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Movies On Netflix You Can't Watch With The Ad-Supported Plan

Some Netflix viewers using the less-expensive ad-supported plan are gonna be in for a rude awakening when they go to watch certain titles.

As these users are discovering themselves, select movies and television shows are only available to those who shell out for Netflix's premium, ad-free tiers. The difference between "Standard" and "Standard with ads" is about $9 per month — a steep price, considering how many streaming services there are these days. This isn't a new problem for the streamer — in the past, films like "Dracula: Untold," "Notting Hill," and "The Hurt Locker" were all locked inside the streamer's premium tiers during their time on the platform, even if they're no longer available now anyway.

We're going to try to save you a bit of time here and let you know some of the titles you won't be able to enjoy due to licensing deals with studios like Sony and Universal, which apparently restrict Netflix's ability to run ads on some films. While there's plenty you won't miss among the sea of content at your disposal, a few might have you seeing red.


It's Morbin' time for viewers with a premium Netflix password — "Morbius," the film so nice they released it twice, is available on the streamer's ad-free plan. The Hatbox Ghost himself, Jared Leto, stars as Dr. Michael Morbius, an ailing physician who turns himself into some sort of Bat-Man to halt his rare blood illness. Also somehow roped into this mess are Tyrese Gibson and Matt Smith, who respectively play a cyborg monster-hunter (who got all his robot bits edited out in post-production) and an evil vampire (who's seriously regretting listening to Karen Gillan's advice).

On the bright side, the film boasts a decent Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 71%, which means a majority of the people who watched "Morbius" found it entertaining. Whether that's because it's a genuinely underrated superhero romp or because it's a disastrous multi-million-dollar dumpster fire likely depends on the viewer. This isn't all to say that there aren't a few (potentially pre-spoiled) surprises along the way that could elicit some excitement from comic book fans if they're patient enough to make it to the end. Plus, with "Madame Web" crashing and burning, it's arguably the best time to watch all the Sony Pictures Marvel films — you know, before they shutter this universe entirely for a tax write-off.


After spending the better part of the 2010s in a galaxy far, far away playing blockbuster baddie Kylo Ren, one would think that an Oscar darling like Adam Driver might use that star power to get as far away from space as possible. And yet, one of the next projects he took after "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" was the interstellar prehistoric sci-fi action film "65" — which admittedly sounds like the sort of movie you'd probably find 10 years ago in the $1 bin at Walmart.

To be fair, "65" isn't that bad, just not good enough to sell its high concept beyond an absurdly long logline. Driver and fellow "Star Wars" alum Ariana Greenblatt play a spaceship pilot and a young girl who crash-land on Earth 65 million years before the present day. It's a fun twist on an old trope, turning Earth into a dangerous, exotic alien planet of sorts. Aside from that, critics found it to be a humorless and forgettable slog not even its stars could save. Perhaps it's for the best then that Netflix has kept this one locked behind the paywall.

28 Days

Not to be confused with the Cillian Murphy zombie flick "28 Days Later," "28 Days" is a dramedy starring Sandra Bullock, "Lord of the Rings" star Viggo Mortensen, and "The Wire" cast member Dominic West. It was written by Susannah Grant — who went on to executive produce the acclaimed FX-Hulu series "Fleishman Is in Trouble" — and was directed by Betty Thomas. Bullock plays a young woman living with alcohol abuse disorder who is forced to choose between a jail sentence and 28 days in a rehab facility after she drunkenly steals a car and destroys a house.

"28 Days" premiered in April 2000, managing a modest return at the worldwide box office, though it failed to impress most critics. While some were able to let it pass as an occasionally charming piece of entertainment with a fine message, the consensus was that its thin comedy couldn't make up for a predictably trite story. In other words, "28 Days" doesn't dig much deeper than "alcohol bad; true love good." And with a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of just 50%, it's a coin-flip as to whether or not it'll be worth the premium upgrade for you.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Bullet Train

Though it wasn't met with as positive a reception as David Leitch's other work, there's something to be said for the weightless, neon-soaked action of 2022's "Bullet Train." Featuring a decidedly star-studded cast led by a surprisingly game Brad Pitt, it's the sort of film that — for better and for worse — is best watched with as little context as possible. This is both because of its fun cameos, twists, and surprising set pieces, as well as the story's lack of depth or real complexity.

Pitt plays Ladybug, a hapless American assassin whose life is ruled by his anxieties about fate and the future. He works well as a subversion of most hitmen in American cinema, being soft-spoken, slow to violence, and emotionally introspective to a fault. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry also feature prominently in the story, showcasing rare sides of their talent that are seldom seen in other projects. The rest of the cast, however, is truly best left unknown until you hit play.

If Leitch's action-comedies like "Deadpool 2" and "Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw" aren't your thing, "Bullet Train" probably won't turn you into a fan. But if you're looking for a popcorn flick to throw on with a few friends, it might just be worth a premium price.

Gran Turismo

"Barbie" and "The Lego Movie" get a lot of flack for essentially being feature-length advertisements for their respective brands — but at least they don't race into high-speed propaganda like "Gran Turismo." That's not to say the 2023 biopic is pushing a message that's harmful or even unrealistic, but one so bizarrely singular you kinda wonder why the movie was made at all. 

It doesn't appear to be satisfied selling you on the game itself or even the admittedly wild real story of gamer-turned-racer Jann Mardenborough (played by Archie Madekwe in the film), instead insisting with an almost rabid fervor that gamers are just as good — if not better — at driving race cars. True or not, "Gran Turismo" unintentionally makes its thesis feel as forced and awkward as possible, which unfortunately undermines a genuinely inspiring story about pursuing one's passions and overcoming adversity.

For the gamers or racers among you, perhaps it's worth spending a significant amount of money every month for access to the film. For everyone else, we're not so sure.


Before he became an Academy Award winner, director Guillermo del Toro was arguably one of the founding fathers of 21st century superhero cinema. Having directed the cult classic "Blade II," he was brought on to helm the 2004 film "Hellboy," an adaptation of the gothic superhero comic series from legendary writer and artist Mike Mignola. It features a perfectly cast Ron Perlman as a hulking demon who works for a covert arm of the U.S. government that essentially hunts monsters, ghosts, and other supernatural threats. Viewers will notice the idiosyncratic stylings of del Toro, a dark fantasy master, even as he remains largely faithful to the source material.

A sequel, "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," was made four years later, despite the original "Hellboy" just barely scraping across the financial finish line. "The Golden Army" fared much better, but the series was prematurely scrapped in favor of a reboot over a decade later. That David Harbour-led project was a critical and commercial failure that again necessitated another reboot, with "Hellboy: The Crooked Man" currently in development. Even with such diminishing returns, the original "Hellboy" might be worth a premium if you like your comic book movies on the dark side.

The Equalizer 3

If you've ever wanted a movie that's equal parts Denzel Washington hanging out in Italy and brutally murdering a 10th of the population of a small town, have we got a movie for you. "The Equalizer 3" doesn't reinvent the genre, nor does it do much of note for the character that has kept Washington in the game as a relatively solid action star despite the fact that he's pushing 70. It is, however, a decent send-off for a perfectly fine series of films that consistently pulled off some of the best fight sequences of the late 2010s.

For fans of the previous two installments who have yet to see the third and final film, you should know beforehand that Robert McCall's last journey is markedly quieter than usual. Director Antoine Fuqua, a fan of Akira Kurosawa, goes for a steady, patient tone that's closer to that of "Seven Samurai" than "John Wick." While there's certainly a lot of blood spilled within its brisk 109-minute runtime, Fuqua is more concerned with exploring how — or, rather, if — a man who has traded in so much violence for much of his life can reach an end that's not only peaceful and honorable but genuinely happy. 

Whether one agrees with Fuqua's conclusion will vary from viewer to viewer, but the journey is admirable and even appreciably risky nonetheless. And, as an added bonus, Dakota Fanning's inclusion makes this the "Man on Fire" reunion we never knew we needed.


Though most viewers likely know Karl Urban best as the supe-smashing CIA asset Billy Butcher from Prime Video's "The Boys," there was a time he was almost the face of a very different comic book franchise. Following in the footsteps of none other than Sylvester Stallone, Urban took on the role of the "2000 A.D." satirical comic book anti-hero Judge Dredd in 2012's "Dredd." The story (written by "Ex Machina" and "Annihilation" scribe Alex Garland) follows the titular law enforcement officer fighting a violent war on drugs in a dystopian future.

Though it bombed at the box office, "Dredd" was received warmly by critics, and has gone on to become something of a cult classic as audiences grew more accustomed to adult superhero stories. There have even been some discussions about reviving Urban's take on the character for a prestige series, though there have been no firm announcements yet.

The Hateful Eight

If paywalled entertainment is making you angry, you might be perfectly primed to enjoy Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight." Featuring the talents of the "Pulp Fiction" director's usual conspirators like Samuel L. Jackson and Tim Roth (and with appearances from new and welcome faces like Channing Tatum and Walton Goggins), "The Hateful Eight" offers much of what you'd expect from a Tarantino film — even if it is a kind of black sheep among his filmography.

Set in postbellum America, the film follows a group of rugged scoundrels and misanthropes who find themselves thrown together on a cross-country road trip. There are ruthless bounty hunters Marquis (Jackson) and John (Kurt Russell), soon-to-be Sheriff Mannix (Goggins), death-row captive Crazy Daisy (Jennifer Jason Leigh), her brother Jody (Tatum), practiced hangman Oswald (Roth), cowboy Joe (Michael Madsen), and Bob "The Mexican" (Demián Bichir). 

The story works as a study of what can happen narratively when you put a bunch of people with wildly different and conflicting motivations into a confined space, which is usually Tarantino's bread and butter. And while it may have strained credulity and coherence for some audiences, die-hard fans of his work or the Western genre as a whole will likely find its atmosphere pleasantly horrible.


Though it may be apt to describe director Eli Roth as a crowd-pleasing filmmaker, that wouldn't take into account how small his audience is. His movies are for a very specific type of horror fan: From the "Hostel" series to "The Green Inferno," his stories are violent, controversial, intimately disturbing, and often tough to watch unless you know exactly what you're getting into — which is why it was something of a surprise when his most recent film, 2023's "Thanksgiving," drew a surprisingly large crowd of admirers and made a tidy profit to boot.

This may have something to do with the softer edge Roth used to carve this cinematic turkey. His filmmaking sensibilities are usually cruel, but rarely does he focus that energy toward the kind of black comedy "Thanksgiving" delightfully indulges. Though Roth has always enjoyed watching his characters suffer, it seems he found a way to make audiences enjoy their suffering as well. Plus, who doesn't want to see "Suits" scene-stealer Rick Hoffman in a slasher flick about a murderous pilgrim?

If you enjoy the tone of "Thanksgiving," you'll also probably enjoy its siblings — Robert Rodriguez's "Machete" and the 2011 action film "Hobo with a Shotgun." All three films started their lives as trailers in the Rodriguez-Quentin Tarantino film "Grindhouse," and have a similar irreverent and campy vibe.


If you found 2023's "Wonka" to be a treat, you'll be delighted to learn that director Paul King has a duology of films arguably even sweeter — and the first is behind Netflix's premium paywall. Released in November 2014, "Paddington" is a simple yet impossible-not-to-love story about a little bear (voiced by James Bond alum Ben Whishaw) who journeys to England and loves marmalade more than anything else in the world. His optimism and perseverance radiate out of his furry body to every person he encounters along his journey, resulting in a heartwarming tale about the meaning of family.

If you've yet to experience either film, it'd be well worth your time to try the first one out. Fortunately, you don't have to shell out any extra money to stream "Paddington" — so long as you have an active Hulu subscription. If not, you'll find it trapped behind two paywalls.

Dumb Money

"Dumb Money" finally answers one of cinema's most pressing questions — what would happen if a movie were made about Redditors? The end result is surprisingly watchable, thanks both to director Craig Gillespie (director of "I, Tonya" and "Cruella") and the fact that the true story behind it is actually pretty fascinating. 

In 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, amateur stock trader Keith Gill (Paul Dano) invests a baffling amount of his own money into shares of GameStop and successfully convinces members of the r/WallStreetBets subreddit to invest with him. This kickstarts a massive movement in the online trading community that sees them (at least in their eyes) go to war with the billionaire hedge fund managers on Wall Street. 

To its credit, the film doesn't glamorize or valorize the online community backing the "hero" of this story (as anyone who took even a cursory glance at r/WallStreetBets during this time will tell you, sound financial advice was far outweighed by memes, nonsense, and people calling each other slurs). On the other hand, it does border on oversimplifying a genuinely important moment in history, rather than exploring what this case illuminated about the nature of stock trading itself. Still, charismatic performances and tight pacing make "Dumb Money" perfectly entertaining, and worthy of a movie night — if you're willing to invest in Netflix, that is.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

One of the biggest hits of the summer 2023 season, "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" is far and away one of the few titles actually worth upgrading a Netflix subscription for — though there's a strong chance that, if you're a Xoop reader, you've already seen it at least once. The sequel to "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" drew rave reviews upon its release, and grossed over $690 million at the worldwide box office. "Across the Spider-Verse" was also nominated for best animated feature at the 96th Academy Awards, competing against the likes of sleeper hit "Nimona" and Hayao Miyazaki's "The Boy and the Heron."

For the uninitiated, "Across the Spider-Verse" follows recently minted Spider-Man Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), an Afro-Latino high schooler struggling to find his place in several different worlds — from his community in Brooklyn to the sprawling multiverse of webheads with lives nearly identical to his. The saying "it has something for everybody" has perhaps never fit a film so perfectly as this, with sequences of breathlessly kinetic action, heart-wrenching emotion, and challenging psychological stakes. There might be a bit of a learning curve if you don't know your Peter Parkers from your Peter Porkers, but both films hold your hand just enough for that not to matter. And with dazzling, revolutionary animation styles at work, you won't notice any confusion for too long.

The Woman King

If all you know about "The Woman King" is that it got Viola Davis name-checked in Ariana DeBose's infamous (and, in our opinion, spectacular) BAFTA rap, you're seriously missing out. The quasi-historical feature about an elite all-female squad of West African warriors breathes new life into the historical action genre, nailing the sense of adventure that made swords-and-sandals movies memorable while implementing dazzlingly modern fight choreography.

Both Davis and actor Thuso Mbedu were lauded for their performances as hardened warriors of the Agojie, with Davis in particular earning a laundry list of awards nominations including a BAFTA. "Captain Marvel" star Lashana Lynch also plays a major role, finally allowed to flex her muscles as an action star outside of one scene in a "Doctor Strange" movie.

It received some backlash for being historically inaccurate, specifically in regard to the kingdom of Dahomey's role in the European slave trade. It would be wise for any viewer to take its historical claims with a hefty grain of salt — it is just a Hollywood action movie, at the end of the day. But of all the films blocked by Netflix's head-scratching premium paywall, it may be the one that's most worth the price of admission.