the 7 best films to binge on netflix over the summer holiday

The coolest movies to stream when you want to escape the heat.

by Diane Paik
03 July 2019, 6:53pm

Screenshot from Netflix

July 4th is upon us and whether you stuff yourself with hot dogs or slam All The Beers in the name of America, you’re going to feel wiped. Luckily we have the holiday weekend to recover and do what Americans do best: eat garbage and sit on the couch.

So whether you want to seek shelter from the rain, sun, or your crazy family, we gathered seven of the best movies to stream on Netflix. The roundup includes a little something for everyone—horror, thriller, comedy, camp—so you don’t have to waste your valuable chill time aimlessly scrolling.

Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse

Yes, it’s finally on Netflix! The animation in Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse is absolutely bonkers and has been revered by designers, animators, and anyone who loves graphic novels. The creators wanted it to feel like “you walked into a comic book” and they definitely succeeded. This Inception-esque story follows Brooklyn teen Miles Morales on his journey to becoming Spider-man, with the help of the other Spider-men (yes, there are many dimensions in this universe as well as multiple Spider-folks). Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse is exactly what you want to watch on a hot, summer day. It also won Best Animated Feature Film at the Academy Awards.

Marvel Cinematic Universe movies

Okay, this isn’t just a single recommendation as it is in fact an entire franchise, but there are multiple Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies that are on Netflix fit for a post-BBQ viewing. Whether you need to catch up on the last Avengers installment ( Avengers: Infinity War) before watching the most recent release, or you want to re-watch Thor: Ragnarok because it’s a good time, you have options. Right now the streaming platform offers a slew of fan-favorites.


The Barry Jenkins directed Moonlight is more than just a coming-of-age story set in Miami. The story explores the main character maneuvering through black masculinity, sexuality, identity, and trauma. Moonlight broke a lot of “firsts” as well, including the first film with an all-black cast, the first LGBTQ-related film to win an Oscar, and Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim actor to win an acting Oscar. This needs to be one of the first movies you watch if you haven’t already.


Burning is the opposite of the Avengers movies—a slow burn drenched in dread and anticipation. Famed South Korean director, screenwriter, and novelist Lee Chang-Dong subverts expectations and offers the audience a poignant story surrounding a complicated love triangle. Starring Steven Yeun of ‘The Walking Dead’ fame, this film has been met with wide-spread critical acclaim and numerous awards nominations.

Empire Records

This cult favorite features young Liv Tyler and Renée Zellweger as record store employees trying to stop the store from selling to a giant chain. The comedy-drama’s plot seems fitting for the times we’re living in and the never ending fight against capitalism. Even though the movie was met with poor reviews, all the feedback had one positive note in common: the soundtrack rules.

Train To Busan

Something about summer and zombies really go together. This South Korean horror flick really serves everything you want in a movie about the undead: a noble and good-looking hero, a nightmare scenario on a train, and lots of gore. Train To Busan is an intense ride that’ll keep you engaged and thinking your life isn’t so bad after all.

What a Girl Wants

Before Amanda Bynes became a fashion college graduate, she ruled the 2000s and the teen rom-com genre. What a Girl Wants is one of Bynes' earlier classics. It’s the textbook “girl looks for long lost dad in a foreign country and finds herself along the way while falling in love with cute boy” trope. Colin Firth plays Bynes’ father and it’s probably his most impressive role yet.

Paris is Burning

As Vogueing's become ever more co-opted by the mainstream, this documentary by Jennie Livingston serves as mandatory viewing for the uninitiated. Paris is Burning is an important documentation of the ball scene in New York City during the mid-to-late 80s, and the POC LGBTQ+ communities that created and lived it. The film doesn’t shy away from the realities of AIDS, racism, poverty, violence, and homophobia. Paris is Burning walked so Pose could run.

4th of July