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Murder Mystery on Netflix: What is it about and why was it so popular?

jennifer aniston and adam sandler in murder mystery on netflix
Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler star in Murder Mystery. Pic credit: Netflix

The world of streaming media continues its rapid growth with viewers opting for more of their entertainment on demand. According to the popular streaming platform Netflix, their top hit over the past year was exclusive to the service movie Murder Mystery.

So what exactly is Murder Mystery and why was it streamed so heavily?

What is Murder Mystery on Netflix?

The made-for-Netflix movie was directed by Kyle Newacheck and released back in June. It features Adam Sandler as an NYC cop who brings his wife (Jennifer Aniston) on a trip to Europe.

During the flight there, they happen to meet Malcolm Quince, an elderly billionaire who invites them to his Super Yacht. However, Quince ends up getting murdered, thrusting Sandler and Aniston’s characters into a murder mystery.

The movie is billed as comedy, mystery, and suspense with a PG-13 rating for violence, crude sexual content, and language. It has a run time of about 90 minutes, making it a quick watch too.

Murder Mystery topped Netflix Most Popular Releases list

According to CNN’s report, Murder Mystery was the most popular stream of all their content in 2019. That includes the third season of the mega-hit show Stranger Things which was second overall. as well as movies including The Incredibles and Netflix’s The Irishman.

Here’s the top 10 for the past year which consists of original shows and movies.

Of note, The Irishman and the Witcher just arrived to the platform within the past few months, so that says quite a bit about the popularity of those two items.

Witcher hasn’t had the best overall reviews but many fans are into it so far. The Irishman has received critical acclaim and is nominated for multiple awards including Golden Globes. It could be amongst Oscar Best Picture nominees next year and garner other nominations.

Meanwhile, Murder Mystery brought in just a 45 percent score on the Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer. That was from critics’ reviews, and audiences didn’t like it any better. Their overall score is 40 percent at the site. However, it was No. 1 for Netflix in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Singapore, and UAE.

Why was Murder Mystery so popular despite negative reviews?

One negative review from RogerEbert.com’s Brian Tallerico says, “Just entertaining enough to make you wish it was actually good.”

Amanda Greever of The Daily Times said, “Murder Mystery is neither a comedy nor a mystery. It’s just bad behavior masquerading as mass entertainment.”

However, there are favorable reviews including one from WBAL-TV’s Lauren Veneziani which says, “Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston re-team in this comedy that’s ridiculous in the best way.”

Ashley Menzel of We Live Entertainment said in her review, “Murder Mystery is a seriously fun and wildly hilarious film that is sure to make you laugh.”

Other positive reviews mention the aspect of seeing these two stars having fun or the fact Murder Mystery is a quick watch and gives laughs. Sometimes that’s just what people need for their entertainment. A piece of fun, not so serious content that’s not requiring constant searches for meaning and perfectly constructed stories.

There’s also the fact it has recognizable stars and a murder mystery theme, something which has risen in popularity over the years due to all of the crime mystery shows and series out there.

However, CNN’s report also mentions the metric that Netflix used when putting together their top 10 list. It’s “the number of subscribers who watched at least two minutes of a series, movie or special during its first 28 days on the streaming service.” So basically, viewers didn’t have to watch the entirety of any movie or series on the list above for it to land there.

So it may not just be a quick watch for people, but a watch for a bit and decide to shut it off type movie. That may have been what propelled this one to the top of Netflix’s list because it seems to unfavorable amongst critics and audiences alike.

Murder Mystery is currently available for streaming on Netflix.


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