It’s no secret that Netflix cranks out original content at a pace that not even the most dedicated binge-watcher could keep up with. In 2019 alone, the company released nearly 400 original shows and movies, which adds up to untold hours of viewing for its subscribers. Of course, all that volume means there have to be plenty of weak titles mixed in with Netflix’s best efforts.
For every “Stranger Things” or “Tiger King,” there are several originals that garner no critical acclaim or audience buzz whatsoever. Based on review scores from critics at Rotten Tomatoes and regular viewers at IMDb, here are the worst Netflix originals ever made, ranked in order of awfulness.
30. ‘Death Note’ (2017)
The Japanese anime series “Death Note” made our list of the best animated shows of all time. But the live-action movie version wasn’t quite as beloved. The high-concept story follows a teen who finds a mysterious notebook that will kill anyone whose name is written in its pages. It had a great cast, with stars like Lakeith Stanfield, Margaret Qualley and Shea Whigham, but was only able to muster a 4.5/10 score from IMDb users and a 39% grade at Rotten Tomatoes. Despite those low grades, a sequel is incoming at Netflix, which labeled the first film a success.
29. ‘Tau’ (2018)
With a loaded cast and some beautiful imagery, you’d think “Tau” would be one of Netflix’s most revered original productions. It stars promising young actors in Ed Skrein and Maika Monroe, as well as Oscar-winning powerhouse Gary Oldman, and has an interesting premise that sees a woman trapped inside a smart house being guarded by an artificial intelligence named Tau that she must outwit. Only 25% of critics at Rotten Tomatoes enjoyed “Tau,” with many saying that it simply fell flat and felt like a weak episode of Netflix’s own hit sci-fi series “Black Mirror.”
28. ‘Polar’ (2019)
Netflix’s 2019 film “Polar” was a major instance of style over substance, but it did earn a decent cult following for its ridiculous violence. Many found the bloodshed and sex in this action-thriller to be gratuitous, as only 19% of critics at Rotten Tomatoes enjoyed it, but many viewers felt differently, giving it a grade of 6.3/10 at IMDb, which is decent but still far from great. Like others on this list, it had some very talented people working on it, including Mads Mikkelsen, who stars as a legendary assassin who’s trying to retire before his colleagues hunt him down.
27. ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny’ (2016)
The 2000 Mandarin-language film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” was a worldwide phenomenon that is widely regarded as one of the best martial arts movies ever made. The sequel, which was co-produced by the now-disgraced Harvey Weinstein, hit Netflix 16 years later and didn’t garner anywhere near the same attention. Rotten Tomatoes calls it a “lazy sequel” that pales in comparison to the original “in every conceivable way.” Regardless, the film did pretty well at the theatrical box office, especially in China.
26. ‘The Outsider’ (2018)
This Jared Leto star vehicle was another one that found an audience among die-hard lovers of gangster cinema — especially fans of yakuza movies — but was a dud for pretty much everyone else. “The Outsider” saw Leto playing an American who becomes a gangster in Japan after living there as a prisoner of war. Rotten Tomatoes said it was “stuffed with gangster cliches,” earning it a 17% grade from critics. However, at least one Japanese writer praised the film for moments of surprising historical accuracy.
25. ‘The Main Event’ (2020)
It’s usually not a good thing when a movie gets labeled as propaganda, but that’s exactly what one critic called “The Main Event.” This recent Netflix original was produced by WWE Studios and follows a young boy who is granted powers by a legendary wrestling mask that helps him achieve his dream of becoming a WWE wrestler. The film is littered with major WWE figures, like The Miz, Kofi Kingston and Sheamus, and it felt like a 101-minute commercial for the company, even if it was a little heartwarming at times.
24. ‘Dangerous Lies’ (2020)
Netflix has found a lot of success with cheesy original movies that have a certain Hallmark Movie Channel quality to them (“A Christmas Prince,” anyone?), and that’s how some people have described “Dangerous Lies.” This 2020 original movie is about a former waitress who is given a massive inheritance by a wealthy man upon his passing, pulling her into a ruthless world of deceit. “Riverdale” star Camila Mendes takes the lead, but the film was found to be not nearly as juicy as her hit TV show by critics and viewers. One top critic at Rotten Tomatoes wrote that it “looks like it cost the amount of your monthly Netflix subscription.”
23. ‘Rebirth’ (2016)
The premise of “Rebirth” is the stuff of many memorable horror stories, but this version left audiences feeling flat when it was over. This thriller is about a young suburban dad who sees an old college friend and is talked into going on a self-help retreat that ends up being more like a cult initiation. A review from Variety that was counted among the Rotten Tomatoes critiques (for a score of 33%) described the revelations set up by the film as “underwhelming.”
22. ‘Sandy Wexler’ (2017)
If you can imagine sitting through an Adam Sandler comedy that stretches more than two hours in length, you can imagine what it’s like to watch “Sandy Wexler.” This well-meaning comedy sees the star playing a talent manager in 1990s Los Angeles, with a supporting cast that includes Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, Terry Crews and the usual Sandler pals like Kevin James and Rob Schneider. It was seen a slight step up from Sandler’s previous Netflix originals, but a critic from the New Yorker simply said, “there’s no way to recommend it.”
21. ‘Io’ (2019)
Netflix has thrown plenty of cash at making grand sci-fi movies but hasn’t earned much praise for those efforts, as you’ll continue to see on this list. One such original film, 2019’s “Io,” has a cast led by Anthony Mackie of “The Avengers.” This story is about a post-apocalyptic world where most people have left Earth to live on a space station near Jupiter’s moon, Io. A few critics enjoyed its look and message, earning it a 31% grade at Rotten Tomatoes, but the vast majority found it underwhelming and flat.
20. ‘Clinical’ (2017)
You should be prepared to see a few horror titles, on this list and we’ll start with “Clinical.” This 2017 Netflix original follows a psychiatrist who is trying to get her life together after being attacked by a patient. The film was promoted as being loaded with shocking twists, but apparently no one was impressed, as there’s not a single positive review from a critic at Rotten Tomatoes and the usually generous audience score isn’t much better. Perhaps the best part about this one was that it starred Vinessa Shaw, who many viewers will remember as a teen in Disney’s immortal “Hocus Pocus.”
19. ‘Take the 10’ (2017)
For a feature-length film, the runtime of “Take the 10” isn’t bad, but one critic recorded at Rotten Tomatoes still wrote, “80 minutes never seemed so wasted.” This 2017 comedy starred Josh Peck — you know, from Nickelodeon’s tween classic “Drake & Josh” — and Tony Revolori as a pair of friends who endure plenty of hardship while trying to get to a concert. The cast also included “Saturday Night Live” favorites Andy Samberg and Fred Armisen but they were unable to help it score better than a brutal 4.8/10 from IMDb users.
18. ‘All About the Washingtons’ (2018)
Remember MTV’s reality show “Run’s House,” which followed the life of Run-D.M.C. rapper Joseph Simmons and his family for six seasons in the 2000s? Netflix decided to make a fictional sitcom out of that show, starring Simmons and his wife, Justine, in roles that were pretty much identical to their lives on that former show. “All About the Washingtons” earned a truly dreadful 4.2/10 from viewers at IMDb, which is one of the lowest scores earned by any Netflix original. The show was axed after just a single season of 10 episodes.
17. ‘The Week Of’ (2018)
After Netflix signed a lucrative deal with Adam Sandler that would lead to the comedy icon producing 12 original films for the company, the result was quite a few duds, as you’ll see if you keep reading. One of those movies, 2018’s “The Week Of,” was particularly disappointing to critics because it also involved gifted comics like Chris Rock, Robert Smigel and Rachel Dratch. Sandler and Rock — old buddies from their “Saturday Night Live” days — play a pair of disagreeing dads whose kids are getting married in seven days. The film earned a 5.1/10 grade at IMDb and a 27% score at Rotten Tomatoes, which makes it bad but not the worst of Sandler’s Netflix movies so far.
16. ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ (2018)
When millions of people saw the surprise trailer for “The Cloverfield Paradox” during the Super Bowl in 2018, they were understandably pumped. The first two films had been successful and praised for their intense storytelling, but the third entry wouldn’t follow suit. Despite being produced by J. J. Abrams and a talented cast that included Daniel Brühl, David Oyelowo and Zhang Ziyi, the movie was mostly a letdown. It earned a 20% score at Rotten Tomatoes, compared to the 77% and 90% scores earned by the first two.
15. ‘Secret Obsession’ (2019)
This is another one of those cheesy Netflix originals that’s earned some praise as a “good bad movie,” but its review scores are miserable. “Secret Obsession” stars sexy people like Brenda Song and Mike Vogel as newlyweds who are involved in a dangerous plot of deception and violence that plays out a bit like a domestic version of “Misery.” Unintentional laughs are likely to be had, but IMDb users gave “Secret Obsession” a terrible grade of 4.3/10.
14. ‘Insatiable’ (2018)
You’ll notice only a few series ended up on this list — as the majority of Netflix’s shows end up being mediocre, rather than awful — but “Insatiable” earned its spot here. The show’s premise immediately earned groans online, as it follows a teen girl who suddenly loses weight after years of being bullied and ends up taking part in beauty pageants. The series earned a brutal 11% grade from critics at Rotten Tomatoes, with it being slammed for, among other things, “clumsy social commentary and a failed attempt at ‘wokeness.'” It was scrapped after two seasons.
13. ‘Special Correspondents’ (2016)
Like Adam Sandler, Ricky Gervais is another comedy icon who has produced a string of original titles for Netflix with mixed results. His 2016 movie “Special Correspondents” got the weakest reviews of anything he’s done for the company. This buddy comedy followed Gervais and Eric Bana as radio journalists who fake a kidnapping in order to reignite their careers. Gervais wrote and directed it, and the stellar cast included Vera Farmiga, Kelly Macdonald and Kevin Pollak. But the laughs were nowhere to be found and Rotten Tomatoes dubbed it an “embarrassing endeavor” for the creator of “The Office.”
12. ‘Mute’ (2018)
Duncan Jones, the writer-director behind the 2009 sci-fi favorite “Moon,” crafted this 2018 Netflix film as a spiritual sequel to that cult classic. Unfortunately, it didn’t even find a cult fandom as critics and viewers slammed it in equal measure. “Mute” starred Alexander Skarsgård as a man left without the ability to speak after an accident who is searching for his missing girlfriend. The film’s visuals were strong and the supporting cast included Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux, but Rotten Tomatoes critics gave it a rough 20% grade, calling it “narratively derivative and muddled.”
11. ‘Rim of the World’ (2019)
The sci-fi series “Stranger Things” is arguably the most successful original production Netflix has ever created, so it’s unfortunate that they tried to make a movie that was so obviously similar in tone and style. “Rim of the World” was a love letter to ’80s action pictures like “The Goonies,” which saw groups of kids getting into amazing adventures — which is exactly what “Stranger Things” is. This story about four misfit friends at a summer camp who have to survive an alien invasion felt like well-worn territory and earned a 23% grade at Rotten Tomatoes.
10. ‘Coffee & Kareem’ (2020)
The cop comedy “Coffee & Kareem” is another Netflix original that had plenty of potential but left most people feeling disappointed. This film came from veteran director Michael Dowse and starred Ed Helms, Taraji P. Henson and Betty Gilpin, among other gifted actors. Its plot saw Helms as a police officer named Coffee who must protect his partner and her young son, Kareem, from criminals after the boy witnesses a murder. Users at IMDb have given the film a 5.1/10 grade and only 20% of Rotten Tomatoes critics enjoyed it, with many calling the jokes bad and the premise thin.
9. ‘Rattlesnake’ (2019)
Speaking of kids in mortal peril, “True Detective” actor Carmen Ejogo starred in this drama that saw a mom trying to rescue her daughter after she was bitten by a venomous snake during a drive across the desert. Things get strange when the desperate mother is offered help by a mysterious woman who agrees to save the girl at a high moral price. Despite that intense premise, most critics at Rotten Tomatoes agreed the film was somehow boring, even if Ejogo did fine work with the script she had. Users at IMDb gave the movie a dismal score of 4.6/10.
8. ‘How It Ends’ (2018)
Netflix really has a thing for movies where someone’s life has to be saved. That premise showed up again in this 2018 action film, which starred Theo James and Oscar winner Forest Whitaker. This time, the person in danger was a pregnant woman and James played her fiance, who was trying to get back to her after a catastrophic event turned the world to chaos. Critics were ruthless in their reception of “How It Ends,” resulting in a 17% score at Rotten Tomatoes. One particularly disappointed critic wrote, “The desire to fast-forward becomes almost overpowering.”
7. ‘The Do-Over’ (2016)
Based on combined scores from IMDb users and Rotten Tomatoes critics, “The Do-Over” represents the worst of Adam Sandler’s Netflix projects … so far, at least. This outing sees the comedian starring alongside old friend David Spade as a pair of bored middle-aged buddies who decide to fake their deaths and restart their lives with a clean slate. The premise is ridiculous but critics simply found the whole thing unfunny and uninspired, giving it a 9% grade at Rotten Tomatoes. With a cast that also included Sean Astin, Kathryn Hahn and Michael Chiklis, you’d expect more.
6. ‘Mercy’ (2016)
Despite its title, viewers showed this 2016 Netflix original movie no mercy whatsoever when it came time to score it online. “Mercy” stars James Wolk, who you’ve probably seen in at least one of your favorite TV shows over the past decade, and follows siblings fighting over a large inheritance following their mother’s death, mixed in with a home-invasion storyline. Users at IMDb gave the film a score of 4.2/10, which is among the lowest for any Netflix original production.
5. ‘Paradox’ (2018)
You can give “Paradox” some credit for being original but it apparently doesn’t have much else going for it. This musical film was directed and co-written by Daryl Hannah, best known for her acting work in ’80s favorites like “Roxanne” and “Splash.” This one stars rock icon Neil Young, as well as Willie Nelson and his sons, Lukas and Micah, and doesn’t really follow much of a plot other than the fact that they are a group of outlaws who live in the wilderness, awaiting a full moon. Critics derided it as amateurish and messy, while other viewers simply hated it, earning it a remarkably low 3.9/10 score at IMDb.
4. ‘Sextuplets’ (2019)
A look at the promotional photo from Netflix for this 2019 comedy should make it pretty clear why it’s on this list. “Sextuplets” is another in a long line of poorly reviewed movies where one actor plays multiple parts across a variety of genders and body types. Marlon Wayans plays a man who finds out he’s a sextuplet — and of course he also plays the other five siblings. A film starring Wayans getting bad marks almost feels like a cliché at this point, but “Sextuplets” kept the practice up, earning a 14% grade at Rotten Tomatoes, with one critic simply asking, “Why did Netflix make this?”
3. ‘The Last Thing He Wanted’ (2020)
It’s one thing to make a silly comedy that nobody likes, but when you make a bad drama based on a popular book and filled with A-list talent, it’s somehow even worse. “The Last Thing He Wanted” hit Netflix in early 2020 and looked like a surefire hit, thanks to a cast including Anne Hathaway, Ben Affleck and Willem Dafoe, an acclaimed director in Dee Rees and a script based on a novel by Joan Didion. The film follows Hathaway as a former journalist who somehow becomes an arms dealer in Central America and virtually every review agreed that the storyline was nearly impossible to follow.
The 5% Rotten Tomatoes score earned by this drama speaks for itself and is the lowest of any title on this list.
2. ‘Richie Rich’ (2015)
The classic comic strip character of Richie Rich, the boy who becomes obscenely wealthy, was resurrected by Netflix in 2015 for a series that pretty much everyone hated. The average viewer score of 3.2/10 at IMDb is the lowest earned by any Netflix original series in history at this point — and it will be pretty tough to top. The show, which critics deemed bankrupt, somehow ran for two seasons before getting yanked. Common Sense Media hammered the show as an example of awful programming for adolescents, writing that it “celebrates materialism at the hands of a spoiled kid.”
1. ‘The Open House’ (2018)
Of the hundreds of English-language Netflix originals that have been produced over the years, none has a lower average score at IMDb than “The Open House.” Like “Richie Rich,” this horror film holds a terrifying 3.2/10 grade but, given that it has been reviewed by about 30,000 more users, gets the title of all-time worst. Why is “The Open House” so bad? Apparently a script loaded with red herrings, bad pacing and a payoff that offers no satisfaction. Forbes declared that it’s what happens “when Netflix gives up any semblance of quality control” and called it “one of the worst horror movies in modern history.”