Netflix’s "inspiring" new movie The Swimmers could be a surprise contender for the best film of the year

The Swimmers
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Swimmers is now on Netflix and, despite a deluge of movies available every day on the streamer, this is one that viewers are paying special attention to.

An inspiring tale based on the real-life story of two Syrian asylum seekers who swam the Mediterranean to enter Greece before becoming Olympic athletes, The Swimmers is being called one of the year’s best movies by emotional fans.

"The best film I’ve watched this year," said one viewer (opens in new tab), summing up much of the early sentiment around the drama. Another called it the "best movie [they've] ever watched on Netflix."

A viewer said (opens in new tab) that they were "in tears" after just 30 minutes, commenting on how it reflects "people living this painful reality every day." Another also couldn’t make it past the half hour mark (opens in new tab) without crying: "I’m only 30 min in and bawled my eyes out so much, like ugly crying, remembering that time period and how scary it was for so many people," they said.

One commented (opens in new tab), "It’s a motley of feelings - anger, joy, inspiration, disappointment etc. Let’s pray for refugees," while it’s also been described (opens in new tab) as "an emotional ride. Such a beautifully made movie, an ode to refugees."

The "inspiring" story "made me feel incredibly grateful for every little thing I have. Highly [recommended]," wrote another (opens in new tab) who caught The Swimmers upon its release.

While some (opens in new tab) say it’s "one movie that will make your heart melt," one already has fears (opens in new tab) that The Swimmers will be "unduly underrated." Seeing as how it’s firing up Netflix’s top 10 charts (at #3 in the US and #5 in the UK), those fears might be unfounded. Still, it might be time to dive into The Swimmers so you can all start adding it to your end-of-year movie lists…

Here are more of the best Netflix movies you should be watching right now.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.