Netflix truly is starting to take over the world, as evident from the recent uptick in the number of Netflix exclusives released every month. There is always something new to discover on Netflix, especially when it comes to indies, foreign-language films, and documentaries. Check out some of the best Netflix exclusives that you shouldn’t miss:
A documentary that follows brave attempts made in order to preserve the Virunga National Park of Congo not just from poachers and the surrounding oil interests, but also from the violent war that terrorizes the region.
Beautifully shot during some unbearably tense real-life set pieces, Virunga makes arguments with critical sledgehammer force. It’s a movie that seriously needs a bigger push toward mainstream attention.
Jessica, a burgeoning playwright meets Boone on a blind date and forms an uneasy bond with him.
Jessica Williams gives a charming performance as Jessica James which makes this film a delight to watch. It’s one of the best comedy movies on Netflix.
13. Casting JonBenet
An experimental documentary that re-examines the unsolved murder of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey in 1996. This is indeed a unique and remarkable way of poring over a well-trodden case, by examining the casting process for a prospective film based on the events of the fateful night.
This is a gorgeously shot documentary that is unexpectedly cinematic and finds value in highlighting one of the most infamous murders in recent American history.
A look at the formative years of Barack Obama as he attends Columbia University during the early ’80s. A young Barack Obama biopic could have easily gone wrong, but with a solid script, screenplay, and a remarkable performance by Devon Terrell, Barry doesn’t disappoint at all.
Barry is a compelling look at the life of the young man who was destined to enter the White House one day.
After her mother goes to jail, Deidra hatches a plan with Laney, her sister to rob a train to make ends meet.
This mini-heist movie is propelled entirely by an excellent central performance of Ashleigh Murray who is able to be delightfully sassy as well as totally relatable throughout the film.
10. Small Crimes
Former corrupt cop Joe Denton is released from prison and even with his desire to leave the ugly past behind, he has a nasty habit of bubbling up to the surface continually.
This little indie neo-noir scored fairly good reviews. It’s easily one of the most underrated originals on Netflix to date.
9. To the Bone
Ellen, a 20-year-old college dropout enters an unconventional treatment program for her anorexia, headed by a strict doctor.
Based on the life experiences of writer-director Marti Noxon, To the Bone is anchored completely by the magnificently committed central performance of Lily Collins, who herself suffered an eating disorder in the past.
In the 80’s Bangalore, India, Naman, a sex-starved student leads his fellow quiz team pals on a road trip to the all-India finals, hoping to also lose their virginities.
While it is fully immersed in Indian culture, it’s interesting to find several similarities between teenagers in India with teenagers from the west. The film has an in-your-face attitude and is surprisingly funny.
A documentary that explains the erosion of coral reefs all over the world, as well as the role global warming plays in it.
This is one hell of a documentary and is an absolutely must-watch for anyone who cares about planet Earth. It tells a powerful and important eye-opening message in a lighter tone which is quite unique.
6. Win it All
Eddie, a gambling addict is asked to babysit a bag of cash for a friend who’s about to do a sentence in prison but ends up gambling away the money.
When his buddy is released from jail earlier than expected, Eddie only has a week to make all the cash back. It’s one of the best Netflix original movies of recent times that you’ll really enjoy.
Upon release from prison, 21-year-old Bambi looks to make the most of the fresh start, aiming to get back to work and provide for his son. However, he finds the deck stacked against him at each turn. Imperial Dreams actually was shot years before Star Wars, The Force Awakens was released.
A breezy piece of film, the drama also skirts around genre clichés, making it easy to root for Bambi in his search for a better life.
Drifter Tallulah, after being abandoned by her boyfriend finds herself babysitting the infant daughter of a boozy suburban housewife.
Deeming her an unfit mother, Tallulah ends up taking the child into her custody, opening a colossal can of issues. The film is undoubtedly one of the best Netflix movies of all time and surely one of the best performances by Ellen Page (now known as Elliot Page).
Zurich, a fraternity pledgee, and four other students endure a growing number of grueling abuses during their ‘Hell Week’. As hazing becomes even more severe, Zurich is torn on whether to blow the whistle or not.
The college hazing issue is so prevalent in society today that it’s quite surprising that it took so long for a mainstream movie to feature it.
A new to-the-job caregiver, Ben begins caring for an irascible 18-year-old muscular dystrophy sufferer Trevor.
Together, the two venture off on a road trip wherein they learn how to deal with the anguish of life.
After a woman returns home to discover her house robbed, she teams up with an eccentric neighbor to find the culprits, getting in over her head quickly.
It won the 2017 Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize for American Dramatic, which is a big feat for a Netflix exclusive.
Following Netflix exclusives also deserve an honorable mention in our list:
- Spectral (2016)
- Mindhunter (2017)
- Gerald’s Game (2017)
What are your best Netflix exclusives? Feel free to comment below!