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10 Best Netflix Original Movies, Ranked by Rotten Tomatoes – Collider

Taking a look back at the streaming giant’s most acclaimed original feature films.
The pioneer of streaming, Netflix as a brand remains one of the heaviest hitters in modern film and television. While recent upstarts like Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video are proving to be worthy competitors to the crown, Netflix remains highly popular (despite losing a record number of subscribers recently). Everyone and their dog has access to a Netflix subscription, and the streamer plays host to some of the best original shows around, such as Stranger Things. Founded in 1997, Netflix initially sent subscribers DVDs through the mail, operating like a video store that comes to you. With the rise of technology, however, Netflix saw the opportunity to capitalize on the streaming market, and the rest is history.
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Not content to merely kill Blockbuster by purchasing the rights to pre-existing films, the company began producing its own original movies. Today, hundreds of these productions are available in Netflix's library. While some of these original films turned out horrible (like, say, The Ridiculous 6), others have gone on to receive Academy Awards. Below are the ten highest-rated by Rotten Tomatoes, and you can celebrate Netflix turning 25 years young by popping on one of these terrific films.
A more low-key production compared to the million-dollar movies with A-list casts Netflix is known for, Calibre is a British thriller that follows two old friends on a hunting trip in the Scottish Highlands. A shocking act of violence causes the two men to frantically search for a way out of the area before their lives are ruined forever.
Calibre will appeal to anyone who enjoys their thrillers lean and mean, full of shady characters and tense situations where escape feels impossible. In that regard, it calls to mind other thrillers such as A Simple Plan and Fargo, albeit with a Scottish twist.
One area where Netflix excels is its animation department. The company struck gold with Klaus, a Christmas tale about Jesper (Jason Schwartzman), a selfish and lazy postman who is sent to an isolated village in the snow by his postmaster father. While there, he befriends a reclusive toy maker named Klaus (JK Simmons), and together the pair bring joy to the dreary town.
Equally moving as it is funny, Klaus is a sweet tale that will make you feel all the feels and is one of the best animated movies to add to your annual Christmas watch list.
Don't tell the Marvel fans, but Martin Scorsese's latest, The Irishman, is one of the best-reviewed films on Netflix. A throwback to the gangster movies that made him famous, the film follows Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), a truck driver who becomes a hitman for the mob. The plot spans numerous decades as it follows Frank's life up to retirement.
Joining De Niro is a fantastic cast that includes screen legends Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. An epic crime saga that proves Scorsese is still the king of the genre, the film is a success despite its massive runtime and questionable de-aging effects.
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An offbeat romantic comedy, Tramps follows two young criminals in New York City who come crashing into each other's lives when they are both hired for a shady deal. When the job predictably goes wrong, the newly met pair are forced to rectify it while growing closer. Nothing like some criminal activity to set up a meet-cute.
Tramps avoids the common pitfalls of rom-com movies by swerving away from the clichés and tropes that plague the genre. Despite the premise revolving around crime, both Danny and Ellie feel like believable characters rather than larger-than-life caricatures. This causes the romance that blossoms between them to feel genuine.
From one splendid romance to another, To All the Boys I've Loved Before proved to be a smash hit for Netflix and spawned two sequels. The original film follows shy teen Lara Jean who writes unsent letters to her crushes as a way to process her feelings. When the letters are accidentally sent, Lara must deal with the romantic repercussions.
While the film fits within the clichéd realm of teenage romances, its talented cast and relatable characters carry it to the top of the rom-com pile. The casting of Vietnamese-born actress Lana Condor in the lead role also helps to differentiate the movie in a genre that is dominated by white actors.
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A more subdued film from Alfonso Cuaron, director of Gravity and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Roma is centered around a housekeeper in Mexico. Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) is a live-in maid for a wealthy family in 1970, and the film follows a year in her life as she grows closer to her employer.
Roma was universally acclaimed at release, and is one of the best-reviewed films of the 2010s. It went on to receive ten Academy Award nominations, winning three for Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Cinematography. It was also the first Netflix original to be nominated for Best Picture.
A comeback vehicle for Eddie Murphy, 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. Murphy portrays Moore as the film charts the highs and lows of his career.
Murphy is fantastic in the lead role, exuding the trademark charisma and humor that made him a star in the 1980s. It is potentially the best performance of his career, and he received a Golden Globe nomination for his work. He followed it up with the disappointing Coming 2 America, the sequel to one of his best films.
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A dramatization based on the life of influential blues singer Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), Ma Rainey's Black Bottom follows a difficult recording session held by Rainey, her backing band, and various support staff and executives. Chadwick Boseman co-stars as Levee Green, a cocky but talented trumpet player.
While the film is centered around one recording session in 1927, it tackles issues such as race and class in ways that are still felt today. Davis and Boseman are tremendous, both electrifying as they light up the screen. The pair received Academy Awards nominations, with Boseman's loss to Anthony Hopkins for The Father being one of the biggest upsets in Oscars history.
A semi-autobiographical film, The Forty-Year-Old Version is based on the life of writer, director, and star Radha Blank. A struggling playwright and teacher, Radha pivots into the world of rap, using the medium to express herself in ways she never thought possible.
A personal tale, The Forty-Year-Old Version is a touching vision of the life of a struggling artist. A black woman, Blank often encounters resistance in her work as a playwright as potential producers ask her to add white characters to her scripts, and the film shines a light on this all too common issue that plagues the creative industries.
The only non-documentary film from Netflix to receive a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes, His House follows Rial and Bol, a refugee couple who have fled war-torn Sudan. Arriving in England, they are given a ramshackle house by the government as they try to make a living in their new home. However, something evil lurks in the surrounding walls.
While His House features plenty of supernatural scares, its focus on the mistreatment of refugees proves to be more harrowing. Rial and Bol experience racist abuse from their new neighbors, and the film showcases the real-world torment inflicted on those who are simply trying to start a better life for themselves.
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Ty is an Australian writer, based in sunny Queensland. He is a massive movie buff, seeing most new releases at the cinema, and in particular loves the horror genre. Ty also loves live music, videogames, and all the dogs.
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