Spent too much time in restaurants recently? Need a break from the pub? You might be due a few evenings on the sofa, then. For those with Netflix, here are the best movies available to stream right now, including some of 2016’s best films, a handful of top-notch comedies and James Franco stuck in a hole...
Director Christopher McQuarrie
Cast Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson
Super-spy Ethan Hunt returns for his fifth impossible mission, tracking down and destroying rogue organisation The Syndicate. But the plot’s an irrelevance: this is just one big excuse for The Cruiser to speed around on his motorbike looking cool while stuff blows up in the background.
Watch it if you liked… All the other ‘Mission Impossible’ movies
Director John Hughes
Cast Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald
It’s the ’80s-est ’80s movie of them all, the tale of five mismatched students – the athlete, the brain, the basketcase, the princess and the criminal – shoved together for Saturday detention, and learning more about love, life, each other and themselves than they would in a year of high school. Gloriously, unashamedly, cheesily emotional, it’s still an absolute joy.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’
Director Bong Joon-Ho
Cast Tilda Swinton, Jake Gylenhaal
It received mixed reviews, but fans of Korean director Bong Joon-Ho’s earlier films like ‘The Host’ and ‘Snowpiercer’ will get a kick out of this darkly comic story about a girl and her genetically engineered ‘super pig’. Smart, satirical and unpredictable, it’s a unique experience.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Snowpiercer’
Director Marc Webb
Cast Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone
It’s back on Netflix to mark the release of Marvel’s latest take on the beloved webslinger, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’. And while ‘Amazing’ may not match up to the new film, there’s lots of fun to be had here, with Garfield a fine, if serious, choice to play young crimefighter Peter Parker.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’
Director Paolo Sorrentino
Cast Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone
Time Out’s favourite film of 2013 is a giddy, cynical but strangely uplifting meditation on wealth, health, happiness and ageing, as a dapper Italian lothario reflects on his life.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Toni Erdmann’
Director Peyton Reed
Cast Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas
Marvel’s other insect-based superhero made his big-screen debut in this upbeat, slightly slick action thriller. Paul Rudd is lots of fun in the lead, as a small-time crook who steals a suit that allows him to shrink down to the size of an insect and control ants with his mind.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Captain America: Civil War’
Director Kleber Mendonça Filho
Cast Sonia Braga, Maeve Jinkings
In this powerful, unusual Brazilian drama, Sonia Braga plays a retired music critic who refuses to move out of her beloved apartment when developers come sniffing around. Writer-director Kleber Mendonça Filho (‘Neighbouring Sounds’) is one of the most interesting filmmakers currently working.
Watch it if you liked… ‘The Salesman’
Director Neill Blomkamp
Cast Sharlto Copley, David James
Writer-director Neill Blomkamp’s debut feature was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar – an incredible feat for such a strange, imaginative, brutally violent sci-fi film. In near-future Johannesburg, a race of alien immigrants, the Prawns, are held in their own poverty-stricken township known as District 9.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Alien’
Director Alan Taylor
Cast Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston
The second outing for Marvel’s hammer-swinging Norse God superhero is a whole heap of multi-coloured fun, as Thor and his devious brother Loki must join forces against a race of intergalactic Dark Elves. Daft, sure, but hugely enjoyable.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Thor’
Director Jon Favreau
Cast Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr
A lovely, good-natured drama about a high-flying chef who loses it all, then decides to start fresh by opening a food truck and driving it across the US. If it sounds like a cheesy recipe, it is. But it’s also witty, insightful and very entertaining.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Swingers’
Director Steve McQueen
Cast Michael Fassbender, Rory Mullen
Five years before he swept the Oscars with '12 Years a Slave’, artist-turned-filmmaker Steve McQueen offered this stark, almost wordless portrait of Irish revolutionary Bobby Sands, who died following an extended hunger strike in prison in 1981.
Watch it if you liked… ’12 Years a Slave’
Director Steven Spielberg
Cast Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes
Steven Spielberg’s stark, monochrome document of one man’s fight to save lives during the Holocaust is still a brutal, unforgettable experience. Ralph Fiennes’s performances as concentration camp commandant Amon Goeth is one of cinema’s purest depictions of true evil.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Son of Saul’