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15 Best Netflix Original Movies

Netflix Originals

What are the best original movies to watch on Netflix? Now that the streaming service has become a legitimate awards season contender, subscribers are paying more attention to Netflix's original content.

Until 2015, Netflix was just a popular destination for cord-cutters and streamers. And then everything changed, as Netflix began producing original films, marking a major shift in the film industry as high quality mid-budget movies became available to watch at home immediately upon release.

Related: The 25 Best Films on Netflix Right Now

Not all Netflix Originals will be awards season contenders, but most are entertaining. It all depends on what you're looking for. A romantic comedy? An art house film? How about a movie that's representative of 2019 culture? Check out our list of 15 Netflix Originals that you need to watch ASAP.

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15. Triple Frontier

As a throwback genre film, Triple Frontier checks all the boxes. For one, there’s an all-star cast led Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Pedro Pascal, Garrett Hedlund, and Ben Affleck. In addition, director J.C. Chandor provides numerous ridiculously awesome sequences as the former Special Ops crew pulls off a heist in South America - moments that you'll need to text somebody about. Most importantly, however, Triple Frontier doesn’t take itself too seriously. 

From a critical point of view, Triple Frontier can be easily picked apart. There are blatant plot holes, and many viewers will surely laugh at the heightened sense of male bravado. But that’s part of the fun, as Triple Frontier is all about embracing the action, and how the characters react. Chandor and co-screenwriter Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty) infuse the military aspects with authenticity, while the male leads anchor the film with their puffed-chest camaraderie. Triple Frontier is a wild ride from beginning to end; a film that's worthy of multiple re-watches, if only for pure popcorn entertainment. 

14. Someone Great

Starring Gina Rodriguez, Brittany Snow, and DeWanda Wise, Someone Great is perfect for the late-twenties crowd. While many romantic comedies target younger millennials with trendy dialogue and pop culture references, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson takes a more mature approach with Someone Great. Each of the female protagonists seem to understand that passion alone won’t get them through life; they have to work, and work hard. 

More: Someone Great Review: Gina Rodriguez's Rom-Com Is A Win For Netflix

Aesthetically, Someone Great looks beautiful with its warm color palette, tinged with pinks and blues. Plus, the music alone elevates many scenes, most notably when Lorde’s “Supercut" hits. And while Lakeith Stanfield doesn’t receive much screen time, it works to the film’s advantage, as the female leads are indeed the primary focus. There’s substance behind all the style, as Someone Great's characters back up the talk and walk the walk, at least in terms of how they approach their wants and needs.  

13. The Kindergarten Teacher

Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Kindergarten Teacher

Directed by Sara Colangelo, The Kindergarten Teacher is the story of a well-meaning educator who crosses the line. Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as Lisa Spinelli, the titular character who recognizes that one of her young students, Jimmy, has a knack for poetry. Naturally, Lisa attempts to nurture Jimmy’s talent, though personal issues ultimately cloud her judgment. 

In The Kindergarten Teacher's main role, Gyllenhaal delivers an unnerving performance as a woman who loses her sense of self. As a director, Colangelo keeps the audience off-guard, as the troubled Lisa manipulates the truth for self-serving reasons, only to progressively spiral out of control. The Kindergarten Teacher raises questions about mental health and emotional support, both in domestic and educational settings. And whereas some Netflix Originals invite the audience to contemplate different ways of life across the world, this particular film asks the viewer to look within, and to consider how feelings of inadequacy can affect one’s daily decisions.   

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