18 of the Best Classic Movies You Can Watch on Netflix Tonight
Netflix's library of new movies isn't all it has to offer: there are several old movies on Netflix that are definitely worth a watch! Even as Netflix continues to stream brand-new movies and its own originals, it's also the perfect place to find some older classic films that you might not have seen before, or at least not in a long time. Many of the older offerings on Netflix are cinematic classics, from old musicals to fan-favorite comedies to Oscar-winning dramas, often starring actors you'll recognize, much earlier in their careers.
If you're in the mood for a throwback movie night, you're in the right place! We've rounded up some of the best classic offerings from Netflix's library — keep reading to see our picks for the best old school films on Netflix.
— Additional reporting by Haley Lyndes
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
If you enjoy a good Western, this movie starring Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach is one worth watching. Based in the 1860s during the Civil War, three men search the American Southwest for $200,000 in stolen gold.
Back to the Future (1985)
Young teen Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) time-travels 30 years into the past after his scientist friend Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) tests an experiment.
Back to the Future Part II (1989)
The duo is at it again! This time, Marty's heading to the year 2015 to help save his future son from disaster.
NYC actor Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) is a well-respected perfectionist, but after he bags a soap opera audition, he's determined to reinvent himself as Dorothy Michaels in order to get the part.
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Considered director Sergio Leone's best movie, Once Upon a Time in the West tells the story of how two men protect a beautiful widow from a railroad assassin.
Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks) works at a prestigious law firm in Philadelphia, but he has two secrets: he's gay and he's HIV positive. After a colleague spots the signs of the illness, Beckett is fired, so he teams up with a lawyer (Denzel Washington) to file a wrongful termination lawsuit.
The Natural (1984)
After being shot, a baseball player takes his chance at going pro 16 years later as a rookie for the last-place New York Knights.
The Stranger (1946)
After the fall of Nazi Germany, one Nazi fugitive manages to hide away in Connecticut, hiding his old life from his new wife and community. He's not in the clear, though — a determined investigator is right on his heels. The Stranger was directed by and stars Orson Welles and deserves a watch.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Plenty of your favorite Monty Python lines can be found in this classic! King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table pursue the legendary Holy Grail, but these definitely aren't the dignified knights of legend.
Taxi Driver (1976)
A deranged New York taxi driver (Robert De Niro) gets fed up with the crime he sees on the streets every day in this iconic, Oscar-nominated film. So, naturally, he takes matters into his own hands, plotting a murder and deciding to try to rescue a teenager (Jodie Foster) from a life of prostitution. Martin Scorsese's disturbing masterpiece is back in the spotlight this year, as it's one of the inspirations for Joker.
Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)
In irreverent Monty Python fashion, the comedy follows Brian (Graham Chapman), a normal guy who happens to be born in a stable and grows up to speak out against Roman rule in Judea. Of course, the circumstances of his life lead to him getting mixed up with someone else who has that biography. Expect to see the usual rowdy lot of John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin.
Groundhog Day (1993)
With Bill Murray's comedic sensibilities, Groundhog Day (another must-watch Andie McDowell movie) emerges as a romantic holiday film with a dark bite. Murray plays a jaded reporter who finds himself reliving Groundhog Day over and over again. Needless to say, it's a cozy classic that'll keep you and your housemates engaged.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Harrison Ford as a hot archaeology professor who goes on dangerous adventures? We're in. Date night movies should entertain, and Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark will do just that.
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
A young boy named Charlie finds a golden ticket hidden inside his candy bar wrapper, and it leads him to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. With lots of songs and dancing, Charlie discovers all the magic that Wonka's candy land holds.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
Inventor Caractacus Potts turns a grand prix car into a magical time machine that takes himself and his family to a mystical kingdom in a far-out land.
What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
Johnny Depp stars in this drama as the titular Gilbert, a small-town 24-year-old stuck at home in Iowa caring for his debilitatingly overweight mother (Darlene Cates) and his younger brother with mental disabilities (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), whose life is changed when he encounters a free-spirited woman named Becky (Juliette Lewis).
Howards End (1992)
Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins deliver critically acclaimed performances in this adaptation of E.M. Forster's popular novel. Howards End unravels the story of a compassionate middle-class woman who enters an unlikely relationship with a cold, calculating businessman.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Ferris, a high school student, convinces his entire school that he's going to die. As a result, he takes the day off with his girlfriend and best friend to have fun.
She's Gotta Have It (1986)
Spike Lee's indie film She's Gotta Have It forever changed the landscape of independent filmmaking as it became a critical and popular hit with a budget of only $175,000. It's about a young black woman named Nola Darling who prizes her independence above any of her three suitors.