- There are thousands of movies on Netflix, and finding the right one to watch can be difficult.
- That’s why Insider has compiled guides for every type of movie (and TV show) you might feel like streaming.
- Here, we’ve listed the best movies directed by women that you can stream on Netflix right now.
- Keep reading to see our list of titles, which includes “Always Be My Maybe,” “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” and more.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Although movies are immersive and captivating to watch, it’s important not to forget that Hollywood still has a gender disparity issue behind the camera.
Although the number of female directors is increasing, a study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative found that only 10.6% of 2019’s blockbusters were directed by women.
Still, that doesn’t in any way diminish the incredible worlds that many women have created and captured in their movies, from Jennifer Kaytin Robinson’s emotional rom-com “Someone Great” to Beyoncé’s concert documentary “Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé.”
Luckily, an abundance of acclaimed, female-directed films can be found and streamed on Netflix, and Insider has compiled a list of them to help you get started.
Here are 27 great movies by women that you can stream on Netflix right now.
Note: Numerous Netflix titles drop off the service monthly, so the availability of titles below may change.
Insider has many movie and TV show lists to keep you occupied.
You can read them all here.
Susan Johnson’s “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” is an instant teen rom-com classic.
Often credited with reviving the high school rom-com due to its success, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” centres on Lara Jean (Lana Condor), a shy teenager whose world is turned upside down when the secret letters she’s written to all of the boys she’s ever loved are mailed out by surprise.
She strikes a bargain with one of the boys, popular jock Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), agreeing to pretend to be his new girlfriend in order to throw off other letter recipients (and, in his mind, make his ex-girlfriend jealous). But soon the fake relationship between them doesn’t seem so fake after all.
Fuelled by Condor and Centineo’s endearing chemistry, the movie pays homage to beloved high school romantic comedies of years past, while remaining plenty swoon-worthy on its own.
Mati Diop’s “Atlantics” is both a ghost story and a love story.
“Atlantics” follows a young woman named Ada (Mama Bineta Sane), who is engaged to a rich older man but in love with Souleiman (Ibrahima Traoré), who works at a local construction site (in Dakar, the capital city of Senegal).
After Souleiman and his fellow workers set sail for Spain in hopes of a better future and supposedly drown, Ada’s lover and his friends reappear in surprising ways.
One of the most stunning film debuts of 2019, Mati Diop’s movie is a contemporary ghost story, a supernatural exploration of class, and a romance all in one.
“Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé” gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the star’s historic Coachella shows.
Written, directed (along with Ed Burke), and executive-produced by Beyoncé herself, “Homecoming” is an intimate look at the musician’s legendary 2018 Coachella performance.
Like her previous films (such as 2016’s “Lemonade”), she presents her intricate artistry in conversation with Black American history – particularly through her celebration of historically Black colleges and universities throughout the show.
In “Set It Up,” director Claire Scanlon puts a new spin on the classic “boy meets girl” setup.
“Set It Up” puts a new spin on the classic “boy meets girl” setup, following two overworked New York City assistants (played by Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell) who try to set up their bosses in an attempt to score much-needed downtime.
The movie boasts a pair of magnetic supporting performances from Taye Diggs and Lucy Liu, and its summery on-location scenes in Manhattan will make you long for a walk on the High Line.
Olivia Newman’s “First Match” is a coming-of-age wrestling movie.
“First Match” follows Mo (Elvire Emanuelle), a Brooklyn teenager who joins an all-boys wrestling team in a last-ditch attempt to connect with her estranged father (“Watchmen” star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II).
Elevated by an electric performance from Emanuelle, “First Match” doubles as an engaging sports drama and an incisive look at how difficult it can be to walk away from a loved one, no matter how toxic they are.
Nahnatchka Khan directed “Always Be My Maybe,” a feel-good love story with a memorable Keanu Reeves cameo.
“Always Be My Maybe” hilariously and irreverently explores how our childhood bonds can help us grow into the adults we aspire to be, as famous chef Sasha (Ali Wong) rekindles a romance with her high school boyfriend (Randall Park).
Plus, there’s a truly Oscar-worthy Keanu Reeves cameo for fans of the actor to enjoy.
Kitty Green’s documentary “Casting JonBenet” looks back on the mythology surrounding a famous murder case.
In “Casting JonBenet,” local actors from the young girl’s hometown provide unique perspectives on her unsolved 1996 murder, as they audition for a dramatization of the case.
Through delving into the mythology surrounding Ramsey’s case, Kitty Green’s stylish documentary becomes an engrossing exploration of how our cultural obsession with soapy true crime and casting blame on different figures involved in it has evolved into the 21st century.
Hailee Steinfeld plays a loveable teenage loner in Kelly Fremon Craig’s “The Edge of Seventeen.”
Being a teenager can be rough, especially for Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), the protagonist of “The Edge of Seventeen.” The 16-year-old loner’s best friend (Haley Lu Richardson) has started dating her older brother (Blake Jenner), leaving her scrambling to find her place on the outskirts of high school life.
Steinfeld’s sharp, hilarious, and surprisingly moving performance drives this eclectic comedy, which effectively explores why our often-weird, agonizingly awkward high school memories tend to stick with us long after graduation.
Kathleen Hepburn and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers’ “The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open” is an indie gem about two women’s chance encounter.
This criminally underrated movie follows an encounter between two Indigenous Canadian women in Vancouver – Áila (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers) and a pregnant younger woman named Rosie (Violet Nelson), who has just been abused by her boyfriend.
As Áila attempts to convince Rosie to leave her boyfriend and seek shelter, “The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open” quickly evolves beyond its victim-and-saviour premise. In doing so, it makes thoughtful observations about structural racism, domestic abuse, and wrongful assumptions that we often make in moments of crisis.
Directed by Dee Rees, “Mudbound” tells the story of two interconnected families living in 1940s Mississippi.
“Mudbound” follows the lives of two Mississippi families (one white and one black), who are dealing with the events of World War II and the Jim Crow Era.
By focusing on how various characters’ fates are intertwined, Dee Rees shines an important light on America’s dark history of oppression and race relations.
The film paints an ambitious, realistically harsh portrait of the 1940s Deep South, with a narrative scope that’s hard to find outside of old Hollywood movies.
Jennifer Aniston plays a former pageant queen with a rebellious daughter in Anne Fletcher’s film “Dumplin’.”
“Dumplin’” is an uplifting dramedy that tackles topics of self-acceptance and reconciling with differently-minded parents with wit and style.
It follows Dolly Parton-obsessed teen Willowdean (Danielle MacDonald), who enters a local pageant to prove to her former beauty queen mum (Jennifer Aniston) that beauty comes in all forms.
Sasha Lane and Shia LaBeouf lead Andrea Arnold’s road trip movie, “American Honey.”
Sasha Lane gives a breakout performance as restless teenager Star, who leaves her dead-end life in Oklahoma behind to join a volatile group of young magazine sellers as they traverse the Midwest.
“American Honey” also showcases Shia LaBeouf’s talents, as he plays a smarmy hustler who becomes her pseudo-love interest.
While Andrea Arnold’s movie runs a bit long (it has a runtime of two hours and 43 minutes), her road trip movie is a vibrant, unconventional story about young Americans on the margins that’s both mesmerising and subtly heart-wrenching enough to get lost in for a few hours.
Ava DuVernay’s Oscar-nominated documentary “13th” examines the racial disparities of America’s prison industrial complex.
Ava DuVernay’s Oscar-winning documentary is named for the 13th Amendment, which declared slavery illegal except as a punishment for criminality.
The director expertly uses this bygone legislation as a starting point in untangling the ways in which the American justice system and prison industrial complex have systemically targeted black communities throughout history.
Well-crafted and incendiary, the documentary’s important, often under-discussed subject matter makes “13th” a must-watch.
Lana Wilson’s Taylor Swift documentary “Miss Americana” tracks the pop star’s public political awakening, and the development of her album “Lover.”
“Miss Americana” offers viewers a rare glimpse into the artist’s personal life, chronicling Taylor Swift’s public political awakening and complicated relationship with her public persona (all while she writes and records her latest album, “Lover”).
So Yong Kim’s movie “Lovesong” is a romance movie starring Riley Keough and Jena Malone.
The romantic drama “Lovesong” takes place in two different timelines – one in which best friends Sarah (Riley Keough) and Mindy (Jena Malone) share an unexpected romantic moment during a road trip, and another in which they reunite for Mindy’s wedding three years later.
While So Yong Kim’s film can be quietly heartbreaking at times, Keough and Malone’s natural chemistry propels the director’s thoughtful character study of missed connections between a pair of almost-lovers.
Angelina Jolie directed the biographical drama “First They Killed My Father.”
“First They Killed My Father” recounts the childhood of human rights activist Loung Ung (played by Srey Moch Sareum) fighting to survive as a young girl during Cambodia’s oppressive Khmer Rouge era of rule.
The subject matter is tough, but Angelina Jolie (who cowrote the screenplay with Ung) imbues the movie with impressive grace and care as she tells a rare war story that unfolds almost entirely through a child’s eyes.
Oscar-winner Brie Larson directed the whimsical dramedy “Unicorn Store.”
Struggling to navigate adult life while also trying to maintain the boundless imagination and energy of your childhood is a difficult task, but, as Brie Larson’s lighthearted directorial debut proves, not an impossible one.
The “Captain Marvel” actress also stars in “Unicorn Store” as Kit, an art school dropout who is given the chance to own a unicorn soon after starting a dreary office job.
Rachel Lears’ documentary “Knock Down the House” follows four female candidates’ 2018 congressional campaigns.
Notably, Rachel Lears’ documentary features candid, up-close-and-personal footage of well-known politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez running for and winning the position of U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district.
Ellen Page stars in Sian Heder’s family drama “Tallulah.”
In “Tallulah,” the titular drifter protagonist (Ellen Page) is dumped by her ex-boyfriend (Evan Jonigkeit) and left penniless.
She then sees a neglected baby and gets an idea: Tallulah decides to kidnap her and arrive at her ex’s mother’s (Alison Janney) house, claiming that the child is her granddaughter in hopes of finding a place to stay.
The movie’s outlandish inciting incident soon gives way to a darkly funny and poignant family drama highlighting the complicated sacrifices and different kinds of motherhood.
Jennifer Kaytin Robinson’s “Someone Great” is a raucous comedy that celebrates female friendship.
At the beginning of “Someone Great,” music journalist Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) lands her dream job and is dumped by her long-time boyfriend (LaKeith Stanfield) just days before a cross-continental move.
As her life in New York City draws to a close, she and her best friends (played by Brittany Snow and DeWanda Wise) enjoy one more day of fun together.
Amidst the comedy of Jenny and her friends’ escapades is a moving tribute to female friendships, and how they can help you make it through a breakup, navigate major life changes, or just enjoy a night out.
Tamara Jenkins directed “Private Life,” which follows one couple’s journey to hopefully becoming parents.
As “Private Life” begins, the pair of married 40-somethings at its centre (Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn) have tried just about everything to have a child (from in vitro fertilisation to domestic adoption).
Just as they’re beginning to lose hope of eventually becoming parents, their step-niece, Sadie (Kayli Carter), comes to stay with them and offers to be their egg donor.
Tamara Jenkins’ drama takes on the often-dramatized but widely present world of assisted fertility and adoptions with a warm, sharply written sense of humour that often feels heartbreakingly lived-in.
Director Sandi Tan’s lost film is the subject of “Shirkers.”
In 1992, aspiring 19-year-old filmmaker Sandi Tan and her friends made a quirky indie movie in their Singapore hometown, with the help of their older mentor, Georges. However, their plans were brought to an abrupt halt when the older man suddenly stole their footage.
Years later, as “Shirkers” takes place, an adult Tan pieces together what happened, and eventually manages to revive her movie in surprising ways. Colourful, offbeat, and wistful, the documentary is an ode to creating and reclaiming one’s own creative work.
Oscar-winning writer-director Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring” is a campy Hollywood dramedy that’s based on a true story.
Sofia Coppola’s campy teen dramedy follows a group of aimless Los Angeles teenagers who begin breaking into celebrity homes to steal their riches, and includes a deliciously exaggerated performance from Emma Watson as a spoiled Valley girl.
Jennifer Phang directed “Advantageous,” a sci-fi drama about a dangerous experimental procedure.
“Advantageous” follows a woman (Jacqueline Kim) in the near-future who agrees to take part in a dangerous experimental procedure in order to keep her job at a biomedical firm and give her teenage daughter (Samantha Kim) a better life.
The movie uses the sci-fi trope of uploading one’s consciousness to explore the timely issues that often give women fewer opportunities to support themselves, and has an ending that will stick with you long after the credits roll.
Nora Twomey’s animated movie “The Breadwinner” was nominated for an Oscar in 2018.
“The Breadwinner” (which was nominated for best animated feature film at the 2018 Oscars) follows 11-year-old Parvana (voiced by Saara Chaudry), an Afghan girl who poses as a boy to support her family after her father (Ali Badshah) is wrongfully arrested.
Featuring stunning animation, Nora Twomey’s film uses elements of magical realism to tell a story of overcoming oppression that is suitable for children and adults alike.
Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in “The Kindergarten Teacher,” director Sara Colangelo’s remake of a 2014 Israeli film.
Maggie Gyllenhaal gives a career-best performance in “The Kindergarten Teacher,” an indie gem that’s based on a 2014 Israeli film of the same name.
She plays a bored kindergarten teacher who becomes obsessed with the idea that her young student (Parker Sevak) is a genius, and attempts to live vicariously through her supposed child prodigy in increasingly alarming ways.
Jenny Slate plays a struggling comedian in Gillian Robespierre’s movie “Obvious Child.”
“Obvious Child” revolves around Donna (Jenny Slate), a restless 20-something comedian in New York City, who has a one-night stand after losing her job and discovering that her boyfriend was cheating on her.
Weeks later, when she discovers that she’s unexpectedly become pregnant, Donna decides to regain control of her rocky adulthood.
Gillian Robespierre’s film has an unmoored sense of humour that fans of New York coming-of-age dramedies like “Frances Ha” and “Girls” are sure to enjoy.
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