Netflix is making a major push into the original movie game, but fans of the streaming giant know that not all Netflix originals are created equal. Despite teaming up with box office heavy-hitters like Adam Sandler and Will Smith, Netflix has already produced its share of flops. That doesn’t mean that every movie that comes with the Netflix stamp of approval is bad though. In fact, quite a few of them are hidden gems (and at least one is an Oscar nominee).
The original movies that seem to flourish for the company are the small ones. Netflix may be a huge company, but it appears to be at its best movie-wise when it’s producing indies. These 11 Netflix originals are proof that the company could be a major player in the world of film as long as it stops trying to produce blockbusters and focuses on funding movies that audiences actually want to see.
Mudbound is officially a three-time Oscar nominee, and the accolades are well-deserved. This post-war tale about two families tied together by the same farm in the American south is gorgeous, heartbreaking, and a must-see 2017 film.
A portrait of Barack Obama as a young man, Barry offers up a new perspective on the man who would one day grow up to be the President of the United States.
Ellen Page and Allison Janney shine in Tallulah. The film dives deep into what it means to be a mother, and how easy it is for people to lose their way. Is it a bit of a tearjerker? Absolutely, but it’s also an entertaining ride.
4. Little Evil
Adam Scott plays the anti-christ’s stepfather in a worthy entry into the horror comedy genre.
Psychological horror doesn’t get much creepier than I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House. The movie gets off to a slow start, but viewers who stick with it will be rewarded by one of the more underrated horror movies to be released in recent years.
Nothing gives a person a renewed sense of purpose quite like tracking down the person who stole their silverware. That’s exactly what happens in this dark, but enjoyable comedy starring the always brilliant Melanie Lynskey.
Hypnotic and touching, Okja is one of Netflix’s best efforts to date — just prepare for it to break your heart.
8. Small Crimes
Small Crimes doesn’t break the mold when it comes to crime dramas, but it is a quality showcase for Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
9. Win It All
Jake Johnson is one of the most gifted comedic actors working in Hollywood today, and while Win It All isn’t his best movie, it makes perfect use of his slacker charm.
Two teens rob a train after their mom gets sent to jail, and yes, it is a comedy. And a damn good one at that, thanks in large part to the film’s gifted young actresses.
11. Gerald’s Game
Your mileage may vary with Gerald’s Game, but if you like Stephen King, nightmare scenarios, and movies that ramp up the claustrophobia factor at a relentless pace, then here’s the movie that needs to be at the top of your queue.
These 11 films are proof that Netflix is on the right track with its originals, even if the streamer doesn’t hit it out of the park every time.