Netflix's #1 movie has a 0% Rotten Tomatoes score — why are people watching?

A TV with the Netflix logo sits behind a hand holding a remote
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Netflix's No. 1 movie for the last week has pulled off a feat that not many movies achieve: a 0% Rotten Tomatoes score. Which is the kind of news that doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. 

How could the most popular film — with 77,980,000 hours streamed in its first week, making it the #1 English-language film on Netflix in the week of April 25 to May 1 — be that bad? And to put those hours in comparison, they're more than triple the 20,280,000 hours that Silverton Siege, the movie right behind it, got.

And in this case, we're talking about a sequel to another Netflix movie with a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes that was also tremendously popular with the Netflix audience. And, no, it's not an Adam Sandler vehicle. 

In this case, we're talking about the film 365 Days: This Day, a sequel to the 2020 film 365 Days — which was lambasted for being problematic and just a bad film. Oh, and its depictions of sexual violence were controversial, to say the least.

Annoyingly, something seems to be going wrong at Rotten Tomatoes at the moment; earlier this week, you could see that 365 Days: This Day had a 0% Rotten Tomatoes score. Now? When you try and load it, most of the page is broken, save for the link to watch on Netflix, some art and some character photos. Hopefully this gets fixed soon.

Why the critics don't like Netflix's 365 Days: This Day

Michele Morrone as Don Massimo Torricelli and Anna-Maria Sieklucka as Laura Biel in 365 Days: This Day

(Image credit: Netflix/Karolina Grabowska)

For the uninitiated, and I wish I was in that camp, the first 365 Days film has its name because it's about a mobster named Massimo (Michele Morrone) who fell in lust with Laura (Anna Maria Sieklucka), a Polish hotel worker who he then imprisons for 365 days. 

Why? Well, that'll get her to fall in love with him, right? Not only is that a misogynistic and contrived plot, but it gets worse when she stops resisting, making his plans actually work. All along the way, you've got sex scenes that are very arguably steamy and blandly kinky in a way that screams "we have 50 Shades of Gray at home!" It even had a cliffhanger ending, where Laura possibly died.

So, to the surprise of nobody, the sequel is basically more of the same. And it even opens up without a moment's care for that cliffhanger, jumping straight to a pre-nuptuals sex scene. Jessica Kiang at Variety led the pack in trashing 365 Days: This Day, calling it "Softcore Polish Drivel," and "piping hot trash." More shockingly, she notes that "'Baby Girl' Laura (Anna-Maria Sieklucka) even refers to her erstwhile kidnapping as 'sick' at one point, marking an empowerment arc as skimpy as her underwear."

Kate Erbland of indieWire wrote that "Like the first film, '365 Days: This Day' offers up a staggering amount of sex scenes, even if many of them are decidedly un-sexy," and also noted that there's "a plot twist that both matters and, as in accordance with the dim logic of this franchise, doesn't."

Analysis: Explaining 365 Days: This Day's popularity

Anna-Maria Sieklucka as Laura in 365 Days: This Day

(Image credit: Netflix/Karolina Grabowska)

Trying to figure out why something like 365 Days: This Day is popular reminds me of someone I met at a 4th of July party last year. She declared that Netflix's 'Sex/Life' was one of the best shows she'd seen lately, and after watching that series, I can basically bet that she's watched the 365 Days movies. They're not as misogynistic, but they're similar in other ways.

These movies and shows are as much lifestyle pornography as they are actual pornography. As Kiang noted, "the '365 Days' films are less about the sex than they are about the stuff. The suits and sunglasses, villas and jetskis, shopping montages and stripper heels, Lamborghinis and Corvettes."

Between the 50 Shades books and movies, the 365 Days films (a third is confirmed
to be coming by Netflix) and Sex/Life, there's a sizable audience for these sex-themed projects that fall in the "so bad it's almost good" category. Sometimes, people just want to turn off their brains and watch a soapy mess. 

And Netflix is all too ready to meet this demand. 

We just saw the Doctor Strange 2 post-credit scenes and have all the details. If you love a bit of soap opera with your combat sports, check out the WWE WrestleMania Backlash live stream or other new movies and shows to watch this weekend.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.