Here Are All the Netflix Original Movies Streaming in 2016

6 minute read

As movies that don’t feature a superhero become more rare in theaters, Netflix continues to position itself as a destination for indies poised to find bigger audiences on couches than in megaplexes. The streaming service has proven its commitment to original films with several early acquisitions at the Sundance International Film Festival as well as a slate of new movies it plans to finance and distribute this year. Here is a list of all the new movies you can expect to watch on Netflix in 2016.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny

This sequel to 2000 martial arts flick and Best Picture nominee Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon features Michelle Yeoh reprising her role as warrior Yu Shu Lien. The plot centers around the Green Destiny, a magical sword which figured prominently in the original movie, and the choreography, directed by the legendary Yuen Woo-ping, promises to be epic. (Feb. 26)

Pee-wee’s Big Holiday

Six years after putting on a live stage show featuring his famous character, Paul Reubens returns as happy-go-lucky perennial child Pee-wee Herman in a new chapter to his story, which will debut on Netflix after premiering at SXSW. Produced by Judd Apatow, the film centers around a fateful encounter between Pee-wee and a mysterious stranger, which inspires him to embark on his first holiday. (March 18)

Special Correspondents

Ricky Gervais is seen on April 8, 2015 in Hollywood, Calif.
Ricky Gervais on April 8, 2015 in Hollywood, Calif.Gabriel Olsen—Getty Images

Ricky Gervais directs, writes and stars in this comedy about a struggling journalist (Eric Bana) who—a la Wag the Dog—attempts to revive his career by staging a fake kidnapping during a fake war. We can imagine that this does not unfold without a hitch. Vera Farmiga, America Ferrera and Benjamin Bratt costar. (April 29)


Jamie Dornan is seen on Feb. 12, 2015 in London.
Jamie Dornan on Feb. 12, 2015 in London.Samir Hussein—Getty Images

Based on the true story of the 1961 Siege of Jadotville, this film stars Jamie Dornan, of Fifty Shades of Grey fame, as the commander of an Irish U.N. battalion under attack by 3,000 Congolese troops. Viewers would do well to brush up on their knowledge of the Katanga conflict in Central Africa, during which the U.N. intervened in response to violence and political upheaval following the Republic of Congo’s independence from Belgium. (Release date TBD)


Christopher Guest is seen on Oct. 8, 2014 in New York City.
Christopher Guest on Oct. 8, 2014 in New York City.Daniel Zuchnik—Getty Images

Christopher Guest fans, rejoice: The director returns, along with many of his stalwarts (Jane Lynch, Parker Posey, Jennifer Coolidge, Fred Willard), to follow the fictional competitors in the 8th World Mascot Association championships as they compete for the Gold Fluffy Award. Mascots will be Guest’s first film in a decade, after winning devoted fans with such mockumentary classics as Best in Show and This Is Spinal Tap. (Release date TBD)

War Machine

Brad Pitt is seen on Nov. 23, 2015 in New York City.
Brad Pitt on Nov. 23, 2015 in New York City.James Devaney—Getty Images

Brad Pitt plays a character inspired by General Stanley McChrystal in this satirical adaptation of the 2012 non-fiction bestseller The Operators. Costarring Sir Ben Kingsley and Topher Grace, the black comedy looks behind the scenes of America’s war with Afghanistan and the military leaders calling the shots. (Release date TBD)

First They Killed My Father

Angelina Jolie is seen on Jan. 16, 2016 in Hollywood, Calif.
Angelina Jolie on Jan. 16, 2016 in Hollywood, Calif.Albert L. Ortega—Getty Images

Angelina Jolie will direct this adaptation of the wrenching 2000 memoir of the same name, by Cambodian author and activist Luong Ung. Ung was a small child when the Khmer Rouge began its genocidal reign of Cambodia, which left millions dead between 1975 and 1979. The movie will be co-produced by Rithy Panh, whose 2013 documentary about the Khmer Rouge, The Missing Picture, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Jolie’s 14-year-old son Maddox, who was born in Cambodia, will make his acting debut. (Release date TBD)

The Fundamentals of Caring

The Fundamentals of Caring.

Paul Rudd stars as a soon-to-be-divorced, unemployed father who becomes caregiver to a teenager with muscular dystrophy (Craig Roberts). The unlikely pair embarks on a trip to see America’s strange roadside attractions, picking up a runaway (Selena Gomez) and a pregnant woman (Megan Ferguson) along the way. Hijinks ensue, daddy issues are revealed and the result is likely a crowd-pleasing indie charmer. (Release date TBD)



In what many are calling Ellen Page’s best role since Juno, the actress plays opposite Allison Janney (as she did in that movie) in Tallulah, written and directed by Orange Is the New Black writer Sian Heder. Page plays a vagabond with few attachments in life who unexpectedly comes to assume responsibility for a baby. The result is a study of the motivations driving several women to make and break sometimes unexpected emotional connections. (Release date TBD)

Under the Shadow

Under the Shadow.

Netflix acquired this thriller before it even debuted at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Babak Anvari, who grew up in Tehran during the Cultural Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War, its story of a mother and daughter under siege by a paranormal force can be read as an allegory for life during a state of war and political chaos. (Release date TBD)


Ryan Koo is seen on Dec. 1, 2014 in New York City.
Ryan Koo on Dec. 1, 2014 in New York City.Paul Zimmerman—Getty Images

Director Ryan Koo makes his feature debut with this story, which he also wrote, about a teenage basketball phenom. An extension of a short film released in 2013, Amateur finds 14-year-old Terron Forte, played by Michael Rainey Jr., facing conflict with his teammates and coach after releasing a viral highlight reel. Filming is set to begin in early 2016. (Release date TBD)


Robbie Amell is seen on Jan. 16, 2106 in Los Angeles.
Robbie Amell on Jan. 16, 2106 in Los Angeles.Kevin Winter—Getty Images

Orphan Black writer Tony Elliott directs this post-apocalyptic thriller, which he also wrote, about an engineer in a world that has run out of oil. The protagonist, played by Canadian actor Robbie Amell, has developed a technology that could produce a bottomless supply of energy, but there’s a catch: It causes those in its proximity to relive the same day over and over again. (Release date TBD)


Vinessa Shaw is seen on Oct. 24, 2015 in Burbank, Calif.
Vinessa Shaw on Oct. 24, 2015 in Burbank, Calif.Imeh Akpanudosen—Getty Images

This thriller, directed by relative newcomer Alistair Legrand and starring Vinessa Shaw, revolves around a psychiatrist attempting to get her life back together after a violent attack. As she makes personal strides, she takes on a new patient whose own dark past complicates matters. (Release date TBD)

I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House

Ruth Wilson is seen on Nov. 3, 2015 in London.
Ruth Wilson on Nov. 3, 2015 in London.Chris Jackson—Getty Images

Director Osgood Perkins follows up his 2015 horror flick February with another entry into the genre, this one with The Affair star Ruth Wilson as a nurse caring for a ghost-story writer living in a ghost-infested house. Bob Balaban and Lucy Boynton are also set to star, with filming slated to begin in February. (Release date TBD)


Gerard McMurray is seen on May 16, 2013 in Cannes, France.
Gerard McMurray on May 16, 2013 in Cannes, France.Michael Buckner—Getty Images

Gerard McMurray, an associate producer of Fruitvale Station, makes his directorial debut with Underground, a portrait of the underbelly of the college fraternity world. The drama will revolve around a new pledge who must decide whether to stay silent in exchange for belonging or speak out against the egregious violence and hazing that characterize his new world. (Release date TBD)

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