The Best Netflix Original Films

The dramas, rom-coms, and documentaries you need in your life right now.

Woman looks out into the distance.
(Image credit: Bridget Burns)

Movies offer the unique chance to escape reality, even if only for a couple of hours. If you're quarantining (and, you better be!) and need to leave your couch (in your mind, that is), we've got your back with a few Netflix original films that will transport you. Whether you're catching up on flicks you never had time to see all the way through or enjoying one of these films for a second (or third... or fourth...) time, we guarantee you a much-needed mini mental escape.

Rom-Coms and Feel-Good Flicks

To All the Boys I've Loved Before and To All the Boys I've Loved Before, P.S. I Still Love You

Starring: Lana Condor and Noah Centineo
What it's about: I'm putting these two together because it would be socially irresponsible to not watch them back to back. After Lara Jean's (Condor) past love letters get out, she begins to fake-date one of their recipients, popular guy Peter (Centineo). Spoiler alert: They fall for each other for real. Double spoiler alert: Things get complicated in the sequel when another love-letter recipient comes back to town.


Starring: Gillian Jacobs, Vanessa Bayer, Phoebe Robinson, Richard Madden
What it's about: A business to Barcelona trip gets wild after a Harper (Jacobs) chases a DJ (Madden) to, you guessed it, Ibiza. A rom-com, yes, but female friendship takes center stage in this fun flick.

Set It Up

Starring: Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Lucy Liu
What it's about: Harper (Deutch) and Charlie (Powell) are both overworked assistants to bosses from hell. So, the two hatch a plan to get their higher-ups to fall for each other. Watch this one over a video call with your co-workers.

Always Be My Maybe

Starring: Ali Wong, Randall Park, Keanu Reeves, James Saito
What it's about: Restauranteur Sasha (Wong) thought she had her whole life planned out... that is, until her high school romance floats back into her life. Will ancient history become a little less ancient? Just in case you were still deciding to watch, you should know: Keanu Reeves makes a cameo.

The Kissing Booth

Starring: Joey King, Joel Courtney, Jacob Elordi
What it's about: Elle (King) and Lee (Courtney) are inseparable best friends. But when Elle falls for Lee's older brother Noah (Elordi) at a carnival kissing booth and decides to date him in secret, things get decidedly more complicated. What could possibly go wrong?

Someone Great

Starring: Gina Rodriguez, LaKeith Stanfield, Brittany Snow
What it's about: After landing her dream job across the county, music journalist Jenny gets dumped by her long-term boyfriend. With the little help from her two best friends, Jenny decides to get over him (and live it up) for one last night in New York City.

Wine Country

Starring: Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Maya Rudolph, Paula Pell, Emily Spivey
What it's about: 
The queens of comedy (see above) come together for this hilarious story about a group of friends celebrating a birthday in Napa Valley. Debauchery ensues.

Tall Girl

Starring: Ava Michelle, Sabrina Carpenter, Griffin Gluck
What it's about: At 6'1", Jodi (Michelle) towers over every person in her class, making dating ultra difficult. But with the help of a hot foreign exchange student (have to have one, amiright?) she begins to find love, and more importantly, self-acceptance.

The Perfect Date

Starring: Noah Centineo, Laura Marano, Camila Mendes
What it's about: Centineo is back, and this time his character has a morally-ambiguous but entertaining plan. To make money for college, Brooks (the aforementioned internet boyfriend that is Centineo) builds an app that offers his dating services to any girl.


Lost Girls

Starring: Amy Ryan, Thomasin McKenzie, Gabriel Byrne
What it's about: Based on true events, a mother investigates her daughter's disappearance after the police drop the case. Shining light on dangers of sex work in the U.S., Lost Girls is a powerful testament to a mother's love.

All the Bright Places

Starring: Elle Fanning and Justice Smith
What it's about: Based on the popular Y.A. novel of the same name, two high school students find solace in each other after past traumas. Prepare to feel all the feels.

Horse Girl

Starring: Alison Brie, Molly Shannon
What it's about: The slightly off-kilter Sarah (Brie) is obsessed with crafting, horses, and supernatural crime shows (who isn't?). When strange things start to happen, Sarah (and the audience) are left questioning what's real and what's a figment of her imagination. Horse Girl is a psychological thriller to add to your queue when you need a break from rom-coms.

Bird Box

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich
What it's about: The movie that inspired countless Internet memes is a must-see (even if the premise is not seeing anything at all). After mysterious monsters take over Earth, survivors must blindfold themselves to avoid seeing the creatures (which kill them). Sandra Bullock leads this edge-of-your seat thriller.


Starring: Danielle Macdonald and Jennifer Aniston
What it's about: In this Dolly Parton-dripping feel-gooder, Will (Mcdonald) is the plus-size daughter to a clueless but well-meaning former beauty-queen mom (Aniston) who decides to join the town pageant.


Starring: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey
What it's about: The award-winning 2018 drama is a semi-autobiographical look at the life of director Alfonso Cuarón, who was a a live-in housekeeper to a middle-class family in Mexico.

Marriage Story

Starring: Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver
What it's about: Get ready for a rollercoaster of emotions. Johansson and Driver play a couple going through a bicoastal divorce, fighting for custody over their young son. Heartbreaking yet tender, Marriage Story is a devastating portrait of a marriage gone sour.

The Two Popes

Starring: Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce
What it's about: 
Based on real events and set in Vatican City after the Vatican leaks scandal (where documents exposing corruption in the church were exposed), this film is a dramatic look into life behind the altar.

The Irishman

Starring: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci
What it's about: One of the most buzzed about films of 2019, this crime drama about a mobster family and their hired hitman rivals The Godfather as our organized crime favorite flick.

Sierra Burgess Is a Loser

Starring: Shannon Purser, Kristine Froseth, RJ Cyler, Noah Centineo
What it's about:
 The Centineo trifecta is complete: In this heart-tugger, Sierra (Purser) accidentally dupes Jamey (Centineo) into thinking she's a popular cheerleader. As her web of lies spins out of her control, Sierra begins to understand how self-love is truly the most attractive quality.

The Laundromat

Starring: Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas, Meryl Streep, James Cromwell
What it's about: Come for Meryl, stay for Meryl. The biographical comedy drama finds Ellen (Meryl, duh) investigating a fake insurance policy.


Miss Americana

Starring: Taylor Swift, Andrea Swift, Scott Swift
What it's about: In this Taylor Swift documentary, the global superstar gets candid on life in the public eye. Both Swifties and haters will find something to love. Trust.

Gaga: Five Foot Two

Starring: Lady Gaga, Cynthia Germanotta, Andrea Gelardin
What it's about: 
It's Lady Gaga like you've never seen her before: Stripped of makeup and glamour, this documentary introduces us to the woman behind the persona, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.


Starring: Beyoncé, Joe Brown, Jay-Z, Blue Ivy Carter
What it's about: 
Attention, beehive: Mega-phenomena that is Beyoncé gives viewers a rare peak inside her notoriously private life.

American Factory

Starring: Junming ‘Jimmy’ Wang, Robert Allen, Dave Burrows, John Crane, Sherrod Brown
What it's about: Produced by Barack and Michelle Obama's production company, Higher Ground Productions, this Oscar-winning documentary explore the lives of factory workers in Ohio and their Chinese billionaire boss.

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Megan DiTrolio

Megan DiTrolio is the editor of features and special projects at Marie Claire, where she oversees all career coverage and writes and edits stories on women’s issues, politics, cultural trends, and more. In addition to editing feature stories, she programs Marie Claire’s annual Power Trip conference and Marie Claire’s Getting Down To Business Instagram Live franchise.