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Netflix has built up such an extensive library for film, and both those who love horror films and those who are looking for something less scary will find plenty to stream during the month of October. The Dia de los muertos-inspired “Coco” provides something different from the usual Halloween-themed films that fill the month. Then there are the celebrated movied from great directors like Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, Quentin Tarantino and Alfonso Cuaron. 

With summer officially ended, the streaming platform gives you a chance from the comfort of your own home to cram in some good flicks before Oscar-season theatrical releases pack your moviegoing schedule. Netflix can keep you company as you lounge in front of the television with family and friends. But where to begin? It’s easy to fall into the trap of scrolling forever, unable to find what you’re looking for on a Friday night. Thankfully, we’ve whittled down the options to some of the best movies across eras and genres. 

The Laundromat

Meryl Streep’s first Netflix original project releases on October 18. Directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Antonio Banderas and Gary Oldman, this crime drama premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Streep plays a widow seeking answers when an insurance company swindles her out of her money. 


The Disney and Pixar film tells the story of a young musician ( voiced by Anthony Gonzalez) who goes on an adventure to find his great-great-grandfather in the land of the dead, hoping to find someone to help him pursue his dreams in music. Directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, this Academy award-winning film is a fun and colorful take on the cherished Day of the Dead holiday. 

“Other People”

From the creator of comedy hit “The Other Two,” this indie dramedy stars Jesse Plemons as a struggling New York comedy writer who returns home to Sacramento to care for his sick but feisty mom, played by Molly Shannon.

“The Pursuit of Happyness”

Will Smith and Jaden Smith star in the father-son story that sheds light on homelessness while also providing hope. Will’s character (Chris Gardner) lives a double life, trying to become a successful stockbroker while navigating the world as a homeless father trying his best to take care of his son (Jaden). Jaden, who was 8 years old at the time, brings a youthful innocence in his performance that will provide an alternative for those seeking some relief from the  Halloween-themed stories that often saturate the month of October. 

“The Highwaymen”

This Netflix original film stars Woody Harrelson and Kevin Costner playing two ex-Texas rangers in hot pursuit of criminals Bonnie and Clyde. Unlike the 1960s “Bonnie and Clyde” starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, the 2019 version gives a greater voice to the ones responsible for upholding the law. It is a modern-day retelling that provides another perspective into one of America’s greatest cinematic stories.

“Taxi Driver”

Taxi Driver De Niro

Martin Scorsese and Paul Schrader’s Palme D’or-winning character study of an alienated cabbie (Robert De Niro) on a messianic journey through the filth of New York City all set to a dreamy jazz score is one of the most heralded works in American cinema.

“A Serious Man”

The Coen brothers kick around their plaything every-man protagonist in a 1960s retelling of the Book of Job, inspiring contemplation of life’s biggest questions — along with a few schadenfreude-induced chuckles.

Pulp Fiction” 

Quentin Tarantino’s pastiche of dime-store crime stories has you hanging out with gangsters and low lifes in between the scenes that usually make it on screen. The oft-quoted dialogue, achronological interweaving stories, and fierce originality galvanized ’90s independent cinema.

“Bonnie and Clyde”

Bonnie and Clyde

The violent, ahead-of-its-time crime movie about bank-robbing lovers is a standard bearer of the transition from old Hollywood to the gritty late 1960s and early 1970s cinema dominated by new, exciting filmmakers. The eponymous couple in crime owes its place in American folklore largely to Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.

“The Witch”

First-time director Robert Eggers creates a veritable time machine to the 1600s with his heavily researched portrayal of Puritan culture and dialect in this horrifying story of a family fraught with witchcraft.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

The animated film stands out from a crowded field of superhero movies with a unique spin on the Spider-Man origin story, replete with eye-candy visuals and tender/funny moments.


A trio of acting titans — Amy Adams, Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman — masterfully keeps the audience in doubt over an alleged sexual abuse case at a Catholic school.

“Schindler’s List”

Steven Spielberg’s best picture winner will probably be remembered as one of the most powerful films to portray the horrors of the Holocaust. Spielberg and his talented cast pull no punches in taking on the historic atrocity.


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Korean director Bong Joon-Ho works on a simple premise for his first English-language feature: a rag tag group on a train traversing a post-apocalyptic snowscape must fight their way from the caboose to the front. Highly stylized balletic action sequences provide the entertainment and the political message provides the food for thought.


Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerfield — the great triumvirate of classic comedy — keep the laughs coming all the way to the golfing romp’s (literally) explosive ending.

“The Third Man”

Novelist Graham Greene penned the script to the murder mystery that famously features Viennese sightseeing, an Orson Welles in his prime, an epic sewer chase and of course, its breezy chart-topping theme song.

“Y Tu Mama Tambien”

Alfonso Cuaron’s Mexican road trip film makes you fall in love with its subjects, adding you as a fourth to the film’s love triangle.

“The Lives of Others”

The German-language film places viewers in the head of a voyeuristic Stasi agent in the GDR who becomes infatuated with an artistic couple under a surveillance order from the state. Steamy romance and political intrigue collide for one of the best foreign-language films in recent memory.