Top 25 Award-Winning Movies on Netflix You Should Watch

Top 30 Award Winning Movies on Netflix You Should Watch

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 award winning movies 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!

Best Award-Winning Movies on Netflix to Watch Right Now

To make things easier for our readers, we have divided this article into several sections based on genre. Below are the quick links to each section. You can click on these links to quickly move to the section you find interesting.

Best Netflix Award-Winning Romantic Comedy/Drama Movies

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.

IMDb: 7.7

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%/86%

Check out As Good As It Gets on Netflix 

2. Fargo (1996)

Fargo is a vintage black comedy. Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, the movie also has an interesting mix of thriller elements. The movie is about Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand), who is a pregnant Minnesota police chief. Gunderson is investigating roadside homicides.

The movie also stars William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Harve Presnell, and Peter Stormare. It received both critical and commercial success. Moreover, it received seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. While McDormand won the Academy Award for Best Actress, Coens received the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

IMDb: 8.1

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%/93%

Check out Fargo on Netflix 

3. After (2019)

After is a modern romantic movie. Starring Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin, the film is based on the 2014 new adult fiction novel of the same name by Anna Todd. Made on a budget of just $14 million, it turned out to be a big hit grossing $69.7 million.

As for awards, After won the Teen Choice Awards and E! People’s Choice Awards in the category of a drama movie. Though it didn’t receive high ratings, you would enjoy streaming it if you have a liking for teen romance.

IMDb: 5.4

Rotten Tomatoes: 19%/70%

Check out After on Netflix 

Best Netflix Award-Winning Documentary Movies

4. 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.

IMDb: 7.8

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/87%

Check out Amy on Netflix

5. 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.

IMDb: 7.9

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%/94%

Check out Icarus on Netflix

6. 13th (2016)

13th is a heart-touch documentary movie. The film puts light on justice, the intersection of race, and mass incarceration in the United States. Directed by Ava DuVernay, it asserts that slavery has existed since the end of the American Civil War through criminalizing behavior.

13th was highly acclaimed and also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards. It won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary.

IMDb: 8.3

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%/91%

Check out 13th on Netflix

7. 20 Feet from Stardom (2013)

Produced by Gil Friesen and directed by Morgan Neville, 20 Feet from Stardom is a classy documentary movie that would easily win you over. The movie covers the behind-the-scenes experiences of backup singers. It features Darlene Love, Judith Hill, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Táta Vega, and Jo Lawry.

20 Feet from Stardom received a lot of praise for its portrayal of the passion, talent, and the hard work of the backup singers. Besides, it also won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 86th Academy Awards.

IMDb: 7.4

Rotten Tomatoes: 99%/82%

Check out 20 Feet from Stardom on Netflix

Netflix Award-Winning Biographical/Historical/Fantasy/Sports Drama Movies

8. 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.

IMDb: 7.5

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%/79%

Check out The Aviator on Netflix

9. 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.

IMDb: 8

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%/91%

Check out Dallas Buyers Club on Netflix

10. 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).

IMDb: 7.8

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%/89%

Check out The Fighter 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.

Moreover, this drama film has won a couple of Academy Awards like Best Supporting Actor for Williams and Best Original Screenplay for Affleck and Damon.

IMDb: 8.3

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.

IMDb: 7.5

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.

IMDb: 6.9

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%/67%

Check out The Duchess on Netflix

14. 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.

What’s more, the movie was highly praised and bagged the Academy Award for the Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Best Production Design.

IMDb: 7.4

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%/80%

Check out Lincoln on Netflix

15. 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. The way he succeeds in overcoming the stammering problem is commendable. 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.

IMDb: 8

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/92%

Check out The King’s Speech on Netflix

16. 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.

IMDb: 6.7

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/89%

Check out Milk on Netflix

17. 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.

IMDb: 8.5

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/96%

Check out The Pianist on Netflix

18. 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.

IMDb: 8.2

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%/91%

Check out Pan’s Labyrinth on Netflix

19. Roma (2018)

Let’s put it straight, “Roma” is once in a generation drama film that 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.

IMDb: 7.8

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%/71%

Check out Roma on Netflix

20. 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.

IMDb: 8.9

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%/97%

Check out Schindler’s List on Netflix

Best Netflix Award-Winning Science-Fiction Movies

21. 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.

IMDb: 8.3

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/94%

Check out Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on Netflix

22. 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.

IMDb: 8

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%/82%

Check out Her on Netflix

23. Ex Machina (2014)

As a science-fiction psychological thriller film, Ex Machina excels in most aspects. The movie has been written and directed by Alex Garland. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, and Oscar Isaac, it’s about a programmer who is given the responsibility to administer the Turing test to an intelligent humanoid robot.

Made on a budget of $15 million, Ex Machina amassed $36 million worldwide and was praised for Vikander’s performance, the screenplay, and editing. Furthermore, the science fiction movie won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects at the 88th Academy Awards.

IMDb: 7.7

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%/86%

Check out Ex Machina on Netflix

Best Netflix Award-Winning Crime/Thriller Movies

24. 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.

IMDb: 8.5

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%/94%

Check out The Departed on Netflix

25. 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.

IMDb: 7.8

Rotten Tomatoes: 74%/76%

Check out The Hateful Eight on Netflix

26. 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.

IMDb: 8.1

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/86%

Check out No Country for Old Men on Netflix

Best Netflix Award-Winning Epic War Movies

27. 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 is on the hit list of insurgents. Find out their bravery and how they tackle the huge challenges.

IMDb: 7.6

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%/84%

Check out The Hurt Locker  on Netflix

28. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

The epic war movie that’s widely considered as the gold standard is Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. Written by Robert Rodat, the movie is set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II. The graphic portrayal of war and the intensity of its second scene of 23 minutes which is an amazing depiction of the Omaha Beach assault during the Normandy landings stand out.

The story is about the United States Army Rangers Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) and his squad. It was nominated for eleven Academy Awards at the 71st Academy Awards and was able to win five awards including the Best Director and Best Film Editing.

IMDb: 8.6

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/95%

Check out Saving Private Ryan on Netflix

Best Netflix Award-Winning Action/Adventure Movies

29. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)

Boasting a fascinating story, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King is an epic fantasy adventure movie. Directed by Peter Jackson, the award-winning Netflix film is based on the third volume of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. It’s the third installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and features an ensemble cast including Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, and Cate Blanchett.

The fantasy adventure received critical acclaim and grossed $1.142 billion worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film of 2003 and the second highest-grossing film of all time. Moreover, it won all the eleven Academy Awards for which it had been nominated including best film editing, best picture, and best director.

IMDb: 8.9

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%/86%

Check out Lord of the Rings: Return of the King on Netflix

30. Total Recall (1990)

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Total Recall is a power-packed action movie with a good dose of science fiction. The movie is based on 1966 Philip K. Dick short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” and also features Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, and Michael Ironside in the lead roles.

The plot is about a construction worker who gets entangled into espionage on Mars. Written by Ronald Shusett, Dan O’Bannon, Jon Povill, and Gary Goldman, the action movie won a Special Achievement Academy Award for its visual effects.

IMDb: 7.5

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%/78%

Check out Total Recall on Netflix

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Oscar-nominated Movies are on Netflix 2020?

There are quite a few Oscar-nominated movies are on Netflix 2020. For instance, The Irishman is nominated for 10 Oscars including best picture, Marriage Story is nominated for 6 Oscars including best picture and best actress (Scarlett Johansson), The Two Popes for 3 Oscars, and more.

What Academy Award-winning Movies are on Netflix?

Netflix boasts a huge library of Academy Award-Winning movies such as Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Saving Private Ryan, No Country for Old Men, and more.

What’s a Good Movie on Netflix 2020?

When it comes to having a large collection of top-notch movies, Netflix is undoubtedly the best place. From Total Recall to The Hurt Locker to The Departed, it’s got you fully covered.

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.

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