The era of streaming television and movies has been great, hasn’t it? There’s content all the time, and no matter who you are or what you’re into, there will always be something out there that appeals to you.
The downside is that there’s so much of it that it’s easy to miss some truly awesome offerings – like these 50 movies and television shows that you should definitely check out if you haven’t already.
50. The Perfection (2019)
This movie, starring Allison Williams, Logan Browning, Steven Weber, and Alaina Huffman, follows two brilliant young cellists as they’re forced to make decisions about life and their careers – and whether to bond or be the sort of competitors that define careers.
The film has more twists and shocking moments that you’ll believe, and there’s a good chance you’re going to need a few hours afterward just to unpack it all.
It’s great, unexpected, and entertaining, so really, what more could you ask for?
49. Marriage Story (2019)
It’s not much of an upper, but this stark relationship drama that stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson is honest to a fault.
If you’ve ever been through a divorce (as any part of the equation) there’s no doubt the raw emotions this couple navigate as they decide to go their separate ways is definitely going to hit home.
It was nominated for several Oscars, too, so you don’t just have to take my word for it.
48. Narcos (2015)
This television show is based on the real life exploits of Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar (played by Wagner), the leader of the Medellin Cartel. The first season showcases Escobar’s rise to power, and season 2 illuminates his capture.
This show was widely known when it debuted, but that was back in 2015, so if you’re a newer viewer, you might not have figured out to click on it yet – but you should!
There is a decent amount of action and graphic scenes, so if that’s not your thing, be warned.
47. Marianne (2019)
If you’re a fan of the horror genre, you cannot miss this French series about a novelist (played by Victoire Du Bois) who writes about a witch, Marianne.
The catch? The witch was real, and haunted the author’s childhood so intensely that despite the fame and money, she’s a depressed boozer.
As long as she continues to write about her, Marianne leaves them alone – so can she ever stop writing her novels?
This is a great concept, and even though it’s a bit of a slow burn, the payoff is worth it. Sadly, we only got one season, but maybe you can find the French version subtitled somewhere if you want to watch more.
46. Beasts of No Nation (2015)
This original movie is about a West African boy forced to become a child fighter. His commandant is played by Idris Elba, who becomes something of a father figure after the child’s own father is offed in extended conflicts.
This was Netflix’s first original movie and both critics and audiences gave it a high rating. It’s not an easy movie to watch, though, and that fact could definitely have contributed to its lack of views.
That said, awareness is important with these issues, so there’s no understating the impact that highlighting the tragic plight of child fighters can have in reality.
Brace your heart and dive in.
45. 6 Balloons (2018)
This is the story of siblings Katie and Seth, and the way that drug addiction tears apart not only the people mired in their addiction, but their families as well.
Actors Abbi Jacobson and Dave Franco are more well known for their comedic work, but they do a beautiful job with dramatic roles in this film.
As Seth continues to fail at stopping his habit, Katie is left to pick up the pieces – and if they can’t work together to get him to detox soon, it might be too late.
The movie is a little bit rough around the edges, but it will hit you in the feels – especially considering how many people have families that are struggling in similar ways.
44. GLOW (2017)
This series has garnered lots of fans since its release, perhaps because the 80s are a popular era these days.
This show takes place in 1985 Los Angeles, following a struggling actress who takes a role in the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling as a last resort. There is drama galore as we follow the personal and professional lives of not only Ruth, but everyone in GLOW.
This show has the drama, the talented cast – Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Sydelle Noel, among others – and the kitsch of the professional wrestling world to boot.
There are three seasons available, with the fourth and final coming soon, so you have plenty of time to catch up!
43. Raising Dion (2019)
Michael B. Jordan is one of the minds behind this comic book adaptation, which follows a young boy who develops superhuman abilities. His mom teachers him to control them, but as Dion struggles to rein in his emotions, things get out of control.
Michael B. Jordan also portrays the boy’s father in a series of flashbacks, who is not in the picture.
If you’re thinking you’ve seen and/or read it all when it comes to this trope, you might be refreshed by this take, and by how much you’ll grow to root for the characters.
42. 1922 (2017)
This is yet another adaptation of a Stephen King story of the same title, and in it, we meet Wilfred James, a man who offs his wife in a fit of petty anger.
He gets rid of her body and does his best to move on, but her ghost makes that harder and harder to do.
Like most King properties, this has mystery and intrigue for days, and this psychological thriller brings what you’d expect and then some – it will keep you on the edge of your seat, for sure.
41. Roma (2018)
This award show darling is shown from the point-of-view of a live-in housekeeper for a middle-class family living in Mexico. Critics and audiences both adored the film, which is a work of art and beautifully filmed.
Roma was Netflix’s first nomination for Best Picture, but we know that it won’t be the last. It was also nominated for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Cinematography.
40. One Day at a Time (2016)
This is a television series that showcases real-life issues that face the Cuban-American community today – things like being a single parent, discrimination, and mental illness. The characters are struggling and flawed, but all genuine enough to truly connect with audiences.
Fans of the sitcom fought hard to keep it going, but there are still only three seasons for you to enjoy.
Pop! picked the series up, though, so if you’ve got access to that network, you will get to see a season 4.
39. Easy (2016)
This series is a modern take on love in all of its many forms, and the dramedy (but more drama than comedy) has a great cast of characters with deeply personal stories to tell.
It’s an anthology format, with married people, divorced couples, single folks, and a few things in between. There are three seasons (with no more coming), so binge away.
38. Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)
This original movie is a satirical thriller that exists inside the Los Angeles’ contemporary art world. There’s more to the story, though, because the art works of a recently deceased artist come to life and actually haunt the people who bought them.
Yeah, what a concept, right?
It’s well-done and stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Zawe Ashton, and Toni Collette , and it will definitely have you thinking about your artwork in a totally different way.
Love it or hate it, I doubt you’ll be sorry that you saw it!
37. Cargo (2018)
Set in a dystopian Australian post-zombie plague, Cargo revolves around a man racing against the clock to save his infant daughter. Most of humanity is gone, he’s infected, and he has to get his daughter to safety before he turns into the undead.
Based on a short film, this movie might be a bit too much in our current pandemic life, but you should make time for it when you feel ready – the film comes with plenty of heart, some twists, and even some surprises that will keep you guessing until the final frames.
36. BoJack Horseman (2014)
You might have heard about BoJack Horseman, because it’s pretty popular among its fans, but if you haven’t taken a leap before now, we think you definitely should.
The title character is voiced by Will Arnett, and is a washed up actor who craves his old lifestyle. Though the premise (and the follow through) can sometimes be dark, it’s worth it for its relatable characters and honest portrayals of mental illness.
It’s also a show that’s clever and quick dialogue delivers plenty of laughs.
Sadly, it was canceled after just two seasons, but those episodes are must-sees.
35. Dead to Me (2019)
Christina Applegate plays Jen, a woman who is attending a support group to cope with the sudden loss of her husband. There she meets Judy (Linda Cardellini) who says she’ going through the same thing…but she’s not.
This is a dark comedy with nary a scent of preachiness and that packs considerable empowerment punch. It’s bingeable, with a couple of seasons and quick episodes, and there’s plenty to unpack going toward.
People who have watched it are rabid fans, and if you check it out, there’s a good chance you will be, too.
34. Gerald’s Game (2017)
Another Stephen King property, this movie follows a married couple on a short getaway they hope will rekindle their romantic side. Things go awry when, after tying up his wife for a bit of spicy fun, the husband (played by Bruce Greenwood) has a heart attack and dies.
The wife (played by Carla Gugino) has to figure out how to free herself and conquer the panicked visions of someone else in the room…if they’re visions at all.
The movie isn’t for the faint of heart, but fans of the genre are going wild for it from the edges of their seats.
33. Someone Great (2019)
A trio of best friends, played by Gina Rodriguez, DeWanda Wise, and Brittany Snow, get together to help one of them recover from a devastating breakup with a longtime partner.
This is a relatable take on heartbreak, and reminds us how important good friends are to a happy life. If you’re a fan of heartfelt romcoms and great girlfriend stories, you don’t want to miss this one.
32. Atypical (2017)
Who doesn’t love a coming-of-age story?
This one follows Sam, an 18-year-old boy on the autism spectrum desperate to find love. There’s also a great supporting cast of characters with desires and compelling stories of their own.
This is a well-write drama with colorful characters that are well worth your time, and the autistic representation is necessary and well-drawn.
31. The Haunting of Hill House (2018)
By now, you’ve probably heard about The Haunting of Hill House, but if you still haven’t seen it, I’m here to tell you all of the reasons you should rectify that as soon as possible.
This is horror, or at least a haunting story, and while it’s atmospheric and creepy – and delivers a few jump-scares – you’ll be surprised at the emotional depth that also exists in every single scene.
The story follows four siblings who try to make sense of the months they spent at the mercy of paranormal activity in Hill House, all while saying goodbye to the one within their ranks who couldn’t take living with their secrets anymore.
30. Bird Box (2018)
Sandra Bullock starred in this movie that’s ultimately a struggle to survive, though with some admittedly cool backdrops.
In this world, seeing means dying, and so Sandra is forced to navigate a two-day journey completely blind, with two young children in tow.
This was Netflix’s first big-budget movie, and though tons of people have heard about the film and shared memes all over the internet, fewer folks have actually laid eyes on the reels themselves.
Intense, frightening, but with great character development and undeniable flow, you won’t be sorry that you did.
And then you can explain the memes to your friends instead of the other way around.
29. Win it All (2017)
Jake Johnson plays Eddie Garrett, a gambler who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Add a mysterious duffel bag and enough curiosity to off a couple of cats, and Eddie’s in big trouble.
This movie is funny and dark, with a capable cast guaranteed to entertain you for the full run time of the film. The concept could be tired, but in the hands of this creative crew it feels fresh and like you have something to root for.
28. Grace and Frankie (2015)
This comedy is one of the best things to come to any streaming service in the past five years, don’t @ me.
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin star as friends who bonded after their husbands left them…for each other. They’ve been having an affair for a decade, too, which leaves their wives in shock and struggling to figure out how they couldn’t have seen it.
With Sam Waterston, Martin Sheen, Brooklyn Decker, Ethan Embry, and June Diane rounding out the cast, you really don’t want to miss this.
Smiles are in short supply these days, but this series will give them to you in spades. Like with many comedies, Season 1 is the weakest of the bunch so don’t give up.
The rewards are great if you just keep going.
27. Santa Clarita Diet (2017)
Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant might look like an average, kind of boring married couple working in real estate, but there’s more than meets the eye – like the fact that Sheila is a zombie who needs human flesh to survive.
The series is far more charming and sweet than you would suspect based on the description, and the lighthearted, almost silly comedies are just the ticket for those stressful days.
There are three seasons available on Netflix right now and there is unlikely to be more, so please, get your giggles on.
26. M**der Mystery (2019)
This mystery/comedy brings stars Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston back together as a married couple on a getaway they really can’t afford.
Enter billionaire Charles Cavendish, who invites them to tag along to a family gathering – which turns out to be not all that great when Charles’s uncle turns up dead.
The family is accusing Audrey and Nick of being involved, so they’ll have to solve the m**der before they find themselves on a permanent vacation in the pen.
Turn it on and see if you can solve it first!
25. Set it Up (2018)
Harper and Charlie are two professional assistants with crazy and demanding bosses – who they decide to set up romantically so the two of them can get a break.
Their bosses, played by Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs, are fantastic and remind us that Netflix can do romantic comedies as well as anyone. Even if the plot is a big predictable, it will tick all of the boxes for fans of the genre.
Grab a pizza, some vino, and your girlfriends and turn this one on – you won’t be disappointed.
24. Bloodline (2015)
A family drama about four siblings with a black sheep brother who is set on picking off scabs and unveiling buried secrets.
If you love stories about family – especially ones who try to run businesses together – this one is super fun and packed with secrets that will surprise you when they leap out.
There are three complete seasons, don’t worry about being left high and dry!
23. Lady Dynamite (2016)
This story follows a fictionalized Maria Bamford as she moves back to Los Angeles after taking time away for her mental health. She’s ready to jump back into her life and get back to work, but with all of the flashbacks we get of her past, we’re not quite sure.
The show is funny, with a fantastic, hilarious cast and comes with the reminder that a little mental breakdown is sometimes just what we need – and it’s no reason to give up on everything that comes after.
22. The King (2019)
Timothee Chalamet, one of the hottest things going, stars as the reluctant heir to the British throne (his father being Henry IV).
When his father dies he becomes Henry V despite not wanting to rule, and the drama follows his foray into politics, conflcits, and the natural chaos that comes from ruling a nation.
Loosely based on Shakespeare’s Henry V, but with enough changes to call this a fresh and bold – if fictionalized – take on British history.
Big names like Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris, Lily-Rose Depp, and Robert Pattinson round out the cast so honestly, just check it out, whether you’re a fan of historical dramas or not.
21. The Umbrella Academy (2019)
There’s no doubt that the trope of children born with special powers is and has been hot, but the Umbrella Academy’s take is one you’ll be sorry if you miss.
The premise is that a billionaire named Sir Reginald Hargreeves goes out to adopt each of the 40 children born at the exact same time in 1989 – child gifted with extraordinary powers, of course.
From them, he builds The Umbrella Academy, children who are given numbers instead of names and are reared by a robot mother – what could go wrong?
This series dives straight into the action and never stops, but does infuse both comedy and heart to keep you invested for the long haul.
There are two seasons, and fans are hopeful for a third.
20. Love (2016)
This series is about a “down-to-earth” take on dating, exploring both male and female takes on the toughest parts of love and relationships. We get to watch both parties tackle intimacy and commitment, among other things, with humor and heart.
This isn’t a reality show but it is real, and it’s something you can keep on in the background and not feel as if you’re missing a whole lot.
Again, keep going through season 1 and you’ll be hooked on the relatable characters, ready to follow them along for season 2 and beyond.
19. See You Yesterday (2019)
A science prodigy who loves building machines, C.J. has her sights set on the ultimate project – a time machine.
She decides to pull the trigger on the design after an accident takes her brother’s life, ignoring every film and book and television show and comic book that warned her against trying to change the past.
Even though the show is largely science fiction, it does tackle some contemporary issues, and it places a woman front-and-center in the role of a brilliant scientist, too – a woman who is smart, innovative, but also committed to her family?
I love it.
18. Mudbound (2017)
This is a period drama that’s based on the novel by Hillary Jordan. Set during WWII, it’s about two rural, Southern families in a long-lasting feud that’s motivated by race.
Jason Clarke and Carey Mulligan in one house, Mary J. Blige and Rob Morgan in the other, both families have a reckoning when their loved ones return from conflicts.
This movie was recognized by award committees and loved by both critics and viewers, so if you’re looking for something with a big emotional punch and fantastic acting, look no further.
17. The Society (2019)
What would a bunch of teenagers do if all of the adults in town suddenly disappeared?
That’s what this series wants to know, and in the middle of figuring out how to handle a community on their own, the teenagers left behind also want to know what’s happened to their loved ones.
If you love alternate reality shows and intriguing mysteries, this one is definitely for you, and the expertly ramped-up tensions will have everyone on the edge of their seats.
16. Maniac (2018)
This is a miniseries starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, two strangers who participate in the same pharmaceutical trial. Neither has much to lose so they figure that volunteering and earning some cash really isn’t a big deal – especially because the drug involved is supposed to “fix” whatever is wrong with them.
Maniac messes with your mind along the lines of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, yet another reminder that if something seems to good to be true, it probably is.
You honestly don’t want to miss it.
15. The Princess Switch (2018)
Sure, you’ve seen this story before – a royal who isn’t thrilled with her lot in life finds a surprising double at random and asks to trade places.
In this one, Vanessa Hudgens plays both roles, and admit it – stories like this are your guilty pleasures.
We’re not judging, and more than that, we’re also watching, so please. Enjoy this fun if unoriginal romcom right along with us.
14. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)
Another teen romcom, sure, but with this cast and the pitch-perfect script, this is one you and your teenagers are sure to cue up over and over again.
In it, Lara Jean is too shy to express her feelings for boys she crushes on, so she writes them letters (that she never sends) instead. Which is all well and good until those letters “accidentally” get mailed and the boys come asking for explanations – and maybe more.
It’s sweet, it’s funny, it’s romantic, and it’s everything that was good about being a teenager – enjoy.
13. Tuca & Bertie (2019)
Another Netflix animated series, this one is about 30-year-old gal pals who have been through it all, despite being complete opposites.
Netflix does animation well, and this friendship story is heartfelt and hilarious, and definitely reminiscent of Broad City.
Despite excellent voice actors like Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong, the series didn’t last long, but that just means you can watch it all at once.
12. Sacred Games (2018)
This is one of Netflix’s foreign streaming series, and the first one from India. It’s based on a novel by the same name that follows individuals from all walks of life, each with their own past, present, and compelling story to tell.
Fans of conspiracy thrillers for sure need to give this one a try, and plenty of viewers have already fallen in love with the fast-paced, tricky writing.
There are already two seasons to love!
11. The Babysitter (2017)
This movie follows Judah Lewis’s character Cole, a young boy with a crush on his babysitter – at least, he is until he stays up too late and finds out she’s actually a homicidal maniac.
This is classic, campy horror with laughs, a few thrills, and a healthy helping of gore – and a great cast – that will thrill you whether you can’t sleep on a Wednesday or are looking to have a chill Saturday night in with a friend.
There’s even a sequel in the works; good news if you end up loving it!
10. Always Be My Maybe (2019)
Childhood sweethearts who lost touch after an argument, Sasha and Marcus don’t reunite until 15 years later, when she is a celebrity chef and he a struggling musician.
Romcoms are always crowd pleasers, and since the lead actors also wrote the screenplay, they know these characters inside and out. The movie is re-watchable and full of swoons and laughs and everything that makes a romantic comedy worth watching more than once (or twice).
Also, Keanu Reeves is in it. Maybe I should have led with that.
9. The Breaker Upperers (2019)
Mel and Jen meet under terrible circumstances – they find out they’re dating the same man. Instead of wallowing or hating each other instead of him, the two bond and open a business called The Breaker Upperers.
In exchange for a not-small amount of cash, their agency helps couples break up when no one is man enough to do it the old fashioned way.
This is a fun, feminist subversion of the traditional romcom, which focuses more on getting over heartbreak than finding a new person to love. It’s real, and that means it doesn’t always feel good, but it is worth listening to.
8. She’s Gotta Have It (2017)
Nola Darling things she can handle dating three people at once, but she’s about to find out that, even if everyone knows the rules, that doesn’t mean the game is going to turn out the way you think. It’s strong and unapologetic and empowering – the perfect movie for 2021, if you ask me.
This comedy/drama didn’t ever find a big audience, which is why there’s only two seasons, but if you’re not up for the candy-coated romance bit, this series just might fit the bill.
7. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)
If you watched Breaking Bad and were left wondering what happened to Jesse Pinkman, Netflix has answers to those questions, y’all.
Get back in touch with Aaron Paul’s iconic character and find out what he’s up to after the intense events that ended Breaking Bad – you know you want to.
I probably don’t have to say much more to convince fans of Breaking Bad to check this one out, so I won’t.
6. Okja (2017)
This is not a happy tale of a girl and her beloved pig, but it is an amazing move that shares a director – Bong Joon-ho – with Academy Award Winner Parasite.
That’s had plenty of people checking it out, and buying extra tissues for the viewing, too. If you’re already leading a meat-free lifestyle, you’ll likely find vindication here, but if you’re a meat eater, well…be prepared to feel guilty.
Joon-ho told The Hollywood Reporter he hoped to “show the beauty that can exist between man and animal, and also the horror between them, and yeah. We definitely get both.
For better or worse.
5. Typewriter (2019)
Another horror series, this one follows a group of ghost-obsessed friends with backstories that will tug at your heartstrings.
When you look for ghosts, though, something evil often comes along instead, and that’s exactly what happens here with a typewriter made for keeping evil in check.
Fans of the genre think this is the best Netflix has to offer, so if you see it and love it, be sure to recommend it to a friend. Despite an ambiguous ending, you’re just going to love it.
4. Love D**th + Robots (2019)
There are 18 episodes in this science fiction anthology, each put together by a different cast and crew. The entire thing is a re-imagining of a 1981 film called Heavy Metal, and each of the installments is a short, but absolute, delight.
Audiences started buzzing about the show even as it flew under the radar, but if you’re a fan of shows like Black Mirror you’ve got to check it out.
This one defies genre and has some seriously inventive twists that will jumpstart your heart into overdrive.
3. Dolemite is My Name (2019)
This original comedy follows Rudy Ray Moore (played by Eddie Murphy), a comedian who has pretty much always been down on his luck – at least until an unexpected door opens and rockets him into stardom he’s not prepared to handle.
Eddie Murphy and this property are completely gold, and best of all, they’re based on true events. A bunch of other stars round out the cast, so if you’re not opposed to some seriously raunchy humor, put this one on your list.
2. The Irishman (2019)
Another Netflix original movie that earned an Oscar nod, The Irishman is a biographical thriller that follows the life of Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) as he looks back over his life as part of an illicit, family – and what he knows about the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa.
The film is long, but it’s written by Martin Scorsese, so if you stick around for long enough, you will find that it has something to say.
1. Spotless (2015)
This is a French drama that’s set in London, about a dedicated family man who also manages a cleaning business that works with the cops.
His life is normal, quiet, and peaceful… at least, it was until his brother returns to his life, dredging up past secrets and unearthing demons our main character had buried long ago.
It’s not all serious. The series is a dark comedy with enough mystery to keep it going for a second season (we hope!) so check out the first one now.
My list of things to watch just keeps getting longer, argh. I guess that’s not a bad problem to have.
What Netflix movie or show do you think too many people are sleeping on? Share it with us in the comments!