What are the best Netflix movies to download to your mobile phone or tablet right now? We round up our favourite action, comedy, crime, kids, sci-fi and fantasy films that you can download from Netflix, to watch offline on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
In 2017, Netflix granted us the power to download movies and TV shows to watch offline on your phone and tablet. That’s great news if you’re always travelling to areas with crappy signal, or you don’t have much of a data allowance but still want to enjoy films and shows on the move.
Right now there’s not a massive selection of movies available to download from Netflix. However, dig deep and you’ll find some hidden gems that are well worth a watch. Or of course you could just scroll down and see our pick of the best Netflix movies that are available for download right now.
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Best Netflix action movies to download
For the ultimate enjoyment, action movies should really be absorbed on a massive screen. But if you’re on the go and you really need to get the adrenaline pumping, these are our favourite action films that can be downloaded to your mobile device via Netflix right now.
Keanu Reeves was a perfect fit for the titular hero of this super-violent action flick. The down-on-his-luck retired hitman is still grieving his deceased wife when the spoiled son of a local gangster steals his car and kills his dog. Big mistake. What follows is an hour and a half of people being shot point blank in the face. The body count is high and the style is smoking.
This James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie action vehicle is as entertaining as it is daft, which makes it an ideal download for those lengthy trips. A hapless office pleb stuck in a dead-end job finds himself inexplicably recruited by a deadly cult of assassins, who get their jobs from mystical looms. No, really. They can bend bullets through the air and everything. It’s absolutely monkey bananas.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
The Mission Impossible series is one of the most dependable action franchises out there, with every entry bar the snort-worthy second effort offering some impressive set-pieces, great plotting and fun characters.
Rogue Nation is the latest entry and just as great as ever. Some fantastic action scenes and a couple of neat little twists make for an entertaining movie, with the whole gang thrown together for one more ‘impossible’ mission.
Yes, it’s incredibly silly. Yes, there’s a scene where Chris Pratt leads a squadron of raptors into battle on a motorbike. Yes, there are two highly annoying kids in it, and you’ll wish a bloody pterodactyl would just swoop down and snatch them up after five seconds.
Those complaints aside, Jurassic World is well worth a download if you want a dumb action movie to watch on the plane or wherever else. There are plenty of spectacular moments and some good chuckles to be had throughout. Especially if you’ve enjoyed an alcoholic beverage or three.
Neill Blomkamp’s excellent debut movie, a fast-paced sci-fi action comedy starring the hilarious Sharlto Copley, is still his best film by miles. Sharlto plays a government agent who finds himself drawn into the miserable world of alien refugees in South Africa. To say anything more would be to spoil the twisty plot, although it’s the perfectly timed comedy and tense conflict between humans and aliens that really makes this a stand-out Netflix download.
Quentin Tarantino’s western action flick features more N-words than your average NWA album, so probably best enjoyed with earphones if you’re on a bus or train. All the same, Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx turn in solid performances and the script is packed with plenty of tense scenes and some uber-violent action.
This Japanese action flick is based on a suitably disturbing manga, but condenses those many volumes into an easily-digestible two hours. A class of unwitting school kids find themselves trapped on an island, where they’re forced to kill each other off by the immensely enjoyable Beat Takeshi. Worthy of many re-watches, so keep it downloaded on your phone for those long journeys.
Pretty much everyone has probably already seen Zombieland by now, and this madcap zombie apocalypse movie probably sits more comfortably in the comedy section thanks to its fast-flowing chuckles and that Bill Murray cameo. But there’s plenty of edge-of-the-seat action too, as our band of troubled heroes evade the legions of the undead.
Kung Fu Hustle
Stephen Chow stars in and directs this over-the-top blend of kung fu movie and gangster flick, which delivers some seriously manic action sequences that need to be watched over and over to truly appreciate. The Shanghai backdrops are suitably grimy and the fight scenes are perfectly choreographed.
This one’s worth a download just for sheer giggles and the cheese factor. Kevin Costner is a half merman creature in a world covered in water, who finds himself hunted by a rather manic one-eyed pirate (played by Dennis Hopper in full ham mode). It’s ridiculous and it’s great after a couple of beers on a long train ride.
Best Netflix horror movies to download
Like the action genre, horror films really should be watched on a big screen for maximum impact. However, settle under your duvet with a tablet and a good pair of headphones and you’ll be sure to shriek up a storm with the following horror flicks.
M Night Shyamalan’s movies went right off the deep end around the time of Signs, until this little gem was released. The Visit chronicles the misadventures of two teens as they meet their seemingly senile grandparents for the first time. Granny likes to play disturbing games of hide and seek, and isn’t quite herself when night time rolls around. Meanwhile grandad appears to harbour some kind of unsettling secret, forbidding the kids from setting foot inside the barn.
With its tongue-in-cheek style and some moments you’ll never ever forget, no matter how hard you try, The Visit is a great horror pick.
Freddy vs Jason
This horror movie antagonist show-down was pretty original when it first emerged 14 years ago, throwing together two of the genre’s greatest serial killers in an epic and brutal battle. The movie begins with the usual slaying of hapless teens, until the pair finally face off in the duel to end all duels. Plenty of great Freddy quips and some disgusting death scenes make this well worth downloading to your phone or tablet.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
We pretty much avoid anything with ‘exorcism’ in the title these days, but this surprisingly effective horror flick from 2005 is well worth breaking that habit for. A sceptical attorney finds herself representing a priest accused of negligent homicide after an exorcism goes horribly wrong. As the case progresses, we see the events leading up to the tragic ceremony. Be warned: if you download this from Netflix, you won’t be able to shake some of the darker, more shocking moments from your brain for quite some time.
This creepy little tale sees Patrick Wilson on top form, as the father who discovers that an evil spirit is haunting his son. With some stand-out creepy imagery and a welcome bit of light relief in the form of a trio of demonologists, Insidious is a step above the usual ‘things that go boo’ Hollywood horrors.
This gore-soaked remake of Sam Raimi’s classic horror movie is available to download from Netflix right now. And unlike the bargain basement (yet still mesmerising) original, this movie seriously ups the budget to deliver some spectacular body horror. Get over the lack of Bruce Campbell and you’ll find this a worthy stand-alone late-night flick.
Best Netflix comedy movies to download
Netflix has a solid and diverse range of comedy movies available to download right now. Catering to every sense of humour going, the following comedy films can be downloaded right now and offer everything from gentle rib-tickling to filth-ridden belly-laughs.
Really, explaining Terry Gilliam’s brilliant Brazil is simply impossible. The dystopian future presented by the Monty Python man is filled with hideous beauracracy and red tape, which our hero Jonathan Pryce finds himself up against in hilarious fashion. Robert DeNiro, Bob Hoskins and Ian Holm are just a few of the brilliant cameos on offer, in this dark satire.
One of Bobby DeNiro’s best comedies is this foul-mouthed buddy romp from the 80s. Tasked with returning the rogue Mafia accountant Charles Grodin to his bail bondsman before the deadline is up, Bob finds himself up against a rival bounty hunter and the understandably angry mafia boss who was ripped off in the first place. Much hi-jinks follow, not to mention loads of laughs.
Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and a gleefully wicked Ralph Fiennes are on top form in this darkly comic movie about two out-of-favour hitmen who find themselves confined to the beautiful-yet-boring city of Bruges. They drive each other crazy, but they certainly deliver the LOLs too.
The Breakfast Club
Five very different high school cliche characters are thrust together in a detention class, which leads to plenty of brilliant quotable lines. You can’t go wrong with John Hughes, especially when you need a few light chuckles and a warm, fuzzy feeling deep inside. Will appeal to 80s kids more, of course.
The Big Lebowski
If you haven’t already seen the Coen Brothers’ hilarious comedy flick, then what are you doing reading this? Go and download it right now. Seriously, it’s the best thing your eyeballs focus on today, and that includes your other half/offspring.
The Lobster is one of those films that can’t really be justified in a simple two-line description. Colin Farrell and Olivia Coleman star in this absolutely bonkers and dry-as-a-desert comedy about singletons who check into a resort to find ‘true love’. If you don’t manage to find a partner in a set time however, you’re turned into the animal of your choice. Like we said, bonkers.
Robot & Frank
Another movie with a rather bizarre plot hook is Robot & Frank, available to download now. An old fella called Frank get a robot sidekick, who’s meant to take care of him and keep an eye on him at the same time. But instead, Frank manages to convince Robot to help him with a daring heist. Robot & Frank is definitely one of the most charming Netflix movies available to download right now, and full of zingers.
Based on the Irvine Welsh novel of the same name, this James McAvoy vehicle sees the young Charles Xavier move to Scotland and get a job as a policeman. The humour is most definitely ‘lewd’, but we loved every minute of Filth right up to the startling climax.
This mickey take of 1070s blaxploitation movies is absolute genius, and one of our favourite comedy flicks from the last ten years. Michael Jai White is a deadpan genius, portraying a stereotypical badass who’s hunting down those unsavoury types who offed his brother. Shoddy production values and terrible one-liners are present and correct, leading to endless hilarity.
Sure, the second Ghostbusters isn’t a patch on the first film, but there’s still plenty of great laughs to be had from this comedy sequel. Bill Murray and the rest of the cast deliver the same wonderful performances and that bit with the ghost nanny still haunts our nightmares, near three decades later. Plus, it’s a million times more funny than Paul Feig’s terrible script for the recent reboot.
Best Netflix crime movies and thrillers to download
Tension reigns in the following crime films, which can be downloaded from Netflix right now. From classic prison dramas to uber-violent thrillers, you can’t beat these gritty and gut-wrenching movies.
The King of Comedy
Kind of a difficult movie to label with a genre, this one. Martin Scorsese’s brilliant film about desperate wannabe-stand-up-comedian Rupert Pumpkin, played to perfection by Robert DeNiro, is certainly one of their best collaborations. Pumpkin’s increasingly erratic actions in his quest for fame are both jaw-dropping and hilarious.
James Ellroy’s mammoth crime novel was brilliantly adapted for the big screen in this 90s movie, with excellent performances from Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger and James Cromwell. The 1950s LA setting simply drips with corruption and grime, despite all of the Hollywood glitz and glamour that’s flashed between the sharp, shocking violence. Smart dialogue and a couple of brilliant twists make for one hell of a crime movie, to be downloaded from Netflix right now.
Surely everyone has seen Michael Mann’s excellent heist movie by now, which finally sees DeNiro and Pacino squaring off as professional criminal and determined justice-bringer. The action scenes still get you right in the gut, especially if you’re wearing a good pair of headphones – those machine guns are brutal.
Children of Men
Clive Owen is tasked with protecting humanity’s last chance for redemption, in a world where women can no longer get pregnant and the species seems doomed. Yep, Children of Men is a pretty grim apocalyptic adventure, yet there are some charming and thoroughly human moments to be enjoyed, between the gripping and expertly directed action scenes. The tension really mounts up, and you’ll probably have a good cry before the credits roll.
If it’s suspense and tension you’re after, you can’t go wrong with Captain Phillips. Tom Hanks turns in yet another fantastic performance but it’s Barkhad Abdi as a desperate Somali pirate who steals the show. When Abdi and his ragged band take over a cargo ship captained by Hanks, the titular everyday hero must use his wits and his substantial courage to try and save his crew.
Natural Born Killers
Oliver Stone’s cult classic is still just as gritty and gut-wrenching as we remember, not to mention trippy as hell. Woody Harrelson proved beyond a doubt that he’s more than just a dopey bartender, while the likes of Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Downey Jr offer frenetic performances.
The Shawshank Redemption
Stephen King’s short story was simply brilliant, and perfectly translated into movie form. The Shawshank Redemption is simply the best prison movie ever made, with plenty of feel-good moments as well as horrifying gut punches packed in. Chances are you’ve already seen it countless times, but now you can carry it on your phone at all times thanks to Netflix downloads.
A Bronx Tale
This classic Robert De Niro 90s mobster movie sees Bob on restrained form, casting him as a hard-working New York bus driver struggling to keep his son out of the open arms of the local mobster boss. Utterly gripping throughout its tight two hour running time, A Bronx Tale is one of our favourite mob movies after Goodfellas.
We also love Once Upon a Time In America, which similarly follows the lives of mobsters in NYC, this time in the 1920s. That’s a good one for long plane flights as it’s almost four hours long.
Quentin Tarantino’s second appearance on this list comes courtesy of this low-key gangster movie, based on an Elmore Leonard novel called Rum Punch. Pam Grier and Robert Forster are brilliant as the hapless duo who decide to steal from the dangerous and unpredictable Sam L Jackson. The plot unfolds at a slow pace but keeps you hooked throughout thanks to some sharp dialogue and fantastic chemistry.
Fight Club’s energetic direction, grimy visuals and brilliant cast make it well worth a watch on Netflix downloads, even if you’ve already seen it loads of times before. Every time you watch it you’ll spot something new, while the cracking script throws out plenty of visual gags that are consistently hilarious.
Best Netflix sci-fi and fantasy movies to download
If you’re more of a fan of space shenanigans and bizarre beasties, check out our pick of the best fantasy and science fiction movies on Netflix right now. Any of the following can be downloaded to enjoy on the go.
Guillermo Del Toro’s best film to date (beating off some pretty hot competition from the likes of The Devil’s Backbone) is a real punch to the gut. An unsettling blend of gritty war drama and fantastical horror, Pan’s Labyrinth is worth a watch just for the spectacular creature effects. Download it through the Netflix app right now.
Troll Hunter is one of them found footage movies, but don’t let that put you off; this is by far one of the better efforts. Three Norwegian students are shooting a documentary about bear poaching when they come across the troll hunter of the title, who begrudgingly agrees to let them tag along. Troll tropes are used to great effect and the movie is frequently thrilling, even if it is a mite too long.
This sci-fi thriller stars Christian Bale as a cop in a dystopian future, where emotions are outlawed. The populace is kept under control with compulsory daily doses of a special drug, and it’s Bale’s job to track down anyone who refuses to take their medicine. Of course he quickly realises that this is a Rather Bad Thing To Do, and so sets about righting his wrongs. The best part of Equilibrium is its slick action scenes, a combination of kung fu and gun play which forces inevitable comparisons with The Matrix.
Best Netflix drama movies to download
Fancy a film that’ll make you think, or that places an emphasis on strong performances and engrossing stories? These are our favourite Netflix dramas right now that you can download to your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
This Netflix exclusive chronicles the surreal adventures of a happy-go-lucky girl and her giant hippo-type creature thing, who must go on the run when some shady corporate types want to kidnap the lovable beastie. Tilda Swinton is on top form as a ruthless villain.
This drama about an Irish kid transferring to a rough Dulin school as his dysfunctional family falls apart might not sound like a laugh-a-minute delight, but Sing Street is dripping with charm. The hapless Conor decides the only way to survive his new school is to set up a band, which also attracts the attention of an aspiring model. Packed with witty dialogue and 80s music covers, Sing Street is worth a watch for any children of that decade.
Eddie the Eagle
This 2016 movie shows the rise to fame of Michael Edwards, the famous British ski jumper who made it all the way to the Olympics, mostly because there was pretty much no competition for places. If you’re after a light-hearted and brain-free drama, this is one of the best to download from Netflix right now.
On the other hand, if you want something raw, tense and thoroughly shocking, Whiplash is a better bet. You’ll hold drummers in much higher regard after seeing the plight of Miles Teller, who has to literally bleed to impress his tyrannical music teacher J.K. Simmons. Those poisonous outbursts are as hilarious as they are horrifying, standing up to repeated viewings.
Another hard watch, you’ll struggle to believe that Foxcatcher is based on a real-life event. Millionaire and thoroughly strange fella John du Pont, played perfectly by Steve Carell, decides to set up his own wrestling school at his country estate. Channing Tatum is his chosen talent, tasked with leading a band of boys to Olympics victory. But things take a seriously dark turn when Tatum’s on-screen brother, Mark Ruffalo, gets involved.
When you’re finished with this, you can download the documentary ‘Team Foxcatcher’ from Netflix for more about this torrid tale.
Best Netflix kids movies to download
Netflix is a great way to keep the kids quiet in the car, or whenever you’re out and about. Of course, we’re not saying that you should simply hand your little bundles of joy a phone whenever they’re acting up and let them rot their brains for hours on end. But man, that momentary peace sure is lovely.
Here’s our pick of the best kids movies to download on the Netflix app.
Postman Pat The Movie
We never thought we’d see Greendale on the big screen, but that’s exactly what happened in 2014. Now you can watch Postman Pat The Movie on the small screen by downloading it to your phone via Netflix. We recommend doing so too, as this funny adventure offers plenty of chuckles for grown-ups as well as slapstick for the kids. X-Factor style talent contests and robot Pats make for many hi-jinx.
If you don’t like The Boxtrolls. you officially have no soul. This stop motion animated movie about a boy raised by trolls is delightful in every way, from the colourful visuals to the barmy plot and even more barmy characters. The strong British cast do an excellent job and there are plenty of snort-worthy gags for adults as well as kids.
The Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of Water
Spongebob is either utterly hilarious or absolutely repugnant depending on who you ask, but we’re big fans here at Recombu HQ. The Spongebob movie sees the hyperactive sponge thrust into a perilous mission on dry land to recover the Krabby Patty secret recipe, along with his best buds. Even adults (with a certain sense of humour) will delight in the quirky gags, which come thick and fast.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Like The Boxtrolls, The Pirates! is one of the best kids movies available to download on Netflix right now. It’s another stop motion effort, this time starring a band of hapless pirates led by Hugh Grant as they attempt to win a science competition with the last living dodo. Yep, the plot is nuts, and that’s just part of the movie’s charm. David Tennant, Imelda Staunton and Brian Blessed all crop up to add even more fun to this hilarious animation.
David Bowie is one of the best things about this Jim Henson 80s kids flick, which sees Jennifer Connelly puzzling her way through a treacherous maze to rescue her baby brother from the Goblin King. The creature effects are on point as you’d expect from Mr Henson, and we could watch it over and over for Bowie’s musical numbers alone.
Read next: Best movies and shows to stream on Netflix in 2017
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