IMDb’s Top 10 Highest-rated Movies on Streaming Right Now

Catch these all-time audience favourites this weekend
IMDb’s Top 10 Highest-rated Movies on Streaming Right Now
IMDb’s Top 10 Highest-rated Movies on Streaming Right Now

Now of course, IMDb scores should be taken with a pinch of salt (just as you would any other film rating site). They are based solely on viewers’ subjective opinions and also do not allow separate scores for film critics. However, it’s tough to argue against a list that houses titles that have stood the grand test of time, acquiring the sheen and fan-following of a true-blue classic. On IMDb’s Top 250 list, we found gems that you can safely turn to on a weekend, knowing that you’ll be getting your time’s worth. Here are IMDb’s 10 highest-rated movies – for when thousands of streaming options for web series exhaust you or when a dear friend asks for a recommendation of new movies. 

1. The Shawshank Redemption on Amazon Prime Video

When The Shawshank Redemption first released in the theaters in 1994, it was a massive commercial flop. Next to the testosterone-fuelled action titles of the Nineties, a gritty prison drama about a man’s indomitable human spirit didn’t feel sexy enough for the audiences. But the years have changed the film’s reception and how. The Shawshank Redemption is repeatedly placed at the top of audience voting charts, finding a fan in everyone around the world, including Nelson Mandela. The film charts the story of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a banker wrongfully charged with the murder of his wife and her lover, and his journey in the Shawshank prison. Andy’s fellow inmates are startled and impressed by his unending determination and wisdom, leading him to become friends with the prison’s most connected man: “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman). Through the two’s friendship, we see the integrity required to work its inner politics and the slow, measured passage of time inside prison walls. It can surprising to know that the film is an adaptation of a novel by Stephen King, the godfather of horror, because it can be so unlike his usual work. But The Shawshank Redemption houses its own horrors – much more daunting than the supernatural kind.

2. The Godfather on Netflix/Amazon Prime Video 

Based on Mario Puzo’s novel of the same name, The Godfather once reigned over The Shawshank Redemption on IMDb charts – and is either a very close second or still deserves to be on top, depending on whom you ask. The trilogy is a layered, expansive and intimate look at the Italian mafia family of Corleone, with the first part focusing on mafia boss-cum-patriarch Vito Corleone’s (Marlon Brando) and the rise of his youngest son, Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), as a ruthless mafia lord. Although there is much to love about this classic, it is the writing of the film that remains truly astounding, crafting anti-heroes in a way that makes it hard not to root for them. The film cemented Pacino’s stardom and brought to light the reservoir of his immense talent. 

Christian Bale as Batman in The Dark Night
Christian Bale as Batman in The Dark Night

3. The Dark Knight on Netflix/Amazon Prime Video 

Often recognised as the most influential superhero film of all time – later shaping titles like Skyfall (2012) and Man of Steel (2013) – director Christopher Nolan set an original example for shooting and writing blockbuster films. Nolan managed to not only gives us one of the best Jokers of all time – Heath Ledger – but also made Gotham palpable in a way that it had never felt before. Its devastation, caused by Joker’s “agent of chaos” felt uncomfortably real, unlike the destruction scenes we see in most Avenger movies today. Nolan’s Batman felt real, facing challenges with his body armour and blackmail regarding his real identity. There are no happy endings here – a staple for superhero films – making the illusion of cinema chafe disturbingly close to reality. 

4. The Godfather Part II on Netflix/Amazon Prime Video 

The Godfather Part II is split in two parallel narratives. In the present, it continues to chart the rise of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) and his attempts to expand the family’s business. In flashback, it follows a young Vito Corleone (played by Robert De Niro this time) spending his childhood in Sicily and making his way to become the top war lord in New York City. Longer than its predecessor, The Godfather Part II is a rich tapestry of great visuals and terrific performances. Although the film did not surpass the first film’s commercial success, critics remain divided about whether it’s a better film than the first. 

5. 12 Angry Men on Internet Archive

A slow, taut courtroom drama, 12 Angry Men is a masterclass on tension and dialogue. A majority of the film takes place in a single room, with multiple characters sitting in the same place for most of the time. These are 12 jurors, contemplating between choosing acquittal or conviction for what initially seemed like an open-and-shut case – a teenager has been charged with killing his abusive father; there is a witness who has seen the murder take place from her window through the windows of a passing train, another has heard the accused threatening to kill the deceased. The first vote has every juror voting “guilty”, except one. Over the course of 90-odd minutes, the lone juror pokes holes in the case, gradually overturning the dominant sentiment in the room. 

A still from 12 Angry Men
A still from 12 Angry Men

6. Schindler’s List on Amazon Prime Video 

Steven Spielberg’s magnificent historical drama frequently receives top scores and reviews for its writing, direction and performance. Based on the 1982 novel Schindler’s Ark (by Thomas Keneally), the film follows the efforts of a German industrialist to save more than a thousand Polish-Jewish refugees from the horrors of the Holocaust and employ them in his factories. But Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson)was no ordinary, strait-laced hero. At least not in the beginning. Schindler was very much the greedy capitalist making the most out of the genocide by hiring Jews at dirt-cheap rates. But his transformation into a man willing to endanger his life for the same people is what makes Schindler’s List a timeless masterpiece. 

7. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King on Amazon Prime Video  

Movie franchises have come and gone but few have enjoyed the undying popularity of The Lord of the Rings. Based on the third volumeof LOTR by the late J. R. R. Tolkien, The Return of the King is recognised as one of the best and most influential films to ever be made. A commercial and critical hit, Peter Jackson’s trilogy revamped the fantasy space from being seen as childish and exaggerated to a legitimate form of art and entertainment. One look at its ambitious action pieces, unforgettable characters and great ending and it’s clear why this film enjoys such a huge fan-following, with many ranking the final installment above its predecessors. 

8. Pulp Fiction on Netflix 

As can be expected from director Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction is a heady cocktail of violence, sex, guts and glory. With a star cast of John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman and more, Tanatino creates a bloody saga of crimes unfolding all over Los Angeles. Nestled within its violence is a strain of dark humour, rearing its head at the least expected moment.  The film is so astoundingly devoid of a chornological order that legendary critic Roger Ebert once wrote that “you could see it a dozen times and not be able to remember what comes next.” If tense, violent and occassionally hilarious films are your thing, you know what to do. 

A still from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
A still from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

9. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring on Amazon Prime Video 

The first part of The Lord of the Rings franchise might rank below its final instalment but many would argue that its spot is well-deserved. The first introduction to Middle-Earth and its underdog Froddo Baggins (Elijah Wood) still exudes charm after all these years, inviting us into the fateful journey of destroying the One Ring. The film employed pathbreaking special effects and had an arduous shoot schedule but most importantly, it set up an awe-inspiring world to step into. 

10. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly on Internet Archive 

Directed by Sergio Leone, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is often considered the most seminal piece of work for ‘spaghetti westerns’ – a subgenre of Western films directed largely by Italian filmmakers during the 1960s. As the title suggests, the film has three main players: The Man With No Name aka Blondie (Clint Eastwood), Tuco (Eli Wallach) and Angel Eyes (Lee Van Kleef). Blondie and Tuco have formed a cautious alliance with each other to find stolen goods. But they must outwit Angel Eyes, who plans on using them to get to the treasure first. With great dialogue, twists and turns, the film culminates in a three-way showdown, which is a thrill to watch. We won’t spoil the ending and tell you which one of these ruthless bandits wins. 

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