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10 Netflix Movies from 2022 That Might Have Flown Under Your Radar

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10 Netflix Movies from 2022 That Might Have Flown Under Your Radar

Each and every year, Netflix releases a smattering of content: movies, scripted dramas, reality shows, documentaries, standup specials, and everything in between. Content is the name of the game when it comes to running a streaming service, so having a wealth of potentially wide-appealing films and shows is paramount to success in the industry. Netflix has always been great at ensuring that new content is being added to the service every single week, guaranteeing that each time you log on will be marked by something new to watch. Even still, there’s a whole host of content that releases on the service that is never given a chance to shine, lost in the shuffle of weekly new releases and the algorithmic curation of Netflix.

While not unique to this year in specific, 2022 featured a lot of content that sort of flew under the radar. Movies, in particular, that might’ve showed up on your Netflix home page, but were never presented to you in the manner that would get you to click on them. Which, in all honesty, is a huge shame because the movies in this list are absolutely worth the watch. These are great narrative films, and a few stellar documentaries, that didn’t get a fair shake in 2022, but that stops now. This is a list of the 10 Netflix movies from 2022 that might’ve flown under your radar.


10 Descendant


One of the best documentaries of the year was Margaret Brown’s documentary film Descendant: a magnificent film that traces the histories of the descendants of the survivors of the Clotilda, the last ship that carried enslaved Africans to the United States. The film repeatedly grapples with the reclamation of these peoples’ stories as both the filmmaker and the descendants try to understand their families and their place in history. It’s a film that is confrontational by nature, deconstructing the myth told to these people about their forefathers and how they were displaced against their will.

Descendant is all about vindication in the face of monumental, societal pressure, and Brown is able to give peace to these people who have believed what they thought to be true, but were never given the benefit of the doubt. Its story is one that everyone should witness, not only because it’s one that many will not know, but because the way that Brown reveals information to the audience and her subjects is absolutely mind-boggling. Descendant is one of the most important and earth-shatteringly brilliant documentaries of the last few years, and Netflix is extremely lucky to have it on their service.

Related: Best Movies Leaving Netflix in March 2023

9 Sr.

Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Downey Sr. in Sr.

Telling a story about the life and career of Robert Downey Sr., the film Sr. is a beautiful portrait of an artist who was never recognized in his time as the great master he truly was. The film isn’t only about the career of Sr., however, as his son and legendary screen actor Robert Downey Jr. also uses the film as a way to reckon with his relationship with his father and what making this movie means to the both of them. Sr. is a tender, funny, and heart-wrenching documentary that is as much about the father/son relationship at its core as it is about what it means to be an artist.

Sr. sort of flew under the radar on Netflix even though it deserved all the attention in the world. Whether it came out at a busy time or just got lost in the shuffle of content, Sr. is well worth the watch regardless. It paints a picture of not just a father and a son, but of two artists who have lived in each other’s shadows at different points in their lives: relished in the opportunity to prove themselves to one another. Some scenes in this film are among the best of the year and make the argument that Sr. is worth watching to anyone.

8 Stutz

Two men talk.

Stutz is a movie about therapy: the techniques associated with the practice, how it helps people, and how the process helped actor Jonah Hill get over a debilitating bout of panic attacks that rendered him unable to work. The majority of the film shows the interactions between Hill and his therapist Phil Stutz, whom Hill attributes as being the sole reason he was able to overcome his mental health struggles. Stutz is the filmic equivalent of an honest and open conversation about how overwhelming and all-encompassing mental health struggles can be, which makes it an invaluable asset in the current world we live in.

Stutz sort of got dropped onto Netflix suddenly in the late period of 2022, rendering it sort of unable to gain an audience. Anyone who’s curious about what Stutz has to offer should not hesitate to check it out because it is a really intriguing and thought-provoking piece of documentary filmmaking. Netflix has ventured to making a lot more of their documentary efforts centered on the true-crime variety, but work like Stutz makes an argument for developing out a more prestige-y bent.

7 Athena

Riots in Romain Gavras Netflix movie Athena

A snub in the Best International Feature category at the Oscars if there ever was one, Romain Gavras’ film Athena was one of the most striking pieces of filmmaking from 2022. While there are certain weaknesses in the films screenplay and conceit, Athena as a whole is one of the most emotionally volatile and magnetic films of the year. Gavras injects the film with not only a strong volition to solve the worlds wrongs through action, but also with a watchful eye that gives the cinematography an extra boost of pointed effectivity.

Mere hours after the death of their younger brother at the hands of police officers who beat him to death in the street, Algerian-French soldier Abdel and activist Karim approach the aftermath of this wrongful death in different ways. While Abdel pleads a crowd of angered civilians for peace, Karim riles up the crowd into a frenzy, throwing a molotov into the police station facade and raiding the building. Athena feels like a jolt of lightning throughout its entire runtime, starting at a 10 and somehow making it all the way up to a 100.

6 Entergalactic

Timothee Chalamet and Kid Cudi in Entergalactic on Netflix

Coming from executive producer Kenya Barris and lead actor/story writer/composer Kid Cudi, Entergalactic is an odd outlier in the 2022 Netflix catalog. While certainly the length of a feature film, it is listed on Netflix and everywhere else a “Netflix special.” Regardless of how Entergalactic is categorized, the Kid Cudi project went under the radar for some odd reason: potentially due to the confusing branding or also due to a lack of promotion. Either way, Entergalactic is a psychedelic, endearing animated trip through the mind and soul of one of the most interesting hip-hop artists of our time.

Entergalactic follows Kid Cudi’s self-insert character Jabari, who is a charming, streetwear-clad artist on the cusp of real success. After a chance run-in with his cool new photographer neighbor, Meadow (Jessica Williams), Jabari has to figure out whether he can make space for love in his life. The film uses the animation style of modern classic Into the Spider-Verse to great effect, while also using a soundtrack of all-Cudi made music to really embolden it’s best moments. A rom-com at its heart, Entergalactic is the kind of low-involvement, high-reward fare that should be the highlighted content of Netflix, but rarely gets its due.

5 Spiderhead

Miles Teller in Spiderhead

Speaking of low-rent, high-reward films, Joseph Kosinski’s Spiderhead is the epitome of that adage. Spiderhead will not be the most rewarding or memorable film you see from 2022, but it will accomplish (and exceed) the expectations set for a film of its ilk: being entertaining for two hours. Spiderhead is a lanky, sort of plain sci-fi thriller that has a strong premise, confident performances all around, yet ends on sort of flat note. Regardless, Kosinski and Co. made a film that would have, a decade or so earlier, played well in theaters and lived a second life on cable tv reruns. On Netflix, however, the film just sort of petered out unceremoniously: though it deserved more than that.

Spiderhead follows two inmates that form a relationship, while grappling with their pasts and serving time in a state-of-the-art penitentiary run by a brilliant visionary, who experiments on his subjects with mind-altering drugs. It’s a heady, sort of trippy sci-fi premise that is anchored by the villain performance from Chris Hemsworth and the emotive quality to Miles Teller’s lead performance. There are few better ways to kill a couple of hours on Netflix, so give Spiderhead a chance.

Related: Best Original Movies Coming to Netflix in March 2023

4 Hustle

Hustle 1

Critics and fans alike have heralded Adam Sandler’s performance in the basketball drama Hustle, a film that he produced alongside LeBron James. Hustle is another film in Sandler’s current era of dramatic roles that cements him as one of the most underrated actors working in the space, even as he continues to make goofy comedies as well. The film evokes Blue Chips, Hoosiers, and a whole host of other sports dramas, while maintaining a sort of sleek modernity that gives it the edge over a lower-edge equivalent. Hustle is a really effective film that definitely got some attention for Sandler when it came out, but deserved to be a part of the discussion a lot longer than it was.

Hustle follows the exploits of down-on-his-luck NBA scout Stanley Sugerman (Sandler) as he pursues a young rookie (Juancho Hernangomez) who shows a lot of promise on the court — although, he must fight his demons off the court before he can truly approach greatness. The film is really quite spectacular, providing a good mix of drama and comedy to make something that plays across all four quadrants. Hustle should have gotten more attention when it came out, but that can be remedied by people watching it now.

3 Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood

The adult animated coming of age drama Apollo 10 1⁄2 A Space Age Childhood

Coming from Richard Linklater — the legendary filmmaker behind Dazed & Confused and the Before Trilogy — returns to his old playground of rotoscoped animation to tell the story of an imaginative young man who envisions himself going on the Apollo mission to the moon. Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood is loosely based on Linklater’s childhood growing up in Austin, Texas, in the wake of the NASA moon missions of the late-60s and his wild imagination in relation to those missions. Apollo 10½ uses its playful animated style to provide a real sense of magical realism to the story, as well as some childlike wonder in its most fantastical moments.

Apollo 10½ follows the story of the first Moon landing in the summer of 1969 from two interwoven perspectives. It captures both the astronaut and mission control view of the triumphant moment, and the lesser-seen bottom up perspective of what it was like from an excited kid’s perspective, living near NASA but mostly watching it on TV like hundreds of millions of others. While both about the actual story of the moon landing, it also fuses in the imagination of a young kid who creates a story about he himself being on that rocket to the moon and taking the first step.

2 Windfall

Windfall - Nobody, Wife, and CEO take a walk through the oranges

Charlie McDowell’s three-hander, one-location thriller Windfall came out with a whisper early on in 2022, even though it features an incredibly strong cast of Jason Segel, Lily Collins, and Jesse Plemons. McDowell cut his teeth on mind-bending, sci-fi dramas that utilized a lot more cheap thrills than Windfall, but excited some audiences nonetheless. It seems, however, that Windfall failed to find an audience during its premiere period, which is huge shame because the film is a pretty good little thriller that doesn’t overstay its welcome. A simple premise, strong performances, and short runtime help Windfall be the exact kind of easy-to-watch, mid-budget film that we often decry don’t get made anymore.

Windfall follows a house burglar (Segel) as he breaks into the home of a dickish billionaire (Plemons) and his nearly-estranged wife (Collins) only to get caught in the act, sending his whole plan sideways. A plethora of back-and-forth trappings, slights, and fights ensue as the trio of adversaries attempts to figure out what the best way to make everyone happy is without involving any sort of law enforcement.

1 The House

A Stil from the netflix film The House (2022)

An anthology film is already sort of a rare commodity today, but one that is also stop-motion animated is an interesting proposition. The House is one such example of this, seeing release on Netflix in 2022 to some mild attention and praise before being forgotten pretty quickly. While ultimately a shame, it makes sense in the grand scheme of things. The House is a disquieting bout of dramatic exploration into grotesque humanity: depicting a trilogy of loosely tethered stories all having to do madness, wealth, and the pursuit of true happiness.

The three entries in this anthology film are titled as such: the first, “And heard within, a lie is spun;” the second, “Then lost is truth that can’t be won;” and the last, “Listen again and seek the sun.” Each segment has its own merits, but the film does sort of peak with its first story. The visuals will keep even the most distracted of viewers engaged, however, as the craft of its stop-motion animation is a sight to behold. The House is well worth the watch for all, even if you aren’t a big animation fan. There’s a lot to love in the confines of this shaggy, but provocative bunch of macabre stories.

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