The Most-Watched Netflix Titles Of 2019
2019 was a great year for Netflix originals, movies, and more. We were introduced to Marie Kondo in Tidying Up as she internally judged people while helping them tidy up their lives, and laughed along watching Nailed It! while people were trying to nail elaborate baking creations.
Now, we’re here to reminisce about some of the top mini-series, documentaries, television series, and movies from 2019. The good news is that if you haven’t seen some of these titles, there’s still time! Yes, that is our way of saying stay inside, play hooky, and binge-watch Netflix because you’re not going to be last to the party when it comes to these titles!
The Umbrella Academy Was Streamed By Over 45 Million Viewers
The Umbrella Academy is a superhero television series based on the comic book of the same name. The story revolves around a dysfunctional family of adopted sibling superheroes who reunite to solve the mystery of their father’s death. Oh, and there’s an apocalypse that’s right around the corner.
Airing in February of 2019, the first season of the series was streamed by over 45 million viewers within its first month of being released, making it the third most popular TV series on Netflix that year. Thankfully, we heard a rumor that the second season of The Umbrella Academy is set to be released in 2020!
Efron Stole The Show In Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, And Vile
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile was the 2019 indie film that left viewers in uncomfortable goosebumps. The movie follows the life and crimes of Ted Bundy, the notorious American serial killer from the 1970s. Surprisingly, Zac Efron steps away from his comedic acting to play Bundy opposite Lily Collins, who plays Elizabeth Kloepfer, Bundy’s girlfriend.
The film received such a good reception for how the plot focused on Kloepfer’s recollection of her time with Bundy and how she didn’t want to believe in his crimes while simultaneously diving into the horrifying void that is Ted Bundy’s mind.
Stranger Things 3 Was One Of The Most Popular TV Series
2019 brought us back to Hawkins and the drama that always resides in the tiny universe of Stranger Things. The summer of 1985 is no different, with Eleven and Mike starting a young relationship while Joyce Meyers thinks about leaving Hawkins with her children for good. Oh, and who can forget about the impending doom that is always the Upside Down!?
Within four days of the third season’s release, Netflix reported that over 40.7 million accounts had seen at least 70 percent of one of the episodes, making it the most popular series released on Netflix in 2019! Now one question remains, when is Season 4 going to be released?
The Irishman Had A Star-Studded Cast
In 2019, Netflix streamed the critically acclaimed movie The Irishman. The film was vastly popular, due to the directional genius of Martin Scorsese as well as the all-star cast of Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci. When you have those three actors in a mob movie, little can go wrong.
Even though it runs for three hours, critical responses were positive. Indiewire‘s Eric Kohn, says, “The Irishman is Martin Scorsese’s best crime movie since Goodfellas and a pure, unbridled illustration of what has made his filmmaking voice so distinctive for nearly 50 years.” The film grossed an estimated eight million dollars worldwide.
Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes Was All True Crime Enthusiasts Wanted And More
2019 was a true crime type of year, bringing us Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. Director Joe Berlinger pieces together over 100 hours worth of footage and audio recordings of Ted Bundy during his time on death row. The four-part documentary brought a unique perspective to the notorious serial killer because it dives into how Bundy analyzes his own life and motives. It’s truly chilling.
The limited series was so popular because it showcased never before seen or heard footage from the serial killer himself. The Tapes aired on Netflix on January 24, 2019, the 30th anniversary of Bundy’s execution in Florida.
Murder Mystery Is Sandler’s Most Successful Movie On Netflix
Murder Mystery reunited the comedic genius’ of Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. The film follows a married couple as they travel to Europe in hopes of rekindling their marriage. Unfortunately, they get caught up in a murder investigation on a billionaire’s yacht.
The film was released on June 18, 2019, and was reported to have been streamed in 30.9 million households within the first 72 hours, the biggest opening weekend in Netflix history! The streaming service also reported that the movie was watched by 73 million households within the first four weeks of release, making it Sandler’s most successful film on the platform.
The Incredibles 2, Obviously
Although the movie hit theaters in 2018, The Incredibles 2 was the fourth most popular release on Netflix in 2019. The film brings us back into the world of “the supers,” where Mr. Incredible is learning how to cope with his wife’s success while he’s a stay-at-home dad. Not to mention Jack Jack is coming into his multiple powers, and Violet is trying to date. Talk about drama that, that particular father is not used to!
The Pixar Film’s popularity was inevitable, and the movie grossed $1.242 billion worldwide while winning multiple awards. If you haven’t seen the second installment to The Incredibles, you’re missing out.
The Witcher Is Everything We Wanted And More
The Witcher was the highly anticipated Netflix original series that was released right before 2020. The story follows monster hunter Geralt of Rivia, sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg, and Cintran princess Ciri, as they find out their destinies are intertwined. Netflix viewers were not disappointed with the first season.
According to Parrot Analytics, during its US debut, the series was the third most “in demand” original streaming series in 2019. Then, on December 31, 2019, it was reported that The Witcher became the most in-demand TV series in the world across all streaming platforms, giving it the second-place standing on Netflix’s “Top 10 Most Popular Series Releases of 2019” list.
You: Season 2 Was Just As Creepy As The First Season
Because Netflix users weren’t thoroughly creeped out with Joe from season one of You, 2019 brought us You: Season 2. The second season follows Joe as he moves from the busy streets of New York to the crowded city of Los Angeles while he tries to escape his past. There, he falls for Love Quinn, and his old patterns of obsession start to materialize once more.
The second season ended on a high note, holding a 91 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Does this mean that serial stalker Joe might be returning for a third season? Only time will tell!
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Is Visually Beautiful
It’s amazing that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse only places eighth on the “Top 10 Most Popular Movie Releases in 2019” for Netflix because the movie is amazing! The comic book style of the film captures the attention of the audience right off the bat while bringing the superhero of Spiderman into a new character arch with Miles Morales.
The film grossed $375.5 million worldwide, against a production budget of $90 million. It went on to finish first in the box-office, marking it the best-ever December opening for an animated movie. Even Tom Holland, who plays real-life Spidey, praised the film as “one of the coolest films [he’s] ever seen.”
Triple Frontier Was One Of The Best Action Films Of 2019
Netflix began streaming Triple Frontier on March 13, 2019, after the film had been in select theaters. The movie stars Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal as a group of former U.S. Army Delta Force soldiers who reunite to plan a heist job.
On April 16, 2019, Netflix announced that the film had been viewed by over 52 million viewers within the first month of the movie’s release to the streaming service. A few months later, the number bounced up to 63 million viewers. At the end of the year, Rotten Tomatoes had even ranked Triple Frontier as the fourth-best action movie of 2019.
Tidying Up With Marie Kondo Increased Charity Store Donations
In 2019, Netflix brought us the joy that is Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. The new-age home makeover show had Marie’s clients clearing out their cluttered households by throwing out things that didn’t spark joy. This series helped more than one person rethink their hoarding ways!
The Netflix original was released on January 1, 2019, and is said to have increased charity shop donations in both the US and UK! Goodwill stores in the Washington, D.C. area were up 66 percent during the first week of the show’s release on the streaming platform. How’s that for taking care of clutter, Marie?
The Truth Behind FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened
While FYRE never happened, FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened was one of the greatest documentaries of 2019 that did happen. With all of the rumors and speculation that surrounded the FYRE Festival, it’s no wonder the documentary was streamed in 20 million households during the first month of its release.
The documentary follows the story of Billy McFarland, the mastermind behind the 2017 FYRE festival. The film was co-produced by Jerry Media, the social media agency responsible for promoting and then covering up the fraud, as well as MATTE Projects, the company that directed the promotional shoot. Scandalous!
Abducted in Plain Sight Had Us Rethinking Who We Trust
Abducted in Plain Sight is the harrowing documentary the follows Idaho native Jan Broberg as she is kidnapped by a trusted neighbor, Robert Berchtold, not once, but twice during her childhood. The film garnered a huge viewership when it was released to Netflix, landing a number six ranking on the “Top 10 Most Popular Documentary Releases of 2019” list for Netflix.
The documentary went on to win many awards, including four Best Documentary awards and an outstanding Female Filmmaker award. The story is complex and full of questions, such as what it’s like to trust someone completely and have them betray you in the worst way.
Nailed It!: Season 3 Gave Us All Of The Horrifying Baked Goods
The premise for Nailed It! was inspired by people trying to recreate elaborate cakes and cupcakes they find on the internet. So, let’s all take a moment and thank Pinterest for making three seasons of this show possible. Three amateur bakers go head to head in the kitchen in hopes of re-creating a masterpiece and winning $10,000. Needless to say, the creations don’t come out quite like the pictures.
Reviewers believe the show’s done so well because it finds humor in failure. The contestants and judges laugh at the crazy concoctions that are made, and it reminds the viewers that failure is part of any journey.
Dead To Me Is Renewed For A Second Season!
Dead to Me follows the story of two mourning women, Jen and Judy, as they learn how to grieve over their respective spouses’ deaths. But not all is as it seems, and Judy holds a deep secret regarding Jen’s husband’s hit and run. The dark comedy premiered on Netflix on May 3, 2019, and was well received.
Netflix reported that as of July 17, 2019, the series was on track to be streamed by over 30 million viewers within its first month on the streaming service. Due to the high reception rate, filming for a second season is underway!
When They See Us Is A Shocking True Stroy
When They See Us is a brutal true story of five male suspects, who were falsely accused and prosecuted on charges of the assault of a jogger in New York’s Central Park. The miniseries follows the men, portrayed by an all-star cast, from the day of the incident on April 19, 1989, until their exoneration in 2002 and finally their 2014 settlement with the state of New York.
Over 23 million viewers streamed the series during the first month of its release. The story of the Central Park Five received outstanding reviews, sans that of Linda Fairstein, the original New York prosecutor of the case.
Unbelievable Is Just That, Unbelievable
Unbelievable is a mini-series dramatization of the 2008-2011 Washington and Colorado criminal cases. It also draws from the Pulitzer Prize-winning article “An Unbelievable Story…” The story follows Marie Adler, a teenager who was charged with lying about having been assaulted and two female detectives who find out the truth.
On Metacritic, the series weighted average score, 82 out of 100, indicates universal acclaim. And on October 17, 2019, Netflix announced that over 32 million viewers had viewed the series after its release on September 13, 2019. The series was nominated for many awards, including a Golden Globe for Best Limited Series or Television Film.
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann Is Sad While Interesting
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann is an American documentary that aired on Netflix on March 15, 2019. The miniseries explores the disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann, who, in 2007, vanished from the seaside resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal, while on vacation with her parents and siblings. Unfortunately, to this day, Madeleine is still missing.
Critics believe the series did so well because it revolves around a high profile international case that garnered a whole lot of media attention. As an eight-part series, the narrators do a stand-up job capturing the attention of the audience, considering viewers know how the story ends (for now).
Victorious Is Full Of Nostalgia
In 2019, Nickelodeon’s Victorious graced Netflix with all of its performing arts glory. During a time when teenagers were still, you know, teenagers, Victorious took viewers to Hollywood Arts where they watched a young Victoria Justice, Ariana Grande, and Elizabeth Gillies sing their hearts out and engage in typical teenage banter.
The show was able to land the number five slot on Netflix’s “Top 10 Most Popular Kids & Family Series Releases in 2019” list because of the nostalgia factor. The show did air ten years ago, after all! So, all of the teenagers who watched the show in 2010 hopped on the chance to binge-watch it in 2019.
It’s The Queen
Homecoming: A film by Beyoncé took social media by storm when Bey dropped it on Netflix. Fans in the crowd who appeared in the Netflix original went wild after discovering themselves singing along with the star.
Beyoncé reportedly trained intensely for this moment. “In order to meet my goal, I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol,” Beyoncé revealed in Homecoming. “And I’m hungry.” She also said she’ll never push herself that hard again. This ranked number four under most popular documentary releases
Aziz Sets The Record Straight
Aziz Ansari is one of those creatives who take loads of time off before releasing any new material. After a highly successful second season of Master of None, fans patiently awaited the third season, but Ansari delivered a stand up instead.
The comedian had to endure faulty #Metoo allegations against him in the year before the release, so this special touched on that sensitive topic. He was funny, as usual, but he carried a more serious tone this time around. Aziz Ansari: RIGHT NOW came in at number seven for most popular comedy releases.
The Next Big Star With Flow
Coming in at number three for most popular nonfiction releases is none other than Rhythm + Flow. The talent show hosted by Chance the Rapper, Cardi B, and T.I. scoured the nation in hopes of finding the next big hip-hop star.
This series followed the same format as many other talent shows, as it eliminated contestants who failed to gain the approval of judges. The final asks contestants to brainstorm a performance as if they were at the Grammys. It doesn’t disappoint.
The Kids Are All Grown On Fuller House!
Even with all the controversy surrounding one of the cast members, the fifth season of Fuller House still managed to crack the top ten of the most popular kids and family series releases of 2019.
Still up to their same tricks, DJ and Stephanie Tanner look to navigate the adult world. You can expect similar jokes and mushy heartfelt speeches at the end of episodes, but the subject matter is more relevant to the times we’re in today.
Dave Chappelle Walks A Fine Line
People who watch comedy mustn’t forget how Dave Chappelle grew his popularity. He made a living out of telling jokes about people that may or may not hurt their feelings.
In his special Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones, he doesn’t hold back and as a result, it became very polarizing. Still, it managed to become the number one of the most popular comedy release of 2019 on Netflix. Chappelle is still as funny as ever, but you have to have tough skin to withstand it all.
Seinfeld Is Still At It!
If there’s one thing that Jerry Seinfeld loves more than comedy, it’s cars. The man adores automobiles, especially a classic Porsche. He had the bright idea to combine the two subject matters and create a show out of it.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is a fresh take on the lives of comedians and what they like to discuss. He doesn’t always have professional comics either, as one time he had the former POTUS which was a nice change of pace. This show comes in at number six for most popular nonfiction releases.
Kevin Hart Always Provides A Show
Superstar comedian Kevin Hart is no stranger to Netflix stand-ups. Every one that he’s released has become one of Netflix’s most-watched in the category, and Kevin Hart: Irresponsible was no different.
Hart filmed his sold-out comedy tour for Netflix at the O2 Arena in London in front of 15,000 people. The jokes were non-stop as Hart provided his physical comedy while adding some interesting social commentary takes along the way. It’s always a special time with Hart.
A Dr. Seuss Classic!
Netflix had the right idea when they decided to bring a Dr. Seuss classic to their streaming outlet. Green Eggs and Ham is one of the very first books children read to help with their development.
It’s no surprise this was the second-ranked most popular kids and family series releases of 2019. They’ve only released one season so far, which features 13 episodes. That’s enough to keep any kid occupied as they prepare for bedtime!
Fear The High Seas
High Seas is a compelling take on the murder mystery genre. The series takes place on a luxurious ship going from Spain to Rio de Janerio in the ’40s. The more you watch, the more secrets come out about the sisters who are traveling together.
With 16 episodes in the first season, it’s the perfect amount to binge, and there’s a new season coming in 2020. One can only guess about what’s all going on as they wait for answers! High Seas was the sixth-ranked popular international release of 2019.
Who Loves Street Food?!
With so many cultures in the world, it can be hard trying to determine which is the best. While that might be true, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them all.
In the Netflix original Street Food, viewers get to embark on a journey across the globe and dive into the stories of the people who make the delicious flavors of the street. Season one starts in Asia, so there will for sure be more to come. Street Food is the ninth-ranked most popular documentary.
The Highwaymen Was A New Take On The Story of Bonnie And Clyde
Although it had a limited theatrical release in the United States on March 15, 2019, The Highwaymen was released digitally on Netflix on March 29, 2019. The film stars Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as Frank Hamer and Maney Gault, Texas Rangers with the goal to apprehend the infamous Bonnie and Clyde in the 1930s.
Unfortunately, the film didn’t do all that well, earning 57% on Rotten Tomatoes which noted that the film “depicts law enforcement’s side of the Bonnie and Clyde manhunt — a story that’s unfortunately not quite as entertaining despite its marquee leads.“
13 Reasons Why Pushed It With Season 3
Based on the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, the Netflix series is a teen drama that focuses on high school student Clay Jensen and his deceased friend, Hannah Baker, who took her own life. After her death, a box of cassette tapes is discovered made by Hannah explaining why she took her life.
Season 3 of the show was released on August 23, 2019, and was met by negative reviews by critics and audiences. Rotten Tomatoes explained that while the film strode to be different in its first two seasons, the third became a “melodramatic mess of a murder mystery.”
Our Planet Did More Than Just Show Animals
Narrated by David Attenborough, Our Planet is a British nature documentary series created in coordination with the producers of Planet Earth, Frozen Planet, and The Blue Planet. While the documentary shows the lives of various animals in regards to the regions they live in, Our Planet has been noted for its focus on how humans are impacting the environment.
Production began in 2015 with the show being released on Netflix on April 5, 2019. The documentary series was incredibly well received by critics and audiences, although some claimed it wasn’t different from its predecessors.
Jailbirds Showed The Lives Of Real Female Inmates
Jailbirds is a jail documentary series that follows the lives of the incarcerated women at the Sacramento County Jail in California. After the massive success of the fictional female prison show Orange is the New Black, a reality show on the same subject didn’t seem like a bad idea.
The limited series explores what life is really like behind bars for these women and demonstrates their relationships, struggles, and more. The show was released on May 10, 2019, and consisted of just six episodes.
Wreck-It Ralph 2 Was A Hit When It Was Added To Netflix
Wreck-It Ralph 2 or Ralph Breaks the Internet is a 2018 3D animated comedy film. It’s the sequel to the 2012 film Wreck-it Ralph and was highly anticipated by fans of the first film.
Upon its release in theaters, the film received mostly positive reviews and grossed over $529 million worldwide. When the film was released on Netflix in 2019, it quickly became one of the most viewed films released on the streaming platform that year.
6 Underground Had Plans To Be A Franchise
Directed by Michael Bay and starring Ryan Reynolds, Melanie Laurent, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, among others, 6 Underground follows a billionaire who establishes a vigilante squad to take out terrorists that other governments won’t take care of themselves.
The film was supposed to be the kick-starter for an action franchise starring Ryan Reynolds. Still, the film’s reception was underwhelming. 6 Underground received a 37% on Rotten Tomatoes and a similar score by other review aggregates. It’s unlikely a franchise will ever come from it.
You Vs. Wild Was An Interactive Show
You Vs. Wild is an interactive adventure reality series that puts the viewer in control of the character on the screen. The viewer must make their own decisions in order to help survival expert Bear Grylls survive in harsh environments around the world.
Grylls speaks directly to the camera with missions, including tasks like climbing a cliff or following the river, in which the viewer must decide. The show was released on April 10, 2019, and consisted of eight episodes.
Raising Dion Is An Interesting Take On The Superhero Genre
Based on the comic book and short film of the same name by Dennis Liu, Raising Dion is a superhero series following a single mother raising her son who begins to demonstrate superhero abilities.
She then goes to great lengths to keep her son’s abilities a secret while finding out where they came from. The series had generally favorable reviews and in January 2020, the show was renewed by Netflix for a highly-anticipated second season.
Secret Obsession Had A Lot Of Viewers But Wasn’t Well-Received
Directed by Peter Sullivan, Secret Obsession is a psychological thriller starring Brenda Song, Mike Vogel, and Dennis Haysbert. The film follows a woman who is hit by a car and suffers from memory loss, remembering nothing about her life prior to an accident.
A man claiming to be her husband explains her past life, but everything isn’t as it seems. Released on July 18, Netflix announced that the film was viewed by over 40 million after its release, although it was met with harsh reviews by critics.
Mighty Little Bheem Is For Kids All Over The World
Mighty Little Bheem is an animated children’s television series and is Netflix’s first animated series from India. The show follows an abnormally strong toddler, Little Bheem, and his life living in a small town in India.
Little Bheem is the baby version of the Indian action comedy series Chhota Bheem, which first aired back in 2008. In order to make the show universal, it was decided that it would be non-verbal, so that children around the world could relate to it.