Ranking All the Netflix Original Movies (151-200)
The governing principle behind this website has always been, “Well, I did this, so I might as well document it.”
I think we’ve established by now that I watch ostensibly everything that matters each year (in terms of American feature releases), and a lot that doesn’t. And that now includes an ever-increasing number of Netflix movies. I think they put out something like 60 movies last year. And, as is my credo, if I’m watching them all, why not document it?
This isn’t a definitive ranking by any stretch. It’s a combination of how much I liked the movies mixed with how well I think they personify the “brand” of the Netflix Original, whatever that is. Mostly I just wanna recommend some cool stuff to you that you may be overlooking. Because the way the Netflix model works is, unless it hits the zeitgeist like Bird Box or The Kissing Booth, it just gets absorbed into the ether and after two weeks (if not immediately), people forget about them and never get around to watching them even if they thought they looked interesting. They just fall away under the pile of newer, shinier toys. So hopefully, with my doing this, maybe it’ll get some eyeballs on some of the really cool stuff that’s there.
I will also say (because it has to be said) — it’s vague as to what constitutes a Netflix Original film. I generally use Wikipedia as a guide, because Netflix has never put out an official list, and it’s impossible to use their site to figure it out. But also, some of the stuff on Wikipedia’s list are foreign films no one in America has heard of, and some other stuff that we all clearly think of as a Netflix movie isn’t. Here’s one: Annihilation. Netflix movie or not? It was released day-and-date everywhere in the world except the U.S., where it played in theaters for over a month before going on Netflix. Hard to see that as a proper Netflix Original. Though by that rationale, Roma wouldn’t count, because they released it into theaters first. But that was clearly for Oscar purposes. It was always meant to be on the platform. It’s all up for debate, so I just kinda went with what made sense. So the rules are my own and I’ve decided what I think counts. The point is: shut up and let’s just celebrate the cool movies that are here. Cool? Cool.
(Note: I try to update these articles every few months as we get close to another round number of films. I’m thinking the next update will be sometime in spring.)
This is the biggest abomination Netflix has ever put out. That may well change, eventually. That is, there may be a bigger abomination they put out. But it doesn’t change the fact that this movie is an abomination. The fact that the title is a hashtag is bad enough. But the fact that it’s a movie that celebrates social media (even while criticizing it) is something I can never get over.
The plot is basically Mean Girls but with Snapchat. Regular smart girl without many friends is taken in by the cool girl who is a social media star because the cool girl’s ex-boyfriend takes an interest in her. So she becomes her friend to get back at him/try to win him back, meanwhile the regular girl loses sight of who she is and starts to become as obsessed with her digital image and likes and all that crap.
No one in the movie is a real human being, the while the lead actress does what she can and does seem almost like a real person, nothing can overcome the atrocious values inherent in this movie. I will never actively say a movie should never be seen, but this movie really does stand for everything I hate.
174. The Ridiculous 6
Adam Sandler is no stranger to the bottom of a list like this. And I think we all recognize that he stopped trying right around 2007. The only even halfway decent movies he’s made since then are ones with top level directors. Everything else is just him hanging out with his friends with no care for quality whatsoever. And this, the first of his initial six-picture deal with Netflix, is the most egregious thing he’s come out with since *looks at notes* the movie that came out before this. Jesus.
As you can tell, the title is a play on The Magnificent Seven. Sandler plays a gunfighter raised by Native Americans who finds out he has five brothers. So he sets out to find his brothers so they can go out and find their father. But holy shit. There are things happening in this movie that are… lowest common denominator is the ceiling this movie is striving to reach. There’s a recurring bit about Rob Schneider’s donkey having explosive diarrhea. Taylor Lautner plays the most overt and offensive mentally-challenged person stereotype I may have ever seen put on screen. There’s literally a scene where he gets blown by the donkey. It’s absolutely insane.
The thing about these Sandler movies… there’s no pretense of plot anymore the majority of the time. It’s literally just a series of scenes the actors think are funny. And apparently there are still people who agree with them, otherwise why would we all still be subjected to them? But I think you all know this. I think we all acknowledge how awful this movie is. I could have just left this entry as a simple sigh and we’d have understood.
Before #RealityHigh, this was the most abominable movie Netflix had put out. Fortunately, no hashtag, but the title is essentially text-speak. And the plot — it revolves around a group of characters who attend an outdoor music festival. Basically Love Actually at Coachella. Yeah. See what I mean?
The problem with movies like this is that its basic philosophy for the characters is, “We’re 22. This is our time!” I don’t want a movie whose basic premise makes me go, “Fuck you.” Or the idea that one person can make a song that can change the world. Or like, “If I can just get my music into the hands of this famous person, I know my life will change.” There’s a lot of “fuck you’s” in this movie. Mostly to the audience. But a lot were me saying it back to the screen. Definitely one of the more soulless outputs of the platform.
172. Step Sisters
So my main gripe with movies like this is when every character is heightened in the name of comedy that absolutely no person or situation in this movie resembles any kind of reality. So you’re basically asking everyone to go along with these caricatures and assuming they will care and laugh at what’s going on. My response to movies like that is usually: no.
It’s about an overachieving black student who has ambitions and is basically forced by the dean into rehabilitating a white sorority by helping them learn to step dance. So already we’re on racially sensitive ground. But the notion that not only does she have to do this because it will get her into the law school she wants to go to (patently illegal), but they have to win the competition, you’re basically watching every moment of this movie wondering how any of these people could possibly exist in real life and how half of them haven’t died already because they’re so stupid.
Chances are, when you get me talking about the worst of Netflix, and it’s not the obvious Adam Sandler-type stuff, I’m gonna mention this, the hashtag movie and the music festival movie. I can almost guarantee you those will be my answers when asked on the spot. And hey, not all of them can be good. This is just one of the absolute worst.
171. Father of the Year
Did you think a movie starring David Spade was gonna be particularly good?
Here’s the premise: he’s basically Joe Dirt. White trash dude living in a trailer park. His son shows up one day and is like, “My friend says he dad can probably beat you up.” So Spade decides to prove that he can beat up the other dad, and alleged comedy ensues. It’s awful. The worst part about this movie is that they try to put a real story in between the Spade “comedy” bits.
It’s a Happy Madison movie. And I think we all have evidence to know these generally are not good. To quote another movie, they gave you all the clues. You should know what this is without having to subject yourself to it.
170. Malibu Rescue
This is a Nickelodeon channel movie masquerading as a Netflix movie. The comedy is dumb and meant for seven-year-olds, and there’s literally nothing of value in this unless you’re seven. And even then… kinda questionable.
The only reason this is so high on the list is because the other ones are overly objectionable. This one is just bad and for kids. The others aren’t for anyone with brain cells.
Every time a certain type of movie hits, there’s a flood of copycats that come out in the ensuing years. The Netflix distribution model has ensured that the copycats will continue finding a home even after the fad has long since past. It’s like Multiplicity. Clone after clone, getting worse and worse each time. Only, rather than clone the original, we’re cloning the copycats that weren’t very good to begin with.
Here’s the premise: woman is going to Spain on a business trip. Her two friends decide to join to go party. They decide to go to Ibiza for the weekend for debauchery. Shit happens. You’ve seen variations of this coming out the past few years, so you know what you’re getting. It’s one of those movies where every character who isn’t the lead is so over the top that they’re not even a human being, and the whole thing just infuriates your storytelling instincts, because it feels over-developed to the point of trying to sell itself to whatever market they think is out there.
This is the kind of movie that lowers the bar for everything else.
168. You Get Me
Another example in the “crazy white girl” genre. And, as we must say for all of these… just watch Fatal Attraction.
It stars Bella Thorne, who apparently is making a career out of shitty straight-to-VOD genre thrillers. It’s a plot you’ve seen a hundred times — guy sleeps with a new girl while broken up with his girlfriend, then gets back together with the girlfriend. Only the new girl doesn’t want that to happen… and psycho stalking, etc, happens.
There’s nothing new here, nothing of substance, and you could probably get more emotional performances out of the first tree you ran into outside. It’s the kind of movie you can see in its entirety from the log line, and one that I can’t fathom why you’d waste your time with.
It’s like if you took the plot of You’re Next, but made it a shitty thriller. A bunch of brothers show up to visit their dying mother, and then a bunch of masked attackers show up and they have to defend themselves. Only whereas You’re Next had an element of humor and fun to it and was actually engaging… this is just boring as shit.
Sometimes the worst crime a movie can commit is not simply being terrible… it’s being almost competent and so boring that you wonder why they even bothered. This is one of those movies where you wonder who would find it interesting, because there’s literally nothing to keep your attention throughout it.
You’ll notice a pattern in the films at this point on the list — bad/boring genre films. This is the “psychiatrist loses their shit” thriller. “Am I crazy or is my psycho patient trying to kill me?”
The less said about a movie like this, the better. There’s really nothing of value here at all. It’s like one of the unpopped popcorn kernels in the bottom of the bag. Let’s spend our time on the good stuff.
165. The Open House
This is a thriller without the thrills. One of those “is our house haunted, or is that weird dude who keeps showing up doing this to us” movies.
The problem is, none of it is interesting or engaging, despite the film ending in a different place than you’d expect from a movie like this. Or maybe it’s just so bad at doing what it’s trying to do that it’s completely in line with a movie like this and it just feels different because the movie’s so boring.
The current 3.2 rating on IMDB should tell you all you need to know about this one.
Blumhouse produced this. And yes, this is a family dog movie. And holy shit, it is bad.
Think of a movie trying to be like an early 90s family movie. Okay, now picture them making it today. And now picture them making it badly. And then drop it a couple of levels into, “Oh my god, what happened here?” That’s about where this movie is at.
It’s not that a company that primarily produces horror movies made this. Anyone can make a bad movie. But this… what was the purpose of this, exactly? Granted, if this were put out on Nickelodeon as a feature, I wouldn’t have questioned it. But this was like, actually put out as a real thing on Netflix. And it’s… I feel like one would get more out of a teeth cleaning than this movie.
163. Secret Obsession
This is a Lifetime movie level thriller. Woman wakes up after being attacked with no memory of what happened. Her husband takes her home and reminds her of everything she’s forgotten. Only, turns out, guess what? He’s her captor! He’s the bad guy, not her husband!
Yeah, it’s awful. It’s only for the people who really like schlocky thrillers. For everyone else, there are better bad movies (and even good movies) on this platform to waste your time with.
162. Walk. Ride. Rodeo.
This is as close you can get to a faith-based sports movie without being overly religious. Or overly a sports movie, I guess.
It’s about a young rodeo rider who gets in a bad accident that paralyzes her. The title comes from what she said her goals were after her diagnosis. So it’s your generic sports movie of… bad accident, getting mad about the situation for a while, then bucking up and working toward a comeback.
It’s… you’ve seen the story a bunch. It’s made with almost no budget, the writing is generic for even generic standards, and it’s got that Netflix look, which just cheapens the whole thing. This feels like it should have been put out on Lifetime instead of here.
Terrible horror-thriller about a kid getting treatment for an auto-immune disorder where… guess what… maybe the people taking care of him aren’t really taking care of him!
It’s just really bland, even if Kelly Reilly is trying as the mother. It twists and turns to a completely bizarre conclusion that probably deserved a better movie in order for it to work.
This genre was never for me, so there was little chance I was gonna think this movie was good, but I can’t imagine most people would really care about this. It’s just boring and doesn’t amount to much.
On the one hand, it’s nice that someone gave Patricia Arquette, Angela Bassett and Felicity Huffman a starring vehicle. On the other hand, this is a bad movie.
They play mothers with adult children who realize they have to reevaluate their relationships with their children now that they’re no longer kids (and they themselves are no longer young). I’m not really sure what the tone of it is. It’s got some dramatic moments and some awful comedy moments. Maybe this will be for someone, but for most people, there’s better stuff out there to look at instead.
159. The True Memoirs of an International Assassin
Not the worst setup for a comedy: author writes a spy novel called “The Memoirs of an International Assassin.” His publisher won’t put it out because fiction doesn’t sell. So he puts the word “True” in the title, pretending it’s an autobiography. Of course, sales skyrocket. Only now, some real people start to take his fiction and think, “That sounds a lot like (insert event/killing/etc here),” and now want him dead.
Not terrible, right? Of course, you can see how that could end up very generic. But also… to take that premise and then cast Kevin James… you kinda know what you’re getting from the jump there, don’t you? Kevin James is one of those rarified actors who has literally never made a good movie. The only semi-decent one he was in also happened to star Will Smith. He’s like the anti-John Cazale.
Also, this was directed by the director of Kick-Ass 2 and Truth or Dare, so there’s that too.
158. Sandy Wexler
What a strange movie. First off, this might be the one Adam Sandler movie that’s come out that nobody knows. I haven’t heard anyone talking about this, even to say how bad it is. But also… here’s a movie that’s not a comedy, and not a drama.
It starts like a Woody Allen movie or something. And then it spends its first 70 minutes telling a story… and you get to what you assume is the end of act two. Things are sad, and then it’ll all work out in the next 20 minutes. Only the movie then goes on FOR ANOTHER HOUR. It’s insane. It just drags and drags and drags. And I’m not quite sure what they were going for.
This is also perhaps the epitome of a modern day Adam Sandler movie. Which is — he’s not making them for you. He’s doing it to amuse himself and hang out with his friends. He plays a talent agent that’s basically a pastiche of his actual manager.
There are better bad movies to waste your time with than this.
157. I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House
This is an interesting one. In that… it’s trying something. But I found it terribly boring. It’s a gothic horror film without the horror. It’s just kind of slow, and meditative, and boring.
The director (Oz Perkins, son of Anthony, who had a really solid debut with The Blackcoat’s Daughter) seemingly had a vision for how this turned out. It just… somehow never got there. It fell so flat to me that I figured I must have missed something or that maybe I wasn’t meant to get it. But I think most people feel the same way about this.
It just… doesn’t really work. It’s admirable in some technical qualities, but there’s not a whole lot you’re gonna get from this in the way of entertainment value.
156. Holiday in the Wild
Sometimes Netflix is The Hallmark Channel. This is one of those times.
It’s a rom com with Kristin Davis and Rob Lowe. She’s a woman whose husband divorces her the minute their kid leaves for college, on the eve of their second honeymoon trip to Africa. So she decides to go alone. And Rob Lowe is a womanizing pilot she meets and falls in love with.
My favorite thing about these movies is that this totally random main character meets the guy who’s been sleeping with hundreds of women over the years, yet somehow, this one is the one. It’s not a new concept (look at Red Dust. That movie’s going on 90 years old), but man, do these movies somehow never find a way to not make it cheesy.
155. The Last Summer
I feel bad putting this over some of the ones below it. It’s a very bad, very overly serious teen movie. One of those, “This is our last summer before college, we need to make it count” movies. Fortunately it’s not about how the whole world is ahead of them because they’re young. But it is very much one of those movies that’s serious about its subplots. How the dumbest shit becomes the biggest deal.
One of the main subplots is this budding relationship. But the dude realizes that his father is having an affair with the girl’s (single) mother. He’s tortured by this. Naturally. And then, later, when the girl finds out, she’s furious. And you watch this and it’s like, “It’s not that big a deal?” Also, why do you not question what this fact did to your boyfriend, since technically your mother was being taken advantage of by a scumbag. This dude has to live with the scumbag and what it means for his own mother. That’s the kind of shit that happens in this movie. It’s almost like what a high school student things high drama is. Think about what the biggest element of drama was in the stuff you wrote in high school. It’s kinda like this.
So I guess what I’m saying is… it’s competently made and all that, but none of the stuff feels remotely real or worthwhile. That’s mainly what this section of the list is. I wouldn’t tell you to not watch it, but I’ll also tell you that there’s really not much there and that you could do much better. This one in particular feels like it more closely straddles the line into being straight up bad.
The setup is interesting, and reminds me of one of my favorite thrillers (Breakdown with Kurt Russell, which I will say now, just stop reading this if you’re even considering this movie and go watch Breakdown instead) — guy’s daughter gets into an accident and he and his wife rush her to the hospital. Then, the wife and daughter disappear and the hospital claims they never came there at all.
The problem with a setup like that, especially here, is that there are only two outcomes: either everyone is lying and there’s a conspiracy and there’s nefarious shit going on, or the dude is crazy. So you’re basically watching this movie waiting to see when it’s gonna tip its hat as to which it is. And this one tips its hat really early. And on top of that, it goes the extra mile to make itself incredibly off-putting by its end, ensuring that not only was it bland and obvious, but you have no desire to ever watch it again.
It looks good on paper. Michael Pena, Lizzie Kaplan, and the director was coming off a very impressive debut with Hounds of Love (a very underrated Australian kidnapping thriller). It’s one of those movies — aliens come down and a guy has to protect his family. Only… the movie takes an insane twist by the midway point, where you wonder why you even care about these people or anything that’s going on.
That’s what this movie is — you’re kinda invested, but not really, and then they pull the rug out from under you and you’re wondering what the hell is going on and if you do or should bother trying to figure out any of it. I ultimately landed on, no, no you should not. It’s watchable, but given the fact that Netflix seems to stick to certain types of genre films, there are better ‘invasion’ movies on this list alone.
152. The Do-Over
This was an Adam Sandler movie I came out going, “Wow, I can’t believe I didn’t hate that.” Wouldn’t have guessed that. I guess it’s more of a David Spade movie, now that I think about it. Not that it makes it any better.
Basically the premise is, two dudes meet up at a reunion and realize they hate their lives. So they decide to fake their own deaths and start over. Only, the two people whose identities they assume… well, as you can see by the picture, they weren’t the best of people.
Mostly what I was struck with by this movie is that it wasn’t as shitty as I come to assume all Adam Sandler movies are. Sure, the jokes are stupid, but they’re closer to being passable here than they are in all the other movies. This one actually has a plot. You can get engaged for portions of this. It’s one of the more watchable comedies he’s made in a decade. That said, it’s hard for me to straight up recommend this. You gotta keep things in context. There’s way better stuff out there to spend time on.
151. Holiday Rush
It’s adequately made, it’s got a nice cast, but it’s broad and over-written. Which is pretty standard for these Netflix Christmas movies. It’s about a DJ that gets fired from his job just before Christmas and has to downgrade his expensive lifestyle and reconnect with his spoiled children. It’s entirely by the numbers and generic enough to appeal to some people, but there’s better Netflix fare out there.
Though big shout out to them for bringing in Darlene Love to sing. That’s worth a hundred of these movies.
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See the rest of the Netflix Rankings:
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