The Best Movies Coming to Netflix in October 2021

A new month is upon us (some might say the best month of them all), and that not only means a turn of the calendar page but also a new wave of streaming releases. In particular, there are some great new and old movies coming to Netflix this October. We went through the lengthy list to find the 15 most notable films premiering in the next 31 days, ranging from ’90s Oscar darlings to a prequel to a heist flick that just came out this year. And since Halloween is fast approaching, there are obviously some scary stories in the mix as well. Read on to find out what you need to add to your Netflix queue right now!

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Netflix

Streaming Oct. 1.

Jake Gyllenhaal leads this new Netflix thriller from Training Day director Antoine Fuqua as a former Los Angeles detective now working as a 9-1-1 operator. In this 2021 remake of a Danish movie, a call from a frantic woman leads to a harrowing series of events as his character, Joe Baylor, tries to help from afar.

Hairspray
New Line Cinema

Streaming Oct. 1.

The 2007 feature film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical (which itself was based on the original 1988 movie) is back on Netflix. Set in ’60s Baltimore, Hairspray follows the plucky and ambitious Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky), who dreams of dancing on her favorite after-school show, even though she’s bigger than the other girls in the teen cast—and she also wants to see it become racially integrated. The songs are infectious, and the cast—including Zac EfronJames MarsdenQueen Latifah, and John Travolta, just to name a few—shines.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic
Paramount Pictures

Streaming Oct. 1.

James Cameron‘s wildly expensive historical drama won 11 Oscars, raked in $2.2. billion, and made mega-stars out of leads Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet when it was released in 1997. Relive it all on Netflix now, from the James Horner score to the could-Jack-have-fit-on-the-door debate. (It was about the weight, not the surface area!)

Gladiator
DreamWorks Pictures

Streaming Oct. 1.

Three years after Titanic, Ridley Scott‘s Gladiator was another epic film—albeit one set much further in the past—to become a huge success with critics and audiences. Russell Crowe took home the Best Actor Oscar for playing a Roman general-turned-slave who has to fight for his life in the Colosseum, and Joaquin Phoenix‘s Commodus is one of the most loath-able villains in film history.

Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets
Sony Pictures Releasing

Streaming Oct. 1.

Netflix gets another ’90s awards-season darling in As Good as It Gets, the James L. Brooks comedy starring Jack Nicholson as a curmudgeonly writer and Helen Hunt as the server and single mom who inspires him to start engaging with the world again. Both leads took home Oscars, but the 1997 movie lost out on Best Picture to Titanic.

RELATED: See Jack Nicholson’s Lookalike Son, TV’s Newest Heartthrob.

Denzel Washington in Malcolm X
Warner Bros.

Streaming Oct. 1.

Denzel Washington plays the famous Black activist in Spike Lee‘s 1992 biopic, which follows Malcolm X from his difficult childhood through his rise as a controversial public figure and eventually to his assassination at the age of 39.

Robert Downey Jr and Jack Gyllenhaal in Zodiac
Paramount Pictures

Streaming Oct. 1.

This 2007 thriller by Gone Girl director David Fincher dramatizes the violent mystery of the real-life Zodiac Killer. Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. play real employees of the San Francisco Chronicle, who poured over the coded, taunting letters sent to the paper in the ’60s and ’70s by the monster himself. While the real case remains unsolved, Zodiac at least presents a pretty convincing theory as to his identity.

Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in Ghost
Paramount Pictures

Streaming Oct. 1.

Demi MoorePatrick Swayze, and Whoopi Goldberg star in this 1990 supernatural weeper about a young man who uses a medium to reach back through the veil and save his girlfriend from the same fate. If the infamous pottery wheel scene is the only one you can remember from Ghost, then it’s time to give it another spin.

RELATED: The Most Heartbreaking Movie Couples of All Time.

John C Reilly and Will Ferrell in Step Brothers
Sony Pictures Releasing

Streaming Oct. 1.

In Step Brothers, John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell play two grown men who spar like children when their single parents (Richard Jenkins and Mary Steenburgen) marry each other. The 2008 comedy also co-stars Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott, and the very prestigious Catalina Wine Mixer. (If you know, you know.)

Chris Farley and David Spade in Tommy Boy
Paramount Pictures

Streaming Oct. 1.

Another comedy featuring two very funny actors playing off of each other, Tommy Boy is for sure the best movie the late Chris Farley ever made. In the 1995 comedy, he plays Tommy Callahan, an immature party boy who has to step up and help save his family’s auto parts company after his dad suddenly dies. Farley’s pal and fellow SNL vet David Spade is the company man who tags along on Tommy’s desperate sales trip, and they forge an unlikely friendship along the way.

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Patrick Wilson and Ty Simpkins in Insidious Chapter 2
FilmDistrict

Streaming Oct. 9.

It is spooky season, after all. This month, the 2013 sequel to James Wan‘s well-received 2010 horror flick joins the original on Netflix.

Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decide to Go for It
Roadside Attractions

Streaming Oct. 12.

The life of stage and screen icon and EGOT winner Rita Moreno gets the documentary treatment in Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It. The 2021 film follows the 89-year-old’s seven-decade-long (and counting!) career in the entertainment industry and acknowledges the barriers she’s broken through as a Puerto Rican performer.

RELATED: 89-Year-Old Rita Moreno Says This Is the Only Reason She’d Ever Quit Acting.

Jorge Lengeborg Jr. and Lucy Fry in Night Teeth
Kat Marcinowski/Netflix

Streaming Oct. 20.

Looking for some new horror to gear up for Halloween? Try the 2021 Netflix Original Night Teeth, about a Los Angeles driver who has no idea that the women he picked up for a girls’ night are actually vampires who are about to take him on a tour of the city’s undead nightlife.

RELATED: The Best Horror Movie of 2021 So Far, According to Critics.

Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley in Begin Again
The Weinstein Company

Streaming Oct. 27.

John Carney, the filmmaker behind similarly music-driven movies Once and Sing Street, also made 2013’s Begin Again, about a budding singer-songwriter (Keira Knightley, who does her own singing) stepping into her own creativity after getting dumped by her callous rock star boyfriend (Adam Levine). Mark Ruffalo plays the recently fired record producer who makes her his new project.

Matthias Schweighöfer and Nathalie Emmanuel in Army of Thieves
Stanislav Honzik/Netflix

Streaming Oct. 29.

Well, that didn’t take long. Zack Snyder‘s zombie apocalypse heist flick, Army of the Dead, also just dropped this year, and it already has a prequel. It revolves around the character Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer), who’s just developing his safecracking abilities in a world where zombies are real but not yet the majority.

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