10 Netflix Movies With the Best Soundtracks

Author

How often do you find yourselves recapping a movie by saying, “Eh, it was OK, but the music was awesome”? Netflix seems to be scooping up all the trendy features these days, and in the last decade, a number of them have featured killer soundtracks that folks still talk about today. Indeed, for the average film-goer, it’s hard to imagine a film today without a complementary soundtrack. Whether it’s a sweeping score or an unforgettable needle drop, music is an irreplaceable tool when it comes to establishing tone, story, and atmosphere.

MOVIEWEB VIDEO OF THE DAY

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

From Moxie and The Harder They Fall to Someone Great and Red Notice, here’s our top-10 breakdown when it comes to high-profile Netflix movies that are boosted by a memorable spread of hit songs.

10 Moxie (2021)

moxie
Moxie

Inspired by her mom’s rebellious past and a confident new friend, a shy 16-year-old publishes an anonymous zine calling out sexism at her school. Direced by Amy Poehler.

Release Date
March 3, 2021

Rating
PG-13

Helmed by Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Moxie centers on 16-year-old Vivian (Hadley Robinson) who becomes fed up upon the arrival of a new student (Alycia Pascual-Peña), as it forces Vivian to examine the unchecked behavior of her fellow high-school students, especially after learning about her mom’s (Poehler) rebellious past. What to do? Well, she publishes an underground publication called Moxie to expose bias and wrongdoing in her school, thereby fostering new friendships with other young women.

What Makes the Soundtrack Great

Featuring a diverse spread of songs by hitmakers like Brandi Carlile, Tierra Whack, and more, Moxie‘s upbeat soundtrack helps boost this otherwise underwhelming feature — though, who doesn’t love Amy Poehler, both behind and in front of the camera?

9 Red Notice (2021)

Red Notice
Red Notice

Release Date
November 12, 2021

Rating
PG-13

For those who aren’t familiar, a “Red Notice” is the highest-level warrant to hunt and capture the world’s most wanted criminals. In the Netflix film, aptly called Red Notice, the FBI’s top profiler (Dwayne Johnson) leads said pursuit, which ultimately lands him in a daring heist where he’s forced to partner with the world’s greatest art thief (Ryan Reynolds) to catch the world’s most wanted art thief (Gal Gadot). It’s a wild adventure that soon takes the trio all around the world, to put it mildly.

What Makes the Soundtrack Great

Crowd-pleasers like Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect,” and “Notorious B.I.G.” help round out yet another upbeat Netflix soundtrack, which almost makes up for this disappointing star vehicle. Perhaps a superior sequel might make up for it? According to Johnson, it’s in the fans’ hands.

Related: Best Spy Thriller Movies on Netflix to Watch Right Now

8 Work It (2020)

Were you ever part of a ragtag group of dancers in high school? What about forming your own? That’s what Quinn Ackerman (Sabrina Carpenter) does in Work It, when she learns her admission to the college of her dreams depends on the outcome of a coveted dance competition. The kicker? First, she needs to learn how to dance.

What Makes the Soundtrack Great

“Dance to your own beat” is the film’s tagline. Actually, you can also dance to the beats created by Dua Lipa, Marshmello, Ciara, Meghan Trainor, Gloria Estefan, Joey Bada$$ and more, with this dance-heavy movie, thereby allowing Work It to easily make our list here.

7 Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)

Going out with a bang can describe the final stages of the late, great Chadwick Boseman’s acting career. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is set in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians awaits the legendary “Mother of the Blues” (Viola Davis). Once she arrives in fiery glory, Ma engages fights for freedom over her music against both her producer and manager, all the while butting heads with ambitious trumpeter Levee (Boseman), who reveals dark secrets over the course of their session that have dire consequences.

What Makes the Soundtrack Great

An alternate title for this film could have been “Ma Rainey’s Awesome Music.” In addition to the awards-caliber performances, the titular icon’s music is all over the soundtrack. Songs like “Those Dogs of Mine” and “Hear Me Talking to You” effectively prove why she was a powerhouse blues star. Also fantastic is the score by Brandford Marsalis, as evidenced by the track below.

6 Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Randall Park as Marcus and Ali Wong as Sasha in Always Be My Maybe
Netflix

Keanu Reeves playing a caricatured version of himself? Yes please! Of course, that’s just one highlight of Always Be My Maybe, which centers instead on childhood sweethearts Marcus (Randall Park) and Sasha (Ali Wong), who rekindle after a falling-out 15 years earlier.

What Makes the Soundtrack Great

In addition to Marcus’ uniquely hilarious songs, which he performs with his band in the film, Always Be My Maybe (the title being a riff on Mariah Carey’s classic, which is naturally featured in the film) is chock full of other hits by D’Angelo, David Bowie, Buena Vista Social Club, Alicia Keys, and more.

5 Fear Street Part 1: 1994 (2021)

Fear Street Part 1: 1994
Fear Street Part 1: 1994

A circle of teenage friends accidentally encounter the ancient evil responsible for a series of brutal murders that have plagued their town for over 300 years. Welcome to Shadyside.

Release Date
July 2, 2021

Director
Leigh Janiak

Rating
R

Ever heard of Shadyside, the murder capital of the U.S.? In Fear Street Part 1: 1994, Sarah Fier is the name of the town’s cursed witch, who keeps popping up and leaving more and more dead. In effect, a group of five teenagers summon up the courage to learn more about and ultimately defeat this seemingly unstoppable force, effectively quelling the town’s horrid curse.

What Makes the Soundtrack Great

The dark, terrifying nature of Fear Street is heightened by a high-quality soundtrack that features juicy tracks by Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, Cypress Hill, Pixies, Soundgarden, Alice Cooper, and more. The ’90s were an especially iconic decade for rock music. These artists, in particular, underscored the terror and gore of the Netflix film’s (literal) killer turns.

4 Someone Great (2019)

In Someone Great, Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) plays aspiring music journalist Jenny, who has just landed her dream job, which means moving cross-country from New York to San Francisco. Her boyfriend (Lakeith Stanfield) doesn’t think they can do long distance and thus breaks up with her in a surprising move. Instead of sitting at home and wallowing in the sorrow, Jenny meets up with her two besties (DeWanda Wise and Brittany Snow) for one last hurrah in NYC.

What Makes the Soundtrack Great

The film’s title is perhaps an allusion to LCD Soundsytem’s hit song of the same name, though it isn’t featured in the soundtrack, interestingly enough. But fret not — the music-heavy nature of Someone Great means it contains plenty of other crowd-pleasers by big names like Vampire Weekend, Lizzo, Phoebe Bridgers, Lil’ Kim, Frank Ocean, and others. Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts,” specifically, was a stand-out single, becoming many viewers’ song-of-the-summer after the film came out.

Related: 39 Best Movies on Netflix to Watch Right Now

3 To All the Boys: Always and Forever (2021)

To All the Boys: Always and Forever, Lara Jean
To All the Boys: Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Senior year of high school takes center stage as Lara Jean returns from a family trip to Korea and considers her college plans – with and without Peter.

Release Date
February 12, 2021

Director
Michael Fimognari

Rating
TV-14

Lara Jean, ladies and gentlemen! The threequel, To All the Boys: Always and Forever, finds the beloved Netflix high schooler (Lana Condor) in her senior year after returning from a family trip to Korea, with college becoming the next great adventure on her mind. However, her plan may not include Peter (played by Noah Centineo) based on where she ends up.

What Makes the Soundtrack Great

Music plays a central role in all three To All the Boys installments, but the third film perhaps takes the cake, thanks to its inclusion of fan-favorite tracks by artists like Blackpink, Spice Girls, Little Richard, Oasis and more. Marking the end of the trilogy, as well as new beginnings for the characters we’ve come to love, Always and Forever‘s soundtrack is the perfect send-off.

2 Malcolm & Marie (2021)

Until season 3 of Euphoria arrives, Sam Levinson fans can revisit his Netflix feature, Malcolm & Marie, starring Zendaya and John David Washington, who play a Hollywood couple returning home after a film premiere for a long night of bickering and heartbreak as truths are revealed — all the while, they await the critics’ reviews of the filmmaker’s (Washington) latest project.

What Makes the Soundtrack Great

Right as Malcolm & Marie begins, we get a sense that the monochrome melodrama will be frequently accompanied by an impressive soundtrack. Levinson incorporates classics by William Bell, James Brown, Duke Ellington (with John Coltrane), Dionne Warwick, and even Outkast (with CeeLo Green) to enhance the movie’s atmosphere, so that, even though the film takes place in one location, it still feels like an emotional journey.

1 The Harder They Fall (2021)

The Harder They Fall

The Harder They Fall boasts a killer ensemble, led by outlaw Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) who rallies his gang upon discovering that his sworn enemy Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) has just been released from prison. That includes Stagecoach Mary (Zazie Beetz) along with right-hand men Bill Pickett (Edi Gathegi) and Jim Beckwourth (R.J. Cyler). But that’s not to say Rufus doesn’t have his own following, such as Trudy Smith (Regina King) and Cherokee Bill (LaKeith Stanfield).

What Makes the Soundtrack Great

Yes, even a western movie’s soundtrack might just make you dance. The Harder They Fall is a bad-a** production in a variety of ways, even down to the music. Featuring a wide variety of genres, director Jeymes Samuel wrote virtually all the songs featured in this Netflix gem, and they’re performed by the likes of Kid Cudi, Jay-Z, Seal, CeeLo Green, and others.

Share This Article
Leave a comment