The 30 best things to watch on Netflix right now

Sherlock

Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss bring Sherlock Holmes into the present day, in slick, stylish fashion. Benedict Cumberbatch shot to fame on the strength of the title role – but Martin Freeman's performance as the down-to-earth John Watson is just as important to the show's success, with a thousand Tumblrs now dedicated to capturing their interplay in GIF form.

Netflix has the first two series available to view – they may be short at just three episodes each, but those episodes are just as long (and packed with twisty-turny plotting) as any movie. Pace yourself and space them out for maximum enjoyment.

Homeland

A terrorism and spy thriller with a cracking twist (at least in the first season): we don’t know if the terrorist really is a terrorist – or if he even knows whether or not he’s one.

Homeland gets its hooks into you very quickly, and while the premise and plot have a tendency to stretch the bounds of believability at times, there’s always something that’ll keep you watching. At first it’s that is-he-or-isn’t-he hook, but soon it’s the performances from a great cast, with Claire Danes’ portrayal of bipolar CIA officer the clear standout. Currently, the first three seasons are available to stream on Netflix.

More after the break...

Dallas Buyers Club

Matthew McConaughey has made an extraordinary about-turn in the last year or so, going from bland leading-man roles in romantic comedies to full-blown Oscar contender. And the McConaissance kicked off with this film, in which he plays Ron Woodruff – a macho Texan who's diagnosed with AIDS and given 30 days to live. He quickly defies doctors' gloomy predictions by using unapproved drugs; and sets up a business smuggling the pharmaceuticals in from Mexico for fellow patients. McConaughey's easy charisma gives way to a fierce desperation as the film progresses, and Woodruff faces down both the prejudice faced by AIDS sufferers in the '80s, and the bureaucratic indifference of the FDA.

If at first glance it seems like an Oscar-baiting checklist – AIDS! Gay and transgender characters! Weight loss! – it quicky reveals itself as a compassionate, unflinching portrait of a many-layered man.

Heathers

At first glance you'd think Heathers is your typical teen high-school movie: it stars Winona Ryder and Christian Slater and follows a trio of cliquey girls who're mostly concerned with boys'n'clothes'n'parties'n'things.

It doesn't take long for the film to turn down a particularly dark alley though, as Ryder and Slater team up to give the school roll-call a gentle pruning. Sharp, sassy, at times, sickening, it's everything most teen movies aren't, and has held up incredibly well given the '80s stylings. 

Captain America: The First Avenger

A WW2 action-adventure that has more in common with Indiana Jones than Saving Private Ryan, the first Captain America film is a love letter to the pulp fiction of the 1930s and 40s. Weedy Steve Rogers is determined to make the grade and fight the Nazi menace – but he's hamstrung by his 4F physique. When he's given the chance of enlisting in the US Army's Super Soldier program, he becomes Captain America – the Star-Spangled Man, taking the fight to the German deep science division, HYDRA.

Director Joe Johnston has a flair for comic-book adventure, having previously directed The Rocketeer – and here, he pays tribute to the derring-do of wartime serials. Hugo Weaving camps it up as hissable villain the Red Skull (complete with Werner Herzog accent), while Chris Evans brings layers to Captain America, making him more than just a flag-waving steroidal freak. This is a more nuanced portrait of heroism than you'd expect, playing on themes of self-sacrifice; in wartime, there are no happy endings.

READ MORE: The movies to be excited about in 2015

Comments

Homeland isn't on my Netflix

If you want to watch both UK and USA Netflix just use a VPN, Am living in Dubai and get to see both Netflix's

You dont have to pay extra, for exsample I have a UK Netflix, so all I do is switch on the VPN and select USA and then go to the USA Netflix site to view USA content, you can do the same in the USA, just switch on VPN and select UK and then go to the Netflix UK website to view.

I hope this has helped a few people.

 

Roger, this is our Netflix UK list. You can find our Netflix US list here: http://www.stuff.tv/netflix/20-best-things-watch-netflix-us-right-now/feature

This is my second time to look for your list on Netflix as the best to watch and both times 90%of the titles are "unavailable ".   What gives?

 

roger Williams USA

 

Every show and film listed is available on Netflix UK. We'll have a US-centric list coming soon.

Hard candy is not on Netflix.

Can't believe you have Priceless on your list; it's one of my favourite films of all time, yet very few people have heard of it. Yes, it's a bit of a rom-com, but don't let that put you off. It's funny, heartwarming, and stars the delectable Audrey Tautou. What's not to like?

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