The 12 Best R-Rated Films on Netflix Right Now (July 2024) (2024)

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The 12 Best R-Rated Films on Netflix Right Now (July 2024) (1)

By Tauri Miller

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The 12 Best R-Rated Films on Netflix Right Now (July 2024) (2)

"Netflix and chill" has been a thing for a while, but that’s not the only “adult thing” the service has to offer. In fact, there are a myriad of great movies that capture the spirit of adulthood – the dreams we have, the roles we have to play, and the betrayals we face – but there’s also the blood, sex, and violence that the MPA says that only we cool mature grownups can truly appreciate.

So, it’s time to put the kids to bed, grab a beverage and snack, and then dive into some of the best films with kick-ass action, mind-bending themes, and sophisticated emotions that Netflix has to offer. Disclaimer: Kids not required. If you are reading this and happen to be a kid, don’t tell your parents we put you onto the good stuff.

For more recommendations, check out our list of the best movies and shows on Netflix across all ratings.

‘Hit Man’ (2023)

Rotten Tomatoes: 96% | IMDb: 6.9/10

The 12 Best R-Rated Films on Netflix Right Now (July 2024) (3)
Hit Man

Action

Crime

Release Date
June 7, 2024

Director
Richard Linklater
Cast
Glen Powell , Adria Arjona , Austin Amelio , Retta , Molly Bernard , Mike Markoff

Runtime
113 minutes

Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick) has recently been taking off as a leading man in film, and now he shows off his wide breadth of character work in this dark romantic comedy that he co-wrote with eclectic director Richard Linklater (Boyhood). Hit Man is loosely based on the true story of a college professor who posed as a hit man in sting operations with the police. Powell has a lot of fun as he gets to don a variety of looks and personas as his unassuming character crafts unique personas for each and every sting in order to sell the fantasy to the clients. But it’s not just Powell who gets to show off his skillsAdria Arjona (Andor) is a blast as the femme fatale who turns the whole operation upside down.

Watch on Netflix

‘Private Life’ (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes: 94% | IMDb: 7.2/10

The 12 Best R-Rated Films on Netflix Right Now (July 2024) (4)
Private Life

Comedy

Documentary

Release Date
October 5, 2018

Director
Tamara Jenkins
Cast
Kathryn Hahn , Paul Giamatti , John Carroll Lynch , Denis O'Hare , Emily Robinson , Molly Shannon

Runtime
123

Written and directed by Tamara Jenkins (The Savages), Private Life is a down-to-earth slice-of-life drama about the struggles of starting a family later in life. The film follows Kathryn Hahn (Tiny Beautiful Things) and Paul Giamatti (The Holdovers) as a middle-aged New York married couple who are trying everything to have a child despite numerous obstacles and failures. Jenkins digs into the heart of the story by introducing a young aspiring writer into their lives, played by Kayli Carter (Let Him Go), and expertly crafts a parallel between the constant problems and disappointments that come with fertility procedures and the pursuit of a career in the arts. The film doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities and emotional toll that comes with trying to fulfill a desire that feels insurmountable.

Watch on Netflix

‘Fair Play’ (2023)

Rotten Tomatoes: 85% | IMDb: 6.4/10

The 12 Best R-Rated Films on Netflix Right Now (July 2024) (5)
Fair Play

Drama

Mystery

Thriller

Release Date
October 6, 2023

Director
Chloe Domont
Cast
Phoebe Dynevor , Alden Ehrenreich , Eddie Marsan , Rich Sommer , Sebastian de Souza

Runtime
113 minutes

You know what they say — “Men would rather blow up their whole relationship because of a perceived power imbalance after their girlfriend beats them out for a promotion than get therapy”...or something like that. Well, Fair Play, written and directed by Chloe Domont (Ballers) in her feature film debut, is all that and more. Domont weaves a tale about two financial analysts, Emily and Luke, having a scandalous tryst while competing for the same position at a ruthless hedge fund. Unfortunately for Emily (Phoebe Dynevor), winning the promotion over Luke (Alden Ehrenreich) transforms his passion into deep resentment and rage, leading to a rollercoaster of backstabbing, sex, and violence. This psychological thriller has some steamy scenes, but consider this your trigger warning that the toxic aspects of masculinity are on full display, and some sequences could be very uncomfortable for some audiences.

Watch on Netflix

‘May December’ (2023)

Rotten Tomatoes: 91% | IMDb: 6.8/10

The 12 Best R-Rated Films on Netflix Right Now (July 2024) (6)
May December

Drama

Comedy

Release Date
December 1, 2023
Director
Todd Haynes
Cast
Julianne Moore , Natalie Portman , Andrea Frankle , Charles Melton

Runtime
117 minutes

Inspired by the true story of the controversial seduction of a 13-year-old boy by a woman in her 30s, May December adds a level of camp and intrigue to the story by adding themes surrounding perception and method acting. Julianne Moore (Still Alice) gives a richly complex performance as she takes on the role of the older woman who is now married to the young man she pursued as a teen, portrayed by Charles Melton (Riverdale), who is the perfect mix of sympathetic and introspective. Two decades after their relationship was the talk of the town, their life goes back under the microscope when an ambitious actress, played by Natalie Portman (Black Swan), arrives to research their story and digs a little too deep into their lives. An interestingly dark mix of vibes that could be described as Single White Female blended with I, Tonya, the film earns all the accolades and award nominations.

Watch on Netflix

‘Society of the Snow’ (2023)

Rotten Tomatoes: 90% | IMDb: 7.8/10

The 12 Best R-Rated Films on Netflix Right Now (July 2024) (7)
Society of the Snow

Adventure

Drama

Biography

History

Thriller

Release Date
December 23, 2023

Cast
Enzo Vogrincic , Esteban Bigliardi , Simon Hempe , Matías Recalt

Runtime
144 minutes

Society of the Snow isn’t just inspired by real events — it’s also a survival flick that will leave you inspired! Director J. A. Bayona (The Impossible) takes his years of research on the 1972 plane crash that left a Uruguayan rugby team stranded in the Andes mountains and synthesizes it into a harrowing journey of perseverance and teamwork. Most survival horror tends to argue that dire straits bring out the worst in humanity, but this retelling of the accounts of actual disaster survivors is a reminder that the only way to get through the darkest times is to work together as a community and look out for one another. This Spanish-language drama features a mostly Uruguayan cast of relatively unknowns in their industry, which really adds to the authenticity of the film, disregarding the hierarchy of stardom in place of a cast of equals working together to deliver a great story.

Watch on Netflix

‘The Matrix’ (1999)

Rotten Tomatoes: 83% | IMDb: 8.7/10

The 12 Best R-Rated Films on Netflix Right Now (July 2024) (8)
The Matrix

Action

Adventure

Sci-Fi

Release Date
March 30, 1999
Director
Lilly Wachowski , Lana Wachowski
Cast
Keanu Reeves , Laurence Fishburne , Carrie-Anne Moss , Hugo Weaving , Gloria Foster , Joe Pantoliano

Runtime
136 minutes

If you’re an action fan, I don’t need to sell you on this groundbreaking sci-fi adventure film that changed the genre for decades – you’ve seen it. This is a humble reminder that it’s on Netflix and that you should boot it up for the hundredth time. For anyone who missed the boat, it’s never too late to enjoy this philosophically rich epic about a hacker named Neo who discovers that the world he knows is a simulation built to enslave humanity. Writers and directors Lana and Lilly Wachowski (Speed Racer) deliver a high-octane thrill ride filled with heady themes, practical effects, and fight sequences that will have you punching not just the air but anything that moves. Hop down the rabbit hole and dive into this endlessly quotable movie with a star-studded cast including Keanu Reeves (John Wick), Hugo Weaving (V for Vendetta), Laurence Fishburne (John Wick: Chapter 4), and Carrie-Anne Moss (Jessica Jones).

Watch on Netflix

‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ (2022)

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% | IMDb: 7.8/10

The 12 Best R-Rated Films on Netflix Right Now (July 2024) (9)
Everything Everywhere All at Once

Adventure

Fantasy

Comedy

Drama

Release Date
March 25, 2022
Director
Daniel Kwan , Daniel Scheinert
Cast
Jenny Slate , Michelle Yeoh , jamie lee curtis , Ke Huy Quan

Runtime
139 minutes

Everything Everywhere All at Once is a multiverse film that fully utilizes the sandbox of infinite worlds. Not only does filmmaker duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (Swiss Army Man) establish an absurdly playful setting for this wild concept, but they ground it in themes that anyone can connect with. The story follows a small Chinese-American family, led by Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians) and Ke Huy Quan (Loki), who are struggling with money and with the sexuality of their daughter, played by Stephanie Hsu (Joy Ride). As they slide through alternate realities, the characters explore the lives they could’ve had and peel back the layers of who they truly want to be. Yeoh, Quan, and Hsu are the perfect trio, seamlessly shifting through their alternate selves while radiating authenticity from start to finish. All I can say is: This film rocks! (Once you’ve seen it, come back to this article and enjoy that pun.)

Watch on Netflix

‘A Simple Favor’ (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes: 84% | IMDb: 6.8/10

The 12 Best R-Rated Films on Netflix Right Now (July 2024) (10)
A Simple Favor

Mystery

Crime

Thriller

Release Date
August 29, 2018

Director
Paul Feig
Cast
Anna Kendrick , Ian Ho , Joshua Satine , Glenda Braganza , Andy Rannells , Kelly McCormack

Runtime
119

Comedy writer and director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) dives head-first into the thriller genre as he teams up with screenwriter Jessica Sharzer (American Horror Story) to adapt Darcey Bell’s hit debut novel. A Simple Favor has big Gone Girl vibes, but it cranks the twists up to eleven as a mommy vlogger, played by Anna Kendrick (Alice, Darling), digs into the disappearance of her mysterious new friend. Blake Lively (Gossip Girl) lends her ethereal beauty and a nonchalant mystique to the role that perfectly balances with Kendrick’s awkward single-mom performance. Their scenes together immediately sell the dynamic and get the audience just as invested in unpacking each and every secret the plot dangles in front of them.

Watch on Netflix

‘1917’ (2019)

Rotten Tomatoes: 88% | IMDb: 8.2/10

The 12 Best R-Rated Films on Netflix Right Now (July 2024) (11)
1917

Drama

Biography

Release Date
December 25, 2019

Director
Sam Mendes
Cast
Andrew Scott , Richard Madden , Benedict Cumberbatch , Mark Strong , Colin Firth , Teresa Mahoney

Runtime
110

Director Sam Mendes (Skyfall) breathes life into a story that is a mix of personal recollections of his grandfather and a historical event from World War I. 1917 is a passion project for Mendes that showcases the best of his abilities with stunningly chaotic and claustrophobic cinematography that depicts the horrors of war from the perspective of two young soldiers in real-time as they drudge through enemy territory to deliver a message that will save hundreds of their comrades. With events unfolding through a series of long takes, the movie puts the audience right into the thick of it with little time to breathe. It's not just an effective way to build a connection with the main characters, played superbly by Dean-Charles Chapman (Game of Thrones) and George MacKay (Captain Fantastic) — it’s also an extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime feat of production.

Watch on Netflix

‘The Breakfast Club’ (1985)

Rotten Tomatoes: 89% | IMDb: 7.8/10

The 12 Best R-Rated Films on Netflix Right Now (July 2024) (12)
The Breakfast Club

Teen

Coming-of-Age

Comedy

Drama

Release Date
February 15, 1985

Director
John Hughes
Cast
Emilio Estevez , Judd Nelson , Molly Ringwald , Ally Sheedy , Paul Gleason , Anthony Michael Hall

Runtime
97 minutes

This John Hughes (Ferris Bueller's Day Off) classic has inspired countless imitations and homages over the last 30 years and continues to thrive after all these years as a microcosm of the experience of growing up. The Breakfast Club takes the typical high school archetypes — Molly Ringwald (Sixteen Candles) as the preppy popular girl, Emilio Estevez (The Mighty Ducks) as the jock, Judd Nelson (St. Elmo's Fire) as the troubled loner, Anthony Michael Hall (Weird Science) as the nerd, and Ally Sheedy (Short Circuit) as the goth — locks them in a room, and forces them to reflect on the idea that, no matter how different they feel or how popular they are, in the end they are all just trying to find their way. The cast is a blast, bouncing off of one another, digging into the meat of their characters, and delivering incredibly genuine arcs for each of them.

Watch on Netflix

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