Forget the endless scroll and just watch one of these.
Back in 2006, when Netflix was really starting to shake up the Video-on-Demand market, it put out a contest, offering $1 million for the first developer to devise a video recommendation algorithm that was better than the one they currently used. A much more accurate, star-based rating system was born. Eventually, Netflix ditched the star rating system, and moved to recommend media based on “implicit preferences” derived from “recent plays, ratings, and other interactions”. This could explain why Netflix’s recommendations tend to miss the mark so often. Apparently, if you’ve liked one Adam Sandler movie, you’ll like them all.
Although the Netflix library is stocked with literally hundreds of thousands of titles, we’ve all been on the hunt before, scrolling endlessly while declaring there’s nothing good to watch. However, the streaming platform has plenty of buried treasure and is well-equipped to deliver the best films in history — if you know where to look. By cross-referencing IMDb’s highest-ranked films of all time with Netflix MENA’s library, we took the guesswork out of your next binge session. Now, you can properly avoid that friend who screams, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you haven’t seen that movie!” by brushing up on some of the most critically praised, crowd-pleasing films of all time.
Scroll down to discover our must-watch movie list and hit play without thinking twice.
The Shawshank Redemption
IMDb Rating: 9.2
Locked up for a crime he didn't commit, a banker turned prisoner proves that behind bars, numbers aren't the only thing that can be laundered. With cunning and friendship as his tools, he digs a tunnel toward freedom, proving that even in the darkest corners, hope is a Shawshank that can't be contained. The Shawshank Redemption stars Tim Robbins in a career-defining role and Morgan Freeman in arguably one of the greatest films of the 20th century.
IMDb Rating: 9.2
Based on Mario Puzo's novel of the same name, The Godfather is deeply embedded in pop culture – so much so that you're likely to have quoted it without even realizing it. The Oscar-winning crime drama follows the Corleone family's story, focusing on the journey of gangster Vito Corleone's son from an outsider to a ruthless mafia boss after being announced as the head of the crime dynasty. Seeing as how the whole trilogy is currently on Netflix (and The Godfather II is also rated 9.0 by IMDB), we recommend you make a marathon of it.
The Dark Knight
IMDb Rating: 9.0
In the gritty streets of Gotham, visionary director Christopher Nolan weaves a dark and thrilling tale in possibly one of the greatest Batman films of all time. It also earned the indomitable Heath Ledger a posthumous Oscar for his harrowing turn as the enigmatic Joker. Amidst explosive chaos and mind-bending riddles, Batman's (played by Christian Bale) growls and gadgets are put to the ultimate test. Anne Hathaway cuts a seductive Catwoman, purring her way into the battle of shadows and secrets, and from start to finish, it's a wild ride leaving audiences with only one question: Why so serious?
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
IMDb Rating: 8.8
If escapism is what you're looking for, then the Lord of the Rings trilogy is a must-watch. This action-packed saga is set in the fictional world of Middle-earth, whose fate depends on the destruction of the 'One' Ring – a weapon created and lost by the evil Dark Lord, Sauron. The trilogy follows young hobbit Frodo Baggins' impossible journey to return the ring to Mordor – the only place where it can be destroyed.
IMDb Rating: 8.8
It's a Quentin Tarantino's world where bullets, banter, and bizarre encounters collide in a non-linear feast of crime, coolness, and unexpected twists. Following the lives of two hitmen – played by John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson – as they navigate a dance contest, a mysterious briefcase, and a royally messed-up diner robbery. With Uma Thurman's intoxicating presence as a mobster's wife, Bruce Willis' badass boxer on the run, and an eccentric cast of characters dancing to Tarantino's tune, this genre-bending masterpiece will have you quoting dialogue, craving a 'Royale with Cheese', and questioning the very essence of coolness itself.
IMDb Rating 8.6
After Earth becomes uninhabitable, there is only one way to ensure humanity's survival: interstellar travel. This brilliant sci-fi thriller follows a team of astronauts who travel to another galaxy to find a new planet to sustain human life. Stunning visuals break the mold, as director Christopher Nolan is able to visualize the complexities of string theory in the most wonderous way. More than just a film about the survival of the human race, Interstellar touches on themes of family, grief, and love as the most powerful force in the galaxy. This is one movie-going experience that will leave you speechless at the end.
The Green Mile
IMDb Rating: 8.6
Step into the eerie corridors of death row, where miracles and monsters converge. In The Green Mile, directed by Frank Darabont, Tom Hanks shines as a compassionate prison guard overseeing the final walk of condemned men. When a gentle giant with supernatural abilities, played by Michael Clarke Duncan, arrives, the line between good and evil blurs. With Doug Hutchison as a sadistic prison guard and a quirky supporting cast adding color to the grim setting, this gripping tale explores the power of empathy, the pain of injustice, and the mysteries that unfold on the path to redemption.
Back to the Future
IMDb Rating: 8.5
When Marty – a 17-year-old high school student – travels 30 years back in time with the help of a kooky professor, he finds himself involved in his teenage parents' lives. To get back to the future, Marty must make sure his parents meet and fall in love, culminating in the strangest love triangle in cinema history.
IMDb Rating: 8.5
Blurring the boundaries between mythology, fantasy, and reality, Spirited Away follows the tale of 10-year-old Chihiro, who must navigate a mythical world to figure out a way to free her parents who are being held captive by a powerful sorceress. One of the highest-rated movies of all time, this animated feature by Japanese director, Hayao Miyazaki provides a much-needed escape into a fantasy world.
IMDb Rating: 8.5
Check into the Bates Motel, but beware of the shower. Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho takes a stab at your nerves with its chilling tale of a taxidermy enthusiast named Norman Bates. Played with eerie brilliance by Anthony Perkins, Bates welcomes unsuspecting guests with open arms and a sinister secret. When Marion Crane, portrayed by Janet Leigh, checks in, she becomes entangled in a web of deception, unsettling Norman's delicate balance. With iconic scenes, a screeching score, and twists that'll leave you screaming, this classic thriller showcases the master of suspense at his finest. Just like 'Hotel California', checking out is never as easy as checking in.