The Best Movies on Netflix Nobody Is Watching

It’s hard to gauge the movies on Netflix that supposedly “nobody” is watching since Netflix rarely releases its viewership numbers. When they do, it’s to promote a viral hit like Bird Box.

Netflix
Netflix | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Although Netflix is increasingly playing the movie card, having heavily promoted Roma for the Oscars last year and diving into those waters again this year with Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, they’re still primarily known as a TV outlet.

Regardless, Netflix does still stream a decent selection of less heralded gems that you can find if you dig a little. Here are the seven best movies on Netflix we uncovered.

‘Bathtubs over Broadway’

The best documentaries often mine subjects that not many people consider studying. This movie covers the strange and tuneful world of the little-seen industrial musical. Those were little stage shows meant to be seen by only business employees, and they rarely hit the eyeballs of the general public. A writer for The Late Show with David Letterman takes us through that world, with appearances from Florence Henderson, Chita Rivera and Martin Short.

‘Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie’

Too many animated movies these days include some form of “rude humor” (read: fart joke) to secure a PG rating so that they’ll seem hip or edgy, when they really come off as desperate. This relatively unheralded DreamWorks movie is one of the very few to take rude humor and make it genuinely funny and inventive. One sequence is shot with sock puppets – not digital sock puppets, real sock puppets. And at one point, the villain is nothing less than a giant toilet.

‘De Palma’

The director primarily known for Hitchcockian suspense movies like Carrie and Dressed to Kill goes over every film he’s made with absolutely fascinating detail. He’s revealing about familiar hits like The Untouchables and Mission: Impossible, candid about failures like The Bonfire of the Vanities and Mission to Mars, and moving and funny about movies that he wishes had a wider audience, like Carlito’s Way. Pair this with the only De Palma-directed movie on Netflix now, Scarface.

‘The Other Side of the Wind’

Netflix has never been a great resource for movies made before the 1980s, so they deserve great credit for financing the completion of the final film by legendary director Orson Welles. His jagged narrative of a party thrown by an old Hollywood lion (John Huston) interspersed with the arty movie that lion has made, won’t be for all tastes, but it’s a fascinating slice of film history. For companion viewing, see also the documentary They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead, about Welle’s final years.

‘Snowpiercer’

Here’s the best movie that Chris Evans has made without him wearing a red, white, and blue uniform. In fact, it’s arguably the best movie he’s made period and you can watch it on Netflix. It’s about a dystopian future in which Evans is a member of the lower class, which stages a rebellion on a train carrying what’s left of society. We guarantee you this much: you’ll never see a classroom scene like the one in this movie.

‘The Stranger’

If you find The Other Side of the Wind too strange, try this 1946  espionage thriller directed by and starring Welles. Also in the cast are Edward G. Robinson and Loretta Young. This was one of Welles’ few movies to turn a profit – and it was one he dismissed as merely an exercise to prove he could play by Hollywood’s rules rather than making up his own. Welles may disagree, but there’s nothing wrong with a good solid yarn.

‘Tucker and Dale vs Evil’

Dubbed a “nightmare vacation” by Netflix, this is a wonderfully wild and hilarious satire that puts many actual horror movies to shame. It’s the story of a pair of well-meaning hillbillies mistaken for murderers by dim-witted college students. You may never look at Deliverance the same way again. That’s on Netflix, too, by the way.