The top 15 shows and films to watch on Netflix: Find what’s REALLY worth watching this weekend

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From thrilling crime series to amusing action comedy, series and episodes, check out our critics’ picks of the best shows to watch on Netflix right now.

For you to binge right, we have chosen their top 20. So read on to find out what to watch this weekend…

The Kitchen

Dystopian London-set thriller co-directed by Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya

Year: 2024

Duration: 107 minutes

Certificate: 15

Watch now on Netflix

Jump forward a few decades and London’s wealth gap has widened ever further than it is now, with the less well-off being pushed further and further out of the city.

The Kitchener Estate – known to locals as The Kitchen – is one of the few social housing estates still hanging on. It’s violent and dangerous, but also has an odd sense of community in and among the gang war and crime.

Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya co-directs this cyberpunk thriller about a man desperate to escape The Kitchen and a young boy braving its mean corridors to hunt for a lost family.

It’s stylish, edgy stuff that also boasts a cameo appearance by football pundit Ian Wright as a powerful figure on the estate.

Griselda

Fact-based drama about a female crime boss starring Sofia Vergara

Year: 2024

Duration: Six Episodes

Certificate: 18

Watch now on Netflix

Almost unrecognisable under a raft of prosthetics designed to mimic the hawk-faced profile of real-life drug boss Griselda Blanco Restrepo, Modern Family star Sofia Vergara is icily impressive in this six-part miniseries.

A story of female empowerment and brutal criminality in equal bloody gobbets, it charts the Colombian immigrant’s rise to become one of the most powerful and feared drug importers in Miami.

It’s all the more powerful a story because, when she first arrives with children in tow, Griselda’s position is very precarious indeed. You can see the vulnerability in her face, although it doesn’t last too long.

Created by many of the same team behind Narcos and with Vergara acting as producer, it’s exciting, dark and no-holds-barred stuff that brings the freewheeling cocaine underworld of the 1980s US to dangerous life.

Episode one grabs you by the throat right from the start with this quote from Pablo Escobar: ‘The only man I was ever afraid of was a woman named Griselda Blanco’. You’ll see why in short order.

The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent

Nicolas Cage spoofs his own reputation in this amusing action comedy

Year: 2022

Duration: 107 minutes

Certificate: 15

Watch now on Netflix

Nic Cage gleefully sends up his own reputation for excess and bad film choices as he plays a thinly veiled version of himself in this wonderful action comedy.

‘Nick Cage’ (note the extra K) is a past-his-best movie star who is hired for a fee of $1 million to attend the birthday party of ultra-rich uber fan Javi Gutierrez (The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal), a man with a very dubious past. But what’s Nick to do when the CIA get in touch and ask him to start spying on Javi for them?

Part Hollywood send-up (Neil Patrick Harris is sublime as Nick’s reptilian agent), part full-throttle buddy movie, Unbearable Weight is an absolute riot from start to finish.

Fool Me Once

Richard Armitage stars in a thriller series based on a Harlan Coben book

Year: 2024

Certificate: 15

Duration: Eight episodes

Watch now on Netflix

Prepare for more shock revelations and domestic thrills as Netflix adapts another Harlan Coben thriller for the screen. Maya (Michelle Keegan) believes her husband Joe (Richard Armitage) was brutally murdered.

But long after his funeral, she’s shocked to find new footage on the nanny cam of someone who looks an awful lot like Joe entering the house. As she sets out to discover whether Joe really is alive, Maya’s taken to some very dark places…

Tense and often scary, this is another satisfyingly brain-twisty British adaptation of a Coben thriller. Joanna Lumley and Adeel Akhtar line up alongside Keegan and serial Coben star Armitage, who also starred in adaptations of The Stranger and Stay Close for Netflix.

American Nightmare

Series investigating whether a US couple faked a headline-grabbing kidnapping

Year: 2024

Duration: Three episodes

Certificate: 18

Watch now on Netflix

In 2015, Aaron Quinn told US police that an armed man in a wetsuit had broken in, tied him up and kidnapped his girlfriend Denise Huskins. Just a few days later, though, Denise turned up, with no ransom having been paid, claiming her kidnappers had simply released her.

The sceptical local cops immediately assumed that the couple had faked the kidnapping and began investigating them instead of looking for the alleged kidnappers, as the press likened the whole case to the book and film Gone Girl.

This twisty and instantly gripping hit series from the makers of The Tinder Swindler documentary asks if the police were too quick to rush to judgment. Could Aaron and Denise actually have been telling the truth?

Six Nations: Full Contact

Series revealing the dramas behind the scenes of international rugby

Year: 2024

Duration: Eight episodes

Certificate: 15

Watch now on Netflix

The fierce rivalries and crunching tackles of the annual Six Nations international rugby tournament provide ample opportunity for the team behind Formula 1: Drive To Survive to work their magic on yet another sport.

Focusing on behind-the-scenes dramas and little-known personal stories as much as the big on-the-field results, they showcase a whole new side to the games as the players and coaches of France, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Italy not only battle for points in the 2023 tournament but make their final preparations for the World Cup that follows it.

With this year’s Six Nations due to start in February, this is the perfect show to binge in preparation.

The Brothers Sun

Action comedy series about a crime family starring Michelle Yeoh.

Year: 2024

Duration: Eight episodes

Certificate: 15

Watch now on Netflix

When the head of a brutal Taipei crime gang is murdered, his eldest son Charles (Justin Chien) – himself also a ruthless killer – heads to Los Angeles to protect his estranged mother (Michelle Yeoh) and younger brother Bruce (Sam Li) from assassins sent by rival gangs.

Feeling like a merrily gory mix of martial arts, black comedy and The Godfather, this eight-episode comedy thriller centres around Bruce’s clueless attempts to get used to the idea that he’s part of a clan of murderous crooks, but it really belongs to the deadpan Yeoh, who steals every scene she’s in as Charles and Bruce’s merciless mom.

Beef

Two people’s lives are consumed by a road-rage incident

Year: 2023

Duration: Ten episodes

Certificate: 15

Watch now on Netflix

Everyone who drives can relate to a sense of irritation at other people on the road. Who are all these selfish people? Why are they making our lives difficult by driving like idiots? Have they never heard of indicating?

A road-rage incident is the trigger for Netflix’s drama from studio-of-the moment A24, the company behind Everything Everywhere All At Once.

The two people involved (played by The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun and the comedian Ali Wong) are both at the ends of their tether with their own lives, and the rage-fuelled moment steadily consumes both of them as it escalates well beyond the road into a comically vicious tit-for-tat.

The question you have while watching is, will the expression of all this rage lead to a good place? While you wait to find out, the exploration of both their lives introduces us to some fascinating characters, and watch out in particular for the close-ups on Wong’s face. She conveys a lot with a little.

Break Point

Documentary series about the tensions of the professional tennis circuit

Year: 2023

Duration: Two series

Certificate: 15

Watch now on Netflix

 In the series Drive To Survive, Netflix gave viewers a look behind the roaring engines and high-speed racing of Formula 1 to find the human dramas that truly power the sport.

They have also done the same for the globe-trotting circus that is professional tennis. Cameras follow the rising male and female stars of the sport (including Australia’s controversial Nick Kyrgios) across the entire 2022 season, catching the off-court tensions as well as the surprising moments of weakness.

It’s dramatic and engaging in equal parts, and you find yourself rooting for some unfamiliar faces as they try to unseat the Rogers, Venuses and Novaks from their positions at the top of the sport. If you’re primarily interested in Wimbledon, seek out episodes six and seven of series one.

The second series does the same but for the 2023 season, tracking the fortunes of players familiar from series one, including Ajla Tomljanovic, and Nick Kyrgios, and new additions such as Ben Shelton, Tommy Paul, Holger Rune, Alexander Zverev and Coco Gauff.

Maestro

Bradley Cooper stars in a bold biopic of musical legend Leonard Bernstein

Year: 2023

Duration: 129 minutes

Certificate: 15

Watch now on Netflix

A titan of the American musical scene in the mid-20th century, Leonard Bernstein combined work as one of the most passionate conductors of classical music with a career as a composer of everything from symphonies and film scores to undying musicals such as West Side Story.

Directed by and starring Bradley Cooper as Bernstein himself, this ambitious film swirls dizzying amounts of great music around the audience but never forgets that relationships drive films.

Here it’s the passionate and difficult love between the composer and his wife Felicia, played with incredible sensitivity by Carey Mulligan, that powers proceedings. Expect both actors to be in the running come Oscar time.

Painkiller

A powerful series about drug company greed starring Matthew Broderick

Year: 2023

Duration: 6 episodes

Certificate: 15

Watch now on Netflix

The epidemic of legal opioid addiction that has swept America in recent decades remains a hot topic for lawmakers and the media.

This slick and powerful six-part drama series comes at it from all angles, looking at the ordinary lives ruined by over-prescription of the intensely addictive pain medication, as well as portraying the drug company bosses behind the epidemic.

Matthew Broderick is on extremely creepy form as Richard Sackler, a real-life senior executive at Purdue Pharma, whose gleeful greed overrules all considerations of the effect that his firm’s drug OxyContin is having.

Attempting to bring him and his firm down is Uzo Aduba’s Edie, an investigator leading the charge against the recklessness of Big Pharma.

The way each episode opens with real-life testimony about the impact of OxyContin gives the drama added bite, and while Painkiller isn’t quite up there with Michael Keaton’s Dopesick in the sharpness of its portrayal of this tragic situation, it hits a powerful groove once you get to part two – and doesn’t release that grip until the end.

Chicken Run: Dawn Of The Nugget

Cracking sequel to Aardman Animation’s hit adventure movie

Year: 2023

Duration: 101 minutes

Certificate: 15

Watch now on Netflix

A playful spin on Second World War prisoner-of-war movies (not least The Great Escape), 2000’s Chicken Run saw Aardman (the animators behind Wallace & Gromit) craft a loveable tale of a gang of chickens plotting their escape from a poultry farm before the farmers can turn them all into pies.

Now this very welcome sequel picks up the tale a few years later with the escaped hens now leading an idyllic life on a remote island.

But when Molly (voiced by The Last Of Us’s Bella Ramsey), the daughter of Ginger and Rocky (now voiced by Thandiwe Newton and Zachary Levi), decides to venture back to the mainland, the feathered few find themselves embroiled in a new adventure.

The result is as bright-eyed and gleeful as the original, with Jane Horrocks, Imelda Staunton and Miranda Richardson returning alongside new voices courtesy of Romesh Ranganathan, Daniel Mays and Nick Mohammed.

The Diplomat

Keri Russell plays a US ambassador in an addictive, high-stakes drama

Year: 2023

Duration: Eight episodes

Certificate: 15

Watch now on Netflix

She was undercover for six years on spy thriller The Americans, but how is Keri Russell going to handle being thrust into the political spotlight?

That’s the question posed in this sharp drama as she takes on the role of Kate Wyler, a career diplomat who finds herself unexpectedly posted to London as the new US ambassador. With no patience for all the press hullabaloo, she just wants to get on with her job, but everyone – including her political highflyer husband (Rufus Sewell) – wants to tell her what she should do.

Written by a former writer and producer on The West Wing, The Diplomat marries sharp-edged dialogue to genuine political intrigue to fantastic effect and, once you finish watching this excellent first series, you’ll be very pleased to know that a second is in the pipeline.

And, while you’re waiting for that to come along, take a look at this story from Jeremy Vine and compare it to a tale that’s told about Rory Kinnear’s Prime Minister on the show. That can’t be an accident…

Love On The Spectrum

US reality show following people with autism as they search for romance

Year: 2022

Duration: Two series

Certificate: 12

Watch now on Netflix

Finding love in the modern world is never easy, but it’s even harder for those on the autism spectrum. This show follows neurodiverse men and women across America as they dip their toes in the dating waters with various degrees of success.

Like its Australian predecessor, it takes a light and often soapy approach to the romantic encounters on display, but audiences swiftly become seriously engaged in the struggles and triumphs of its cast.

The fact that many familiar faces from series one return in the second run alongside new romantic hopefuls will be welcome news for the show’s fans.

Queenpins

Suburban crime caper comedy starring Kristen Bell and Kirby

Year: 2021

Duration: 110 minutes

Certificate: 15

Watch now on Netflix

The Good Place star Kristen Bell makes a loveable criminal mastermind in this light and frothy crime caper. She plays Connie, a midwestern US housewife who hits on a scheme to get rich by forging shopping vouchers and selling them on the internet.

It’s not long before she and her best mate JoJo (The Sandman’s Kirby) are rolling in cash, but their efforts draw the attention of supermarket enforcer Ken (Paul Walter Hauser) who’s determined to bring them to justice.

It’s a sweet, funny and wholeheartedly enjoyable movie with a surprisingly poignant emotional core, given energy by a talented cast.

Almost everyone in it feels like a familiar face with Vince Vaughn, Community’s Joel McHale and Stranger Things’ Eduardo Franco providing support.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.

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