscreants on a deserted country road, leading the patriarch down a twisted path of revenge. The more Susan reads, the more she realizes how several events of the book echo significant moments from her past with Edward (also played by Gyllenhaal), her writerly ex. A tension-packed modern noir laced with incredible performances, Nocturnal Animals is one you don’t want to scroll past.

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Stars: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon
Director: Tom Ford
Rating: R
Runtime: 116 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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The Duplass Brothers/Blumhouse Productions

Creep (2014)

When shoestring videographer Aaron (Patrick Brice) accepts a paying gig from a mysterious new client, his visit to the man’s remote mountain residence soon devolves into a bizarre nightmare as Josef (Mark Duplass), the homeowner, claims to be making a video for his unborn child before he dies from a brain tumor. At least that’s what Josef wants Aaron to believe. The truth, as the viewer will come to discover, is far more sinister. Taking the found footage sub-genre to thrilling new places, Creep feels like a very small film, but one packed with suspense and misdirects as Josef’s intentions become increasingly murkier.

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Stars: Mark Duplass, Patrick Brice
Director: Patrick Brice
Rating: R
Runtime: 80 minutes

Watch on Netflix

thrillers, streaming, netflix, movies and tv, best netflix movies

Gunpowder Milkshake (2021)

In this rollicking action thriller, Karen Gillan stars as Sam, a high-octane assassin carrying out hits for an underground organization known as The Firm. Abandoned at a young age by her mother (Lena Headey), a fellow hitman, Sam’s estrangement has reinforced her cold-blooded tendencies. In the wake of a hit gone wrong, Sam is forced to re-examine her allegiance to the organization that provides her lifestyle and the life of an innocent 8-year-old girl (Chloe Coleman). An intense film from start to finish, Gunpowder Milkshake gives us an intriguing premise with excellent players and top-notch filmmaking.

Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
Stars: Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Chloe Coleman
Director: Navot Papushado
Rating: R
Runtime: 114 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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The Vault (2021)

In The Vault, Freddie Highmore stars as Thom, a prolific engineer who happens upon some intoxicating intel. Learning of a hidden treasure trove located underneath The Bank of Spain, Thom and his group of allies concoct a master plan to break into the compound and make off with the riches while the rest of the country is distracted by Spain’s World Cup Final. Powered by energetic performances from its main ensemble and buttressed by some incredible set pieces and memorable locations, The Vault hits all the beats that a heist thriller should, making for an excellent watch.

Rotten Tomatoes: 54%
Stars: Freddie Highmore, Astrid-Berges Firsbey, Sam Riley
Director: Jaume Balagueró
Rating: R
Runtime: 118 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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Hold the Dark (2018)

In his follow-up to the ultra-violent Green Room, Jeremy Saulnier takes to the great wilds of Alaska for an adaptation of William Giraldi’s Hold the Dark. Starring Jeffrey Wright as wolf-tracker Russell Core, the animal expert is hired by Medora Slone (Riley Keough), a woman convinced that a pack of vicious wolves made off with her young son. As Russell begins his investigation, Medora’s spouse, Vernon (Alexander Skarsgård), arrives home from Iraq. Troubled by the horrors of frontline warfare, Vernon begins an all-out descent into madness as Russell begins to uncover more than he bargained for in the unrelenting tundra. Working with his biggest budget yet, indie stalwart Jeremy Saulnier delivers a grim reimagining of Giraldi’s already-macabre prose, complete with big action sequences and a touch of folkloric horror.

Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
Stars: Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgård, Riley Keough
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Rating: R
Runtime: 125 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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Snowpiercer (2013)

In a dystopian Ice Age future, the last members of humanity are stowed away on a never-ending train ride. Separated by class structures, the elitists are in the front cars and the rest of the passengers are segregated to the awful rear quarters. Chris Evans stars as Curtis, the leader of a revolt against the hierarchical heads of the globe-spanning super vessel. Pushing their way through the many train cars in an effort to overthrow the engineering compartment, Snowpiercer becomes an all-out fight for survival, featuring bloody set pieces and a nail-biting narrative.

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Stars: Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Tilda Swinton
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Rating: R
Runtime: 125 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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Cop Car (2015)

Travis and Harrison (James Freedson-Jackson and Hays Wellford) are two mischievous youths on the run. When the boys stumble upon a seemingly abandoned police vehicle, they hijack the vehicle for the afternoon. What they’re unaware of is that the notorious Sheriff Kretzer (Kevin Bacon) is the owner of the cruiser and he has more than one reason for trying to get his car back. Chief among them being the body he’s keeping in its trunk. While the film plugs along in a fairly minimalist fashion, there are plenty of surprises along the way to make for a more than elevated viewing experience. Kevin Bacon is particularly great as the wrong-side-of-the-law Kretzer — a terrorizing foe for the teenage boys.

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Shea Whigham, James Freedson-Jackson
Director: Jon Watts
Rating: R
Runtime: 88 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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Freaks (2018)

When Chloe (Lexy Kolker) dares to dream of the world outside the four walls of her home, the girl’s wishes are more than granted after discovering she possesses supernatural powers. She is one of thousands of gifted human beings known as Abnormals, a massive population of so-called freaks that the government is hunting. After learning that her mother, presumed dead, is an Abnormal herself and being held captive in a hidden prison, Chloe must tap into her extrasensory abilities to rescue her family and outsmart the hunters who want her dead. A film experienced through the eyes of its main character, the awestruck Chloe, Freaks blends thriller, horror, and sci-fi elements for a perplexing but addictive amalgamation of tropes old and new.

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Stars: Emile Hersch, Bruce Dern, Lexy Kolker
Director: Adam B. Stein, Zach Lipovsky
Rating: R
Runtime: 105 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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Good Time (2017)

After a botched bank robbery, the culprits, a pair of brothers known as Connie (Robert Pattinson) and Nick (Ben Safdie), attempt to flee the scene. Nick, stumbling, is picked up by police while Connie successfully escapes. With his brother now in jail, Connie must come up with $10,000 in bail money to free his sibling. But a series of events transpire that throw increasing complications Connie’s way as he does everything in his power to procure the funds. Kinetic and pulse-pounding, Good Time is a brilliant modern-day take on the invigorating energy of such New York epics as Taxi Driver and Bringing Out the Dead. Pattinson is especially mesmerizing as the wired and propulsive Connie, a tough-talking perp with a good heart buried beneath his crimes.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Robert Pattinson, Ben Safdie, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Directors: Josh Safdie, Ben Safdie
Rating: R
Runtime: 101 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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Green Zone (2010)

Based in part on journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s 2006 nonfiction book Imperial Life in the Emerald City, Green Zone stars Matt Damon as U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller, a man tasked with unearthing Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. As Miller discovers most of his intel to be false leads, a larger coverup begins to present itself. Building on the strengths of Matt Damon’s leading-man persona, Green Zone is an edge-of-your-seat thriller from a director who has made more than one cinematic contribution to the American post-9/11 zeitgeist (United 93 being the previous feature).

Rotten Tomatoes: 53%
Stars: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson
Director: Paul Greengrass
Rating: R
Runtime: 115 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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Mystic River (2003)

Perhaps one of director Clint Eastwood’s most macabre and moody films, Mystic River follows three friends: Ex-con Jimmy Markum (Sean Penn), Massachusetts state trooper Sean Devine (Kevin Bacon), and disturbed blue-collar worker Dave Boyle (Tim Robbins). When a tragedy unfurls over Boston, one specifically connected to Jimmy, the grief-stricken mobster takes matters into his own hands. Melancholic, heavy, and featuring mighty performances from the entire ensemble, Mystic River will keep you guessing for the film’s entire runtime. And even when we get answers, there are plenty of loose ends for the characters to contend with.

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Stars: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon
Director: Clint Eastwood
Rating: R
Runtime: 137 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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Under Siege (1992)

In Under Siege, Steven Seagal stars as Chief Petty Officer Casey Ryback, the chef aboard the battleship USS Missouri. After being provoked by Commander Krill (Gary Busey), Ryback’s fight with his superior ends with him being imprisoned in a food freezer. It turns out that Krill is in cahoots with a formidable mercenary group, led by William “Bill” Strannix (Tommy Lee Jones), with plans to make off with the ship’s nuclear weaponry. What the operatives didn’t consider is that Ryback is an ex-Navy SEAL who cannot be contained. An action thriller that delivers at every turn, Under Siege is an excellent vehicle for Seagal and, even 30 years later, is a whole lot of fun.

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
Stars: Steven Seagal, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Busey
Director: Andrew Davis
Rating: R
Runtime: 102 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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The Call (2020)

In Chung-hyun Lee’s The Call, we follow two different timelines, with a telephone call linking both eras. Seo-Yeon (Shin-hye Park) spends her days in the present while Young-Sook (Jong-seo Jun) lurks in the past. One is a serial killer, the other the victim. A bizarre amalgam of sci-fi-meets-psychological-thriller, The Call scores high with us for its nail-biting narrative, moody tone, dedicated performances, and plenty of originality.

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Stars: Shin-hye Park, Jong-seo Jun, Dong-Hwi Lee
Director: Chung-hyun Lee
Rating: R
Runtime: 122 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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Red Dot (2021)

David (Anastasios Soulis) and Nadja (Nanna Blondell), a set of young newlyweds, lead a stressful life of work, school, and poor communication skills. When Nadja learns that she’s pregnant, she decides to save the news for an adventurous ski trip to Sweden’s far north with David. As the couple begins to lose themselves to nature’s bounty, a hidden assailant begins stalking David and Nadja. It’s a nightmarish fight for survival in the merciless winter wilderness, as the infamous red dot of a rifle-sight follows every move the married couple makes. An energy-packed survival thriller, Red Dot is effective in making us feel just as lost and drenched in paranoia as the film’s leading talents.

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Stars: Nanna Blondell, Anastasios Soulis, Thomas Hanzon
Director: Alain Darborg
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 86 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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The Night Clerk (2020)

In The Night Clerk, Tye Sheridan stars as Bart Bromley, a reclusive hotel clerk who is on the autism spectrum. After witnessing a tragedy unfold through hidden cameras he placed in a guest room himself, Bart becomes a prime suspect in the police investigation of the incident. The plot only thickens when Bart’s boss transfers him to a second hotel where Bart forms a new connection with a woman named Andrea (Ana de Armas). As a friendship and subsequent romantic feelings blossom, it turns out the aforementioned tragedy may have more to do with Bart than even he knows. While the narrative ebbs and flows at its own pace, powerful lead performances from both Sheridan and de Armas make this a worthwhile entry for your next weekend.

Rotten Tomatoes: 36%
Stars: Tye Sheridan, Ana de Armas, Helen Hunt
Director: Michael Cristofer
Rating: R
Runtime: 90 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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I Care a Lot (2020)

Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike) is a daring and destructive Massachusetts con artist. Malicious in ways most of us could never be, Marla targets the elderly. Her modus operandi? A court-appointed legal ward, she and her lover, Fran (Eiza González), make their living by funneling the assets of their octogenarian clients via legal means. That is, until they cross paths with Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest), a wealthy senior with no living family — the perfect target for Marla and Fran. It just so happens that Jennifer comes with some not-so-forgiving mafia connections. What unravels is a vicious game of sharks versus sharks as the mob closes in on Marla’s daring exploits. Featuring a fantastic performance from Pike and a nail-biting script, I Care a Lot dares to be bold and does so more than effectively.

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Stars: Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Eiza González
Director: J Blakeson
Rating: R
Runtime: 118 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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Shutter Island (2010)

It’s a windy and rainy Boston Harbor, circa 1954. When Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), two U.S. Marshals, are sent to investigate a patient’s disappearance at the notorious Ashecliffe Hospital on Shutter Island, a convoluted mystery unfolds. Facing off against the elements, the unwilling staff of the facility, and its deranged patients, Teddy begins to have painful migraines and flashbacks of his days in military combat. A neo-noir whirlwind, Shutter Island is lesser-known among Scorsese’s best, but certainly worthy of a weekend watch without the lights on.

Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley
Director: Martin Scorsese
Rating: R
Runtime: 139 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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The Occupant (2020)

In The Occupant, Javier Gutiérrez stars as Javier Muñoz, a high-ranking executive who falls on hard times. Forced into unemployment, the big earner watches as his luxurious penthouse home is put on the seller’s market. When new tenants move in, the psychologically troubled Javier becomes obsessed with the occupants and begins making himself known to them in unsavory ways. Gutiérrez is a standout in The Occupant, packaging corporate greed, intellect, and a touch of humanity into a chilling lead performance that truly steers the film.

Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
Stars: Javier Gutiérrez, Mario Casas, Bruna Casi
Director: Àlex Pastor, David Pastor
Rating: R
Runtime: 103 minutes

Watch on Netflix

thrillers, streaming, netflix, movies and tv, best netflix movies

Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)

The art world is a strange one to live in, particularly when the tortured spirits of dead artists start wreaking havoc on the outside world. These are the cards we’re dealt with Dan Gilroy’s insanely odd Velvet Buzzsaw, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Morf Vandewalt, an eccentric art critic that comes in contact with the possessed paintings of Vetril Dease (Alan Mandell). Death, dismemberment, and other macabre occurrences soon descend on the principal players, leaving us to wonder where the line is drawn between reality and fiction. Big, odd, and loaded with color, Velvet Buzzsaw is one you won’t forget.

Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Toni Collette
Director: Dan Gilroy
Rating: R
Runtime: 113 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

Dr. Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) is a cardiovascular surgeon who leads a Stepford-esque life. He has a beautiful wife, two beautiful children, and a spotless household. But one thing is out of place. Martin (Barry Keoghan), a fatherless teen who seems intent on inserting himself into the doctor’s life in increasingly frightening ways. Martin, it soon comes to pass, has truly menacing intentions.

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Stars: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Rating: R
Runtime: 121 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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It Comes at Night (2017)

It Comes at Night is a slow burn that is as creepy and unyielding as its name suggests. The film picks up in medias res, an untold time after a mysterious apocalypse has left the world with few survivors. Outdoors, an unspeakable horror exists, plaguing the entire planet. Two families are forced to share a home, caught in an uneasy alliance against the evil that lurks outside.

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Stars: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo
Director: Trey Edward Shults
Rating: R
Runtime: 97 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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Piercing (2018)

Reed is a near-homicidal family man who needs an outlet for his inner rage. So, he decides on a prostitute. Not for sex. For murdering. What he didn’t expect was Jackie (Mia Wasikowska), a call girl just as cunning, sadistic, and merciless as Reed himself. When the two get together, Reed’s killer plan disintegrates before his eyes, and a wicked game of cat and mouse begins. Piercing is an adaptation of Ryū Murakami’s novel of the same name, source material that writer-director Nicholas Pesce pays great respect to. This vision is only furthered by the perfectly-cast Abbott and Wasikowska, two versatile actors who flourish as the wretched psychopaths of Piercing.

Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Stars: Christopher Abbott, Mia Wasikowska, Laia Costa
Director: Nicholas Pesce
Rating: R
Runtime: 121 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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Calibre (2018)

When two lifelong friends, a businessman and his pal from boarding school, head out for a hunting weekend in the Scottish Highlands, things quickly turn ugly. The old friends find themselves unexpectedly panicked and dealing with dire situations they never thought they would face. The British thriller, originally released on Netflix, was described by Variety as an “intensely terrifying twist on Deliverance.”

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Stars: Jack Lowden, Martin McCann, Tony Curran
Director: Matt Palmer
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 101 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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The Guest (2014)

In The Guest, Dan Stevens is so charming as David Collins that we don’t want to believe that he’s got dark secrets that will threaten everyone else around him. As the Peterson family grieves over the loss of their son, Craig, in the Afghanistan War, David presents himself as a close friend of Craig who has just returned home. The Petersons welcome David into their lives, and he becomes a surrogate son for Spencer (Leland Orser) and Laura (Sheila Kelley), while acting as a big brother to Luke (Brendan Meyer). However, Anna (Maika Monroe) becomes suspicious about David’s story and she begins to investigate his past. But David doesn’t tolerate threats from anyone, and when his cover is blown, no one is safe from his reach.

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Stars: Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Leland Orser
Director: Adam Wingard
Rating: R
Runtime: 100 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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Icarus (2017)

While exploring and experimenting with the idea of illegal doping in sports and how easy it is to use performance-enhancing drugs and evade detection, Bryan Fogel uncovers an international doping scandal. The documentary follows Fogel through his journey in amateur cycling and the explosive allegations by Grigory Rodchenkov, the head of the Russian anti-doping laboratory. Rodchenkov started out by simply helping Fogel with his experiment before eventually revealing alleged Olympic doping programs and his involvement with them. The movie earned Fogel an Academy Award for Best Documentary Film.

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Stars: Bryan Fogel, Grigory Rodchenkov
Director: Bryan Fogel
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 121 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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Uncut Gems (2019)

In Uncut Gems, Adam Sandler stars as a jeweler with a gambling addiction on the hunt for an expensive gem he bought to pay off mounting debts. Sandler was lauded for his performance, proving once again that he can do far more than play characters that provide silly humor and cheap laughs. Critics praised Sandler’s dramatic chops upon the film’s release, as well as the Safdie brothers, who have an undisputed knack for delivering stress-inducing films at every turn.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, Idina Menzel
Directors: Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie
Rating: R
Runtime: 135 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)

For fans of the AMC series Breaking Bad, this flick is the epilogue they’ve been waiting for to address the unanswered question of what happened to Jesse Pinkman. For others who might not have seen Breaking Bad, it’s still a fabulous film about a young man on the run from a clearly sordid past. It wraps Pinkman’s story up with a nice little bow and delivers plenty of cameos and throwback references from the original series to make it a worthwhile watch for any fan who has been missing the show.

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Stars: Aaron Paul, Jonathan Banks
Director: Vince Gilligan
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 122 minutes

Watch on Netflix

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