Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Everyone raves on and on about Netflix’s original TV series, but if those don’t interest you in the slightest, then you may be tempted to cancel your Netflix subscription. But wait!
There are many reasons why Netflix is worth the money, and the value is so good that price bumps shouldn’t surprise us. Why support Netflix? Because Netflix isn’t afraid to support experimental creators who want to create films that Hollywood won’t touch. In 2018, Netflix plans to ramp things up and produce 80 new original films!
Not all of the original Netflix movies are good, of course, but many of them are. Here are some of the best original films that Netflix has funded to date. As long as Netflix can keep making films of this caliber, then it’s a win-win for all of us.
1. Beasts of No Nation (2015)
Drama, War | IMDb: 7.8 | RT: 91%
It’s perhaps fitting that Netflix’s first original feature film remains its strongest title even to this day. Beasts of No Nation is the impressive yet heart-rending tale of a young West African boy whose life is torn apart by war and forced to join a rebel faction to survive.
With strong direction from True Detective‘s Cary Fukunaga and powerful performances by Idris Elba and Abraham Attah, this is the kind of film that transports you into another world and leaves it mark on you for a long, long time.
2. Mudbound (2017)
Drama | IMDb: 7.5 | RT: 97%
Mudbound is a critically acclaimed historical drama set in Mississippi during World War II that follows two families who not only share farmland but also all the social and economic struggles of the time. It’s a moving tale that speaks to the human heart and sheds light and wisdom on many of our own modern struggles.
3. Okja (2017)
Adventure, Drama | IMDb: 7.4 | RT: 86%
Okja is a South Korean film that follows a rural young girl, her budding friendship with a strange new animal, and the lengths she’s willing to go to in order to save that animal’s life when it’s threatened.
The film contains a lot of not-so-subtle social commentary, but never so much as to spoil the experience. If you’re a fan of director Bong Joon-Ho’s other films (The Host, Mother, Snowpiercer), then you have to check it out.
4. The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)
Comedy, Drama | IMDb: 7.3 | RT: 77%
The Fundamentals of Caring is the story of a cynical boy with muscular dystrophy who drives away all his caretakers, until one day he meets his match. This heartwarming buddy comedy film is more than just laughs and drama — it’s an exploration of what it means to care and the importance of genuine friendship as a component in emotional healing.
Comedy, Suspense | IMDb: 7.0 | RT: 89%
Despite its genre labels, I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore sits in a class of its own. When a depressed nursing assistant returns from work one day to find her home burglarized and is brushed aside by the police, she decides to take matters of justice into her own hands. But if you think you know where this story goes, you’re mistaken. The excellent performances from Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood elevate this above its generic premise.
6. To the Bone (2017)
Drama | IMDb: 6.9 | RT: 67%
To the Bone is an insightful look at one person’s struggle with anorexia and the obstacles that can get in the way on the reluctant road to recovery. Not to say that all anorexia stories mimic this one, but it’s insightful nonetheless. The performance by lead actress Lily Collins is captivating, and the film’s dark humor brings levity to what could’ve been a depressing tale.
7. Gerald’s Game (2017)
Horror, Suspense | IMDb: 6.7 | RT: 90%
What do you do when you go on a weekend trip to a remote lakehouse, agree to being handcuffed to the bed as a way to spice up your romantic life, and then get stranded because your partner has a heart attack and dies? Gerald’s Game has fun with that question, and succeeds thanks to Carla Gugino’s remarkable performance.
Stephen King film adaptations tend to be hit-or-miss, but you can mark this one down in the “hit” column. For others that pass muster, check out some more Stephen King films you can stream!
8. ARQ (2016)
Suspense, Sci-Fi | IMDb: 6.4 | RT: 50%
ARQ is a time-loop suspense film with a heavy dose of “science fantasy.” A couple is stuck in a makeshift laboratory that keeps repeating the same day from the same moment, all while fending off a group of intruders who want to steal a valuable device they possess. All in all, a fun popcorn flick that doesn’t pretend to be anything more.
9. Win It All (2017)
Comedy, Drama | IMDb: 6.3 | RT: 89%
Win It All follows an everyday gambling addict who, as fate would have it, comes across a lot of dirty money, gambles it all away, and becomes indebted to the criminal whose money he lost. The clock starts ticking as he scrambles to win it all back, and possibly even get his life back together in the process.
10. Spectral (2016)
Mystery, Sci-Fi, War | IMDb: 6.3 | RT: 80%
War and science fiction are no strangers to each other, but Spectral puts a new spin on the genre. It centers on a squad of U.S. soldiers who are sent to Moldova to face mysterious ghost-like beings who are wreaking havoc on local populations. Despite relying on a lot of narrative cliches, Spectral is worth watching anyway, especially for its gorgeous visuals.
More Must-Watch Films on Netflix
If you don’t have Netflix but feel compelled to try it out because of these films, check out our ultimate guide to Netflix to get started.
Looking for more titles to watch? Head over to our list of the 100 best movies on Netflix to see all the awesome content you get for a simple subscription. Keep going with our roundup of excellent foreign-language films and our favorite documentaries on Netflix. Still need more to watch? See all the ways to find movies you’ll love on Netflix.
How do you feel about Netflix’s original content? Is it enough to keep you subscribed? Share your thoughts with us down in the comments!