It’s been a great year in movies. So great, in fact, that it was hard to limit our year-end list to just the 50 best new movies. Similarly, TV had a stellar year, and the 50 best new shows only scratches the surface of the year in episodic storytelling.
But not all of those movies are available to watch at home, and many of those shows are spread across a litany of streaming services. Netflix remains the king of streaming services for now. Statistically, you, dear reader, probably have a subscription. But the platform released well over 100 new movies in 2023, and even more shows. Not all of them can be winners. How do you make the most of your subscription? By sticking to these great picks.
A note: This list doesn’t include movies or TV shows produced by other companies but licensed for distribution by Netflix, like May December and Jawan.
Here are the best new Netflix original movies and TV series that came out this year.
Netflix’s best new movies of 2023
They Cloned Tyrone
One of the year’s most impressive directorial debuts, Juel Taylor’s sci-fi farce They Cloned Tyrone also features one of the year’s funniest performances by way of Jamie Foxx.
One of many stellar 2023 offerings from Netflix’s investment in Korean entertainment, Kill Boksoon follows an assassin who is also a single mom. It’s a great mix of action thrills and domestic drama, aided by a layered lead performance from Jeon Do-yeon.
Arguably Netflix’s best pure action movie of the year, Extraction 2 improved on the first thanks to a change in setting and one of the year’s most ambitious one-take sequences.
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
One of four experimental shorts by Wes Anderson adapting Roald Dahl stories, Henry Sugar is the first and best of the bunch. Benedict Cumberbatch is trying to learn how to cheat at cards, but the real joy is Anderson continuing to toy with the inherent artifice of storytelling, having actors read directly to the camera and using stage-like props and sets.
Netflix’s best new TV shows of 2023
The long-awaited adaptation of Naoki Urasawa’s legendary manga lived up to expectations, and then some. It’s a gorgeously told story about the hunt for a serial killer targeting the world’s most powerful robots. Unflinching in its depictions of personhood for humans and robots alike, Pluto is a masterpiece.
Blue Eye Samurai
Husband and wife duo Michael Green and Amber Noizumi delivered one of the year’s biggest surprises in this bloody, sexy, and satisfying revenge thriller about a mixed-race warrior who hides her gender and ethnicity while seeking to kill the four white men in Japan, seeking vengeance against her father.
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off
Speaking of surprises, was there a bigger one this year than Scott Pilgrim Takes Off? Netflix got original graphic novel writer Bryan Lee O’Malley and the entire cast of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World back together for this anime adaptation, and instead of doing a boring retread of a cult classic, they took it in an entirely new and exciting direction.
Steven Yeun and Ali Wong excel in this intense thriller about two regular people who get in a feud that spirals out of control after a road rage incident. It’s a smart show about how the pressures of capitalism pit people against each other, anchored by two terrific lead performances.
A throwback to the kind of plot-heavy political thriller that used to run television, The Diplomat is a delightful star vehicle for Keri Russell. It’s an absolute treat to see her lead a TV show again, and the supporting cast, led by Rufus Sewell and Rory Kinnear, are more than up for the task of letting Russell shine.
Others worth watching:
Jung_E, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi from the director of Train to Busan and Hellbound
You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah, an Adam Sandler family joint that is a fun and funny teen comedy
Reptile, a dark crime thriller starring (and co-written by) Benicio del Toro
Wingwomen, a French heist/found sisterhood movie directed by and starring Mélanie Laurent
Ballerina, a dark Korean revenge thriller
I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, the third season of Tim Robinson’s zany sketch comedy show
The Night Agent, one of Netflix’s biggest hits of the year and a fun popcorn thriller
Ganglands, the second season of the excellent French crime thriller series
Bloodhounds, a Korean drama about two boys in a bromance who just love to box
Physical: 100, a Korean competition show about finding the fittest person in the country