There’s an open secret in Hollywood: Netflix really wants to take home a win for Best Picture at the Oscars. To be sure, Netflix has had some success at the Academy Awards, but the premiere streaming service has not yet been able to get the ultimate validation from Hollywood.
That doesn’t mean that Netflix will stop trying any time soon. For subscribers, this means that Netflix is the prime destination for original adult dramas that can’t get much play in theaters anymore. Yet the strength of Netflix’s library is that it caters to all tastes, especially when it comes to original flicks. If you want a helpful guide to the very best of Netflix’s signature films, check out our list of the best Netflix original movies.
Originality can go a long way, but if you don’t find what you’re looking for, 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.
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.
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.
Based on the 1988 novel by Roald Dahl, Matilda 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.
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.
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.
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.
If you browse Netflix often (and we’re betting you do, because who doesn’t?), you’ve no doubt found yourself confronted by several new Adam Sandler projects like The Ridiculous Six or Sandy Wexler, which are classic Sandler vehicles reliant on goofy, lowbrow humor. The Meyerowitz Stories is far different, an understated, thoughtful dramedy that explores the relationship between a retired artist (Dustin Hoffman) and his dysfunctional children (Sandler, Ben Stiller, Elizabeth Marvel). When unemployed, recently separated Danny (Sandler) moves back in with his dad, he must contend with his frustrating whims amidst increasingly strained family dynamics. Director Noah Baumbach (The Squid and The Whale) iJewtopia) set out to make a unique film about the world of cycling, then ended up with something completely different. To learn more about doping in sports, Fogel began taking cycling steroids and performance-enhancing drugs to improve his ability while trying to avoid discovery by sport officials. Then, Fogel’s star interviewee — Russian doctor Grigory Rodchenkov — reveals his part in a program designed to hide Russian athletes’ drug use from the Olympic committee and other governing bodies. Thereafter, Rodchenkov makes some bold claims about Russian leadership’s involvement in the program, and even fears for his life after a colleague dies mysteriously. Icarus morphs seamlessly from a doping doc into a thriller, with Fogel sliding knowingly out of the spotlight to push Rodchenkov as the story’s centerpiece. The whole film operates in morally gray areas, and Fogel smartly hides his hand there, avoiding any grand claims to the moral high (or low) ground.
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