Netflix allows people to watch a plethora of movies in every genre, with their favorite actors and by their favorite directors. On the streaming platform, there’s also a special section dedicated to movies directed by women. And there’s so much worthy content to choose from that will make anyone want to stay in and binge-watch movie after movie.
Some of the most talked-about films on Netflix like, Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock, and Before I Fall, were created by powerhouse directors like Susanne Bier and Ry Russo-Young. Audiences will be delighted to see these movies streaming on Netflix, all of which have a woman behind the camera calling the shots.
10 The Half Of It (2020): 6.9
The Half of It was a 2020 movie that generated some buzz during its release on the platform. The movie was directed by Alice Wu, who also directed the 2004 movie Saving Face, about a Chinese-American surgeon hiding her sexuality from her family. The 2020 film follows a similar storyline that tugged at heartstrings.
The coming-of-age movie tells the story of a high school student who’s approached by a well-known football player at school. He asks her to help write a love letter to his crush. As their friendship develops, Ellie (Leah Lewis) starts to struggle with her own sexuality and attraction to the same girl. But no one can know, especially not her widowed father.
9 American Honey (2016): 7
The 2016 movie American Honey starred Shia Labeouf in one of his more well-received roles. The movie was directed by Andrea Arnold, who won an Academy Award for her short film Wasp in 2005. The movie follows a young woman named Star (Sasha Lane) as she travels across the country with a sales crew after running away from an abusive home.
In the group, she meets a young man named Jake (Labeouf). Star is whisked into the group’s lifestyle of partying, drinking, and possibly love. The film takes audiences on a non-stop road trip about the troubles of adolescence and trying to navigate life.
8 The Forty-Old Version (2020): 7.1
The Forty-Old Version is a hidden gem amongst all other movies on Netflix and most will be intrigued by its unique story. The movie was written and directed by Radha Blank and is loosely based on her real-life and even includes her real-life brother.
This is Blank’s first directorial debut and showcased the ins-and-outs of an artist. The movie tells the story of a playwright who isn’t where she wants to be and finds herself in a rut. In order to retain her voice as an artist, she takes a different path and becomes a rapper at the age of 40. The film was a hit when it released at Sundance as it has a story that appeals to anyone struggling with loneliness, grief, their career and their identity.
7 To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018): 7.1
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was a Netflix sensation in 2018 that even got a sequel. The movies were based on their original novels by Jenny Han. Just as the original source material was written by a woman, the movie too was directed and written by two women – Susan Johnson and Sofia Alvarez.
The movie’s story had fans hooked, as it followed a female high school student who finds herself in a pickle when her childhood and present love letters are sent to her corresponding crushes. She encounters one of her former crushes and they devise a plan to fake date to make his ex jealous. But things get complicated when both start to have mixed feelings for each other.
6 First They Killed My Father (2017): 7.2
The biographical thriller uses Loung Ung’s memoir to tell her story and is set in 1975. It takes audiences on the emotional journey of Ung as she is forced to become a child soldier at the age of five during the Khmer Rouge regime. Meanwhile, her siblings are sent to labor camps. Many praised the film and Jolie’s directorial direction in encompassing the emotion and trauma-filled events of not only Ung but of Cambodia’s people.
5 Lady Bird (2017): 7.4
Lady Bird was a 2017 coming-of-age film that had viewers talking and one that many resonated with. The drama/comedy was written and directed by Greta Gerwig, who made her mark as a director with the films Little Women in 2019 and Lady Bird, both of which earned her Academy Award nominations.
Starring Saoirse Ronan in the lead role as Christine, the movie is set in 2002 as Christine is coming out of adolescence. Audiences resonated with the film’s story of a strained mother and daughter relationship. Lady Bird is a free-spirited, opinionated and strong-willed young woman, something her mother has a hard time understanding, which often leads to a turbulent relationship.
4 Frida (2002): 7.4
One of Salma Hayek’s recognized roles is as the famed Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo. And who better to tell the story of a unique female painter than a female director? The movie was directed by Julie Taymor, who’s also known for the films Titus and Across the Universe. Frida is a biopic of the controversial life of the artist in Mexico City.
Audiences are taken on a journey through the most pivotal moment in Frida’s life, starting with a tragic car accident that sparked her painting career. Behind the artist is an emotional life as she takes on lovers as a bisexual as her husband continues to have affairs. It’s an emotional journey of pain, alcoholism, infidelity, love and art.
3 Mudbound (2017): 7.4
The historical drama Mudbound took Hollywood by storm, as it was a hit at Sundance and received various nominations at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes. The movie was directed by Dee Rees, as well as written by her and Virgil Williams. Rees became the first Black woman to be nominated for a writing Oscar, as well as for Best Adopted Screenplay.
The movie told the story of two World War II veterans and audiences got to see the sides to two different stories of race – one Black veteran and one white, who return to rural Missipissi. Both have their own journeys in dealing with their PTSD after the war and in how each addresses the racism of the South.
2 Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011): 8.1
Zoya Akhtar directed the adventure/romance movie, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, which quickly became a fan favorite. The movie tackles a bit of everything, from family issues, romance, money and friendship, and is about three lifelong friends who opt-out of a traditional bachelor’s party.
Instead, they plan a three-week road trip to Spain. As the trip progresses, they air their feelings, meet new love interests and take on a dangerous sport. In the end, the road-trip serves as an evaluation of where they currently are in their lives and brings them to make new decisions for their own happiness.
1 Talvar (2015): 8.2
In 2015, the Indian Hindi thriller film Talvar received overall rave reviews, with an 8.2 rating on IMDb. It’s one of many Indian works available on Netflix. The film was directed by Meghan Gulzar, who took an eight-year sabbatical from directing before making the film. And the break worked, seeing as the film became a hit and she received a nomination for Best Director at the Academy Awards.
The movie is inspired and based on a real-life murder case from 2008. A 14-year-old girl is found murdered in her home and the movie depicts three different points of view regarding the case. As the local police investigate and try find a suspect, they soon come to suspect the parents, as the body of their young male servant is found dead, as well. The movie takes audiences on a thrilling and emotional journey of crime, murder and the struggle of the case being tagged as an “honor killing.”
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