The Best Netflix Movies To Watch in 2024

From "Baby J" to "The Killer," "May December," and beyond.4 min

Not sure what to watch, stream-king? Have you already blown through everything on your watchlist and now you're pouting on the couch? Well, pout no longer! Streaming giants are always churning out new stuff for you to watch, and 2023 has been a banner year for Netflix.

From sports documentaries and gritty thrillers to cuddly family adventures, fantastical dramedies, and prestige pics full of twists, Netflix has an original crop of new movies to freshen up your queue! All you have to do is press play.

Here are the best Netflix original movies released in 2023.

1. May December

Julianne Moore and Charles Melton in "May December."

Credit: Francois Duhamel / Netflix

On its surface, the latest from Todd Haynes (Carol, Velvet Goldmine) may seem like a thinly veiled reexamination of a true crime tale that had '90s tabloids absolutely obsessed. Screenwriter Samy Burch uses this familiar framework to construct a story that delivers a dishy parody of a melodrama, down to a string-zinging score and comically banal dialogue about hot dogs. She's also built a keen device to evaluate our obsession with true crime, for better or for ghoulish.

In May December, Julianne Moore plays a wife and mother who has a shameful (and criminal) past, which involves how she met her current husband (Charles Melton). When a TV actress (Natalie Portman) wants to turn their lives into a movie, old wounds are reopened. Beneath the blistering domestic drama, Haynes and Burch weave in a sharp and sophisticated humor that invites audiences to bark with laughter, even as their jaws drop in shock.* — Kristy Puchko, Film Editor

2. Leave the World Behind 

Myha'la, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, and Julia Roberts in "Leave the World Behind."

Credit: JoJo Whilden / Netflix

If the world was really ending and communications systems were spotty, the average Joe wouldn’t be in the war room with access to the latest crisis updates. They’d have no clue what was going on — and wouldn’t that be even scarier? That’s more or less the main question running through Leave the World Behind, a patient thriller imbued with an oppressive sense of doom.

Based on the Rumaan Alam novel of the same name and produced by the Obamas’ Higher Ground production company, Leave the World Behind begins with Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke bringing their Brooklyn family to a rental home outside the city for the weekend. Slowly, and with stark, disorienting cinematography, confusing events amass around them. An oil tanker’s navigation fails, and it runs aground at their beach. A blackout forces the owners of the vacation house, Mahershala Ali and Myha'la, to ring the doorbell and ask to come home. Animals are acting strange. The internet is down, and no one can stream Friends! While some have said the pacing is too slow, a steady metronome of dread paired with escalating paranoia will keep you hooked, all the while asking yourself, “What would I do if it were me?”


3. Fair Play

Alden Ehrenreich and Phoebe Dynevor in "Fair Play."

Credit: Netflix

Phoebe Dynevor is Emily Meyers, blissfully in love and newly engaged to a fellow analyst at a hedge fund, Luke Edmunds (Alden Ehrenreich). They have to keep their relationship secret, however, since it breaks company policy. That doesn’t stop this lovesick pair — they’ll overcome any obstacle, together! Until Emily gets a promotion and becomes Luke’s boss. That is one obstacle too far for Luke. He goes from supportive to sinister in the blink of an eye, making sly remarks about her wardrobe, withholding affection, and believing sexist rumors that she slept her way to the top. It’s only a matter of time before this breakup gets bloody.

Dark, tense, and stylish, Fair Play puts gender roles firmly in its crosshairs. It’s not saying anything particularly new, but that’s just fine. This Sundance darling is a solid psychological thriller with a splash finish. 

4. They Cloned Tyrone 

John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, and Jamie Foxx in "They Cloned Tyrone."

Credit: Netflix

With this 2023 release, co-writer/director Juel Taylor pulls plenty of inspiration from Blaxploitation. John Boyega, Jamie Foxx, and Teyonah Parris star as a drug dealer, a pimp, and a sex worker who undercover a nefarious conspiracy that's happening underneath their neighborhood. Taylor and fellow screenwriter Tony Rettenmaier weave in wild twists, fly fight scenes, irreverent humor, and swaggering style for what our critic called "a propulsive comedy-thriller with weight." As bold as it is star-studded, you won't want to miss They Cloned Tyrone. And stay for the credits, trust us.* — K.P.

5. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

Benedict Cumberbatch in "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar."

Credit: Netflix

Arch, quirky, and highly choreographed, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is a story within a story within a story, and so on. Based on the short by Roald Dahl, the movie opens with Dahl himself (Ralph Fiennes) introducing and then narrating the story of a man, Henry Sugar, who does nothing with his money but gamble. Sugar (Benedict Cumberbatch) takes over the narration to tell of the moment he first learned of a doctor who met a man who could see without using his eyes. Within that story is the tale of how this man met a guru who taught him everything he knows. This story-Russian-nesting-doll affects Sugar profoundly; he abruptly changes the course of his life. If you like Wes Anderson, you’ll love this sweet and stylized short film. 

Helen Akpabio<span class="bp-verified-badge"></span>

The simplest girl you'll ever come across. But I have my boundaries

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