Top 10 classic movies on Netflix for a trip down memory lane

Top 10 classic movies on Netflix

Netflix updates its streaming service every week with new releases from around the world. There are a lot of classic films over the course of the last 30 years, but if you want anything older you'll have to dig. Do not fret. Whether you're in the mood for twisted thrillers, charming musicals, iconic action heroes, kooky comedies, or breathtaking Westerns, we've got it all.

Here are the top 10 classic titles now streaming on Netflix.

1. Chinatown


Jack Nicholson brings grit and charisma to one of the most acclaimed films of his illustrious career as a private investigator in over his head. Detective J. lives in 1937 Los Angeles with a beautiful dame (Faye Dunaway). J. "Jake" Gittes (Nicolson) finds himself entangled in a web of lies, corruption, murder, and wretched family secrets. Based on the real-life California Water Wars, screenwriter Robert Towne crafted this neo-noir yarn. With its twists and violence, this tense film is full of tension. It won an impressive 11 Academy Awards nominations, including Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Picture, directed by Roman Polanski in his prime in 1974. That night, only Towne won an Oscar. You know what they say, “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown."

2. My Fair Lady

My Fair Lady

This unlikely romance of snooty Professor Henry Higgins and cockney-speaking pauper Eliza Doolittle became a Hollywood hit in 1964 after being first produced as a George Bernard Shaw play and then as a Lerner and Lowe Broadway musical. The classic rom-coms ingenue Audrey Hepburn and dashing Rex Harrison from Broadway reprise their roles as Higgins and Audrey Hepburn in this audacious adaptation directed by George Cukor. Both films danced their way into the hearts of audiences and all the way to the Academy Awards, where the film won eight honors, including Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Picture. A true gentleman, Harrison dedicated his win to his "two fair ladies." In addition to Hepburn, he thanked Julie Andrews, who played Eliza on Broadway.

3. Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

For the film's sequel, James Cameron radically reimagined the eponymous killer cyborg as a hero after the smash success of 1984's The Terminator. Arnold Schwarzenegger has returned. The mission becomes more complex as he learns that instead of searching for Sarah Connor (a returning ripped Linda Hamilton), he is tasked with protecting her children (Edward Furlong and Ellen Ripley), destined to save mankind from the advancement of the machine age . Despite his metal, muscles, and ammunition, T-1000 (Robert Patrick), the next generation of Terminators, might not be able to defeat him. Terminator 2 was one of the few sequels to outdo the original with its outrageous action sequences, cutting-edge special effects, iconic imagery, and a tender story about a boy and his bot. It was an action epic that defined its genre and its time.

4. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

The British comedy troupe first dominated television with Monty Python's Flying Circus. With And Now For Something Completely Different they took their brand of surreal sketch comedy to the big screen. However, Monty Python went one better in 1975 by producing a feature-length narrative that mocked Arthur together with glee. This outlandish comedy, directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, follows King Arthur (Graham Chapman) on his quest for the Holy Grail. John Cleese, Eric Idle, and Michael Palin (John Cleese's knights) are challenged by a tenacious warrior, the Knights Who Say Ni, and a rabbit with nasty, big, pointy teeth! The irreverent parody earned a place among the greatest comedies of all time by being as unapologetically goofy as it is irreverent.

5. Dances With Wolves

Dances With Wolves

With his 1990 Western, in which he also starred, Kevin Costner made his first foray into directing during the height of his careers. A life-changing assignment on a remote Civil War outpost follows a distraught Union soldier in Dances With Wolves, based on Michael Blake's novel by the same name. The 1st Lieutenant John J. Dunbar (Costner) communicates mindfully with the nearby Sioux tribe, in contrast to other white men who are afraid. His compassion, culture, and community are astound him once welcomed into their circle. Dunbar and his new friends have no choice but to fight to survive when ignorant soldiers come to threaten the tribe. The film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture, for its epic story, breathtaking cinematography, and memorable performances.

6. She's Gotta Have It

She's Gotta Have It

The daring comedy that launched Spike Lee's career and became a landmark in the American independent film scene was She's Gotta Have It 31 years before it was a Netflix series. Lee's black-and-white movie focuses on Brooklyn graphic artist Nola Darling (Tracy Camilla Johns), who is juggling three lovers. These jealous men force Nola to consider what she wants in love, sex, and relationships when they demand she choose just one. In Lee's film, critics praised the way he brought to light a side of the Black experience rarely seen in mainstream cinema. He was given the "Award of Youth" by the Cannes Film Festival, and Johns was honored with the award for Best Female Lead at the Independent Spirit Awards.

7. Rain Man

Rain Man

In the most popular film of director Barry Levinson, Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman play polar opposites who are long-lost brothers. Cruise's charismatic protagonist Charlie Babbitt (Cruise) is an aggressive yuppie who is always on the lookout for a big payday. Ray Babbit (Hoffman) does not care about money and has a keen sense for numbers, even though he is meek. In need of quick cash, Charlie takes Raymond on a cross-country road trip that takes them both out of their comfort zones, but helps them better understand each other. This 1988 drama won four Academy Awards, including Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Actor for Hoffman, thanks to a compelling screenplay, captivating story, and plenty of star power.

8. The Karate Kid

The Karate Kid

In case you've been enjoying Netflix's Cobra Kai, here are two sequels to the coming-of-age story that inspired it (which are also available on Netflix). Ralph Macchio stars as 17-year-old Daniel LaRusso, a newcomer to Los Angeles who is trying to find his way. He does not learn karate until he meets Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita), who teaches him how to live and practice karate. Avildsen also directed the Oscar-nominated American classic Rocky, his second sports film. After receiving a positive response from critics and moviegoers, Morita received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. The nod, though not a win, was "fairly okay."

9. Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers

Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers

Do you want to learn about the female trailblazers who made their mark on early cinema? Enjoy these early 1900s films when you watch this incredible collection. Featuring slapstick comedy, action, and daring dramas that touch on taboo topics like abortion, birth control, and sex work, these selections range from 11 to 72 minutes. Alice Guy-Blaché, Lois Weber, and Dorothy Davenport Reid didn't hesitate to make films that exposed the highs and lows of female experiences. Now, you can easily experience the impressive results of their work, as each has been carefully remastered to reflect its original splendor.

10. Midnight Run

Midnight Run

In 1988, Robert De Niro had built a strong reputation as a dramatic actor, bringing bravado to films like Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, The Godfather: Part II, and Raging Bull. The Academy Award-winning actor demonstrates his comedy chops in this film, playing a bounty hunter on an insanely bizarre assignment. Jonathan Mardukas (a laughably grumbling Charles Grodin), a bail-jumping accountant, needs to be caught. It's not rocket science, just a little bit of work. Jonathan must then be carried across the country by Jack without being attacked by either the FBI, which would love to book Jonathan, or the mafia, which would like him dead. This outrageous action-comedy from Martin Brest, the director of Beverly Hills Cop, features car chases, gun fights, and biting banter that make for a raucous time.

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