If you’re looking to put a little prestige into your viewing experience, Netflix actually has quite a few “Oscar movies” to choose from. It can be tough to find exactly what you’re looking for, however, so below we’ve assembled a list of the very best Oscar movies on Netflix right now.

To whittle this list down, we relegated it to films that won at least one Oscar, so while a movie like Gangs of New York picked up a slew of nominations, it came away empty handed. But there’s still a refreshing variety of films that received Academy Awards recognition to choose from, including classic Best Picture winners, recent hits, and even somewhat forgettable yet still enjoyable films that managed to pull out a W on the big night. Without further ado, peruse our list of the best Oscar movies on Netflix right now below.


Spotlight Cast
Image via Open Road Films

Director: Tom McCarthy

Writers: Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy

Cast: Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Brian d’Arcy James, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, Billy Crudup, and John Slattery

Oscars Won: Picture, Original Screenplay

Winner of the Best Picture Oscar for 2015, Spotlight is a tremendous achievement and a magnificent example of the tightrope walk many filmmakers must do when tackling touchy or controversial subject matter. In chronicling the Boston Globe’s investigation into systemic sexual abuse in the Catholic church, Spotlight never relishes in putting down the church itself, nor does it shy away from the horrible crimes perpetrated (and facilitated) by those in power. It’s an incredibly engaging and compelling story of good people trying to do a good thing, and all the challenges that come with standing up to a massive superpower. Moreover, the ensemble in this thing is one of the best in recent memory. Whether you’re a Best Picture completionist or not, Spotlight is well worth your time. – Adam Chitwood

The Social Network

Image via Sony

Director: David Fincher

Writer: Aaron Sorkin

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Rooney Mara, and Rashida Jones

Oscars Won: Adapted Screenplay, Original Score, Film Editing

The Social Network is a masterpiece. It also happens to be one of the most rewatchable movies ever made. Rarely has a director and screenwriter pairing been so better matched, with David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin elevating each other’s best instincts and dampening each other’s worst. This cool, incisive drama is far more than a “Facebook” movie, as it uses the dramatic “origin story” of Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg to tell a much larger story about what happens when the people running the world’s largest companies are barely out of college. There’s an almost mythic quality to the rise and fall of Zuckerberg here—the “was it worth it in the end?” philosophical questions. But this movie also just absolutely slaps/rules/slays so hard. The Oscar-winning score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is an all-timer, the performances are phenomenal, the script is perfect, and the direction is absolutely masterful. The film lost Best Picture and Director to The King’s Speech, which is egregious, but it doesn’t make the movie any less incredible. – Adam Chitwood

There Will Be Blood

Image via Paramount Vantage

Director/Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson

Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Kevin J. Connor

Oscars Won: Actor, Cinematography

Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the best filmmakers in history and Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the best actors in history, and the duo’s first ever collaboration resulted in one of the best films ever made. There Will Be Blood is a drama set at the turn of the 20th century that follows a ruthless oilman named Daniel Plainview, played by Day-Lewis in an Oscar-winning performance. The film chronicles Daniel’s unending thirst for power at the sake of everything—including his young son H.W. and a neighborly preacher played by Paul Dano. It went head to head with No Country for Old Men at the 2008 Oscars, and while it lost out on Best Picture and Director, Day-Lewis took home a well-deserved Best Actor award. This is a thematically rich, deep character-driven drama so you kind of have to be in the right mood for it. But if you are, then you’re in for a treat. – Adam Chitwood

Django Unchained

Django Unchained Jamie Foxx Christoph Waltz
Image via TWC

Director/Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson, Walton Goggins, and James Remar

Oscars Won: Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Waltz)

Quentin Tarantino’s most financially successful film to date remains his 2012 Western epic Django Unchained, which is set in 1858 and tells the story of a freed slave’s (Jamie Foxx) quest to save his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from the clutches of a ruthless plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) – all with the help of a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz). Django Unchained is tremendously unsettling in terms of providing an unflinching glimpse at the lives of slaves in America (and the cruelty inflicting upon them), but it also has that Tarantino touch that makes it wildly entertaining – a combination that may strike some as odd or in poor taste. However you fall, DiCaprio’s menacing performance is undeniably among his very best, Foxx’s arc is particularly impressive, and it’s hard to argue with Waltz’s Oscar win for his supporting turn. – Adam Chitwood

The Departed

Image via Warner Bros.

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writer: William Nicholson

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Vera Farmiga, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Anthony Anderson, Alec Baldwin, and James Badge Dale

Oscars Won: Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing

Filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s 2006 crime drama The Departed is the film that finally won him the Best Director Oscar, but he was simply trying to have a good time. After serious epics like The Aviator and Gangs of New York, Scorsese admitted he opted to make a commercial film, choosing to remake the Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs with an all-star cast. The result is a tremendously entertaining crime drama packed with stellar performances, and led by one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s best turns ever. The film not only won the Oscar for Best Director, but also Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing. – Adam Chitwood

Marriage Story

Image via Netflix

Director/Writer: Noah Baumbach

Cast: Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern, Alan Alda, and Ray Liotta

Oscars Won: Supporting Actress (Dern)

Fair warning: Marriage Story will wreck you. But it’s also not just one of the best films of 2019, it’s the best film Noah Baumbach has ever made. Nominated for six Oscars, the story chronicles the process of divorce from separation to finalization, with Adam Driver playing the successful theater director husband and Scarlett Johansson playing the successful actress wife. Complicating matters is the fact that the couple shares a child, but the brilliance of Baumbach’s film is that it tells the story from both points of view, so no matter which side you fall on in the end, you have deep empathy for both individuals. Driver and Johansson give career-best performances as Baumbach writes full-bodied, complex individuals—you know, like actual human beings. And with regards to the subject matter, Baumbach vividly showcases how the voices of the two individuals—and the love they previously shared—get lost in the actual process of divorcing. Heartbreaking and deeply human, Marriage Story is not to be missed. – Adam Chitwood


Image via A24

Director: Barry Jenkins

Writers: Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney

Cast: Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Naomie Harries, Mahershala Ali, Janelle Monae, and Andre Holland

Oscars Won: Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Ali)

The 2017 winner of the Best Picture Oscar, Moonlight is a stunning cinematic achievement that is equal parts coming-of-age story and coming-out story. A triptych in structure, the film is told in three sections each focusing on a different stage of the life of a young black man named Chiron. We see how the events of his life shaped him into the man he became, from his drug-addicted mother to his benevolent but criminal father figure to his first experiences coming to terms with his sexuality. Barry Jenkins’ direction is masterful and the performances astound, as you feel the three different actors who play Chiron all inhabit the same character—no easy feat. This is a phenomenal achievement from start to finish, and an incredibly moving story that is ultimately universal in nature: how do the experiences of our lives shape us into the adults we become? In addition to Best Picture, the film also won the Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali. – Adam Chitwood


Image via Warner Bros.

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writers: Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese

Cast: Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Lorraine Bracco, Joe Pesci, and Paul Sorvino

Oscars Won: Supporting Actor (Pesci)

Any director would be happy to make one masterpiece in his or her career, but filmmaker Martin Scorsese has several. Surely Goodfellas is towards the top of the heap, as the director’s 1990 mob drama still stands today as a stone-cold classic. The film tells the true rise and fall story of mob associate Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), tracking his life of crime from childhood up through the 1980s. It’s an epic saga told with vigor—this thing moves, and it’s all thanks to Scorsese’s kinetic camerawork and editing style. The soundtrack is killer, the performances are incredible (Joe Pesci!), and it’s a film that’s been mimicked countless times since. But there’s no touching the original. – Adam Chitwood


Image via Netflix

Director/Writer: Alfonso Cuarón

Cast: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Fernando Grediaga, Jorge Antonio Guerrero, and Marco Graf

Oscars Won: Director, Cinematography, Foreign Language Film

Roma is a masterpiece. Filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón, who won an Oscar for Gravity and has pushed the boundaries of cinema with films like Children of Men and even Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, digs deep into his soul for this new drama, which recreates his childhood as told through the eyes of a domestic worker named Cleo. As this middle class family living in 1970s Mexico City falls apart, Cuarón’s unique cinematography positions the viewer as an objective observer. That role becomes more and more heartbreaking as you, the viewer, become more emotionally invested in the lives of these individuals. Effective on any sized screen, Roma is Netflix’s best original film to date and their most successful at the Oscars. A serious contender for Best Picture, the film scored Cuaron his second Best Director trophy as well as an Oscar for Best Cinematography after taking over DP duties himself. – Adam Chitwood

The Hateful Eight

Image via The Weinstein Company

Director/Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins, Michael Madsen, Demian Bichir, James Parks, Zoe Bell, and Channing Tatum

Oscars Won: Best Original Score

Even fans of Quentin Tarantino can admit the filmmaker loves to hear his own words performed, so in some ways The Hateful Eight is the most Quentin Tarantino film ever made. The Western riff takes place years after the Civil War and finds eight curious individuals holed up in a stagecoach lodge as a winter storm blows through. No one is exactly who they appear to be, and these disparate personalities talk, bicker, flirt, fight, and yell in these confined quarters for the better part of two and a half hours. Honestly, even if you’re not a huge fan of the very contained film, it’s worth seeing for Ennio Morricone’s Oscar-winning score alone. – Adam Chitwood

The Theory of Everything

Image via Focus Features

Director: James Marsh

Writer: Anthony McCarten

Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Emily Watson, and David Thewlis

Oscars Won: Actor (Redmayne)

The Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything is fairly straightforward and doesn’t exactly break the mold, but that’s not always a bad thing. The film eschews a cradle-to-grave structure in favor of focusing on Hawking’s early years at Cambridge and then how he strove to work through his illness. While Eddie Redmayne is great in an Oscar-winning performance, the secret weapon here is Felicity Jones as Hawking’s wife and partner Jane, and choosing to frame the story through the eyes of their relationship. It’s emotional, stirring, and ultimately lovely, not to mention composer Jóhann Jóhannsson’s incredible, Oscar-nominated score. – Adam Chitwood

Silver Linings Playbook

Image via The Weinstein Company

Writer/Director: David O. Russell

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, and Julia Stiles

Oscars Won: Actress (Lawrence)

While Silver Linings Playbook was billed as an “Oscar movie,” scoring eight nominations including Best Picture, at heart it’s really just a solid romantic comedy. Bradley Cooper plays a man suffering from bipolar disorder who moves back in with his parents after being released from a psychiatric hospital. He meets a recently widowed young woman (Jennifer Lawerence) who vows to help him get back with his ex-wife, but wouldn’t you know it, while training for a big dance competition Cooper and Lawrence accidentally fall in love. It’s charming and offbeat, owing to filmmaker David O. Russell’s unique sensibilities, and Cooper and Lawrence have tremendous chemistry. – Adam Chitwood


Image via Paramount

Director: Gore Verbinski

Writer: John Logan

Cast: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Ned Beatty, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone, and Timothy Olyphant

Oscars Won: Animated Feature

After brilliantly bringing the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy to life, meticulous filmmaker Gore Verbinski tried his hand at animation – and won an Oscar in the process. Rango ostensibly follows a pet chameleon who gets lost and stumbles upon a down-on-its-luck Western town populated by other talking animals, where he portrays himself as a tough drifter. The desperate townspeople plead with Rango to become their new sheriff, and hilarity ensues. The animated film features incredibly cinematography by legend Roger Deakins and stunning visuals, pulling heavily from the Western genre. – Adam Chitwood

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