20 Best Italian Movies on Netflix (Nov 2023)

Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska/Netflix

When it comes to music, food, beauty, and cinema, everyone turns their heads towards the direction of Italy! The country is rich with cultural and culinary treasures, and Italian cinema has its iconic stature in the history of world cinema. Now, Netflix is all set to collect all the gems of Italian cinema, and the online streaming platform movie catalog features some of the best movies from Italy.

If you are scrolling through the long catalog to pick up an Italian phrase, to enjoy the scenic beauty of Italian landscapes, to have a glimpse at the Italian rural life, or to immerse yourself in the world of the cinematic universe, Netflix offers a balance between the classic movies from the Italian masters and the latest entrants, including genre-benders.

20. A Classic Horror Story (2021)

A Classic Horror Story‘ revolves around a group of strangers who are traveling through rural Italy in an RV. While on their way, their driver suddenly spots a goat corpse and swerves to avoid it, resulting in the RV crashing into a tree. Strangely, when the group comes around, they find that the road has disappeared, and they are standing inside a clearing in the dense forest. They even find a hut nearby, and inside, the group discovers a murderous and terrifying cult that seems to be out for their blood. Thus, forced into a deadly battle against forces they are unaware of, the group has no choice but to fight for their lives. You can watch the movie here.

19. Four to Dinner (2022)

Four to Dinner‘ is a heartwarming romantic comedy that revolves around four single friends and their efforts at finding the perfect romantic partner. In an example of exquisite filmmaking, the movie follows four parallel storylines at the same time, as each friend tries to pair up with someone perfect in their eyes. If you are ready to witness some feel-good romance that will challenge your very notion of “soul-mates,” this movie is a must-watch. You may watch it here.

18. Caught by a Wave (2021)

‘Caught by a Wave’ begins as an innocent love story between Sara and Lorenzo, who come across each other in a sailing summer school in Sicily. Although Sara suddenly seems to develop a numbness in her muscles during a sailing lesson, Lorenzo jumps to her rescue and doesn’t think much of it later. As their romance blossoms, the film delivers a cruel twist by revealing how Sara lives with rapidly worsening muscular dystrophy, which will slowly kill her motor functions before claiming her life. Thus, the sunny love story soon changes into one of heartbreak as the students struggle to accept the cruel hand of fate. Feel free to check out the movie here.

17. 365 Days (2020)

365 Days’ follows high-achieving executive Laura Biel (Anna-Maria Sieklucka), who is caught in a tedious relationship. One night, after yet another embarrassment caused by her boyfriend, she decides that she needs some fresh air. Her path crosses with that of Massimo Torricelli (Michele Morrone), the current head of the Torricelli crime family. He abducts her and takes her to his Villa. He explains to her that he first saw her five years earlier and couldn’t get her off his mind since then. He announces that he will keep her captive for the next 365 days until she develops genuine feelings for him. He clarifies that he doesn’t intend to force himself upon her and warns her that any attempt to escape will end in failure. You can check out the film here.

16. 18 Presents (2020)

18 Presents’ is a sci-fi drama in which a woman named Anna (Benedetta Porcaroli) is brought up by her father, as her mother passed away shortly after giving birth due to breast cancer. Like any other person, Anna orchestrates her share of rebellions on the threshold of adulthood before one day leaving her home. She gets hit by a car belonging to her long-dead mother. Anna realizes that she somehow has traveled 21 years into the past. A film that will remind you of ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘The Lake House,’ ’18 Presents’ is a heart-warming film about love, grief, and catharsis. You can watch it here.

15. The Ruthless (2019)

Santo Russo’s (Riccardo Scamarcio) life in the world of crime began quite early. After being arrested by the police for a crime he didn’t commit when he was a child, he gradually becomes involved in organized crime. As an adult, he leads a highly sophisticated crew of gangsters in Milan. He marries Mariangela (Sara Serraiocco), a girl he has known since they were children. He subsequently begins his dirty and violent rise to the top spot in the criminal world. The film is directed by Renato De Maria and is based on a script by Renato De Maria and Valentina Strada. Aside from Scamarcio and Serraiocco, the movie stars Alessio Praticò, Pietro Pace, and Marie-Ange Casta. You may watch it here.

14. Rose Island (2020)

‘Rose Island’ is based on the true story of Giorgio Rosa and how he founded a micronation off the Rimini coast in 1968. Giorgio is initially portrayed as someone who doesn’t see eye to eye with the Italian code of law, which leads to several run-ins with the law. Thus, when he finds an opportunity to build a nation on an island just outside the jurisdiction of Italy, he jumps at the chance and gradually begins work on his own micronation. With time, Rose Island develops into an independent country, complete with its own language, currency, postal system, and a soon-to-be-started citizenship process. However, things begin going awry when the Italian government sees the island as a threat and threatens to take power away from Giorgio. You may watch ‘Rose Island’ here.

13. On My Skin (2018)

’On My Skin’ is a true-crime film based on the week leading to the death of Stefano Cucchi (Alessandro Borghi) in 2009. A young, promising man from Rome, Cucchi had his whole life ahead of him. He had followed in his father’s footsteps and became a building surveyor. He was also an amateur boxer. On October 15, 2009, he was arrested for possession of hashish, cocaine, and a prescription med for his epilepsy. What follows is a horrifying example of police brutality. He is severely beaten before he is presented to the court. Despite this, he never divulges to anyone about the beating. The judge arranges his trial a month later, forcing him to stay in Regina Coeli. His family desperately tries to see him, but all their efforts are prevented by a corrupted system. Cucchi succumbs to his injuries on October 22. Only then his family is allowed access to his body. You can watch the movie here.

12. The Two Popes (2019)

Fernando Meirelles’ ‘The Two Popes’ documents the events that led to the election of a new leader of the Catholic Church while the former is still alive. With a primary focus on the aftermath of the Vatican leaks scandal, the film delves deep into the relationship between Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, or eventual Pope Francis (Jonathan Pryce), and Pope Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins). Their discussion shifts from God to their respective childhood to their favorite TV shows. Both Pryce and Hopkins garnered considerable praise from the critics for their performances and were nominated for numerous awards, including Oscars, Golden Globes, and BAFTAs. You may watch the film here.

11. The Binding (2020)

Domenico Emanuele de Feudis’s horror film ‘The Binding’ tells the story of Emma (Mia Maestro), who travels with her daughter Sofia (Giulia Patrignani) and her fiancé Francesco (Riccardo Scamarcio) to southern Italy to meet her soon-to-be mother-in-law (Mariella Lo Sardo) for the first time. The older woman resides in a sprawling mansion, with only a dog and a woman named Sabrina to keep her company. Soon after they arrive there, odd things start to happen to Sofia. She gets bitten by a tarantula and starts pulling out her hair. Emma discovers that someone has placed a powerful curse on the house, and the only way to save her daughter is to lift it. Feel free to check out the movie here.

10. The Hand of God (2021)

Set in 1980s Naples, ‘The Hand of God‘ revolves around Fabietto, a young boy who lives in poverty but has high aspirations for future studies. He is also quite fond of football and is a massive fan of Diego Maradona, who plays for his home team, Napoli. Although Fabietto struggles a lot and does his best to overcome his poverty, life always seems to strike his efforts down, making him almost lose hope. However, in a sudden twist of fate, Fabietto finds himself saved from a freak accident by Maradona himself, which completely changes his view on life and shapes his future. You can check out the film here.

9. Under the Riccione Sun (2020)

The coming-of-age comedy-drama ‘Under the Riccione Sun’ follows a group of young adults as they arrive in the beach town of Riccione for an annual vacation. While there, they assimilate into the easy and slow life of the town and open themselves up to experience each of their moments there. They fall in love, face despair, and discover new aspects of their own identities. Directed by filmmaking duo Niccolò Celaia and Antonio Usbergo, known together as Younuts, ‘Under the Riccione Sun’ boasts an ensemble cast that includes Cristiano Caccamo as Ciro, Giulia Schiavo as Mara, Claudia Tranchese as Emma, Fotini Peluso as Guenda, and Isabella Ferrari as Irene. You can watch it here.

8. Ultras (2020)

A gritty and realistic depiction of soccer hooliganism, director Francesco Lettieri’s first cinematic venture focuses on Sandro (Aniello Arena), the leader of the Apaches, a violent conglomeration of fans of the Napoli football club. After wasting much of his life in beating up other hooligans and fighting with the police officers, he has grown tired of it. There is not much to gain, financially or otherwise, from being a soccer hooligan. Sandro has come to understand this and is searching for a way to make his departure. His path crosses with that of Terry (Antonia Truppo), who just might change his life for the better. You may watch the movie here.

7. The App (2019)

An Elisa Fuksas directorial venture, ‘The App,’ tells the story of Nick (Salvatore Costa), who seems to have everything that anyone can possibly want. He is financially secure, has a wonderful girlfriend, and has been cast in his debut film. However, when he uploads a dating app to help his girlfriend with her dissertation, his life takes a sudden and disturbing turn. He becomes obsessed with a mysterious woman he meets on the app named Maria. She leads on a foolish and hopeless pursuit, promising everything but giving nothing. As Nick begins losing his grasp on reality, he starts alienating himself from his real-world well-wishers and accomplishments. You may watch ‘The App’ here.

6. The Man Without Gravity (2019)

In a world oversaturated with superhero films, Marco Bonfanti’s magic realism movie ‘The Man Without Gravity’ offers a unique take on the genre. Oscar (Elio Germano) was born with a peculiar gift. Earth’s gravity doesn’t have any effect on him. He carries weights in his pockets to keep himself earthbound. Otherwise, he will just float away. Inspired by Batman, he learns to keep his ability a secret. He meets a girl named Agata (Jennifer Brokshi), who, during their short time together, teaches him the value of courage and independence. Years later, Oscars grows tired of his secluded and fearful existence and decides to participate in the Eurovision Talent Contest. As he demonstrates his gift in front of the world, Agata realizes that this is the boy whom she met all those years ago. You can watch the movie here.

5. The Life Ahead (2020)

The Life Ahead follows former prostitute and Holocaust survivor Madam Rosa, who has settled into a new life in Bari, Apulia, Italy, where she houses the homeless and the less fortunate. One day, she is suddenly robbed by Momo, a 12-year-old orphaned Senegalese, who is soon caught by his foster guardian, Dr. Coen. Agreeing to take on the boy for a few months, Rosa and Momo develop a beautiful and unbreakable bond that is sure to keep them together until death sets them apart. You may watch the film here.

4. Happy as Lazzaro (2018)

happy-as-lazzaro-

‘Happy as Lazzaro’ is a hilarious and engaging tale of two friends in the backdrop of a serene Italian pastoral village. Lazzaro is considered a simpleton farmer by the villagers, and he lives a mundane life. But, Lazzaro looks apt as the partner in crime for the overtly imaginative freak of the village, Tancredi. They formed an unusual allegiance to orchestrate Tancredi’s own kidnapping. They had to wrap their plan from Marchesa Alfonsina de Luna, the queen of cigarettes who ruled the village, and other nosy villagers. When Tancredi manages his kidnapping and vanishes into the faraway city, Lazzaro sets out in search of his loyal friend, as per the plan, of course! ‘Happy as Lazzaro‘ is a well-made drama with some unforgettable moments of laughter. Feel free to check out the movie here.

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3. Love & Gelato (2022)

Immerse yourself in the enchanting allure of Italy with ‘Love & Gelato,’ a captivating romantic comedy that takes you on a delightful journey through the picturesque streets of Rome. Directed by Brandon Camp and inspired by Jenna Evans Welch’s bestselling novel, this Italian-themed film invites you into the life of 17-year-old American Lina. Following her late mother’s wishes, she embarks on an adventure in the heart of Italy, staying with family and friends and unraveling the secrets of her heritage. Amidst the breathtaking backdrop of ancient ruins and gelato-filled evenings, Lina finds herself torn between two charming young men, Lorenzo and Alessandro, as she explores her mother’s past through a diary and searches for her long-lost Italian father. The cast, featuring Susanna Skaggs, Valentina Lodovini, and Owen McDonnell, brings this Italian-themed romance to life, making it a must-watch for lovers of La Dolce Vita. You can check out the film here.

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2. Forgive Us Our Debts (2018)

Image Credits: Martina Leo/Netflix

‘Forgive Us Our Debts’ is a drama that centers on Guido, a storekeeper with the burden of many debts on his shoulders. When he is fired from his job as a storekeeper, things take a wrong turn for Guido. To save himself from the aggressive creditors, he agrees to work for them. Guido joins as a tax collector on the condition that he will work for free until the debts are paid. A chance encounter with the credit recovery expert, Franco, changed Guido’s life forever. Soon, a balanced allegiance is formed between the two, with Guido suffering the unexpected aftermaths of his partnership with the devil. You can watch ‘Forgive Us Our Debts’ here.

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1. 7 Women and A Murder (2021)

An exciting Italian murder mystery, ‘7 Women and A Murder‘ is set in a massive mansion, where seven women, all related to each other, are staying for the Christmas holidays. While the women appear to be on amicable terms, it is pretty apparent that most are hiding deep secrets underneath. As the film progresses, a sudden snowstorm engulfs the area, and with the telephone and car wires cut, the ladies realize they are trapped inside until rescue arrives. Meanwhile, the patriarch of the house, Marcello, is found dead under mysterious circumstances, and the women believe that someone among them is the murderer. Thus begins a tense game of cat and mouse, and old secrets are revealed as everyone blames one another for the shocking incident. You may watch ‘7 Women and A Murder’ here.

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