- While some of Netflix’s 2022 releases were critical and commercial hits, others were not.
- Some of those critical failures, like “The Gray Man,” were actually a huge hit with viewers.
- These 10 movies were well-received by viewers, according to Rotten Tomatoes’ audience scores.
Tyler Perry’s latest “Madea” adventure, “A Madea Homecoming,” was released in February.
Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 62%
“A Madea Homecoming” follows the graduation of Madea’s great-grandson Tim’s college graduation, but as the entire extended Simmons and Brown families come together, secrets will be revealed that threaten to ruin the happy reunion.
“‘Homecoming’ is just more of the same. The characters are one-note, and the actors portray them that way. Madea remains the center of attention,” wrote Craig D. Lindsey for AV Club.
But, like every other “Madea” movie, its fans seemed to greatly outnumber the critics, and it has a much higher audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Scrooge: A Christmas Carol” is another animated version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”
Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 68%
In one of two “Christmas Carol” adaptations this year, Scrooge is voiced by Luke Evans, while Olivia Colman voices the Ghost of Christmas Past, Trevor Dion Nicholas is the Ghost of Christmas Present, Jonathan Pryce voices Jacob Marley, and Johnny Flynn is Bob Cratchit.
Nell Minow of RogerEbert.com called the film “unwatchable.”
But many other viewers disagreed with that assessment, as 68% of audience members actually enjoyed the film.
“Purple Hearts” was a huge hit among Netflix subscribers this summer, but not so much with critics.
Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 69%
“Purple Hearts” stars Sofía Carson as Cassie, a young musician living with diabetes, and Nicholas Galitzine as Luke, a US Marine who is two years sober. Cassie can’t afford her insulin and Luke still owes money to his former drug dealer so, even though they almost immediately hate each other on first sight, they devise a plan to get married so Cassie can get insurance and Luke will receive a higher salary as a married man.
“The entire script is a bingo card full of politicized stereotypes,” wrote Vox’s Aja Romano.
However, the film was a huge hit on TikTok, and it was one of the biggest hits of the year for Netflix, coming in at No. 3 on its most-watched list of 2022.
“Along for the Ride” is a sweet love story about two insomniac teens, according to fans.
Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 69%
Based on the Sarah Dessen novel of the same name, “Along for the Ride” is the story of Auden (Emma Pasarow), a recent high school graduate who travels to the beach town Colby to spend the summer with her dad. While wandering around the streets of Colby at night, she meets Eli (Belmont Cameli) who becomes her mysterious nighttime friend.
“Auden’s aloofness remains confusing throughout — a flat blankness at the center of a narrative that requires some element of charisma,” wrote The Guardian’s Adrian Horton.
But fans of the Dessen novel disagreed, and audiences gave the adaptation a 70% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Luckiest Girl Alive” stars Mila Kunis as an editor with a seemingly perfect life, but she’s hiding a dark past.
Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 72%
“Luckiest Girl Alive” is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Jessica Knoll. Kunis stars as Ani, a women’s editor at a magazine who is engaged to a wealthy man named Luke (Finn Wittrock). But when a documentary filmmaker shows up asking to discuss her past — she was a victim of a school shooting in high school — Ani’s illusion of a perfect life starts to crack.
“As formulaic as it is, the story nonetheless confronts the persistence of guilt over past questionable behavior and how people struggle to deal with it, even long after the fact,” wrote Deadline’s Todd McCarthy.
Critics only gave it 42% on Rotten Tomatoes, so perhaps fans of the novel were bigger fans of the adaptation — the audience score is 30% higher.
Critics weren’t persuaded by “Persuasion,” but some Jane Austen fans were.
Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 73%
Dakota Johnson stars as Anne Elliot, a 26-year-old single woman who is still upset about her broken engagement to Frederick Wentworth, played by Cosmo Jarvis. When the two reunite seven years after their breakup, Anne is desperate to see if Frederick feels the same way.
“‘Persuasion’ at times seems embarrassed by its source material, or at least overeager to spruce it up for audiences that might not be able to handle a gentler pace. The result is harried and forgettable,” wrote The Atlantic’s David Sims.
However, the audience score suggests some viewers responded more positively to the updated version of the text, fourth-wall breaks.
While some critics were bored by “Day Shift,” starring Jamie Foxx, other audiences were much more entertained.
Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 76%
In “Day Shift,” Foxx plays Bud, a vampire hunter who must return to the vampire-hunting union in order to secure enough money to help support his ex-wife and daughter. The union leader, Big John — played by Snoop Dogg himself — pairs Bud with a union rep named Seth, played by Dave Franco, to make sure Bud follows the strict union rules. As you can imagine, hijinks ensue.
“The movie equivalent of paint-by-the-numbers, this is shoot-by-the-numbers, stab-by-the-numbers, bleed-by-the-numbers. That insures it’s bore-by-the numbers, too,” wrote Mark Feeney of the Boston Globe.
But even if that’s what critics thought, some audiences disagreed. It was the 10th most-viewed film on Netflix this year.
“Slumberland” stars Jason Momoa as a con artist with goat horns who lives in a dream world.
Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 86%
“Slumberland” pairs Momoa, who plays Flip, with Marlow Barkley as Nemo, a young girl who is sent to live with her uncle after her father is lost at sea and has trouble making friends in the real world. Instead, she dreams of Slumberland, and she has fantastical adventures with Flip and others. The film is based on the 1900s comic strip “Little Nemo in Slumberland.”
“Playing like an amalgam of ‘Monsters, Inc.’ and ‘Inception,’ this family-friendly fantasy thankfully doesn’t put audiences to sleep, but neither does it draw us into its dreamy sensation,” wrote the AV Club’s Courtney Howard.
But, clearly, many audience members were drawn into the world of Flip and Nemo, as shown by its high audience score.
Critics didn’t exactly hate “A Jazzman’s Blues,” but they didn’t respond as positively as audiences did.
Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87%
Tyler Perry’s movie tells the decades-long story of two star-crossed teens, Bayou (Joshua Boone) and Leanne (Solea Pfeiffer), who fall in love in the deep South during the 1930s. Over the years, Leanne’s parents do not approve of Bayou, and the two are separated, but they never forget about each other.
“Notwithstanding the embellishments, this undoubtedly remains a Tyler Perry film — occasionally for better, but often for worse,” wrote Carlos Aguilar for the Los Angeles Times.
However, just like with “Madea,” the Perry fans came out in droves for this and racked up an 87%.
“The Gray Man” is among the most expensive Netflix movies ever made — it paid off for audiences.
Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 90%
Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Regé-Jean Page, Jessica Henwick, Ana de Armas, Billy Bob Thornton, and Alfre Woodard all star in this adaptation of the Mark Greaney novel of the same name.
Gosling plays Court Gentry, a CIA agent also called Sierra Six, who is labeled a traitor after it becomes clear that his new boss Carmichael (Page) is trying to eliminate the Sierra program and its assassins. Carmichael then enlists the unhinged Lloyd Hansen (Evans) to track down Six and take him out for good.
“It is a big, noisy, explosive adrenaline rush — a live-action spin on that old MAD Magazine comic, ‘Spy vs. Spy’ — and about as deep,” wrote Salon’s Gary M. Kramer.
But even if critics didn’t totally love the film, enough people watched and enjoyed “The Gray Man” for Netflix to order a sequel and a spin-off set in the same universe.
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