The Absolute Best Fantasy Movies on Netflix
Netflix doesn’t have a huge collection of fantasy movies, but you can find several charming (and eclectic) gems. Many combine fantasy with real-world struggles, including the remarkable Closet Monster. Or dive straight into the realm of high fantasy with The Golden Compass, based on the classic novels by Philip Pullman.
I hope you find an intriguing gem below.
Unlocking multiple genres, Closet Monster uses its fantasy elements to open the door to a fresh and moving coming-of-age tale. Scarred by witnessing a homophobic attack, closeted and imaginative teenager Oscar must come to terms with his feelings for Wilder. Be warned, Closet Monster incorporates David Cronenberg’s levels of body horror into his larger picture of internalized homophobia. Capped by the superb performance of Connor Jessup, Closet Monster is an indie gem.
Co-produced by Sam Raimi, this dark fantasy is inscribed with the finest horror credentials. Still aimed at younger viewers, Nightbooks skims through the mystery of a young boy who must find a way to escape from a magical apartment owned by Krysten Ritter’s witch, Natacha. A tomb of pleasure.
This 2015 film delved into the origin of Peter Pan and Captain Hook. It features Garrett Hedlund as Hook and High Jackman as Blackbeard the Pirate.
Technically a superhero movie, The Old Guard brings a series of impressive action scenes, appearing with each of star Charlize Theron’s shots. Theron plays Andy, leader of a group of immortal mercenaries, including a knight who fought in the Crusades. Age-old warriors embark on a mission of revenge, bringing progressive heroes and cunning combat, even if they can’t dodge all the clichés.
The Water Man will not suit everyone. More dramatic than pure fantasy, this family adventure deals with themes such as grief, loss and friendship. Eleven-year-old Gunner and his family move to a new town, where the bookworm must contend not only with a lack of friends, but also with a tough father and a mother with leukemia. His escape takes him to a fairy tale forest, where his imagination comes to life. An adventurous tale dealing with bigger issues.
This dark fantasy drama comes from Spanish director JA Bayona, who has since branched out into huge franchise chapters, including Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and the first two episodes of Prime Video’s upcoming Lord of the Rings series. But perhaps his best work centers on coming-of-age tales; A Monster Calls follows a troubled young boy who encounters a tree that promises to tell him three stories, provided Connor tells him one in return. With roots in darker themes, one of them being death, A Monster Calls is a clever and moving fantasy tale.
Errementari, translated from Basque by The Blacksmith, is a horror fantasy about a deal with the devil. In northern Spain in the 1830s, a blacksmith holds a demon captive, until an orphan girl unwittingly frees him. War, murder, kidnapping, suicide and more await you in the furnace of this hellish horror with surprising whiplash of dark comedy.
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Settle into a fantasy tale that may or may not be true. Will Bloom (Billy Crudup) visits his dying father, whose thrilling and impossible stories about his life are beginning to gain credibility. This sprawling Tim Burton-directed adventure takes us back to Edward Bloom’s (Ewan McGregor) youth, where we see his stories unfold for ourselves. With witches, a circus and bank robberies, Big Fish is a charming prize catch.
The Sea Beast joins Netflix’s collection of stellar family animated adventures. A young girl named Maisie (Zaris-Angel Hator) embarks on the ship of sea monster hunter Captain Crow (Jared Harris), embarking on an exciting journey through uncharted waters. Bringing originality to the high seas and swordsman characters, The Sea Beast is an unmissable chapter of enchanting fantasy.
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It’s not Tim Burton’s best entry, but Dark Shadows offers another opportunity to admire the director’s signature gothic visual style. Based on the soap opera of the same name, the horror-comedy follows a wealthy playboy who recklessly breaks the heart of a witch (Eva Green). She turns him into a vampire and buries him alive. Two centuries later, Barnabas (Johnny Depp) emerges, discovering the world of the 70s while nourishing the taste for revenge. While the characters and plot could be fleshed out significantly, Dark Shadows features a stellar cast, including Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham Carter. Plus, it gives you Barnabus’ hilarious fish-out-of-water reactions to ’70s pop culture.
The Golden Compass (2007)
Fans of Philip Pullman’s classic fantasy novel series are probably best served by HBO’s TV show adaptation. But The Golden Compass, based on the first book, is a solid chapter with generous doses of fantasy escapism. Follow Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards), a young adventurer who embarks on a journey from the esteemed halls of Oxford colleges to the kingdom of the ice bears in the frozen north. Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Eva Green complete a rich cast.
A Boy Called Christmas (2021)
A Christmas cookie filled with holiday spirit. A Boy Called Christmas won’t win any awards for originality, but it certainly delivers what it says on the tin. Young Nikolas embarks on a quest to find the legendary elf village, with his buddy Blitzen in tow. No prizes for predicting the ensuing gift shenanigans.
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