The 20 most popular movies from Netflix and other streaming services in 2019, so far

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“Bird Box”
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Netflix

  • Netflix has rolled out some hit original movies recently like “Bird Box” and “Triple Frontier.”
  • Analytics company Jumpshot provided Business Insider a list of the most popular original streaming movies of the year so far, and Netflix dominates.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Sandra Bullock-starring thriller “Bird Box” was released in December, but it’s still one of the biggest movie hits for Netflix this year.

Analytics company Jumpshot provided Business Insider a list of the most popular original streaming movies of the year so far, and Netflix dominates. Only one movie in the top 20 is from a Netflix competitor: Hulu’s Fyre Festival documentary, “Fyre Fraud.” But Netflix’s own Fyre Festival documentary, “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened,” topped the entire list.

Netflix tends to brag about the performance of some of its mediocre movies, but they are also its most watched. “Bird Box” and the action movie “Triple Frontier” weren’t critical favorites, but they are the two most popular Netflix original movies of the year so far.

Two of the top five movies on the list received Rotten Tomatoes critic scores below 40%, but audiences love them.

Jumpshot created the list based on number of views each movie got in the first quarter of 2019 only on desktop devices, but the data can be used as a proxy of a movie’s relative popularity.

Below are the 20 most popular original streaming movies of 2019, so far:


20. “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”

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Netflix

Number of views: 490,060

Description: “Inspired by a science book, 13-year-old William Kamkwamba builds a wind turbine to save his Malawian village from famine.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 85%

What critics said: “It builds realism and context into both sides of that story and manages to be a winning adaptation as a result.” – David Sims, The Atlantic


19. “The Breaker Upperers”

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Netflix

Number of viewers: 504,345

Description: “For the right price, BFFs Jen and Mel will ruthlessly end any romance. But when one of them grows a conscience, their friendship begins to unravel.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 90%

What critics said: “A marvelously kooky, occasionally laugh-out-loud funny buddy comedy.” – Tomris Laffly, RogerEbert.com


18. “Godzilla the Planet Eater”

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Netflix

Number of viewers: 585,588

Description: “With the earth alliance weakened, Haruo weighs siding with the Exif, whose death cult is summoning a monster that can destroy the world. “

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: “This is certainly the most complete of the three films, but it’s also encouraging to see how it helps makes the previous two movies in the trilogy feel richer.” – Daniel Kurland, Den of Geek


17. “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”

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Netflix

Number of viewers: 657,644

Description: “When her secret love letters somehow get mailed to each of her five crushes, Lara Jean finds her quiet high school existence turned upside down.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 97%

What critics said: “Centineo is the big beating heart at the center of the somewhat reserved ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.’ He’s a lot like his character, bringing out the best in this love story.” – Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times


16. “The Last Laugh”

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Netflix

Number of viewers: 671,540

Description: “After moving to a retirement home, restless talent manager Al reconnects with long-ago client Buddy and coaxes him back out on the comedy circuit.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 53%

What critics said: “The picture’s single saving grace is Chase’s co-star Dreyfuss, who deploys all of his considerable charisma. He shines, but not brightly enough to bring this moribund project to life.” – Jason Bailey, New York Times


15. “Fyre Fraud” (Hulu)

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Hulu

Number of viewers: 675,849

Description: “Fyre Festival was the defining scam of the millennial generation, at the nexus of social media influence, late-stage capitalism, and morality in the post-truth era. Marketing for the 2017 music event went viral with the help of rapper Ja Rule, Instagram stars, and models, but turned epic fail after stranding thousands in the Bahamas. Featuring an exclusive interview with Billy McFarland, the convicted con-man behind the festival; FYRE FRAUD is a true-crime comedy bolstered by a cast of whistleblowers, victims, and insiders going beyond the spectacle to uncover the power of FOMO and an ecosystem of enablers, driven by profit and a lack of accountability in the digital age.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 78%

What critics said: “If you love a story of absolute, no-holds-barred, extravagant disaster, you’ll probably want to watch both. But if you just want a better idea of what the heck happened here, the truth is that either film will serve.” – Linda Holmes, NPR


14. “The Highwaymen”

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Netflix

Number of viewers: 780,589

Description: “Two steely former Texas Rangers are tasked with tracking and killing infamous criminals Bonnie and Clyde in this crime drama based on real events.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 57%

What critics said: “‘The Highwaymen’ is built to play off the chemistry of Costner and Harrelson, but the pair lacks flair, and settle too easily into cranky buddy cop clichés.” – Adam Graham, Detroit News


13. “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”

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Netflix

Number of viewers: 786,545

Description: “Ranging from absurd to profound, these Western vignettes from the Coen brothers follow the adventures of outlaws and settlers on the American frontier.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 91%

What critics said: “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is the perfect Coen Brothers’ movie, albeit sliced and diced.” – Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail


12. “Dumplin'”

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Netflix

Number of viewers: 927,657

Description: “To prove a point about measuring up and fitting in, Texas teen Willowdean Dickson enters a local pageant run by her ex-beauty queen mom.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 85%

What critics said: “This is a generous movie, and an unrepentant fantasy at that, so it’s hard not to meet it with openheartedness.” – Elizabeth Weitzman, The Wrap


11. “The Dirt”

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Netflix

Number of viewers: 983,115

Description: “In this unflinching biopic based on Mötley Crüe’s best-selling book, four LA misfits navigate the monster highs and savage lows of music superstardom.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 39%

What critics said: “Its own pointlessness may keep The Dirt from feeling like an actual affront to humanity, but that doesn’t make it very good, either.” – Emily Yoshida, Vulture


10. “Roma”

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Netflix

Number of viewers: 1,053,436

Description: “Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón delivers a vivid, emotional portrait of a domestic worker’s journey set against domestic and political turmoil in 1970s Mexico.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 96%

What critics said: “Roma captures, as well as any film I have seen, the spirit of ‘magical realism,’ without ever hinting at the supernatural. Its magic is pure, stunning cinematic technique.” – Christopher Orr, The Atlantic


9. “Velvet Buzzsaw”

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Netflix

Number of viewers: 1,262,910

Description: “A feared critic, an icy gallery owner and an ambitious assistant snap up a recently deceased artist’s stash of paintings – with dire consequences.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 63%

What critics said: “A film that’s every bit as shiny and hollow as those colorful balloon animals that Jeff Koons has sold for millions of dollars.” – David Ehrlich, Indiewire


8. “Close”

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Netflix

Number of viewers: 1,299,353

Description: “When attackers target the heiress she’s protecting, battle-hardened bodyguard Sam scrambles to save her client – and teach her how to fight back.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 39%

What critics said: “Close isn’t so much an emotional puzzle to be solved as it is a box for Rapace to fight her way out of. But there isn’t enough space for the most interesting commentary to flourish” – Karen Han, Polygon


7. “Bleach”

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Netflix

Number of viewers: 1,366,049

Description: “When high schooler Ichigo is suddenly given reaper abilities, he really wants to give the powers back. But he’ll have to reap some souls first.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 80%

What critics said: “Bleach knows that it’s supposed to be a fun action movie, and it gleefully embraces that aesthetic.” – Kayla Cobb, Decider


6. “Death Note”

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Netflix

Number of viewers: 1,801,109

Description: “Light Turner finds a supernatural notebook and uses it to mete out death, attracting the attention of a detective, a demon and a girl in his class.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 38%

What critics said: “Netflix’s Death Note fails Asian-Americans in the more mundane way that most Hollywood releases continue to.” – Alison Willmore, Buzzfeed


5. “IO”

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Netflix

Number of viewers: 2,059,172

Description: “As a young scientist searches for a way to save a dying Earth, she finds a connection with a man who’s racing to catch the last shuttle off the planet.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 32%

What critics said: “IO isn’t science fiction storytelling distilled so much as it is vaporized.” – Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com


4. “Polar”

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Netflix

Number of viewers: 2,385,292

Description: “An assassin on the verge of retirement must put the good life on hold when his greedy boss sends a squad of young, ruthless killers to take him out.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 24%

What critics said: “A gleefully unhinged teenage-boy dream that aims only for hard, shiny surfaces, and stays there.” – Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly


3. “Triple Frontier”

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Netflix

Number of viewers: 2,539,826

Description: “Loyalties are tested when five former special forces operatives reunite to steal a drug lord’s fortune, unleashing a chain of unintended consequences.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 71%

What critics said: “If you dig shoot-’em-up sequences, ‘Triple Frontier’ has plenty and they’re often the default. Yet what it does well – though not enough – is introduce the complicated motivations of characters and what’s led them to this somewhat impossible mission.” – Brian Truitt, USA Today


2. “Bird Box”

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Netflix

Number of viewers: 2,683,494

Description: “Five years after an ominous unseen presence drives most of society to suicide, a survivor and her two children make a desperate bid to reach safety.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 63%

What critics said: “Bird Box’s pieces feel forcibly screwed together, a movie marionetted by strings of data code. There’s good scenes and smart ideas, but overall, the movie mostly clomps.” – Amy Nicholson, Guardian


1. “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened”

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Netflix

Number of viewers: 2,822,635

Description: “The Fyre Festival was billed as a luxury music experience on a posh private island, but it failed spectacularly in the hands of a cocky entrepreneur.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 90%

What critics said: “What’s most haunting about the movie isn’t the transformation itself so much as the emptiness of the desires that fuel it-essentially the same empty desires that both propelled McFarland and destroyed him.” – Judy Berman, Time