Most Popular on Netflix: A Look at Today’s Top 10

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Most Popular on Netflix: A Look at Today’s Top 10

Netflix has been notoriously stingy with its data. Even directors and showrunners have had a hard time gauging if what they’d put out into the world was reaching its intended audience. With the advent of the Netflix Top 10, though, we can now get at least one little peek behind the curtain. The list of Netflix’s daily Top 10 Most Popular indicates an omnivorous appetite among the Netflix faithful, from reality shows to prestige TV, animated kids shows to docu-series of every stripe. Here are the entries for February 5, 2024, of the five most popular TV shows and five most popular movies on Netflix.

TV Series

1. Griselda
Year: 2024
Creators: Doug Miro, Eric Newman, Carlo Bernard, Ingrid Escajeda
Stars: Sofía Vergara, Alberto Guerra, Vanessa Ferlito, Martin Rodriguez, Christian Tappen, Juliana Aidén Martinez
Genre: Crime drama
Rating: TV-MA

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From the same team behind Netflix’s well-received crime dramas Narcos and Narcos: Mexico, Griselda is an unofficial entry into the popular franchise. The series, which stars Sofía Vergara (also a producer) as notorious Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco, is an absorbing crime ballad that unfolds smoothly in a classic gangster biography manner, as the writers pick moments wisely, both big and small. It’s impressive how many of Blanco’s major life events the creators included despite leaving out much of her early years and the devastating background she came from. The series is delivered with style, dedication, and a stellar cast that likely won’t disappoint fans of the genre. Though it’s no Narcos, it’s pretty close—and that’s high praise any TV show should be proud of. —Akos Peterbencze and Kaitlin Thomas


2. The Tourist

Year: 2024
Creators: Harry Williams, Jack Williams
Stars: Jamie Dornan, Danielle MacDonald, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson
Genre: Crime drama
Rating: TV-MA

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After a car crash, a man wakes up in the Australian outback with no memory and an array of mysterious people trying to kill him.


3. American Nightmare

Year: 2024
Creators: Felicity Morris, Bernadette Higgins
Genre: Crime documentary
Rating: TV-MA

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It wouldn’t be a Most Popular on Netflix list without a true crime documentary. This three-part series tells the story of couple who suffered a home invasion and kidnapping and then were accused of staging the event.


4. Alexander: The Making of a God

Years: 2024
Stars: Michelle Keegan, Adeel Akhtar, Richard Armitage, and Joanna Lumley
Genre: Historical documentary
Rating: TV-14

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This six-part historical docuseries uses large-scale reenactments in addition to talking head interviews to bring the rise of Alexander the Great to life on the small screen.


5. Fool Me Once

Years: 2024
Stars: Michelle Keegan, Adeel Akhtar, Richard Armitage, and Joanna Lumley
Genre: Thriller
Rating: TV-MA

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I was trying to count up how many new series Netflix is premiering this month and I just stopped when I got to 10. Netflix is going to Netflix. Will the streamer that started it all stop being a content farm in 2024? Probably not. But you will still be able to find treasures and enjoyable diversions amid the litany of content they dump onto their platform. Based on the Harlen Coben novel of the same name, this eight-episode series follows Maya Stern (Michelle Keegan) who is still reeling from the murder of her husband Joe (Richard Armitage) when she sees her thought-to-be-very-dead husband on her nanny cam. Has Maya’s grief made her lose touch with reality? Or are her friends and loved ones trying to convince her that she is crazy? —Amy Amatangelo


Movies

1. The Vow

Year: 2012
Director: Michael Sucsy
Stars: Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Jessica Lange, Sam Neill
Genre: Romantic drama
Rating: PG-13

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It’s a big week for amnesia as this 2012 Rachel McAdams/Channing Tatum love story also revolves around someone with no memory—but at least no one is trying kill her.


2. Orion and the Dark

Year: 2023
Director: Sean Charmatz
Stars: Jacob Tremblay, Paul Walter Hauser, Angela Bassett, Colin Hanks, Natasia Demetriou, Nat Faxon, Ike Barinholtz, Carla Gugino
Genre: Animated comedy
Rating: TV-Y7

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A children’s movie written by Charlie Kaufman; that’s a sentence that reads like a wry joke in a movie written by Charlie Kaufman (I’m Thinking of Ending Things). But it’s actually a real thing. Kaufman has adapted Emma Yarlett’s preschool picture book, Orion and the Dark, into Netflix’s animated film of the same name. And let me tell you, Orion and the Dark is the most Kaufman-esque children’s movie you could possibly imagine, replete with oodles of existential anxiety, a metafiction narrative and a surprisingly emotional payoff. If Kaufman were to ever admit that he basically conscripted Yarlett’s simple tale—of Dark hanging out with a kid who is afraid of him—as a conduit to write a semi-autobiographical expose of how neurotic little Charlie grew up to be the screenwriter we know and love today, I would not be surprised. Luckily, his script found the perfect animation collaborators in first-time director Sean Charmatz, production designer Tim Lamb and art director Christine Bian who have created a visual landscape that translates the writer’s weirdness into something charming and digestible for both kids and adults. The most consequential change from the source material is that Kaufman ages up Orion (Jacob Tremblay) from a preschooler to an elementary schooler, which gives the kid necessary agency and life experience. Orion pulls us into his endless anxiety spiral of an existence by detailing the depth and breadth of fears that he obsesses over in a typical day. Inside a sketchbook, Orion doodles everything that stresses him out, from angry bees and bullies, to making eye contact with his classmate crush, Sally. While the film is primarily rendered in a cartoony, CGI animation style, Orion’s interior life is expressed, much like in Yarlett’s book, with mixed-medium illustrations and stick-figure animations. Not only are they a welcome break from the CGI style, but the hand drawn works are a direct conduit to young Orion’s interior world that is constantly churning with fraught thoughts and feelings. By film’s end, you won’t question that Kaufman has pulled off a kid’s movie without compromising his unique voice, and you might just feel like you know the artist a little better too. —Tara Bennett


3. Tom & Jerry

Year: 2021
Director: Tim Story
Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz, Michael Peña, Colin Jost, Rob Delaney, Ken Jeong
Genre: Kids, Comedy
Rating: PG

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A hybrid of 3D animation and live action, Tom and Jerry transplants the iconic cartoon characters onto the streets of Manhattan, where Jerry searches in vain for a lavish mouse-sized abode while Tom busks with a keyboard in Central Park, masquerading as blind to pull on tourists’ heartstrings. As fate allows, the two quickly cross paths, and the ensuing chaos accidentally causes Kayla (Chloë Grace Moretz) to lose her job. After feigning her way into a new gig at the Royal Gate Hotel, Kayla is quickly ushered into her first task ahead of a big celebrity wedding taking place that weekend: Catch and kill a witty mouse who has recently made the premises his new home. She recruits Tom to aid in her mission, and the pandemonium that follows threatens to ruin the wedding of celebrity couple Ben (Colin Jost) and Preeta (Pallavi Sharda) as well as the career of Kayla’s overbearing manager Terrence (Michael Peña). While the movie is often adorable and overwhelmingly wholesome, it lacks the true essence of Tom and Jerry cartoons: Goofy, slapstick barbarity perpetually enacted between the two characters. Sure, Tom still suffers a plethora of abuse from Jerry, but in this case it usually doesn’t escalate beyond falling from high-rises or getting his paws slammed by windows and car doors. The brilliance of Tom and Jerry cartoons, for better or worse, stems from the uncanny cruelty that forever remains unmitigated between the two. Tom and Jerry’s execution is largely stifled by an overreliance on the live-action actors as opposed to stretching the limits of the animated dimension. Whenever the movie pivots to the romance of the celebrity wedding or perils within Kayla’s vague personal life, it’s hard not to think, “who cares?” Every scene in the film that neglects to implement animation can’t help but feel like wasted potential. —Natalia Keogan


4. Fury

Year: 2014
Director: David Ayer
Stars: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal
Genre: War drama
Rating: TV-MA

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Rather than portraying the closing days of a conflict (in this case, it’s April 1945, and we’re venturing deep into Germany with the crew of a Sherman tank nicknamed the Fury) as a time to celebrate, David Ayer with miserable expressionist flair presents this as the soldier’s most desperate hour, with exhausted veterans fighting only the fanatical holdouts and attempting to survive what little war is left. Our protagonists’ awareness of their situation in itself makes the picture grueling, a sensation compounded by Ayer’s hard R approach. Fury is one of the most brutal war movies to come out of the studio system, proven in its shocking violence (heads are disappeared by tank shells, German prisoners are beaten until they’re no longer visibly human) but perhaps best exemplified by its quietest scene: the veterans of the Fury, all to varying degrees struggling with PTSD in a time when nobody really understood what that was, regale to newcomer Logan Lerman a story of D-Day horror over dinner. Emotionally battered after three years on the line, we see none of these men quite know how to process what they’ve done, and are all too aware they might never understand “normality” again. —Brogan Morris


5. Pacific Rim

Year: 2024
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Idris Elba, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman, Burn Gorman
Genre: Sci-fi, action
Rating: PG-13

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With Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro has reinvigorated the Kaiju film, one of those rare pulp genres that’s actually native to the silver screen. In doing so, del Toro pulls off an even rarer feat, creating a movie that both distills and perfects the tradition from which it’s drawn. (Del Toro also delivers a few lessons in genre storytelling that many of the top names in sci-fi and fantasy would do well to emulate.) Ultimately, del Toro’s film is less an homage to the Kaiju film than the long overdue perfecting of it using technology that has finally caught up to the genre’s demands. (In this, it shares much with the superhero film efforts of the last decade or so.) Pacific Rim is the Kaiju film Ishiro Honda would have made had he $200 million and the technology of today to spend it on. And regardless of its box office success, it is the standard against which future Kaiju films will be—or in the case of its lackluster sequel, was—judged. —Michael Burgin


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