7 best new Netflix movies that are 90% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes

A TV with the Netflix logo sits behind a hand holding a remote
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

I cover Netflix for Tom's Guide, and I can tell you where to not look for great movies on Netflix. That would be in the Netflix Top 10 movies lists, which rank movies by overall hours watched. Often, that results in a list with many popular (yet not great) movies which rarely includes one of the best movies on Netflix (our in-house curated list, of course).

But we know that the world is not just limited to the TG braintrust, and we learn that every time we disagree with each other — or with the critics at large. Speaking of those reviewers, we also admit that Rotten Tomatoes has a place at the table when it comes to helping you pick a movie.  

So, by combining RT's aggregated review scores with the list of what's new on Netflix, we've found a good way to deliver you a list of solid recommendations that you can believe in. Speaking of, true crime documentary The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker just hit No. 2 on Netflix, and it's getting positive reviews — but too few reviews to get a Rotten Tomatoes score. This list lacks a horror pick, but a recently-arrived TV series option is available: The Walking Dead season 11, the new No. 2 show on Netflix.

We first delivered the best Netflix movies with high Rotten Tomatoes scores in August, then we dropped a new list of Netflix movies with high RT scores in October. And the good news for you is that Netflix re-stocked the pantry again after our list of great Netflix movies with Rotten Tomatoes scores above 90% came out in December.

That's right, Netflix has added seven more movies that are critically acclaimed. It's a very good day. That said, this is kind of what Netflix has to do, as its 4K service still costs $4 more (after that recently announced HBO Max price hike) than our current king of the best best streaming services, HBO Max

Curious about more-recent releases? Here's our guide to what's New on Netflix for January 9. So, let's break them down, as some of these best new Netflix movies may surprise you:

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022)

Did you ever expect a Pinocchio movie would get raves from critics? This 97% Rotten Tomatoes score would have been unexpected had this movie had any other director's name on the marquee. That said, even this Guillermo Del Toro-branded Pinocchio had us skeptical. Not just because of his, ahem, unique character designs, but because the auteur and the puppet-turned-boy don't seem like a perfect match. As it turns out, though, all of that makes for an solid and artfully done take on the classic tale.

The risks Del Toro takes truly make this Pinocchio sing. Geppetto is humanized by grieving his son who died due to a bombing during the first World War. Then, you have Tilda Swinton voicing Wood Sprite and Death, sisters who make this Pinocchio even more surreal. Top all of it off with the fact that Pinocchio is forced to perform for Benito Mussolini of all people. This Pinocchio breaks the mold and breathes life into its wooden history.

Genre: Fantasy musical
Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
Stream it on Netflix

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)

Having seen Glass Onion, I can say it doesn't take a sleuth as smart as Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) to understand why Netflix ordered a pair of sequels to Rian Johnson's Knives Out. That said, the decision was a bit curious at first. Knives Out is such a good movie, and it felt like Johnson was taking on a colossal challenge by trying to follow it up. Fortunately for all, Glass Onion takes a different tack. 

In this installment, Blanc has been summoned to an island by a rich tech mogul Miles Bron (Edward Norton), who seems part Elon Musk and part Elizabeth Holmes, to be a guest for a fantastically-faked murder mystery. Bron's invited all of his hanger-on friends (fantastically cast roles for Kate Hudson, Janelle Monáe, Dave Bautista, Kathryn Hahn and Leslie Odom, Jr.), but an unexpected tragedy strikes — giving Blanc a new mystery to decipher. Funny, surprising and extremely rewatchable (I've seen it thrice already), Glass Onion is one of the best Netflix movies in ages.

Genre: Comedy/Mystery
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Watch it on Netflix

Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical (2022)

Much like both Mr. Del Toro's Pinocchio and Mr. Johnson's Glass Onion, Netflix delivering us a new version of Matilda doesn't seem good on paper. The 1996 classic, starring Mara Wilson, Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman, is right there. You can watch it. But, someone decided "No, we need another!" And so the Royal Shakespere Company's musical version of Matilda was adapted into a ... shockingly great Netflix Original movie. 

Star Alisha Weir's performance as the titular child who just wanted to learn is full of energy and joy, in a manner that grounds all of the chaos around her. So for all of the natural enemies she finds at home (Stephen Graham makes Mr. Wormwood his own and it works) and school (Emma Thompson is unrecognizable as Miss Trunchbull), Weir matches their intensity with wholesome confidence. Then, you have Lashana Lynch's take on Miss Honey as the cherry-on-top in this winning musical. 

Genre: Musical coming of age dramedy
Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
Watch it on Netflix

Minority Report (2002)

Chief Paul Anderson (Tom Cruise) is doing what he believes is the right thing, and something many of us would believe is shockingly wrong: arresting people for crimes that have not yet been committed. Such is the business of the Precrime unit that ascertains future crimes, and stops them before they're committed. Unfortunately, Anderson himself is the latest culprit — for the murder of a man he does not know.

Filled with imaginative elements that telegraphed touchscreen controls and showed automated cars from a new — vertigo inducing — angle, Minority Report was an instant classic when it debuted two decades ago. It's also proof that Philip K. Dick stories are perfect for big-budget adaptations.

Genre: Sci-fi / Mystery
Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%
Stream it on Netflix

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

The eight wise guys of Reservoir Dogs are the last humans you'd want to betray. But someone made the wrong move to turn snitch, and now they're all stuck in the middle of the aftermath of a diamond heist gone wrong.

One of the most beloved and acclaimed directorial debuts in recent memory, Quentin Tarantino's first movie crackles with fantastic banter from its first scene. But once Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) has given up on trying to convince others about his philosophy on tipping, the credits roll and you're smack dab in the middle of the chaos.

Yes, Reservoir Dogs is a heist movie without the heist — and that's the point. Without showing us who did what and what went wrong, we're just as clueless as they are — and reading the body language and mannerisms of these addled maniacs is too much fun.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%
Genre: Crime drama
Stream it on Netflix

Parenthood (1989)

Director Ron Howard brought his family — and those of his co-writers (Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel and producer Brian Grazer — to life in Parenthood. And we're hoping the family dinners thereafter didn't suffer for it. The same Parenthood that was adapted into a successful 2010 TV series, this 1989 film features Steve Martin at his best, having a hard time dealing with family. It only helps that Parenthood's collected a fantastic cast for Martin to work with, including Dianne Wiest, Mary Steenburgen, Rick Moranis, Joaquin Phoenix and Keanu Reeves.

Gil Buckman (Martin) doesn't have a single low-maintenance family member, though his father (Jason Robards) actually proves helpful in calming him down. A strong message of constantly learning through your life — every parent is also a kid — is the through-line for this loving ensemble film. 

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
Genre: Comedic drama
Stream it on Netflix

Rocky (1976)

The thing you wish we could tell Rocky is that he's always a contenda — but this time it's for what to watch tonight. And while this tale of a no-name boxer from Philly who will punch high above his paygrade is fairly predictable, Rocky's all about the titular performance from Sylvester Stallone. 

Filmed fights are as predetermined as pro wrestling, but Stallone's sincerity and lovable nature as Rocky Balboa actually makes you want to root for him — like it makes a difference. Rocky should not be this good of a movie, it's rooted in more cliched than any sports film outside of Rudy. But it's still proof that the right talent can elevate the material.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%
Genre: Drama
Stream it on Netflix

Read next

<a href="https://www.tomsguide.com/opinion/i-absolutely-love-peacocks-paul-t-goldman-the-best-weird-show-on-tv" data-link-merchant="tomsguide.com"">I absolutely love Peacock’s Paul T. Goldman — the best weird show on TV

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.