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Surprise! This Johnny Depp movie just cracked the top 10 on Netflix

johnny depp and willy wonka
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Sometimes the Netflix top 10 can be incredibly predictable, and sometimes titles can pop in out of nowhere without any discernible reason. This latest addition to Netflix’s big list is a little of both, with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory taking the number 10 spot in the streamer’s list of top 10 movies.

Released back in 2005, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the second adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book — with directorial duties falling to Tim Burton. It stars Freddie Highmore in the title role — plus Johnny Depp in a particularly eccentric take on Willy Wonka.

Depp has been in the news a lot recently, due to the ongoing defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard, which may go some way to explaining why the movie has breached the top 10 list. Then again, it’s not one of Depp’s most popular roles, nor one you’d typically associate with the actor.

The movie did fairly well at the box office, grossing almost $475 million on a $150 million budget — making it Burton’s second-highest grossing movie behind Alice in Wonderland. However, the audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab) is a miserable 51%, based on over 250,000 ratings. The critics' score, meanwhile, is much-more respectable 83%.

In the years following the movie’s release EW called the film “popular but divisive,” while Variety (opens in new tab) referred to it as “everlastingly polarizing”. Likewise Gene Wilder, who played Wonka in 1971 movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, was particularly scathing (opens in new tab) and seemed to think the movie was a mere cash grab.

Roald Dahl was known to have disowned the ’70s version, and was particularly disappointed by the fact Wonka was the focus of the plot, rather than Charlie. The author wasn’t happy Wilder was cast over his preferred choice, British comic Spike Milligan.

2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a much more faithful adaptation of Dahl’s original book, but does take its fair share of liberties. For instance, it gave Wonka a fairly extensive back story, ruining some of his mystique, and a weird aversion to children. That latter decision was pretty odd considering Wonka willingly opened up his factory to them.

So if you haven’t seen the movie before, don’t go in expecting a shot-for-shot remake of the 1971 version. This isn’t that kind of movie.

We can expect to see a lot more Roald Dahl work in the not-too-distant future: Netflix signed a deal with the Roald Dahl Company back in 2018, before purchasing the company for $500 million last year (opens in new tab)

Among the streamer’s plans are a new version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and its sequel, written and directed by Taika Waititi (opens in new tab) — proving himself to be the busiest man in Hollywood right now. 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory isn't the only entry blasting into Netflix's top 10. Spanish drama Wrong Side of the Tracks is the fourth-highest watched TV show on the service. In other news, the first Mission: Impossible 7 trailer is amazing and Oprah's OWN just canceled Delilah after a single season. We've also got all the things you need to know about the Stranger Things season 4 release date and time (including the first eight minutes of the new season).

Tom Pritchard
Automotive Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.