Netflix: The 19 original movies to watch right now

IT'S easy to get lost in Netflix's seemingly endless cinematic offerings, and even easier to forget that beyond the classic flicks, blockbusters, and indie gems that they house, they also are home to a handful of incredible original films.

Enlightening documentaries like What Happened, Miss Simone?, Amanda Knox, Audrie & Daisy, and a slew of others are products of the platform's stunning nonfiction endeavours, while Tallulah and The Fundamentals of Caring are moving examples of the handle Netflix has on moving stories.

Whether you're looking to laugh, learn, or simply turn your brain off, the streaming service has reached across genres to create some of the best new films out there.

No clue where to begin? We've got you covered.

We went through Netflix's quality original content to find the best of the best. These are the top Netflix Original Movies, ranked by their Rotten Tomatoes scores:

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

This powerful, unique film directed by Spike Lee retraces the series of events and devastating moments that led up to the police beating of Rodney King and the fatal riots that ensued.

Delivered as a compelling one-man show in front of a live audience, this testament to Lee's storytelling skills will make you understand the harrowing events of 1992 in a new light.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

While drama flick Foxcatcher may have earned well-deserved critical buzz and awards love, this unsettling documentary takes things one step further and examines the life of Dave Schultz, one of the members of Team Foxcatcher who eventually paid for his loyalty to John DuPont with his life.


Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

A so-crazy-it's-hard-to-believe-it's-true underdog story, this documentary chronicles minor league baseball team the Portland Mavericks during their five season-run from 1973-1977.

Actor Kurt Russell's father Bing owned the team, and Kurt acted as vice president and also played for them.

Delightful for both sports-lovers and film-lovers alike, this celebration of determination and spirit is one you won't want to miss.

The Battered Bastards of Baseball.
The Battered Bastards of Baseball. Netflix

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

While this documentary might have best been seen in a theatre, your couch will have to do.

The film captures the life and work of artist Cai Guo-Qiang, an electrifying individual who sets out to create his most ambitious work yet - a 1,650-foot ladder of fire that reaches into the sky above his hometown.

The stunning pyrotechnic techniques he employs throughout his work are a feat to be witnessed.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

This short documentary took home the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) this year, and it's not difficult to see why.

Directed by Orlando von Einsiedel, the film follows a group of volunteer rescue workers of the Syrian Civil Defense (also known as the White Helmets) as they go about their daily operations.

This riveting account of those willing to put their lives on the line to save others packs more of a punch in 40 minutes than most flicks do in 2 hours.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, this film tells the story of a brave group of individuals who give up everything to protect the last mountain gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

This suspenseful, compelling, heart-wrenching film tells an incredible story and acts as a crucial call to action.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Ava DuVernay directs this stunning documentary that takes a deep dive into the history of racial inequality in the United States and how it plays a massive role in the prison system.

The Academy Award-nominated film employs both archival footage and testimony from the most prominent activists, scholars, politicians, and formerly incarcerated individuals to tell the story of the disproportionate incarceration of African-Americans in the United States.


Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Set in a Bedouin village in Southern Israel, this drama examines the patriarchal traditions of the community and the way they affect women. Between a frustrating polygamous marriage and a young, forbidden love affair, this sweeping, psychologically-intense film will certainly surprise you.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

This modern take on old-school Hollywood rom-coms follows a good-natured teenager named Danny who gets roped into helping his incarcerated brother do a shady bag drop-off and the goose chase that ensues with the girl he encounters after he accidentally switches the bags.

The breakout stars and honest summer setting will warm your heart and restore your faith in little movies.

Tramps is definitely worth a watch.
Tramps is definitely worth a watch.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

After their mother is arrested and jailed, two teenage sisters turn to train robbery to make ends meet.

While things go smoothly when they start, they soon attract the attention of a railroad detective, and shenanigans ensue.

Effortlessly funny and armed with two stellar actresses, this sharp little film offers an offbeat brand of fun.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

This beautiful adaptation of the classic children's book does it justice in every way possible.

Gorgeously animated and full of heart, the story of a pilot who crashes into the Sahara desert and encounters a little boy claiming to be an extraterrestrial prince is a total delight for the whole family.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

This inspiring true portrait of courage follows teenager Josh Wong as he decides to fight for Hong Kong after the Chinese Communist Party forgoes their promise of autonomy to the city. Joshua manages to rally thousands of kids to skip school and protest with him, and in the process becomes China's most unlikely hero.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Joe Swanberg and Jake Johnson team up again for this effortlessly enjoyable flick. Johnson stars as Eddie, a bit of a deadbeat tasked with watching his acquaintance's bag of money while he serves a prison sentence.

Though he starts off on the straight and narrow, Eddie gets hooked on gambling, and must try to win all the money back before the owner is released from jail.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation
Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation

True Detective vet Cary Fukunaga tells a harrowing story in Beasts of No Nation, a harrowing drama that follows Agu, a child soldier fighting in a civil war in a fictional West African country.

He fears the men around him and tries to make sense of his war-ravaged world as he's forced into a life of death and violence.

Equally devastating and fascinating, the film also features the extraordinary Idris Elba in the role of a menacing commander.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Star Wars breakout John Boyega took a break from the infamous franchise to star in this moving, important drama, and we're so glad he did.

Boyega stars as Bambi, a young father released from prison who tries to protect his son from the crueller side of Los Angeles and the life he left behind.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

This eye-opening documentary depicts the unrest of Ukraine between 2013 and 2014 and the violent revolution sparked by students supporting European integration that evidently led to calls for the resignation of President Viktor F. Yanukovich.

The essential film is full of powerful images and may leave you aching for change in the world.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Elijah Wood and Melanie Lynskey star in this comedy/dark thriller hybrid that follows the journey of a depressed woman after she is burglarised and decides to take up vigilante-like behaviour with her grating neighbour and track down the thieves.

Things initially seem to go their way, but these two everyday people soon find themselves incredibly out of their depth with these dangerous criminals.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

This gorgeous documentary by Werner Herzog takes viewers on a journey through active volcanoes around the world and connects the modern world back to its ancient roots.

The uniquely interesting film manages to stay interesting despite its seemingly mundane subject matter.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Starring Kenneth Branagh, Julian Barratt, Andrea Riseborough, and Steve Coogan, this action-comedy flick follows a has-been actor best known for playing a detective named "Mindhorn" in a 1980s series.

While his career has stalled, he finds new purpose when he's forced to work with police to track down a serial killer, as the killer refuses to speak with anyone but Mindhorn (he believes he's a real person).

Wacky, charming, and hilarious, Mindhorn will sneak up on you.


This article was originally published on The Decider

News Corp Australia

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