Netflix earned 24 Academy Award nominations earlier this week, more than any other studio. The company has not been coy in its Oscar ambitions over the last two years, campaigning hard for “Roma” to win the Best Picture category last year (it only earned a nomination) and pushing multiple movies this awards season. At this point, you’re probably well aware of the merits of “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story.”
These recent campaigns have made it easy to forget about the very good movies that didn’t get the lavish marketing pushes upon their debuts. For example, Bong Joon-ho and Noah Baumbach, two of the most nominated filmmakers for the upcoming Academy Awards, both have stellar Netflix Originals on the service.
The list below recommends a few of the standouts from before 2018. Watch the trailers and consider revisiting these cinematic highlights from the recent past.
“Okja” is an adventure movie about a girl who raises a genetically modified superpig before its corporate creator takes the superpig away. The girl goes on a journey to try and save her companion.
Bong Joon-ho directed and co-wrote the movie. His latest film, “Parasite,” recently earned six Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture.
Runtime: 2 hours
Main Cast: Ahn Seo-hyun, Lily Collins, Paul Dano, Giancarlo Esposito, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton and Steven Yeun
“The Meyerowitz Stories” is an existential comedy about a New York family. When the artistic patriarch becomes ill, the family reunites and hashes out old wounds.
Noah Baumbach directed the movie and wrote the screenplay. His latest movie, “Marriage Story,” recently earned six Academy Award nominations, including for Best Picture.
Runtime: 1 hour, 52 minutes
Main Cast: Adam Driver, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Marvel, Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson and Grace Van Patten
“Beasts of No Nation” (2015)
“Beasts of No Nation” is a war movie about a child who becomes a rebel soldier during a civil war in an unspecified West African country. After the government kills members of his family, the young boy finds fleeting protection with a rebel group.
Cary Joji Fukunaga directed the movie and wrote the adapted screenplay. The original story comes from a 2005 novel of the same name. Idris Elba won a SAG Award and earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role.
Runtime: 2 hours, 17 minutes
Main Cast: Abraham Attah, Idris Elba and Emmanuel Nii Adom Quaye
“Mudbound” is a period drama about a pair of Black and white World War II veterans who return to the same Mississippi town after fighting in the war. Despite both fighting for the United States, the two receive starkly different receptions in this Southern town.
Dee Rees directed the movie and co-wrote the adapted script. The original story comes from a 2008 novel of the same name. The movie earned four Academy Award nominations, including Best Adapted Screenplay for Rees and co-writer Virgil Williams.
Runtime: 2 hours, 14 minutes
Main Cast: Jonathan Banks, Mary J. Blige, Jason Clarke, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Rob Morgan and Carey Mulligan
“Tramps” is a comedy about delivering a mysterious briefcase. A young woman and man get entangled in the delivery and start falling for each other during the mission.
This earned a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics praising its combination of the “briefcase delivery” and romcom genres.
Runtime: 1 hour, 22 minutes
Main Cast: Mike Birbiglia, Callum Turner and Grace Van Patten
“Our Souls at Night” (2017)
“Our Souls at Night” is a romantic drama about two widowers who live next to each other and decide to start a relationship to combat loneliness. Complications from their past keep them from having an easy relationship.
This reunited Jane Fonda and Robert Redford, who also starred together in the 1967 Academy Award nominee “Barefoot in the Park.” “Our Souls at Night” earned a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The movie is based on a 2015 novel of the same name.
Runtime: 1 hour, 43 minutes
Main Cast: Bruce Dern, Jane Fonda, Judy Greer, Robert Redford and Matthias Schoenaerts
“1922” is a period horror drama about a farmer who does not want to sell his land, as his wife wants. He decides to force his son to help him kill her so that he can keep the farm.
The movie is based on a 2010 Stephen King novella of the same name. This earned a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and is considered one of the best King adaptations in recent years.
Runtime: 1 hour, 42 minutes
Main Cast: Thomas Jane, Neal McDonough, Molly Parker and Dylan Schmid
“First They Killed My Father” is a period drama about a girl who must become a child soldier during the reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. The girl is a refugee in the country with her family until the Khmer Rouge force them into labor and they all struggle to survive.
Angelina Jolie directed and co-wrote the adapted screenplay. The original story comes from a 2000 memoir of the same name. This earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
Runtime: 2 hours, 16 minutes
Main Cast: Phoeung Kompheak, Srey Moch Sareum and Sveng Socheata
“Tallulah” is a comedic family drama about a woman who steals a baby from a mother she deems to be irresponsible. Not having the resources to raise the baby herself, she seeks help from her ex-boyfriend’s mother.
This earned an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes and was one of Netflix’s first forays into attempting to release a critically acclaimed movie.
Runtime: 1 hour, 51 minutes
Main Cast: Allison Janney and Ellen Page
“Barry” is a historical drama about the early life of future President Barack Obama. The story focuses on Obama’s time at Columbia University in New York City.
The movie earned an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. With the upcoming Iowa Caucus, which Obama won in 2008, perhaps now is a particularly apt time to revisit it.
Runtime: 1 hour, 44 minutes
Main Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy and Devon Terrell