While scouring Netflix for quality content, we noticed something odd: there are a lot of pretty awful movies that seem to be pretty popular on the streaming service. Sure, Netflix has become more well known for their quality original content, especially TV-wise (with shows like Daredevil, House of Cards, and Orange is the New Black leading their pack) but they also have tons of quality films just waiting to be explored. They also have a slew of cinematic sewage available—and we’re going to help you wade through that muck.
Over the past two weeks, we scoured all of the films that were listed in Netflix’s “Popular on Netflix” and “Trending Now” sections, as those films are the ones the service promotes as its most watched movies, or, at the very least, films that are considered to be the most trendy or popular at that moment. We discovered that a bunch of really popular films on Netflix are total time vacuums, nonsensical flicks capable of sucking hours of your life away at a time.
We should all take a lesson from Regina George: just because something is popular, that doesn’t guarantee goodness. With that in mind, here are 15 Super Popular Netflix Movies That Are A WASTE Of Time.
Minions was a huge commercial success in 2015, and its premise isn’t a bad one: the film is about the group of Cheesy Poof-looking yellow creatures we first met in 2010's Despicable Me who have existed since the world began, and they live only to serve at the beck and call of various evil masters. In Minions, Sandra Bullock voices their most recent master, Scarlet Overkill, which is an appropriate word. While there are a few funny moments, the film is a loud, cacophonic mess that, at times, becomes little more than a series of scenes featuring indiscernible sound effects.
Kids are likely to love it, of course, but adults looking for a fun animated film they will enjoy and snicker with recognition at would be better off checking out The Secret Lives of Pets, or the myriad other awesome animated films available to stream.
14 London Has Fallen
We can’t say the movie’s tagline, “Prepare for bloody hell,” didn’t warn us. London Has Fallen, the sequel to 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen, is eerily similar to its predecessor. Like, way too similar. Aaron Eckhart again plays the U.S. President, and Gerard Butler once again returns as secret service agent Mike Banning, the man charged with foiling yet another terrorist plot against the President.
The cast is chock full of aces (Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo, and Robert Forster, to name a few), and yet the audience gets a thoughtless, Islamaphobic dud of a movie in which the action sequences—which should be the forté of a film like this—aren’t even that good. By the end of London Has Fallen, all viewers are left with are a ton of xenophobic statements made by Americans, and the realization that they cannot get the last hour and 40 minutes of their lives back.
13 Hotel Transylvania 2
We’re still trying to figure out why there was a need for this one to get made. Hotel Transylvania was fun enough—it wasn’t on the level of Shrek or Frankenweenie, but seeing an animated Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) try to raise his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) in a monsters-only environment made for decent comic fodder. Its sequel, however, is tiresome, and unfortunately, not as entertaining.
Hotel Transylvania 2 is centered on Mavis, her husband Johnny (Andy Samberg), and their young son Dennis, who is a little vampire in training. The movie has a few fun scenes featuring Sandler’s Dracula trying to show little vamp Dennis the ropes, but other than that, it has very little to offer. Not to single Sandler out, but this definitely isn’t the only appearance he'll make on this list…
12 The Break-Up
This “comedy” is 11 years old, and was neither a critical nor commercial hit when it was released. Lacking the idiotic charm of say, Wedding Crashers, The Break-Up stars Jennifer Aniston and Captain Wedding Crasher himself, Vince Vaughn, as exes who cannot decide who gets to live in their awesome apartment post-break up. Their solution? They should both continue to live there. Naturally.
Aniston and Vaughn were a real-life couple once, which is perhaps the chief reason this movie was made. Regardless, the film lacks depth, heart, resonance, or warmth, and it completely wastes the talents of supporting players like Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Bateman, and Vincent D’Onofrio. It’s also a big waste of your time—who wants to sit and watch two people be awful to each other with zero laughs or payoffs? Trust us: don’t engage.
11 Sandy Wexler
Released in April 2017, Sandy Wexler isn’t Sandler’s worst film—it may even be an encouraging step forward, considering how well known he has been for delivering remarkably low quality movies. But at 2 hours and 11 minutes, saddled with a predictable plot and several unfunny moments, this film is at least 30-45 minutes too long—and that may be a generous summation.
Sandler’s Wexler is a ‘90s talent agent who helps and falls for Jennifer Hudson’s gifted singer. It’s not a bad role for Sandler—it’s actually more nuanced than most roles he plays—it’s just that the film itself is saddled with a predictable plot and lame supporting characters. Sandler’s film deal with Netflix has turned out to be quite lucrative, and his movies are some of the most streamed titles the service has, but just because Wexler is not a total stink bomb does not mean it’s worth your time.
10 The Angry Birds Movie
Like the Candy Crush TV series and the current Emoji movie, one must scratch one’s head and ask: was there really a need? Do we really need to have shows and movies based on apps that aren’t even that interesting, fun, or amazing to begin with? Apparently, we do. In the case of The Angry Birds Movie, the film fell as flat as you’d expect from birds incapable of flying—it hit the ground with a dull thud, yet it’s extremely popular on Netflix. Mysteries never cease.
Or, perhaps, children never cease, and kids are the primary reason for this film’s popularity. But fans of the app, adults looking for an animated film with amusing anecdotes, or those who may just be entertaining the idea of checking out Angry Birds, be warned: even Josh Gad, Danny McBride, and Jason Sudeikis couldn’t provide enough laughs when saddled with a script this pointless. Don't bother.
9 The Astronaut’s Wife
How this 1999 sci-fi/thriller got to be currently listed as one of the most popular films on Netflix, we’ll never know. Garnering a whopping 16% on Rotten Tomatoes’ tomatometer, critics everywhere panned this slow and confused movie when it came out, and it hasn’t aged well.
Johnny Depp has rarely been creepier as an astronaut who, after getting trapped outside of his spacecraft for a few minutes, becomes a changed man who suddenly begins doing odd or violent things. Charlize Theron plays his increasingly terrified wife, who ends up pregnant with his twins (played by Dylan and Cole Sprouse). The movie tries and fails where suspense is concerned due to its total predictability—everything you expect to happen, does. Those interested in seeing a spooky, taut thriller should check out It Follows instead. It’s a shorter film, and a much better one.
8 White Chicks
Shawn and Marlon Wayans are both smart and talented comedians, but their talents were wasted in this unfortunate clunker. The Wayans brothers play FBI agents who cake on several pounds of makeup and go undercover as socialite white girls.
The film is notoriously bad, saddled with a ridiculous plot and jokes that fall flat on their faces, so how is it among Netflix’s most popular films? Perhaps White Chicks was only popular on the streaming service for a short time. That certainly happens. Perhaps the film’s frequent viewability is due to its so-awful-it’s-good semi-cult status, or to the fact that sometimes, it’s fun and hilarious to watch bad movies. Regardless, the talents of Busy Phillips have never been more wasted, and watching this head shaker of a movie isn’t exactly time well spent.
7 Bridget Jones’s Baby
2016's Bridget Jones’s Baby marked the first time Oscar winner Renée Zellweger returned to the big screen since 2010, so for the Zellweger obsessed, the movie might not be such a time suck. But for everyone else, well…there’s not much new in this installment. Of course Zellweger is good, and both Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey are handsome and dapper and charming—when aren’t they?
But movies whose main events and denouements are entirely predictable aren’t really worth the effort, and Bridget Jones’s Baby is, sadly, one of those movies. It has a few laughs, and again, the three leads are appealing, but even fans of the series won’t be left feeling like this film has added much to the franchise. Plus, considering that both Bridget Jones’s Diary and Chicago are also on Netflix, either of them would be a better way to get your Zellweger fix.
6 Bad Santa 2
The first film in the series, Bad Santa, was a black comedy that was crude and uproarious in all the right ways. But this, its sequel, is not. Where the first film hit, this one misses, and it stinks watching talents like Billy Bob Thornton and Kathy Bates plod through a plot as convoluted and tired as the one in this movie. There’s a heist, an unrealistic love triangle, and the annoying fact that Thornton’s Willie Soke has not progressed as a character at all—if anything, he has regressed.
The film is full of banal, tacked on scenes that seem to serve as shock value only (like the final revenge-based scene, for example) that aren’t only a waste of time—they can never be unseen. We might be able to understand the popularity of this flick if it were around the holidays, but mid summer? Color us confused.
5 Boat Trip
How is this blatantly homophobic and sexist mess even available on Netflix, much less listed as one of its most popular films? The stereotypes are endless and the laughs are few in Boat Trip, and it doesn’t help that homophobia and sexism are entrenched in the film’s premise. After his girlfriend breaks up with him, Jerry (Cuba Gooding Jr.) needs some cheering up. Trying to be supportive, his best pal Nick (Horatio Sanz) books a cruise for them both because, duh, cruise ships are loaded with beautiful, lonely, interchangeable women.
But while in the process of arranging said cruise, the fellas irk their travel agent, who decides to get them back by booking them on a gay cruise. Yeah. It only gets worse after that. Full disclosure: Boat Trip was one of the few films that was in the “most popular” section for a few days before disappearing, so we're happy to report that its popularity was fleeting.
4 Police Academy
Sure, this ‘80s cult classic has moments of hilarity, and it features Michael Winslow showcasing what can only be described as his unique vocal art, but Police Academy is another movie that didn’t age well. While the film joins many ‘80s comedies that feel way more offensive now than they did back then, this one sometimes feels downright agonizing to sit through.
Police Academy has extremely problematic scenes that solely feature racist or homophobic messages. There are major characters that degrade their subordinate employees by referring to them as racial slurs, and there’s another unlikable character that drives around with a rebel flag license plate cover. And don’t get us started on The Blue Oyster Bar, or that scene with the poor, poor horse. All in all, there are tons of comedies on Netflix that are more worthy of a watch.
The casting gods certainly smiled on this one: Jennifer Garner, Hugh Jackman, Olivia Wilde, Ty Burrell, Kristen Schaal, all present. And yet, this movie about Iowans who compete in butter carving contests fails to impress on many levels. It lacks the brains and satirical bite of movies like Election, and its characters are all either too over the top or too straight up mean to resonate much.
Yet Butter has been on Netflix for what feels like forever, and it remains an oft streamed favorite. Those tempted by the film’s quirky subject matter can skip all the uncomfortable moments (and there are many) and simply Google “Jennifer Garner’s butter sculptures” (like the one seen in the image above) to see the coolest part of the film. That takes 20 seconds, versus an hour and a half. Just sayin’.
2 You Get Me
Ugh. Instead of being a delicious summer guilty pleasure, this Netflix original starring Bella Thorne was a big dull dud that was literally like every girl-obsessed-with-boy story we have ever seen. Stop us when it sounds familiar: guy gets in fight with his girlfriend. Guy has an ill-advised fling with a hot stranger who later shows up and starts stalking him after ingratiating herself into the lives of him and his friends.
You Get Me never tries hard to stand out in any way, which is a shame, because the cast has potential—they’re just stuck playing clichéd characters delivering dreadful lines. Sample dialogue, from a scene in which a cute guy reflects on his cute girl: “It’s like everything had been in black and white. Suddenly there was color.” Yeah. Sure there was.
1 The Ridiculous 6
Controversy surrounded Adam Sandler’s The Ridiculous 6 from the get-go. Some Native American actors associated with the film left the set during its shoot amid complaints of rampant racist stereotypes present in the script. But the film, hiding behind its overtness, is also quite sexist and features scene after pointless scene. It’s as if the writers are saying: “See? The word ‘ridiculous’ is right there in the title, so we can be as blatantly offensive as possible, and you can’t get offended."
The finished product got a whopping 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, yet it was Netflix’s most viewed movie up to that point, and Sandler’s movie deal with Netflix has been profitable for both Netflix and those associated with Happy Madison films. Too bad no one else gets much from the deal, audiences included. “Thanks for nothing, Netflix,” film critic Richard Roeper said in his review of the film. Seconded.
What did we miss? What super popular Netflix movies do YOU think are a major waste of time? Tell us in the comments!