The 10 Best Netflix Movies Released in 2022
We asked, and you answered! These are the best Netflix movies of 2022, according to our readers.
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The best Netflix movies of 2022
Grab the remote, movie lovers! It’s been another standout year in Hollywood, with more movies than ever hitting screens big and small. Streaming giant Netflix released 77 original English-language films this year (plus 105 foreign-language originals and a slew of must-see TV shows), giving subscribers everything from laugh-out-loud comedies to major tearjerkers to the best horror movies on Netflix in 2022. But which were the best Netflix movies of 2022? We rounded up our favorites, then asked 2,700 readers to chime in.
Whether you’re in the mood for a sweeping romance, emotional drama, LGBTQ drama or one of the sexiest films on Netflix, the streamer had you covered. And while you could rely on Netflix codes to find what you’re looking for, we have a better option: Browse our list of must-see flicks (including a few that are coming out this month), appearing in the order of our readers’ preference. Some may end up on your list of the best movies of all time.
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The Adam Project
What you’re in for: An action-packed, futuristic sci-fi dramedy about time travel
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana
It’s confirmed! This high-budget time-hopping film takes the top slot, with 61% of our readers naming it the best movie on Netflix this year. It was first slated for production in 2012, with Tom Cruise set to star, but due to development issues, it sat unmade until Netflix rescued it in 2020. The plot follows the story of an unhappy fighter pilot (Ryan Reynolds) in 2050, who travels through time to stop his wife from dying. He accidentally crash-lands in 2022, where he meets his 12-year-old self. The two go on a time-hopping adventure, facing evil leaders from the future who want them dead. Think of it as a modern-day Back to the Future, albeit with a little more violence, a lot more action and humor that will definitely please the teenage boys in the house.
Enola Holmes 2
What you’re in for: A solid mystery movie about the sister of the famous detective, who has set up her own detective agency
Starring: Millie Bobbie Brown, Henry Cavill and Helena Bonham Carter
The follow-up to 2020’s Enola Holmes is just as enticing as the original, and it’s one of the best Netflix movies of 2022 to watch with the whole family. Millie Bobbie Brown is endearing as the young Victorian-era detective, who is not as well known as her famous brother but is just as clever. In Enola Holmes 2, which is based on an original screenplay, not adapted from the Enola Holmes teen book series, the young sleuth is on the case of a missing girl, which takes her to a famous match factory—one that really existed. In 1888, workers at the real-life factory (many of them teen girls) went on strike over workplace safety after developing a debilitating condition called “phossy jaw.” Think of Enola Holmes 2—which 58% of readers named the best Netflix movie of 2022—as a mystery with some history.
The Gray Man
What you’re in for: An action-packed CIA thriller about an assassin on the run
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans and Alfre Woodard
This high-adrenaline thriller, based on the 2009 novel The Gray Man, spent the past decade in various stages of production before it became one of the most-watched Netflix films of the year. (At one point, Brad Pitt was slated to play the lead, with Charlize Theron in the role played by Ana de Armas.) But watch the flick, and you’ll be pleased by the current casting—Chris Evans is particularly great as the villain. The fast-paced thriller follows an agent (Ryan Gosling) who has been recruited to join the CIA’s top-secret assassin program. Things go awry when corruption comes to light and a sociopathic killer catches his scent. It’s a popcorn drama of the best kind, full of twists and turns to the end.
The Good Nurse
What you’re in for: A creepy true story about a male nurse who was a secret serial killer
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Jessica Chastain and Kim Dickens
The most chilling thing about The Good Nurse? It’s based on a true story. (And it’s a solid pick for fans of true-crime documentaries.) It tells the story of Charles Cullen (Eddie Redmayne), a nurse who appears on the surface to be a kind and generous man. But when patients start dying unexpectedly during his shifts, a colleague (Jessica Chastain) discovers that he’s been killing them. The craziest part of the story? The real-life Cullen spent 16 years as a registered nurse at dozens of hospitals, and the number of his victims will never be known. (He confessed to 29 and is serving multiple life sentences.) Redmayne plays the part of the seemingly innocent Cullen to perfection, and Chastain brings the tension as her character works to expose Cullen. The film will leave you wondering one thing: How could he?
What you’re in for: An inspiring sports dramedy about two men who boost each other’s careers—and lives
Starring: Adam Sandler, Juancho Hernangomez, Queen Latifah and Heidi Gardner
Adam Sandler once again stars as a man flailing professionally, despite having heart and drive. In Hustle, he plays a basketball scout for the Philadelphia 76ers who discovers an amazing talent (Juancho Hernangomez) while watching locals in Spain play pick-up games. (Hernangomez is a real-life Spanish NBA star, who plays for the Toronto Raptors.) He brings the baller to the United States and tries to get him drafted into the NBA, but his new recruit needs a lot of training. As with most sports dramas, there are plenty of fits and starts along the way, but it all ends with a heart-warming triumph.
Luckiest Girl Alive
What you’re in for: A thrilling mystery about a woman who seems to have it all—and loses it all when her past comes back to haunt her
Starring: Mila Kunis, Finn Wittrock and Connie Britton
Based on Jessica Knoll’s 2015 bestselling thriller book of the same name, Luckiest Girl Alive tells the tale of a magazine writer in New York City (Mila Kunis) who has crafted the perfect life for herself, complete with the perfect job, perfect looks and perfect wealthy fiancé. Everyone assumes she’s lucky because she survived a school shooting when she was in high school, one that killed several of her classmates. But she’s hiding a secret, and not everyone believes she’s as innocent as she appears. As her perfect life unravels, this thriller movie kicks into high gear. You’ll be glued to the couch, desperate for the big reveal.
Love & Gelato
What you’re in for: A coming-of-age rom-com, based on a bestselling YA novel, set in Rome
Starring: Susanna Skaggs, Tobia De Angelis and Owen McDonnell
If you’re in the mood for a teen movie or lighthearted romantic comedy that doesn’t make you think too hard, this is it! Love & Gelato follows Lina, a 17-year-old whose dying mother urged her to travel to Italy and enjoy a summer similar to the one her mother had when she was young. While there, she falls for not one but two romantic suitors (and gelato, clearly) and learns about life, love and adventure. Get transported to the gorgeous city of Rome as Lina juggles her romantic entanglements and searches for the father she’s never met. The flick is easy, breezy and sweet like ice cream.
What you’re in for: A hip teen comedy about queen bees, wannabees and getting revenge on terrible classmates at a posh, cliquey high school
Starring: Maya Hawke, Camilla Mendes and Austin Abrams
If teenage dark dramas like the ’80s cult classic Heathers are your jam, you’ll enjoy this smart black comedy about two girls who become outcasts at their school and decide to team up to exact revenge on their nemesis. At first, you’ll root for them, but as the story twists and turns, you won’t know who the real villains are. It’s a tale of friendships and betrayals, but while it features teens, it involves themes of drugs and sex, so make sure you don’t watch it with the under-13 set.
What you’re in for: An Irish period drama and psychological thriller with religious undertones
Starring: Florence Pugh, Kila Lord Cassidy and Tom Burke
This visually stunning drama brings viewers to a small Irish village in 1862, where an English nurse (Florence Pugh) is investigating a “miracle child” who claims she hasn’t eaten food for four months, surviving only on manna from heaven. But all is not as it seems in this quietly unnerving film—the girl and her deeply religious family are harboring a dark secret. The nurse, who’s still reeling from her own trauma, must choose between following the rules set forth by village leaders and doing her best to save the child from certain death. It’s worth a watch just to see Florence Pugh shine once again.
What you’re in for: A romantic comedy about two people who pretend to be in love to get their meddling parents off their backs
Starring: Suraj Sharma, Pallavi Sharda and Rizwan Manji
You know you’re in for a laugh-out-loud treat when the mothers of first-generation Indians start messing with their children’s loves lives. That’s the premise of this cute rom-com: Two career-oriented New Yorkers, who are set up by their mothers, pretend to date during “wedding season” to catch a break from the parental pressure. You can guess where the story goes, but despite the familiar tropes, you’ll find yourself really rooting for the pair to be together—for real this time.
December 2022 releases you won’t want to miss
A couple just-released films—and one on the way—weren’t out in time to make our reader poll of the best Netflix movies of 2022. But the reviews are out, and they’re going to be good! As an added bonus, they’re all dropping right around the holidays, so they’re perfect picks for family movie nights.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
If you love Agatha Christie novels, this is the best Netflix movie of 2022 for you. The first Knives Out film starred Daniel Craig as Inspector Benoit Blance, a Hercule Poirot type investigating the murder of the patriarch of a dysfunctional, wealthy family. It was such a massive hit that we’re getting a follow-up on Dec. 23. Glass Onion is another romp of a whodunit: A tech billionaire invites his friends to his private Greek island, and someone turns up dead. Of course, everyone could have a motive, and everyone could be guilty, so expect plenty of twists along the way.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Sure, you could watch Disney’s live-action remake of this classic story, starring Tom Hanks—it, too, came out this year. But director Guillermo del Toro’s tale of the wooden puppet who longs to be a real boy takes a darker and artsier twist than the Disney movie. It’s not just better; it’s one of the best Netflix movies of 2022. The fantasy musical features a real puppet and stop-motion animation, and it boasts an A-list cast: Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz and Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard.
Matilda the Musical
The 1996 adaptation of the Roald Dahl children’s book (starring Danny Devito, Rhea Pearlman and Mara Wilson) is now considered a classic children’s film. You won’t find more of the same with this musical remake based on the West End show that debuted in London in 2011. Instead, prepare for new characters, stronger powers from the titular character and, of course, plenty of raucous song-and-dance numbers that will make you want to jump out of your seat—it’s Matilda the Musical, after all.