The Highest-Rated Movies on Netflix Canada, According to Rotten Tomatoes
If you're stuck inside watching movies on Netflix Canada all day, why not stream the best ones? Rotten Tomatoes—the popular site that aggregates reviews from critics and creates a score that's "fresh" or "rotten"—has put together a list of the top movies ever based on adjusted score and number of reviews. So, get cozy with your bowl of popcorn, and start watching these guaranteed fresh flicks on Netflix.
1. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)
Number of reviews: 422
It’s no small feat that super spy Ethan Hunt and the Mission: Impossible series are still going strong after 24 years, six movies and five directors. The one constant, of course, is Tom Cruise, whose back-breaking stunts are the stuff of legend. Mission: Impossible – Fallout features some of the most incredible action sequences ever filmed: a high-altitude parachute jump from a military plane, a motorcycle chase through the streets of Paris, and a helicopter chase above the mountains of Kashmir, to name a few. Fallout‘s stellar cast of female characters—especially philanthropist and arms dealer Alanna “White Widow” Mitsopolis (The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby)—are just as captivating.
2. Citizen Kane (1941)
Number of reviews: 90
In 1939, RKO Pictures did the unthinkable by giving then-24-year-old director Orson Welles complete control over his first movie. The result? A groundbreaking drama that utilized every trick in the cinematic arsenal: non-linear editing, stylized camera angles, and everything in between. Citizen Kane, based on the life of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, is in many ways the first “modern” movie. None of this would matter, however, if Citizen Kane wasn’t so thoroughly enjoyable. There’s much to love here: Bernard Hermann’s energetic score, Welles’ remarkably assured performance, and the film’s many tonal shifts, from newsroom comedy to political drama to film noir.
3. The Irishman (2019)
Number of reviews: 430
As the director of Goodfellas, Casino and The Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese has often been accused of glorifying the lifestyles of immoral men. With that in mind, The Irishman feels like a retort. Not one second of this 209-minute opus, which charts the life of Pennsylvania hit man Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) and his relationships with mob boss Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) and Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), could be mistaken for glamorous. After all, where’s the charm in killing your best friend, losing the love and trust of your family, and seeing history move on without you? The Irishman is both a moving portrait of a deeply flawed man and a fitting coda to the mob movie genre.
4. Modern Times (1936)
Number of reviews: 59
Charlie Chaplin’s final outing as the kind-hearted, mustachioed Little Tramp is also the best representation of his filmmaking genius. Modern Times follows the iconic character as he accepts back-breaking work as a factory employee, before falling for a young woman on the run (Paulette Goddard). With its hilarious sight gags and scathing critique of class inequality, Modern Times is a triumphant farewell to the silent era.
5. Eighth Grade (2018)
Number of reviews: 299
Meet Kayla (Elsie Fisher), a shy, social media-obsessed student in her final week of middle school, and the unlikely hero of the delightfully awkward Eighth Grade. Despite having no real friends and struggling to connect with her single dad (Josh Hamilton), Kayla posts motivational videos onto YouTube that get zero views. Eighth Grade is almost entirely made up of scenes depicting Kayla’s blunders and anxieties: the panic of being seen alone at the mall, talking to an uninterested crush, having to show skin for the first time at a pool party. For Kayla, every cringeworthy encounter is the end of the world, but Eighth Grade is smart enough to show that she’ll make it through high school just fine.
6. Roma (2018)
Number of reviews: 382
Directed by Oscar-winner Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity) and set in the Colonia Roma neighbourhood of Mexico City in 1971, this semi-autobiographical film follows Indigenous live-in maid Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio, in her screen debut) and the wealthy household she cares for: Sofia, doctor husband Antonio, and their four young children. Soon, Cleo’s turbulent personal life begins to mirror the disintegrating marriage of her employers, while political tensions in Mexico boil over into full-blown violent protests. Photographed in stunning black-and-white, Cuarón’s humane vision is personal storytelling on the grandest scale imaginable.
7. The Godfather (1972)
Number of reviews: 97
All things considered, this tale of the treacherous Corleone crime family is as flawless as a movie can be. From its pitch-perfect casting—Marlon Brando delivers one of his signature performances, while Al Pacino emerges as one of Hollywood’s greatest leading men—to the fact that every one of its scenes have become enshrined in pop culture consciousness, The Godfather is one of cinema’s greatest melodramas. If by some miracle you haven’t seen it, there’s only one thing to say to you, courtesy of Brando’s Don Vito: “What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully?”
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8. Arrival (2016)
Number of reviews: 423
Quebec native Denis Villeneuve has built quite the resume for himself, having directed Prisoners, Sicario and Blade Runner 2049 this past decade alone. Arrival, however, may very well be his crowning achievement so far. A slow-burning sci-fi about 12 mysterious alien spacecraft that land in various locations around the globe, a linguist (Amy Adams) and theoretical physicist (Jeremy Renner) are tasked by a U.S. Army Colonel (Forest Whitaker) to decode the alien’s language. Although it may sound simple enough, Arrival is anything but.
9. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Number of reviews: 129
Accidentally left behind by his fellow travellers in California’s San Fernando Valley, a gentle alien creature must navigate a strange and hostile environment alone. He soon encounters Elliott (Henry Thomas), a 10-year-old who’s reeling from his parents’ recent separation. Along with brother Michael (Robert MacNaughton) and sister Gertie (Drew Barrymore), Elliott must find a way to evade E.T.’s government pursuers and send him home. Both a stirring depiction of growing up with divorce and a thrilling sci-fi adventure, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial effortlessly blurs the line between art and entertainment.
10. Incredibles 2 (2018)
Number of reviews: 374
Despite being about literal superheroes, The Incredibles was always about the struggles—and rewards—in being part of a family. Incredibles 2 expands on that idea, but now the tables are turned: Bob Barr a.k.a. Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) is now the one staying home to take care of the kids, while his wife, Helen a.k.a. Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), fights crime and helps rehabilitate the image of superheroes. The rise of a new villain, Screenslaver (Catherine Keener), however, threatens to destroy this family of “supers” for good.
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11. Paddington 2 (2017)
Number of reviews: 238
The most-reviewed film to receive the vaunted 100 per cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this lovable family adventure follows Paddington (Ben Whishaw), a young, marmalade-loving Peruvian bear living with the Brown family in London, England. While the kind-hearted Paddington saves his wages to buy an antique pop-up book for his Aunt Lucy’s (Imelda Staunton) 100th birthday, the book is stolen, and Paddington is wrongfully convicted of the crime and jailed. The thief is soon revealed to be Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant), a horrifically vain actor—and neighbour of the Browns.
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12. Gravity (2013)
Number of reviews: 352
Immediately hailed as a modern classic and nominated for 10 Oscars, Gravity rewrites the rules of the sci-fi thriller and adds new ones too. After a routine spacewalk goes catastrophically wrong, two astronauts—the brilliant but inexperienced Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and the mission’s commander, Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney)—find themselves floating in outer space with nothing but each other. Visually dazzling and narratively taut, Gravity is a pulse-pounding survival story for the ages.
13. Leave No Trace (2018)
Number of reviews: 227
Leave No Trace, the second-most reviewed film to receive a 100 per cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, tells the story of Will, an Iraqi War veteran suffering from PTSD (Ben Foster) who lives in a public park in Portland, Oregon, with his 13-year-old daughter Tom (Thomasin McKenzie). One day, they’re spotted, arrested and given food and a home by social services. Faced with this opportunity for a fresh start, Will struggles to overcome his demons and adjust to regular life, while his daughter feels her father is holding back her true potential. Based on a true story.
14. La La Land (2016)
Number of reviews: 456
The Oscar-winning La La Land charts the romance of aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) and devoted jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) from first meeting to break-up in the City of Dreams, delivering a bevy of tunes along the way. An unapologetic homage to the classic movie musicals of the 1950s and ’60s, La La Land features sensuous throwbacks to Singin’ in the Rain, The Band Wagon, West Side Story and The Young Girls of Rochefort.
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15. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Number of reviews: 389
Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, young Peter Parker (Tom Holland) navigates his double-life as a teenager at Midtown High School in New York City, and as the youngest member of the Avengers. Against the commands of his mentor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Parker begins to investigate the city’s newest villain, Vulture (Michael Keaton), a salvager-turned-arms trafficker with mysterious intentions. While one could argue that there are simply too many superhero movies and shows these days, Spider-Man: Homecoming is too fun, action-packed and smart to ignore.
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16. Baby Driver (2017)
Number of reviews: 380
When Baby (Ansel Elgort) puts in his earbuds and presses play, he’s the best getaway driver in the game. Baby works for Doc (Kevin Spacey), a criminal mastermind who assembles new crews for every armed robbery he plans, Baby being the only constant. When Baby repays his debt to Doc, he decides to quit his life of crime and devote himself to his love, Debora (Lily James)—but Baby’s criminal past threatens to destroy his future in unexpected ways. If you want non-stop action, a bangin’ soundtrack, and a good amount of soul, Baby Driver should be at the top of your Netflix Canada viewing list.
17. Shoplifters (2018)
Number of reviews: 219
Shoplifters, winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, follows an impoverished, makeshift “family”: married day laborers Osamu and Nobuyo, hostess Aki, the elderly Hatsue, and Shota, a young boy whom the husband and wife take in after finding him on the street. Osamu and Shota make ends meet by shoplifting goods from stores; when the pair witness a young girl, Yuri, being neglected by her parents, they decide to take her in as well. Incidents both big and small, however, soon begin to threaten the bonds that link these wildly different people together.
18. Hell or High Water (2016)
Number of reviews: 279
In order to stop their family’s West Texas ranch from being foreclosed, two brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) begin robbing small banks to pay off their mortgage. Meanwhile, clever Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) is hot on the brothers’ tail and vows to ambush them at the scene of their next crime. A sleeper hit, Hell or High Water was nominated for four Academy Awards in 2017, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Bridges.
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19. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Number of reviews: 413
When politicians move to install a new system of accountability for superheroes, the Avengers are split into two groups: one led by Captain America (Chris Evans), who believes superheroes should be free to defend humanity without interference, and the other led by Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), who supports government oversight.
20. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Number of reviews: 85
Lawrence of Arabia may take poetic license with the Middle East campaigns of the First World War, but it’s still the very definition of epic: sprawling desert landscapes, stunning 70mm cinematography, battle sequences, glorious music and one of the best screenplays ever. Lawrence of Arabia would simply be style over substance, however, if not for the beating heart at its centre. As T.E. Lawrence, the late Peter O’Toole brought to life cinema’s most complicated hero: smart, ambitious, sexually ambiguous and plenty sadistic.
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