I spy something worth watching! Currently, there’s a treasure trove of spy movies just waiting to be streamed on Netflix. Whether you’re in the mood for secret agents with hearts of gold or deadly spies who show no mercy, we’re here to help you find what you’re looking for.
In this day and age, you never know what movies might be coming or going from your favorite streaming platform any second, so don’t hesitate to take the plunge! From the refreshingly silly to the mega serious, these are the best spy movies on Netflix right now.
Directed by Irwin Winkler, The Net centers on computer spies. In the early days of the internet, the idea of hackers was fresh movie gold. This time-capsuled classic about online spying (plus identity theft) explores the dark side of the net whilst preying on everyone’s timely fears. And it’s oh-so-90s to boot. Sandra Bullock stars as a computer analyst who becomes a target after uncovering a conspiracy via floppy disk.
The question is, will she be deleted? Or will her computer savvy skills save the day? Faced with worldwide threats, this once reclusive hacker must go on the run and mingle. Inevitably, she crosses paths with a dangerously handsome stranger (Jeremy Northam), and the plot only thickens. Due to dated technology, this espionage flick is unwittingly funnier than it was in ’95, but the parts that make it a nail-biter remain intact.
If you’re craving a solid spy movie based on actual events, add Snowden to your watchlist immediately. “This thriller traces Edward Snowden’s journey from Army recruit to disillusioned government analyst bent on exposing vast U.S. surveillance programs,” says Netflix of the plot.
Directed by Oliver Stone, Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in this provocative political drama. Shailene Woodley and Zachary Quinto take on supporting roles. While the acting is undeniably superb, reviews remain consistently mixed. Nevertheless, if you enjoy fact-based movies about real-life spies, you’ll probably like this one.
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
No matter how silly it might be, no spy movie list could be complete without Austin Powers. Directed by Jay Roach, this action-comedy starring Mike Myers tells the tale of an English spy cryogenically frozen in the 60s. He’s thawed out in the 90s to defeat his longtime nemesis who was also frozen, Dr. Evil (also played by Myers). In many ways, they both remain frozen in time. When the “international man of mystery” reemerges, he’s no longer the most “shagadelic” secret agent around.
In a nutshell, the times have changed. Powers finds himself out of place, but soon proves he’s still got what it takes to take down the villain. Elizabeth Hurley, Michael Yorke, Mindy Sterling, and Seth Green round out the star-studded cast. This Bond-like spy spoof has it all; eccentric foes, explosions, femme fatales, insanely impossible death traps, and completely ridiculous and unforgettable plot twists.
Playfully tackling the popular spy movie trope of the sleeper agent, this one’s been deemed both “deeply stupid” and “extremely funny” by critics. And frankly, 2015’s American Ultra is purposefully both of those things. For starters, Jesse Eisenberg is the “dormant superspy” in waiting who must transform into the hero. In classic spy movie fashion, the plot only gets more farfetched.
Eisenberg plays a convenience store clerk planning to propose to his much cooler girlfriend (Kristen Stewart). But an ambush turns the world we’re invited into completely upside down, revealing this stereotypical stoner to be an unlikely espionage asset. The pace is frenzied, packed with action, and it’s an endearingly goofy approach to “guy saves the girl.” Topher Grace, Connie Britton, John Leguizamo, and Walton Goggins costar.
As described by Netflix, “Liam Neeson stars as a man who regains consciousness after a car accident, only to discover that another man is impersonating him.” If you dig movies about the chaos that ensues when someone steals the lead’s identity and they go on a quest for the truth, you’ll be fully invested in this one.
With that said, the pace proves better than the ending. Still, it’s an enjoyable spy flick with plenty of adrenaline. You just have to get on board with the implausible parts and not take it as seriously as it takes itself. Even those who did not love this mystery thriller agree; Liam Neeson makes Unknown worth the topsy turvy ride.
This award-winning mind-bender is intimately engaging, larger than life, and smarter than your average spy movie. Directed by Christopher Nolan, Inception is an emotionally charged thriller about “mind spies.” Led by Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a special ops team with unusual expertise is sent on a mission deep inside the mind of a businessman. Their goal is to implant (incept) an idea in his head and get out safely.
As the dream team dives deeper into the subconscious of Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), the everchanging world around them becomes more unpredictable. They must adapt on the fly and remain undetected, but that proves easier mapped out than done. The Rotten Tomatoes Critic Consensus called it “a rare summer blockbuster that succeeds viscerally as well as intellectually.”