Netflix March 2019 Ranked: What’s New and the 75 Best Movies to Watch

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Newsweek

During March, streaming giant Netflix will add more movies and TV series to its on-demand lineup. As always, there’s a good mix of cinematic classics, easy watches and leftfield options for adventurous viewers.

Netflix starts the month off strong by adding a few big hitters. A Clockwork Orange, the 1971 adaptation of Anthony Burgess’s dystopian crime novel of the same name, is director Stanley Kubrick at his chilling, surreal best. Like all of Kubrick’s output, it’s gorgeously photographed—although the movie’s extreme violence caused the U.S. censors to slap it with an X rating on release. It was nominated for Best Picture in 1972, but lost out to The French Connection.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, another movie added to Netflix’s roster on March 1, was also nominated for a Best Picture award—it lost, sadly, to Gladiator in 2000. The Ang Lee-directed Chinese martial arts movie was a surprise megahit at the time, making many times over its $17m budget at the box office. It's still considered to be one of the best martial arts movie of all time, thanks in part to Lee’s direction and its gorgeous cinematography.

More recent movies added on March 1 include Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the Johnny Depp-starring gothic-lite musical from 2007. The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow’s 2008 Best Picture winner, tackles the white-knuckle stresses of soldiers in the Iraq War, while 2010’s Winter’s Bone stars Jennifer Lawrence as a rural teenage girl on the hunt for her meth-cooking father. If you’re after something a little lighter, Netflix is also adding weepy romcom The Notebook, Jane Austen adaptation Emma and camp counselor comedy Wet Hot American Summer on March 1.

Other highlights this month include Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, which sees Cate Blanchett give a standout performance as an ex-socialite fallen on hard times, struggling to keep it together. Blanchett won a Best Actress Academy Award for her role in the movie, which is added to Netflix on March 8.

Another must-see is A Separation, the 2011 movie by Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi. Following a family struggling with divorce and a dependent elderly relative, it’s a gripping examination of the dissolution of relationships, both intimate and professional. Netflix is adding it to the lineup on March 15.

Newsweek has aggregated data from critical review sites IMDb, Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes to rank the 75 best movies available to watch on Netflix in March, including new additions and previously added films.

01 Thor Ragnarok
Marvel/Disney

=74. Thor: Ragnarok (2017). Rated: PG-13. Total score: 78%. IMDb users: 7.9. Metacritic: 74. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.5. Rotten Tomatoes users: 4.2. 
Directed by: Taika Waititi. Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum. 
Plot summary: Thor is imprisoned on the planet Sakaar, and must race against time to return to Asgard and stop Ragnarök, the destruction of his world, at the hands of the powerful and ruthless villain Hela.
What the critics said: "The whole movie is a grab-bag of insanity so off-the-chain hilarious that you stick with it even when the convoluted plot goes haywire." Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

02 Sweeney Todd- The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
DreamWorks

Added in March:
=74. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
(2007). Rated: R. Total score: 78%. IMDb users: 7.4. Metacritic: 83. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.7. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.9. 
Directed by: Tim Burton. Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman. 
Plot summary: The infamous story of Benjamin Barker, aka Sweeney Todd, who sets up a barber shop in London which is the basis for a sinister partnership with his fellow tenant, Mrs. Lovett.
What the critics said: "Depp may not be a trained singer, but his voice is more than passable, and his presence—his Sweeney is Edward Scissorhands gone bad—is perfect." Jack Mathews, New York Daily News.

03 Good Will Hunting
Miramax

=74. Good Will Hunting (1997). Rated: R. Total score: 78%. IMDb users: 8.3. Metacritic: 70. Rotten Tomatoes: 8.1. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.9. 
Directed by: Gus Van Sant. Starring: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver. 
Plot summary: Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.
What the critics said: “Towering performance by Matt Damon as a troubled working class who needs to address his creative genius elevates this drama way above its therapeutic approach, resulting in a zeitgeist film that may touch a chord with young viewers the way The Graduate did.” Emanuel Levy, Variety.

04 Heat
Warner Bros.

73. Heat (1995). Rated: R. Total score: 78.5%. IMDb users: 8.2. Metacritic: 76. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.8. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.9. 
Directed by: Michael Mann. Starring: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman. 
Plot summary: A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist.
What the critics said: "Just when it seemed that the only hope for crime movies lay in the postmodernist artifice of films like Pulp Fiction, Mann reinvests the genre with brooding, modernist conviction. This one sticks to your gut." David Ansen, Newsweek

05 Graduation
Sundance Selects

=70. Graduation (Bacalaureat) (2016). Rated: R. Total score: 79%. IMDb users: 7.4. Metacritic: 84. Rotten Tomatoes: 8.2. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.8. 
Directed by: Cristian Mungiu. Starring: Adrian Titieni, Maria Dragus, Lia Bugnar. 
Plot summary: A film about compromises and the implications of the parent's role.
What the critics said: "It feels like nothing's happening until you realize everything is, right before your eyes." Ty Burr, Boston Globe

06 The Breadwinner 1
GKIDS

=70. The Breadwinner (2017). Rated: PG-13. Total score: 79%. IMDb users: 7.7. Metacritic: 78. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.9. Rotten Tomatoes users: 4.1. 
Directed by: Nora Twomey. Starring: Saara Chaudry, Soma Chhaya, Noorin Gulamgaus. 
Plot summary: In 2001, Afghanistan is under the control of the Taliban. When her father is captured, a determined young girl disguises herself as a boy in order to provide for her family.
What the critics said: "In its power and its beauty, The Breadwinner reminds us that animation can be every bit as much of a medium for adults as it is for children." Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

07 West Side Story
United Artists

=70. West Side Story (1961). Rated: NR. Total score: 79%. IMDb users: 7.6. Metacritic: 86. Rotten Tomatoes: 8.4. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.5. 
Directed by: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise. Starring: Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, Russ Tamblyn. 
Plot summary: Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.
What the critics said: "West Side Story is a beautifully-mounted, impressive, emotion-ridden and violent musical which, in its stark approach to a raging social problem and realism of unfoldment, may set a pattern for future musical presentations." Whitney Willaims, Variety

08 Kill Bill- Vol
Miramax

=65. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004). Rated: R. Total score: 79.25%. IMDb users: 8. Metacritic: 83. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.8. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.8. 
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino. Starring: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, Samuel L. Jackson. 
Plot summary: The Bride continues her quest of vengeance against her former boss and lover Bill, the reclusive bouncer Budd, and the treacherous, one-eyed Elle.
What the critics said: "Kill Bill Vol. 2 is violent, smart, funny, fast, bloody, overblown, explosive and surprisingly romantic. And utterly, utterly crazy cool." Tom Long, Detroit News

09 Life of Brian
Orion Pictures

=65. Life of Brian (1979). Rated: R. Total score: 79.25%. IMDb users: 8.1. Metacritic: 75. Rotten Tomatoes: 8.3. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.9. 
Directed by: Terry Jones. Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones. 
Plot summary: Born on the original Christmas in the stable next door to Jesus, Brian of Nazareth spends his life being mistaken for a messiah.
What the critics said: "Still has its rude, rowdy sting—and it still speaks more truth about religion than nearly all serious movies on the subject." Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press

10 The Fighter
Paramount Pictures

=65. The Fighter (2010). Rated: R. Total score: 79.25%. IMDb users: 7.8. Metacritic: 79. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.8. Rotten Tomatoes users: 4.1. 
Directed by: David O. Russell. Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo. 
Plot summary: Based on the story of Micky Ward, a fledgling boxer who tries to escape the shadow of his more famous but troubled older boxing brother and get his own shot at greatness.
What the critics said: "Both Wahlberg and Bale are excellent in their different registers, as are Melissa Leo and Amy Adams as the differently calibrated women." Philip French, The Observer

11 Casino Royale
Columbia Pictures

=65. Casino Royale (2006). Rated: PG-13. Total score: 79.25%. IMDb users: 8. Metacritic: 80. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.9. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.9. 
Directed by: Martin Campbell. Starring: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright, Caterina Murino. 
Plot summary: Armed with a license to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007, and must defeat a private banker to terrorists in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, Montenegro, but things are not what they seem.
What the critics said: "Casino Royale has the answers to all my complaints about the 45-year-old James Bond series, and some I hadn't even thought of." Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times