60 Underseen but Excellent Netflix Original Movies Now Streaming

From "Private Life" to "Tramps" and "Shirkers," these are the Netflix original movies just waiting to be discovered on the streaming platform.
Underrated Netflix Movies: "Cam," "Seriously Single," "A Classic Horror Story," "Crip Camp," "Apollo 11 1/2," "Happy as Lazzaro," "The Kindergarten Teacher"
(Clockwise from bottom left, left to right): "Cam," "Crip Camp," "Seriously Single," "A Classic Horror Story," "Apollo 10 1/2," "Happy as Lazzaro," "The House," and "The Kindergarten Teacher"
Courtesy Netflix/Everett Collection

No matter how much you love cinema, and no matter how much movie-watching time you have on your hands, mere mortals cannot possibly keep up with all of the original films coming to streaming each week. Streaming giant Netflix puts a lot of effort (and a lot of money) into their original content every year. The result is a new film arriving to the service and its subscribers seemingly every couple of days.

In 2022 alone, the streamer produced over 200 films, but only select titles received the marketing rollout and awards fanfare of the platform’s most serious industry plays. See Rian Johnson’s Oscar-nominated satirical whodunnit “Glass Onion” — a sequel to an already well-loved film that you definitely know about now thanks to its sprawling promotion — for starters.

While this quantity-first strategy ensures that practically everyone can find something they like, it also means that some great films are inevitably buried by the service’s all-powerful, maddeningly opaque algorithm. Yes, some Netflix Originals go on to get nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars: see “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Don’t Look Up,” “The Power of the Dog,” “Mank,” “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” “The Irishman,” “Marriage Story,” and “Roma.” And yes, there are those that become massive hits for the streamer in terms of viewership, like “Red Notice,” “Bird Box,” or “The Gray Man.” A few even spawn their own series or franchises, like the YA rom-com trilogy “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston’s comedic “Murder Mystery” series.

But then, there are the titles that never quite reach massive critical acclaim or fan-favorite popularity: including festival premieres that failed to make a splash in wide release or international films that launched to muted reception at Netflix. So, if you’re looking for something to watch and nothing getting pushed on the homepage is catching your eye, why not revisit some of the best overlooked films on Netflix?

From campy horror sequels to indie gems that may have been left unseen without the streamer as a platform, Netflix’s massive catalog leaves plenty of room for scroll-sploring. IndieWire staffers have rounded up 60 favorites Netflix hidden gem films here, listed in no particular order.

Zack Sharf and Ryan Lattanzio contributed to this story.

[Editor’s note: This article was originally published in April 2020 and has been updated multiple times since.]

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