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 recommendation 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 thousands of titles, we’ve all been on the hunt before, scrolling endlessly while declaring there’s nothing good to watch. However, Netflix 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.
IMDB Rating: 9.1
Based on Mario Puzo‘s novel of the same name, The Godfather is deeply embedded in pop culture – so much 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.
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: 8.7
Dominic Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is a skilled thief – but not the kind you’d expect. Instead of breaking into homes, offices, or stores, Cobb extracts information from a person’s subconscious by infiltrating their dreams. The plot twist comes when Cobb is tasked with the nearly impossible job of ‘inception’ – planting an idea in someone’s mind. Directed by Christopher Nolan, this Academy-Award-winning sci-fi thriller explores the idea of having dreams inside of dreams, and leaves plenty of room for debate about the ending.
IMDB Rating: 8.6
Have you ever had a dream that you could swear was real? Or experienced a moment of déjà vu? What if that was just a glitch in the Matrix? How do you know that the reality that you’re experiencing is actually real? These are questions bound to pop up after watching The Matrix. The sci-fi movie narrates a future in which machines subdue humanity by using a simulated reality – the Matrix. When a computer programmer, Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, discovers the shocking truth, he joins an alter-reality group in a battle against cyber evils.
IMDB Rating: 8.6
Based on a true story, Martin Scorsese‘s masterpiece, Goodfellas, follows the story of New York mobster Henry Hill and his two friends – Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito – as they gradually climb the criminal ladder from petty crime to brutal murders. Unlike the gangster movies that preceded it, the film paints an accurate picture of the ruthless and violent mobster life.
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
After Earth suddenly 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, and love as the most powerful force in the galaxy. This is one movie-going experience that will leave you speechless at the end.
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’ life. 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.