Netflix's Most Watched Films Last Week – Which Are Worth Your Time?

We're back with another look at the most watched films on Netflix, the equivalent of looking at dominant pop culture through a fun-house mirror only to be horrified when you realize the warped reflection is just what our face actually looks like. Last week had a lot of people celebrating the Christmas holiday, which is definitely why almost half of the top 10 most watched films were of the holiday variety. Word of mouth and the Netflix landing screen marketing banners have kept many of last week's most popular films on the top 10, but a random remake somehow wiggled its way into tenth place.

As always, the Netflix pattern of action thrillers, animated films, seasonal fare, the hottest new releases, and a random outlier has proven to be the rule, rather than the exception, with the 2017 Christian drama "The Shack" continuing its faith-based reign on Netflix's list of most popular. I'm definitely not one for Christian cinema, but at least in this one Octavia Spencer gets to rightfully play God, unlike the Christian musical and summer Netflix Top 10-er, "A Week Away." 

Anyway, let's dissect this week's top 10 and determine what's worth watching, what can be skipped, and what movies just won't die.

The Christmas Movies

Netflix subscribers celebrated the holiday season by continuing to visit Kurt Russell's silver-fox Santa, as "The Christmas Chronicles" and "The Christmas Chronicles 2" both made return appearances this week. "A California Christmas: City Lights" also managed to stay on top this week, because apparently America loves to celebrate the holiday season by watching a rom-com about ranchers in love running a dairy farm and vineyard whose happiness is threatened by the biggest holiday baddie of them all, having to return to the city for work! New this week is the Netflix original "A Boy Called Christmas," an endearing look at the origin story of Santa Claus with performances from Maggie Smith and Kristen Wiig. I know Christmas is over, but this is definitely a film to add to the next-year's holiday rotation, because it's genuinely wonderful without being overly sentimental. Press save in your brains on that one.

The Film Children Are Playing on Repeat

"The Cat in the Hat" apparently scarred enough families to get kicked off the list this week, and it appears I've convinced enough people to join my cult against casting James Corden to knock "Peter Rabbit 2" off the tops, but the Netflix original "Back to the Outback" is still holding strong and even jumped up to the third place slot. Netflix has genuinely been crushing it this year with animated fare as both "Wish Dragon" and "The Mitchells Vs. The Machines" were both wonderful additions to the service. "Back to the Outback" is very cute with a delightful message about not judging people by their appearances and the importance of connecting with your community. There are definitely worse things for your children to be watching ad nauseum, like the arch nemesis of parents everywhere, "Cocomelon" (who is currently on the top TV list, by the way).

The Action Thrillers

"Red Notice" is still killing it in the popularity contest known as the top 10 list, because how can we expect movie lovers not to seek out a film starring Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson, and Gal Gadot that is advertised with promotional imaging that looks like the hottest parody of "The Bachelor" anyone has ever seen? Last week's most popular film, "The Unforgivable," hopped down to second place this week, likely because everyone with a subscription has finally watched the film, but one action thriller has left me fully head scratching. "Oldboy" somehow snuck on the list and before you're like "But BJ, Park Chan-wook makes great films," please know that I'm referring to the remake from Spike Lee starring Josh Brolin.

Maybe it's because Brolin played Thanos and "WandaVision" star Elizabeth Olsen plays opposite or that Spike Lee is one of the most well-known directors on the planet, but it's puzzling to think about this massive box-office flop and critically panned remake gaining this much popularity, especially during the Christmas holiday. Y'all, are you okay? Do you need me to call someone for you? Do you need a hug? Just let me know.

The Most Watched film of the Week

Love it or hate it, the ultra-polarizing "Don't Look Up" is this week's most watched film, and absolutely nothing about that surprises me. Massive stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Cate Blanchett, Timothée Chalamet, Melanie Lynskey, Tyler Perry, and Ariana Grande are just some of the names rounding out this ensemble cast, which is the perfect recipe for getting eyeballs on the screen. Since the film first dropped, social media has been overwhelmed with discourse on whether or not this film is worth watching, and honestly, my own feelings about it seem to change by the hour. 

At first, I didn't really know what to think about it, but then the CDC changed their rules on pandemic isolation periods to the length of "lol, whatever your boss needs to keep the sweet, sweet flow of capitalism going" and now "Don't Look Up" feels like a movie version of my own intrusive thoughts. (PS: If you're one of those weirdos who thinks people who dislike this movie are responsible for global warming, I am begging you to consume a single molecule of fresh oxygen. It's a movie. Please breathe.) As the conversations surrounding the film continue spinning out into chaotic nonsense, I suspect this is going to be a title we'll see on the list for weeks to come.