19 Brilliant Netflix Original Films, Ranked By Rating
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Art & Culture

19 Brilliant Netflix Original Films, Ranked By Rating

By Jack Saddler October 10, 2020

Movie night, anyone?

Oh wait, that’s every night these days. So I guess you’re after some suggestions? (Featured Image: @theirishmanfilm, Netflix)

While lockdown might have been all about binging the hit Netflix shows, like Tiger King and The Last Dance, you might have forgotten there are many equally watch-worthy Netflix Original films out there.

Here are some of the best Netflix Original movies, ranked in order of their Rotten Tomatoes scores.

1. Mudbound (2017)

Mudbound is a stark look back at US class and race relations post World War II. It follows two veterans—one white, one black—returning to Mississippi after their fight. Each has to deal with settling back into a society filled with racial hatred, along with their own demons in the form of PTSD. It takes the throne of the highest-rated film on Netflix and is well worth anybody’s time.

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%

2. The Irishman (2019)

Anticipated for years, this Martin Scorcese epic is the longest (3h30m!) and most expensive feature of his star-studded career. Featuring the three-pronged attack of Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, The Irishman delivers on its promise. It leaves us with a classic gangster movie that proves the old-guard has still got it—albeit with a little bit of anti-ageing technology.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

3. I Lost My Body (2019)

This hit-film is an acclaimed French animated drama. I Lost My Body picked up the grand prize for the International Critics Week section at the Cannes Film Festival 2019. The picture tells the story of a young boy reunited with a severed hand in Paris, but is shown in prior flashbacks. It touches on forms of grief throughout and is an essential lockdown view.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

4. Marriage Story (2019)

A tale of a bitter divorce, rather than marriage, between big-hitters Adam Driver and Scarlet Johansson. It received a healthy six Academy Award nominations after dropping at the end of last year. Marriage Story is a stark and heartbreaking view into familial life and struggle.

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

5. Roma (2018)

Perhaps Netflix Original’s Magnum Opus thus far, Roma stormed onto the site with a fury of 5/5 and 10/10 reviews to its name. The Mexican-set drama, helmed by Alfonso Cuarón, became the first foreign-language film to win best director at the Academy Awards. The heartbreaking story also garnered Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography. In these 2018 Oscars, it tied with The Favourite as most-nominated film and it is, to date, Netflix’s most-decorated Original picture.

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

6. Calibre (2018)

The highest-rated British-made film on this list, this Adam Palmer Netflix thriller tells the tale of a hunting trip to the Highlands gone wrong.

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

7. Private Life (2018)

A tale of a middle-aged couple desperately trying (but struggling) to conceive a child through any means possible. A tumultuous, heartfelt journey of ups and downs that delivers on every level.

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

8. Uncorked (2020)

A tear-jerking story about a rocky father-son relationship spawned from protagonist Elijah’s (Mamoudou Athie) desire to break from his family’s restaurant business to pursue his dream of becoming a master sommelier. After a family tragedy hits while Elijah is in Paris on wine-tasting studies, both father and son have to make sense of their loss and help each other to help each other.

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%

9. Uncut Gems (2020)

A bizarre, all-action, crime-ridden tale of gemstone jewellery dealing. Adam Sandler is still his goofy self, but this role is more gangster-gambling-addict-goofball as he tries to evade death through the entire movie, while repaying his debts in the hope of getting rich quick.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

10. Beasts Of No Nation (2015)

This highly-acclaimed Ghanaian-American war drama is essential Netflix viewing. It tells the story of a young boy (Abraham Attah) who is forced to become a soldier as his country goes to war. The film is based on the novel with the same name by Uzodinma Iweala, which was released in 2005. It saw Attah pick up the award for Best Male Lead at the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

11. Gerald’s Game (2017)

A psychological Steven King adaptation where a woman (Carla Gugino) finds herself tied to her bedroom at a country home with no way of release. The events that unravel are spine-tingling at best and bone-chilling at worst. There’s one particularly gruesome scene that faint-hearted viewers may need to steer clear of. If you’ve caught this one already, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

12. The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs (2018)

The Coen Brothers’ first foray into the world of Netflix filmmaking resulted in The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs. A western drama with six short tales of life in the post-Civil War era of the old west.

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

13. 1922 (2017)

Another Netflix Stephen King adaptation thrown in for good measure. And it’s just as chillingly brilliant as Gerald’s Game, hence the tied score. 1922 examines the grief experienced by both father (Thomas Jane) and son (Dylan Schmid) after they commit a terrible act together. The consequences, particularly those that face the father, are damning, life-wrecking and follow the pair around forever.

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

14. The Two Popes (2019)

A film set in Vatican city, starring Pope Francis meeting with former Pope Benedict to find interlinking ideologies prior to the former taking over at the helm of the Catholic Church.

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

15. First They Killed My Father (2017)

Co-written and directed by Angelina Jolie, this biographical-historical piece tells the tale of fellow writer Loung Ung. Ung was forced to become a child-soldier in Cambodia at the age of five, while her siblings were sent off to labour camps by order of Khmer Rouge during the Vietnam war, and preceding Cambodian civil war.

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%

16. The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind (2019)

After being forced to leave school on account of no longer being able to afford the fees, 13-year-old protagonist William (Maxwell Simba) does something quite remarkable. After sneaking into the library repeatedly, he sets out to build a windmill in the effort to save his village from famine.

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%

17. Okja (2017)

Okja follows the relationship of Mija—a young caretaker in the mountains of South Korea—and giant genetically modified pig and friend, Okja. When a multinational conglomerate takes Mija’s friend away from her, she must go to great lengths to rescue her companion.

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%

18. Tallulah (2016)

Tallulah is the tale of a homeless woman who takes a baby from her reckless mother and pretends the child is hers. She then embarks on a journey on the run while struggling to care for the child with nowhere to stay.

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%

19. The Platform (2019)

A Spanish sci-fi horror, from the creators of the spine-tingling REC. series, The Platform is a stark commentary on class and society using a terrifying hierarchal moving platform prison. If you get placed at the top you get the pick of the luxury food, but if placed at the bottom of the pile you go hungry due to the greed of those at the top, despite there being enough to feed everybody.

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%