How can I get the most out of Netflix?

Netflix and MLB.TV are my only subscribed services.

The Netflix search option is good if they have the item. However, Netflix is constantly recommending movies I have already seen on their watch.

I would just like to know what they have. And let me scan their offerings.

Is this possible?

Also, if Netflix doesn’t have a recent movie, what are my other options?

Thanks for helping keep my monthly entertainment expenses to a minimum.

The subscription services aren’t going to have many recent movies. If it’s recent, you’re most likely going to need to rent it from a service like Vudu, Fandango, Google Play, etc. Amazon also lets you rent movies even if you’re not a prime customer.

I personally like the way Amazon Prime allows you to find other movies based on one movie. Amazon will suggest other movies similar to that movie, and you can also see what other customers who liked that movie also watched. I’m not sure how to do that with Netflix. Netflix makes it’s own suggestions. Another advantage is that Amazon often has the theatrical trailer, which is useful to decide if a movie is worth watching. The trailer is often missing on Netflix.

I usually use external websites to find movies to watch on Netflix. Find sites that have “best movies on Netflix” and “new to netflix” to find some things to check out.

I’m disappointed that Netflix doesn’t make some of this easier. It seems their model is “We know what you want to watch” rather than “We’ll help you find something to watch”.

You might consider adding a subscription to the service, which is their traditional DVD-by-mail service. If you don’t pay the supplement for BluRay discs and only sign up for one or two discs at a time, the cost will be minimal. Or just rent recent movies from the Redbox kiosk.

Thanks for posting this OP

That’s my biggest disappointment with Netflix after my wife signed us up the few months back. Everything they suggest is the same 30 options. It’s gotten to the point where I think I’m missing something obvious. If I subtract out old movies I’ve already seen, stand up comedy, and Netflix original programming, the entirety of their recommendations is a Marvel movie. I know they have tons of content, can I look through it? maybe give me some filters.

I’m told (couldn’t be bothered to test it out) that if you actually rate things you watch, the Netflix suggestions improve dramatically. FWIW.

And they’re probably not going to have the Marvel movies available for long, at least not for streaming. Disney is starting its own streaming services (multiple ones), so they’ll almost certainly pull back the rights from Netflix and other companies.

Really, the big problem with streaming is that it’s such a fragmented business. Perhaps you subscribe to Netflix for one or two of its proprietary shows, but then someone tells you about another show you should watch but it’s only on another streaming service. And another show someone recommends is only on some other service. Obviously no one is subscribing to all of the services, not unless you want pay as much as you did for cable. What you might do, even though it’s against the rules, is to trade streaming service subscriptions with friends or relatives.

Or use the library.

The mail service starts at about $10 a month. I recently cancelled it and went to streaming-only because I started to not watch things I was sent, so it was not money well spent.

Use the search function; point your remote to the left, and some icons will pop up, including a magnifying glass.

I have mostly given up on movies, but there are some good (or at least watchable) TV shows on Netflix. Note that I don’t have cable so shows like The Magicians are new to me.
I’m not a huge anime fan, but there is a bunch of that on Netflix as well (Need to find the right shows for me)


The search function is based off of typing a name and if I knew the name of something I wanted to watch I wouldn’t be frustrated. Is there a way to get a list of say, all the comedies they have that were made in the last 5 years by a major studio.

You can search for “comedies” to find comedy movies. I don’t think you can sort by date or studio. You can also sort for sub-categories like “witty comedies”. And “New Releases”.

In my Netflix interface on Roku, I can cursor up to get to ‘Categories’. From there I can see lots of different movie categories, including “New Releases” and “Recently Added”.

There are other websites which have the full database of Netflix content and may have more detailed searches. If you google for “netflix search” you can find several of them.

Netflix is moving away from movies and to original programming because movie studios don’t want it to get too big. They are charging more money to Netflix so that it doesn’t become a streaming monopoly.

I swear by Instantwatcher

The best thing in the world is getting to see some British TV shows. I love The IT Crowd, Midsomer Murders, and Hinterland. It’s great for bingewatching. Newer movies, not so much.

The movie selection on subscription services are generally pretty poor. Any movie with current value will be for rent, as the studio wants to squeeze every dollar out that they can. The major studio movies you can get with your subscription service will typically be 2nd tier or older movies that aren’t really worth anything in the rental market. Sometimes the service will splurge for a 1st run movie for marketing purposes, but there will just be handful of those. But the subscription services are making their own movies to avoid that problem. The quality can be iffy, but they are often still enjoyable.

The fact is, there won’t be a lot of current theatrical run movies on Netflix or other subscription services. One reason you can’t find your favorite movies is that they aren’t on there (or any other subscription service). So one way to get better value from Netflix is to be a lot more flexible about what you watch.

There are a couple of streaming services (BritBox, Acorn TV) that specialize in British content. At one point, you could see British programs on BBC America, as you’d expect, but they are showing less and less of it. Instead, they fill the entire day with reruns of The X-Files or Star Trek: TNG.


Bolding mine,

I am okay paying rent for something I wish to see. Sorry for my ignorance, but what is some likely resources?

Thank you.

Google “Netflix secret categories.” Enjoy.

I still have a cable subscription and many recent movies are available On Demand, for a fee of about five or six bucks. (That’s to watch them once. They also offer some deal where you can buy movies digitally. I don’t know how it works if and when you ever change cable providers.) You can also watch recent movies via Amazon or Apple, again for a one-time fee.