Netflix, the streaming pioneer, is still one of the most powerful players in modern film and television. While newcomers like Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video are proving to be good rivals for the crown, Netflix remains extremely popular (despite losing a record number of subscribers recently). Everyone and their dog has a Netflix subscription, and the streaming service is home to some of the best original shows on the market, such as Stranger Things. Netflix, which was founded in 1997, first mailed DVDs to customers, acting as a video store that comes to you. With the advancement of technology, however, Netflix recognised a chance to capitalize on the streaming market, and the rest is history.
Not content with simply obtaining the rights to pre-existing films, the business began making its own original films. Hundreds of these productions are now available on Netflix. While some of these original films were flops (for example, The Ridiculous 6), others went on to win Academy Awards. The ten highest-rated Rotten Tomatoes films are listed below, and you can celebrate Netflix’s 25th anniversary by watching one of these fantastic flicks.
Calibre is a British thriller that follows two old friends on a hunting expedition in the Scottish Highlands. It is a more low-key production than the million-dollar movies with A-list performers that Netflix is renowned for. A horrific act of violence forces the two guys to flee the location as quickly as possible before their lives are irrevocably wrecked.
Calibre will appeal to everyone who appreciates lean and nasty thrillers with shady characters and tight situations where escape seems impossible. In that way, it is reminiscent of other thrillers like A Simple Plan and Fargo, albeit with a Scottish twist.
Netflix’s animation section is one area where it excels. Klaus, a Christmas story about Jesper (Jason Schwartzman), a greedy and lazy postman who is dispatched to a secluded village in the winter by his postal father, was a hit for the company. While there, he befriends a recluse toymaker named Klaus (JK Simmons), and the two bring joy to the otherwise depressing village. Klaus is a charming story that will make you feel all the feels and is one of the best animated movies to add to your annual Christmas watch list.
8. The Irishman
Don’t tell Marvel fans, but Martin Scorsese’s latest picture, The Irishman, is one of Netflix’s best-reviewed titles. The film depicts Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), a truck driver who becomes a hitman for the mob in a throwback to the gangster movies that made him famous. The plot covers several decades, following Frank’s life from childhood through retirement.
Along with De Niro, the film’s stellar cast features Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. The film is a triumph despite its lengthy runtime and dubious de-aging effects, proving Scorsese is still the king of the genre.
Tramps is an eccentric romantic comedy about two teenage crooks in New York City who cross paths when they are both hired for a dirty operation. When the project goes awry, the newly met couple is compelled to fix it while growing closer. Nothing like a little illicit activity to set up a date.
Tramps avoids the standard rom-com faults by avoiding the clichés and tropes that afflict the genre. Despite the fact that the plot revolves around criminality, Danny and Ellie are both believable characters rather than stereotypes. As a result, the relationship that develops between them feels genuine.
6. To All the Boys I've Loved Before
From one wonderful romance to the next, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was a blockbuster hit for Netflix, spawning two sequels. The original film follows bashful girl Lara Jean as she writes unsent letters to her crushes to explore her emotions. When the letters are unintentionally delivered, Lara must deal with the romantic consequences.
While the film falls into the stereotypical area of youthful romances, its excellent cast and relatable characters propel it to the top of the rom-com heap. The casting of Vietnamese-born actress Lana Condor in the lead role further distinguishes the film in a genre dominated by white actors.
Roma, a more muted film by Alfonso Cuaron, director of Gravity and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, is about a Mexican housekeeper. In 1970, Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) is a live-in maid for a wealthy family, and the film follows her for a year as she becomes closer to her employer.
Roma was universally praised at its initial release and remains one of the best-reviewed films of the decade. It was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, winning three: Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Cinematography. It was also the first Netflix original to receive a Best Picture nomination.
4. Dolemite is My Name
Dolemite is My Name is a biopic based on the life of Rudy Ray Moore, a comedian who played the character of Dolemite in his stand-up routines and filmography. It is Eddie Murphy’s comeback vehicle. Murphy plays Moore as the film follows him through the highs and lows of his career.
Murphy is great in the lead part, exhibiting the charisma and wit that helped him become a star in the 1980s. It is potentially his best performance of his career, and he was nominated for a Golden Globe for it. He followed it up with the underwhelming sequel to one of his best films, Coming 2 America.
3. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, a dramatization based on the life of legendary blues singer Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), chronicles a challenging recording session held by Rainey, her backing band, and other support staff and executives. Levee Green, an arrogant but gifted trumpet player, is played by Chadwick Boseman.
While the film is focused on a single recording session in 1927, it addresses topics like racism and class in ways that are still felt today. Davis and Boseman are both fantastic, and they both light up the screen. The pair were nominated for Academy Awards, with Boseman’s defeat to Anthony Hopkins for The Father being one of the most shocking upsets in Oscar history.
2. The Forty-Year-Old Version
The Forty-Year-Old Version is a semi-autobiographical film based on the life of writer, director, and performer Radha Blank. Radha, a struggling playwright and teacher, enters the world of rap, utilizing the medium to express herself in ways she never imagined possible.
The Forty-Year-Old Version is a moving portrait of the life of a striving artist. Blank, a black woman, frequently faces pushback in her job as a playwright when potential producers want her to include white characters in her writings, and the film sheds focus on this all-too-common issue that plagues the creative professions.
1. His House
His House is the only Netflix non-documentary film to get a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes. It follows Rial and Bol, a refugee couple who have escaped war-torn Sudan. When they arrive in England, the government gives them a shabby house to live in while they struggle to make a living. Something sinister, however, lurks within the enclosing walls.
While His House contains many ghostly horrors, its focus on the abuse of immigrants is more disturbing. Rial and Bol are subjected to racial abuse by their new neighbors, and the film depicts the real-world anguish inflicted on those who are merely attempting to make a better life for themselves.