Netflix Catalogue: the Best Series and Original Films to See on the Platform


Netflix has a pretty incredible production volume. To help you to find yourself (a little) in the mass of series and films of its plethoric catalogue, here is our selection of the best original contents of the streaming platform.

  • Saturday August 24th, 2019 at 5:20pm

There were dozens of nominees, so we decided to keep only ten. Not easy to make a ranking of the best original films and series in the Netflix catalogue (yes, we decided to focus on the originals in this article). The platform is full of as many turnips as there are contents that are really worth the detour. Among the latter, a choice had to be made, which inevitably led to long debates at the editorial office… Having reached a consensus (pretty much…), this is what we consider the best of the best Netflix originals.

Series

1. Stranger Things: monsters and cie Stranger Things (2016) on IMDb8.9/10605,494 votes


 

In brief

A lost city on the edge of the United States, children, a monster and a parallel dimension. Welcome to Hawkins, Indiana, home of the world-famousStranger Thingsseries, where it all begins when 12-year-old Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) mysteriously disappears. Her friends, pre-teen geeks on the edge, decide to go looking for her and come across Eleven (Millie Bobby-Brown), a young girl with supernatural powers. As Demorgorgon, a nightmare creature, is sighted in the town, they ally with the local police chief (David Harbour) to unravel the mysteries, fight the demon and find their friend. 

What we think

With its retro feel and its gobbledygook references to 1980s movies,Stranger Thingscould easily have fallen into pastiche or worse, plagiarism. The Duffer brothers have (fortunately) avoided the trap of ease. By using the codes of the greatest (Spielberg, Carpenter, Stephen King), they pay homage to some of the founding works of pop culture such asLes GooniesorLes Dents de la mer, without falling into copying. Under their leadership,Stranger Thingsquickly became a must-have on Netflix. The characters are endearing, the production is meticulous and the story, without being of immense originality, is very engaging. Horror, drama, thriller and comedy… the series mixes genres and keeps us on the edge of our seats until the end. In addition, the cast, led by Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown and all the other children, is more than up to the task. 

  • If you haven’t seen it yet, here is the trailer of the first season:

 

2. Mindhunter: our killers have talent Mindhunter (2017) on IMDb 8.6/10132,359 votes


 

In brief

Profiling and criminal psychology? Very little for the FBI and the American police in the 1970s. Yet, Agents Tench and Ford are convinced that understanding the most dangerous killers of their time could help them solve investigations. With the help of psychologist Wendy Carr, they will travel to prisons across the United States to talk to and learn about the most perverted murderers. Ed Kemper, Richard Speck, Charles Manson… How do they reason? How do they justify their crimes? Why did it come to this? Are they as crazy as they seem? So many questions whose answers, they hope, will help to better understand and quickly stop serial killers. 

What we think

Let’s face it, David Fincher is a sure thing in the Hollywood microcosm. When he produces or shoots a series, disappointments are rare andMindhunter is no exception to the rule. Better yet, it’s even one of the bestpolice thrillers of the last few years for us. With a very present historical dimension, the series tells us about a forced marriage, that of the FBI and criminal psychology, the beginning of profiling at the famous American agency. Nothing exciting on paper. And yet… after a few breaking-in episodes, she manages to make this complicated romance poignant. Agents Bill Tench and Holden Ford are working hard to learn how to profile serial-killers. Carried by a careful realization, the immersion in the spirit of the worst murderers in American history is exciting. In addition, the actors are impeccable, with a special mention to Cameron Britton, who camps brilliantly with Edmund Kemper.

  • The trailer of season 1 is to be seen below:

 

3. Love, Death & Robots: it’s all in the title… or almost Love, Death & Robots (2019) on IMDb8.6/1063,132 votes


 

In brief

Difficult to sum up Love, Death & Robots, the latest series by Tim Miller and (again) David Fincher, in a few sentences… Its creators have chosen the anthology, for each episode, a new story… of love, death or robots! It’s very short, between five and twenty minutes for the eighteen episodes of the series which are easily watched in one go. Otherwise, we move seamlessly from a Dantesque fight between killer robots to a war between farmers and aliens, an expedition in the footsteps of Dracula, or to cyborgs burglars. The only consistency? The violence pervades every episode. 

What we think

An occasional slap now and then doesn’t hurt. Thanks toLove, Death & Robotswho gave us a good one. Aesthetically, it’s sublime, few series can boast of having animations so advanced and varied in their methods. Sometimes dark, sometimes very colorful, often disturbing realism thanks to motion capture, sometimes much less so in manga or cartoon versions … On their own, they’re almost a good reason to watch the show. Those who like anticipation and futuristic scenery will also be served, on this side, theshowis not without remindingBlack Mirror. On the whole, the scenarios are accomplished, clever, and the stories are engaging and immersive. The violence, anguish and dark humour that oozes out ofLove, Death & Robotsmakes it an innovative and bluffing series in many ways. Sensitive souls should abstain, however. 

  • Here is thetrailer:

4. Orange is the New Black: bars of laughter Orange Is the New Black (2013) on IMDb8.1/10257,424 votes


 

In brief

Autobiographical, the seriesOrange is the New Black is taken from the book of the same name, written by Piper Kerman (renamed Chapman in the show). Oscillating between comedy (most of the time) and drama, she recounts her daily prison life. Imprisoned at Lichtfield Prison for Women for carrying a suitcase of drug money, Piper is struggling to survive in this ruthless world. A real life lesson for the heroine, who comes from a rather well-to-do background, in a penitentiary where low blows, violence, but also humour, friendship and love await her. 

What we think

Looking for a cure for the cockroach after a complicated week?  Orange is the New Black could be your cure. To cut a long story short, the heroin is in a minimum security prison, so it’s relatively quiet. It’s the prison universe in all its wackiest, most comical, but also most touching. As funny as it is serious, the series cleverly tackles a theme that is not very popular among series creators (HBO’sOz being one of the rare other examples) and teaches us a lot about American prisons. Taylor Schilling is quite amazing in the role of Piper, she manages to make her character, her mistakes and her imperfections endearing. His fellow inmates in prison are not to be outdone either. The many flashbacks of civilian life serve the narrative well and prevent it from becoming monotonous in the long run. A very well-managed rhythm for a series not to be missed on Netflix.

  • Discover the trailer of the first season:

5. BoJack Horseman: the horse is great BoJack Horseman (2014) on IMDb 8.6/1073,300 votes


 

In brief

In the 1990s, the stallion BoJack Horseman was a star of the American small screen. But here we are, twenty years after the end of his glorious sitcom Horsin Around, the life of the horse no longer has much to do with the rhinestones and glitter of yesteryear. Depressed, alcoholic and drug addict, the fallen actor spends his time brooding and despairing of having been put in the closet. Fortunately, to get back in the saddle, he can count on his loyal friends. He, a narcissistic nag and trash at will gives them a hard time and prefers to occupy his days between his Hollywood villa and the bars where he has his habits. 

What we think

BoJack Horseman quickly went from being a nice surprise to a Netflix reference. We understand it very quickly, the series does not bother with political correctness and does not make a gift to the American society. The media, Hollywood or the military… all take it for granted and BoJack shoots live ammunition. He, the anti-hero par excellence, has made humour, drugs and alcohol his shields against the depression that assails him when he thinks of his failed career. After the shock of seeing animals living and interacting with humans, we acclimatize very well to the somewhat peculiar graphic universe. In short, don’t hesitate, BoJack’s amoral peregrinations are worth the detour. They might even move you from time to time.

  • The teaserof the first adventures of the horse can be seen here:

Films

1. The ballad of Buster Scruggs: once upon a time in the west The ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) on IMDb 7.3/1092,563 votes


 

In brief 

A sketch film directed by the Coen brothers, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs tells six stories of the American West. In each of them, different characters live funny and tormented adventures deep in the Wild West. From the cowboy singer to the one-armed artist to the vagrant bank robber, everyone will experience that danger is as omnipresent here as the few allies. 

What we think 

If you like westerns, The ballad of Buster Scruggs should appeal to you. If you like westerns AND the quirky style of the Coen brothers, you’ll love it. Otherwise, we still advise you to give him a chance. It takes audacity to make a sketch film, many have already broken their teeth in it. However, don’t expect to find classic Western stories in this feature film. True to themselves, the directors always add a welcome comic touch, but they also know how to move us. The beautiful scenery, the masterful direction and the quality casting are all arguments that make this film a must for the streaming service.

  • Discover the trailer of the feature film: 

2. Okja: Beauty and the Beast Okja (2017) on IMDb7.3/1074,121 votes


 

In brief

Mija and her huge friend, the genetically modified sow Okja, live a peaceful life in the mountains of South Korea. But the gentle beast arouses lust. When an American multinational captures Okja and transports her to New York, Mija has only one idea in mind: to save the animal. Then begins a perilous quest to bring the creature back to Korea. 

What we think

Boon Joon-Ho once again brings the colours of Korean cinema to the forefront. Poetic to the core, his film is also an ode to nature and an open criticism of consumer society. Okja, the giant sow, is erected as a symbol of man’s disconnection with nature. Her friendship with Mija is touching, as is the girl’s journey to save her friend. Fortunately, the feature film does not fall into easy moralizing and its message remains quite subtle and nuanced. True to form, Boon Joon-Ho excels in directing. Korea is always filmed with such beauty and the action scenes are worth the detour. 

  • The trailer of the movie can be seen here:

3. Annihilation: me, ugly and mutant Annihilation (2018) on IMDb 6.9/10236,041 votes


 

In brief

In this rather original horror film, adapted from Jeff VanderMeer’s eponymous novel, Lena, a biologist and former military officer, takes part in a mission of exploration. His purpose? Learn more about the fate of her husband who disappeared in a corner of America where the fall of an asteroid seems to trigger paranormal phenomena. Once there, the explorers are struck by the duality of the place. Breathtakingly beautiful, they are also full of danger and home to mutant creatures. Then start a fight of every moment to survive and not go crazy. 

What we think 

No middle ground with Annihilation, you either love or hate it, the film is very clever. For us, the experience was very conclusive. Yes, the film is slow and complicated, but it is also very deep, much more than it seems. Alex Garland, the director, decided to focus the experience more on the viewer’s feelings than on his understanding of all the ins and outs of the script. Not much action on the program, the director prefers to focus on more contemplative scenes. It’s confusing, uncomfortable, but striking. The heavy and frightening atmosphere works well and the images are as icy as they are sublime. You are warned, this film is a gamble: it is worth the detour but will be far from pleasing everyone. 

  • Watch his trailer to make your own review:

 

Documentaries

1. Making a murderer: back to the prison box Making a Murderer (2015) on IMDb 8.6/1078,389 votes


 

In brief

For more than thirteen years, the teams of this thriller documentary followed the judicial journey of Steven Avery, an American sentenced to eighteen years in prison for a rape he did not commit. Finally exonerated thanks to DNA analysis, he will not stop denouncing the malfunctioning of his country’s justice system. Two years later, he is accused of murdering a photographer and returns to the shadows. The documentary focuses on the many inconsistencies of the investigation and the sometimes questionable investigative methods of the American police to confuse Steven Avery. 

What we think

Much better than Bring in the accused, Making a murderer is a stunning plunge into the American judicial and prison system. In order to investigate the unfortunate Steven Avery and retrace his story, the documentary filmmakers do not simply comment on archive footage. They give voice to his lawyers, his family and even the prisoner through the discussions he has with his relatives. The whole thing is clearly oriented, at no time are we allowed to hear the version of the police or the prosecutor who charged him. It’s assumed, the goal is first to expose the flaws in the system, not to investigate. Whatever, the bet’s still on. Making a Murderer manages to be catchy, although a little slow at times.   

  • The trailer for the documentary can be found below:

2. FYRE: the best festival ever The best festival ever (2019) on IMDb 7.2/1027,339 votes


 

In brief

The Fyre festival was supposed to be the event of the year for partygoers and music lovers from all over the world. The event is promoted by some of the most popular social network influencers, many stars advertise their presence and tickets are selling like hotcakes… On the program, good music, heavenly villas on an almost deserted island and gastronomic meals. Problem, the result will be far (and that’s an understatement) from the brochure… Instead, hundreds of festival-goers find themselves on the street on an island lost hundreds of miles from home.

What we think

It’s a totally staggering documentary, telling a story that actually goes far beyond the simple failed festival (we won’t tell you more). Whether you know the history of the Fyre festival or not, whether you’re a music fan or not, this is simply one of the best Netflix documentaries. The film takes a malicious pleasure in stopping on all the stages of their extraordinary fiasco by supporting it with videos and testimonies of those who lived it. The whole organization team is there, or almost all of them… In addition to the already incredible story of the festival, the directors also look at its economic and social impact on the island, as well as the responsibility of the influencers, thus giving more depth to the narrative.

  • If you want to see a preview of the documentary, look below:

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