(Photo by Kirsty Griffin/Netflix)
As of December 26, 2021
What’s trending on Netflix? How about for all of 2021?
The most popular shows and movies on Netflix based on subscriber viewing habits are found on the service’s navigation menu, but that’s only part of the story. Fans also spend time reading up on their favorite Netflix series and movies and their critical standing here at Rotten Tomatoes. We’ve made a list of the top 20 movies and shows on Netflix U.S. that our visitors read about here during 2021.
• The Best Netflix Shows and Series To Watch
• The Best Netflix Movies To Watch Right Now
Korean drama Squid Game led the list of the most popular Netflix titles on Rotten Tomatoes in 2021, beating out the streaming giant’s top film titles, like star-driven Red Notice, which saw Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds teaming up for heist story.
Recent 2021 releases like season 2 of fantasy series The Witcher, political satire Don’t Look Up with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, and Benedict Cumberbatch–starring drama The Power of the Dog had a lot of ground to cover to catch up with the year’s earlier releases and make it into the top 10. Their ascent has been impressive to watch — and they’re still climbing. (We’ll review the list December 31 and update the ranking if needed.)
While traffic to most TV titles’ main pages propelled the titles onto the list, some titles like The Sinner — the four-season USA Network series has three seasons streaming on Netflix — and two-season French drama Lupin made it onto the list with traffic to their first season pages, again proving that Netflix is a place to discover titles that have been around for a while.
Looking for more great TV and streaming recommendations? Order our book, The Ultimate Binge Guide, which is now on sale.
Is your favorite Netflix show or series on the Netflix Top 20 list? Let us know in the comments what you watched on Netflix in 2021.
Adjusted Score: 95169%
Critics Consensus: Featuring beautifully matched performances from Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan set against gorgeously filmed English countryside, The Dig yields period drama treasures.
Adjusted Score: 102615%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and beautifully made, The White Tiger distills the strengths of its source material into a grimly compelling drama.
Adjusted Score: 97071%
Critics Consensus: It isn’t as bold and fearless as its characters, but The Harder They Fall fills its well-worn template with style, energy, and a fantastic cast.
Adjusted Score: 107209%
Critics Consensus: Eye-catching and energetic, The Mitchells vs. the Machines delivers a funny, feel-good story that the whole family can enjoy.
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Omar Sy effortlessly hits every mark in Lupin, an engrossing espionage thriller that lives up to its source material and then some.
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Smartly unpredictable and led by powerful performances from a talented cast, the darkly compelling The Sinner sinks its hooks in fast and doesn’t let go.
Adjusted Score: 82274%
Critics Consensus: The Guilty is another Americanized remake overshadowed by the original, but its premise is still sturdy enough to support a tense, well-acted thriller.
Adjusted Score: 37083%
Critics Consensus: A milquetoast and muddled thriller that drowns in its frenzied homages, The Woman in the Window will have audiences closing their curtains.
Adjusted Score: 111410%
Critics Consensus: Brought to life by a stellar ensemble led by Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog reaffirms writer-director Jane Campion as one of her generation’s finest filmmakers.
Adjusted Score: 90038%
Critics Consensus: A searing swipe at late-stage capitalism, I Care A Lot is an exhilarating pitch black comedy with a wicked performance from Rosamund Pike.
Adjusted Score: 44821%
Critics Consensus: Red Notice‘s big budget and A-list cast add up to a slickly competent action comedy whose gaudy ingredients only make the middling results more disappointing.
Adjusted Score: 67711%
Critics Consensus: Don’t Look Up aims too high for its scattershot barbs to consistently land, but Adam McKay’s star-studded satire hits its target of collective denial square on.
Adjusted Score: 81671%
Critics Consensus: An ambitious, over-the-top zombie heist mashup, Army of the Dead brings Zack Snyder back to his genre roots with a suitably gory splash.