If you’re a big fan of movies that emphasize cool action sequences over almost everything else, then you’re not alone. Plenty of people have been tuning in to watch the Uncharted movie on Netflix, and it just hit the top spot of the streamer’s top 10 movies.
Plenty of people have already seen Uncharted, of course. The Tom Holland-led video game adaptation made $148.4 million at the domestic box office. But hitting Netflix, as the movie did on July 1, opens up a whole new audience that doesn’t need to spend any extra money on tickets.
What is Uncharted about?
Controversial among fans of the Uncharted video game series after it was announced, the Uncharted movie is essentially the origin story of series protagonist Nathan Drake (Tom Holland). Far from the seasoned treasure hunter from the game, this younger version of Drake is a street-wise thief moonlighting as a bartender.
Drake is then recruited by an actual treasure hunter, Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg). Sully is after the lost treasure of Ferdinand Magellan, and claims to have been working with Drake’s missing brother Sam.
Unfortunately they have to find it before ruthless Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas), a descendant of Magellan who believes he is the rightful owner of the treasure — which is worth around $5 billion.
What did critics think about Uncharted?
Critics didn’t really like Uncharted, and the movie currently holds a 41% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus reads that the movie is “promisingly cast but misleadingly titled, Uncharted mines its bestselling source material to produce a disappointing echo of superior adventure films.”
David Fear from Rolling Stone (opens in new tab) was particularly harsh, calling the movie “a second-generation copy of someone else’s static-y greatest-hits compilation. You’re better off watching old walkthrough clips.”
Brian Tallerico from RogerEbert.com (opens in new tab) gave the movie 2 out of five, saying that “Uncharted checks boxes for fans and newbies but does so in such a predictable manner that it lacks any edge or spark.”
Bilge Ebiri from Vulture (opens in new tab) concluded that “Uncharted is not so much unenjoyable as it is curiously empty.” Meanwhile Manohla Dargis of The New York Times (opens in new tab) said that you can “at least give Sony credit for recycling."
Audiences feel a little differently, though, as evidenced by the 90% score based on over 5,000 ratings. The audience consensus is that the movie has “plenty of action and a terrific cast, Uncharted is a solid adaptation of the games — and a fun throwback to classic adventure movies of the past.”
Likewise not all the critics were critical of the movie. Owen Gleiberman from Variety (opens in new tab) called Uncharted “Watchable in a thin 'Raiders of the Lost National Treasure of the Fast & Furious Caribbean' way.”
Meanwhile Todd Gilchrist of TheWrap (opens in new tab) said Uncharted is “In the tradition of Raiders, The Mummy, National Treasure, and Jumanji, Uncharted taps into a familiar tradition of globe-trotting, roguish adventure, and disguises the influence of those earlier films better than you might expect.”
Bottom line: Should you watch Uncharted?
While the critics weren’t huge fans of Uncharted, and the fact it feels pretty derivative of everything that came before, audiences do seem to be getting a kick out of it. While it may not be the most original or cerebral movie on Netflix, there’s something to be said about sitting back and watching a big, loud action movie for two hours.
The fact is, if you already have Netflix, there’s no downside to giving Uncharted a go. You have very little to lose, especially not the cost of theater tickets, and plenty to gain if you discover you like the movie.