✉️ The "Best" of Netflix

Most of the best performing content is mediocre at best

This weekend, we watched The Old Guard, the latest Netflix original starring Charlize Theron. And it was fine. Not great. Not bad. Totally passable and yet utterly forgettable. I feel like this is a trend. A rather interesting one.

Now, I’ll caveat all of this by saying that obviously this is just my opinion. And it is, of course, subjective. And my broader thoughts are largely anecdotal. Still… it sure feels like a lot of the most popular Netflix movies (if not “shows” as well, which are harder to “rate”) are decidedly mediocre.

Look at the all-time top ten list. Admittedly, I’ve only seen five of them. Of those, Bird Box was interesting, but not great. 6 Underground was pretty bad. The Old Guard, again, mediocre. The Irishman was very good, but far too long. Triple Frontier was very watchable but not great. The others on the list all have lukewarm-to-poor reviews in aggregate so I’m guessing I would feel the same way.

(The best of the rest would clearly seem to be The Platform, at number ten, which is a Spanish-language sci-fi thriller.)

Now certainly the “best” movies don’t correlate to the best performing at the traditional box office. But the reason why Hollywood has been up-in-arms about Rotten Tomatoes has been because it can sync mediocre-to-bad movies before they launch. The same clearly does not seem to be the case with Netflix.

Perhaps it’s the instant-watch capability. Their algorithm. Or perhaps it’s the “ah what the hell, I’m already paying for this service” aspect. Or maybe it’s just that critical “taste” matters far less in the home. Whatever it is, it’s fascinating that these movies seem to outperform on Netflix, at least for now.


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