Netflix adds new movies almost every day, which only makes it harder to find ones worth watching. That’s where IndieWire comes in. From low-budget American gems to foreign film masterpieces, these are the overlooked independent movies you’ve got to make time for on Netflix. All titles are now available to stream.
“6 Years” (2015)
“6 Years” provides a moving snapshot of a troubled relationship. The movie follows a young couple facing the titular anniversary as their future is challenged by various spats and infidelities. With an improvisatory style and two heartbreaking performances from Taissa Farmiga and Ben Rosenfield, “6 Years” imbues its traditional narrative with a fiery edge. Read IndieWire’s review.
“A Woman, A Part“ (2016)
In her feature directorial debut, Elisabeth Subrin confronts industry-wide sexism head on, making it clear that her protagonist’s experiences are not unique and dismantling any romantic notions about how Hollywood operates. “A Woman, A Part” is a film for the current state of Hollywood, bolstered by a strong lead turn by Maggie Siff as a TV star who has grown disenfranchised with the work afforded to her by her industry. Read IndieWire’s review.
“A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence” (2015)
“A Pigeon Sat on a Branch” comes from absurdist filmmaker Roy Andersson (“Songs From the Second Floor”), crafter of brilliantly odd films for nearly half a century. His latest weaves between the banal and the surreal and explores the human condition with a satirical eye. Read IndieWire’s review.
Jennifer Phang’s indie science-fiction movie is set in the near future where technology allows people to overcome their natural disadvantages and begin life anew. When a woman gets fired from her company for being too old, she has to decide whether or not to undergo the procedure herself to salvage her career and support her family.
“Alex of Venice” (2015)
In the directorial debut from Chris Messina, Mary Elizabeth Winstead gives a terrifically vulnerable performance as an environmental attorney who finds her workaholic lifestyle thrown into flux when her husband, George (Messina), asks for a break. Read IndieWire’s review.
Kleber Mendonça Filho’s absorbing drama “Aquarius” is dominated by a towering performance from the great Sonia Braga. The actress delivers extraordinary work as the resident of an old apartment building who stands her ground in the face of developers looking to kick her to the curb. Read IndieWire’s review.
“Blue Caprice” (2013)
The 2002 Beltway sniper attacks inspired fear across the nation as 17 people were murdered and 10 were injured. Alexandre Moors’ harrowing drama presents the events from the point of view of the two snipers, John Allen Muhammad and his 17-year-old protege Lee Boyd Malvo, tracking the development of their relationship as Muhammed subversively trains Malvo into becoming his willing co-assassin. Read IndieWire’s review.
“Blue Jay” (2016)
Alex Lehmann’s tender black-and-white romance co-stars Mark Duplass and Sarah Paulson in a pair of soulful performances so natural and effortless that they’re a wonder to behold. The two play former high-school sweethearts who run into each other later in life, launching a “Before Sunset”–style walk-and-talk that leads to some serious reminiscing. Read IndieWire’s review.
Actress-turned-director Mélanie Laurent’s second feature is “Mean Girls” for the arthouse crowd. She focuses on a pair of mismatched French schoolgirls who become fast friends in the kind of consuming and obsessive way that should look familiar to plenty of viewers, but Laurent’s psychological touches push the film into some very unexpected territory. Read IndieWire’s review.
Onur Tukel’s nutty satire features Anne Heche and Sandra Oh beating the shit out of each other on three separate occasions. Each blow lands with an alarming crunch as Tukel inverts the buddy movie formula, providing some thought-provoking ideas on the way feuds can last so long that both sides forget what they’re fighting for in the first place. Read IndieWire’s review.
Athina Rachel Tsangari’s inventive story follows six apparently wealthy men on a ship in the Aegean Sea playing a vaguely defined game to determine which of them holds the greatest traits. In forcing all shapes and sizes of masculinity to clash, Tsangari delivers a thoroughly original character study. Read IndieWire’s review.
Rebecca Hall gives the performance of her career as Christine Chubbuck, the news reporter who took her own life live on air in 1974. Along with director Antonio Campos, Hall creates a psychological character study of a woman trying to prove to herself as a serious reporter in the age of sensationalized news. It’s a performance that is shattering to behold. Read IndieWire’s review.
“Christmas, Again” (2015)
“Christmas, Again” stars indie mainstay Kentucker Audley as Noel, a sidewalk Christmas-tree salesman tasked with selling off holiday greenery to Brooklyn residents while nursing a broken heart. It’s new kind of holiday movie that neatly straddles the line between heartbreaking and heartwarming, often in the same scene. Read IndieWire’s review.
“Closet Monster” (2015)
Stephen Dunn works a delicate balance with his debut “Closet Monster,” an imaginative spin on the coming-of-age tale that blends straightforward storytelling with creative flourishes. Those flourishes — including a talking hamster and a series of fantasy sequences — are treated with the same equanimity as the rest of the more reality-rooted elements, allowing “Closet Monster” to retain an authenticity and grace. Read IndieWire’s review.