The Best Netflix Original Movies of the Year (So Far)

a man sitting on the snow
The Best Netflix Original Movies of the YearNetflix

The greatest burden of the streaming era is the expectation for audiences to constantly follow their favorite films from platform to platform, being traded across streamers like a new Yankee.

What once streamed on Netflix is now available on Hulu, and will soon be streaming on Max, and will eventually end back on Netflix. In the life cycle of streamable content, only one genre is consistent—the Netflix original. Hell, even HBO’s original works are on the move, with shows like Insecure now streaming on Netflix. But that's a problem for another post.

The Netflix Originals are here to stay, on Netflix. With more dropping seemingly each day, it can be hard to keep up with what's missing from your watchlist. If you’ve fallen behind or found yourself lost at an intersection of streamers, here are the 2024 Netflix Originals you can’t miss, both streamable and forthcoming.

Society of the Snow

Netflix’s most alluring awards bait of the season was Society of the Snow, a Spanish survival drama which landed on the streamer in the first few days of the year, racking up 51 million views in its first 11 days of streaming. Nominated for Best International Feature Film and Best Makeup and Hairstyling at this year’s Academy Awards, the film is based on the true story of the Uruguayan rugby team which, in 1971, survived a plane crash in the Andes mountains. It’s giving Yellowjackets, if the team didn’t dabble in witchcraft.

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What Jennifer Did

The culture’s hunger for true crime is insatiable, and Netflix is keeping us well fed. What Jennifer Did is the streamer’s latest murder documentary, following a 2010 case of a home invasion turned deadly, in which 28-year-old Jennifer Pan’s mother was killed and father gravely injured by home intruders. As the name suggests, Jennifer is no victim. What Jennifer Did joins the pantheon of killer kids, in line with Gypsy Rose Blanchard (The People’s Princess) and the Menendez brothers.

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Good Grief

While you were dancing the year away in the final days of 2023, Schitt’s Creek’s Dan Levy was giving us good grief with his latest project, Good Grief. Levy wrote, directed, and stars in the film, which follows a man grieving the death of his husband alongside two of his closest friends. It sounds like a bummer, and in moments it is just that, but ultimately Good Grief is a comedy, albeit a dark one.

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The Greatest Night in Pop

Music historians, though not quite as well fed as murder historians, can dig into a deep collection of content on Netflix, from Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana to Lady Gaga’s Gaga: Five Foot Two to Jon Batiste’s American Symphony. The latest to join the ranks is Bao Nguyen’s The Greatest Night in Pop, a 2024 documentary which depicts the creation and recording of “We Are the World,” a multi-artist charity single which became a major cultural moment in 1985. The documentary features insights from such artists as Lionel Richie, Dionne Warwick, Bruce Springsteen, and Cyndi Lauper.

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Shirley Chisholm has, once again, gotten the muse treatment. Recently portrayed by Uzo Aduba in FX’s Mrs. America, the famous political figure is at the center of her own film from 12 Years a Slave writer John Ridley and starring Regina King. King plays Chisholm throughout her 1972 run for president, the first Black candidate to seek a party’s nomination. That is, after she already made history in 1968 as the first Black woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress. The new film, Shirley, began streaming in March and also stars Lance Reddick, Lucas Hedges, André Holland and more.

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The definitive hero of Netflix’s hit series Sex Education, Gillian Anderson, is back on the streamer, this time seated at the helm of her own feature drama. In Scoop, Anderson plays British journalist Emily Maitlis, who in 2019 made global news by interviewing Prince Andrew on the “scoop of the decade,” his connection to Jeffrey Epstein and allegations against the Prince himself for sexual assault of a minor.

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The Kitchen

This British sci-fi drama wants to be Black Mirror so bad, and it gets close, if you’re into that kind of thing. The Kitchen brings viewers into a dystopian London suffering the elimination of social housing, with only one community of normies left living in fear of being destroyed by the rich. The film was co-written and co-directed by Daniel Kaluuya, who knows a thing or two about sci-fi (and Black Mirror, while we’re on the subject).

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Tyler Perry's Mea Culpa

The latest project from mega-creator Tyler Perry, Mea Culpa stars Kelly Rowland as a criminal defense attorney and Trevante Rhodes as her client, accused of killing his girlfriend. Since its release in February, the film has gone semi-viral online for two reasons – being both incredibly hot and incredibly bad. Take the risk, reap the reward.

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The crypto bro crime documentary, Bitconned, began streaming on January 1st, in support of anyone whose new year’s resolution was to stay far away from day traders. The film centers around the Centra Tech fraud, featuring insights from the founders of the company detailing how they raised more than $32 million with a fake cryptocurrency. This documentary is legitimately interesting, especially given that at the time of Centra Tech’s boy-bossing, crypto was unregulated by the SEC. With Bitconned, Netflix shows us how the (fraudulent) sausage is made.

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Did you know Adam Sandler went to space? Only on Netflix. Spaceman stars Sandler alongside Carey Mulligan, Paul Dano, Kunal Nayyar, and Isabella Rossellini, taking the award for most unexpected cast of the year thus far. Spaceman is Sandler’s latest venture into the drama space as he plays an astronaut sent to the wee edges of the universe, where —alone and growing weary—he encounters a telepathic spider. That’s the real logline, so do with that what you will.

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Millie Bobby Brown leads this dark fantasy film as a young woman who takes control of her fairytale, rejecting a sordid marriage proposal arranged to repay ancient debts. It is, naturally, not enough for the lady to reject the proposal, she must survive endless attacks and battle a literal dragon to earn her freedom.

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Irish Wish

Anything Lindsay Lohan does becomes pop culture history, and with Irish Wish, she’s making bad rom-coms cool again. The latest fruit of her two-picture deal with Netflix, Irish Wish follows a young woman with the mid aughts dream job of Book Editor who is headed to Ireland to watch her best friend marry the man she secretly loves, a cruel and unusual punishment. When she wishes on an ancient stone, she wakes up to find herself at the altar.

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