Netflix, the renowned American subscription streaming service and production company, has made its mark in Nigeria’s burgeoning film industry since its official expansion in 2020. As one of the world’s leading online entertainment platforms, Netflix boasts over 151 million paying subscribers in more than 190 countries.
In this article, we will go into the top ten best-rated Nigerian movies available on Netflix in 2021, showcasing the diverse and dynamic storytelling of Nollywood. From action-packed comedies to cross-cultural romantic comedies, these movies have garnered acclaim from critics and audiences alike, making them a must-watch for any movie lover.
1. Omo Ghetto: The Saga – A Laughter-Filled Adventure Directed by Funke Akindele
Directed by Funke Akindele and JJC Skillz, “Omo Ghetto: The Saga” made its Netflix debut on 10th September 2021, after its theatrical release in 2020. This two-hour-long movie has taken the Nollywood entertainment industry in Nigeria by storm, and for good reason. The movie serves as a sequel to the 2010 hit “Omo Ghetto” and is filled with elements of sisterhood, love, and uproarious laughter.
The movie follows twin sisters, Lefty and Ayomide, played by Funke Akindele-Bello in a dual role. While Ayomide is portrayed as peaceful and sophisticated, Lefty is brash and unapologetically street-smart. Alongside Lefty, we have actors Eniola Badmus as Busty, Chioma Akpotha as Chummy Choko, and Bimbo Thomas as Nikky, who always find themselves in troublesome situations, adding to the comedic chaos. Deyemi Okanlawon as Femi Stone, Lefty’s love interest, brings drama and intrigue to the plot.
“Omo Ghetto: The Saga” has been on the top 10 most viewed movies on Netflix for 10 consecutive weeks, a testament to its theatrical success as the highest-grossing Nollywood film, earning over N635 million.
2. King of Boys: The Return of the King – A Political Thriller Directed by Kemi Adetiba
After much anticipation, “King of Boys: The Return of the King” was released on Friday, 27th August 2021. Produced and directed by Kemi Adetiba, this film stars Sola Sobowale as Eniola Salami, the lead character and antagonist who is a powerful and influential political figure. Sobowale’s performance has created a buzz on social media, with many influencers mimicking her iconic line, “Welcome to the new dispensation.”
In the film, Eniola Salami is back in Lagos after escaping from jail in the first installment released in 2018. She uses all means at her disposal, including dark powers, to eliminate her enemies, earning her the nickname ‘Laburu,’ meaning evil in Yoruba. “King of Boys: The Return of the King” has been on the top 10 most viewed movies on Netflix for 7 consecutive weeks, showcasing its popularity among audiences.
3. Namaste Wahala – A Cross-Cultural Romantic Comedy Directed by Hamisha Daryani Ahuja
Nigerian-Indian collaboration in Nollywood. “Namaste Wahala” tells the story of Didi, a Nigerian woman, and Raj, an Indian man, who fall in love despite their cultural differences. The film explores the challenges they face as they navigate their relationship, dealing with family, societal expectations, and cultural clashes.
“Namaste Wahala” has gained international attention for its unique premise and has been well-received by audiences for its heartwarming romance, comedic moments, and catchy music. It has been praised for its cross-cultural representation and serves as a delightful blend of Nigerian and Indian cultures.
4. The Milkmaid – A Thought-Provoking Drama Directed by Desmond Ovbiagele
“The Milkmaid” is a critically acclaimed Nigerian drama film directed by Desmond Ovbiagele. It tells the story of a Fulani milkmaid named Aisha, played by Anthonieta Kalunta, who confronts religious extremism in rural Sub-Saharan Africa. The film delves into the complexities of religion, extremism, and the impact of violence on communities and individuals.
“The Milkmaid” has been lauded for its thought-provoking narrative, powerful performances, and beautiful cinematography. It has been nominated for and won several awards at international film festivals, and its inclusion on Netflix has provided a wider audience with access to this compelling story.
5. Citation – A Social Justice Drama Directed by Kunle Afolayan
Directed by renowned Nigerian filmmaker Kunle Afolayan, “Citation” is a social justice drama that tackles issues of sexual harassment, abuse of power, and the importance of speaking up. The film follows a female postgraduate student, Moremi, played by Temi Otedola, who accuses her lecturer of sexual assault, and the subsequent legal and societal challenges she faces in seeking justice.
“Citation” has been praised for its relevant and timely subject matter, compelling performances, and strong message about standing up against injustice. It has been a significant conversation starter on social media and has received positive reviews for shedding light on important social issues in Nigeria and beyond.
6. The Ghost and the Tout Too: Haunted Melody – A Comedy Adventure Directed by Charles Uwagbai
“The Ghost and the Tout Too” is a comedy adventure directed by Charles Uwagbai, starring Toyin Abraham as Isila, a young woman who can communicate with ghosts. When she meets a ghost named Mike, played by Broda Shaggi, they embark on a hilarious adventure to unravel a mystery and save the day.
This movie is known for its rib-cracking comedy, entertaining performances, and engaging storyline. It has been a hit with audiences who enjoy lighthearted comedies and supernatural-themed films.
7. Love Is War – A Political Romantic Comedy Directed by Omoni Oboli
“Love Is War” is a political romantic comedy directed by Omoni Oboli, who also stars as the lead character, Mrs. Philips. The film revolves around a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Philips, who are both running for the same gubernatorial position. As they compete against each other in a heated political race, their marriage is put to the test.
“Love Is War” is known for its witty humour, engaging performances, and social commentary on the dynamics of politics and relationships. It has been praised for its unique premise and serves as an entertaining watch for those who enjoy political comedies.
8. Kambili: The Whole 30 Yards – A Family Comedy Directed by Kayode Kasum
“Kambili: The Whole 30 Yards” is a family comedy directed by Kayode Kasum, starring Nancy Isime as the lead character, Kambili. The film follows Kambili, a pampered young woman who is forced to go on a road trip with her eccentric and overprotective father, played by Elvina Ibru, to prove herself worthy of inheriting her father’s wealth. Along the way, they encounter various challenges and comedic situations.
“Kambili: The Whole 30 Yards” is known for its humour, relatable family dynamics, and feel-good vibes. It has been praised for its entertaining performances, engaging storyline, and positive portrayal of family values.
9. This Lady Called Life
“This Lady Called Life” is a heartwarming Nigerian romance drama film released in 2020, written by Toluwani Obayan and directed by Kayode Kasum. The movie features a talented cast including Lota Chukwu, Bisola Aiyeola, and Wale Ojo in the lead roles.
The story follows Aiye (Bisola Aiyeola), a young single mother who struggles to make ends meet in the bustling city of Lagos, where the cost of living is constantly on the rise. Despite the challenges she faces, Aiye works tirelessly to run a modest business that barely provides for her and her child, as she aspires to become a renowned chef, all while grappling with the pain of being abandoned by her own family.
Released in theaters on October 9, 2020, “This Lady Called Life” gained widespread acclaim, and its success continued into 2021 when it premiered on Netflix and quickly garnered a large viewership. The film received rave reviews from critics, lauding its poignant storytelling and powerful performances.
Recognized as one of the best Nigerian films of 2020, “This Lady Called Life” has won several awards at the Best of Nollywood Awards, including Best Screenplay, Best Use of Nigerian Food, Best Production Design, and Best Editing. It has also been nominated for the 2021 Africa Movie Academy Awards for Best Soundtrack, showcasing its outstanding contribution to the Nigerian film industry.
10. A Naija Christmas
Nollywood has produced a diverse range of films across different genres, showcasing the talents of Nigerian filmmakers and actors. From heartwarming romances to thought-provoking dramas, and comedic adventures to social justice films, Nollywood continues to captivate audiences both in Nigeria and internationally with its unique stories, cultural representation, and vibrant filmmaking.