netflix The Best Indie Movies on Netflix Instant  

1.8k votes 294 voters 14k views 115 items

In the mood for some offbeat cinema? These are best indie movies on Netflix, ranked by movie lovers like you. Independent movies often struggle to find an audience, but Netflix Instant provides an extensive collection of the most memorable indie films ever produced. This list of Netflix indie movies includes comedies, dramas, thrillers, and plenty more genres for you to enjoy. 

Independent movies streaming on Netflix include many familiar stars. Long before he was Frank Underwood in Netflix's hit series House of Cards, Kevin Spacey starred as the worst boss ever in the 1994 film Swimming with Sharks. Four Rooms, which can also be viewed on Netflix, finds four independent directors (Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell) joining forces for a four-part masterpiece.

Rosemarie DeWitt is the reigning queen of independent cinema. Her movies Touchy Feely, Your Sister's Sister, and Nobody Walks can all be found on Netflix. Christopher Nolan is best known for directing the Dark Knight series, but he started his career back in 1998 with the low-budget film Following.

Do you have a favorite independent movie to watch on Netflix? Vote up the best Netflix indie films to the top of this list and don't hesitate to add any independent films we may have missed.
list ordered by

47 18
Good Will Hunting is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Indie Movies on Netflix Instant
Good Will Hunting Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, Matt Damon Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Good Will Hunting is a 1997 American drama film directed by Gus Van Sant, and starring Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver and Stellan Skarsgård. Written by Affleck and ...more

46 18
Trainspotting is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Indie Movies on Netflix Instant
Trainspotting Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller Trainspotting is a 1996 British crime comedy drama film directed by Danny Boyle, and starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, and Kelly Macdonald. ...more

43 18
Reservoir Dogs is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Indie Movies on Netflix Instant
Reservoir Dogs Quentin Tarantino, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Reservoir Dogs is a 1992 American ensemble crime film that depicts the events before and after a botched diamond heist. The film was the debut of director and writer Quentin Tarantino, and stars ...more

33 12
Ranker Video
Moonrise Kingdom Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton Moonrise Kingdom is a 2012 American film directed by Wes Anderson, written by Anderson and Roman Coppola. Described as an "eccentric pubescent love story", it features newcomers Jared ...more

21 10
There Will Be Blood is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Indie Movies on Netflix Instant
There Will Be Blood Daniel Day-Lewis, Ciarán Hinds, Paul Dano There Will Be Blood is a 2007 American epic drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano. The film was inspired by Upton Sinclair's novel ...more

22 12
Ranker Video
Mr. Nobody Diane Kruger, Jared Leto, Juno Temple Mr. Nobody is a 2009 science fiction drama film. It was written and directed by Jaco Van Dormael, produced by Philippe Godeau, and starred Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh Dan Pham, ...more

17 9
Ranker Video
bruno added The Royal Tenenbaums Gwyneth Paltrow, Alec Baldwin, Bill Murray The Royal Tenenbaums is a 2001 American comedy-drama film directed by Wes Anderson and co-written with Owen Wilson. The film stars Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, ...more

23 15
Ranker Video
The Babadook Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall, Adam Morgan The Babadook is a 2014 Australian psychological horror film, written and directed by Jennifer Kent, in which a woman and her son are tormented by a "boogie-man" type monster. The film ...more

28 20
Ranker Video
Clerks Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Scott Mosier Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Clerks is a 1994 American black-and-white comedy film written and directed by Kevin Smith, who also appears in the film as Silent Bob. Starring Brian O'Halloran as Dante Hicks and Jeff Anderson ...more

14 7
Ranker Video
Filth James McAvoy, Imogen Poots, Jamie Bell Filth is a 2013 British crime comedy-drama film written and directed by Jon S. Baird, based on Irvine Welsh's novel Filth. The film was released on 27 September 2013 in Scotland, 4 October 2013 ...more

17 10
Ranker Video
The Station Agent Michelle Williams, Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Station Agent is a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Thomas McCarthy. McCarthy's script about a man who seeks solitude in an abandoned train station in the Newfoundland ...more

14 8
Ranker Video
Frank Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Domhnall Gleeson Frank is a 2014 comedy-drama film directed by Lenny Abrahamson and starring Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy and Michael Fassbender as the title character. The film premiered ...more

14 Famous People Who Have PhDs

17 11
Ranker Video
Adventureland Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Wiig Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Adventureland is a 2009 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Greg Mottola, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart and co-starring Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader, Martin Starr, and ...more

21 16
Ranker Video
Silver Linings Playbook Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper Silver Linings Playbook is a 2012 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by David O. Russell, adapted from the novel The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. The film ...more

18 13
Boogie Nights is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Indie Movies on Netflix Instant
Boogie Nights Julianne Moore, Mark Wahlberg, Heather Graham Boogie Nights is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It is set in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley and focuses on a young nightclub dishwasher, Eddie Adams, ...more

13 9
Ranker Video
micah-stewart added Moon Kevin Spacey, Mary Tyler Moore, Kaya Scodelario Moon is a 2009 British science fiction drama film co-written and directed by Duncan Jones. The film follows Sam Bell, a man who experiences a personal crisis as he nears the end of a three-year ...more

11 7
Ranker Video
Creep Mark Duplass, Patrick Kack-Brice Creep is a 2014 comedy horror film directed by Patrick Brice, based on a script written by Brice and Mark Duplass. The movie, which is Brice's directorial debut, had its world premiere on March ...more

The Best Stand-Up Comedy Movies on Netflix Instant

15 12
Ranker Video
Punch-Drunk Love Adam Sandler, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Emily Watson Punch-Drunk Love is a 2002 romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Luis ...more

13 10
Ranker Video
Bernie Matthew McConaughey, Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine Bernie is a 2011 black comedy film directed by Richard Linklater, and written by Linklater and Skip Hollandsworth. The film stars Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey. It is ...more

10 7
V/H/S is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Indie Movies on Netflix Instant
V/H/S Joe Swanberg, Adam Wingard, Drew Sawyer Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial V/H/S is a 2012 American anthology horror film. It features a series of found-footage shorts written and directed by Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, and the ...more

10 8
Nymphomaniac: Volume II is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Indie Movies on Netflix Instant
Nymphomaniac: Volume II Willem Dafoe, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater The Nymphoniac Part 2 is a 2013 drama film written and directed by Lars von Trier.

8 6
Ranker Video
The Kids Are All Right Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Mark Ruffalo The Kids Are All Right is a 2010 American comedy-drama film directed by Lisa Cholodenko and written by Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg. A hit at 2010 Sundance, it opened in limited release on ...more

The Best Fantasy & Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix Instant

7 5
Ranker Video
Valhalla Rising Mads Mikkelsen, Jamie Sives, Gary Lewis "Visionary director Nicolas Winding Refn's brutal and highly metaphorical early medieval epic. One-Eye (Mads Mikkelsen), a mute warrior of formidable strength, has been held prisoner by the ...more

10 9
Ranker Video

10 9
Ranker Video
Primer Shane Carruth, David Sullivan, Keith Bradshaw Primer is a 2004 American science fiction drama film about the accidental discovery of a means of time travel. The film was written, directed, produced, edited and scored by Shane Carruth, who ...more

9 8
Ranker Video
Following Emma Thomas, Barbara Stepansky, John Nolan Following is a 1998 British neo-noir drama thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan. It tells the story of a young man who follows strangers around the streets of London and is ...more

8 7
Ranker Video
How I Live Now Saoirse Ronan, Anna Chancellor, George MacKay How I Live Now is a 2013 British drama film based on the 2004 novel of the same name by Meg Rosoff, directed by Kevin Macdonald and script written by Tony Grisoni, Jeremy Brock and Penelope ...more

The Best Action-Adventure Games of All Time

6 5
Ranker Video
Byzantium Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan, Jonny Lee Miller Byzantium is a 2012 drama, fantasy and thriller film written by Moira Buffini and directed by Neil Jordan.

10 10
Blue Is the Warmest Colour is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Indie Movies on Netflix Instant
Blue Is the Warmest Colour Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Alma Jodorowsky Blue Is the Warmest Colour, also known as Adèle: Chapters 1 & 2, is a 2013 French romantic coming-of-age drama film written, produced, and directed by Abdellatif Kechiche and starring ...more

8 8
Beasts of No Nation is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Indie Movies on Netflix Instant
Beasts of No Nation Idris Elba, Abraham Attah, Ama K. Abebrese Beasts of No Nation is a 2015 American war drama film directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. Recruited by a malicious Commandant (Idris Elba), a child soldier (Abraham Attah) is trained to fight in the ...more

8 8
Ranker Video
Fish Tank Michael Fassbender, Harry Treadaway, Anthony Geary Fish Tank is a 2009 British drama film written and directed by Andrea Arnold. The film is about Mia Williams, a volatile and socially isolated 15-year-old who lives with her single mother, ...more

6 6
Ranker Video
Upstream Color Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth, Brina Palencia Upstream Color is a 2013 film written and directed by Shane Carruth.

The Best Intelligent Action Movies of All Time

13 14
Ranker Video
Chef Jon Favreau, Sofía Vergara, John Leguizamo Chef is a 2014 American comedy-drama film directed by Jon Favreau. After a public altercation with a food critic, a professional chef (Jon Favreau) quits his job at a popular Los Angeles ...more

11 12
Ranker Video
Election Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Broderick, Chris Klein Election is a 1999 American comedy film directed and written by Alexander Payne and adapted by him and Jim Taylor from Tom Perrotta's 1998 novel of the same title. The plot revolves around a ...more

10 11
Ranker Video
Four Rooms Madonna, Salma Hayek, Bruce Willis Four Rooms is a 1995 anthology comedy film directed by Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, and Quentin Tarantino, each directing one segment of the film that in its entirety is ...more

9 10
Ranker Video
Monsters Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able, Annalee Jefferies Monsters is a 2010 British science fiction monster film written and directed by Gareth Edwards in his feature film directorial debut. Edwards also served as the cinematographer, production ...more

8 9
Ranker Video
Melancholia Kirsten Dunst, Kiefer Sutherland, John Hurt Melancholia is a 2011 Danish art film written and directed by Lars von Trier, starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alexander Skarsgård, Cameron Spurr, and Kiefer Sutherland. The ...more

The 20 Most Epic Wedding FAILs of All Time

8 9
Ranker Video
Wet Hot American Summer Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Amy Poehler Wet Hot American Summer is a 2001 satirical comedy film directed by David Wain from a screenplay written by David Wain and Michael Showalter, starring Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, ...more

7 8
Ranker Video
TiMER JoBeth Williams, Michelle Borth, Emma Caulfield TiMER is a 2009 film directed by Jac Schaeffer. "In the near future, Internet dating sites are a thing of the past thanks to TiMER, a small digital counter implanted on the wrist. It ...more

6 7
Ranker Video
Dead Man Johnny Depp, Steve Buscemi, John Hurt Dead Man is a 1995 American Western film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. It stars Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Billy Bob Thornton, Iggy Pop, Crispin Glover, John Hurt, Michael Wincott, Lance ...more

6 7
The One I Love is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Indie Movies on Netflix Instant
The One I Love Elisabeth Moss, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen The One I Love is a 2014 American romantic dramedy film, directed by Charlie McDowell and starring Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss. The film had its world premiere at 2014 Sundance Film Festival ...more

14 16
Ranker Video
Nymphomaniac: Volume I Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Shia LaBeouf Nymphomaniac is a 2013 two-part drama art film written and directed by Lars von Trier. The film stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, ...more

The Best Cartoons of All Time

5 6
Ranker Video
Prozac Nation Christina Ricci, Michelle Williams, Jessica Lange Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Prozac Nation is a 2001 American drama film directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg, starring Christina Ricci, Jason Biggs and Anne Heche. It is based on an autobiography of the same name by ...more

5 6
Ranker Video
The Master Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman The Master is a 2012 American drama film written, directed, and co-produced by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams. It tells the story of ...more

4 5
Ranker Video
Teacher of the Year Teacher of the Year is a comedy film directed by Jason Strouse.

4 5
Ranker Video
Before I Disappear Emmy Rossum, Ron Perlman, Paul Wesley Before I Disappear is a 2014 drama film directed and written by Shawn Christensen.

9 11
Ranker Video
Beautiful Girls Natalie Portman, Uma Thurman, Rosie O'Donnell Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Beautiful Girls is a 1996 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Ted Demme from a screenplay written by Scott Rosenberg, starring Matt Dillon, Lauren Holly, Timothy Hutton, Rosie ...more

6 8
Ranker Video
Frances Ha Greta Gerwig, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen Frances Ha is a 2013 American comedy-drama film directed by Noah Baumbach and written by Baumbach and Greta Gerwig. Gerwig also plays the title role. The film premiered at the Telluride Film ...more

5 7
Ranker Video
The Hunt Mads Mikkelsen, Alexandra Rapaport, Thomas Bo Larsen The Hunt is a 2012 Danish drama film directed by Thomas Vinterberg and starring Mads Mikkelsen. The story is set in a small Danish village around Christmas, and follows a man who becomes the ...more

5 7
Ranker Video
Bad Milo! Gillian Jacobs, Peter Stormare, Mary Kay Place Bad Milo! is a 2013 horror-comedy film written by Jacob Vaughan and Benjamin Hayes and directed by Jacob Vaughan. The film stars Ken Marino and was released in theaters October 4, 2013.