I don't know about you, but I am always looking for new and underrated films to watch, and Netflix is one of my favourite ways of finding these. In the last five years, Netflix has released a whole selection of films that encompass a plethora of genres, including war, horror, comedy, teen and romance, and many have even won awards. If you've whizzed through your Netflix watchlist during lockdown, it's worth checking out some of their original titles, and I've included a handful of my personal favourites below:
While Netflix's latest YA adaptation All the Bright Places seemed to divide viewers, I personally really enjoyed it. Sure, the film did leave out some crucial elements of the book, but its portrayal of mental health is realistic and will make you sympathise with the two protagonists. All the Bright Places may seem like a light-hearted teen flick at first, but its subject matter is quite heavy and will have you reaching for tissues. Fans of films like Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Five Feet Apart and The Fault In Our Stars are bound to love All the Bright Places too.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before is another YA film from Netflix's category of original films. It's adapted from a novel and centres on a teenage girl called Lara Jean who is humiliated when a handful of love letters she wrote when she was younger somehow end up in the hands of her previous crushes. To All the Boys I've Loved Before is a delightful film that will make you reminisce about your teenage years and swoon over Noah Centineo, who plays Lara Jean's love interest and has become somewhat of a YA fave after starring in this film. And if you loved To All the Boy's I've Loved Before as much as I did, you'll be pleased to know that is has a sequel that is also available on Netflix.
Netflix is no stranger to romantic comedies, and Love Wedding Repeat is one of its latest offerings. This British film follows Jack (Sam Claflin) who is trying to keep his sister's wedding from being a complete disaster. This proves difficult as Jack has to juggle his sister's inebriated ex, his own ex (who doesn't seem to want anything to do with him), and a sleeping sedative that gets into the wrong hands. Love Wedding Repeat may not be a cinematic masterpiece, but it's a thoroughly entertaining film that has plenty of laughs and will allow you to escape for a couple of hours – just what you need with everything that is going on in the world right now.
6 Balloons is probably one of the most underrated Netflix original films. it centres on a woman called Katie who is planning a surprise party for her boyfriend when she finds out that her brother has relapsed. Katie abandons her boyfriend, family and guests and instead spends the evening driving around town, in search of a detox centre for her brother.
At just over 70 minutes, 6 Balloons is a fairly short film, but it's surprisingly effective, and its depiction of addiction is raw and at times hard to watch. 6 Balloons shows that addiction is a family disease and relatives will do anything to help the person who is suffering, even if it means putting their own friendships and relationships on the line.
Directed by the award-winning director of Parasite Bong Joon-Ho, Okja is a powerful film that will leave you questioning your meat consumption. Okja centres on the friendship between a Korean girl and her pet super-pig, who is suddenly taken away from her. Determined to get back her beloved pet, Mija embarks on a rescue mission that takes her all the way to the US and requires the help of The Animal Liberation Front, an organisation that fights for animal rights. Tilde Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Shirley Henderson and Lily Collins star in this quirky adventure drama.
To the Bone is based on the writer/director Marti Noxon's own experiences with eating disorders and stars Lily Collins as a young woman who struggles with anorexia and has been in and out of treatment for the majority of her adolescence, affecting both her and her family. Lily Collins is fantastic as the lead role – perhaps because she had an eating disorder herself – and it's hard not to feel concern for her character. To the Bone may have heavy subject matter, but there are also some humorous scenes to lighten the mood, and it will give viewers a better understanding of eating disorders.
What are your favourite Netflix original films? Feel free to leave any recommendations below.