Our pick of the best Netflix original movies released recently – covering all genres from thriller to animation.


(Image credit: Netflix)

When choosing from the best Netflix original movies on offer, you want to be sure you pick the right one. The endless Netflix scroll can be frustrating, and there’s nothing worse than embarking on a film you have to turn off partway through. Netflix has a haul of its own content on the platform, some of it better than the rest, so sorting the worthwhile watches from those you’d rather miss can be a minefield. 

This year has seen a collection of very decent offerings indeed. After a relatively low-key year in 2021 (due to the pandemic), Netflix came out swinging in 2022 with a range of films spanning every genre you could wish for. With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of the absolute best Netflix original movies released recently (for a more general list, see our pick of the best Netflix movies). We’ve popped the trailers into the guide, so you can sneak a peek at the content beforehand. 

The best Netflix original movies

1. All Quiet on the Western Front

  • Genre: War, Action, Drama
  • Running time: Two hours 28 minutes
  • Rated: UK 15 / US R

Directed by Edward Berger (known for Deutschland 83, among others), this harrowing film follows a young German soldier, Paul (Felix Kammerer), who enlists to the German army to fight in World War One alongside a group of friends. We watch his distress as life on the front line shatters his expectations of the war and his preconceptions of the enemy. 

This harrowing film has been submitted by Germany for its entry into the 95th Academy Awards 2023 for the ‘Best International Feature Film’ award. With rave reviews and impressive scores on IMDB (7.9/10) and Rotten Tomatoes (91%), this is our pick for the standout Netflix film of the year.

2. Hustle

  • Genre: Drama, Comedy, Sport
  • Running time: One hour 52 minutes
  • Rated: UK 15 / US R

We like this new Adam Sandler film so much it made our best short movies on Netflix list. The plot follows Stanley, an NBA talent scout who has spent his career travelling the globe in search of the next big thing in basketball (despite his larger career ambitions). When Stanley finds Bo Cruz (Juancho Hernangomez), he spots something special – but the path to stardom is less than smooth due to personal issues abound. 

It’s been a slam dunk success for Netflix as an easy yet heartfelt and angsty watch, with a stellar performance from Sandler who shows he can deliver as a dramatic actor. 

3. Wendall & Wild

  • Genre: Horror, Animation, Comedy
  • Running time: One hour 45 minutes
  • Rating: UK 12a / USA PG-13 

Wendall and Wild are two scheming demon brothers, who seek the help of super-tough 13-year old human Kat Ellis to get to the land of the living. In return, Kat asks for a form of payment that whisks them off on an adventure full of whimsy. With an underlying message about how corporate greed is the true villain of the piece, this wonderful stop-motion animation is visually stunning and has an intriguing and well-conceived plot.

4. The Wonder

  • Genre: Thriller, Drama, Mystery
  • Running time: One hour 48 minutes
  • Rating: UK 15 / USA R

The Wonder is dark, intriguing thriller with a central premise: 11-year old Anna Donnell (Kíla Lord Cassidy) hasn’t eaten in four months, claiming she is fed by ‘manna’ from heaven. Set in the Irish midlands in 1862, Lib Wright (Florence Pugh) is an English nurse sent to observe her and check she isn’t hiding food. Many believe Anna is a fake and an actress, while others believe in her story, visiting her at home to witness the ‘miracle’.

Based on the book by Emma Donoghue (who wrote The Room), this is a tale of love set against evil – a strange and captivating watch. 

5. The Sea Beast

  • Genre: Adventure, Animation, Kids and Family, Fantasy
  • Running time: One hour 55 minutes
  • Rating: UK PG / USA PG

A remarkable animated adventure, directed by Academy Award winner Chris Williams (Frozen, Moana), The Sea Beast easily makes it onto our best Netflix original movies list. The animation is sublime, bringing (dare we say) a touch of Disney magic to the Netflix platform – and the plot is a corker, too.

The story is set in a time when the seas were teeming with monsters, and the world is in the thick of a war between monsters and humans. Following a young girl who stows away on a ship belonging to monster catchers, The Sea Beast has been compared to Moana, How to Train Your Dragon and even Pirates of the Caribbean. Fun for the whole family.

6. The Good Nurse

  • Genre: Thriller, Drama
  • Running time: One hour 56 minutes
  • Rating: UK 15 / USA R

Netflix has had quite a run of serial killer-themed content recently, and if you only fancy watching one of the output, make it The Good Nurse. Starring Eddie Redmayne as real-life serial killer Charles Cullen, this tightly scripted thriller is shocking and captivating in equal measure. 

Based on the real events documented in Charles Graeber’s book of the same name, The Good Nurse tells the story of Cullen, who was a hospital nurse in the US. Cullen used his position to poison dozens of patients over a 16-year period from 1988. The film also focuses on Amy (Jessica Chastain), an ICU nurse with a life-threatening heart condition, who is shattered when she finds out about Cullen’s crimes. Still not sure? Read our piece explaining why you should watch The Good Nurse right away.

7. The Adam Project

  • Genre: Sci-fi, Action, Comedy
  • Running time: One hour 46 minutes
  • Rating: 

A smash hit comedic action / sci-fi romp, The Adam Project topped the most-watched lists on Netflix for weeks, quickly becoming the fourth-most watched English-language movie in the platform’s history. The plot centres on Adam (Ryan Reynolds), a time-travelling pilot who teams up with his younger self and deceased father to save the future, whilst dealing with the problems of the past. 

It’s a high-octane joyride, which will more than entertain for the entirety of its fairly concise runtime. Thoroughly recommended.

Fancy a show rather than a movie? Check out our list of the best Netflix shows to stream right now.

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Georgia Coggan

Freelance Writer and Editor

Georgia began her freelance writing and editing career over on Tech Radar’s sister site, Creative Bloq, and is also now delighted to be working with Tech Radar on its Entertainment channel. You’ll find her writing and updating all types of streaming content, to the top Disney Plus deals available to the Netflix movies you’ve got to watch. 

A TV mega-fan, Georgia enjoys (and has opinions on) all types of entertainment, but particularly loves being immersed in a nostalgic show or film with standout retro design and evocative visuals. She also has a particular soft spot for the shows that are bingeable in a day or two (because auto-play will get us all in the end). 


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