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Steven Yeun yells while driving a red truck in Beef Photo: Andrew Cooper/Netflix

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The 10 best Netflix originals of 2023

The best of the best of Netflix’s movies and TV shows

Pete Volk (he/they) is Polygon’s Senior Curation Editor, with a particular love for action and martial arts movies.

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

The Killer

Michael Fassbender as The Killer sits cross-legged on the floor on a plastic sheet Image: Netflix

David Fincher’s technical precision is a perfect fit for a story about a methodical hitman. The Killer is an immense technical feat — watch the behind-the-scenes about the sound design and VFX after.

They Cloned Tyrone

(L-R) Teyonah Parris in an orange fur coat, orange body suit with leopard print paints, Jamie Foxx in an all-purple suit with matching coat, and John Boyega in a puffy teal coat standing in a metallic elevator in They Cloned Tyrone. Photo: Parrish Lewis/Netflix

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.

Kill Boksoon

Esom as Cha Min-hee fires a gun in the air while wearing a bright red dress as a police officer crouches down next to her in a firing range in Kill Boksoon. Photo: No Ju-han/Netflix

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.

Extraction 2

Mercenary Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) and his sister-in-law Ketevan (Tinatin Dalakishvili) shelter against a corrugated metal wall as a door in that wall explosively blows open in Extraction 2 Photo: Jasin Boland/Netflix

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

Benedict Cumberbatch (in a tuxedo as Henry Sugar) and Sir Ben Kingsley (as a croupier) look into the camera as they stand at a table in a casino, surrounded by a curious crowd of well-dressed people, in Wes Anderson’s Netflix film The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar Image: Netflix

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

Pluto

The head of the robot Mont Blanc is placed on a hilltop between two tree branches in a forest ablaze, in a scene from the Netflix anime Pluto. Image: Netflix

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

Mizu holds up a bloody sword, Ringo right behind her Image: Netflix

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

Sex Bob-omb performs in Scott Pilgrim Takes off. Image: Netflix

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.

Beef

Ali Wong lies on the floor while holding a gun between her legs in Beef Image: Netflix

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.

The Diplomat

Keri Russell walks down an extravagant staircase while wearing a fancy beige-ish dress in The Diplomat. Photo: Alex Bailey/Netflix

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:

Movies

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

TV

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