Welcome to our guide of the most popular new releases on Netflix. We’re knee deep in June 2020, and the world is spinning in every direction. Jurassic Park is the No. 1 movie in America. What is time?
However melty time gets, each week still promises new movies, TV shows, anime series, and comic books, providing everyone with a moment of downtime. What are audiences turning to? Netflix now has a list of the 10 most-watched movies and TV shows in the country at any given time, and this week, it’s everything from The Order to Avatar: The Last Airbender to the wacky Floor Is Lava and a Polish sex drama that’s blowing up on TikTok (yes, really). To help you navigate the list, we’ve gathered our reviews, features, and quick takes on the shows and films that have cracked the Top 10 list for the United States, and put them in one easy-to-read place.
Read on to find out what people are watching, and get coverage to help you choose which of Netflix’s most popular hits meet your needs or personal tastes.
Polygon updates the Netflix Top 10 each week. The actual top 10 may is subject to change between updates.
Netflix’s biggest new releases
10. Space Force
Space Force, the latest show from Steve Carell and The Office creator Greg Daniels, landed on Netflix with maximum fanfare. The show was highly anticipated by nostalgic sitcom fans hoping for some escapism. What they got was a little trickier. From our full review:
With The Office headed to NBC’s upcoming Peacock streaming service next year, Space Force arrives with the aura of a casual, background-watching sitcom replacement. But while the sitcom is (mostly) enjoyable, it shares little in common with Daniels and Carell’s previous team up aside from the duo’s involvement. In this first season, the stakes are too high and the references too political for the series to become a universally beloved comfort food show like The Office (and other NBC sitcoms like Friends or Parks and Recreation.)
That’s not to say that Space Force isn’t funny or compelling. After a rocky premiere episode, Space Force settles into an offbeat rhythm: Naird is faced with a situation that he’s unequipped to handle, Dr. Mallory disagrees with his solution, conflict ensues. (To be fair, it’s rare for a sitcom to have a great pilot — it’s hard to introduce characters, set up plotlines, and establish a tone while also landing jokes.)
9. Avatar: The Last Airbender
Before creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko return to the world of Airbender for a live-action “remake,” Netflix acquired the license for original three season (er, book) animated series from Nickelodeon. If you’re an A:TLA fan, you know the joys of rewatching Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Toph navigate the four kingdoms in a journey to take down the Fire Lord. If you’ve never watched the show, good news: we wrote out seven reasons why it’s absolutely perfect. Here’s one:
Avatar: The Last Airbender’s core premise simultaneously spans a hundred years of fictional history and is simple enough to be summed up in the first 40 seconds of its opening sequence. The show’s structure follows that fractal quality, beginning with a simply explained but narratively expansive goal: A young boy named Aang who has mastered the elemental control of air through a martial art called “airbending” must complete his training in waterbending, earthbending, and firebending so that he can bring balance to his war-torn world and stop the rampaging Fire Nation from conquering the entire planet.
But that plot launches in the first season in a way that seems childish and familiar. Aang is a chipper Chosen One type with a funny animal sidekick. In the first episode, he encounters the young waterbender Katara, who comes across as a Hermione Granger-style tryhard girl boss sidekick, and her arrogant brother Sokka, an impulsive wannabe warrior and comic-relief butt-monkey. Everything about their first encounter feels like standard-issue kids’-show stuff. But a lot of the joys of Last Airbender is the ways it upends these simple, familiar tropes, and finds the deeper ambitions and character conflicts behind all three basic archetypes. And the show gives them a challenge on a Wagnerian scale — they aren’t just trying to save the world, they’re trying to break a cycle that began generations before most of them were born.
8. Baby Mama
Tina Fey is making headlines for yanking episodes of 30 Rock which depict blackface. Troubling! We can only hope the mothering comedy she made with forever-pal Amy Poehler holds up. Written and directed by another SNL alum, Michael McCullers, the movie has a stacked cast (including Greg Kinnear, Dax Shepard, Romany Malco, Maura Tierney, and Sigourney Weaver) and some funny jokes involving breast pumps. Cross your fingers.
7. 13 Reasons Why
After courting more controversy than the creators could have bargained for, the Netflix teen drama wraps up with a fourth and final season. Need a reason why it’s gone on for so long? In season 4, the characters do their best to move on from the events of the second and third seasons— the trauma of one student’s murder, an attempted school shooting, and a character’s involvement with a Mexican crime cartel — as they get ready to graduate. But there’s even darker stuff waiting to happen. (But probably nothing as Yikes! as in 365 Days, to be quite honest.)
6. Lost Bullet
This French thriller stars writer-actor Alban Lenoir as a criminal-turned-mechanic for the police who goes on the run after being suspected of a murder. The one thing that can prove his innocence? A single bullet. A lost bullet, if you will.
5. Feel the Beat
Think The Mighty Ducks set in the dance world with young female lead. Descendents star Sofia Carson plays a Broadway wannabe who blows a major audition and heads back to her hometown in Wisconsin to figure out what’s next. What’s next, of course, is coaching a kooky group of kid dancers!
4. The Nut Job
This 2014 animated comedy is about a squirrel and a rat who — eh, I’m sure you can imagine what antics they’ll be up to in this kinda half-baked Pixar-lite take on animal life. The important thing you need to know is, in the end credits, a CG Psy shows up to perform “Gangnam Style” with the cast.
3. 365 Days
This erotic Polish romance drama from directors Barbara Bialowas and Tomasz Mandes has skyrocketed out of nowhere to the top of the Netflix top 10 because, uh, well, sex? The plot revolves around Massimo, a member of the Sicilian mafia, who on one ill-fated day becomes so distracted by a beautiful woman that he misses an assassin taking out his father. The tragedy leaves Massimo infatuated with the woman, to the point where he kidnaps her, giving her 365 days to fall in love with him. Yikes! The movie’s softcore sex scenes are such a goof that teens are lampooning the movie on TikTok, and in turn, the movie is riding high on the streaming charts.
2. The Order
Witches, werewolves, magical societies, and battles for power — no, it’s not Harry Potter or Twilight, but it is the second season of Netflix’s teen-friendly drama. The Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose is back and emotions/spells are flying.
1. Floor Is Lava
Not since the Star Wars-themed Legends of the Hidden Temple game show [checks watch] … two weeks ago ... have I been so envious of people flailing around an indoor obstacle course. Like a combination of American Ninja Warrior and a rowdy backyard cookout with the whole tipsy family, Floor Is Lava translates the classic childhood imagination game into absolute mayhem.