Film Festival at Home? The 11 Best Netflix Original Movies


Film Festival at Home? The 11 Best Netflix Original Movies

*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

It seems every year Netflix releases better quality movies. At first, it was their original series that got all the accolades. No one could stop talking about House of Cards andOrange Is the New Black. Now Netflix is investing in their original movies, and it shows.

The greatest thing about having Netflix is that any time you’re in the mood you can instantly stream your favorite movies, all with no hassle. We’ve taken a look at the movies available on Netflix and provided you with what we think are the best Netflix original movies.

This article will help you decide which movie to watch next. All you’ll need to do is take a look at our list, make your favorite popcorn, and get cozy on the couch. Then put your feet up and let Netflix do the rest.

To see the most popular movies currently just click here. 

Netflix Original Movies FAQ

Where to Watch the Best Netflix Original Movies?

Netflix original movies can only be watched on Netflix. The original content available on Netflix, whether it is a movie or a series, is exclusive to Netflix and not available for viewing on any other streaming services.

Are the Original Movies Ever Released in the Theater?

Why yes, they are. Netflix has historically not put their movies out for a traditional theatrical release. However, over the last few years, Netflix has been showing some of their movies in select theaters. The company will show a movie in a specific theater for a limited time. Netflix has previously not waited for the typical 90-day theatrical wait period that traditional movie companies follow. Netflix will simultaneously show movies on Netflix and in a theater at the same time. For this reason and many others, Netflix has changed the game for movie making.

How Well Have the Original Movies Performed on Netflix?

In the past, Netflix has been tight-lipped about which movies or series perform better than others. One can assume that the movies are getting lots of views because Netflix is investing more money into their original content. Murder Mystery (which happens to be on our list and is highly recommended) is Netflix’s top-grossing movie. Netflix reported that in June 2019, some 70 million households had viewed Murder Mystery. If that’s not enough to make you curious about the movie, we don’t know what will.

Does Netflix Include International Films in Their Original Content?

Yes, and our list includes two of those films. We have included The Wandering Earth, a Chinese science fiction film, and I Am Mother, a science fiction film from Australia. Both these films were acquired by Netflix to stream exclusively on their platform.

Does Netflix Specialize in Genres?

No, they don’t. The best Netflix original movies span the entire spectrum of movie genres. Netflix has invested in science fiction, dramas, period dramas, biographical films, dark comedies, and romantic comedies. Let’s not forget action-adventure films as well.

The only genre we don’t have on our list of the best Netflix original movies is perhaps horror.

How We Reviewed the Best Netflix Original Movies

To arrive at our list of the best Netflix original movies, we took into account many factors.

Plot

We looked at the overall plot and what each movie was about, including the ins and outs and subplots. To make our list it had to be worth watching, and, above all else, it had to be entertaining. If the plot was weak, then it didn’t make our list.

Cast

We also looked at the cast. Netflix is getting A-list actors and actresses to sign on to their original content movies. Our list of movies includes Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler, Kevin Costner, and Woody Harrelson. There are also some really incredible actors that you may not recognize at first glimpse, but they have given these films a great quality, and the films certainly wouldn’t be the same without them. Netflix has always been dedicated to giving indie movies and actors a chance to shine right alongside big-ticket stars.

Rating

The last thing we took into consideration when coming up with our list of the best Netflix Original movies is the Motion Picture Association of America Rating. This is important to consider for those who want movies with less violence or for those who are looking for as much violent action as they can handle. We’ve included a rating with each movie in our list so that hopefully you can pick the movies you want to watch a little easier. We like to provide all the information we can.

We have a good selection of movies on our list that includes an array of genres with multiple themes. We’ve got you covered for comedy, drama, suspense, science fiction, and romance.

Netflix Pricing

Netflix pricing is simple. You’ll pay monthly for the subscription, and in return, you’ll get access to all of their content and original content. Once you have an account, you can stream your favorite shows and movies on your TV, iPad, phone or tablet. Their pricing model allows for basic, standard, and premium options that range from $8.99 to $17.99, depending on which model you choose to go with.

What We Reviewed

  • The Perfect Date
  • Triple Frontier
  • Always Be My Maybe
  • Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
  • High Flying Bird
  • I Am Mother
  • The Wandering Earth
  • The Highwaymen
  • Murder Mystery
  • The Dirt

The Perfect Date

Overview

The Perfect Date made it onto our list of the best Netflix original movies because it’s a great romantic comedy. The Perfect Date was released on Netflix in 2019, it was directed by Chris Nelson, and it has a run time of one hour and 30 minutes.

This movie about a high school senior, Brooks Rattigan, who has big dreams of going to Yale University. His only problem is that he doesn’t know how he is going to be able to afford the pricey tuition. Brooks decides to make some extra money by pretending to be the boyfriend of a wealthy girl he met through a classmate at school. Based on his experience, he comes up with the idea to create a dating app. There is one catch: this is not your average dating app.

Brooks and his friend Murph launch a dating app that sells Brooks as the “date” for all occasions. He may be a fake date, but nevertheless, he is still a date.

We like this movie because it’s fun and lighthearted. It’s got a modern-day twist that any person at any age can relate to: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, and, ultimately, boy wins girl back.

Cast

The Perfect Date stars Noah Centineo, Camilia Mendes, Laura Marano, Matt Walsh, and Odiseas Gerorgiadis. You may recognize the main character Noah Centineo from the 2018 Netflix romantic comedy To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Sierra Burgess is a Loser.

Watch It Here

https://www.netflix.com/title/81019888

Motion Picture Association of America Rating

The Perfect Date has a TV-14 rating, making it an ideal choice for teens or adults.

Triple Frontier

Overview

Triple Frontier is an action-adventure movie with an all-star cast that was released in 2019. The film was directed by J. C. Chandor, and it has a runtime of two hours and five minutes. This film has all the elements of a solid action film. It is set in remote locations with everything from drug lords to Special Operations soldiers.

Triple Frontier opens with Santiago Garcia working in Colombia, South America as a private advisor helping to fight drug crime. Through an informant, Garcia uncovers the location of a drug lord who hid all his money in the walls of his remote home under a heavily guarded presence.

Garcia asks his old Delta Force friends to help sneak onto the drug lord’s compound and steal the money. This is where the movie gets really good, because despite their planning and preparation, you know something has to go wrong, as it always does. Four strong, courageous Delta Force friends trekking across South America to safety is a must-watch.

We love this film for the suspense and the far and wide scenery. Beneath the action and drug lords, this is a story of friendship and loyalty.

Cast

Triple Frontier stars Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlunch, Oscar Isaac, and Pedro Pascal. You’ll recognize Charlie Hunnam from Sons of Anarchy and Pedro Pascal from Netflix’s Narcos. You will also recognize Ben Affleck (Of course you will!).

Watch It Here

https://www.netflix.com/title/80192187

Motion Picture Association of America Rating

This movie received an R rating, making it an excellent choice for adults.

Always Be My Maybe

Overview

Always Be My Maybe is on our best Netflix original movies list because it is an all-around great romantic comedy. It was written by Ali Wong, Randall Park, and Michael Golamco. The film also stars Ali Wong and Randall Park. Directed by Nahnatchka Khan, this film runs around one hour and 30 minutes.

In Always Be My Maybe, Sasha Tran and her friend Marcus Kim grew up next door to each other in San Francisco. Friends all the way through high school, they became even closer and after a tragedy struck Marcus close to home. The tragedy at first brought them closer together, but eventually, they had a falling out and went their separate ways.

Fast forward to sixteen years later, and Sasha is a famous chef about to marry her fiancé Brandon. Marcus, meanwhile, is a musician living with his widowed father. All it takes is one reconnection and their fond memories and old feelings come back.

This is a love story and a story about letting go. It’s also about following your heart. All the classic pieces of a great romantic comedy are wrapped up in this film.

What we love about this movie are the cultural references to Sasha’s Vietnamese immigrant parents and Marcus’ Korean-American mother. It’s also full of wonderful San Francisco views that makes you not only fall in love with the characters but the city. This is a touching romantic comedy that pulls at your heartstrings and reminds you there are many types of love.

Cast

Always Be My Maybe stars Ali Wong and Randall Park. You might recognize Ali Wong from her stand-up comedy specials Baby Cobra and Hard Knock Wife. How could any of us not recognize Randall Park from Fresh Off the Boat?

Watch It Here

https://www.netflix.com/title/80202874

Motion Picture Association of America Rating

Always Be My Maybe received a PG-13 rating, so it’s a great date movie for teens and adults.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

Overview

Now we are stepping away from the romantic comedies on our list of the best Netflix original movies to take a darker turn. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is a crime drama about Ted Bundy but from the perspective of his longtime girlfriend. This is one of those movies you don’t want to enjoy but you do. Everyone knows the story of Ted Bundy, but do you know it from the viewpoint of his longtime girlfriend. How does someone fall in love with a serial killer? Well, that is exactly the question Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile tries to answer.

This crime drama was directed by Joe Berlinger, and it runs about one hour and 50 minutes. It was released in 2019 to immediate popularity. Following Netflix’s release of the documentary Conversations of a Killer, the world grew fascinated with the Ted Bundy story again. This film is based on his story. However, instead of focusing on Bundy himself as the documentary did, this film focuses on what it was like to live during that time as his girlfriend, who would see him get arrested and be left grappling to understand if he was lying.

So how does one fall in love with a serial killer, exactly? In 1969 Liz Kendall, a single mother, meets law student Ted Bundy. He’s charming and charismatic and very sweet to Liz’s daughter.

A few years later, multiple women are reported murdered. Two of them went missing in the middle of the day at a crowded lake. This is the first time Ted makes a mistake. Someone saw him talking to the women. This is the beginning of his downfall.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile takes us through the twisted world of Ted Bundy and gives us a glimpse at what Liz Kendall might have been thinking when she found out Ted Bundy was a serial killer.

Cast

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile stars Sac Effron, Lily Collins, Haley Joel Osment, John Malkovich, Jim Parsons, and Kaya Scodelario. This movie packs a punch with its casting.

Watch It Here

https://www.netflix.com/title/81028570

Motion Picture Association of America Rating

This movie deals with some dark subject matter, and with its R rating, it’s a better choice for adults.

High Flying Bird

Overview

High Flying Bird is a sports drama released in 2019. It was directed by the legendary Steven Soderbergh, and it has a runtime of one hour and 30 minutes. This film is about a young rookie basketball player, Erick Scott, who gets shut out of the NBA during a basketball lockdown. However, it’s his sports agent, Ray Burke, who comes up with a plan to disrupt the world of sports.

During a pro basketball lockout, Ray Burke finds himself stuck between the league and the players. Everything is on the line for this sports agent, who wants to do to the right thing. He has to come up with a plan using a loophole that could change the game in a way no one was expecting.

This isn’t just a sports drama. It’s a film that makes you think about power and who is really in charge. This thought-provoking film raises many questions. If you have ever dreamed of playing for a major league sports team or you just happen to really love basketball, you’ll enjoy this sports-filled movie. At the end of the day, this film is about character, and it shines a light on who does and doesn’t have any.

Cast

High Flying Bird starts Andre Holland and Melvin Gregg. You’ll recognize Andre Holland from the Academy Award-winning film Moonlight. This film also stars Zachary Quinto, Kyle Maclachlan, and Zazie Beetz. This cast really brings the film together and elevates it to another level.

Watch It Here

https://www.netflix.com/title/80991400

Motion Picture Association of America Rating

This movie is rated TV-Mature, which is the equivalent of an R rating. In other words, it’s better for adults.

I Am Mother

Overview

Next up after romantic comedies and dramas, we are shining a spotlight on science fiction films on our best Netflix original movies list. I Am Mother is an Australian science fiction thriller released in 2019. It was directed by Grant Sputore, and it runs about one hour and 50 minutes. This post-apocalyptic thriller is about a teenage girl raised by a robotic droid. Don’t worry, it’s a maternal droid.

After humanity’s mass extinction, a bunker designed to bring back humanity is kicked off. A robotic droid grows a human embryo and begins to take care of it. The droid is caring, and it ensures that the living being is growing satisfactory. The robot is appropriately called Mother.
Thirty-eight years later, Mother is taking care of a teenage girl who increasingly becomes curious about the outside world. The girl begins to ask questions and wonders why things are the way they are. Mother isn’t so sure she likes all the curiosity.

This science-fiction thriller will take you on quite the ride and make you look sideways next time you see an artificial intelligence robot. Prepare to question everything. They may be smarter than we are.

We really liked this film because it takes the old science fiction trope of robots taking over the world and gives it a new twist. This story is told remarkably well, and viewers will not be disappointed.

Cast

I Am Mother did not disappoint in casting, either. This film stars Clara Ruggard, Luke Hawker, Rose Bryne, and Hilary Swank. Rose Byrne does not appear in the film but is the voice of the robot, Mother.

Watch It Here

https://www.netflix.com/title/80227090

Motion Picture Association of America Rating

This movie received a TV-14 rating, making it a fantastic choice for teens and adults.

The Wandering Earth

Overview

One of the things we love about Netflix is the ability to see so many international films. Netflix includes films from other countries in their list of original content. This makes it easy for people around the world to have access to groundbreaking international films.

Following our Australian science fiction thriller, we have another science fiction film, this one Chinese. The Wandering Earth was directed by Frant Gwo, and it has a runtime of around two hours and five minutes. It’s long, but it’s worth it.

This is a true science fiction film in the sense that it revolves around saving the earth from a terrible disaster in space. It’s 2061, and the sun is growing. As a result, the world must come together to come up with a plan. The world’s nations consolidate to become the United Earth Government and plan to move earth out of the solar system. This is just the beginning of the problems that are about to come. As the sun expands and earth has to move, the brave astronauts do everything in their power to prevent a collision with the planet Jupiter. Talk about a stressful day, but these astronauts don’t even seem fazed by the task that lies ahead of them.

The Wandering Earth was a huge success both nationally and worldwide, and it became China’s second-highest-grossing film ever.

We like this film because it has such a huge, ambitious plot, and it is done so well. It’s action-packed and thought-provoking and everything a science fiction film should be.

Cast

The Wandering Earth stars Qu Chuxiao, Ki Guangjie, Ng Man-tat, Zhao Jinmai, Wu Jing, and Qu Jingjing. This stunning cast is what makes this science fiction film so believable and another reason it made it on our list of the best Netflix original movies.

Watch It Here

https://www.netflix.com/title/81067760

Motion Picture Association of America Rating

This movie was also rated TV-Mature, so it’s best for an adult audience.

The Highwaymen

Overview

The Highwaymen is a crime drama set in the 1930s. It was directed by John Lee Hancock, and it features an excellent cast of actors. This period crime drama follows two former Texas Rangers as they attempt to find and catch Bonnie and Clyde. The runtime is two hours and 12 minutes of Texas Rangers, outlaws, hide-n-seek, catch-me-if-you-can fun.

In 1934, Bonnie and Clyde break two associates out of a prison in Texas. In an effort to catch Bonnie and Clyde, who are now notorious and wanted everywhere, the once-disbanded Rangers are brought back together with the sole purpose of tracking down and killing the infamous Bonnie and Clyde. It’s all in a day’s work for these Texas Rangers, who have personalities that don’t quite mesh.

This film packs lots of historical accuracies. The characters are entertaining, and the 1930s set, costumes, and cars are enough to make the movie worth a watch. Did we mention The Highwaymen is based on real events? In the end, Bonnie and Clyde get what’s coming. If you don’t know the story, we won’t spoil it for you.

We love a good historical period crime drama, and this one fits the bill.

Cast

The Highwaymen stars Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kathy Bates, and John Carroll Lynch. Any film that has Kathy Bates and Kevin Costner is a no-brainer to watch. Their talent alone is enough to carry the film.

Watch It Here

https://www.netflix.com/title/80200571

Motion Picture Association of America Rating

This movie received an R rating, but that’s to be expected when you consider it’s a film about trying to kill a pair of killers.

Murder Mystery

Overview

Murder Mystery is among the best Netflix original movies. This dark comedy film was released in 2019, and it was directed by Kyle Newacheck. Its runtime is one hour and 30 minutes.

Murder Mystery starts off with Nick Spitz, a New York police officer and his wife Audrey, a hairstylist, having a bit of an argument over why Nick hasn’t taken her to Europe as he promised to do so after their wedding. All Audrey wants to do is visit Europe.

After finally booking a trip to make his wife happy, the couple gets invited onto a private yacht by a stranger they meet on their plane. At first, they are skeptical, but ultimately they agree to go. However, things don’t go as planned. Instead of a relaxing, romantic getaway, Nick and Audrey get caught up in a real murder mystery.

This whodunit film is plenty of fun in a dark comedy kind of way. It’s entertaining, and it will keep you guessing and watching till the very end.
Murder Mystery was a huge success for Netflix. In June 2019, Netflix reported that Murder Mystery had the biggest opening for an original Netflix movie in the company’s history. It has been viewed in 73 million households and is Adam Sandler’s most-watched film on Netflix.

Cast

Perhaps Murder Mystery was so popular because of its amazing cast of comedy talent. This film stars Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. You may recognize Jennifer Aniston from her role on Friends. Just kidding, everyone knows who Jennifer Aniston is.

Watch It Here

https://www.netflix.com/title/80242619

Motion Picture Association of America Rating

Murder Mystery is rated TV-PG13, so it’s a good choice if you’re looking for something to watch with teens.

The Dirt

Overview

We’ve covered romantic comedies, science fiction, thrillers, and dark comedies. Now we have arrived at biographical dramas. The Dirt is a 2019 film about the band Motley Crue. This film was directed by Jeff Tremaine, and it has a runtime of one hour and 50 minutes.

The Dirt is based on the best-selling book by Motley Crue detailing the ups and downs of their lives. In 1978, Frank Feranna Jr. moved from Seattle to LA and changed his name to Nikki Sixx. A year later he became friends with a drummer named Tommy Lee. A band began to form. Mick Mars, a guitarist, joined next, followed by lead vocalist Vince Neil. The newly formed band of four called themselves Motley Crue.

The Dirt follows the four through all their mishaps, successes, parties, relationships, and addictions to drugs, and this is why it’s one of the best Netflix original movies. If you ever wanted to know what it was like to be a rock star in the ’80s and ’90s, this is the film for you. In true rock star form, these four partied hard. This is an honest look at their life story, and it’s both fascinating and entertaining.

We like this film because it gives us a look at a life that many of us will never even come close to. To see a famous band and what it took to get to their level of fame is both eye-opening and somewhat expected. The acting in this film is also superb. The actors accurately play the real-life rockers, and at times it doesn’t seem like we are watching actors at all.

Cast

The Dirt stars Douglas Booth, Iwan Rheon, Colson Baker, and Daniel Webber as the members of Motley Crue. The film also stars Pete Davidson from SNL, David Costabile, and Kathryn Morris.

Watch It Here

https://www.netflix.com/title/80169469

Motion Picture Association of America Rating

The Dirt received the TV-Mature Rating. How could it possibly not?

The Verdict

Our list of the best Netflix original movies includes movies from almost every genre including romance, science fiction, comedies, and dramas. Our list also includes some great international movies from Australia and China that perhaps would not otherwise have been streamed so widely. We know there is something on our list for every taste in film.

If you are still having trouble deciding what to stream on Netflix, let us help you. We recommend watching Murder Mystery with Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler. This fun, dark comedy with a great comedic cast is sure to keep you entertained. There is a little of everything in this film, and it all works together at the end.

If you need a runner up, let us recommend Ali Wong and Randall Park’s Always Be My Maybe. This romantic comedy offers a wonderful twist on the romantic comedy genre that brings a modern story forward. You will fall in love with the characters and the setting, and it will make you crave a home-cooked meal around a table with the people you love most.

Recent Posts