The year 2018 proved to be yet another evolutionary year for Netflix Original movies. From reviving the romantic comedy to uplifting the auteur filmmaker to terrifying horror flicks, Netflix is checking all the boxes. In addition to leveling up the quality of their films, Netflix is producing more films than previous year. With all these choices of what to watch, we;ve created a list of the 10 best Netflix Original movies of 2018.
Psychological Horror Netflix Originals 2018
In the new age of technology and the internet, filmmakers have been experimenting with the incorporation of the webcam in story. While some films may lean too far into the novelty of the webcam as a perspective, the film CAM dives deeper into those whose lives revolve around it.
Alice Ackerman (Madeline Brewer) is an online cam girl obsessed with becoming number one in the rankings. When she is locked out of her own account, she discovers a girl who looks just like her is broadcasting from it. The film follows Alice’s pursuit of retrieving her account and finding out who this identical girl is.
Evocative, twisted, and engaging, CAM leaves no stone unturned at this peak behind the curtain story of the girls behind the webcam and the intimacies of the lives they live. CAM takes the risks that many other films or filmmakers wouldn’t even consider. In doing so, the film is honest and provocative in a way that can leave a viewer engaged yet perplexed at the absurdities of the webcam life.
Best Netflix Original Movies 2018
While most zombie pandemic films rely on the gore and action of the combat against the undead, Cargo finds its own voice by addressing different conflicts unders the same zombie premise. The film follows Andy played fantastically by Martin Freeman . After he is bitten by the undead, Andy has a limited time to find protection for his infant daughter before he too turns and becomes a threat to his own family.
Unfolding in the immersive setting of the Australian outback, the film creates suspense by building a rather unique premise within an overcrowded genre.
Although it may be to some viewers disappointment, the lack of action and gore opens up space for unexpected layers of emotion. On top of the story, Freeman’s stellar performance lands Cargo a spot on our list of the best 2018 Netflix movies.
Based on True Events Netflix Drama
8. 22 July
Based on the true events of the deadliest terrorist attack in the history of Norway, 22 July follows the horrific attacks by a right wing extremist group killing 77 teens at a youth camp. Although the film includes parts of the attack itself, it draws a focus on the aftermath on the survivors, families and on the country.
Director and writer Paul Greengrass exercises restraint and empathy in his approach to this highly sensitive topic. The result is a film that is extremely devastating, yet hopeful and empathetic toward the courageous victims and survivors of the attack.
Creating a film based on such horrific, true events takes proper execution and genuine empathy. Greengrass does this well as he explores the consequences of such an event rather than focusing on dramatising the event itself.
Romantic Comedy Netflix Originals
7. Set It Up
Is there anything more relatable than some hijinks to get more free time from work? In Set It Up two overworked assistants devise a plan to set up their bosses and free them from their never ending work days. By developing a meet cute situation, they set their bosses up and celebrate their liberated life… or so they thought.
In this modern day parent trap meets the workplace, director Claire Scanlon finds a perfect balance between rom and com. Set It Up is a classic unexpected love story that is a push in the right direction for Netflix’s desire to revive the rom-com.
Best Horror Netflix Original Movies 2018
6. The Ritual
The depths of the Scandanavian forest are the eerie backdrop to this supernatural horror film. When four university friends reunite to hike through the Scandanavian forest, a mysterious evil begins to linger and stalk their every move.
Without going into any further spoiling details of the film, the story is as haunting as it is unpredictable. Director David Bruckner creates a tone that is both realistic in the fear it creates yet supernatural as the story dives deeper into an ancient evil.
Although the story of a few friends entering a creepy forest sounds like a beaten down horror plot line, The Ritual finds its own voice in its tone and unpredictability. Just when you might put a finger on what might happen next, it takes a different turn. It is a film you will definitely remember next time you go walking through the woods.
Rom-Com Netflix Original Movies 2018
This testament to Netflix’s revival of the rom-com is filled with charm and all the high school hijinks you’d want out of a teenage romance. When the love letters of Lara Jean, played by Lana Condor, are accidentally mailed to her crushes the result is a story that is honest, funny, and heartwarming. It unfolds as a relatable tale of teenage love that is perfect for viewers of similar age to Lara or those older who cherish the nostalgia of a high school romance.
Comedy-Drama Netflix Originals 2018
4. Private Life
Private Life is both heartfelt and devastating. It’s emotionally layered story revolves around Richard (Paul Giamatti) and Rachel (Kathryn Hahn), an artistic and intellectual couple that faces the reality that they may have missed their window to have a child.
As they explore assisted reproduction methods and potential adoptions, Richard and Rachel find themselves working through their marriages biggest challenge yet. Director Tamara Jenkins captures the humor, love, and obstacles an aging couple faces in the pursuit of a family.
Giamatti and Hahn deliver powerful performances while director Tamara Jenkins beautifully captures the frustrations and persistence of a determined couple’s desire to start a family.
Experimental Netflix Original Movies 2018
After more than 40 years of development, Orson Welles’ final film The Other Side of the Wind finds its way to Netflix. Though principal photography of the film took place in the 70s, Welles had been working on the film into the 80s until his death in 1985 and was famously unfinished until now.
This film within a film follows Jake Hannaford, a fictional filmmaker that eerily resembles and without a doubt is based off of Welles himself. Hannaford returns to Hollywood after being exiled (again, much like Welles) and is preparing for the release of his comeback film The Other Side of the Wind.
The Other Side of the Wind is meta, experimental, and somewhat tragic given the context of its origin. Welles was never able to see the final cut of the film and somehow this plays into the magic of it.
Western Netflix Original Movies 2018
The Coen Brothers are at it yet again, but this time experimenting with form. Netflix partners with the Coens to create a unique six part western anthology that may have been too unorthodox for a theatre release. The six short films take place in 19th century Old West following a variety of characters taking part in manifest destiny. The film features performances from Tom Waits, Liam Neeson, and James Franco throughout the wide wild landscape of the Old West.
Best Dramatic Netflix Original Movies 2018
Alfonso Cuarón is in full power as director, writer, cinematographer, and co-editor of Roma, a black and white drama set in 1970s Mexico City. The film follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a domestic worker for a middle-class family and the hardships she endures during the turbulent times of early seventies Mexico City.
Cuarón’s masterful filmmaking techniques create a story that is beautiful, personal and equally devastating. While the film does take it’s time to start, the pacing is necessary for the intimate experience of the film. The performances are powerful and framed by Cuarón’s stunning cinematography.
Cuarón’s passion is evident in every detail of the film. It is patient, emotional, and personal in ways that no Netflix Original has done before. Roma is a testament to the future of Netflix. By embracing the auteur, one can only imagine the doors Netflix will open for future filmmakers.
Best Movies on Netflix
Looking for more movies to watch on Netflix? Searching for that next film that will inspire your next project? Now that you’ve checked out our list for the best 2018 Netflix movies, checkout our list of Best Netflix Movies that you can watch right now.