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The most underrated movies on Netflix

In the modern age of movies, most of the really interesting films go direct to streaming. It seems like modern moviegoers just show up for blockbusters. And the innovative and provocative stories sometimes fall by the wayside after extremely brief theatrical runs. Well, we don’t have to stand for that. These under-loved and underrated movies have a home on Netflix. This is the place where you can see the stories that deserve a second chance to find an audience on the largest streaming service. All you have to do is check out our updated list of the most underrated movies on Netflix to find the proverbial diamonds in the rough.

Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guides to the best movies on Netflix, the best horror movies on Netflix, and the best action movies on Netflix, too!

Recently added to Netflix
Moneyball (2011) new
87 %
pg-13 134m
Genre Drama
Stars Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Directed by Bennett Miller
Nearly two decades ago, Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane changed the game of baseball with a radical way of evaluating player talent. Moneyball dramatizes the story with Brad Pitt in the leading role as Beane, and Jonah Hill as Peter Brand, a recent graduate who has built a revolutionary way to determine the value of baseball players. Using that approach, Beane and Brand manage to build a competitive team despite working with a very limited budget. However, their efforts earn the ire of Art Howe (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the manager of the As who wants to run the team his way.
Moneyball - Trailer
Phantom Thread (2017) new
Phantom Thread
90 %
r 130m
Genre Drama, Romance
Stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps, Lesley Manville
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Phantom Thread wasn’t underrated by the critics, who absolutely loved it. But general audiences largely missed out on one of the final performances by Daniel Day-Lewis. Within the film, Day-Lewis stars as Reynolds Woodcock, an obsessive fashion designer in the ‘50s who places high demands on himself and everyone around him. After meeting a model named Alma Elson (Vicky Krieps), Reynolds is taken with her and tries to make her his muse. However, Alma has a will of her own, and that personality clash threatens to derail their intense connection.
PHANTOM THREAD - Official Trailer [HD] - In Select Theaters Christmas
Loving (2016)
79 %
pg-13 123m
Genre Drama, Romance
Stars Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Michael Shannon
Directed by Jeff Nichols
Richard and Mildred Loving weren’t the first interracial couple in the United States, but they paved the way for making it legal in every state. Loving offers a dramatic and romantic take on their story, with Joel Edgerton as Richard and Ruth Negga as Mildred. Richard and Mildred ignored Virginia’s backwards laws, only to find themselves declared criminals just for the crimes of marrying and loving each other. They had to take their legal battle all the way to the Supreme Court just to have the right to return to their home state.
LOVING - Official Trailer [HD] - In Theaters Nov 4
21 Bridges (2019) new
21 Bridges
51 %
r 99m
Genre Crime, Action, Drama
Stars Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, J.K. Simmons
Directed by Brian Kirk
In one of his final films, Chadwick Boseman headlined 21 Bridges as Andre Davis, a legacy police officer with a reputation for gunning down violent criminals. When two low level thieves, Michael Trujillo (Stephan James) and Ray Jackson (Taylor Kitsch), stumble across a drug operation run in cooperation with corrupt cops, Andre’s superior, Captain McKeena (J. K. Simmons) encourages him to live up to his rep by killing them in retaliation for shooting the other officers. However, Andre wants the truth, and he only has a few hours to find Ray and Michael before they escape … or before his colleagues find them first.
21 BRIDGES Official Trailer (2019) Chadwick Boseman Thriller Movie HD
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
79 %
r 132m
Genre Comedy, Drama, Western
Stars Tim Blake Nelson, James Franco, Zoe Kazan
Directed by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
This anthology Western went under the radar when Netflix released it in 2018, but it’s an absolute winner. A vignette-style tale set in the post-Civil War era, a sharp-shooting songster, an aspiring bank robber, two traveling performers, a gold prospector, and a pioneering woman all see their paths slowly careen towards one another.
6 Balloons (2018)
6 Balloons
66 %
Genre Drama
Stars Abbi Jacobson, Dave Franco, Tim Matheson
Directed by Marja-Lewis Ryan

Against her wishes, a woman named Katie (Abbi Jacobson) is forced to become her brother’s keeper in 6 Balloons. Seth (Dave Franco) is hopelessly addicted to heroin, and all Katie can do for her brother is find a rehab center that will admit him. This turns out to be much more difficult than she imagined, both because of Seth’s insurance as well as his inability to stop using. Katie knows that Seth’s struggles are dragging her down, but she can’t prevent it from damaging her relationship with her parents or with her boyfriend, Jack (Dawan Owens).

Barry (2016)
72 %
Genre Drama
Stars Devon Terrell, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ashley Judd
Directed by Vikram Gandhi

Former President Barack Obama’s college life is explored in Barry, the film that shares the name he once went by. Devon Terrell stars as Barry, a young man who is unsure of his place in the world due to his mixed race heritage. No matter where he goes, Barry just doesn’t seem to fit in with either half of his racial identity. Barry’s college girlfriend, Charlotte Baughman (Anya Taylor-Joy), tries to understand him, but he remains emotionally remote. Yet ultimately, this is a journey that Barry will have to complete on his own before he can truly accept who he is.

Hold the Dark (2018)
Hold the Dark
63 %
Genre Thriller, Mystery, Crime
Stars Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgård, James Badge Dale
Directed by Jeremy Saulnier

Hold the Dark is a thriller that goes to some unexpected places. Jeffrey Wright stars as Russell Core, an expert on wolves who is summoned to a remote Alaskan village where children have gone missing. Medora Slone (Riley Keough) insists that her son was taken by wolves with the others, but Russell remains unconvinced. Meanwhile, Medora’s husband, Vernon Slone (Alexander Skarsgård), returns home a changed man … and not for the better. Has Vernon’s wartime experience turned him into a crazed murderer? Or is he possessed by an evil spirit?

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
81 %
pg-13 101m
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Stars Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rima Te Wiata
Directed by Taika Waititi
Speaking of Marvel, another MCU director, Taika Waititi, made his name with quirky comedies shot in New Zealand like Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Julian Dennison stars as Ricky Baker, a kid who has been shuffled around in the foster system. Ricky finally finds a home with his foster aunt, Bella Faulkner (Rima Te Wiata), even though he doesn’t exactly get along with Bella’s husband, Hector (Sam Neill). When Bella suddenly dies, Hector and Julian bond and find common ground even as an unscrupulous social worker accuses Hector of kidnapping his young charge. And rather than abandon Hector, Julian accompanies him on a journey deep into the wilderness.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople Official Trailer 1 (2016) - Sam Neill, Rhys Darby Movie HD
The Polka King (2017)
The Polka King
65 %
pg-13 95m
Genre Comedy
Stars Jack Black, Jenny Slate, Jason Schwartzman
Directed by Maya Forbes
The Polka King is based on the real story of Jan Lewan (Jack Black), the leader of a polka band who has become a legend … but not because of his musical skills. Instead, Jan’s talent lies in his ability to convince gullible people to invest in his band — so many people that it becomes a massive Ponzi scheme that soon envelops all aspects of his life. Jason Schwartzman co-stars as Mickey Pizzazz, Jan’s bandmate and best friend. Mickey sees the proverbial train wreck coming before it happens, but he can’t seem to abandon his longtime buddy regardless of Jan’s impossible promises.
The Polka King | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix
Berlin Syndrome (2017)
Berlin Syndrome
70 %
r 116m
Genre Mystery, Thriller, Drama, Horror
Stars Teresa Palmer, Max Riemelt, Matthias Habich
Directed by Cate Shortland
In Berlin Syndrome, Teresa Palmer stars as Clare Havel, a young woman who is backpacking her way through Europe. In Germany, Clare has a fling with Andi Werner (Max Riemelt) and assumes that it will simply be a temporary thing. To her horror, Clare discovers that Andi has locked her in his apartment and refuses to let her leave. Clare also finds evidence that suggests that she isn’t his first victim. As Clare attempts to escape, she navigates an increasingly complex relationship with Andi. And everyone who comes close to discovering Clare’s predicament suddenly finds themselves in grave danger.
Wheelman (2017)
66 %
r 82m
Genre Action, Crime, Thriller
Stars Frank Grillo, Caitlin Carmichael, Garret Dillahunt
Directed by Jeremy Rush
One of the most unique things about Wheelman is that Frank Grillo’s title character absolutely refuses to give his name. Regardless, we do get a glimpse of the Wheelman’s life outside of the car through his daughter, Katie (Caitlin Carmichael), and his ex-wife, Jessica (Wendy Moniz). When the Wheelman is hired to be a getaway driver for a bank robbery, he soon discovers that his clients plan to kill him at the end of his ride. Now, the Wheelman has to determine who he can trust and how he can escape with his life as deadly criminals converge to claim the stolen money in his possession.
Hail, Caesar! (2016)
Hail, Caesar!
72 %
pg-13 106m
Genre Comedy, Drama, Mystery
Stars Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich
Directed by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Joel and Ethan Coen’s movies rarely disappoint, but audiences just didn’t respond to Hail, Caesar! when it was released. That’s unfortunate because it’s another sharp Coen brothers comedy about real-life Hollywood fixer Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin). Eddie’s life is a blur of constant crises, from actress DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson) and her scandalous pregnancy to the kidnapping of star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) by disgruntled communist screenwriters. Eddie is also dogged by twin gossip columnists, Thora Thacker and Thessaly Thacker, both of whom are played by the great Tilda Swinton.
Take Me (2017)
Take Me
56 %
r 83m
Genre Comedy, Crime
Stars Taylor Schilling, Pat Healy, Alycia Delmore
Directed by Pat Healy
In Take Me, Ray Moody (Pat Healy) has an unusual business model. Clients pay him to experience a simulated kidnapping. Ray’s latest client, Anna St. Blair (Taylor Schilling), wants Ray to go a step further and get physical with her. However, when the kidnapping actually occurs, Anna claims that she has no knowledge about Ray or his business. Ray is forced to question whether Anna is playing mind games with him or if he has been duped into committing an actual crime. And if the police catch Ray in the act, then he may not be the only one to pay the price for his actions.
Mindhorn (2016)
70 %
r 89m
Genre Comedy
Stars Julian Barratt, Simon Farnaby, Essie Davis
Directed by Sean Foley
Did you ever watch the hit ‘80s detective series Mindhorn? It’s like Knight Rider, except the cop, Bruce Mindhorn, had a cybernetic eye that let him see the truth. Don’t worry, it’s only a thing within the world of the Mindhorn film. Julian Barratt plays Richard Thorncroft, the washed-up actor who played Mindhorn in the TV show. In the present, a murderer named Paul Melly (Russell Tovey) insists upon only speaking with “Detective Mindhorn.” Richard eagerly jumps at the chance to capitalize on his former fame. However, the case is more complicated than Richard suspects, and he may have a chance to be more than just a performer.
The Long Dumb Road (2018)
The Long Dumb Road
64 %
r 90m
Genre Comedy
Stars Tony Revolori, Jason Mantzoukas, Taissa Farmiga
Directed by Hannah Fidell
As the title suggests, The Long Dumb Road is a road movie featuring Tony Revolori as Nathan, an inexperienced young man who is leaving home for the first time to begin studying at an art school. After Nathan’s car breaks down, a mechanic named Richard (Jason Mantzoukas) fixes the problem and requests a ride with him. From there, Richard tries to be Nathan’s guide in his brave new world, but it’s really Richard who needs direction and guidance. Their shared misadventures test their newfound friendship, but this road is anything but dumb.
Catfight (2017)
66 %
r 96m
Genre Comedy, Drama
Stars Sandra Oh, Anne Heche, Alicia Silverstone
Directed by Onur Tukel
Blood-splattered street fights may not be the first images you think of when you see Killing Eve‘s Sandra Oh and indie film star Anne Heche, but they will be after Catfight. In this odd comedy, Oh and Heche play estranged college friends Veronica and Ashley, respectively, who essentially trade lives after a chance encounter at a birthday party leads to a vicious fist fight between the two. Catfight does a wonderful job of mining humor out of ostensibly mundane situations. If nothing else, Catfight is worth a stream solely based on how hilariously gruesome and bloody the fist fights between mild-mannered adults are choreographed.

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Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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