The streaming giant Netflix has recently released a comprehensive report on the most-watched movies and television series of the first half of 2023. “What We Watched: A Netflix Engagement Report” gives an insight into viewer preferences over the type of content the audience consumes on the streamer, including the viewership data of more than 18,000 titles from January 2023 to June 2023, estimated to be a total of nearly 100 billion hours of watch time.
Along with several titles, the report also includes the most-watched movies of the year, and it has some surprising entries, from action thrillers to comedy and mystery.
This Year’s Top 10 Most Watched Movies on Netflix
Directed by Morgan S. Dalibert and starring the French actor Alban Lenoir, AKA follows a steely special ops agent who faces a moral dilemma while infiltrating a crime syndicate and bonds with the boss’ young son. The movie explores the complexity of self-discovery with a narrative to challenge perceptions and embrace the fluidity of human existence. It has received mostly positive reviews since its release, taking the 10th spot on the list with 120 million hours of watchtime.
The Pale Blue Eye
Starring Harry Melling alongside the Oscar-winning actor Christian Bale, the mystery thriller film The Pale Blue Eyes was met with mixed reviews. While critics praised the cast’s performance, they shared disappointment with its story. Based on the 2006 novel of the same name, it follows a veteran detective solving a series of murders with a young military cadet. Premiering on January 2023 on the streamer after a limited release in December, it is following up AKA as the 9th most watched film on Netflix in 2023, with 120.5 million hours of watchtime.
We Have a Ghost
Taking on the 8th spot on the list with 124.4 million hours of viewership is the David Harbour and Anthony Mackie starrer We Have A Ghost. Written and directed by Christopher Landon, the film follows a family who become a social media sensation after discovering that their house is haunted by a ghost named Ernest. However, things take an unexpected turn after they start investigating Ernest’s past. It received mixed reviews, with some critics describing it as “terrible” while others stated that there are several entertaining moments in the film.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery brings back Daniel Craig as master detective Benoit Blanc as he takes on a new case revolving around a tech billionaire, Miles Bron, played by Edward Norton. The movie features an ensemble cast alongside the former James Bond star. The sequel to the 2019 film was critically acclaimed and even received an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2023 Academy Awards. However, it has landed the seventh spot on the list with a total of 142.9 hours of watchtime.
Your Place or Mine
Ashton Kutcher and Reese Witherspoon’s romantic comedy, Your Place or Mine, follows two friends who ignite a spark when they decide to exchange homes for a week. However, the lead stars of the movie could not impress the critics or the audience with their chemistry, and the film received mostly negative reviews and holds a 30% critics score. However, despite everything, Your Place or Mine has made it to the top 10 most-watched movies on Netflix, taking the sixth spot with 163 million hours of viewership.
Murder Mystery 2
Bringing back Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler as Nick and Audrey Spitz, Murder Mystery 2 follows them working as full-time private detectives. Similar to its predecessor, the sequel to the 2019 action comedy also received mixed reviews, with critics calling it “moderately enjoyable.” However, the movie still proved to be a hit for the streaming giant, harboring over 173 million hours of watchtime on Netflix.
You People is another romantic comedy that made it into 2023’s top 10 most-watched movies on Netflix, with 181.8 million hours of viewership. Starring Jonah Hill and Lauren London, the movie follows an interracial and interreligious couple as their families reckon with modern love amid cultural clashes. It premiered on Netflix after a limited theatrical release and has done pretty great despite receiving mixed to negative reviews.
Chris Hemsworth returned as Tyler Rake with the action-packed sequel to his 2020 Netflix film Extraction. The movie was quick to soar up the charts, thanks to its breathtaking visuals and extreme action sequences. It follows Rake on a mission to save his wife’s sister and her two children from Georgia’s largest crime syndicate. The film, directed by Sam Hargrave, received positive reviews from critics and became 2023’s third most-watched movie on Netflix with 201.8 million hours of watchtime. Following its success, the streamer has announced a threequel in the series with Hemsworth.
Luther: The Fallen Sun
Hollywood star Idris Elba reprises his iconic role from the acclaimed British TV psychological crime thriller. Luther: The Fallen Sun soon became a major hit for Netflix, becoming the second most-watched film of 2023 on Netflix with 209.7 million hours of view time. Continuing the epic award-winning TV series, the film follows Luther hunting down a wealthy serial killer after breaking out of prison.
Starring the singer-actress, Jennifer Lopez as a U.S. military operative, the action thriller film follows her attempt to rescue her teenage daughter with the help of an FBI agent after she is kidnapped. While The Mother received mixed reviews, Lopez’s action avatar has taken the top spot among 2023’s most-watched movies on Netflix with 249.9 million hours of watchtime. The film’s success has led to conversations about a potential sequel. However, the streaming giant has yet to confirm if there will be a sequel to the 2023 film.