The Best Netflix Original Movies
(last updated May 3rd, 2021)
Netflix has been producing its own content at a prodigious pace, dropping movies on random weeknights with little to no publicity, and there’s plenty more planned for 2021.
These Netflix Originals are often programs that wouldn’t normally fit on a movie screen or in a typical network lineup. And while it means a great deal more niche content, it has sparked controversy among more established filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan and Steven Spielberg, who feel that Netflix is ruining movies.
With so much original content, deciding what to watch can be an arduous and seemingly impossible task. That’s why we’ve made a list of some of the best Netflix Original movies. Here are 29 films we think are worth your time (ordered by Rotten Tomatoes score).
🍺 Interested in playing a Drinking Game while watching your Netflix Original?
Look for a drinking game link beneath the films listed below. We don’t yet have drinking games for all of them, but additional games will be added as they are made.
And now for the best Netflix Original movies:
If you’re in a hurry, here’s the quick list, or continue to learn more about each film.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020) 🍅 98%
🍺 There’s a Drinking Game for this film: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Drinking Game.
Dolemite Is My Name (2019) 🍅 97%
Eddie Murphy is back in this heartfelt and hilarious movie about Blaxploitation star Rudy Ray Moore. While it may not be as dramatically impactful as some of the other movies on this list, its warmth and humour are an absolute delight.
🍺 There’s a Drinking Game for this film: Dolemite Is My Name Drinking Game.
The Irishman (2019) 🍅 96%
Yes, it’s long. It’s also another brilliant movie directed by living legend Martin Scorsese. Take the time you’d normally spend binging an entire season of television in one sitting and watch a great movie instead. 3 and a half hours is about four episodes of Game of Thrones. Don’t try to pretend you haven’t done that before.
🍺 There’s a Drinking Game for this film: The Irishman Drinking Game.
Mudbound (2017) 🍅 96%
Netflix’s first original to be nominated by the Academy, about two men who return home after World War 2 to face the realities of their racist country. Not only did Mary J. Blige receive a nomination for Best Supporting Actor, but she was also nominated for Best Original Song. And on top of that, the film received a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and Cinematography, making Rachel Morrison the first woman ever to be nominated in that category.
Marriage Story (2019) 🍅 95%
Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson both give heartbreaking performances in writer/director Noah Baumbach’s intimate look at the dissolution of a marriage. It received a number of Academy Award nominations along with fellow Netflix films The Irishman and The Two Popes. 2019 was a great year for Netflix at the Oscars.
🍺 There’s a Drinking Game for this film: Marriage Story Drinking Game.
Roma (2018) 🍅 95%
Netflix’s first Best Picture winner! This film sees auteur Alfonso Cuarón return to his own childhood to tell the story of his family’s domestic worker in 1970s Mexico.
🍺 There’s a Drinking Game for this film: Roma Drinking Game.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018) 🍅 95%
This charming teenage romantic comedy from Netflix has been extremely well-received by critics and audiences alike, thanks in part to the charisma and chemistry of its two leads, Lana Condor and Noah Centineo.
🍺 There’s a Drinking Game for this film: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Drinking Game.
Private Life (2018) 🍅 94%
A middle-aged couple struggles with infertility in this film directed by Tamara Jenkins. It’s a funny, honest, and kind movie that examines a marriage in crisis.
Da 5 Bloods (2020) 🍅 92%
🍺 There’s a Drinking Game for this film: Da 5 Bloods Drinking Game.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) 🍅 92%
The Coen Brothers have decided to take the plunge and produce content for Netflix! At first, this project was heavily rumoured to be a television series written by the iconic brothers. Turns out it’s a film featuring 6 distinctly Coen-esque stories of the old west. Dark, funny, and quirky, it’s yet another reliably great movie from the Coen brothers.
🍺 There’s a Drinking Game for this film: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Drinking Game.
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017) 🍅 92%
Writer/Director Noah Baumbach is a filmmaker known for creating well-crafted dramedies about complicated characters and relationships (see Marriage Story above) and this movie is no exception. Starring acting greats Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, and Adam Sandler (in a rare dramatic turn), this is a film sure to please fans of Baumbach’s work and intrigue newcomers.
Beasts of No Nation (2015) 🍅 91%
One of Netflix’s first major movies, Beasts of No Nation tells the disturbing tale of a child soldier forced to do unspeakable things by the Commandant, played by a terrifying Idris Elba.
Gerald’s Game (2017) 🍅 91%
Where (and how) does Stephen King come up with this stuff? This creepy movie is mostly set in one room, after the lead character, played by a terrific Carla Gugino, is handcuffed to a bed and left for dead in a sex fantasy gone wrong.
The Two Popes (2019) 🍅 89%
This movie provides a perfect face-off for two acting greats, Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce. While the great script is mostly an imagining of what the interactions between these two very different popes might have been, it still provides an illuminating behind-the-scenes look at a pivotal moment in the Catholic Church’s history.
🍺 There’s a Drinking Game for this film: The Two Popes Drinking Game.
Wheelman (2017) 🍅 89%
Gunshots and car crashes abound with this fast-paced action movie starring Frank Grillo. Set primarily in the car, it’s a more violent take on such movies as Locke with Tom Hardy or Buried with Ryan Reynolds. A perfect film for anyone who likes stubble, fast cars, and the always reliable Grillo.
1922 (2017) 🍅 89%
Stephen King is at it again in this dark thriller that sees a man (played by Thomas Jane) contemplate killing his wife (Molly Parker) in order to gain control over her inherited land. However, supernatural consequences await him.
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017) 🍅 88%
This charming dark comedy was written and directed by the star of Blue Ruin and features strong performances from its two leads, Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood. It’s quiet but angry, and the ending certainly packs a wallop.
🍺 There’s a Drinking Game for this film: I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore Drinking Game.
First They Killed My Father (2017) 🍅 88%
Angelina Jolie directs this horrific true story about a seven-year-old Cambodian girl forced to be a child soldier for the Khmer Rouge.
6 Balloons (2018) 🍅 87%
Featuring strong dramatic turns from its typically comedic stars, Dave Franco and Abbi Jacobson, this short, low-budget movie examines the relationship between an enabling sister and her heroin-addicted brother.
🍺 There’s a Drinking Game for this film: 6 Balloons Drinking Game.
Okja (2017) 🍅 86%
Okja tells a touching story about a young girl’s bond with a fictional animal and shows with great dramatic effect the lengths one will go to protect their friend. A great cast and intriguing visuals make this film a big win for Netflix.
Mank (2020) 🍅 83%
🍺 There’s a Drinking Game for this film: Mank Drinking Game.
Cargo (2017) 🍅 81%
Anchored by a reliably great performance from Martin Freeman, this film offers a unique approach to the zombie genre, focusing more on character than gore. It also features beautiful shots of the Australian countryside.
🍺 There’s a Drinking Game for this film: Cargo Drinking Game.
I Care A Lot (2020) 🍅 80%
🍺 There’s a Drinking Game for this film: I Care A Lot Drinking Game.
Ibiza (2018) 🍅 78%
Gillian Jacobs (of Love and Community fame) gets to make the leap from sidekick to main character in this gross-out girl comedy about three friends who travel to Ibiza to track down an attractive DJ (played by Richard Madden/Robb Stark). If you enjoyed Rough Night or Girls Trip, be sure to add this one to your Netflix playlist.
🍺 There’s a Drinking Game for this film: Ibiza Drinking Game.
The Fundamentals of Caring (2016) 🍅 78%
Paul Rudd plays a man reeling from a loss in his life who decides to enroll in a class about caregiving, where he meets Trevor (Assjuice in Neighbors), a boy stricken to a wheelchair. Oh, and Selena Gomez hangs around.
Apostle (2018) 76%
There’s a Drinking Game for this film: Apostle Drinking Game.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018) 🍅 74%
While light on plot, this ambitious movie points to a potentially interesting future for filmmaking. Will audiences begin to demand more choose-your-own-adventure movies in the future?
🍺 There’s a Drinking Game for this film: Black Mirror: Bandersnatch Drinking Game.
Extraction (2020) 🍅 68%
Looking for gritty, violent, non-stop action? You’ve found the movie for you. Oh yeah, and it stars that guy who played Thor in Avengers. Some Australian guy you’ve probably never heard of.
🍺 There’s a Drinking Game for this film: Extraction Drinking Game.
Bird Box (2018) 🍅 62%
This disaster movie was a SMASH hit for Netflix, as everybody and their mother continuously tuned in to watch Sandra Bullock stumble around in a blindfold. It does for eyes what A Quiet Place did for ears!
🍺 There’s a Drinking Game for this film: Bird Box Drinking Game.
Thanks for reading! What films do you think should be classified as the best Netflix Original movies? Let us know if you think we’ve missed anything. We’ll continue to add to this list as new great films are added to Netflix.
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