When I’m in the mood to catch up with great movies, I look for the critically-acclaimed flicks that have not only reigned supreme at the box office but also left a lasting impact. Beyond remarkable screenplay and amazing acting, such films possess an ageless charm. No matter how many times you have played the cult classics or the epic dramas, they seem to instantly come into the picture the moment you think of their respective genres. That’s the prime reason why I think it would be cool to make a comprehensive roundup of top award winning movies on Netflix including the ones that have bagged many Oscars. So, if you are on the hunt for oscar winning movies on Netflix, let’s dive straight into the following lineup to pick out some gems for your showtime right now!
Top Award Winning Movies on Netflix to Watch Right Now
Though many modern films have shattered previous records, creating huge milestones for the entire industry to follow, the old classics have continued to hold the fort. Their superb screenplay, marvelous story and excellent direction are still exemplaries. Therefore, I made sure to pick out the epic flicks that have been ruling hearts for decades. So, it doesn’t matter whether you are up for a classic Academy Award winner or in quest of the films with a modern touch, you will find the movies that can spice up your video streaming. That being said, let’s find out what these top award winning movies on Netflix have in store for you!
Note: One thing worth mentioning up front is that all the movies included in this roundup are available for streaming in the USA. However, some of the flicks may not be available in other countries like India, UK, Canada, Australia, etc. Also, do note that the ratings from Rotten Tomatoes have been given in Tomatometer and Audience Score formats.
1. As Good As It Gets (1997)
I would like to kickstart this roundup by putting “As Good As It Gets” right at the top as it’s undoubtedly one of the best comedy movies on Netflix. Oh yes, it also shows a great side of romance as Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt have performed exceedingly well and their chemistry looks fascinating. In this flick, Nicholson has donned the role of a misanthropic novelist, while Hunt has played the role of a single mother of a chronically ill son. Thanks to the adorable acting, both Nicholson and Hunt have grabbed the Academy Award for Best Actor and Best Actress respectively.
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%/86%
Check out As Good As It Gets on Netflix
2. Amy (2015)
“Amy” is one of the best documentary films I have ever watched. This documentary movie is about the life and death of British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse. Directed by Asif Kapadia, the film shows Winehouse’s struggle and the unbearable abuse that she had to encounter both before and after her career peaked. It’s this traumatic abuse that eventually led to her shocking death. Thanks to the superb direction and gripping story, this British documentary has won a whopping 30 film awards including Best European Documentary at the 28th European Film Awards and Best Documentary at the 69th British Academy Film Awards.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/87%
Check out Amy on Netflix
3. The Aviator (2004)
If you adore an epic biographical drama, I would recommend you to watch “The Aviator”. The movie is based on the 1993 non-fiction book Howard Hughes: The Secret Life (by Charles Higham) and features Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes, Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn, and Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner. It portraits the life of Howard Hughes who was the director of Hell’s Angels and also known as an aviation pioneer. The Aviator has got plenty of accolades and even won Academy Awards including Best Supporting Actress (Cate Blanchett), Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Film Editing.
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%/79%
Check out The Aviator on Netflix
4. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
As someone who has a liking for a biographical drama film, I have really enjoyed watching “Dallas Buyers Club”. Set in the mid-1980s when HIV/AIDS treatments were still a subject of research, the movie revolves around Ron Woodroof (played by Matthew McConaughey), who is an AIDS patient. At the time when the disease was not understood and used to be highly stigmatized, Woodroof smuggled pharmaceutical drugs to not only treat his symptoms but also help other AIDS patients. Due largely to the superb acting and intriguing story, the movie has won multiple Oscars including Best Actor (Matthew McConaughey), Best Supporting Actor (Jared Leto), and Best Makeup.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%/91%
Check out Dallas Buyers Club on Netflix
5. Annie Hall (1977)
“Annie Hall” is the sort of romantic comedy films that have an ageless charm. That’s the reason why it’s one of the top award-winning films on Netflix even after more than four decades. In this evergreen movie, Woody Allen has played the role of Alvy Singer who is desperate to find out the reasons for the failure of his relationship with his lady love (played by Diane Keaton). Courtesy excellent acting and a pretty solid storyline, the movie has taken home many Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director (Woody Allen), Best Actress (Diane Keaton), and Best Original Screenplay.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%/92%
Check out Annie Hall on Netflix
6. The Departed (2006)
This one is a must-have for the movie buffs who never seem to get enough of crime films. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson in the prominent roles, the movie is a remake of the critically acclaimed Hong Kong film called Infernal Affairs. DiCaprio has looked convincing as an undercover state trooper ( William Billy) and if you are a fan of his acting, you shouldn’t give it a miss. Moreover, The Departed won four Oscars at the 79th Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%/94%
Check out The Departed on Netflix
7. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Directed by David Lean, Doctor Zhivago is a highly acclaimed British-Italian epic romantic drama movie. Set against the backdrop of World War I and the Russian Civil War, it features Omar Sharif as a titular physician named Yuri Zhivago. In this epic romantic film, Sharif is romantically linked with two women. Doctor Zhivago ruled at the 38th Academy Awards winning five Oscars including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, and Best Costume Design.
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%/88%
Check out Doctor Zhivago on Netflix
8. The Fighter (2010)
Very few biographical sports drama films have been as successful as The Fighter (2010). This boxing film is about a real-life boxer called Micky Ward (played by Mark Wahlberg) who is trying to get out of the shadow of his older and more famous boxing brother “Dicky Eklund ” (Christian Bale) and achieve greater heights. With an impressive story backed by the commendable acting of Wahlberg and Bale, the movie turns out to be a massive victor. Furthermore, The Fighter has also won the Academy Awards for both Best Supporting Actor (Christian Bale) and Best Supporting Actress (Melissa Leo).
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%/89%
Check out The Fighter on Netflix
9. Apocalypse Now (1979)
If the stage is set for an epic war film, look no further than “Apocalypse Now”. The movie is about the Vietnam War and stars Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, and Frederic Forrest in the pivotal roles. This cult classic follows a long and tireless journey from South Vietnam into Cambodia by Captain Benjamin L who is on a secret mission to assassinate Colonel Kurtz. But will his mission ever be accomplished given the herculean challenges that lie ahead? Watch the entire flick to unpack the epic war. As for awards, it has won Academy Awards for Best Cinematography and Best Sound.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%/94%
Check out Apocalypse Now on Netflix
10. The Hurt Locker (2008)
Are you on the hunt for an action-packed war epic film? If yes, give a chance to “The Hurt Locker” as it’s one of the most loved war-drama movies. It has an appreciable star cast led by Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, and Brian Geraghty. The story is centered around the Iraq War Explosive Ordnance Disposal team who are on the hit list of insurgents. Find out their bravery and how they tackle the huge challenges.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%/84%
Check out The Hurt Locker on Netflix
11. Good Will Hunting (1997)
“Good Will Hunting” is an excellent drama film in which you would love to catch up with your friends and loved ones. Written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, the movie is about a 20-year-old boy “Will Hunting” (played by Matt Damon) who studies with a Harvard professor and a famous therapist to fight out his demons and become a successful person in life. This drama film has won a couple of Academy Awards like Best Supporting Actor for Williams and Best Original Screenplay for Affleck and Damon.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%/94%
Check out Good Will Hunting on Netflix
12. Howards End (1992)
Based on the novel of the same name (written by E. M. Forster and published in 1910), Howards End is a classy romantic drama film. Set in the early 20th century, the movie elegantly portraits the story of class relationships. Featuring noted actors including Anthony Hopkins, Vanessa Redgrave and Helena Bonham Carter, the film was a massive hit at the box office. What’s more, it also succeeded in winning three Academy Awards for Best Actress (Emma Thompson), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Art Direction.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%/82%
Check out Howards End on Netflix
13. The Duchess (2008)
Frankly speaking, I have specifically chosen “The Duchess” for the Netflix users who are in love with not only pretty good drama film but also admire magnificent costume design. Based on Amanda Foreman’s famous biography of the late 18th-century English aristocrat Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, the movie stars Keira Knightley in the lead role. Notably, it has won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design.
Rotten Tomatoes: 62%/67%
Check out The Duchess on Netflix
14. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Should you wish to give a shot at a fascinating romantic science-fiction comedy-drama film, I would suggest you kickstart “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” straight away. Featuring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet in the prominent roles, the movie is set around an estranged couple who have completely thrown each other from their respective lives and even memories. But their romance gets an all-new start when they re-met. Beyond the story, the movie has won the Academy Award for the Best Original Screenplay.
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/94%
Check out Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on Netflix
15. The Hateful Eight (2015)
Set in the American West just after the Civil War, “The Hateful Eight” is an American western thriller film. The plot is set around a group of eight strangers who desperately seek refuge from a blizzard. The film has a notable star cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. With plenty of intense scenes and thrilling moments, The Hateful Eight has got what it takes to liven up your showtime. Not to mention, it has also won Academy Award for the Best Original Score.
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%/76%
Check out The Hateful Eight on Netflix
16. Her (2013)
What I have liked most in “Her” is a unique story. The entire movie is centered around Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) who gets emotionally attached to Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) – an artificially intelligent virtual assistant. Watch this science-fiction romance film to find out different shades of love. Talking about the award the film has bagged, it has deservedly won the Academy Award for the Best Original Screenplay.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%/82%
Check out Her on Netflix
17. Icarus (2017)
Bryan Fogel’s Icarus has impressed me no end. And I guess, I’m not alone to have been left speechless by this one of the top award-winning films on Netflix. It follows Fogel who is on a mission to learn about performance-boosting drugs. During his extensive research, he discovers a number of shocking things. Courtesy a thought-provoking story, Icarus has won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award and the Academy Award for the Best Documentary Feature.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%/94%
Check out Icarus on Netflix
18. Lincoln (2012)
As a historical drama, Lincoln is pure gold. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the movie stars Daniel Day-Lewis as U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. The film focuses on the final four months of Lincoln’s life, including the grand endeavor to have the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution passed by the United States House of Representatives. The movie was highly praised and bagged the Academy Award for the Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Best Production Design.
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%/80%
Check out Lincoln on Netflix
19. The King’s Speech (2010)
When there is a debate on one of the most popular historical dramas, leaving out “The King’s Speech” would be a blunder. The movie has been directed by Tom Hooper and Colin Firth as the future King George VI. The king is faced with a big stammering problem which he wants to get rid of at all cost. Find out how he succeeds in overcoming it? As for the awards, the film has got quite a few notable ones: Best Picture, Best Director (Tom Hooper), Best Actor (Colin Firth), and Best Original Score.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/92%
Check out The King’s Speech on Netflix
20. Milk (2008)
I wouldn’t hesitate in calling “Milk” one of the most loved biographical films of all time. Based on the life of activist and politician Harvey Milk, who happened to be the first gay to be elected for the public office in California, the film features Sean Penn in the leading role. The biggest highlight of this movie is Penn’s brilliant performance as Milk which won praise both from fans and critics. With impactful acting and emotional story to boot, Milk received Best Actor (Sean Penn) and Best Original Screenplay awards.
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/89%
Check out Milk on Netflix
21. No Country for Old Men (2007)
A neo-western crime thriller film like “No Country for Old Men” can seamlessly find a top spot in your watchlist. The movie is based on Cormac McCarthy’s 2005 novel of the same name and stars Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin in the pivotal roles. The plot revolves around a Texas welder in the desert landscape. With high-voltage thrilling scenes and engrossing storyline, the movie has got four prestigious Academy Awards like Best Picture, Best Director (Joel and Ethan Coen), Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem), and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/86%
Check out No Country for Old Men on Netflix
22. The Pianist (2002)
When there is a desire to settle with nothing less than the very best, “The Pianist” should be a notable inclusion in the watchlist. This biographical drama has been directed by Roman Polanski and stars Adrien Brody as the protagonist. The film is based on the autobiographical book “The Pianist” which is a very popular Holocaust memoir by the Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman. In terms of awards, this biographic flick has won three Oscars: Best Director (Roman Polanski), Best Actor (Adrien Brody), and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/96%
Check out The Pianist on Netflix
23. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
If you are a fan of a dark fantasy drama film, you shouldn’t miss out on Pan’s Labyrinth. Set in the summer of 1944 in Spain, the plot is centered around an abandoned labyrinth and a mysterious faun creature. Well, I have loved watching this flick intertwined with the mythical world. And I bet it would succeed in winning your heart as well. A must for the movie-lovers who adore dark fantasy! Not to mention, Pan’s Labyrinth has also got three major awards: Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, and Best Makeup.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/91%
Check out Pan’s Labyrinth on Netflix
24. Roma (2018)
Let’s put it straight, “Roma” is once in a generation drama film which should automatically find a safe place in your wishlist of the top award-winning movies on Netflix. This movie is loosely based on the autobiography of Cuarón’s upbringing in the Colonia Roma neighborhood of Mexico City. The story is set around the life of a live-in housekeeper of a middle-class family and shows the enormous struggle that she has to encounter. Expectedly, this drama film has won quite a few Oscars: Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón), Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Cinematography.
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%/71%
Check out Roma on Netflix
25. Schindler’s List (1993)
What a way to wrap up this awesome movie collection by adding Steven Spielberg’s masterclass – Schindler’s List! Yeah, this is the same movie that gave Spielberg his first Oscar. Talking about the plot of this epic historical period drama, it revolves around Oskar Schindler, Sudeten German businessman, who saved more than a thousand lives by employing them in his factory during the turbulent time of World War II. Do I need to say that this movie has bagged a ton of awards: seven Academy Awards, seven BAFTAs, three Golden Globes and many more.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%/97%
Check out Schindler’s List on Netflix
Set the Showtime on Fire with the Best Award Winning Movies on Netflix
Now is the time to set your showtime for a long video-streaming spree. So, bring on the popcorn and call the couch buddies for a fun-filled media watching. When you have a luxurious collection of the best Oscar winning Netflix movies at the disposal, even a long vacation seems to run out a bit faster, doesn’t it? Therefore, make it count to the fullest. By the way, let me know your favorite flicks and the things that make them stand out for you.