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The best Netflix original movies right now

There are about a half-dozen major players in the streaming arena. And if you combined Netflix’s rivals and added up their original movies, their combined total would be far behind the impressive lineup that Netflix has assembled. That’s the biggest reason why Netflix remains at the top of the streaming charts. New original movies arrive every month, from Hollywood-worthy blockbusters to a handful of international flicks from around the world.

Granted, there’s also some low-budget schlock on Netflix. But you won’t find any of those stinkers on our roundup of the best Netflix original movies that you can stream this month. No matter which genres you’re into, there’s something for you here.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, try our other lists of the best Netflix original series, the best Hulu original series, the best Amazon Prime original movies, and the best Amazon Prime original series.

The Mother (2023) new
The Mother
45 %
r 115m
Genre Action, Thriller
Stars Jennifer Lopez, Joseph Fiennes, Omari Hardwick
Directed by Niki Caro
What if the Terminator was a woman? That’s not quite the premise of The Mother, but Jennifer Lopez’s titular assassin is just about as unstoppable as a killer machine from the future. The only thing that could give this woman pause is her teenage daughter, Zoe (Lucy Paez), whom she gave up years before in the hope that she could grow up safely. The Mother’s plans are upended when her enemies discover Zoe’s identity and kidnap her. That’s why the mother pulls out all of the stops to save Zoe, and then starts training Zoe so she can protect herself as well.
A Tourist's Guide to Love (2023) new
A Tourist's Guide to Love
49 %
pg 96m
Genre Romance, Comedy, Adventure
Stars Rachael Leigh Cook, Scott Ly, Missi Pyle
Directed by Steven K. Tsuchida
Rachael Leigh Cook headlines the romantic comedy A Tourist’s Guide To Love as a woman named Amanda Riley, who finds herself at a crossroads in her life. After her longtime boyfriend, John (Ben Feldman), puts their relationship on pause, Amanda is sent on a covert work trip to Vietnam, where she befriends a local tour guide, Sinh Thach (Scott Ly). Sinh and Amanda discover that they have a lot of chemistry together, especially when he encourages her to be more spontaneous, but when John unexpectedly joins Amanda on her trip, she is forced to choose between the two men in her life.
Chupa (2023) new
48 %
pg 98m
Genre Adventure, Fantasy, Family
Stars Demián Bichir, Evan Whitten, Christian Slater
Directed by Jonás Cuarón

Director Jonás Cuarón’s Chupa has a lot in common with Stephen Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Both films are about a young boy who befriends a creature of unknown origin. In this case, it’s a chupacabra cub that is found by Alex (Evan Whitten), a 13-year-old who is visiting his family in Mexico after the death of his father.

Finding Chupa gives Alex a new sense of purpose as he attempts to care for the cub. But an unscrupulous scientist, Richard Quinn (Christian Slater), will do anything to capture Chupa and prove his theories about the mythical chupacabras. So it falls on Alex to keep Chupa safe.

AKA (2023) new
Genre Thriller, Action, Crime
Stars Alban Lenoir, Éric Cantona, Thibault de Montalembert
Directed by Morgan S. Dalibert

Brush up on your French or turn on the subtitles for AKA, an old-school action flick that may remind you of Man on Fire. Alban Lenoir co-wrote the film and stars as Adam Franco, an undercover French operative who infiltrates the crime organization of Victor Pastore (Eric Cantona).

Adam’s fighting prowess earns him a place as the bodyguard for Victor’s stepson, Jonathan (Noe Chabbat). Against his better judgment, Adam actually grows to care about Jonathan and bonds with him. And when Jonathan’s life is in danger, Adam puts his own life on the line to protect him, no matter what the cost.

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (2022)
Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio
79 %
pg 117m
Genre Animation, Fantasy, Drama, Music
Stars Gregory Mann, Ewan McGregor, David Bradley
Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson

Guillermo del Toro is no stranger to the world of the fantastical, which made the director a more-than-natural fit for a reimagining of Pinocchio. With Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, the director goes all-in with stop motion animation for a story takes place in Italy during World War II. In a fit of despair, Geppetto (voiced by David Bradley) cuts down a tree grown in memory of his son who died in World War I, and uses the lumber to create a puppet he calls Pinocchio (Gregory Mann).

Soon after, the Wood Sprite brings Pinocchio to life and tasks Sebastian J. Cricket (Ewan McGregor) with being his guiding conscience. What follows is a story about discovering who you really are in a world full of near-infinite possibilities, both big and small.

The Highwaymen (2019)
The Highwaymen
58 %
r 133m
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller
Stars Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kathy Bates
Directed by John Lee Hancock

Directed by John Lee Hancock, The Highwaymen stars Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as Frank Hamer and Maney Gault, a 1930s detective duo hell-bent on taking down two of America’s most notorious outlaws: Bonnie (Emily Brobst) and Clyde (Edward Bossert). When the criminals bust a band of cohorts out of a Texas prison, the governor calls upon a retired Hamer to bring down the malcontents once and for all. Initially hesitant to get involved, he changes his mind after a horrifying Missouri shootout involving the fugitives.

After recruiting his old partner, Gault, the two men go to work delivering justice where justice is needed most. A rich character study that gets into the heads of the Texas lawmen who wanted nothing more than to put two terrible people behind bars, The Highwaymen is a thrill from start to finish.

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018)
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
pg-13 105m
Genre Adventure, Drama
Stars Rohan Chand, Christian Bale, Andy Serkis
Directed by Andy Serkis

Directed by the king of CGI motion-capture, Andy Serkis, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle does its best to stray from Disney’s interpretations of the classic Rudyard Kipling text. While a handful of the core story elements remain untouched, Serkis does opt for a more down-to-earth approach to Mowgli’s (Rohan Chand) coming-of-age tale.

Reared by wolves, Mowgli forges his way through the hierarchical animal kingdom of India, learning crucial lessons from his bear friend, Baloo (voiced and performed by Serkis), and a panther named Bagheera (Christian Bale). While Serkis’ vision tends to ebb and flow, it’s a rooted and ragged reimagining of the Kipling prose that mostly sticks the landing.

Sand Castle (2017)
Sand Castle
r 113m
Genre War, Action, Drama
Stars Logan Marshall-Green, Nicholas Hoult, Henry Cavill
Directed by Fernando Coimbra
From director Fernando Coimbra and writer Chris Roessner, Netflix’s 2017 film Sand Castle stars Nicholas Hoult as Pvt. Matt Ocre, a soldier in the Iraq War. Based on true events, the story follows a team of recruits tasked with traveling to a rural Iraqi village in order to restore a water pumping station. But en route and amid the operation, Ocre will witness the many casualties of warfare, and how losses both big and small affect the civilians, his comrades, and himself.
Roma (2018)
r 135m
Genre Drama
Stars Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón

Roma is writer-director Alfonso Cuarón’s homage to his childhood, heritage, and the many places and things that would inspire and invigorate one of the most renowned international auteurs of our time. Part autobiography, part narrative-fiction, the film follows the life and times of Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a nanny and servant to an upper-middle-class Mexican family.

When the patriarch Antonio (Fernando Grediaga) runs off with his mistress, Cleo is invited by Sofia (Marina de Tavira), the mother of the household, to take a vacation with her and her four children. But after discovering she’s pregnant, civil strife in 1970s Mexico City threatens everything for Cleo and those she cares for most. A brilliant piece of cinema that was nominated for 10 Oscars, Roma is not one to be missed.

Calibre (2018)
r 101m
Genre Thriller, Drama
Stars Jack Lowden, Martin McCann, Tony Curran
Directed by Matt Palmer
Written and directed by Matt Palmer, Calibre stars Jack Lowden and Martin McCann as lifelong friends Marcus and Vaughn. When the former takes the latter on a hunting trip to the Scottish Highlands, a horrific accident leads to an act of homicide that the two men were completely unprepared for. Forced to contend with their fight-or-flight actions, what began as a simple getaway for some fraternal fun soon devolves into an all-out struggle of life and death. A tense nail-biter of a thriller, Palmer’s assured direction and the film’s incredible performances make this a chilling tale for the ages.
The Pale Blue Eye (2022)
The Pale Blue Eye
Genre Mystery, Crime, Horror
Stars Christian Bale, Harry Melling, Lucy Boynton
Directed by Scott Cooper
Christian Bale reunites with Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace and Hostiles) for the mystery thriller, The Pale Blue Eye. In 1830, retired detective Augustus Landor (Bale) is summoned to West Point, New York, to investigate a death at the U.S. Military Academy. Landor learns that the heart was removed from the body, and the marks on the deceased cadet’s neck imply a murder took place. Searching for answers, Landor receives help from Edgar Allen Poe (Harry Melling), a young military cadet who wants to solve the case. It’s the same Poe who will eventually become the legendary author of acclaimed works such as The Raven and The Fall of the House of Usher. The gothic mystery is full of twists and turns that will keep the audience guessing through the last frame.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Genre Comedy, Crime, Mystery
Stars Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe
Directed by Rian Johnson
In the Knives Out sequel Glass Onion, Tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) invites his closest friends – Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.), Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), and Duke Cody (Dave Bautista) – to his mansion on a private island in Greece to take part in a murder mystery weekend. Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) and Bron’s former partner, Cassandra “Andi” Brand (Janelle Monáe), also receive invites to Bron’s mansion, The Glass Onion. Although Bron stages a fake murder for the game, a real crime occurs, much to the shock of the guests. With Blanc on the scene, it’s up to the world’s greatest detective to solve another case.
Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical (2022)
Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical
Genre Family, Comedy, Fantasy
Stars Alisha Weir, Emma Thompson, Lashana Lynch
Directed by Matthew Warchus
Based on the 1988 novel by Roald DahlMatilda the Musical is an adaptation of the 201o stage musical of the same name. Matilda Wormwood (Alisha Weir) is a sweet and loving child who loves to read and use her imagination. Unfortunately, her parents, Mr. Wormwood (Stephen Graham) and Mrs. Wormwood (Andrea Riseborough), continuously neglect Matlida. They send her to Crunchem Hall School, where she develops a special relationship with her teacher, Miss Jennifer Honey (Lashana Lynch). While Miss Honey takes a liking to Matilda, Miss Agatha Trunchbull (Emma Thompson), the cruel headmistress of Crunchem Hall School, punishes Matilda at every turn. Eventually, Matilda develops telekinesis abilities and uses them to fend off her parents and Miss Trunchbull.
White Noise (2022)
White Noise
Genre Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction
Stars Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Don Cheadle
Directed by Noah Baumbach
What would you do to survive an air contamination accident? That is the premise for Noah Baumbach’s White Noise. Based on the 1985 novel by Don DeLillo, the film stars Adam Driver stars as Jack Gladney, a professor of Hitler studies at The-College-on-the-Hill. Jack is married to his fourth wife, Babette (Greta Gerwig), and they have a blended family of four children. The Gladney family is upended after a train accident releases chemical waste, which forms a black cloud over the region. The accident is known as “The Airborne Toxic Event,” and the contamination forces the Gladney family to move. White Noise depicts the resulting struggles of everyday life and intertwines themes of death, childhood, and consumer culture into the story.
Troll (2022)
Genre Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Thriller
Stars Ine Marie Wilmann, Kim S. Falck-Jørgensen, Mads Sjøgård Pettersen
Directed by Roar Uthaug
A sudden explosion in the Norwegian mountains awakens a giant troll, and the monster begins to wreak havoc on the surrounding townspeople. The Norwegian government brings in paleontologist Nora Tidemann (Ine Marie Wilman) to figure out how to stop the troll. Troll is a classic monster-versus-military film that channels inspiration from creatures like Godzilla and King Kong.
The Wonder (2022)
The Wonder
71 %
r 109m
Genre Mystery, Thriller, Drama
Stars Florence Pugh, Kíla Lord Cassidy, Tom Burke
Directed by Sebastián Lelio
Emma Donoghue co-wrote the script for The Wonder, which is based on her own novel of the same name. Rising star Florence Pugh headlines this period drama as Elizabeth “Lib” Wright, an English woman who is hired to go to a remote Irish village and determine if a young girl, Anna O’Donnell (Kíla Lord Cassidy), has truly survived for four months without eating anything. If the claim is true, it might be a miracle. But the locals clearly have little tolerance or trust for Lib. The only person who connects with her is a reporter, William Byrne (Tom Burke). Yet the real story is something that neither Lib nor William suspects.
The Good Nurse (2022)
The Good Nurse
65 %
r 121m
Genre Drama, Crime, Mystery
Stars Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne, Noah Emmerich
Directed by Tobias Lindholm

Based on a real story, The Good Nurse follows Amy Loughren (Jessica Chastain), a working single mother whose career as a nurse could be jeopardized if her employers knew that she suffers from cardiomyopathy. Her new colleague, Charles Cullen (Eddie Redmayne), helps Amy hide her secret, and they become good friends. That’s why Amy doesn’t initially believe detectives Danny Baldwin (Nnamdi Asomugha) and Tim Braun (Noah Emmerich) when they tell her that Charles may be connected to several suspicious deaths. Unfortunately for Amy, the more she looks into it, the more she suspects that her friend is a serial killer.

All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
All Quiet on the Western Front
76 %
r 147m
Genre War, Drama, Action
Stars Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch, Aaron Hilmer
Directed by Edward Berger
Some war movies glorify the battlefield and tales of wartime heroism. All Quiet on the Western Front is not one of those movies. It’s more like a horror story, and the monster is humanity itself. In the waning days of World War I, teenagers Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer), Albert Kropp (Aaron Hilmer), and Ludwig Behm (Adrian Grünewald) enthusiastically join the German army in the misguided belief that they will become heroes. However, their romantic notions of war are soon shattered as senseless death and destruction unfold on the battlefield and break them one by one.
Wendell & Wild (2022)
Wendell & Wild
69 %
pg-13 107m
Genre Animation, Comedy, Fantasy, Adventure
Stars Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Angela Bassett
Directed by Henry Selick
The Nightmare Before Christmas director Henry Selick teamed up with Jordan Peele for the new stop-motion animated horror comedy, Wendell & Wild. Key & Peele co-stars Keegan-Michael Key and Peele reunite as demon brothers Wendell and Wild, both of whom lament their lot for life in Hell. The brothers have grand ambitions of creating a theme park for the dead. To do that, they need the help of a teenage girl, Katherine “Kat” Koniqua Elliot (Lyric Ross). However, Kat extracts a high price for her assistance, which may be more than Wendell and Wild can deliver.
Day Shift (2022)
Day Shift
52 %
r 113m
Genre Action, Fantasy, Horror
Stars Jamie Foxx, Dave Franco, Natasha Liu Bordizzo
Directed by J.J. Perry
The safest time to hunt vampires is probably during the day, but Bud Jablonski (Jamie Foxx) isn’t happy to be stuck in that slot in Netflix’s horror-comedy Day Shift. Using his cover as a pool cleaner, Bud secretly breaks into houses and kills vampires before harvesting their fangs. But when Bud’s ex-wife, Jocelyn (Meagan Good), threatens to move to Florida with their daughter, Paige (Zion Broadnax), Bud is forced to rejoin the Vampire Hunter’s Guild. The guild assigns Seth (Dave Franco) to watch Bud for any rule violations, but he comes to sympathize with Bud’s troubles. Meanwhile, a vampire named Audrey San Fernando (Karla Souza) is hunting them both down as a precursor for her grand plans to subjugate humanity.
Persuasion (2022)
42 %
pg 107m
Genre Romance, Drama, Comedy
Stars Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis, Henry Golding
Directed by Carrie Cracknell
Critics are not happy with director Carrie Cracknell’s modernization of Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion, especially with the way that the leading lady, Anne Elliot (Dakota Johnson), breaks the fourth wall and addresses the audience at various points. But if you’re willing to go with it, this is a fun take on Austen’s final book. When Anne was young, she was briefly engaged to Frederick Wentworth (Cosmo Jarvis). However, her family persuaded Anne that his social status made him a poor match, and she broke it off with him. Years later, the fortunes of Anne’s family are in decline while Frederick is a wealthy captain who still has feelings for her. But he may have competition for Anne’s heart in the form of the dashing William Elliot (Henry Golding).
The Gray Man (2022)
The Gray Man
49 %
pg-13 128m
Genre Action, Thriller
Stars Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas
Directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
The Russo brothers and the screenwriters of the last two Avengers films reunited for The Gray Man, which is quite possibly the most expensive movie in Netflix history. Ryan Gosling headlines the film as the titular Gray Man, who is better known by his codename Sierra Six. While on a mission for the CIA, Six comes into possession of damning information that could destroy the organization. When Six refuses to hand over the info, the CIA reinstates a psychopath named Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans) to take out Six no matter the cost. While CIA agent Dani Miranda (Ana de Armas) sides with Six, they face overwhelming odds as Lloyd closes in on them.
The Sea Beast (2022)
The Sea Beast
75 %
pg 119m
Genre Animation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Stars Karl Urban, Zaris-Angel Hator, Jared Harris
Directed by Chris Williams
The Sea Beast may be the most Disney-like animated movie that Netflix has ever made, and the House of Mouse would probably love to have this lavish and beautiful film in its library. In a world where the oceans are ruled by monsters, Captain Jacob Holland (Karl Urban) and his crew are renowned for their sea beast hunting skills. That’s why an orphan girl named Maisie Brumble (Zaris-Angel Hator) idolizes Jacob and stows away on his ship to join his crew. Although Jacob is focused on hunting the great beast known as the Red Bluster, Maisie’s overpowering enthusiasm and knowledge earns her a place in his heart.
Tick, Tick... BOOM! (2021)
Tick, Tick... BOOM!
74 %
pg-13 120m
Genre Drama
Stars Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesús
Directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda
A cinematic adaptation of the autobiographical Jonathan Larson play of the same name, Netflix’s Tick, Tick… Boom! finds musical maestro Lin-Manuel Miranda in the director’s chair, with Andrew Garfield starring as Jon, a theater composer on the cusp of what could be his big break. In the days leading up to a performance of the musical that may finally put Jon on the map, encroaching stresses from family, friends, and the panicked NYC zeitgeist of the early ’90s threaten to get in the way of Jon’s dreamed-of artistic success. A big, bold homage to Larson’s source material and a beautiful musical drama in its own right, Tick, Tick… Boom! is a panorama of show-stopping emotions that simply can’t be missed.
The Lost Daughter (2021)
The Lost Daughter
86 %
r 122m
Genre Drama
Stars Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Jessie Buckley
Directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal
The feature directorial debut of Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter stars Olivia Colman as Leda, a vacationing college professor who becomes obsessed with the inner dynamics of a neighboring family. After an encounter with Nina (Dakota Johnson), the young mother of a 3-year-old daughter named Elena, the lives of both women become intertwined. This unfolds a caustic trip down memory lane as Leda is forced to reckon with her own actions as a once-young mother of two. An adaptation of the Elena Ferrante novel of the same name, the beating heart of Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter is Colman, who delivers a stirring yet rooted performance as the emotionally challenged protagonist on a trip to Greece she’ll never forget.
Hustle (2022)
r 117m
Genre Drama, Comedy
Stars Adam Sandler, Robert Duvall, Ben Foster
Directed by Jeremiah Zagar
Adam Sandler continues his newest serious turn in the sports drama Hustle about Stanley Sugarman, a washed-up basketball scout who discovers a street ball phenom in Spain, Bo Cruz (NBA player Juancho Hernangomez), who Stanley believes has a real shot to make it to the NBA. Stanley makes it his mission to train Bo to adapt to the professional game, hitching a ride on the player’s coattails for a chance to get back to the NBA himself.
Spiderhead (2022)
r 107m
Genre Science Fiction, Thriller
Stars Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, Jurnee Smollett
Directed by Joseph Kosinski
Based on George Saunders’ short story Escape From Spiderhead, the sci-fi thriller Spiderhead takes place in a state-of-the-art penitentiary run by visionary Steve Abnesti (Chris Hemsworth). In the prison, inmates all wear a surgically attached device that administers mind-altering drugs in exchange for commuted sentences. The place doesn’t look anything like a prison, as inmates are allowed to wander at will, as long as they take a drug to mediate all of their problems. But when two subjects form a connection, their path to redemption becomes more complicated.
Operation Mincemeat (2022)
Operation Mincemeat
59 %
pg-13 128m
Genre War, History, Drama
Stars Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen, Johnny Flynn
Directed by John Madden
Operation Mincemeat takes place in 1943 when the Allied powers plan an all-out assault on Sicily to weaken Hitler’s grip on Europe. But there’s a problem. Namely, it seems impossible to mount an invasion without exposing the force to potential annihilation. So intelligence officers Ewen Montagu (Colin Firth) and Charles Cholmondeley (Matthew Macfadyen) dream up an inspired, daring, and improbable disinformation campaign all centered around a single dead man.
The Adam Project (2022)
The Adam Project
55 %
pg-13 106m
Genre Science Fiction, Adventure, Comedy
Stars Ryan Reynolds, Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Garner
Directed by Shawn Levy
Ryan Reynolds stars as an awry time-traveling fighter pilot in the action/adventure original The Adam Project. After accidentally crash-landing in 2022, the pilot finds his 12-year-old self and enlists himself on a crucial mission to save the future.
Don't Look Up (2021)
Don't Look Up
49 %
r 143m
Genre Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction
Stars Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep
Directed by Adam McKay
Critics and audiences disagreed on Don’t Look Up, an apocalyptic satire that aims to parable the climate crisis. (Of course, having come out during a pandemic, it’s remarkably parabolic of that too.) Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio lead a star-studded cast as astronomers who discover a comet on a collision course with Earth. Unfortunately, the President (Meryl Streep) and her sycophant Chief of Staff son (Jonah Hill) aren’t too keen on the world ending during her presidency. So, they drag the astronomers through the media and discredit them, setting up a game in which the astronomers must do everything they can to finally get the world to just look up.
The Power of the Dog (2021)
The Power of the Dog
88 %
r 127m
Genre Drama, Western
Stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons
Directed by Jane Campion
Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the beguiling rancher Phil Burbank in this dramatic, simmering Western. The year is 1925 and Phil’s a cowboy’s cowboy, running one of Montana’s most profitable ranches with his brother George (Jesse Plemons). When the two men meet the widowed proprietress of a local inn, Rose (Kirsten Dunst), Phil mocks her to tears while George becomes smitten. When George returns to make Rose his wife and bring her back to the ranch, it drives a stake between the two brothers, especially given Phil’s odd cruelty and attention to Rose’s son.
The Harder They Fall (2021)
The Harder They Fall
68 %
r 139m
Genre Western
Stars Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Regina King
Directed by Jeymes Samuel
Jeymes Samuel gives this fresh Western with a predominantly Black cast a ton of energy and passion. Outlaw Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) discovers that his nemesis since childhood, Rufus Buck (Idris Elba), has been freed from prison. Nat rounds up his gang and goes hunting for Buck and the crew that liberated him. It’s an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object.
Passing (2021)
83 %
Genre Drama
Stars Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, André Holland
Directed by Rebecca Hall
Would it surprise you to learn that the novel, Passing, is almost 100 years old now? Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut takes Nella Larsen’s story and keeps the original setting. Hall even shot the film in black and white as a stylistic choice. The story follows two Black women, Irene Redfield (Tessa Thompson) and Clare Kendry (Ruth Negga), both of whom can “pass” as white. Yet only Clare chooses to do so, by marrying a wealthy white man, John Bellew (Alexander Skarsgård). Meanwhile, Irene embraces her Black identity and marries Dr. Brian Redford (André Holland). Yet when Clare and Irene re-enter each other’s lives after years apart, the choices they’ve made may come back to haunt them.
Army of Thieves (2021)
Army of Thieves
49 %
r 127m
Genre Action, Thriller, Comedy
Stars Matthias Schweighöfer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ruby O. Fee
Directed by Matthias Schweighöfer
It’s pretty rare for a prequel to come out the same year as the movie it leads into. But Netflix tends to rewrite the rules as we know them. Army of Thieves is a prequel to Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, but the zombies are secondary in this film. Instead, this is the origin story of Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer), an expert safecracker who was once an unassuming bank teller named Sebastian Schlencht-Wöhnert. In the early days of the zombie apocalypse, the enimagic Gwendoline Starr (Nathalie Emmanuel) convinces Sebastian to embrace his inner thief and put together a team to rob a billionaire.
Nightbooks (2021)
65 %
pg 103m
Genre Fantasy, Family, Horror
Stars Winslow Fegley, Lidya Jewett, Krysten Ritter
Directed by David Yarovesky
A fantasy/horror adventure for the whole family, Nightbooks follows young Alex (Winslow Fegley), who loves writing scary stories. This particular passion marks him as an outcast at school, leading Alex to swear off writing ever again. But when an evil witch (Krysten Ritter) captures him inside a magical New York City apartment, she demands he tell her a new scary story every single night if he wants to live. Inside, he meets another prisoner, Yasmin (Lidya Jewett), who has learned how to survive her imprisonment with the witch. Together, they’ll work to write not just more stories, but their own destinies.
Fear Street Trilogy (2021)
Fear Street Trilogy
r 107m
Genre Horror, Mystery
Stars Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd, Maya Hawke, Kiana Madeira
Directed by Leigh Janiak
Netflix has long been a content pioneer, and it’s getting experimental once again with R.L. Stine’s Fear Street trilogy. With three films, released throughout the first month of July, the trilogy spans 300 years, with Fear Street Part One: 1994 premiering July 2. Fear Street Part 2: 1978 debuts July 9, and Fear Street Part Three: 1666 debuts July 16. The epic tale follows a group of teenagers who take on an evil force that has plagued their town for centuries after a series of brutal slayings.
Moxie (2021)
54 %
Genre Comedy, Drama, Music
Stars Amy Poehler, Hadley Robinson, Lauren Tsai, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Nico Hiraga, Sydney Park, Josephine Langford
Directed by Amy Poehler
Comedy legend Amy Poehler directed Moxie and co-stars as Lisa, the mother of the main character, Vivian (Hadley Robinson). After witnessing a mean jock, Mitchell (Patrick Schwarzenegger), harassing a new student, Lucy (Alycia Pascual-Peña), at school, Vivian is inspired by her mother’s example. Vivian creates Moxie, a “‘zine” that gives her fellow students a voice to push back against mistreatment. However, Vivian’s new endeavor drives a wedge between her and her best friend, Claudia (Lauren Tsai). It also complicates Vivian’s potential romance with Seth (Nico Hiraga).
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020)
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
87 %
r 94m
Genre Drama, Music
Stars Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman
Directed by George C. Wolfe
The film adaptation of one of the legendary August Wilson’s most beloved plays, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom gives the audience a little extra to chew on and some truly breathtaking musical performances. A group of musicians awaits Ma Rainey, the “Mother of the Blues,” in a steamy Chicago recording studio in the 1920s. Late to the session, Ma (Viola Davis) storms straight into a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music as the ambitious cornet player Levee (Chadwick Boseman) watches, takes notes, and spurs the other musicians into a story exchange that will change all of their lives.
I Care a Lot (2020)
I Care a Lot
66 %
r 119m
Genre Comedy, Crime, Thriller
Stars Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Eiza González
Directed by J Blakeson
One of the more unusual gangster movies you’ll see, I Care a Lot revolves around the strange, nefarious world of court-appointed guardians for the elderly. Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike) is the most professional and ruthless in the business. Marla and her business partner, Fran (Eiza González), operate a well-oiled machine of seizing the assets of elderly wards and bilking them out of their money through completely legal — if extremely unethical — methods. But when she targets Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest), a wealthy retiree with no living heirs or family, she may have bitten off more than she can chew. Jennifer, it just so happens, harbors her own dark secrets and has close connections to a supremely volatile gangster (Peter Dinklage) who is fully ready to play extralegal hardball.
Mank (2020)
r 132m
Genre Drama, History
Stars Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins
Directed by David Fincher
Directed by David Fincher from a script written by his late father, Jack Fincher, Mank takes you back to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Specifically, it brings you into the world of Herman J. Mankiewicz — known not so affectionately as “Mank” — as he races to finish his magnum opus, Citizen Kane. His worldview and perspective of Hollywood are increasingly scathing and fueled by drink as he becomes jaded by the industry he’s working so hard to prop up.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)
The Trial of the Chicago 7
76 %
r 130m
Genre History, Drama
Stars Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Directed by Aaron Sorkin
In 1968, protests broke out at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and local and federal law enforcement responded with extreme violence. In 1969, seven people were further charged by the federal government with conspiracy and more anti-American activities and put on a highly publicized trial that served as a referendum on Cold War patriotism and the social unrest of the ’60s. Aaron Sorkin wrote and directed this high-energy legal drama with his traditional panache frenetic pacing.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018)
To All the Boys I've Loved Before
64 %
pg-13 100m
Genre Comedy, Romance
Stars Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish
Directed by Susan Johnson
Netflix forays into teen romance in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and the slightly-less-beloved sequel To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You. Lana Condor stars as teenaged Lara Jean, a quiet outsider at her high school, who has a habit of writing love letters to all of her crushes. Of course, she’d never dream of sending them. But when they’re mysteriously leaked to the entire school, it turns out her crushes may actually be interested. As all that romance begins to spiral out of control, the letters wreak havoc on her life, inspiring more love than she can handle.
Enola Holmes (2020)
Enola Holmes
68 %
pg-13 123m
Genre Mystery, Crime, Adventure
Stars Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin
Directed by Harry Bradbeer
Everybody knows Sherlock Holmes, but did you know his significantly younger sister, Enola? Turns out, he doesn’t know her very well either. But when their mother suddenly goes missing and Sherlock takes only a tepid interest, Enola (Millie Bobby Brown) proves she’s got just as much sleuthing ability as her famous brother as she takes off for London to uncover the mystery. Along the way, she helps a runaway lord, unwittingly stumbling into a sprawling conspiracy impacting the highest levels of government.
The Old Guard (2020)
The Old Guard
70 %
r 125m
Genre Action, Fantasy
Stars Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts
Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood
Before Project Power, Netflix dove into superheroes with The Old Guard, about a covert group of tight-knit, immortal mercenaries who have fought to protect the mortal world for centuries. Led by Andy (Charlize Theron), the team is recruited to take on an emergency mission where their abilities are suddenly exposed to the world. Now, Andy and her team must eliminate the threat of those who seek to replicate or monetize their power. Based on Greg Rucka’s acclaimed graphic novel, The Old Guard is gritter and more grounded than your standard superhero movie, without sacrificing any of the action.
The Two Popes (2019)
The Two Popes
75 %
pg-13 125m
Genre Drama, Comedy, History
Stars Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce, Juan Minujín
Directed by Fernando Meirelles
One of three Netflix originals nominated for multiple awards at the 2019 Oscars, The Two Popes is nevertheless something of the black sheep in terms of media coverage between Marriage Story and The Irishman. It makes sense because The Two Popes isn’t exactly pop cinema. Rather, it’s primarily two legendary actors at the pinnacle of their craft depicting an oft-overlooked tradition that is centuries old. Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce portray the conservative Pope Benedict XVI and the liberal incoming Pope Francis as they discuss the future of the Catholic Church. Director Fernando Meirelles brilliantly captures the real tension between these two men while providing air for Hopkins and Pryce (who were both Oscar-nominated for these roles) to build a relationship that ultimately feels sustainable and hopeful.
Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Always Be My Maybe
64 %
pg-13 101m
Genre Romance, Comedy
Stars Ali Wong, Randall Park, James Saito
Directed by Nahnatchka Khan
Netflix has been making rom-coms for as long as it’s been making original content, but it didn’t strike gold until Always Be My Maybe. Starring Ali Wong and Randall Park (with hilarious support from Keanu Reeves and Daniel Dae Kim), the film explores the evolution of friendship across a lifetime. Marcus (Park) and Sasha (Wong) are lifelong friends who have never been romantic. Marcus, however, has been in love with Sasha for many years and when she’s finally single, he musters up the courage to ask her out. Naturally, she met someone the night before. Missed connections and what-ifs characterize this feel-good romp about the boundaries of love and friendship.
The King (2019)
The King
62 %
r 140m
Genre Drama, History, War
Stars Timothée Chalamet, Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris
Directed by David Michôd
David Michod’s prestige drama, The King, depicts Hal, the Prince of Wales (Timothee Chalamet) as he is reluctantly hoisted to the English throne. Having chosen to live among the people, Hal has no interest in assuming the throne but, after the death of his tyrannical father, King Henry IV, Hal is nonetheless crowned and forced to embrace the life he tried to escape. Of course, this being 16th-century England, there are murky, dangerous waters of war and politics to navigate. An adaptation of the Henriad plays, this visually-profound film is dripping with intrigue and action, keeping you on the edge of your seat throughout.
The Irishman (2019)
The Irishman
94 %
r 209m
Genre Crime, Drama, History
Stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci
Directed by Martin Scorsese
It may take a few sittings to get through the entirety of The Irishman given the length, but it’s worth the investment. Unlike some Netflix films, this one also made a theatrical run, a clear gambit to earn recognition from the Academy during awards season. Given the people involved, however, you’d have to be mad not to go for awards recognition. Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Joe Pesci — all de-aged using bleeding-edge CGI — this film is like an acting class on steroids. De Niro plays Frank Sheeran, a truck driver in Philadelphia who gets involved with the mob only to work his way up to becoming legendary gangster Jimmy Hoffa’s (Pacino) right-hand man. Part gangster epic, part historical expose on the influence of the Teamsters union and the mob on American politics, The Irishman is yet another extraordinary bullet on Scorsese’s resume.
Beasts of No Nation (2015)
Beasts of No Nation
79 %
r 137m
Genre Drama, War
Stars Abraham Attah, Idris Elba, Emmanuel Nii Adom Quaye
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga
Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) wrote, co-produced, and directed this drama based on the 2005 novel of the same name by Uzodinma Iweala. The film follows Agu (Abraham Attah), a young West African boy who finds himself unwillingly conscripted into an army of children under the fist of a ruthless Commandant (Idris Elba). Beasts pulls no punches, depicting horrific scenes of violence unflinchingly, and does an incredible job making us empathize with Agu — even as he and his contemporaries are murdering their own countrymen in cold blood. Elba conveys a sense of quiet intensity, channeling religious fanaticism and calm determination in equal measure for a masterful performance (one which earned him a SAG award), and Fukunaga’s sharply contrasting direction effectively mirror’s Agu’s descent into militaristic hedonism. Beasts qualifies as Netflix’s first big feature hit, forecasting many more to come.
Okja (2017)
75 %
Genre Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction, Action
Cast Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Seo-hyun Ahn, Jake Gyllenhaal, Devon Bostick, Lily Collins, Steven Yuen
Kid-focused pet movies are a dime a dozen, but Okja offers a little more in the way of grown-up themes; in fact, we wouldn’t recommend it for small children at all. In the face of overpopulation and dwindling resource pools, the Mirando corporation — led by neurotic CEO Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) — develops a “super pig,” sending these huge hippo-like creatures to farmers across the world for a 10-year maturation process, at the end of which a Best Pig will be named. One of these pigs, Okja, is sent to the South Korean countryside, where young Mija (the excellent Ahn Seo-hyun) has grown up alongside it. When the ten years are up, Mirando arrives to collect Okja, and Mija takes off with the animal. On the way to New York, Mija encounters a varied, colorful cast of characters including a crazy Steve Irwin-type (Jake Gyllenhaal) and some odd animal rights activists (Paul Dano, Steven Yeung). The film is at times both horrifying and heartwarming, underscoring the serious chops of director Bong Joon-ho (The Host).

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Michael Bizzaco
Michael Bizzaco has been writing about and working with consumer tech for well over a decade, writing about everything from…
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