When you think of Netflix Originals the first thing to come to mind is likely the numerous series that the streaming service produces but, over the past few years, Netflix has built up a massive movie library of original content featuring some top talent plus featuring wide ranges of genres and formats.
Here are our top 15 picks of the best Netflix Original movies currently streaming on Netflix.
15. Take the 10
Released: January 20th, 2017
Directed by: Chester Tam
Starring: Josh Peck, Tony Revolori
Take the 10 is one of Netflix’s first “bro” movies as I call them. The movie’s biggest star is Josh Peck who is most known for his days in the smash hit teen series, Drake and Josh on Nickelodeon. In this movie, Josh plays one of two people wanting to get out of their menial cashier jobs to start a career in hip-hop with limited success.
Released: January 5th, 2016
Directed by: Renny Harlin
Starring: Jackie Chan, Johnny Knoxville
Featuring every aspect you’d come to expect from a Jackie Chan movie is Skiptrace. Skiptrace is a fun movie which also stars Jackass’s Johnny Knoxville where the two pair up to track down a notorious crime lord. The film is reminiscent of the Rush Hour franchise in many regards and while it’s not the funniest movies out there, it’ll certainly make you giggle on occasion. If you’re a fan of either of these two actors, this movie is for you.
13. You Get Me
Released: June 23rd, 2017
Directed by: Brent Bonaccorso
Starring: Bella Thorne, Halston Sage, Taylor John Smith
This teen thriller’s main star is Bella Thorne who you’ll most likely know from her days on the Disney channel. The movie is about Holly (Bella Thorne) who develops an obsession with a boy she knows from her school and ends up following him to his new high school after he transfers to keep the relationship alive. While it does cover some serious issues, it only ever glances over them as opposed to dealing with them as some other Netflix Originals have done. It’s a watchable flick but don’t look for too much more than what’s on the surface otherwise, you’ll come away disappointed.
12. Coin Heist
Released: January 6th, 2017
Directed by: Emily Hagins
Starring: Sasha Pieterse, Alex Saxon
This high-school movie is fun and instantly watchable movie focusing on a group of teens that need to raise funds to save their school. Their plan? To break into the US mint and commit one of the biggest heists in history. The movie reminds me of a Disney channel movie which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as Netflix is going to have to keep getting the younger generations hooked to stay relevant.
Released: August 26th, 2017
Directed by: Christopher Louie
Starring: Sarah Hyland, Graham Phillips, Chis D’Elia
This coming of age musical driven drama is all about the XOXO music festival but rather than serve as an advertisement for it, it keeps the story firmly locked on the six strangers who happen to be at the festival. The movie follows the six strangers who are bonded together by music after one is given the opportunity to play at the festival. The biggest star on the bill is Sarah Hyland who you’ll know from ABC’s Modern Family.
Released: May 20th, 2017
Directed by: Hiroyuki Seshita
Starring: Takahiro Sakurai, Kana Hanazawa
Netflix has been firing on all cylinders with regards to its anime selection recently and this movie is among the better titles in that library. Blame! based on the manga series of the same name was a movie released at the beginning of 2017 and comes from the geniuses at Polygon Pictures. The movie is about a group of individuals fighting to stay alive after a rogue AI’s defense system tries to hunt them down.
9. War Machine
Released: May 26th, 2017
Directed by: David Michôd
Starring: Brad Pitt, Topher Grace, Anthony Hayes
This comedy movie starring Brad Pitt has an underpinning of seriousness as it sets to shine a light on the mistakes of the recent war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Based on a book, this big budget action movie is one of the best dark comedies to have released in recent years with outstanding production values.
8. Small Crimes
Released: April 28th, 2017
Directed by: Evan Katz
Starring: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gary Cole, Molly Parker
This Netflix thriller stars one of the big stars from Game of Thrones. Playing Jamie Lannister on Game of Thrones, Nikolaj plays an ex-cop in this original movie who is attempting to re-establish his life after serving years in prison. It’s got plenty of twists and turns and proves that Nikolaj far extends beyond Game of Thrones.
7. To The Bone
Released: July 14th, 2017
Directed by: Marti Noxon
Starring: Lily Collins, Keanu Reeves
Netflix released this movie to a volley of criticism as many groups claimed the movie stood to promote the lifestyle of living with anorexia. It’s about a young girl who is 20 and is suffering from anorexia nervosa who goes to a home with other girls experiencing the same condition with a doctor attempting to normalise the condition. Some were disappointed with the ending but many were happy the movie covered a topic.
6. Imperial Dreams
Released: February 3rd, 2017
Directed by: Malik Vitthal
Starring: John Boyega, Glenn Plummer and Keke Palmer
Have you noticed the pattern with the best Netflix Original movies all coming out of Sundance? That’s no coincidence and in this movie, recent Star Wars star John Boyega plays a young father who’s been recently released from prison and must avoid falling in the same pitfalls for the sake of his young son. It’s a hearth throbbing story that picks on many poignant issues that consistently features in todays society.
5. Shimmer Lake
Released: June 9th, 2017
Directed by: Oren Uziel
Starring: Rainn Wilson, Benjamin Walker, Rob Corddry
You may recognise the main cast member from his days playing Dwight Schrute on The Office and while he can’t quite shake that type cast, Shimmer Lake makes a significant attempt to try and do just that. The movie plays backwards where we’re aware of a crime that’s being investigated by Rainn’s brother in the movie. It has some nice twists and while it doesn’t push too many boundaries, it’s a great watch for those in need of a good crime thriller.
4. Beasts of No Nation
Released: October 16th, 2015
Directed by: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Starring: Idris Elba, Abraham Attah, Kurt Egyiawa
At the time, this movie was the biggest budget movie to ever be produced for a streaming platform before. It’s since been passed but the point is that Beasts of No Nation broke new ground and was quite controversial when it released because it was solely (except in few cases) released only on Netflix. The movie is just over two hours long and stars Idris Elba as he plays a war lord in West Africa. It’s about one young boy’s journey into the civil war breaking out all around him.
3. The Little Prince
Released: August 5th, 2016
Directed by: Mark Osborne
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Bud Cort
‘This is charming’ is the thought I had throughout watching The Little Prince. Some of the animation is from a time gone by but holds up exceptionally well as it weaves between animation styles effortlessly. It stays true to the original story it’s based on and will no doubt leave you with a tear in your eye.
2. I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore
Released: February 24th, 2017
Directed by: Macon Blair
Starring: Melanie Lynskey, Elijah Wood, David Yow, Jane Levy
This movie featuring Elijah Wood and Melanie Lynskey is among the highest rated among critics in the Netflix Original library. Picked up from the Sundance Film Festival a month before it launched, the independent movie is a comedy thriller with a plot and characters that’ll have you on the edge of your seat for the duration. As an added reason, the movie actually went onto win the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance festival. This won’t be for everyone but if you do love it, you’ll be watching over and over again.
Released: 28th June, 2017
Directed by: Bong Joon Ho
Starring: An Seo Hyun, Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Dano
OKJA is Netflix’s first true blockbuster with a budget to match. It follows a pig contest where the Korean contestants win but the pig’s owner is not happy about what the result means for her friend, OKJA. It throws up many issues regarding where your food comes from, diminishing resources and corporate greed. It’s truly the best movie to arrive on Netflix as an Original so far.