72 Best Netflix Movies by Tomatometer
Netflix released one of its first feature films in November 2014. Virunga, an Oscar-nominated documentary about conservation efforts around the last of the mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park in eastern Congo, did the festival circuit and was picked up in an exclusive deal by the streaming service, which even then was home to critically lauded original series like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black. The film got a limited theatrical release for awards consideration and was made available to subscribers simultaneously.
This impressive early release could have also been seen as a shot across the bow for the modern movie industry. Netflix was just getting started.
We’ve gathered some of the best Netflix original movies, as well as exclusives, in this list of the top films released by Netflix ranked by Tomatometer, including The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Cam, Shirkers, Mudbound, Beasts of No Nation, Cargo, and more! Be sure to check out our list of Netflix series to binge-watch, too.
To be included in our list of the best of Netflix movies, titles must be Fresh (60% or higher), and films must have over 20 Tomatometer-eligible reviews — one reason you won’t find Virunga, for example, with a 100% rating on 15 reviews, below (for now). Netflix films that opened in fewer than 100 theatrical screens were included. Ties were decided by the number of reviews on each title, and then alphabetically where the number of reviews were the same.
Just added (1/3/19): Roma, Bird Box, Springsteen on Broadway, The American Meme.
Is your favorite Netflix film missing? Tell us in the comments.
Adjusted Score: 101.903%
Critics Consensus: Shirkers uses one woman's interrogation of a pivotal personal disappointment to offer affecting observations on creativity, lost opportunity, and coming to terms with the past.
Shirkers was a Singapore-made 1992 cult classic from teenage friends Sandi Tan, Jasmine Ng and Sophie Siddique--or it would have... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101.086%
Critics Consensus: Strong Island uses one family's heartbreaking tragedy to offer a sobering picture of racial injustice in modern America.
In April 1992, on Long Island NY, William Jr., the Ford's eldest child, a black 24 year-old teacher, was killed... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.344%
Critics Consensus: Chasing Coral offers a breathtakingly beautiful look at some of the Earth's most incredible natural wonders while delivering a sobering warning about their uncertain future.
Coral reefs are the nursery for all life in the oceans, a remarkable ecosystem that sustains us. Yet with carbon... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.201%
Critics Consensus: Mercury 13 offers yet another sobering example of how institutionalized sexism has thwarted countless dreams -- and held nations back from their full potential.
Mercury 13 is a remarkable story of the women who were tested for spaceflight in 1961 before their dreams were... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.931%
Critics Consensus: Virunga offers a heart-rending glimpse of natural wonders vulnerable to the atrocities of greed -- and the people devoting their lives to defending them.
"In the forested depths of eastern Congo lies Virunga National Park, one of the most bio-diverse places in the world... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.25%
Critics Consensus: Mudbound offers a well-acted, finely detailed snapshot of American history whose scenes of rural class struggle resonate far beyond their period setting.
Set in the rural American South during World War II, Dee Rees' Mudbound is an epic story of two families... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.904%
Critics Consensus: 13th strikes at the heart of America's tangled racial history, offering observations as incendiary as they are calmly controlled.
The title of Ava DuVernay's extraordinary and galvanizing documentary refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads "Neither... [More]
Adjusted Score: 110.863%
Critics Consensus: Roma finds writer-director Alfonso Cuarón in complete, enthralling command of his visual craft - and telling the most powerfully personal story of his career.
The most personal project to date from Academy Award (R)-winning director and writer Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Children of Men, Y... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.753%
Critics Consensus: To All the Boys I've Loved Before plays by the teen rom-com rules, but relatable characters and a thoroughly charming cast more than make up for a lack of surprises.
What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them...all at once? Lara Jean Song... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.298%
Critics Consensus: The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson uses its belated investigation into an activist's murder as the framework for a sobering look at the ongoing battle for equal rights.
Who killed Marsha P. Johnson? When the beloved, self-described "street queen" of NY's gay ghetto was found floating in the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.112%
Critics Consensus: Harrowing and heartbreaking, One of Us offers an intimate, revealing glimpse inside a notoriously private community and those who would dare defy it.
One of Us explores the opaque world of Hasidic Judaism through a cadre of fascinating characters. Through unique and intimate... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.039%
Critics Consensus: Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse of method acting in action -- and one star's journey toward something like personal acceptance.
Director Chris Smith's fascinating deep dive into actor Jim Carrey's time spent portraying famed and complicated comedian Andy Kaufman. Using... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.051%
Critics Consensus: The Boss holds court with arresting charisma and storytelling skill in this one-man show, delivering a rollicking rumination on America's past, present, and future.
"Springsteen on Broadway" is a solo acoustic performance written and performed by Tony Award, Academy Award, and 20-time Grammy Award... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88.695%
Critics Consensus: Sweet, breezy, and unexpected, Tramps traipses through its romcom premise with earnestness and ease.
Aspiring chef Danny (Callum Turner) is struggling to make ends meet, living with his mother and brother in a Polish... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.304%
Critics Consensus: Private Life uses one couple's bumpy journey to take an affecting look at an easily identifiable - and too rarely dramatized - rite of adult passage.
The new film from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Tamara Jenkins (The Savages, Slums of Beverly Hills), PRIVATE LIFE is the bracingly... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.054%
Critics Consensus: Smart and suspenseful, CAM is a techno-thriller that's far more than the sum of its salacious parts -- and an outstanding showcase for Madeline Brewer in the leading role.
CAM is a technology driven psychological thriller set in the world of webcam porn. It follows Alice, an ambitious camgirl,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99.879%
Critics Consensus: The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) observes the family dynamic through writer-director Noah Baumbach's bittersweet lens and the impressive efforts of a remarkable cast.
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) stars Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Marvel, Grace Van Patten and Emma... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.032%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully animated and faithful to the spirit of its classic source material, The Little Prince is a family-friendly treat that anchors thrilling visuals with a satisfying story.
Kung-fu Panda director Mark Osborne teams with producers Aton Soumache and Dimitri Rassam for this animated take on Antoine de... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94.132%
Critics Consensus: Icarus is eye-opening viewing for professional sports enthusiasts, yet it should also prove thoroughly gripping even for filmgoers who might not necessarily be drawn to the subject.
A major Olympic cheating scandal is uncovered by accident by an American documentary filmmaker and a Russian scientist, when they... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.451%
Critics Consensus: The American Meme dives into the shallow end of modern celebrity, emerging with a series of fascinating -- and surprisingly deep -- observations.
With support from social media moguls DJ Khaled, Hailey Baldwin and Emily Ratajkowski, THE AMERICAN MEME explores the journeys of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100.759%
Critics Consensus: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs avoids anthology pitfalls with a consistent collection tied together by the Coen brothers' signature blend of dark drama and black humor.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a six-part Western anthology film, a series of tales about the American frontier told... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96.451%
Critics Consensus: Beasts of No Nation finds writer-director Cary Fukunaga working with a talented cast to offer a sobering, uncompromising, yet still somehow hopeful picture of war's human cost.
In West Africa, the life of young Agu (Abraham Attah) is disrupted when his father is slaughtered in a civil... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93.037%
Critics Consensus: Into the Inferno finds director Werner Herzog observing some of the most beautiful -- and terrifying -- wonders of the natural world with his signature blend of curiosity and insight.
Werner Herzog and volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer embark upon a global journey exploring some of the world's most mythical volcanoes in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92.802%
Critics Consensus: They'll Love Me When I'm Dead opens an entertaining window into the creative process - and late-period professional travails - of a brilliant filmmaker.
They'll Love Me When I'm Dead tells the story of legendary director Orson Welles at the end of his career.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.529%
Critics Consensus: Nobody Speaks: The Trials of the Free Press persuasively -- and entertainingly -- outlines the troubling tensions threatening journalism in the internet era.
When the online tabloid Gawker posted a surreptitiously filmed sex tape of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, it ignited a high... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.066%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Life is moving fast for whip-smart high school senior Deidra (Ashleigh Murray) and her younger sister Laney (Rachel Crow). Graduation... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92.453%
Critics Consensus: Tender performances and a strong sense of style combine to create an eccentric, dreamy portrait of love and loneliness in On Body and Soul.
Two introverted people find out by pure chance that they share the same dream every night. They are puzzled, incredulous,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 92.198%
Critics Consensus: Carla Gugino carries Gerald's Game's small-scale suspense with a career-defining performance.
Gerald Burlingame (Bruce Greenwood) and his wife Jessie (Carla Gugino) attempt to rekindle the flames of their marriage with a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.602%
Critics Consensus: Set It Up follows the long-established outlines of the rom-com template -- and in the process, proves there's still substantial pleasure to be wrought from familiar formulas.
Harper and Charlie are overworked, underpaid assistants wasting their 20s slaving away for bosses who treat them like dirt and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.808%
Critics Consensus: Our Souls at Night honors the quiet strength of its source material by offering a simple yet sturdy canvas for two talented veteran leads to bring its story to life.
Based on the best-selling novel written by Kent Haruf and adapted for the screen by Scott Neustadter and Michael H.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 89.831%
Critics Consensus: What Happened, Miss Simone? is a compelling -- albeit necessarily incomplete -- overview of its complex subject's singular artistic legacy and fascinating life.
Using never-before-heard recordings, rare archival footage and her best-known songs, this is the story of legendary singer and activist Nina... [More]
Adjusted Score: 89.622%
Critics Consensus: Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold pays tribute to an American literary legend with a richly personal perspective that should thrill devotees while enlightening newcomers.
Across more than 50 years of essays, novels, screenplays, and criticism, Joan Didion has been our premier chronicler of the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.105%
Critics Consensus: First They Killed My Father tackles its subject matter with grace, skill, and empathy, offering a ground-level look at historic atrocities that resonates beyond its story's borders.
Angelina Jolie directed this biopic about a human rights activist and her attempts to survive during the oppressive Khmer Rouge... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88.483%
Critics Consensus: As informative as it is entertaining, Get Me Roger Stone offers a close-up look at the right-wing gadfly who helped shape the 2016 presidential election.
After the 2016 election, people all over the world woke up to find that Donald J. Trump, New York real... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88.201%
Critics Consensus: A bloody thrill ride designed to test the limits of more squeamish viewers, The Night Comes for Us wields a stylishly violent, action-packed punch.
The Night Comes For Us follows Ito (played by Joe Taslim), a former triad enforcer, and his mission to protect... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88.159%
Critics Consensus: Burning Sands covers familiar territory, but Trevor Jackson's layered performance and director/co-writer Gerard McMurray's empathetic approach help set it apart.
Burning Sands takes you on a raw, voyeuristic journey of fraternity pledging through the eyes of one favored pledgee, who... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95.733%
Critics Consensus: Okja sees Bong Joon-ho continuing to create defiantly eclectic entertainment -- and still hitting more than enough of his narrative targets in the midst of a tricky tonal juggling act.
For 10 idyllic years, young Mija (An Seo Hyun) has been caretaker and constant companion to Okja--a massive animal and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88.549%
Critics Consensus: The Incredible Jessica James makes its standard storyline feel new, almost purely on the strength of a captivating, potentially star-making performance from Jessica Williams.
An aspiring NYC playwright (Jessica Williams) gets over a painful breakup by bonding with a man who was also recently... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87.437%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to director Zak Hilditch's patient storytelling and strong work from lead Thomas Jane, 1922 ranks among the more satisfying Stephen King adaptations.
1922 is based on Stephen King's 131-page story telling of a man's confession of his wife's murder. The tale is... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88.303%
Critics Consensus: Cargo takes a refreshingly character-driven approach to the zombie genre that's further distinguished by its Australian setting and Martin Freeman's terrific lead performance.
Stranded in rural Australia in the aftermath of a violent pandemic, an infected father desperately seeks a new home for... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86.715%
Critics Consensus: Win It All finds writer-director Joe Swanberg working in a comparatively mainstream vein -- and striking another collaborative spark with leading man Jake Johnson.
Jake Johnson (New Girl) stars as small time gambler Eddie Garrett, who agrees to watch a duffel bag for an... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86.401%
Critics Consensus: Delicately sketched but thematically rich, 6 Balloons rises on Abbi Jacobson's gripping performance -- and marks writer-director Marja-Lewis Ryan as a talent to watch.
Over the course of one night, a woman drives across LA with her heroin addict brother in search of a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86.802%
Critics Consensus: With typically sharp work from writer-director Nicole Holofcener and finely layered performances, The Land of Steady Habits is one mid-life crisis worth watching.
Writer/director Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said, Friends with Money) brings us a drama about parenting, loss and the consequences of our... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85.164%
Critics Consensus: Tallulah's narrative insight, thoughtfully written characters, and talented cast add up to an absorbing family drama that transcends genre tropes and capably overcomes its flirtations with melodrama.
Tallulah (Ellen Page), a young vagrant, cares for a toddler abandoned by her mother. With no family to turn to,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83.952%
Critics Consensus: Amanda Knox honors its subject with an absorbing -- if slightly incomplete -- look at the details and troubling implications of her arrest and subsequent fight for freedom.
Was she a cold-blooded psychopath who brutally murdered her roommate or a naive student abroad trapped in an endless nightmare?... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85.254%
Critics Consensus: A satisfying must-watch for diehard cineastes, The Other Side of the Wind offers the opportunity to witness a long-lost chapter in a brilliant filmmaker's career.
A satire of Hollywood, The Other Side of the Wind focuses on the last days of a legendary film director... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83.364%
Critics Consensus: Casting JonBenét's unorthodox approach to its genre sets it apart in a crowded field, making for a uniquely thought-provoking true crime documentary hybrid.
20 years after the highly-publicized and unsolved murder of JonBenet Ramsey, a casting call for young actresses to play the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82.101%
Critics Consensus: Alex Strangelove offers a refreshingly insightful -- and fittingly adult -- take on teen sexuality enlivened by smart humor and a fearlessly progressive approach.
ALEX STRANGELOVE tells the story of Alex Truelove (Daniel Doheny), a well-rounded high school senior with a wonderful girlfriend Claire... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83.203%
Critics Consensus: Far more traditional and straightforward than its unwieldy title, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society offers delightful comfort food for fans of period drama.
London, 1946. Juliet (Lily James), a charismatic and free-spirited writer receives a letter from a member of a mysterious literary... [More]
Adjusted Score: 81.205%
Critics Consensus: Absorbing, unpredictable, and overall compelling, Voyeur is a singularly unusual -- and utterly memorable -- documentary experience.
Gerald Foos bought a motel in Colorado in the 1960s, furnished the room with louvered vents that allowed him to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 80.952%
Critics Consensus: The simple story is a little short on laughs, but there's plenty of sweet wackiness for Pee-Wee Herman fans to enjoy.
Pee-wee meets a stranger who inspires him to take his first vacation in this story about friendship and fate.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 80.91%
Critics Consensus: Barry opens a speculative window into a future president's formative college years, offering a flawed yet compelling glimpse of American history in the making.
Vikram Gandhi directed this biopic about Barack Obama (Devon Terrell), which focuses on his life as a student at Columbia... [More]
Adjusted Score: 67.9%
Critics Consensus: Hard-hitting and ambitious to a fault, The Ivory Game serves as a fittingly urgent call to action against a looming threat against vulnerable wildlife and a fragile ecosystem.
The Ivory Game is an epic documentary feature that goes undercover into the dark and sinister underbelly of ivory trafficking.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83.705%
Critics Consensus: 22 July offers a hard-hitting close-up look at the aftereffects of terrorism, telling a story with a thriller's visceral impact and the lingering emotional resonance of a drama.
In 22 July, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips, United 93) tells the true story of the aftermath of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 80.003%
Critics Consensus: Apostle resists easy scares in favor of a steady, slow-building descent into dread led by a commanding central performance from Dan Stevens.
London, 1905. Prodigal son Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens) has returned home, only to learn that his sister is being held... [More]
Adjusted Score: 79.451%
Critics Consensus: Quincy presents an undeniably entertaining overview of its subject's remarkable life and career, albeit one that may leave some viewers wishing it had dug a little deeper.
QUINCY is an intimate look into the life of icon Quincy Jones. A unique force of nature in music and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 76.443%
Critics Consensus: The Fundamentals of Caring gets maximum mileage out of the chemistry between its well-matched leads as it follows a fairly well-worn coming-of-age road trip route.
An 18-year-old with muscular dystrophy (Craig Roberts) goes on a road trip with his caregiver (Paul Rudd), and the pair... [More]
Adjusted Score: 75.401%
Critics Consensus: Roxanne Roxanne belatedly honors its subject with a gripping character-driven biopic that serves as a primer for a trailblazing career while telling an often tragic story.
In the early 1980s, the most feared battle MC in Queens, New York, was a fierce teenage girl with the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 74.252%
Critics Consensus: As unsettling as it is entertaining, El ángel takes an absorbingly stylish look at the horrific exploits of a real-life serial killer.
Buenos Aires, 1971. Carlitos is a seventeen-year-old youth. As a young boy, he coveted other people's things, but it wasn't... [More]
Adjusted Score: 74.761%
Critics Consensus: Gaga: Five Foot Two offers an absorbing glimpse of its superstar subject's backstage life, albeit one weakened by inconsistent focus and a dearth of performance footage.
In the Netflix original documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two, Lady Gaga offers a vulnerable look of her life during one... [More]
Adjusted Score: 74.754%
Critics Consensus: Director David Bruckner makes evocative use of the Scandinavian setting and a dedicated cast to deliver a handsome -- if familiar -- horror story.
Following the sudden, violent death of their best mate, four young men reunite for a hike through the Scandinavian wilderness.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 72.251%
Critics Consensus: Compelling and disturbing in occasionally unintended ways, The Rachel Divide uses one woman's infamy to examine modern American race relations.
Self-described "trans racial" activist Rachel Dolezal ignited an unprecedented media storm when a local news station in Spokane, WA outed... [More]
Adjusted Score: 71.827%
Critics Consensus: To the Bone offers an insightful, empathetic look at a widespread issue, led by exemplary work from Lily Collins in the central role.
Based on the real-life experiences of writer/director Marti Noxon, TO THE BONE shares the story of 20-year- old Ellen and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 71.352%
Critics Consensus: Kodachrome gains richer hues due to Ed Harris' colorful performance, which is enough to enliven a solid if predictable father-son road trip drama.
Matt Ryder (Sudeikis) is convinced to drive his estranged and dying father Benjamin Ryder (Harris) cross country to deliver four... [More]
Adjusted Score: 73.302%
Critics Consensus: Viewers seeking a fresh holiday viewing option -- or those simply in the mood for Santa Kurt Russell -- should find The Christmas Chronicles well worth a yuletide stream.
THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES, a holiday adventure from producer Chris Columbus ("Home Alone", "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone") and director... [More]
Adjusted Score: 70.151%
Critics Consensus: Ibiza settles into an amiable comedic groove enlivened by its talented stars, even if the end result is fittingly somewhat narratively hazy.
When Harper's two best friends tag along on her work trip to Barcelona, they ditch work and fly to Ibiza... [More]
Adjusted Score: 72.703%
Critics Consensus: Hold the Dark's unsettling aesthetic offers more of what filmgoers expect from director Jeremy Saulnier - and is often enough to prop up shaky narrative underpinnings.
Retired naturalist and wolf expert Russell Core (JEFFREY WRIGHT) journeys to the edge of civilization in northern Alaska at the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 65.854%
Critics Consensus: A Futile and Stupid Gesture entertainingly recreates the birth of an influential comedic movement, even if it struggles to cover its creative ground.
The rise and fall of humor magazine National Lampoon and its co-founder Doug Kenney (played by Will Forte) is recounted... [More]
Adjusted Score: 66.601%
Critics Consensus: Come Sunday benefits greatly from Chiwetel Ejiofor's central performance, which is often enough to lift an otherwise uneven drama.
Internationally-renowned pastor Carlton Pearson--experiencing a crisis of faith--risks his church, family and future when he questions church doctrine and finds... [More]
Adjusted Score: 66.752%
Critics Consensus: Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, but her movie's okay - largely thanks to Shannon Purser's work in the title role, which is strong enough to counter an uneven narrative.
SIERRA BURGESS IS A LOSER is a modern rom-com retelling of the Cyrano de Bergerac story set in high school.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 68.906%
Critics Consensus: Muddy and bloody to a fault, Outlaw King doesn't skimp on the medieval battle scenes, but tends to lose track of the fact-based legend at the heart of its story.
OUTLAW KING tells the untold, true story of Robert the Bruce who transforms from defeated nobleman to outlaw hero during... [More]
Adjusted Score: 67.606%
Critics Consensus: Bird Box never quite reaches its intriguing potential, but strong acting and an effectively chilly mood offer intermittently creepy compensation.
When a mysterious force decimates the world's population, only one thing is certain: if you see it, you take your... [More]