The best Netflix movies run the gamut from critically-acclaimed action flicks like Bullet Train to tear-inducing dramas like Marriage Story. But if you’re looking for something with a little less name recognition, you’ve come to the right place. Because underneath the blockbusters and the well-advertised Netflix Originals, there’s a whole collection of must-see Netflix movies that you (probably) haven’t watched yet.
In our opinion, the 13 movies are this list can be classified as under-appreciated. These picks also span a wide variety of genres. Down below you’ll find everything from an intense sports drama about a legendary rival between Formula 1 drivers to a quirky comedy about a New York woman trying to realize her somewhat unrealistic dreams. There’s also a surreal psychological thriller, a comedy-of-age tale and one of the most chilling horror films in recent memory.
So, if you’re looking for something that’s (at least to you) new on Netflix that probably hasn’t been advertised to you via the streaming service’s homepage dozens of times already, any of these 13 Netflix movies you haven’t watched yet should fit the bill very nicely.
Windfall stars Jason Segel as a desperate man who breaks into the vacation home of a tech billionaire. But what was expected to be a simple robbery quickly spirals out of control when the mogul and his wife arrived for a spontaneous getaway. With no choice but to take them hostage within their own home, the unnamed robber scrambles to create a new plan while the husband and wife try to find a means of escape.
Carried by three strong performances from Segal, Jesse Plemons and Lilly Collins, Windfall is a dialogue-heavy single-location thriller that feels a lot like a stage play. The strength of the screenplay will keep you engaged throughout its lean 90 minutes runtime, and it builds to a gripping finale that takes a turn you might not see coming. Windfall wasn’t a critical darling upon release in 2022, but I’d argue it’s one of Netflix’s most underrated films.
Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku) are a refugee couple from South Sudan who are dealing with a grave situation in His House, which combines elements of folklore with social commentary to give the haunted house genre a fresh twist. After fleeing their war-torn home for the supposed safety of England, the husband and wife struggle to adjust to their new life in this unfamiliar country. And as if that wasn’t enough to deal with a sinister evil lurks in the shadows, and their young daughter could be in danger.
His House wowed attendees of the Sundance Film Festival in 2020, and more than three years later its sparkling reputation has only grown stronger. With remarkable direction from Remi Weekes (who also wrote the screenplay), strong performances from the whole cast (Doctor Who’s Matt Smith has a small role) and plenty of scares, His House is a certified chiller — and one of the best Netflix horror movies.
In Uncorked, a young wannabe sommelier — an expert in wine — struggles to balance his own personal aspirations with the expectations placed on him by his demanding father (Courtney B. Vance). While Elijah (Mamoudou Athie) dreams of following his passions, his father insists that he take over the family BBQ joint. Naturally, the two don’t see eye to eye and the bonds of family are tested in this coming-of-age drama film.
A deeply tender film about chasing your dreams and striving to become the person you want to be, much like a fine wine, Uncorked should be savored. This is an easy-going and very heartfelt little movie, and while it may not linger very long in the memory, it’s certainly enjoyable as it goes down. Plus, its strong critical reception is more proof that it really does deserve more recognition.
The Short Game
On the surface, The Short Game might appear to be a very standard sports documentary. It follows a group of highly-talented athletes as they compete to win a prestige tournament with a little time also spent focusing on each participant’s home life as well. There’s just one twist: The Short Game is about golf players aged seven and eight years old.
Yup, this is a documentary that focuses on the 2021 U.S. Kids Gold World Championship, and that adds a certain novelty to the proceedings. But otherwise, it’s got all the traditional trapping of a sports doc. We see exactly what makes these young players tick, but also get a look at the hopeful parents behind the players who are hoping their little ones will make it big someday. While plenty of the runtime to devoted to celebrating the cuteness of kid golfers, the filmmakers aren’t shy to show the darker side of putting so much pressure on such tiny shoulders either.
Frances (Greta Gerwig) is at a crossroads in her life. She’s a New Yorker, but she doesn’t really have an apartment, and she’s an apprentice at a dance company, but she’s not really a dancer. Her life is a mess of mistakes and contradictions, and she’s reaching the age where she either needs to reach for her dreams or accept that life has passed her by. No pressure then.
The second, and certainly not the last, collaboration between Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, Frances Ha is an off-the-wall dramedy presented in black and white but bursting with colorful characters. The zippy screenplay is what really shines brightest here, and Gerwig displays seriously strong comedic chops delivering deadpan comedy and quirky one-liners from beginning to end. A real comfort watch, except for the existential dread.
It’s not hard to see why #Alive didn’t make a huge splash on Netflix in 2020. It centers on a live streamer’s struggle for survival as he is forced to quarantine alone in his apartment after a Zombie apocalypse hits the South Korean city of Seoul. Perhaps, that subject matter was maybe a little too close to reality for many people at the time of its release.
Nevertheless, almost three years later the film remains an excellent watch. It strikes that rare balance of being very funny but also genuinely unsettling during key moments. Yoo Ah-in is excellent as Oh Joon-woo, who really goes through the wringer across the movie’s 100-minute runtime. This is a slightly different zombie film than you might be used to, but it’s definitely worth watching.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Iain Reid, I’m Thinking of Ending Things follows a young woman (Jessie Buckley) and her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) as they head out on a trip to meet the latter’s parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis). Meeting your partner’s parents is always a little uncomfortable, but in this surrealist thriller, things get very odd very quickly.
Of all the movies on this list, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is likely to be the most divisive. Written and directed by movie buff favorite Charlie Kaufman, it’s quite an isolating feature and does away with a lot of narrative conventions in favor of a plot that jumps between several bizarre sequences. However, if you’re willing to put in a little bit of work, you’ll find a deeply rewarding movie with plenty of layers to peel back.
A biographical masterpiece from director Ron Howard, Rush recounted the rivalry between two real-life Formula One drivers: James Hunt of Britain (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) of Austria. Set primarily during the fateful 1976 motor season when the two competed for the World Champion title, Rush is an adrenaline-fueled sports movie that will also appeal to viewers not hooked on the world of motor racing.
Like many biopics, it’s the strength of the two leading performances that drives Rush forward. Hemsworth inhabits the swagger of Hunt expertly, whereas Brühl is a natural fit for the more calm and considered demeanor of Lauda. The direction from Howard is also stellar, and the racing scenes in particular will have you on the edge of your seat. The score from Hans Zimmer shouldn’t be overlooked either.
Rotten Tomatoes: 88% (opens in new tab)
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Pierfrancesco Favino
Director: Ron Howard
Stream it on Netflix (opens in new tab)
Tallulah opens with the eponymous main character (Elliot Page) making a very rash decision: Stealing a young infant from its neglectful mother. Pretending that the baby is her own, and without a place to stay, Tallulah winds up at the home of her ex-boyfriend’s mother, claiming her the baby is her granddaughter in order to get shelter. Soon the unlikely trio starts to bond, but the truth about what Tallulah did can’t stay hidden for long.
Fusing comedy and drama, Tallulah shines a spotlight on the often unexpected bonds we form with those around us. Elliot Page and Allison Janney reunite here for their third collaboration and have excellent chemistry. And even the central narrative is a little ponderous at times, it does eventually build to a bittersweet conclusion. This 2016 Netflix Original has got a little lost in the streamer’s library over time, but it’s certainly worth circling back for.
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
(opens in new tab)Stars: Elliot Page, Allison Janney, Tammy Blanchard, Evan Jonigkeit, David Zayas, John Benjamin Hickey
Director: Sian Heder
Stream it on Netflix (opens in new tab)
A Monster Calls
A fantasy film that will seriously tug at your heartstrings, A Monster Calls follows a young boy named Conor (Lewis MacDougall) as he grapples with his mother’s terminal illness. As he attempts to cope with this devastating news, he is visited by the eponymous monster, a giant tree-like being that tells stories that both comfort him and force him to face his fears.
A deceptively simple movie, A Monster Calls starts off fairly routine, but it builds to an emotionally charged finale that is likely to have your eyes watering. Plus, the cast are a real highlight with MacDougall, Sigourney Weaver and Felicity Jones all turning in impressive performances, and special mention should also go to Liam Neeson who voices the computer-generated monster. A Monster Calls is an overlooked gem, and might just surprise you more than any film on this list.
In this off-beat comedy, a washed-up television actor is forced to reprise his most famous role as a cyborg detective when a ruthless serial killer begins a murderous spree and announces he will only cooperate with Detective Mindhorn, the fictional cybernetic sleuth who the killer mistakenly believes is a real person.
There’s no denying that Mindhorn is a very silly movie. And for some viewers, it will be too much to tolerate. But if you can handle a few seriously bizarre sequences and embrace the madcap humor, then you’ll probably find this British comedy consistently laugh-out-loud hilarious. Plus, there is more to Mindhorn than just over-the-top jokes, the film also offers some more reflection moments that add some much-appreciated emotional depth.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92% (opens in new tab)
Stars: Julian Barratt, Essie Davis, Kenneth Branagh, Andrea Riseborough, Steve Coogan, Russell Tovey
Director: Sean Foley
Stream it on Netflix (opens in new tab)
The Platform is a Spanish-language movie with a seriously intriguing premise. Set within a gigantic prison tower where pairs of inmates are housed on each floor, every day a large platform filled with floor descends down the structure, stopping for a fixed amount of time on each level. The residents at the top get to eat as much as they want, while the prisoners below only get the increasingly dwindling scraps left over from the previous floor.
The film’s protagonist awakes on level 48 — inmates are randomly reassigned to a new floor once a month — and is forced to battle not just intense starvation, but also a cellmate who is willing to go to extreme lengths in order to eat. Brutal but captivating, The Platform squeezes plenty of drama out of its unique narrative setup. Plus, it boasts smart direction from Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia and strong performances from pretty much the whole cast.
Rotten Tomatoes: 79% (opens in new tab)
Stars: Iván Massagué, Antonia San Juan, Zorion Eguileor, Emilio Buale, Alexandra Masangkay
Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Stream it on Netflix (opens in new tab)
The Fundamentals of Caring
A fluffy and sweet comedy-drama, The Fundamentals of Caring sees Paul Rudd play a struggling writer who takes on the position of caregiver for Trevor (Craig Roberts), a cynical 18-year-old with muscular dystrophy. When the duo set off on a road trip to Salt Lake City, their ability to tolerate each other is seriously put to the test. Throw in a sarcastic hitchhiker named Dot (Selena Gomez) and a pregnant woman named Peaches (Megan Ferguson), and it’s a recipe for disaster.
Undoubtedly saccharine in tone, The Fundamentals of Caring is nevertheless a very comforting movie with admirable spirit and enjoyable performances from the whole cast. It’s far from the most memorable Netflix movie, but it’s a great watch on a lazy afternoon. And, as you’d expect, Paul Rudd is hilarious as ever in the lead role.