We’ve all had those nights where Netflix feels like a massive black hole as we scroll and scroll through a seemingly endless selection of content. But as 2022 rounds out, you’re in luck. We’ve chosen the absolute best original Netflix movies of the past year to add to your queue and just press play on. These are all winners for the huge studio and streaming service you gotta catch up on.
Netflix released over 150 original movies in 2022, but here are the best 10! There’s everything from a whodunit mystery, war epic, heartfelt stop-motion and wild true stories to experience with a Netflix subscription.
Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
Though it’s technically the second Pinocchio movie of 2022, it’s not only the best by miles, it’s among the strongest films of the year. Guillermo del Toro, the imaginative mind behind fantasies like Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water and Pacific Rim, puts his own mark on the beloved children’s character alongside a stunning voice cast including Ewan McGregor, Cate Blanchett, Christoph Waltz and Tilda Swinton. Deep, dark and beautifully crafted with stop motion animation, this Pinocchio explores new grooves of the character all-while being a charming family musical. Check out ReelBlend’s interview with del Toro for behind-the-scenes stories on the film.
It’s not everyday that a truly great teen comedy comes our way, so we were pleasantly surprised at how electric Maya Hawke and Camila Mendes are together in Do Revenge. This movie stars an unlikely pair from two different sides of the high school prep food chain who team up to do each other’s revenge. It’s a really stylish, fun and twisty time that may very well go down in history as a new classic in the genre. Plus, it’s riddled with great references to classic teen comedies. We love our revenge mommies!
Coming off of Uncut Gems and Hubie Halloween, we really don’t know what to expect from Adam Sandler these days. Hustle is an engaging sports drama that has Adam Sandler flexing those acting chops as an NBA scout who discovers a Spanish basketball player for the draft. Hustle is grounded in a compelling authenticity that we love to see Sandler flex every once in a while between his more screwball comedies and a great addition to Hollywood’s lexicon of great basketball movies.
Florence Pugh had a massive 2022 as the star of Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling, but another gem of the actress’ this year was Netflix's The Wonder. The dramatic mystery based on Emma Donoghue’s novel follows an English nurse (Pugh) who is brought to a small Irish village to observe a young girl who miraculously stops eating, yet remains alive. Between an intriguing story and another slam-dunk performance from Pugh, this is another Netflix gem of the year.
Enola Holmes 2
Sequels are no easy feat, but Millie Bobby Brown’s Enola Holmes 2 nails it. Armed with a more complex mystery for Sherlock Holmes’ sister to solve, it’s a blast to return to Enola’s fourth-wall breaking world as she opens her own detective agency and delves into a case to find a matchstick girl’s missing sister. Additionally, Henry Cavill’s Sherlock gets a wonderful supporting plot line. The Enola Holmes franchise is shaping up to be one of Netflix’s best original properties.
Wendell & Wild
Henry Selick, director of The Nightmare Before Christmas, and critically-acclaimed horror filmmaker Jordan Peele teamed up for the stop motion comedy Wendell & Wild, and it’s another 2022 highlight. The animated film follows a teen girl and the demon brothers she meets (played by Peele and his Key & Peele collaborator Keegan Michael-Key) who craft up a deal that bend the rules of life and death. It’s an offbeat comedy full of the creepy vibes one would expect from these two minds.
Based on the true story, teen Syrian refugee sisters Yusra and Sarah Mardini swam alongside a sinking dinghy full of refugees and helped them safely go across the Aegean Sea. Yusra would go on to become part of the Olympics as part of the Refugee Olympic Athletes Team and win one of the competitions at the 2016 Rio games. The Swimmers premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival before reaching Netflix. You can check out our interview with the star Nathalie Issa here on CinemaBlend.
The Good Nurse
Another true story, albeit on a much darker side of the spectrum is The Good Nurse. Based on the true crime book, it follows a nurse named Charles Cullen (played by Eddie Redmayne) who later became a convicted serial killer. The story follows the perspective of his close colleague and another night nurse, Amy Loughren, when she begins to suspect Charles after a series of mysterious patient deaths take place. It’s a gripping thriller and marks a different, but very well-played performance especially from Redmayne.
All Quiet On The Western Front
Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 anti-war novel All Quiet on the Western Front has certainly been adapted before, but the source material gets an incredible update with director Edward Berger’s version. This Netflix movie is faithful to the original story and employs an incredible hold on filmmaking as it delivers a timeless message about the pitfalls of war.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Following Rian Johnson’s 2019 clever and hilarious whodunnit introduced us all to Daniel Craig’s Detective Beniot Blanc with Knives Out, the filmmaker does it again with Glass Onion. This time, Blanc finds himself amidst a group of old friends of a billionaire, Edward Norton’s Miles Bron, who invites them all on a weekend getaway on his private island. Glass Onion is not only stacked with an incredible cast, but Johnson uses the relationship we as a public have with many of the actors to play into another stunning mystery that just keeps getting better as the mystery unfolds.
It’s been another great year for Netflix original movies! There’s plenty more exciting movies from the streamer to get hyped for in 2023 as well. David Fincher’s next movie, The Killer and Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein biopic Maestro, along with the Gal Gadot and Jamie Dornan-led action movie Heart Of Stone, are all set to be 2023 Netflix releases.
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