The 30 best things to watch on Netflix US right now

Looking for something to watch? We've rounded up the finest films and shows on Netflix US. (UPDATED FOR JULY 2015)

The 30 best things to watch on Netflix US right now

Streaming video has turned our living rooms into an endless video store, with a vast array of titles to choose from.

Netflix has around 10,000 titles, taking in everything from rom-coms to action movies, TV shows and documentaries; and that can be a problem. It's called the paradox of choice; faced with an endless array of options, people freeze up. Before you know it, you've spent an hour scrolling through the possible choices, and you've run out of time to watch a movie.

Fear not; we've done all the hard work for you, picking out the cream of the streaming crop. Read on…

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Oldboy

To describe Oldboy as intense would be like saying Piers Morgan is unpalatable - ie an enormous understatement. To watch it is to be visually assaulted for 120 mins, your emotions squeezed and stamped on and flung around the room until you're left thinking that maybe you ought to go for a bit of a lie down.

A South Korean thriller about a man who's locked in a room for 15 years with no idea why – before being released to seek vengeance on his captors – it's never exactly fun viewing, but it is absolutely essential nonetheless. Story-wise it's sharp and packed with action, some of the acting is outstanding and at the end you'll be left battered and bruised but still wanting more. Brilliant.– Marc McLaren

Friends

The defining sitcom of the 90s has hit Netflix, affording you the opportunity to lose yourself in ten seasons’ worth of terrible fashion (Mom jeans! Denim vests!) and relationship drama (“We were on a break!”). The early seasons, when the characters had yet to become caricatures, are better – but although the show developed into more of a comedy-drama than a sitcom, its writers’ room continued to pump out gags with astonishing efficiency. It’s also an entertaining time capsule of a bygone age, when the Internet was the exclusive preserve of geeks and smartphones were but a twinkle in Steve Jobs’ eye. How on Earth did we cope?

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The Terminator

The Terminator franchise has been tarnished by a series of increasingly-flabby sequels - but the original film is a beautifully-engineered, precisely-tuned machine. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as the titular cyborg, sent back in time to hunt down waitress Sarah Connor and murder her before she can give birth to the man that will win the war against the machines.

It’s effectively a slasher film, made using techniques straight out of Roger Corman’s school of grindhouse film-making, with an implacable murderer stalking a plucky young heroine through a series of set-pieces. But director James Cameron elevates the material, weaving in themes of man’s struggle with technology and a perfectly-crafted time-travel plot - and giving Schwarzenegger his breakout role. He may be back, but he’s never been better than in the original.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

There’s no room for James Bond or Jason Bourne in this muted spy drama; based on the novel by John Le Carre, it populates the world of espionage with damaged, shabby men who play chess with other people’s lives. Gary Oldman’s George Smiley is one such figure, brought out of an enforced retirement to track down a Soviet mole in the “Circus”. Director Tomas Alfredson imbues the 1970s setting with a melancholy air, as his characters trudge through nicotine-stained offices and rain-sodden London streets. Oldman gives a stellar performance opposite a Who’s Who of British thesps, including the old guard of John Hurt, Colin Firth and Toby Jones, and young whippersnappers Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy. Unmissable.

The Trip

On paper, The Trip shouldn't work. It stars Brit comics Steve 'Alan Partridge' Coogan and Rob 'him out of Gavin & Stacey' Brydon as themselves, taking a culinary tour around some of northern England's finest restaurants.

There's no real plot beyond that, but if you think that sounds dull you're reckoning without the pair's natural charm and repartee; whether goading each other into Michael Caine impersonations or riffing on one another's foibles, the laughs just keep coming. A word of warning though: don't watch it on an empty stomach.– Marc McLaren

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