Netflix Only Has 35 Movies from the IMDB Top 250 List in Its US Streaming Library

From now through Christmas, Netflix is slated to release an unprecedented amount of original movies.

The streamer says it’ll release at least 25 films, according to multiple media reports, with one or two new movies being made available each week.

But what about our favorite movies of all time, like Godfather, The Departed, Casino, Jurassic Park… the list goes on.

A few years back, a Reddit member (u/clayton_frisbie) cross-referenced the IMDb (Internet Movie Database) top 250 movies list with Netflix’s movie library to see how many of the top movies were available on the service in the US. In 2014, it wasn’t too bad, with Netflix carrying 49 of the top 250 movies ranked by IMDb — about 20 percent.

Two years later in 2016, we cross-referenced the same list and saw that number had dropped to 31, or about 12 percent.

So, what’s it like today?

As of September 2018, that number has actually increased slightly to 35 of the IMDb top 250 movies — that’s 14 percent. So, things have improved a little on this front over the last couple of years, but the quality of Netflix’s movie selection doesn’t seem to be where it was back in 2014.

Here’s the list of movies from IMDb’s top 250 list that Netflix has in its US streaming library as of the time of this writing:

  1. Godfather
  2. Godfather: Part II
  3. The Dark Knight
  4. Schindler’s List
  5. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  6. City of God
  7. Life is Beautiful
  8. The Departed
  9. Cinema Paradiso
  10. Coco
  11. Dangal
  12. Amelie
  13. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  14. Full Metal Jacket
  15. To Kill a Mockingbird
  16. L.A. Confidential
  17. Batman Begins
  18. Heat
  19. Casino
  20. Room
  21. No Country for Old Men
  22. The Sixth Sense
  23. Gran Torino
  24. Kill Bill: Vol. 1
  25. Into the Wild
  26. Jurassic Park
  27. The Truman Show
  28. Rang De Basanti
  29. Million Dollar Baby
  30. Spotlight
  31. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale
  32. Donnie Darko
  33. Dead Poets Society
  34. The Bourne Ultimatum
  35. Touch of Evil

Of note, Netflix subscribers can stream 15 of IMDB’s top 100 movies.

It’s no surprise that licensing movies can be expensive, but so is producing original films, which Netflix isn’t shying away from this year (They’re spending up to $13 billion on content this year). In fact, it’s heading into unchartered territory with the number of movies its releasing.

From the Associated Press:

It’s a significant surge for a company with an up-and-down record in terms of the quality of its original films. (See: “Bright,” ”War Machine” or any of the Adam Sandler movies.) And though critics have claimed Netflix releases can get lost in its sea of programming options, it will be hard to miss the Netflix movies this fall. There will be six Netflix films at the Venice Film Festival and eight at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Not bad, but Netflix has its issues with putting quantity ahead of quality. Just look at this analysis comparing the average rating of its original television shows to other streaming services and cable networks. Netflix finished seventh.

Of course, that amount of movies can be justified even if Netflix comes away with some major accolades next awards season.

The sheer number of original movies coming to Netflix shouldn’t be surprising. In 2016, the company publicly made it a goal to have original content make up 50 percent of its library. That’s a big part of why it’s spending up to $13 billion this year.

What will be interesting to see is if the original programming makes up for the low percentage of favorite films.