7 Best Indie Movies on Netflix

The streaming giant that is Netflix has made a decent home for several independent films. Movies made by small production companies that might not otherwise see wider attention have become some of the best independent films on Netflix. Our guide will take you through what we believe are some of the best indie movies on Netflix across multiple genres, themes, and directing styles. While the best indie Netflix movies have become something of a genre themselves, many still draw from more traditional elements.

7. I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)

Genre: Thriller, Crime, Dark Comedy
Release Date on Netflix: February 24, 2017
Writers: Macon Blair
Director: Macon Blair
Running Time: 93 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.0
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%
MPAA Rating: NR
Streaming on: Netflix US, Argentina, Canada, Germany, India, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Australia, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Israel, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Thailand, UK, Brazil, France, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Spain

This film earns a spot for one of the best indie Netflix movies thanks to the way it handles dark comedy and dramatic moments so adeptly. This is thanks largely not only to the writing itself but the performances of the two leads. Elijah Wood and Melanie Lynskey both have experience in comedic roles in shows like Wilfred and Two and a Half Men, respectively. They handle the dramatic moments that deal with losing one’s sense of safety in a familiar environment equally well.

6. The Gift (2015)

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Release Date on Netflix: November 7, 2017
Writers: Joel Edgerton
Director: Joel Edgerton
Running Time: 108 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.1
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
MPAA Rating: R
Streaming on: Netflix US, Canada, Argentina, Japan, France, Australia, Brazil, India

While lead Jason Bateman was previously known for comedic roles in series such as Arrested Development, his portrayal here alongside creator Joel Edgerton easily makes The Gift one of the best independent movies on Netflix right now. Both actors manage to nail the tense yet mysterious relationship between two people who may or may not be old school friends.

5. Other People (2016)

Genre: Dramatic Comedy
Release Date on Netflix: July 12, 2016
Writers: Chris Kelly
Director: Chris Kelly
Running Time: 97 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.7
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Streaming on: Netflix US, Argentina, Canada, Germany, India, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Australia, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Israel, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Thailand, UK, Brazil, France, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Spain

The best independent movies on Netflix that use comedy as a vehicle know how to do it in a way that sticks with you after the laughter is over. Other People is one of the best independent films on Netflix partially for this reason. The movie deals with a struggling writer’s career as he goes home to care for his ailing mother in the wake of his own bad breakup.

If you are interested in other similar movies, we recommend going through our list of the best romantic comedies on Netflix!

4. Half Nelson (2006)

Genre: Drama
Release Date on Netflix: April 14, 2015
Writers: Ryan Fleck, Anna Boden
Director: Ryan Fleck
Running Time: 106 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.2
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
MPAA Rating: R
Streaming on: Netflix US, Canada

We’re going back a few years to dig out another of the best indie movies on Netflix. Half Nelson stars Ryan Gosling as a troubled history teacher battling a not-so-secret drug addiction. Along the way, he manages to form a bond with one of his students. The movie is notable not just as one of the best independent films on Netflix but for its connections to the Marvel universe. The writer/director duo of Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden are currently crafting the upcoming Ms. Marvel film. Half Nelson star Anthony Mackie portrays the superhero Falcon in several Marvel films.

3. Super (2010)

Genre: Action, Superhero
Added to Netflix: April 14, 2015
Writers: James Gunn
Director: James Gunn
Running Time: 96 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.8
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 48%
MPAA Rating: R
Streaming on: Netflix Argentina, Brazil, US

It isn’t quite accurate to label James Gunn’s piece as “just” a superhero movie, but it is one of the best indie movies on Netflix. The film weaves through sub-genres such as dark comedy and drama as well. Super follows a fairly ordinary man who becomes a costumed vigilante when he learns that his wife has fallen afoul of drug dealers. While not all of its moving parts mesh together seamlessly, it’s still a movie worth a watch from the man who went on to put the Guardians of the Galaxy on the big screen.

2. Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

Genre: Comedy
Release Date on Netflix: April 14, 2015
MPAA Rating: R
Writers: David Wain
Director: David Wain
Running Time: 97 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.7
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 33%
Streaming on: Netflix US, Argentina, Canada, Germany, India, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Australia, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Israel, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Thailand, UK, Brazil, France, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Spain

Given its pop culture status, you might already know of this one. However, you might not know that despite its popularity, it wasn’t a huge production. It remains one of the best indie movies on Netflix even now. It seems like a generic teenage summer camp comedy film at first glance, and perhaps at its core, it is just that. However, it’s also a great way to catch current stars like Bradley Cooper and Amy Poehler in their younger days. The best indie movies on Netflix are the ones that add these little touches.

1. Frances Ha (2012)

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Added to Netflix: April 14, 2015
Writers: Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig
Director: Noah Baumbach
Running Time: 86 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
MPAA Rating: R
Available in: US, Canada, Argentina, Australia Brazil

The best indie movies on Netflix strive to do something a little different while they wrestle with the familiar. Frances Ha is an indie film that does so with a lot of extra details. It’s filmed in black and white to add a nostalgic, throwback feel, and features a performance from Greta Gerwig that earned her a few nominations. The plot deals with a dancer who is still living rather aimlessly in her 20s and trying to come to grips with her childhood friend moving away. The writing, performances, and artistic touches easily make it one of the best indie movies on Netflix.

Looking for more cool original productions? Check out the best Netflix original series streaming right now!

Conclusion

The best independent movies on Netflix can provide something for every moviegoer. It doesn’t really matter if you’re looking for a well-crafted story, diverse characters, good music, or breathtaking cinematography. Our list of the 7 best indie movies on Netflix has something for everyone. Please feel free to share your thoughts about the best independent films on Netflix with us in the section below!

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