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Heidi Venable

The Best 2023 Netflix Movies, Ranked

Fontaine, Yo-Yo, and Slick Charles looking at clone body in They Cloned Tyrone.

Netflix releases hundreds of original movies each year, in every genre imaginable. It’s not quantity over quality, either, as there are some excellent options available, with A-list casts and A+ storytelling. Some of the streamer’s films have even seen some love from the Academy come awards season. This year was no different, but it can definitely be overwhelming trying to figure out which direction you want your movie night to go. We’re here to help with a ranking of the 15 best 2023 Netflix movies.

This year’s crop includes family-friendly fare, action, documentaries, romantic comedies and plenty of drama from actors including Bradley Cooper, Adam Sandler, Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth and more. Don’t spend your night scrolling through all the options your Netflix subscription has to offer. Add these to your queue, throw the popcorn in the microwave and hit Play. 

(Image credit: Netflix)

15. Love At First Sight

Haley Lu Richardson and Ben Hardy star in Love at First Sight, a film adaptation of the beloved Jennifer E. Smith book. This adorably quirky love story sees Hadley and Oliver start to form a connection on a flight from New York to London — a flight Hadley wouldn’t have even been on had she arrived at the airport four minutes earlier. What’s more unlikely than their meeting is that they’ll ever see each other again. But fate has a way of intervening, it seems, and this rom-com left us hoping that Netflix will do more romances like this one in the future.  

(Image credit: Jasin Boland/Netflix)

14. Extraction 2

Chris Hemsworth returns as Tyler Rake in this sequel that is somehow even more thrilling than the 2020 original. Extraction 2 sees the black ops mercenary working hard to return to form (after nearly dying in the first movie) in order to take on a new assignment with personal and deadly stakes. This film is a shot of pure adrenaline and is easily one of the best action movies of 2023. I had to forcibly unclench my jaw several times during the “instantly iconic” 21-minute prison break scene

(Image credit: Netflix)

13. Fair Play

Fair Play is not a fun watch, with its gritty exploration of how corporate greed, personal ambition and gender politics expose the ugliest side of its protagonists’ relationship. Colleagues Emily (Phoebe Dynevor) and Luke (Alden Ehrenreich) are engaged in a secret romance, but their personal and professional dynamics shift after Emily gets a promotion they thought was going to Luke. Dynevor and Ehrenreich give utterly gripping performances in the erotic thriller that refuses to blink, especially when the tension rises to the most uncomfortable levels. 

(Image credit: Netflix)

12. Pamela, A Love Story

Pamela: A Love Story opens with its subject popping a home video of her and ex-husband Tommy Lee into a VHS player — it’s just not the one at the center of every other story about the Baywatch bombshell. In this stunning documentary, Pamela Anderson tells her own story, getting real about her upbringing, career, marriages, children, the infamous sex tape and how much the Pam & Tommy series hurt her. But that doesn’t mean she’s willing to relive her pain, as she refuses to read the diaries she gives to the filmmakers. Her scars have been ripped open again and again, and this documentary shows a woman who chooses every day not to be a victim. 

(Image credit: Netflix)

11. The Killer

Audiences who fired up their Netflix accounts to see David Fincher’s action thriller The Killer were perplexed when Michael Fassbender’s unnamed assassin spent the first chunk of the film reciting an inner monologue of the platitudes he abides by on the job. We should know not to doubt the filmmaker though, as the killer’s agenda takes a turn after a job goes wrong. The style of The Killer is unmistakably Fincher, who pairs up again with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for a brilliant score. Prepare for a slow burn to start, but you won’t be disappointed in this one. 

(Image credit: Netflix)

10. Leave The World Behind

In Leave the World Behind, Sam Esmail takes an A-list cast of Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke and Kevin Bacon and drops them in the middle of the end of the world. But how do you know it’s the end of the world with no access to media or information? The uncertainty, distrust and altogether bizarre circumstances that befall the Sandford and Scott families make this one of the best horror movies of 2023 — and not just because the apocalypse might mean losing our access to on-demand Friends reruns. 

(Image credit: Netflix)

9. You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah

Adam Sandler has been trying new things in his career for a while, and this year he’s on a Netflix roll, with two of his projects geared toward younger audiences earning spots on this list. The first, You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah, stars the whole Sandler clan in one of the best coming-of-age movies in a long time. Parents will find plenty of humor and heart in this YA novel adaptation that celebrates the power of friendship. 

(Image credit: Netflix)

8. Leo

Leo targets an even younger audience, as Adam Sandler and Bill Burr voice two longtime class pets. The titular talking iguana wins over the elementary school students, as he imparts the wisdom he’s gleaned from watching decades of fifth-graders come and go. There’s some serious subject matter in play here, with conversations about mortality, but some really good lessons too. Sandler’s comedy also lends itself well to fifth-grade sensibilities, making for some A+ jokes and musical numbers.

(Image credit: Netflix)

7. Wes Anderson's Roald Dahl Collection

Following Wes Anderson’s 2009 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, the famed director has returned with four short films — The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, The Ratcatcher, Poison and The Swan. The first of these — also the longest at around 40 minutes — premiered to much acclaim at Venice Film Festival, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular character. Regular Anderson collaborator Ralph Fiennes appears in all four shorts.

The style of the four offerings is unmistakably Wes Anderson, with scenery and set pieces being changed out as the characters break the fourth wall to narrate Roald Dahl’s stories. The dialogue is quick, the settings colorful, and each short is a creative endeavor worth checking out.

(Image credit: Netflix)

6. Rustin

Colman Domingo is one actor who might be looking at an Academy Award nomination this season for his role as the titular character in Rustin. This biographical drama tells the story of civil rights activist Bayard Rustin — and particularly his role in organizing the 1963 March on Washington. The movie provides new context to an important moment in our country’s history, making it one of our writers’ favorite movies about the civil rights movement. It gives long-overdue recognition to a man who was often overlooked because of his sexuality. 

(Image credit: Netflix)

5. The Deepest Breath

The Deepest Breath takes viewers inside the world of freediving, where divers hold their breath for several minutes while plunging to terrifying depths. Specifically the story centers around Italian freediver Alessia Zecchini and her attempts to break a world record with the help of coach-turned-lover Stephen Keenan. This documentary often feels more like a thriller — with hints of a love story — and in the same vein as 2018’s Free Solo, you’ll find that you’re having to remind yourself to keep breathing. 

(Image credit: Netflix)

4. They Cloned Tyrone

They Cloned Tyrone was a big surprise this year in how it crossed over into so many genres and managed to master them all. This sci-fi flick from Juel Taylor in his directorial debut is an amazing callback to 1970s Blaxploitation, a sharp commentary on race and also one of the funniest movies of the year. John Boyega, Teyonah Parris and Jamie Foxx star as our unlikely heroes, who uncover a government cloning conspiracy. Great performances and smart writing combine for a movie that only gets better on the rewatch. 

(Image credit: Netflix)

3. Maestro

Bradley Cooper dons multiple hats for Maestro as director, writer and star. The biopic focuses on American composer Leonard Bernstein and his complicated relationship with wife Felicia Montealegre (Carey Mulligan). An ambitious look at the man behind the music, Maestro sees career-best performances from Cooper and Mulligan, and it’s all but guaranteed to be all over the Oscar ballots. 

(Image credit: Netflix)

2. Nimona

One of the most moving films of the year, Nimona tells the daring story of Ballister Boldheart (Riz Ahmed), a knight who teams up with the titular shapeshifter (Chloë Grace Moretz) after being accused of murdering his queen. The graphic novel adaptation is all the stronger for not shying away from weightier topics, and combined with its gorgeous animation and emotionally impactful story, Nimona will strike a chord with viewers of all ages. 

(Image credit: Cr. Courtesy of Netflix)

1. May December

In a movie starring Academy Award winners Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore, you might be surprised to hear that it’s Riverdale actor Charles Melton’s performance in May December that’s garnering the most Oscar buzz. Melton plays Joe, who was in seventh grade when he became involved with Moore’s Gracie a couple of decades earlier. Portman plays the actress Elizabeth, who visits the couple for research before portraying Gracie in a movie about the scandal. May December is darkly funny and often uncomfortable. Bordering on campy, this compelling character study will stick with you long after the credits roll, making it our choice for the best Netflix movie of the year. 

If these Netflix originals weren’t on your radar this year, hopefully we’ve given you some inspiration for your next at-home movie night. It’s never too early to get a start on next year, either, so take a look at the 2024 Netflix movie schedule to see what films might make this list next year! 

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