Over the past couple of years, Netflix has earned a reputation as a destination for daring original content. The streaming giant has not shied away from producing movies that might give other studios pause, due to either the films' controversial content or extremely targeted stories. But Netflix thrives on such films, using them to shine a light on subjects and ideas that often go ignored in the media at large. Some of these Netflix original movies are so eye-opening that they may even alter your thinking in some cases, and make you question what you think you know about certain things.
The 14 films included in the below list cover a broad range of subjects that you probably don't think about on a daily basis. There's a movie about a disease you've never heard of, and another about an illness everyone knows but no one likes to talk about. There are depictions of atrocities like genocide and child soldiers, films that ask deep philosophical questions about things like love and religion, and portraits of real people whose life experiences are likely vastly different from your own. So take a look below at 14 eye-opening Netflix original films and see if any of them look like they'll broaden your perspective.
1‘Brain On Fire’
This medical mystery drama, based on a true story, might make you a bit paranoid, but hey, better safe than sorry.
This action-drama is intense and will almost certainly change the way you think about the meat you consume. It may even turn you into a vegan.
Race relations in the U.S. are still a serious issue, but things were even worse back in the post-WWII South, where this story takes place.
4‘Our Souls At Night’
You probably don't think much about growing old and lonely, but this film — starring legends Robert Redford and Jane Fonda — will force you to do just that.
What's the purpose of the Iraq War, exactly? This film, based on an actual soldier's account, will have you asking that very question.
6‘The Fundamentals Of Caring’
"The way you live your life is up to you and no one else" is the main lesson to be learned from this dramedy starring Paul Rudd.
Anyone with parent issues will appreciate this tale of a grown man (Jason Sudeikis) trying to understand his absentee father (Ed Harris) after a lifetime apart.
This film about the discovery of the afterlife, and how that affects the living, might make you question the nature of life itself.
9‘Beasts Of No Nation’
Not based on a true story, even though it seems like it, this film still realistically shows what life is like for child soldiers in war-torn parts of Africa.
The true life story of rapper Roxanne Shanté will give you a new appreciation for how she was able to raise from a difficult upbringing to become successful.
11‘To The Bone’
This look at an anorexia sufferer, starring Lily Collins, doesn't pull any punches when it comes to the devastating disease.
12‘Us And Them’
This Chinese romance examines the ups and downs in the relationship of a couple over several years, and it just might change the way you think about love.
13‘First They Killed My Father’
This true story, directed by Angelina Jolie, shows the grisly details of one of humanity's most troubling periods that's not widely known in the U.S.: the horrific reign of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge.
14‘The Little Prince’
When adulting becomes too much to handle, take some time to remember what it's like to be a kid with this heartwarming and tearjerking animated feature based on the classic book.
All of these Netflix original films are eye-opening in different ways, and all of them may help you on your way toward being a more well-rounded and understanding person.