16 of the Best Indie Films to Stream on Netflix on Your Next Movie Night
While it seems like Netflix is always dropping the latest trendy movie, it actually contains a huge library of independent films. After you’ve gotten your fix of blockbusters such as Godzilla vs. Kong, definitely sift through Netflix’s collection for more understated films. The streamer is home to critically acclaimed A24 classics such as Moonlight and Lady Bird, but you’ll also find excellent originals such as Marriage Story and Roma. If you’re trying to figure out what to watch for a low-key movie night, we’ve rounded up the best indie movies that you can stream on Netflix right now!
This emotional drama follows the last hours of Oscar Grant’s life before he was shot by a BART police officer on New Year’s Day in 2009. Michael B. Jordan stars as Grant, while Chad Michael Murray and Kevin Durand portray the two police officers involved in Grant”s death.
Safety Not Guaranteed
It’s the ultimate indie movie power duo – Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass! A mysterious man (Duplass) posts an ad looking for a time travel companion, and a jaded intern (Plaza) ends up going with him on his quaint endeavor.
It Comes at Night
In the mood for a chilling horror film? It Comes at Night situates itself in an apocalyptic world where there are very few survivors due to a contagious disease. Two families end up living together, and tensions rise as everyone tries to avoid the plague at large.
20th Century Women
In the beautiful and understated 20th Century Women, Annette Bening portrays a single, free-spirited mother named Dorothea who’s trying to raise her teenage son Jamie by herself in 1979 Santa Barbara. Along the way, she gets some help from her tenant (Greta Gerwig) and teenage neighbor (Elle Fanning).
Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma really kicked off Netflix credibility as a production company, picking up three Oscars in 2019. Based on Cuarón’s own childhood, the film stars Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, a domestic worker who looks after the children of a middle-class family as Mexico experiences political unrest in the ’70s.
Noah Baumbach‘s Marriage Story follows the bitter divorce proceedings between Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) and Charlie (Adam Driver) as they try to co-parent their son. In addition to the heartbreaking central performances, we also get excellent support from Laura Dern, Ray Liotta, and Merritt Wever.
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Based on a play by August Wilson, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom follows blues singer Ma Rainey (Viola Davis) as tensions rise between her bandmates during a recording session. In his final role, Chadwick Boseman stars as Levee Green, an overzealous trumpeter who stirs up trouble.
Barry Jenkin’s Moonlight weaves through three chapters in the life of Chiron, a young Black man grappling with his family troubles and sexuality as he grows up in Miami. In addition to the three actors (Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Rhodes) who skillfully embody Chiron, Mahershala Ali and Janelle Monáe also bring in excellent performances. Full of sweeping cinematography, the film picked up three Oscars in 2017.
Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf will make you weep in Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird as they bring to life a realistic and tumultuous mother-daughter relationship. In her senior of high school, Lady Bird, aka Christine, (Ronan) is ready to leave Sacramento and her family, and her behavior often comes at odds with her mother (Metcalf).
In Other People, Jesse Plemons portrays a young gay comedy writer who leaves New York and returns home to Sacramento. When he comes back to his hometown, he struggles to connect with his conservative father (Bradley Whitford) as his mother (Molly Shannon) falls ill to cancer.