Let’s be frank, Netflix movies don’t have the best reputation, especially the Netflix Originals. That little red “N” logo on a movie poster is often less of a seal of approval, and has become a warning to skip rather than stream. That doesn’t mean the streamer never gets it right. In fact, there are plenty of Netflix movies that aren’t just good, but downright great — a few are legit masterpieces. And, of course, Netflix's movies aren't just limited to those it produces, as we've just added two critically-acclaimed titles it licensed in.
Here at Tom’s Guide, putting together a list of our favorite Netflix movies involves days of debate — as our staffers disagree on many picks. And while we relish those polite arguments, sometimes it’s good to look at the bigger picture. In this case, that means taking a look at review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, which offers a broad critical consensus that helps provide insight to help us pick the Netflix movies that truly deserve top billing.
Once you're done with this list, though, peep the list of new Netflix movies in 2023 to see what's on deck and see what new Netflix titles to watch this weekend. As for what Netflix has just added, we've got the latest batch of the best new Netflix movies that are 90% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes based on February additions.
Now we’re not suggesting these are the only Netflix movies worth watching. For starters, I think crime thriller Windfall is hugely underrated (and it scored only 59% on RT). However, if you’re looking for something new to watch on Netflix you really can’t go wrong with any of these 23 options. So without any more preamble, these are the highest-rated Netflix movies with a high Rotten Tomatoes score that you watch right now.
Call Me by Your Name (2002)
While not a Netflix Original (which means it's not likely to stay here forever), Call Me by Your Name a fantastic and critically acclaimed film that just recently returned to Netflix. Call Me By Your name was also the big break for director Luca Guadagnino, who's gone on to make similarly complexed and nuanced films.
Call Me by Your Name gives audiences the vantage point of young 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet), who is as inexperienced as he is pretentious. On vacation with his family in Italy — while his father (Michael Stuhlbarg) is working on his academic studies — Elio meets Oliver (Armie Hammer), a 24-year-old interning with Elio's father.
While Elio and Oliver don't click at first, they soon actually find a spark. Unfortunately, it doesn't end as well as both parties would prefer. – Henry T. Casey
The Woman King (2022)
The Woman King is based on the impressive and intimidating all-women army of the Agojie tribe, from the Dahomey Kingdom in West Africa. This film sees General Nanisca (Viola Davis) working both to prepare her new class of warriors to protect the region from colonizers, and disagreeing with King Ghezo (John Boyega).
We should note that The Woman King got hit with a boycott, with some arguing it glosses over the Dahomey Kingdom's involvement in the slave trade. That said, if you're going into The Woman King for a film that's less of a historical document than a feel-good action movie with some basis in reality, you'll be entertained. Davis and Boyega may be the stars, but Lashana Lynch and Thuso Mbedu earned critical applause for their supporting roles. – Henry T. Casey
Marriage Story (2019)
Inspired by the breakup of his own marriage, director/writer Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story is sort of like Kramer vs Kramer for the modern age. Carried by towering leading performances from Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, this emotionally charged film follows a theater director and his leading lady as their relationship dissolves. The filmmaking on display is excellent throughout, but it’s the nearly flawless screenplay that holds the whole picture together. – Rory Mellon
Da 5 Bloods (2020)
Spike Lee doesn’t do half-measures, and he goes all in on Da 5 Bloods. The film focuses on a group of Vietnam vets who return to the country in search of the remains of their fallen squad leader. The central foursome — Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters and Norm Lewis — are excellent, as is the late Chadwick Boseman as the leader of the Bloods in several flashback sequences. Commenting on both the past and the present, Da 5 Bloods is a gripping post-war movie that will have you laughing and crying throughout its lengthy 156 minute runtime. – RM
Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
Stream it on Netflix
The Irishman (2019)
Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman spent years in development hell and at one point it looked as if the project was destined to never see the light of day. Thankfully all that waiting, and perseverance from the famed director, was worth it. It may be almost three and a half hours long but The Irishman holds your attention throughout. Reuniting Scorsese with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, The Irishman tells the tale of a truck driver turned mobster with focus on his swift rise and inevitable fall. Although the digital de-aging tech is a mixed bag, it’s a gangster movie that hits hard. – RM
A passion project for director Alfonso Cuarón, Roma is a semi-autobiographical recount of his own upbringing in Mexico City. Cuarón rightly won Best Director at the Academy Awards for this deeply personal film about family, loss and growing up. Actress Yalitza Aparicio is truly phenomenal as Cleo, a maid helping a mother take care of her four children in the 1970s. If one film on this list is going to make you tear up, it’ll almost certainly be Roma. – RM
The Two Popes (2019)
Based on true events, The Two Popes is a real actors movie giving legends of the screen Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce the chance to shine. The film sees Hopkin’s play Pope Benedict XVI as he seeks to convince Jorge Mario Bergoglio (who is now the serving Pope) to reconsider his decision to resign as an archbishop. It might not sound the most thrilling concept on paper, but the interplay between Hopkin and Pryce keeps the film comfortably ticking along across its entire two-hour runtime. – RM
Beasts of No Nation (2015)
One of the first Netflix Original movies to make waves on the awards circuit, Beasts of No Nation sees Idris Elba play a fierce African warlord who takes in a young boy named Agu (Abraham Attah) in order to train him to fight in his guerrilla army. Director Cary Joji Fukunaga has since gone on to helm Daniel Craig’s last Bond outing, No Time to Die, and directed and produced the first season of HBO’s True Detective, but Beasts of No Nation arguably remains his best work. – RM
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)
We definitely didn’t need a follow-up to Breaking Bad in the form of a feature-length movie, but El Camino proved there was another story worth telling in this universe. Serving as an epilogue to the original series, El Camino follows Jesse Pinkman as he seeks to evade the cops and leave New Mexico behind forever. The film’s narrative does spin its wheels a little, but the strength of the performances from Aaron Paul and Jesse Plemons are once again top-notch. And necessary or not, it’s nice to get some closure after Breaking Bad’s slightly ambiguous ending. – RM
Dolemite is My Name (2019)
Dolemite is My Name sees Eddie Murphy play Rudy Ray Moore, the larger-than-life performer better known under his stage name, you guessed it, Dolemite. Murphy completely loses himself in the role and was rightly nominated for a Golden Globe for his work. The film’s unique comedy styling also helps set it apart. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself needing to pause Dolemite is My Name in order to compose yourself after some of its best gags. – RM
All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
Did we need another feature-film adaptation of the 1929 novel All Quiet on the Western Front? Probably not, the 1930 Best Picture-winning original is still a hugely powerful watch. Netflix’s effort from last year just about stands shoulder to shoulder with the older versions of this film. The movie follows an idealistic 17-year-old named Paul who enlists in the Imperial German Army during the First World War. His head stuffed full of propaganda and believing he's set to become a war hero, the brutal realities of the harrowing conflict soon rock the schoolboy to his core. This staunchly anti-war picture is a hard watch, but it’s also a timely reminder that in war there are no real winners. – RM
Strained family relationships are something that many of us can relate to, and it’s those dynamics that Uncorked plays with. Mamoudou Athie plays Elijah, a wannabe sommelier struggling to deal with the expectations of his demanding father (Courtney B. Vance) who insists that Elijah will take over the family barbecue business. A deeply tender film about personal aspirations and growing into the person you want to be, much like a fine wine, Uncorked should be savored. – RM
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (2020)
Crip Camp is a Netflix documentary film that focuses on a summer camp in New York named Camp Jened. Described as a “loose, free-spirited camp designed for teens with disabilities,” the film focuses on the loveable cast of campers and their fight for stronger accessibility laws. Regardless of whether you’ve been to summer camp or not, Crip Camp is sure to strike a chord with you. And frankly there’s something refreshing about a Netflix doc that isn’t in the true crime genre. – RM
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)
While some of the best Netflix movies are prestigious dramas, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is one of the best Netflix movies in ages and also very easy to watch. Almost akin to a bag of chips you can't stop eating, Glass Onion is a very fun watch. In it, Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is back with another mystery on his hands, but not the one he or you will expect. The mystery unravels in an incredibly modern situation — tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) has invited his merry band of influencers to a private island — and riffs on most aspects of modern culture. Kate Hudson (who plays the dim-witted Birdie) gets most of the best lines, which she delivers with a perfect lack of awareness. – Henry T. Casey
While many an education included a history lesson or few on the slave trade, the story of Africatown is one that's gone under the radar for many. This region (found near Mobile, Alabama) is finally getting its spotlight thanks to director Margaret Brown's film Descendant. In it, the descendants of those aboard the last known ship to smuggle stolen Africans to America finally get the chance to tell their own story. An engrossing film that reminds us all of the need to pass down truths that haven't been told to a wider audience, Descendant is a must-see. – HTC
The Lost Daughter (2021)
Helmed by Maggie Gyllenhaal, in her feature film directional debut, The Lost Daughter follows an older woman (Olivia Coleman) who becomes obsessed with a young mother (Dakota Johnson) and her daughter while holidaying alone. Coleman is truly phenomenal in the leading role and rightfully received a wave of awards nominations for her performance. But it should be noted that The Lost Daughter is actually a fairly divisive movie. While its RT score from critics is almost perfect, its audience rating is far less impressive at just 52%. So be mindful, this ambitious flick won’t be to everybody’s tastes. – RM
Set in the American South during World War II, Mudbound is a story of two families made enemies by the social hierarchy of the times but bonded together by shared farmland in the Mississippi Delta. Packing an ensemble cast that includes Carey Mulligan, Rob Morgan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, Jonathan Banks and Mary J. Blige, Mudbound boasts tour-de-force performances all over the place. But it’s the emotionally devastating ending that will truly stick with you. One of the earliest examples of a Netflix Original movie that really made waves. – RM
The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)
Considering its produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who also worked on Spider-Man: into the Spider-verse and The Lego Movie, it should come as little surprise to learn that The Mitchells vs. the Machines is a delightfully fresh animated movie. Focused on the eponymous family, the zany flick sees the Mitchell's road trip vacation disrupted when the world's electronic devices come together to stage an uprising. It's now down to the bumbling family foursome (and their beloved pet pooch) to save the world. We're doomed! – RM
The Tinder Swindler (2022)
Netflix offered a tidal wave of true crime in 2022, and one of the streamer's most popular documentary offerings of last year was undoubtedly The Tinder Swindler. Centred on the exploits of conman Simon Leviev, it showcased how he was able to use the popular dating application to connect with various individuals across the world and manipulate them into supporting his lavish lifestyle. The Tinder Swindler is the perfect blend of shocking and compelling, and it's all packaged together with highly polished production values. After watching this feature-length true crime doc you just might find yourself deleting all your dating profiles. – RM
Adam Sandler doesn't just make movies for Netflix that involve copious amounts of fart jokes. Hustle is a sports drama movie that sees Sandler play an NBA scout who discovers a raw but very talented basketball player in Spain (Juancho Hernangómez) and sets out to prepare him for that season's NBA draft. It's an against-type performance from Sandler that earned him his first Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, and a well-time reminder that while he may often plight his trade in toilet humor he's actually a very talented drama actor as well. – RM
Matilda the Musical (2022)
Based on the Tony-award-winning stage production of the same name, Matilda the Musical is an all-singing all-dancing retelling of the beloved Roald Dahl book. It sees Alisha Weir play the eponymous young child who is neglected by her parents and mistreated at school by the sinister Miss Trunchbull (Emma Thompson) but develops magical powers that help her overcome the obstacles in her life. With new songs written by original composer Tim Minchin, Matilda the Musical is sure to be a family favorite for years to come. – RM
Enola Holmes (2020)
Enola Holmes follows the teenage sister of world-famous detective Sherlock Holmes as she attempts to strike out on her own and prove herself equally adept at solving mysteries. But what starts out as a search for her missing mother soon becomes a whole lot bigger as a plot that threatens the entire United Kingdom comes to light. Millie Bobby Brown, most well-known for her role in Stranger Things, stars in the eponymous role while Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin and Helena Bonham Carter also feature. Plus, if you enjoy this zippy mystery film, it's now part of a franchise. Enola Holmes 2 was released on Netflix last year and pulled an even more impressive 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. – RM
Miss Americana (2020)
Taylor Swift continues to be one of the biggest stars in the world, and this 2020 documentary offers an exclusive sneak peek behind the scenes at her life. It primarily covers a tumultuous period of Swift’s career that saw her struggle against a sizeable social media backlash as well as voice her political opinions in public for the first time. There’s also a smattering of behind-the-scenes concert footage from Swift’s 2018 Reputation Stadium tour, and plenty of insight into the recording of her seventh studio album Lover. One of Netflix’s best biographical docs to date, this slickly-presented film just might convert you to a Swiftie, if you're not one already! – RM