The 30 Best Netflix Original Movies, Ranked
Want to know which Best Netflix original movies are worth watching? We’ve got you covered, with this ranking of the 30 best Netflix original movies according to their Rotten Tomatoes scores. From blockbusters like ‘Bird Box’ to critically-acclaimed films like ‘Roma’, there’s something for everyone on this list. So queue up your Netflix account and get ready to binge-watch!
You’ve probably heard the old saying, “life is what you make it.” Well, the same could be said for movie watching. With Best Netflix Original Movies, the sky’s the limit.
Netflix has been killing it lately with its slate of original movies. From heartwarming family comedies to edge-of-your-seat thrillers, there’s something for everyone. And with over 30 originals to choose from, it can be tough to know where to start.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help. We’ve put together a list of the 30 best Netflix original movies, ranked from worst to best. So whether you’re looking for a new movie to watch tonight or just want to get a sense of the Best Netflix Original Movies have to offer, read on for our definitive ranking.
What the Criteria Is for This List
To assemble this list of the 30 best Netflix original movies, we considered a variety of factors. Above all else, we looked at the quality of the film itself. This isn’t just based on our own personal opinions, but also on critical consensus and audience scores on review aggregator websites.
We also looked at the range of genres that Netflix offers its viewers. While there are some great films on the list that may not necessarily fit into a specific genre, we found that Best Netflix Original Movies are strongest when they stick to a particular type. For example, The Irishman is a gangster movie, while Mank is a biopic about a Hollywood screenwriter.
Lastly, we looked at how Best Netflix Original Movies has changed the movie landscape. The streaming service has produced some truly groundbreaking films in recent years, from Roma to The Trial of the Chicago 7. These films have pushed boundaries in terms of both storytelling and cinematography, and they’re well worth watching even if you’re not typically interested in that genre.
The 30 Best Netflix Original Movies, Ranked
According to Esquire, Best Netflix Original Movies has the 50 best original movies. But we think you’ll agree with us that the 30 movies on this list are truly worth your time.
We’ve scoured the vast Best Netflix Original Movies catalog and come up with the best original movies that the streaming service has to offer. From laugh-out-loud comedies to edge-of-your-seat thrillers, these films are sure to entertain.
We know that everyone’s taste is different, so we’ve tried to include a variety of genres and styles. But whether you’re a fan of action, drama, or comedy, we think you’ll find something you love on this list.
So what are you waiting for? Start watching these 30 Best Netflix Original Movies now!
1. The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont, based on the 1982 Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. It tells the story of banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Prison for the murder of his wife and her lover, despite his claims of innocence. During his time at the prison, he befriends a fellow inmate, contraband smuggler Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman), and becomes involved in an underground economy run by the guards.
2. Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump is a fictional character and the protagonist in the book by Winston Groom and the subsequent movie by Robert Zemeckis. The story is a narrative of the life of a man who, while not intelligent, has accidentally been present at many historic moments, but who is not particularly heroic, or ambitious. The story is in the first person, with Forrest narrating.
3. The Dark Knight
In 2008 the film industry saw the release of The Dark Knight which was written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. It was the sequel to the 2005 film Batman Begins. It was a dark film, which featured Christian Bale as Batman and the late Heath Ledger as the Joker. The film was a huge success and become the fourth highest-grossing film of all time. It won two academy awards and was nominated for six. It also won BAFTA Awards and Golden Globe Awards. It was nominated for five Saturn Awards and won three.
4. The Godfather
The Godfather (Paramount Pictures 1972) is a fictional epic crime drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and based on Mario Puzo’s best-selling novel of the same name. The best-selling novel, the screenplay, and the film won several Academy Awards. The film opens with a brief history of the Corleone family and then moves to the present day, where small-time New York City gangster Sonny Corleone is about to receive a promotion within the family, from his brother-in-law, Don Vito Corleone.
5. The Silence of the Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs is a novel written by Thomas Harris in 1988. It is the sequel to Harris’ 1981 novel Red Dragon, featuring the cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The Silence of the Lambs was adapted into a 1991 film of the same name directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Lecter. The novel and film follow a young FBI trainee, Clarice Starling, who must attempt to gain the help of Lecter in order to catch another serial killer, known only as “Buffalo Bill”.
6. The Godfather, Part II
The Godfather, Part II is a 1974 American crime film produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a screenplay co-written with Mario Puzo, starring Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, and Michael V. Gazzo. The film was the sequel to The Godfather, and both films are based on Puzo’s novels, The Godfather and The Sicilian. Part II received Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Director, as well as nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Duvall), Best Art Direction (John Barry, Dean Tavoularis), and Best Sound Mixing (Bernard Herrmann, Gordon E. Sawyer, William B. Kaplan). The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing but lost to Chinatown.
7. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The story of the Rings begins with the forging of the Rings of Power by the Elven smiths. Elrond, who is a great leader among the elves, holds a council at Rivendell to determine what should be done with the Rings. The three elven Rings of Power, Narya, Nenya, and Vilya are given to Cirdan the Shipwright, Gandalf, and Galadriel respectively. The Witch-king of Angmar, the leader of the Nazgûl or Ringwraiths, attacks Frodo Baggins’ home of the Shire. Cirdan the Shipwright hosts a council of the elves in Lindon to decide what to do about the Witch-king. They decide to send an Elven messenger and a company of soldiers to Arnor to request aid from the king, Théoden. The Witch-king of Angmar, the leader of the Nazgûl or Ringwraiths, attacks Frodo Baggins’ home of the Shire. Cirdan the Shipwright hosts a council of the elves in Lindon to decide what to do about the Witch-king. They decide to send an Elven messenger and a company of soldiers to Arnor to request aid from the king, Théoden.
8. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Jackson based on the second volume of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. It is the second installment in The Lord of the Rings series, preceded by The Fellowship of the Ring and followed by The Return of the King. Continuing the plot of The Lord of the Rings, the film intercuts three storylines. Frodo and Sam are joined by Gollum, the ring’s former owner. Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and King Théoden of Rohan, joined by the resurrected Gandalf, who must aid the Kingdom of Rohan and the Ents in a war against Saruman, who is leading an army of Isengard. Merry and Pippin escape capture, help a tribe of Rohan and meet Treebeard the Ent.
9. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Return of the King is a 2003 American epic fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Jackson based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. It is the third and final installment in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, following The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and The Two Towers (2002), preceding The Hobbit film trilogy (2012–2014).
10. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
This is the fourth movie of the epic saga about the adventures of the rebel alliance against the Galactic empire. The story follows the journey of Luke Skywalker, a young farmboy who joins the rebel alliance in its struggle against the Galactic Empire. Luke Skywalker, who was trained by Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jedi Knight Yoda, must now complete his training with the help of Princess Leia and Han Solo to become a Jedi Knight. Meanwhile, Darth Vader plans an attack on the rebel base, hoping to capture the rebel leaders Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Chewbacca. It is up to Luke Skywalker to save them.
11. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (also known as Star Wars: Episode V and Star Wars: Episode Five ) is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner. It is the fifth installment in the original Star Wars trilogy and the third in terms of the series’ internal chronology.
12. Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
The galaxy is in a state of chaos. A Jedi named Luke Skywalker has overthrown the evil Emperor, the Galactic Empire has been disbanded, and the galaxy is trying to rebuild itself in a new era of peace. But there is still unrest in the galaxy, and Luke Skywalker is missing. A race of religious fanatics called the Yuuzhan Vong has come to invade the galaxy, and the new Jedi Knights must stop them before they destroy everything.
13. The Matrix
The Matrix is a 1999 Science Fiction movie. The movie relates to the world we live in, where virtual reality is becoming more and more a part of everyday life. In the movie, the world that the main character lives in is actually a virtual reality world, created by machines to control humans. The movie is very relevant to our times because many people believe that we are already living in a virtual world.
Inception is a 2010 science fiction-action thriller film written, co-produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a professional thief who steals information by infiltrating the subconscious, and is offered a chance to have his criminal history erased as payment for the implantation of another person’s idea into a target’s subconscious. The ensemble cast also includes Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, and Cillian Murphy. Inception was filmed in six countries, beginning in Tokyo on June 19, 2009, and ending in Canada on November 22, 2010. It was released in both conventional and IMAX theaters on July 16, 2010.
15. The Prestige
The Prestige is a movie that is part of the genre of Drama, Mystery, and Thriller. The movie is about a magician and his wife who have a feud with another magician. It was produced by Nolan’s brother, Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, who also directed it. It was released on December 16, 2006, in the United States. The movie was released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 17, 2007. The Prestige was nominated for several awards but did not win any of them. The film currently has a score of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes and an IMDb score of 8.2 out of 10. The movie has been praised for the acting of the cast and the twist ending of the movie. It is considered to be one of the best movies of the 2000s.
16. The Dark Knight Rises
It’s been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act.
17. Django Unchained
Django Unchained: Django Unchained is a 2012 American revisionist Western film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson. Set in the Old West and Antebellum South, it is a highly stylized tribute to Spaghetti Westerns, in particular the 1966 Italian film Django by Sergio Corbucci, whose star Franco Nero has a cameo appearance. Waltz was nominated for several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his performance.
18. Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War will be released in the US on April 27, 2018. The movie is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, the directors of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War. It is the sequel to The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron and the nineteenth movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The movie features an ensemble cast that includes Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Karen Gillan, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Tom Hiddleston, and Josh Brolin as Thanos.
19. Black Panther
The movie Black Panther has been a major hit over the last few weeks as it has broken all kinds of records. People have been going to see the movie in theaters in droves, which is a sign of a great movie. But this is not just a good movie, it is a great movie. In fact, Black Panther is the best movie I have seen in a long time. It is by far the best Marvel movie that I have seen to date. I can’t wait for the next one.
20. The Revenant
The Revenant ** tells the incredible survival story of frontiersman Hugh Glass, who, after being brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team, treks through miles of wilderness pushing past unimaginable grief in order to exact revenge on the man who betrayed him.
21. The Hateful Eight
The Hateful Eight (or The H8ful Eight, depending on the spelling) is a 2015 American revisionist Western mystery film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It stars Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern. The film is set some years after the Civil War in Wyoming and involves a group of strangers who meet at a stopover along the stagecoach path.
22. Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American black comedy neo-noir crime film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, from a story by Tarantino and Roger Avary. It was Tarantino’s feature-length debut and the first major film of his career. The film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture; Tarantino and Avary won for Best Original Screenplay. It was also awarded the Palme d’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. Directed in a highly stylized manner, Pulp Fiction connects the intersecting storylines of Los Angeles mobsters, fringe players, small-time criminals, and a mysterious briefcase. Considerable screen time is devoted to conversations and monologues that reveal the characters’ senses of humor and perspectives on life. The film’s title refers to the pulp magazines and hardboiled crime novels popular during the mid-20th century, known for their graphic violence and punchy dialogue.
23. Inglorious Basterds
Inglorious is a 2009 war film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Diane Kruger, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth, and Mélanie Laurent. Set in ****-occupied France, the film follows a group of Jewish-American guerrilla soldiers who want to take their revenge on the ***** by scalping and then killing as many of them as possible. It is the story of a group of Jewish-American soldiers in the Second World War who are fed up with the ***** and their treatment of the Jews. After they are trained by a German-speaking American named “The Jew Hunter,” they go to war and scalp and kill as many ***** as they possibly can in the process. The movie was inspired by the true story of the Jewish-American “Butcher’s Boys” battalion, which was made up of 100 Jewish-American soldiers who fought the ***** in the Italian village of Sant’Anna and slaughtered more than 500 German soldiers and their Italian allies in the process.
24. Reservoir Dogs
Reservoir Dogs is a 1992 American crime thriller film that was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino also co-wrote the screenplay with Roger Avary and the film’s protagonist, Mr. Blonde, was inspired by real-life convicted criminal and musician Anthony John “Mad Dog” Sullivan. The film features a stellar cast of Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Edward Bunker, and Tarantino himself in his only acting appearance. The film is set in Los Angeles, California and the surrounding areas, including a scene in a diner that was shot in the storefront of Santa Monica’s Frascati Restaurant, a location Tarantino would later use for the climax of his 2012 film Django Unchained.
Goodfellas is a 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is an adaptation of the 1986 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese. The film narrates the rise and fall of mob associate Henry Hill and his friends and family, covering three decades of gangster life, focusing on Hill’s relationship with his close friends Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito and his wife Karen Hill. The film explores the relationship between Hill and his partners in crime and how they live their lives as criminals and the mafia life. The film also features a soundtrack by renowned film score composer Elmer Bernstein, who had previously worked with Scorsese on the score for his film The Age of Innocence.
26. Taxi Driver
Taxi Driver is a 1976 American crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. Set in New York City following the Vietnam War, Taxi Driver tells the story of a lonely and depressed taxi driver, Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), who works nights to support his campaign to save a twelve-year-old prostitute, Iris (Jodie Foster), from her pimp, Sport (Harvey Keitel). Bickle takes to the streets at night to kill those he deems degenerate. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards. It won the Palme d’Or at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival.
27. The Godfather, Part III
The Godfather, Part III is a 1990 American crime film written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, and directed by Coppola. It completes the story of Michael Corleone, a Mafia kingpin who tries to legitimize his criminal empire. The film stars Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, and Andy García, and is the sequel to The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. Following The Godfather Part II, The Godfather Part III was, at the time, the most expensive film ever made.
28. Apocalypse Now
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29. Once Upon a Time in the West
Once Upon a Time in the West was a 1968 American epic Western film directed by Sergio Leone, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Bernardo Bertolucci, Dario Argento, and Franco Mercalli. The film stars Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, and Charles Bronson, and features Claudia Cardinale, Gabriele Ferzetti, and Lee Van Cleef. The screenplay was based on the 1957 novel of the same name by Italian author Luigi Comencini. The film was originally released in the United States in 1969 by Paramount Pictures. It is the first installment in Leone’s Once Upon a Time Trilogy of Westerns, followed by For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966). The film was a commercial success, grossing over $16 million, and received mostly positive reviews from critics.
Casablanca is a film from 1942 starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. The movie is set in the North African city of Casablanca. The film was written and directed by the American screenwriters and brothers Julius and Philip Epstein, based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison’s unproduced stage play, Everybody Comes to Rick’s. Humphrey Bogart played the leading role of Rick Blaine and Ingrid Bergman played his love interest, Ilsa Lund. The movie is about Rick Blaine, a disgraced American who runs a nightclub in Casablanca that attracts many of people escaping the war in Europe.
While we’re on the topic of great Best Netflix Original Movies, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention some of the honorable mentions that didn’t quite make our top 30 list.
Chief among them is “Beasts of No Nation.” This harrowing drama tells the story of a young boy who is forced to become a child soldier in an African civil war. It’s a brutal and eye-opening film that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Another great film that just missed the cut is “The Fundamentals of Caring.” This heartwarming movie stars Paul Rudd as a struggling writer who takes a job caring for a young boy with muscular dystrophy. The film explores the bond that develops between them as they journey across the country.
Finally, we would be remiss not to mention “The Crown.” This masterful series tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II from her early days on the throne to the present day. It’s an engrossing show that provides a unique perspective on one of the most important figures in modern history.
Netflix has something for everyone, and that includes a whole host of original movies. From comedies to dramas, sci-fi to documentaries, there’s a movie on Netflix for every mood.
But with so many options, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the 30 best Netflix original movies, ranked from worst to best.
So whether you’re in the mood for a laugh or a cry, a scare or a feel-good film, you’ll find something on this list to suit you. And who knows, you might just discover your new favorite movie in the process.