Netflix’s Top 20 Shows and Movies of 2021 – Rotten Tomatoes

Netflix’s Top 20 Shows and Movies of 2021 – Rotten Tomatoes

(Photo by Kirsty Griffin/Netflix)

As of December 26, 2021

What’s trending on Netflix? How about for all of 2021?

The most popular shows and movies on Netflix based on subscriber viewing habits are found on the service’s navigation menu, but that’s only part of the story. Fans also spend time reading up on their favorite Netflix series and movies and their critical standing here at Rotten Tomatoes. We’ve made a list of the top 20 movies and shows on Netflix U.S. that our visitors read about here during 2021.

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Korean drama Squid Game led the list of the most popular Netflix titles on Rotten Tomatoes in 2021, beating out the streaming giant’s top film titles, like star-driven Red Notice, which saw Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds teaming up for heist story.

Recent 2021 releases like season 2 of fantasy series The Witcher, political satire Don’t Look Up with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, and Benedict Cumberbatch–starring drama The Power of the Dog had a lot of ground to cover to catch up with the year’s earlier releases and make it into the top 10. Their ascent has been impressive to watch — and they’re still climbing. (We’ll review the list December 31 and update the ranking if needed.)

While traffic to most TV titles’ main pages propelled the titles onto the list, some titles like The Sinner — the four-season USA Network series has three seasons streaming on Netflix — and two-season French drama Lupin made it onto the list with traffic to their first season pages, again proving that Netflix is a place to discover titles that have been around for a while.

Looking for more great TV and streaming recommendations? Order our book, The Ultimate Binge Guide, which is now on sale.

Is your favorite Netflix show or series on the Netflix Top 20 list? Let us know in the comments what you watched on Netflix in 2021.


Adjusted Score: 95218%

Critics Consensus: Featuring beautifully matched performances from Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan set against gorgeously filmed English countryside, The Dig yields period drama treasures.

Synopsis: An excavator and his team discover a wooden ship from the Dark Ages while digging up a burial ground on… [More]


Adjusted Score: 100178%

Critics Consensus: Well-acted and beautifully made, The White Tiger distills the strengths of its source material into a grimly compelling drama.</…….