The best Netflix Original movies of 2018

Netflix has delivered some real heavy hitters in 2018. (Netflix)
Netflix has delivered some real heavy hitters in 2018. (Netflix)

As each passing year goes by, Netflix continues to grow stronger, bolder and more creative to ensure their imprint is woven into the fabric of contemporary cinema.

In other words, we can’t ignore the significant and positive impact they’re having on the movie industry, so with that in mind, Yahoo Movies UK has compiled a list of the ten best Netflix Original films of 2018.

10. 22 July

22 July from Paul Greengrass
22 July from Paul Greengrass

After Erik Poppe’s controversial, genre-style take on the tragic and horrific occurrences that took place on Utøya back in 2011, this hugely distressing series of events has since been brought to screen in a somewhat safer pair of hands.

Paul Greengrass was at the helm of this profound and moving feature that takes us on an uncomfortable journey from days before Breivik’s attacks, right up until the trial. Not an easy watch, but a worthwhile one.

9. Outlaw King

Outlaw King from David MacKenzie

After a middling reaction in Toronto, David Mackenzie’s Outlaw King was edited down before making its way to Netflix and the subsequent version is a far more accessible and compelling production.

Telling the story of Robert the Bruce, played with stunning conviction by Chris Pine, the film also features excellent performances from Florence Pugh and a crazed Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

8. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

<em>To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before</em> staring Noah Centino and Lana Condor
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before staring Noah Centino and Lana Condor

Lana Condor plays Lara Jean, who writes personal letters, for her eyes only, to each of the crushes in her life, until, mysteriously, they’re unwittingly sent to each recipient.

There can be something wonderfully comforting about familiarity, and this charming little number hits all the right notes, albeit ones we’ve heard before.

7. They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead/The Other Side of the Wind

Orson Welles makes a posthumous comeback
Orson Welles makes a posthumous comeback

We’re slightly cheating here as these are two different movies, but it’s hard not to indulge in both as a double bill.

They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead is an excellent documentary by the Oscar-winning Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom) on an unfinished Orson Welles feature while The Other Side of the Wind is that very unfinished film, finally released almost 50 years after it began shooting.

6. The Land of Steady Habits

The Land of Steady Habits from Nicole Holofocener
The Land of Steady Habits from Nicole Holofocener

This Nicole Holofcener film is the perfect exploration into the notion that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

Starring Ben Mendelsohn as a father, and husband, who decides to leave his family in search of happiness elsewhere, this film thrives in the idea that sometimes we really ought to appreciate and be thankful for what we’ve already got.

5. The Bleeding Edge

The Bleeding Edge is a top doc
The Bleeding Edge is a top doc

It’s not just dramatic features Netflix excel at, their documentaries are remarkable too, and The Bleeding Edge is the best feature-length doc they’ve made this year.

We dip deep into the world of medical devices and technological advances in this field. Without wanting to give too much away, let’s just say that sometimes ignorance is bliss.

4. Private Life

Private Life looks at the IVF experience
Private Life looks at the IVF experience

There are two reasons why we’re greatly appreciative that Private Life exists, and they are Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti.

Two wonderful actors granted nuanced and complex characters to get their teeth stuck into, and for the former, there’s scope for an Oscar nomination – as we delve into a tempestuous marriage that is struggling due to the couple’s ongoing fertility therapy.

3. Annihilation

Annihilation from Alex Garland
Annihilation from Alex Garland

After the ex-cellent Ex-Machina, Alex Garland returns to the director’s chair with this breathtaking sci-fi that was a far better entry into the genre for Netflix after the disappointing Mute and The Cloverfield Paradox.

Natalie Portman heads up an all-star lead female cast, taking us on an exciting and yet unsettling journey into the unknown.

2. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs fromJoel and Ethan Coen
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs fromJoel and Ethan Coen

You know Netflix is to be taken seriously when it provides the home for the latest Coen brothers film.

Comprised of six short stories, we meet the likes of the title role played by Tim Blake Nelson, a gold-digger portrayed by Tom Waits, as well a romantic encounter between Bill Heck and Zoe Kazan. It’s the Coens at their best; witty and self-aware while taking a barbed, if somewhat affectionate take on American culture.

1. Roma

Roma from Alfonso Cuarón
Roma from Alfonso Cuarón

This is a film that has sparked a big debate among the film community, as many feel it’s a feature that should be seen only on the big screen.

While this intimate masterpiece by Alfonso Cuaron is a striking cinematic experience, with beautiful cinematography and an indelible sound design, this semi-autobiographical film from the Mexican director is so moving and so wondrous in every way shape and form, that the most important thing, above everything else, is just that it’s seen.

If that happens thanks to the accessibility and affordability of Netflix, which is likely, given a two-hour black and white subtitled film without any big stars is a tough sell to the regular movie-going public, then you won’t find us complaining. Just make sure you see it, that’s all that matters, after all.

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