Last year, some of the best movies on Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) were “Netflix originals.” With monster hits like Bird Box, directed by Susanne Bier, starring Sandra Bullock, NFLX set the bar for its original content much higher in terms of viewership. And the multi-Oscar nominated Roma, directed by Alfonso Cuarón, helped prove the potential artistic merits of Netflix original movies in 2018.
In fact, Bird Box hit roughly 26 million viewers in its first week on the streaming platform with that number ballooning beyond 80 million in the weeks after, while Roma earned Netflix its first Best Picture Oscar nomination, among several others nods. Clearly, the expectations for new Netflix movies are now much higher than before, both in terms of cinematic quality and in terms of viewership potential. With that said, there are almost 100 new Netflix movies on their way in 2019, but not all of them will receive the same recognition as the heavy-hitters from 2018.
Still, the potential behind each of these new Netflix movies is massive, as many of them have strengths that are similar to those of traditional blockbuster Hollywood releases: great directors, impressive star power and storylines that offer something special among countless cookie-cutter plots. Building upon the library of strong Netflix original movies in 2018, viewers can expect what’s new on Netflix to be just as good as what we get in the theaters.
Also, keep in mind that this short list only scratches the surface of stand out Netflix originals due for release in 2019. For example, The Irishman, directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino — all long-time favorites among gangster film aficionados — is also set for release this year, but there is no clear-cut release date. As such, I’ve excluded it from this list along with several other new Netflix movies for the sake of brevity.
NFLX subscribers wondering what the best movies on Netflix might be in 2019 should consider watching these three upcoming Netflix movies: Polar, Velvet Buzzsaw and Triple Frontier. Each film stands out from most of the other Netflix originals in the 2019 crowd due to their star power, artistic premise and/or directorial strength.
Keeping all of that in mind, let’s dive a little deeper into what gives each film a shot at being placed among the best Netflix movies released this year.
Release Date: Jan. 25, 2019
First on this list of new Netflix movies to watch is Polar, directed by Swedish filmmaker Jonas Åkerlund.
Considered by many to be Netflix’s answer to the hit action franchise John Wick, Polar follows retired hitman Duncan Vizla’s (a.k.a The Black Kaiser) fight for survival against an army of younger assassins who are pitted against him by his former employer. Vizla, played by Mads Mikkelsen, is unwillingly thrust back into action in this hyper-stylized, comic-inspired film, which promises to have an endlessly growing body count that rivals that of Wick.
Given director Jonas Åkerlund’s inclination toward darker themes — his roots are based in black metal and other music genres — and the film’s Deadmau5-composed soundtrack, viewers should expect an elevated action experience that retains the grindhouse-noir flair of the graphic novel of which it is based.
Check out the official trailer for Polar here.
Release Date: Feb. 1, 2019
Horror thriller, Velvet Buzzsaw, directed by Dan Gilroy, is next on this list of promising Netflix originals to watch.
If Velvet Buzzsaw proves similar to Gilroy’s prior 2014 work, Nightcrawler, then viewers should expect a film with a dark thriller base that’s laced with nuanced social commentary and potent satire. In the case of Velvet Buzzsaw, Gilroy promises to satiate viewers’ desire for standard murder-mystery scares with a horror-type story where art — not a giant machete-wielding man in a hockey mask — is the killer.
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Zawe Ashton and Rene Russo, Velvet Buzzsaw aims to go farther than typical horror films with a critique of greed’s effect on the world of high-art, all while retaining a high degree of satire, baseline thrills and gore.
Check out the official trailer for Velvet Buzzsaw here.
Release Date: March 15, 2019
Triple Frontier, directed by Academy Award nominee J. C. Chandor, is the final highlight among the list of upcoming Netflix original movies to watch in 2019.
Chandor’s film features an all-star cast of modern action stars, including Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac and Charlie Hunnam, to name a few. Each of these action heroes plays a member of a retired Special Forces team that has reunited to pull off a heist, which involves stealing the cash hoard of a South American drug lord.
Each soldier in Triple Frontier has fallen on tough times after retirement and seeks to gain the wealth he feels entitled to after years of sacrifice for his country. Of course, not all goes as planned during this illegal, off-the-grid mission and a twist forces each soldier into questioning his morals and loyalties, all while forcing them to fight for survival.
Check out the official trailer for Triple Frontier here.
Robert Waldo has been a web editor for InvestorPlace since 2016. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.