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27 best Netflix movies to watch and 13 to skip

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Best Netflix movies to watch and skip

Have you been wanting to watch a movie, but you’re overwhelmed with which Netflix movies are worth watching and which ones you should just skip?

It’s a tough decision that can lead to sitting through some stinkers and missing out on the movies you would have actually enjoyed. While critics might urge you to steer clear of comedies like Thunder Force, but we’d suggest leaning into the laughs and, while you’re at it, taking a chance on underrated Netflix original movies that don’t get that coveted viral buzz online.

Likewise, there are handfuls of popular movies that won’t translate for every viewer, such as Academy Award-nominated drama Hillbilly Elegy and coming-of-age musical A Week Away. Of course, the choice to watch or skip is in the eye of the binge-watcher, but we can only try to help make that decision a little easier.

Wondering which movies should make it onto your watch list and which ones are worth holding out on? Here are the 27 best Netflix movies to watch and the 13 you could live to skip, beginning below with Oscar nominee The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Is The Trial of the Chicago 7 good?

Release Year: 2020

Directed By: Aaron Sorkin

Starring: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sacha Baron Cohen, Daniel Flaherty, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Frank Langella, John Carroll Lynch, Eddie Redmayne, Noah Robbins, Mark Rylance, Alex Sharp, Jeremy Strong

Based on the true events of the Chicago Seven in the late 1960s, writer-director Aaron Sorkin tells the story of the anti-Vietnam War protesters who found themselves charged with the intent to instigate riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The contentious legal battle captured the collective attention of the nation and stoked a conversation about countercultural protests interfering with the United States government.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 will satisfy every viewer, since it’s a rather involved historical legal drama. But the film landed further critical acclaim for Sorkin and scored a whopping six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Sacha Baron Cohen and Best Original Screenplay. If you’re looking to keep up with the films nominated for the top honors at the Oscars, you should most definitely add The Trial of the Chicago 7 to your watch list.

Verdict: Watch

Always Be My Maybe

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Always Be My Maybe production still. Photo: (c) 2019 Netflix

Is Always Be My Maybe worth watching?

Release Year: 2019

Directed By: Nahnatchka Khan

Starring: Ali Wong, Randall Park, James Saito, Michelle Buteau, Vivian Bang, Daniel Dae Kim, Keanu Reeves

Never underestimate the power of a good old-fashioned feel-good movie, especially if that’s not usually your go-to movie to watch on Netflix. You might spend a fair amount of your time checking out the latest genre hits and high-brow awards season favorites, but you shouldn’t count out the tried-and-true rom-com standbys like Always Be My Maybe.

Ali Wong and Randall Park star in Always Be My Maybe as estranged childhood friends who lose touch for 15 years after an ill-fated teenage romance set them on separate paths. But when the mismatched pair reunite in San Francisco, they just might regain the spark that were set ablaze all those years prior, even if they are still in two completely different worlds.

Upon release in the summer of 2019, Always Be My Maybe earned positive reception from critics and continued the well-received new wave of romantic comedies from the streaming service. Naturally, the film, which was co-written by Wong and Park, was a hit with viewers and made another excellent case for the rom-com renaissance. Still to this day, Always Be My Maybe should be on your list of movies to watch (and rewatch) on Netflix.

Verdict: Watch

The Prom

The Prom - Netflix movies


Is The Prom on Netflix a true story?

Release Year: 2020

Directed By: Ryan Murphy

Starring: Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Rannells, Ariana DeBose, Kerry Washington, Jo Ellen Pellman

Sometimes, when we first hear about a movie when it’s announced or when the trailer hits the internet, the excitement and expectations hit an all-time high. Between the Broadway background of The Prom and its high-profile director in Ryan Murphy and its cast of A-listers upon A-listers, the musical comedy was a definite must-watch. But is it really

Based on the Broadway musical of the same name, not a true story, The Prom takes place in a small Indiana town on the precipice of prom. However, when Emma Nolan (Jo Ellen Pellman) wants to bring her girlfriend to the big dance, Mrs. Greene (Kerry Washington), the head of the PTA, announces that the prom has been canceled, leading struggling Broadway performers to rush to Emma’s defense.

The Prom received middling reception from critics and proved a viewership hit during its first week of release. The musical even landed two Golden Globe nominations, including a questionable one for James Corden’s performance. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a little feel-good escapism with an important message, but The Prom isn’t the most can’t-miss movie on Netflix. Check it out for a dose of levity, though there’s really no rush to RSVP to this particular dance.

Verdict: Skip

The 40-Year-Old Version

Should I watch The 40-Year-Old Version?

Release Year: 2020

Directed By: Radha Blank

Starring: Radha Blank, Peter Kim, Oswin Benjamin, Reed Birney

Even though many of us stayed at home more than ever in 2020 and filled our queues with the latest new releases on Netflix, it’s entirely possible that a number of titles slipped through the cracks. After all, Netflix was our most reliable source for new entertainment and, in precedented times, it can be tough to keep up. But if you missed The 40-Year-Old Version, it’s time to check it out.

Radha Blank wrote, directed and stars in The 40-Year-Old Version, which is a comedy loosely based on Blank’s own life as a starving artist. As Radha nears her 40th birthday, the struggling playwright and teacher fears she will lose her relevance as an artist, which prompts her to pursue a career in rapping to reclaim her creativity and voice in an otherwise unwelcoming industry.

The 40-Year-Old Version flew in under the radar in October 2020 but landed a near-perfect Rotten Tomatoes score of 98%. Blank’s debut feature film earned nominations from the BAFTA Film Awards, NAACP Image Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards. If The 40-Year-Old Version evaded your watch list in 2020, it’s not too late to discover the endearing tale of a fresh voice in comedy.

Verdict: Watch

Outlaw King

Is Outlaw King historically accurate?

Release Year: 2018

Directed By: David Mackenzie

Starring: Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Florence Pugh, Billy Howle, Sam Spruell, Tony Curran, Callan Mulvey, James Cosmo, Stephen Dillane

It’s no secret that historical action-drama epics aren’t for everybody. A lot of us are more than willing to spend a full day watching the latest installment in the popular teen romance trilogy of the moment. But who doesn’t want to take an adventure back to the 14th century with Chris Pine? Outlaw King should definitely snag a spot on your historical drama watch list.

Chris Pine stars in Outlaw King as the 14th century Scottish King named Robert the Bruce, who finds himself exiled by the English and decides to form a rebellion against Edward I to reclaim his throne as king. Robert the Bruce becomes something of an outlaw (hence the title of the film) leading up to the Battle of Loudoun Hill in 1307.

While not entirely accurate from a historical perspective, Outlaw King grabbed a significant amount of headlines for a certain scene featured in the film, but as a whole, the historical drama garnered mixed reception from critics. These kinds of movies are often a tough sell, but with a cast that includes fan-favorites Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Florence Pugh, Outlaw King’s an easier sell than you think.

Verdict: Watch

The Fundamentals of Caring

Best Netflix movies

PARK CITY, UT – JANUARY 29: (L-R) Rob Burnett, Selena Gomez, Paul Rudd and Craig Roberts attend “The Fundamentals Of Caring” Portraits during the 2016 Sundance Film Festival at Acura Studio on January 29, 2016 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)

Is The Fundamentals of Caring worth watching?

Release Year: 2016

Directed By: Rob Burnett

Starring: Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts, Selena Gomez, Jennifer Ehle, Megan Ferguson, Frederick Weller, Bobby Cannavale, Julia Denton

If there’s ever an opening to talk about the underrated Netflix original movie The Fundamentals of Caring, you better believe we’re going to take it. Back in 2016, when original films on the streaming service were still a relatively new concept that had hardly reached its potential, the delightful road trip dramedy arrived to little widespread fanfare, but it remains one of the best titles on the platform.

Based on the novel The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison, Paul Rudd stars as struggling writer Ben Benjamin, whose recent personal tragedy and dissolution of his marriage leads to taking a job as the caregiver for Trevor (Craig Roberts), an 18-year-old with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Ben takes Trevor on a road trip that turns into more than just an adventure to see the world’s largest pit.

The Fundamentals of Caring received mostly positive reception from critics but definitely deserved far more attention than it earned. Obviously, Paul Rudd’s great in his leading role and has excellent buddy chemistry with Craig Roberts. You should come for those two, but stay for the consistently incredible Selena Gomez. We might know her for her Disney past and pop star present, but she’s an on-screen talent to behold.

Verdict: Watch


Is Dumplin’ on Netflix good?

Release Year: 2018

Directed By: Anne Fletcher

Starring: Danielle Macdonald, Jennifer Aniston, Odeya Rush, Maddie Baillio, Bex Tyalor-Klaus, Luke Benward, Georgie Flores, Dove Cameron, Harold Perrineau, Kathy Najimy, Ginger Minj, Hilliary Begley, Sam Pancake, Dan Finnerty

As more and more new original Netflix movies premiere each month, it’s natural to forget about some of the best and biggest movies from the past few years. But we shouldn’t sleep on the past favorites with plenty of rewatch value just to glom onto the new, shiny toy taking up space on our homepage. The 2018 coming-of-age comedy Dumplin’ is a move worth watching and/or rewatching.

Based on the young adult novel of the same name by Julie Murphy, Dumplin’ stars Danielle Macdonald as Willowdean Dickson, known by her nicknames Will and Dumplin’, the latter of which her pageant-obsessed mother Rosie (Jennifer Aniston) calls her. When Will enters her mom’s beauty pageant as a form of protest, her resolve catches fire and inspires change in her small town.

Dumplin’ arrived as a breakthrough role for star Danielle Macdonald and another stellar performance from Jennifer Aniston. While the film itself missed any major nominations, Dolly Parton and Linda Perry’s song “Girl in the Movies” landed Grammy Award and Golden Globe nominations among others. Between a great Dolly song and an uplifting message, Dumplin’ can’t be missed.

Verdict: Watch

The Perfect Date

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Noah Centineo (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Is The Perfect Date bad?

Release Year: 2019

Directed By: Chris Nelson

Starring: Noah Centineo, Laura Marano, Odiseas Georgiadis, Camila Mendes, Matt Walsh, Joe Chrest, Carrie Lazar, Alex Biglane, Blaine Kern III, Zak Steiner, Ty Parker, Wayne Péré, Autumn Walker, Ivan Hoey Jr.

When we started saying Netflix brought back teen romantic comedies/rom-coms in general, and good ones at that, we didn’t expect that praise to go to the streamer’s head. Well, it did. We’re not in this for just any old movie to pass a couple of hours. But that’s exactly what kind of movie you get with The Perfect Date: A perfectly unchallenging way to spend 90 minutes of your life.

Breakout star Noah Centineo stars in The Perfect Date as high school senior Brooks Rattigan, whose dreams of attending Yale University, though he could get a full ride to the University of Connecticut. Looking to make his college dreams come true, Brooks makes extra cash posing as “the perfect date” via a dating app he develops with his best friend.

The Perfect Date earned reasonably middling reviews from critics, because while it’s not the worst movie you could watch on Netflix (and there are some surefire stinkers!), it’s also not the best. There are hands-down better teen rom-coms to add to your watch list and spend an hour with. Let’s just say, The Perfect Date shouldn’t be at the top of your list unless things get pretty dire.

Verdict: Skip

Finding 'Ohana

Finding 'Ohana - Best Netflix movies


Should I watch Finding ‘Ohana on Netflix?

Release Year: 2021

Directed By: Jude Wang

Starring: Kea Peahu, Alex Aiono, Lindsay Watson, Owen Vaccaro, Kelly Hu, Branscombe Richmond, Ke Huy Quan, Brad Kalilimoku, Chris Parnell, Marc Evan Jackson, Ricky Garcia, Ryan Higa, Mapuana Makia, X Mayo, Kyndra Sanchez

These days, it’s pretty unclear how certain titles make it into our pop culture awareness and which ones are relegated to underrated status on arrival. The age of streaming is still a shape-shifting platform without rules set in stone, but the good thing is the consumer holds power with their views. This year’s hidden-gem family adventure flick Finding ‘Ohana should be on your watch list.

Finding ‘Ohana centers on Brooklyn pre-teen Pilialoha “Pili” Kawena (Kea Peahu), who finds herself suddenly in O‘ahu, Hawaii for the summer with her older brother to care for their grandfather. While in Hawaii, Pili finds an old journal that leads to an adventure to track down treasure with new friends as well as a chance to reconnect with their Hawaiian heritage.

Upon release in January 2021, Finding ‘Ohana earned mostly positive reviews from critics, holding an impressive 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Although there are plenty of flashy new titles for families to watch together, nothing could be more fun for the whole family than a treasure hunting adventure in Hawaii… or at least watching one from the comfort of your couch.

Verdict: Watch

Sky High

Best Netflix movies

MADRID, SPAIN – DECEMBER 16: Miguel Herran attends ‘Hasta El Cielo’ photocall at Only You Hotel on December 16, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images)

Is Sky High on Netflix good?

Release Year: 2020

Directed By: Daniel Calparsoro

Starring: Miguel Herrán, Luis, Tosar, Carolina Yuste, Patricia Vico, Fernando Cayo, Richard Holmes, Asia Ortega, Ayax Pedrosa, Dollar Selmouni

No, this isn’t the 2005 Disney movie of the same name about superheroes. You can watch that cult favorite over on Disney+, but you can watch the Spanish crime thriller called Sky High on Netflix. Even though that title similarity is kind of confusing, and will probably throw off a lot of millennials, Sky High is definitely worth watching for your next Netflix movie night.

Money Heist and Élite standout Miguel Herrán stars in Sky High as Ángel, a mechanic from the suburbs of Madrid who falls for Estrella (Carolina Yuste) and finds himself entering into the high-stakes world of heists. Before long, Ángel becomes the constant target of a relentless detective who’s dead-set on catching the newfound criminal in action.

Sky High, which was a box office hit in Spain at the tail end of 2020, has since become a hit for Netflix, which acquired the film for a series adaptation. Clearly, this is one movie you need to watch to get ready for the next big binge-able series to hit your watch list. If you love a good high-octane crime thriller, make sure to go sky high with Sky High.

Verdict: Watch

Dangerous Lies

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BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 09: Camila Mendes attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Is Dangerous Lies bad?

Release Year: 2020

Directed By: Michael Scott

Starring: Camila Mendes, Jessie T. Usher, Jamie Chung, Cam Gigandet, Sasha Alexander, Elliott Gould

You know there was a time or two that you got sucked into a cheesy Lifetime movie… or two. Even though they aren’t the greatest movies ever made, they still hold value in offering temporary thrills you simply can’t look away from. Luckily, Netflix has started to get in on the fun with its own original drama films, such as the unabashedly wild Dangerous Lies.

Riverdale breakout Camila Mendes takes a break from the strange hauntings of the hit teen drama series for a romp in Dangerous Lies. Mendes plays Katie, a waitress who finds herself and her husband, Adam (Jessie T. Usher), working for a wealthy elderly man (Elliott Gould). Soon, they find themselves in a tangled web of secrets and murder as they inherit his estate.

Dangerous Lies debuted on Netflix in April 2020, at the height of quarantine binge-watching. The movie was just thrilling enough to hold our attention for a weekend, but since it wasn’t tipping the critical scales, it didn’t have staying power. Regardless, it’s worth a watch if you’re struggling to come up with something simple to watch, but it’s certainly not a must-watch movie by any means.

Verdict: Skip

The Half of It

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The Half Of It – Leah Lewis, Alexxis Lemire – Photo Credit: Netflix / KC Bailey

Is The Half of It good?

Release Year: 2020

Directed By: Alice Wu

Starring: Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, Alexxis Lemire, Collin Chou, Enrique Murciano, Catherine Curtin, Wolfgang Novogratz, Becky Ann Baker, Gabrielle Samels

There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it: Netflix has been absolutely killing the coming-of-age game. From To All the Boys to Moxie and everything that’s been released in between, the streaming giant’s revival of the dormant teen drama has inspired a number of modern stories for a new generation of adolescents. The original dramedy The Half of It is just one of the best.

Loosely based on the 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, The Half of It stars Nancy Drew breakout Leah Lewis as wallflower high school student Elle Chu. Since Elle makes extra money on the side, writing papers for her classmates, it’s natural when clueless jock Paul Munksy (Daniel Diemer) enlists Elle to write letters to his crush, Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire), who also happens to be Elle’s crush.

The Half of It proves that we need more queer retellings of classic stories. But let’s take that one step further: We need more queer stories in general. The film holds a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and landed a top honor at the Tribeca Film Festival as well as a nod at the GLAAD Media Awards. When it comes to movies on Netflix, The Half of It is not to be skipped.

Verdict: Watch

Pieces of a Woman

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PIECES OF A WOMAN: (L to R) Molly Parker as Eva and Vanessa Kirby as Martha.

Is Pieces of a Woman worth watching?

Release Year: 2020

Directed By: Kornél Mundruczó

Starring: Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, Ellen Burstyn, Molly Parker, Sarah Snook, Iliza Shlesinger, Benny Safdie, Jimmie Fails, Domenic Di Rosa

Now more than ever, Netflix has become a main player in the awards season circuit. No longer an underdog, the streaming service has proven itself as an excellent launching pad for some of the season’s most nominated titles, in both movies and television. This year, Netflix has a few nominees under its belt, including the original drama film Pieces of a Woman.

Based on the play of the same name by writer Kata Wéber and director Kornél Mundruczó, Pieces of a Woman stars Vanessa Kirby as Martha Weiss, who’s expecting her first child with boyfriend Sean (Shia LaBeouf). Unfortunately, the home birth of the baby doesn’t go according to plan, leading the heartbreak and grief to pull Martha away from her boyfriend and family.

Pieces of a Woman earned mostly positive reviews from critics and landed Vanessa Kirby an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in the film. The film’s sole Oscar nod for Kirby easily places the film as a must-watch movie, if only for her powerful portrayal of a mother in grief. If affecting dramas are your cup of tea, here’s one you won’t want to miss.

Verdict: Watch 

Let It Snow

Best Christmas movies on Netflix Let It Snow - Netflix - Best Netflix movies

Let It Snow – Matthew Noszka, Kiernan Shipka, Mitchell Hope – Photo Credit: Netflix / Steve Wilkie

Is Let It Snow based on a book?

Release Year: 2019

Directed By: Luke Snellin

Starring: Isabela Merced, Shameik Moore, Odeya Rush, Liv Hewson, Mitchell Hope, Kiernan Shipka, Matthew Noszka, Jacob Batalon, Miles Robbins, Joan Cusack, Anna Akana, D’Arcy Carden

Netflix getting into the annual holiday spirit might be one of their smartest moves. They haven’t put the Hallmark Channel out of business by any means, but the further expanded choices for holiday-themed movies to each year is a true embarrassment of riches. We’ve been spoiled the last few years with sequels and musicals and Christmas fantasies, but all of them aren’t winners.

Based on the novel of the same name by Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle, Let It Snow takes place in the midst of a snowstorm on Christmas Eve in a small Midwestern town. As a group of high school students find themselves pushed together thanks to the snow, they find themselves confronting their friendships, relationships and long-hidden truths.

Let’s lay it out plainly: Let It Snow isn’t the strongest option for a Netflix Christmas movie. Apologies to those who love it, adore it and watch it every year on repeat. As a John Green story, it’s a perfectly cute ode to young love set against a wintery backdrop. But we’re just saying that if you’re looking for a movie to really amp up the holiday spirit, Let It Snow shouldn’t be your first pick.

Verdict: Skip

Alex Strangelove

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Alex Strangelove (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images)

Is Alex Strangelove a good movie?

Release Year: 2018

Directed By: Craig Johnson

Starring: Daniel Doheny, Antonio Marziale, Madeline Weinstein, Daniel Zolghadri, Nik Dodani, Fred Hechinger, Annie Q., Ayden Mayeri, Kathryn Erbe, Joanna P. Adler, William Ragsdale, Isabella Amara, Sophie Faulkenberry, Dante Costabile, Isley Reust, Jesse James Keitel

A lot like The Fundamentals of Caring, if there’s an opening to wax poetic about the underrated 2018 teen romantic comedy Alex Strangelove, we’re going to take full advantage. Arriving a few months after the big-screen coming-out rom-com Love, Simon, Netflix’s own coming-out comedy offered further representation that had been missing from the teen movie scene for far too long.

Alex Strangelove stars Daniel Doheny as the titular Alex Truelove, a high school senior that has every intention of losing his virginity to his girlfriend, Claire (Madeline Weinstein). However, when he meets the charming and handsome Elliot (Antonion Marziale), Alex begins to question whether he might actually be bisexual. Suddenly, Alex embarks on a journey toward self discovery.

Although the film was well-received by critics, Alex Strangelove was left oddly underrated. Admittedly, it’s an odd little movie that doesn’t always make the choices you would anticipate. But the message rings true and emotional, especially the final sequence at the school dance (isn’t that always the way?) that will bring tears to your eyes. It’s the feel-good movie you have been missing.

Verdict: Watch

The Devil All the Time

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The Devil All The Time: Tom Holland as Arvin Russell. Photo Cr. Glen Wilson/Netflix © 2020

Should I watch The Devil All the Time?

Release Year: 2020

Directed By: Antonio Campos

Starring: Tom Holland, Bill Skarsgård, Riley Keough, Jason Clarke, Sebastian Stan, Haley Bennett, Eliza Scalen, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson

It’s not every day that we’re spoiler with Spider-Man, Edward Cullen, Pennywise and the Winter Soldier in the same movie, but Netflix knows how to give us what we don’t know we want. Unfortunately, The Devil All the Time arrived to mixed reception and maybe wasn’t exactly what we wanted from a psychological thriller starring three of our collective favorite actors of the moment.

Based on the novel of the same name by Donald Ray Pollock, The Devil All the Time stars Tom Holland as Arvin Eugene Russell, a young man living in a small town overrun with corruption and untrustworthy people. In a series of interweaving stories, the film traces Arvin’s devotion to protect himself and those he cares about amid turbulent times.

The Devil All the Time garnered middling reception from critics and holds a 65% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While most critics called the film dark and messy, the silver lining was the cast, especially Tom Holland’s leading performance. If you’re typically filling your watch list with psychological dramas or you’re partial to the A-list cast, you should definitely check out a movie that’s otherwise better left for a rainy day.

Verdict: Skip

I'm Thinking of Ending Things

I’m Thinking of Ending Things. — Cr. Mary Cybulski/NETFLIX © 2020

How scary is I’m Thinking of Ending Things?

Release Year: 2020

Directed By: Charlie Kaufman

Starring: Jesse Plemons, Jessie Buckley, Toni Collette, David Thewlis, Guy Boyd, Hadley Robinson, Gus Birney, Abby Quinn, Colby Minifie, Anthony Grasso, Teddy Coluca, Jason Ralph, Oliver Platt

Throughout 2020, there were a number of viral hit movies and shows on Netflix that got us all talking. Whether it was a headline-grabbing docuseries, a meme-worthy reality show or a surreal movie we couldn’t quite figure out, we welcomed any and all distractions with open arms. I’m Thinking of Ending Things is one of those distractions that definitely worth watching.

Based on the novel of the same name by Ian Reid, I’m Thinking of Ending Things stars Jessie Buckley as young woman traveling with her boyfriend, Jake (Jesse Plemons), to meet his parents on their secluded farm. The psychological thriller, which is full of surrealism, finds things being not exactly as they seem as the young woman begins to question everything she thought she knew.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things grabbed mostly positive reviews from critics and holds an impressive 82% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Without a doubt, the unexpected thriller was one of the most daring new releases of 2020. Some viewers won’t enjoy themselves while untangling the various complexities of the unstructured story, but it’s a risk worth taking.

Verdict: Watch

Tall Girl

Tall Girl on Netflix - Best Netflix movies

Tall Girl — Courtesy of Scott Saltzman/Netflix — Acquired via Netflix Media Center

Is Tall Girl bad?

Release Year: 2019

Directed By: Nzingha Stewart

Starring: Ava Michelle, Griffin Gluck, Sabrina Carpenter, Paris Berelc, Luke Eisner, Clara Wilsey, Anjelika Washington, Rico Paris, Angela Kinsey, Steve Zahn

Perhaps no other movie got people talking quite like the 2019 teen romantic comedy Tall Girl, and it wasn’t all for the right reasons. You either want to make the meme or you’ll become the meme, and Tall Girl stood out from the pack for becoming the meme. Connoisseurs of Netflix’s current slate of teen fare will watch any new edition, but don’t go out of your way for Tall Girl.

Ava Michelle stars in Tall Girl as Jodi Kreyman, a 16-year-old girl insecure about her height. Standing at six feet tall, Jodi feels like she’s the odd one out at her school. Suddenly, she finds herself falling for the new Swedish exchange student, who happens to be taller than her, and becoming involved in a love triangle that will finally teach her that she’s more than her height.

Tall Girl quickly became the butt of the joke for making tall teenagers something of an oppressed group. Of course, Twitter can take things too far because surely, Tall Girl is a totally fine teen rom-com. In spite of middling reception and a generally unkind online conversation, a sequel is on the way, but hopefully this one is a little more in on the joke. Skip Tall Girl or just skip the discourse.

Verdict: Skip

Private Life

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 24: Actress Kathryn Hahn visits the Build Series to discuss the HBO series “Mrs. Fletcher” at Build Studio on October 24, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

What is Private Life about?

Release Year: 2018

Directed By: Tamara Jenkins

Starring: Kathryn Hahn, Paul Giamatti, Kayli Carter, Molly Shannon, Denis O’Hare, Emily Robinson, John Carroll Lynch, Desmin Borges, Francesca Root-Dodson, Siobhan Fallon-Hogan

If there’s one thing we all have time for more of in 2021, it’s Kathryn Hahn. The frequently underrated but reliably brilliant actress turned in an unexpectedly iconic supporting role in Disney+’s WandaVision, stealing the show in the latter half. Well, if you’re looking for more Hahn, look no further than the 2018 Netflix original drama film Private Life.

From Academy Award-nominated director Tamara Jenkins, Private Life stars Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti as married couple Richard and Rachel. The couple finds their marriage undergoing new pressures as they pursue the adoption and assisted reproduction processes. Suddenly, the couple’s world opens up to new possibilities after a college dropout comes into their lives.

Private Life scored a stellar Rotten Tomatoes score of 94% but was not able to ride that critical praise all the way through awards season. The film picked up nominations from the Gotham Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards, though was largely relegated to underrated territory. As the Hahn-aissance goes full swing, make sure to add Private Life to your watch list on Netflix.

Verdict: Watch

Like Father

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Like Father (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Netflix)

Is Like Father a good movie?

Release Year: 2018

Directed By: Lauren Miller

Starring: Kristen Bell, Kelsey Grammer, Seth Rogen, Paul W. Downs, Zach Appelman, Amber Hodgkiss, Leonard Outzts, Blaire Brooks, Anthony Laciura, Mary Looram, Brett Gelman, Lauren Miller, Jon Foster, Kimiko Glenn

In the year 2021, exactly no one is talking about the 2018 Netflix original comedy Like Father, but we are, and that’s why you came to this list in the first place, right? And okay, sure, many people weren’t even talking about the movie when it wasn’t released, but it’s a fine slice of comfort viewing featuring a stellar cast and a throwback romantic comedy premise we’re still so here for.

Kristen Bell stars in Like Father as a workaholic executive named Rachel Hamilton, who winds up left at the altar and heartbroken. One thing leads to another, and Rachel goes on the Caribbean cruise meant for her honeymoon, except she’s got her father, Harry (Kelsey Grammer) in tow. Before setting sail, Rachel and Harry were total strangers, but a vacation helps patch up their past.

Like Father also features a rom-com subplot with Seth Rogen, though we’re all really here for Eleanor Shellstrop and Frasier Crane going on a cruise together. (Could you imagine if that was actually the plot of Like Father?) Although it’s not the best movie you will ever find on Netflix, and there’s plenty of others that could take its place, the pleasant father-daughter comedy is no less worth watching.

Verdict: Watch

The Wrong Missy

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THE WRONG MISSY — Credit: Katrina Marcinowski/NETFLIX

IsThe Wrong Missy a good movie?

Release Year: 2020

Directed By: Tyler Spindel

Starring: David Spade, Lauren Lapkus, Nick Swardson, Geoff Pierson, Jackie Sandler, Sarah Chalke, Rob Schneider, Chris Witaske, Joe “Roman Reigns” Anoai, Molly Sims

As the original movie landscape on Netflix continues to crank out Academy Award-nominated hits, the crop of movies produced by Happy Madison (Adam Sandler’s production company) keeps the platform humble. Much like at the actual box office, critically acclaimed darlings rub elbows with low-brow comedies like the out-of-control romantic comedy The Wrong Missy.

David Spade stars in The Wrong Missy as Tim Morris, a man set up on a blind date with Missy (Lauren Lapkus), whose strange behavior rubs Tim the wrong way. After their disaster date, Tim meets another Missy (Molly Sims) and has a lot in common with this “right” Missy. However, Tim accidentally invites the wrong Missy on his work retreat to Hawaii, leading to further misadventures.

It’s no surprise that The Wrong Missy wasn’t a slam dunk with critics, but that’s not necessarily what this kind of movie aims for. Rather, the movie landed three Razzie Award nominations, which otherwise means it’s funny but not for everyone (though the movie was one of the top new releases of 2020, so go figure). Unless you’re a fan of the raunchy, gross-out comedies of the 2000s, you’re probably better off skipping The Wrong Missy for a different Happy Madison movie on Netflix.

Verdict: Skip

Over the Moon

Over the Moon 2 -best netflix movies

Over the Moon – Credit: Netflix

Is Over the Moon a good movie?

Release Year: 2020

Directed By: Glen Keane

Starring: Cathy Ang, Robert G. Chin, Phillipa Soo, Ken Jeong, John Cho, Ruthie Ann Miles, Sandra Oh, Margaret Cho, Kimiko Glenn, Conrad Ricamora

No matter how old you are, animated movies are the perfect antidote for a crazy world. They tend to invoke nostalgia and have a heartwarming quality wrapped up in an inspirational message that rings true for any age. Luckily, Netflix has an abundance of original animated movies, such as Over the Moon, that are perfect for the whole family, the kids or just the kids at heart.

Over the Moon centers on an adventurous and imaginative 13-year-old girl named Fei Fei (Cathy Ang), who hears the legend of Chang’e, the moon goddess known for taking a potion for immortality. Inspired to meet Chang’e on the moon, Fei Fei builds a rocket of her own in order to make it to the mythical goddess and discover a whole new world in an adventure of a lifetime.

Upon release in October 2020, Over the Moon earned critical acclaim and racked up an 81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film landed a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Feature Film and picked up an Academy Award nomination for the same category. Without a doubt, the whole family will be over the moon with joy after watching Over the Moon, one of the best original animated movies on Netflix.

Verdict: Watch


Emma Portner - Best Netflix movies

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 15: (L-R) Producer Eric Newman, director David Ayer, Joel Edgerton, Will Smith, Noomi Rapace and producer Bryan Unkeless attend the European Premiere of ‘Bright’ held at BFI Southbank on December 15, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Is Bright worth watching?

Release Year: 2017

Directed By: David Ayer

Starring: Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry, Édgar Ramírez, Ike Barinholtz, Happy Anderson, Dawn Olivieri, Matt Gerald, Maragaret Cho, Brad William Henke, Jay Hernandez, Veronica Ngo, Alex Meraz

There are a handful of movie stars that we trust so much that we will essentially watch any movie they star in. After a couple of decades of steady work in excellent blockbusters, we trust Will Smith to star in movies that will leave us at the edge of our seats. Well, maybe it’s time to be a bit more discerning, even with some of our tried-and-true movie stars like the Will Smiths of the world.

Smith lent his star power to the 2017 Netflix original fantasy action film Bright, which takes place in an alternate present where humans and creatures co-exist with one another in society. LAPD officer Daryl Ward (Will Smith) and his orc police officer partner Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton) work together in cases involving racism and corruption while also protecting an elf and her magic wand.

Bright would have been a risk on the big screen, and it was still a risk on Netflix. But those risks had a bigger payoff on streaming, as Bright became one of the most-streamed titles on the platform. Still, the movie didn’t fare as well with critics as it did with the binge-ready audience. A sequel has been in the works, but don’t rush to add Bright to your watch list just yet.

Verdict: Skip

Two Distant Strangers

Should I watch Two Distant Strangers on Netflix?

Release Year: 2020

Directed By: Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe

Starring: Joey Bada$$, Andrew Howard, Zaria Simone

Even though Netflix has started dabbling in short-form series that hardly hit 20 minutes per episode, the streaming giant hasn’t really made room for short films. However, in 2020, Netflix released a short film with an urgent message that’s expertly expressed in just under 30 minutes. Without question, you should add the sci-fi drama short film Two Distant Strangers to your watch list.

Joey Bada$$ stars in Two Distant Strangers as New York City graphic designer Carter James, whose attempts to make it home to his dog are continuously prevented by a recurring fatal encounter with a white police officer. Carter, a Black man who has done nothing wrong, finds himself caught in a time loop and reliving the same tragic experience with police brutality in different ways, in a haunting homage to the Black lives lost to police brutality.

Two Distant Strangers debuted on Netflix in April 2021 after being written by Travon Free in July 2020. The film lays out plainly the continuous cycle of Black lives ending at the hands of police officers, a message that was heard loud and clear and landed an Academy Award nomination for Best Live Action Short Film. No doubt about it, you do not want to miss one of the most affecting short films you will watch all year.

Verdict: Watch


2021 Oscars movies - Golden Globes - Best Netflix movies - Netflix dramas - Mank - must-watch movies on Netflix

MANK (2020)
Gary Oldman as Herman Mankiewicz and Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davies.

Is Mank a good movie?

Release Year: 2020

Directed By: David Fincher

Starring: Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Arliss Howard, Tom Pelphrey, Charles Dance, Sam Troughton, Ferdinand Kingsley, Tuppence Middleton, Tom Burke, Joseph Cross, Jamie McShane, Toby Leonard Moore, Monika Grossman, Leven Rambin, Billy Nye, Jeff Harms

These days, Netflix is no stranger to grabbing prestigious award nominations. Just count up all the Oscar nominations on this list alone, and you would need more than two hands. Following an uncertain year for the entertainment industry, Netflix came out on top with the leading film at the Academy Awards with Mank, a biographical drama featuring great performances from top talent.

Based on the life and career of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, Mank stars Gary Oldman as the titular screenwriter during the 1930s. As he has few too many drinks, Mank works to finish the development and creation of his landmark film Citizen Kane. The film takes a closer look at Old Hollywood through the eyes of a writer who helped shape the trajectory of blockbusters.

Mank picked up mostly positive reviews upon its December 2020 release on Netflix, holding a respectable 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As previously mentioned, the biopic pulled in a whopping 10 nominations at the Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Gary Oldman and Best Supporting Actress for Amanda Seyfried, the star’s first Oscar nod. For the impressive talent and awards love, Mank should be on your radar.

Verdict: Watch

6 Underground

Ryan Reynolds - Red Notice - Netflix movies - Best Netflix movies

(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Is 6 Underground a flop?

Release Year: 2019

Directed By: Michael Bay

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Mélanie Laurent, Corey Hawkins, Adria Arjona, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Ben Hardy, Lior Raz, Payman Maadi, Yuri Kolokolnikov, Kim Kold, Dave Franco

As odd as it might be, the way we watch would-be blockbusters has started to shift. With more and more movies readily available on streaming services (both pre- and post-pandemic), we’re able to access the kinds of movies we would usually buy a ticket and a large popcorn for while we reclined in a velvet chair in front of a massive screen. One of those movies is action flick 6 Underground.

Ryan Reynolds leads the cast of 6 Underground as One, just one of six people from around the world who are the best at their specific skills. However, these six people haven’t just been chosen to come together to put their unique skills to the test. They each have a desire to delete their pasts in ordered to never be remembered and change their future with their lasting impact.

6 Underground comes from director Michael Bay, who also directed such blockbusters as Bad Boys, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Transformers and many more. While the action film wasn’t well-received by critics with its 36% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it was an audience smash, bringing in a viewership of over 83 million households within its first month of release. If this kind of action spectacle catches your eye, keep it on your watch list. If not, don’t be afraid to skip it.

Verdict: Skip

Bad Trip

Bad Trip pranks - Best Netflix movies

BAD TRIP(2021)
Eric AndrŽ as Chris Carey and Lil Rel Howery as Bud Malone.

Is Bad Trip out yet?

Release Year: 2021

Directed By: Kitao Sakurai

Starring: Eric Andre, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish, Michaela Conlin

Between YouTube, TikTok and other forms of social video-sharing platforms, we’re privy to plenty of humorous hidden camera pranks. They’re generally always funny, since watching an unsuspecting bystander genuinely react to a situation they don’t understand is what memes are made of. If you’re looking for a laugh like that, Bad Trip will be a treat with its tricks.

Bad Trip stars Eric Andre and Lil Rey Howery as Chris Carey and Bud Malone respectively, a pair of best friends traveling by from Florida to New York City. While on a crazy cross-country road trip for Chris to declare his love for his high school crush Maria (Michaela Conlin), the friends end up in wild situations. Meanwhile, they’re being chased by Bud’s sister Trina (Tiffany Haddish).

Upon release on Netflix in March 2021 (which had been delayed for an entire year due to the pandemic), Bad Trip received mostly positive reviews from critics and holds a 73% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The hidden camera comedy comes from the same producer as Jackass and Bad Grandpa, a clear inspiration for the film. Don’t get it twisted: Bad Trip isn’t for every Netflix viewer, but if you’re looking for some laughs, go for a ride with this road trip.

Verdict: Watch

Marriage Story

Marriage Story - Netflix - Oscars

Marriage Story – Credit: Wilson Webb

Is Marriage Story good?

Release Year: 2019

Directed By: Noah Baumbach

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Alan Alda, Ray Liotta, Julie Hagerty, Merritt Wever

There are certain movies you hear about so often that you feel like you have watched them even if you have never pressed play. Whether it’s because of awards season chatter or clips going meme-level viral on the internet, some movies have pop culture moments so big we all know about them. But we shouldn’t let conversation and memes deter us from watching movies like Marriage Story.

Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver star in Marriage Story as Nicole and Charlie Barber, an actress and stage director embattled in a heated divorce. While attempting to thrive in their individual careers and be present for their son, their coast-to-coast divorce proceedings threaten to tear the pair apart beyond repair. It’s a stark portrait of a marriage at its absolute breaking point.

Marriage Story comes from director Noah Baumbach and was an awards season favorite, landing six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Adam Driver and Best Actress for Scarlett Johansson. Laura Dern took home the award for Best Supporting Actress. Even though it’s a tough-to-watch drama, it’s one of the many Netflix original movies worth watching for the fearless performances of its leading stars

Verdict: Watch

The Last Thing He Wanted

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(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Should I watch The Last Thing He Wanted?

Release Year: 2020

Directed By: Dee Rees

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Willem Dafoe, Ben Affleck, Rosie Perez, Edi Gathegi, Mel Rodriguez, Onata Aprile, Toby Jones, Carlos Leal, Ben Chase, Julian Gamble

As a leading defender of the American treasure Anne Hathaway, there’s no pleasure derived in relaying the message that the Academy Awar

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