The options are almost endless! As we continue to spend a good amount of time cozied up on our couches and glued to our rotation of streaming services, it can feel like we've seen just about everything worth watching. Allow us to help add more titles to your watchlist! Wonderwall.com is taking a look at some of the best Netflix original movies to stream… starting with this sweet romantic comedy. Ali Wong and Randall Park star in "Always Be My Maybe," which follows two childhood friends who reconnect 15 years later. With Sasha Tran (Ali) a prestigious celebrity chef and Marcus Kim (Randall) a member of an unsuccessful band, their lives couldn't be more disparate. But as Sasha spends increasingly more time in San Francisco in an effort to launch her latest endeavor, she and Marcus begin to reignite their spark. The enjoyability of this film is also increased by the fact that it's led by two Asian American actors, a rarity in a genre that often lacks diversity. Keep reading for more…
As he's proven on more than one occasion, Noah Baumbach sure can write a compelling, grounded story — and "Marriage Story" is no exception. The Academy Award-nominated film stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as an unhappily married couple who decide to get divorced, only their efforts to keep things amicable throughout the process is muddied when lawyers get involved. Now, amidst a grueling coast-to-coast divorce, they must navigate the circumstance all while co-parenting their 8-year-old son. The film balances the tedious, disheartening subject of divorce with lighthearted moments. It's a difficult feat, really, to make a movie about a dissolving marriage more than just downright sad… but "Marriage Story" does exactly that.
We'd be remiss to not include this movie. "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" stars breakout actress Lana Condor and "The Fosters" actor Noah Centineo as two teens who decide to get into a fake relationship in an effort to help their respective personal lives. Lara Jean Covey (Lana) goes along with it because she's trying to make her sister's ex-boyfriend believe she isn't still in love with him, while Peter Kavinsky (Noah) agrees to it because he's trying to make his ex-girlfriend jealous. From Peter and LJ confiding in one another after an awkward family dinner to that steamy hot tub scene, the teen rom-com is filled with juicy moments. It's also worth noting that this film is responsible for making Noah the internet's boyfriend for a time (seriously… he went from 800K to 13.4 million Instagram followers in just two months). There's also a sequel: Netflix released "To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You" in early 2020.
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"Uncorked" starring Mamoudou Athie tells the charming story of a man who, against his father's wishes, forgoes joining the family BBQ business to pursue his dream of becoming a sommelier. The film, which marks the directorial debut of "Insecure" executive producer Prentice Penny (who also wrote it), has been praised for its delightful leads and equally sweet story chronicling a promising young man's pursuit of his passion.
In a sea of teen romantic comedies, "The Half of It" stands out from the rest because of its atypical love story. From the get go, audiences are warned that this isn't a story in which everyone gets what they want — in fact, it's actually far from that. Instead, we witness the brewing friendship between reserved brainiac Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis), who agrees to help ineloquent jock Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer) write love letters to classmate Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire) in hopes of gaining her affection. Except he's not the only one who likes her… Ellie does too! Similar to "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" and "Always Be My Maybe," "The Half of It" is another Netflix original that features an Asian American lead, and in this case, also a queer person of color. It doesn't try to fall in line with prototypical teen romantic comedies but rather subverts expectation and showcases an uncommon, messy, and tender coming-of-age story through an underrepresented lens.
Written and directed by "Master of None" co-creator Alan Yang, "Tiger Tail" chronicles a man's life story from when he was a young boy in rural China to his experience as a recently divorced father in New York. Through Pin-Jui's eyes (Tzi Ma/Lee Hong-chi), the film offers an affecting look into the immigrant experience in the United States as we watch him go from a carefree child running through rice fields to a hardworking factory worker engaging in a passionate romance with a girl from a wealthy family to a monotonous worker in a loveless marriage. Charting his progression from once full of life to now entirely disillusioned, "Tiger Tail" provides perspective on the sacrifices so many have made in an effort to make it in America.
How does "Someone Great" separate itself from other romantic comedies about getting over a long-term relationship? It feels real. The film starring Gina Rodriguez follows Jenny Young, a 20-something who, after getting dumped by her boyfriend (Lakeith Stanfield), accepts a job that will take her from New York City to San Francisco. As she embarks on one final, wild night out with her girls (Brittany Snow and DeWanda Wise), Jenny inevitably ends up recounting memories of her ex. The film often intercuts between the past and present, showing poignant flashbacks between Jenny and her former love, and it's in those moments we feel most affected. Gina shines as the rom-com's lead.
"Dolemite Is My Name" stars Eddie Murphy as real-life filmmaker Rudy Ray Moore, a rap pioneer who develops an outrageous alter ego named Dolemite. The film has been praised for its captivating telling of Rudy's strange yet thrilling story and Eddie's ability to infectiously channel the legendary blaxploitation figure. At the 2019 Golden Globe Awards, "Dolemite Is My Name" was up for two awards — best actor and best movie musical or comedy.
For those who haven't read the source material, "All the Bright Places" at first feels like a typical romantic drama about two tortured teens who come together and fall in love, but it's so much more than that. Led by Elle Fanning and Justice Smith, the film chronicles the friendship-turned-romance between Violet Markey, who recently lost her sister in a car accident, and Theodore Finch, a boy obsessed with the concept of death. It isn't without its moments of levity or lighthearted teen romance, but "All the Bright Places" also shows mental illness among teens in such a humanistic way.
Set in Mexico City during the '70s, Alfonso Cuarón's "Roma" tells the story of Cleo, a live-in domestic worker who, after finding out she's pregnant and that her boss's husband has run way with his mistress, is invited to go on vacation with the family. The film received several nominations at the 2019 Academy Awards including best picture, best original screenplay and best actress for Yalitza Aparicio. It also took home three Oscars — for best foreign language film, best director and best cinematography.
If you're looking for a film with a great vibe that makes you smile the majority of the time, consider your search over. Starring Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell, "Set It Up" follows Harper Moore and Charlie Young, two personal assistants who, in an effort to make their own lives more tolerable, team up to make their demanding, workaholic bosses fall in love with one another. Of course, the love story at hand isn't between their bosses — it's the one brewing between Harper and Charlie. While the charming love story between these unknowing leads is reason enough to fall in love with the flick, its New York City background makes it all the more dreamy. From climbing up fire escapes with a box of pizza to dancing in the moonlight on an NYC rooftop complete with fairy lights, this is a rom-com that pulls at your heartstrings… in the best way possible.
"The Fundamentals of Caring" starring Paul Rudd tells the story of a writer who gives up his profession after personal tragedy strikes and he finds himself as the caretaker of Trevor, a disabled teenager (Craig Roberts). In a pursuit to visit the world's deepest pit and visit Trevor's father, the pair go on a road trip and meet Dot (Selena Gomez), a hitchhiker who wants to relocate to Denver. Together, the trio embark on a journey across America and deepen their understanding of and friendships with one another. The road dramedy, which was based on Jonathan Evison's 2012 novel "The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving," hit the streaming service in 2016.
What softened the blow of finding out that Tina Fey's "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" was coming to an end? An interactive special! In May 2020, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend" debuted on Netflix. It follows Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) as she plots to take down The Reverend (Jon Hamm) before tying the knot with a famous writer named Frederick (Daniel Radcliffe). The special, which has been praised for its hidden Easter eggs and the way it takes viewers on a twisted, joke-infused adventure, earned two nominations at the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards including outstanding television movie.
How good can a movie about teens who run a kissing booth be? Answer: Surprisingly good. When Elle Evans (Joey King) begins dating best friend Lee Flynn's (Joel Courtney) brother Noah (Jacob Elordi), she's forced to keep it under wraps due to Rule #9 of their friendship agreement: "Relatives of your best friend are totally off-limits." As Elle and Noah fall harder for each other, their ability to hide the truth of their connection becomes increasingly difficult. Set in Los Angeles (but actually filmed in South Africa), "The Kissing Booth" offers a saturated, lavish, palm tree-infused depiction of what life looks like for these elite teens. Even better? There's more: Sequel "The Kissing Booth 2" came out in July 2020.
Charlize Theron stars in "The Old Guard," a superhero flick based on the comic book of the same name. The film follows Andy and a band of immortal mercenaries (KiKi Layne, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Marinelli and Harry Melling) as they embark on a revenge mission after someone threatens to expose their secret. In addition to receiving praise for its thrilling, combative action, the film was also commended for its inclusion of LGBTQ superheroes, a rarity in the genre.
Starring Sam Claflin, Olivia Munn and Eleanor Tomlinson, "Love Wedding Repeat" chronicles a wedding from alternate perspectives as Jack, the brother of the bride, sets out to ensure that his little sister's big day is everything she hoped for. While the story isn't anything special, its attractive cast and gorgeous setting (it was filmed in Rome!) are reason enough to watch.
"The King" chronicles young King Henry V's rise to the throne following the death of his tyrannical father in the 15th century. Finding himself in a position of unexpected power, we watch has Hal navigates a war, palace politics and the pressure of rising to the occasion. Timothée Chalamet received critical acclaim for his starring role in the historical war drama.
A Noah Baumbach project appears on our list once again! Written and directed by the mind behind "Marriage Story," "The Meyerowitz Stories" chronicles the experiences of a group of siblings who reunite in New York for a retrospective look back at their successful sculptor-college professor father's career. The dramedy starring Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson and Elizabeth Marvel has been commended for its exploration of dysfunctional family dynamics through a bittersweet lens. Critics praised Adam's portrayal of son Danny Meyerowitz as one of the best of his career.
A title so cheesy, you can't help but be the least bit intrigued. Starring Christina Milian and Adam Demos, "Falling Inn Love" tells the love story between Gabriela Diaz and Jake Taylor, two strangers who meet at a dilapidated inn in New Zealand's countryside through a "Win an Inn" contest. Cozy, feel-good and comfortingly predictable, "Falling Inn Love" makes for an easy, light-hearted watch.
Led by Sandra Bullock, "Bird Box" follows Malorie Hayes as she tries to protect her two children from supernatural forces that claim the lives of those who make eye contact with them. There was a ton of hype surrounding the 2018 film, and even if you hadn't seen it, you at least heard about the controversial "Bird Box Challenge." While the horror flick has been criticized for its failure to live up to its intriguing concept, Sandra was commended for her stellar performance.