The new action movie, Interceptor, has topped Netflix's global rankings to become the most watched movie on the platform right now.

Co-produced by Marvel movie star Chris Hemsworth, the film follows a headstrong army officer (played by the real-life wife of Thor's actor, Elsa Pataky) who finds himself in the position of the last line of defense against the evil plan of a soldier turned criminal. take control of a remote nuclear missile base.

It may sound like a paint-by-numbers synopsis, but Interceptor's seemingly unoriginal premise hasn't deterred audiences: The film has logged more than 35 million hours of viewing since its May 26 release, more than double the amount. accumulated by the second most popular. movie on Netflix, A Perfect Pairing, during the same period.

The data comes from Netflix itself, which has been publishing weekly performance figures (opens in a new tab) for its movies and series since November 2021. Ranking of titles by weekly hours watched, that is, the total number of hours of worldwide subscribers watching each title between Monday and Sunday of the previous week – the streamer regularly shares four separate charts; two for movies (English and non-English) and two for TV shows (English and non-English).

Despite its strong digital performance, the Interceptor did not fare well with critics or audiences after viewing. The film currently has a low rating of 44% from critics on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes (opens in a new tab), certifying it as rotten based on 32 official reviews, and an even lower audience score. disastrous 25%.


Elsa Pataky plays a no-nonsense army officer in Interceptor (Image credit: Netflix)

"It's Die Hard in the Pacific Ocean with just about every action movie cliché you can think of," Digital Spy's Ian Sandwell wrote in his two-star review (opens in a new tab) of the film, while News .com (opens in new tab) Wenlei Ma called Interceptor "a terrible, horrible, not good, very bad movie." Oh.

The reception was not bad at all, eye. Film School Rejects (Opens in a new tab) Aurora Amidon, for example, said that “there are some parts of Interceptor that are fun to watch, and those looking for fast, harmless action can do much worse. Similarly, Benjamin Lee of The Guardian (opens in a new tab) selected "brief nuggets of substance" in the 90-minute film.

Analysis: An Emerging Netflix Trend

Apparently, the Interceptor won't be taking home the Oscars next year, but its success supports an interesting Netflix trend of late.

Despite Stranger Things and Bridgerton, many of the streamer's recent wins have come from critical movies and TV shows. Take 365 Days: This Day, for example, which briefly became the most popular movie on Netflix despite a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Or Anatomy of a Scandal, which rose to the top of the platform's most viewed list, despite its largely negative critical reception.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with intermediate productions defying their detractors to amass an impressive audience; in some cases, audiences simply enjoyed the movies and TV shows in question more than critics did. But Netflix has recently gotten into a disturbing habit of holding back really interesting original projects that have been doing much better critically.

Consider The Baby-Sitters Club, a universally loved dramedy that consistently enjoys a 100% review rating on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in a new tab). Despite its popularity, the series was canceled by Netflix after only two seasons. Then there's the sci-fi epic Another Life, Mindy Kaling's scripted comedy Never Have I Ever, the trippy psychological thriller Sense8, and The OA alongside Stranger Things, all canned before their time.

Given its struggles to retain subscribers in recent months, Netflix needs a short-term hit, and productions like the Interceptor seem to offer moments of relief. But we can't help but feel that these popcorn movies come at the expense of more thoughtful movies and TV shows.

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