Netflix has substantially increased the number of original films it releases each year, and 2021 was packed with a variety of features. They varied from star-studded blockbusters like the Dwayne Johnson/Gal Gadot/Ryan Reynolds heist film “Red Notice” to holiday-themed romantic comedies like “A Castle for Christmas” to, of course, awards season fare like the acclaimed “The Power of the Dog” and the Lin-Manuel Miranda-directed musical “tick… tick… BOOM!”
Given the breadth of content Netflix released in 2021, many may be wondering: what was the cream of the crop? Below, we’ve assembled a list of the best Netflix original films of 2021 ranked by Rotten Tomatoes score. While some of the streaming service’s more star-filled fare like “Red Notice” and “Don’t Look Up” proved divisive for critics, there’s no lack of great films on the below list – which varies from international dramas to animated sci-fi adventures.
Where ties occurred, we ranked the films according to which had more reviews – an 88% with over 200 reviews is more heavily vetted than an 88% with just eight reviews, for example. The list is also made up only of narrative feature films, so this does not reflect the bevy of great documentaries that were released on Netflix this year.
Check out the list of the 15 top Netflix movies of 2021 below.
15. Fear Street Part One: 1994 – 83%
After a series of brutal slayings, a teen and her friends take on an evil force that’s plagued their notorious town for centuries. Welcome to Shadyside.
14. Finding ‘Ohana – 85%
On O’ahu for the summer, two siblings from Brooklyn connect with their Hwaiian heritage – and their family – on a daring quest for long-lost treasure.
13. Nightbooks – 87%
Scary story fan Alex must tell a spine-tingling tale every night – or stay trapped with his new friend in a wicked witch’s magical apartment forever.
12. Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans – 88%
Heroes from “Trollhunters,” “3Below” and “Wizards” join forces to fight a shadowy enemy threatening to take over their worlds – and reset Earth itself.
11. Skater Girl – 88%
When a teen in rural India discovers a life-changing passion for skateboarding, she faces a rough road as she follows her dream to compete.
10. Fear Street Part Two: 1978 – 88%
In the cursed town of Shadyside, a killer’s murder spree terrorizes Camp Nightwing and turns a summer of fun into a gruesome fight for survival.
9. The Dig – 88%
On the eve of World War II, a British widow hires a self-taught archaeologist to dig up mysterious formations on her land, leading to a staggering find.
8. The Harder They Fall – 88%
Gunning for revenge, outlaw Nat Love saddles up with his gang to take down enemy Rufus Buck, a ruthless crime boss who just got sprung from prison.
7. tick… tick… BOOM! – 88%
On the brink of turning 30, a promising theater composer navigates love, friendship and the pressure to create something great before time runs out.
6. Fear Street Part Three: 1666 – 90%
Thrust back to 1666, Deena learns the truth about Sarah Fier. Back in 1994, the friends fight for their lives – and Shadyside’s future.
5. Passing – 90%
In 1920s New York City, a Black woman finds her world upended when her life becomes intertwined with a former childhood friend who’s passing as white.
4. The White Tiger – 91%
The ambitious driver for a rich Indiana family uses his wit and cunning to escape from poverty and become an entrepreneur. Based on the bestselling novel.
3. The Lost Daughter – 95%
A woman’s quiet seaside vacation takes an unsettling turn when her fixation on a young mother staying at a nearby villa awakens memories from her past.
2. The Power of the Dog – 95%
A domineering but charismatic rancher wages a war of intimidation on his brother’s new wife and her teen son – until long-hidden secrets come to light.
1. The Mitchells vs. the Machines – 97%
A robot apocalypse put the brakes on their cross-country road trip. Now it’s up to the Mitchells – the world’s weirdest family – to save the human race.