The Best Netflix Original Movies of 2019
Netflix has been often surrounded by controversies and criticism from within the TV and film industry or outside of it, related to controversial contents. The giant streaming service Netflix has managed to stay afloat despite all the hurdles. 2018 has been a great year for Netflix, and why not, for the first time, a Netflix movie – Alfonso Cuaron’s black-white drama Roma was nominated at the 91st Academy Awards, and ultimately winning three awards out of its 10 nominations. Netflix would try to find its Roma of this year, but unfortunately, Netflix has to wait a little longer for it. On the other hand, the best Netflix Original Movies of 2019 can’t be nailed down to a certain number yet.
The first quarter of Netflix Original movies has been mixed. Dan Gilroy’s much anticipated supernatural thriller Velvet Buzzsaw, satirising artistic creation, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, is a hollow and superficial mess that has a preposterous narrative which gets funnier as the supernatural element kicks in. Jonas Akerland’s slam-bam action thriller, Polar, starring Mads Mikkelsen (Popular for his role as Dr Hannibal Lectar in Hannibal) was disappointing as well.
The Netflix films that worked for me were a handful of them. Hopefully, upcoming Netflix original films would find its Roma, Private life and Sunday’s Illness of this year.
Here are the Best Netflix movies of 2019 that I have loved. The list will be constantly updated with the deserving Netflix movies.
Fyre | Chris Smith | Documentary
Fyre is an embodiment of ideas and lessons. You choose what you want to see in it and, importantly, learn from it. It’s a terrific character study of a person swindles everyone, from a young techie to smart investors, with his calm demeanour and charming personality. He lies, even when he is sinking, he is incompetent and an ignorant who makes Bernie Ebbers look mediocre. Even in the moment of failure realization, he won’t up. He is either overconfident about his ability or a completely insane person. Chris Smith captures the failure quite beautifully but the lingering horror of financial failure due to the stubborn attitude of an egomaniac makes it spooky.
All in my Family | Hao Wu | Documentary
‘All in my family’ is an intimate and charming documentary for a subject that would make a good tragic plot. The director and writer Hao Wu is a Chinese born American who left China as his conservative family and society struggle to understand homosexuality as a normal living state. Hao Wu isn’t interested in showing the uproar and emotional hassle, and how he recuperated after divulging to his parents, and how his parents embraced him as a gay. He rather weaves a delightful and, often funny, moving account of him expanding his family – having surrogate kids and introducing his husband to the family on Chinese New Year.
Knock Down The House | Rachel Lears | Documentary
In what could the most redefining and inspiring moments, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tries to console Democrat candidate Amy Vilela and says, “It’s just the reality that in order for one of us to make it through, hundred of us have to try.” And that is precisely the whole movement was all about. To challenge the incumbent Democrats who have taken their position for granted over the years, who have played according to the industrialists funding rules, and the challengers would be working class women so to bring the voice of the working class and the women.
Both, the working class and the women, have been held as a pawn in American Political History so the success of this movement would redefine the rules of politics. Rachel Lears weaves an arousing and inspiring documentary. She fleshes out the confidence and vulnerability of all the four candidates along with their personal arc that would connect with everyone, irrespective of what political ideology they have. As AOC said, they were not there to make a statement, they were to win.
High Flying Bird | Steven Soderbergh | Sports Drama
After being fired from ‘Money Ball’, which was a back office sports drama, Steven Soderbergh internalizes Aaron Sorkin’s masterful writing and directs a micro-budget Netflix film on iPhone. High Flying Bird is a taut, chilling film that moves at a breakneck pace, giving no breathing room to catch up with the unravelling layers and connects them in its bigger scheme. After a lockout between the NBA and the athletes, the other sort of the game is played off the field, in its full swing, that puts the mechanics of player management on display.
Paddleton | Alexandre Lehmann | Comedy Drama
The sophomore feature film of cinematographer turned director, Alexandre Lehmann’s “Paddleton” is brimming with bittersweet and poignant moments and deadpan conversations that carry existential philosophy, seen through the lens of pessimism. Like Blue Jay, Paddleton is a two handler, about Michael (Duplass) and his neighbour Andy (Romano), who lives above him in a shabby pea-size apartment. Avoiding the sentimentalism and the genre tropes without spicing up the plot with any major conflict, Paddleton is one of the best Netflix Movies of 2019 that promises a better future for American Indie cinema. Read the complete review of the film – Paddleton .
Soni | Ivan Ayr | Drama
After receiving a standing ovation at the 75th Venice International Film Festival and travelling to several film festivals, Netflix picked up Soni and distributed it as their Netflix Original Program. Soni is a micro-budget drama that smartly constructs the drama around two women police officers to highlight the deeply rooted patriarchal issue and insufferable hierarchy that widens the gender gap. It addresses the grave issues ranging from gender prejudice, sexual harassment to the power distribution on different strata. Ivan Ayr avoids theatrics and sensationalism, roots the film in the realistic milieu which is further solidified by two moving and nuanced performances that have already gone unnoticed this year.