As the world continues its state of lockdown, there’s still plenty of time to watch some of the best Original movies that Netflix has to offer. Below are our picks of the best Netflix Original movies for May 2020.
Here are our picks of the best Original movies on Netflix for May 2020:
50. The Babysitter
Cast: Judah Lewis, Samara Weaving, Robbie Amell, Hana Mae Lee
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Released on Netflix: 13 October 2017
IMDb: 6.3/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
A new twist on the horror/comedy, this fun bloodfest is a modern twist on the Home Alone-style story. Twelve-year-old Cole Johnson is dared by his friends to spy on his babysitter ‘Bee’ to see what she gets up to while he’s supposed to be asleep. What starts out as a simple game of truth or dare, ends with a horrified Cole witnessing a demonic ritual. Caught red-handed, Cole must fight for his life to stop Bee and her murderous friends.
While not critically acclaimed, this was certainly a new take on the horror/comedy genre. A fun film and a must watch out from the Netflix catalog.
49. Murder Mystery
Director: Kyle Newacheck
Cast: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Luke Evans, Gemma Arterton, Shiori Kutsuna
Genre: Comedy, Crime
Released on Netflix: June 14, 2019
IMDb: 6.0/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 45%
After many years of promising to take his wife to Europe, New York City police officer Nick Spitz finally books the vacation.
On the flight, the couple has a chance encounter with a mysterious man that invites them onto the superyacht of an elderly billionaire. When the billionaire is murdered, events spiral out of control as Nick and his wife Audrey are framed for the murder.
The quality of Adam Sandler’s films is always hotly debated. While the comedian has made some absolute stinkers over the years, he’s also had plenty of smash hits. Despite the poor response from the critics, Murder Mystery was one of the most-watched films of 2019! In the first month of release, over 73 million households watched the Sandler spy comedy.
48. Imperial Dreams
Director: Malik Vitthal
Cast: John Boyega, Rotimi, Glenn Plummer, De’aundre Bonds
Released on Netflix: February 3, 2017
IMDb: 6.8/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Reformed gangster Bambi has his devotion to his family tested when he is released from prison and returns to his old neighborhood.
Technically one of Netflix’s oldest Originals, the film initially released in early 2014 at the Sundance film festival. It wasn’t until three years later that Netflix would pick up the exclusive rights to stream the movie.
Imperial Dreams was one of John Boyega’s first lead roles. Given his captivating performance, it’s no surprise he went on to achieve success in Star Wars: one of the biggest franchises in movie history. Cynical and less glamorous than other L.A gangster films, Imperial Dreams gives you an insight into the struggle of a post-incarcerated black man.
47. Winter on Fire – Oscar Nominated
Director: Evgeny Afineevsky
Cast: Bishop Agapit, Catherine Ashton, Serhii Averchenko, Kristina Berdinskikh
Released on Netflix: October 9, 2015
IMDb: 8.4/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
A civil rights movement erupts in Ukraine after a peaceful student protest quickly morphs into a violent revolution.
Powerful, captivating and harrowing, this documentary was nominated for an Oscar after its release in 2015 and it’s easy to see why. If you were unsure as to what happened in Ukraine back in the winter of 2013/2014, you’ll witness harrowing first-hand accounts of what the Ukrainian protesters had to contend with to fight for their freedom of speech. What started out as peaceful protests almost tore the country asunder.
46. Our Souls At Night
Director: Ritesh Batra
Cast: Judy Greer, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Matthias Schoenaerts
Genre: Drama, Romance
Released on Netflix: September 29, 2017
IMDb: 6.9/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Addie Moore, a widow, and Louis Waters, also a widower, have lived next door to each other for years. When Addie tries to make a connection with her neighbor, the two start platonically sharing a bed, with the innocent goal of alleviating their shared loneliness. As their relationship deepens, however, they each deal with grief and loss, and a real romance begins to blossom.
Jane Fonda and Robert Redford reunite in this very sweet and touching movie. Diving deep into how the soul deals with a loss, this charming film will pull on the heartstrings.
45. Christmas Chronicles
Director: Clay Katis
Cast: Kurt Russell, Darby Camp, Judah Lewis, Oliver Hudson, Kimberly Williams-Paisley
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family
Released on Netflix: 22nd November 2018
IMDb: 7.3/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
Brother Teddy and sister Kate Pierce scheme to capture Santa Clause on Christmas Eve. After the plan goes disastrously wrong, the sibling pair must help Santa Clause and his elves save Christmas.
At the time of writing the film has already been watched over 20 million times, and has become an annual rewatch for us here at What’s on Netflix.
Kurt Russell’s casting as Jolly Saint Nick is nothing short of fantastic.
44. A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
Director: Will Becher, Richard Phelan
Cast: Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Chris Morrell, Andy Nyman, David Holt
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Released on Netflix: 14th February 2020
IMDb: 6.9/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
A surprise package, to say the least, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon is one of the best animated movies to land on Netflix for quite some time.
Since Aardman stopped producing more Wallace and Gromit films, Shaun the Sheep has taken the mantle and has become immensely popular with families all over the world. One you and all the family can enjoy.
Mossy Bottom Farm is set for an adventure out of this world when a UFO crash lands nearby. Shaun quickly befriends the alien that crash-landed and soon learns his new friend possesses stranger powers. With a dangerous organization determined to capture the alien, Shaun the Sheep and his new friend go on the run.
43. The Other Side of the Wind
Director: Orson Welles
Cast: Oja Kodar, Peter Bogandovich, John Huston, Susan Strasberg,
Released on Netflix: 2nd November 2018
IMDb: 7.2/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
An aging director returns to the film industry after his self-imposed exile. Hoping to reignite his failing career, director John Huston creates an extravagant comeback film.
The last ever film by the legendary film director took almost 50 years to release since its production began in 1970. The film could be considered a self-reflection of how Orson Welles felt during the making of this film-within-a-film mockumentary.
While the film hasn’t had the same impact as Citizen Kane, The Other Side of The Wind is a fitting swan song for a director long since past.
Director: Orlando von Einsiedel
Cast: André Bauma, Emmanuel de Merode, Mélanie Gouby, Rodrigue Mugaruka Katembo
Genre: Documentary, War
Released on Netflix: April 17, 2014
IMDb: 8.3/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
A team of brave individuals risks their lives to protect the last mountain gorillas.
Sometimes we forget the evil humanity can commit and the dangers of our civilization to the ecosystems of the world. This heart-wrenching documentary will keep you in suspense and tear at your emotions as you watch the harrowing account of the Gorillas’ plight for survival and those that protect them.
It’s a groundbreaking doc that should have the same lasting impact that Blackfish achieved.
41. Between Two Ferns: The Movie
Director: Scott Aukerman
Cast: Zach Galifianakis, Matthew McConaughey, Olivia Mekdara, Mo Zelof, Phil Hendrie
Released on Netflix: September 20th, 2019
IMDb: 6.1/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
Zach had a dream, a dream of “becoming a star”.
Be careful what you wish for. Zach becomes a laughing stock online after Will Ferrell uploads his show ‘Between Two Ferns’ to comedy site, Funny or Die. In an effort to restore his reputation, Zach and the crew hit the road interviewing high profile celebrities along the way.
After a six-year hiatus, Zach and his ferns come back to conduct even more hilarious and cringe-inducing interviews with celebrities.
If you’re a fan of the YouTube series, this has a lot of fan service but honestly, the most satisfying part of the movie is the end blooper reel.
40. The Fundamentals of Caring
Director: Rob Burnett
Cast: Alex Huff, Donna Biscoe, Paul Rudd, Julia Denton
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Released on Netflix: 24 June 2016
IMDb: 7.3/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Selena Gomez is no stranger to Netflix as she produces the infinitely popular Netflix Original series, 13 Reasons Why. Before that, came this quaint comedy starring herself and Paul Rudd.
The comedy looked to tear apart stigmas of disabilities. A writer who is stuck in the past meets with a young boy with a disability and they venture on a road trip together. It’s a feel-good story that has a great ending and a fun soundtrack throughout.
Despite Paul Rudd now being best known for his role in Ant-Man, we believe this is his defining role as it just goes to show that not all superheroes wear capes.
39. Taylor Swift’s Reputation Tour
Director: Ben Wheatly
Cast: Taylor Swift
Genre: Musical, Reality
Released on Netflix: December 31, 2018
IMDb: 8.4/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Mega Pop-Star takes to the stage for her record-breaking 5th worldwide stadium tour. Performing her latest and best music in her phenomenal set, Taylor wowed millions of fans worldwide.
For pure entertainment value, this is one of Netflix’s best concert productions to date.
Director: Zak Hilditch
Cast: Thomas Jane, Molly Parker, Dylan Schmid, Kaitlyn Bernard
Genre: Crime, Drama, Horror
Released on Netflix: October 20, 2017
IMDb: 6.3/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Rancher Wilfred James conspires to murder his wife Arlette for financial gain and convinces his teenage son Henry to participate.
Based on the novella of the same name by Stephen King, 1922 is a wonderful film, absolutely full of suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat as it explores what guilt can do to the human mind.
The screenplay was written and directed by Zak Hilditch and his adaptation is definitely a must-watch. Even Stephen King, infamously known for panning adaptations of his work, praised the film.
37. Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Director: Nahnatchka Khan
Cast: Ali Wong, Randall Park, Keanu Reeves, Daniel Dae Kim, Ashley Liao
Genre: Comedy, Romantic
Released on Netflix: May 31st, 2019
IMDb: 7/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Marcus and Sasha have been lifetime friends. Ever since they were kids, the pair have always been close but never romantically involved. Finally, as adults, Sasha is single and Marcus is building up the courage to ask her out. Chickening out last minute to tell her his feelings over the phone, he asks to meet up with her the next day, only for Sasha to tell Marcus she met someone the night before.
As with most Netflix Original rom-coms, this hits most of the right notes and is incredibly popular. The surprise appearance from Keanu Reeves certainly helps this sweet movie!
36. First They Killed My Father
Director: Angelina Jolie
Cast: Sareum Srey Moch, Phoeung Kompheak, Sveng Socheata, Mun Kimhak
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Released on Netflix: September 15, 2017
IMDb: 7.2/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Amid the sudden and terrifying rise of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, 7-year-old girl Loung Ung must fight for her survival.
Told from the narrative of a child, this is one of Angelina Jolie’s 6 directing credits and is without a doubt, her best to date.
With an emphatic approach to the emotion that a child goes through during a time of great turmoil, this film was handled beautifully. Well received by both critics and audiences at home, this gracefully crafted film is a highlight of the Netflix library.
35. The Meyerowitz Stories
Director: Noah Baumbach
Cast: Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Released on Netflix: 13 October 2017
IMDb: 7/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Sandler ditches his traditional in-your-face comedy for a beautifully written movie with some fantastic talent.
Ultimately, the movie is about a broken family with two sons who have spent their lives vying for their father’s attention. Both have taken different directions, with neither feeling good enough for their father.
The movie is dubbed as a comedy but it’s actually more of a drama interspersed with subtle humor, and a family dynamic that’s three dimensional and realistic. If none of the other Netflix Sandler movies are to your taste, then this is the movie for you. It’s by the same director as Marriage Story, another darling of the Netflix Original movie library.
34. High Flying Bird
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: Zazie Beetz, Andre Holland, Bill Duke, Caleb McLaughlin, Sonja Sohn
Genre: Drama, Sport
Released on Netflix: February 8th, 2019
IMDb: 6.3/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
During an NBA Lockdown, a high profile Sports Agent looks to change the industry after he pitches a controversial opportunity to a Rookie Basketball client.
Incredibly, the entire film was filmed on iPhone and the level of creativity used in the camera work is one of the big reasons why the film has such praise heaped upon it.
This film will either blow you away or leave you wondering what all the fuss is about.
33. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
Director: David Slade
Cast: Will Poulter, Fionn Whitehead, Alice Lowe, Asim Chaudhry, Craig Parkinson
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Released on Netflix: December 28, 2018
IMDb: 7.6/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
It’s 1984 and young programmer Stefan Butler is developing his own video game called Bandersnatch. Stefan’s choices are your choices: will Bandersnatch become a smash hit, or will the pressure go to poor Stefan’s head? The choice is up to you…
While Bandersnatch cannot be credited for being the first interactive title on Netflix, it certainly now is the most well known.
Most fans may have preferred an actual film/episode but all credit to Netflix and Black Mirror team for putting together an enigmatic title like Bandersnatch. This groundbreaking piece is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it really demonstrates Netflix’s power to innovate in the movie space.
32. Private Life
Director: Tamara Jenkins
Cast: Kathryn Hahn, Paul Giamatti, Emily Robinson, Kayli Carter, Molly Shannon
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Released on Netflix: October 5th, 2018
IMDb: 7.1/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Middle-aged couple Richard and Rachel are desperate to start a family. On multiple occasions, they have failed to conceive a child and even assisted reproduction has resulted in failure. As their final hope, they turn to the daughter of their sister-in-law for help in the hope of having a child.
While Private Life is one of the latest films available to stream on Netflix, the movie actually debuted at the Sundance 2018 film festival and was well received by critics for its sensitive handling of an emotional story.
The film intends to take you on a rollercoaster of emotions and for the most part, it succeeds.
31. Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
Director: Andy Serkis
Cast: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis, Naomie Harris
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Released on Netflix: 7th December 2018
IMDb: 6.7/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 53%
Orphan Mowgli is raised by a pack of wolves after the tiger, Shere Khan, kills his parents. Growing up, he is taught the rules of the jungle by Black Panther Bagheera and Baloo the Bear. But as his trial to officially join his wolf pack draws closer, the threat of Shere Khan looms over the jungle.
There have been many adaptations of Rudyard Kipling’s novel over the years, and some may be surprised to see this one emerge so soon after Disney’s 2016 adaptation. But with Andy Serkis in the director’s seat, it’s clear how much influence he had on the animation of the film. It took many years for the film to finally be released, but what a spectacle it is.
It’s a great retelling of a story that’s known the world over.
30. Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling
Directors: Joe Murray, Cosmo Segurson
Cast: Carlos Alazraqui, Tom Kenny, Charlie Adler, Mr. Lawrence, Jill Talley
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Short
Released on Netflix: 9th August 2019
IMDb: 7.1/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
In 1996, Nickelodeon’s iconic animated Australian Wallaby disappeared from our screens.
Over 20 years later, and Rocko has returned from space to discover his home has drastically changed. As Rocko and his friends learn about the wonders and changes of the 21st century, he discovers his favorite cartoon has been taken off the air!
The return is warranted, tackling subjects in the 21st century just as well as it did the last. It’s excellently animated, and a real relief that Netflix managed to save this title from being archived.
Director: Prentice Penny
Cast: Mamoudou Athie, Courtney B. Vance, Lashun Pollard, Michael Mobley, Robert Cox
Released on Netflix: 27th March 2020
IMDb: 6.4/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Elijah dreams of becoming a master sommelier and to share his passion for wine with the world. Unfortunately, Elijah’s hard-working father expects his son to carry on the family business and take over his popular Memphis barbecue joint. Torn between family and his dreams, Elijah struggles to find a balance between the two.
The highlight for March 2020 was this little drama gem, Uncorked. An excellent tale about a young man struggling to follow his dreams while the weight of family expectation holds him down is a story that many people can relate to.
28. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Director: Susan Johnson
Cast: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, Andrew Bachelor
Genre: Drama, Romance
Released on Netflix: 17th August 2018
IMDb: 7.3/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Teenager Lara Jean leads a normal, boring high school life until someone leaks her secret love letters. Lara pours her heart and soul into these letters, but never intended to share them: saying the things she could never in real life, or more specifically, to all the boys she’s ever loved. Soon, her love life goes from 0 to 100.
Prior to production, there had been many studios interested in producing the film, but nearly all wanted to change the lead character to Caucasian over Asian. Finally finding a studio that was happy to progress with an American-Asian lead the film went into production. The film itself is very charming and sweet and has gone to become massively popular amongst female audiences both young and old. Actress Lana Condor also can be credited for a fantastic performance in a role made just for her.
27. On Body and Soul – Oscar Nominated
Director: Ildikó Enyedi
Cast: Géza Morcsányi, Alexandra Borbély, Zoltán Schneider, Ervin Nagy
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Released on Netflix: February 21, 2018
IMDb: 7.6/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Two shy and socially awkward co-workers, Maria and Endre, form a special bond through a mysterious mystic connection that manifests in a dream.
The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2018 Oscars and it’s easy to see why. This was the comeback film for director Ildikó Enyedi who hadn’t directed a film in over 18 years. She has crafted a visual beauty with sincerity in its approach to lonely individuals finding love, albeit through mystical means. The film features a great performance from the beautiful Alexandra Borbély. The film tugs on the feel factor but leaves you feeling satisfied in the end.
26. 13th – Oscar-nominated
Director: Ava DuVernay
Cast: Melina Abdullah, Michelle Alexander, Cory Booker, Dolores Canales
Genre: Documentary, Crime, History
Released on Netflix: September 30, 2017
IMDb: 8.2/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.
The documentary delves into the racial inequality of America, from Post Slavery through the Jim Crow laws and Segregation all the way into the modern-day. 13th isn’t afraid to pull its punches with the amount of history it covers in such a short space of time. It’s incredible how much information is included in100 minutes. The fact it feels almost pocket-sized just goes to show the scale of the issue it presents, it would be of no surprise to anyone if they had of made a 4-hour documentary instead, and they still would have only scratched the surface.
25. Crip Camp
Director: James Lebrecht, Nicole Newnham
Released on Netflix: 25th March 2020
IMDb: 7.7/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Just as a revolution was ongoing at Woodstock, another revolution was happening down the road as a group of teen campers fight for the civil rights of disabled citizens.
Crip Camp is the latest Original produced by the Obamas, who continue their output of great documentaries. Incredibly empowering and touching, Crip Camp touches upon an important fraction of American history that too few know about during a time of such civil unrest.
24. Outlaw King
Director: David Mackenzie
Cast: Chris Pine, Florence Pugh, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Billy Howle, Stephen Dillane
Genre: Historical, Drama
Released on Netflix: 9th November 2018
IMDb: 7.1/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 56%
King of Scots, Robert de Bruce, flees Scotland after an English ambush destroys his forces. Upon his return to his country, what remains of his forces take a final stand against the tyrannical English king.
Chris Pine from the outset delivers a fantastic performance in this historical-action drama. Taking inspiration from the events of real history, the gritty and somewhat gruesome film doesn’t fail to impress. If you are expecting something akin to Braveheart then you may well be surprised. Instead of Kilts, the film chooses to deliver a historically accurate look at the Scottish rebellion.
It was one of Netflix’s big-budget films of 2018 and although it failed to enter into the zeitgeist, it’s still a great watch with excellent production value.
23. Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus
Directors: Young Kyun Park, Jhonen Vasquez, and Hong-Seung Yoon
Cast: Richard Steven Horvitz, Rikki Simons, Ander Berman, Melissa Fahn, Rodger Bumpass
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure
Released on Netflix: 16th August 2019
IMDb: 7.7/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
It’s been well over a decade since Invader Zim was last seen on our screens. Thanks to Netflix everyone’s favorite would-be conqueror has returned to take over planet earth! Fun and overwhelmingly entertaining, critics have loved it and we love it too.
It carries the same charm as the original series while updating the visuals. It doesn’t stray into new topics as much as Rocko’s Modern Life but overall is an excellent revival of the classic Nickelodeon character.
22. The Wandering Earth
Director: Frant Gwo
Cast: Wu Jing, Ng Man-tat, Qu Chuxiao, Zhao Jinmai, Mike Sui
Released on Netflix: April 30th, 2019
IMDb: 6.8/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Although unknown to many, The Wandering Earth is one of 2019’s biggest films of the year. Raking in millions of dollars at the Chinese box office, the film became China’s second highest-grossing film of all time.
In the future, the sun finally begins to expand. Threatened with extinction, humanity powers the earth with thousands of thrusters sending the planet off into space in the hope of searching for a new solar system to call home. As the planet travels close to Jupiter, a gravity spike causes Earth’s thrusters to lose power. With Earth at risk of crashing into the gas giant, a team of Chinese scientists and astronauts are in a race against time to save the world from destruction.
Although it’s sometimes hard to watch as a Westerner, it demonstrates the Klout China has particularly when it comes to creating breathtaking visuals.
21. The King
Director: David Michôd
Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Joel Edgerton, Tom Fisher, Sean Harris, Edward Ashley
Genre: Drama, History
Released on Netflix: November 1st, 2019
IMDb: 7.4/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Hal, the Prince of Wales, is the reluctant air to the English throne. Having turned his back on royalty and instead choosing to live amongst the people, Hal is happy with his life. After the death of his tyrannical father, King Henry IV, Hal is crowned as the King of England and forced to embrace a life he tried to leave behind. The young king must find his feet as he tries to navigate his way through politics and war.
Fans of The Outlaw King will absolutely love The King. Call us biased, but we think this is the best adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henriad plays to date.
20. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Director: Joel & Ethan Cohen
Cast: Tim Blake Nelson, Liam Neeson, James Franco, Tom Waits, Brendan Gleeson
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Musical
Released on Netflix: 9th November 2018
IMDb: 7.4/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Set across six chapters, each story in this anthology movie tells the tale of life on the western frontier.
A sharpshooter, a bank robber, traveling performers, a prospector, a traveler, and a motley crew all experience life in the west with its own tragedies, ironies, and success.
One of our personal favorites of 2018, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs was an exceptionally great and unique experience. The Coen brothers once again did not fail to deliver on the western comedy and not to mention, it spawned the “first time” meme.
19. Strong Island – Oscar Nominated
Director: Yance Ford
Cast: Yance Ford, Harvey Walker, Kevin Myers, Lauren Ford
Released on Netflix: September 15, 2017
IMDb: 6.4/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
When filmmaker Yance Ford investigates the 1992 murder of a young black man, it becomes an achingly personal journey since the victim, 24-year-old William Ford Jr., was the filmmaker’s brother.
A deeply personal film, director Yance Ford takes you on a somber journey, investigating the death of his brother. A powerful and gut-wrenching film, Yance can be proud of the work he put into this for his brother. This documentary will take you on an emotional rollercoaster into the memoir of a loved one’s life.
18. Homecoming: A Film By Beyonce
Director: Beyonce, Ed Burke
Released on Netflix: April 17th, 2019
IMDb: 7.5/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Beyonce’s Netflix debut gave fans and subscribers alike an in-depth look into all the behind scenes work that went into Beyonce’s captivating performance at Coachella.
It’s well-produced and appeals to fans of Beyonce but also offers plenty for those who are not.
17. Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond
Director: Macon Blair
Cast: Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito, Milos Forman, Peter Bonerz
Released on Netflix: November 17, 2017
IMDb: 7.8/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Using 100 hours of footage from the set of Man on the Moon, filmmaker Chris Smith documents Jim Carrey’s transformation into legendary performance artist and comedian Andy Kaufman.
An incredibly fascinating watch that shows the level of commitment method actors such as Jim Carrey has gone to get into character. Carrey reminiscing of his time playing Andy Kaufman is almost a performance in of itself while also a stark reminder of the level of commitment it takes to put on such a performance. This is a documentary that must be seen. Whether you love or hate Jim Carey, I could not recommend this film more.
16. I Am Mother
Director: Grant Sputore
Cast: Clara Rugaard-Larsen
Genre: Thriller, Sci-Fi
Released on Netflix: 20th June 2019
IMDb: 6.9/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Sci-Fi films are very hit and miss on Netflix. One of the sleekest and well-presented Originals to date, I Am Mother has easily become one of our favorites at least in the visual department. A superb story and great acting from a condensed cast, it’s strongly reminiscent of 10 Cloverfield Lane.
In the aftermath of a global extinction that wiped humanity from the face of the Earth, a teenage girl is being raised in an underground facility. Attending to her is ‘Mother’ a robot whose function is to help assist the re-population of Earth. But when a blood-drenched woman arrives unexpectedly, the motives of Mother are called into question as the teenage girl begins to wonder what other lies of the outside world she has been told.
As her curiosity leads her to question Mother, her true nature is revealed along with the greater mission the robot has been tasked with.
Director: Sam Hargrave
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Bryon Lerum, Ryder Lerum, Rudhrajsh Jaiswal, Shivam Vichare
Released on Netflix: April 24th, 2020
IMDb: 6.8/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
In his first full feature-length Original, Chris Hemsworth was a smash hit with subscribers in Extraction. News of viewing figures haven’t been released yet, but Extraction could be one of the most-watched Originals ever.
In an underworld of weapons dealers and traffickers, a young boy becomes the pawn in a war between notorious drug lords. Trapped by kidnappers inside one of the world’s most impenetrable cities, his rescue beckons the unparalleled skill of a mercenary named Tyler Rake. But Rake is a broken man with nothing to lose, harboring a death wish that makes an already deadly mission near impossible.
14. The Two Popes – Oscar Nominated
Director: Fernando Meirelles
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce, Juan Minujin, Luis Gnecco, Cristina Banegas
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama
Released on Netflix: 20th December 2019
IMDb: 7.6/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
One of the best Originals of 2019, Jonathan Pryce’s performance as Pope Francis was universally praised, earning himself an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. The chemistry between Pryce and Anthony Hopkins is evident, as is shown through some fantastic comedy and drama that plenty of subscribers can enjoy.
In one of the most dramatic religious events of the past 2,000 years, Cardinal Bergoglio requests his retirement from Pope Benedict. Instead of granting Bergoglio’s retirement, Pope Benedict, in the wake of facing scandal and his own self-doubt, summons Bergoglio to the Vatican. As the Pope’s greatest critic and his successor to be his holiness, Bergoglio is entrusted with a secret that could shake the foundations of the Catholic Church. Behind the walls of the Vatican, a struggle between two ideals ensues as tradition battles progress. Guilt faces forgiveness as both men confront their pasts in the hope of forging a greater future for the Catholic Church and its billion followers worldwide.
13. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs the Reverend
Director: Claire Scanlon
Cast: Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane, Jane Krakowski, Jon Hamm
Genre: Comedy, Interactive
Released on Netflix: May 12th, 2020
IMDb: 7.9/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Kimmy is back for one final adventure, and this time you need to help her take on the Reverand. If you loved Bandersnatch, and love Kimmy Schmidt, you’ll have bags of fun with this interactive special.
Kimmy is finally getting married, but there’s still one last problem she must deal with before her big day: taking down the Reverend. It’s up to you to help Kimmy take the fight to the Reverend as she sets off on her biggest adventure yet.
12. Beasts of No Nation
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Cast: Idris Elba, Kurt Egyiawan, Jude Akuwudike
Released on Netflix: 16 October 2015
IMDb: 7.8/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Beasts of No Nation marks a turning point for Netflix.
It’s the oldest Netflix Original movie to date but perhaps, more importantly, it was their first big-budget title that is clearly gunning for the award bodies. Looking back, the movie is one of the most influential Netflix Originals to date. Starring Idris Elba, he portrays the warlord Commandant that enslaves kids to commit heinous war crimes. The story follows the young boy Agu, recruited into Commandant’s army he is now the soldier in his country’s civil war.
11. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Director: Vince Gilligan
Cast: Aaron Paul, Jonathan Banks. Matt Jones, Charles Baker, Todd Terry
Genre: Action, Drama
Released on Netflix: October 11th, 2019
IMDb: 7.5/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Thanks to Walt’s unwanted help, Jesse was able to escape the Neo-Nazi compound. As the police begin their manhunt for Jesse, he must find a way to escape New Mexico and be truly free.
Many fans of the ever-popular Breaking Bad series were hoping to see an action-packed and explosive ending to Jesse Pinkman’s story. Instead, we received a fantastic epilogue that fit perfectly into the final arc of Jesse’s character development.
It has the signature charm of a Breaking Bad production but most importantly, pays real fan service and justifies its existence throughout.
10. Dolemite is My Name
Director: Craig Brewer
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Keegan-Michael Key, Craig Robinson, Mike Epps
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama
Released on Netflix: October 25th, 2019
IMDb: 7.4/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
After numerous rejections by Hollywood, the multi-talented Rudy Ray Moore looks to create his own blaxploitation film around his character, the wise-cracking, kung-fu fighting, ladies’ man Dolemite.
In one of his best roles in years, Eddie Murphy has had a triumphant return to form with Dolemite is My Name. If this is the first of many upcoming Netflix roles for Murphy, then we can’t wait to see what’s in store for us.
9. Bird Box
Director: Susanne Bier
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Machine Gun Kelly
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Released on Netflix: December 13, 2018
IMDb: 6.8/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 62%
In the not too distant future, a cataclysmic event has wiped most of humanity off the face of the earth. When their safe house becomes too dangerous to stay, mother of 2 Malorie must take her children downstream on a dangerous river to find their next home. All the while they must remain blindfolded, for in the new world there are foul creatures that will make any that gaze upon them take their own life.
We expect fierce debate about how highly we rate Bird Box. Despite any opinions on the film, we cannot deny its overwhelming popularity. Whether the film was ‘good’ or not, it has certainly amassed a significant amount of views.
8. Icarus – Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary Feature
Director: Bryan Fogel
Cast: Thomas Bach, Sebastian Coe, Bryan Fogel, Nikita Kamaev
Genre: Documentary, Sport, Thriller
Released on Netflix: August 4, 2017
IMDb: 8.0/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
When filmmaker Bryan Fogel sets out to uncover the truth about doping in sports, a chance meeting with a Russian scientist transforms his story from a personal experiment into a geopolitical thriller. Dirty urine, unexplained death, and Olympic gold are all part of the exposure of the biggest scandal in sports history.
Like most Netflix-produced documentaries, this is a massive eye-opener into the world of sport and the level of underhanded cheating that has plagued contests for years. Peeking through the Iron Curtain and looking state-sponsored doping, this shines a huge light on one of the biggest controversies to rock the sporting world in years
Director: Sergio Pablos
Cast: Rashida Jones, J.K. Simmons, Joan Cusack,
Genre: Animation, Family
Released on Netflix: 15 November 2019
IMDb: 8.4/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
As the worst and laziest of the postal academy students, Jesper is exiled by his father to the village of Smeerensburg, located on a small island north of the Arctic Circle. Smeerensburg is a miserable place, with many of the townsfolk feuding and silent, they have little need to send letters. When Jesper befriends the magical carpenter, Klaus, living in the woods, he attempts to scam the kindly fellow and the children of Smeerensburg. But the power of goodwill is infectious, and as the unlikely pair deepen their friendship, Jesper makes it their mission to bring cheer and joy to the townsfolk of Smeerensburg.
There’s no doubt that Klaus is one of the best Christmas films of the 21st century and arguably one of the most beautifully animated films of the past decade. If Netflix lockdown The SPA Studios, we can expect to see even more heartwarming and beautiful tales from the Spanish animation studio.
Director: Joon-ho Bong
Cast: Tilda Swinton, Sheena Kamal, Michael Mitton, Colm Hill
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Released on Netflix: 19 May 2017
IMDb: 7.4/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
A beautiful movie with some serious messages regarding the future of mankind and its relationship with its food sources. Joon-ho Bong has produced some fantastic movies so far and this absolutely stands out as one of his finest.
The story is about super pigs but specifically one girl who lives in an isolated village in the mountains who raises one. After winning the contest, Okja is taken away and the adventure begins to save him from his certain fate.
Director: Dee Rees
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Mary J Blige, Garret Hedlund
Released on Netflix: 17th November 2017
IMDb: 7.5/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
This is essential viewing for all and is one of Netflix’s most decorated movie releases so far, earning itself 4 Oscars, 30 wins and another 102 nominations elsewhere. The harrowing picture tells us a story of two families in a post-WW2 in a rural south village.
The film touches on multiple taboo subjects of the time, especially race relations. Despite being over 2 hours in length, the film manages to hold your attention with fantastic performances from the whole cast, but particularly to Mary J Blige who puts in the performance of a lifetime. An absolute gem of the Netflix Originals library and one that may not have come to the light of day had Netflix not published it for the world to see.
4. The Little Prince
Director: Mark Osborne
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Mackenzie Foy, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Drama
Released on Netflix: August 5, 2016
IMDb: 7.8/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
A little girl already has her entire life laid out by her ambitious mother. Tired of her mundane and restricted existence, the little girl meets a pilot who introduces her to a world where she can rediscover her childhood. She learns that human connections matter most and only with the heart can you see what it is mort important of all.
Winner of the Cesar Award for Best Animated Film, The Little Prince was received very well by critics, with its beautiful story and charming animation this is a must-watch for you and the family.
3. ROMA – Oscar Winner
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Cast: Yalitza Aparicio, Nancy Garcia, Marina De Tavira, Daniela Demesa, Diego Cortina Autrey
Released on Netflix: 14th December 2018
IMDb: 8.7/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Roma takes place in Mexico City in the 1970s. It is centered around the life of a live-in housekeeper working for a middle-class Mexican family in the neighborhood of Roma. Cuarón has drawn upon his own experiences of his childhood to the big screen in this heartfelt and emotional rollercoaster of a film.
Roma’s Oscar buzz was justified and is now the most successful Netflix film winning 3 academy awards. The awards won were for Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography. Oscars aside, the film is visually beautiful and filled to the brim with emotion and ultimately deserves the top spot.
2. The Irishman – Oscar Nominated
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano
Genre: Crime, Drama
Released on Netflix: 27th November 2019
IMDb: 8.3/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Frank Sheeran is a World War 2 veteran and a former hitman for the mob. His time spent during the war in Italy made him a talented killer. Utilizing his skills to meet ends meet, Frank became a hitman for the mob. Now in his old age, Frank reflects back on the moments and hits that defined his mob career.
Generating the most Oscar buzz of 2019, The Irishman has been the biggest Original to release on Netflix to date. With outstanding performances from De Niro, Pacino and Pesci, it’s hard not to imagine The Irishman picking up multiple awards at the Academy Awards in 2020. Don’t let the 3 and a half hour run-time deter you from watching one of the best films of the year.
1. Marriage Story – Oscar Nominated
Director: Noah Baumbach
Cast: Adam Driver, Scarlett Johannsson, Laura Dern, Ray Liotta, Azhy Robertson
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Released on Netflix: 6th December 2019
IMDb: 8.1/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Nicole and Charlie were once deeply in love but as time goes by, they’ve drifted apart. The pair go through a grueling divorce, one that takes them from coast to coast and pushes them to their personal and creative extremes.
The surprise hit of 2019, Noah Baumbach’s story of divorce and love lost was hauntingly fantastic. Performances from Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver were phenomenal, earning them both an Oscar nomination for Best Actor and Actress in a Leading Role respectively. Despite not having the same grandiose as some of the other movies on this list, its gravitas ultimately made it the more superior story out of any Original we’ve seen thus far.
Thanks for reading, that was our top 50 Netflix Originals for May 2020! What’s your number one Netflix Original movie? What films would you rank in your top 50?
Have we missed your favorite Original film? Let us know in the comments, and while you’re here take a look at our other top lists and see what takes to your liking.