Netflix keeps its ratings fairly confidential, but with millions of subscribers worldwide and a culture dedicated to marathon-binging sessions, it’s safe to say they’re putting up some pretty staggering numbers.

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Netflix is both a streaming service and a movie studio; its original content ranges from Oscar-nominated to critically panned. But while accolades are nice, Netflix’s movies exist for one reason and one reason only: to rack up those viewing hours. Netflix has compiled a list of their top ten most popular English-language films based solely on hours viewed in their first 28 days of release.

Updated on October 18, 2023, by Hannah Saab:

As Netflix’s selection of films continues to grow, so does the number of viewing hours that determine the most watched movies on the platform. The most watched movies on Netflix of all time now include more recent releases like Extraction 2, which has been viewed thousands of times within 28 days of its premiere.

134,900,000 Views

Chris Hemsworth as Tyler Rake in Netflix's Extraction 2.
Image via Netflix

The follow-up to director Sam Hargrave‘s 2020 smash hit, Extraction, the 2023 sequel sees Chris Hemsworth reprise his role as Tyler Rake. Now badly injured and recovering in isolation, the protagonist is pulled back for another job when he learns of a family trapped within a prison in Georgia, abused by a ruthless crime lord.

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Bigger, bolder, and bloodier than the first movie, Extraction 2 sees a successful continuation of one of the most loved movies on Netflix. Hemsworth is fantastic as the badass, jaded, but still charming hero who seems to have a new path laid out for him (as long as his fans keep clamoring for more).

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135,700,000 Views

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Image via Netflix

The son of an incarcerated Indian drug lord is kidnapped, but his father refuses to pay the ransom. Instead, black-market mercenary Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is called in to pull off a miraculous extraction. He would have succeeded, too, if not for a last-minute double-cross that throws everything into chaos.

Despite being among Netflix’s most popular movies, this film is flawed when it comes to plotting or characterization. Fans watch for one reason only: the action. First-time director Sam Hargrave leans heavily on the throttle in Extraction by filming car chases strapped to the front of cars and immersing audiences with an eleven-and-a-half-minute continuous one-take action sequence.

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8 ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ (2022)

136,300,000 Views

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Image via Netflix

Daniel Craig reprises his role as the now-iconic charming detective Benoit Blanc in the sequel to the massively popular whodunit, Knives Out. The 2022 film thrusts viewers into a luxurious getaway on a private Greek island owned by eccentric tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) who extends the invitation to his closest and most successful friends (played by Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, Jessica Henwick and Madelyn Cline).

With a stellar ensemble cast masterfully guiding audiences through the film’s increasingly dangerous twists and turns, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery manages to be a worthy sequel to the fan-favorite first movie. The dialogue is witty, the mystery smart and the revelations genuinely unpredictable – it’s a great time from start to finish.

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7 ‘The Mother’ (2023)

136,400,000 Views

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Among the most popular Netflix movies, 2023’s The Mother is an action thriller that leans heavily on Jennifer Lopez‘s star power. Lopez plays the titular character, a former US Army operative who comes out of hiding and partners with an FBI agent to pursue the criminals who have taken her daughter.

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The Mother relies on the usual genre tropes and doesn’t do much to change the formula. While there’s fun to be had in watching the protagonist be an incredibly talented assassin in the movie, it feels like wasted potential for Lopez, who falls short of becoming an iconic action hero.

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6 ‘We Can Be Heroes’ (2020)

137,300,000 Views

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Image via Netflix

What untouchable film did not need a sequel? The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D – but We Can Be Heroes is here anyway. Directed by Robert Rodriguez, the film revolves around a group of superheroes’ kids, who team up and work together to save the planet after their parents are kidnapped by alien invaders.

To be fair, it is more of a standalone superhero film than a legacy sequel. It has divided critics and fans, as adults can’t fully appreciate its zany elements, which were clearly designed for children. That said, the kid-oriented movie has a lot of heart and accomplishes what it set out to do: to entertain young audiences and inspire them to embrace their own world-changing potential.

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5 ‘The Gray Man’ (2022)

139,300,000 Views

Ryan Gosling on a train
Image via Netflix

The Russo brothers deliver another gripping action movie through The Gray Man, which follows the disillusioned CIA agent “Sierra Six” (Ryan Gosling) who discovers a dark secret about his agency. He’s soon pursued by the bloodthirsty and reckless former agent, Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans), who will destroy whatever and whoever is in his path in his pursuit of Six.

With its almost comically evil villain, absurd action sequences, and over-the-top narrative, the film barely gives audiences time to breathe between its most exciting parts. It’s rightly among the most liked movies on Netflix, in large part likely due to Gosling’s incredible performance as a mysterious and bold action hero.

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4 ‘Bird Box’ (2021)

157,400,000 Views

Sandra Bullock in Bird Box
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Five years after the world is invaded by some insidious species that drives people to suicide, Malorie (played by Sandra Bullock), a mother to two young kids, has been hiding in a safe house along with a random selection of other survivors. The predators can’t hurt those who don’t see them, so blindness keeps you safe. It’s now time to move on, but a treacherous escape down a river must be undertaken blindfolded, and even the slightest peek could be deadly.

Bird Box delivers genuine thrills and haunting possibilities. Bullock carries the film on her tense shoulders, but a talented ensemble including Sarah Paulson, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Jacki Weaver, Danielle Macdonald, and Lil Rel Howery brings flavorful nuance and new angles of terror to an already heart-stopping film.

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3 ‘The Adam Project’ (2022)

157,600,000 Views

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Image via Netflix

Twelve-year-old Adam Reed is grieving the recent loss of his father when he stumbles upon a bleeding pilot who just happens to be a time-traveling older version of himself. Twelve-year-old Adam takes an instant dislike to Big/Future Adam, played by Ryan Reynolds, but is convinced to help him out when he learns the mission involves going even further back to find their father (Mark Ruffalo) and set things right.

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Fans of Reynolds’ unique blend of charm, sarcasm, and muscles will find much to like about The Adam Project, though fans of sci-fi may find it a little wanting. Director Shawn Levy manages to find the film’s heart, hiding amongst as many clever Easter eggs as the viewer cares to hunt. Levy and Reynolds have previously collaborated on Free Guy and will again on the upcoming Deadpool 3.

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2 ‘Don’t Look Up’ (2021)

171,400,000 Views

Jonah Hill, Leondardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, and Jennifer Lawrence in Don't Look Up
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Two lowly astronomers, played by Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio, discover a comet is hurtling toward Earth, set to extinguish all life when it hits in about six months. When neither the president (Meryl Streep) nor her chief-of-staff son (Jonah Hill) appears to care, they decide to take it to the media themselves. People’s reactions to this wildly divisive movie are mixed, with a lot of the rhetoric reminiscent of pandemic paranoia and anti-science discourse.

The Oscar-nominated funnyman, writer-director Adam McKay, may have built his career on raunchy comedy, but he’s taken an incisive turn toward political satire. Don’t Look Up elicits interesting performances from an ensemble including Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, Rob Morgan, Mark Rylance, Timothée Chalamet, Himesh Patel, and Melanie Linskey. Lifting a disheartening mirror to toxic anti-science culture and impending doom has never been so funny.

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1 ‘Red Notice’ (2021)

230,900,000 Views

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Image via Netflix

FBI Agent John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) is investigating the theft of one of three eggs once given to Cleopatra by Marc Antony. Johnson recovers the missing egg from notorious art thief Booth (Ryan Reynolds), but another thief, Black, disguised as one of the strike team, swaps out the real egg for a fake. Agent Hartley is blamed for the egg’s theft, and he and Booth are imprisoned together. Black (Gal Gadot) asks Booth to help her steal the next two eggs. He declines, but he and Hartley ultimately hatch a plan to steal the second egg from under Black and then try for the third, whose whereabouts only Booth seems to know. Let the double-crossing begin.

It’s clear that Reynolds’ name is a big draw for Netflix audiences. Johnson proves the perfect receptacle for Reynolds’ quips and barbs; the chemistry between them means their buddy film almost capsizes the intended one. Gadot is a welcome addition, but despite megawatt star power, Red Notice barely rises above mediocre. It has got serviceable action and a premise decent enough to bring together three of today’s biggest movie stars. The film isn’t any more than that, but Netflix audiences didn’t seem to mind. The most-watched movie on Netflix already has two sequels planned.

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