15 Best Netflix Original Movies of All Time, Ranked According to IMDb

Netflix has had a rough start to 2022. An IndieWire report reveals that the streaming giant lost 200 000 subscribers; its shares are down 37%, and it laid off 150 employees. There are many reasons for this, including competition from other streaming sites and people spending less time at home. It remains to be seen how much these losses will prompt Netflix to shake up the production and distribution side.

Indeed, Netflix’s original content can be a decidedly mixed bag. They’ve leaned into throwing out many movies and shows targeting niche audiences. Not all of them stick the landing. Nevertheless, they’ve also had their fair share of successes. Just this year, Netflix received a whopping 72 Oscar nominations, including a Best Picture nod for The Power of the Dog. Even as their position as the dominant streaming platform seems doubtful, their original productions prove they can keep pace with Hollywood.

Updated on August 31, 2023, by Hannah Saab:

Its recent animated sci-fi hit, Nimona, has managed to make it to the top 10 Netflix movies on IMDb. It’s worth checking out alongside the highest-rated Netflix original films on the platform.

15 ‘The King’ (2019)

Timothee Chalamet in The King

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

David Michôd’s The King is a gripping Netflix original historical drama based on numerous plays from William Shakespeare‘s Henriad. Set in medieval England, the film follows young King Henry V (played by Timothée Chalamet) as he deals with the complex challenges of leadership, including political intrigue and warfare, after unexpectedly ascending to the throne.

RELATED: The Best Timothée Chalamet Movies, Ranked

While Chalamet’s portrayal of King Henry V is unsurprisingly impressive, it’s overshadowed by the negative reception the film received due to glaring inaccuracies. Not only did it make significant changes to the source material, but it was also not faithful to historical reality. Fans who don’t mind the historical details will likely still get some entertainment value from the performances and the epic dramas the film offers.

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14 ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ (2018)

Tim Blake Nelson is Buster Scruggs in 'The Ballad of Buster Scruggs'
Image via Netflix

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

A unique entry from the Coen brothers, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a Western anthology film made up of six separate stories. Each storyline takes place in the Old West, and ranges from deliciously dark comedic narratives to surprisingly poignant drama.

As expected from the renowned directors, the movie has a remarkable visual style, as it’s filled with gorgeous landscapes and fantastic attention to period detail. While the segments are not all equally entertaining, the film is worth watching as a whole for its unconventional structure and creative take on a classic genre.

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13 ‘The Swimmers’ (2022)

Manal Issa in Netflix's 'The Swimmers'

IMDb Rating: 7.4/10

The Swimmers is a heart-wrenching yet captivating biographical sports drama film that chronicles the unbelievable true story of two Syrian sisters (masterfully depicted by the real-life sisters Nathalie Issa and Manal Issa), who go on a grueling journey across the Aegean Sea to help a boat of refugees. Soon, they begin a new path toward the Olympic Games.

Showing viewers the incredible bravery of teenage Syrian refugees Yusra Mardini and her sister Sarah Mardini, the movie doesn’t pull any punches and is both inspirational and unsettling. The latter is especially true when the final credits roll to reveal that Sarah is at risk of long-term imprisonment for her role in assisting refugees.

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12 ‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’ (2021)

Jonathan Larson musical movie Tick, Tick... Boom!

IMDb Rating: 7.5/10

An uplifting musical masterpiece directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tick, Tick… Boom! (also stylized as tick, tick… BOOM!) is a poignant depiction of a story of a struggling artist. It follows Jon (Andrew Garfield) a gifted composer who questions his choices as he approaches his 30th birthday, as his busy and unfruitful career is inextricable linked with his strained relationships and anxieties.

RELATED: Must-See Movie Musical Biopics

The film soon delves into what it means to embrace passion at all costs, and what those costs can look like for artists. Full of heartfelt drama alongside spectacular portrayals of the grandeur that often comes with a life in the arts, the 2021 film is an incredible ode to artistic expression.

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11 ‘The Two Popes’ (2019)

Two Popes

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

The Two Popes dramatizes a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI (played by Anthony Hopkins) and cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (played by Jonathan Pryce), more well-known now as Pope Francis. After the leak of documents revealing corruption by the Church, Pope Benedict summons Bergoglio to the Vatican to convince him not to resign in protest.

The film is a two-hander (a play or film featuring only or primarily two main characters) revolving around the conversations between Benedict and Bergoglio. They discuss all the big topics: the Church’s place in the 21st century, how best to serve God, and even Swedish pop sensations ABBA. Hopkins and Pryce bring out the best in each other. The former is both dour and mischievous, all twinkling eyes and sharp jokes, while Pryce is the reverse: light-hearted on the surface but with hidden depth. Director Fernando Meirelles, known for dramas like City of God and The Constant Gardener, brings the material to life with energetic camera work and an unorthodox soundtrack. The film radiates a sense of joy that can’t help but be infectious.

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10 ‘The Mitchells vs. the Machines’ (2021)


IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

A fun and wacky animated movie, The Mitchells vs. the Machines is centered on the titular dysfunctional family, who are initially on a normal road trip as they take their daughter Katie (voiced by Abbi Jacobson) to college. They find the entire ordeal awkward and have a challenging time bonding, and things get worse when the robot uprising interrupts their already-complicated journey. Soon, only they can save the world from the evil AI known as PAL (voiced by Olivia Colman).

With its distinctive visual style, painfully relatable and hilarious characters, and surprisingly absorbing plot, the Netflix film is the perfect pick for family movie night. Aside from being ridiculously fun, it also has a heartwarming message about the importance of family (and how not to let social media get in the way of real life).

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9 ‘Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’ (2022)

Image via Netflix

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is the titular director’s remarkably dark take on the classic fairytale. The dark fantasy film revolves around the story fans know and love, with the wooden boy Pinocchio (Gregory Mann) discovering what it means to be human with the help of his father Geppetto (David Bradley) and conscience Cricket (Ewan McGregor).

In Guillermo del Toro‘s version, there’s a heavier focus on heavy themes like grief and alcoholism, as well as unflinching depictions of some jarring scenes (including the director’s trademark of creepy monsters, this time in the form of the magical fairy). And that’s not even mentioning the unforgettable musical numbers and fantastic stop-motion animation that make the movie a must-see.

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8 ‘Nimona’ (2023)

Nimona Chloe Grace Moretz smile
Image via Netflix

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

A recent hit that proves Netflix’s animated films may be the platform’s greatest strength, Nimona combines sci-fi, fantasy, and adventure to tell the tale of the titular character (voiced by Chloë Grace Moretz). It follows her story as she teams up with a former knight, who has been framed for a crime. An obvious issue they face is that the knight initially swore to kill the shape-shifting teen.

RELATED: The Best Animated Movies on Netflix Right Now

A delightfully subversive flick that turns the typical fairytale formula on its head, Nimona embraces irreverent humor and wild fun to tell its surprisingly emotional story. Of course, it’s all wonderfully complemented by stunning visuals that highlight how much animation has evolved (and how much more can be expected from the genre).

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7 ‘Beasts of No Nation’ (2015)

Beasts of No Nation

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

Beasts of No Nation follows the life of child soldier Agu (Abraham Attah) in a fictional African country. Agu is under the tutelage of The Commandant (Idris Elba), a warlord who seeks to use lost and hopeless children to secure his power.

Beasts is the third film by Cary Joji Fukunaga, who most recently directed the James Bond film No Time To Die. This Fukunaga project bears strong similarities to the first season of HBO’s True Detective, as Beasts of No Nation shares the show’svisual flair and detached take on brutality.

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6 ‘Roma’ (2018)


IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

An award-winning Netflix original movie, Roma stars Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, a housekeeper for an upper-class family in 1970s Mexico City. After an affair, Cleo gets pregnant, which threatens to upend her life. But Roma is about character and imagery rather than plot. It’s a slice-of-life film that recreates a specific time and place.

It’s also the most personal movie by director Alfonso Cuarón. Cuarón has had a sui generis career. His films range from intimate dramas like Y tu mamá tambiénto fantastical epics like Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Children of Men. Roma combines disparate elements from his filmography. It features emotional and intimate storytelling alongside confident, stylish visuals. The film draws on Cuarón’s childhood experiences in Mexico, lending it a realism that will appeal to fans of his other work.

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5 ‘Trial of the Chicago 7’ (2020)

Chicago 7

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

The Trial of the Chicago 7 deals with the protests against the Vietnam War at the 1968 Democratic National Convention and the subsequent fallout. The protests descended into violent riots, and seven protesters were tried for severe crimes.

The film’s timing was appropriate, as 2020 was a year also riven by riots. Writer and director Aaron Sorkin updates the story for a modern audience with his trademark snappy dialogue. The Trial of the Chicago 7 is frequently hilarious, particularly the Cheech & Chong-esque bromance between Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong). Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, and Caitlin FitzGerald also gave great performances.

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4 ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ (2022)

Image via Netflix

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

Now among the best movies on Netflix and a fan-favorite film on IMDb, All Quiet on the Western Front is an unflinching German epic anti-war film based on Erich Maria Remarque‘s eponymous 1929 book. Directed by Edward Berger and set during World War I, the movie follows 17-year-old Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer) as he and his friends enlist in the Imperial German Army. The soldier soon finds that war is not what propagandists said it would be.

RELATED: The Best War Movies of All Time, Ranked

All Quiet on the Western Front is not for the faint of heart, as it’s now considered among the best war movies ever made for a good reason. It doesn’t pull any punches and highlights the horrors and absurdity of war in a genuinely gut-wrenching way that will leave audiences with unimaginable dread by the time the credits roll.

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3 ‘The Irishman’ (2019)

The Irishman
Image via Netflix 

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

No Netflix film was more anticipated than Martin Scorsese‘s The Irishman. It is an epic in so many ways, from the reunion of Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel to its three-and-a-half-hour runtime, which only a streaming platform could accommodate. It also marked Scorsese’s return to the gangster genre, with De Niro (aided by some de-aging CGI in several parts of the film) playing a real-life mobster who worked for Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa.

The Irishman can be uneven, and the de-aged de Niro is sometimes unsettling, but overall it succeeds as a kind of greatest hits and closing chapter of Scorsese’s mob movies. Like Scorsese’s best work, The Irishman raises questions about violence, morality, and identity and offers no easy answers.

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2 ‘Marriage Story’ (2019)

Marriage Story

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

Director Noah Baumbach has been making dialogue-driven critical darlings for decades. Like The Squid and the Whale and The Meyerowitz Stories, his best films are brutal excavations of family and relationships – usually with a generous dose of acerbic wit.

Unsurprisingly one of the best Netflix movies of all time, Marriage Story elevates this formula to new heights. In large part, this is thanks to its stars. Scarlett Johannson and Adam Driver are brilliant as an actor and director going through a messy divorce. They practically sing Baumbach’s dialogue. The film gives Driver, in particular, an opportunity to explore new emotional depths in his career as an actor.

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1 ‘Klaus’ (2019)

A large man holding a smaller man and a sack of presents

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Klaus ditches holiday movie cliches to deliver a fresh take on the Santa Claus legend. The story isn’t groundbreaking or anything, but it’s full of charm thanks to the talented voice cast led by Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons, and Rashida Jones.

The animation style is the real highlight. It draws on woodcuts and classic hand-drawn Disney films. Director Sergio Pablos actually worked in Disney’s hand-drawn department back in the day, contributing to films like Tarzan and Hercules. Klaus has the warm, natural look of those movies. The result is a distinctive visual world that is a welcome departure from the photorealistic CGI that currently dominates animation.

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NEXT:The Best Netflix Original Series of All Time, Ranked According to IMDb

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